I get into these spaces where I feel driven, pushed to perform, in a relatively relaxed kind of way.  I pace myself.  I exercise, meditate, eat pretty well and pay attention to my body to some degree to make sure I can continue to perform.  I push.

With time I’ve grown accustomed to my rhythms as I have to what my body won’t digest and so get good results from the time that I am awake each day.  There is fear that acts as motivator.  There is also a sense that I am a mere moment, inches away from union, from significant understanding.

For example, I go through stages where I won’t watch movies while I exercise.  I don’t want to waste time on entertainment when I could be learning, absorbing, getting clues to the way the world works.  I watch academic lectures on DVD instead.

I crave connection and so continually explore my world for evidence of connections I can’t see.

My tendency to be aware of the boundaries between life and death has been enhanced by my having become aware that I have a brain aneurysm and by the possible surgery for the brain aneurysm.  It feels like spring has twice the spring this year. The summer feels blessed.  Were there really twice as many dandelions or is it my imagination?

My tendency to take things very seriously, which includes finding humor in what I see, feels enhanced by acute awareness of life being temporary.

Several things.

I pay attention to what I’m thinking.  If I’m scaring myself regarding the aneurysm, I shift myself to what I see, moving to an appreciation frame of reference.  I additionally sometimes try to shift to a sense other than visual, to hearing and feeling, and vacuum in some appreciation through alternative sense channels.

I’m making believe that humans are the earth’s appreciation/gratitude species, created to take in what’s been created and experience the miracle of being.  I’m trying to do my job.  I’m telling myself that if I do my job well, dying will be less frightening.  I can retire knowing I did good.

When I was a little kid, I connected the ongoing terror in my life to the eventual end of my life, concluding that death was terrifying.  Ever since then I have been trying to make sense of life and death.  I believe that if I can make sense of life and death, I’ll feel less terrified.

So, life has been one long experiment where I am trying out different thoughts and beliefs, comparing them, experiencing what feels consoling or confidence-building, checking for incongruities, looking for the real behind the fear.

Something that’s crossed my mind a couple times lately is that there is no such thing as death.  There is no polarity of life and nonlife.  There is only identity shift.  Experience is characterized by a constant fluctuation of identity.  There are scales of identity like a hundred thousand melodies managing to intermingle in ways that new melodies are made, some manifesting unfathomable harmonies composed of an almost infinite number of different melodies and harmonies.  We can identify with a single melodic thread, a deeper harmony or the whole production.

What am I without my life, my experiences, expectations, ruminations?  I’m not exactly sure.  But I’m more than I was a moment ago.  By asking the question and considering the answer, I shift scales.

No doubt that is one of the things, if not the thing, I find so fascinating and nurturing about studying multiscale evolution.  I love exploring the similarities between the transformation dynamics operating at the biological, social, ontogenetic and personal scales.  I shift identity while I explore.  I feel less fear.  I dissociate.  I also associate or identify with consciousness at another level.

So much of my life is driven by my seeking a place where I can feel comfortable with death.  Understanding that there is no death may be the way I finally feel peace.


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