Julius Caesar could have stayed home on March 15, 44 B.C. But mocking the soothsayer who had predicted his death, the emperor rode in his litter to Rome’s Forum. There he met the iron daggers of 60 senators.
As he lay in a pool of blood, he may have gasped a final incrimination to his protégé Brutus: You too, my son? Or maybe not. But he certainly would have breathed a dying breath, a final exhalation of some 25 sextillion gas molecules. And it’s entirely possible that you just breathed in one of them.
In fact, calculating the probability of a particle of Caesar’s dying breath appearing in any given liter of air (the volume of a deep breath) has become a classic exercise for chemistry and physics students. If you make a few assumptions about the mixing of gases and the lifetimes of molecules in the atmosphere, it turns out that, on average, one molecule of “Caesar air” — or any other historic liter of air, for that matter — appears in each breath you take. (1)
We breath the future.
We breath the past.
Caesar is part of you, as you were part of him when he was dying.
Because we are all waves, manifesting on the same ocean.
We are concentrations of energy and matter in an ever-changing cosmos, built on a substrate of Existence. What is important is to understand that our eternal nature as Beings is more important than our ephemeral nature as Humans. What we feel while being alive is nothing more than a set of sensory input. What we are, is something more than that. Something which cannot be expressed with words but with silence. Something which can only be partially glimpsed in the anxiety of your last moments, on in the excitement of your first glances to the world.
We are not who we think we are.
We are the thunder and the rain.
We are the river and the sea.
We are the last breath of dying Caesar.
And the first breath of a newborn baby.
Breath once. And your breath will travel the universe. From the beginning of time, to the end of all life, from the birth of stars to a a dying galaxy, your breath will reach everything and everyone. But this matters not. Because you are already everywhere. You are already part of everyone.
Just feel it. Stop breathing.