Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Once again, I found myself in the great big labyrinthine hall, surrounded by various routes and possible destinations. From where I was standing, the possible pathways resembled branches extending from a tree. Absentmindedly, I proceeded to one of the doors on my left, but I froze midway in the task. Perhaps it would be wiser to choose another door. The one on the right? This internal debate lasted for about 15 minutes, my mind unable to tolerate the prospect of making the wrong choice. I finally solved my indecision by closing my eyes and going inside the first door I touched.
The lights dimmed to blackness, and I was suddenly being plunged into an abyss. It was like I was going down a spiral staircase, round and round until my mind collapsed and my thoughts evaporated into nothingness. When this endless process of falling was concluded, I landed on the ground, miraculously unhurt. I then felt the ground shaking under my feet and the walls closing in, trapping me in a claustrophobic position. The ground cracked and expanded, bleeding into another surface layer. All of a sudden, everything was upside down.
Perhaps these strange occurrences are best described by envisioning a plot of sand. In the colossal open space of the beach, the wind gently sways the grains of sand one way and then another, so that the shapes on the ground are in a constant state of reconfiguration. This constant state of changeability resembles my unstable mind. Like a rubber band, ideas are being stretched thin in my head to the point of incomprehension so that nothing makes sense anymore. This subjugation has left me in an asphyxiated state, unable to breathe.
The menial task of decision making is becoming too much for me to be able to bear. It weighs heavily on my mind like a sinking ship; the only way to go is down and I cannot resist any longer. I am the sea, and these ideas are pressing heavily on my head, burdening me with constant decision making. There must be some way to alleviate myself from this excruciating pain that dwells in my mind.
Perhaps it’s best to separate this duality by physically separating one mind from another. I appealed to this notion by evoking the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:
Although Dr. Jekyll assumed a broad, strait-laced figure, Mr. Hyde shrunk in comparison, assuming the figure of a small, shrivel man whose appearance suggested something of a deformity. The stooping figure was a clear demonstration of all that is wanting. Yet, it was quite difficult to pinpoint exactly what Mr. Hyde’s faults were. It was something about the air that he radiated to those around him. When he smiled, he stirred up a sense of discomfort so that everyone was left to agitate in fear. There was something about this creature that was unnatural and uncanny, enough to inspire a fiendish aspect to his demeanor. Whilst Dr. Jekyll bathed in the decorum of upper-class English society, Mr. Hyde dwelled in the darkness, making a home amongst the vilest of creatures.
As Dr. Jekyll frequented the deadly potion, Mr. Hyde began to overpower his thoughts, taking over his rationale and poisoning all the good that remained. Dr. Jekyll’s justification for his experiment is that it gave him peace of mind. He had to find a way to separate the duality that resided within him. When he swallowed the potion, and dressed himself in Mr. Hyde’s demeanor, he was able to find an outlet for his debased inner desires, and isn’t that something that people look for, a sense of consistency? To ease one’s mind from the battering thoughts? To alleviate oneself from the burden of indecision? The only explanation is to envision a split in personality, left and right separated in different directions. You either follow one route or another. Yet, I find myself looking for a middle ground. I decide to take the imagined route.