Photo by: Sean Rogders
I’m willing to admit it; I’ve been procrastinating on this wonderful website’s kind and thoughtful owner when it comes to her request for me to post a profile or “about me” page. In fact, it has been nearly two months if I remember correctly. The reason why it is happening now as opposed to then lies in the weather we’ve been having in our little town here in the British Columbia foothills – it is a balmy twenty six degrees Celsius again today as it has been for the last three days and will be until the weekend at least.
For the beginning of October, the lake is surprisingly warm (cool and refreshing as opposed to mid-summer soup), and I find myself drawn to the beach to take in this final blessing of warmth and sunshine. In my laziness, I have decided to write my profile and this Wednesday’s article into one story. With the weather the way it has been, soaking up the sun and spending my days on the beach is all I can think of; I confess I am also fresh out of ideas…too much sun!
Who am I? I am Sean Rogders…according to my birth certificate, driver’s license, and all the other ‘forms of identification’ we typically carry around or have safely snuggled away somewhere. Then again, I have also been given the name Xing Li; which means “awake” in Mandarin…Am I either of these two names? It is interesting to me that we use such terms as “form of identification” without taking the time to realize what it really means.
“God” is a form or way of identifying that infinite something we cannot possibly understand on an intellectual level. So are “Allah,” “Jehovah,” “Linda,” “George,” “Sean…” Do you get the point? You can say I am Sean, but Sean doesn’t stay the same from moment to moment, mood to mood. The very cellular structure of Sean will be different a day from now, as will Sean’s ideas, emotional state, and physical appearance. We remain hung up on names and descriptions instead of the deeper understanding that names and descriptions are meaningless and limiting, if not downright dangerous.
Sorry, I died…
Who am I? I am a poet, a writer, a monk, a yogi, a friend…I’ve been a soldier, an enemy, a Buddhist, a Daoist, a Christian, and an Atheist. Are any of these descriptions or “forms of identification” really me? Nope, can’t be. They all change too – from time to time, day to day, and moment to moment. To satisfy the basic needs of most to classify, identify, label and box all things into neat little packages, I offer the following before we return to who I really am. Please keep in mind that everything I mention here is by someone else who died immediately after…not me.
To label is to…
My education includes more degrees than a typical thermometer, but I struggle constantly to forget everything I was ever taught.
You can tell me your name if you want, but I am going to forget it within less than five seconds (again, on purpose) so please do not be offended. What was your name again? It doesn’t matter.
I’ve studied every major (and most minor) religion and spiritual philosophies, plumbed the depths of the Kabbalah, Crowley, Alchemy and Occultism, always looking for common threads. When I found them, I spun myself a shirt of knowledge and gave it to the first person who was dumb enough to take it.
When I shower, I am thinking about time travel, null space, Quantum Physics applied to Spirituality, reincarnation and multiple dimensions…I was once asked why I always shower with freezing cold water – obviously to keep my brain from cooking itself!
In my good fortune, I have studied with great masters in too many temples, ashrams, synagogues, monasteries, and caves to keep track. Thankfully, I have managed to throw most of that out too.
I practice or have practiced many forms of peaceful martial art, but currently seem devoted to two styles of Yoga.
All of nature’s creatures appear to know me. I have never been bitten, scratched, or harmed by any animal. I attract birds, butterfly’s, cats, dogs, deer, and smaller furry creatures such as raccoons. There are days when a wild animal will look at me with such knowing that every fibre of my being feels it, and I rejoice in the knowledge that I am on a good path.
People naturally look to me as a leader and counsellor, yet I try to avoid both at all costs.
I have been reasonably wealthy, but live now as what I call “a reasonable ascetic.”
Fifty-one countries on this wonderful little world bear my footprints, as I bear theirs.
I am at home in nature, and walk, hike, or bike daily to remind myself of this.
Oops! Died again…
Of course, this is a very short list, but it doesn’t really matter because that guy is long dead. Even the Sean that started this article went and died off a short time ago and left me to finish it, except I’m going to be gone right away too and someone else will have to carry on. The point is this: Nothing I could tell you of who I am will really tell you who I am. I am you, and you are me. I am the universe itself, and also the tiniest mote of dust floating on a soft breeze…
I AM. Nothing more, nothing less…I will never die, never grow old, and never feel pain. My nature is to play, to dance to the music ears do not hear, revel in the majesty of Creation that the eyes cannot see, and feel the constant presence that is both me and all around me at the same time. I AM.
Peace to you, my family. I hold all of you in my hands as I am held in yours. See past names, descriptions, and labels – come to see the Divine Essence in all things; then you will truly understand not only who I am, but who you are too – who we all are…
This is who I am.