Nature is the greatest phenomenon. It is from nature we come and to nature we go, when we die. And it is from nature we get self-knowledge.
Nature made us so that we cannot see our faces; actually we see almost nothing of ourselves except for the hands and feet, which we can see from all sides.
It leads us to believe, or feel, that we are the same age as the ones we are talking to, so long as they are about twenty-five years old and not much more than five years older than us.
We find it hard to see ourselves as those who are much older than us, because we have not reach that age yet and know therefore nothing about it. Thus it is, we look at others and see ourselves.
It is true, when we look at others, we see ourselves, because as we see others thus we are. Man is truly a mirror of man. And it works in more ways than one; in fact it works all through, both on the outside and within and then the age has no bearing.
The mirror on the wall is just a delusion, a fake, it only shows the image we create in our minds, and in most cases we think we look good, young, firm and beautiful, no matter the years. The young part is due to the being that lives inside the body, the inner us, the one looking out the eyes; it has no age and never had an age. If we had not been reminded of the age, once a year, with associated parties and gifts, then we would not know our age.
It is through other people, we gain self-knowledge, by examining our reactions and responses to the stimulus we inevitably have in our relationship with other people, nature, and everything else. Others do something or something happens and we react to it and respond with anger, offense, joy, amazement, etc. Our reactions call for responses from others and that calls for continuous feedback from both parties and so it can continue forever.
Of course we also gain self-knowledge from our own actions, if we just notice them, but more often it is through others, as it seems to be easier for us to see and judge others, maybe because we do not always realize that we are looking at ourselves and not others. But we are not just looking in the mirror, sometimes we are the mirror, thus we can do something in the presence of three parties, one could be offended; another happy and the third might not care. What we did, no matter what it was, tells us very little about ourselves as such. Act is only an act. The reactions and responses of the three parties could, on the other hand, tell them something about themselves, if they notice their reactions and responses, without trying to hide them, justify them or change them in some way. Man is in fact a mirror of man.
We are mostly everlasting, uncontrollable, chaotic, reactions and responses.
There is a difference between reactions and responses. While reactions are basically an action or an outburst, either emotional or physical, the responses are a reply or something said in reply to a statement or questions. But they work together, something happens, we react, and then respond, and somewhere in this process is a thought.
We see something that affects us, we react by searching in our memory for another similar incident or stimulus, which we give a name, and send out in response. The names of our responses are varied and in accordance with the situation, anger, offense, joy, surprise, etc.
While all this is going on, we see not nor hear what is really happening. If, however, we would let go of our thoughts and just let the stimuli pass us without any hindrance from our part, there would be no reaction and response. And then we would both hear and see what really happens within and around us. It is often quite different from what we expect. Because sometimes we are not angry, offended, surprised or else, sometimes these are just pointless reactions which we grab to use for our own benefit and importance.
But while we are unaware of what is going on, it controls our lives. For us to control something, we must first see it, and we can only see what we are willing to recognize in ourselves. And by that I mean to see, as to acknowledge what is. Not search for and create something that is not.
Endless reactions, with endless responses, create endless conflicts, which are in fact war, though small, which we easily could have avoided if we only dared. We see and hear news about wars between groups and nations and we get angry and frustrated by the stupidity of those involved. It is a reaction. But we seem unable to see the similarity with our own actions, and reactions to everything.
It is a fact, what lives within us, is the same we send out to the world. Wars, starvation, and other disasters should never come as a surprise to us. We are at war within ourselves every moment of our lives, and we automatically send this war out to the world around us. We ought to know it is ones greed that creates another’s hunger. All we own beyond what we need is taken from those who need. And we should not have to fight over the amount of what we really need and what is too much, we know it well. What is it we fear so much? Why can we not let go of all stimuli, when we know what disaster it causes us and others?
Reactions and responses are thought and the basis of all thought is the me, it is me who gets mad, happy, angry, etc.
If we stop the mind, thoughts, reactions and responses, then the me will vanish. And losing the me is exactly what we fear the most.
We fear nothing more than to be nothing.
What causes our fear is the idea of importance, “I want to be something, rather bad than nothing and not let go of anything, no matter what.” This is the me thinking.
It is an illusion that stands in the way of peace within each of us, as well as outside us, in the world. For the me is in fact an illusion, made up from memory and at the same time it is our prison and destroyer of peace.
Being nothing is absolute freedom. He, who is nothing, has nothing to lose, not assets, importance, or anything else, and has therefore nothing to fear. And he, who has nothing to fear, is at peace with himself, and all other humans and everything. For peace is not outside us, it is something we are, all through. We can only be peace. Is peace not what we all crave? Why then are we not peace?