By Michael Gushue & CL Bledsoe
Ever feel like you don?t belong? Like there?s something vitally important in the world you?re not connecting with but you really should be? Some secret that maybe everyone else knows, or maybe you?re the only person even aware it exists? No, we don?t mean some people?s inexplicable appreciation of reboots of 80?s movie franchises (We?re looking at you, We Who Are About To Die Hard Salute You). We?re talking about the connection with the ineffable divine energy that may or may not be an actual thing. In other words, becoming one with the universe.
Becoming one with the universe has been a spiritual, mystical, and religious goal since Og got hit on the head with a rock and had a vision of The Great Woolly Mammoth Of Cosmic Love. It?s said that becoming one with the universe will solve many if not all of your problems, and the ones it doesn?t solve will become insignificant flyspecks in the great scheme of things to which you are now hip. (One drawback will, of course, be a ridiculous haircut.) Experts differ widely on exactly how to become one with the universe. Here are some of their theories. See if you can guess which one is correct. There will be no prize. If you want a prize enter the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.
When you die, your body returns to the earth and gets recycled in the Great Recycling Bin of the Universe. (We?ll try to cut down on ?the Great ____ of the ____? sentence constructions, moving forward. We promise. ) Your atoms disperse throughout the cosmos and your consciousness becomes part of the Web of Beauty? that holds everything together.
There are some variations on this particular idea, which may or may not be a bunch of made up hippy applesauce. Some folks believe in reincarnation, which would mean that just when you?re all snug and rested in your oneness after the horrorshow that is existence, you get ripped away to be an individual again and go be born. Which is a major bummer and probably explains why babies seem so angry sometimes. Of course, you eventually forget your oneness and become a regular old sucky person. The universe then keeps a scorecard of all the good or bad crap you do, and if it?s particularly bad, after you die, you have to be born again and keep living until you get it right. (That?s called karma.) Honestly, we don?t know if we even want to be one with a universe that would treat folks like that.
What we would like to know is who is in charge of doling out these judgments? Who decides? Someone?s got to be ticking that scorecard. Do they get good dental coverage? What about vacation time? Whoever it is, we?d just like to go on record stating that they must be very wise, good-looking, and a snappy dresser. Also, we hope they like cookies, ?cause we just made a boatload. Get ?em while they?re warm!
Transcending Time and Space
Transcending time and space and being one with the universe are pretty much the same thing. Except transcending space and time isn?t as hard. Why? Because time and space are finite (though, granted, extremely large) concepts, while the universe is infinite, like an enormous everything bagel. The point is, transcending time and space is something you can do on your own, all by yourself. Becoming one with the universe, on the other hand, is going to require a lot of consent forms, and three pieces of identification.
How easy is it to transcend time and space? Read on!
First fill your bathtub with 3 parts warm, heavy brine and 1 part topical itching cream, such as Dr. Numby?s 3-in-1 Ointment, which is also good for any rashes you might have (we know you have rashes). Put on a blindfold and use earplugs to block out all sound. Remember to lock all your doors and windows from the inside and disconnect or silence all electronic equipment. Put an intravenous feed into your arm and lower yourself into the tub. At first, you?ll be all like, ?This isn?t working. I?m still aware of the passage of time, and I can still feel space all around me.? That?s because we haven?t mentioned the last, critical step. Start quietly singing The Steve Miller Band song ?Fly Like An Eagle.? If you can?t remember the whole song, just keep repeating the chorus: ?Time keeps on slippin?, slippin?, slippin? into the fuuuuture.? In fact, singing just the chorus is better, since anything more would require paying ASCAP fees. Of course, since your ears are plugged, you won?t be able to hear yourself, exactly, anyway. That?s okay. Steve Miller?s words transcend mere ?hearing.? There?s no way to know how long it will take ? it?s different for every person ? but eventually Time and Space will become meaningless. You?ll be all ethereal and transcendent. That?s because Steve Miller is a wise, wise guru. Also, wait, did we forget to mention the acid? Gah. SORRY. Kind of need that.
