We can start with some easy similarities. On a bicycle wheel, the load is balanced so that each spoke assumes no more of the weight than it can handle. When the wheel momentarily pauses on a particular spoke, it soon moves again, shifting the load back to others. In life, we're never given a burden that is more than we can carry. Even if the wheel of circumstance places its crushing weight on us, the rotation of time eventually once again reduces our burden.
On a bicycle wheel, if one spoke breaks off, the wheel continues to spin although it is weakened in that location. In life, when someone departs behind the veil we call death, life continues to spin, although weakened by the loss of that member.
Getting a bit more complex, as we look upon the wheel from the perspective of distance, it appears as a whole unit rather than a collection of individual parts. As we change our perspective to one much closer, we discern the tire, rim, spokes and hub. Move even closer and we discover nubs on the tire, welds in the rim, threaded nuts on the spokes and gears inside the hub.
The wheel therefore, cannot be accurately defined by man, because our definition changes based on where we happen to be standing. Because the limit of our perspective limits our description, we must admit that we can't accurately define anything in its entirety. Our perspective just isn't large enough. The best we can do is provide a partial description that becomes an "idea" about the wheel, but never the wheel itself.
This simple conclusion forces us to reconsider everything we now accept as fact because we have just expanded our perspective.
As for the spokes on that wheel, they appear far apart on the outer edge of the rim, but as you follow them to the center of the wheel, they all connect at the hub.
What if people are like that?
We appear separate and individual here on earth (the rim) but what if we are all connected at some point invisible to us behind the veil we call birth and death (the hub)? What if our individuality is merely an illusion created by our position on the wheel (universe)?
Think about it. Aren't we happiest when we are "in flow" - that magical sensation of losing ourselves in an activity where 4 hours seems like 4 minutes? Yet, when we think with an individual consciousness about doing that same activity, time moves normally.
Perhaps this is evidence that the thought of a separate self is just an idea about life, while losing ourselves "in-flow" actually is life itself.
But then again, maybe not. Just when we think we've figured that bicycle wheel out, we discover it's connected to a larger mechanism. This new knowledge forces us to revisit all our earlier conclusions about the wheel in light of our new, larger perspective.
In life, just when we think we've figured out a truth, we discover it's connected to a larger one, forcing us to revisit everything we labeled as fact before expanding our perspective.
Perhaps this is why people say life is a journey, not a destination. Each time we get in sight of what we thought was the destination, our vision sees a new destination slightly farther than the prior one.
What an irony. What if like a bicyclist following a mirage, the effort to get ourselves ahead is the only thing preventing us from learning that our real destination arrives when we leave ourselves behind?
Mike Johnson is an energetic writer & entrepreneur. Learn more about Mike's offerings at www.MikeJohnson.biz