I don’t know if you’ve ever imagined a state of complete and total nothingness- a field of emptiness without form or time, and most importantly, without any speck of awareness at all. It is hard enough to imagine being formless, but this is beyond formlessness. This is not being at all, which can be even harder to envision. This is picturing Nothing.
This Nothing could go on forever, right? But I’m not that patient, so next I imagine that somewhere in that vast field of emptiness, a tiny speck awakens and becomes aware that it exists. When that happens, I get a tickle in my heart. I get the sense I’m sneaking around something profound. That moment when a speck of awareness appears within the field of Nothing is a singularity. It is revolutionary and unanticipated. There was nothing in the situation prior to that moment suggesting that a moment like that could even occur. In fact, prior to its occurring, it couldn’t have occurred at all.
How did nothing whatsoever make the transition to something? How did non-existence make the leap to existing? That is what I ask myself sometimes. It is a question that dances around something important, but not, I think, in the way we imagine… It is an interesting way to induce a heart flutter, to elicit a taste of an existential taffy, to briefly disorient your Standard Model and beg a new question, but still…
Is that how God began? Is that how Awareness began? What if that little speck awoke, but was angry? What if it realized it was all alone, and became fearful? What if it didn’t want to be aware any more? What if it was an evil speck? Would the universe have turned out differently?
* * * * *
I don’t know if you’ve ever imagined these questions, but now it is the time to acknowledge they are scratching at the surface of Something, and not making contact with Bedrock. We are too easily deceived by topsoil into believing all of Reality must be loose and windblown. Random, yet exciting.
We who have followed a path through an experience of sleeping to an experience of awakening find some resonance in these questions. There is a sense that maybe we are the product of a moment like that- the sons and daughters of a Singularity. These questions seem to demand answers. What if God was the first speck of awareness to appear, and everything just expanded from that one point? Is Love a choice God had to make? Are we not lucky to live in a Reality where that choice for Love was made? Could it have been a different choice?
Don’t we experience every day that we have some choice about what to do with our selves, about what we feel and believe? And are we not little specks of awareness that have popped up on the cosmic radar somehow?
* * * * *
I tell you, it is even more interesting to imagine the bedrock underpinning Reality, for here is the thing about that: it never began. You don’t get to imagine a beginning. You have to try and fling yourself into the experience of being without beginning, and that is much more difficult. I have found that only my heart has the wherewithal to dip a toe into this strange new Water. When I try to imagine something that never began, its as if I walk through a gargantuan city and down the steps into a massive train station, and suddenly all the lights go black, and I’m rendered witless and stationary, but my heart slides over into the driver’s seat, cranks down the window and scans the horizon, then says, “There!” We make our way, unseeing, down the tunnel to the platform, and step out into a field of stars, and I realize I’m Home again. Another moment has passed.
* * * * *
Love never began. It never learned. Love never evolved. Love never wasn’t. Love is not the product of a great cosmic choice that once hung in the balance. Love is not the wisdom that emerged from some cosmic quantum testing of all possible choices. It is not the answer that smart, sensitive Creators choose in order to boost ratings or solidify the bottom line. It was not the recommendation from the analysts. Love was never a choice. There was never an alternative. Reality is far, far more stable than that. Love is. It exists. God is never faced with a choice about what to make Real. He simply accepts What Is without question, and Gives it Endlessly, and it is good.
He offers no resistance, for what is there that needs resisting? When we take our place in the unbroken chain of Giving that offers no resistance, we will know what we mean.
* * * * *
There is a hoist turning, and buckets of dirt coming up out of a shaft in the ground. You can go and peer down the shaft, but it is so deep you will only see an inky blackness. Down at the bottom of the mine, Rumi is drawing Scenes of Love on the walls. He says he’s leaving Messages for Later. The shaft looks narrow, but at the bottom it is actually a wide cavern. Some are digging. Others are talking over drawings and plans. Others are sharing a meal. Some are shooting at each other with water guns and diving behind machinery, crashing into pallets and crockery. A duet is being sung in the corner around a small table lit with a candle. You might have expected a great commotion, a hive of industrious activity, but this isn’t the work of surviving like you thought. It takes a relinquishing of effort to work this hole. I took in the scene, and turned back again to look at Rumi’s sketches. When I looked back he was curled up on the floor, sleeping.
A woman at the top of the shaft walks up to the edge and, without pausing, dives- a graceful, rolling swan dive down, down, down through eons of time, hurtling past lamps and wooden staves and side shafts filled with glass towers, fields full of angry warriors, a circus, an operating room, a young girl chasing a butterfly- and splashes into a deep shaft of water at the bottom of the mine. She rises in a field of bubbles, and back at the surface, underneath the stars, behind the crowd of people staring down the shaft, an osprey crashes upwards and out from below, out of a still pool of water and into moonlit flight, filling the sky with talons and feathers and Eyes, and a piercing whistle that is heard Everywhere.
I took the lift to the bottom of the shaft because I wanted to be at the point of discovery. I asked what was happening and a gritty man with dust and soot all over his face, and a pipe hanging out of his mouth, pointed down a side tunnel. We’re setting blasting caps over there tonight, he said. Those are the Instructions.
Who gives the Instructions? I asked.
Who do you think?
What are we digging for? I asked. What are we looking for? Are we close?
We’re always close, he said. We’re always right there, right on top of it. But we never get there. Don’t matter. We’re always Finding… We hain’t gone a night yet without a Discovery, have we boys!? he suddenly shouted. Let me tell you a secret, he whispered then, taking me off to the side. This never ends.
I turned and surveyed the cavern again. Already it had changed. Rumi was on his feet again, yelling through a bullhorn down a side tunnel I hadn’t seen before, taking sandwich orders. There were two massive, golden eggs the size of grown men going up the lift. I gasped.
Somebody nudged me and chuckled, saying, They’re calling for dragons up there. Must be a new world coming through. Be lots of digging tonight…
* * * * *
What exists is Possibility. Endless Possibility. There is no choice in that. Possibility never began and will never end, and it fills us up to the brim and pats us on the back and swings open the door and says, Go. Become. As only You can.
We did not come from a singularity- we are chock-full of them.
The moment of singularity that tickles- of nothing transforming into something- is the moment when we, curled up in a purring ball in the palm of God’s Hand, awake from our afternoon nap. It was not the moment in which we were created. It is a moment of our becoming, of our Discovery of something within us that never began. It is the moment of Eternity making itself known to us, whispering in our ear, “Yes… Yes… You… It’s your Watch…”