The Same, Only Different

comments 33
Course Ideas / Creative / Flash Fiction

What do you think the future will be like, Hafiz?

I was thinking about fusion-powered hovercrafts and molecular sequencing technologies that could produce cheeseburgers from a teaspoon of good dirt. Redrawn political borders, bullet trains that crossed the ocean, and ways to download skills and information directly into your brain. I was thinking about teleportation and glass condominiums floating in the clouds. Something you drank that allowed your body to look whatever age you desired.

Hafiz listened to all these thoughts. I am thinking about beings being in relationship to beings, he said. And gardens full of flowers! It is very exciting indeed.

Yeah, but Hafiz, think how different it could be!

I don’t understand this difference you seek, he said, but I think maybe it is already here. You will see it easily once you realize how every time and every moment is the same.

I just shook my head. Hafiz the Buzz Killer! I said as I punched him in the shoulder. I laughed. Jeez! Can’t you give me one moment to dream my own dream. You’re always on me with this stuff. What’s wrong with hovercrafts?

Hafiz laughed with me then. Like one of those guys in the martial arts movies you know is about to unleash a shit storm of chi on you with an unwavering smile on his face. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha-hah-hah-hah ha ha. Then you keel over and blood trickles out of one nostril.

You done there, big guy? What’s wrong with hovercrafts, Hafiz? Answer the question.

Nothing, he said. What’s wrong with beings being in relationship to beings?

I sighed. You know I hate it when you do this, Hafiz.

I am sorry, my friend. It is just that sometimes I feel awkward when we talk about fashion. But I know you love it. Let me try again. I am picturing many, many beings with beautiful faces and colors. These beings are seated in a tremendous gallery of fusion-powered space suits on the dark side of an asteroid, each one of them enjoying his or her most idyllic garden of virtual reality, unique in every way to their personal predilections and glandular desires. They each picture one another in the setting of their choice. They are able to converse in this way, but they can become any species of being and any form of consciousness they would like while meeting one another in these virtual realms. Their suits have built-in aromatherapy generators that turn starlight and space dust into warm tea and the scent of geraniums. How am I doing, my friend?

Don’t take this the wrong way, Hafiz. But I don’t think you’re getting it.

No, he replied. I guess I’m probably not.

33 Comments

  1. a wonderful dialogue, hitting
    the head on a nail, dear Michael!
    of course, it will be
    the same, but different!
    will our continuations remember
    us in a million years?
    perhaps yes, and no!
    now, can you please
    pass the ketchup? 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

    • Yes, Esme. Surely we will. I believe there is so much we will have when we accept the nature of what is the same, yet flowering with difference…

      I do love a thousand colored rainbow when I look to the sky. I do, indeed.
      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you liked it, Val. I feel we walk these lines where if we would just give up the nickel in our pocket we’d have access to a vast treasure… I keep coming back to it. This idea that most of our dreams represent ways the present can flower when we let it do its work!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hafiz is back!!!! With all your enthusiasm and dreams, Michael, and Hafiz’ wisdom and experience, we may just do better than hovercrafts. We may fly with hummingbirds.

    I was collecting some prickly pear pads today where about 800 Native Americans lived some 1,000 years ago. The land is scattered with pieces of pottery, shattered puzzles of those times, the pit homes show holes of where the posts once stood, the agave was roasted, and food was stored, it was good to touch it all, and collect the very same plants. So much same, only a bit different, I think. We are still wrapping our wounds with the same leaves (literally and figuratively).

    Liked by 4 people

    • It would be a joy to fly with the hummingbirds for sure. I think we would need 12-g compression suits to keep up with their turns and acrobatics without passing out! 🙂

      Yes, I love to imagine these points in time that seem so far apart, and yet are illumined by a common light. This time we are in, too, will pass. And I hope we don’t miss it trying to get somewhere else!

      With Love
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Perhaps it was the time I spent with Mooji yesterday in Satsang and way too much reliance on spiritual gurus of all sorts; but his, “Mooji’s” words, I’m remembering them now, after reading your post: “We want to taste the honey, but not be the honey.” I guess we are the honey even if some of us DO want to both eat the honey and be the honey – AND maybe we also can manage to get “the honey” into space suits?? I don’t know. This sure was fun, and I wish you a beautiful day. I’m not here to make sense. I love the line about fashion being awkward to talk about.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Ka,

      Great quote from Mooji! I think I heard him say that once in a video I watched. But I forgot all about it until I read that, and then I heard it in his own voice. I think making the transition to being the honey is what Hafiz is thinking about here… 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed it! No need to make sense!
      With Love
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have images in my hedy head 🤓 ‘bullet trains that crossed the ocean’….always rich and filled with imagery…smiles Michael may your words fall to the page 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • If only we could photograph the things that passed through our minds. What a collection that would be! Wishing you happy creations, too.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like both these ‘futures’ for the sheer imagination alone. Hafiz is right of course, whether he gets it or not – it’s really only all about relationship. But boy some of those innovations sure sound spectacular – yours and Hafiz’s .
    Alison

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t think we need to leave any cool inventions outside of creation, honestly, but I think sometimes we get distracted and lose touch with the potential and beauty and power of the present. We treat the inventions as a proxy for the real deal, the present from which all inventions will spring. Or not. Or whatever. But it’s fun to dream for sure!

