Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Old Man of Muscat

Everyone calls me the Old Man of Muscat.

Methinks am older than that. In fact me is older than oldest and have been reclining on this hillside almost since eternity, becoming a part of the hill. Me is so old that it is impossible for me to get up and in any case, who wants to get up and why? Me feels so content just lying on my back and watching my friend, Time, go by.

Me has noticed that my friend, the Time, is the Great Teacher, teaching everyone and succeeding sooner or later. Some people learn fast, others take their time but in the end they all learn. Time has the knack to teach you know.

When you are so still for so long and in the same place you tend to notice things that you don’t otherwise see. All my body is so still but this incessant chatter in my head goes on non-stop every second, day after day. It’s a kind of a non-stop dialogue and sometimes it almost seems as if there are two voices inside the head talking to each other, all the time.

One voice might say, “Look at that man what is he doing,” and the other voice will say, “May he has problems, how do you know, don’t judge.” And the first voice might say, “No but he shouldn’t be up and walking at this hour of the night.” Then the second vice will say, “May be he has problems at home and needs to think about them alone.” It goes on and on like this, day in and day out, all the time, ceaselessly.

Such voices are going on inside everyone's head, all the time. At first you think it is 'I' talking to 'myself', the way we sometimes see mad people talking to themselves loudly. Then you notice that it is the egoic mind talking to it self. The awareness behind "I" is not the egoic mind.

This awareness does not ‘talk’ but is the one who ‘watches’ the talk, this dialogue going on in the mind. This awareness is the real self and is unmoving, unchanged; it is only the mind that moves and gives the illusion of change for the ‘I’. “I think therefore I am” said Descartes (“Cognito, ergo sum” but he was mistaken. He realized that he was always thinking and so equated thinking with being. It was to be three hundred years later that another great mind, Jean Paul Sartre realized the mistake and said, “The consciousness that says ‘I am’ is not the consciousness that thinks.”

The consciousness that is behind the thinking goes back much before the body is born and survives the death of the body. Its origin can be traced back to the Big Bang when deep inside a Black Hole, in a Milky Sea, from amongst billions of brethren, ‘It’ fertilizes the seed of Time & Space emerging into this four dimensional reality many earthly years ago.

Since then, with relativity filtering perceptions, Memory Lane keeps lengthening as Time & Space record their movement on the Mind’s Eye. The Soul’s Theatre witnesses epic battles as conflicting passions and emotions collide.

The ‘It’ watches all, unmoved, uninvolved, unchanged. And ‘It’ is who ‘I’ really am.

The real Old Man of Muscat.