also Belief, God, Heaven, Religion, Superstition

“I am” you say. Just mouthing words by Descartes or Neil Diamond? Or do you really mean it? You are YOU… a person, a thinking being with feelings, someone who takes up space, has some reasons for existing:  a member of a family, work, accomplishing. For what purpose? Surviving, helping yourself, others, the world? All of that? Of course. You do exist, reality number one. You ‘take the world in’ and react to it, reality number two. And you seek knowledge and understanding beyond what is presented to you, what is close at hand. Another ‘reality’ that will grow exponentially in time. You never stop experiencing and learning. So let’s quickly review. Realities:  you exist inside yourself, you are a responding being and you ‘look’ beyond yourself. All of these contribute to a ‘growing’ you, a person comprised of emotions, memories, conditioned responses and increasing numbers of awareness’s. You are you; you are very real… at least for you.

Are there other realities? Are other people’s ‘worlds’ their own reality? It appears so. Although you cannot delve into other people’s minds it is obvious that they are functioning much as you are. There is nothing you say or do that you cannot find replicated in some way in others. Laughing, singing, dancing, cheering at a sport’s event:  these are just a few experiences you share that make it obvious that you have much in common. In fact throughout your lifetime you will be participating with others. And most times you will be comfortable with them. For their reality is very similar to yours. Oh, there will be differences. Each individual develops his or her own traits:  quiet, talkative, humble, confident. Each handles emotions a little differently. Each forms beliefs and convictions. We call this conglomeration a personality. You understand it and respect it. Although some people do ‘put you off’. You don’t care for whining, pomposity and other selfish traits. You especially find it difficult to be with someone who never tries to understand you, your ‘reality’. Even after you have done the requisite listening and then wish to share a little of ‘you’. Oh well, you won’t deal with that person again unless absolutely necessary. Too bad if he or she is a neighbor, a co-worker or an in-law. But conflict is part of life. Isn’t that a fun reality?

And speaking of fun. Do you enjoy listening to music? Maybe going out dancing? Or staying home and painting pictures? How ‘bout throwing pottery, designing clothing or furniture, working on a backyard landscape? Must be something that stirs you to action. And do you share this interest with others? When you do is the activity not more meaningful, more intense? Can you imagine listening to a concert by yourself? Or watching a gorgeous sunset? In Key West, Florida throngs of people gather each evening to gaze transfixed at this awesome spectacle. Why? The reality of experiencing the ‘now’ moment is more exciting, more intensely felt when it is shared. Listen to a comedian or pianist in a group setting. Amazing how the laughter and enjoyment can crescendo through the crowd. This IS a reality that often becomes memorable. Think back in your lifetime. Remember when you were with…? Nostalgic moments you would not mind reliving. And you do.

For there are times in your life when the world around you seems to disappear. Certain experiences generate feelings that are uplifting. They elevate you to another ‘place’. Where joy overwhelms you and happiness reigns. You remember them. You hope for more. Why? Occasionally you need to put your ‘physical’ world on hold. You need to jog your imagination, participate in creative activity and embrace beauty. An expedient to accomplishing this is joining with others. Yes, you can do this alone but when you are with others especially friends you are more encouraged to ‘open up’. An excellent example of this is when you laugh within a group. Once the laughter starts it is difficult to contain. Sometimes it can go on for hours. What a great time!

And could it be that you are more YOU than ever at such times? Think about it. When you are being drawn out of yourself by focusing on imaginative insights and creative activity around you, you are being more than a ‘survival is paramount’ homo sapiens. You are opening your heart and participating in a form of love. You are relating to others, caring for others. Even when gazing at the sunset you are ‘leaving’ yourself to experience the joy of beauty. You are loving what is outside yourself. And when you are creating, bringing something into existence perhaps with others, you are driven by love. You want to share beauty with others. Why? You are participating in the reality of being spiritual. For this is what you are. The most astounding creation in the universe:  one who loves.



©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.