It was a dream. It was a moment. And in that moment I held the consciousness in my head of every human being on the planet.
I was all ages. Spanning those whose eyes opened for the first time, to those whose eyes were about to close forever. I felt a continuum of ages, of people born at about half a second apart. There was confusion, as infants tried to make sense of their very existence for the first time, shapes were new, and the world a symphony of strange shapes overlapping and fused together. I laughed as child-like innocence surged through me and simple things were so joyful, like seeing an elephant for the first time. I felt strange as my body changed, as innocence slowly melted away leaving the thoughts both vigorous and also filled with doubt and fear. A sense that I was close to having to go forth into the world and leave all I’d known behind, not having the slightest idea how to do it, but feeling like I had to pretend that I did, not even aware of the mistakes I might make. I felt the hope and strength of one who is beginning their journey as an individual in this world, and from looking forward I felt my head slowly turning and turning to looking back, longer, farther, and deeper. Smiling at little things that used to seem so big, but now bouncing off of me, understanding the process of change over a length of time that young cannot conceive. Feeling comforted by having wisdom from a life of mistakes and successes, trials and errors.
I was able to understand all cultures. Truly understand. Recognizing what it means to be born in a completely different place, with a different history and a different outlook on the world. Some differences were subtle, others were grand. In that one consciousness I saw a fountain of masks pouring past. Masks not to mark superficiality, but rather a surface that made one look different and that upon deeper reflection still had the same wants and desires as every human on the planet. Wanting to love and be loved, wanting to be accepted, wanting to take care of our families and friends, wanting to exert its presence in a massive world with a limitless sky. I saw the many paths for achieving these aims, and that in the end all paths led to the same destination.
I felt all emotions. Could this happen even all in a moment? It felt like longer. And yet emotion is very much in the moment. I felt extremes of courage and fear. Sometimes it was irrational, a headlong courage that defied explanation, a fear that was only shadow and neither reasonable or real. I felt rational courage too. A surety of knowledge and experience that gave one for at least that moment a feeling of triumph of overcoming adversity with absolute competence. And there was great “rational fear” too. The fear that comes from helplessness. The fear that comes from experiencing great pain and knowing how easily it can come again. The fear of a child about to beaten by a father, the fear of one about to be killed for the color of his skin, the fear of eternal punishment from a god, the fear of hunger as crops wither and die, the fear of suffering as one watches love dies. I felt the extremes of light and dark. It was the power of love in the light leading to generosity, compassion, and selflessness. I felt the depth of hate in the dark leading to greed, oppression, and violence. This too had an irrationality and rationality to it. For some these qualities were taught, a product of growing up in an environment where only these extremes were experienced. For some there was no explanation. Malice had simply always been with them for no reason they could discern. For some, despite being born in the dark, they clawed their way out into the sun. And for all those extremes there were billions of points in between; A continuum of mixtures of love and hate, courage and fear, swirling around in my mind. They were not contradicting but competing. At the very center of this swirl was an endless turning that was indifference. Invisible and empty, indifference turned without ever a hope of moving or touching the world.
And I was every person. I was an expert on many things. The many things that I knew revealed truths, and also revealed fallacies. Yet many times, even the two most contradictory ideas were still held to be true in that consciousness. But I saw how it all made sense. How perceptions of experiences taught truths and those varied by the billions of different combinations of experiences we all face every day. This was caused by our handicaps and strengths, our pain and our elation. I was also every identity and profession: A doctor, a janitor, a teacher, a manager, an assembly line worker, a prostitute, a child laborer. I was heterosexual, a homosexual, a transsexual, a woman and a man. I was every race, and every religion. I was both loved and hated for who I am. I was a saint, I was a sinner, a hero, a rapist, a giver of life, and a taker. I felt pride and shame, joy and regret.
The great unity of billions of voices ended and the silence shook me from unconsciousness. And when I awoke I lay for hours trying to the fathom the possibilities that I had dreamed. I contemplated billions of identities, feelings, histories, and truths. Eventually my mind melted away the endless details and I realized that much suffering in the world was caused by a few, and that humanity was for the most part good. I realized that I was truly everybody. That there is at least one thing I share in common with all people. That even if I hadn’t acted on darkness I occasionally had dark thoughts. That if even if I hadn’t acted on the love, I had at least felt it. I wander and have purpose. I knew many things, but did not know even more. I am alive in both time and space, and that what makes up my body has always existed and will always exist. And that what makes every moment special in my current form is that I get to be aware of my existence as well as others. I am in a continuum of life that is not only Earthly but universal and that I will never be alone. I was humble and at peace. And then as I dressed I had the inescapable urge to share