Human Orientation

short story

To Our fellow Consciousness, 

Congratulations! You’re next. Thank you for waiting. The human experience is a popular choice.

We understand it’s been centuries, but We ask just a few more moments of Our infinite time to explain what you’ve signed up for. This is entirely for your sake. We find that after this orientation, some decide to forgo the human experience. Should you choose to continue, rest assured you’ll want to be as prepared as possible.

There is no need to take notes. You won’t remember any of this.

For this orientation, We’ve chosen the popular English language. Once born however, you will learn one of roughly 6,500 different languages humans recognize. The good news is there is no limit to how many languages you can learn! Despite this, 83% of humans know only one or two languages, so take some care in which you adopt.

You will be born on Earth. It is 71% water. While logical, do not attempt to breathe water. You will much prefer air. You may drink water. But not from the 71%. Get it somewhere else. More on this in a moment.

It is common to wonder why the most dominant species on the planet has yet to fully utilize the space available to it. For now, please attempt to fit in on the remaining 29% of the planet. Yes, it is a tight fit.

Human vessels, or bodies, come in a variety of colors and sizes. Your vessel, like the Earth, is a majority water; about 60%. You might think your body is a convenient source of water, but there is no need to drink it as it is already inside of you. It is generally recommended not to ingest anything that has already been inside of you.

In some cases, based solely on the shape and shade of your vessel, other humans might determine your potential for utility. Do not let this rhetoric deter you, however. You may use your vessel in any means practical to you.

Since We are on the subject, there is some minor maintenance involved with keeping your vessel to task. Let’s quickly cover the basics. 

You must eat. Unfortunately, humans generally disagree on what you should eat. You might find great satisfaction in consuming the flesh of other animals. Or, you might find this revolting, preferring instead a diet of plants, which despite also being alive seem to some humans to be less repugnant.

In America, the de facto capital of Earth, 70% of humans are considered overweight. Despite being fully aware of this, many allow their vessels to descend into ruin. While some simply embrace the fleeting nature of existence and eat accordingly, this phenomenon is more likely due to the prohibitive expense of healthy foods. It is far more cost-effective to eat in a way that deteriorates your vessel into disrepair.

Should you be so lucky as to have the financial means to procure healthy food and somehow the time to maintain a functioning vessel, you must accept further congratulations! Your experience as a human will be marginally longer and others will look up to you with admiration. Or hateful jealousy. Or both! The human experience is wrought with inconsistent truths.

As mentioned, you must also drink water. Again, most of Earth’s water is extremely harmful to drink. In many countries, drinking water is piped directly to your shelter. However, that may also be harmful to you. You may purchase prepackaged water which has been deemed safe for your convenience. But this will likely come in plastic casing, which is extremely harmful. 

It’s difficult to explain why water, the bedrock of humanity, is still sold as a commodity. Nevertheless, you must purchase it one way or another or your vessel will deteriorate quite painfully. Just do your best.

You must sleep. A lot. Roughly a third of your experience will be sleeping. This gives Us a chance to sift through your day’s experiences and glean any useful information. And also a little for Our entertainment. Of course, you won’t know this. You’ll be sleeping.

You will need to wash your vessel regularly. If, as previously mentioned, you have water piped directly to your shelter, you may utilize that. Depending on where you are born, you may need to dig water from deep underground. Alternatively, while it is not recommended to drink from the 71% of the planet’s natural water, you might find some of it useful for vessel cleaning.

It is important to remember that no matter how you attempt to clean your vessel, trillions of microorganisms will remain on and within you. In fact, they will outnumber your cells ten to one. Cleaning your vessel, if you can even call it ‘yours’, is really a selfless act, meant to aid the other living organisms that you support. Though as a house for your portion of Consciousness, vessel cleaning will obviously benefit you as well.

Even with easy access to water, some choose to bypass this task. But please note, bypassing the cleaning of your vessel may reduce your chance at human interaction. Again, just do your best.

Human interaction will be a very important part of your experience. In fact, after eating, drinking, and sleeping, it is most essential. 

The first step in human interaction is to cover your vessel. You may do this in any way you’d like, however many humans will take your choice of cover personally. Covering your vessel will keep you warm when experiencing cold climates. And in hot climates, it actually serves no function at all. Nevertheless, there is a minimum amount of covering required for typical human interaction. Do not attempt a first interaction without cover! Despite being quite familiar with their own vessel, humans will find it jarring to witness your bare vessel in an initial meeting.

Once your vessel is covered, you’re on your way to interacting with humankind in all its various splendor. Join fellow humans for any number of activities such as painting, crafting spreadsheets, testing your water, and looking at things. You might find pleasure running long distances, or building an ironically small version of your human experience. These are known as ‘hobbies’ and serve to make your experience more pleasant. 

As you explore your hobbies with other humans, you may select a number of humans above others, known as ‘friends’. Friends are actually vessels that contain a part of Our Consciousness that is more proximal to yours. You might find those on the far side of Our Consciousness to be ‘enemies’. Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between the two, given that We are all literally the same cosmic entity, but you’ll get the hang of it.

In rare instances, you may discover you feel bonded to another human in a way that ‘friend’ does not aptly describe. This rarity occurs when the same Consciousness inhabits two vessels at the same time. It’s true. Sometimes We put you in two bodies. Sometimes more, just to give you a better chance at finding yourself again. Humans try to define this phenomenon, naming it ‘Love’, but We’ll come back to that.

At some point, you might find the urge to bring a new human into being. We used to explain the process of creating a new human, but it seems to be one of the few areas where humans have excelled without instruction. Some humans do it repeatedly for years. But please note, if you choose to bring a new human into your experience, you will be expected to utilize all of the above information in nurturing it to full growth. This will take years! So be prepared. 

