I entered my grade 11 class at Holy Name of Mary, Catholic High School to see Robert holding his usual morning audience. Upon seeing me he shouted , ” Did you see your loser friend Jordan Peterson on YouTube last night , crying like a little baby”. My insides tensed and I felt like flying across the room and smacking him in the face. Instead I ignored him and walked to my seat. Jordan Peterson is a professor of psychology that I follow on YouTube. He suffers from depression and occasionally cries when he get emotional over issues concerning the plight of young men with a lack of direction in their lives.
The first lesson of the day started and my mind kept drifting to the writings of Kosho Roshi that I had been pondering the previous night. What did he mean when he wrote, ” when I took my first breath the world was born with me, and when I die the world dies with me”. Surely the world existed long before me and will exist long after. I heard the teachers voice, droning in the background, as I continued to contemplate the words of Roshi. I was suddenly aware of laughter and the teachers attention on me saying ” Am I that boring that you find it necessary to sleep in class”. I stuttered a reply, “No sir, I was just reflecting on your words”.
My morning was not going well, no matter where I turn, I meet myself. That same old struggle between body and mind. My mind knows what it wants but my body refuses to cooperate with its wishes. I can live in the world of my mind quite comfortably, it’s only this material world that causes me problems.
Thank God. The bell for recess finally rang. I made my way to my locker to pick up a carton of chocolate milk. As usual Stephanie was accessing her locker at the same time, and as usual she started talking to me. As we carried on a conversation I became increasingly aware of her closeness to me. My body started to experience strange sensations and I flushed, starting to feel uncomfortable. I excused myself and hurriedly walked away. There I go again with my insecurities, my mind going one way and my body fleeing in the opposite direction.
Outside in the yard I felt the warmth of the sun on my face and leaned against the fence, feeling my body relax. I noticed Robert and Stephanie deep in conversation off to my left. Stephanie abruptly walked away and Robert followed grabbing her arm. Stephanie swung her arm away and continued walking with Robert trailing. Robert again clutched Stephanie’s arm and swung her around. Stephanie started to struggle and before I knew it I was running across the yard towards them. Approaching I enquired if everything was okay. Robert stared at me and told me to mind my own business. I asked Stephanie if everything was okay and she just glared at Robert. After a few seconds, Robert let go of Stephanie’s arm and shouting ” loser” to me, he walked away.
The school bell rang, Stephanie uttered her thanks and we both walked quietly towards the classroom, enjoying each others company.
It was from that day that I truly met myself for the first time.
Whatever way you put it, I am here only because my world is here. When I took my first breath, my world was born with me. When I die, my world dies with me. In other words, I wasn’t born into a world that was already here before me, nor do I live simply as one individual among millions of other individuals, nor do I leave everything behind to live on after me. People live thinking of themselves as members of a group or society. However, this isn’t really true. Actually, I bring my own world into existence, live it out, and take it with me when I die. Kosho Uchiyama
Reena set a challenge based on the above caption-Reena’s Exploration Challenge week 70.