Travelers on a Bridge
E1 : S1
A young man was walking along a road, high in the mountains. He came upon an older woman, traveling in the opposite direction. As they passed each other on a bridge, each on their own side, he asked her a question, “Excuse me, ma’am, is the road ahead easier or harder?”
The woman paused. “Do you want me to answer that question, or the question you are really asking?”
The traveler thought for a while, and said, “If you are so wise, then you decide, but tell me: What question am I really asking and how would you know?”
“All of us ask the same question, that is how I know. We just use different words.”
“So, what then is the question?”
“Who am I?” she answered quickly with a slight shrug, as if it was obvious.
“And you said you would answer that. So, what is the answer?”
The woman turned and walked on. She got about 20 feet down the path and the man shouted, “So what’s the answer!?”
She stopped, turned and looked at the man with great care and kindness. “You can’t know. You can only know the glimpses. A nod from the universe. The feelings of connection. The words of relative truth.” She smiled. “That is how you know the answer. It is incomplete and unwritten. The whole of it is tucked away.”
“Why?” the man asked. “Why is it tucked away from us?”
“It is not a secret that is kept from you. It is simply too large and too small for the mind to know it. It inhabits all. It is so different that our minds would not be able to pass into it.”
“Why is it so different?”
“Because if it was the same, it would not be able to create a sovereign spacetime that allows you to experience a reality that is your own. You are a reality lens for the one, many and all consciousness.”
The young man closed his eyes for a moment. “And if this question is truly answered, to the full limits of my mind, will I be happy?”
“If we know ourselves — dimly as it may be — as the one, many and all consciousness, our happiness is contained in the scope of the adventure that is life ahead, behind, and now. It lives in the confident expression of consciousness through humanness. Yet, happiness in our world remains a fluctuation of highs and lows. Highs from a sense of interconnection, and lows from a sense of separation. They compete for our attention. Our sense of interconnectedness or separation is the fundamental duality from which all other dualities arise.”
“Duality is only two things?” the young man reflexed into sudden puzzlement. “There’s only interconnectedness and separation?”
The wise woman held up two fingers like a peace sign. “They are two things, are they not? Thus, duality.”
“But you’re saying that every other duality comes from these two sources?”
“They are not sources, they are effects of our choice to believe. We either believe in interconnectedness, or we believe in separation. Most people vacillate, believing in both, and therefore experiencing and expressing both.”
“But why can’t we simply choose interconnectedness and believe in that, if it makes us happy?”
The woman smiled, “The way ahead of you is easier”. She nodded in the way of a blessing, and turned and began to walk away.
The young man did not want to lose access to this wise person, and ran down the road towards her. “Please, please stop for a moment, I have other questions.”
She kept walking. “Then walk with me.”
The young man looked down both ends of the road. Where she was going, he had just been there. He didn’t want to walk back to where he had started. “I will walk with you just so I can ask a question or two. Would that be okay?”
She nodded, and the young man picked up his pace in order to walk beside her.
“What is your first question?” She asked.
The thin mountain air had the young man struggling to regain his steady breath. “Why don’t we simply choose interconnectedness?”
“Because the presence of separation is the bedrock of humanness. Survival is separation. Survival is fundamental to any species or it would not exist. We are all educated in this. Over and over and over again. Consciously we sense this hundreds if not thousands of moments each day. Subconsciously, we sense this almost constantly. Separation is the default lens through which humanity peers into reality. In order to switch from separation to interconnectedness, we need proof. We want to see evidence and confirmation that we are interconnected, not only with us, humans, but all life in all its forms and spacetimes, and worlds within the universes.”
She chuckled to herself, marveling at the expanse of her words.
“Why do we need proof?” the man asked, his eyes squinting, as though they were lost in a deep thought.
“Because we live in separation, and to us, that is home. If anyone wants us to leave home it has to be for a good reason. And proof is the good reason.”
“But how do you prove that all life is interconnected?”
“And that is your third question,” the woman rightly pointed out.
