The Universe Awakens Through You

The Wonder

(You can watch the video version of this essay on YouTube.)

At first there’s just a ‘wonder’ occurring. If you saw yourself in the mirror you wouldn’t know it. Mom’s warm breast, dad’s hairy forearm, rays of sunshine, laughing, crying, the terror of darkness. Some of it’s pleasant and some’s unpleasant. A ‘wonder’ occurring.

But then things change.

The ‘wonder’ splits into two. It becomes ‘I’ and ‘everything that’s not I’. Now desire and struggle begin. Now ‘I’ strives to make ‘everything that’s not I’ the way it wants it. Now what feels pleasant becomes ‘right’ and what’s unpleasant becomes ‘wrong’. Value arises.

But soon things change yet again.

A third category emerges. Between ‘I’ and ‘everything that’s not I’ there appear other people. ‘Other I-s’. These ‘other I-s’ are a weird cross-species. They mostly belong to ‘everything that’s not I’, but the greater value they have, the more a part of ‘I’ they feel. Mom’s embrace and dad’s laughter are not really you, but neither are they separate from you. If mom’s happy, you’re happy; if dad’s angry – you’re guilty.
This complicates things.

Now ‘everything that’s not I’ has to be not only the way ‘I’ want’s it – but also the way ‘other I-s’ want it. With negotiation and compromise, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are no longer private. Value is no longer private.
Congratulations – you’ve become a social animal. But you’ve only walked halfway.

The Disillusionment

The more you observe life, the more you realize ‘other I-s’ are a fiction. When you hear people talk about other people, they mostly talk about their own opinions. You learn your opinions about others say more about you than they do about the people in question.

Only on rare occasions do you see people treat others like real people. And rarely do you yourself feel another person is as real as you. The name for this miracle – you learn – is ‘love’.

Then you learn some more.

You notice how your worst experiences become your greatest teachers. And you learn that getting what you want is the surest road to disappointment. And you see how trying to help others ends up hurting them half the time.

In short, you understand ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are not as distinct as you thought. You let go of these labels like wiping smudges off a lens. You see, as if for the first time, objects, events, and people for the mystery they are.

A wonder.

The Question

And as you surrender to this mystery, a new question takes root within you. It is an absurd question, but it cannot be ignored. Like a rose pushing its way up through concrete, the question cracks you open from the inside. And there it blossoms, as terrible as it is full of wonder.

Am I living life,’ you ask, ‘or is life living me?’

‘I’ and ‘everything that’s not I’.

‘Where does one begin,’ you ask, ‘and where does the other end?’

Is life my mirror or am I its reflection?

The Silence

And then there is silence, for words can travel no further. Not because there is no answer to these questions, but because the answer is greater than anything that can be said.

The next day you wake up as usual and go through your ordinary day in the same ordinary way you have always done. Others have no clue.

But a miracle has occurred.

The Universe has awakened from the dream that was you.

Watch the video of this article on YouTube.

Ways Of Supporting SEEKER TO SEEKER

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