The first thing that he felt was the blinding light. Clad in a warm-feeling, floaty state, enjoying that short moment of peacefulness. This warm, yet slightly prickly feeling, it could make one forget oneself. Forget oneself? Right, as if something was lost. But what was it? What is the thing that I had forgotten?
Before he could even think about it, “it” started to tremble all of a sudden. After a short delay, his mind learned about being cold, skin-piercing cold. Just like a newborn baby feeling the cold for the first time. However the subject himself didn’t have time to experience it.
Suddenly, he was assaulted by the paired feeling of already-knowing and experiencing the unknown. At the same time, he felt an intense sensation of suffocation and started struggling.
Lungs, body, every single cell screamed for oxygen, the pain was unbearable. Unable to stay calm and think, he could only struggle painfully.
Unable to control how he felt, he was only able to squirm painfully. All the pain and suffering easily clouded his consciousness. Then, liberated from the human existence that had not cried for a long time, the body started to cry instinctively.
With his consciousness murky and his sense of self a mess, he opened his eyes to a gray sky. A blurry world… No, was his vision blurred? It was twisted world seen through unfitting spectacles. The outlines were so blurred and the colours chaotic, even he, who had not been emotional for many years, felt uneasy.
After what felt objectively to be about 3 years, “it” finally started to gain back its consciousness and form, feeling only pure confusion.
Just what the heck is going on? What happened to me? “It” entered a vessel that was unable to maintain consciousness for long periods of time, and still couldn’t recall this information. So “it” didn’t know why the sound of a baby’s cry that was barely audible while he faded from consciousness made “it” feel so embarrassed.
Mature adults aside, a baby would cry normally. Given a fair chance and appropriate protection, by rights a baby shouldn’t feel [embarrassed] at all. Therefore, “it”, with its senses and consciousness all jumbled up started to relax, and threw this unclear sense of shame into the deep recesses of its memories.
After that, although its confusion, even though “it” had finally understood its situation, “it” still felt desperately confused. “It” clearly remembered that it was at the platform of Yamanote Line. But “it” unexpectedly, after snapping back to reality, found itself inside a thick, stone-built, western-style building with a nanny-like nun wiping its lips. If this was a hospital, it was understandable to infer that an accident has occurred. That could also explain as to why its vision was blurred due to the injury.
However when its eyes could finally see clearly, all it could see through the dim lights were a bunch of nuns wearing archaic attire. The reason for the dim light...if it was not mistaken, should be due to gas light bulbs which were clearly in the wrong era.
“Come, Tanya-chan, ahhhhh—-”
At the same moment, he found out something abnormal: that there were no electrical appliances in the room. In the modernized society of 2013, this room has way too much old and useless junk and was lacking for electrical appliances. Are these people Mennonite conservatives or the Amish? Even so...why? Why am I in this place?
An unexplainable situation. The multitude of questions and doubts just keep piling on.
“Alrighty, be obedient and open your mouth, Tanya-chan”
The current question is, “What is going on?” Thus, “it” shifted its vision to the spoon served in front of it. But even though “it” noticed the existence of the spoon, it wouldn’t have thought that the spoon was for itself. All it felt was to question why that “Tanya” person still hasn’t eaten yet.
However the nun that was in front of “it” (who was deeply in thought) must have reached her end of her patience. With a gentle smile that wouldn’t accept, “no,” for an answer, she shoved the spoon in her hand into “its” mouth.
“Don’t be picky now. Come. ahhhh——-”
It was a spoon of stewed vegetables. But at the same time of this spoon, without a doubt, it dragged “Tanya” back to reality.
The over-stewed vegetables was the only thing that was stuffed into its mouth. But the one who was forced to eat this, this unexplainable situation only made its thoughts even more confused. In other words: that...was me. The one they called Tanya.
And then he screamed from the bottom of his heart—”Why?”
AD 1971, August 14th, United States
In 1971, on the 14th of August, after receving an investigation request from the Office of Naval Research （ONR）, Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s research group started a certain experiment. The projected duration was just a short 2 weeks. The aim of this experiment was to understand the problem that the marines faced from the Navy prison and to collect some basic data. The group of people who joined this experiment were all healthy, both physically and mentally, average university students.
