No matter how elaborate we think our lives to be, the simple formula is absolute: birth – life – death. We are all drops headed toward that infinite ocean.
The other day I turned on my computer to find the wallpaper displaying a beautiful picture of the Sombrero Galaxy: 400 billion stars in a gloriously bright, sombrero-like disk 50,000 light years across.
When I was at the wondering age of ten or so I could fathom space going on for a long, long ways, but I had no idea if anything was out there, or if it were, what it was like. I knew — or so I thought — that it was impossible, certainly in my lifetime, to actually go and see way, way out there. At ten I hadn’t yet been introduced to the slide rule and it was still several years before I had a portable AM radio that I could squeeze into my shirt pocket.
Imagine how startled I would have been back then if a magic fairy had shown me the Sombrero Galaxy on a screen and told me that when I got older millions of people around the world would have machines in their homes that would allow them to see what I was looking at, as well as see and do other wonderful things with their machines whenever they wanted to.
Yet now that such an unbelievable scenario has come to pass, it’s yesterday’s news; meanwhile, we wait for the next e-gadget, discovery or magic bullet to come along. What’s that all about: great changes or part of the great parade of mirages?
It’s said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. However, in the most crucial aspect, that’s not true, is it? As change occurs, time goes by, and as time goes by, I advance further down the slope toward that inevitable shore.
So keep it simple, I say to myself. Remember and keep the company of the changeless inside. Understanding. Clarity. Priority. Choice. Peace. Knowing. Feeling. Something personal, not the passing scientific and technologic advancements, or political, economic and ecological issues of the day.
Maharaji always speaks truth to my heart. He talks about an ocean residing in the drop, something that only a few know. He wants me to be one of those few. How kind is that?
Dust to dust, from stars to us, but a human drop is something very, very special.
Illustration by Sara Shaffer.