The Weight of Being is the ninth meditation in Volume I of Minute Meditations for the Postmodern Pilgrim. Meditations are designed to be used in sequential order, beginning with The Darkness of Being.
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The Weight of Being
Go to your sacred place and sit by the fire; when you’re ready, press play again.
You are a liminal being.
As an animal with a highly developed consciousness and a capacity for ever increasing consciousness, you live, not in two worlds, but in one, richly imbued and ever expanding. Sometimes you glimpse your existence beyond time and space—not in the future—but, rather, now, in its fullness. Sometimes, when the fire burns bright, you see, briefly, the world within a world, and that world, somehow, within you.
But such awareness comes at a cost.
For the price of our knowledge is innocence.
They are mutually exclusive states of being.
There may be other species that have crossed this threshold of awareness, but as far as we understand, at this point in the evolution of life on earth, we hold a singular position. We do not incarcerate a lion, for example, who kills the offspring of a newly acquired pride, because we understand that his culpability, as he acts on behalf of his dna’s drive for survival, is different from our own; that his actions, as far as we can tell, are executed with an innocence inherent to the natural order of the earth—an innocence our species no longer has.
For we are gods now.
Or we are monsters.
There is no going back.
Your choice is to live in accordance with the dignity of an animal endowed with such a wondrous capacity or to spend your days running from your fears and chasing after your desires, driven ever onward by the darkness.
And so, today, as you sit before the fire in silence and solitude, consider the most fundamental question of your existence:
How do I choose to live?