However, just by the second day of the experiment, they had already encountered a huge problem on the ethical level. The students who were acting as the captured prisoners suffered severe scolding and shaming by the students who were acting as guards, which even resulted in the guards directly engaging in violent acts. This ethically wrong behaviour kept happening throughout the experiment, leading it to be cut short in just 6 days.
That experiment was later widely known as the “Stanford Prison Experiment.” But other than the ethical issue, the experimental results from a psychological point of view, ironically had rich and enlightening content. The previously conducted “Milgram experiment” and “Stanford Prison Experiment” revealed human nature.
In this isolated environment people obey power and authority; people with this authority will exercise it without any limits. After analyzing this [Obedience to Authority] situation, the conclusion seemed to have quite some impact. The surprising thing is that, this phenomenon had nothing to do with a person’s reason, conscience, or personality; it was actually the persona of the role being acted out.
In other words, these two experiments clearly showed that humans will obey their environment, going so far as to willingly ignore their own reasoning and conscience. To say it in a more extreme manner, it is that anyone is capable of being a prisoner guard in Auschwitz.
Speaking from the theory, the environment will affect human behaviour, causing them to behave far from their own original nature.
When he learnt that he was also a part of this race, he didn’t feel that something was wrong but felt more of a “So that’s why.”
During elementary school, I guess everyone learnt that all humans are equal under the state’s compulsory education. We learned that all humans are equal and irreplaceable. However judging from this, we could also easily find out that some situations were unequal.
Why is the student sitting in front taller than me?
Why are some of the students in the class good at dodgeball, while others are not?
Why can’t the student in my neighbouring seat solve such a simple question?
Why can’t the student seated behind me stay quiet and listen to the teacher?
However, elementary students are placed in a [Be a Good Child] environment. Even if everyone is different, there is still the need to say that everyone is an important existence. The fear is that if they do not follow this rule, they would be labelled as [Bad Children].
So [Good Children] work hard to not become [Bad Children].
Then when preparing for middle school exams, [Good Children] start to despise [Bad Children] in their hearts, avoiding interaction with them. Successfully getting into a good middle school, followed by a entering a high school with a high university enrolment rate, lastly into a well known university, they strive for perfection under these rules and conditions while going down the shortest path to success.
To continue acting as [good children] in this environment, it is required to keep on fulfilling other people’s requests and not betray any expectations.
Constantly reading reference books and textbooks every day, then comparing their results with other students, feeling as if they have been placed in the middle of some sort of examination warfare, these students treat those who play games every day as losers. In this environment, where results are everything, they naturally look down on those students with poor academic results. On the opposite side, the poor students do not believe that they themselves are smart. After all, what little pride they had were already crushed by the aforementioned group of geniuses long ago.
While those students were still immersed in studying, those geniuses had already taken up the rights to join the international Physics or Math Olympics. To study with these genius students who treat the correct answer as a natural part of life in the same classroom, it was impossible to keep up with just extraordinary hard work. Still, even though they were looking at this through a twisted view, they have only managed to learn the bare minimum in order to understand reality.
The other people taking the exams, even if they were unwilling, also understand that. To have parents with that amount of income, the minimum was to get into an excellent university and find an outstanding job. Thus they became just like other young people, filled with the passion to improve oneself. Their fear of falling behind would be crippling, so they hanged on their study desk with tight grips.
Placed in this world where they struggle to safely breakthrough this exam warfare, after getting into the so called famous university, the game rules change. Willingly or not, most people among the group will realize that the world will start to judge you by [What you have done] instead of [Excellent results].
Facing this changed rule, only those who are able adapt well in this new environment are able to handle it.
On one side obeying, abusing the loophole and ridicule the rules, while on the other side being bounded by the rules.
In the end what they learnt was that rules were an irreplaceable presence for the optimization of the system. Unbound freedom is just pure destruction; rules that have no freedom is just a pure tyranny. Therefore, although he hated being restricted, at the same time he was worried about having unrestricted freedom.
He was unable to understand what are the people who were late for class thinking, unable to understand what kind of values do the people who got drunk lying beside the road had, unable to understand the brain of the PE department people who kept advocating about spirit.
