Omnicentricity is a theory about the universe that says, since the universe is ever-expanding, then every point in space must be the center of the universe.
If you're like me, you'll need to read that a few times to grasp the concept.
So in other words, we understand the universe to be an ever-expanding thing. First there was a point in space, then a bang, then particles emerged from that bang, which bonded with other particles to create atoms, which bonded with other atoms to create molecules...so on and so forth, until you get to us. We as humans are products of this forward-moving, expanding and growing universe we call home.
So if this is the case, omnicentricity says that we are not only products of the expansion, but we are made up of the stuff that has been bonding and expanding for billions and billions of years. And that bonding and expanding is happening in and around us all. The. Time.
We, and everything around us (including what we can't see) are centers of the universe. We are hubs of expansion, forward movement, and creation.
WOW! I don't know about you, but that is SO exciting to me. That idea that the stuff of the universe is moving in and through me constantly makes me feel elated, free, boundless.
But...if I'm being honest, that boundless feeling lasts for about a second, and then I enter back into the "real world".
Why is that? Why can't my heart hold onto that sense of integration with the universe?
As my yogi-self would put it, the reason is the ego.
I think of my ego as the part of me that is defined by all of my little identities. All the things that I would list off if someone were to ask me "who are you?". I'd say "I'm a woman, I'm 22, I'm multi-ethnic, I'm a yoga teacher, I'm a student, I'm a barista, I'm a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister, a friend..." That is what the ego tells me I am.
And the thing is, none of those identities are inherently bad! They are practical ways of thinking about my life, and navigating my way through the world. These identities are boundaries I've set around myself, in order to say "I am me, and you are you." A good skill to have if you want to get practical things done.
Although the ego isn't necessarily bad-and it's even useful-it creates boundaries nonetheless. And if there's one thing I know about my ego, it's that it really likes boundaries.
My ego is way more comfortable thinking in terms of boundaries. My ego can't grasp the concept that it is a part of everything else, and everything else is a part of it. My ego wants to be an individual.
So yes-it's hard to immerse my whole self in those moments of oneness and expansion. My ego sees this as a threat to the precious identities it has created, and intervenes almost immediately. But I can't help but wonder, what would my life look like if those boundaries weren't so tightly wound around me? Would I be more at peace? Would I have a more hopeful, optimistic view of the world? Would I love deeper? Would I be able to look into the eyes of more people?
If the theory of omnicentricity holds true, recognizing that I am a hub of creation for the universe will align me with the inherent direction of things. And in this reality, I can allow my dreams and ideas and desires to move through me out into the world, not bound by any small identities.
I don't think it's an accident that we subconsciously think of ourselves as the center of the universe. Can you imagine if we actually held our lives with such reverence, rather than hiding that brilliance that lives inside us with boundaries and smallness?
So I will end with a few questions: what is keeping you small? What identities do you cherish so much that you've forgotten how massive you are, and makes you so afraid of being so massive? What boundaries are keeping you from being your truest self, and allowing your dreams to move through you out into the universe?
I think it'll take me lifetimes to figure out this skill; to stop keeping myself small. But it is a practice, and it is work. And I have a hunch that it's worth it.
***A couple of things that inspired this post:
This video by Jason Silva
This talk by Rob Bell (and honestly, this post is just my interpretation of this talk! Thanks Rob)