Friendship as a concept says a lot about how we see the world.
For our times of loneliness, it’s a word that indicates there might actually be hope. Hope that feelings of abandonment, isolation and separation could actually be alleviated.
There’s a lot that could be said about alleviating loneliness through friendship. We could talk for days about ways to build relationships and the mechanics of connection.
But, my curiosity about friendship comes from a different angle.
Instead of the idea that friendship is alleviating some kind of disconnection, or fixing expierence of separateness, I want to explore the idea that being separate is just an illusion. What if being alone or an individual wasn’t THE TRUTH, but something more pliable – something that has more to do with our perception than anything else.
It’s a nice idea, right? But the reality is, we can’t see our own separateness. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that we are separate! (OUR BODIES ARE IN DIFFERENT PLACES FOR ONE, RIGHT?. . . HELLO!?).
Just because there’s not a physical, measurable connection of flesh and bone between our bodies, doesn’t mean there’s no connection at all. Maybe what is connecting humans is something like ultraviolet light, or an inaudibly high-pitched sound. Our connection to each other is real and it happens in a medium that’s not measured or readily understood yet.
For now, we have our intuition. We have feelings and we create myths.
I now present a myth that describes our connection in a way that inspires me.
In the beginning there was ONE.
You could call it Spirit, Consciousness, God, Energy, David Bowie, whatever. . . In this story, it’s just a placeholder word.
I always picture ONE as a circle, more or less, floating in nothingness – what we might imagine outer-space being like. ONE is a thinking, feeling, undulating, creating circle of vitality and being.
At some indeterminable moment, ONE decides that it wants to play a game. It creates a game called Time.
Cause and effect immediately rush into being like water after floodgates have been opened. Memory is discovered. The game of Time now allows for rhythm, which in-turn creates the inevitable birth of music.
Before Time there were only 2 ever options for “music”. It was either complete silence in space, or a cacophony of every note on every instrument at every volume always. Now sound has a space to breathe. ONE looked and listened at what inventing Time had enabled, and was filled with joy.
The music carries on for a while, developing polyrhythms, harmonies, reverb, call-and-response, counter-melody and heart-stoppingly-low bass. Certainly it’s enough to delight ONE for eternity. But ONE, always expanding, is curiously looking for a new expierence.
Supposing that there are more games to be played and more fun to be had, ONE makes the boldest move it ever has. . . IT SPLITS ITSELF INTO TWO!
Now two circles appear in the space. The two parts are similar, but different. One we’ll call “male” and the other “female”, a Yin and a Yang, if you will. They each push and pull. They can bump, merge, move, see two different parts of the space at once, and maybe most exciting of all, observe itself from other perspective. This was phenomenal! New possibilities started appearing everywhere.
In the middle of all the shucking and jiving – the male energy, while still remaining itself as separate distinct iteration of Spirit, was enveloped into the female energy.
Engulfed in beauty, the male energy found the space to be thrilling. It was filled with energy, life and possibility. The male energy was able to create magic here.
At that point, a new game was declared. This time, it was a challenge. The male energy said “I bethca I can go create magic outside of how far you can allow it”.
“You’re on!” the feminine energy said with a smile. The masculine energy rushed to the edge of the circle, only to find that the circle was expanding at the same rate. Neck-in-neck, this joyful expansion of magic and space was absolutly thrilling.
Propelled always to growth, the two look at each other with a knowing glance as they catch their breath, and say that thing that they both know the other is thinking. Something along the lines of “Oh my God, this is so fun! We have to have more!”
This was a simple choice. Just like every middle school boy knows, if 2 are good, 4 are even better. So Spirit divided yet again and the result was yet another generation to expierence the music and play that was so enjoyed by Spirit.
Now 4 instances of Spirit, bouncing about, playing, weaving in and out. . . 3 excited, happy little balls of energy enjoying the fullness of what it means to exist.
. . .wait. . . 3? Where’s the 4th?
“Where did you go?!” the others called out to the 4th little Ball of Life. They searched and eventually found him. . .
Lost in the woods, of course. Out exploring, endlessly curious, but glad to be found and reunited with his siblings.
But he missed the part where Spirit went over the guidelines and history of the game.
Our little curious guy looked around and picked up on most of it – and had a blast, I assure you. Yet, in all the joy of the games, he forgot this one important part.
He was part of The One and the point of the games were to explore contrast, team, motion, communication, space, being, joy and magic.
This was the beginning of the corruption: The Great Forgetting.
Spirit, inspired by boundless joy, expansion and expierence continued to multiply. Our wonderfully curious little circle who missed the guidelines, had, just like the others, divided. Yet he didn’t quite share everything about the origin of the game or the reason everyone was playing. On top of that, his teammates didn’t do the best job at recounting the history either.
After all, there was so much to do, so much excitement, it took a lot to focus to share the history, especially when there were so many wonderful things to do.
Generations continued to divide and iterations of Spirit grew exponentially. The origins of the game seemed like just a myth now. It was so long ago when the ONE decided to play a game for joy.
The Great Forgetting grew.
This, more-or-less, catches us up to present day. Yes, I skipped over the invention of the telephone, lucky rabbits feet and NASCAR, don’t let it trip you up.
Today, the games are more complicated than ever. Understand Credit Default Swaps, Find the best OLED Digital TV’s, fix a broken fuel-injection systems and worst of all, avoid gluten at all costs. And, we’re playing more of them simultaneously than most of us want to. You know what the worst part is, though? We’ve completely forgotten they are games at all! We are damned sure, beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt, in fact, that it’s all real!
But it’s not real. We live in the ages of The Great Forgetting. We have forgotten that our purpose is to explore with the Joie de vivre, the games that we find intriguing. We think that to lose the games is to lose our life.
The truth is that our life is never really lost. Our life is hidden in the ONE. What happens with this instance of Spirit that we call an individual loses the game?
Not much, it just goes back to ONE. It’s just another iteration of the ONE – here for a short time to play some games and expierence every crazy thing that we can before we return back to Spirit.