And if e ach and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait."
— Walt Whitman
This quote is the outpouring gem of a true mystic in the highest persuasion. A category goes beyond any labeling needs. I first came across this timeless poetic grandeur at my moment of personal crisis of some sort, and was having a loss of faith. I have always taken to heart the belief that howsoever rough this test of life turns out to be, it will nonetheless finds its course at the end.
However, at times even the most ardent faith that
one subscribes to will be put on the harshest test where the beacon of
one’s navigational point gets smitten into oblivion. After all, at the
deathbed of any man’s day of reckoning, to what can he grab hold of?
His money? His family? His fame? His faith? Or his pet dog? On the
final analysis, he has no one but himself, and nothing but his being.
Religion has always been a monopoly on men’s soul from time immemorial. The boogieman’s image hiding in the closet never ceases to startle a 6 year-old child East or West. Maybe in the Eastern part, it is the Moon God who comes whooshing down from the sky and chops a poor boy’s ear off whenever he has the urge to do the finger-pointing feat.
Somehow the Chinese moon has an irreconcilable difference with a 6 year-old‘s finger, notwithstanding the boy’s merits in private domain. At least in the West, Santa Claus’ checking list keeps track of who’s been naughty or nice. And he very seldom chops off little John or Mary’s precious little ears. However, that hellfire of “the God of the Old Testament,” and his end of days wrath merits no less of fear than the Chinese Moon.
It is often said that a man’s true purpose in life lies in finding a good pair of shoes that fit. However, when any old man hits the age of 60 or 70, and the footsteps of Grim Reaper near his front porch, it is hard not to entertain the idea of Armageddon.
For some strange reason this fear came knocking on my door much earlier in my case. It was the moment which I was at my wits’ end that Whitman’s timeless poetic piece drew my attention and bestowed upon me an epiphany-like moment of the soul. A true value of one's life should be derived from the realization of his intrinsic being rather than a book from 2,000 years old Levant god, or a 50-dollar per session on a shrink’s counseling couch.
Life is not hard, at least on its most fundamental level. Birds in the sky do not try to fly they just fly, and grass on the ground do not try to grow it just grows. However, on this planet, it is men alone who would attempt to conquer earth. Who device complicated, yet self-defeating, theories of what a good life should be, and painstakingly philosophize the meaning of the most obvious words like “food” while an ignoramus chimpanzee cheerfully chews away its ripen banana.
Who knows, maybe the overgrown, yet redundancy-producing, brain of human is part of the design of the universe. Its purpose is to make us first painfully climb the steep uphill of Mount Everest so that we could enjoy the slide at the far end. After all, it is the hand which dips in the freezing river that is able to feel the indescribable warmth even in the most lukewarm water, and life is that lukewarm water.