13 January 2021

Sequel to

Gifts of Aging & Long Life


The topic of our last essay prompted more comments than usual. In it we shared thoughts on how long life in this era offers all sorts of gifts – in quantity, and sometimes in quality – of which practically all people in the past no similar opportunities:

• Travel
• Communication
• Learning
• Relationships
• Self reflection

Studying and trying to know self, brought forth the suggestion – with visual support from the author’s own life – that we scan over photos and moments from our own pasts. Then, ask the images from those moments: “Who am I? Which of you am I?”

We received several comments on this essay but none addressed that final exercise. Readers probably figured it was a “loaded question.” Yes and No.

You might have thought, “Well, I am – or was – all of these people who were pictured in my past. They are all pictures of me – Who I am or was.”

But, let us suggest that you and I are really NONE of those images.

Really? Yes.

First – What we see are just pictures of a person passing through a lifetime.

Next – We were never really what appears on the outside in photos. Those were our embodiments. The human body is a costume and vehicle, a means of transport and communication during one of dozens if not hundreds of lifetimes which we souls experience over vast periods of time. The costumes do suit our souls. But sometimes not perfectly. Another story.

For those new to the idea of reincarnation, it may take time to get accustomed to the possibility of being embodied again and again. On the other hand, there is a simple way to get closer to the concept of reincarnation.

Simply put, we are re-embodied anew when we return to our old friendly form – birthday suit – every morning after hours sleep during which time we – the soul – leave the body and do unspeakable things. They are unspeakable because we detach from our short term memory and our conscious link to the brain for those hours.

Perspective – This exercise of studying old photos was meant to jog readers into thinking beyond our bodies as to who they really are. We are souls having bodily experiences and lessons which add to our vast data banks – so to speak. The details and reasons for such schema are beyond the scope of this brief essay.

String of Pearls

Lifetimes - If the reader allow, s/he may consider each life as a bead on a string of pearls. Every lifetime draws us into deeper, higher, purer life eventually to mimic the One in Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being.

A martial artist friend long ago told me of a teaching passed on to him. It went like this:

I am three things:
I am who others think I am.
I am who I think I am.
I am who I am.

All these views have their part. But, we are surely not bodies, changing matter, and passing experiences.

We are the persisting I Am – the Self – the Divine within.

Comments always welcome at theportableschool at gmail dot com.

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