Thursday 5 April 2018

The Competition For The Best Identity

At the meeting, they all sat in a circle. It was a competition for the best identity and who owns it.

‘Ok, I will start,’ the first man spoke. ‘I am a breather. I breathe. I am born to be a breather and I do that very skilfully. Look!’ He inhales and exhales through the nose.

Everybody applauds as the man demonstrates his skill.

‘And I am a writer. I write a lot and I published 25 books,’ The guy on the right introduces himself. ‘My books are about how to be an excellent writer. I have been a writer for 33 years. Ever since I was a kid I started to write. First, there were short stories, then novels, now it’s technical stuff about how to be the best writer. I write a lot. I live for writing.’

This guy got applause too and then the woman next to him spoke:

‘Hi everybody, I am a dancer. I dance at a cabaret and I love it.’

‘I am an eater. I eat everything my wife cooks. I can eat a lot. It’s really great that she likes cooking. She is a real cooking pro too. I live for eating and if I would not eat I would die. So I keep doing what I do the best- eat to stay alive.’ He looks proud of his big belly and he is definitely alive.

The next guy introduced himself as a listener, he did not say much, the woman next to him was a knitter and her daughter said, she was a dreamer. Apparently, her dreams were so beautiful, she could not wait every day for the night to fall asleep.

And the last man said he was a thinker. He was thinking thoughts non stop all day long. He was so proud to be a thinker, as it’s not so easy, you know, to think. It’s not like breathing, right. Either you are conscious of it or not, the breathing is still going on. It’s not so complicated, just inhale and exhale. Thinking, on the other hand, was an art, just like dancing or painting, not everyone could do it skillfully.

After the introductions, everyone sat quietly for five minutes. The dancer started to speak.

‘Being a dancer is so much fun. I hear the music and let the body move in rhythm. It’s almost like I don’t need to do anything, the body moves, the dance is spontaneous creation which has a form of its own. I am a great dancer!’ She shows some moves and everyone applauds.

‘I know what you mean,’ said the breather. It’s like this breath here is going on whether I am conscious of it or not, but hey, once I’m aware that I am breathing it’s a whole different thing. I am such a good breather. I have never missed my step. Always in and out. In and out. I am a breather all day long and at night it goes on automatic. I’m not sure how that works, but breathing is on automatic while I sleep!’

‘I think,’ said the thinker, ‘I have the most difficult task- thinking thoughts is not a joke. I have to be always aware of what thoughts I am thinking because if I am not aware if I don’t focus all my attention on thinking, thoughts are not going to come. I am a philosopher, you see, it’s hard work to be constantly thinking right thoughts. And I have no time at all to rest. This work takes all my energy and attention. I can’t let thoughts to just come by itself, like this breather dude. My work is mental! I put 99% of attention and effort on making thoughts appear. If I stop thinking just for a second, I don't even know if I exist.

Everybody applauds the thinker and agrees that to be constantly thinking is indeed a very hard work.

The listener was just sitting and listening. He did not say a word, he was so absorbed in his task. He wasn’t even blinking, just looking at people with eyes and ears wide open. It seemed like a very difficult task too but he was handling that very well.

The knitter reached out into her bag and pulled out a half knit sleeve of some blouse. It was pink and fluffy, matching a bow in her hair. She was concentrating on her work and did not see or hear anyone in the room, it seemed that the pattern was very complicated, so the knitter was totally lost in her work, which just demonstrated how true she was to being the knitter.

The eater was irritated, he could not sit still in his chair as he had nothing to eat. He just finished his sandwich that wife packed for him before the meeting started and now was waiting impatiently for the next bite. He was looking at a watch frequently, perhaps lunch time was coming soon.

And the dreamer explained how she does not need to do anything to dream. Dreams just come. No control. Miraculously dreaming is just happening. And it’s very pleasant and easy. It’s just a bit too long from waking up till the time for bed. She could not demonstrate her ability in this circle, but she assured everyone she was a good dreamer.

So who wins the competition for the best identity?

The thinker, of course!

Why? Because even though we breathe, dance, listen, write, and do other stuff, only the thinker says, I think, therefore I exist. We don’t say, I breathe therefore I exist, or I listen, or I eat. We say, I think. It appears that thinking is not going on naturally, like let’s say we hear sounds effortlessly, or see colors that simply are here. The thoughts are something that the thinker has to do, otherwise, they would not come! Or so he thinks.

What’s your identity that you have to own in order to exist? What is that you are underneath all labels?

Do you agree that thinker is The Greatest Identity worthy of winning the best identity competition? Maybe there are better ones, like doer, lover, teacher, seeker?

Write in comments!