Monthly Columns

As Above, So Below (How the Stars Became Our Hearts)

Everything, Everywhere, For all Time



A fool thinks he knows everything. A wise man knows he knows nothing. But… what is everything?

Well. We don’t know much as a species. Our whole existence is a grab bag of unanswerable questions and paradoxes. Like the Fermi paradox, which is the absence of obvious evidence for alien life, despite the clear logical prediction that they should be there.

Religion and science have struggled to understand everything, both as individual pieces and as an all inclusive collective. Throughout all time of collective human history, the closer we get to the answer, the further away it seems to be.

Religion, and science, (which is a religion) have struggled to understand everything as the relationship of all things to each other. The concept of God as a being who exists everywhere, at all times, is everything, and knows everything is essentially the same as the scientific pursuit to find a Theory of Everything.



The idea of unifying the gigantic astronomical bodies, with the subatomic universe, and explaining consciousness just seems to be beyond human capacity. The more we know, the less it makes sense.

We’ve gotten better at disambiguating things, and naming their parts, but it’s ultimately brought us no closer to understanding any phenomena. Atoms are 99% empty space, yet objects have mass. It seems that mass is just a property given to an atom by gravity, a force we don’t understand completely. We don’t understand consciousness either, or how it arises from what is, like the universe, just an assortment of matter that magically summons a phenomenon.

Perhaps it’s that science and religion both occupy oppositional viewpoints, and a perspective in the middle is required. Sure, the physical world that is (apparently) around us is (apparently) made of stuff, but at the same time, consciousness, and thoughts and ideas themselves are not (apparently) made of stuff, yet are very real… (Apparently)

But just because things are apparent, it doesn’t mean they are. We can ultimately come no closer to understanding the universe than seeing shadows on a cave wall from the outside. We can never truly know what casts those shadows. The whole of human knowledge is just scrutinizing the shadows cast. It brings us no closer to truth. The only truth we can glimpse is from within, and even our consciousness can’t be understood.



Whether science or religion or words themselves describe it successfully or not, there is a truth inherently at the heart of all sentient beings. A truth we know and take for granted, but struggle to explain. Like we are sure we exist right now, but can’t prove it to anyone. Like that certainty, we know we’ve always existed and will exist for all time. We know that everything is connected, and somehow made of the same thing. And that that singularity is completely filled to the brim with empty space, shining like gold upon an infinite abyss of nothingness.

Infinite complexity and intelligence arose from the sea of chaos. Connected in an eternal web. A family. A network. A tapestry. Intricately woven together. Every event, being, and instance in all space and time, happening all at once. It all has one name. A name we don’t know. But it is also our name. Our breath. Our life’s blood. Our dreams, our deepest feelings, come from this unseen unknown self embedded in every point of reality.

As we let go of understanding this mystery intellectually, the more it becomes obvious spiritually, that the purpose of life is to be doing what you’re doing. Right here, right now, as this being. And that’s how your story ties in with everything, everywhere, for all time. You are the forest and the trees. The galaxy and the earth within. Every being that has been or ever will be born. All at the same time. Its purpose could be beyond our understanding, but perhaps it’s closer to home. Perhaps it is our job to just be what we are, and to be the best expression of ourselves, and with time, where we fit into the grand design will be apparent.

We’ll continue to quest for the knowledge of everything, but perhaps the quest(ion) itself is where the knowledge truly lies.



About the Author:

Alexiel Raynes is a shaman, philosopher, and musician from Louisville, Ky. He has studied religion and science for over 20 years. His spiritual path focuses on self realization, the liberation of the constraints of the mind on consciousness. He also studies plant medicines and their use in indigenous cultures world wide. He is fascinated with exploring the world beyond the veil of mainstream western science, and postulates at what lies beyond general consensus reality. He, together with his business partner are the owners of Saol Bandia, a holistic herbal apothecary based in their hometown. They are also very active in raising pagan awareness in their community, and helping give witches the courage to stand up to a world that has forgotten our ways.

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