“Noted…” he said, with a smile, and he also noted that he was in no hurry to turn around.
“The mind and heart,” she began, “are partners of the first degree in our world. One supports the other in an equity forged from the fires of logic. No one has to educate the mind and heart to be partners. They know their fundamental purpose. However, separation is so strong in this world as to make this obvious logic, unobvious.”
“Then, how in some is it obvious and in others it is unobvious?”
“We are experimenting. It is not that some haven’t found their balance, it is that they prefer imbalance. They find it to be a more fertile area of learning for them, of engagement or expression, and yes, to be sure, some lose their way. As I said earlier, we are here to evolve and it is through experimentation that we evolve. This is why the latitude of free will was intermixed with sovereign realities. So we could experiment.”
“…So what is the proof?” he asked, tentatively.
“Most people believe they are spiritual because they adhere to a book and teacher. When words come into the public sphere they are prone to interpretations and embroidering of purpose, then they begin to tether into the bedrock of separation.”
“So, you’re saying that we think we can leave separation through a spiritual or religious path, but those inevitably lead us back to separation?”
“I’ve lost track of the number of your questions,” she said, “but I will remind you that each step you take with me, the distance grows from your previous destination.”
The man waved his right hand. “I understand, but I cannot leave when such questions roam around in my head. Please, continue.”
“It is all a part of the experimentation-to-evolution movement that we are all participants in, whether we know it or not. Proof, however,” she raised her index finger for emphasis, “is not found. It never is. Until all see it, none see it. Some see its echoes and reverberations from a future time. They can feel this reality of interconnectedness and sense its presence, but it is not proof. It is a facet of experimentation and expansion. Nothing more.”
“Then what of science? Isn’t it capable of proving this?”
“Being capable of something is not the same as achieving something. Being capable of proving anything scientifically, in a reality that is unknowable to our minds, is a paradox. Science merely points a light in the surrounding darkness, and its lightbeam only extends in one direction. No matter how diffuse that light is, it is not enough to prove something as different from separation as interconnectedness is.”
“Spacetime?” the young traveler asked, doubtful he understood even a fraction of her meaning.
“Reality is different for every life form. Do you agree?” she asked.
“I think so…”
“I’ll take that as a yes.” She smiled.
“Spacetime is a moment of time experienced in a place. The moment of realization is inevitable, because that is who we are. That evolved, complete consciousness of the one, many and all, it is not being invented within spacetime, it is what we are. What we are doing is remembering this and finding ways to embody this. And with each embodiment we create, we accelerate spacetime, evolving the source of which we are therein. That is our proof: our embodiments, not the things that happen to us, and not the things you can measure.”
The young man stopped walking and pulled his shoe off. “I hope you will forgive me, but I need to sit on that boulder over there and get this pebble out of my shoe. It’ll only take a moment.”
The woman paused and nodded. “I’ll wait.”
“What are these embodiments?” he asked, as he walked to the boulder and sat down.
“They are the things you create through experimentation.”
“What if I’m not a scientist, artist or craftsman?” He tied his shoe and walked back to the woman.
“The look in an eye is an embodiment,” she replied. “The tone of a voice is an embodiment. The ungoverned love is an embodiment. The delicate touch of a hand is an embodiment. The gentleness with pain is an embodiment. The words we speak are embodiments. This is not reserved for any special talent.”
“So, I know vaguely who I am. I know how to become more of that. I understand why I am willing to do that…” He began to slow down as though he were deep in thought, and finally came to a stop and looked at the woman, who, by this time, had stopped and turned.
“The only question left in my mind and heart is how do I share this?”
“It shares itself.” The woman smiled like someone does when they tell a long-held secret.
“Your embodiments, the things you create in your reality, they vibrate, and in these vibrations, they share.”
“But what do they share?” He walked closer to the woman.
“They share themselves.”
“But you already said that.”
You asked the question twice, I answered twice.”
“Okay, you’re right,” he said. “How exactly do our embodiments share themselves? And how is that not a violation of free will?”
