Friday, July 23, 2010

growing



Recently I've started feeling this pressing need to go through my email inbox. I tend to be very sentimental, and I keep emails the way I used to keep handwritten letters. Going through my inbox, re-reading emails from all the way back in 2004/2005 (YES I know I'm very behind in cleaning my inbox) has been quite an experience. It's interesting to re-visit where I've come from. It was like re-reading a journal of sorts. Looking back is also important to see how much I've grown. How my thinking has changed, how my horizons and worldview have widened, and how my resulting self-awareness has increased over the years. What a journey it's been!

I came across an old email that I wrote to a friend in September 2006 when I had come to terms with loss, after a difficult year. In that email, I quoted Martin Buber, whose writing we studied years ago in my philosophy courses at the university I attended back home. Buber wrote a book, "I and Thou", and in a nutshell, his philosophy of human existence is about engaging with each other on a spiritual level, in a way that affirms the other person's whole being. (Of course, he articulated it way better than that). He wrote:

Every I-Thou encounter is destined to come to an end; every person who was present in full self-creation and freedom is destined to slip back into the world of It—the world where we recognize one another as bodies and personalities, where we experience and interpret one another through concepts of mind.
     But the rich experiences of being present with other persons of spirit are not canceled by their termination. And we can always be open to new encounters on the level of spirit.
     It is a gift to recognize spirit in other persons. When an I-Thou encounter happens, we may wish to 'freeze' the moment, to make that being present with each other last forever.
     Such flashes of encounter might be like noticing a butterfly: If we grasp the butterfly, we destroy it. We can only rejoice that we are present to appreciate the butterfly for as long as it wants to stay. In memory we can treasure moments of I-Thou encounter. And if we remember where we saw the butterfly before, we can attempt to return to that 'place', hoping for another moment of spiritual encounter.
- Martin Buber
The things that keep us growing....

Oh, and at the end of that email, I wrote: "I'M BACK!"

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3 comments:

Anne said...

thank you for sharing this mia! i enjoyed that excerpt. it made me reflect on those times when i've felt sad for moments passed. but this reminds me that there is no need to grieve, but instead "rejoice" that i was ever in that moment at all, and shared that moment with a kindred spirit :-)

ako rin, i've reread old journal entries (i've kept all the notebooks i've written in). they really are a mirror to where and who we are, where and who we've been.

Mia said...

Isn't the growth process amazing though? And just thinking about how we are constantly evolving makes me feel more optimistic that even when life throws us some unexpected twists and turns, we learn how to deal with them, and keep moving along...

PS: But, I still cringe or laugh when I read my old writing...

Saddam said...

Hindus believe in rebirth, or reincarnation, and in what they call the law of karma. Under this law the conditions of each new lifetime are determined by the actions of the preceding life. To the Hindu, salvation consists of liberating the soul from attachment to worldly desires in order to gain union with Brahman. This is where Meditation comes in, which is important in yoga. Meditation also connotes the word concentration.

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