Monday, August 20, 2012

Born With Amnesia

In his book Falling Upward, Richard Rohr uses a great analogy for the spiritual life. He says that “it’s like we are all born with amnesia and we spend the rest of our lives trying to remember who we are”. I think this is a great analogy. It really changes my whole perspective. Most of my life I have felt like I have to change in order to become who I am. The word transformation is often tossed around in spiritual conversations. Maybe we don’t need to change at all. It’s been said that we are born perfect. Who doesn’t think a newborn baby isn’t perfect? Perhaps all we need to do is remember who we are. Most of what we show to others, and most of what they see, is not at all who we are. I’ve always thought that the purest picture of who we are is who we are when we are alone. How do you act when no one is looking? What do you do when you can do anything you want? Imagine that you really do have amnesia. As you try to unravel the mystery of who you are, what connections do you make? What feels right and natural? It’s not always clear. Amnesia has a cousin and their name is confusion. We spend much of our life feeling confused and then in moment of light and clarity we feel a connection and we have a little better idea of who we are. We begin to remember. This remembering, this peeling away of the many layers of the onion, is a life long journey.

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