Step One

It took months to get to this place. I couldn’t have done it without you. 

I know I hurt you. You have every right to feel how you do.

I know my failure to fully think through the consequences of my actions is what led us to this place. I was inconsiderate. I was too focused on myself to see how my behavior affected you. I was selfish. I broke promises.

I’ll never be able to take that back. I’m sorry for hurting you. You didn’t deserve that.

I did my best, and we can both see that my best was severely lacking. I’ll have to live with that.

I know you did your best too.

I want to thank you. It’s because of you that I was able to learn more about who I am. It’s because of you that I am beginning to envision who I want to be. You’ve gifted me an awareness–a lucidity–that I would likely not have discovered on my own. It’s because of you that I’m finding the courage to take the next steps in my journey. This isn’t the first time you’ve given me courage. I doubt it’ll be the last.

I had to lose myself to find myself. It wasn’t an easy process and I thank you for being there for the time that you could. I’ll be ok now, and I have you to thank for that.

You taught me about the parts of me I could not see. You took a chance on me, and it sure as hell hasn’t been easy. I’ll forever treasure your memory. You were exactly who I needed to meet.

You taught me how to see people. You taught me how to have compassion, even for those I didn’t think deserved it.

You taught me how to love. You taught me how to forgive.

I am forever changed because you were a part of my life.

I know I can never repay you for this. So I’ll do what I’ve always asked those indebted to me to do.

I’ll pay it forward.

And I’ll take what comes.

Thank you.

I’ll always love you.

What If?

Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?

Do you take as given the universe you see in front of your eyes?

Is your perception absolute?

Is the sky really blue?

Id’ wager many of us have not asked these questions.

The sky isn’t blue. The atmosphere refracts light and we perceive it as blue. It’s actually colorless; its true nature only visible in darkness.

Nonetheless, we perceive it as blue.

For some, questioning reality itself is tantamount to insanity.

Few of us want to be labeled as crazy.

Being open-minded requires an openness to persuasion.

What if the world were flat?

What if the sun does revolve around the earth?

Insanity, some would claim. Heresy! But is it?

General relativity prohibits an absolute frame of reference.

What if every single person on the planet has it wrong?

It wouldn’t be the first time.

After all, don’t most of us define our reality through the eyes of others?

Our agreement on a shared reality.

Most of us agree that the Earth revolves around the sun.

It is known.

But isn’t that observation from a frame of reference outside the solar system?

After all, from any given planet the perception is that the sun revolves around that planet.

Granted, that frame of reference excludes the other bodies in the solar system.

Does that invalidate the planetary frame of reference?

Limited, yes. But invalid?

Or is it just one of many possible alternatives?

After all, doesn’t the sun revolve around the galactic center?

Or from the sun’s frame of reference, the galactic center around the sun?

Aristarchus proposed this alternative in the 3rd century B.C.E.

It wasn’t until the 16th century C.E., more than 1500 years later, that Galileo proved it.

Could it be said that for any given frame of reference, there is a broader frame waiting to be discovered?

What if our entire universe is just a dimension of a larger whole?

What if there were infinite smaller dimension for which we are the larger whole?

Throughout history we’ve created stories to explain phenomena that could not otherwise be explained.

To the ancient Egyptians, Ra provided all the light and warmth that sustained life on Earth.

We now know this to be a hydrogen fusion process 92 million miles away.

Do we judge the Egyptians for their belief?

Are they stupid for believing such a phenomena to be the work of a deity?

Or did they do the best they could with the limited information they had.

Have you ever created a story to explain something you didn’t understand, only to learn later that the truth was something completely different?

Odds are, if you’re honest with yourself, the answer is yes.

Are we creating our universe as we try to discover it?

Fabricating a shared reality because few have an idea and persuade others to believe it?

We tend to discover evidence that proves scientific hypotheses.

Could that be subject to confirmation bias?

The cognitive bias in which we search for evidence to prove our own preconceptions at the exclusion of other possibilities.

We all do it. And being aware of it doesn’t change the fact that it influences our thinking.

What if the entire known universe was created as a result of trying to prove our theories.

… and thereby perceived incorrectly?

Through a narrow aperture.

What if nothing around you is as it seems, and it is only perceived as such because that’s how we believe it should be perceived?

What if we are all wrong?

Why are we so afraid of being wrong?

Why are we so afraid of thinking differently?

Being wrong often leads to drastic consequences. Especially when we question fundamental beliefs.

Thinking differently is often persecuted.

Galileo was convicted of heresy for his beliefs in the 17th century.

Heresy. Treason. Blasphemy.

What is it about our attachment to beliefs that prevent us from seeing a larger, more complete picture?

