The Sea of I

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Braak
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“As above, so below,” is a thing they said in olden times, and what this does not mean is that the stars control our destinies, nor that small actions taken here can have some vast cosmic impact out there (up above). What it does mean is that the laws that govern stars are the same laws that govern planets, and the laws that govern planets are the same laws that govern cities, and those same laws govern the lives of men and women, and down and down and down, a tower of turtles extending (or descending) through the cosmos.

Call it the Cosmos through which this tower descends, and call the Cosmos the largest thing—the macro scale, the Above. The Cosmos is the Thing That Includes Itself, and so it is by definition the largest thing conceivable, though its scale is by definition inconceivable. A person can imagine something of great size, but whatever is imagined must still be within the Cosmos, and therefore the Cosmos is bigger. The scale of the Cosmos is always just beyond the reach of imagination, because the scale of the Cosmos is not by nature its size, but by nature the fact of its including.

The Cosmos stretches downwards, too, down through bodies and chemistry and molecules and atoms, down past quarks and gluons and the Higgs-Boson. Down into the realm of Thought.

Thought occupies no space. It has no mass. There can be no further within than the within of the mind.

But thought does have mass, and it does occupy space. Within its realm, it is governed by the same laws that govern stars: thoughts have shape and form, they are subject to gravity and inertia. They can be dense or rarified, heated. They can expand, collide, collapse, just the way any astral body does.

Imagine that you are standing on a planet of your mind. Look up and see your thoughts in orbit around you: great, powerful thoughts that move through the houses of your Zodiac. The religion of your father. The culture of your mother. Your need for love. Your fear of the dark. There are smaller thoughts as well, like meteors or comets or satellites transecting the orbits of these great thoughts. Sometimes they pass through with little change. Sometimes they are caught in the orbit of these greater stellar bodies and they remain.

What is the most powerful of these thoughts?

The laws Above tell us that gravity comes from density, that mass curves space and that the less space this mass occupies, the more radically that space is curved. What then, is the most dense of our thoughts?

What is the smallest?


The shortest sentence in the English language. Full of meaning, yes. Dense. Go smaller.

One small word, but this is an article. Meaningless without another word attached to it.


There. The smallest word with independent meaning, and so much meaning. So dense, so powerful, the gravity of I is inescapable. This is the power of the Singularity.

Look up and see it in the sky, burning like the sun, an idea of immense power which draws all other ideas to it, which swallows other ideas so wholly that they leave no mark upon its surface. Look at I, looking down on you.

It is powerful. If you look for God inwards, then this is what you will find, and like ancient pagans who mistook the Sun for their deity, so to will you mistake. I is bright and strong, but it is infinitely small.

You see I looking down on you, and you wonder how it is that an idea of such power, such gravity, could be in orbit around you. And then you realize that it is not in orbit around you, anymore than the sun is in orbit around the earth. You are in orbit around I.

Stand in I, look out from the center. See the myriad thoughts that compose you, nestled in the heart of their crystal sphere. Now realize all those other stars are not your own thoughts. They are other I ‘s, all with their own planets, their own moons, their own satellites. See the edge of your own system, and realize there is no barrier, just an expanse of space through which these thoughts can sometimes move, slung from the orbit of an I and through your own.

Look at your system. You are not a single planet after all, but the conjunction of planets, each moving in and out of reach of each other, all in orbit around this infinitely large and infinitely small singularity.

Your thoughts are drawn from you and to you, disrupted or shepherded along the way by ten trillion billion other I ‘s. They are drawn away from you by the infinite space around you. That is human life: a conjunction of ideas, suspended between the Singularity and the Entirety. Some lean closer, some pull away.

The Entirety, the Cosmos, is full of stars, of nebulae, of great trails of interstellar hydrogen, of quasars and pulsars and every strangeness imaginable. Some of these are fearful to us, now that we can see ourselves more clearly. Now that we know that those stars are not tiny bits of light in orbit around us, but vast engines of fire capable of destroying us. The I teaches us self, and therefore teaches us fear. From the I we can see that there is no demarcation of our conjunctions, only line upon line of increasing orbits. There is nothing protecting us from those foreign stars, no barrier, only distance.

The Cosmos is full almost. There is one place in which it’s empty: the very center, where the universe began. The wave-front of time and space and gravity, of fire and matter, expands out like an enormous shell, that grows as it travels outwards. Distance expands, space and time expand, but the center is left empty.

Go there now, to that center. The Empty Space that is the heart of the Cosmos. Look out at the stars. See them spread around you like a river of milk, conjunctions of ideas forming, dissolving, reforming. Thoughts careening across incomprehensible distances to move from the orbit of one Singularity to the next. Some collapse and are destroyed. Some expand and are destroyed. But from here, they are one river. Here at the center, see the Cosmos include even destruction. Here, the great distance between the stars, that keeps each I so separate, is small.

Stand in the empty center. Look at the river of stars, the sea of I.

Which one is you?

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