Why is this universe the way it is? Because it’s this universe. The answer is 42; or might as well be.
I had a very profound experience the other day. Mushrooms have always had the ability to suppress my will —I’ve always felt fearless, calm, and hyper-aware of all around me, which I now understand to be the natural state of being, when separated from will.
In any case, rather than my will being suppressed, this last time I was barely tethered to it. I existed as awareness, with only the faintest shadow of my will maintaining ties with the outside world. Lying in the arms of h, in one of the moments when I was feeling more time-bound, I told him “I am everything.” And it was true. Whenever I floated away from myself, I was the whole of Existence. I just was. And it was good.
The deepest part of ourselves is one with everything. Time and will make us feel cut off and alone, but the whole of Existence is always surrounding us completely and living inside of us at the same time. As I tumbled back into my will and my timeline, as my fears and desires started to assert themselves, I kept having two flashes of thought—first: would this new perspective somehow help me cheat at life? What practical application could this possibly have? And second: would this ruin life for me? How could I invest in my very specific timeline with such a keen awareness of how ultimately equal each possibility is? Knowing how much more I am than this human woman with her fears and desires, how could I care enough about her life for it to feel meaningful at all anymore?
As the knowledge settled in, it became clear to me that this is undeniably a blessing. I learned a long time ago that philosophical investment in or certainty of a meaning has no effect on my personal drive. I had decided that life was meaningless and there is absolutely nothing that can be counted upon, and I was all set to commit suicide. But then I started working out the implications of my internal discovery, and then I was thinking about coming home and writing about it and I didn’t want to kill myself anymore. Will is a powerful thing—especially when we are unafraid to live by it.
Since my experience floating in awareness, I know what my eternal self wants for my temporal self: it wants it to pursue its will according to nature. There are no punishments but immediate ones for our missteps; if we treat others poorly, we will have very little love in our lives. The natural way of things is the give and take of negotiating and weighing our desires and fears against those of others; there are natural consequences when we violate each other. When we are dishonest or coercive in achieving our goals, we are overriding this natural way of things, and even this has a natural punishment: just like any other shortcuts or cheat codes, we cheat ourselves out of the experience just as much as we spoil things for others.
Much of the misery in the world comes from the sense that our desires are at odds with some nobler purpose we embody. It’s quite the opposite. Our desires are the path to our higher purpose.
Why do people feel empty when they pursue only pleasure? Because an eternal being cannot be satisfied by the temporary. Pleasure can only be experienced by something which feels desire–pleasure is not eternal.
What is eternal is harmony–the sense of things aligning with their nature perfectly, the sense of things achieving their innate purpose. Happiness is the sense that all is right with the world, the feeling of being satisfied with everything and everything being satisfied with you.
When we pursue personal and communal growth according to our desires, we feel joy, the combination of pleasure and happiness. This pursuit can sustain us forever. Anything short of that will bring only a sense of frustration that our pleasure doesn’t translate into happiness; frustration that our happiness comes at the expense of our pleasure.
My drive is to document, interpret, and communicate experience, with the ultimate goal of helping humans to find our purpose. There isn’t much keeping us from ending all unnecessary violence, developing forms of self-governance that make any kind of logical sense, and eliminating some of the worst behaviors of humanity—all we need is the confidence that working on behalf of everyone will benefit us all. These thoughts and efforts sustain me, they live in me regardless of how reasonable or unreasonable this pursuit may appear to others, whether or not it brings me rewards.
I am will. I pursue what I love and avoid what I fear. Until time releases me back into the great awareness, I will try and do my tiny job in the universe as best I can. When I look into your eyes, I know the same is true of you: you are all of awareness, wrapped by time into a physical form. I know we are cut off from each other, and we are each other. I know that it is in my interest to support you in attaining your will, and it is in your interest to support me.
Consider the implications of this worldview. Consider the all-embracing love it encourages. I fully advocate this as truth. We have nothing more at stake than our mutual experience here; we are nothing more or less than brilliantly complicated little stories. If we start living this way, the world could get hugely better very quickly.
I’ve tried to break my understanding down a bit more in a series of questions. It’s hard to quantify. My brain isn’t made to hold the sort of dimensions that go into what makes up awareness; mostly what I remember is a feeling of well-being and certainty. But the general idea of what I experienced filled in a lot of gaps in the philosophy I’ve been working on. A LOT of gaps.
Who am I?
I am the one who opened my eyes.
What is my purpose?
To exist as nature dictates.
What is nature?
Nature is will and being.
What is will? What is being?
Will is desire and fear. Being is that which exists and knows it exists; awareness, existence, form; the great everything.
What is the relationship between the two?
Being is the eternal self, the part of us that will never cease to be. Will is temporary. The eternal does not will; it is—unchanging, unmoving, permanent. It does not start or end. It does not live or die. The part of us that dies is the will. The part of us that does not die is being; Everything.
There is no separation between the self and the Other. This separation is an illusion of time. Time wraps around awareness, cutting it off from the rest of itself, which allows it to form will. When time releases awareness, it ceases to have will and becomes once more Everything.
What does nature dictate?
Nature directs being through will. Each life builds, or loses, in accordance with its wills and fears, a place in the balance of things. My very reason for being is to exert will. I am desire and fear; I am that I might desire and fear. I need not be ashamed of my fears or desires. I may pursue them without doubt or guilt. The entire everything supports me in achieving my will according to nature; I am everything and it is me.
What goes against nature?
Nothing is unacceptable to nature. Will can only exist in Time and therefore cannot be permanent; nothing can disrupt the eternal. Nothing good or evil is absolute; therefore good and evil are relative and timebound. They exist only in relation to Will. What is good to me may be evil to another; what is evil to another may be good to me. Therefore good and evil exist only in the relation of things to one another; in the relation of me to all that is not me, the Other.
What is the relationship of myself to the Other?
I am that which looks out of my eyes; the Other is Everything Else, being—which includes my eternal self. Each time I harm the Other, I harm myself. We are innately invested in each other.
What should I do?
Anything I like. Nothing is more or less important than anything else. Everything is important because I am will; nothing is important, because I am eternal. It is up to me to negotiate the difference between the two—to temper my will with awareness of the Other; to negotiate with the Other in order to enact my will. I can avoid harm to my temporal self or risk harm on behalf of the things that are important to me. I can pursue pleasure only, or happiness only, or I can seek out joy.
So much of our efforts are directed to criticizing and shepherding one another’s wills; justifying and defending our own wills. Once we turn our focus from all agreeing on the same pursuit to enabling one another’s various unique pursuits in the most harmonious way possible, we’ll be able to solve our problems very quickly and easily.
I’m no longer afraid of death, or confused about my responsibility to myself vs. the Other, or what my allegiance should be to my immediate will vs. destiny. I sincerely hope that you, too, can see what this means: there is nothing to fear. Everything is OK, always has been, always will; you may not see how yet, but you will. The part of you that you are so afraid of disappearing will never disappear–only the fear itself will. It’s ok. We’re all ok.