I was both born and met my death on April 20, 1970. It also happened on March 25, 1944 when I separated from my mother’s body. It is happening again in this very moment.
Our universe is energy, in no way fixed, an endless, glorious play of energy.
None of the universe’s energy is created or destroyed. It simply changes. That is the first law of thermodynamics. All energy is conserved.
Physicists have measured the conservation of energy. It is absolutely consistent across all space and time.
So, along with everything else, what I think of as “me” disappears and is reborn in every instant. The waves of energy that appeared as “me” when I typed “in every instant” have already changed shape and direction.
Mostly, we notice only the dramatic changes. Perhaps for a moment we feel the beauty of a flower. But we do not recognize that our mind-body is always changing.
All the energy that manifested as “me” when I landed in New York forty five years ago remains in this world even though much of it is no longer part of “me”. Every wave of energy that encountered “me” changed “me”. The path of every wave that met “me” was changed by the encounter.
How to sense this fundamental truth? I think of the weather.
The entire weather system is interconnected. It has no fixed borders yet it is different everywhere and always changing. The sun is rising in a clear sky above Brunswick Maine this morning. Yesterday at this time it was gray, windy and raining. Rain is falling in other places right now.
Tiny actions like the flap of a butterfly’s wing engage with powerful winds that arise seasonally as the positions of the Earth and Sun change. So many factors change the flow of energy that we experience as weather.
We humans manifest in the same way as weather, all different, all part of the same system, not remaining exactly the same even for a moment. And, like the butterfly drying its wings, our every action changes the entire energy flow.
Perhaps some of the energy that now creates the appearance of “me” will later join other waves of energy in a summer monsoon to nourish rice in India. Perhaps a grandchild of a child waking up now in Brunswick, Maine will enjoy some of that rice. The play of energy makes anything and everything possible.
Our intellect can’t quite understand how our “self” can be imaginary yet cognizant, imaginary but able to choose how it nudges the energy in which it appears. I’ve learned not to worry about that.
Intellect is what gives us the opportunity to deploy our kindness intelligently. Becoming better able to do that is my birthday wish.