Humans can at times mimic planets drifting seemingly aimlessly through vast space. Space, where it’s difficult to judge where the centre is from the periphery or where the vertical is from the horizontal. The drift is a supposed ripple effect from the Big Bang… where one cluster of mass exploded into immeasurable pieces of its former self. Expanding in brilliant forms of elements and gasses, light and darkness, solid and the ethereal, movement within stillness as viewed through the lens of a microscope and stillness that embalms moving planets seen through a telescope.
All is attracted to expansion and we, as humans, are drawn to expanding as the universe is. We are atoms of the universe that birthed us and can’t help but express the traits that were passed on to us from the entity that we are still connected to.
To look at a body cell through a microscope is the same as looking at a planet through a telescope. A cell as minute as the sperm and ovary that fused to house our soul in the material world. Conception gives rise to the supercell that also now explodes in a miniature Big Bang, multiplying into other cells to be cultivated within the vast space in our mother’s womb. After conception, more cells form and a tissue with a pulse at its core similar to this solar system is seen. Months pass and tissue is now a mosaic of dotted stars that appear on an ultrasound print out. Visual perception makes out a body of another God forming in the darkness that preceded light, white noise shaped into an infant body in centre of silent darkness.We come into the material world where our body is a cluster of cells and space. Cells that mirror the vast numbers of stars and planets within the space that makes up the body of the universe.
In 1901, a doctor named Dr MacDougall experimented on 5 dying bodies in an effort to find evidence of the existence of a soul. Using sensitized scales, he measured bodies before death and right after dying. He found that a few seconds after death the body weighed ¾ of an ounce less than it had prior to dying. They looked at everything from the air in lungs to body fluids and could not pinpoint the source of the sudden drop in weight.For human life to unfold, spirit is allocated a body to inhabit, infused with a vast cellular system of space, cells, and elements. But what do you get when spiritual matter is conceived between two sterile bodies? When a sterile woman gains 21 grams that goes unnoticed. What happens when there is union of will but no supercell to capture all that potential energy? What happens when a mother to phantom baby experiences a déjà vu of labour pains?
This is how Vumani was conceived and birthed. All that manifested was will. Unbound by the laws of the material world. Will that allows. Will that does not see, but is the vision that precedes sight. Will that accepts and is drawn to experience more than theory. Will that does not hear but that precedes the auditory. Will not bound by laws and rules of acquiring knowledge. Vumani, it was called. That which people unknowingly agreed to and accepted. The entity that sought to experience life was then conceived outside the confines of cells, this pure unrefined will experienced life through different bodies. Vumani was consciousness unbound. Between two worlds, it noticed how the living dead ancestral spirits would periodically experience life through different healer’s bodies. Walking in and out of humans who dismissed these plug-ins as déjà vu. Having perceived these moments Vumani started living a life of borrowed moments. It observed how amadlozi would use healers as conduits. How the inhalation of smoke from certain plants, the sound of a certain pattern from drums beaten would open certain bodies for spirits to enter and relay needed messages.
Though somewhat selfish, Vumani learned how to embody and leap from one body to another, experiencing life through moments we now call déjà vu. In undetected and inhabiting a body, people would feel they had experienced this moment before, not knowing that Vumani had woven itself into their path. That for a few seconds they had accessed a vast memory bank of similar experiences stored in one formless entity. These moments were from the simple to the ominous.
A life of moments started to form, moments stored and never forgotten in the vastness of a spirit that didn’t have a brain to forget, moments made more intense because nobody was there to filter and compartmentalise experiences under human terms. Unfortunately, déjà vu cannot be properly studied due to their random nature. The illusive and cunning Vumani cannot be pinpointed and anticipated. Because if we could anticipate it, put a body on a highly sensitized scale and study it meticulously, we would have noticed that when we experience déjà vu the body gains an extra ¾ of an ounce.
*This essay appears in Poetry Potion 12: The Others