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I’m a neurosurgeon. I love to cut open human skulls and dive deep in, to slice, dice or drain, either pus or blood or cerebrospinal fluid, that has accumulated in the brain. I think I’m lucky because I love my job, I love the stress, I work every day, I never take any rest.

However, my luck ran out one night when I dozed off while driving to the hospital. My car hit a curbside. I suffered a concussion. And I died.

I didn’t know that I had died. For an indeterminate amount of time, I was in a pitch black space. It was not a tunnel and I was not on the way to another place. I was not falling, as there was no gravity. I was not drifting, as there was no breeze. I was not hearing, as there was no sound. I seem to have been suspended in a time-space vacuum. For how long? Maybe a microsecond. Or maybe a million seconds. I don’t know and I didn’t care.

I was in a calm, clear and soundless Black Hole.

There was then a sudden pull – or push – and I found myself whisked into a multivariate state. All of a sudden, I was here, I was there, I was everywhere. In different universes, in multiple locations and time zones, imbibing experiences, living lives – either present, or past, or both – simultaneously.

In one universe, I was being born; in another, I was in the cusp of death; in a third, I had just got married; and in the fourth, I had just been granted a divorce. In roughly half of all universes, I was male; in the rest, I was female. I was going through pubescence and puberty, and menstruation and menopause. I was being loved and liked in some – and hated and harmed in others. I was going through spiritual and religious experiences in some, and being materialistic or opportunistic in others.

These experiences were not like flashes of light, with each happening in a discrete flicker of time. They were drawn out in a time-space continuum, with each life being lived in that specific universe, in that specific time and space, with all of its associated emotions, feelings and functions. I felt as much joy as I did pain, as much elation as I did angst. I was crying and laughing, I was swimming and drowning, I was hurting and healing, and I was living and dying.

It was my body – a wave-particle duality – that was going through all these experiences. My mind was not. My mind was the singularity, the consciousness, the sole truth. It was in all places all at once, individually, distinctly and uniquely, like a superbrain. I was an omnipotent being in an omnipresent space in an omnisphere world. The omnipotence was my consciousness; it was me.

I willed to focus on my current life, before I had opted to study medicine. In high school, physics was my favorite subject. I wanted to study quantum physics. Gluons and gravity fascinated me. Quantum physics was the mathematical extrapolation of metaphysics that philosophers from Plato to Planck wrote about. I had devoured all of them.

My life changed when my dad – also a neurosurgeon – showed me a research paper by Roger Penrose. In 1989 he proposed that mysterious protein structures called “microtubules” were key to consciousness in the brain. That, he said, explained quantum biology, entanglement and decoherence.

“Is quantum physics the missing link between biology, physics and chemistry?” I wondered.

“There are only two possibilities: yes or no,” my dad said. “Alex, the only way you can be sure is by mapping the human brain. And the only way you can do that is by studying neuroscience.”

I had excellent grades and passed the medical entrance exam to get into the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. By the time I did my post-grad in neurosurgery, I was neck-deep in work and had no time to devote to quantum physics.

Until this moment.

In a parallel universe, I had majored in quantum physics and was working with research teams on quantum effects on smell (olfaction) and sight (déjà vu) phenomena. Wow!

I was thrilled. Could I jump into this quantum universe – and quit the neurosurgery universe? Or could I be in both, in superposition mode? The moment I thought about that, I was whisked instantly to a multiverse state, re-experiencing myriad levels of contradictory activities, like Schrödinger’s cat.

Then, all of a sudden, I felt a jolt. It was simultaneously strong (like two electrons colliding) and subtle (like someone somewhere was getting ready to observe my behavior). I was being whisked back into my neurosurgical universe. I suddenly knew I had Abulia, which in neuroscience means loss of will or decision-making ability. The action of external observation was directly affecting my state.

I instantly flew at high speed in a long, white tunnel. I was passing through solids, fluids, gases. Then, all of a sudden, I felt sharp pain. And smelt burnt flesh. And heard voices.

“The abscess is drained, the cerebritis should reduce,” a voice said. “Cauterize this vessel.”

“I can sense titubation of the head and neck,” another voice said. “Tremor is now subdued.”

“I’m getting indications of consciousness in the EEG,” a female voice said. “Faint, but there.”

“How long has the patient been in a coma?” the first voice asked.

“Since the concussion, 6.26 hours.”

That’s Planck’s Constant! I yelled at the top of my voice. But no sound came out.

“Keep monitoring the EEG,” the first voice said. “I don’t want her to wake up at this point.”

Her? No! I’m a male! My name is Alex! I’m a neurosurgeon! Hear me, wake me up!

I kept shouting. But no one could hear me.

About the Author: 
I'm a data scientist who loves science & scifi. This is my first attempt at quantum fiction.