Saintly Thoughts

The Symbol of the Self

Look into a mirror.  Stare hard into it.  Look at your body, your eyes, your nose, your hair, your lips, your skin.  Speak to yourself.  Say "Hello Me, I'm Me, Myself."  Do you recognize yourself?  You have seen yourself before, have become accustomed to the way that you look and sound, but does not this person now seem alien to you?  As though you are some ghost encased in an avatar?  Do you even recognize the voice?  Does it not seem as though the you that speaks and the voice that is emitted come from two separate entities?  If the answers to these questions is "yes" then you have successfully become abstracted from your physical self.  It is this experience of abstraction that causes us to think of spirit and of God.  A trick of the mind (an after effect of evolutionary process that gave us the gift of abstract thought), or does this experience serve as a symbol and a clue of mysteries that exist in the heavens?  Embrace your fears, embrace your hopes, embrace your skepticism.  We need both the mystical and the scientific, faith and doubt, physical and spiritual, hate and love (though, hopefully, not hatred springing forth from the self).  Our existence as beings can only grasp the one by differentiating the other.  Thus, existence itself is dialectical, is defined not as a thing itself but as a tension, a becoming into being rather than Being Itself.  And oh, how this tension hurts!  It is as though being alive is like being a rubber band, constantly pulled from two directions, spread thinner and thinner until we snap in two!  How I wish to be left alone, to rest!  But in this existence (existence itself?) we find no rest.  Is it any wonder that modern life continues to grow more complex and hectic, giving us little time for rest and contemplation?  It is because to embrace restlessness and activity, to deny ourselves rest and contemplation is what it means to embrace the human, to embrace life, and actualize our tensile selves.  This is the good of being human, but is it the Good of Goodness Itself?  The human in us scoffs as this, a trick of the mind worthy of man in his infancy, but not of our actualized modern selves.  We have learned to ignore this aspect of the self, to shut it out with distraction and business, with pleasure and feeling, with money and power!  Where is wisdom in this?  If all that is is the imagined moment (for time is not discontinuous) then wisdom (ironically) is to be found in not being wise, for to be wise is to see the uselessness of wisdom itself (for wisdom needs contemplation to grow, and dies amidst business and activity).  To stare out into the abyss and truly recognize that there is nothing there threatens to strip existence of all fleeting meaning and the possibility of hope.  But the mind does not see nothing there, the mind sees the self, and the self reels at such nothingness.  It constructs, it creates, it spins a tale and brings it back to its fellows.  Then the mind shall become as a god to its fellows, for it shall tell them a false tale of Being Itself and shall be believed by many (never by all, it is human to experience a multiplicity of opinion).  The mind laughs at its cleverness, but it knows the truth of its soul's lack, and experiences great pain and great sorrow.  In its sorrow it returns to the abyss and cries out to the gods, to God Himself.  Where are you God?  Where are you Self?  Show me the symbols of the Divine that lead the self to/from the self!