To achieve this, I will need to restrict the images we talk about in much the way we are restricted in how we think. I will use two-dimensional objects to describe a three-dimensional world (I’ll get to the additional dimensions another time).
Let’s play monopoly. You can see the board on the table. You can choose where we sit. You can include any of your friends or family at the table. Visualise the table and the monopoly board. Good. Can you feel your elbows on the table or are you sitting back in your chair, quietly arranging your title deeds and money? Either way, we are going to play monopoly.
For some reason, one of our guests pulls out a deck of cards. We continue playing monopoly for a few rounds before she starts dealing cards to each of us. We know her as someone who is quirky, so we smile and nod and continue playing monopoly.
But, soon, we realise that she is not playing around. She is serious. We ask her what the heck she’s doing.
“I’m trying to transcend this game; trying to get to the essence of what monopoly is all about,” she says.
You and I continue to play monopoly, despite our quirky guest. Our other guests start playing cards and monopoly at the same time. Soon, another version of the card game is introduced and we join in. It doesn’t take long before we are all playing monopoly and multiple types of card games.
We convince ourselves that we have transcended monopoly and are exploring the essence of what all games are.
The reality: we are not playing monopoly. We are flaying about, busying ourselves with additional tasks to fill the emptiness of the game. By adding complexities, we convince ourselves that we are understanding the subtle nature of game theory, chaos theory, luck, chance, and even God.
We may be multi-tasking, but we are not playing monopoly. Nor are we only playing poker, canasta, bridge, or any other card game. To play monopoly, we must follow the rules. To play poker, we must follow the rules. Yes, we can evolve and create a new game. But, it would no longer be monopoly or poker.
There is nothing to transcend in monopoly. Likewise in poker. They are what they are.
We are all confined within our boundaries. Any sense of transcendence or elevation into the spiritual realm is really the leverage of assets within our existing boundary.
Example: Flying humans
The dreamer invents a flying machine. It is the leverage of our intellect to break things down and create new things. The new things are made with very definitive purposes. Like us, all created things are limited.
The flying machine can leverage its position through optics or weapons. This is not transcendence. It is only the application of other boundary-bound items.
A symbiosis is created when sufficient amounts of these boundary-bound items co-exist. In nature, this is witnessed through evolution.
For the unbelievers of this boundary-bound existence, this new ‘life’ is described as a miracle and is ascribed to God. Evolution and the addition of symbiotic boundary-bound elements is no more a miracle than the current smart phones and the interconnectivity within its circuitry and other online devices. Both may be described as miracles. Both are still boundary-bound.
What about God and our spirit’s ability to connect to the infinite?
Playing cards will not transcend monopoly. Self-knowledge is the best we can hope for. Cards are cards, and games are games. Each of us run on our own set of rails, many unseen. Like a train, we inexplicably make our way in a direction without fully understanding why. The first step is to recognise the rails we run on. In the final examination, we can only be who we are.
The meaning of life is to be who you are. To be.