Going into the unknown temple of my soul
Prologue: Standing in the Sunset Glow
I once read an interpretation of an old Japanese television series I watched about child soldiers, and one of the main themes was that you could subject children to extreme brutality and hardship, but for some reason, something in each individual’s inner nature causes them to become different people. Some were honorable warriors, others were bloodthirsty savages. A very big metaphor for the nature versus nurture argument. In my view, nurturing people is what brings out something within them and triggers who they naturally are, which is why the extremes of hardship and privilege will tell you enough about someone.
Another quote I heard best summarizes this:
Two things determine your character: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.
The one argument people in my family use to dismiss the complexities of my life is to point at my younger sister. What they do not realize is their assumptions tell me more about them and what lies my father told them about our life; that people truly did believe we were extremely privileged people. The problem is, they didn’t know my father, and my father didn’t want them to know either.
Orestes, torn between mother and father: his suffering caused by his family
Introduction: This Boy’s Life
It’s hard to talk about my past and discover where the divergence in problems begins, for my family has historically been downright abusive, neglectful, and toxic. My childhood is full of moments of abandonment, lies, and scapegoating, and as a result of the disease of life, I was eventually made into a Third Culture Kid, dragged around the world with no end in sight and the belief I’d eventually return to the childhood friends and home I was taken from a delusion I held onto for sanity. Consequently, by becoming the Third Culture Kid I am, it created an even deeper divide between my family and I.
Prologue: Returning to the Cave After Awakening from Dreams/Reality Bites.
The cave allegory of Plato best conveys the frustration I have with my inability to explain what makes perfect sense to me to others caught in the mundane world. What I have learned in my travels and spiritual revelations (both related to each other–the more I travel, the more spiritual I become, and the more spiritual I become, the more I travel) is that this is very much like speaking to cave dwellers as Plato describes it (abbreviated here for concision):
Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to designate names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
But the problem is, when you return to the cave and tell people what is reality, they look at you and think you are a mad man. And indeed: most people dismiss me as crazy.
Part I: Dreams…When Being and Consciousness Actually Make Sense
When I dream these days, I do not find myself haunted, tormented, torn, longing, or searching. I find myself bearing witness to life around me, all the possibilities of what could have been and what will be. Earlier this month, I dreamed of Yesl giving me a power symbol t-shirt and my mother and father, in some manor in the foggy English countryside. Crashing through the hedge maze and exiting the car to enter the manor, a portrait of my father looks ogrish and sinister, and I become consciously aware that that is within me too, and I resist, because I refuse to lose who I have shaped myself into Being.
True words do not sound beautiful;
beautiful sounding words are not true.
Wise men don’t need to debate;
men who need to debate are not wise.
Wise men are not scholars,
and scholars are not wise.
The Sage desires no possessions.
Since the things he does are for the people,
he has more than he needs.
The more he gives to others,
the more he has for himself.
The Way of Heaven nourishes by not forcing.
The Way of the Sage acts by not competing.
– Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching, 81 (道德經)
Nothing is sufficient for the person who finds sufficiency too little. – Epicurus
I began writing these thoughts on 8th of June 2014 thinking about what topics I will inevitably write on the matters of repatriation, philanthropy, synchronicity and spirituality, and this strange moment in time where I currently have most of my conscious thoughts gathered together.
As the days go by and more time for reflection rather than rumination allow me to process life the past several weeks, I’m at another crossroads in life. Each time I try to sit down and write, I’m instead instinctively drawn to distract myself or focus on tasks that would be more noble to talk about when my mother or stepfather ask what I have been doing.