Thursday, January 26, 2012

Number Forty Four

Memory anchors our identity.  The garden with the straight, white paths; the rumbling streetcars that descend -- between dark storefronts -- to the sea: By those scenes I know my loneliness.

Memories make us.  And we return again and again to each familiar image, hoping it will reveal the truth of ourselves.

But we are amnesiacs, captive to the scenes of a single life.  The rest of us, felt in the movement of sun and shadow, known in the chill preceding dark, heard in wind and birdsong and falling water, dwells in a hundred forgotten lives.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Number Forty Three

Identity is to self as a cover is to a book.  It is the face of self.  We learn to recognize ourselves by our cover, by familiar patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.  Identity is built on a sentence that starts, "I am a person who..."

Identity includes the emotions by which we know ourselves.  "I am a person who is...(angry, afraid, sad)."  And characteristic ways we cope.  "I am a person who...(shouts, avoids, gives up, drinks)."  Identity born of reacting to life is left behind when we leave the body.

Identity that grows from what we've learned becomes part of self.  Of soul.  It is an enduring core wisdom that evolves with each life.  "I am a person who has realized..." is the place where self and identity merge, and the reason we are here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Number Forty Two

To understand what self is, we must first know the purpose of self.  Why are there seven billion "selves" on this planet?  They are all here for one reason: to learn.  To gather experience and wisdom for the whole.  The whole can only evolve and grow as each self observes, remembers, acts, and learns.

Just as bees have mandibles, wings, and legs for the sole purpose of gathering pollen, all the properties of self derive from its purpose.  To learn, each self must observe experience, remember experience, organize experience (into categories and higher order conclusions called wisdom), and choose mental and physical actions (focusing awareness and deciding what to do).

No learning can happen without engaging each property of the self.  No wisdom tradition can find truth through a single aspect of self.  As each self learns, the whole becomes god.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Number Forty One

The storms roll down, washing away what holds us.  What protects us.  Taking the walls and rooms of a world we counted on.  As clouds obscure the sky, storms of the spirit obscure the truth.  Hiding the knowledge that nothing is lost; that the self is constant, never broken.

Damage is an illusion.  The idea of safety or protection is an illusion.  There is nothing to be safe from.  Nothing we need to protect.  It is all safe -- everything we love.

The storm is mere forgetting.  A momentary blindness.  The truth waits, eternal and untouched, until we remember it again.