To Sleep, Perchance to Dream . . . [Excerpt]
(C) 2011 Victor D. Lopez
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My experience also gives me some insight into what makes certain people very creative, and why there seems to be a notable correlation between high levels of creativity and mental instability. Highly creative people tend to be less stable than the norm; they appear to be more susceptible to mental illness and addictive disorders. Perhaps the reason is that a strong subconscious allows them access to a sort of collaborative effort as they share the input of consciousnesses not their own. But that is a dangerous and equivocal communion. A thin line separates genius and madness, and I feel certain from what I’ve seen of the others within me that there are forces of both good and evil, the best and worst of all who’ve lived before seems represented. The effect is that the extremes cancel each other out and a sort of ethical nihilism seems to prevail and guide the processes of that huge mind pool. The sense of self, however, is strong within the individual parts that form the whole, and seeks an outlet.
Therein lies the greatest danger, and there the root of my undoing. Unless the conscious mind is strong, which mine apparently is not, the subconscious can encroach upon it as it seeks to perfect its splintered sense of identity into a more recognizable form. Generally, this happens when a strong part of the subconscious takes control. In my case, however, there is clearly a joint effort involved; I will not be “possessed” by one or several dominant individual identities who could push back my own identity into the subconscious. Rather, my own conscious mind will be shared by all, to no one’s particular detriment but mine.
I am too tired to much care that what I have said will doubtless sound insane. I know I can’t hold out much longer against the others’ power. I feel myself being pulled in and I’m too drained to resist much longer. My mind is clear, but I know it’s only burning itself out quickly, a lifetime of psychic energy used up in a few weeks of futilely trying to dam up the irresistible incoming tide. I feel myself floating, even as I write these lines. I’m losing consciousness; time is slowly dilating as my senses ebb away.
[End of Excerpt]
The above is a brief excerpt from one of the short stories in Book of Dreams 2nd Edition: Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction Short Stories.