Looking for an image to accompany my ruminations on transformation, picture after picture of pretty butterflies floated across my screen. Blech. I mean, hey, I love butterflies. They’re beautiful, and the image is iconic when it comes to transformation. But puleeze—Aren’t there any other options? I wondered.
Hence the image of what happens when you throw boiling water into the air at a temperature of -35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transformation is not change. Transformation is when one thing becomes another thing. I suppose, if you want to quibble, you could argue that water-to-ice is a state change not transformation. But hey, let’s not get too picky. It’s pretty damn remarkable even so.
For years, decades, I’ve been content to believe that change is transformation. That shifting from potty-mouthed, booze-happy TV engineer to a meditating, wheatgrass drinking guru-worshipper was transformation. That losing weight was transformation. That getting a divorce and shifting from unhappy co-dependent to happy self-sustaining woman was transformation. That shifting from dedicated materialist to spiritual person was the bomb when it came to—you got it—transformation.
And yet, truth be told, after every one of these changes I was still “me.”
I was still human. Even though Buddha and Jesus and God knows who else reminded me of the truth that ALL IS ONE, I was still thinking and acting in terms of separation and opposition—of me and you, and me and others. Of within and without. Right and wrong. Have and have not. Here and there. Physical and non-physical.
I was a spiritual person. But I was still fundamentally the “me” I’d always been—just with a different philosophy and point of view.
And then one day I realized that being a spiritual person was an oxymoron—a classic contradiction in terms. Spirit is ineffable, formless and intangible. A person is definable, very much in form and extremely tangible.
I bypassed this inaccuracy by throwing around concepts from quantum physics, stoutly declaring that being formed and tangible was not my actual state because every “thing,” including my person, is energy. But if I really knew that why was I bothering to call myself a spiritual person? Wasn’t that just being repetitive? Why wasn’t I calling myself spiritual energy?
Anyway – the answer is simple. I’m addicted to believing I’m human. I’m addicted to believing I’m physical. I say I’m spirit … but I obviously don’t believe it. Because if I did would I be worried about the novel coronavirus? Would I be worried about paying the rent? Would I be concerned with my weight? Would I give two shits about Donald Trump and his shenanigans? Would I really be all that concerned about climate change?
Would I be taking any of this stuff seriously?