Who am I? My face in the mirror won’t tell me. Can I trust myself- or have I just grown accustomed to this look? Photos of me as a young girl. I don’t recognize myself in these. I only know, that I once used to look like this. At the moment I’m looking around at the Asian faces around me. Then a reflection of myself appears in a pane of glass: I see a white woman with light hair and blue eyes. Am I this? Who am I?
Never was the body paid so much homage as in these times. But we don’t need it like we used to in times past. At least, not in order to feed ourselves. In this respect it has nearly become obsolete. It doesn’t plow the fields as it used to, carries not as heavy loads than it used to, it isn’t even needed to reproduce. Yet still, in spite of this obsolescence, we worship it. Fitness, nutrition, wellness, fashion, style. Nearly never a day goes by without doing something for it.
For we have at hand only one single real connection with the world: our body. It is the link, the relay, from which we can come into contact with others. We busy ourselves with it, we want to express ourselves with it: From the color of the hair, to the shape of our figure, down to the socks. Look at me, what I have made out of myself. Look at me, who I am. We need this body, in order to come into contact with others. That’s why we try to make it look beautiful.
In our consciousness, we are alone and cannot know without help, what another is really feeling or thinking. In my inner being I am only me. There are the feelings grappling with one another. The thoughts, which are swirling around. If there is a soul, then it must live there somewhere. These things seem to be not in very good order. By tidying up this mess, in kind of a peeling process, three things come to the surface that appear to be me, but seldom stand in connection to each other. Thereby seeking their unity has become quite popular: Body, Soul, and Spirit.
With our bodies we busy ourselves- with nutrition, muscles, and skin. But the soul- what is she actually? It is said that in the eyes her “window” is to be found, but just what she is made of, is highly debatable. There are many descriptions: some speak of etheric matter, others of a field of energy, and again others of supernatural powers. Everybody has their own personal definition. The soul appears to be something which characterizes our feelings, our mind, and our psyche. And yet she seems able to transform, to be bendable like our body. The training of the soul is celebrated in these times in awareness seminars, vow-of-silence retreats, or in yoga studios. There we busy ourselves with her- depending on whether or not we have the time for it.
And the spirit? There it gets even more confusing. In English there is a difference between “mind” and “spirit”, the intellect and the spirit. If we stay with the intellect, we have then at least the mental level. With the help of the brain we think, reflect and work out ideas. There is a storage space for our experiences and visions, our beliefs and imagination. There arises consciousness. We feed our brain with knowledge and try to understand and sort things out. We go to schools and universities, improve our skills, continue our educations and spend time going to lectures and seminars.
Headwork, today, is what defines us. That is how most people earn their money in today’s information-society. The spirit however expresses itself differently. It seems apparently to come more from without than from the inner chaos that springs out from the ego. It seems to come from somewhere completely different.
If we were to portray Mankind as a house, we would perhaps see the body as the ground floor, the first floor as the soul, and the second floor as the mind. The house would have the most unusual forms. Sometimes it would be small below, and gigantic above. Sometimes the base would be extremely wide, and the top miniscule. In one there would be stairs that connect the floors, in the next they might have been forgotten or crashed down onto themselves. One had built his house as good as he could, and lets others live there. One configured his as symmetrically as possible, but does not know how he should fill it. Does my house have well-formed, harmonic proportions? And who lives there? I now envision myself opening the doors, door by door- the door of the intellect, the door of the soul, the door of the body. In clear awareness I feel a great expanse, “fresh air” pours in, spiritual, spirit.
Who am I? I take another look in the mirror. Am I the well-sculptured figure, the inflicted, distressed soul, my intellectual world? Or indeed at a fraction spirit, a transient inhabitant of my house? Or am I just a sight which I have grown accustomed to, a young girl in a photo, whom I believe to know, or a white woman with blue eyes among all the Asian faces?