© 2001-2040, George Dalidovich      

Christmas Fairy Tale

Mostly philosophic and a little bit erotic


To Helen U. — with gratitude

It's snowing. The snowflakes are born within invisible at the night sky clouds and glide towards the Earth. Lots of flakes. There aren't two similar among them. Their flight takes minutes or hours, but the time doesn't exist for them. Their fall makes all their life, but what is the life of a snowflake? They swirl in the night valleys among dark stalks, noiselessly fall down upon the paws of fir-trees, sparkle in streams through the glare of city lights. Flakes come down to your eyelashes and chicks in dazzling drops... Are they flakes?

They stay at the handrails of a balcony. It is dark already, and from the height they see the lights of houses and trees, decorated with flashing electric garlands.

'Don't cry, that old chap - prof Norby Wiener has told: "We are but whirlpools in a river of ever-flowing water. We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves. A pattern is a message, and may be transmitted as a message."'

He peers into the empty darkness in front of them, his voice sounds tensed up and agitated.

'You are so smart.' She smiles, shaking the flakes of snow from her collar and a fluffy cap.

'It doesn't matter, whether you are smart or not. I just feel like getting rid of all that vanity in order to stay alone with myself for a while.'

'And what about me?'

'And with you as well. You do not impede. You'll see, most people near you would try to involve you in their fussy fever. One should be definitely determined to cast aside all of them. It's very important to get free yourself of that common buzz and to stay at rest with yourself. One should be decisive enough to respond "no". The calmness should be earned, you would have to pay for it, but the prise is not too high.' He deeply sighs, leaning his elbows on the handrails. The cigarette's light warmly glows in his hand. 'If some circumstances are not fitting the regular matrix of events and thoughts, you may just drop them, like a chess figure, which is not obeying rules of the game, but only for the first iteration. Sometimes it hurts later and you have to review the situation. The inner serenity is something to be blessed with. The achieved state of inner harmony and balance would give you a chance to fulfil the tasks which remained unaccomplished for such a long time, and find answers to some questions.'

'And what are they?'

'Well, for example, the major one: have you ever thought what defines you? I mean — your personality?'

'I don't see any question. Me — is me. There is no problem.'

'In the other words,' he continues: 'the lack of what would cancel your self-feeling? For instance, save God, you lose your hand or leg. Obviously it's a great inconvenience, but the self-feeling remains untouched.'

'Yes, but you wouldn't leave me if it happens? Wouldn't you?'

'Certainly not. One more imaginary experiment — loosing memory. If you had unlucky chance to strike your head and get unconscious for some time, then, probably, you know what amnesia or temporary loosing of memory is. Some events and a period of your existence is swept away from your consciousness. But the self-feeling remains.'

'You are, probably, right.'

'More radical experiment, though still imaginary — complete loss of memory. I hope, you haven't passed that kind of experience. But still it's possible to imagine for a time. If the meditation is unknown to you and you haven't achieved the state of calm consciousness, blocking access to the personal memory, you, probably may recall the feeling of being just awakened. You've just woke up and can't find out where are you.'

'Or with whom...' She smiles.

'It's not typical of you. But it often happens while travelling. For few seconds, while your memory is inaccessible, you have the only feeling — that you are — yourself. That means that the personal memory is not the main part of a personal identification.'

'I can contribute to your theory,' she says. 'When I love you, I forget everything, even me and you. But all the same me — is me, because it's me, who loves you.'

'You are a diligent student. One more example — psychical diseases. In the state of a dysfunction like neurasthenia or psychosis caused by stress or some fixed idea, which is a sort of conflicting software or a loop, the personality remains. Even in a more perplexing situation of morphologically distracted "brain processor", which causes schizophrenia, when the personality is split, there is no doubt in identity of active personality for the current period of time.'

'Probably you are right. I haven't tried.'

'Neither had I, but there was a chance to observe. Thus, neither the personal memory, nor the brain or the processes in the brain can be considered to be the major determinants of the personality. There is one more evidence in the favour of this idea. Just imagine, that you have absolutely identical twin sister.'

'I have a sister, but we are so different.'

'Well, then just imagine you were twins. Moreover, you spend all your time together, hence your memory and life experience are practically identical. Have you?'

She nods her head, the snowflakes from a cap drop behind the collar of a coat, covering her shoulders.

