Once upon a time deep in the darkest cranny of the vast waters of the Sea, there was a tiny shell. It was a dull brown, worn smooth by many waves and salt and time, not particularly interesting in shape or size, and fairly difficult to distinguish from the other shells and rocks. But you see, as deep as it was in the darkest crannies, not one stray, weak, dogged, distorted ray of what might optimistically be called light would ever shine on it.
It was invisible.
Because the shell was invisible in this dark, it had no initial perception of itself. The shell did not know that it was a dull brown that it was altogether uninteresting, or that it was so dark and deep in the sea nothing that might have cared to look on it could. Wrapped in tight layers of anonymity, the little shell was free. As a matter of fact, the shell was not even aware of its consciousness until one day a curious toe nudged it.
“Ow!” said the shell, for not only was it thus physically offset but also