Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Year, New You: Who am I?

Who is this I that desires transformation into something new?

Is it this collection of atoms?  This bundle of cells that powers what I laughingly call "I"?  If so, how much of these atoms constitute "me"?  Is it the ones that share my DNA?  Is it the microbes that live upon me, up to 90 trillion different individual living things?  Does it include the air I breathe, once I breathe it?  Does it include the air I exhale, filled with cells, microbes, carbon from my body and oxygen that's been burned?  Is the skin my boundary, or do I include the food I eat, the fluids I secrete, the people I join with in physical contact of one sort or another?

Perhaps I'm being to physical.  Perhaps me is the thoughts generated from the cells?  The grey matter in my skull, reacting and firing over and over.  But what thoughts are mine?  What are put there by other outside influences?  What thoughts originate in my gut, or my foot, or my groin?  What thoughts can truly define "me"?  And, if these thoughts stop, do I?

Perhaps I'm still being too everyday.  Perhaps "me" is the spiritual, the pneumatic, the Divine.  But how can I be an individual, an "I", in the face of the Divine, the all encompassing ground of all being that resists definition, surpasses all explanation, defies being itself?  How can "I" avoid drowning in the diffuse blinding light of that which we call God?  How can my existence as an entity resist the power and awesome splendor of being itself?

What about the past?  The past is fluid, is gone.  I remember it, I note it down, but the memories are recreations and the notes are poor shadows.  The future is unformed, unknowable although possibly predictable, given enough variables.  The present slips away, and the I that experiences it slips into the past, and into the froth thus generated by passing through this moment.
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Before I transform what is, how can I understand what is?  Do I just identify facets, and change those facets?   My weight, my living situation, my efforts and social circle, my worship style and rituals?  Or do I really transform, make the elixir of the spirit mighty in the crucible of my soul?  How can I choose, what can I control, what can I influence, what is destined?

The questions are important ones.  The answers, as all things, probably change from the direction in which we approach them.
There's a place where I know you walked
The love falls from the trees
My heart is like a broken cup
I only feel right on my knees
I spill out like a sewer hole
Yet still receive your kiss
How can I measure up to anyone new
After such a love as this
Oh Most High, You gave unto your preacher the Wisdom and knowledge to seek after these questions, and he found that all was vanity, found only vexation of the spirit and and striving after the wind.  Oh Divine Beloved, grant that I might lay my head for a time on your breast, and hear the thrumming of your heart, and find peace.

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