That was fun, wasn't it?
I gather some questions remain. Did I just channel Da? Do I believe I just spoke to Da? Who is Da? And who is "Diane Jackson", and why does her voice change so dramatically in the course of a dialog?
I hope this last series of posts helps to demonstrate the impossibility of finding out who the "real Da" was, is, and will be. Likewise, the impossibility of knowing who our "real ego" is, or anyone else's for that matter, including Da's. Or even if there is such a thing, or if Da was such a thing, or any of us for that matter.
So, to answer the obvious, maybe, maybe not. What is the imagination but a way of constructing personhood and world-in-which-the-person-arises from the raw material of mind and life? Imagination is a powerful, powerful force in this world - perhaps the very force that creates this world. And from what? A snake created from a rope lying in the dark? Imagination works in the dark to create what wasn't there from not only our fears, but our hopes, our aspirations, our desires, and our aversions. We create the very thing we are most averse to, and then avoid it. Avoiding relationship?
Where would we be without our imaginations? Alone, perhaps? How unbearably miserable. Thanks God we can create Da and self from that dry wood, ignite a little fire, and have someone to talk to. It is said by some that God created the world and all the beings in it so as not to be lonely. Probably some ego said it, though. Others say we created God so as to have someone to listen to us. Just as likely.
I'm not really sure what we can say about Da from all this. I can give testimony to my version of Da, and Elias his, and each member of Adidam can speak to their own special Da, and the books have theirs - each quote creates its own Da, and each lila another Da, and soon the world is overrun with Da's of all kinds, each complementing or opposing one another, and soon there is a minor play in the Tabernacle vying for the respect of the congregation. Each congregant has his own play, his own story of Da to play out, and that's just among the tiny fraction of humanity that cares about Da. In other congregations they have their multitude of Jesus', and Buddhas, and Krishnas, and it never really ends. Each one is both affirming and doubting the stories they have constructed, and the person who is the hero of that story. But the hero always dies. And we follow him anyway, because we must. We don't know any other way.
It's so easy to construct a person from almost nothing. A few lines and we have a stick figure, and the mind fills in the rest. A person is born. Jesus is born of the same process, and so is Da. We seldom attribute this process to our own imaginations, because that might make it all seem suspect. So we tell ourselves we had nothing to do with it. It was all a grace, and we are so humbly honored to have been given this relationship, wrapped in swaddling clothes and scriptural blankets, that redeems the heart from its lonely predicament. But there's a little tag on the toe of each born savior, reminding us that it was made in our own mind's imagination by little elves working feverishly through the night so that Santa could leave us a Divine Present under the tree each morning. The world wakes up like a present unwrapped, and like lying parents we feign surprise at the wonder of it all. We don't want to tell ourselves that we made it and put it there. The children so love the ritual of it, even they don't want to know.
So who is Da? Who cares? He's whoever we want him to be now. He had his say for a while, and now we can define him however we wish. Sinner or saint, or bit of both, like a chocolate carmel with nuts inside. How harmless it all seems now that it's mere memory. Each present moment seems so real to us we forget it was just like this each time we took a little bite out of him. And he in turn took his little bites of us too. Should we send the meal back to the kitchen for a do-over? It didn't seem quite done, to tell the truth. Only our imaginations know for sure. They can conjure new life from dusty old memories, as they are doing right now before us. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespassings, just as we forgive those who trespass upon us.
Da changed every day of his life, and so did we, but we somehow imagined there was some kind of permanent truth to it all, some revelation being given, something that meant something else. There's not much in common between the boy with his drunken mother and the old man drinking with his own younger selves except the drinking. That's the one constant, the drunken dream of the imagination that holds its spell over the house we all grew up in. There's an unimaginable sadness at the heart of it all, which we wish would go away but never quite does. Even lovers leave one another and end up alone after a while, and the house seems empty and cold, like a body the life departed from. Where did it go?
We like to call that "communion", but it doesn't stop us from arguing over the meanings. The argument becomes our conversation with ourselves over the nature of the thing we created from ourselves. And wars are fought and blood spilled and more departures made, and more presents unwrapped with each new birth, each new day, each lover's spat. The hemorrhaging goes on and on. We only have ourselves to blame, but how do we do that without creating a whole world to play that game in? Each self seemingly born of a different thought, each perception born of a different self, and the puzzle made overly complicated by each layer as it unfolds from the box.
Inside, a little toy.
Inside, a little toy.
Will this toy make us forget? Will it entertain and occupy us? Can we talk to it, and will it talk back? Can it sing or make music?
Pull the string. See what happens.