Yesterday was a stunningly beautiful day. Sunny and hot in the city, when we drove up the coast the light onshore breeze made it easy to spend the day in comfort out or doors. Kathleen, Silas, Rio and I traveled together to China Beach. Thought Kat and I have been separated for nearly a year now, we have made a commitment to do this sort of thing together with our children. We think its important to spend time together with them, for their sake – so they can be around both of their parents at once – and for ours: so we can spend time in contemplation and wonder of their lives. We had an amazing day, with a great deal of love between us all in a way I’m sure many separated and divorced couples hope they can interact, learn, grow and share.
Of the many highlights of the day was a moment towards the end of the afternoon when Rio, his keen eye always roving for details, found a tiny beetle in the sand. He gently picked it up and spent a good ten minutes examining it, allowing it to crawl over his hands and arms, looking at it from every possible angle. Finally Rio looked at me and asked, “Does it love me?”
My first thought was, no, of course not, it’s a beetle, it doesn’t experience love as we do.
But I thought about this a moment before saying anything. Then I responded with something like this: “Yes, it does love you. You and the beetle are made up of the same fabric of the universe. And that fabric is bound together by the energy of love. Just as the beetle must love its own life, it must naturally love you, because you and the beetle, and everything else for that matter, are all connected in a way we can only catch fleeting glimpses of.”
That seemed to satisfy Rio, because next he asked if he could give the beetle a corn chip.
I thought about that question – love, not the corn chip – when I got home, and again this morning before and after meditation.
Implicit in the question seemed to be a statement that Rio loved the beetle. On its own, I find that impossibly beautiful. That Kat and I have raised children who feel capable of love for nature, for creation, for the “other,” is beyond my wildest dreams.
As part of my new found practice of twice daily meditation, I read a set of daily sutras to guide my understanding of my place in the universe. This morning’s was Aham Brahmasmi. It means, “The core of my being is the ultimate reality, the root and ground of the universe, the source of all that exists.”
Deepak Chopra, says of this sutra:
“You and I and the universe are the same. I am the universe, localized in a single human being. You are also the universe, localized in your body. We both exists only as particular ripples in the conscious intelligence field. Every aspect of ourselves is articulated and orchestrate by this boundless non-local intelligence, the endless sea of consciousness from which you and I are the universe arise.”
We are ripples in the sea of the universe. All life, all existence is an ocean, and we are individual waves; temporary, unique, where the boundaries between ourselves and the life around us is imaginary, a product of sensory perception attuned not for total understanding, but for culturally driven minimalism. Simply stated, our senses aren’t attuned to see, hear and feel the universe as it must really be because its complexity is so vast that we would likely go blitheringly mad trying to live our strange, material lives otherwise. We see the boundaries between us not because they are real, but because we have always been taught that they are real, and because the path that humanity has taken requires them to be real.
Love is the energy that connects my wave to yours. My wave to Rio’s. Rio’s wave to the beetles. Love is the portal through which we slip together into a more total understanding of what our world, our universe, really is, where boundaries between one life and the next are fuzzy waves more than rigid lines. Love is the means by which we can tap into the limitless potential this boundless universe brings.
So, yes my dear boy Rio, the beetle loves you, just as you love it. And yes, I’m certain it would like a corn chip.