The wise say it never begins and it never ends; there are openings and closings, but, ultimately, it all just goes round and round. In the case of Christianity, God created the world, and, thus, we have a beginning. However, then I must ask, who created God, and when? And, if He has always been and always will be, then don’t we once again have no beginning and no end? History, then, is only a specified point in infinity that we call now, the present, the last 5,000 years or so. Similarly, science has given us an approximate beginning called the Big Bang, a beginning dated approximately 14 billion years ago – the time frame is difficult for our human minds to comprehend. Still, I ask, what was present before the Big Bang? Nothing, you say? Well, imagine nothing – this is another concept our minds have a difficulty in understanding; show me nothing and I will show you something.
It’s the same with the human life; it is incredibly difficult to say when our lives did, in fact, begin. Was it the moment of conception? The moment the doctor slapped us on the bottom? Or was it the moment our parents first fell in love? Well, all of those instances are dependent on previous instances dating further and further back, our parents’ parents, so on and so forth; and we can trace that back to Moses, and Adam and Eve, and God and the Big Bang. (I am borrowing this argument from Alan Watts; it is, however, the argument I have always had in my heart.) Additionally, this makes me wonder what characteristic of ours is most inherently human.
Maybe, it’s not about where life begins and where it ends, but where we wake up and decide upon who we are; a realization, one where we know that what we do and what happens to us is the same thing, and that our decisions aren’t really ours at all; a realization that allows us to see the forest and the trees, knowing that they are one and the same thing.
If, however, it is all a singular process multiplying and dividing, proliferating, then what is the point of meditation, or striving to be something, or to have a certain something other than ourselves? Why should we, and do we, care about having, doing or being anything at all?
The answer is, our desires, our struggles and individual stories, are the trees. Who we are is not skin and bones with a cherry on top, but the unfolding of a story. It is only when we transcend our desires, submitting to who we are, do we then have the power to change anything. Once we have submitted, we can dive into the depths of our desires, penetrating, and permeating ourselves, our desires, and the world itself, with pure consciousness. We are born into death, and every moment has its own beginning, middle and end.