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Who am I? – A Servant or Master- Part 1

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but what he aspires to.” 

 Khalil Gibran (Lebanese-American writer and poet)

Socrates, the greatest thinker of his time was convicted for corrupting the young minds of Athens. He was sentenced to death by being fed the deadly hemlock.

His disciple Crito offered an attempt to escape from the prison, some followers even managed to bribe the guards, yet Socrates refused to leave. He believed the act would indicate a fear of death, of which he had none. When the guards threatened to kill him, he calmly replied, “First you need to find me, then you can consider killing me.” The response confused the guards as Socrates referred to the soul as his real person. He knew his body could be destroyed by the soldiers any moment, but he was beyond this temporary garment like body that is abandoned in time by the soul to obtain another one.

After taking the poison, Socrates was ordered to walk around until his legs felt numb. Soon he collapsed; the numbness now crept up to his heart. Moments before his death, Socrates spoke his last words to Crito, “We owe a gift to Asclepius; Crito, please don’t forget to pay the debt.”

Asclepius was the Greek God for curing illness and Socrates last words meant the God of illness had cured him of the biggest disease, and that is this body. He considered by granting death the God had freed his soul from all suffering.

When someone asks us about our identity, we spontaneously declare ‘I am Ramesh’ or ‘I am the senior manager’ or ‘I am a mother of two children’ or ‘I am a Gujarati.’ Little do we realize that our state of being – the real ‘I’- is eternal; it’s beyond all these temporary states.

Your name, designation, religion, marital status could all change. In fact these days you can even change your sex, and still, there is something about yourself that doesn’t change at all.

To be continued…

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