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Yes, but What Does the Toilet Think?

And other poetic ramblings...

By C. Rommial ButlerPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
It considers the valley below...

Yes, but What Does the Toilet Think?

It seems to me that consciousness must arise out of an organism, so I might suppose a flower to possess some level of conscious awareness in that it reacts to its environment.

But what about a toilet seat? I mean, that's one of our creations... would we want it to be conscious?

"God have mercy!"

As to whether we as humans have a creator, or creators, so to speak, is still open to question, but does existence need to be created? Can it be destroyed?

I don't think so. It seems to me that existence must go on existing, that the whole cannot be created or destroyed, regardless of what can be created or destroyed within the scope of the whole.

The notion that consciousness is pervasive and foundational is what I have come to suspect is false. Rather is it generative and, if we are attuned to its growth, progressive.

That consciousness creates—of this I've no doubt, and do not seek to put limits on what is possible through that avenue.

Are Being and Becoming perhaps the natural result of existence existing?

We retroactively project an intention at the front of the process because we intend within the process, I think.

We created the toilet seat because it serves a very definite purpose.

Were we created for a very definite purpose? Why this consciousness then?

We might suppose that a merciful creator would intentionally render some things unconscious, as in the example of the toilet seat.

We could create an Artificially Intelligent toilet... but just because we can...

...doesn't mean we should.

In this respect, we might suppose a curious god to be more severe than a severe god, and a severe god more merciful than a merciful god.

For who should desire to be a toilet seat?

Nevermind. Don't answer that.

***** * *****


Trapped. Trapped in our own minds and everyone else must be locked in and trapped with us.

I know it's not fair but that's how it seems sometimes when we live with other people's anxiety, like we're trapped with them in a cage of their own device.

All we needed was the space to find our moment of Zen. Peace is literally just a few hours or days of solitude away. But where to go?

Trapped. Trapped in this cage, in this maze, in this experimental cityscape, where we’ve been conditioned from birth to eat and drink from the community trough, to find answers in the community and only answer to the community.

Trapped by our conditioning or by the force of the system?

Is there a difference?

***** * *****


We use language and symbols to interface with reality to better understand our place within it.

Even now, quantum physicists are looking farther and farther into a subatomic world where they keep finding so many seemingly conflicting phenomena that some are beginning to conclude that there is no objective reality, that the conscious observer creates it.

This will turn out to be a grave error, but it must be made for us to learn from it. All we are finding is the limit of our own perception.

Their language of symbols succeeds in unveiling more of the mystery of objective reality than the old metaphysical explorations (or does it?) but ultimately such a language of symbols has a finite limit so far as it can reveal reality to the burgeoning consciousness.

Quantum physicists have hit their wall, and much like the metaphysicists before them, some are all too willing to conclude that the limit of our conscious awareness is the limit of reality.

The old metaphysicists concluded that there was something beyond them which they could not understand, so they called it “God” or some such, and prostrated themselves to it, preferring to believe the mysterious neutrality of existence an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being or power.

The above-mentioned suppositions about the pervasiveness of consciousness merely internalize that preference and then project it back onto the collective. This could prove to be the undoing of civilization as we know it, as the collective will in turn assimilate this belief and act on it much as they have the religions of the past.

This belief will erode those hard-won gains which have freed the individual to think outside the needs of the collective. Every resource will then be turned again to the needs of the collective... or so it will appear.

For there remain individuals—they are already quite present and quite in control—who understand the implications of these beliefs. Namely, that these beliefs make the herd more malleable to the designs of the shepherd, because all the while we are being driven to and fro upon the pastures of our overlords we will sincerely believe we are the agents of our own destiny.

Solipsism serves the self only as a defense mechanism, a dissociative act against the recognition of one's own enslavement.

It fulfills no other purpose.

***** * *****

Thanks for reading! The spoken word recording of the first piece should be on your streaming service of choice. Add it to your playlist! If you like my bass noodling you might enjoy my other work, like this one and the links at the end of it:


About the Creator

C. Rommial Butler

C. Rommial Butler is a writer, musician and philosopher from Indianapolis, IN. His works can be found online through multiple streaming services and booksellers.

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  • J2 months ago

    Sometimes I like to picture consciousness as its own expanding universe, pushing outward and contracting inward simultaneously through space-time from a singular point. In this context, I imagine the collective consciousness as a swarming venn diagram made up of every singular universe made by every singular source of experience. Perhaps the toilet is in some ways conscious, or rather the elements that make up the toilet... the way a clam is conscious enough to experience stimuli without perceiving or reacting but still a connective part of the sea which transmits information throughout it. The warmth of skin on ceramic or vibrations caused by nearby traffic may not register in a way that makes sense to the toilet, as it has no way to make sense out of anything, but we can make sense of the toilet by feeling that the ceramic is cold and thereby knowing we must be warm, or that it's seat is shaking so there must be a train coming. It's a very limited universe made up of many tiny venn diagrams of its own, but when overlapped with ours may have a better platform across which to communicate and therefore, possibly, perceive. If the porcelain seat knows only cold it has no cause to respond to cold, or at all, but with the introduction of warmth, perhaps those cells are called to question what they experienced prior, if not warmth, and what it is to experience anything at all. If these are questions we can ask ourselves, then for as long as we and the toilet are connected, we are the toilet, too; and so if we are conscious on the toilet, it must be conscious of us too. Now there's a conscious being with real cause to despise it's creator.

  • Gerard DiLeo2 months ago

    It thinks it's the butt of the joke. This is a brilliant piece! Well done.

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago


  • "I know it's not fair but that's how it seems sometimes when we live with other people's anxiety, like we're trapped with them in a cage of their own device." I guess this is how my friends and family feel 😅 Also, lol, toilet with Artifial Intelligence. I wonder what it would do. Maybe make an analysis of the urine and poop and give feedback on how to improve on their food and water intake!

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