for a long moment, all the confusion and complexity of their lives fell away...
she was the woman whose life he had saved, and he was the man whose life she had made..."
~Imzadi by Peter David
What does 'Imzadi' mean to you?
According to Peter David, who wrote the #1 NY Times Bestseller 'Imzadi':
It means 'beloved', 'dear one', or 'the first' ... the first to touch your soul.
An author who goes by the pen name 'QD' has wonderfully expanded on that concept and allowed us to share her insight. Here are her thoughts:
This comes from a discussion on one of the Imzadi lists:
"I think it's wonderful the way we've all been discussing the term "Imzadi" in such a philosophical light. In every description I've read thus far, I've seen a different mode of explanation and I think that is perhaps the most shining 'definition' of all.
Someone (I believe it was Carol) wrote: "Imzadi is everything.. [and] more than just soulmates."
If IMZADI is to mean "everything", then such an elastic foundation seems a very apt place to begin... Imzadi more than soulmates. Perhaps.
Perhaps we dare to allow that Imzadi -- as a science fiction reference in a science fiction world -- is a safer term to grant the limitless boundaries of definitive sharing; safer than a concept like "soulmates" which is a word that DOES exist in our reality and must therefore be granted less credence than what it might otherwise have.
If we are to keep with what we're TOLD, we must accept as truth that "soulmates" are at best a scientific improbability -- and at worst -- an impossible; fantastic figments of an overworked imagination.
But as has been brought to the attention of humanity on numerous occasions by numerous great thinkers (often before their untimely demise) -- why have an imagination at all, if not to gleefully 'overwork' it?
Social norms would have us 'hold our heads out of the proverbial clouds'. And if we do that, then Imzadi is indeed a safer term when compared with soulmates. Imzadi doesn't exist in modern language. Only in StarTrek. But is it really so different from soulmates? The romantic notion of a 'soulmate' has tracked us in countless forms since the evolution of the human condition.
What I think is the most compelling aspect of the idea, stems from what Peter David tried to touch upon in the first "Imzadi" novel: That we are all two halves of a whole, drifting without fulfillment until we find completion. Soulmates or Imzadi, that aspect of the concept remains identical.
It is a paradox of our own making that so few throughout human history have chosen to embrace the idea of a shared 'soul'. Perhaps a little sad, because it means that not everyone will discover the opportunity to find such complete understanding, as a result.
The more we try and define 'being in love' -- to describe it on paper, with words or brushstrokes, I think the closer we end up coming to the realization that love and ardent spirituality exist enmeshed. They tie in together, because the kind of completion we're seeking is something of an endless, driving need for an aspect of our 'inner selves' which we cannot fulfill on our own. We need the other; the half we're (arguably) missing. That, to me, is a "soulmate" I think is exists, but as a rare and often unrealized gift which must be seen to be accepted. Not everyone who marries, feels 'complete'.
So lets look at this from the perspective of a writer, handed the task of making 'soulmates' a reality (at least on paper).
For most of us, especially those who constantly seek an outlet for expression through some artistic medium (including writing), we are compelled to wish that there were some better, perhaps more direct conduit to our feelings and passions than the (often imperfect) methods of translation we have at our disposal.
Imzadi argues that there needn't be any 'conventional' means of communication -- the spoken or the written or the visual -- in order to achieve a true sense of understanding and wholeness, by virtue of our own feelings. I think the concept [Imzadi] is (necessarily) based on empathy, because the Troi character is empathic, but also because when we speak about the soul, we often refer to a feeling, not a tangible. We do not 'see' our souls. We FEEL them -- spiritually or otherwise.
But how to translate? If we're Imzadi, we needn't worry, the translation is moot. It simply IS and our (partner) knows the same truth that we do. But what if we're not Imzadi? Or what if we have to define it for someone who hasn't ever given thought to the term?
I wonder how many of us have felt the frustration of sitting in a chair with our eyes closed and our heads tipped backward.. focusing feelings and placing our hands on the keyboard -- *knowing* that no matter how beautiful the words may finally be, there will always be something lacking ... something unexpressed, and unknown ... for simple reason that sometimes there truly ARE no words! What does a writer do then?
We pull out a few hair, and hit <ENTER> I suppose. We get up and pace the room. We stare at our monitors or our pads of paper and we break the ends of our pencils from the pressure. We take a break. No matter the means, this 'period' of frustration is (to me) where the fantasy of sharing our thoughts and our feelings in their purest form, becomes most vivid.
Imzadi is a profound term. If we truly could experience the thoughts and feelings of others simultaneously with our own, how would that change our concepts of love, or jealousy? How would we choose to express ourselves when 'words' mean far less than an intimate connection of minds? What is the physical when combined with a sense of understanding in a very spiritual sense? When we feel what our lover is feeling at the moment of climax -- what happens to us?
That's Imzadi, but I think it's also soulmates. If we choose to allow ourselves a little magic in our everyday lives, I think we've all got access to that beautiful and seemingly intangible bit of wonder.
I, for example, could probably ramble on for hours regarding the human condition ... but I don't. Because I haven't the audience apart from through one artform or another. That's why we write fiction and have such love for fantasy. It's easier to drown in a world which (arguably) cannot be real, than to immerse one's self (and one's 'real life' companions) in the notion of combining fantasy with acceptable reality.
Carol is absolutely correct. Imzadi is everything. It's everything we dream of and everything we know to be fact, in that dark, mysterious place we only let 'loose' for our artwork. It hides away from us behind the cool and comforting veil of reality. But it's a powerful draw. Turn in a dark room and we see nothing; yet we know that someone's watching. Stand several thousand miles away from a person we love, yet feel their presence as though they were sharing our space. Perhaps, someday, humanity will embrace the possibility that we are, all of us, a little bit empathic; all of us a little bit 'magical' when it comes to the powerful medium of emotion."
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