• Published 5th Jul 2019
  • 1,697 Views, 72 Comments

Trixie's Feathering in the Moonlight - Alex Warlorn

Trixie realizes the true nature of the universe.

  • ...

The whole world is made of

In the middle of a full moon night, Owlowiscious' insistent hooting called Princess Twilight Sparkle to her library.

She found her books on magic, illusions, and quantum theory, and her notes all scattered about the floor: including her notes from her human world visits (she was pretty sure she'd stored them under lock and key, with the key safely sealed in a pocket dimension only Twilight knew the harmonic frequency to), and her reminder to herself to explain to Pinkie Pie that random distractions (like juggling demonstrations) during a long philosophical friendship lecture would be, well, distracting.

Her first instinct was to reorganize her beloved books on the spot... but the now calm Owlowiscious pointed and she saw Trixie on the castle balcony, staring up at Luna's moon as if the rest of the world didn't exist.

Twilight thought, 'Okay, if Trixie sprouts fangs while looking at the moon, teleport to the lab and throw together some 'anti-werepony' formula.'

Trixie didn't seem to notice as Twilight carefully trotted close to her. Finally, Trixie spoke, "I see... I see at last... It is neither dream, nor lie, nor figment, but it is only shadows."

Concerned (and confirming there was no Alicorn Amulet around Trixie's neck), Princess Twilight Sparkle asked, "Trixie, are you okay?"

Trixie answered in a calm voice, still looking at the moon, "Twilight... I understand now... We are spirits, wandering a world of illusions. Only we are real. 'I think therefore I am', René Descartwheel was more right than he thought! It's all shadows Twilight! Illusions!" Trixie suddenly turned to face Twilight, her front hooves outstretched. "WE HAD IT ALL BACKWARDS! We thought the spiritual couldn't exist without the physical's belief in it! It's the spiritual that's real, it's all this that's a trick!"

Twilight tilted her head. "Uh, Trixie, are you talking about us being trapped in some giant illusion spell? Because I think Sunset Shimmer mentioned a movie like that in the human world-"

"No, Twilight! I'm not! Not at all! This isn't an artifactual construct in our minds being held in a REAL physical world, the physical universe ITSELF is the illusion! Our spirits are blinded by this!"

"Ohh... kay." Twilight inched herself between Trixie and the balcony. "Trixie, this isn’t like you... are you feeling hurt? Are you suffering from depression? Did you think nopony loves you? Do you think you have to escape from reality in order to-"

Trixie reared her head back a bit in confusion. "What are you talking about, Sparkle?"

Twilight said encouragingly, "Just that you shouldn't think you have to give up on the world."

Trixie noticed how Twilight had firmly positioned herself between Trixie and the nearest vertical drop. "I'm not suicidal Twilight! Stop hearing what you want to hear and LISTEN! I've learned more and more about illusion magic! I've dived into it, and I've realized, illusion magic and 'real' magic have no actual difference! It's just one illusion over another!"

Twilight's eyes grew large with sympathy. And her horn readied a powerful stun spell just in case. "Trixie... I think you've... gotten confused. I think you've learned so much about magic so fast, and I want you to know I'm very proud of you and of Starlight for being able to teach you, but you've gotten too engrossed, and gotten illusions and reality muddled. How about we go inside and have a nice cup of tea, I know some ponies who can-"

"And I'm not crazy either!" Trixie snapped, stomping a hoof. She took a deep breath, stepped back, and tried to speak more calmly. "Everything we ponies physically experience is just shadows. Electrical signals interpreted by the brain from organs detecting light, vibration, and so on. But none of that is 'real', because everypony's brain is slightly different. Who's to say my blue is the same as your blue?"

Twilight awkwardly tapped her front hooves together. "Uh, there have been discussions of that before, but that doesn't mean nothing is real."

Trixie summoned up a diagram that was... poorly drawn. "Twilight! I just said that WE are real! Our consciousness, our minds are real! It's all the rest that are illusions."

"Trixie, you're not making sense!" Twilight unconsciously assumed the 'Princess Luna explains things' pose. "If everything is an illusion, then how are you breathing illusionary air? How do you feel pain when you bump your knee? Because that's an illusion too? You're using circular logic!"

