esther m palmer

my own theory of relativity

Look at your hand. What size is it?

Unless you're glove shopping, your answer will be relative -relative to the proportions of your body, relative to the sizes of other people- or you might be stumped by the absurdity of the question and hem and haw around as accurate an answer as possible (that would be me doing that, naturally). My hands are small for my size (relative to my height), but only a little bit so. Other people with bigger hands think they are particularly small - which is how I even know they're kinda proportionally small.

There are lots of aspects of myself that have that relative component. I don't, and assume I will never, know myself (those parts) without some awareness of their relation to others and to society, which means that what they are is all in my - or your - head. And this means that they are, in one respect at least, readily changeable.

My feelings about my body and person change daily, but my jeans' size doesn't (it's cheaper that way). This I imagine is why we (allow ourselves to) get trapped in perceptions of ourselves from the outside in... but what about an aspect of part of us, an identity or essence, that does not, cannot, and will never change or be relative to anyone? Does this exist?

Yoga theory/philosophy says it does. According to my schooling, it's called jiva atman, and it is the part that is connected to the universe, that identifies everyone as of one and the same energy or consciousness.

Now I don't know if science will ever be able to demonstrate this as fact (and I'm not holding my breath), but I do like this idea of identity. That there is something in me so purely me, it cannot be seen otherwise and is something I share with everyone else, through which we are connected - not linked, but of the same, like many drops of water from one ocean (a metaphor my teacher uses). This is comforting solely because it means all the other stuff is relative. Sometimes relative stuff is life threatening, so I'm not saying disregard it (not at all --the other stuff is how you live out life), but that attitude towards that relative stuff is everything, and how it guides me to live with both my little self, housed in a mass of body + brain, heart + lungs (soul), and the house at the same time.

They both deserve to be loved unconditionally.

Hari om, om tat sat, and till next time my lovelies!

Thoughts or questions? I'd love to hear them.

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