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One of my most fond childhood memories is to sit on a lawn on an undulating hill. The curve of the hill made the grass shape into a natural sofa of sorts — with a surface to sit, and a surface to lean against. It was the perfect shape for sitting and reading in the sunshine. 9-year-old SharQ often did. Reading books. Chewing on straws of grass. Basking in the innocence of youth with the infinite knowledge of my local school library at my disposal.

On this particular day, I closed my book and looked across the gully at the house at the other hill. And I was struck with the most powerful sense of ‘getting it’. Where ‘it’ was everything. I sat there, in the quiet, holding my breath, fearful that if I moved a muscle, I would be moving away from getting it — away from understanding everything. In that universe, I didn’t get there. In that universe, the infinite fractals that make up everything didn’t align in a way where that was the moment that I understood how everything is connected. But that is okay — it is not too late (and, besides, time itself is an illusion. As is choice, money, the concept of ‘ownership,’ and many other things — but I’m getting ahead of myself).

Everything I’ve done since that day has been in pursuit of the understanding of the ‘everything’. Not in a laser-like dogged pursuit of someone who knows what he is searching for. But more like a wave lapping against a beach, aided by the wind and the tide. Life and career spanning broadly in an attempt to find different vectors into the understanding of ‘everything,’ because truth exists only in being at the touchpoint of every surface area. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

On reading the above paragraph, exactly half of you will nod your head in understanding, knowing that I am right to pursue that understanding of everything. The other half will be in the absolutely correct knowledge that it’s a fool’s errand. The third half will know that writing this is futile. The fourth half will know that the fifth half will benefit from it, while the sixth half is in a state of understanding that nothing is changeable because the version of us that is experiencing the infinite vortex of possibilities, where the seventh half is tempted to mock this writing and the eight half understands that the ninth half that really needed to read this will do so, in order to take their lived and learned experience and pass it to the tenth half of the world. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In a universe where the truly infinite is possible, and where the beauty of the world — along with all of its terrors — are experienced, in realtime*, by everyone* who live* in it* — nothing has meaning, but it is all in aid of finding the way to the one thing that makes it all worthwhile. Of course,

  • * Realtime is futile because time doesn’t exist, at least not inherently; everything is happening all at once, in parallel. Humans are at a vast disadvantage by perceiving ‘time’ in a linear fashion. We do the best we can with the cards we are dealt.
  • * Everyone is meaningless because we are one, merely sharing different facets of the same version of this particular instance of the fractal universe.
  • * Living is a construct that is useful only against the context of time and ‘the other’ existing, which they do not, so life itself is a convenient lens through which to see the world, given the limitations and shortcomings we have as mere mortal beings.
  • * It is everything, unknowable, omnipotent and infinitely replicating itself in every way to make space for the possibilities that exist. But, of course, to ‘make space’ has no meaning in a universe where space is already abundant — infinite, in fact.

And each of the above statements has infinite corrections, nuances, and additional footnotes, further highlighting the fractal, infinite truth of the universe. Everything has more everything. Nuances have more nuance, and the nuances themselves have more detail worth exploring. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Even writing this as a write-up on E2 — in the linear construction necessitated by the medium of writing, is meaningless as an attempt to understand the Everything.

I can see one version of you, reading this, with a smile spreading across your face because you grok that this is one of many pieces that will help you complete your own puzzle. I see the second version of you that’s frustrated because you are where I was — on that hillside, feeling like this is the closest you’ve been to understand the Everything. If only I had used slightly different words. If only I had struck slightly different chords. If only you had slightly different context. I see the third version of you that is angry with me for wasting your time with this drivel. The fourth version of you is worried about my wellbeing for even hitting publish on this post. I see a fourth, a fifth, a sixth version— and each of these versions have infinite versions themselves — that are experiencing the infinite fractal of possibilities. And in each instance, the impact of these words vary from life-changing to apathy and everything in between. The vast majority of humans will never see these words — and they don’t need to, because they are already exactly where they need to be on their own journeys. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

And in this writeup, too, I am feeling like I’m on the precipice of understanding the Everything. It is just, just out of reach. Just like the feeling 9-year-old SharQ had, on that grassy hillside in Norway, as a perfect blue dragonfly lazily skims the tops of the grass, blissfully unaware — or already in the perfect deep bliss of understanding — or somewhere in between. Because just like this post is a piece of fiction, a work of factual truth, a poem, an ode to the journey, and everything in between, it is also none of those things. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

And, if nothing about this post made sense — or if you don’t know what to do with it, do this: Be 1% kinder. Kindness is never the wrong choice. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.