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I just signed off a conversation with my brother.
|pic credit - Idea go; freedigitalphotos.net|
Po, the Kung-Fu Panda, went on a noble quest to find inner peace (I keep re-writing it as inner piece...a piece that will have all other pieces make sense...rambling...rambling...). Little brother and I ended our stop/start type conversation of three hours with, "gotta find inner piece...".
I added an automatic, "That's funny."
Little bro didn't think so. "Not really," he said, "it's painful." He hung up, not leaving time for me to delve further into his take on matters.
"No, it's funny. Really." I said to the skype screen.
What really is painfully funny, tragic, sad and terribly expected, I believe, is our response to the many stimuli in our environment. We're pre-programmed creatures. Not so different from the robots we invented. Some degree of latitude is present. But for the most part, I doubt that we stray very far from the instruction manual.
As dumb as it sounds, I often picture a higher being, throwing unfortunate/fortunate/just because incidents at us, saying to another being, "Oh! look! They actually DO that! Imagine...the manufacturer said that they would. Somehow I didn't expect them to!"
Most things are classified for our own benefit. We mercilessly categorize people, feelings and expected reactions. All of that, while making the world an orderly and sane place (less frequently these days), also serves to limit our perceptions about ourselves.
And that brings me to the crux of human angst – “who are we?”
I wonder if perhaps we are something beyond those who scream when scorched, run for cover in the cold, respond to agony, cry in sadness/joy, laugh in humor/scorn, eat when hungry and drink when thirsty. There are other aspects that need no mention here J
Everything we do caters to the feelings within us. Every single action elicits a response within us that makes us repeat it, or run for cover, warning everyone else. We pray because of the peace/happiness/equanimity that prayer makes us feel. We adopt cures for the feeling of relief from unpleasant symptoms, we write (I write) for the feeling of clarity and relief from the clogging of thoughts (which are many).
Is that what we are? Beings that are chock full of feelings. Beings who act to nurture/avoid/protect those feelings. Beings that follow an age old script in reacting to everything in their environment?
I wonder if we’re missing the moment of time, the vacuum of space and a barely felt effort of will, that might make us conscious of a world beyond our five senses. While I am always grateful for the miraculous defenses of the human body, I wonder if I’ll forever be anchored by the experience of being human.
Being determined to overcome sensory limitations somehow anchors me even further. Like the very act of needing to forget, stresses the inescapable fact of humanness.
Nothing wrong with being human. Still, could one perhaps have another identity that exists, and one that we have not acknowledged yet? Is there another dimension that I could experience while still being human, being absolutely drug-free and sane? Can it be that human limitations are actually mental limitations?
I’d like to think so. That there is such a place. Where the reaction inducing happenings of this world cannot reach us; where we’re still alive, functioning, and using the senses that show us what lies beyond the immediate.
Honestly, I don’t see the need to ponder over an ice-cream sundae. Or a happy stroll. It’s not all doom and dust. But there must be a way to divorce ourselves from feeling even more about what we’ve felt all our lives. Reacting to words, slights, disappointment, expectation, shame, fear and obsessions? These emotions make us human. A cold blooded killer might lack these very emotions. But then, he has a need. And he would be incapable of enjoyment.
Perhaps some distance could do the opposite of what we think. Since nothing matters to the point that it can disturb our mental balance, or that pertinent 'inner piece/peace', perhaps we can reach out more. Since divisions and the potential for hurt are not a concern. Perhaps we’ll be freer beings with enough resources to do good.