I recently had the pleasure and privilege to hear Deepak Chopra speak on wellness. And, also on our own existence here. These were complicated concepts that were pretty far-out, and many of the things he explained so articulately are the hardest for me to recant, but I am going to try! The talk began with a perspective of being within the cosmos, then coming back to us and our existence here. But first, let's look at the universe.
The universe is also comprised of not only "us" and universes like us, but vast space and also black matter. That black matter is unknown, so even the black matter is expanding and will eventually gobble up our own galaxy β and the other ones, too. So, in a nutshell, what the heck is going on here?
Deepak then dived in to the fact that an atom really is like the universe. It is filled with particles (like the universe) that also has its own space between them and something that is 'unknowable.' So inside of ourselves is basically these universes of matter, and atoms, and that really is the same exact thing that is shared by every single thing in the universe. Basically we are interpretations of those atoms β and then that is how the world works. We are all just those atoms in different forms.
Yet how are we actually people? We have our genes, and our DNA, and these basically build upon itself to create what we are. And, we really are like computerized robotsβ filled with impulses and electric currents that are interpreted and acting on their own accord. Our bodies are the hardware, our genes are the software and the impulses and stimuli are basically the senses that we have. So, we're seeing things, hearing things, feeling things, experiencing things, at every moment β while our body is functioning and processing as a computer.
What is this thing that we are experiencing? Or the better question might be, who are we that we are experiencing these things? We are actually the consciousness 'behind' these experiences .... the soul, the spirit that remains constant and lives forever. We are the essence of the universe itself β it is constant and ongoing and never changing. It is 'always.' Yet this consciousness is experiencing itself through senses and thoughts. The things that we are thinking are expressions of our consciousness actually experiencing itself. But we are not the thoughts. We are not what we see. We are not what we hear. We are the place within ourselves β the consciousness.
Once we can realize that we are that, we are aware. We are in unison with the universe and understanding that we are simply a form of it. And the universe - we all are - connected as one. When we can let go of the fears that we have of the unknown - and the key one of that is death itself - then we'd be able to realize that we are always 'going to be here.' Wherever here is....
This doesn't take away the need to have a functioning, healthy body, and Deepak also took us through the pillars of well-being, and how they are all essential to being healthy and well overall. But the real experience is β and that is the key thing here β that our life here is all an 'experience' of our consciousness through senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell) and thoughts. What we see is our perspective of the experiences as well β the universe is having its own perspective of reality ... through us. Each one of us, in fact.
Notice the different images in the photos? How do YOU see them??
It might be hard to grasp, but I do believe it as well. And how do you know where your consciousness is? How do you tap into it? It is the space between the thought and the experience is actually the spirit β the consciousness. Many people can find it in meditation ... or in the state of 'being,' and not thinking or doing or judging or ... The people who are enlightened have understood this principle about consciousness and it being eternal. The more you understand this, the more you realize the JOY of simply being here. Joy is something that we should strive for, and perhaps that is why Buddha always was laughing and joyful.
As Deepak said, happiness is not the same as joy. Happiness is something that you have to work at daily and it's external. For ex: I'm happy because I got this ice cream. I'm happy because I got this award. But joy is different. Joy is from within and can't be from anything external.
If you realize your consciousness will live forever, it is simply in a form at this moment and experiencing itself through this body and senses and thoughts, then perhaps you might feel a little less stressed about .... that deadline, that issue, that person in front of you in traffic. You still want to meet your deadlines, get to where you need to be, but perhaps it will take the edge off. Or not ... but I call this food for thought. And I'm going to serve that up for some more thought myself.