Poetry Corner | Sunday Observer

Poetry Corner

22 May, 2022

The self beyond the self

“Remember your humanity and forget the rest” - Russell-Einstein Manifesto

Who am I?
What am I?
I wonder
What does the word ‘I’ mean?
Is it my body that you see?
Is it my character that you hear of?
Is it my soul?
Or is it all those and more?

The moment I think as
‘You and I’
‘and’ becomes the gulf
Not a bridge
Between two individuals
Or between two nations
Or two worlds for that matter.

But who lives in an isle, then?
Who lives in a silo?
Who doesn’t think of, speak with
Or learn from or about another at all?

More often than not,
We all collide into one another
Connect, change and influence
As do our thoughts, beliefs
Values, and ideologies.

I, me, my, mine and myself
Are little more than words
And the disconnect
Between I and you is quite unreal.

All life in the world is one common web
Bound by the common fate
(from which there’s no escape)
Of birth, disease, decay and death.

But all these unreal divides feel real to us
Till we gain the wisdom
To see in the others none but ourselves
And love with understanding
And without conditions.

The ultimate wisdom
That makes even the polar opposites feel
No more opposite to each other
Than one isto one’s reflection in a dressing mirror.

Jayashantha Jayawardhana