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  • Constantina Alexander

I want to be free.....

Stone Carving from the Cloisters at Iona

Here is a little prayer by the Rabbi Nachman of Breslov:


Dear God,

as I age-

as the hours turn to days,

days to weeks,

weeks to months, and months to years-

let none of my time

be wasted or lost.

Let me use my life

to the fullest,

to become the person

I am meant to be.

From The Gentle Weapon- Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments

Rebbe Nachmnab of Breslov

How do I become the person I am meant to be?

I think this is a question I need to ask myself every morning. Finding self amidst the the labyrinthine influences I have been surrounded by since the moment of birth, is like entering the attic of a house, lived in for a lifetime, to find a jumble of items signifying key moments of my existence. How much of that jumble is really and essentially an illustration of my trueness to the reality of my inner being?

Studying a second science and maths degree I am reminded we love to categorise and order as a prerequisite to understanding function. Yet inquiry, by the thinking mind, is limited to our mental and intellectual capacity.

Imagine, for one moment, you are an ant. What is it like to be an ant in Antworld? A lot of your life experience will be down to what class of ant you are: a worker, a drone a soldier or the Queen. What you are is predetermined before you even hatch as a grub and your life is mapped out for you. Can a worker ant suddenly decide it would like to become an artist or a philosopher or an explorer?

Are we any different from ants? Do we follow what everyone tells us we are from birth or listen to whomsoever we tend to surround ourselves by? Do we quail at the idea of being different from our colleagues and peers?

In biology, within the discipline of genetics, it is clear that via a reassortment of genes during the process by which gametes (egg and sperm or pollen) are created, variation is introduced. This variation gives the species the overall ability to withstand external pressures that may wipe out a whole race, especially if it is of uniform genetic make up. The variants may just have the tools to survive the disaster.

The same is true of biodiversity. The greater the number of differing species coexisting in an ecosystem the more stable it is. We are heading for instability as so many species are being continually wiped out of existence. So what of the human race?

Are we becoming the fullest we can possibly be, as the Rebbe pleads above in his prayer? It would be easy to say no and be critical of our achievements to date. But there are amongst us many who see and act in a different way. Who strive not to be shaped by the limitations of external opinions and pressures. Who allow themselves to become who they are truly meant to be.

Christ showed us how to be like this. By not following the ways of the world but by following the Kingdom of Heaven within.

How do we do that?

Clear out the attic and make some space for the light, then you will see.