Ishmael and Ahab

This world will become one – I have found the way. Race. Tribal affiliations. National borders. Even my face will become irrelevant in the times to come. The world I envisioned will finally become a reality. It will make mankind whole again. That is an almost-verbatim of a narrative found in the MGS V: The Phantom Pain trailer.

When I was a teenager, I made the connection that adult teeth shape is inherited maternally because of the mitochondria. Instead of studying biology to become an expert in mitochondrial genetics, I chose engineering in the hopes of greater employment opportunities. For some reason, the future of humanity was of no concern to me.

My first year in Metro Vancouver, coming from Vancouver Island, was a shock. I could not handle six courses, and ended up failing one and was put on academic probation the following semester. Although I did end up raising my GPA to bring myself back into good academic standing, what was to follow would turn my world upside down.

For whatever reason, a strong suspicion arose in me that people were out to kill me. The thought would course non-stop through my head until it drove me into a panicked state. In that frenzy, I thought about the future and how what I know would be lost if I died. Thus, I began contacting various people throughout my university to tell them what I knew, but in the most irrational way possible. This act of inappropriate communication landed me in the conduct office.

At first these people thought nothing was wrong; I only needed some mindfulness. In a way, they saw hope in me as an intelligent individual who could contribute to society. Some time later they decided, after I continued what I was doing, to send me to a psychiatrist, who, after some assessment, said there were no signs of a break with reality. Essentially, there was nothing wrong with me.

These people, who are the foundation of the university, are the foundation of this world. These people are what allows all the different creatures of this world to thrive on top of the foundation. At their core is hope and reason. They saw hope in me. It was their hope that I was innocent until proven guilty. These people are wise.

Strong suspicions arose in me.

After the doctors, I embarked on writing a book to tell the world what I knew. I did write one, but, by my standards, it was not good. After I published it online, I felt the strange sensation that everything around me was happening because of what I did. Everything in Vancouver became messages to me. Eventually I made my way back home to Vancouver Island where my mom took me to more doctors. They diagnosed me with schizophrenia. Even they held out hope that I didn’t have such an illness.

In time, I realized more about my discovery. The extraordinary is born out of the ordinary. That creating life is an optimization process, which explains how two ordinary people can create remarkable people. For this process to occur, a society needs to encourage hope, love and happiness – life cannot flourish without that.

I was dragged into permanent illness by this knowledge. How every second gone by is a life you can’t save. For now, the future of humanity is lost to my affliction. Someone else will have to pick up where I left off. To the administration at my university, I was Captain Ahab of a one-man crew on a mad quest to change the world. Now, I am Ishmael. The sole survivor of my own madness. Like the characters of Moby Dick, I both rest in peace and live on to tell the tale. Much like the song The Man Who Sold the World. I involuntarily sold these people, the foundation of this world, a lie. An involuntary lie.

Please note that May 24 is International Schizophrenia Awareness Day