A Strange Incarnation

Incarnate ManYou have paused while reading a book because you happened to notice your hands. You look at the little hairs on the back of one hand and think to yourself…interesting. You imagine the bones and joints and how the tendons work so well at writing or eating or holding the one you love. You think how finely sensitive your fingertips are to touch.

How wonderful and how strange your hands are!

Another time you look in the mirror and chance to look at your eyes. You never thought of it before, but now you think, “So,everything I see enters there—the road as I drive to work; the computer screen that connects me to a thousand information sources; the faces of all the people I meet.”  You don’t understand how the retina works or all those neurons, but you know it all comes through those two marvelous spheres.

It is beautiful…and a little shocking…what comes through your eyes.Some related pieces:
I’m Really Not Myself,” a poem
Every Spirit Builds a House,” short article
I Think, Therefore…” a poem

Later you are staring at a tall tree—or maybe a sunset—and thinking how beautiful nature is—but then you go beyond the thought itself and you notice you are having the thought. You wonder how a thought happens in your mind. Then you remember making a leaf collection in high school and you wonder where that thought is stored in your mind. You  know your brain has millions, maybe billions of brain cells and neurons. You are sure that your joy at the tree and the sun come from in there…and so does your sadness at a friend’s death not so long ago. There must be millions of memories and emotions hidden there.

You can hardly believe all that happens in your mind. You wonder, is my mind what makes me…me?

You think of a recent wonderful evening with friends. Then you think of your last big screw up—maybe that costly mistake at work. You think, “I am amazing—I guess—but sometimes a mess too.”

You puzzle about the universe of thoughts and feelings that happen inside of you—in your body and in your brain. You know a little about evolution, how over a billion years simple life forms evolved into the more complex…how finally mammals arrived, then humans. A strange trip—so slow…and so physical.

But you only have a little sense of that journey. Your personal journey began with your birth–and consciously only in your childhood. Mostly you are conscious that you are here right now, amazed at how your senses connect you to the world. And incredulous at what your mind is doing.

It feels magical…maybe even spiritual. What a strange and wonderful incarnation you are!

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