'Well... Is it possible for you to mistake you for your twin? I think the answer should be negative. The other people may mix you up, but you yourself always know who is who. Don't you? That means that the personal identification needs some other level of consideration. Even though the material carriers and the processes in the consciousness of identical twins are similar, the existence of two different personalities is obvious. In other words, following Wiener: "The individuality of the body is that of a flame rather than that of a stone, of a form rather than as a bit of substance. This form can be transmitted or modified and duplicated..." The example with the twins shows that the border, separating one personality from another is beyond us.'

'You have bewildered me, I fill sort of confound... And what about children? How it all starts? Where from and what is transmitted?'

'A child, on arriving in this world, is not a blank sheet of paper on which the circumstances and the environment are free to imprint whatever they could. Very often it is more complicated and perfect creature, than his own parents. A child can be helpless, but some forces guide and save him, helping to form an adult personality in spite of the surrounding influence and incapable attempts to bring him up. Recall yourself at the age of three to four years old. Not from the position of your today's self, but from inside, the way you felt yourself at that time. Just recall your feelings and attitude to that strange world. Some of your initial feelings can't be explained by our common senses and the level of knowledge, ascribed to a child. Later they could be replaced by the images of the surrounding reality, but whether nothing remains? And if remains, than of what?'

'Yes, I remember something, but it is so vague. Like in a dream.'

'The best thing to do is not to limit the children's consciousness by the bondage of what we consider to be the only reality. Their reality is not less important or real and, even, is more logical.'

'Yes, you are right, they are surprising sometimes. But let's go to the room. I have been frozen.' The dot of a cigarette light sparkles in an arc and fades in the darkness.

He continues: '"One thing at any rate is clear. The physical identity of an individual does not consist in the matter of which it is made..." and, for sure, it is beyond the customary notion of a physical world, moreover, such an identity may concern only highly developed creatures. The problem of identification doesn't exist for an earthworm, which can be cut up in two halves and later on develop into a couple of full-fledged warms...'

A Christmas tree, made of plastic, sparkles in the corner of a room. Talking heads silently articulate at the TV-screen.

'Well, do you see a problem now, or it's still quite clear?' He closes the door to the balcony and takes a coat from her shoulders. 'You see, the border which separates one from another is very fragile and relative.'

'Probably, yes. You have dismantled me into pieces.' She takes of her fluffy cap with sparkling drops of melted snowflakes. 'It was so clear and transparent... And what about the God?' She adjusts her hair scattered upon shoulders.

'The God does not exist. Santa Claus has a beard made of cotton, and those horny things on the head of his deer were cut off to produce some arousing pills. To be quite serious, the God does not exist, and the Soul — does. In any case, if He exists, He doesn't look much troubled by our existence, our problems, happiness or misery. Why, if so, the fact of His very existence should bother us? By the way, if He cares, He could have eventually revealed His presence. They say, that sometimes He did it, but it was so long time ago.'

'But many people believe...'

'The God is a spirit of a huge ant hill. As long as people do not realise themselves as immortal and eternal beings they need it to justify their existence and to be mirrored in. However, in many respects it is mostly a problem of definitions, and each person determines it in a very personal way. The God stays outside of our moral and justice, He is vague and non-cognisable by our senses. It is a pity that the God doesn't exist...'

'And if you are wrong?'

'While the existence of the Soul does not contradict any of general scientific concepts, you just add one more dimension; the existence of the God — does. First of all in the correlation of the whole and the parts. By definition — the God is omnipotent. For this purpose He should be omniscient. If he knows everything, He should be the All and the Everything. The model of a reality is entirely adequate to the reality only in the case of their complete identity: "The best material model of a cat is another, or preferably the same, cat."... But then, if He is everything, where is He? If He is something external, He can't be everything, therefore he can't be omniscient and omnipotent. He can't forecast consequences of His own interference — so He doesn't interfere, that's what we actually see.'

'It's like a matreshka, that set of nesting dolls, each one inside the others...'

'Yea, and you can't put the largest of them inside the smaller one. And, for sure, you don't need any intermediate one, which claims to be a pastor or some sort of a guru. One doesn't need any intermediaries to communicate with his own Soul.'

'And what does one need?'

'Only some time and a strong desire to understand. If, nevertheless, we should suppose, that He is something external... Well, how do you think can somebody feel about that observed by him colony of very fussy, engaged in themselves and so ephemeral beings? To do His best, He would try to impose on them some general rules of behaviour which would have nothing to do with their individual concerns, but, presumably, would serve to their communal progress. It's like bombing Sodom and Gomorrah by shells with depleted uranium to improve the morals of the inhabitants.'

'But how the Soul can exist, if there is no God?'

