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The Apothecary Chest

You stand poised before an ancient Japanese apothecary cabinet. Time-darkened varnish hints at wisdom of unimaginable antiquity. Seventeen mysterious compartments promise revelations of obscure wisdom,insights of another age,or perhaps,merely the jest of an architect long since turned to dust. As in an archaeological treasure hunt,the results are often profound,sometimes mundane,occasionally profane,but invariably custodians of a perspective alien to the explorer.

Physicist Hugh Everett III modeled a universe in which every decision point leads to a parallel version of reality. Through acts of volition,we create the illusion that one version has substance,while in fact,all versions are equally real — just not for us.

Linwood Steene has been warned:“To open this apothecary chest is to become disassociated in space and time.”Nevertheless,he has elected to enter the vertiginous realm of the Many-Worlds interpretation of Quantum Theory — at the price of his eternal soul.