You are both
Let's talk about the beginning and ending of you.
Days begin and end. Concerts start and finish. In front of me is a slice of cherry-topped cheesecake with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. A minute from now it’ll be gone like the wind. Not one crumb will remain because (if no one is looking) I’ll even lick the plate.
Our lives are packed with beginnings and endings. Events come and go. Objects appear and disappear. We look forward to something, then we’re looking back at it through memory. We’re born and we die. For a few precious years we’re above ground, then below it, never more to be seen.
That’s how we experience life.
But there is another way to experience it, as expressed by Alan Watts in his book, On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are:
We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree . . .
Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature,
a unique action of the total universe.
Changing our perception from things coming (as if from somewhere else), and going (as if to somewhere else), to everything emerging from what is, is a subtle but powerful shift.
We are current products of eternity, part of an endless stream of existence. We weren’t dropped into this world from somewhere else. We emerged from the here and now, like leaves from a tree.
We are a result of everything that has happened and is happening, and at the same time we are the creative process. Our existence is an ever-emerging unfolding.
Watts again, this time on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMRrCYPxD0I):
You are something the whole universe is doing, in the same way
that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing.
Like waves are also the ocean, and ocean expresses waves, we are always also the universe, which is expressing us through physical forms.
We’re not going to disappear when we die because, at our deepest level, which we keep forgetting about, we are eternity.
Eternity is collected inside us.
We are an expression of it.
With love, Marlane