How Did You Get Here?

By Jayden Kyryluk

Before we begin this journey, I must ask you to consider the manner in which you got here. How did you get to the point of picking up this insignificant compilation of words on this day, at this time, and in this frame of mind? Was it random, or was it meant to be? Were you pulled to it, or did someone recommend these ramblings of some guy's mind? You see, how we become the person we are may seem completely random, yet if you take a deeper look, there are ulterior forces that direct more of our life and our decisions than we think. These familial, social, and cultural forces, among many others, shape our lives and form the person we make ourselves out to be. But the problem is just that, the things that surround us are who we think we are. The "true you," that part within you that never changes, is waiting to be found.

What is here?

Here is the relationship we are building with one another through the words on this page. Here is every breath you take. Here is where you are right now. Not what surrounds you, but that quiet stillness when you close your eyes. Here is who you are. Here is the present. Here and Now.

What matters is that you are here right now. You are in the presence of the present. Your present choice of reading these words are but a beautiful result of the forces that shaped you and the choices you've made. I know that seems dramatic, but consciously and unconsciously, you got yourself here. Every ulterior force, thought, interaction, and relationship amalgamated to create many of your thought patterns and habits. These things are not what you are. They are just how you act and what you say. The problem is that we identify so strongly with how we act and what we say. Your thoughts and what comes of them are found on the surface, and the true you is found in a deeper reality.

What made you who you are?

Aren't we all just compositions of the people that shaped our lives? Author Oscar Wilde said in De Profundus that “most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Our choices and who we are are not what we make them out to be. We are a result of our karma and the social, cultural, economic, emotional, and historical perspectives that surround us every day. Picture our personalities as soup. Everything you identify with, such as your appearance, hobbies, race, desires, faith, hometown, habits, and favourite dish, is an ingredient in your soup. Some ingredients are bigger and make up more of the soup than others, but this soup of yours is the combination of things that make you, you. Buddhists have a fancier term to describe this soup phenomenon. They call it pratītyasamutpāda, or dependent arising. This doctrine stipulates that all phenomena arise in dependence upon other phenomena. It's like the Eastern tradition's version of Newton's Third Law of Motion. Every action has a reaction. Your karma, all that has surrounded you since your birth, and your attachments are the action, and who you are is the reaction. Your habits, desires, and personality did not just appear out of thin air; they arose as a result of the things that surround you (karma has a big role to play in the underlying currents of your life but we'll tackle this in the future). 

The basic principle is that all things arise in dependence upon other things. It is often said that we are but a mere result of the five closest people to us. It is in our human nature to live, trust, and become one with our tribe. We are animals after all. But all animals possess a degree of consciousness, and it is that degree of consciousness that confirms the existence of a divine reality that exists beyond our tribe and our social conditioning. Beyond our soup. Our spiritual nature is not associated with the ingredients that make the person we make ourselves out to be. Soup is not that gracious. There is a Divine Reality found deep within us, covered by our attachments. Covered by our soup. This reality is not the product of our surroundings; it is a product of our interconnectedness and our Oneness with all that there is. Hindus refer to this product of interconnectedness as paramatman, or the “Primordial Self” or the “Self Beyond,” that of which is qualitatively spiritually identical to that Divine Reality yet quantitatively different. It is the feature of your Soul being a unique yet identical manifestation of Divine Reality, or God…or whatever you want to call it. For example, humans are quantitatively different from dolphins. We are, however, qualitatively the same as we both possess that unique spark of life; that quality within us that the Bible referred to when it stated humans are made "in the image of God." That quality is the product of interconnectedness. That quality is the Divine Reality. That quality is the Soul.

What is the Soul?

Before we get to the Soul, let us start with the mind, and what a confusing thing the mind is. Both your happiness and anxiety emanate from the mind, all emotions do. They all come from your soup. The mind’s dualistic nature proves it operates in a material reality for the material realm is dualistic in nature. Hot and cold. Up and down. Left and right. Life and death. See what I mean? Such are the patterns of our material reality,  but we are blinded, for our place in this universe is more than hot and cold, up and down, left or right, and life and death. Just as our eyes cannot see the entire electromagnetic spectrum, we have a hard time seeing and feeling that part within us that never dies. Our attachments hide us from it. By "it," I mean that spark of life, that Divine Reality, that Soul thing that we hear so much about but are never explained what it is.

Hindus refer to the eternal and transcendent "place" where your Soul originates and is spiritually identical to Brahman. This boundless "place" is the Divine Reality, foundation, cause, source, and goal of all existence. To make sense of this "place," humans have given it names such as God, Allah, Krishna, the Universe, Yahweh or whatever you want to call it. I don't want to get into any fights so to keep it simple. Let’s clump this "place" and all of these names into the term the One. Our Soul, or Atman as Hindus call it, is identical to the One. As a result, the One is where we come from and where we are meant to go. The One is that spark of life within us. It is the Divine Reality. But we are lost. Us being in a physical body and subject to all the emotions that come with it proves that. We are spiritual beings trapped in an unnatural state. It's possible to remove the veil of attachment to see our true Self, but it takes time, effort, and One-mindedness. Such is the journey of the Self and spirituality.

Now you're probably wondering – what authority does this guy have to speak on this subject? Well, I don't. I know nothing. I don't know how you should live your life because I don't even know how to live my own. I'm just another insignificant guy trying to figure things out. Trying to make my way home. And by home I mean that "place" … the One. As Socrates said, "I know that I know nothing.” I can’t tell you how to reach that “place” as I have not united with It myself. There are seers, however, who have attained the One such as Jesus, St. Paul, Krishna, Mohammed, Buddha, Neem Karoli Baba, and many others. We must learn from them and tread our own path. Writing is my path and way of trying. Don't listen to what I have to say. If it works for you, great, if not, no problem. Listen to yourself and listen to your heart. You are your own greatest teacher.

Well – what is this website? I intend it to be a compilation of brief anecdotes of a wandering mind. Where matters are discussed based on a monist panpsychist perspective – a frame of mind and belief that all things emanate from the One, and that all things possess a degree of consciousness. That all things are connected and originate from the One, and thus yourself. 

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