I think they did this on purpose, just so I would stop and take a picture!
Walking in Seoul today, purposely lost, I stumbled upon the Han river. What a gorgeous sight. As I walked along the shore it felt as if I was moving to the natural rhythm of the universe. One of those moments I can only describe as the rapture of existence. Breathing and moving such that your very being is in accord with the world around. There is nothing quite like this state– no drug can compare (although some come close). It is a dreamlike state. All things appear as they truly are– infinite and beautiful– everything at once in perfect harmony. All that is and should be is there surrounding you.
In that moment I realized that our perceptions, how we see and react to the world, are concerned only with our survival. Impulses for good, bad, and the various perceptual ethos– it is our animal nature. I think of it as a flesh and blood subconscious; reactive to programmable instincts. It’s hard not to think of the human animal as amazing; every action, every step we take, every stroke of a pen, all is according to a programmed instinct, all concerned with survival. We can reprogram and guide our actions through simple conscious awareness. We learn, we repeat and copy to acclimate into the surroundings. If you want to be happy, then acclimate into happiness– find happy people and learn from them. It is an incredible powerful capability and well worth practicing throughout your life.
Perhaps as an evolutionary side effect this capability has thrust us out from the wild and into man made environments. Everything necessary for our survival is now at our disposal and yet we are often lacking purpose. Many, and I dare say most, people do not know who they are or what they ought to be doing with their life.
The answer used to be simple: to survive and participate in this struggle for existence; to be the best of who you are and survive. In the wild this is obvious– there are few, if any, existential crises in nature. A squirrel does not wonder why it exists, it just simply exists and follows its instincts without question. Modern humans have little to no life or death struggles. We are left to shape the world and whether we want to or not, this has become our function. Perhaps it is wise for us all to acclimate into this new purpose, to embrace it as fully as our ancestors in the wild embraced their struggle to survive. Their struggle, and the very best of them is with us today. We are their legacy, and we are the shapers of worlds they could only imagine.
But for today I will relax, and move to the natural rhythm of the universe; dream with eyes open and experience the rapture of existence…
Who are you?
Is it that car, the job, the passion for your goals? Your kids, your house, or the clothes on your back? Your future, your past, the unrealized dreams?
What fragments of someone else defines you? Your life is yours to live, anything you can or will be, will be. Yet the most simple question of who you are, remains a question. The question…
It’s right there in the mirror, looking back; screaming for you to see, "this is me".
The answer is always there, all the time. It is you looking out from yourself; seeing the world the way only you can see. That and that alone is who you are.