Imagine

What I want now is for you to imagine a particular scenario – sure, grab yourself a coffee if you must, it won’t help because there’s no need for props, but please, go ahead.

Are you ready?  Fine, so we will begin.  Sit back and pay attention.

Imagine you’re a writer and it’s all you’ve ever wanted.  Even when you were small you would write, perhaps with a stubby crayon on paper and walls, or with a felt marker on the inside of kitchen cupboards.  As you grew, the hunger grew.  All you ever wanted was to see your words, your very own beautiful words, in print, or on the screen of a Kindle you just happen to glance at whilst travelling incognito (of course) on the tube into town for lunch with your Publicist, your Publisher and your Personal Wealth Manager.  It’s all you ever wanted.

Imagine you’re not just any old writer, but THE writer.  Not one of many – ten a penny – but THE literary swashbuckler whose internal warfare is rewarded with universal adulation.  THE ONE whose craft, insights and observations; whose bleeding passions, stop other writers in their tracks and make them wonder why they bother.  You are the only one in the world to see the lions head in a bath plug hole, a slip of paint (a yellow snake) on the landing windowsill, the only one in the world to observe a myriad miniscule things and weave them, magically, into your uniquely surprising tales.  People in their millions queue around the block to be the first to touch, to own your latest gem.  A global phenomenon, you’re in film, on television, on the radio; your adoring followers hang themselves from your every utterance.

Now imagine all the other writers in the world, stop writing.  One by one they lay their pens to rest, snuff out their computers and bury their notebooks in cupboards. They have nothing to say that you have not already said more exquisitely and eloquently, in the only way it could possibly be written.  No doubt they’re happy to bow before such a gifted adversary whose sheer intellect and creativity they can only dream of competing with.  Their words are meaningless, in the glare of your brilliance, and it’s dawned on them, one after another, that people have only ever read their work from pity or to sense how the world might have been had your genius not saved them.  No, on balance, the only honourable thing to do is give up.  And now, you are the only writer in the world.

The only writer in the world, imagine that.

Then imagine if, after a while, your adoring public want to hear only your words on television, on the radio, in films.  And imagine your followers only countenance your books in libraries, convenience stores and in shops at railway stations and airports.  And a little while after that they decide the inferior works of all other writers, living or dead, must be destroyed.

Imagine that.

15 Comments

  1. I tried Mr. Lawson’s link, but I’m just a writer whose more comfortable reading emotion on the page. I’m unable to understand it without a congenial host who interprets the material for me simply and slowly.

    I do understand what you have written, RR, and it hurts me someplace I can’t quite explain. Probably because at this point in my life I believe in the possibility of any horror story.

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    1. Lady Sparks, it has me reaching for the Ibuprofen every time. Believe me the essays are much easier than the books . . . try David Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding – phew! and he was about twenty five years old at the time of writing. I bet he was a real conversation killer in the pub eh.

      Sorry I hurt you. It wasn’t meant to be that way.

      RR

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      1. Speaking of morphic resonance, its oddly coincidental that you would mention Hume’s essay…as I just began re-reading it (first time when I was18) about a week ago, on my Kindle, which is the ‘time-killer’ I rely upon when waiting (endlessly it seems) in grocery store parking lots while my wife and daughter do their shopping. 😉

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      2. You didn’t hurt me, RR. I’m just not in my hopeful place at the moment. I can generally put some sort of hopeful spin on anything (whether I say it out loud or not) but lately I’ve been digging my way out of an unexpected and very deep hole. Today I’ve begun to see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I am getting back. Some of that may be due to seeing more from you. It’s good to see you back here.

        I was fascinated by your response to Mr. Lawson. (I read it twice.) Now that’s the sort of scientific discussion this layperson can get into.

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    1. Thanks for the nudge towards Rupert Sheldrake. Blimey, it’s been a while! I’ve have not read that particular essay which, let’s be honest, is so much more succinct and digestible than the full work. Whilst I have a great deal of time for some elements of his theory/approach, it’s difficult to accept or get my head around his extension that Morphic Resonance and collective unconscious, collective memory is in all things throughout the entire universe. I can understand the principle in relation to base elements but not to time, space and existential phenomena. As an aside, it has just occurred to me . . . when I was working at the DERA, one of the projects involved creating a paint substance with memory capabilities. The paint, which to all intents and purposes appeared just like any other wall paint, could sense movement (or change of state) and could therefore trigger a sequence of computerised events – alarms, lock doors, activate gas etc. The point is, to the eye the paint had not changed in the slightest either in appearance or molecular structure, but – ahh, if I tell you, I would have to kill you. Sorry.

      As it happens I do explore elements of Morphic Resonance in a tale about a young man caught up in a suicide bombing. The whole story unravels in the few micro seconds between explosion and his flesh being ripped from his bones. He does have a Guardian Angel though, which is nice. My conjecture is that the present does not exist. Everything that is happening now is actually in the past so, time travel is possible and is, more than likely, being achieved unconsciously every day, by everyone and all matter in the universe.

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      1. “Everything…happening now is actually in the past…”

        I couldn’t agree more. Further, I suggest that our most basic concept of ‘now’ is delusional, at its very source. For example, when I was around six years old it occurred to me that I never really knew what my next thought would be…until it had already been thunk. In other words, while my conscious mind liked to assume ‘it’ was doing the thinking, in reality it was only serving as a sensor which registered sub-conscious (and thus ‘unknowable’) activity after the fact. In short, I never knew (consciously) what I would think next…until I had thought it. And oddly, although anyone is capable of making that same observation, few ever do…much less understand how relevant it is to something like Sheldrake’s morphic field notion…especially as it relates to the TV metaphor.

        A simple example: Suppose you’re watching a TV program with the assumption that the activity you’re seeing is somehow occurring inside the box (a very ‘conscious’ notion). Given that assumption, if follows that you would believe it to be happening in the present (i.e., ‘now’). But what you don’t know is that it might be a movie that was originally filmed 60 years earlier, and its only relationship to the present is that The TV is tuned to an online server that, when the right buttons are pushed, connects you to a file on a hard drive in Taiwan that’s beaming its digital contents to your TV via a satellite dish. And how could you discover that…much less comprehend all the electronic dancing (outside the box) that’s required to make it all happen?

        Put another way: “Now,” and one’s conscious mind…has virtually no direct connection…or understanding. At best we can ‘surmise’ that what we’re seeing (and believing?) has some connection to ‘reality.’..at least somewhere, sometime. ;-).

        Here’s perhaps a simpler, shorter and much more readable example of what I mean: What Is IT?

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        1. What is it? Fascinating, yet somehow obvious. Reality might be interpreted as a permanent state of deja vu. It’s my believe anyhow.

          We are connected through agreement. Without wishing to sound pompous (probably do, bugger it!) but it’s refreshing to converse with someone who doesn’t need everything explaining.

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