The strangest thing about this journey is that it began with a word. A word that confines within itself the entire physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual existence of a being.
I do not consciously remember when I came into existence but my subconscious stored the fond memory of my first awareness of me, in my mother’s womb. My blooming form gathered the memories of taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound through the various senses and experiences of my mother who carefully nurtured me within herself. I tasted the food she ate; I heard the music she listened; I felt the physical forms she touched; I smelt the fragrances she came across and I saw the world through her eyes. I began to fathom that this is my world and the very extent to my existence.
But no… There was a whole world outside this bliss.
I opened my eyes for the first time and saw a different world around me, somewhat familiar and yet so different.
I come into existence in this physical created world and my parents are the means to bring me into this biosphere. In their unflinching, undying and selfless love during my growing years, I start believing that I am their world. I chuckle when I see my mother’s eyes following me as I take my first step gingerly. She is proud and worried at the same time. I gloat in the pride of my father when he sees me utter my first words. I see the loving family around me and start believing that this is my universe.
I start growing through the stages of human existence. From the vital infancy to the playful childhood and then the imaginative, inventive days of later childhood. My world seems to be growing along with me. I begin to reason everything around me. I set out in the direction of human existence bound by the norms and criteria as projected by my near and dear ones. I feel so proud when I see my parents happy with my achievements in various fields. There are set goals and I am headed towards achieving them. My first excellence certificate in school, my first concert in guitar performance, my cricket medal in the inter-school competition. Wow, what great sense of accomplishment!
I step into the passionate adolescence and I start questioning my parents and their ideologies. I want to break free but do not know where I want to go. These are the tumultuous days of confusion, strong sentiments and self-discovery. It leads me to my youth where I begin to find a balance in life. I strive towards achieving economic gains, emotional stability and a sense of independence. I feel I have figured out my purpose as I begin to interact with the proposed reality. I feel responsible and committed as I slowly move to the hardships of adulthood.
Now I feel much more in control of my situations, decisions, and objectives. I create a circle of family, friends, and people around me. I mark my successes through the house, car, and job that I attain. I create my values and principles which become the pillars of my character. I feel secure and superficially happy.
Slowly as these material gains begin to fade in priorities and I descend into the physical deterioration, I realize I have reached the dusk of my perceived reality. I have raised family, established a work-life, benefitted society as I see it. In my benevolence, I embark upon the course of passing on my wisdom and experience to the next generations so the continuum of the cyclic process goes on. It is now that I start living in the present and quietly reflect on my past.
Have I fulfilled the purpose of my existence as a human being? Have I valued my status of being alive all this time and explored the immense possibilities that the lifetime had to offer?
Have I ever tried to connect with the real me and the expanse of the world around me? In the haste of living my days, have I really existed?
I am the living form of myself and the word that started my journey into this dimension is, ‘life’. A life that holds within itself all the elements that have created the universe. I am only a tiny part of the entire cosmos that is alive in its own way. I have not authentically experienced the lifeform that was bestowed upon me, but I only ended up playing a part in the cyclic genetic process which is repetitive in nature.
All this while I have been chasing the meaning of life and not living it meaningfully. I want to walk back all over again and rediscover myself. I want to take some time off my busy childhood days to experience the blissful nature around me. Amidst the vibrant adolescent stage, sometimes I want to sit silently and ponder over many things. I wish to travel and explore far and wide places in my adulthood. Embrace the abundant ecstasy that the natural world has to offer. I want to enrich my soul and build and cherish beautiful memories for my physical self so that I could pass on the same to my future generations. I want to connect to the other natural life forms around us and consciously care about their coexistence.
But is it too late? Isn’t it true that the real meaning of life cannot be measured only in years? Life can end at any time, whether it is childhood, puberty or old age. Therefore, to consider only old age as the measure of end of life and to think that only a few years are remaining, is not right. As long as there is life and consciousness, one should continue to live a meaningful life. And I would cheerfully do so and, in the process,
…I want to look back and tell my tiny self, ‘Indulge in experiencing the magic of life and don’t get lost in merely living in the logic of it!’