Where did the ego come from?
Does the world manifest material complexity outwards, resulting in subtler layers of existence? Does it start from insentient matter which then becomes biological life that develops into sophisticated beings with specific senses, ego and finally this consciousness now reading these words while thinking I am reading? This sequence of unfolding is what we are told is true. But have you investigated it?
Are you Alive?
Are you alive? You would probably reply: Yes I am.
Are you conscious? Since you are reading this you are most likely not in a coma and so you would say: Yes I am conscious”
Who is this “I” you refer to? Do you point to yourself?
Is your body conscious?
Is all of it conscious, or only parts of it? Your left big toe? No?
Is your brain conscious? Is the fat lining the nerves conscious?
A shiny brass trident carrying the hand drum of Shiva, god of destruction, absolute wisdom and bliss, is trembling impatiently in the windscreen. Above and below the narrow serpentine mountain road, towering Himalayan cedars block the view, as we rumble along the potholed tarmac towards the Jhanna waterfalls. Here and there colourful villages perched on steep terraced slopes, flash between the dark tree trunks. At the tall waterfalls cascading from high meadows and snowclad peaks, we get out and put on our backpacks.
“So…he is a character in your novel?” she asks as we walk up towards his tiny house. A familiar anticipatory silence unfurls itself softly along the mountain path.
“He is the inspiration,” I say quietly and think about the enormous and old Himalayan cedar that shades his slate roof. I often imagine when he is no more, he will exist as this majestic tree and I will continue to visit, to rest my back against the sturdy and immortal trunk, inhale its fragrance and close my eyes.