Slowly and languidly my eyes opened, seeking the source of a light zephyr caressing my outstretched body. My awareness level accelerates to encapsulate the broad scenario of my location and posture. I am prostrate, in a hammock, swaying gently in the warm breeze in what seems a tropical wonderland.
Beside my swaying hammock there is a table upon which stands a glass of French wine and an array of finger-food to taste. Attending this assemblage of ‘goodies’, are a bevy of beautiful young woman who are busily plying me with offerings for my tastebuds.
Whilst I gather in all these incredible sights and events taking place in my present world, I hear a faint mysterious voice, repeating, “John, would you please return my book, ‘Living it Up in Lotus Land’, when you are finished your reading?”
I feel totally in control of everything around me. Complaints are unacceptable and all criticism rejected out of hand. I am the centre of my universe. Perhaps somewhat in the role of a budding tyrant, with the only point of reference being my own thoughts.
However, the mysterious voice continues to repeat its message and I am feeling a sense of unease. Now I must decide whether the appearances of Lotus land are real, or just hallucination and fantasy.
So I pinch myself and experience a sharp pain at the site; reality beckons. I hear loud music and realize it is coming from my neighbour’s apartment. I sit upright in my chair, wide awake; now my surroundings are somewhat more familiar and mundane.
As I stand up to visit my neighbour about the loudness of the music, I feel a foreign object under my foot. On inspection, I find the object to be a book borrowed from a workmate, titled, ‘Living it up in Lotus Land’. The book had fallen from my lap when I dozed off.
Suddenly I became aware of the real world, loud music, the apartment, the neighbour, and perhaps, the comfort of reality. Philosophically, I realised that my mind was capable of supplying me with an endless variety of varied scenarios of life. Why was there any need to be challenged by the vagaries of everyday life in a quest for coherence and reality? Why spoil such an exotic experience in the quest for such an outcome?
I was at once reminded of the feeling of unease during the exotic episode, and the fundamental need for assurance that the world I was inhabiting was real and not just one of appearances and fantasies.
My conversion from egocentric subjectivism was put in place during an ensuing meal with my good neighbour after I had regained my composure. During the course of our meal, we discussed just which book I could borrow from my workmate for next time.