There’s something very ambiguous yet profound that happens as a time traveler.
Gisela: A what…a time traveler?
You might think it’s nonsense yet if you allow yourself to loosen the concept you hold true of reality, you might end up finding this a pleasant notion. We, humans, experience life as though existence begins at 0 and ends at …say 90, per se. We call this age. If that is the true, I imagine it’s perfectly OK to consider aging synonymous to time travel and movement forward or backward synonymous to space travel. We are not born to exist exclusively to one moment in time or space, are we?
Gisela: No, I guess not.
There’s way more to explore in regards to the mind and imagination yet all of this is neither nor there for what I had in mind to share; it was simply a fun expression.
Gisela: OK. I’m listening.
Who am I? At first, much without thinking, I realize my identity was developed as a by-product of experiences.
Gisela: Well, this was unexpected!
I am Matthew, right? I have parents, siblings, and together we are a family. We live by a set of standards preceded by our culture and family history. That would seem fairly accurate, right?
Gisela: Ok. Hmmmm. I imagine it’s fair to say so, yes. Where is this going? <laughs nervously>
Well, much of identity and personality just happens, doesn’t it?
Gisela: What do you mean?
Well, it happens on auto-mode. How often do you think of how you became Gisela?
Gisela: I have never thought of it, actually.
Precisely. It’s automatic. There’s no thinking or planning involved in the creation of who we are. It happens naturally. We go through life reaching developmental milestones, learning verbal and non verbal ways to interact with others, explore creativity, and learn to express emotion outside of just opening our mouths and wailing like babies.
Gisela: Well, Matthew, I know a lot of people that only open their mouths and wail. <snickers>
Gisela, more on that later.
I suppose we can all agree this is a conventional course of living. We are born, we have parents, we may or may not have siblings, we may or may not go to school or simply we learn somewhere, right?…we have teachers, we have friends (or not), we have lover(s) or not, we have a few bosses, colleagues, and mentors. All of these experiences have one thing in common. What do you think that is?
Gisela: They are all people?
Surely, they are all people and people have…relationships. Relationships serve as a model.
Gisela: A model for what?
Well, our identity. As it were, our identities are developed based on distinct elements of every relationship we’ve ever had. It’s inescapable and a natural automatic function. Learning, simply, learning and adapting.
Gisela: So, what I think you are saying is that I am everyone I’ve ever met?
To a degree, yes. Though, as we continue traveling through time and space, phenomenon begins to happen.
Gisela: Time traveler, oh boy. You’re really going to stick with that, aren’t you? OK. What kind of phenomenon?
Gisela: What do you mean awakening?
I’ll put it like this. Imagine every moment of experience equals a byte of data being stored into our brain and cached. What do you think happens to that information?
Gisela: I’m following you but I have no answer.
Because most of life is experienced through the perspective that it just happens and we don’t typically observe experience with inquiry as to why life happens as it does — life ends up being summed up into cause and effect but that is not accurate!
Gisela: Now, you’ve lost me.
Our brain is identical to our experience. It stores and reflects emotions, sensations, and thought patterns. Many of these thought patterns are memories and these memories are beliefs and instilled values and ideas of the world. Everything we learn is a memory in our brain —conscious or not.
Ok, I digress.
Let’s go back to awakening.
Have you ever noticed a desire to do something different? Or perhaps have an inkling that there’s more to life than what you are experiencing? Maybe you’re feeling a desire for something radical. Why do you think that happens?
Gisela: I want to explore what life has to offer.
Has there ever been a time you wanted to explore something new yet you held back?
Gisela: Emmm, now that I think of it, yes. There are lots of things I’ve not done.
Gisela: Hahah, well, when I ask myself… it sounds silly.
What sounds silly?
Gisela: The reasons why I haven’t done what I’ve wanted.
And why is it that you haven’t?
Gisela: Because I’m scared that I won’t have approval from others namely my parents and siblings. I feel tension and anxiety that I will be judged harshly and I much rather avoid the unpleasantness and not ‘just do it”.
Do you know what you value, Gisela?
Gisela: Oooof. You got me. I’m sure I can come up with something but I’ve never really thought about it.
…to be continued…