I've been seeing all these posts on Tumblr about how we are made of the same stuff the universe is made of. Basically, they seem like they're supposed to make you feel special because you're made of stars and that seems pretty magical. It's like, "Wow, I'm made of stars. Me and the universe are the same. I'm important and I sparkle." That's how it seemed to me at first and it seemed like a weird way to make people feel important in the world, which is cool and great if it makes someone feel special, but I just didn't get it. It made a little bit of sense to say that matter is never destroyed or created so all the matter in the universe is what made us but that's still difficult to grasp. I'm clearly human and made of skin and bones and muscle and fat while the universe is made of planets and giant balls of fire and black holes and gasses and light or who even knows what. So how could I have anything in common with the universe? How can you compare one single human being to the entirety of the INFINITE UNIVERSE? It's just a crazy comparison to make that really boggles my mind.
Then one day, I found a guided meditation on after searching through at least 5 before I found one without distracting background sounds and with a voice that didn't annoy me. I really like meditating and I try to do it as often as I can because it helps me calm my anxiety and release a lot of tension, plus it helps me sleep a lot easier and better. This one started out fairly normal with some breathing direction. A big part of it was imagining a small ball rolling along your body and massaging away any tension or pain which was different but I liked it. The thing about meditation that I really love is that I become so aware of my entire body all at once that I can't really even differentiate between a feeling in my foot and a feeling in my arm. I'll lay there with a hand resting across my stomach and go to adjust it and be utterly confused at the feeling on the skin of my stomach because I know that I just felt my hand move across my stomach, yet I can't even tell where my stomach is or where I felt it. It's the craziest thing. I feel like I become part of wherever I am. It's almost as if I'm actually a part of my bed and my bedroom and my blankets and my pillow (because I always meditate in bed before I go to sleep).
I don't remember exactly at what point the meditation took a turn and I don't even remember how long it was. It could've been ten minutes, but it also could've been an hour. I ended up falling asleep before I finished it (which usually happens) so I don't even know how long I meditated for. Eventually, though, the voice started telling me to picture the universe. It said to picture my ceiling opening up to reveal the night sky with the moon and all the stars and imagine that I am up there. Picturing the universe is like, well it's basically just trying to picture the universe. There's nothing you can compare it to because it's insane. How do you picture the universe? It goes on forever, it's full of stuff that we'll never see or even know exists. But I pictured the universe anyway. It told me to imagine I'm traveling through the universe, going through the stars, passing galaxies and planets and suns. This is pretty weird to do when your only idea of what the universe looks like is from looking at the sky at night and seeing movies set in space. My imagination totally took over and I felt like I was really out in space and exploring parts of the universe and existence that I could never possibly see.
The thing that makes meditation so crazy to me is that it's kind of like dreaming. That's the best way I can describe it. I lay there with my eyes closed and my brain and my imagination take over my visuals because all I'm looking at is the darkness of the back of my eyelids while I'm thinking about my the expanding and contracting of my lungs or the blood pumping from my heart through my body or traveling through the universe. So I see everything vividly like in a dream and it feels completely real. I get to see these wonderful things and it's the sort of stuff you see in dreams that seems really crazy and you can't explain it and you know it's not possible, except you're awake and just in a really calmed state of consciousness. It's like the voice guiding the meditation tells me what to think about, I think about it, and my brain just shows it to me. It's almost like a lucid dream. I know it's not real and that I'm really laying in bed and that what I'm seeing is not at all true, yet it's real to me and I can interact with it however I want.
If you think about it, it is real. Just because it's not what's in front of you when your eyes are open, doesn't have to mean it's not real. Or just because someone else can't see the same thing, doesn't mean it's not real. Your whole life and your whole reality is basically just what you sense. Whatever you see and feel is your experience within the universe. If you see something different or from a different perspective as someone else, it doesn't mean that one of you is wrong. Neither of you are seeing the "real" thing and neither of you are seeing something that isn't "real." Whatever you see or feel is real even if it doesn't exist to someone else. The way I see it, your perception is your reality and everyone has a different perception, so everyone has a different reality. We all live within one same universe but we also all live within our own universes (which I guess is basically just your life) with our own ideas and perceptions of the universe, if that makes any sense at all. Every person has a unique perception and reality, and everyone's realities (lives) collide with each other and overlap in certain places, yet no two people could ever possibly have the same reality or the same life.
Okay, back to the guided meditation that led me to all this. So I was seeing the universe, right? And let me just be clear that no matter how far fetched and crazy this might sound, I was not on drugs at the time of this meditation and I am not on drugs as I am writing this, I promise. I've never done psychedelics or anything that would alter my state of mind to make me think I am in outer space. Meditation is just crazy stuff. Anyway, so I was seeing the universe for the first time ever from somewhere other than the ground on planet Earth. That's insane already because it's totally not possible for me to do that, yet my brain and my eyes were totally convinced that I was. At the same time, I was in a completely calmed state of mind, aware of my entire body. I was equally aware of my big toe touching my next toe as I was of my chest rising and falling or my head resting on my pillow. All of a sudden, the voice in the meditation tells me to picture that I am the universe. It says to picture that I am no longer a human in a body, but rather that I am the infinite universe. You don't have to tell me how crazy that sounds. Just become the universe, just picture that you are the ever-expanding, infinite universe and all it's galaxies and black holes and who knows what else is out there millions and billions of light years away. So I did. Because in that meditative, totally calmed and open state of mind, it didn't seem like an outrageous request. Just become the universe. Okay, if you say so.
Obviously, I am a human. I am not the entire universe. I am a very small human on a very small planet in a small solar system in a small galaxy in the gigantic, never ending universe. Yet somehow, as I pictured the universe and I pictured that I was the universe, it was almost like my body floated away. I was no longer aware of the feeling of my toes touching or my chest rising and falling or my head on my pillow. I felt like I went on forever and I had no real form or shape. I felt literally nothing at all. I pictured that I was the universe and I expanded in every direction and I went on forever and ever and ever. So this is what I saw. My eyes were closed but as I thought about it and pictured it, my brain easily provided my visuals and made it real, creating this new reality right in front of me and all around me, except there was really no "me." I wasn't just picturing it, I was seeing it. My reality became the universe. I had no sense of my life or my body or any other thoughts or feelings. Everything I ever knew or felt just kind of floated away and I forgot that it had ever existed to begin with.
Eventually, I fell asleep before the end of the meditation. Then I woke up in the morning thinking, "I became the universe. I am the universe," and was definitely aware of how outrageous that seemed. I woke up with a totally different perspective about the world and the more I thought about it, the more it started to make sense until just now, when I could finally put it in words (sort of). Even just writing about and trying to picture what I saw and felt is almost like experiencing it again. Almost. It's mind blowing to even think about it and to see my whole world and my whole reality in a totally different perspective. Right now, I'm in my bed with my laptop on my thighs. I have a knitted blanket around my shoulders and even though I'm looking at my laptop screen and can feel my fingers typing on the keyboard, I can see the walls of my room, the orange sheets underneath me and the light coming from the desk lamp on my dresser. This is my reality at the moment. For all I know, the entire universe might not even exist outside of the confines of the room I am currently in. But as soon as I walk out the door to the kitchen or leave the apartment to take a walk, my reality will expand to those places. Everywhere I go and everything I experience expands my reality to another place or another point of view. While our universe is supposedly expanding, so are each of our realities and there's never any possible endpoint.