The Visit


Books, computers were no help.  He found a wise old man who suggested, “Why don’t you start with His deputies, saints, prophets? Although most of them passed away centuries ago, their sayings might help you. The purpose and meaning of life is to go beyond, better than you came. That way, in the end, you will die as your own martyr.”

He considered the man’s words carefully.  After all, he was born with this “self” business.  Self was his close friend, his enemy.  When he looked into his eyes, he saw himself.  Everything he saw was through his self’s eyes; this self perceived the world for him.  He began calling him his brother.

He questioned his brother sometimes, expressing his doubts. These confrontations became violent.  They didn’t talk with each other after a while.

If he didn’t share the same body with his brother, he would have left him, would have gone away. But, they did share the same body, and this body was all he had.  He knew it was temporary, just rented.  His brother didn’t think so: “I am here forever.  You go anywhere you want.”

He read the words of saints and prophets and noted something he thought he’d try:  Perhaps cutting down food and air might change his brother’s mind.  He started fasting and holding his breath.  After a while, it worked. His brother gradually became distant and disappeared.  Even the memory of his brother lost cohesiveness.

After his brother disappeared, he disappeared in mirror upon mirror.  He lost time and space.  Dream and reality overlapped.

Finally, one day, he woke up filled with joy.  The sun was shining through the windows.  He got on his bicycle, went out of town.  He saw a sparrow.  He saw a snake, lots of trees, red poppies.

The sparrow asked, “What can I do for you?”

“My sparrow, don’t leave me in hand of this unreliable “Self.”

Don’t make me agree with anyone but you.

I run to you from deceits, troubles of my Self.

I am yours.  Don’t give my Self back to me.”