When looking into the night sky, we observe the past as overlapping signals. It appears to be one image to us, because we have evolved to see single composed images that have relevance to us, not much else really. But what we are looking at actually are billions of years of particles, rays, and the lack thereof, all near each other, at the same time, visible from our very vantage point. Oh, what an incredible coincidence. They do not just exist. The signals from them, or reflected off them are actually passing right through us, meeting in us, as we stare at whatever we stare. We are on the way somewhere. And so are they. Everything is.
We look back into space and into time without understanding it. The depth of this view is much more profound than we could ever really comprehend. And we can try to grasp the vastness and complexity, but all we will ever understand are derivatives of derivatives of the actual idea, or just tiny fragments of that.
It’s too big for us.
And we do not want to deal with it all anyway.
And that stupendous universe does not only exist when we happen to stare up into the sky. That very same set of overlapping layers is all around us, at all times. We are part of them too. We are part of that gigantic explosion of energy and information, and we are all traveling somewhere, changing, evolving, refining. Everything is.
All of us collectively are part of whatever the universe might currently be doing. We are tiny specks in that awesome system. We are in motion, coming from somewhere and heading somewhere else completely.
And everything, every single thing around us, is also part of that movement, that motion, that transformation. We see layers of particles, and dust, stories, ideas, and information, light, and life and the lack of all of the above. Everything we see is an ever changing interplay of variously aged elements. Everything is of incomprehensible complexity, and profound impermanence. And yet we are animals so simple to just see composite images of it all. And we are not able to understand them as separate, since our intelligence was not evolved for that either. We only see what matters to us, at that very moment.
We are quite good at simplification and ignorance. We need to be.
And so what we imagine to see are variations of people like us, living things, and landscapes, and cities, and the sky. Stuff. We see stuff that was there before, and we see stuff that was somehow created by someone, or somehow. We perceive all this and imagine it as its end state, but everything around us is actually in the midst of becoming something completely different, of course.
To us, some stuff matters more than other stuff. We ignore what doesn’t matter. And we need to do that too.
And that’s how we keep shaping our world too: in simplification and blindness and ignorance to most of the complexities of the larger overlapping layers. That’s how a lot of creation is possible, but that’s also how a lot of destruction is just accepted, permitted, forgiven.
The images here are a collection of glimpses into that incredibly complex transient universe around us. Some of the viewers will find just a few of them of any value. Some will find them all completely irrelevant. And that opinion will also shift over time.
Someone out there might be able to enjoy the invisible layers of the moments observed here. It will be a happy coincidence when that person discovers what is being presented here.
It is a set of layers, assembled into new ones, physical or less so, in a constant motion towads something completely different.
Yet how lucky it is that we are here, and how lucky that we can meet.
Beijing, April 2014