Leaving Tucson June 2007 c Joy Harjo
Who are we really?
I keep thinking of the story of a California attorney family's daughter in the 30’s who at four switched from a quiet, studious child to an active tomboy. Every four years the personality would switch. Each was distinct in style and manner. When the switch occurred clothes, habits, everything would change. The parents preferred the first daughter and were baffled by the transformation. They sought help from hypnotherapists who tried to merge the two personalities. It was not possible. They were distinct, two very different manifestations. Then they asked the second one to leave. They gave suggestion after suggestion until both personalities appeared to leave and the body lay quiet as a corpse. Then, after a time, a wise and all-knowing male voice spoke. This voice had the perspective of the galaxy and answered all questions posed logically and compassionately. In the end he refused to allow the assumption of the body by one personality. He was the higher self and he had the last call. He told them that either both personalities were allowed to switch or he would leave the body permanently as a corpse. It was his experiment, his prerogative. So they backed off, and the girl continued to switch personalities every four years through adulthood.
I believe most of us are fields of meaning, of combinations of time and space. Some are more complex and paradoxical than others. The conscious mind makes a coherence and focus into an earthly now. And if we widen the vision, we might see a family as one person (now that's frightening!!), or a culture as one person, or even an entity called Earth as one person. Or each person as a whole earth.
So, futile the efforts of those who would force us into one religion, one culture, one language, one customer. Or who prize the studious, quiet girl over those of us who were/are tomboys.
Compassion is what allows coherence of all.
Posted by Joy Harjo at 6:43 AM