How Long Have I Been Here?

The answer to that depends on what we mean by “I.” During a good portion of my day, I’m very aware of “me,” the human being who was born a few decades ago, who had particular childhood and adult experiences. A good deal of the time, those experiences seem very personal and overwhelmingly real. “Of course they’re real,” I think.

But there are times when I’m not looking out through the eyes of “me.” There are times when the notion of “me” seems to have little charge. I’m surprised sometimes at how easy it would be to let go of it, to let it fall back into the energy of unrealized potential – or whatever energy goo our lives fall back into when they are behind us altogether.

When I was a teenager and later a young adult, I fealt threatened by the notion of having my life wash out like a rain drop into the ocean. I feared that would be obliteration – the death that some see as simply the lights going out.

Now, when I consider the idea of my life washing out into the ocean, it seems a blessed relief. The personal “me” is useful. It’s a tool. The experiences in our lives – in any one of our lives – are rich and colorful. But less and less do I see them as personal. My life is all our lives. I don’t own it, I don’t hold it, I simply use it.

Some say the “me” doesn’t exist, that it’s an illusion. Oh, it exists all right, but you don’t have to identify it as who you are. Who I am has moved on, or has always been beyond. I’m not sure. But I know the lights can’t go out on the who I experience now.

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6 thoughts on “How Long Have I Been Here?

  1. This is so interesting Rob. I feel an affinity with what you write about.The more we connect to a higher consciousness then the more we disconnect from the physical plane and the thinking mind that has created it. I believe that we are then free to live the “me” life with less attachment and more choice. Death of the “me” is part of this acceptance of this different reality.
    Its so hard to find the words that express this understanding. I really appreciate how you are doing just that and sharing it here.
    Val x

  2. Can I just share a quote with you from the Vedas? : It goes like this: ” He who knows the first vital string, binding all the things formed in shape, color and words, knows only the physical form of the universe, and knows very little. But he who goes deeper and perceives the string, the thin web, binding separate life forces with cords of unity, knows the ultimate reality. Only he who realizes that the supreme Lord is within and beyond the formulated entities of this vast universe, knows the truth. ” – Atharva 10.8.28

  3. Hey Rob,

    As always I am fascinated by the honesty and simplicity with which you express yourself. Your words are meaningful and questioning, and somewhere in between them lays a noble heart and a deepening sense of the profundity at the mysteries of the inner worlds: it is a beautiful ride that you are taking on your spiritual magic carpet. In this one post alone, you have touched on so many esoteric ideas that if one were to unpack it fully there’d be a book needing to be written.

    Theories abound, but from my perspective, the emergence of human life on Earth was always the result of having arrived here from within a Cloud of Life that flowed upon rivers of divine solar winds through the universe to land on a distant star. And it back to this same cloud that we shall return again one day when our moment of existence in this material realm comes to an end. All we truly are is dust in the wind.

    Our time on this Earth is both ephemeral and temporary and the particles of our body merely borrowed for the extended moment to give consciousness a construct in which to take form. We are restricted in that way by the physical structure of our being. We are energetic molecules vibrating at a certain frequency range undergoing an experience of fusion and separation which describes our physical form and the relationship that we have to the cyclical flow of Nature within the self-contained system of our universe. The molecules that make-up our physical bodies are subject to the same laws of entropy, dissipation, absorption, and reconfiguration as all other matter that exists. All matter is indivisible in its essence and state of being, it is simply infinite potential always in a state of transition and becoming something other. Matter can become whatever is willed by God. Our experience of reality is sensed through the use of our (sometimes) limited faculties of perception and imagination and the construct of the mind. Outside the range of vibrational frequencies that out mind can interpret exists matter configured in ways that are currently unknown by rational interpretation and thought alone, but we feel them and sense them and on occasion these forms may even be ‘witnessed’ by our imagination – which is God’s playful mind within us: it is he who opens up a fissure in reality and momentarily extends the range of our senses so as to enable our perception to witness revelation and the phenomenal.