'The Soul can be perceived through experience. It is what remains when you remove the whole of superfluous, temporary and unimportant. It is always with you, though not always within you. It is cognisable and appreciable. It can suffer and can be happy. You can feel it. It is not absolutely immortal and even can die — completely dissolve in non-existence, but one can save and develop it. It's the free personal choice and, at the same time — personal responsibility, all the other is subsequent to it.'

'And what happens to it after the dying of a body?'

'Some of the Souls come back for new realisations, some other pas to the next level or form of existence. Souls obey general laws, and the God is not necessary for their transforms. Your Soul is your personal God. Its existence does not require the justifying. It is self-sufficient, though it can't exist isolated. It interacts with a body of its holder. It can communicate with other souls, sometimes joining mutual efforts for reaching common purposes in the Universal progress.'

'It sounds mystical.' She stands in front of a mirror. There are a bottle of champagne and a candlestick on a small table close to a sofa.

'Not at all. The science can not deny the fact of its existence just because the lack of knowledge of its properties. On the contrary, it is the most substantial reality of all, but the knowledge of it is deeply personalised — therefore any study is subjective. When a Soul becomes highly developed, it needs no more the body as a power source and uses it only as a tool. Rather clumsy tool, I should say. A grain of nicotine or few drops of ethanol can garble perception very heavily.' He fills the two high glasses with champagne. 'Once on exhausting its possibilities and resources, this instrument would cease its being. It wouldn't be the end, but just another step in learning the world.'

'And how does the Soul know that it should learn and develop itself? And what for?'

'"To regain the balance, to conquer the evil. But the life exhausts, the shapes become wearied, and they should be perfected in transformations." It's not me, who have said that. It's Flaubert. Sounds like a figurative definition of a streaming entropy. The world is just prearranged like that. From hot — to cool, from simple — to complicated, from old — to new. The direction is predefined. It's in the motion forever.'

She is standing in front of a mirror, facing her reflection.

'All right, it is not quite clear, though, probably, I feel, what you mean. And what about the memory? How can the Soul be trained or taught, if everything should be forgotten?'

'Have you ever experienced a feeling of "already seen" in places where you have never been before and in situations, which haven't happened to you earlier? Have you ever met for the first time a person, whom you are acquainted with for at least a couple of centuries? I think you have not once come to a perfect solution of a problem with not sufficient information. It's a memory too, more correctly, experience, not of the mind, but of the Soul. You usually call it "intuition". A Soul doesn't need to remember events. All these facts, dates, names, texts and equations — are good for nothing. Even a pleasant recollection results in pain, because it all has passed already and never will be repeated again. And if you try to repeat it you would come to a frustration. A Soul retains only the most valuable — the patterns of behaviour, structures of relationships and algorithms of thoughts, but forgets the basis upon which they have been built.'

'If it so is simple, why the most of the people does not think the same?'

'The Souls undergo different ways, some of them are young, too young to realise, they have not sufficient experience. Then, what do you mean by "the most people"? For example in India the majority shares the same attitude. The Christians admit the existence of the eternal Soul as well, but for some reason its progress is limited by the only cycle. Moreover, people usually mistook the revelations of the other, ancient Souls, which can act outside of bodies, for those of the God. It results in all that misinterpretations: from a peace to a sword; or from "to turn the other cheek" to the "eye for eye". The Souls can make mistakes, and they are various. Those people who consider themselves "atheists" or "agnostics" simply can't afford to spare some time to find themselves within themselves. Poor sings...' He moves a table close to the sofa and sits down. Some drops of champagne splash out from a glass. 'But the major error is that the people link together the existence of eternal Soul and those of the God, while the acceptance of one point does not mean automatically admission of the other.'

'It sounds rather overcomplicated for me...'

'Actually it is quite simple. It is easy to catch the feeling, to feel yourself within yourself for a moment. It is much more difficult to hold it. It changes a lot, but then the recollections, thoughts and all that bustle wipe it away... Well, that'll do for the words. Come to me and switch off the light — it's too bright. I shall light out the candles. While both of us are here, you should know that nothing is useless and, though, we can't realise it, but, all the same, it all makes sense.'

'Does it?'

'Yea, it does. Even more, than you can suppose. Now we shall learn it or, more precisely, we shall feel... The recollections and the thoughts are not needed now. Only the bodies and the Souls.'

The light in the window dimes down. Only the TV-screen keeps on flickering, and the plastic Christmas tree throws shaky shadows at the walls in a candle flame.

Whereas the God, disguised as Santa Claus, flew by the window in the stream of snowflakes. He smiled.

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