“… [L]ife is like a current passing from germ to germ through the medium of a developed organism.“—Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
Imagine for just a moment if someone somehow managed to take a photo of you once a week from the moment of your conception to the moment of your passing!
That first photo would be of a single celled fertilized egg, then a week later it would consist of hundreds of thousands of cells, and a week after that countless more, running eventually into the millions and then billions.
I’m talking time-lapse photography here, and were it possible the film of your life running at a standard 24 frames per second would last approximately two minutes and forty seconds. That’s roughly two seconds per year for let’s say eighty years, 160 seconds and then you’re done!
Starting from that infinitesimal egg you would grow to birth size in less than two seconds and continue expanding through the next forty to fifty. Big changes marking sexual maturity would occur somewhere around thirty seconds and it’s safe to say you would have fully bloomed close to a minute into the film. After that there would be a gradual change, an aging and slow shrinkage for up to another minute, and then an increasingly rapid withering, a sort of receding or drawing back within over the final forty seconds. And then the process would stop.
And that would be it, the arc of your life in two minutes and forty seconds!
Amazing to think about, isn’t it?
Is that all, you might be tempted to say?
Well, no, actually.
Because it could not be understood without grasping where that original fertilized egg of you came from. Because in reality it came from a union of two other life arcs around one minute or so into their films. And then they in turn came from a coming together of yet two more life arcs a minute before that.
And that process, that flow, goes back…. well, when you really get down to it, some 4.5 billion years here on planet earth!
Think of it, watching such an extended time-lapse film for just one hour before you arrive on the scene and strut your moment upon the stage stretches back about 1800 years. That’s about 72 generations of overlapping life arcs.
Now here’s the thing. What is the ‘meaning’ of any one of those life arcs? What does an accomplishment of any one of those life arcs ‘mean?’
Folks, we’re at the profoundest level of Life here, if we can move past our narrow focus on any one of those life arcs, even our own!, and imagine the Flow that is Passing Through them. The Great Passing Through as I’ve called it.
And then, if we could but look out upon the world and instead of flowers, trees and grasses and shrubs, animals, birds and insects, see life arcs of various lengths all flowing through too!
Then we would know Brahman as the Hindu mythology taught, the totality of all arcs and passing throughs, and Atman, the current of our own.
…Life, the totality of all the Passing Throughs, is ALL there is!