Friday, March 27, 2015

Full Circle

There is an end to nothing; all things are connected in a sort of circle; they flee and they are pursued. Night is close at the heels of day, day at the heels of night; summer ends in autumn, winter rushes after autumn, and winter softens into spring; all nature in this way passes, only to return. I do nothing new; I see nothing new; sooner or later one sickens of this, also.
- Seneca 

You ever notice how everything works in circles? Spheres, ovals, rings, loops, disks, cycles: everywhere you turn they're right there turning with you.

Above or below, within or without, there's no escaping it. The universe is a dance of circles colliding, interlocking, flying apart, and embracing again.

See here.

Electrons, neurons, atoms, and particles, the tiniest cosmic building blocks, are circular.

The universe is a cosmic balloon inflating. The Milky Way is a disk of stars held together by the black hole at its center. Our sun--another sphere--runs slow circles around the galaxy.


And us, where do we fit in?

We live on a ball of rock orbiting a bigger ball of gas orbiting a black hole.

We're surrounded by circles and made of circles, too.

Spring, summer, autumn, and winter come and go and come again, but that's not enough for us. We're obsessed. We need more circles. We make little notches on the spinning wheel, noting seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, centuries, millennium, eons.

We're so silly. Don't we know Eternity can't be divided and subdivided?

Think of a clock. Where does it begin? Where does it end?

Nowhere. It repeats itself repeats itself repeats itself.


Inside we're made of circles, too.

The mind is an invisible cosmos. The psyche has its own orbit, the soul its own seasons, but we don't see them. Our attention is always turned outward, fixated on all these visible circles. We ignore the invisible circles at our peril.

Observe the soul's seasons, how they come and go and inevitably return. See how the storms and sunshine appear at regular intervals, their arrival triggered by the external world.

Notice how Monday feels like the winter blues; Tuesday, winter's wrath; Wednesday, spring's respite; Thursday, birdsong; and Friday, flowers full-bloom. Saturday has you dancing beneath the sun and sleeping beneath the stars.

Now Sunday is here like a melancholy autumn afternoon. Now Monday is back and the cycle starts over again.


Observe how relationships form yet more circles.

Like celestial bodies you turn about your beloved, pulling close and repelling, flinging each other across great distances, colliding, or else falling into a stable orbit together. Eventually the bodies break away and go careening through space in search of new orbits or to be remade into new forms.

This is true of people and relationships, of planets and stars.

"I was born here," you say pointing to one notch. And to another notch further along: "Here I will die." The space between these two notches looks like a straight line. Here it begins and there it ends. But the notches were carved by your own hand upon the wheel: before and after the notches the circle continues unbroken, its spin uninterrupted.

The journey between birth and death isn't a finite line: it's a circle with one half hidden from sight. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there!

How can you think life is a straight line when you're surrounded by all these damn circles?

Look at the way new growth rises from decay; how you and I and everything on earth is made from the dust of dead stars; and how black holes, the corpses of interstellar giants, hold galaxies together.

You know how history loves to repeat itself? How you can talk circles around a person? How your mind is spinning right now? How your thoughts and actions are cyclical?

How, after a while, you feel like you've heard and seen and done it all before?

You ever get "stuck in a rut?" You've been spinning your wheels in the same spot so long: what did you expect would happen?


When you crave change, what you're really looking for is a new beginning. Thing is, every beginning is the end of something else, and every ending is just another beginning.

So next time you approach the end--of a relationship, job, book, vacation, stage in your life, whatever--just remember: there are no endings, no beginnings, only circles.

This is the end of the Meme Merchant, but like all endings it's merely the beginning of something new.

Stay tuned my friends, and stay curious.

/rant over
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