We, as a collection of generations simultaneously alive in modern time, have been accused of forgetting how to imagine. There is some truth to this exaggeration, though were we not constantly imagining, most of us couldn’t get dressed in the morning, let alone through the day. On a larger scale are innovations, evidence of which rack up thousands of Retweets and Shares by the minute.
Take any bit of early tech or innovation and run it to its extreme conclusion. It often hints at the ludicrous or horrific or absurd — and, if you’ve gone back far enough and followed it forward, you’ll see life as we now know it. Take a second to scan it, and you’ll see it, too.
Now, let’s take imagination. Assuming it’s pleasantly concocted, it feels good, doesn’t it? If you discipline yourself well enough, you’ll be able to daydream in the midst of anything. The world could be falling apart, or there could be a timekeeper holding a noose around your neck, or you could have no cares in the world aside from that terribly loud and leaning palm tree gently brushing its fronds across the sand…yet, imagine whatever world you wish, and for a moment, you are there. Feels good…doesn’t it? Get skilled enough and you’ll experience this in technicolor and in full-body pervasive sensation. Feels great, doesn’t it? Others may insist upon entrance to your world, and perhaps you’ll let them in, if your internal experience aligns with their outwards; if they agree to add to or complement your vision of your world as you desire it. Others invite you into their world and perhaps you’ll join, but you’ll stay only if the alignment is sufficient that you need not exit in search of something that better mirrors your own rate and quality of energy flow.
Am I saying those who are stalled in any form of their human progress seek merely different versions of themselves, and stop short of pursuing tangibility beyond the disparity because of their need to find sufficient agreement to continue building out rather than building in? Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No. Once again, I won’t bother spelling out the way it’s true. Just scan it, and you’ll see it, too.
Why, a creator may ask, bother doing anything in the tangible universe when it’s already been done in one’s mind? When one’s mind is sufficiently exercised and established in its abilities to create its own world, why invite in any elements that would not encourage a propulsion along one’s chosen path? Because bodies do better when they are clothed, fed, loved, and practiced? Because without a body the mind will perish? But will it? Will it? With sufficient skill, the imagination lives strong through the very instant the last light goes out, and then, and then? Don’t speak of what then and then unless you are prepared to reach the entire world with whatever it is you have to say and you’ve no care as to acceptability by the masses — those who insist they are bodies through and through, along with those who insist they are souls having a physical experience for fun and adventure well beyond you. (And so I am prepared, and so I do.)
Yet…you speak to me of bodies and souls and I speak to you of mind in all its manifestation. All are masses of energy or no energy of some kind, one more solid than the other. These masses, being so different in their composition but potentially conducive in their compatibility can be at odds or aligned. The degree of disparity or alignment as collected by one human identity forms the shape and source of obstacles — within or without.
What if we are further along this road of technical progress than we realize and “in” is actually “out”; if “true” is actually “false”, if “1” is actually “0”; if Shazaam was a real movie?
What if the W Hotel you checked into is on 49th and Broadway—not 47th, as is the one you returned to?
What if walking into Rudy’s in Hell’s Kitchen and ordering a hot dog the right way with the right beer at the right end of the bar changes not only the bartender and the overhead music but the world back to what you know; but if you get one detail wrong, suddenly, actual zombies roam the streets, or the United States is really France Ouest (no relation to Ouest-France, or has it); or God forbid, you arrive to some hybrid world that feels a bit more like Home but still is nowhere you wish to be?
What if [shudder] Kellyanne’s [shudder] insistence upon “alternative facts” was accurate because the facts ARE different in alternate universes?
What if the entire purpose of gravity is to chain bodies to Earth?
What if fascination with “earthing” and “grounding” was cultivated not to discharge surplus electricity from a human body for health reasons but because it’s specifically that electricity which enables not just travel across time but across versions of it, and we as identities rely so heavily on our form and daily function that we are terribly easily talked into whatever feels good?
What if children spoke freely and often referenced the future as if it were their past: Could it be assumed kids’ travel is discounted in more ways than the price of a ticket?
What if — no matter our pedigree, class, or tax bracket — we are all simply chained to an idea, which we escape or explore on a daily basis, whatever this “daily” show is, replete with and in service to corporate sponsors, to an extent that would impress even the most investigative journalists, to and beyond the limits of our comfort…and for some, our comfort zone ends at the limits of our mind; for others, the limits of our city or the Earth and beyond to the known and unknown universe, with each of us foolishly certain the other is missing out on something pivotal, if even not communicated aloud, if even hidden behind indifference and an apparency of live and let live?
Have you aligned yourself, in any apparency, with The Barely, The Fair, The Good, The Greater Good, The Better, or The Best? Do you move freely between them all, only to be caught in the transitions?
Take a good look around you, my friends, foes, naysayers, detractors, admirers, and hired or random would-be assassins to the left, right, upside down and in the corners lurking about like a bloody horse’s head in a pristine bed. Dig in deep to your social feeds. Look through the news and programming, not just into it. Have you followed the technological branches all the way to their logical conclusions, each ending in a choice to engage or not — as pawn, rook, Queen, or King of some primitive-advanced civilization? What if we, as a civilization, already arrived to the place we are going and all you see around you is ultimately not just my virtual reality…but yours, too?
Do you think I’m completely mad yet? Are you?
One more question: …Shall we play a game?.…
— Patricia de la Mota