I tried finding Paul today. I couldn’t – just a bunch of words, images, sensations and emotions. I guess I’ve done enough of these Inquiries to not be altogether surprised by my failure to find Paul, but what I was surprised about was finding how much Paul still cared about being the one who got “there.” How much he cared about being the one to achieve enlightenment, how much Paul mourned not being the one who eventually succeeded on this search for the Truth. Many tears were shed, and it felt like a death.
As much as I knew that there was no “I” here, no Paul here, and that was really the first step to seeing the Truth, I hadn’t realized until today how much my fictional character Paul cared about being the one who found what he had spent so much time looking for. That it ain’t going to happen that way was of no consolation to him.
So I felt the mourning happen, let the crying happen, and felt the heartbreak of not being able to finish this task to completion. Paul wanted so badly to finish this quest, and heroically arrive at the final destination. But Paul cannot be found, and I never left the final destination.
Paul’s quest was the very definition of a fool’s errand – a task which ultimately has no likelihood of success. However, I can only admire and appreciate the dedication of this particular fool!