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I've shared this before, but I like sharing it, because I'm still learning from it.
So about three years ago, I was 19, and I was driving to a party at some dude's apartment I'd never met, along with two of my friends. It was around 11pm, and the party was pretty far out of there, so we were driving on the highway in a relatively rural part of town. I was in the passenger's seat, and I remember we were blaring Midnight Marauders by Tribe Called Quest. My two friends were having a conversation, whilst I was lost in thought. I have very introverted tendencies, so I was paying no attention to what they were talking about. Instead, I was thinking about the meaning of the word "death". At that time in my life I was doing a lot of soul searching, trying to figure out what I really believed in, so I was thinking of the word "death" in the context of it's use in Genesis 2:17. I certainly wasn't a Christian, nevertheless I found myself intensely fascinated by the deeper meaning of this verse. Suddenly, something just clicked in my mind, I can't quite explain it, because it was by no deduction of my own reasoning, but I perfectly understood the meaning of the word "death". In that instant, time no longer meant anything, there didn't seem to be such thing as the past, or the future, only the present and present was eternal. At the same time, the entirety of human history made complete sense to me, almost like I was uncovering memories that stretched back to the beginning of time, all encapsulated in the word "death". Simultaneously, I felt what seemed to be a cool breeze, or cool water sensation rise from the earth and cover my whole body, and I felt the purest peace, happiness, and love I could ever imagine. I was perfectly ready to die in that moment if it meant preserving the eternal sensation of basking in the very essence of beauty and truth. While I remained inside my body, I physically felt my spirit rise far above the earth touching the heavens, like I was GIGANTIC. And that moment in time I was witnessing in my physical body was merely a small glimpse on a WAY bigger time scale, but each moment seemed of utmost preciousness, and importance. It was as if every moment prior to that experience, I'd never actually been alive, but rather experiencing life through a very foggy lens that only gave me the most meager impression of what was actually real. I felt simultaneously like a small piece of something far bigger than myself, and yet an immensely important one.
My friends were completely unaware this was happening to me, and I don't think I've ever shared this with them to this day. But I've never been able to look at the world the same way since. I went to a party afterward, where the people became completely transparent to me. I had such an understanding of human nature, that I could feel just how lonely and selfish most people are on the inside, and frankly it made me very sad. I wish I could remember everything that was revealed to me in that brief moment that transcended time and space, but I'm left merely with a vague impression. I find myself returning to this memory in times when I need encouragement, just reminding myself it actually happened. I would've been perfectly content to die then and there.
Needless to say, I became a Christian that night, because I understood what it meant for Christ to die (and how few people, even "christians" understand or appreciate what this means). Whether you agree or not is irrelevant, because this was my experience, and I've never felt anything as real since. People are often very quick to try and diminish my claim, or take any notion of a higher power out of the equation of my testimony. But I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that life as we know it here on earth seems but a pitiful shade in comparison to what I felt that night. There's nothing on earth that could ever come close to fulfilling me like I was in that moment. I can truly say I felt complete in my humanity, and I can't look back.
Last Christmas, an old white guy bet my black grandfather money that he was older than him. He did so with complete and utter confidence. My grandfather had the guy beat by almost 20 years. He's pushing 90, the white guy was in his early 70s.
I'm sitting here thinking, racking my brain
afraid what may come out will render me insane
but why should it matter to you anonymous Joes
you all well may be scratching your nuts or picking your nose
I liken myself a humble man not yet twenty and two,
a dropout of college, one year and I was through,
I took away much, and left behind little,
my journey ahead requires I be fit as a fiddle.
Confinement, all I've known since leaving that fateful place,
but a morning light has been birthed before my very face,
beckoning me to escape this dark hidden realm,
to bear a torch to truth with the Lord at the helm
I know not how such revelations will be made manifest,
For it certainly is not I who's the arbiter of my steps,
What is fear but death, and death separation,
It's power but an illusion to distract the creation.
Passion is key in this hour of ever waning light,
Natural reason won't guide in the dark winter's night,
Your talents will teach you of creation and it's reflection in you,
Seek out that which is eternal for it's lessons are true.
Our culture is built on grand delusions of sinister design
Trust not what you hear on television, or even online
The world is not your friend, whichever face is in power
Trust your guiding light in this darkening hour
Surprised nobody's said Radiohead. That seems to be an obvious one in my opinion.
Simple, you can be taught how to go through the motions, and quite well, but nobody can teach you how to feel the motions to a point that it becomes an extension of your very being. The same principle can be applied to any self expressive endeavor.
In theory, you'd pass when this material world ceases to exist, and everything starts over again. I don't by any means believe we're the first universe to be, nor the last. However I'd imagine the longer you exist your perception of time would drastically change in some asymptotic manner, and you'd likely begin to see patterns is the things you once considered menial as having some greater relative significance.