You would think, if Polanyi was the creator of the Tacit Dimension, he would be able to adjust the heat. The longer we continued our journey, the more uncomfortable I became. The Tacit Dimension is an incredibly confusing place. One moment we would be moving along in a hasty stride, when Polanyi would stop abruptly, turn around to suddenly face a ladder. And every time without fail he would be as surprised as the last,
“Well, how did this get here? I guess we better climb up!” The joke (or what I was hoping was a joke) quickly became unamusing. Polanyi however, couldn’t help but to chuckle each time he said it. The oddest thing wasn’t the ladder though. For at the top would be, and I kid you not, a slide. I was quite literally caught in an alter-dimensional board game from hell. After about the third or fourth round of shoots and ladders I finally had enough.
“What are we doing Polanyi?” I questioned with a gritted tone. “I thought you knew where to go. I thought you were going to help me leave this crazy place?”
Polanyi turned and responded with an even larger grin than he had on the last slide (It was an 80-foot spiral with a swimming pool at the bottom… Did I mention I was soaking wet?).
“Excellent, you are beginning to have questions! This is the first step to find your way out of the Tacit Dimension!”
“Wait, so you’ve been waiting for me to ask where to go all along?!” My frustration was starting to rise. “You are supposed to be the creator of this place, this wacky shoots and ladders dimension. Why wouldn’t you just show me how to leave from the beginning?!”
Even as my tone begins to harden, Polanyi’s smile doesn’t cease to fade.
“Why would I need to show you or tell you for that matter, what you have known all along?” he responds questioningly. He seems to notice my confusion once again.
“Yes, that’s right. Don’t be fooled by this seemingly confusing circumstance. Deep down you know much more than you can tell.”
“You’re telling me I’ve known how to leave the Tacit Dimension all along?! But I’ve never been here before. I can’t even begin to describe this place, let alone conceptualize a road map on how to leave.” I respond as frustrated as ever. But for some reason, however, after allowing a moment for this new belief to settle, my heart begins to calm, and the whitened knuckles of my frustration begin to relax. “Do I really know?” I ask myself.
The more this truth sank in, the more I was convinced Polanyi had this entire scenario staged from the very beginning of my arrival. As I begin to ask another question I can see the twinkle in his eye become even more twinkly – if that’s even a thing.
“So even if I did know how to leave all along, how am I supposed to unlock this hidden knowledge?” I do my best to carry a tone that seems to resist the fact I have given in to Polanyi’s notion right away; for the sake of reserving a bit of pride after my little outburst moments before.
“Well it would seem as if this dialogue has brought forth a believer in you yet,” Polanyi replies with enthusiasm. “This is most exciting!
“Now what am I supposed to do?” I eagerly ask.
“Use your intuition, your natural instinct. Follow your passion and your discovery will be made known.” Polanyi steps closer and reaches out his hand.
“That’s all?” I question. “Trust my gut and I’ll find my way out?”
“Why yes of course! There is no need for any any scientific deduction here. Just follow your nose, so to speak” Polanyi responds with a chuckle. “However, this is where I make my farewell I’m afraid.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I owe you a lot of thanks Polanyi.”
“You have come a long way since you first arrived,” he says with a glossy reflection in his eye. “Now take what you have learned into your own reality. These tools of tacit knowing will sharpen your intellect and allow you to uncover great things in the future!”
Leaving the highly ambiguous response alone, I reach out my hand in return. An instant after we make our goodbyes Polanyi vanishes like the door had done when I first arrived.
Suddenly, the ground begins to rumble and crack beneath my feet.“I best get a move on, no more time to waste. Thanks again Polanyi,” I say to myself.
With only my intuition as my guide, I make a small pivot and break into a run. For whatever reason, the heat that once clouded this dimension begins to lift as I briskly streak across the plain. The ground still crumbles with my every step, sometimes causing me to leap from one piece to another. In the distance I can see a much larger, deeper, and darker ravine dividing my path ahead.
“If this is where my gut has taken me, I better give it all I have.” I begin to gather greater and greater speed as I approach the trench. At the edge I leap into the air, forcing all of my strength into my forward trajectory. Time seems to slow mid air, each movement taking longer and longer to pass. As I begin to descend, I start to fear I have come up too short.
“So much for trusting a hunch.” My descent transitions into real time but as I approach my likely demise, a doorway abruptly appears and I crash my way through.
The look on the girl’s face after I crashed through the book shelf was both a look of horror and a look of surprise.
“Ah here it is, silly me. I’ve been looking for this all morning,” I say as convincing and cool as possible. I quickly gather myself, reach down and pick up the copy of The Tacit Dimension, one of the dozen or so books scattered about the isle. The girl, still frozen in place, changes her look to one more of confusion. A look I am all to familiar with.
“Have you by chance read this one?” I ask as I present the book forward. Looking at the book she shakes her head and just as she’s about to ask what I expected to be a slue of different questions about this slightly awkward circumstance, I place the book in her hand.
“You should really give it a go, the twist is indescribable.” Not wanting to overstay my awkward welcome I take a few quick steps towards the nearest exit before turning back.
“Any chance you know where I could find the nearest Jamba Juice?” I say with a smile. “Actually… on second thought, I might already have the answer.”