Relatively, he was overjoyed for being able to give a reasonable explanation by pinpointing the relationship between rules and freedom at the Chicago school meet up. As long as one obeys the rules, you will be able to continue on the right track. All the while acting like a diligent student but actually hiding the fact of being an otaku. In his opinion, this is what it means to be free of the restriction of rules.
Friends who had pleasant interactions with him, other than his high school friends, are those people he met in university who had the same interests. Building relationships and ability with others, at the same time wasting some of their free time before going out to society. Of course there was also the need to invest diligently in honing your skills, study vigorously till you reached an adequate standard of language and etiquette. After that along with the signalling theory, he will soon become a well praised excellent student.
Just that the demand for these kinds of people, surprisingly isn’t for their ability, but more emphasis on what was on their resume. I guess for those who got excellent results for entrance exam, graduated from a famous school, plus were familiar with the interviewer, they were the best candidates available for the recruiter. Based on this reason, the unemployment tide for university graduates also couldn’t really be counted as an obstacle.
After all the starting point is different. If you want to go according to the facts, it's a handicap race. Visiting the seniors in the company before going for an interview is a must. And not just that, you will still need to invite the HR recruiter for a drink and have a chat.
Don’t even mention the senior from high school, or the senior during university who are now in charge of hiring people. They would just straight away give him advice [That company’s HR department just happens to be looking for this kind of talent, it would be best to use this during the interview.]. With this kind of opportunity, even if you were only at an average standard, there would be no trouble finding job. As long as one was not picky about jobs, you would be able to get a decent salary. Becoming a cogwheel of society, submissively executing orders and just ensuring that its own part of job is completed. Then unknowingly, the calling of oneself “boku” would have turned into “watashi”.
Work ethics? Personal style? Creativity? As long as there was a proper salary for that amount of workload, a useful member of society will never question about the job content. And for the companies, they will pay the best talents that could do their assigned task to a satisfactory degree. Following and obeying the business theory without a single doubt, putting profit as priority. Getting used to this corporate lackey lifestyle, actually isn’t that difficult.
Heartless? Cyborg? Cold blooded? Inhuman? You will only be worried about these things at the start. It is hard to understand such pathetic yelling, and I felt afraid of people who are in this crazy state, on the verge of using violence. But I got used to it, just like when I was schooling.
Humans are adaptable living beings. The so called environment adapting, is to act out the roles that were given to you, if you are a guard do your guard role well, and if you are a prisoner, do the prisoner role well. He was just like that, switching between the world of work and interest, living a peaceful life. Of course, work was conducted in the most efficient way possible, so as to prevent his own precious free time being wasted. Thus he obeyed all sorts of business requests, trying his best to avoid failure in his job.
Because of this, he caught up to both his parent’s salary after thirty years old, and was well on his way to become a successful person. After that, due to his commitment to business and his loyalty to his superior, he was promoted smoothly in the HR department and lastly gifted with the position of section chief as his touchstone.
Oh, right. I still have an important job. No matter how big this misunderstanding is, I have absolutely no reason to let this nun stuff a spoonful of stewed vegetables into my mouth. And she is calling me Tanya-chan, which is really annoyingly. I’m qualified to be called a gentleman just by not screaming in rage regarding this matter.
Just when I became restless and was ready to get up and protest [Why do you keep calling me…..]——
A sharp pain in my brain made me recall unpleasant memories suddenly.
AD 22nd February 2013 Japan/Tokyo
[Why, why me!]
Why? Of course it’s because your “value” is too low, in addition, you have missed work too many times. Lastly it's the report that was submitted to your superior, you seem to be burdened by multiple heavy loans of an unknown sum. And you strongly reject the therapy that the company has sent you to. In conclusion, you are obviously a liability to the company. It would be bad if you were to have some bad incident that caused the company’s public trust to decrease. [So does the company still have any reason to keep you?], I really felt like answering that way. But it was against the regulation, so I was only able to bury it deep within my heart and answer back carefully.
[You have failed to meet PIP twice in a row. Understanding this, based on company guidelines, we have sent you for a training course to achieve your PIP and yet you rejected it. And you missed work every now and then without reason.]
