An Existential Dilemma
For me it’s not the meaning of life as it is for some, always looking under rocks for clues, or joining this or that group for a sense of belonging. Nor is it the search for a purpose, some series of tasks and duties that gives their amorphous existence some shape and forward motion. No, for me it’s more looking about after a nap, trying to remember who exactly I am. There’s a seductive kind of anonymity to that territory you return to after the brief bliss of a snooze. You stretch your limbs and take a few steps. Perhaps the washroom is appropriate.
So you toddle off in that direction as the jigsaw pieces fall into place. All those details that give you a character and mold you a personality for moving though society in a way that calms the anxieties of others. By the time you finished emptying your bladder the dilemma has been resolved. You know who you are and what’s expected of you. Your thoughts, feelings and perceptions are back in place, ready for action.
Yet that space where anonymity ruled retains its tempting aroma. Not to be tied to a name, a race, a religion or social insurance number, being just anybody instead of just somebody, or even no-one at all, a bubble of unknowing that kinda does know but won’t say, it’s tempting for a tryout and often a return engagement.
One of my teachers, influencers as the saying now goes, wrote about a century ago that waking up and not knowing who you were or are, even for a few seconds, is but a taste of higher self consciousness. The higher self that births so many of us sentient beings in human form, all of us thinking we’re pretty special stand-outs from the crowd when in fact we’re merely another experiment in incarnation, one of millions in the many societies that thrash their way to dominance before gradually fading from view into the debates of historians and archeologists.
This taste of ‘no-one going nowhere’ can induce the state we might call delirious if we were in it long enough to lasso a description from the wash of perceptions. It is a hint of how higher self feels, so full of sentience and forms yet transcending them all in its bemused kindly shepherd role. Its existential dilemma is that it has none and would only know about it if you filed a report attesting to its power. Sure it recognises that mewling lost sheep scenario but does not give any more due that it deserves.
Remember excitedly telling your mother about some afternoon adventure that five year olds find unbearably fascinating, usually as she was trying to do three things at once? You got it.