    In a closed system, one could suggest that matter is finite. If this is true, then new forms of life flow from the future following a cessation of something having taken material form in the past: for every death of one thing there is a rebirth of something else, but this is not cause and effect, it is a natural order to existence. Our own existence can therefore only ‘happen’ in the immediacy of the moment at a point where infinity stretches equally in front and behind us. Time doesn’t exist as a quantifiable entity, only a period of existence takes place and that in itself is dictated by the speed at which nature flows. That we exist at all is the greatest miracle in this universe, the incalculable number of fortuitous events that gave rise to us is impossible for the human mind to even consider. We have no control of how long our physical body will remain in its present form, nor indeed do we have control over the form our physical body will take. To sustain our life, we eat, we breathe and our heart keeps beating. Everything else beyond that is subject to physical laws and the individual choices we make whilst occupying a period of existence on Earth. The choices we make constitute free will: we are able to decide what we choose to do with the period of ‘time’ our body is given before a cessation of physical being takes place. And it is what we choose to do with that time, and the manner in which we carry out those activities which is of the utmost importance to our fellow man. There are those who suggest that our individual mission on Earth is made known to us before our spirit is given birth in this realm, but that we forget the nature of this mission. The suggestion is that we then proceed through life with the intention of endeavouring to find a reason for our existence, to ‘know thyself’ and to fulfil our mission. To some, destiny and fate is inescapable, and that free will merely delays the inevitable, but I have yet to consider this more deeply.

    Upon the cessation of our life the elemental parts of our material body are returned back to the universe through a process of absorption, and dissipation and become the building blocks for new life to exist in the material realm. The state of eternity exists in as much that our consciousness lives on in the hearts and minds of those we loved and in the legacies that we leave behind, but it is the molecules that once constituted our physical bodies that will through an endlessly repeating cycle of birth, death and rebirth to join other molecules and give rise to a synthesis of new forms. It is quite possible therefore to imagine that the component parts of the 70 billion other souls who have previously walked this Earth continue to form a part of those alive today.

    I also believe that consciousness is not confined by physicality, it exists independently of the body and outside of our mind. Consciousness is also infinite potential. It is the word of God being revealed to us through the apparatus of our mind, and we are therefore always in communion with God for we are a part of God, and our thoughts are (or can be) potentially transcendental. A simpler way of saying this is to consider the question: Did whatever ‘force’ that gave rise to the universe do so with the intention of being able to look out upon the splendour of its creation through its own eyes?’ And if so, what did it ask us to see, and what did it ask us to do?

    As for that feeling of one-ness with all others you allude to…if all life emerged from one single origin and hence from the mind of one consciousness and continues to exist in time through a procession of birth, death, and rebirth then we are all part of the one collective consciousness. Many great minds have discussed the form that consciousness takes, and some of those inspired minds have compared the spiritual nature of it to the physical properties inherent within a hologramatic image. If one were to shatter a hologram, every shard, every splinter and every piece of it would contain the entire image of that hologram, suggesting that no piece of the whole truly operates independently of any other piece but remains always a summation of the whole. It is similar in fact to suggesting that one finds the entire universe captured within one grain of sand, or the entire ocean being held within the one drop of water. Nothing is truly independent, but all is part of one huge inextricably interwoven web of life that is in itself just one expression of God’s wondrous voice existing within the realm of our perceived experience. As a species we are a hologramatic entity: we all breathe air, bleed if we are cut, stand erect, are subject to the same law of gravity, and maintain a distinct similarity in our basic physiology. What continues to differentiate us are the thoughts, philosophies, ideas and notions that are all constructed by man and not God. Considering our uniquely singular origin, it is a great pity that such diversity exists when it is expressed with such forceful determination so as to fracture and divide us all. The creation of ideas is a truly wondrous affair, but why do so with the intention of creating division.

    And so it is that I believe my flowing, ephemeral and deeply spiritual romance with the universe will always remain both within the bosom of God’s Love and in the collective consciousness of mankind: both are eternally interconnected. I believe that my ‘prima material’, the molecular elements that comprise my flesh, will also remain an eternal aspect of this one universe by continuing to become the building blocks of other forms within a self perpetuating cycle of existence. I may die but my molecules live on. After-all, God could never give up his Love for any of his creations so easily so as to let the cessation of one physical life disappear altogether from the universe without it being retained as a memory.

    Thank you again Rob for your thought-provoking post.

    DN – 27/04/14

  4. Perhaps the “I” comes from the stillness within ourselves where there is no ego. And from the stillness of our presence arises beauty, that is: true love, compassion, forgiveness, non-judgement.

    You write about spirituality in a magnificent way.

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