Last week, I experienced the importance of the story in the things I am engaging and surrounding myself with.
I started off with an internal debate about “self” in the context of the world. Where do I, Helge, start and where do I end? What is truly mine in this world of complete interconnectedness?
What’s my role, my contribution, what’s my personal life, and how really am I in the world? What is defining me, and what’s my community?
The internal conversation turned into a love song as the week progressed, and I realized that it is not about the self or the other, but that self only exists in the relationship to other. We manifest in the presence of the other – without the other there is no self. We are defined by our dignity and by our relationship to our food, our family, and our community.
Community in the sense of Aldo Leopold’s words: “to encompass all life forms: plants, animals, rocks, rivers and human beings.”
As I looked at my community, I understood that it is all about the quality, the story of the things that make our community that defines us.
First, consider the uniqueness of your life: In 30 million years of human evolution, you have never been here before – as far as we possibly know, no one has ever lived who has your thoughts, your body, your feelings, and your talents – what ever they may be. You are a “one time only” miracle in creation. You have never been here before, and you will never be here again. It’s about a 75 year or so snapshot in the space of time, during which you are comprised out of the endless possibilities of creation.
Imagine this: There are eight notes in an octave, and eight octaves on the keyboard of a piano, plus some half-tones – 88 keys in total. In addition, there are beats, and different styles, but basically, you can bring the majority of music in the Western World back to those eight notes as the framework of all classical and all pop tunes that were ever written and that will ever be written. There are some other scales in music in the Eastern tradition and in other parts of the world, but everything your ears are used to, from Beethoven to the Beatles, every melody, every lullaby, and every bird song is created within the frame of these eight notes.
Imagine the entire world of music comprised out of it – an endless universe of sound inspired by only eight notes, and eight octaves.
So now imagine what created you. The infinite number of possibilities, 30 million years of evolution, your great, great grandfather and how he met his wife to birth to your great grandfather, everything they ate, their sickness, their fortune, their destiny, where they traveled, the risks they took, what they said, and what they thought.
And that’s just your bloodline – imagine all the people they interacted with, the farmers that grew every bite of food that every single person in your bloodline ate throughout thousands of years – imagine all the farmers, all the bees, all the rain. Imagine all the animals that were involved, the thousands of miles of carts drawn by horses, the endless acres of land plowed, the millions of seeds planted.
All that, created you. You are an unprecedented composition, and only you will ever exist in this form.
And when it is your time to pass on, you will re-compose into another life form. Scientists found that the calcium in the spine of a grizzly bear is 80% of oceanic origin. The salmon has become the bear.
Einstein’s formula E=mc square says that energy and matter are the same – and we cannot create anything out of nothingness, nor can we destroy anything into nothingness.
So you have never been here before in this constellation, and yet, there is an old story in you, in all of us, in all the parts that made you. And when it is your time to pass on and to become another life form, your story will be added to the soil. So make sure it’s a good one, a healthy story, a happy one, full of love.
And make sure that in your lifetime you add good stories to your body, because every carrot has a story, and when you eat it, in minutes, you can measure that carrot in your blood stream. The carrot and its story will become you.
So make sure you know the story of your food. And make sure it’s a good story.
And when you have created a community of beauty, health, and dignity, then go and celebrate the opportunity of your uniqueness in this lifetime.
You are the one we’ve been waiting for.
We all are the ones we’ve been waiting for.