So, a friend commented on the “Journey to the Desert” post that, as a non-parent, she could see that piece as much representing ‘conscious living’ as it does ‘parenthood’ and that got me thinking.
(Don’t worry – I’m not going to leap into another esoteric, poetry-as-prose, extended metaphor, snapping-my-fingers-while-reciting-enigmatic-verse-with-a-dangling-ciggarette-while-whispering-‘dig-it-dig-it-dig-it’ piece again just yet. I promise I won’t start taking myself seriously for at least another month or two)
I started to think about the perpetual flow of the universe and how I as a person and now how I as a father both fit so neatly into that enormous paradigm.
Before I had children, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about my journey here – how to find my way, how to be a good person, what it means to find happiness – you know, the biggies. Since becoming a father I have found that those same questions run through my mind during quiet moments, they are just recontextualized. Well, and those quiet moments are almost non-existent, but that’s beside the point. Those same questions are with me, I just ask them now in regards to another human being – how to help my daughter find her way, how to teach someone to be a good person, how to help another discover happiness for themselves.
The “Journey” post was my perspective on the path into parenthood, but looking at it as a path towards consciousness has allowed me to see the similarities between the two. The closer I look, though, the more I realize they are essentially the same thing. Our children come into our lives as these adorable, albeit noisy, lumps of clay. They are lives presented to us to mold into human beings as we see fit. They are unguided and unbound spirits that we are to teach and to show the way.
A monumental responsibility, no?
But, in reality, that is no more weighty of a responsibility than the one we all carry as individuals. In fact, it is exactly the same thing.
Our children are just small versions of ourselves. Granted, everyone is an individual and unique and beautiful in their own way, etc, blah blah blibbity – I get that, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Our children are our creations and we impart upon those creations our beliefs and values and ideas and lessons. We form these little individuals into people the best we can before they are truly individual and unique and then turn them loose on the world to pursue that individuality and, hopefully, consciousness.
It is after they have been molded in our own form by our thoughtful worldliness, or lack thereof, that our children break free to pursue themselves for themselves. I did not embark on my journey toward the answers to my existential questions until after my parents molded me with honesty, consideration and love. Similarly, I am currently molding my daughters to prepare them to undertake their own personal ‘Journey to the Desert’ when that time comes.
Parenthood, then, becomes almost the passing on of consciousness. I am training another to pursue that which I am still on a path toward. Very literally, I am perpetuating the cycle of life which, I would argue, is the same as the reincarnation of consciousness in another being.
Now, I’m not going so far as to say that procreation is itself reincarnation in the Hindu sense, but the Bhagavad Gita does say something to the effect that the reincarnating soul is one that discards old, worn out bodies in order to wear a new one.
I may not be that old and I may have only been a father for not quite four years, but I am DEFINITELY worn out.
Something to think about…..