“Free will extends to the individual, not the stage upon which the individual plays out their role. The stage is a living soup of vibrations from the dynamic universe, our planet, our place, our time, our species. This is our stage through which we experiment to evolve as a sovereign expression of the one, many and all consciousness. The embodiments of our species throughout spacetime can be felt and even vaguely understood. They are shared, and you remain free to choose which ones you resonate with. Which ones you believe can serve you.”
“Did you just say that we can sense and understand the embodiments of the future? You said, throughout spacetime.”
She nodded. “When an embodiment is created it vibrates. This vibration is a form of energy. Energy travels. It is not contained. And this is because spacetime is a field. All points connect into that field. An embodiment made today can influence yesterday and tomorrow. It is not contained in time, and this is because it is energy.”
The man tilted his head slightly. “You’re saying that if I look kindly at a stranger, such as yourself, that…that…that simple look has energy, and that energy somehow ends up in a field of interconnectedness that…that spans all time. Is that what you’re saying?”
“We are energy-creating life forms. Yes, that is precisely what we do.” The woman bobbed her head for emphasis. “We create energy and deposit it into the collective field upon which all life is interconnected. How is that difficult to understand? It is indeed science.”
“That’s a terrible amount of responsibility we have, if that’s true,” the man observed.
“We bring our fundamental beliefs into the field we share. These beliefs permeate our every embodiment. If our fundamental beliefs arise from separation, then we are nurturing the field of separation. If they arise from interconnectedness, then we empower the field of interconnectedness. It is truly this simple, and to your comment about responsibility, isn’t this an honor, not a responsibility?”
“How do you mean an honor?”
“We are in a position to create energy that either builds interconnection with all life, or we build a greater sense of separation. We are honored by being given the choice, and by being allowed to create within spacetime.” She reached out and touched the shoulder of the man. “We are artisans who design our lives to remember in the spacetime of our choosing. What greater honor could a source provide its creation?”
“Okay, I’m not sure if I follow all of that, but still, what about pain and suffering? How can a person see those things as a badge of honor instead of an imposition by a cruel universe?”
The woman pointed to the evening star. “The first star is actually a planet — Venus. Do you see it there?”
The man followed her outstretched arm, and squinted his eyes. “Barely, but, yes, I think I do.”
“Good, that is an honor to see. The seeing itself is an embodiment. The sharing is a resonance. The sighting is forever. We just created energy together and that energy is affixed to the field. And in some future time, that energy will be felt by someone or something. In some past time, someone may wonder if that first star is really a planet. Do you see?”
He shook his head. “No…”
The woman came to a full and sudden stop. The man joined her, looking at her expectantly with his hands behind his back.
“There is a world inside you.” She pointed at his heart. “You are that world, it is not the world that surrounds you. You are that world. That world is a part of a field that interpenetrates all. And that all is the evolving us. Pain and suffering is the embodiment of separation. It will enter your world and when it does, you will decide to invite it in or politely decline its effects and create embodiments of interconnectedness instead. You are the world inside you and the world outside you. They are one thing.”
The two began walking again as if controlled by one mind. “You know, I still don’t understand the heart and mind as partners. How does one do that — I mean, form a partnership between them?”
The woman stared ahead, steely eyed. “When the heart and mind are of equal value in your world, they unerringly draw you to the embodiments that have a vibration, a tone, a feeling, an inner sensibility that makes love more important than any other outcome. We decide. Are the heart and mind partners or competitors? Are they partners or existentialists, each with their own island? Are they partners and competitors, depending on the moment?”
The man scoffed a bit. “If I decide, then I need to know it’s an option. Otherwise, I’m not deciding, I’m just blindly following what I am told to do.”
The wise woman smiled and remained quiet. Her head nodded ever so slightly.
The man turned to the direction he had been walking before he had met the woman. A few steps, and his life had changed. He saw things differently, so differently, it scared him. The sun was setting and they were walking into it as it began to fall below a rugged mountain crag.