Trixie sighed and turned away. "You really don't get it. I... I don't blame you. After all, I'm the pony who spent her life deceiving others and deceiving myself right?"

Twilight deflated a little. "Trixie, I promise, this isn't about that. I think maybe you're overtired, and you're not thinking this through-"

"I have thought it through, Twilight, over and over! I'm not saying this is all a collective delusion, or that it's a manufactured experience." Trixie did a dramatic flourish, doing a three-sixty-spin, her mane and tail swirling behind her. "I'm saying that none of it is REAL!" Trixie went to her diagram again, showing little ponies in a big thought bubble the ponies INSIDE the bubble were 'dreaming'... or was it something else doing the dreaming? The picture Trixie pointed to could have also been an illustration of parasprites doing a rendition of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Breezie. "Things can be really hotter or colder right? I'm saying that our spiritual presence is 'more real' than this transient material universe!"

"Ugh, okay! Fine! So we're...characters in an enchanted comic then? We're figments of somepony's dream? A little filly playing pretend with her dolls?"

"UGH!" Trixie slapped her hoof into her own forehead. "I told you to listen to me! I... I... I'm sorry! I'm a great storyteller, but I just don't know THE WORDS to explain it all to you!"

Twilight slowly shook her head sadly. "Trixie, you're describing Plate Oats' cave. It's a thousand-year old analogy about how we agree on things via consensus about our senses. But that doesn't mean there's nothing there."

"Twilight... there isn't 'nothing'. I'm saying this world is the phantom. Our spirits, they're the only thing that's actually real. Just because something is not perceived, does not mean it does not exist. I think maybe it's because I approached everything from the other way around. Instead of learning magic and then illusions, I learned illusions and then magic. And it hit me, the illusions I place on ponies' minds, is no different from the 'illusions' regular magic places on reality."

Twilight shook her head, and stepped closer to Trixie. "Trixie, that's just the difference between 'permanent' magic or 'spontaneous' magic. The difference between magic that can be dispelled, and magic that alters things' natural state. Like casting a dispel magic won't turn a pile of ashes back into a tree after it was hit by a magic fireball. But it would undo a breezie transformation spell."

"Twilight, I'm a pro at illusion magic, you agree, yes? Yes. Then listen! With enough skill, power, and guile, you can place one illusion on top of another, AND you can sometimes alter SOMEONE ELSE'S illusion!" If Twilight's friends had been there, they'd have told Twilight the look of revelation on Trixie's face was very familiar indeed. "Matter, time, space, they're all nothing more than shadows created by the spiritual state of being. We grow among these shadows, but... we... have to also break free of them."

Trixie then began to glow white and rise up into the air, streaks of blue light dancing and swirling around her, her mane and tail billowing in a sourceless breeze. She slowly rotated in the air as the light show around her became faster and more intense, gradually enveloping the blue unicorn completely. Twilight wondered if Rainbow Dash had slipped Twilight some hard cider. Then with a sudden blinding flash of light, Trixie was gone.

"... Okay... haha Trixie... very funny... nice teleportation, you've truly learned how to teleport for real. I believe you.” Twilight glanced around the balcony, her eye twitching. “You really had me going. You can do real magic. I promise I respect you as a fellow mage. You can come back now." Twilight looked inside the library, then over the edge of the banister, then up at the roof. "I know you're watching. I know you can't resist seeing the audience's reaction, you wouldn't be you if you didn't..." Dead silence. "Come on Trixie, this isn't funny anymore."


When Trixie opened her eyes, found herself in an endless void studded with a million points of light. She was currently standing on a winding road of stardust that stretched to the horizon.

"Where... where is Trixie?" Trixie squinted. "Everything, looks, different somehow."

Princess Celestia appeared. "Hello, Trixie Lulamoon..."

Trixie reacted on a lifetime of ponies judging her. "Whatever Trixie did, she's extremely sorry! Please don't smite the Humble and Contrite Trixie!"

Princess Celestia gave smile number #10 (surprised and so happy for you) and nuzzled Trixie, lifted up her face. "My little pony, it is time."

"This..." Trixie whispered, her eyes slowly widening. "Is no illusion."


Back in reality(?) Twilight was jolted out of her shock when Starlight Glimmer appeared in a flash of teleportation. Starlight looked around frantically.

