Sunday, August 8, 2010
WHAT LIES WITHIN
“Listen to this,” Clive says. He holds the mango-sized rock to my ear and gives the thing a shake, and I hear the unmistakeable gurgle of water. “Trapped,” he explains, his eyes twinkling. His accent like mine, he adds, “Millions of years ago. Try it.” Very carefully I take the rough rock with its crystalline surfaces from his fingers and gently joggle it close to my ear; I hear again the jiggle of water as ancient as all time enclosed within. “Found it while rock-hunting in Africa,” Clive continues, “and no, it’s not a fossilized egg.”
We are used to presumptions. Our brains search for patterns of identification onto which to append new information. Things in isolation, strange new things, can sometimes even startle us. Or fill us with wonder. And the entrapment of the very soul that gives each of us identity we often take for granted. That ancient water in the rock awaits reunification with all water. Its molecules and atoms will disperse from the centuries of its encasement and will transpire, evaporate, dilute, immerse, and otherwise become unidentifiable from what was to what will be. It takes only the shattering of its stasis, its vessel, its cage, its paradigm, its container; so too for each of us.
But no, not me! Oh no, we think. My soul is special. My soul is ancient. My soul will be worked upon and my soul will (or will not) “come back” as A-This or B-That. After all, my soul is housed in this body of my experiences. My soul, like the water in that rock, is individualized and transported beyond the exigencies of time and space and made special by the very name I’ve given it, the passage it’s undergone. While I can accept that my body (as old or young as the case may be) eventually will crumble into the proverbial dust to dust, I cannot accept that my soul so too will transpire, evaporate, dilute, immerse, and otherwise become unidentifiable from what was to what will be. After all, it’s mine!
Mine! Such is the isolation we perpetuate with our ego. What part of an immense water body (or otherwise) was the water within the rock not once a part of? And for it to yearn for release into the ether of All sounds so silly, seems rather anthropomorphic. Yet in the yearning of our souls to be released next as a butterfly, or a dolphin, or a stallion, or how about as the next King or Queen of the world we do not hold ourselves to be zoomorphic, misaligned, misled. We retain our need to go to some heaven. We retain individuality in that heaven. We retain our own sense of attainment and specialness and purpose and direction and even our very record of existence by such ideology. We are by this belief given purpose and direction while we feel our souls juggled within the rock of our being, and we protect and nurture and feed and influence that inner core of ourselves, whether by accident or by intention, toward the day the very rock of ourselves becomes crumbled to a release of the soul. No, we might argue; my soul is not like that water!
Clive has an ancient soul. It has its individual and particularized concomitance of energy with its gentle and conscious understanding that invigorates him beyond the boundaries of his physical age. Clive harbours an eclecticism that allows for preferences and evaluations and complicity and inclusion and integration, yet he knows his boundaries. And when he dies, his soul like mine will join The All. That, for me, is what lies within.