Exploring elementary questions about the nature of life, through the art of storytelling!
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.
Who am I – On the importance to know the SELF
So far I can comprehend, that life is the experience between birth and death, and can only be experienced through the SELF, which exists between these two events.
I clearly remember 4 year old Polly, curiously observing her mother and girlfriends, wondering through old pictures while sitting on the sofa and drinking hot tea on a winter evening. And so she asks this simple question; ‘where was I at that time you took these pictures, I do not appear on any of them.’
How simple and yet profound her observation I thought, noticing that she was obviously not here, she wondered where else she would have been at the time. The ‘Not being’ is difficult for anyone of us to understand independently of age. This experience remained with me, perhaps because no one of us ‘educated grown ups’ had any idea, how to answer her effortless wondering.
Sadly at that time, I too encountered the same question as curious young Polly, but from a different, more unbearable perspective, as I accompanied my close relative during the last weeks and months of her life’s path.
Where does my loved one go to, after she disappears from the surface of this life. How can she just Not BE here any more! Now Here – Now gone forever! I found relieve in these words from Goethe.
I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and that its activity will continue through eternity. It is like the sun, which, to our eyes, seems to set in night; but it has in reality only gone to diffuse its light elsewhere.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The importance of Storytelling
Since the birth of humankind we have been asking these questions and after all those years and billions of human wondering lifetimes, we still seem to lack wisdom about the true nature of life.
Sharing stories is a central part of our collective experience, through which humans have found a way to understand and pass down meaning over centuries from the elder to the young, from generation to generation. The beauty of storytelling as an intuitive tool, lays within its capacity to create, expand and share awareness, utilising myths, tales and stories, immortalised cave paintings, poems, songs, books, photographs and films which are continuously reminding us of a quest for more understanding about what it means to be human and what it means to be ONESELF!
I am not yet able to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things.
SOCRATES, 469 BC – 399 BC.
The Anima is Carl Jung’s term for the unconscious feminine aspect of a person, the inner part of the personality, or character, as opposed to the persona, or outer part. In Latin it means air, breath or spirit, in Ancient Greek: άνεμος ánemos means wind.
For me ‘Anima’ refers to an inner ‘unconditioned’ aspect of the ‘self’, which I believe is an important guide through our personal experiences of life.
I don’t learn to know more, but to ignore less.
– Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 1651 – 1695,
self-taught scholar, philosopher, Nun, poet, writer.
Long before I learned the word self or identity, I was taught that who I was, was determined by who I belonged to, and who I belonged to was determined by where I was born, by the language I spoke, the rites I respected, aso. . . Belonging and identity, as we all have learned it, build strong frameworks in our mindsets, which we hardly ever dare to question nor their concepts of truth. Unless life itself shakes these frameworks and so erases the labels we have accumulated to define our selves and our roles within society.
Belonging is exclusive, so I learned when I was about Polly’s age. Only many years later I understood how absurd such a concept of belonging is, where the aspects which help us to define ourselves as part of, also separate us from others.
I truly believe that it is crucial for the evolution of our human species, to become aware of the self and that we are each fully responsible of the reality we individually and collectively create on the surface. Since both realities are obviously connected the one within and the one without, we can only understand the bigger picture of life, if we listen to the surface but also to the myths which continue to live within our hearts, our human minds and inherited bodies, within the individual and the collective.
In one of their conversations, carried out in the twilight hours of a rainswept day, Kafka tells his young friend: Life is as infinitely great and profound as the immensity of the stars above us. One can only look at it through the narrow keyhole of one’s personal existence. But through it one perceives more than one can see. So above all one must keep the keyhole clean.