"My Trixie alarm went off! What did she do this time? I promise she didn't mean it!"

Before Twilight could say anything, a star descended from the sky, and landed gracefully on the balcony of the crystal castle. As they watched, amazed, Trixie's form emerged from the star... now bearing Earth pony muscles, the voice of a merpony, but actually obviously, pegasus wings.

Twilight thought, 'So that's what it looks like from the outside...' "Oh... heheh, okay Luna! You can stop this dream now! I promise to not eat snacks before bed again! ... Luna? Help?"

"Your congratulations on Trixie's ascension to godhood is most humbling," Trixie said flatly. "At least Trixie can trust her best friend to give Trixie the appreciation she has earned from glimpsing the truth of the universe."

Starlight blinked. "And everypony was betting on me being next."

"Trixie is going to go visit Discord now."


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Comments ( 72 )

This is actually something I could have expected from the show if they wanted to make a fun two parter focused on Trixie as well as a final YOLO moment to troll the audience just a little :trixieshiftright::rainbowlaugh:
Well done :twilightsmile:

This was pretty funny

As funny and random as this is, there is some terrifying truth to all of this.

René Descartwheel

I’m imagining a pink earth pony spinning on by down the street informing passers-by that Colgate ate the sun. Or at least that’s what most ponies managed to catch as he spun on by. Wouldn’t stop to explain.

So Celestia’s in charge of the whole apotheosis thing at all times, then? Or maybe it’s ‘cause Luna was busy minding the night. Why does apotheosis always happen at night? Luna has a song she wants to sing too!

Good story, by the way! I can get behind this idea, Trixie the Princess of Illusion. Or Reality, as the case may be. In any event, now Trixie has learned to use her illusion. Hopefully she does not develop an appetite for destruction. Chinese Democracy.

As to the broader philosophical underpinnings, I’m with Conan on this one:

”Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”

The Princess of Illusions. Very nice. :trixieshiftright:

You guessed right, have a cookie.


”Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”

The point is that philosophy isn't just for 'angsty self centered middle schooler' as some anime tough guys would bark. To realize the true nature of the illusion, is to gain control over it and yourself.

There’s I think a Sōtō Zen Buddhist story about a monk from one of the rival Buddhist sects in Japan who is talking to the Sōtō priest about how all reality is an illusion, the mind is real but the flesh is not, etc. The Sōtō priest punched the monk in the face. When the monk demanded to know why, the Sōtō priest responded, “your face is hard for an illusion.”

Might have been Rinzai or Obaku, can’t remember. Pretty sure it was Sōtō.

Pain IS all in the mind ya know.

All hail Trixie, Princess of dealing with Twilight's horseapples!

Alicorn Trixie...Twilight losing her marbles...

Faving. :D

I remember the opening quote from the Recobbled Cut of The Thief and the Cobbler.

It is written, amongst the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas, and upon every gain of sand in the vast deserts, that the world which we see is in outward and visible dream of an inward and invisible reality.

You know, it's going to gall Twilight that Trixie managed this without any help from an old spell and six pieces of enchanted jewelry.

Heh. I appreciate that Trixie wasn't antagonistic towards Twilight. That always makes me a bit irritated.

Also, Trixie's Acension at the end. I'll just put it in my mental "Well, that just happened" box and try not to think about it.

Heh. I appreciate that Trixie wasn't antagonistic towards Twilight.

Pretty antagonism towards Twilight always makes me a bit irritated. :applejackunsure:

"UGH!" Trixie slapped her hoof into her own forehead. "I told you to listen to me! I... I... I'm sorry! I'm a great storyteller, but I just don't know THE WORDS to explain it all to you!"

Ah, I know that feeling.

Makes me try to expand my practical vocabulary: I can't flip through a thesaurus when I'm talking, after all.

She's fallen for the trap of still continuing to define things as real or unreal, without recognizing that the concept of reality is itself an arbitrary mental construct. Once you properly reject the concept of reality, you lose that means of differentiating between the physical and mental, putting them back on the same level of existence.


And then you zero-sum as you realize that you never existed.

Just so you know, Jordan179 is a reactionary Islamophobe.

I've no shame in admitting I'm not smart enough to understand what Trixie means.

And then a man named Jacob Burroughs shows up to explain how you never understood a damned thing. (You may need to add "Robert Heinlein" or "dimensional travel" to your Google search)


That's the idea.

