A falling drop.
"... one must accept the thoughts that go within oneself of their own accord as part of one's reality." (1)
There was a time when there was no time
When your identity returns
The experience of it
As for those who get a glimpse of it,
These may seem
There was a time when there
was no time ....
‘Me’ was never born, while ‘I’ is a different story, a natural planetary happenstance close to eighty years old; I cannot recall how it happened nor have I have ever fallen in the hands of a depth psychologist to find out, somewhat like a guinea pig in a deep hypnotic trance, to learn the truth. I presume that my link with the safe and warm uterine world was severed, I was extracted, slapped on wet and tender butts and surely I did make a hell of it and my prenatal ‘me’ went into oblivion while ‘I’, willy nilly, had to get a start; it does not really needs hypnotic regression to find out how it happened. Time went by before I was told, and had to accept, that I was born but that is not unusual, you too might have been told a similar story and had to accept it but the similarity may, for environmental and familiar events, end here. Like every son/daughter with reasonably good parents, I was not considered completely normal and that is fine, normality pertains to robots and not to human beings; abnormal robots are somehow recycled while abnormal humans are not easily disposed off and, in most cases, more tenderly cared of. My great luck, even if I lived within a Catholic Christian community, is that, even if I never understood to what extent my parents were religious, they were not in the least bigots although all those nonsensical Christian sacraments demanded by tradition and the social milieu were my lot. Useless to say, this saved me a lot of brainwashing and nonsense (2) and, to my parents, I have but to be deeply grateful for this. My first great Christian experience was in a Catholic kinder garden where an old nun, possibly somewhat 'Alzheimer-ed', used to repeat incessantly "time goes by and death approaches" and did not brainwash those little souls in her care with the Ten Commandments. But thus she pushed me in a more rational view of life than towards monasticism ... should I not, now beyond average age-span when the angel of death is just beyond the corner, thank her? Time went by ... in my school, that was Asmara’s Comboni College, there were Catholic and Coptic Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews, Protestants and more and surely that contributed to an open mind, freed from racial and religious prejudices. A rare blessing the contact with indigenous Eritrean students in this pot that contained Indians, Arabs, Italians, Greeks, Armenians and more; there were not whites, blacks of yellows among us. A garden with no stinging plants! The teachers were Christian Missionaries of the order of Daniele Comboni (3) but, due to the ethnic diversity and related religious background of the students, religious teaching was not compulsory and this, as well, avoided noxious widespread brainwashing.
As luck would have it and with a rebellious temperament during adolescence I realized that not a few veils were obscuring my mind’s sight so that I started, in one way or another, to try rid myself of this darkness and never did I desert this task which, day by day brought into my life many books and more bits of knowledge, not less so a deeper obscurity into which a mysterious, very hard to catch, small ray of light shone on the difficult path of infinity. There, in the nowhere, my ‘me’ had patiently been waiting to be discovered and what did I find? That, that ‘me’ is an insubstantial non-entity which does not, in the least, carry the label ‘private property’ since ‘me’ it is a universal pillar sustaining each ‘I’ anywhere in the universe wherever a sentient being is capable of attaching an ego to himself. And, as such, it cannot but be unborn and is not contained within the fringes of time and space, less so in a multitude of erect-walking bags of flesh and bones, although it takes pleasure to hide himself in the nowhere as soon as we fall in the somewhere.
Hence, it all it makes a hide-and-seek game which creates not a few problems to anyone who feels a sense of it. This is natural and normal, so much so as it is normal in this hectic timeframe in which we live, for most humans, not to care about the ‘me’ while, on the other hand, nothing is more important than the ‘I’ for them who struggle for survival; so much so for those vampires who feed on them in this strange technological era. Yet history is replete of abnormal beings that threw, or strenuously tried to throw, the ‘I’ behind their shoulders in order to quest after that strange non-entity which, unrecognized is part and parcel of our being without belonging to any of those beings that to him belong even if it is not empowered to have any belonging. All the same, I feel that it is erroneous to say that we are 'those beings that to him belong.' It does not matter if it is intangible and nowhere because perceptibly we are, hence, am I not me? Who, in relation to the physical plane, can prove the contrary? Not only ‘me’ does not claim any possession but I am informed that I, just like anyone else, am it so long as I am. It is a simple matter of awareness, still this awareness is hardly spontaneous, the key which opens the door to its perception is hidden in the deep subconscious; finding the key does not really solve the problem since, once found, we are not wont to handle it in the darkness of our being and the lighted lamp is beyond the threshold. And this brings about the other face of the coin: what about when I am not anymore? Well, not being anymore cannot happen but for this un-comprehensible bag of flesh and bones which carries an ‘I’ in search of a ‘me’. The satisfaction of the most normal animal instinct brought about myriads of ‘I’ strolling in sorrow or in joy in every corner of this gorgeous planet, their existence is more or less certain and certified but, except as a bag of flesh and bones, none of them was ever born and perhaps these bags of flesh and bones populate the planet, strive and toil, only within an illusory shadow brought about by those clouds of ignorance which can be pierced but by that minority that becomes aware of the fact that beyond the clouds the sun shines; but each and everyone of us is given a chance and clues as to how pierce and sail beyond these clouds without recourse to NASA’s technology, the means to achieve this are within our mental structure. A mental structure? What is it made of and built upon? Mystery upon mystery! We dissect brains, stain their cells to explore their structure, plant electrodes inside them, turn them around into magnetic apparatus which show their metabolism, record encephalic waves and all this tells us that brains are brains and minds are minds, that brains belong to individuals while minds belong, or rather, are a common substratum which speaks the language it learned from ‘me’ and which is translated and read from ‘I’ by that delicate mass of convoluted soft tissue encased within its bony shrine above our necks. And this is the tower of Babel, the translations may be similar but never identical, the books’ context may be similar but each reader’s ‘I’ has developed in a different context hence differences arise. Unsolicited brainwashing is the first thing which is acted upon us and retains a strong grip; its effects on a young, receptive and plastic brain leaves a deep track along which he has to trod his more or less precarious way.
