How much do we really know about ourselves? If I were to ask you how old you are, would your number be less than or greater than 100?
If I were to ask you what you do for a living, would you tell me the activities you do in exchange for currency, or would describe your metabolic pathways?
What am I getting here? Have I been in the funny mushroom patch again? Even if I were, that would not preclude me from insisting that we operate on a level inconsistent with the totality of our being.
To answer the first question about our age, it would seem through consistent training of the birthday celebration that we are, in my case, 29 years old. But from the perspective that life is one continuous happening, each one of us is technically as old as life itself. As Fritjof Capra puts it in his book The Hidden Connections, life is an uninterrupted process from which we all emerge. So congratulations, you are incredibly old.
To answer the second question in regards to “what we do”, it’s quite popular to associate ourselves with our jobs. We work really hard to establish ourselves in an area of focus and in some cases are conferred titles that we append to our names as if to really join together who we are with what we do.
“Hi, I’m John and I am a songwriter.”
Well, yes and no. Really, people call me John and I’m the coagulation of particles made in space and am an intermediary result of an incredibly ineffable process of consciousness manifesting itself upon itself. As Carl Sagan’s quip famously goes,
“We are star stuff”.
Well, what’s the benefit of these perspectives? Although I approached it a bit jocularly, the necessity begets sincerity. As we build our mighty empires up on this space rock, we tend to pathologically forget our connection to Nature and, in doing so, operate out of a bifurcated mindset. When we wish to work on ourselves in accordance with health, we have an immediacy in knowing an ideal condition we wish to achieve (i.e., my head hurts and I want to achieve a state where my head doesn’t hurt), but with a bifurcated mindset, we cannot completely assess where we are, what we are, what hurts, and where we want to end up. Therefore, our decision making becomes flawed. What these enriched perspectives bring then is a reunion of personal identity into harmony with eternal Nature, providing us a fuller understanding of where it is we aim for – and more parameters to consider – when operating toward a goal, thereby increasing the chances of success in our endeavors through error reduction in the conceptualization phase. Additionally, they provide us an exit door when egoistic definitions become too sticky. Instead of being entirely subsumed in expectations based on incomplete awareness, we can say,
“You know what, that’s only a small part of who I am; I can let that go.”
Or better yet, “This is truly what I am, and this is all that is required of me.”
Meditation is a great tool for nurturing and maintaining these morsels of complete awareness. Through a reduction of intellectualization, we can stop thinking of ourselves as the names we were given and the roles we play, and begin understanding ourselves as beings in at least some equal divinity to that from which this all emerges. Additionally, the health fields of nutrition, chiropractic, acupuncture, altered states therapy, yoga, and others all set the stage for this optimization of awareness. By addressing health issues holistically, we can create a robust framework of sustainable harmony within the individual that in turn increases the opportunity to clue into what it is we really are.
Be healthy, be happy!
~John T Hill IV