You can't describe life in two minds to someone who's never been there. Life in stereo. Like, I'm up there looking in at a figment of my imagination and at the same time I'm down there inside this world that's very, very real. From the outside, I could see myself inside, but from the inside I could just hear this voice which was really mine but...

Description stops there.

Looked, we talked a bit, me and me, but the me on the inside couldn't really get who it was that he was talking to 'cause if he's me, then how could I be talking to him, right? Like the me on the inside had this feeling that he is the only me and that's it. Which was real frustrating if you're trying to do the avatar game thing.

I looked up at the mentor guy.

"Pretty neat, isn't it, Jay? You've actually managed to breath consciousness into a three-dimensional realm with its own time-continuum. From within that world, things appear as though they have always been. And the beings are conscious of themselves as independent entities—not just as figments of your imagination or digitally-generated sprites."

I shook my head. "I gotta connect with that guy down there."

He leaned forward on his chair. "Why is that, Jay?"

"'Cause he's me. And we can't go on being two beings like this."

"But you wanted to be both within and without, didn't you? And now that's exactly what you've got."

"But I want to do both at once!"

"You want everything, don't you?"

"Isn't that the whole point?"

Another one of those chuckles.

"You're playing a game with me." I was annoyed. "You got me stuck at this point for a reason. Okay, so let's get on with it. What's the deal?"

"Jay, anger is dangerous. Anger can sever your bond altogether. Look what you're making happen in your world."

I looked in horror. As bad as it was from outside, from within was even worse. I saw myself now as a million clones of that first me/everything guy—destroying, doing everything ugly and horrid to all that my imagination had made.

Now I was getting scared. "Okay, so just tell me. How do I get past this parallel-time schizophrenia? How can I get this thing working as a single whole?"

"How do you expect it to work as a single whole if it were created through a duality to begin with?"

"I don't get you. Look, I'm seventeen. I don't get all the philosophy stuff. I just wanna get back in one piece again. But in two worlds. So can we make it real simple?"

He gave me a long stare. I was getting nervous.

"Jay, are you one person. Or two?"

"Right now, I'm two."

"Before you started."


"You were two."

"Wrong. One. You can ask security."

"You were a brain and a heart."


"Your brain was figuring out what you wanted in that world and designing it..."

"With some help."

"...and your heart was creating it. In seven modalities." He pointed at the seven coils on my forearm. By now, they were dim, barely above cool. Something told me my world was in danger.

"Your mind," he said, "stayed up above. Beyond. Now you have to bring it within."

I glanced back at my world. It was fading, not so slowly.

"Hold on! I thought this device was supposed to be a brain-heart-action interface thingy. That's what you explained: Connect the brain through these cables down to the heart and from there to the hand."

"From above to below. Meaning, as far as the top-down scheme of generating a world goes. But not from within. And the proof is--" he pointed at the little me-guy inside the world, "--he doesn't have one."

He doesn't have one. I looked. It was simple. He doesn't have one.

"So if he has one?"

"He'll connect his brain with his heart and then with his action. And his brain will be connected to your brain—just like your brain is connected to the infinite intelligence beyond you. And then everything will be connected."

"Okay, let's do it."

"Sorry, Jay."

"Why not?"

A smile flashed over his face. "We haven't got there yet."


"At least, not at this site."


"For that," he paused, "you'll have to see old man Goldstein."

He pressed a switch. The head device lifted off back to where it came from. The cables unslithered off my arm.

"Better hurry," he said. "It's only effective until sunset."

He rushed me to the elevator. As I was about to leave, I turned back for a moment. "Can I come back to work with my world again? I have some cool ideas I didn't try yet."

"Jay, you are a first class beta tester. We'll be glad to have you back in our lab anytime. Finish school and there's a job waiting for you. But first you need the realtime, non-virtual experience. Get back home and connect. To the true Master Intelligence."

By the time I was pounding on the side door of the house where old man Goldstein had his basement apartment, the sun was already at the top of the trees and it wasn't waiting for me. He opened the door cautiously, but was glad when he saw who it was. I asked for the tefillin. He got them out.

"So do you still think they're from some alien intelligence?" he asked as he helped me wrap them on.

"No way, Mr. Goldstein. Higher. Much higher."

"Shma Yisrael..."