Philosophical Muse : Hall of Mirrors

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I was inspired to write this post by the Wordpress Weekly Challenge titled “Worlds Colliding”.

The challenge was to share a story when we switched personas in the face of a situation or event. We wear different masks under different circumstances.

I had participated in the challenge but then it got me thinking. Instead of an anecdote, another thought came to mind – a mental musing about this subject matter told from a philosophical angle.

There are many facets / facades / masks / fronts that we put up depending on the situation that comes our way.

Take me for example.

I usually tend to be contemplative by my lonesome, toying with questions that come to mind about a lot of subject matters. But this is a sight usually shown to the person who has the most intimate connection with me. The closest person. Or those within my circle of trust.

Ironically, most people see me as a gangster due to my serious look. A couple of friends who know me a little more see my crazy, ridiculous and bombastic side. And those who know me all too well and very deeply – knows how deep the rabbit hole goes and finds the rabbit at the bottom of that hole with a broken foot trying to recover from its injuries.

When I contemplated about the many sides of me, I thought about a hall of mirrors.

You know those hall mirrors in funfairs / theme parks / circus that distort your image as you walk pass em?

The thing is, we are sort of like that hall. Our personas that are perceived by the world outside of our own are the images on those mirrors.
We have many appearances of us depending on which situation we face, which mirror we stand in front of.

People tend to only see the reflection on that mirror. Very few actually see the real person, the real you, that is standing before that mirror. Most do not bother looking past the illusion. They point and laugh and jeer at the image. They make judgements about you before realising that what they see isn’t the real you.

But then comes a beautiful part of the story.

It’s when someone opens their eyes. They step forward to touch the illusion. And they realise that it isn’t real. They turn to look around. Surrounded by a world of mirrors with varying images, they keep searching, reaching out and touching to verify.

Until their hand comes upon you, comes into contact with you.

They feel the warmth of your soul, not the cold exterior of glass. They start to reach up to your face and then look you deep in the eyes. They look within to connect to your soul, to you.
They know you, the real you. And am happy to have found you.

Every person is a mystery with a story to tell. The older the person gets, with more experiences in below their belt, the more mirrors they tend to put up.

In the end of the day, it’s about the person who is able to reach out and touch the real you amongst all the mirror images. The ones who make the effort to get to know you deeper, looking past the surface, past the illusion, at the real you.

They are the ones we should treasure.

Philosophical Muse : The Right Key to the Lock of Pure Connection

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As I was walking today in a shopping mall with my dad and stepmom, I couldn’t help but notice how my dad was talking and she was listening. I was behind them as they walked ahead. My dad had always been one to talk a lot.

It was a weekday and as such the shopping mall was filled with people who were either on leave, were free or the elderly. I’ve noticed that, my own folks aside, the other couples I passed by, both young and old; they too were walking while in conversation.

It kind of got me smiling as I watched these couples (my own folks included), lost in their own world, communicating with their own lingo and language.

Sometimes, I can’t help but think, even for all the nasty history in my life caused by my dad and stepmom, that things are right the way they are.

It’s not to say that I condone the actions they have committed. Far from it. It’s just…I tend to let my compassion get the better of me. All I want is some peace in the family. And I think at the end of the day, my biological mother raised me up to be a forgiving, compassionate and above all, responsible son. The responsibility to care for my father, for all the crap he has done, overwrites the negative sentiments I have towards him (that’s not to say that I don’t have moments when I want to strangle him out of frustration – yes, he is a difficult man to handle believe me).

But seeing the scene before me, my thoughts started to go into gear.

I think at the end of the day, above everything else, above all material possessions and gains, we just don’t really want to be alone.

Whether one is in a form of relationship (long term, married, friends and etc) or single (whether available or not available), the feeling of isolation is one that is painful.

Let’s shift to those in relationships. I feel the most important aspect of this connection is communication. Be it friendship or a serious relationship, the key is the sense of companionship between individuals. I guess it’s all about having someone who can share your experiences, can walk the path of your life with you, or both of you share the same bearing and heading towards somewhere. It’s about sharing. There’s a flow of thoughts and feelings when we find that someone or many ones who we can click and get along with.

Maybe it’s because in nature we are dynamic creatures. Humans are social creatures, but look at the sense of social and you realise that ‘social’ is an element of the human condition that provides an avenue for dynamism of our being to happen, whether it be emotions or thoughts.

Stagnation kills us. We are a constantly evolving species, growing in ways we may or may not notice. Our minds and physical being needs that sort of ‘flow’ from interaction. A to and fro. A give and receive.

