Cosmic Puzzle- By Sean Lanning
Recently, I was trying to meditate. And in classic fashion, I started thinking. I was thinking about all of these ancient yogic breathing techniques and how some of them are really, well, lets be honest, pretty silly. It dawned on me that they're simply a natural result of thousands of years trying to focus on nothing but breathing.
Given eons you might evolve some slightly wacky ways to try thinking about just breathing to paradoxically induce a state of not thinking at all. Scrolling through all the styles that I've learned, (Inhale RED-exhale BLUE, breath of fire, alternating nostril, hyperventilating and fainting, etc) I eventually just came up with my own. I thought, “What must it feel like to be a lung?” Aware of only edges, expanding and contracting, over and over, magically converting a mostly nitrogen heart-fuel elixir from the sky into a carbony plantfood lungjunk in a divine instant. I didn't know it then, but "Becoming a Lung" was gonna give me a mind-blowing insight into our place in the cosmos.
"Being a lung" is a state of being, easy to get your head around. It's a state of being defined only by noticing its own edges, which are either concave and wrinkly or stretched out smooth. Full or Empty. You can feel it. Taking in life or giving it out. Back or forth. Alpha or Omega, over and over. No more. No less (as far as the ignorant little lungs know).
Are we really all that different from the organs in our body? Each self-orchestrating a symphony of life that is you, an unknowing priceless part of the whole?
And that's when insight dragged me right down the rabbit hole and into the cosmos. We are all just a piece in the puzzle! But we don't know we're in a puzzle. We can't see the puzzle. We're just a flat chunk of paperishness. We probably don't know what a puzzle even is, let alone what the final picture is gonna look like.
What does "look" even mean?! What does "picture" mean? What does "final" mean? What does "I" mean? We don't even have the dimensions to understand what you are or what I am or what is around us, or how big it is, (or how small!)
We can't see where we are or where we came from or where we're going. All we can do is feel with our inside and with our edges. The only sense we have is where "You" end, and the rest begins, and we can't see it, even if we could we probably wouldn't even notice. We can only feel.
Think about it. Can't you can feel when your edge is up against the edge of another piece? Up against the edge of the whole, or up against the edge of nothing, which is also just as much something as you? Without the nothing, there would be no edge to feel.
But with those edges you can feel. You can feel whether or not you fit. That's all. You can try to look and measure and analyze and chart and graph and document and compare WHY you don't fit. But the answer never comes, the equation never totally balances because there is no why, nor does it even matter. All that matters is whether or not you fit. Whether or not this is your place, your spot, your space.
Because you don't belong over there, or over here, regardless of what you think is good for you or where it looks nice or smells nice or seems nice to be that piece over there. You are just a flat chunk of paperishness, you don't have a clue! And even if you did, you wouldn't understand. You're just a piece. The same as all the rest, yet totally different. You're meant to be separate, until you fit.
But, each piece is completely unique, and without even one of us, the puzzle is incomplete, it is not whole, even though it is never NOT whole. Whatever that means. But when you get out of trying to think about it and just feel it, you KNOW it. There's no hesitation, there's no questioning, it's a flash of perfection, bliss and calm freedom. True North. This is where you fit, it's where you belong, and it doesn't matter what you thought it would or should look like, this is it, right where you are, right now.
You've arrived home, and from this place your are not flat. You gain infinite depth and from up high and very low and all points between you can see. Now you can see what you've only touched the edge of before.
The full picture comes to life, to fruition, to display with all its masterful glory the plan that once seemed infinite chaos to the lonely flat chunk of paperishness, the return to unity, to singularity.
Now, all that's left is to break it all up, piece by piece, put them all back in the box, (or frame it over a toilet) dump a new one out on the table and start all over. With a Big Bang, of course. Isn't that where all of these puzzle pieces were created in the first place?!
There is something about space. Distance. Wild changes in perspective. That makes this all make sense.
“From the moon, the Earth is so small and so fragile, and such a precious little spot in that Universe, that you can block it out with your thumb. Then you realize that on that spot, that little blue and white thing, is everything that means anything to you — all of history and music and poetry and art and death and birth and love, tears, joy, games, all of it right there on that little spot that you can cover with your thumb. And you realize from that perspective that you’ve changed forever, that there is something new there, that the relationship is no longer what it was.” - Rusty Schweikart
-Astronaut Rusty Schweikart, on Apollo 9, was the first man to step outside the Lunar Module into space to test the protective space suits that would one day allow man to walk on the moon. He had a moment to just stare back at tiny Earth and the rest of the Universe. He didn't know what he was seeing when he was looking back at all of us, but he could feel it, deeply he felt his connection to the Whole. He felt the shift, the importance of humanity separating from the Mother Earth, only to look back and see that we aren't separate at all.
We can shift that perspective too. Let go of trying to get it "Right" and feel your way into where you fit. We are all a piece in the puzzle, but if we step back, way back, and look INSIDE, we can see the beauty, the Whole and remember that there is more to life than bumping against edges. We can remember that we are a part of something much greater than ourselves. By going inside, we remember that we ARE not alone at all and much greater than what we think of our our Self.