Holistic Living - Who am I?
by Life Positive
No, I'm not worrying. Looking at the night sky, the twinkling stars make me wonder what I am. In the mirror a stranger stares back at me. A thousand questions storm the heart, boggle the mind, whirl in my head.
Chagrined, I abandon all questions. In doing so I abandon myself, for what am I if not a question unto myself.
From others the answers are only too forthcoming. Someone hands me my bio-data, while another strives to introduce me to myself, recounting my life story. I listen with detached concern, like a child listening to a fairy tale. I begin to make an acquaintance to myself. I search for myself in the rows and rows of books that line my room. I sail with Kahlil Gibran, sing with Tagore, fly with Faiz. Strange feelings stir within. Something touches my soul.
So, they are not strangers after all. Expressions and experiences such as theirs are not altogether lost, even when stored in the bottomless pit of my mind. Finally, I let go and take refuge in the familiar lap of sleep.
Dawn breaks, days pass, but nothing awakens in me. Perhaps providence has given me the rare privilege of experiencing dwij—the second birth, the true birth in the same lifetime. Why bother to remember the past, or even the present? I am content to forget even this. But people throw anxious questions like: "Have you remembered yourself?"
Have I, I wonder?
Then I fall upon a self-scripture—my diary. In those pages is frozen the motion picture of my life—the days gone by and forgotten, the laughter, the sobs, the silence. Here lived hopes and dreams, some realized, others wilted or crushed. A 16-yr-old's trembling thoughts of love, and deeper musings on life as she matured into a woman, the magical secrets—it grips me.
I find it strange that these pages should know every desire, every thought of mine while others were refused entry into this phenomenological world. In secluded moments I re-live what I must live through at some forgotten stage of life. I become a scholar researching into and reconstructing a faded life. Bit by bit, inch by inch I begin to know myself, or then again, do I?
What if some mental tidal wave came gushing to wash away this scene from memory's beach and brought back my forgotten self? Do I dare to pen down what the waves of life gurgle in my ear, here and now? Is the present 'me' the same as the past 'me'?
These long strolls in mental mazes take me only from one blind end to another and sighs slip through ellipses to dissolve in the air. Will answers drop like gentle rain from heaven upon the parched desert of my mind? People tell me who I am, not what I am. As if I'm only bio-data, or all that is contained in the looking glass.
Scrawled untidily in a dog-eared corner of the diary that is supposed to be mine are two piercing words of a master: "Know thyself."
I'm trying, Socrates, I'm trying.
Harvinder Kaur, India
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