This I Believe

Melissa - Baltimore, Maryland
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that the number one is a number reserved for the divine. It’s been called the loneliest number and it has also been used to describe being at peace, in terms of unity, and oneness. I believe we as human beings are thrust into this universe of infinity and that creates the ultimate paradox. The ultimate search therefore is to fathom, which means to measure and to understand. I believe humanity, or at least me—I want to understand. I think that one is a converging of two things, three things, one million things. For someone like me, who is always struggling between two concepts, three concepts, or one million concepts in my head, the number one comes to represent something unattainable. One signifies decision and firmness.

One can also be something that is unfavorable and non-existent. Maybe there is no such thing as one. Maybe the world exists like the thoughts in my head, and opposites coexist infinitely throughout the universe. To be one is to be truly divine. To be one with something is to completely fathom it. I believe in infinity and so therefore I am faced with this insurmountable paradox: “Can anything be completely understood?” Is there anything in this world that is truly finite?

The image that always enters my mind when I ponder the significance of one is that of the whale from Melville’s Moby Dick. The whale is seen as this celestial creature because it has eyes on opposite sides of its head and each eye processes a different image. Whale-vision and human-vision differ in that our eyes automatically converge two images whereas the whale must consciously make that decision itself. That divine convergence raises the question: what is lost when a number of elements are converged? There are times I wish I could just choose one idea so I could give my mind a rest and other times when I think the only way to see the “big picture” is to numb oneself with the acceptance of infinity. I consider myself to be a bunch of opposing opinions in a skin suit. If I were one, I wouldn’t be me. I am only human and therefore I cannot possibly fathom anything completely. To rightly understand something, one must have to have assembled it oneself. Thus, the only being that is one is the highest power who created the universe.