Two neuroscientists – Graham (45); an overweight insomniac with hemorrhoids, and Isaac (27); a naïve and neurotic romanticizer of LOVE – are about to embark on groundbreaking research into near death experiences and maybe even proof of God; if, of course, their personal lives don’t explode by then.
All Graham really wants is to be some kind of hero to his children whereas Isaac is young and naïve, and hopelessly drunk on the idea of true love. The story follows the two scientists as their trial falls apart along with their personal lives. For Isaac, a string of strange and often hilarious encounters will lead him towards the love of his life while Graham, on a quest to find courage, will find the only thing that ever really mattered – his family.
Faraday’s Cage explores the idiosyncrasies of marriage, casual ***, political correctness, consciousness, identity, and what it means to be happy being average.
What happens when we die? Is there a somewhere else? Is there an after here? And on that note, who are we by the way? And while we’re at it, who am I? Or maybe the question I should be asking is, what is I? What is the self and where in the brain is it? Is a man inside his home just a man, or is he the house and everything in it? Am I my body or, like the man in the house, am I tucked away, somewhere inside? Am I hiding in the attic, peering out through half-drawn blinds at the world outside? The man inside the house is a resident while I, inside my body, am a person. Where does the man go if his house is demolished brick by brick? Does he cease to exist because his house no longer exists? Then where do I go when my body is demolished atom by atom? Do I cease to exist?”
His questions were met with blank stares.
“I think, therefore I am,” he continued. “But do I think, or do I have a brain and it thinks, and I merely experience a brain thinking. I have a voice inside my head yet I cannot hear it. It’s there, I know it is, but it doesn’t have a sound. I don’t listen to that voice, not like you’re listening to me – I experience it. It doesn’t have a sound and yet I hear it all day long; in fact, I’ve heard it my whole life. And it says, ‘I’ every time. So who is this infamous I person? Is it the voice, or is it me? Am I the voice or am I experiencing the voice? Is the voice merely a feature of the body I inhabit? Like a hungry belly, is the voice just a groaning mind? Would the man inside the house think that the creaking in the walls was his voice too? Would that be the proof that he was the house? This voice has been narrating my life for as long as I can remember; an endless commentary on my intero and exteroception. It tells me when I’m tired, hungry, and sore; and it tells me I’m better than everyone else, just as much as it tells me I’m not as good as I think I am. It tells me all the things I cannot do and then makes me feel guilty about doing all the things it told me I could. Sometimes it’s funny and inspiring, and sometimes it plays my favourite song on repeat; most of the time, though, it’s not much fun to listen to at all – worrying about all sorts of stupid things that I can do nothing about. So, is the voice me?”
The children all looked at their teacher, unsure if this would be in the test.
“Is the voice any more mine than say, the commentary is on a football game? And the thoughts and memories; are they mine or am I just experiencing a play by play of every foul, fumble, and spectacular goal? Are my thoughts and memories merely a feature of the mind or is it proof of I? And if so, once again, what is I? If the man is not the attic, the staircase, the furniture, or the house; how can I claim to be the brain I feel I inhabit, the body in which it is incased, and the organs with which it is furbished? How can I attest to being anything other than awareness itself – aware that the attic, the staircase, the furniture, and the house exist, that they are separate from other houses, just as my body is separate from other bodies, and that looking out the attic window, my experience of life on this street is separate from my neighbour - who is also looking out from a window in his attic. Aware too that I am not the grass that grows in my yard, just as I am not the house’s façade. I am not the colour of the walls, nor am I the size of the property. I am neither heritage listed, renovated nor dilapidated. But I am aware too that my neighbour thinks I am. I am aware that my neighbor thinks I am my house; that I am the lawn, the façade, and the colour of my walls. I am aware that my neighbour judges me and so I forget that I am not the attic, the staircase, and the furniture; but instead, I go about acting as if I am the house. But I’m not the house, am I? So what am I?”
One child raised her hand, but as it turned out, she only had an itch.