Many years ago, when I was a fundamentalist Christian, I had a bizarre realization one day that I couldn’t explain at the time. It went something like this:
I was thinking about how very fortunate, how blessed I was to be one of the very few humans to have come across “The Truth”. My particular denomination believed, like many fundamentalist churches, that we had “the correct” doctrine. And all other doctrines were false, or at least less than the full truth. And so only those with this correct doctrine were real Christians.
This was enormously important because that meant that only we who possessed this correct doctrine were saved. And according to my tabulations, that was less than one percent of the world’s population.
And so I was pondering this, and wondering why I was chosen as one of those few who was shown The Truth. Six billion humans on the planet, and I was one of the lucky few.
And then I began thinking about me being merely one out of six billion people. What astonishing odds! That I just happened to have been born as “Randy Chester”, and no one else. The odds of that were one in six billion! You’d have a far better chance of winning the lottery.
But as I thought about this, suddenly I felt something on a deeper level that said, “No. That’s not what’s going on.” It didn’t actually speak, or come in words. Rather, it was a deep feeling, a “Knowing”, a sudden realization. It was subtle, yet seemed like a piercing insight trying to break through.
But this didn’t make sense to me at the time. It went against everything I believed, not just in religion, but everything I believed about everything – reality, who I was – that I’d gotten from my society and culture.
I couldn’t explain how it could be. How could I not be just one human among six billion? It made no sense at all to me. But yet there was that deep feeling, that Knowing.
What occurred to me was that the odds against me being born this one human out of six billion possibilities was just too astronomical. Something about it wasn’t right. This was very strange to me at the time. I’d never thought like this before.
It was a slightly uneasy feeling, the realization that what I believed about who I was and what everyone (so I thought) believed could somehow be “wrong” was unsettling. But I didn’t know what to do with it. So I did nothing. I never told anyone about this. I soon forgot about this experience.
Many years later, I would remember it though. Having been exposed to deeper and more sophisticated philosophies about reality and life, it now made sense.
The truth is, we are not just one human being out of six (or seven now) billion. We are Awareness itself, and this Awareness is singular. The entire physical universe is taking place within this Awareness. This Awareness is taking on countless forms, perceiving the world through each of those forms – each one focused on the perception of that one particular form, and blocking out all other perceptions.
And so humans are just one particular type of form that Awareness is using to experience the world. You, and I, are not just one human out of six billion. We are all of them. Or rather, we are the Awareness that has taken on the costume of each human character. We are playing a role. Many, many roles.
It’s a grand game, and the drama can get very complex. Enjoy the play.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances.. – William Shakespeare
[This article was previously published in thezenspirit.com by the same author.]