“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
--T.S Eliot, Four Quarters
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”– Aristotle
The following is an inspirational poem from my book Beyond the Beyond: Poems to My Beloved Self. There is only one real purpose in life, from the perspective of Truth, and that is to know one's Self. And a multitude of experiences line up along one's path offering opportunities to come to Self realization.
Relish not those who ‘have found themselves,’
For they are shod in iron shoes
Walking over the bog of time.
They find themselves in their jobs,
As doctors, lawyers, and teachers
Nurses, writers and artists,
Accountants, politicians and beggars.
They find themselves in their roles
As husbands and wives,
Lovers and ex’s,
Friends and foes,
Sons and daughters,
Mothers and fathers.
They find themselves in their beliefs,
As Buddhists and Hindus,
Christians and Muslims,
New Agers and Jews,
Pagans and Bohemians,
Philosophers and Scientists.
They find themselves in the land of their births:
New Yorkers and Chicagoans,
Texans and Californians,
Americans and Russians,
Earthlings and Aliens.
They find themselves in what they do for fun,
In what they hate,
In what they possess and do not own.
In fact, they find themselves
In every minute of every day.
And sink deeper moment by moment.
Only until you can smell the stench of the mud
And taste the sickness
Will you stop and say:
“I do not know who the hell I am.”
When that moment comes
The iron shoes will slip off
And you will slowly begin to rise.
When you begin to see
That all such notions,
All such identities
Are nothing but lies.
Over this world you will skip
Asking the question:
“Who am I?”
Beware, dear friend, for the world is slick
with many alluring going on's,
And lush places
Will continue to grab at you
And suck you down in your quest by saying:
“Now you know.”
Skipped for a long while
Across the world with mouth gaping;
And in between soft breasts with mouth wet,
Doing this and doing that,
Trying to find out who the hell he was.
And just for a moment or two
Even his skipping stopped.
Not because of any person
Not even for an idea.
He just stopped
And knew the unknowing.
Now, when some beautiful eyes flutter,
Or when someone dear disappears,
And he forgets to skip
And sinks up to his big mouth—
A mouth that shouts to the world:
“I know what this is all about!”
Even the mud tastes sweet.
Beyond the Beyond: Poems to My Beloved Self
Do you have a great poem that has inspired you? Share it. It could be yours or another poet's. Is there a story behind the poem? How has it influenced your life? Remember, your sharing can help another get through some challenging time.