When Oppenheimer witnessed an experimental atomic explosion, he reportedly remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita, “Now I [have] become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
This, to me, is a very strong line. It often makes me think about how it didn’t say “I bring death” or “I have become the source of death”, and instead describes a state of “becoming death” itself. It’s so much power that it’s not only a “destroyer of lives”, rather a destroyer of entire worlds.
I often wonder, how would it feel to become something so powerful. But I sometimes don’t stop there, I think: how would it feel to become something even more powerful. To me, one thing that is more powerful than death is love.
If I were to say “I have become love”, what would be the second half of the sentence? (other than “nah, that’s so cheesy”) How would I describe becoming love? I guess you can’t describe something so specific without having felt it. I imagine you need to be in some state of providing so much love (unconditionally?) that you feel so consumed by it, every last bit of you, and feel no longer as a “provider of love”, rather that you “have become love” itself. Would it feel something like: “I have become love,
the healer of wounds,
the meaning of lives,
the hope amidst death,
the terminator of emptiness,
the eradicator of fear,
the illuminator of worlds.”?
I decided to search Google books (coz why not?) to see how someone else might have described a similar feeling, if any, and I found this:
“I have become love, the fire within, the carrier of life.”
Which is part of a poem with the name “I have become” by J.F. Novak. Here’s the whole thing:
“I have become the past, the abandoned moment;
I have become the present, the stirring fear;
I have become the future, that lit forest;
I have become time, the reaper’s friend, the silence in us all;
I have become love, the fire within, the carrier of life;
I have become fear, the wolf in the woods, the walking death;
I have become hell, that nightmare in us, the never ending night;
I have become heaven, the child’s smiling eyes,
the tumbling lovers.”