"I'll be with you when the stars start falling…" Eric Clapton, The Cream
I hurt others sometimes by simply existing. I help others sometimes by simply breathing in and out. As I walked this morning, an almost countless number of carbon atoms bombarded me. Some of them were shed yesterday by friends and family around the planet. I inhaled some. Some became part of me in a process that has been going on since before the beginning of the idea of "time" as it exists in my carbon based brain. Sometimes I forget this simple fact and feel very, very alone. I can treat others as objects in an attempt to overcome this sense of loneliness. When I do this I become an object.
Recently, I mistreated someone I love deeply. I would travel back and undo the act if this were possible. Unfortunately, I cannot. Hope springs eternal, but I must accept that for now I am locked in the eternal present. I must feel the pain of having caused pain in another, accept it, and try to be more conscious in the future.
Perhaps someday I will be free of my brain's notion of time. Perhaps I will experience the freedom of a carbon atom; no longer seeing myself as separate from life but always as an integral part of it. I will not ask my fellow atoms about their politics. I will not ask them about their sexual preferences. I will not ask them about their god. I will pass from form to form; perhaps be buried for eons as part of a limestone cliff; perhaps fly into space to become part of a star; perhaps to become part of some creature or place I have never yet imagined. Regardless of the destination, and whether or not I will be conscious of it, I will be one with all the other atoms on a timeless journey. What an exciting adventure that will be.