Which direction must I take to find Nirvana, or Paradise? Which is the mystic way to lose myself in the greater consciousness? Can I, by delving deeper into myself, find out more about the greater being of which I am part? Or should I rather reach out of myself, focusing on the external infinity and not the inner vastness? Am I, whatever I am in my innermost core, like the universe, constantly expanding? Or simply fading into nothingness? Where should I direct my meditations?
Christianity is clear on this: focus on God, on Christ; make Him the centre of your thought, your emotions, your desires, your will. Turn your mind away from your petty self and open up to Him. “Jesus, be the centre, be the wind in my sails.”
Wind: Ruach, spirit, breath. The air I breathe, the air that fills me, the air that becomes the breeze and the wind that blows me where He wants me to go. Metaphysical air, wind, breath, that is: spirit, from latin spiro = I breathe (spiritus = what is breathed).
Am I like a balloon, inflated, wafted away, stretching more and more until I burst and all that I was – all the air that filled my outer metaphysical skin – simply floats away merged with the air around it? Or am I like a paper bag, a kite or a sail, with air blowing into it and carrying it along, but unsealed, open, free to fly intact and unharmed?
Is my soul separate from others, am I a discrete being with my own identity, this “I” ? Or am I like a drop of water in an infinite sea, able or obliged to mix and merge, indistinguishable from the mass?
So many atoms make up my physical body, atoms that were already in existence millions of years ago, that have been part of so many other things, other people, long dead and dissolved into the earth and the atmosphere, even beyond the earth and its atmosphere, out into space and beyond the galaxy. Atoms that are constantly replacing one another in this whatever-it-is I call “me” that is incessantly renewing itself. Or are new atoms coming into existence, as particles whizz around in the microcosm where quantum mechanics reign supreme?
Do atoms have a consciousness? Or put another way, is consciousness made up of atoms? Is my consciousness also atomic, composed of atoms that have been someone else’s consciousness? Is this swirling atomic being that is me even entirely subject to time and space, and if not are these atoms simultaneously me and someone else, in a different place or time? Alive and dead at the same time? Am I Schrödinger’s cat?
The cat in the box is not always Maru.