solipsism

A word that dances with itself, weaving reflected s‘s and i‘s like a house of mirrors. Its object is an existential solecism that takes solace in a schism with existence – or, if not solace, then at least soleness. The form of the word can be seen to reflect that, though not without other overtones. It starts with sol, which could be the sun, but in this system the sun that all revolves around is the solus ipse, no one but the single self. And so the only one my lips will touch is me, for all others are but figments. The snaky s slithers its way through a trinity of times with never a z to face it, like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, but this one is saying “the tree is in your mind, and so is that other person, and the garden, and, by the way, so am I.” In the beginning there is nothing, o, and then i comes, and after that – well, it’s i again, and none other. All beyond mirrors the sole I with the mere psittacism of the schizoid psyche. This term emerged from philosophy, suitably enough, for it takes a philosophical bent to think oneself into such a Spiegelhaus. My first-year university philosophy professor told us he had once known a solipsist. Ironically, he added, “He committed suicide.” And yet here we all are (assuming you’re there, and assuming I’m here). And, in the end, this word, too.

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