The Outsider’s Mind by Computer Engineering student Amr ElTawil

Ezekiel describes himself as a devout flat earther.

Outwardly Ezekiel, who had described himself as a devout flat earther, appeared no different than many others I had come to know. Yet, beneath this seemingly mundane exterior lay a mind so perplexing that I could hardly believe it existed. He was a bald and somewhat stocky young man, pale in complexion, with a light neatly trimmed beard, and a moderately long face. He often displayed a preference for casual attire, in particular opting to wear a simple hat and a pair of clear glasses, which he donned purely as an accessory. His manner of speech reflected his general nature, being marked by a cautious and moderate tone, often displaying a lack of trust in the world around him. 

Throughout the course of our interview, we would speak of many things, of grand tales and provocative anecdotes, of secret societies, and grand illusions. Though perhaps he was not the most eloquent of orators, the pertinence of the ideas he put forth were not lost. As he paused awaiting my next question, I began once again.

“So, Ezekiel what would you say is your most defining trait,” I inquired, hoping to gain further insight into his character.

“I am a truth seeker, I am the skeptic or that kind of person that when everyone has moved on, I can reopen the files…I don’t leave any stone unturned or leave any theory behind,” he remarked with a modicum of pride. He seemed to take delight in his status as a self-made outsider.

As I pressed further, he began to describe his journey to becoming the man he was today, depicting a gradual transition spurred primarily by curiosity. A curiosity that would ultimately lead him to pursue less conventional theories relating to both reality and the world around us.  His religious nature seemed to transcend and influence all other aspects of his character, and as to be expected served as the foundation upon which he based many of his views. Upon the topic of freedom, choice, and common good coming into question, he would cite this as he often did, remarking that the gift of personal freedom was a divine right that cannot be encroached upon even if doing so serves public interest. Such a concept as an unrestricted pursuit of the greater good seemed to perturb him. To him, the sanctity of the human soul and the earth granted by God, was to be respected and thus they could not be left to those that exploit them through force or deceit.

As we delved deeper into our discourse, I began to divert the topic towards the intricacies of his more peculiar views, hoping to discern why he retains them despite said views being constantly contested and denigrated.

“So, you believe the surface is flat but then the rest is a dome?” I retorted to one of his responses, perhaps with a somewhat incredulous tone. He seemed to have taken note of this as he replied in a hesitant manner.

“I don’t believe we’re floating in space…..we’re not a disk in the middle of space or whatever…. I know this is where it sounds a bit crazy but I can give you evidences for this…Everything you see in the sky think of it as…kind of like a curtain or just an illusion… It’s just there to guide us, we’re just in a very enclosed system, god just created it that way….because it works as a perfect system, think of it as a nice time piece or a watch. It works in a very mechanical way.”

 Curious as I was to view the evidence he wished to provide, we were both aware that time did not permit it, and so I moved on towards my last remaining questions.

When asked why he wished to spread his beliefs, Ezekiel replied candidly:

“In the flat earth system, you can’t go anywhere else and there’s everything to support us and there always will be…. knowing this changes your ultimate philosophy and orients your decision making.”

 Perhaps If we all believed in the world’s divine worth and that there would be no other refuge for us, he lamented, we would treat it with more care.

Once he had stated all he wished to share, we exchanged pleasantries and expressed our farewells. Soon my mind began to ponder the myriad of topics we had discussed.  In truth, the main ideal he hoped to serve appeared no less tenuous to me, but he had readily displayed that much may be learned from his kind. In the end it mattered little if the peculiar ruminations he shared were the product of an untapped genius, or the ramblings of a madman. For If Ezekiel had taught me anything, it was that even a so-called madman may be capable of wisdom.