We didn’t ask to be born. Nor would anyone ever ask to die. The funniest part about the whole thing is that we neither get a say in how we choose to begin, nor how we choose how to end, like a video game that randomizes the character traits, locality and stuff like that. It’s WONDERFUL to look at the whole thing and slap a label (weird, funny, loving, chaotic, tragic, or whatever you call it) on the universe because we simply can’t understand the enormity of it all.
I mean, that’s what I feel whenever I get my breath taken away.
How do you even begin to describe the scent a beautiful, cloudless night sky filled with an infinitude of stars? How do you describe what a sunset tastes like when you wake up at 5 am to find out you passed out on the beach last night after a party? How do you describe the sight of your lover sleeping in next to you every night? How do you describe your own being without including your heart rate, blood type, allergies, blood pH levels, skin sensitivity, in addition to what you do, where you’re from, your identity, habits, etc?
It gets so beautiful that I can’t help but feel that we (myself included) don’t truly understand what reality really is but choose to weave words and meanings into their place so that our finite minds can even begin to comprehend what reality is. We don’t understand why our brain keeps our hearts and lungs beating subconsciously, nor do we understand why we are born the way we are, or why we even exist at all. The sheer amount of uncertainty that lies in every second of our existence is staggering, while we have mitigated some of it through science, for each uncertainty we remove a new one pops up.
We ascribe meaning to a thing, but never truly capture it essence, like if somebody were to take away your body, your thoughts, your identity, and your sensations and recreate them, would that be you? Because the person would create a copy of you, but deep down you know that the copy can never be you. It’s just missing that chemical X that makes you what you are. Like knowing about something does not equate to experience, because the sign that points to the moon isn’t the moon. The same thing happened to me when I tried ketchup in the UK for the first time and suddenly gained a whole new level of appreciation for the sauce.
When we first came into the world, unconditional experiencing was the only thing we did, and perhaps that’s why we can’t remember much because there wasn’t anything objective from then that we could recall. As we grow up we slowly differentiate ourselves from our parents and our surroundings, then associate ‘I’ with our acquired labels: name, what we do, achievements, gender, etc. But as life evolves, in our own way (and pace) we learn that even our labels don’t quite define who we are, and as the disillusionment of what think we are becomes apparent, we start questioning what this ‘I’ that we are really is, only to realize that we never quite understood anything at all.
Like peeling an onion, we go through life in its beauty, using the mind to help differentiate ourselves from pure unconditional experiencing to know ourselves as an individual, but many of us stop there. Take that step further, where even your thoughts (and mind), your body, and your sensations are not you, for what could be left when the differentiation ends? Consciousness itself with no objective qualities whatsoever? Could we even say that when all that we know is what we perceive, for what we truly will not know what we don’t know? Could it be that differentiating ourselves as this dimensionless, self-aware space was merely the first step, and recognizing that all we ever knew was perception/knowing?
That all we know of a sensation is the awareness of it. That all we know of our thoughts is their presence. That all we know of our body is our awareness of it. That all we know of a song is its melody. That all we know of a book is the words inscribed in the pages. That all we know of an idea is its effect on our thoughts. To realize our labelling of everything and bestowment of meaning on it is the sobering of the mind. Its cessation is our invitation to rest in the peace that underlies all uncertainty. For what else is meant by:
“”God to give me the courage to change the things that need to be changed, the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
What I knew was the sight of the stars when I slept on the roof. What I knew was that bittersweet taste when I woke up wasted in Fiji. That what I knew was warmth when I looked at her. That all that I could have ever known was here and now, that we were never anything but the universe in motion. Nobody asked to be born, and when we realize what we always were, we dance to the tune.