By removing their props, I leave my readers to their own devices. Nevertheless, I haven’t, and won’t, abandon them. I’m a caring author, I assure you. To start with, I provide a weapon, one which everyone is already familiar with in some form or fashion. What was the list that I gave: Haiku, koan, riddles and SF? All of them are good to go. They’re all the laboratory glassware that you need with which to cook up any thought experiment.
Just don’t trust your senses. Seeing is not believing. I demonstrate that everything which a person thinks that they perceive directly only occurs in his or her mind. Therefore I tell them to use their minds. Turn negatives into positives. By whipping out the carpet, I give them a firm place to stand. Secure footing, hell. Existence is nothing but a thought experiment.
And then it’s your turn. I hand the bat over and invite you to swing. Take a crack at it. You don’t do so well, but it’s not too bad for your first attempt. You turn to me and grin—it’s not so easy. And so I step up and whisper some advice into your ear. “A sense of grandeur . . . conspiracy . . .”
We utilize those tools and start to focus. You squint coldly at the pitcher as he winds up.