One exuberant day in August last year (16th of August 2008 to be precise), I wrote the following piece. I found it tucked away in a notebook the day before yesterday. I don’t feel very exuberant today but reading this made me feel better and hopeful. It’s a strange coincidence I read so many authors but this time I received hope from an unexpected (and unpublished) source—me!
The past is in our genes. The present is in our every step. And the future is a halo that we never see. We loose molecules from our skins and grow a few more every minute of the day. We are truly the transforming creatures. We do like transform ourselves into richer (in all senses) human beings. The biggest commercial media enterprises of today, TV/reality shows, tap into this psychological urge to see people being transformed and vicariously transform ourselves as well. And like all things that do transform, change, transmogrify, we human beings transform everything we touch. And yet we are so ignorant of our power. We can morph into different personalities without changing a single item of clothing. We transform ourselves, we transform the others.
When some people call for a revolution, it appeals to us because it appeals to our need to transform. When we learn something new, we transform ourselves. When we meet someone new, we transform too. We are the ultimate magical beings. There is no magic outside of us. There is no transformation outside of us. (1) We transform every day, in every way. And yet instead of looking inside to see the magic, we search for it outside. No wonder we don’t find anything.(2) Our bodies are the ultimate transforming machines; they change without us noticing. We create devices to look at and inside our bodies. But we have no device to read our mind, the nerve centre of such transformations.
On some level, we know we can transform at will. Why did Schopenhauer say the world was both a will and an idea? Because we need to only think of anything to change and we can change it. Our will is enough. To transform is to be alive. We transform what we touch. And we do this mostly unknowingly. Imagine if we do this with knowledge, forethought, and foresight? We would truly reach our human potential then.
(1) You could argue that nature is outside of us and therefore equally magical. I agree but from a different angle. We are part of nature. Assuming that we stand for all things natural, there is no magic outside of us.
(2) I am talking about the existential nothingness here.