Seamus Asks the Question

Seamus asks, "Who am I?"

The temperature is eight degrees on this fine winters morning. The half moon greets us as we are let outside to do our morning business. It is freezing! This comes as a shock after a deep, warm sleep filled with dreams of running in the woods.

The three of us stand on the back porch reluctant to venture any further. We listen to the silence that only comes from a frozen place – and yet the smells carried on the frigid wind speak of rabbit and coyote and somewhere in the distance a fire is burning.

Most times I find my way to the bamboo stand, but not this morning. Mom is surprised to open the door and all three of us rush past her into the warm room.
“Ah,” she says, ” Pretty friggin cold out there, eh, my loves”?

Later, after a warm breakfast, we are all resting, Maya in the chaise with mom, who is writing (again!), I’m stretched out in the bed and Tessa’s hiding under the bench (like we can’t see her!); and I get to thinking about my life here at the Stone House. I decide to ask a question that has been on my mind for sometime now and hope for some insight from my companions.

“Who am I”?

No one moves. Slowly mom looks up from writing, her brow wrinkled in thought, while Maya cocks her head to the side, in that cairn way, with ears at attention considering the question. But it is Tessa who answers, sliding out from her hiding place and jumping into mom’s lap.

Tessa
A good question, Shih Tzu and one the world of humans has pondered since the beginning of recorded time. I would add that the flip side to that question is a more important inquiry; who asks who I am.

Mom
Good point, Tessa, the ego self asks and the deep Self responds.

Maya
Mom, correct me if I’m wrong, but Thomas Berry says that we are all part of a shared dream experience.

Seamus
That’s right, and that the universe was the work of such imagination and creativity that it must have been dreamed into existence. I love that part.

Mom
Well, yes, both of you are correct, but how do you relate it to Seamus’s question, who am I?

Tessa
If I could jump in here, I feel the issue is how can animals other than humans ask that question? In reality I know exactly who I am and Seamus is only confused because we live with a human who dictates our lives according to her perception of time. To me there is no time, no question of searching beyond this moment or meeting my needs in this moment.

Maya
This is a rare moment when I agree with Tessa. When humans entered paradise our ancestors were there to greet them without hostility or threat to their lives. You once told us mom, that you are a spiritual being having a human experience; but I venture to say that Tessa, Seamus and myself are fully spiritual, yet having to adapt to your human experience.

Mom
Well, thank you for that reminder, Maya.

Seamus
I don’t think humans know who they are. As for who’s asking, that requires deep self-reflection and practice to unearth the answer. And what does it say that humans can be created in a sterile laboratory, bypassing the male or at least the male’s enjoyment of the process.

Mom
Oh, dear, I fear you make a good point there, Shay.

Tessa
Well, then let’s take it a step further and consider that the creation of artificial intelligence will one day replace the human race.

Seamus
Gee, I wonder how they will answer the who am I question? Do you think they will even ask such a thing?

Mom
It does raise the question of who we are if we can so easily be replaced by….hmmm, by ourselves.

Tessa
Exactly! What kind of skewed thinking is that? Or maybe that’s what happened when the fallen angels got tossed off another planet and landed here. Were they human or artificial intelligence?

Mom
Good god, where are you learning all of this?

Maya
From listening to nature, mom. And watching humans stumble blindly towards their own demise taking us along for the ride. Will you read that part from Berry’s book, The Great Work?

Mom
Oh, dear, you are all starting to scare me.

Seamus
Please, mom.

Mom
Yes, yes, let me see, ah, here it is:
“The labor and care expended over some billions of years and untold billions of experiments to bring forth such a gorgeous Earth is all being negated within less than a century for what we consider “progress” toward a better life in a better world.”

Tessa
But is it better or more threatening to human existence? I’m not so worried because cats will survive.

Maya & Seamus
So will doggies!

Mom
I see, not good news for me, however. Well, did we answer the question?

Seamus
No, but we asked it and that’s what’s important.

Tessa
Ok, then, to be continued. Gotta go rest from all that thinking.

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