Big Baby Logic and the Value of Consciousness
There are three things I have always considered big advantages at the start of my adventure, coming to this planet in a human body Anno Domini 1949. First off, I was born in Amsterdam and forced against my will through the kind of old-world education that simply doesn't exist anymore. Second, my parents were poor as dirt for the first 12 years of my life. To this day I benefit from that. Third, my parents were not involved with any kind of religion, nor did they advocate atheism. This meant that by the time I was more or less able to think for myself, I had a blank slate on which to doodle about the "God or no God" question. And boy, did I doodle!
One of my earlier memories, from the age of about 10 or 11, is walking around old Amsterdam. The perfect escape for a stupendously introverted and shy kid who only knew two ways to entertain himself: walking and reading. Come to think of it, I should add a fourth huge advantage to my childhood: no TV, no computers, no iPhone, no video games, nothing to distract me from myself and my inquisitive mind. Imagine that! But back to my memories of walking around Amsterdam in the early and mid '50s, in my shorts and flea-bitten sweater, wearing Robinson shoes, the only ones my dad would buy because they offered a six-month warranty on both upper and lower leather. And while those shoes were built like tanks, my dad knew they wouldn't last six months, hence, the blessed warranty to guarantee a second pair at no charge. The fact that I was the only kid wearing huge leather clunkers like that is one of the reasons I can, to this day, smell a bully from a mile away. Other reasons were being undersized, four-eyed, shy, dressed in hand-me-downs from the previous century, too clever for my own good, and yet stupid enough to get into the face of anyone I considered pushy. So I became an escape artist, hidden either behind a book or walking the streets of Amsterdam.
And those walks I remember were almost spiritual in nature. Not that I would have ever used a word like "spiritual" even in the privacy of my own mind, but looking back, I realize that is what they were. The strangeness, the enormity, the magnificent mystery of being me was dominating my inner world. Where did all this come from? How did this come to pass? How was it possible that all these people passing me on the street, carrying briefcases or shopping baskets, people just like me, could exist without looking around, mouths wide open, eyes in perpetual surprise and wonder, glancing back and forth to each other, asking this silent question: who are we? What is going on? Am I dreaming? Is this real? Instead, and in my childish mind, this was the strangest mystery of all -- they just passed each other as if all of this was perfectly normal. No questions asked. And that is how, at a ridiculously young age, I realized that consciousness -- another word I would never have used but an abstract reality I understood perfectly well -- is perhaps the rarest state of mind.
I saw a movie recently that played largely in a world transformed into something with multiple dimensions and out-of-this-world special effects, in which a few humans who had survived whatever calamity or metamorphosis had given birth to this strange new world wandered around, amazed, holding hands and asking each other if this was heaven or an illusion or some in-between state of existence or what, utterly stupefied by the strangeness of it all. Hellooooo! What do you think you are roaming around in now? The only reason you are not seeing the sheer strangeness of your existence is because you were lowered into it gently and gradually with an empty, blank, wordless mind. After which, day in and day out, year in and year out, adults forced all kinds of concepts, beliefs, ideologies and dogmas down your throat. But if you would open your eyes the way a new born baby would, but a baby with a fully matured mind capable of thinking and able to absorb and digest, that poor mind of yours would be blown away beyond anything any movie will ever be able to do.
Go ahead, try it, be brave, be very, very brave, and look around and ask yourself how much you truly understand about your existence. I don't care if you believe in God or not. Forget for one precious moment all the things other people have told you since the day you were born, blank out everything you think you know -- and I mean everything -- then look and be as open and pure as a baby. Because when you do, your world and your life will change completely, and the gates of consciousness will open a first infinitesimal crack spilling its light all over your illusions.
Embrace what I call Big Baby Logic; an understanding miles and miles beyond where the finite mind can reach, beyond anything you have ever been told. Recognize that you are an independent entity that breathes, that lives, that came from nowhere and travels to nowhere. A miracle of miracles that has, within itself, a source of energy that knows no limit, no death, no end. True, this existence is finite, and yet, it offers an entry to something that is not finite. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't know from God or no God when I was a child. Now I do know. Now I know I was made in His image. No truer thing has ever been said. But the image is not my body, nor is it my mind. His image is His essence, and that is what lives inside of me. His essence is what pushes my breath, what makes me feel love and compassion, what makes me enjoy music or a sunset, what makes me feel. I will never be able to describe Him, to speak Him, to paint Him or to set Him to music. But I feel Him. That is how I know. Inside. I feel Him as real and as intense as I feel His absence when I am not conscious.
Every day of my gorgeous, miraculous, wonderful life I have that opportunity; to feel. And please, don't misunderstand, when I use the word "feel," I don't mean that as some conceptual expression. I mean that as plain and real as when I say that I feel hungry or thirsty. Except that this feeling is one of fulfillment, of contentment, of quiet joy, of having been given everything and more, of having surpassed all my dreams, of knowing without even the tiniest doubt that no matter what, ALL IS WELL!
I have been blessed twice. I was given this life, as have you. Then I was given this consciousness, this Knowing. You can have the first blessing without the second, but you can't have the second without the first.