With duality in almost everything rather everything- as in life and its dual subject death, right’s dual is wrong / left and to convince that it is not about antonyms; smell from nose as well breathe, taste as well speak, fart and dart, you and I. On similar lines humans are spiritually individuals and ergonomically social or any-which-way you suit the dual nature of human being, there will be a reason befitting you.
Introspection is great, it works for the society and it shapes an individual according to its norms- a predefined heap of knots delivered to an individual to accept to exist for the mistake of being born in a given society. It works well for an individual if he knows where to end introspecting, I mean not until he turns nihilist. But the society has scriptures for that and has employed interpreters of those scriptures at convenience. The individual can choose to journey inside or nettle with peers and dive to the abyss of society. But at some day or some point of life that human in lieu of any association would want to know the ‘I’ and its worth. This is a brief natural history of a labour working on himself like goldsmith working on gold. This one is the Ismith.
The lake was full to its scale and the padded stones on its long bank had two steps while the 34 steps were submerged. Nearby a Common Kingfisher dived several attempts to get a fish out of murky water. Far away as my eyes could reach there was the only human soul herding cattle. The bund would cradle an occasional motorist or have Herons overseeing. I sat on those steps hiding in my slim figure in an 11 year old boy and hidden by time I sat wondering at the assortment of punishments I had taken for my notoriety and attention seeking mishaps. I didn’t know then that it has a name for such squatting called ‘introspection’ but I loved my company there, I loved being heard by myself but unwarily judging myself, unwarily thinking about me and it was very important to me and to the society that I would be conceived to. Like most of us I too was startled about such introspections; Wow I know what’s going on, I have discovered a companion in me – It will be a secret for long time and for many of us forever. Sometimes I thought it was a special ability bestowed in me for employing an ombudsman inside me. We keep this secret companion with ourselves and seek pleasure in it like a genie’s lamp, in our personal diaries, poetry, recording, phones, notes, journals, scribbles, glyphs, blogs etc.
I recently read a beautiful blog about the importance of ways we speak to ourselves and reflected on it. Ever since my cloning with the ombudsman, I had spoken to myself in different tones, as a superhero, as an idiot, as a culprit, as a celebrity, as an achiever, as disgraceful child too. No matter how much I hid the way I am treating self under my epidermis it irresistibly gave way the moment someone rubbed the skin. I had not let a mentor guide me, I hadn’t let books unskin ‘cause I had choked my receptors and acceptors. I could not even understand when closest folks like my dog to my ex-girlfriend told ‘Behave yourself’- what is that in this lost world now! The eureka effect of discovering my ombudsman fuelled the ego and my superpowers. Much later when the oil depleted I hammered the bastard to listen. I allowed feedback seep, I allowed reflections, I allowed courage molecules and I allowed me to face the mirrors I met.
We have read several hundred stories of racial fights in the West, the colonial treatment as slaves on the people with darker skin pigments. So it was in India, not as intense but slavery did crawl its tentacles. Once the colonists left us the social reform practically never perpetuated. Many of us thought it was wise to imitate the Colonist way to find themselves back, to feel superior and to identify themselves. They did it well on the style and superficial attributes by looking for a position, an identity. A fairer skin would be a mark. Apparently in Indian scenario apartheid is a confusion: in West you have clear distinguishing tone of pigments but here the brown hues only add to an irreversible confusion with a mix of feudalism, lineage, caste and educational qualifications. Even the fairness cream ads could not bring out the scale, it nearly made the whole country pursue its benchmark bioluminescent skin! At that age at the lake, many had remarked my skin directly or indirectly with great charm of kindness and pitiful empathies it only made me confused on what sort of discrimination are the society asking me to bar at. I kept these masks on display for the identity seekers to choose out of my palette. To choose a skin for me: a skin for them.
It took years for me to understand it’s complexities and its adverse disillusionment that painted in me. What clan to belong to? Will it take too many skills to be a society’s part? In desperate efforts I faked the gaps, exaggerating the skills and my curriculum vitae. How far can I run from reality with psuedo skills? I am not complaining about it now but realising that this is natural selection. Everything has to dominate to survive and the one who gets suppressed has to fight or flight or stay strong by not shelving himself and when he does, it gets miserable. Hence it is necessary how We speak to Ourself.
I chatted with him in there on a usual late hour decades later;
‘Buddy we got to rebuild the core values against the high tides of labor, love, lust, laziness, desires, ambitions, experiences and chemical compositions.’
‘You mean we are fucked?’ – I could hear many ombudsmen in chorus!
‘Yes, long back! But now it is not impossible but challenging to unfuck yourself.’
I announced them to surrender and I gave more time to reflect and then months to pity, to repent, to regret, to calculate the loss and not-so-easily-done as said; the ‘Let go’. It later appeared humorous like Anton Chekov’s Cherry Orchard to have held things in fictions- entangled in the opulence of creative hallucinations and thoughts that unswervingly recur. It is sticky and magnetic and electrifying and safe, it is known and I knew every corners of those thoughts lived in past; I have lived it and always felt safe to relive it and to hide myself in known cocoons, to exist there effortlessly, unchallenged and untried and unmasked. Past was good: Past is bad.
I reflected myself and reasoned things in my own perception and attached to those thoughts, proud about such discoveries and yet again what happens after pride!? Isn’t it too much to do? To delayer several masks, to comply with a society and this society made inside me; a community of ombudsmen, some of them older than I am! They were formed by my judgments, genes, fears and artistic contrivances.
The Ismith kept hitting every moment, watching the element split from its ore with high reactive capacity, the element ‘Me’ to be carved, rediscovered and washed. Its process is superior and untiring. It tells you the way you have to talk, treat and behave with yourself. It is meditating to be in a state of awareness of this moment and it brings this element ‘Me’ out of its ore to real events. This may not necessarily mean that I sit down, close my eyes and breathe and govern my thoughts and any other methods we might have been advertised with; it is a state of being aware- then we won’t even fall for booby traps of such spiritual adversaries- autocorrect advertisers. When we see we are diverted, vision deludes us and manipulates and with closed eyes we see inside us. If a state of awareness of being now could be achieved with no substance influence you are with the Ismith. And when such a day comes that you don’t have to achieve but you are in that state, then you are the Ismith.