For me, an act of grace on the path of life is very often an encounter with a special book. Good books can become such good, dear friends. They can reframe everything we think we know, demarcating our life, often revealing a hidden destiny we couldn’t have possibly discovered on our own. I am known to have at least five to twenty-five books by my bedside at any one time, no exaggeration. Each one of them speaks to an intimate part of my brain.
During my recent move I uncovered one on my very favorite books, I’m Not Really Here, hidden deep in a box. Written by the comedian Tim Allen – an extremely likeable middle-aged man who happens to also be incredibly funny, bright and quite a deep thinker. Feeling like Alice Through the Looking Glass, this book totally shifted my paradigm when I read it the first time and again when I just read it for the second time, and third time.
According to Tim, we face a huge cosmic conundrum on a daily basis. The nature of quantum particles (that no one can even see,) is that they can be in two places at the same time.Traveling back and forth in time, they are at one location and everywhere at the same time. So this behavior begs the question, where are they? And…more importantly, where are we?
Furthermore, according to the Wave-Duality Theory, it is possible that matter can act as both a wave and a particle depending on whether or not it is being observed! Quantum particles shift identity. Therefore it’s possible that sheer observation affects the outcome of macroscopic events. The implications of this discovery are powerful.
Weirdest of all, quantum physicists say that unless certain conditions are met, it may be these subatomic particles don’t even exist.
Wow! What does all this mean? Maybe I had better put the book down. I’m thinking way too much. Here’s the clincher: at the most basic level all of us are just a bunch of quantum particles and in some very scary way, none of us are really here! If we’re not really here, then the implications mean nothing we think, say, or do means anything. Right or wrong? This entire earthly experience is an illusion. These are the questions that keep ME (and Tim Allen) up at night….At the opposite end of the spectrum, what if absolutely everything we think, feel and do has incredible significance and value. Is it perhaps our consciousness as the observer of our experiences that actually imbues meaning into our lives? Which is it? Whoa.
As scientists study smaller and smaller particles in order to understand more about how we’re made, we seem to find more things that just don’t make sense.
If it is true what Tim suggests, that I’m Not Really Here, the implications for how I chose to show up everyday are absolutely mindboggling. Either everything in our existence is petrifying and meaningless or everything is an elegant limitless opportunity to design the palette of life however we desire… Our reality is constructed by our consciousness, the thoughts, feelings and actions we construct. The world is made of stories not atoms my friends. Our lives are the stories we construct.
In other words, “I’m not really here” may need a sequel entitled, “I’m totally HERE!”