Saying that I’m looking down at people? So what? The regulation doesn't forbid me from doing this. Business is a profit seeking organization, not a care institution for useless people.
[Therefore, in my opinion after considering that you have contributed to the company through long years of service, instead of sacking you for failing to meet the expectations, it would be better for you to voluntarily resign.]
Although saying it this way is a huge waste of time, but it’s also part of the job.
[What kind of training is this?! I have never done outdoor sales before, and you are sending me to do that!?!]
[For the company, this is a kind of countermeasure to prevent your performance from dropping. It is a necessary training course for the management personnel, for them to be in the shoes of an office worker and be encouraged to find better management guidelines. ]
How tiring. Coping with these people who keep crying and yelling, only wanting to get by through leeching off the organisation. These people are really troublesome. How good would it be if just by crying a bit one would be able to change the result. As a part of the business, I admit there are these kinds of tactics. But to always insult someone as being a heartless monster, bossy bitch, cyborg, etc. To complain to me once there was a need to rely on me is really——
I know that I am an inferior human. Unable to compare with the geniuses, unable to reach the elite status even with hard work, personality is also extremely distorted. Overall it’s an abnormal aggregation of inferiority.
Thoroughly kind people makes me feel disgusted. They were hypocritical, it is commonly accepted within society to have a certain level of conscience, but it was because of this that they would be mocked at by themselves, this is simply hypocrisy.
Even so, despite being so ugly, I was still capable of having some pride, way better than this useless thing crying and shouting in front of me. After all in terms of “value”, I am still maintaining some excellent results. So even when it comes to sacking employees during a company reshuffling. I will do it as perfectly as possible regardless of how troublesome it is. I guess next up is to continue on the path of Department Chief. Life should be smooth sailing after that.
....it was supposed to be like this.
After thinking up to this point, he will always recall that unpleasant experience.
Although it is said that humans are political creatures, but for a human who was recently sacked, even after considering ethics and societal common sense, they seem more like animals who act impulsively based on their emotions. Maybe they are different from those well-educated elite children from an organisation, in the end it seems that perhaps there are more people who are more open about being controlled by their emotions? The Department Head had already specially warned me to be careful of my back when I’m on a train platform, but I’m unable to understand the meaning behind his words. *Pon*, my body was suddenly pushed by someone. Flying out from the platform at an inexplicably slow speed. And while seeing a train drive forward, my awareness was suddenly cut off.
After regaining conscious, I immediately encountered a really absurd incident.
[Are you all really living creatures?]
[I’m sorry, may I know who is this?]
An old man who is commonly seen in a generic novel, sighs while observing me. There were 3 possible answers.
First, I miraculously survived, although there are doctors who are currently helping with my treatment, but I am unable to fully understand this situation. Which means there might be serious issues with my eyes or brain.
Second, this is a dying delusion or illusion. Might be my whole life flashing before me.
Third, I am experiencing Zhuang Zhou's butterfly dream went through, and I am awakening in the actual real world. I probably fell asleep.
[....I deeply feel that you are a group of mad people. Actually having such nonsensical thinking.]
He is able to read my mind? If that is true, considering one’s right to privacy and all sorts confidential matters, that behaviour really pissed me off.
[That’s right. Reading the minds of people like you who have no compassion is really unpleasant.]
[This is really surprising… I never thought that the devil really exists.]
[I was wondering what you were going to say next, but in the end it’s this huh?]
The only existences that transcend the world of common sense are gods or devils. The world wouldn’t be so unreasonable if god exists. Therefore, there is no god in this world. With that, the existence X right before me is the devil. Proving complete.
[....you people, do really want to work your creator to death?]
You people? Plural is being used. Meaning that there are other people other than myself. Should I feel relieved at the fact that I have a lot of companions? A little subtle. Although I don’t hate myself fundamentally, I don't really like it either.
[Recently there’s a lot. Crazy insane souls like you people. Why not rely on humanity’s evolution to seek salvation? Are you really that determined to not reach Nirvana?]
[Humanity evolved by the advancement of society right?]