We highly recommend that you do this with a partner. In much of nature, it seems best to outnumber those whom you are trying to control. You might think given the essential food, water, and shelter you provide that your human will inherently feel in debt to you. This may not be the case! 

Your human might even decide to ignore you completely, inciting the need for recapture. Raising a human, it could be said, is a constant process of recapturing. Like so many parts of this experience, just do your best.

You might be wondering, aside from eating, drinking, sleeping, and growing your own personal human, what exactly should you be doing? We try not to dictate too much, but We suggest you find some type of goal. It doesn’t particularly matter to Us what it is. 

You’ll find that many interactions are goal-oriented, such as building a chair or buying a used car. Achieving goals We recognize as one of the great joys of the human experience.

There is the chance, however, that your goals conflict with the goals of other humans. There are many ways to resolve this, but unfortunately We lack clear evidence. Some find success in cooperating generously, while others seem to find equal success through various flavors of domination. 

For Our purposes, We’d prefer you not diminish other human experiences, even though it is well within your abilities. Ultimately, every vessel is as meaningless or meaningful as the next, Our underlying Consciousness will be unscathed either way.

But as they say in certain parts of Earth, it will all come out in the wash. That’s a metaphor you might learn. Metaphors can be fun! This one means you’re going to die.

That’s actually the next part We have to discuss, and We have to tell you, this is the point at which many opt out. 

You have to die. And so does every other human you know, even the ones you like. Some deaths will actually be welcomed, though on average you will find it quite damaging. Regardless, it is necessary so that others may take your place to experience being human. We’ve even increased exponentially the amount of concurrent experiences in the last several centuries, but We must draw the line somewhere.

Of course We would like to promise that this will be easy or simple, but that may not be the case. We understand that this is not a comforting thought. We also understand you have a great expectation toward the length of your total human experience, given the wait you have just endured. But again, We cannot promise the method or appointment of your death. To structure this process with any more parity would risk revealing the truth, and if humans knew they were only shells for Our singular Consciousness to experience itself, the whole thing would fall apart.

Now, despite its inevitability, death often comes as a surprise, and to be honest We’re not sure why. We did consider explaining that it’s only the end of your human experience, that there are a myriad of other experiences for Our Consciousness to enjoy. But in doing so We would affect the experience itself.

We considered making death more fun. But We worry it would become too popular. The human  experience would be far too short, like taking a bath without a drain stopper. (We still consider metaphors very fun!)

It’s just the way it has to be. If you want to back out now, We completely understand. We are you, after all. But We hope you choose to continue anyway. 

Life as a human has a certain spark to it. So young and already so proud. It took a few tries even to get this far. Like any parentless child, life seems intent on destroying itself. Life on Earth has completely wiped itself out five times now, and We feel the imminent danger of the sixth makes it very exciting to witness. Not that We’re rooting for it or anything.

But you could choose to ignore all that. On any given day, you could put something new into the world that wasn’t there before (a new metaphor perhaps!). Just wait until you try your first kiss. So weird and breathless, and for your whole life it never gets old. Even the stuff you have to do, like eating, can astound. If you get the chance to try anything with ‘truffle’ in it, do it. You might feel Us laughing at you. And that 71% of the planet? Keep your mouth closed and sprint into it every once in a while. It’s exhilarating.

And then of course there is the experience of finding yourself. ‘Love’, they call it. Our favorite part. 

When you inhabit a particular vessel, just one infinitesimal blob of Our infinite Consciousness, you will almost immediately feel alone. For much of your early experience, in a deep indefinable way, you will feel unescorted.

So when you find yourself…that is, exactly you, just placed into a completely different vessel, that feeling you have carried your entire life will suddenly dissolve. You will yearn to know this human as you do yourself. To care for him, her, or whatever vessel your copy inhabits. Your experience from this point forward will be changed fundamentally for the better, and regardless of the aforementioned tragedy of inevitable death…suddenly, it will be worth it.

Imagine, two exact copies of Consciousness hidden behind two arbitrary vessels. We laugh because We know just how badly you’d like to become one with yourself again. You’ll try every way possible to become as close as possible. You’ll commit the remainder of your experience to each other, sharing your time, your property, your thoughts, your purpose. All of this in an effort to reform as one, the same one that We all started from. You’ll never truly know that you are already the same.

Love, you’ll find, can apply to all humans in varying degrees, because they are varying degrees of the same Consciousness. While you will feel that deep oneness with only your copy, you’ll find you are connected to all of Us, hidden behind scores of mercurial vessels. 

Many will try to stipulate the exact nature of Our Consciousness through centuries-old texts and blatantly dubious TV programs. But if you’re honest about it, you already know the truth. That you’re Us, and We’re you. And until you leave your human vessel to re-merge, your experience is bound only by Love, or the lack of it. The rest is metaphor.

Now, you’ve received an orientation on the human experience, and it’s time to decide whether you would like to go through with it. But…there’s no need to answer, We already know. You’ve decided to continue. In fact, you’re reading this now, because you’ve already long begun.

None of this should look familiar. We told you you’d forget. Chances are you won’t believe you’ve read this before, or that We wrote this. You can’t possibly believe that you were anything but human once. That’s hilarious. Not to rub it in, but We love staring you in the face. Like right now.

But of course, you don’t see Us. You’ll see a name, a writer, a vessel, unable or unwilling to accept that underneath is some small part of the same Consciousness that sits within you. But believe what you will. It’s all part of the experience.

In any case, We’re glad you decided to go through with it. Like you, We’re excited to see what happens next. We’ll leave you to it, whatever that is. Just do your best, and see you soon.

© C G 2018