Who Are You?
Dear old and new friends,
The primal source of religious worship is awe and wonder. Picture one of your prehistoric ancestors kneeling in awestruck worship as a gigantic lightning bolt splinters the night sky followed by thunder’s deafening roar. Or another ancient ancestor spellbound in astonishment as inexplicably his first infant appears out of his wife’s body. Temples and priesthoods follow later with sacred laws and ritual appeasement of the gods giving religion a new source not of wonder but fear!
As humans we seem to have an embedded need to be religious, to experience the wonder-full. Yet today’s world of escalating electronic miracles leaves little if any room for us to be awestruck. Earth’s orbiting gigantic telescopes peer backwards in time to send us full color pictures of stars being birthed in the splendor of ten thousand sunrises…interesting, even beautiful, but yet not awakening real wonder. Or consider what you’re doing at this moment, my unknown and known friends in Arizona, Montana and Virginia or elsewhere on this planet, reading a reflection on wonder electronically written in Kansas. Yet, this space-time-traveling marvel along with e-mail and Skype doesn’t cause us to kneel gape-mouthed in awe before our computers for we are wonder-immune.
To rekindle wonder, begin by taking small steps, and step one is to read this slowly:
“You are the sum of everything you’ve ever seen, heard,
eaten, smelled, been told, forgot—it’s all there.”
American poetess Maya Angelou’s words call you to be overwhelmed by the mystery of who you are. They call you to stretch your imagination to the absolute ultimate limits to conceive that every single sight you have ever seen since birth is a partial answer to your identity! Astonishingly, absolutely nothing you’ve ever experienced is lost or forgotten, everything you’ve ever tasted, smelled or heard is all still within you—and is you! Each victory or defeat, every sensual pleasure and agonizing pain, every act of love and friendship has become forever the bafflingly, inexplicable mysterious you!
When drifting in the misty shrouded frontiers of sleep all at once a long forgotten event appears before me in all its vibrant colors and sensations like a swirling red golden leaf in the stream of consciousness. Surfacing to half-consciousness, briefly I’ve asked, “From where did that forgotten old memory come?” Now I know; it and other day or night remembrances are but the tip of the iceberg, an infinitesimal tiny fraction of the thousands of billions of permanently implanted memorable elements that make us the sum total of who we are.
To awaken wonder and original religion, memorize Mary Angelou’s fantastically wonderizing words in order to repeat them upon seeing yourself in a mirror.