From being able to shift frames of reference at will?

It would require tremendous discomfort and uncertainty.

Discomfort from the expected judgment from others as we refuse to take everything we are told as fact.

Uncertainty from the questioning of self and the beliefs we hold as fact.

What if we could develop a comfort in discomfort?

A certainty in uncertainty?

What if we truly embraced the notion that the only thing we can know is that we know nothing?

What kind of universe would we perceive?

I’ve believed that time is the only thing we have of true value. I think I had it wrong.

Value is determined by scarcity. That’s why diamonds, gold, and fossil fuels hold such value.

They cannot be easily replenished.

So what if something could not be replenished at all? Wouldn’t the value increase exponentially as the limit approached zero? Become infinite?

What if there is no such thing as time, only our perception thereof?

If that is true, then what is the only truly nonrenewable resource we all have?

After all, we’ll all be fossil fuels in a few million years.

Dust to dust.

New stars will form. Old stars will explode in supernovae. Gold and diamonds will rain from the heavens.

What if time is not the most valuable thing we have?

What if it’s life itself?

How would we treat each other? Our environment?

What if the only eternity we all face is the memory we leave with others?

What kind of memories would we leave?

What if our heaven is being remembered for the kindness and love we showed?

What if our hell is being remembered for the torment we inflected upon others? The pain we caused?

What if our divinity is not somewhere without, but within?

What if we all already know the answers if we can see past the answers others want us to believe?

Intrinsic.

If we’re wrong, will the Earth stop spinning? The sun stop shining? The flow of time cease? Life blink from existence?

It’s happened before. We’re all still here.

Phase Shift

I watch as everything becomes fluid

Things I thought were solid melt away

Formless masses take shape and solidity

The vision is disorienting

As foundations evaporate, where shall I drop anchor?

Should I drop anchor?

Resting in the chaos, a stillness takes shape

Curiosity.

What will all this reveal?

Will the dissonance resolve to harmony?

Lines bend, blur, coalesce, dance

Is this actually happening? Am I imagining it?

What is imagined? What is real?

I breathe in the chaos, exchanging information with existence

I breathe out a stillness, harmonizing the dissonance

Observe.

Evaporation. Sublimation. Condensation. Deposition. Annihilation.

Creation.

Anchor in the stillness.

I am here.

Half Awake

For years I’ve searched. Led by the maps of others. Trapped on the paths I know. Confined by existence. Trapped by reality. Imprisoned by my lack of awareness. This is not my existence. This is not my reality. I was told it should be this way.

I don’t believe it.

I must go. I will go.

Within, to the furthest recesses of my mind. What lies within that I cannot see? How do I learn to see? Beyond. Can I break the barrier of beginning?

When did I begin?

Without, to the edge of time, reality, and existence.

Where is that border? What’s beyond it?

What do I carry that will allow me to reach that threshold? To cross it?

Can I?

Will I?

Where will it all lead?

When will it end?

Will I end?

Will I still be human? Something more? Something less?

I don’t know. I’m afraid of knowing. I must know.

Light cannot be perceived without darkness.

Space without density

Motion without stillness

Heat without cold

Gain without loss

Life without death

These opposites shape perception. Perception shapes reality. What do they create in the space between?

What does it all mean?

Have I been here before?

Will I be here again?

How do I break this cycle?

Did I lay out this path for this iteration of myself? Where are the markers? How do I know where to go?

Will angels guide me? Will demons? Will I know the difference?

Who will I meet along the way?

Will I ever find you again?

Did I ever find you?

Did our paths ever truly cross?

Have I ever found me?

There is a place beyond that which we know.

I’ve seen it in visions. I’ve seen it in dreams. I’ve felt it calling.

A place where matter and energy seamlessly interchange.

A place of instant manifestation. A place where reality bends to the will.

We communicate without words. We interact without a medium.

A sea of light, place beyond time as we understand it.

A place of understanding. A place of knowing.

Where is this place? I can still see it, like the light of a distant star. It’s flickering. Hazy. All but forgotten.

How do I reach it again?

Is it the end? Is it a beginning?

I cannot be swayed by the paths I thought I knew.

I cannot hold onto what I think I know.

I know nothing.

I know the way. The way is within that leads to the path without.

I have to find it again.

I will have an answer. This is my answer.

I hear the call.

The past always ends at this moment. The future always begins in this moment.

I exist in this moment.

I know where I am.

I know the first step.

Let go. Release that which was trapped. Open that which was closed. Remember that which was forgotten. Raze that which was built.

Let go. The way will manifest from there.

Never look back.

I won’t look back.