Ideas flicker through mind
Faster than the speed of light on this morning’s hike.
Ideas consume my attention.
I did my best though, to be present and to empty the mind.
Writing about what occurred takes far more time than it did on the hike.
My foremost thought was how little I am aware of the whole world beyond the trail. The universe is so vast and I am so small.
I see trees, rocks, mountains. I hear a chorus of birds chirping on one side of the trail echoed from the other.
I feel my feet trodding the gritty trail. Feel a slight breeze on my cheeks.
I am only aware of an infinitesimal, minuscule, teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy bit of the universe.
BUT that’s all . . .
I see only the surface of things . . .
the bark of the scrub oaks, the surface of rocks, mosses on trees and rocks, and the gritty dirt on the trail
I need faith to believe there is wood beneath the bark, substance inside the rock, earth beneath the scruffy trail.
So too, I am assured that since I can move about in other parts of the world that there must be more to the world than this little bit of trail.
This is confirmed by what other people indicate from their experience.
As a purely practical matter, we must act as if we know more about what’s out there.
If we don’t, what can we do? Where can we go?
The Inner World
Then too, there is the other direction — the inner me. I mean the “who” I am inside the body.
I’ve known that I’ve been “me” all my life. And I know I’ve been “me” as the body grew and the mind filled up with knowledge.
That “me” has been consistently me, even as the mind and body changed.
It is still “me” when I leave off awareness of “me” in deep darkness of sleep.
And “me” regardless what happens if “I” dream.
I remain the same unchanging “me” while the mind goes on thinking as I hike.
Even “me” when I think about who this “me” might be.
While the mind changes its thoughts of who it thinks I am, I nonetheless remain the same old “me.”
I don’t know this about “me’ by thinking about it, any more than I know there is more to the world beyond what I experience on the trail. I have to take both on intuition.
My “me” helps me intuitively find my way in the dark.
The “me” obviously has an existence beyond my thinking about it.
It has staying power when I am awake or asleep, aware of it or not.
A question need not be so much about where it goes when the body dies, than where it was before I was born?
Yes, I know my body decomposes when I die and returns to earth.
But I take it on trust what happens to the “me” that experience tells me is the unchanging “me,” when I die.
I’m an intelligent man
I have a college education and I’ve studied considerably since then.
Nowhere though, have I managed to find out anything in books what these inner parts are — my life, consciousness, the me in me.
Science seems to ignore these questions. Or try to study them as neuro-chemical-physicological “things.”
But we all know that life, consciousness, “me” aren’t that kind of thing, any more than gravity or magnetism is.
But life for instance can be studied by numbers — days, weeks, months, years of time there is life in my body.
The measurement of my life is not much different than measuring the gravitational pull in and around my body. It doesn’t disappear when the body no longer breaths its last breath.
So why would the life disappear when the heart stops beating?
Wouldn’t life be something like gravity, light, electricity that is indestructible and just takes a different form when it leaves the body?
And I’m now just talking of the materialistic side of things? It does not take into account psychological, social, esthetic or artistic aspects of me that are not as well understood by a reductionist science approach.
All that I have just written is just “talk about” these things.
Nonetheless, words do have a meaning
And I like knowing there are finer minds than mine that ponder these questions.
Here is what the great unifier of light, electricity and magnetism, James Clerk Maxwell, said on his deathbed.
“What is done by what is called myself is, I feel, done by something greater than myself in me.”
I too am pondering that “something greater than myself in me.”
My experience is that I am the that, that is here. I cannot deny that I am. I do not doubt that I am.