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I read this as a satirical piece on consumerism, Michael, thinking that was 50% or more my projection, but not rushing to shake it off. I don’t get consumerism, like our narrator doesn’t get Hafiz. I don’t get futurism either. Why’s it always, something else, something else? This is it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re more than half right, Hariod. I wasn’t thinking of the word consumerism, but I was thinking of our fascination with the material, and it’s ever-changing arrangements, and how we lose sight of other things that don’t change and are truly important and meaningful to us as human beings. Consumerism is a very appropriate -ism that would be contained in the general feeling I had.

      I’m a little of two minds on this, though. Because I do think there is the possibility for the type of movement in the world that would reduce our suffering, and improve our lives–not from that something else, something else you mention, but moreso from Hafiz’ perspective in this piece. I think there is a lot contained in the it that this is, that can come into being. But our fascination with externalities leads us to miss the opportunity for renovation within, and the way this can give rise to new expressions of being that may, one day, contain less of what ails us.

      With Love
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

    • It would be my pleasure, Harlon. To know that words of mine are being recombined and mulled and softened in your mind into something new altogether, would be a boon to me.

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

  7. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    I love your imagination, Michael. I love how you and Hafiz play off of each other – both, of course, being you. Hafiz is so in the present moment all the time, and all about love. You bring out beautiful truths with your humor. 🙂 Your work is always fun to read, as it touches deep places.

    Peace, love and beautiful faces and colors!
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I am me and I am not me, too! Ha! Glad you enjoyed it Mary! Always a pleasure to share a moment with my inner Hafiz and see what happens!

      Blessings
      Michael

      Like

  8. I love Hafiz. Give me the simple life. But it’s interesting that just yesterday someone told me he tasted beef made in a laboratory. Not an animal, but beef. He said it tasted just like beef. So that would be a good thing for the environment and for cows of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the simple life is good… but that is really interesting about the lab-grown meat! Technology isn’t everything, but it sure is something!

      With Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I like both of your thinking, and would like cheese on the burger if I may or I could close my eyes and envision a pizza with hot dripping melty cheese and curly pepperoni with the little grease in the middle of the burnt edges, we can have it all, if we only image-perhaps I copped that from Willie Wonka, my apologies but he is a favorite in my realm of dream-state life where everything is edible and weight doesn’t exist as we float around (perhaps in our hovercrafts?) and flit about like butterflies in the garden of good and greatness ❤ sounds sweet, eh? Missed you, welcome back and smiling huge 🙂 K

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kim! Nice to see you again, too!

      I love how many people have responded with yes, of course, but I want both! and I think we do. Nothing wrong with the technological advancements, and this piece was mean to engage with the inner life of things that runs beneath them, too. As I know you know. I am nearly done reading Anna Karenina and enjoying reading a work close to 150 years old now. Just try to imagine writing something that would be relevant in 150 years! But it still strikes me as a brilliant novel because the characters’ struggles and dreams are timeless, really.

      What the hell is all this, anyway!? Hafiz! Get over there! Explain this thing again, please…

      With Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • ha, have not read that book, i wonder if the cliff notes cover it all? haha….I’m glad to see you too, I shelve your emails waiting for the perfect time to read and respond and then another comes and I’m like wow, two to delve into….been working more hours than I wanted but it’s a temporary thing while vacations are being taken by others so I know it is short lived, and practicing my watercolors too, still working at it but enjoying the process and the things it teaches me (like patience…hmmmm….what a novel concept) I know…you know me too 🙂 I’m sure Hafiz will get you on a new adventure of a book as soon as you’re done with Anna…..perhaps War and Peace or some other huge monstrous work…..I’m in between two books myself, Don Migue Ruiz The Mastery of Love and Pablo Neruda The Sea and the Bells….both very good ❤ peace and love, K

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting piece! It’s funny how our futuristic aesthetic actually comes to pass right now, starting as a sort of novelty until it becomes practical, and how our nostalgia for things of the past come back in a new form. I imagine the future will look like every sort of garden we could ever want—some wild or not tended at all, some highly organized—so that we can barely see the difference between indoors and out, and even something as simple as a doorway will disappear, with all of its electronic doodads and gizmos hidden. Or, the opposite, the leftover iPads of today will seem interesting and clunky, like records or old telephones, and they’ll be placed in full view as art or decoration, and people will find it funny to have to tap on a screen to do things. The aesthetic will depend on the person, of course. In other words, the same but different, as you say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tina. I like the images you’ve offered–particularly the blending of indoor and outdoor environments into a sort of continuum. Reminds me of Bucky’s idea of putting a glass dome over all of New York City and managing the temperature of the dome rather than that of all those individual, inefficient buildings. The indoor and the outdoor would take on a slightly new meaning in such a city. And yes, fashions do come back around it seems. What seems hard to predict are the ways in which human thought and mores may evolve, and how the cultural and societal bonds that join us may break down, only to arise in new–new forms of the same?–ways…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Funny you mention the dome over NYC…I’m in the midst of binge watching the Stephen King-based series, The Dome. It’s mostly goofy, but it’s got me hooked.

        As far as trends in cultural and social thought go, I hope the “new” “democracy” (I mean Republic) of ours doesn’t play out the way it did in Athens. I can deal with fashion upheavals…

        Liked by 1 person

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