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CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #27

When Richie figured out that the universe truly was an illusion, he was quite dumbfounded at the simplicity of the insight. Unless some sort of awareness exists to perceive the whole shabang, the whole shabang effectively does not exist. It could be an infinite space filled with stars and planets, or a plaid snot rag wrapped around a bottle of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. Or, to put it another way, when a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, there is no sound. For a sound to be a sound, there must be some sort of ear hooked to some sort of intelligence that says something like, "What was that?" Otherwise the sound might as well be a plaid snot rag wrapped around a bottle of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. So now Richie understood that energy and mass only exist because of awareness, which means they have no inherent existence. Of course he had this insight while fighting a bad head cold, so that might have had something to do with it.

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1st Aired: 10 Feb 1999

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