I am.
I am certain I am.
I am certain I am as I am.
I exist,
Existence exists and I am certain
Existence exists.
Existence exists as it is.
What is it that exists?
In all this sound and color
What is it that is truth?
I see the colors,
Hear the sounds
In infinite multiplicity.
I feel substance:
The rough and smooth,
Heat and cold,
Pain and pleasure,
But what is it I feel?
What is it I taste:
The sweet, sour, salty, and bitter?
What the rich array of smells?
Am I the creator of all of this?
Why, then, does it seem to develop
Of its own accord?

No, I cannot seem to will it:
That which I see, hear, touch,
It does not answer to my visions.
Am I
Cut off?
Severed from what I see and hear?
I am a figment in the mind of a dreaming God!
The pain, the pleasure,
Will they strike me at whim?
Shall I be summoned to the pinnacles of delight,
Then racked with soul-rending torments
On the whims of a world-dream?
Oh horror!

But wait...
There seems to be
Some limited control.
A certain direction of thought
And my sights change;
A certain focus,
And I am aware of different shapes
Concealed in the misty ocean of sounds.
I feel hunger,
Somehow comprehending it.
What I touch and see and hear changes
At hunger's direction.
It seems I have substance,
Limbs which allow motion.
I am real in flesh and the world
Is real in substance.
Everything I see,
Smell and taste,
Are through this, my substance.
The hunger tells me so.
The hunger makes me real,
Tells me to act,
Explore the rules that change what I sense,
The rules that feed.
I am, in earnest!
Existence exists as substance and entity.
It's a kind of game:
Satisfying the hunger,
Exploring worlds of substance.
But why, dear God, why?

Who's to ask?
Does it matter?
I think I am being fed.
Something that moves and makes sounds
Is feeding me.
It seems familiar somehow.
I can't seem to control its motion.
I can cry out and it answers,
Makes sounds that are somehow encouraging.
Maybe it is like me.
Maybe I am not alone.
It's all so strange and complex.
Maybe it will help me understand why.
Maybe there are others like it who can help me
To understand the rules of this game,
To advise me on what I ought to do with all of this
This world of sound and color and feelings.
What should I do with my hunger?
Won't someone tell me?
My mother and father? My friends? My country? God?
Won't anyone give me a proper answer?

I do not think they know either,
These beings like me.
True, they each seem to have some answer,
But they can't reach an agreement.
I've given up on God, or rather,
I hold what God may exist to be
Unreachable by our perceptions,
Or we are a part of Him (or It)
As an arm is a part of our body,
Or a neuron a part of our brain.
Maybe He even asks the same questions we do.
     Why, God, why?
     What should I do?
And like us, he is not answered,
So he asks his fellow gods,
Who put forth their particular answers to him,
And in the end he is left
No less confused.

So what should God do?
What should you and I do?
Perhaps there is no one right answer.
(It never seemed so to me, in any case.)
What shall we do with our hunger?
Why should we do it?
Should we try to come to an agreement?
No, it seems too hard,
And no-one's answer could possibly satisfy us all.

No, I'm afraid that it is, after all,
Up to me.
My task to solve this conundrum
And only for myself.
So how shall I do it,
Take up the gauntlet of existence?
It seems I must draw inward,
Look for answers in first principles.
This life of mine is so
Phenomenally intricate,
My mind a labyrinth of truth and fantasy.
When I sort out the truths, which are the most
How can I reveal my innate purpose in them?

Let's see...
     is a function of values.
     are a function of the hunger
     and the objects of its desire.
The hunger and the hungered exist as they are.
I am hungry, and hunger is a part of my nature.
It is my way of being.
But what is it I hunger for and why?
I must look deeper into my identity,
Start from the very first principle of my identity.
Therein must lie the key to the cipher of my being.
What is that very first principle,
The principle underlying all that I want and all that I am?
All that I want and all that I am.
All that I am.
I am!
It is
     I am...

George Chadderdon © 1997