Monday, September 12, 2005

the lifeless moments

From the outside, you see lifeless faces,

Strangers all, from Rome to Khorasan.

What's behind those faces? Look again.

To see the human ocean, look within.

#1810: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: see

I've been wondering about Alan Bates, why he appeals so much to me, why it feels so sad to know of his passing. He loved acting, he was talented at it, and he was acting right up to the end. Expressing a talent like that and loving that process is as close as I can get to understanding the idea of "self-realization". However, Bates was a public person, his talent made him visible. Can self-realization still happen when one lacks the talent to become famous? Since seeing is closely associated with realizing, I sought out Rumi's thoughts on this and this verse does indeed precisely touch on this issue. If we glance only briefly at a person on the street, on a train, in a shopping centre or in an office, we see nothing special. If we allow that person to open up to us even just a little, perhaps in a smile or a meeting of eyes, we see through to a veritable ocean. We see that each person is indeed God or the Greater Self realizing or becoming real.

Blogs can be such a window to the human ocean within, especially when the writer touches on her own sense of self as Renata Dumitrascu did recently in her piece simply titled identity. Another person's inner world can only be reached when it resonates with one's own inner world. If she feels alienated at times, I can say that I do too for perhaps similar, perhaps different reasons. What matters is the corresponding experience.

Perhaps where a difference lies is not between the public and the more private person: it is between those moments when we sense the process of self-realization and the moments when we lose that sense.


Post a Comment

<< Home