The lightness and heaviness of being alive

There is a marvelous lightness in ‘being’ alive. And a heaviness also that is beyond the dimension of the matter. The extra dimension of sentient life in matter (we may call it soul for simple reference) makes the matter very light. The same matter without this energy, or call it soul, feels weightier.

The birds are very light. Hold a living bird in your hand and you would marvel at its weightlessness. How can such a feathery thing accomplish such airy dances and sing-song chirpings?

A babbler entered the fenced yard. It seemed a suitable plan on the bird’s side to seek safety because it couldn’t fly. Maybe it was a sick babbler. It sat there on the ground sad, silent with a drooping beak. It would hop for a few paces and then rest. It sat near a water puddle and took a few beakfuls of water. I tried to feed it with a dropper but it won’t eat anything. When I held it in my hand it felt so light, just a winged representative of the air around.

It came in the morning and died in the afternoon. I found it in its eternal sleep in the flowerbed. As I picked it up for giving it a dignified burial I could feel weight this time. So there is a mystical type of lightness in being alive. Maybe the soul has a floating quality to make the matter feel less weighty while it’s in the body. The soul gone and the same mass feels heavier.

Maybe the soul is always acting in reverse to the forces of gravity, always looking upwards for expansion, always trying to expand and go up, trying to evolve into a higher dimension. Just like the lifebelts keeping the body afloat on water. Maybe that’s why it feels like to be in a cage, I mean that vague sense of being trapped, that niggling sense of something missing. Like air trapped in a balloon, floating the body around. And once the tendency to float, the inclination to expand, the urge to evolve—represented by a particular soul—is gone for a free float (before getting trapped again) the mass that remains behind feels weightier. Like a balloon would weigh more after getting deflated and the air gone out.

It’s marvelous that just one breath keeps us alive and afloat, keeps us in the category of the lightness of being. Maybe the soul is just a breath. But look at its divine component of ‘the lightness of being’! We can easily lift a live being. Lifting a corpse is far weightier proposition. The floater is gone and the stickler is left behind. Just one breath gone and we have a piece of relatively heavier matter. One breath in and we have a far-far lighter being.

So we have this iota of infinite freedom and expansion trapped in this body. It’s always trying to float freely, like the air in a balloon taking it in different directions. But that is the irony with existence. To manifest, the component of absolute freedom has to be trapped in the confines of limited ‘matter’.

But why do the free-floats, the individual souls, again get trapped in the body? A spiritualist once told me that all the surrounding air around us is full of free-floats helplessly, even jealously, looking at we the embodied ones. They look like jealous children at the embodied ones. Probably we love and hate the prison in almost equal measure. A kind of addiction to being something. And to be something you need a body. Body is acquired, then what. The one that acquires the body, the cosmic representative of ultimate freedom (the soul), has the fundamental inclination and urge to be free. It breeds a type of endless love-hate relationship.

What is ultimate liberation or freedom? Maybe it’s the state of a free-float when it no longer feels jealous of the embodied entities. When a sage quits the body in complete freedom, without fear, without any attachment, without any desire or expectations, he goes for a cosmic expansion, so large that it can no longer be trapped in a confined body. Because a fragmented individual disembodied entity cannot beat the greed of getting trapped again unless it becomes a part of everything that’s there. The wholeness cannot be lured to be confined to limited ‘somethingness’.  

Maybe this is what they mean by getting ultimate liberation by feeling all and everything within you. With this unqualified trait acquired all that is trapped and non-trapped feels within you. Like free air feeling the trapped air in a balloon as a part of itself. So it won’t feel inclined to be trapped in a balloon to feel its existence.

So this body itself is the gateway to break the final barrier. It’s the portal to enter that unqualified state of absolute freedom. That is why they say being born as a human is a blessing because we arrive qualified to pass the final test. Best of luck for the examinations of life!