As a preface, I am *not* a scientist, nor a mentalist, nor largely educated in any one area. My background and resume reads like a starters menu at a favorite restaurant — I’ve tasted the fruits of many things, yet never dived whole-heartedly into any one delicacy of the mind or body. My musings are largely influenced by various combinations of diet (or lack there-of), mental exercise (or lack there-of), and energy (or lack there-of).
Over the past year or so, a recurring idea keeps popping into my head every time I notice the shadows of people passing in front of the bathroom door or toilet stall I occupy, witnessed through the small cracks around the door frame. I’ve finally named this idea as Schrödinger’s Inverted Toilet. (I could easily stick a ‘Holistic’ or similarly fitting H-word into the title as a means of broadening the idea to include, if you pardon he pun, toilet humor — but I digress). Or maybe I should call it Schrödinger’s Inverted Lavatory, or Schrödinger’s Inverse Bathroom, or perhaps Schrödinger’s Wrong Way Water Closet —the synonym combinations are large.
The concept is forked from the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment. In simple terms, Erwin Schrödinger said that if you place a cat into a box with something that could kill the cat — like a poison or radioactive atom — and sealed the box, you would not know if the cat was dead or alive until you again opened the box. The cat was (in a sense) both “dead and alive” inside the box. Or dead in one world, and alive in another.
When I close the door to the bathroom or stall, cutting off access to the outside world, I feel like I am in the same thought experiment but from the cat’s point of view. I cannot see or hear clearly what is going on outside the door. I cannot say for certain that when I open the door again I will be in the same location in time and space (ha — I may have just stumbled upon an idea for a Toilet TARDIS). The voices and shadows around the gaps of the door frame — are they human? Are they ‘alive’? Are they from what I know as ‘home’? Are they even from the same time as I? Are there horrors or wonders beyond the portal gate?
And as I chuckle and shake off these thoughts as silly and prepare to leave the ‘box’, I find myself changing mental tactics: Ooh this could be a book! Or a movie! Or a play! Or do I take up an academic search in quantum mechanics to prove or disprove my little fantasy theorem?
I guess I will not know until I open the door…