John Rawls’ Theory of Justice was very impressive. But there is no way to apply it practically. Humans are separated into haves and have nots. The “what if” in the theory might be interesting, but in reality, the haves will not give up their privilege for other people. Instead of worrying about the future, isn’t it natural for humans to chase real interests? Even so, how to go about doing it is also a problem.
Let’s say I’m dead, where does the soul go next? Let us proceed to have a bit more constructive discussion shall we? The things that happen later is more important.
[Return to the circle of life, till reincarnation.]
The answer provided by the self proclaimed god, “X”, was very naive. I see, I’m afraid this is the so called “I have done my part” responsibility right. One shouldn’t get lazy in job the moment you see an opportunity. But I am also able to understand the importance of explaining responsibility and compliance obligations. Even if one was displeased, as a member of the society, as a part of the organisation, one should understand about following the right formalities.
[Very good. Please do that.]
In conclusion, I have decided to be cautious of my back in my next life. I have learnt that humans can be split into 2 kinds of people, one who follows rational action, and the other who doesn't, looks like there's a need to restudy behaviour economics.
[....I’ve had enough.]
But, the words he muttered makes me feel slightly confused.
[Can’t you guys stop it already? Not even one of you, seeking salvation and Nirvana aside, you all don’t even have the slightest faith.]
Even you say that, I’m troubled too. Honestly, I don’t understand what “X” (self proclaimed god) is angry about. I can understand that the elderly are more impatient, but once someone who has reached a certain status starts to rage, no one is going to be able to get used to it. If it’s an anime or manga, it can still be laughed off as a joke, but in modern society, there are a lot of things that cannot be waved off by saying it was a prank.
[Recently, there are too many humans that stray off the path of common sense! Completely failing to tell right from wrong!]
About that… Even though I’m being reprimanded about what was common sense by “X”, I’m worried too. To begin with, if there really is common sense in this world, could I trouble you to inform me first? It’s asking a bit too much for people to obey something that they neither agreed to nor seen before. I am really unable to understand anything that is not spoken. Until now, I don’t recall having some ESP ability.
[Didn’t I set the 10 commandments!?]
First commandment, thou shalt have no other gods before me
Second commandment, thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Third commandment, remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
Fourth commandment, honour thy father and thy mother.
Fifth commandment, thou shalt not kill
Sixth commandment, thou shalt not commit adultery
Seventh commandment, thou shalt not steal
Eighth commandment, thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
Ninth commandment, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife
Tenth commandment, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wealth
These words through some kind of ESP abruptly passed into my brain. Um, about that, how should I put it, it’s really difficult. Anyhow, I was born in a society of multiple religions, and was already used to sloppiness of religious tolerance. Even if you talk about the commandments to me, it only makes me feel confused. And not only do I respect my parents, at the same time I have never killed anyone before. From biological point of view I am a man, the sexual instinct I had, I’m born with it. These were the conditions I was gifted with, there was nothing I could do it. I have nothing to say if I’m the one who designed this, but aren’t you the one who designed it?
[That is my lifelong regret!]
I wonder how god’s life looks like. From a simplistic technical point of view, I’m slightly interested. Anyway, this is the level of interest and curiosity I had for other things. I shouldn’t have had the lust or urge to kill people. Ah, although while playing an FPS game, it does feels very cool to get a headshot, but this doesn’t show that my killing urge is more than the average people. Also, I did take some poster regarding animal care, and urging the department of health to lower kill/catch rate back home.
[Even if you didn’t do it, you still enjoying the action of killing right!]
I have neither stolen nor been a false witness, I have also never snatched another person's loved one as a hobby. Most importantly is that I’m always an honest person. Faithful to my duty, obeying the laws, I don’t recall doing anything inhuman. If war broke out, I might even have a divine revelation to go prawn farming. Unfortunately my soldier experiences is only limited to online gaming.
[Enough! Since you wouldn’t repent regardless, then I will have to give you an adequate punishment!]
There’s a limit even when looking for trouble right. Why do I have to be the one who takes the punishment? But according to my experience, I know that ignoring this matter would be a bad idea.
[No, please wait.]
