Once upon a Timeless


[Another poetic shot at Big History, the story of the universe, from a a spiritual perspective that owes a lot to Alan Watts’ reading of Vedanta, especially in his The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. Tat tvam asi: Thou art that/IT. Took the shot on the south coast north of Bawley Point.]

Once upon a Timeless
– i.m. Alan Watts (1915-73)

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a timeless
there was no-thing that was every-thing
& nothing & that was silence meditating.
It’s what silence does. Let’s call it IT.

IT, just for the hell of it, decided to play
hide-and-seek with Itself. So IT took a deep breath,
contracted its immeasurable immensity
into a pinpoint & big-banged itself
into a great big fire, pure energy
that was hot enough to singe God’s eyebrows
(more about God later).

This energy was so hot there was no
firm anything, no matter or space, no outlines
of anything at all, just a big boiling hot soup
of potential, a hellish cauldron of possibilities
(spoiler: such as you and I and Joe Bloggs).

Gradually (for Time had suddenly come into
the game too), this cauldron started cooling.
As it did so the first differences, the first bubbly
sort of things appeared, tiny swirls of something
playing hide-and-seek, flitting in & out
of being & not-being, wave & particle
in whispy clouds of pure potential.

With further cooling these clouds condensed
into the first things we call atoms, itsy bitsy
somethings consisting mainly of nothing or space,
& thus did IT split itself into a relationship
of creative tension between two differences,
a positive & negative, a cloud of No dancing
around a kernel of Yes.

This was tension that henceforth kept the whole
game of hide-and-seek going, the rest fine & filigree
variations on this basic dual theme: yes-no,
light-dark, heaven-hell, god-devil, good-bad,
joy-sorrow, before-after, either-or & both-and.

Soonish, & at ever faster pace, IT all condensed
more & more & more into the great infinite panoply
of the Ten Thousand Things: into stars & galaxies
& planets, into cells & slime moulds & sharks & trees
& birds & biospheres, into you & me & Joe Bloggs,
ape-man & post-moderns scratching screens.

Thus did IT dually dance itself into the big three
waltzing waves (1-2-3, 1-2-3) of matter, life & mind.

At which point IT looked back at itself. However,
as long as IT looked with its clever eyes & mind,
IT saw only an infinite regression of fairground mirrors
of cause-and-effect-and-cause, mirror-within-mirror
for ever, for the seeking fed the hiding which increased
the seeking in an eternal vicious circle of desperation.

Yet this was all part of the whole great game too,
part of the great pretending, the divine comedy
of peekaboo IT was playing with itself: how long
could IT pretend to seek outside itself & not know
who IT really was

how long could it keep up the dramatic suspense,
the delicious whodunnit thrill of losing itself
in its myriad forms & masks, of undertaking
so many arduous quests for redemption,
enlightenment, for reconciliation with itself

how long could it play out the wandering maze
of human history as a never-ending series of substitutes
for realization like power & monuments & status
& material possessions & perfect bodies & orgasms
& fame & followers & space travel & artificial
unintelligence & works of art & God

& questions like this?

~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on February 8, 2017.

3 Responses to “Once upon a Timeless”

  1. “a never-ending series of substitutes for realization…”
    how long indeed…

  2. oooo…i like that…

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