It is said somewhere that when viewing the march of human evolution, one should see humanity as one single person, and not as a conglomeration of individuals. When I reflect on this statement, I find it to be true, and after applying the esoteric Vedic philosophy to it, I have had the most profound mental vision of myself.
That just as the human embryo in its short ten months with incredible quickness, in a multitude of forms and semblances a myriad of times over, rehearses the entirety of our history of life from the primordial to the human. That in our brief years of childhood we rehearse the history of early humanity, from the wantonness of inflicting pain on other creatures in some, to tribal consciousness expressed by the almost innate desire to run in groups in others. And so we have each relieved all that early and primitive humanity was, and did, and became, until its family became even you and I and the rest of our kind up to this point in the twenty-first century.
Truly do we carry in us, each human alive today, the immutable and uncorrupted history of our life from life’s beginning. This story is written in our DNA, on our bones and in our organs and in our brain. This story is written in all sorts of physically and psychologically atavistic urgencies and compulsions. We were once fish-like, you and I, and we crawled up and out of the sea to engage in the great drylands adventure, in the midst of which we find ourselves now so many eons later. The marks of the sea are still on us and the tale of our times there is still in us. We once flew in the air and dwelt arboreally and were afraid of the dark. These vestiges remain, born deep in you and I and will be engraved into ours to come after us until the end of our time on earth.
In this vision I have had from this statement, I have seen in myself that one man in all his avatars and forms. We all have this tale: fantastic, most true, most wonderful, animist, real to each and every one of us. Although, I doubt I have the capability to tell any part of it, or that any of us have the capacity to perceive it when told. I have seen in myself that one man of humanity and in long trances I have glimpsed in my life a thousand living people living the thousand lives that are themselves the history of my humanity struggling upward through the ages.
I have died of frost and famine, of fight and flood; each and every one of us has. On the bleak backbone of the world I have picked series and dug roots to fight the hunger of starvation. On ivory tusks gained from the chase and on the rock walls of cave shelters when the storms moaned outside, I have scratched the reindeer’s semblance. I have cracked bones to consume the marrow on the sites of princely cities that had perished ages before our time or that were destined to be built in the times to come after our passing.
I existed in the times known now as the Paleolithic, the Neolithic and the Bronze. I was there when we herded our reindeer to pasture on the North shore of the Mediterranean. This was before the ice sheet melted back toward the pole. This is our true inheritance in life, all these lives were ours once, their remembrance is our jewel in life. I can see on this great drift southward and eastward ever under the burning sun that killed all the descendants of our great houses of the North, that I have been, we have been, a king in Ceylon, a father of Hyperbolia, a builder of great monuments under the Kings in Java and Sumatra. And I died a thousand deaths on the South Sea drift before ever the rebirth of us came to plant structures and monuments that only humans can plant on tropic islands that no one today knows the true and original name of anymore. If only I were articulate enough to paint in the abstract and frail medium of words of what I have seen and known and still possess in my consciousness of the magnificent driftage of the great masses of humanity in the days before our written history began. We had our history even then. Our elders, our priests, our wise ones, they told our history in tales and wrote those stories in the stars so our seed after us should not forget. From the sky came the rain, the life-giver, and the sunlight. We studied the sky, learning from the stars to calculate time and place the seasons. We named the stars after our greatness and heroes and our foodstuffs and our tools for getting our food. We named them after our wanderings, and drifts, and adventures of our journeys. We named them after our functions and our furies of impulse and desire.
And, with innocence, we thought the heavens unchanging. On them we wrote our humble yearning and all the simple things we did or dreamed of doing. But even the heavens are just passing fluxes, vexed with star-driftage as the earth is by drifts of humanity.
And the stars do change. We have seen polestars and whole dynasties of polestars. In those far-off days, I have seen the polestar in Draco, in Hercules, in Vega, in Cygnus, and in Cepheus. Not even the stars abide in time, but yet, the memory and knowledge of them abides in each of us, in that condition of us that is memory and that is eternal. All things must change. This is a condition of life and of existence. But yet, I am eternal, as are you, as are all of us. Through a myriad of shapes and forms we have made our way throughout the ages to reach this point. We have lived a thousand lives that have been just one life, subtly and profoundly different throughout the generations we have witnessed. We are eternal, this I tell you, this I assure you. All else passes and must pass. I have seen myself as, and see in myself, that one man who appeared in the elder world. He was ferocious, a killer and a lover, a meat-eater and a root-digger. I have been a gypsy and a robber, who through the millennia wandered the world around seeking meat to devour and sheltered nests for the younglings.
I am that man, the sum of him, the all of him, the airless biped who struggled up from the primordial slime and created love and law out of anarchy, of the fetid life that screamed around him. I am all that that man was and did become. I see myself through the painful generations, killing the game and snaring the fish, cleaning the first fields from the forests, making rude tools of stone and bone, houses of wood, thatching the roofs with straw, domesticating the wild grasses, fathering them to become the progenitors of rice and millet and wheat and rye and barley, and all manner of edibles, learning to scratch the soil, to sow, to reap, to store, beating out the fibers of plants to spit into thread and weave into cloth, devising systems of irrigation, working with metals, making markets and trade routes, building boats and discovering navigation, organizing village life, welding villages to villages until they became tribes, welding tribes together till they became nations, ever making laws of humanity so that humans might live together in amity and by collective effort destroy all the screaming, crawling things that might else destroy them.
I was this man in all his births and endeavors. I am that man today, waiting my due time by the law that I helped to devise, many thousand years ago, and by which I have died many times before this life.