Chapter 0:

allah has forbidden me from eating pork and i am stuck on a desert island with your mum

alhamdulillah I have waited 3 days for the sun to go down and will starve soon. if allah is among us then i will be smited for sure.

There are often many ways to differentiate one object from another. It could be by sight, by smell, by touch or by instinct; we have always been able to separate the being from the article, or so the useful from the useless, not to mention the different from the same. This skill, proficiency of some sort, is rather a peculiar set of attributes that are rarely ever reflected over by the general public and the academic alike. That, which to this day we have taken for granted, is a capability that is so unnatural to those beyond our immediate selves - yet natural to us. There are say, a million differences between an apple and a banana; apples look approximately spherical, and bananas are shaped like a crescent moon; the apple is firm but the banana is soft and easily deformed; the apple is easily juiced but the banana often the subject of more blended drinks. But who is to decide that these differences are what defines the apple different from the banana? There are an infinite number of similarities as there are divergences. They are both fruit, but under a different genus; they are both equally edible but derive different modes of enjoyment; the apple and the banana are grown in the same soil but under vastly different experiences. What lends us, then, to confidently point to one or the other, and denounce it as dissimilar to the other?

There lies no quantitative answer to this question; the uncountable is incomprehensible as it is incomparable. But perhaps it is a biological riddle, that for some kind of a means for survival, we have concluded that the attributes of a banana have a number of predefined criteria, and so does the apple. But wherein does this distinction lie, and perhaps more importantly, when was this agreed upon? One can almost distinctly make out what each of the fruit ought to be like. However, unlike mathematics or a more scholarly subject, the assignment of a banana to an apple is not trivially taught in class, or so to be rooted in some book or dictionary as to be given to us. How then, is the signification of the two words so resoundingly clear to the new come ear, and how have the concepts remained distinctly parted, despite the linguistical barrier? There may be dogmatists that insist that all concepts as such remain separated due to the branching and sieving of ideas - the slow but gradual sophistication of language itself. But such a view is quite problematic. The very action of sophistication requires an act of decision, one that should cut the more so similar to the more so different. The concept of apple and banana, for example, is much more understandable and approachable than the differentiation of lady fingers to cavendish variants. But again, it seems unavoidable that why should an apple and banana to treated with such confidence, then the mutations within the Musa species? There are, quantitatively, uncountable differences and similarities between the two, to the extent that different individuals would have trouble coordinating the judgment point of one from the other; yet they also agree that in both cases, the difference is more but evident.

It fails me then, that we should rudely allocate the banana and apple such an unequal status. For one, the status of an apple is clearly much more elevated than that of the banana in the western eye. It is the apple that keeps the doctor at bay, it is the apple that cursed us with the idea of good and evil, and it is the apple that is revered as the fruit of the people. The banana, on the other hand, lends itself to more eastern aesthetics, not to mention its origins in the Indian region. As a result, the banana sees far less literary significance. The root cause of such inequality of fruits is that they are different, and not because they are superior. The debate about which fruit is of personal favourite varies widely from person to person, and is never the less, pointless and needn’t be discussed in depth. The simple matter of fact is that when things are separated, an unavoidable and fierce differentiation beyond the initial scope of categorisation begins. It is a self-perpetuating uncoupling of similarities and a severance of connection – the very force that defines the primordial unknown. The minute the apple was deemed different from the banana, the line between the two common fruits widens exponentially. The concept changes from novelty to common sense, and the unspeakable connotation of the two now parted fruits become an instinct to us; it must be so, that apples are not bananas, and neither the banana an apple.

It is also evident and somewhat self-explanatory that differentiation begets discrimination, but the reciprocality of the situation should be, nonetheless, equally as important and deserving of respect. The most often overlooked yet overanalysed synthesis happens when a rule or observation is reflected upon ourselves. And what is to say no to the case of differentiation. Alike the aforementioned fruity analysis, differentiation is a core part of what societal, structural and socio-economical have defined us to be. That evidence is simply insurmountable that some of us are born green, others blue, and some purple. A simple differentiation of colours, one simple line that has now widened to a gap between us. Although by no means legal, scientific and ethically dubious, the red among us is often suspected of fraudulent behaviour (of which other observations I will refrain from mentioning due to clear reasons), simply based upon the ideas of differentiation. And by these unspoken conventions, we often see ourselves gravitating toward a certain group; “us” to “them” are like apples to bananas. Before the introduction of the diversification act, a ship’s crew often consisted of a mono-coloured crowd, or at most a bi-coloured group. Violent clashes between fellow colours were not abnormal and often resulted in the disendowment or ejection of many otherwise good doing individuals. Doubt for espionage and terrorism were often high amongst groups of colours. And what a consensus it was, that an arbitrary colour should define our content more than our actions!

