Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Vehicle Within a Vehicle

Driver Inside of Car...Vehicle Within a Vehicle

I don’t like talking about myself too much, I’ve always said that’s because, “I don’t know myself that well,” but there’s also the fact that I seem to be different people at different times and under different when I’m driving a car.

G. I Gurdjieff, a Russian mystic from the early part of the 20th Century used to define the individual human as having many different and separate “I’s” that aren't even aware of the existence of each other. I’m not sure that I completely agree with that, BUT Gurdjieff’s primary student, P.D. Ouspensky wrote a great piece entitled “In Search of the Miraculous,” that kind of touches on this concept of the fragmented self. If you should ever get to hear the audio rendition narrated by Larry Rosenberg, it’s awesome.

At any rate, by now you’re probably figuring that I’m some kind of esoteric, egg-headed JERK.

Well, I am NOT very esoteric, and NOT AT ALL an egg-head, BUT I am pretty much a JERK. I’m gonna chalk that one up to “a lucky guess” on your part.

Anyway, I have noticed, well, at least through the observations of my long suffering wife that I tend to be "a very different person in a car" then when...well, I guess when I’m not.

Now, I will admit that I am somewhat of an “aggressive driver,” and not always a “nice guy” on the roads, but in my defense, neither are most other least in my driving experience.

The other morning, after driving back from an early morning hike, I came to the recognition that I AM indeed a very different person while driving...and NOT someone I particularly like, nor really want to be. Nothing nasty happened on this trip, in fact, it came to me along a nearly empty stretch of roadway, but it suddenly all made sense to me....the "different person in a car" thing...NOT everything else. Thank God for that...I need SOMETHING to look forward to.

It occurred to me, just then out of the blue (I’m notoriously somewhat slow on the uptake on such things) that I am NOT my car, nor even an extension of my car while I'm driving. I AM ME...myself at all times and I am responsible for my aggressive and often unpleasant self while driving.

It also occurred to me, perhaps rightly, perhaps not, that at least in that regard, my car, in this case serves as yet another vehicle for my soul – that which animates this primary body. Perhaps it’s this separation, first the soul from the body, and then this body from this vehicle/car that leaves us so remote from our own inner selves, or souls. In this regard, each succeeding vehicle is further removed and isolated from our original, inner selves/souls.

I don’t know why and I’m probably not putting this across very well here, but there was something in that moment’s realization, or recognition that made it much clearer to me why I am spiritual (I believe in some sort of Creator, or Life Force), but not really religious.

I do believe that we are animated by a soul...which seems to be connected to, or a part of some greater Creative Life Force, like a ray of light is to the Sun.

Machines, or masses of electro-chemical processes are generally not capable of serious self-reflection.

I also believe that it’s the needs, wants and frustrations of this vehicle (the body) that allows, even motivates the soul, when INSIDE (driving) this body, to do things it never would in spirit, just as my “in-car” self tends to do things my regular human self wouldn’t think of doing.

In a College philosophy course (I took as a Humanities elective) a professor offered that "selfishness was mankind's original sin," in that, in his view "ALL other "sins"/crimes stemmed from selfishness," putting our wants and desires ahead of everyone and everything else.

In a sense, it'S the equivalent of letting our "in-body" souls do things our souls in spirit form would never do.

I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone else, but I figured I’d share this moment’s observation for the sake of anyone who might have shared such thoughts, or come to such inner observations themselves.

You are NOT alone.

Hopefully I’m not either...

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