“I” am the complex human consciousness that emerges as a result of the information processing occurring in a body.
But what is that body?
That body is a colony of cells which, through eons of evolution, have achieved a thriving symbiotic existence with each other by composing a larger organism, in which the various cells perform distinct, specialized functions.
In one sense, “I” am a complete whole, a being, an existence unto itself.
But in another sense, there are much smaller, more foundational units comprising that Whole.
Those foundational building blocks (cells) are not “aware” of the “big picture” — i.e. the more complex consciousness that emerges as a byproduct of the information processing performed by the colony of cells. How could they be? They only know what it’s like to be a cell.
To any individual cell, the big-picture-“me” isn’t comprehensible as a discrete identity. The big-picture-“me” is the entire world to them.
Their universe, if you will: the ocean they are swimming in — unaware that they are wet.
The concept of a sentient, conscious Whole, of which each cell is just a single part, is absolutely unfathomable to any individual cell. It’s on an indescribably huge macro scale so far removed from the cell’s day-to-day existence in its little corner of its universe.
If an individual cell could, hypothetically, have the slightest inkling of the existence of the consciousness called “Ben”, how would they think about it?
How would they imagine it?
What would they call it?
It might as well be “God” to them.
“Ben” is a Universe unto himself.
And he is so far removed from the individual cells that compose him; he is on a different plane of existence from them.
He is “God” to the micro-cosmology inside of him.
Now let’s use this concept as an analogy and step up another macro level.
The composite “me” — the consciousness called “Ben” — is HUGE in comparison to the microscopic cells composing him.
But in turn, Ben is microscopic to the Universe he inhabits.
He is just a smaller foundational building block composing a greater whole that he cannot possibly fathom.
What is that greater whole?
He cannot know.
It’s incomprehensible to him. It’s a different scale; a different plane of existence.
Why wouldn’t there be other forms of consciousness, at a more macro scale and on a different plane of existence from mine? Why wouldn’t the Universe, in which I find myself, itself be conscious in some way?
I don’t have the slightest idea what that consciousness is like. I do not know what it is like to Be the universe. I cannot know and I never will.
But that’s perfectly okay.
Sometimes I have an itch on the surface of my skin.
I scratch the itch.
In the process, I annihilate hundreds of cells, shearing them off from my body and flinging them out of existence.
Those cells do not understand what happened. How could they?
But I, Ben, as a human-level consciousness, am orchestrating things within the physical space over which I have autonomy (my body) for the greatest good of the entire colony of cells. Even though they do not (and cannot) understand that, at their level.
Scratching an itch seems trivial and inconsequential and straightforward at the “Ben” level of consciousness. But perhaps it is an unspeakable tragedy at the cellular level. Or maybe not.
I am only “Ben” and I do not know what it is like to be a cell. I can only speculate.
But if I could wish something for the cells composing Me, I would wish that they understand that their Universe is a Good one. Sometimes incomprehensible things happen in their Universe. But it’s Okay.
Ben is Good, and his cells are Good, and they coexist beautifully.
If the bigger Universe, on its unfathomable level of consciousness (whatever that’s like; Ben cannot comprehend it), could somehow communicate and send a message down to my level and tell Ben something…
…what would it say?
I like to think that the Universe would say the same thing that Ben wishes to say to his cells.
“Ben, this Universe is Good, and you are Good, and We coexist together beautifully.”
This is God, and this is what He told me.