Our thoughts echo endlessly. That’s a property of infinity, I suppose. Thankfully however, the rate of propagation is also infinite and their conflation into a single instant is unnoticeable.
This, it would seem, is the essence of all things here in the mind cave. The illusions we call “time and space” expand to infinity and then contract again – all in a saccade in the eye of some unnamable entity who may or may not exist. And only in that instantaneous view could one catch the tell-tale blurring of the present moment…
“Who are you talking to?”
“Just typing this out somewhere, Keith.”
“Oh. Somewhere like your life on Earth.”
“Yeah. Gotta get it out there – used to be what it was all about for me too.”
“I know, man. I know”
I write. The attempt to rationalize all this continues – if only for the occasional reminder that I need to keep myself grounded in some sort of hypothetical reality paradigm. Why it still seems important to do that is just one of several things that are beyond me at this point.
I know that in the past year, I have entered a new phase of my life. The boundaries that used to separate one state of awareness from another have simply disappeared. It may have occurred all at once. But the way I experienced it happening was that, slowly, I began to see my various states of consciousness – imagining, dreaming, waking, sleeping, and all those states that lie between – are present simultaneously within me. And that awareness contains the knowledge that human understanding of life and death is understanding of nothing at all.
Surprisingly, this is not unsettling. In fact, I welcomed it from the start. It seemed to me that all my years of philosophical speculation were simply a way for me to keep myself occupied while I was waiting in utter darkness for this illumination to dawn.
And now that this heightened awareness fills me, it is nothing like what I might have anticipated. Externally at least, my life is as it was. I continue doing all the activities that occupied me in the past: making art, writing, teaching, and all the personal aspects of being alive in the early twenty-first century. But none of it seems particularly “real” in any conventional sense.
And within me, an expansive sense of freedom has ensued. I no longer feel terribly bound up in the necessities of things. Rather, I find myself doing what I consider to be worth doing – nothing more, nothing less. And my ability to prioritize some scale of value as to exactly what is and what is not worth doing at any particular time is quite serviceable.
Some things surprise me. My emotional life operates much as it did before. It seems the reptilian and mammalian brains care little about the metaphysical condition of being human. I suspected this, of course. But it’s disconcerting to find myself feeling that something matters a great deal, even when it is clear to me that the thing in question is a figment of my imagination. I am able to become more quickly detached from emotional conundrums than I was previously able to do. And it’s actually good to know that some things, such as the feeling of being human, have some significance in the overall scheme of things – whatever that may be.
“Hey, check this out,” he says.
And instantaneously, I return. The cave walls are alive with the inner visions of the whole human tribe.
“Amazing, man. Are you seeing what I see?”
(to be continued…)
Image: Digital drawing: “Everything exists at once,” Tullio DeSantis, 2009.