Masonry

Will Goff

Masonry

Stuck away on an infinite expanse of shelving is stacked a seemingly infinite number of vats. Never again to be seen. Each vat reeks of some formaldehyde-like derivative and the contents stir in a continual celebration of preservation. Yet there is no smell. Numerous wires, electrodes and displays accompany each vat, no more than a modified mason jar, inside sitting that celebrated vestibule of human past, a brain. It touches nothing. So, in isle after isle of squat masonry, cerebral currents eddy in viscous oceans of individual existence. Tasteless. Having captured those accolades of anatomy and scientific genius to procure immortality, the body was washed away, discarded in the midst of our own evolution as unnecessary in achieving our dreams. Under vows of silence. Exercising the maxims of happiness and lauding the achievements of technology, humanity sold out to its desires -- past and future, in a sense, erased.

Some higher law dictates our futures now. Each vat brewing dream after dream of gratification and entertainment; an infinite expanse of the self. The ultimate aim of our philosophy come full circle -- each assuming their own responsibilities, each become their own god. The glass epitomes of an economy, having served its final purpose, to secure the good life, now spend their time in eternity.

But these desires, the waking dreams of this inert humanity are all variations on a theme. No doubt some are extravagant, some excellent in accordance with the means of their own impressive imaginations, yet all are bound by the ironic limitations of their own subjectivity. Each jar now sits as a derelict signpost to a freedom of limitations. Reaching the zenith of their desires in lives full of gratification and excitement, the vats bubble away in contentment. But this is all they shall do, bubble. Pressed up to the glass, every one, but none shall see outside their windowless prisons, nor bear witness to another world.

Tended into eternity by a mechanism of technological splendour, the fate of humanity is sealed, each unto itself under some modern wax and tight fitting lid. The profit margins have at last met their demise in the realization of our limits, so we came to be bound, restricted in a frenzy of escapism. Demanding the realization of an old tradition, we finally gained control of eternity and immortality -- at a cost we will never fathom.

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University of Victoria