Sometimes, I get caught up in a thought; a mundane thought no less, yet I find it is those humdrum thoughts that best isolate my senses. It is a short reprieve from my current state, then, abruptly, snapping back to consciousness, it takes me a moment, brief but certain; to recollect which life I am now living. I must say living in the vaguest of sense. By all accounts of my previous state, I am not technically alive. But here, still at the mercy of linear time and essentially the same- a conscious entity, some piece of me is still trailing behind.
I do not consider my current state permanent. From first leaving my past condition I have changed, and even aged, though, not in the way mortal men change. My body continues to expand and stretch over the universe, I hardly can control it, but just as how in life you cannot sense nor command your very organs and entrails, they are no less a part of you.
My physical body was not a prison. Men often speak of “lifting the shackles,” leaving behind all the pain of a past existence. How naïve to think that by merely crossing a threshold one would shed the burden of emotion. And where memory fades, emotion persists. Even now, my memory is clouded at best, has it been days or decades? I can’t quite gather it, but sometimes an object, a coo of a bird, a faint smell, strikes a cord. After so extensive an existence, the memory is long forgotten, but I often shutter as the feeling travels to what can best be described as, my very fingertips.
I continue to exist, though, nothing can prove it. The cause of my death, whether buried deep in my consciousness, or merely a failure of memory, has long escaped me. One might think this would be a burden, that in the face of interminable consciousness a person might toil to recapture the past. That is not the case. It is true that I no longer sleep, nor do I eat. It may seem atrocious to a living person but just as a tree has no need for conversation, I have no need (nor want) of these past things. I have no intention of spending the present striving to reconcile what I was. There are pieces, certainly, but why else would I be bound to linear time, if not to take part in it?
I have heard of ghosts, other ghosts. One might think that we would come together, provide each other solace in the eternal bleakness, but in death your needs change. We no longer struggle to survive. Hence, often times you will never find a creature more consumed by his own existence, bumbling unaware throughout the universe, completely unconcerned by anything or anyone else. I do believe these spirits were that way in life as well. I don’t know why. I do not know were a spirit starts nor ends. In fact, in the dark of death, I do not know where even I start or end. It takes great concentration to collect my pieces from their slow journey into the universe, to show myself as something moderately cohesive.
Many of the living have sought me. Here, in the swamp I take refuge, though I can sense other places. The universe is immense, but I am grounded in this place, on this earth. The creatures of the swamp are well aware of my presence. I think they understand my existence better then myself, for among the animals, there is law and natural order and their acceptance of me is evidence (suffice to myself) that I am a part of order. Why in the heavens a spook would desire order is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps it is proof of my undying humanity. And humanity in return, seeks me out. Many people from many realms come before me, as if I could offer any answers. They fail to see that in the pit of death, nothing but more questions are manifested.
This tiny planet has changed profoundly. Even my swamp moves so quickly. I can sit and stare for months and years without a moment of dullness. If you should stand very still and simply watch, that is when the cycle and order reveals itself. The universe is a language, no creature among it can quite understand. Though I’ve stared and thought for decades now, full revelation eludes me. I know that a puzzle exists, the pieces are apparent. I am sometimes amazed that anything exists at all. And existence persists. Look at me for example. However, at the risk of sounding haughty, I must admit my presence is a rare occurrence; for having witnessed millions of deaths, none have been called to my condition.
I have begun to accept my existence, just as the living have accepted theirs. Am I a fluke? Perhaps I am more evolved, somewhere in my mortal DNA some renegade gene mutated to maintain my existence well past mortal boundaries. But I do not believe death is an error, a mere accident or the bane of existence. My state is highly efficient, living things however, take up space and create waste, taking up more space and using up more energy.
If we all hung around forever there would be no room. So then it should be concluded death is a symptom of the universe’s minuteness. I often times wonder, as my limbs and pieces meander outward into all regions of space, will I ever touch the edge? Or will I slowly dissipate and dissolve into thin air, as the universe is too massive, even for the likes of my constitution? I don’t know whether I should wonder where everyone is or wonder why anyone here exists.
While I don’t remember much of my mortal life, I remember enough to know at least I started out a living creature. And though, I am different now, I still feel an affinity to the earth which bore me. What is it that divides humanity from other nature? If it is merely consciousness then what divides me from the rest of humanity?
Not only was I once living, I was also a human. I’ve spent much time around other creatures, the fish, the birds, the gators, the trees, the tiny little amoeba that roam the mud. There are so many living things, and while the living men set themselves apart from nature, in death there is a stranger divide. At once you see how natural men are, they are of the living, but at once you see how they disrupt the order of things.
I do no believe humans fell from grace. In the daunting darkness of nature we survived by relying on our wits. So we evolved, getting smarter and smarter until we just didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We have shaped the current landscape, just as primitive bacteria shaped the earth billions of years ago. If more humans had millennium to witness the power of small change then perhaps it would not be so taken for granted. But the world has been shaped, for better or worse, by a string of continuous events. It is hard to decipher the sequence, why certain events made massive impacts where others hardly penetrated.
The present, ever unstable, relies so heavily on the moments leading to it. And for what purpose are we thrust upon the present? Does it lead to anything other than change? What is so valuable about change? Perhaps, forever bound to evolution, it is simply a byproduct of flux, a subconscious element working away, unannounced to us, a primitive need routed in our very DNA, tied to survival through variation. Humanity values progress to no end. But I wonder if human progress is another byproduct of a highly evolved bored mind.
But what of my mind, is it still human? If men cannot figure out a place in the earth for themselves then what is a ghost to do? At times I have doubted my place here. But I cannot think of anywhere else I ought to be, or at least, I am not privy to it. Perhaps someday I will merely cease existing. I should not share so many of my doubts and quandaries, the living have grown accustomed to seeking me for answers. Little do they know I am nothing more then a continued host to all their unanswered questions. My body seems to expand with every conundrum.
There is, however, some wisdom that comes with age, not so much an understanding as an acceptance of the universe. Eventually I had to accept, that yes, I am of this earth (at least for the time being).
This conclusion has been put to the test, time after time by the living. Though I have never hidden myself, there is something about the supernatural world that humans cannot fully comprehend, nor can they live with insurmountable truth to its existence. Meanwhile, animals have the capacity to fully embrace the existence of ghosts, simply because they are incapable of scrutinizing its implications. In essence, humans became so contemplative the absolute proof of the supernatural would drive them insane.