δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης
You could not step twice into the same river.
Heraclitus of Ephesus As quoted in Plato, Cratylus.
The Daily post presented this as past, present and future self. I took yet another branch from that. Reincarnation. We hang on to this wheel of life for many spins until we are ready to let go of it. Hey, it makes as much sense as any other philosophy out there.
Unlike the “Do Good so Karma doesn’t bite you in the butt next lifetime”, my philosophy is not only do you do good but you have to understand why you do good and do it simply because it is the right thing to do with no thought of reward. Which means a lot of people are in a hell of a lot of trouble. You don’t get to do it because “I will be rewarded in heaven”. Ain’t no reward in heaven if you are looking for a reward. You get it when you simply do it because it is right with no thought of reward.
Why am I here? Because I needed to learn a few things. I am not who I was. I will never be who I am again. I get only one chance to be who I am at this moment in time. Just one chance. I blow this, I have blown this lifetime. I don’t get it back and I don’t get a do over as Phil Harrison. It’s like you get handed a set of tools and told “Go for it.” Damn if you know what it is but you are to go for it. The catch is if you are “going for it” you will know it. You’ll feel it in your soul.
Some things don’t change no matter what lifetime you are in. I think I am who I am no matter who I am but at the same time, each time is unique but some parts of our soul echoes through each lifetime. If we listen to that echo, life is so much easier. If we don’t? It’s so much more misery.
I have my echoes. How do I know they are my echoes? They are strong inclinations that I am simply drawn to for some strange reason. No whys or wherefores in this life but there they are. They are also strong irrational dislikes and feelings. There are places and countries we are drawn to for some reason just as there are places and countries we dislike without reason. There are people we are drawn to immediately on meeting and people we dislike instantly without reason. I love fancy antique needlework. I can do fancy needlework even though I have never been taught. I have no idea why I even was drawn to try it but I was. I jokingly say I can imagine many a lifetime sitting in the monastery decorating the cloths for the church when I wasn’t playing monastery librarian or knight. Who knows? Maybe my joke isn’t and the joke’s on me for saying it.
I have two polar opposites. One is Religion and the other War. I feel comfortable with both. I decided I wanted to be a Priest when I was 5 or 6. My mother informed me I couldn’t be a Priest because we weren’t Catholic. I cried. I wanted to be in the military and I was but it wasn’t the military I was comfortable with. My image is always a big black war-horse and swords. I love swords. Someone asked me why I like lifting weights. I told them without thinking “because it’s like swinging a broad sword.” I’ve never swung a broad sword but I know the sensation is similar.
So I listen to most of my echoes. [It’s hard to join the Calvary when there is none any more and no big black war horses] My major was Religious Studies. I did what I needed to do when I felt in it my gut. The rest is optional. I’m not sure if this life would be classified as a success or not but I won’t know until I am out of here. I somehow know I will carry certain things with me. The ability to write. The ability to do fancy stitch. The love of weight lifting or broad sword swinging. The fascination with large black horses. But I also know other parts will fall away. God, at least I hope they fall away.
I won’t be able to step in the same river twice yet the components stay. I will never be who I am again even if Reincarnation exists. That’s a comfort and a feeling of sorrow. The question is who am I and am I willing to be true to that. In the end?
I Am that I Am