Observe the space in which you are reading this. Perhaps you are sitting on a couch, curled up checking emails or FB. Perhaps it’s a desk or somewhere propped up with a pillow and a cup of tea. You may be in the U.S., here in Portland, Oregon or just outside the city. Or in Mississippi. Texas. Georgia. Washington. Connecticut. Tennessee. Illinois. Maryland. Or another state of being. You may be in Canada. England. Australia. China. India. Ireland. Kenya. Brazil. The Philippines. At least one of you is in each of those places. But, you could be in a coffee shop sitting across this very room and I would not know it.
Look to your right, your left, ahead and behind, and then up and down. Your location is P, and is relatively fixed by coordinates on an X axis, a Y axis, and a Z axis, allowing for slight movement within that space. Note the current time as measured by something that is purported to do so, or just use your good sense and know that now is later than when you began reading. You are somewhat fixed in that fourth dimension, on the T axis (the one for time, not the axis for risk of a cardiac event).
Imagine another place you have been, preferably far away geographically. Think about when it was that you were there, and try to make it as real in your mind as you can. You are there as you form a picture of you in that place and in this space, then and now. Not truly now, of course, because that moment has passed into another now, but you get the idea.
Remove the one thing that keeps you from being fully present now, and keeps you from being in two spaces. Or three. Or everywhere you have ever been. Or will be.
Take away time.
You are now eternal, occupying every space. And given enough time or the absence of it, you could learn another language. Or all of them. Read every book. Learn anything. Everything. You are eternal, knowing all that you can know that is attainable.
Your biological body cannot cope with this reality, and you can feel your pulse moving through space and time, and your neurons can only travel so fast. But even with these limitations, you know that you are more than a body.
You do, you see, have an eternal essence; and you may call it what you want. Call it a soul or call it Bob the squirrel; it is what it is and what it was and ever shall be, because it is eternal. Did it have a beginning? I have no idea. I am inclined to think that it became fully you at birth, with the first breath, but that it existed before that. We may dispense with further discussion of the when of it, because it is without time: eternal.
P minus T = XYZ to the n.
You may easily grasp this notion and reject it. But, I encourage you to embrace it and take notice of all around you and within you and see if you believe.
Infinity is a related concept. The difference is that infinity has, as its reference point: you. Then, from you, infinity proceeds in all directions and dimensions. As a thought experiment, you can imagine this in two ways. Look into the horizon, and then walk to it and look further. Look up or out and travel to the limits of your sight. Then look from there, and travel. Look and travel. Repeat ad infinitum. Or look near you at anything that you can see closely. Imagine going into it and looking closer. Molecules become galaxies. Closer, atoms become solar systems. Closer still and you are on a subatomic planet. Closer and you are peering into dark matter, perhaps, or a quantum string or field. Closer and you understand gravity as it loops. Closer, ad infinitum, and it is the same as it was (but in reverse), when you looked out.
Keep on living life, of course, and remember to get that chocolate soy milk occasionally. But do travel.
Let’s begin (continue), and godspeed on your journey. I will see you at each moment and every place. I see you already.
Here is a soundtrack to help us:
Title photograph © 2018 Timothy Waugh