A shale slate chipped the surface diffusing the illusion of separation. Narcissus stood contemplating the pond in a paranoid, waking trance. “Who do you think you are?” Interrogated a voice imploding the water, the witness’s reflection blurred into a whirlpool. You are not the clothes you are wearing; you are not the car you drive, nor are you the gangster rap “MP3” that’s thumping synthetic black leather seat. You are not the suburban 2-floor condo in a foreclosure block; you are not the 1 thousand brands of sneakers, purses, shoes and mauling perfumes.
A spotted light blazing blindly tested his eyeball stare as Narcissus gazed adoringly at his “Facebook” page, clinging to a photo of himself, he could not let go. You are not the identity that was given to you on your birth certificate; you are not the color of your skin; not a title on a card; not your career; not a nationality; not your friends; not the reflection in the mirror of life, caught up in the world of branded appearances.
You are not the actor in this cheap morbid pathetic western movie flick.
Nemesis the Greek goddess of vengeance, immobilized the surface disturbances with her palm. She stared condemning the waters murky, demanding payback; “In the me-first society renouncing to my whims is an attachment I am not willing to give up and I will do anything to be me,” begged Narcissus in complete denial.
Attachments to object-based reality create the egotistic selfish pathology that is shattering us all. Attached to the world of appearances, you become life-dependent on habit and reassuring addictive pleasure based illusions. You feel safe when the story of yourself keeps going on. Our whole mindset is attached to the continuity of self, 20-40 snapshots of consciousness per second.
Our attachment to people is somewhat different, especially when it comes from a place of compassion and the need to belong. This is not the same as an attachment for approval, such as when one did things to cajole our mothers. Family attachments can sometimes turn into twisted extensions of our psychological dysfunctions. But when attachment to living creatures is sincere and based on compassion, you promote caregiving behavior and cooperative skills. The exercise in nurturing the young and caring for others has led to a bigger brain. Humans are hard-wired for empathy and heartfelt reciprocity. You could argue that chimps take care of each other out of self-interest. As humans, you have the capacity to do things without expecting a return. You find yourself in the other. Yet it’s easy to get lost in the myriad of appearances. Searching out there does not bring you the full appreciation of your whole-self. For the full kaleidoscopic picture of yourself, you must look inward where there is no ego, no family, no self, no body, and no attachments.
The sum of your parts: legs, ears, jaw and teeth, heart, nose, blood cells and dendrites, does not add up to the whole of who you really are. You are not just a collective of cells; you are much more than that: you are the reciprocal whole-self.
The subatomic particles of your cells have always been there in a field of possibilities interconnected, becoming different configurations of energy in the furnace of life.
At night when you sleep, consciousness shuts off and this reality disappears. You then shift into parallel universe transitions, where the entire body gets rejuvenated. Out of the many dreams of wholeness, you never wake the same. The cell tissues of your body constantly regenerate. It’s never the same configuration of systems. As cells die, atoms exchange through the body, duplicating transcriptions in a dancing perpetual flux.
You appear as a vessel navigating the cyclical cosmic river in which the water is never the same. It’s never the same river; it’s never the same you.
To discover selflessness, the real you must disappear in the flowing stream of wholeness.
When this happens you light up the neurological pathways of compassion grounding. This allows transformation from the source. The miracle of life is creatively expressing grace in this most amazing vehicle that is you. The whole world is in you, gifted with gratitude and compassion from within.
When you shed the illusionary identity of I, you will deactivate the wolf of hate inside the cave of men run amok with weapons of mass extermination. Unlike Narcissus who was not only full of himself but also a slave to the reiteration of I, his face blurred and drowned in the reflective pool surface of fate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carlos Cuellar Brown is a New York City media artist and essayist who has written on new media, social theory and metaphysics. His essays have been posted online by Opendemocracy, The Global Dispatches, The Pelican Web, Kosmos Journal, and STARDRIVE.
In 2013 his essay “Intermedial Being” was published by A Journal of Performance and Art PAJ #106 MIT Press Journals. In 2015 Mr. Brown was nominated for the TWOTY awards out of the Netherlands for his essay “Blueprint for Change”. He has been a regular columnist for Second Sight Magazine and Fullinsight.
His book, In Search of Singularity: Reflections and Chronicles from the End of Time, published 29 January 2017, is a series of reflections on the current cultural evolution from competition to cooperation, from patriarchy to reciprocity between humanity and the human habitat.