That being said, through the kind and brave work of many generations, such behaviour has significantly dampened over the years, and it is acknowledged that although the colours may part our lives, the content of each person is identical to each other. Nevertheless, the remnants of these past thoughts remain strong amongst even the closest friends. Naturally, this is not an investigation into the rather complicated subject of historical analysis concerning colour, but rather a dissertation on the idea of differentiation. It is amusing to think such a primal urge has to a great extent, shaped who we are as individuals. No longer has it restricted itself to the task of sorting, identifying or scouting, but elevated to a more metanalytical realm of prejudice and self-indulgent action. Apples to apples, they are not identical, but we group them under the same umbrella, people to people, we do so too. But there is a blurred line, one that pains my very heart to this day, between the banana and the apple. Why are they so different? Who defined their corners to be so stringent and obscene? There will be no answer. They are afraid to answer, and such is the matter of us to not confess our arbitrary falseness.

Perhaps a small alteration in the scheme of things to set the record straight. Just as John B. Goodenough once postulated – “The status quo is only challenged by those who dare to imagine”, perhaps a scenario should inspire us to critically observe ourselves. I often wonder what it meant specifically, that we could not peer into the minds of others. We wake every day, we continue along our crossed paths, and we interact with each other as if we are similar individuals. Notwithstanding the numerous cases of the criminally insane, the socially timid or likewise the physically impaired, there are simply too many circumstances where we cannot walk in the shoes of others, for their alienation has drifted too far from the modernist definition of normality. There are, to be mentioned, well-established modems of thought that the perception of arbitrary quantities, such as colours or sounds, are non-coordinated among different individuals. The Prussian blue is not so much the same to one’s eye as another who suffers from colour blindness, and so must their innate tonal representations. To extend beyond the range of the domain of ourselves, a practice so often done with the arrogance of superiority towards the self and “us”; the firefly and the bull sees the world in some tonal reflections far different from us. Aside from their visual receptors being much different biologically from us, it is of no doubt that the priorities are quite unfathomable to the existentialist views of our modern age. The humble bee scouts for ultraviolet light emitted by uniquely pollinated flowers, the pestilent mosquito smells the odour released by exalts of its victims, and the morbin’ bat listens to the reflections caressed by the walls and borders for which it cannot see. The world, this world that we, disregarding the possibility of its non-existence, inhabit, is rather uniform, ubiquitous and unchanging insofar as the moment is concerned. That to which we differentiate, observe and deduce, is, however, the furthest away from the order expected from science, the natural order. The observation, even if the reality to which we perceive, is in fact existent, true to its form and wholly undistorted, is still subjective to the chaotic nature of our minds; signification and the rather hybrid systems that muddle not only the dictionary of each of “us” but that which we collaborate for. The coincidence of our understandings, ethical considerations, scientific coordination, and religious to indigenous corroboration is rooted in a dangerous keystone of mutual understanding. But will the moment, that to which we find “us” drifted too far from “them” arrive? To that extent, what will happen when suspicion surmounts the insurmountable divide that divides our diversified minds from the conflation that is this unified reality? We have spent our lives sorting, marking and telling one thing from another, that it seems almost impossible to piece together once again what is the same. It is hard to imagine the synthesis of the banana with the apple, which in fact the newborn would simply suggest it so as food. It is a matter of urgency but also careful and time-spending deliberation, that we should consider the parting of our observation to impart the meaning of knowledge; it is a risky and dangerous practice that we have not observed on the whole. In differentiation, we have failed to differentiate between the lines of our actions, and maybe, lost meaning to why we have started this endeavour in the first place.

