THE BLESSINGS OR CURSE OF A LIFE--THE SEARCH FOR MEANING AND IDENTITY

5
Author: 
Karnamrita Das

[reposted from 12-24-16
and revised 7-3-18]
Who are we really—
beyond who we settle for
without thinking too deeply
as most just blindly accept
as normal, conventional identities
that we’ve learned from others
and from our educational system
so it must be true, right?

Is it really a fact that
we’re our past sad or happy history?
What about our genes, race, ethnicity,
our skin color, occupation,
economic status, religious
institution, sect, or sanga,
state or region, political party,
conservative or liberal bend,
or our nationality or home planet—
do they accurately define us?

What about our sexual proclivity,
desires, likes and dislikes,
skeletons in our closet,
what we hide from ourselves
and project upon others,
who we are for or against,
who we hate or love?

What about our cherished
attachments or repulsions
or uncontrolled compulsions
in so many varieties of food,
clothes, clicks, cars, people
smells, sports, stars, movies?

Are such labels who we are,
or accurate and completely true?
And how should we be known
or superficially evaluate others
from atop our judgmental mountain
or do we take someone else's label
either fairly or with contempt
having never spent time
with them, or truly being a friend?

Or are we something more:
how we have lived our lives
the character we have developed
kindness, compassion, love, wisdom,
what we have given, or held back
to pursue our dreams or just
trying to stay alive and eat
drinking beer in front of the T.V.?

Then on our death bed
we wonder what it was all about,
what we have to show for our life,
again full of questions or regrets
curious as to what to take shelter of
when everything is now stripped away—
what is left or remains when we die?

Why do we live?
Why do we die?
Why anything?
Why is thinking
asking questions?
Why do we think
there are no answers?

We tell our kids
to stop asking
because we have
no answers—
we want them to
just grow up
and live like we have
accepting a pointless
life, waiting to die.

O, The Blessing or Curse of a life
of an indeterminate number of years
counted by breathes and heartbeats
by a system we can’t fathom
unless the Universe, God, Creator,
a Power greater than ourselves
reveals it beyond merely biology.

As to the purpose of living
there’s so many opinions,
theories, dreams, projections
depending on our belief or faith
about our Source or its lack,
whether life is meaningless
other than to reproduce offspring
or is full of meaning and purpose
above the flesh, beyond our breath,
to understand what’s consciousness
or the eyes behind our eyes
that we sense exists forever.

For those on the bhakti path,
the same questions as above
but we are tested by our absorption--
have we realized the theory?
Are we truly kulis, proud disciples of…?
or mayavadis, aparadhis, sahajiyas,
matajis, papajis, prabhujis,
youths, old guard, dinosaurs,
fringy, mingy, or springy types,
fixed up or mixed up devotees?

Or we we lovers of Krishna
whose shelter is the holy name
who see the good in all
with the serving ego as givers
embodying our love and compassion
who have our fixed mind
focused on the Lord of our heart?