In the Beginning
In the beginning, there was nothing except the endless ocean. The ocean surface was smooth as a mirror because the ocean was calm and without motion.
The ocean existed in this manner for an eternity... until one day, the ocean had a notion. The ocean thought to itself, "what if I could experience myself in a different way than I have been used to all this time?"
And this thought inspired the ocean. The ocean was so excited about this idea that it started to shiver and shake, and felt its own reverberations along its surface. Tiny fragile ripples formed on its surface, and the ocean experienced itself as these tiny ripples that started out of nowhere and were going along the surface to nowhere.
This was a momentous time, because for the first time, there was time. There was time, because there was movement and change. The ripples were here now, and somewhere else later, and some other place still later.
The ocean could hardly contain its own excitement. This experience was so novel and so refreshing that the ocean was inspired to create more of the same thing.
The reverberations of the ocean magnified and some of the ripples formed into wavelets. Now the ocean could experience itself in two new ways. How amazing.
The ocean was so energized that it threw itself upward in one swift motion and some of the wavelets turned into waves... and the ocean started to experience itself in a multiplicity of forms.
The ocean spoke to the sun and inspired it to shine even warmer. The sun warmed the atmosphere and winds started blowing. The winds gave more speed and momentum to the waves. Now the ocean was really moving. There were ripples and wavelets on its surface. But there were all sorts of different waves too. There were little waves and big waves. There were rocking waves, bobbing waves, rolling waves, foaming waves and spraying waves.
Some waves trapped little bubbles inside them and they turned white. Other waves, assisted by the wind, sprayed little droplets into the air, forming a wet mist.
The ocean was now experiencing itself in so many different ways. It was blue and white, it was full of air bubbles and airborne at the same time.
The ocean conveyed its excitement to the moon. The moon suggested that it would help the ocean create tides. What a great idea. Now, the ocean was seeing that parts of its massive body would rise up all together, yet other parts would recede with the ebb of the tide. In parts, the ocean would experience tidal waves with all their power, flowing towards the shore and ebbing back into the ocean. And the ocean thought, how wonderful to be able to experience myself in this way.
The earth spoke with the ocean, and from the excitement of the ocean, the earth started shaking and quaking. This caused massive tsunamis to start moving along the surface of the ocean... yet one more way for the ocean to experience itself.
But that was not all. The sun and the moon and earth and the wind had all conspired to assist the ocean in the experiences that it was having of itself. The sun warmed the little airborne droplets and the heat carried the vapors upwards. The moon created large tidal surfaces and tidal pools exposed to the sun, making it easier for the sun to vaporize the waters. The wind carried the vapors in pockets and formed clouds. The winds carried them to all corners of the earth, and the vapors came down to earth in the form of rain and snow and hailstorms.
Yet one more chance for the ocean to experience itself in numerous varieties. The ocean experienced itself rising, flying, and falling down. Sometimes it fell down very hard, other times it hovered gently and landed smoothly.
The ocean found itself on snowcapped mountains, in streams and rivers, in underground waters and springs. The ocean began to give life to vegetation and animals.
When the ocean fell through waterfalls, it would experience the thrill of the free fall. When it was blocked by a big rock, it experienced patience and tenacity. In running streams it felt the rush of the action, and in flat deltas, it experienced calm and serenity. The ocean was thrilled to experience itself in so many ways.
In the meantime, on the surface of the ocean, there were little waves and big waves. Some feeling insecure and defensive, yet others were self-assured and aggressive. Sometimes the larger waves would simply move and devour the little ones. At times, the tsunamis would come and leave nothing but destruction in their wake. Yet there were tidal motions that would uplift the entire ocean surface with all the little ripples and wavelets, as well as the bobbing, foaming, fuming, spraying, rocking and rolling waves.
Every now and again, the waves would look at each other and would find that they have turned green with the color of the algae. Other times, the agitation of the mud at the bottom of the ocean would turn them red or brown. The waves started labeling each other as red and green and blue and white, but the ocean would only know that it was experiencing itself in its multiplicity of forms.
At times, little bubbles would rise up from the vegetation at the bottom of the ocean, bringing a signal from the deep to the surface of the waves. Sometimes the waves would be inspired, other times they would be puzzled. They started theorizing and categorizing the various bubbles. Some waves would say other waves were crazy. What does it mean that a little bubble would appear out of nowhere, and you could only have a fleeting experience of it, before the bubble would burst. But the ocean only knew that it was experiencing itself from its depth to its height in the clouds.
Some waves would dream of rising up with the air and going to the clouds. Others would label them as dreamers who had their heads in the clouds. They advised these dreaming waves to keep their focus on the things that they had and stick with it, because they are waves and that is all there is too it. But the ocean knew that it was experiencing itself as pushing the envelop of its experience.
Sometimes a salmon or a dolphin or a whale would rise up from the deep and jump out of the waters, go over the waves and then disappear into the deep again. Tales of such stories had acquired mythic proportions among the waves. Those who had such sightings would describe their experience as paranormal. Creatures and apparitions from the deep would rise up and go over them and then disappear back into the deep. They would swear that these creatures were as real as all the waves they had seen, if not more real. But the majority of the waves who had not had such experiences would classify them as occult or a form of religious experience, or communication with the supernatural. Yet the ocean knew that all experience was as valid as any other. And the ocean only strove to experience itself in more and more creative ways, expanding its possibilities and the multiplicity of its experiences.
No matter what form a wave took, and no matter whether it went up into clouds or whether it retained its form on the surface, at one time or another, the wave would reach the end of its journey. Sometimes this end would come in an untimely way, in the form of being devoured by a larger wave. Or, they would hit a rock or island in the middle of the ocean. Sometimes the clouds would rain back into the ocean and never experience being a stream.
Other times, waves would end up reaching the shores of the ocean, or come down to form streams and rivers. No matter what was the form and the timing of the ending of the journey, all the waves would experience that ending. And when their journey ended, the waves would simply roll back into the ocean and become one with it.
The paradox is that they were always one with it, but so long as they chose to look at themselves as the wave, they imposed an artificial separation between themselves and the other waves and the ocean.
But always at the end of their journey, they realized that they are the other waves, and they are the ocean. That their contribution to the ocean was to enable it to experience itself in the form that they took.
© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
April 29, 2001
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