Chapter 16 - Meet Yourself

(Main character with man walking on street covered by a red fog)

Waking Life: Chapter 16 - Meet YourselfYou haven't met yourself yet. But the advantage to meeting others in the meantime is that one of them may present you to yourself. Examine the nature of everything you observe. For instance, you might find yourself walking through a dream parking lot. And yes, those are dream feet inside of your dream shoes. Part of your dream self. And so, the person that you appear to be in the dream cannot be who you really are. This is an image, a mental model.


(Main character meets the same girl he saw in the beginning when he was on the phone. [In fact, this is not the same individual.])

Do you remember me?

No. No, I don't think so.

At the station? You were on the pay phone and you looked at me ... a few times.

I remember that, but I don't remember that being you.

Are you sure?

Well, maybe not.

I was sitting down and you were looking at me.

(He mumbles as she draws close ... and he wakes up.)

(He looks over at his alarm clock, the numbers flow, and he realizes that ... he's ... still ... asleep.)

(Main character is watching TV, switching channels)

My little friend, dream no more. It's really here. It's called Efferdent Plus.

In hell, you sink to the level of your lack of love. In heaven you rise to the level of your fullness of love. You see ...

Hurry up! Come on! Get in the car! Let's go.

Allegedly, the story goes like this. Billy Wilder runs into Louis Malle, this is in the late 50's, early 60's. And Louis Malle had just made his most expensive film, which has cost 2 1/2 million dollars. And Billy Wilder asks him what the film is about. And Louis Malle says "Well, it's sort of a dream within a dream." And Billy Wilder says "You just lost 2 1/2 million dollars."

... I feel a little more apprehensive about this one than I did about ...


Down through the centuries, the notion that life is wrapped in a dream has been a pervasive theme of philosophers and poets. So doesn't it make sense that death too would be wrapped in dream? That after death, your conscious life would continue in what might be called a dream body? It would be the same dream body you experience in your everyday dream life. Except that in the post-mortal state, you could never again wake up, Never again return to your physical body.


(Main character is walking into a convenience store. A man is walking out.)

As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle, being swept along is no longer enough.


(Main character goes into the convenience store. The clerk is the same guy who drove the boat car)

What's the word, turd?

Hey, do you also drive a, a, boat car?

A what?

Like, you gave me a ride in a car that was also a boat.

No, man, I don't have a "boat car". I don't know what you're talking about. Man, this must be like parallel universe night. You know that cat that was just in here, who just ran out the door? Well, he comes up to the counter, you know, and I say, "What's the word, turd?" and he lays down this burrito and he kind of looks at me, kind of stares at me, and then he says, "I have but recently returned from the valley of the shadow of death. I am rapturously breathing in all the odors and essences of life. I've been to the brink of total oblivion. I remember and ferment a desire to remember everything."

So, what'd you say to that?

Well, I mean, what could I say? I said "If you're going to microwave that burrito, I want you to poke holes in the plastic wrapping because they explode, and I'm tired of cleaning up your little burrito doings. You dig me? 'Cause the jalapenos dry up. They're like little wheels.


(Main character sitting in a restaurant with an older lady.)

When it was over, all I could think about was how this entire notion of oneself, what we are, is, is, just this logical structure, a place to momentarily house all the abstractions. It was a time to become conscious, to give form and coherence to the mystery, and I had been a part of that. It was a gift. Life was raging all around me, and every moment was magical. I loved all the people, dealing with all the contradictory impulses. That's what I love the most -- connecting with the people. Looking back, that's all that really mattered.


(Sitting in a park, a woman approaches him, showing him a drawn picture of himself.)


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