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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Same?

A friend from college over forty years ago reached out to me on Facebook.  He asked, "Are you the Andy" I responded, "The same" then went on to give a three sentence summary of my life since we last saw one another many years ago. I concluded quoting a Paul Simon lyric, "Still crazy after all these years."

Upon further reflection, of course I'm not "the same."  I've had many life experiences and relationships that have changed me, first among them 42 years with my wife, followed closely by our two daughters. My wife and I even quip that we have been married to at least three different (but the same) people.

How many times have we said or heard that in our minds we are much younger than our actual age? Psychologists and psychiatrist tells us we each have an inner child that needs nurture and healing. Therapy often reveals unresolved issues that literally haunt our lives. Some religions tells us we can literally let our past go, be born again, and become new people. As with most things each of these approaches have truth in them, but none really completely address the mystical connection we have to the person we each believe ourselves to be.

So, what is it in us that makes most of us think we are the same people we were years ago?

Mystics, sages, and prophets through the eons have revealed, taught, and called people to Truth that hides in illusions of who we think we are and what life is all about. One central teaching of perennial wisdom is that each of us has a "true self" at the core of whatever our illusion, past or present, may be. This true self is given many names such as "Essence," "Energy," "Source," "God," "Divine," "Presence." My own spiritual tradition of Christianity calls this Presence "God with us," "Incarnation," and "Christ." One biblical writer says "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow."  Whatever the name, it is a core awareness of something eternal within each of us.

Regardless of how much we may "change" throughout our lives we really are "the same." At our core we are eternal, mysterious, and sacred. Some who don't see this Truth may say it's crazy. If so, then perhaps I am "still crazy after all these years."

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