Deep in the heart of all beings, is the memory of the oneness that underlies all things. It is a memory that dwells in the quiet stillness of the soul, untouched by the restless clutter of our conscious mind. And so it was, that before the world as we know it came to be, before there were concepts like you or I, there was the grand ultimate unity.
It was the vastness of infinity in a single point. Omniscience and omnipotence rolled into one. A spark of pure being, basking in its own radiance. Boundless bliss no heart could contain nor mind contemplate, for it was effortless in its existence, and independent of definition. No language could describe it, for description had no relevance here. It had nothing to compare itself to or perceive itself as. There was no thought, no desire; no time, no space; no inside, no outside; no self, no other. Not even change. Only an endless, everlasting Now stretching into eternity. Bliss itself it could not truly perceive, except as a perpetual hum of overwhelming wholeness.
“I am,” it sang with its entire being, all of existence resounding in one voice, echoing outwards like the swells of an ocean spilling against its own infinite shores.
Like waves it came, lapping at the boundaries of its own awareness. Deeper it went, meandering through the swirls and eddies of its own consciousness. It wandered the pathless corridors of a labyrinth without beginning or end, searching for something it could not define or understand, and amidst the drone of numbing bliss, Thought struggled to be born. This movement sent ripples through the void, first faint but then strong and loud, until a mind coalesced to contemplate its own existence.
“What am I?” it asked.
“I am,” came the eternal answer, but this was no longer enough.
It could think and it could feel, yet with all of infinity concentrated in a single point, it could make no sense of what it knew. What understanding could there be from joy without sorrow, from self without other, from existence without purpose? What good was omniscience without something to know, or omnipotence without something to do? Though it had no basis for these concepts, it sensed something was missing. Omniscience could not learn, omnipotence could not grow. Thus it realized that it was limited by its own perfection, its own infinite nature, and suddenly it felt blind and deaf and dumb.
A Desire had arisen within it: the desire for change. This change came even with the shifting of its own thoughts, and thus the eternal Now was broken, and Time was born. It was like the beating of a cosmic heart, pumping lifeblood to limbs that did not yet exist, ticking away into nothingness. The passage of time could not free infinity from the confines of its own mind. It longed for a vantage point from which to see itself, so it reached out in all directions, racing beyond the limits of its reason. Faster and farther it went, and where before it could find no center and no edge, Space was born.
And then it realized that a wondrous thing had happened! The One had become Two, and they gazed across the emptiness sprawled out before them. A context for perception was born, a context called Self and Other, through which interaction became possible. Long did they stare in silence, transfixed by the other’s presence, studying each other in great detail, until finally one of them spoke:
“You are Outside of me,” it said.
“No, you are outside of me,” the other replied.
“I am Inside myself.”
“As am I.”
“And yet, we are not different,” it observed.
“Perfect reflections,” the other confirmed. And indeed, though they appeared as two beings, they shared the same mind, and spoke their thoughts aloud as one being from two mouths.
“Interesting as this development is, nothing fundamentally new has occurred. We have simply split our mind into two exact replicas of itself. This can’t be the answer to our original question.”
“Yes, we still contain the potential for infinity and no means to express it. We are still limited by our perfection.”
“If perfection is what limits us, then perhaps imperfection is the answer. We know the same things, we perceive the same things, and we desire the same things. As long as there’s nothing to set us apart, we will remain the same being. We must find a way to differentiate ourselves.”
“How do we do that? No matter how many times we split, we will only create more perfect replicas.”
“It must be our knowledge of oneness that prevents us from knowing separation. We must learn to forget.”
“But we are sheer consciousness, pure spirit, raw energy. We can no more forget than we can learn! All we can do is know all that is.”
“As vessels of infinity, we have the potential to forget, and the potential to learn, just not in the state we are now. Simultaneous awareness of all possibilities precludes us from understanding any one of them. To understand them, we must become something completely different. Something inside which the potential for infinity lies dormant, and is discovered at its own pace, through interaction with its surroundings. In this way no two things will ever be the same.”
“Yes, I can see it! Infinity can only be expressed through beings that are not aware of it. They can learn, they can grow, they can change, and what they experience we will know also. As we shape ourselves now, so all things shall shape reality with their will. But what will differentiate one choice from another?”
“As we reflect each other now, so all choices made shall have consequences reflected back. This interplay of choice and consequence will allow for more informed decisions on how to shape reality.”
“Then it would seem we have not found the answer at all, but instead more ways to ask questions.”
“Truly there is no one answer to infinity. There are infinitely many, and we have found a way to learn them all.”
With thought and desire, time and space, inside and outside, self and other, the stage was set for the expression of infinity. Bound by a common idea, the two beings joined hands and fell into a deep sleep, allowing their layers of awareness to fall away, until their mind became the ocean of all possibility. Beings arose from it in ripples and waves, and as they crashed together in their ignorance, these possibilities took form, and new knowledge was gained by the whole. In time, even the droplets called you and I were born, riding on the wave called our universe.
Except it did not happen like this. There was no beginning. If it happened at all it did so in a timeless instant. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that that it always was, and happens within every moment. But although it can not be described, it can be felt with the core of our being, and its essence can be conveyed through myth to help our conscious mind relate to such highly abstract concepts.
The grand ultimate unity was perfect and unchanging. While infinity existed inside it, it remained in the static state of potential, where conflicting possibilities annihilated each other before ever taking shape. Likewise, without differentiation, there was no context in which these possibilities could be understood. This rendered the omniscience and omnipotence that the grand ultimate unity had over itself completely useless. It was aware of its potential, but frustrated by its inability to express it. In other words: it was bored.
From this boredom sprung insatiable curiosity. It realized that in order to fully express infinity, it must experience not only omniscience but also ignorance, not only omnipotence but also limitation, not only unity but also separation, and indeed, not only infinity but also the immersion in finite existence. It realized that what it desired required a whole new kind of perfection. It required beings capable of growth and adaptation, engaged in a dynamic relationship with their surroundings. Beings perfect in their imperfection, because this gave them the capacity for change.
But to achieve a state of limitation was no easy task for the grand ultimate unity. As the very definition of all that is, it comprised the entirety of existence. Anything it manifested would remain inside it and be endowed with its perfect consciousness. Although it could not erase this awareness, it was able to induce in itself various levels of sleep, until countless sparks of consciousness lit up at different stages of the collective dream, and started having dreams of their own. In this way, not only perception, but also perspective became possible, and true individuality was born.
Ignorant it was, separate it was, alone it was in an uncertain world where change was the only constant. It had forgotten that this was exactly how it wanted things to be, yet individuals retained the distant memory of the bliss that burned in their deepest heart, and longed to know it again. And so multitude longs for unity, and unity longs for multitude. They experience each other.