I must say I chuckled when, as I thought of (formally) introducing my “little friend”, I thought of Al Pacino who played Tony Montana in the movie “Scarface.” No, my little friend isn’t wielding a machine gun in a crazed rage, although he can certainly do his share of damage if allowed to run wild.
The name given to my little friend is “the ever slight chameleon.”
This little friend of mine is one we’re all familiar with and entertain with the foolishness of our lives, but seldom recognize as being the one who seeks to take us by the nose and pull us here or there. I’ve mentioned him already … our “s”elf (2) … also termed “ego” or “personality,” although I’m sure that the mere mention of these could prompt some healthy banter about what is or is not “correct” about associating the terms.
My pet name for him came a number of years ago when I was driving on a country road in Clarke county, Virginia. A thought drew me to pull off the road and write a note about this “ever slight chameleon” … whose nature is to take on the guise of its surroundings in order to insure his survival.
My guess is you are quite aware of this, as was I … but the implications of his nature came on full bore that day in a manner that was more intimate than ever before. As I continued to linger with this, I was humbled with the notion that the appearance this little fellow could take on swept beyond the “negative.” Indeed, it dawned on me that he could just as well don the garb of all we deem “good.”
I remember once years ago when I had just retired for the night, thoughts swirling about … as this “ever slight” one came to mind … in regard to the life I was leading. Could it be that “he” could even put on the robe of a “seeker?” Could it be my “spiritual” desires were another hiding place for him? What if all of this “searching” … and talking about it(!) … was just another way of trying to get attention (and fill his little sails with wind)?
Although humbling, I recognized this could truly be the case. Would it sway me from the path? Of course not. But … it did (and does) draw me to look a bit closer at what I’m doing … and how I’m doing it.
It’s all part of that process of truly “knowing” one’s self … and draws me to watch more carefully. Is it foolishness? To some, perhaps. To me, it would be foolish not to mind the store. I’m reminded once again of how the practice of introspection guides us to seeing past the veneer of our day to what’s really going on … and “who” is running the show. I’m not saying it’s going to be a breeze. In fact, if you really think about it … it can be pretty scarey, and spark some pretty strong notions of doing something else …
… but it does bring to mind a word of encouragement from Brother Joseph (Campbell #3); “A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: ‘As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It’s not as wide as you think.'”
Yea baby! I love it!