'Me’ is the essence of ‘I’; it develops, grows and matures feeding of the subjective experience of ‘I’. It is the psyche’s play field and as well, it receives feedback from the psyche.
Everyone has his own belief, his own interpretation and his own say, to what extent am I off track? That is a difficult question, perhaps for all of us since the mind is a stormy wave never at rest.
I do not believe in pure coincidence, there is an exact, even if often hidden or inexplicable meaning-connection in whatever seems coincidental or pure chance; (4) to me not a rare happenstance. In a moment of relaxation from this insane "I-me" I went to some old magazines bound together and opening at random through its pages, the following passage, which I interpolate in this writing, showed up begging to be reproduced in between these lines before I resume digging into ‘my’ mind:
the Obvious be seen?.
Back, to my possibly insane cerebration, I turn now
to another subject concerning my apparent subjectivity. The question
'what am I?' has never insistently intrigued me, so much so also the
'who am I?' although it might have received more personal attention;
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded
on our thoughts”. (6)
That which really intrigues me is the 'why am I?' Surely, I did not
gain existence on this beautiful planet just to feed the so many cats
who filled my life to the brim. Then, on the assumption that there is
purpose in the universe, 'why?'
Perhaps ... since a plausible idea wriggles the shrunk convolutions inside the bony shrine above my neck, it has been there for quite a long time and still begs for a resolute answer to the 'why am I?' and I am forced to travel in a circle. But…
I was a thread of mist,
This is what I mean when I say that life is not 'my' experience, but that I am an experience of 'Life'. I cannot find a better answer to the 'why' but while the above metaphor seems reasonable, again, I travel in a circle since the ocean is a source of life but what is this inexplicable ocean, 'Life'? I am lost, 'me' is struck dumb. The human intellect, brainwashed into traditional beliefs and more often than not confined among walls of senseless dogmas runs in circles. Smashing these walls is a great evolutionary gift. But crossing the boundary is also a perilous adventure since the traveler can be ensnared in the fields of insanity or, otherwise, in the cage of mysticism; in the last case he will return speechless, a typical madman that only a few can comprehend.
"Before enlightenment you chop wood and carry water
Apparently nothing happens except that, freed from the cage, consciousness thrives on a different mental level where it can use the power added to it either in a positive or a negative way, or plunge itself, as well, in the field of insanity.
"There are things in the psyche which we do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life." (8)
The drop which dissolves in the wide expanse of the ocean can restitute an inadequate, indeed poor, idea of what 'Life' builds upon and how it enriches its own experience on this speck of cosmic dust which is our planet; we cannot span the cosmic infinity where 'Life' thrives. What is sure is that the drop cannot return as the very same drop, it has dissolved in the ocean; still, perhaps some of its atoms and molecules may appear in other drops within other clouds with, encoded within, the experience gained within a former cloud. This discounts the theory of reincarnation. Yet some lingering memories may reach other drops which will attach themselves to some receptive psyche, memories which a receptive psyche will attach to a "my" past life. Might it not be that some of these dispersed atoms and molecules carry with themselves or, rather, are the seeds of an evolutionary process since nothing whatsoever gets lost in the cosmic experience? This is a crude, indeed poor, explanation of what my intellect can grasp up to this point; there is another wall to smash: what is the purpose of life? 'Me' is once more struck dumb nor will it ever smash this other wall; speculation and wild theories abound, none of them reasonable; we are looking at the problem from an infinitesimal "inside" constricted within the illusion of space and time. 'Life' itself may not be aware of its purpose, it may be just a great cosmic machine yet, behind this there ought to be something inconceivable, an intelligence with those two qualities which are most manifest in planetary life: purpose and will. That is why 'me' was never born and 'I' am pounding my computer's keyboard. We have something in common with that mysterious beyond, purpose and will. "There is no such thing as chance, and what we regard as blind circumstance actually stems from the deepest source of all." (9).
From end to end, with labor
There are several ways to become an enlightened being
in this wonderful planet, a fully realized homo somewhat sapiens.