Contemplation of the Unity that is the Person

Maybe we can get closer to the mystery of what it is to be human, a person, contemplating the nature of our experience in this moment.

The experience we are having here, right now is a whole: the monitor in front of us, thoughts, keyboard, words flow into one another within a single consciousness that cannot be defined, but contains various elements having different qualities.

Let’s focus on one system or structure: the physical. This monitor is physical as are the colors and letters it displays. The visual experience exists for us because of neural processes that communicate with one another – from the cells in our retinas to the neurons in our cerebral cortex. If any part of this is disturbed, we will be blind – the display as it exists in our visual world will disappear. Consider that the functioning nervous system that we can imagine out there, part of the physical world, is actually the phenomenon that is being experienced this moment. At the same time that this display is our nervous system, it is also the physical display itself. Within this experience there is a unity of what we are and what we are observing. 

This leads us to consider a second system of structure that constitutes this experience: that of mind. What is happening, although it relates to physical processes that can be chemically analyzed and otherwise measured and described, includes seeing, thinking and feeling. Through our senses, we enter into a relationship with the world around us. Mind brings our world into existence as the frame of reference giving us our particular understanding of the universe. The “information/data/input” is cognitively organized; the world we experience is shaped through learning that occurs through direct contact and societal teachings. So I am whomever, living wherever, working as whatever. (This is pretty amazing stuff.) The monitor in front of us is perceived and understood as an object having particular components, out there, being observed by us in here. The mind generally makes sense of things in terms of what it knows, but can see things afresh. We note that body and mind do not control one another – moving the physical entity that is the keyboard and the perception of its movement exist as a unity, they are a whole. Thinking also takes place as neurons fire in particular patterns. One person, two ways of understanding him/her.

This of course leads us to the spirit. We exist, understand, know beauty and goodness; we act and our actions/lives have meaning. The wholeness that is this experience that we each are experiencing individually, is situated in the now, a now which is finite, in that it does not encompass the All, but has no dimensions. It is ever still, as time, events and experiences pass through it. It is God’s breath, making this moment be. The tiny dot that skims the page and gives life to these words, gives them meaning, emerges from He whose Being is within all, encompassing all time and space, eternal. We can therefore love Him and love each other, perceive and participate in the creation of what is beautiful. We can exercise our will in accordance to His wish for us: the Good, Himself. We can also choose otherwise. 

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