yellow butterflies

Here's the first sentence of an essay I almost wrote this week:

"Approaching age 70 I've just about decided that throughout the whole Universe and in all dimensions of reality there must be just One Thing -- the Everything, the evolving Universal Creative Impulse."

However, after writing that, I put the pen down and looked around.

For, the above insight came with baggage. That baggage was the growing feeling that once you come to terms with the One Thing concept, there's little more to say about the matter.

That day, with the One Thing thought in the back of my mind, it seemed that what really should be written about was the very nice day in progress.

All week a large low pressure/ zone of disturbance had been stewing in the Bay of Campeche off the Yucatan's western coast, kicking up afternoon storms here in the interior. On the afternoon when I wrote the above sentence, deep, rumbling thunder rolled across the lowlands from a slate-gray smudge on the horizon. There was a fine breeze, and it felt good sitting on the hut's porch wearing nothing but shorts, and sweating.

The forest all around was deep and green, a world of lush, soft herbage densely populated with caterpillars of every color and pattern, some of which dangled on silk threads at the hut's entrance, swaying back and forth in the wind. Others were falling victim to about 20 baby Musovy Ducks here at the rancho, all following various mothers around, learning not only how good caterpillars taste, but also how to snatch ticks off leaf blades, and how to distinguish soft, new, edible sprouts from crusty, old ones that might wedge in a duckling's throat. Nothing looks more earnest than a little yellow duckling trying to keep up with mom, and figure things out along the way, and nothing is more concerned looking and protective than an old mama duck.

That day birds sang and as many butterflies animated the landscape as could be wanted. In fact, that very morning I'd taken a picture of yellow butterflies gathered on moist, compost-rich soil where I'd just watered emerging muskmelon seedlings. You can see the butterflies -- imagine what it was like when they all exploded into the hot, super-humid air -- at the top of this page.

Also that day, a couple of old dogs looked especially grateful for any pats on the head they might receive. Down in the Papaya orchard, doves left pigeon-toed tracks in the dust, and that morning a little before dawn's first light a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl had called right beside the hut, and he'd been there at the same time the previous morning, and would be there the morning after. And Royal Poinciana trees and Bougainvilleas were at their peaks of gaudiness, almost too much concentrated, explosive redness for an otherwise profoundly self-absorbed, deep-dark-green landscape.

But, see, that was all just One Thing. And the thought that's been growing these days is that every distinct-seeming thing in the Universe, including ducklings, Bougainvilleas and myself, is analogous to the color displayed on a computer screen's pixel. The color of a computer screen's pixel is determined by the precise combination of red, green and blue that pixel displays. If the pixel appears green, then it is displaying light in which red and blue are missing. Add some red to the green, and you get yellow. Colors we think of as individualistic, as sovereign, intrinsic features of things, turn out to be definable in terms of what they're lacking, and I'm thinking it may be the same with all us other "individual entities" in the Universe.

In other words, we entities, thinking we're different and apart from everything else, are defined by that part of the One Thing's oneness hidden from us. Filter out the greater part of the One Thing's infinite omnipresence, infinite omniscience, and infinite creative impulse, and you get an entity feeling different from everything else, and apart, like myself all these years when I thought I was a packet of awareness surrounded by other packets of is-ness in an ocean of nothingness.

These days as I walk around with the One Thing insight humming in my mind, with the landscape's green augmented by the Bougainvilleas' red and the sky's blue, I most definitely behold on a spiritual level exactly what my computer screen shows when all its pixels display red, green and blue light in equal measure at high intensity:

No color separation at all, just pure, glorious radiance.