The danger of this aspect could be seen through the imaginary yet realistic possibility that there may be those hiding among us who prey upon our very kind. The individuals that have lost all moral compass; he who has derived sufficient indifference but yet not enough physical divergence to be differentiated; single out them from us. I do fear, that although this “creature” should only exist restrained to the pages of this text, that one day might become a reality, or even hide among the shadows of order. Such that when we derive our differences, we have overlooked how other may do the same to us. It is a power that we hold not alone, but in conjunction to those all with intelligence. What says then, if fundamental quantities can be skewed and distorted, that we are confident of our other societal constructs? The most acute of us may be able to see abnormalities between one to another, but what if the divergent were to also mask him or herself with the most similar abilities and aptitude, so that they may never be discovered? The mayhem of civilisation drowns all sounds of individually, so that those not belonging here may dwell in the dark and meld unto our mishaps and unobservant detection mechanisms. This need not be a solid creature, none with body or mind, such as the cogs of time whom churn out another and another war for the ages, those birthright secured by casts or time. It seeks only destruction of what has created him or her, that faceless, revenging impostor lives without being nor time, hungry for the next feast.

It is with certainty, that such an impostor that exists in the flesh is much more menacing and tangible for the sake of this text. We do, after all, have a certain aptitude for the material world, that is the most natural and interactive beyond the scope of the feeble mind. Let us postulate a man, he who wears the face of our friends, converses with the most indistinguishable tongue but deep down is a beast that preys on the very kind he is masked as. What implications should this share on society? What mind would not second guess his first-impression upon review? The simple existence of the one among us is a singularity that thrusts the very idea of differentiation into challenge. What should the man do, when he has no choice but to differentiate between two identical objects that are understandably indifferentiable yet dissimilar down the very nature of being? What senses should he rely on, now that the tools that man employs have been put down and powerless against the predicament at hand? It is at the point when the stakes are high and but nigh that the weakness of “us” are to be shaken out - dishevelled or well-groomed are not the factors that we can use to weed out the impostor. Should we let our action speak for themselves? But the impostor is not a criminal, he that wishes for his own needs, no, but the impostor merely follows natures orders, pushing imaginary buttons that to us, are incomprehensible motives to which draws more perceived harm than good. And what if the impostor were to hide his intentions, so that he may strike when the time is right and the defence is at the weakest, or simply when suspicion builds to a point that the innocent is lynched for their crimes unbeknownst of the reason why or who to blame?

But perhaps the above only illustrates the fragility of our own selves. It takes only one impostor, hypothetically, to cripple a before thought harmonious and tranquil space. But it is not the vulgar acts, the disendowment of bodies, the beheading of otherwise good doing men or the suffocation of each and last exhalent that cripples and corrupts her. No, the observation, among many, is that the few spoils it for the most, and when the few is as dangerous as the imposter presents itself, then the warrant of any force should be considered. After all, the only person one can trust with absolute certainty is himself; he and only him bestows the authority to exercise the pen and the blade to cut through the web of deceit. That is until the situation demands a collaboration. Who does the mind group to himself, and what does the mind have to say about the mind of others, for whom he cannot touch nor comprehend? It is an eternity spent in the confinement of one’s mind that has restrained such a beast to call on ourselves; Whence once he apprehends the helm of power, shall devoid of all reason and understanding, a bloodbath more red than blood and more cruel than murder. The infatuation of the individual with power, which is exacerbated by the catalyst of deceit, set sail beyond the river Lethe; on the boat, not one, but many innocent souls, but also all tainted by the colours of suspicion.

There is no impostor among this world, and to that extent, the supernatural - or so I do hope. But there is an impostor bequeathed to us by the nature of this world. One cruel mother that heeds us not only to the beauty and serenity of vastness but the calamity and the vorpal fate of all those around us. It has taught us to fear, to doubt and to execute; it has made us the judge, defendant and prosecution at once. There is nothing out of our control, there is nothing we can control; to those words truly ring to what the impostor has existed to be. Spawned from the void of the unknowable, banished by the thoughtful and reanimated to haunt the living mind. It is a spirit that takes both the curse of individuality and the inevitability of death to its extremes, for it exacerbates both beyond the reach of immediate resolution. That he could be you, or I, or under the shadows of the crowds and crowds of those whom we pass every day is enough for some to question his existence; affirmation is informal, and the acknowledgement of action is the only item needed to throw the winds of rivalry into rebellion. And perhaps my only hope is that such a creature has not penetrated my mind into reality. The truth is, that with the aptitude and magnitude of the societal construct around us, I doubt we should have the ability to deal with such a demonic presence. That is the hope which carries me, and many others forward each day. That the spiritual and physical realm shall not cross paths so that each can be dealt with separately, the man and the monster for whom he has created. There may be no peace, shall the differentiation and diversion widen, and perhaps manifest into those beside us, to haunt and prey upon the very fear that has created it in the first place.