So many philosophers, writers of fiction, theorists and spiritual giants have influenced me. Yet, when I ponder their writings, their insights I find common themes. When I go further back I find the same things scratched in hieroglyphics upon cave walls or stone. These authors have no names. They are not included in college introductory courses. They were, however, the precursors of thoughts and threads woven into me. They are part of my tapestry.
Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and others argue that not only do we have an individual conscious, that has absorbed our unique life memories, but we have a human conscious that has recorded the universal memories of all humanity. Throughout our human history we have all experienced life, birth, fear, hunger, companionship and death. Common threads in the tapestry of all human existence. We have all sought greater meaning to explain the world around us. Many of the same creation stories we are told today are etched upon walls by those we would call primitive, not too dissimilar from “apes.”
Sometimes it is comforting to ponder that as I look at the moon at night and ponder so many things, that similar eyes, thousands of years ago, looked at the same moon and had the same feelings. Other times, my shoulders sink and my little spirit breathes a heavy sigh. If after all this time the questions have not been answered, then who I am to hope that I can now?
I can “google” the questions in a well lighted room and retrieve thousands, if not millions of answers- they could not. I can reach out to millions of people all over the world and ask for answers, they could not. Some of the answers may resonate with me while others fall to the floor. And then, I would surely laugh at myself, I am back to where I began, just another questioner with a rock in my hand scratching my questions on the cave walls of my soul.
And maybe that is the only answer I will get. To be human is to ask questions, to seek. To ask and seek means there is something inside me that expects a response. Wrapping together the universal experiences of birth, fear, hunger, companionship and death is the awareness that yes, there really is something beyond me. Something will respond. May not be considered an “answer” but I will get a response. To get a response means I have been heard, someone or something listened. Response means presence. Maybe that is the legacy left to me by those huddled without fire, shelter, language as we know it, cities, or anything else we associate with “advanced.” The first note ever placed in a bottle was in fact scratched on a cave wall or stone- “We are not alone. Ask.”