Is it remotely possible that the very act of yearning to be somewhere might make it possible for one to be in two places at once?
Vladimir Lenin – were he still alive – might have something to say about that.
About 10 kilometres south of the Moscow Ring Road you will find the place Lenin called home.
Today it is museum: but on October 19, 1923, Lenin lay in his bedchamber at Gorki, very ill indeed.
He had been seriously affected by an attempted assassination – he retained a bullet in his neck until it was removed by surgery in April 1922; that May he suffered the first of three strokes; in March 1923 he had suffered the third, ending his career and rendering him mute and bedridden.
And unable to leave his house by any means.
The strangest phone call was overheard by a Kremlin guard on the night of October 19 that year.
It was made by a Kremlin duty officer to one of Lenin’s closes administrators.
Why, asked the Duty Officer, was Lenin in his office? Rummaging feverishly through all his papers, attending to what appeared to be unfinished business?
And on top of that, he explained in tones of rising concern, could the administrator explain why the great man was totally alone, and not surrounded, as was customary, by an entourage of body guards?
He was informed in no uncertain terms that Lenin was at home in bed, where he had been for some months since his third stroke.
Bilocation: the act of being in two places at once. While it would be wonderful to be able to do twice as much, it seems the bilocal favours those with special powers, and leaves the rest of us running around trying to achieve twice as much in half the time.
Take Mary the Mother of Jesus, the earliest proponent of bilocalism. In the year 40, she was living in Ephesus or possibly Jerusalem. Nevertheless, when one of Jesus’ apostles, James, was having a hard time converting the Hispanics and considered throwing in the towel, Mary managed to appear not only somewhere completely different, but also a couple of hundred feet in the air up a pillar, flanked by a cohort of angels. She assured James the Hispanics would be converted eventually; and she was right.
The Salem witches and their lesser known UK counterparts in Bury St Edmunds appeared elsewhere in dreams to people who later witnessed to the fact in open court. And the wickedest man in the world, Aleister Crowley, seems to have appeared to acquaintances on a regular basis far from his actual whereabouts.
Think of it: the ability to achieve two things at once: the ultimate demonstration of multi tasking. One could cook the dinner and visit the supermarket; attend one’s place of employment and take a jaunt to the seaside; give a presentation and paddle in a stream.
It would be possible to achieve the ultimate work-life balance: and perhaps someone should be investigating just how we might develop this skill as a mundane everyday part of life.
I wonder: if you could be in two places at once, how might you use your time most profitably?