Won't happen in the show, but fun to think if it did.


Which ones? Heh.


Thank you. I almost regret not making this go on longer. But I really, really, REALLY am tired of super long stories after Pony POV, I HAVE TO keep a lid on it.



Wouldn't mind seeing someone else write Twilight's temper tantrum at Trixie's alternate path to godhood.


At this point Trixie treating Twilight like the enemy doesn't make sense anymore.



The wise admit they don't understand something.


Will there be a second chapter? The insanity would be nice.

Sorry no. I've been down that rabbit hole before (for seven years). But I wouldn't mind someone else writing it.

This was good! Especially those reactions at the end.

Thank you! *hugs* I'd have written more, but I don't want this to turn into an epic.

All the horseapples.:ajbemused:

I feel this
And while the people are the most real things in reality even those seem fake in the eyes of your own perhaps theres only a few souls to be recycled untill the end of time mabey you stand next to yourself shaped diffrently by circumstance for whos to say souls must follow the rules of the matieral world of time and space and whos to say those with no will to break free from an animals urges for easy are no difrent then animals themself devoid of soul devoid of will though why humans how do we attract souls with the highest frequency or do we?

Lost my shit

Starlight blinked. "And everypony was betting on me being next."

Says you. My money was on Pinkie transcending to draconequushood.

In any case, brilliant tale of Trixie achieving apotheosis through Gnostic enlightenment. (Heck, Discord bears a decent resemblance to Ialdabaoth, what with the serpentine body, mastery over the material world, and ability to deceive minds away from the path of enlightenment...) Thank you for a lovely read.


Yet in the end you look both says of the road before crossing, rather than assuming the cars aren´t real.

Oh I agree.

But the cars are real to your body because it's as real as the cars. But your spirit is more real.

Welcome. And you honor me with your presence.

I'll take that as a compliment! :-)

Some argue the brain is merely an engine, so our consciousness is but a byproduct. But what if the brain is but a vessel? Something that channels something greater?

Just so you know, that was uncalled for.

Good story that confused the hell out me, Mr Warlorn.

Reality is a 3d projection


“your face is hard for an illusion.”

I know you’re referencing a story or something, so this isn’t directed at you but I just feel the need to comment on this bit. The kind of selective thinking demonstrated in this quote doesn’t lend itself well to the discussion of real vs fake. After all, if the face the monk was punching was an illusion, then the body the monk was punching was also an illusion, and the monk’s own body is an illusion that responds to factors in the greater veil of the illusion according to the programmed rules and parameters. Thus, if the purpose of the illusion is to house our otherwise free spirits in prisons of ignorance, the illusion would be programmed in such a way that impacts between illusory objects would look real.

Or better yet, what if such contacts aren’t real at all, and we’ve all just been in a matrix situation where the ‘world’ around us operates under rules that don’t exist outside the illusion? What if the real world consists of beings of pure energy that can just as easily pass through one another as make contact simply based on intent? Trying to prove if our world is real or fake with any such arbitrary notion is honestly an exercise in futility. You can debate and theorize all you want, but the moment anyone says with certainty that our reality is real or fake, they’ve made a loser out of themselves because we can’t know. All we know is that the world we live in is the only world that anyone currently alive has ever known.

I believe the point of the Sōtō Zen story is that there is no practical difference between reality being real and reality being an illusion if you have no control over it in either case and all your senses tell you it’s real in either case. The Sōtō Zen priest either punched a real face or an illusory one, but either way the monk felt the pain and fell on his real/illusory ass, and then got indignant about it. Why get indignant about an illusion?

The understanding of this is just beyond my grasp just as Trixie can't explain it because she lacks words for it.

But at the same time, you always existed, on ever level.

Wouldn't this make her the princess of reality, though? Sounds OP.

Eh, still more impressive than being pushed out the right womb. Right, Princess of Almost Getting Her People Killed aka Flurry?

So she was born with super powers, so?

Nothing, really. Just, Twilight had a more active part in her ascension than Flurry did in hers 's what I'm saying.


Well of course alicorns breed true. I wasn't surprised, though I was surprised that everyone else was.

i could not stop laughing

I love it. Feels like the story of the Buddha.

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