That moment of completion, when it has all come to an end, is here. I set my pen down, take a deep breath and let the weight of the occasion sink in. Sixteen years of reading what others tell me to read, writing about what they want me to write and filling my brain with information I can then regurgitate back to them are finally over.
I let my gaze fall on the page before me to land on the very last word of my undergraduate degree—the last word I figure I will ever write for my ‘formal’ education. The summarizing paragraph I have written to emphasize my final point ends with the word ‘exists.’ I have not intentionally chosen it, the essay has simply unfolded towards this natural conclusion.
I sit back and realize that it is not just another ending to one more essay; this culminating word marks the farewell to one chapter of my life and an entrance into the unknown beyond. It is the word that signals the lights to come on in the theatre as dramatic music plays,
This pivotal point is now forever tied, for me, to a heavily laden word that beckons me to step back from the immediate and gain a greater perspective, to ponder the depths of existence itself.
As I stare at the page, I decide to—right here and now—heed the call and take the plunge down the rabbit hole.
Conducting the expected final revision of my essay will simply have to wait.
Life from the inside
Realizing that I exist sends shockwaves through my bones. It is an unfathomable idea that defies comprehension. I am an ‘I,’ a thing that experiences life from the inside. This is the substance of who I am. And I am aware of it.
It is not I myself who has caused me into being. Someone else has determined what an ‘I’ is and has given me a specific one of them to be.
The concepts of physical feelings, emotional states, intellectual thoughts and self-awareness have all been invented and then put inside me. And somehow, I inhabit this particular internal world that I have been given.
When my body is struck by a physical sensation, it is this ‘I’ who bears the consequence of that feeling. This ‘I’ has the ability to experience its own encounters with the euphoria of success and the despair of failure, the rapture of love and the despondency of rejection.
I can reflect on my own existence and come to conclusions and convictions about it that influence how it plays out.
Yet, if I constrict my focus to my own internal life, my vision becomes distorted; I disproportionately magnify my own importance. There are a multitude of other ‘
We all have our own individualized internal worlds, and none of us can inhabit another’s. We can only meet in the external world and relate our internal workings to each other there. It is only with our imaginations that we can attempt to understand what goes on inside another ‘I.’
We have all been dropped into this common external world and have our own role in an unfolding Story—a Story so much larger than any single ‘I’s’ experiences.
And if this is so, there must be a Someone whose Story it is—Someone big enough to pull together all of these individual ‘I’s’ stories of existence into a cohesive whole.
This Someone has to be magnificent to have created such depth within each individual story and every internal world, and such a rich setting in which all the drama plays out. The ultimate Storyteller has left His mark on it all, a touch that reflects His internal world.
It is this seeing the Storyteller in the unfolding Story that is the true sweetness of existence. It is where my experience of the external world comes to dwell inside me and is shared there with the Storyteller. When I meet Him there, on the inside, I can start to understand the true meaning of the Story.
It is an understanding that happens not with words, thoughts or feelings. It is a kind of knowing, a kind of connection, an intertwining, a union with the Storyteller. It is being truly alive, fully embodying the existence I have been given.
This, to me, is the beginning, middle and end of the Story: finding Him in every part of it.
Throughout my time on this Earth, this is the perspective I want to keep coming back to.
Continuing the Story
Someone beside me coughs and I am yanked out of the rabbit hole and into the room full of rows of desks and scribbling pens. I exit my reverie, and turn my attention to making sure my essay is good enough to grant me a pass into the freedom of continuing my story in a new direction—and meeting the Storyteller there.
And here is where the theatre lights come on and dramatic music starts to play. You feel it, don’t you, that transition from my internal world that I have immersed you in, back to your own story that will be gathered together with mine into an eloquent Story rich in depth and meaning.
So until we meet again to share something of ourselves together, enjoy your part in this great unfolding Story.
«RELATED READ» What Is the Meaning of Life? – Inquiry with Stan Lipkin»