Aphrodite/Venus crouched or bathing
Unknown artist
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro

Did you look at yourself in the mirror today? I suppose you did. Perhaps you woke up, washed your face and saw yourself in the mirrored medicine cabinet. Perhaps you checked out wrinkles or found out some brand new white hair. Have you analyzed the colors and how they match after you got dressed? Or maybe tried to figure out whether to tuck in your shirt? You might have combed your hair and tried to tie it up in a different way or just made a ponytail because you didn’t have time to wash, dry, etc., etc.

When you looked at yourself, did you see yourself? Could you actually see your self? Did you observe? To observe is to go further past the virtual layer we create; it is to dissolve the unreal identity which meets expectations ego creates—ours and the others’—for the sheer purpose of… Fitting in a specific social space.

The way you identify yourself while watching your self is your identity. We are not ID numbers nor are we statistics. In reality, each one of us is the inside; we are whatever is beyond the image, beyond records.

“Everything is said by an observer,” wrote Chilean scientist Humberto Maturana.

The human being is a living complex system, which means humans are not mechanisms or systems with fixed structures. Moreover, we are dynamic and, therefore, in our interactions we constantly change—behavior and structure are mutable. Consequently, it is impossible to determine an adequate, permanent conduct for living systems in every possible context, because we cannot predict variations.

And thus interactions between living beings are endless learning processes as we must see individuals in their own environment, in their own time, by respecting their structural changes. Which is a great challenge for those who, clung to norms—socially constructed beliefs—do not connect with what life is: dynamic happenings.

Connecting with life does not mean to speak for diversity, but rather to act detached, understanding there is diversity within diversity itself, and that individual identities are not exactly what you name. Identity is that which you can touch and understand, once you go past the surface, diving deep into the I.

However, if one fears one’s truth, one most certainly will not surrender oneself to learning the others’ truths—diving is an act of courage—and, therefore, will not experience Love. While lacking Love, one denies history and builds existences by settling identities from one’s own prejudice, establishing one’s own comfort and pleasure within stagnation and apathy.

We are historical: our ancestors’ continuum. But we are history now—individual, reedited, updated, and expanded lives. Only by really observing can an observer speak about individuals, for it takes connection and learning the oneness, and yet peculiarity, of existences.

Although this is all very important mainly because we live in community, most of all, one must be one’s own observer.

Watch yourself mindfully and you shall be able to answer the question: Who are you? Then you might be able to truly connect with other beings.

Life is no competition nor trial.
Life is experience.


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