Once upon a Time: the Fiction of ‘Me’.
Are you sitting comfortably? Because I want to tell you a story. It’s a huge story.
It’s a tale that weaves about the earth and the stars; it twines about planets and galaxies. However, it is also infinitesimal. Almost imperceptible. This story is like a gleaming strand of silk, holding together the fabric of… well, of everything.
But before I start telling the story, I want you to close your eyes. During this moment, I want you to experience your body. Feel your heart pumping, how your chest expands when your lungs fill with air, and how the warm and temperate air expels back through your lips. Find the silent hissing sensation of your blood as it races through your veins. Be mindful of how your muscles contract and relax.
Sense the placement of your limbs and where you reside within the space you inhabit. Reach into your awareness of bodily sensations. Be physically present.
When you are done, read on. I will start with the first part of the story, which is this:
Once upon a time there was… me.
But this is where the fiction starts. It starts with my perception of me (or I, or even you). I am a physical body, a conscious mind (and perhaps a soul, although the soul is tricky). That is usually what we imagine when we think of I.
But you see, a story is something we tell ourselves to explain our reality. To make sense of what we experience. A story is something we use to comprehend our present. Stories are symbolic.
The story I tell myself is that I am a physical body with a conscious mind. I am a thing. One thing. Or I may tell myself that I am a conscious mind that has a physical body. One body.
As a physical body, I may be male, female, gender-less or gender-free. I may be anywhere on the spectrum between young and old. My skin has a color, as do my hair and eyes. I have specific physical attributes combined in such a way that they constitute a (living, human) body.
But think about it: Am ‘I’ a physical body?
Can I feel the cells that layer upon layer create the complex and infinitely beautiful structure that is me? Am I consciously aware of each process that is occurring as I carry out such a simple task as writing words on a page? Is each neuron fired by my brain perceptible to me?
As I carry out this task, am I fully aware of the behavior of my white blood cells, or the way my digestive tract is extracting nutrients to keep the body alive and functioning? Am I cognizant of all the strands of DNA, of all the atoms, or of the space between every single particle that make up me?
Therefore my body is not just I. This body is a living, organic entity made up of millions and millions of microscopic organisms, all living and working simultaneously (and often without the conscious knowledge of one another). This body is a creature that is seething and teeming with multitudinous life. This body is a host. This body is like Mother Earth.
This body is a planet, perhaps an entire cosmos!
So I am in fact millions of Is.
So, what of my conscious mind then? Is that what I am? Am I the thoughts I have and the values I hold? Am ‘I’ what I think? Am I what I consciously experience and perceive? Am I what I imagine? Am I what I dream and what I remember? Am I the insights gained or the knowledge attained by a thousand ancestors?
If that is the case, I am not based in a world of physical reality at all. I am limitless, timeless, and live without boundaries. I do not exist merely in the present. I am not held to a location or a time. I am the potential of anything. I am the memory of everything. I am what sparked it all. I am the alpha and the omega, beginning and the end (and everything in between).
I am the past, present and future all happening simultaneously. I am divine.
Or am I in the end, all of these things?
Am I an interaction between all that I am made up of? Am I a quantum-mechanical dance?
Am I a complex interplay of unique energies interacting with one another like an immense orchestra that — when playing together in the exactly right way (either by some inexplicable miracle or by some beautiful design) — create in a single moment one pure strand of vibration that perfectly makes up Me: the energy of a physical and living body (with a thinking and conscious mind)?
If that is the case, Me is simply a strand of energy resonating with my own unique vibration.
And Me then interacts and interplays with all other strands of unique energies that are also quantum-mechanical dances (whether that be the quantum-mechanical dance that makes up starlight, another human being or a table!) to become We: the interaction between all resonating energies in an intricate, exquisite and complex dance.
So, like drops of water in an ocean, or grains of sand in a desert, we minutely and explicitly affect one another in an eternal cycle of shifting, shimmering movement. We are an eternal symphony of energy.
Oh, but I almost forgot! I was telling a story, and so I will oblige you by finishing it.
Once upon a time there was… me. And I am a unique story that I tell myself to explain my reality. I am a way for the cosmos, that is Me and We, to observe and know itself intimately.
And We lived happily ever after.
Verity Louisa is a weaver of words, a spinner of stories, and a forger of fantasy. She is a fabricator of fables, a maker of magic, and a lover of legend. She is a creator of mess and of laughter, a crafter of tears and of tantrums. She is a mystic mama. She is a woman-child who loves fiercely and drinks deeply from the cup that bears the sweet nectar of the profound. She lives in a beautiful British Celtic county, and embraces life here with open arms, because its ancient rhythms pulsate and resonate through her. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or via her website.