I can’t remember when I wrote this spiritual autobiography. Perhaps late high school, early college years? Like most projects I didn’t finish it, but….
II. Physical and Spiritual
III. Early Years
VI. Inner Self
IX. Nature; a link back to the World
I write this essay, On Myself, with certain beliefs and assumptions about myself that the reader should know in advance.
As a human being, I believe to be a part of all humanity; I am a link to all humanity; I am another representative of human nature; I am the human condition; I am as much of you as you are as much as me. Like you, I have a heart; like you, I have a mind; like you, I have a soul; like you, I have a body. If you were to put myself under a microscope, I believe you would see yourself, and all of humanity.
The trick is that we appear to be different. We appear to have different genders, personalities, bodies, languages, ways of thinking and doing, occupations. To me, these are all smoke in mirrors; they trick us into believing that other people are different than us, better than us, worse than us. When we learn about the differences of mankind, we are amazed at the realization that we are so much more alike than we are different. Biologically speaking, the difference between male and female is strikingly slim. Individuality and personality is merely a fabrication of the times. In researching language, we find the striking similarity of all languages. It seems that people have different purposes in life, or destinies. After all, how could this world survive if we were all teachers, or artists, or hunters? But again, I believe this also to be an appearance of the world. Ultimately, we all came from the same place, and we all want to get to the same place. So in my final analysis, we are the same in every significant way.
Taking these beliefs and assumptions into consideration, the reader must now realize what it means to complete the daunting task of writing an essay On Myself. By taking on this challenge, I am describing not only myself, but humanity; not only my soul, but the soul of humanity. As Walt Whitman continually chants:
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
If we would go outside every night and gaze at the stars, we would realize the meaning of life: that life is much more, that we are much more, that there is much higher we can reach, more to tell, more to wonder, ponder, and love. In our amazement, we become humbled; and in our humble state, we would realize another spiritual lesson: the love for humanity, the compassion for human nature; that everyone is like us and is us, in need of and in search of the same things. You and I are connected so strongly in this web of life, but we forget. When we look to the sky with a clear mind, we see God, and we see our potential self, waiting for us in the stars.
I always believed to be great, and that someday, if I would reach my state of potential, I would do great things. There is a divine part in every one that wishes to do the will of the Divine, and to do great deeds that are beyond the measure of man. The divine voice of possibilities is always with us. I have listened to its voice. It whispers to me at moments, telling me that I can transcend the world. If I have done anything truly good, or truly inspirational, it is because of this voice. It is not only me. That is what separates greatness from arrogance.
If I could capture, in words, the feeling of electricity at a child’s birth, then I could capture the feeling of human potential. Why are we so happy at a birth? Because a baby is a blank slate; it is a perfect form; it is a potential Buddha, a potential Christ; it has full freedom, full free will. That is the feeling of hope and potential at a birth.
The potential I speak of is spiritual, not physical. Anyone can be physically great: attractive, powerful, wealthy, popular; but that is a greatness based on worldly standards. This kind of greatness can get us far in the world, perhaps even happy; but this happiness is always temporary, and will die with our body. But spiritual greatness many times is the opposite of worldly goals. Spiritual greatness comes with humility; the more lowly one becomes the more great he is in the eyes of God. Humility is not an attractive trait in the world of men. It is no coincidence that the greatest spiritual leaders have never pointed to themselves for recognition, but always to the Divine. Continue reading “On Myself: a Spiritual Memoir”