“What if it’s all a dream?” he suddenly asked. “Maybe there is no duality. No interconnection. If you really don’t have proof, then it could all just be an illusion — something you made up to make all of this…this mechanical mayhem seem more acceptable.”
“As I previously told you, there is only one duality: interconnectedness and separation. If one exists, the other does, too. If there is one, there is the other.”
“Maybe I meant that both are an illusion.”
“In our context, an illusion is a false belief. And it is neither a belief nor is it false. We know separation. We know that everyone’s reality is different. That is the nature of separation. Therefore, it is a fact in this reality. It is scientifically provable that we experience life differently than any other life form in the universe. And if this is true, and it is, then we are also interconnected, because the opposite must be true.
“And this form of logic has always existed. One doesn’t even need to possess an emotional chord to see that we are all interconnected. It is pure logic. However, the logic of the mind, if it partners with the emotional frequency of the one, many and all consciousness, that part of you that settles in the heart, then interconnectedness is obvious to both the heart and mind.
“This begins the partnership.”
“But separation is easy to prove. One only needs to…to…just look around. The state of interconnectedness, by comparison, is not found just by looking around.”
“Ah…there we found it.” The wise woman said.
“That you think it cannot be seen or that it is hidden or kept from you or you’re ill-prepared or a hundred other reasons as to why you can’t see our interconnectedness. I will share a secret with you.”
The man leaned in a little closer towards the woman. “What?” he whispered.
“Both are present equally.” She leaned in for symmetry with the man, and winked her eye. “Duality. One requires the senses of the body; the other the senses of imagination.”
“Imagination!?” The man recoiled at the word, as if it held a bad taste for him.
He began shaking his head back and forth while the woman watched. Her eyes glistened in understanding.
“Separation is science and interconnectedness is…imagination?” He bellowed, louder than he expected. “How can you expect people to move their homes from a world of science to a world of imagination?”
The woman nodded in the direction she wanted to go. “Imagination is simply feeling our way into the unknown, and occasionally, looking for the door of the unknowable. Science is apprehending the obvious and giving it a name, a relationship, and a purpose. While science uses mathematics and measuring devices of every kind, it is building a catalog of our reality that we can find agreement in, and evolve from that agreement. But make no mistake, science is the science of separation.“
“So, there is no science of interconnectedness? The duality breaks down?”
The two people were walking side by side again. She pointed to the sun that was low in the sky in the westerly direction they were traveling. “You see that solar orb, and you can see it with either science or imagination. Science will tell you all the facts about the sun. Imagination will tell you all about the meaning of the sun in your life at this moment. It will tell of its warmth, its yellow-orange rays, its billowing girth as it meets the density of our atmosphere. Not a single measurement is used by our imagination. Not a single number will pass our lips or thoughts.”
“But science is…true. Imagination…it’s subjective.”
“Ah, but what is true for all, is not true for one. And what is true for one, is not true for all. Thus, science will explain the former, and imagination will explain the latter. Perhaps in a hundred years, science may prove that the field exists, that we are interconnected and therefore one being, one consciousness. It may prove that we are an evolving consciousness manifest in spacetime embedded with a memory of our source, slowly understanding, as one, that we are that source.”
She smiled and turned to him. “Today, science is not pulling down the curtain of the one, many and all consciousness. Thus, we are left with an option. Do we use our imagination to sense it, or do we stay in the realm of separation, heads down on a book and ears open to an outside teacher? Free will…”
She stopped and turned the other way, pointing from where they had come. “That way waits for you. In fact, it is beckoning you. It pulls on you. Don’t you sense it?”
For a long period of time, the two people watched the sunset. Finally, it was the man that brought sound to their world. “There is something about the heart-mind partnership that tugs at me, but I don’t understand why…”
She smiled. “If any life forms with a mind and a heart that are not in partnership, then they are more susceptible to the belief in separation. Their body, ego and subconscious will tend to believe and follow either the mind or the heart, making the balance between the two ever more tenuous.”
