As Jo’s car travelled through the air towards the oncoming lorry he knew that this was it. He was toast.
Time didn’t slow down for him and there wasn’t a slow motion replay of his life. There wasn’t even time for a banal or irrelevant thought such as about the washing up or penguins.
Just a brief moment of dread.
Less than a second of avalanching high speed metal as it sliced through his body and crushed into his head
No pain. No longer any sense of body. No feelings, no sight, sound, dread.
But still awareness.
‘Hello, goodbye, Jo said a voice.
He no longer had ears or a head yet somehow there were words. And they were familiar. He felt he had heard the voice before, known it was there all along. Like a presence in a dream he had experienced over and over. A dream he only dimly remembered.
He was awake now wasn’t he? He wasn’t dead?
‘You aren’t dead, and you aren’t awake, and you aren’t dreaming’ said the voice. The words just appeared in consciousness. Like sycamore seeds spinning gently down to earth. Again he had a strong sense of déjà vu. Of course, of course! It was comfortingly familiar.
‘Remind me who you are’ he managed.
‘I am you and you are me and we are all together.’
‘A quote from the Beatles?’
‘Yes the Beatles – who are also you and me.’
‘We’re the Beatles?’
‘Yes, and the egg man and the walrus.’ The voice was laughing. ‘We are all things. We’re not separate. There is no ‘you’ and no ‘me’. ’
‘Run that by me again – we are all things….!?’
‘There isn’t a ‘me’ to run it past. Jo doesn’t exist separately and never did.
‘You could have fooled me. It felt like I was alive.’
‘Yes in a sense ‘you’ were fooled by ‘us’. ‘We’ sent Jo and billions of other minute parts into life for a purpose.’
It was coming back now. A blissful sense of being one, and of being nothing at the same time. God how could he have forgotten? He remembered the peace so clearly. A lake so still that the reflections are perfect. You could rotate it upside down and not know the difference. Jo was ceasing to be aware of Jo.
‘So, there’s nothing to worry about?’
‘No’ said the voice. It was smiling now.
‘And the purpose is?’
‘The purpose is, and was, to create. To create beauty out of the void. To do this ‘we’ had to transcend cause and effect. ‘Your’ life was part of that creative process. Here’s how it works: a minute part of the whole ‘volunteered’ to think it was separate. At the point it volunteered it submitted to amnesia and a sperm and an egg joined up and Jo was conceived. So there was an unjoining and a joining up at the same time and everything remained in a sense the same. The lake reflecting perfectly, above and below – it’s all the same. It was also at this point that the minute part began experiencing ‘time‘ as separate from ‘itself’. ‘We’ are actually infinite and eternal – and not separate – and time is just an adjective that is used to deconstruct us and describe us as a process. It is only the minute parts that experience time.’
‘But what was the reason for Jo – and the other minute parts?’
‘This is how something came out of nothing. It is the cumulative effect of billions of minute parts acting in apparent separateness. We send off the minute parts on their voyages into apparent separateness in order to generate the real separateness from nothing that we have achieved in the universe. The minute parts have to believe that they are separate in order to experience ‘free will’ – those infinitesimally small junctures where they can make apparent choices, in time. It is the accumulation of those moments when they actually do transcend the conditions of dependence that has created the universe. Over time there have been an infinite number of them – so although they are infinitesimally small they add up to something – because time itself is infinite – and in a sense ‘our’ construction.
Sorry you had to suffer though, Jo. This is the inevitable result of feeling separate. Everything is actually tranquil and together but the minute parts don’t usually know this. Welcome home Jo. Hello and goodbye.’