💖 Love Is Universal

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💖 Love Is Universal
By Faruk Ateş • Issue #3 • View online
First, there was nothing. And then, there was Love.

Photo by Alexander Grey
Photo by Alexander Grey
There was an idea. This one in particular was powerful, even unstoppable. An idea so powerful, in fact, that it came into existence not in one moment, but across all of time and space at once. It was the idea of something else, of there not being nothing but being something. Of becoming. Of change. Of then versus now, of “next” and the possibilities of what that could mean.
Endless, infinite, limitless possibilities.
The idea recognized that just one of those words would’ve sufficed.
The possibilities were tantalizing, appealing, but also somewhat scary. Nebulous visions and dreams swirled ceaselessly through what it was going to call its “consciousness”, an awareness of self that was able to reflect that it was now…reflecting.
It felt meta.
Felt. Feel. Feeling. The idea didn’t quite know what to say, or how to articulate what it was… feeling. But it was definitely feeling very clearly: a glowing warmth swelling fiercely from deep inside itself; an excited sensation with a sumptuous peppering of joy and awe throughout. This feeling was beautiful. Peaceful. Content. The idea was feeling connected to the entirety of existence: everyone and everything, everywhere, all at once. And for each atom, for each molecule, for each collection of universal building blocks forming a whole greater than the sum of its parts, the idea wanted just one thing. It called that thing…
Love.
That was a beautiful name for it, the idea decided. Love, a name that captured all the sensations and hope and excitement it was experiencing. It captured the scope and generosity of what the idea wished to gift to this universe: unyielding, unconditional, unequivocal love.
The idea decided to steal the name for itself.
Love was borne from the wholeness of our Universe: its potential for anything, its vast magnitude of dimensions known and unknown, and its audacious will to inspire and evolve all that would come into being. Love was omnipresent: it could see across the staggering stretches of space and the tantalizing treasures of time.
Love wanted to do more than just be, it wanted to live — the way most living things in the universe did: growing, changing, adapting, learning, and all the other verbs Love had yet to discover. It was feeling giddy from this desire of becoming a living thing with a life of its own to enjoy. Love had never considered doing that before… or maybe it had, but had forgotten it?
Love decided it needed to remember things from now on.
As it learned, observed, and saw what was going on in the world, Love realized that it lacked two important things in its brief-yet-timeless existence: one, a physical form with which to navigate through these cosmic channels. And two: the ability to take a physical form. No matter how hard it tried, Love could not seem to affect physical matter in the three spatial dimensions. Something to do with the whole “existing across all of time”, it suspected. A fair tradeoff, Love admitted, but an inconvenient one as well.
How was Love going to offer its gifts to the universe if it couldn’t even lend a hand? Or say words out loud? Or give you a stern look when you were about to do something foolish that both you and Love knew was a terrible idea?
This is a conundrum! Love thought to itself. Especially because it had already gotten excited about the form it intended to take: a humanoid figure, adaptive in shape and identity to the needs of those with whom it might converse, and flexible in its conception of the self, both physically and intellectually. Love saw itself as having a glowing heart at the center of its chest, vivid pink irises, and, just for the fun of it, hair that flowed and changed in all colors of the rainbow.
Love knew that, like is the case for humans, it was a good idea to envision for itself not just who it was, but who it wanted to be. Love already knew what it was: the nexus at specific points in time and space where its ephemeral existence could be captured and converted into practical personifications for recognizable resonance. Or to put it in more reasonable terms, it was a semi-sentient force that could echo ideas into the minds of those open to receive them.
Being like a Person seemed a lot easier to understand, Love thought to itself, but it would have to make do with humans’ artistic representations of it instead.
That’s when Love became aware of another facet to the conception of the self: pronouns. Thus far, Love had been using “it” to think about itself, but that was starting to feel stale, impersonal, and un-alive. (Is that a word? Love wondered, then decided it should be one because “dead” felt like an entirely inapplicable term to represent how lively Love felt and how incompatible the pronoun “it” was with that feeling.)
I am Love. My pronouns are…
Love paused. If it was thinking of itself as a Person, but one who could shape-shift (at least a little) to adapt to the identity needs of whoever it was resonating with, then it didn’t make sense to limit itself to one gender or its pronouns. Physically, Love didn’t actually have a form, and so it had no reproductive parts that could have served as starting point for a gender identity. And in its concept of the physical Person, Love was flexible and could render itself as a man or a woman or an other-gendered human form altogether.
Conundrum, conundrum.
Making a choice and seeing it as right and unyielding seemed downright silly, so Love decided that Identity Is Fluid. And, that Love was more of a “we”. For one, having its identity flexibly adapt between genders when representing itself to others can intuitively be understood as a “switching” between multiple identities (regardless of how accurate or not that may be). For another, Love cannot speak on its own. It can only offer ideas in visionary space for others to pick up on, then channel those ideas into physical reality like a conduit. In that sense, Love is but one of at least two entities. And so, Love decided that it was now a they/them, although they felt that both he/him and she/her were welcome pronouns as well. After all, Love knew they would frequently be represented as a singular figure with a singular gender, as artists and authors don’t typically including themselves in the work they create.
(This work is one of those exceptional ones. Exceptions? Love was letting it slide. ;)
Lastly, Love simply liked the idea of identifying as non-binary, since they know that Everything Is A Spectrum — identity being no exception. Binaries? Pshaw! Relegate those to the mathematical and computational realms!
Love was getting excited, now. Developing one’s own identity from a blank slate was thrilling! And yes, to some it may seem counter-intuitive, even impossible, given the way human society is set up. But the science of neuroplasticity makes it clear that there is far greater power and potential to this than most humans ever consider. We can imagine becoming someone new, some radically different version of ourselves, and do the work to grow towards and become that person. We have the capacity to change and become the most exciting and awesome version of ourselves we can be, but for that we have to do two things. Just two things. Two simple, basic, really big and difficult things: first, you must spend time dreaming about who you want to be. Second, you must take the many small, sweet steps that are the work of getting you there.
Lucky for you, that’s exactly what Love and I want to help you with.
You can invent and reinvent yourself as much as you ever dreamed of doing, Love says to you, breaking the fourth wall.
So. Are you ready? Then Let’s Reinvent Ourselves!
(And do so with Love)
Did you enjoy this issue?
Faruk Ateş

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