The Diaspora

April 16, 2013

rockwell kent 4

The first moment of the universe was a moment of absolute unity; no separation of matter into different types of particles, no separation of forces into categories like gravity and electromagnetism, no separation between matter and the forces that operate on it—only a single, monstrous potentiality.

Then came the diaspora, and the stars illuminated the sky, differentiated from one another, capable of being perceived in terms of a boundary, separated by vast distances—and we rose up from the ground to suffer beneath the stars.

We have separate bodies where once we only had one. This first breaking, this primordial disjunction, is the first and only injury, the pain of distinctness—all pain that has ever been subsequently experienced proceeds from it. The word that made us is also the word that broke us.

Now there is a subject and an object. Before we were here, when we were together, you and I, were we a subject or an object? Did the initial, undifferentiated proto-universe know of its existence? Was it aware of only its body, a body that could not occupy anything because nothing existed which did not comprise its body? And were this first moment of existence aware of itself, would it have lacked for our pain, our wounds of separation, or felt them all the more acutely? Did it long for a companion, knowing that nothing else existed? Did it differentiate out of loneliness, choosing to forget its own name?

Alternately, it was unthinking. It felt neither love nor the lack of love. If so, you and I here, under these separate stars, are bleeding from new wounds, blood flowing from hearts that ache with a pain the first moment of the universe could not have conceived of as it became.

And if this is true, and if you and I are made from this original, unloving, unknowing, all-encompassing substance, and we make the final cuts with this knife, severing ourselves into two separate bodies, has the universe gained or lost in love?

mountain and i

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