13 January 2021
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 had no similar opportunities:
• 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
But, let us suggest that you and I are really NONE of those images.
First – What we see are just pictures of a person passing through a
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.
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
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.
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:
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
Comments always welcome at
theportableschool at gmail dot com.