What if We Used to Be the Same Person?

person sky silhouette night
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What if we used to be the same person? Or will be the same person in the future? Or both? Were and will be.

Lost yet? Let me give you a glimpse of the kinds of thoughts that can take over my brain in the middle of the night.

Several years ago, I read A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It’s a popular science book. One thing he said stuck with me and I think about it often, sometimes even in broad daylight. Since matter is never destroyed, only transformed, that means all of the atoms that make up our bodies used to be other things. Or people. It’s possible that some atoms in my body right now used to be part of Shakespeare. And we know we’re all made of stardust, right? Which is amazing. Here’s an article explaining what I’m saying. 

So I was sleepless the other night, and pondering all of this existential stuff once again. Somehow, as many times as I’ve thought about the wonder of it all, and what it means on a spiritual level, my brain had never taken the next step. Until now. If some of the atoms that make up my body used to belong to someone else, and some of the atoms that make up your body, dear reader, used to belong to someone else, isn’t it possible we both have previously owned atoms from the same source? What if we used to be the same person? And even if we weren’t, it’s possible we will be in the future.

When asked how we should treat others, the Hindu sage, Ramana Maharshi answered: There are no others.

There are no others. We’re one with the stars. We’re one with each other. I’ve just now become aware of that on the atomic level.

Let’s be kinder to ourselves. How about it?


2 thoughts on “What if We Used to Be the Same Person?

  1. I have always liked the Golden Rule, Do Unto Others as You would have done to you. It just seems so clear that we should be kind to others and we should teach our children to be kind. Your essay is wonderful and really helps people to think of all of us as interconnected in both a physical and spiritual way. What a great way to see ourselves as truly related to all other human beings, animals, and plants. The implications of this idea are mind-blowing!

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