I hope you don’t get angry. After all you are the so called almighty existence, you should be more mature mentally. Or even as a farce is also fine, please be a bit more mature. I knew a lawyer, although he looks like a different person in the courtroom compared to his online game persona, but he is still able to maintain a social life. I don’t expect you to act as perfect as him, but at least slightly better...
[Just by managing a population of up to 7 billion, it's already making me overworked!]
You all must breed and reproduce, fill the earth——that is what was written in the bible. Judging from the limits of one’s knowledge, I’m afraid that humans are obeying this teaching way too honestly. To a point that the image of Malthus worrying in the underworld appears in my mind. You could say that humans have reproduced too much. But as a manager, you should remember the instructions that you gave. It would be nice if you don’t get looked down by your subordinates or be the next personnel to get sacked by the company. Anyway, since you are a manager, I hope you take responsibility of what you have said.
[This...if this world is full of faithless people like you, I’m already in deficit!]
Honestly speaking, doesn’t this means that a flaw in this management model?
[Breaching the contract and you still dare to say these words! You all don’t even want a chance at salvation right!]
No prior notice, how would I know. These are my heartfelt words. If it’s something important, it is a common knowledge to send in a mail with a certified stamp. But if it’s a contract, it should be handed over personally. It is best to make sure that the contract is kept properly.
[Didn’t you all bow to atheism?]
No, as of now the evolution of science has no difference with magic anymore. Overdeveloped science is like magic. Natural science banzai! The world matters, which wouldn’t have any more doubts. In this affluent world, as long as there is no urgent need, sense of crisis and faith will not be produced, so there is no need to seek something to rely on. After all, as long as humans don’t fall into a dead end, there is no need to rely on religion.
[....In other words, it’s about that right?]
Even if you say this or that, I wouldn’t understand right. I can’t help it if the way I treated “X” is becoming more and more casual. Only, being unable to have a normal conversation is quite troubling for me. What should I do? If there’s a translation service available, I would immediately sign the hiring contract without any concern about the price.
[You lack of faith, is driven by your sexual lust, doesn’t fear me, and has completely no ethics.]
I really felt like protesting. I’m not that bad, based on my ethics and the level of social norms, it’s definitely not that bad!
[Shut up! All of you are like this, despite wasting effort every time to return you all back to transmigration, but it always relapses immediately.]
About that, that’s why I said that this is an issue with the increase of human population. At least it’s related to the lifespan of the entire human race. Now that we have the concept of an average lifespan. That, and also of course Malthusian theory of population. Didn’t you read it? Human population would continue to increases like rats, pretty scary right. We didn’t do anything special, you will understand after a simple analysis. This obviously shows that there is a flaw in this management model right.
[That can be made up just by increasing the faith right!]
Ugh, I already said this is a flaw in the management model. All I can say is, you are too naive in the psychological analysis of the consumers. You have already committed a structural error, way back during the planning stage.
[So the reason for the problem, according to you, is that living in a scientific world, is a man, not knowing what is war and having never fallen into any dead ends right?]
…Eh? I can’t shake off a bad feeling about this one.
OK. Please calm down. The “X” right now, is as dangerous as those HR department employees who steals other company technical staff who they have trained from the basics. I have the grasp of the situation and had also formulated an appropriate countermeasure.
[If that’s the case, all I need to do is just throw you into that kind of environment and you will start to believe and have faith again?]
Err.. about that, don’t you think you jump into conclusions too quickly? Please calm down. Indeed, I did mention about the excess progress of science cause faith to turn more ambiguous. But, dear god. Please don’t be too impulsive. That’s right, calm down first. So I say, as long as we are able to feel the blessings of god, it should be fine. About that, of course, I totally know about it. I completely understand why you manage us this way. That’s right, I clearly understand this point, so could you put your hand down please? Also, saying I know nothing about war is a misunderstanding.
[It’s too late to start bootlicking now!]
No please, my dear lord. Please recall a bit. This world has confirmed that magic and miracles do not exist, the people who claim that they have witnessed it is also really suspicious. It’s the same as your existence! Also, sexual urges applies to both sexes right!
[That is enough. I understand. Let’s do an experiment then.]
[With you as the subject!]
It was this sort of memory. Which I would really like to forget if it's possible.