Try being aware – fully aware – for one moment, of everything.
Start with everything on this page.
Every letter, every word, every meaning and thought conveyed, every drop of ink, or illuminated pixel.
Hold that in your mind.
Now add everything on the screen.
Now add everything on the table.
Yes, every crumb and page and scrap of paper; every object, whole and in component parts, and in its intent and purpose, color, shape, size, scent, texture, temperature, age and mass.
I can’t do it.
And if I could, how could I favor one, without diminishing my awareness of another?
How could I act for one, against another?
To know a thing, all of it, always, must be an act of supreme love.
To know each feather, each blade of grass, each stone, each man, each symphony and sermon and dissertation.
Each finger of every hand.
Each hair on the back of every animal.
Every thought and intent and action of mankind, from the meekest infant to the most powerful dictators and magnates.
Now a butterfly beats its wings.
In the same instant:
A child is born.
An old man dies.
A fish leaps out of the water.
A fly is swallowed by a fish.
A squirrel runs up a tree to escape a dog.
A dog barks.
A man is annoyed by the barking of a dog.
Two galaxies finally achieve gravitational proximity.
A plane takes off.
A woman waves at a departing airplane.
A man watches his wife wave to him from his seat on an airplane.
A woman reads the word “incognizance” and does not know its meaning.
A woman writes the word “incognizance” and understands, and hopes her readers will.
A father holds his child’s hand for the first time.
A mother kisses her daughter’s face before she takes her wedding vows.
A flower blooms.
A drop of rain falls.
Millions more fall with it; each one reflects/refracts a slightly different image of the the world.
Sunlight shines through a rain shower and casts a rainbow.
Somewhere else, the rain falls, but it is night time. There is no rainbow.
A young boy watches the stars.
A star explodes.
A man kills another man.
A man is killed by another man.
A woman kills a chicken for her family’s supper.
A chicken is killed.
Feathers scatter across the grass.
A breeze stirs a cluster of downy feathers.
A droplet of blood catches the sunlight.
A plane lands.
A baby laughs.
A horse breaks into a canter.
A car crashes.
An asteroid crosses the event horizon of a black hole.
A songbird takes flight.
A string breaks.
A beetle is eaten by a lizard.
A woman sings before an audence of thousands.
An old man closes his eyes to listen.
His wife reaches to hold his hand.
A shepherd boy sings to his flock in the steppes.
The sheep are indifferent.
The sheep are eating the grass.
The grass is eaten by the sheep.
A lamb bleats.
A hawk in flight watches a lamb.
A man falls asleep.
A woman wakes.
Can you know these things? And can you know also how, and why, and the exact pitch of each note of the song, or the laugh or the bleating of the lamb? Plus uncountable trillions of other things besides.
All in one moment.
And the next moment.
And the next.
And now. And now.
Could you be comdemned for seeming absent when you are all places?
Can you be blamed for not acting, preventing, or enhancing any event, when you witness, quantify, and understand all events, great or tiny:
The birth, and life, and death, and being of every thing.
Each word spoken, each breath, each pulsing heartbeat, each thought - synapses firing - each quivering atom of the universe.