One of my favourite quotes is – I was born intelligent; Education ruined me. And similar to that, there is another quote which states that – we are our highest self when we are born, and then it’s all downhill from there. I am paraphrasing, but you get the gist.
Let’s hold the above thought for a bit while I talk to you about Alchemist. Alchemist is a parable written by Paolo Coelho which describes a journey of a shepherd – Santiago, who goes in search of a treasure. And after roaming, the entire world returns to his home only to find that the treasure was buried there all along. It is a journey of self-discovery where the treasure he discovers is more than just materialistic/worldly pleasures.
It was one of the few books I was drawn to as a child. And I remember reading it and understanding the fiction part of the book. But, my own inner journey was not deep enough for me to see it clearly, but whatever I read left a mark. Some part of me has always been fascinated to know what it really meant.
Let’s bring the Alchemist and Quote at the beginning of the blog together. Are we all like Santiago, who, from the time we are born, are searching for our higher self? Is the reason why we are born in this world to discover who we truly are? When we are born, we have no judgments, no preconceived notions and most importantly, almost no Ego. In fact, for the first two years of our life, we refer to ourselves in the third person, as in we don’t even have a self-image of who we are. And then the world takes over, and somewhere in living our life, we lose our innocence. And spend the rest of our lives trying to get back there, knowingly or unknowingly.
The question here is – is it necessary? What if Santiago had found the treasure in his home – would he have still needed to go on a Journey? What if we still retained our innocence? Then would life be worth living?
I do not claim to know the answer. But I have come to understand that even though the treasure had not changed at the beginning or the end of the journey – Santiago was different. And that is the purpose of the treasure – to help Santiago get to the realization.
How does that relate to our lives? We are born as our highest selves, but at that point, we do not know the true value of that. And we have to go through life to understand what it truly means. It’s like if everything in the world was blue, then we won’t be able to see the colour blue. Similarly, when we are born, we do not know anything different hence we go through life to understand the actual value of what we have.
Another way to look at it is – to imagine a movie where the first scene shows the hero and heroine getting married and living happily ever after. What would be the point of such a movie? But, if after marriage, they lost their house, had an affair and then got together, it would make the film more interesting for sure, right?
Maybe, our lives are not that different. The only difference is we are the actor and the audience. When we are born, we are just the audience, and as we go through our life, we become the actor. The ultimate goal is to be able to experience both roles – the audience and the actor.
What role are you associated with right now?