Victus Spiritus


Something borrowed

04 Jun 2011

Ownership is elusive

Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property (source)

I certainly don't own the land I live on. A few missed tax years and the property will move to another.

The words I write aren't mine, even the ones I make up.

The pixels and photons that project contrasted text symbols aren't mine.

Not even the thoughts that inspire them are mine. Information is merely signals transmitted between cells.

I don't own a single cell that comprises the entirety of my being. Each is composed of materials that existed before my coming, and will continue to exist long after my passing.

A loaner

borrow: to use, appropriate, or introduce from another source or from a foreign source (source)

Everything about my existence is borrowed from the universe around me and will be returned, hopefully with interest. I am an organized pattern which has coalesced for a few years.

In the race to survive, experience, consume, and discard it's easy forget how temporary everything about us as individuals is. Like a sparkle off of a cresting wave we are here and full of life in a flash of brilliance, and then gone and fading. Memories and peculiar artifacts are all that remains to remind others that we even existed, and those certainly aren't ours after we pass.

Seeing life a series of exchanges and borrowed steps, puts baser instincts for control and ownership into perspective. Rather than race to become the king of nothing, it's wiser to take care of the material I borrow, to generously give away what was never mine, and to nurture patterns that will benefit humanity far beyond the crest of my wave.