Thursday, 28 June 2007

who am i ..... and other options

this morning the rain falls softly over saltcoats. not an unusual occurance, after all this is scotland. would the beautiful green hills and glens of scotland be as green without the soft and soaking rain. here in ayrshire would the cattle be as sleek and content without the rain to nourish the rich, luscious grass they feed on. in south africa our cattle farmers need to own vast tracts of land, thousands of acres. the veld is sparse and grows green for a very short season before the heat sucks the moisture from it. south african cattle spend their days grazing, our ayrshire cattle graze for a while and are then able to lie down, chew their cud and relax. so... the hills of scotland are green because of the high rainfall.the farms of home.. the freestate, the highveld, are most often dry and brown because of the heat and limited rainfall. i love the green lushness of scotland and yet i often long for the arid browns of my home country.

i am the product of my past, my future will be the product of my present.
unless .... i suffer a brain injury. i might then forget who i am, i might become someone else entirely.
i have always considered my mind to be me,a separate entity which survives within my physical body, a merging of emotions, mental activity, memories and spiritual experience, the place where i live. i feel myself, as do many others, to be situated in the middle of my forehead,, between and a little above my eyebrows. my brain i consider a part of my physical being, as indeed it often do i say "my leg aches" or "my brain is tired" as if they were in some way separate from me. on the other hand, it is fairly common to say "i am exhausted", "i can't take this anymore",....
who am i?

am i an amalgam, combining the physical, hormonal, electrical impulses of a functioning body. is each cell a separate entity, a world of its own, functioning in concert with other cells to form "me". are all my emotions the reaction of stirring or even misfiring hormones, are my thoughts really just random electrical impulses, whirring around my physical brain?

our planet, our mother made up of many different elements, she abounds with diversity and yet when seen from space, she appears as a whole, as a single planet. viewed from a distance, with no prior knowledge, would a visitor have any inkling of the teeming life which exists on her surface, within her seas and below her outer crust.perhaps not, yet we are all part of our planet, we exist as part of a system, a finely tuned and functioning system. we (meaning "man" or humankind) like to view ourselves as the masters of earth, we imagine we are in control and that the other beings which share our space are somehow less than us. hohum... just because we serendipitously managed to evolve with an opposing thumb and learned to scavenge, thus supplying ourselves with the protein required to grow our brains, which in turn enabled us to manufacture tools and weapons to kill other animals ... more protein, less time spent in the endless gathering of seeds, berries and nuts, more time to think and grow our brains, our intellect. in our arrogance we often find it difficult to remember that our earth works in a complex chain reaction, each element depending upon another for survival. we are all... animal and vegetable, born of this planet, we feed off her and in death the nutrition of our bodies is returned to her hungry earth.
as far as we are aware, only humankind is self aware in that we know we have a limited shelf life, we are aware that at some time ... we will die. as far as we are aware! the more we learn, the more we realize how little we know. we humans are presently merely scratching on the sandy shores of the sea of knowledge.

the question remains ... who am i.
the answer is obvious, i do not know. i was born, i am sentient, i live ... i eat, i sleep, i reproduce. i see, i hear, i feel. i remember and i forget. i love and i am loved. i will die and be absent from this world i now inhabit.
who am i?
i must learn to walk soft and think deep. i must understand the insignificance of the question in the wider sense of life. i am not unimportant to the world, i am as necessary as each cell in the human body.

i am one of many and yet of a kind.

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