Thursday, October 09, 2008

i know who i am

we meet so many kinds of people in this world. kind ones, nice ones, mean ones, cruel ones. innocent and sinister. gentle and harsh. benign and malevolent. honest and false. noble and vile. in so many degrees and so many guises. so many looks and so many manners. so many that it's hard for us to tell one from the other, and we soon begin to see them as all the same, leaving us in a state of our own mass confusion, surrounded by the chaos of other people's insanity.

and it doesn't help that some do not approach us with the best of intentions: some will help you more than others, but some seek only to ensnare you in their treachery.

and the worst of it is that sometimes they do so even though they promise otherwise, and sometimes they do so even though they desire otherwise. they hurt us, not because they intended to, but because they have's in their nature, and they just can't help themselves.

and yet we cannot know one from the other. cannot distinguish the true from the false. the benevolent from the sinister. the dangerous from the innocent. the good from the evil. leaving us to the mercy of this world. and in our confusion, we are at risk of becoming lost, in surrender to the insanity around us.

but there is one thing that provides an answer to our confusion. and it's as simple as the complexity of a koan, framed as an answer to the question that leads to the answer:

i know who i am.

we can't control the world around us. we can't control the others who surround us. and we cannot even know them nor understand them nor believe them. especially since they can't even do so for themselves.

we can, however, control ourselves. and what we do. and what we think. and what we believe. and through this, know who we are, and thereby come to understand what we are, and through this begin to believe in ourselves.

all we have to do is to realize just one thing:

i know who i am.

you see, when we manage this, it doesn't matter what anyone else does to us. it doesn't matter what they do, or what they think, or what they believe. nor does it matter what they want, or what they intend, or what they say, or that they may be trying to help us, or hurt us, or know or don't know either way.

it doesn't matter.

because whatever they do, it cannot change us.

because whatever they want, it cannot hurt us.

because whatever may happen, the chaos of other people's insanity can no longer confuse us.

because we can never be lost again.

because we know this:

i know who i am.

so as our race winds its long course through the chaos that is humanity and leads us even deeper into the supreme chaos that is our reality, we should know that nothing--not the miles, nor the conditions, nor the path, nor the people, nor for that matter anything in this godforsaken misbegotten misplaced world at all--can ever truly serve to stop us.

even as the utter insanity of those around us falls as nothing more than a mote in the infinite insanity of the universe that surrounds us, there should be no confusion, and hence no cause to ever be irrevocably lost.

because of this:

i know who i am.

and with that, we will always find our way back.

and with that, we will always find our way to the finish.

and with that, we will always find our way to what we were always meant to find: ourselves.


Sladed said...

This woman is learning who she is: I know you posted about the shark attack in Solana Beach back in April. ESPN is doing an "Outside the Lines" story this Sunday at 6a.m. This is the written version. EXCELLENT.

jonathan starlight said...

that's awesome. thanks for that.