Spirit Grooves Blogs

Published on January 6, 2015

I am not feeling very philosophical lately; too busy! Nevertheless, some little pondering manages to get past my firewall. Here is one.

The outer signs (what we all can see) of my inner self (call it my persona, mask, face, or cloak) is what I draw around myself and think of as "important," that is, important at least for the moment. Even a year ago, much less two years, it was all so different. I am talking about what I consider important to me right now, but then again, just who am I? It is more convenient for me to see much of what I surround myself with as something my "Self" likes, my particular self, of course. Otherwise, it is a little embarrassing, actually.

Items that I own and have collected, so crucial to my identity even a few short years ago that I would never think of parting with them, I am now willing to sell, almost eager to, in fact. What does that tell me?

For one thing it tells me a lot about the self "itself," that the self is not "me," at least I pray not all of me. I hope I am something beyond just the things I am attached to, since these things change over time, but am I something different from the attachment itself? That is a scary thought. Perhaps I am nothing but my "self," someone who changes his mental wardrobe with the seasons of time, the fickleness itself.

Obviously there is an emptiness there that can never be filled, a vacuum around which the vortex of things I am attached to whirl and disappear as they are discarded. As they say, there is nothing wrong with the things I am attached to, per se. They are just "things," but it is the attachment itself, and the need on my part to attach, that all this is pointing out.

The best spin I can put on it is that I am attached to the tools that I need for whatever I am doing at the moment and, as I change my mind toward another project, what I need changes too. But the rub is that what I am attached to changes, but like the spider that takes different handholds on the same old web, my need for attachment never changes.

And, as mentioned, it is OK to need and use tools. That's my excuse. They are useful. What is a little worrisome is how attached to them I am when I need them, how I can't imagine never having them, and intend to keep them forever. That is little crazy, because all I have to do is look back even a little ways (not far) to see a trail of things I was attached to that I no longer consider essential. Or are they breadcrumbs?

So here I am again, back in a closed loop, in that I "need" these things for what I am doing right now. Of course, but it is time I started acknowledging that although I need them now, they are just tools. I won't need them somewhere down the road, and probably sooner than I imagine. I suppose our bodies are not much different.

I can see how easy it is to begin to think of our Self as a soul, something that will outlive our bodies, but the Buddhist say it will not, and they also say that something in us certainly will move on, our karma, and our needs -- attachments. I am reminded of the verse in the Bhagavad-Gita, translated by Sir. Edwin Arnold, where it is said:

Nay, but as when one layeth
His worn-out robes away,
And taking new ones, sayeth,
"These will I wear to-day!"
So putteth by the spirit
Lightly its garb of flesh,
And passeth to inherit
A residence afresh.

That seems like a Hindu approach, kind of equating our personality to an eternal soul. The Buddhists are a little more hard-nosed than that. I wish I were an expert in all of this, but unfortunately I am not. Like all of us, I too am waiting (not impatiently!) to find out, and when I do, I probably won't remember it any more than I do now!

My understanding is that we will be propelled forward by our karma and various unfulfilled desires, which in each life form a vortex that will attract around us a new self, based exactly on our desires and attachments. And we will go on like that until we have blown out our desire for attachments, at which time we will be free to realize and realize we are free -- enlightenment. However, I am not enlightened, so I really don't know what that is like. Once again, I am imagining – just star gazing.