If a person’s life is a life filled with events that go one way, I think it becomes a road to mind rot. There needs to be a form of feedback for us to act upon. Even a wall gives us feedback. Talking to it creates an echo that returns to us. Hitting it, well you get the picture.

But this isn’t limited to just those in relationships. Even singles find their solace, in their case not from someone else, but by focusing their mind on something. Whether it be a hobby, or gaming, or sports, or meditation, prayer, etc…

Perhaps dementia and the crazies are just a state of mind (physical defects resulting from an accident or birth aside). The mind is still there but due to it being stagnant for so long, it tries to revitalise itself by perhaps creating another world. When you think about it, people with such a state are actually normal. They just perhaps perceive the world differently, living in a world only they can experience, a place others outside in reality can’t visit.

As the saying goes – “lost in their own world”. The vessel of the soul steered towards a different direction. Their minds have taken them to another journey disconnected from reality. Who’s to say we aren’t in a dementia dimension ourselves? We may never know, creepy and scary as it sounds.

The mind works in mysterious ways. Monks or those of faith who are celibate, turn to meditation and prayers instead. They aim for an attainment of a higher state of mind. These act as a focal point for their mind. There in itself is a form of interaction that keeps the mind river flowing.

Yes they don’t have the human feedback that most of us who do not follow in their ways do, but we shouldn’t separate ourselves from them. It’s just a matter of perspective as far as human interactions go. One is to a human, another is to the mind. There’s still a back and forth going on.

The soul is the driver of the body vessel, and it’s responsible for filling the mental petrol/gas for the mind. We as humans are constantly interacting with something and we need that.

Preventing our mind from a stagnation of flow of input and output is key.

Having said that, returning to those who are in relationships, I guess the key is who we decide to share our time and lives with. Observing the couples, I got to thinking. Happiness I feel is having someone who you can talk to, who you can give your thoughts and heart and have it returned to you.

At the end of the day we are human beings, a species of sophistication that has evolved above primal animal instincts and developed a mental faculty for thinking. I feel the most important key is that in a relationship, it isn’t about the physical gratifications the body can offer, but instead a deeper connection.

Sexual union isn’t about stimulating the nerve endings on the respective genitalia, but about the abstract. The union of souls, emotions and inner being and soul melded into one. It’s the physical manifestation of trust, to give oneself to another willingly.

I’ve observed that when one gives in to just the carnal pleasures alone, after some time one reaches a point of emptiness of the heart. It’s strange really how we as complex creatures, a complex species that rose in the pyramid above beasts, have such a weakness amidst our greatest strength.

There comes a longing for something real, something true, something pure and lasting. Not something of a fleeting nature, something that becomes a ‘disposable’ sort of thing. I think the emptiness is us feeling sick inside, not our physical being but our soul; when we treat another individual as an object rather than another human being, treating another as just something that doesn’t give us feedback just to satisfy the primal screams within us. Even the primal calling has a deeper voice seeking something deeper. That thing is what we call intimacy, which in the end is still a manifestation of the abstract concept called trust.

It’s about attaining that connection, a deeper emotional one. A theory goes that the feel-good of a physical connection is a reward that drives the body because of our innate instincts to procreate and continue the survival of the species. True that. But I feel too that while that is reward for the physical, the feeling of completeness from intimacy is reward for the mind and soul.

Whether it’s a serious relationship that has gone to the next base (aka another level on the sexual scale) or just plain friendship, to have someone there to return your voice with theirs, or a smile…to know that someone is there for you to interact with, that’s the beauty of it. Finding a partner in life, it’s about the communication in its many forms (speech, gestures, touch, etc).

If it’s only about physical gratification, it just ends up being unfulfilling. At the end of the day, one will continue to seek that comfort that the soul and mind requires. That’s where cheating happens. And it hits the parties both ways. One is the perpetrator and the other the victim. The hurt from betrayal is nasty.

There are many beautiful people in the world, whether male or female or crossovers or converts. I on my side have had many crushes in my life. But if the person can’t even hold a conversation then I can’t see something that is long term.

And don’t get me wrong. It’s not about finding a chatty person. It’s about finding someone you can open up to. That person may not be a talkative person, but if he or she can have the type of communication with you that opens your mind taps and let the flow happen, if he or she is the treasure chest to which your heart may be kept safe, the bowl to which your thoughts are allowed to swirl freely, I believe that you’ve hit gold.