What does it mean to be me anyway?
We think we’re someone, but we’re not. Not really.
A large part of our body mass consists of bacteria and mitochondria, none of which share the DNA of our cells, the cells that make up what we consider to be ‘our’ bodies.
And even ‘our’ cells are constantly splitting, multiplying, dying. Not a single cell in my body is original. They’ve all been replaced. So where does that leave me?
It leaves me nowhere, to be honest. A man cannot step into the same river twice, as it will not be the same river, and he will not be the same man. The greatest paradox of being me is that I’m not me at all! All that holds this particular personality together is my memory of myself, my past. And we all know how unreliable memory can be.
I used to ‘remember’ the girl who used to babysit my sister and myself when we were kids, as being blonde. Then when I met her 10 years later she had flaming red hair. She said she had never in her life colored it, and had been a redhead when she was taking care of us ten years earlier. Go figure.
It may seem trivial but it’s not. If we can’t trust our memories, what can we trust?
I’ve been watching the new Westworld series, and it’s incredible. Poignant. Scary as fuck. I highly recommend it to anyone with even a minor interest in the nature of consciousness. A big part of the plot is the fickleness of memory, in androids to be sure, but the point remains the same.
Without self-awareness, mindfulness, are we just sophisticated machines? Like the hosts in Westworld? To paraphrase Anthony Hopkins’ Robert Ford, humans are just as stuck in their loops as the androids are.
When somebody has worked in the same office for ten years, going to the same bakery for a coffee and danish every single day, and then collapses into the same couch every evening to watch whatever bullshit show that happens to be on TV, is that somebody still somebody?
The more I develop my awareness in all its magnificence, the more I realize how asleep I’ve been, for my entire life, with the exceedingly rare pocket of consciousness here and there. During hardships and trauma, or moments of extreme beauty and kindness, we are pulled from our unconsciousness for seconds at a time, but without effort we fall right back into darkness.
In the words of Socrates, the unexamined life is not worth living. When I think of the hours, weeks, years that I’ve been unaware, I see that I may as well have been nonexistent.
Every day I work on expanding and solidifying my conscious awareness, because I see that it’s the only reason I’m here. All else comes and goes. Experience is forever. Now is eternal. There is no beginning and there is no end. Only here, now.
I intend to go higher and higher. I want to take you with me. There is immense possibility within us all, all we need is awareness. There’s a reason this site has the name it does. Because awareness is the path to true joy.
Much love to all, until next time.