“Why is the heart and mind such an important partnership? I guess that’s what I don’t understand.”
“Because it is the most fundamental partnership within the human body. We live as a human, therefore we have a responsibility to fuse our heart and mind onto a purpose, as a symbol of our belief in interconnectedness. This fusion is what enables the embodiments we create to carry a vibration of interconnectedness. And this fusion is pre-human fundamental. It is not owned by anyone. It will be and always has been, a sovereign experience to fuse one’s heart and mind for embodying interconnectedness in spacetime.
“The embodiments that arise, from one individual, carry vibrations,” she continued. “Everything, everywhere, does one thing: it vibrates. If a sovereign’s heart and mind are not in partnership, then the vibration of their embodiment will carry separation. Conversely, a heart and mind that have been fused in purpose, to understand our interconnection with life, those embodiments can carry interconnectedness. And this is the attractor that pulls us to evolve and expand and renew and polish our understanding.”
“How can we do it?”
“I don’t understand…” he said, quietly to himself.
“When we breathe in, we imagine interconnection with all life — life as large as we can allow ourselves to imagine it. We cannot overreach our interconnection. We cannot exaggerate it. We cannot make it too big.” She chuckled to herself as one does when they suddenly remember something important.
“When we breathe out we feel our sovereign self enter into these life forms and spacetimes we imagine. They flow into us and they flow out of us, and this is done through our breath.
“If we live until we are 80 years old, we will have breathed about 670 million times. Any one of these breaths could be a gateway into the realization of interconnectedness. And once this feeling is stirred within your entire humanness — body, mind, heart, ego, and subconscious — then you can anchor this feeling of interconnectedness in your breath.
“Our mind is the inbreath and our heart is the outbreath. Our breath is the one presence that envelopes us. The partnership between the heart and mind is held in our breath. We don’t have to think about it. It is automatic. We can be mindful at certain points in our day to help solidify the metaphor of heart and mind partnership and interconnectedness, nonetheless, it is automatic. Our subconscious can perform this once our heart and mind are fused in the purpose of interconnectedness.
“Do you understand now?” she asked.
The man nodded his understanding. “I kind of do…to my surprise. It does make sense. And I see a way to practice it through my breath and my embodiments. I see the honor in this role.” As he spoke, his growing excitement became more obvious. “I even see that I am my world — inside and out. It is actually liberating to think of it this way. That I am source and creation. An evolving sovereign within a sovereign source. I understand now!”
She stopped and pointed again to the east. “Then you can return to your journey.”
“What if I wanted to stay with you?”
“Then I would say that you are temporarily…confused,” she smiled, as she spoke the last word.
“Confused, in what way?” he asked. “You’re obviously a good teacher. I have not heard these words before and I have studied. Truly studied.”
“Then study this instead.” She pointed to his heart, then his head, and walked away.
“One last question, please, I promise,” he pleaded.
She stopped and turned, holding up one finger. “One last question…”
“What if I don’t bring honor to my role? My creations — my embodiments — what if they’re not so pure or spiritual or…or the right kind of energy?”
“What is our intention?” she asked.
The man looked inward for a moment, searching behind cobwebs. “Our intention…our intention is to expand our understanding and practice of interconnectedness,” he replied.
“That’s all we need.” She turned and then stopped, returning her gaze to the man. “The energy is contained in the intention. The intention is the guiding force of the embodiment. How the embodiment manifests, how it is judged, how it is received, all of those things, you leave in the mystery and you move on.”
She paused. “Like I am about to do. I’m moving on.” She bobbed her head and smiled, and the young man saw the embodiment. It was cast in a golden light. Maybe it was the final rays of the sun, but he was quite sure that those rays came from inside her.
He walked for a while, and then turned around, watching her become smaller and smaller as she walked away. Finally, somewhere between the growing distance and the winnowing light, she disappeared.
The man looked up and whispered something to the sky that was just revealing its jeweled secrets. He buttoned his coat, and walked away into the night, humming a new tune that was an embodiment of his remembered self.