The idea with meditating is that the biggest issue in our lives is that we won?t shut up for five minutes. By ?we? we mostly mean our own thoughts, the fuckers. They?re like a bunch of flies buzzing around in the toilet stall of your brain. Meditation is a means to swatting those flies and shutting that head noise down. And, let?s face it, that head noise is the source of a lot of our problems. Capitalism is the source of most of them, but the head noise is big, too.
-Do let your fears and, let?s be honest, your farts go.
-Do clear your mind of worry ? except you totally forgot to turn your oven off. Your house is definitely burning down.
-Do make yourself comfortable. If you can?t get into a lotus position (We don?t know what that is, so don?t ask), just lie face down on the couch.
-Don?t fall asleep.
-Don?t scream in fear at the sudden quiet as it reveals how small and utterly insignificant you are.
-Don?t accidentally die.
If you meditate correctly, your brain will start producing Alpha waves, which are like bitchin? transmissions that are totally rad and like tubular. Unless you?re more of a milquetoast, in which case, you?ll get Beta waves. #worstjokeever
We think this is when you take a fork and stick into an electrical socket. We?re not 100% sure. It might also have something to do with hats made out of aluminum foil. So, let?s explore that. The idea of an aluminum foil hat is that it shields your thoughts. Hey, what are thoughts, anyway? They?re electrical impulses, right? But, um, aluminum foil conducts electricity, doesn?t it? Soooooo wouldn?t an aluminum foil hat actually make your thoughts easier to read? Seems like folks have maybe been duped by Big Telepathy on this one.
Anyway, uh, we?re pretty nervous our heads are about to explode a la Scanners, so let?s move on.
Commune with Technology
We bet you thought we were going to say nature, right? Here?s the thing: nature is itchy. The whole point of human society since day one has been to get as far away from nature as possible. And the idea that there?s some kind of peace in nature? Pfft. It?s all pointy teeth and allergies. No way. What you need is some sweet, sweet technology. Like one of those channels that plays nothing but ocean waves, or The Bachelorette, but with the sound off while you simultaneously listen to nothing but Tom Petty polka covers.
The benefits of this are twofold. On the one hand, the sound and colors will drown out any pesky naturally occuring sensory information that might try to sneak in. On the other hand, when you commune with technology, you are reaffirming the greatest achievements of your species. Sure, flowers are pretty, but have you heard Tom Polka and the Beerdrinkers? They?re a revelation.
A Really Good Sandwich
Hear us out on this. Think about a really good sandwich you?ve had. Everyone has at least one that?s stuck with them for years. Remember how you felt smelling it, eating it, that moment right after you finished it. Close your eyes and really think about it, unless you?re reading this on your phone while driving. Actually, you know what? It probably doesn?t matter in that situation. You?re probably already embedded in the side of a building. Back to the sandwich. Let its memory fill your mouth, your senses. It was amazing, right? Maybe you thought it wasn?t going to be that good?but then it was. Maybe you were in a bad mood and then suddenly?you were happy. Truly, impossibly happy. There you go. For that moment, you were one with the sandwich you ate however many years ago. Now, all you have to do is expand that feeling to everything that exists. Easy peasy lemon squeezee . Don?t forget the fancy mustard.
We?ve had a lot of fun and poked out a couple third eyes getting to this point, and hopefully we?ve given you plenty to think about for about two seconds and then never again. Ultimately, becoming one with the universe is impossible because we are insignificant and the universe is vast. Imagine an ant trying to become one with the internet, and then ask yourself why you?re doing that. Wait, will you do anything we tell you? That?s so cool! GIVE US MONEY.
Sorry. Where were we? Oh yeah. If you were able to achieve oneness with the universe, it would mean that you would be totally consumed by it, which, hey, some folks are into that kind of thing. On the flipside, what if your ego were large enough to match the size of the universe? A Trumpian horrorshow that?honestly, we don?t even want to imagine. What we?re saying is you should probably get some edibles and relax. There?s a documentary about paperclips on Netflix. That?s it. That?s all there is. Enjoy it. Or don?t. Your choice. Oh, and may the Great Bird Of The Galaxy bless your planet (SORRY!)