#42 (><), The Lazy Eight Or Infinity Symbol

Humans have been aware of the concept of infinity for centuries the endless cycling that we see in nature points to it, but our human conceptualization of the reality has a difficult time integrating the idea into meaningful decision-making and building a better relationship with our selves, one another, the planet and our micro-climate. Granted, if we push the envelope of time out far enough, we will be within the corona of the sun as it explodes, so what we do “here” in our place and time has virtually nothing to do with what goes on later, but on the other hand, the decisions that we make today carry a legacy that will last tens of thousands of generations, whether we can conceive of that time scale or not.

As we learn daily from our computers, if we only collect shit, then cram it into our storage systems, nothing can ever come out of our filing system that even remotely resembles a rose or the unfolding lotus blossom. As we  make our world, we seem destined to give “meaning” to even the most trivial and passing fact, often times disregarding the truth of the world around us and the longevity of our actions in the grand scheme of infinite time. I do not know how the idea got started, but I have heard some born-again Christians claim that the infinity symbol itself is of the devil. Perhaps the concept of infinity is too challenging for their world view, perhaps they were just spouting out b.s. that they had been saddled with by their religious leaders. I do not know.

One thing that I have seen is that as we make choices in life about what truths we will allow to govern our thoughts and action, most of us almost immediately begin to ossify around certain core beliefs. We seem to be meaning-making machines and we have a very difficult time training our minds to be anything else. I had an epiphany the other day that led me to ask a core question, why an I here? Well, at that moment, I was able to let down my guard and re-vamp many of my previously held beliefs about what I consider “important”, who I might consider friends, how I might better fit into the world around me and the relative value of many of the core beliefs about how and why I interact with the world around me.

I do not know if people around me were able to discern that I was, in fact, a new person or not, but for my own part in the process, I had become different enough that for a time I did not recognize myself. My thoughts and actions were unlike me and I felt the need to mediate between the person that I thought I was and the new me that was sitting there having a cup of coffee. About the same time, I had a powerful deja vu. I felt, in very real terms that a friend had entered the building through the back door, walked up behind me and placed their hand upon my back, then another hand.

The feeling was so real that I became a little disoriented. I seriously wondered if I could trust my kinesthetic awareness or if it was just a capricious misfiring of my nervous system. oddly, it was a mismatch of my own time signature and that of the world. About a half-hour later, a friend came in, through the front door and when she passed, she put a hand on each of my shoulders and invited me to come see her sometime. I cannot say why this was important, but the infinite reality that we inhabit allows us to see the other side some times, cross in the middle sometimes and spiral around missing the point some times as well. The cycling of the cosmos surely happens just as the cycling of nutrient, water and the very air around us. Whether we want to accept it or not, we are part of an eternal process that has given rise to our kind in this place. A vital first step to gaining perspective and finding our way forward into infinite time is making peace with the fact that our possibilities are as infinite as the universe that we inhabit. We are but a microcosm of the world around us and as such reflect eternal truths as well. The longer we live, and continue to look out upon space and time, the more that will be revealed. we just have to be careful not to categorize what we see around us too quickly, or force it to make sense in ways that we have become comfortable with. Instead we need to practice circling around each “reality” that seems to present itself, look at it from a variety of perspectives, see where the lines of intersection exist, if there are any and take time to get the best picture of how it fits with our reality before classifying it and misfiling it in our brains for future use.

I cannot guess what the future will bring and the only reason I study the past is to try to understand what people were thinking back then. the moments that I have are now and what I do with them will determine what happens next. If that concept is too difficult to make peace with, the concept of infinity is moot anyway and perhaps what it represents is evil. Asking some to consider their responsibility in the grand scheme of things seems to have become tantamount to throwing down the gauntlet over their world view. Oddly, those who think about these issues the most seem to all come down on the same page. We only have this moment, but if we use it well, we can tap into the infinite almost at will. In what we do with each and every moment that we have been given lie the seeds of the eternal. The infinite and temporal are woven into a brilliant tapestry that we can only see if we travel through the moment into the infinite. as confusing as that may sound to many, those who have been there will know that the fastest way back to this “reality” is to think about it. Perhaps the infinite is the same way.


About otherfishwrap

One of the last of the Baby Boomers, I remember where I was when JFK was shot. Good story. Born during the Cuban Missile Crisis, my life has been spent studying, practicing skills and attitudes that reflect justice and the sanctity of Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Spirit. Trained as an educator, my life has been devoted to cultural development and social justice.
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