Take a peek into some great memories from Alanis’ Scrapbook:
writing under rug swept
"It is a joy to be hidden but a disaster not to be found." -- D.W. Winnicott
in the spirit of “to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”, i am curious about all the fun(ny) labels we have for ourselves that can help our self-definition… so i invite you to share with me all that you know about yourself…. your chinese animal your astrological, rising, moon sign your enneagram number your favorite color are you a sensitive, a high sensation seeker what is your favorite crystal, scent, oil, instrument, genre of music… etc etc. everything you have found and resonated with out there in the world of these tools that help define us…
Alanis, Iâ€™ve got a question for you. I know that you are a seeker of wisdom and into philosophy so I ask you, what is one philosophical inquiry that you find yourself wondering the most about?
there are so many inquiries that wake me in the middle of the night, or hover about me when i go about my days.
depending on how sleepless i’ve been….i consider these either sacred awakenings, or, torturous insomnia.
the main inquiry that feels worth its’ salt in self-knowledge gold is the ultimate spiritual inquiry: “who am i”
i remember going to india for the first time and feeling something that i now see as quite beautiful, but at the time felt like my being completely broken down to the core. one reason for that being that i had grabbed the brass ring that had been dangled in front of me within the western culture, and found that it did not afford me the eternal peace and well-being that it had promised to. initially, all it seemed to afford me was an amplification of many of my personal challenges. (later i turned that frown upside down and realized that fame allowed me to serve in an even more pointed way. more on that some other time…)
when i was in india, i remember sitting in front of a mirror on the floor in a hotel room, just saying over and over again “who am i, who am i”
and i was saying it at first comedically….my friends who were with me were laughing.
but within the joke of this dramatized mirror moment i had a glimpse of the profundity of this question.
i came to see that “who i was” could be seen through a couple of different lenses:
that there is the “me” that is borne of the ego.
that there were these egoic versions of me…these identities: friend, sister, boss, traveling artist, daughter, activist etc
but this “who am i” question drove me to seek what lay underneath even those initial answers…to question what remained once these roles and identities shifted and updated or dissolved, as they are wont to do.
this “who am i” question really brought into awareness for me the eternal stream of life that was this undercurrent to all my highs and lows and hats that i wore.
so many words to attempt to define this undefinable. but it’s so fun to try to nail it:
the “i am”
that which is not subject to birth and death
it took many years after the first askings of this sacred question.
alas my awakenings were not abiding at first.
but i now see how even the attempt to answer it beyond the initial “i-am-from-canada-and-i-am-a-writer” answers was born from a desire to really understand the truth of who i really am….the truth of who we all really are. less “why are we here” and more “why ARE we” and then finally; “who are we”.
knowing there is no one word that can really define it, i am left with these…
the one true permanent.
offspring of truth.
a good that knows no opposite.
i like how my rubber hits the road when i contemplate this “who am i” question.
the moment i get past the more obvious answers to the ones that i find hard to put into words…that’s when it gets really fun.