Theseus’s (Relation)ship

My ceiling is new. No, it is not new. It is new to me. Here I lie, watching my not-new ceiling exist. We stare each other. But I AM, and it is not, even though it exists.

How can something fail to Be, despite its existence? A paradox I am unwilling to explore, as I stare at my ceiling.

It is an impostor. It is not my ceiling, but a replacement. I call it my ceiling because so many parts of it have been replaced that it is not the old ceiling that it was before, but a new one. It is my ceiling.

I cannot describe it because it is dark. I do not know how it feels because it rests feet above me. It doesn’t smell. It makes no sound. And yet, behold, a description. How nothingness is described–another paradox.

The darkness of the ceiling forces me inward, and I ponder. If every cell of my body has been replaced, then I am a new body. But every cell of my body from infanthood has been replaced, and I am the same body. This is the part of Being that is absurd. If I am physically no longer composed of the same parts but I am (funda)mentally the same, where does the “mental” come from?

Because I am a Being that exists, this is a different question from the paradox of Theseus’s ship: If I remove planks of wood that make up a ship and replace them one by one, and do this until I have replaced every original piece of the ship, is it still Theseus’s ship?

My ceiling stares back, answerless. Next to me, a man in his own darkness sleeps. I ponder him. His silent existence irks me. I must turn away. I slip down now, past the point of rationality, and into a world where thought alone can alter a state of existence: emotion.

And I think, as I stare at my new ceiling: If I replace the component parts of a relationship, is it still the same relationship?

I realize how tired I am. My thoughts disappear when I focus my eyes, like they are uncomfortable being looked into. The dark should help me think because there is nothing to look at. But shapes have started flitting across the ceiling. The black seems to move infinitely further away, but I know it is just a weakness of my depth perception. The ceiling should be only six feet away. It appears to move away, pulling me in, closer, so I fall into it.

But I’m still on my bed, next to the silently sleeping catalyst to my wonderings. I think of the new ceilings in a relationship. New jobs, new apartments, new budgets. If those ceilings are all pulling us into their abyss, fragmenting us, rearranging us, what is left of the relationship? If the physical is uprooted, is the mental disturbed? Being, then, is simply existence in the most fundamental way, like that of a ceiling or a tree. If thoughts arise from thoughts, or BEING, then no physical being is required. But Being does not arise from thought. I think, therefore I AM. But thinking does not produce a body. This is a separate existence. Thoughts need a body to house them. I’ve never seen a thought without a body, but I’ve seen a body without a thought.