Ron wrote that in his original post and while I edited it, it does state something that we all try to discern about our individuality...not that we are something special but that we can actually question what we are and what we are not.
All kinds of creatures can question some things about their own existence, and we see that in paternal and maternal caring about not only their own offspring but also the offspring of those closest to them. Cockatoos are one such creature that mates for life, and if one dies, the other hangs around for quite a while, grieving over the other’s body. We do not know what goes through such a creature’s mind but we do recognize it...we know it only too well...it is painful sorrow surrounding a begging that they get up.
We know what death is, just like many creatures do, and all of us steal it away in some part of us that is busy living in the moment because facing death is something we do kind of fear, even though we know we will one day die, so too those around us. One thing we do most often is involve ourselves in so much of what is going on outside ourselves that we can fail to involve ourselves in what is going on inside ourselves. Ron created a grand tale based upon an insight he fully dived into, and in that tale is so much to do with our seeking solace with our own mortality that I hazard a guess that it has washed right over any who actually read his tale. Not to worry though...stories aren’t for everyone...especially sci-fi...but there are plenty of stories around that offer up the very same thing Ron did.
“...existence as only each of us can discern.”
That is all there is to it, really. But what do folk discern? Ever been to a Buddhist temple or monastery? Everyone over a certain age or certain understanding are very much the same as each other because they all accept one teaching that they grasp not just the fundamentals of but the deeper meanings of: we are all one thing displayed in many guises. Ever been to a Scientology temple? Sheesh...the folk there are quite out-of-sorts because they are forced to believe in something that they have little grasp of because of how that stuff is taught...they are not told in the beginning that aliens reside within them, having come to Earth some 70 million years ago, and the individual’s prime purpose of existence is to release that alien from within which can only happen by spending many thousands of dollars on ‘teachings’.
I would rather be a Buddhist than a Scientologist because at least I may have another chance at life instead of being some host to another life...but hmm...they are kinda similar in that respect. Buddhists accept evolution; Scientologists offer alien contact and for-go Earthly evolution...they don’t explain anything about alien evolution, but they build their belief on it...not a story to explain mankind nor our ways but a story to say that we are but hosts to something from some other place.
They fail when it comes down to it...so do other beliefs fail when it comes right down to it...but nothing fails if we believe we come through evolution from our very Earth and solar system, and are just one primary example of purpose: to live...if a tree had understanding of purpose, would it really have grown from a seed on the face of a cliff where no other trees could grow? A seed caught in a crevice fed by rain and facing sunshine with nutrients beneath the roots that spread down and anchor it against winds that could blow it away. That is each and every individual thing existing today...we all find a niche in-which to not just survive but thrive.
It only comes down to knowing who and what we really are: a living thing, from the most basic parts of atoms to the most complex galaxies, and everything in between. Everything wants to live, whether that be in the harshest of climates or the most luxurious; whether we are aware of our lot or not.
But hmm again...if you can move...if the tree could move from its place on the side of a cliff...would you?
The tree can be pollinated but all its seeds would fall...to an ocean or to lower ground is not the tree’s worry...just that it is doing what it is supposed to because that is what a tree does.
Folk get affected by all manner of things but we should be hardy enough to shake things off as though they were yesterday’s weather...we should learn how to strengthen our roots against tomorrow’s weather...and yet we do fail there. I sure have failed enough times to have developed strong enough roots beneath my trunk that my branches don’t just sway in the wind but sway to create wind. And yet that is one person “wishing it could know who and what it really is”. I may be quite wrong but it is my life I am gambling with in trying to understand not just who I am but who I can be...and all I get to is being me, no matter what I try, succeed at or fail at...it’s still me.
You are you, Tom, in all you do. If you learn Chinese, you’ll still be you. If you forget how to speak, you’ll still be you. I told the guys today – at our card game at the club – that one of my dreams last night was that I was a woman: I worked, went to lunch with friends, had conversations with folk, and while talking to two men which was a grand conversation, I was saying my goodbyes to go home to my husband and family and one guy leaned in and kissed me on the cheek because that was familiar for us. I woke up after that cheek-kiss and was amazed at how wonderful the dream had been...the first time I had dreamt I was female. I was just me but different, and didn’t feel odd about it because it was just a dream and not a nightmare.
I may have recent conversations in here and to friends to thank for such a dream...because it had me as the opposite sex and completely at ease while in the dream...so too after. It made me realize that just because I have awareness and was born a male human that I understand what I am, while I may well have been a tree or possum or grain of dirt. And that’s the trick right there: we are all expressions of the one thing that came into existence...it’s only how we are able to perceive what we are in the moment that counts.
Go for a walk Tom, and perceive you amidst it all, and be comfortable that you are flowing through it and may decide to settle somewhere and be part of something else at least just for a few moments...that is, after all, our nature...we are the settled things in the same guise as the very first thing that came into existence and settled here. We are, after all, all descended from that...but mankind can imagine more than that ever can...so too any such 'kind' in the universe.