Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Am All That

Perceived motion leads to a belief in separateness
Although to my perspective I am separate and apart from the universe, this view is an illusion.

With each breath I suck in billions of atoms of oxygen, nitrogen, argon, water, carbon dioxide.  Salt crystals from sea spray, microbes that live in the air, dust floating all around me comes in through my lungs.

Billion of molecules come in my mouth when eating and are deposited out the other end of the digestion tube several times a day.  For some reason I prefer to observe about what is coming in this digestion tube more than pay attention to what goes out it.

Sitting in the bathtub, water and soap are absorbed through my skin.  Swelling skin is quickly dried and water and the pieces of me attached to it evaporate into the atmosphere without a notice.

So many millions of cells are shed each day that there is a complete eco-system of flora and fauna in the carpet and bed sheets that feeds on this bodily refuse.

At any moment all of these things are apart of the gathering called “me”.  I am not a single thing, but a collection of many, many things.

The stuff that makes me up at this moment will be different in another moment.  Each trace of time has a unique combination of  particular constituents composing my body.  The oxygen breathed in became carbon dioxide that was breathed out.  The parts of that salad from last night are quickly becoming blood cells, muscles, bone  and other things.   The toenails that pop so far away when cut were once apart of that thing I call me.

Becoming Me
When my cat licked my hand she got not only the faint residue of grease and salt from that yummy hamburger eaten earlier, but also licked and swallowed some of my skin cells.  The cat has part of me in her.

There is only so much water on planet earth, a limited and finite amount of that life necessary molecule.  The water cycle of evaporation and rain means that we share these water molecules in common.  The water in me now could have been in you a year ago.  Since we are mostly composed of water, which molecule of water is truly me or truly you?

Rather than thinking about myself then as a collection of things, it may be more useful to think of myself as a process containing things. Things that we share in common.  Things that are in the universe.  Each element that composes my bodily substance comes into to me, moves about, then goes away. Yet the collection identified as me remains.

I am a therefore a process in the universe, made of different things in that universe at different times.  I am apart of the universe and it is apart of me.

Where does the river begin and end?
Sometimes I dream I am like a  river.  A movement of things in a pattern made mostly of water falling through time and space.  The river is constantly changing but remains a unit.  Its boundaries and parts vary at every instant, yet we still see their assemblage as a whole, as an identifiable thing.

This knowledge of myself as a pattern of things that are within and shared by the universe around me  is both humbling and enriching.  I am apart of all the universe yet only a temporary pattern within its grander existence.  I look up at the stars and know, I too am all of that.

I am all that -  What good manners demand - Matter Drifts - Santa's Claws - Past As Now


  1. What's strange to me is that molecules are held together by a covalent chemical bond. Electrons are shared between atoms.. When you break that down, it's not actually a 'chemical' bond, it's static electricity that holds everything together. Electricity and magnetism can explain a great deal about the universe and life itself.

  2. I used to think like this all the time but today I have realized that it only helps to feed the dissociation or disintegration of an entity that is assumed to be me. This kind of high is more addictive than anything else.