I was formless—perhaps I just do not know what I am. I exist—cogito ergo sum, with no preceding thought how. Now I am stuck along these other entities: rocks, ground, and these mobile objects which they call animals (or insects, whatever they may be).
Then I saw this white sheep walking straight towards me. Docile and merry it sings hymns and songs of joy, and while doing those it noticed me sitting on a rock, and approached me in a friendly manner.
— Why are you so glum, my friend? There is nothing to be glum of!
The white sheep continued his talking in a rhetoric manner, with a mixture of persuasion. Silver-tongued, I say, and silver linings refract from its glossy wool.
— Come, my friend, my brother. Join me while we follow the shepherd, he is too far away, but his trails are visible, and it is my guide. Follow me, and it will be our guide for our journey.
Too moved by his speech I became envious of his joy. The genuine sanguinity of the sheep comes too appealing for me—after all, being idle makes nothing at all. Thus I stood up from the rock and followed the sheep as blindly as I know, ignorant from the existence of the shepherd. Then I asked him why:
— Why bother following such a shepherd?
— Because it is my purpose, and I need a guide.
— A purpose? Your purpose?” I inquired. Your purpose is to follow the shepherd?
— Yes it is, replied the sheep.
— I feel that my purpose of my existence is to follow the shepherd, and I feel happy and content about it.
And after that, I tried to contemplate about it, how the sheep is content by following the trails of an unknown shepherd, where would that trails lead the followers of it. And after that, I found myself a sheep too – a black sheep, walking with four feet. Now I am ready to follow the shepherd.
Not only the sheep is present, as it is with so many other lambs, with different varying sizes and color. I, dominantly colored dark saw some lamb’s wool white as snow, and some with yellow, and some with touches of red. I tried to blend with my same color, and I found them quite few – particularly seven, and they looked just like me, dazed and confused.
As we walk, following the trails of the shepherd, I imagined what he looked like. The sheep, which I am following, carefully scrutinized the ground for the trails of the shepherd. I tried to examine the ground but it is filled with trails of unknown, and I wondered how the sheep can distinguish the trails of his shepherd from the other. Large footprints, small footprints; it has distinction but some are too identical.
I asked the sheep about this skill, he replied to me, “I know what are the shepherd’s trails regardless the vast number of trails in the ground. It is because the shepherd’s trails are pointed to the right way, and the others are not, and here is a guide on how to examine the genuine trail of the shepherd.” He rolled his tongue and produced a small paper from its mouth, and there is a guide on distinguishing the trails. I was stunned on the profound information the paper given to me, and therefore, I distinguished the genuine trails of the shepherd with the help of the small paper.
As we walked and following the trails, we noticed that it led us through a cliff. The cliff was so high that the ground is pitch-black; threatening that there is no way back after you fall. The white sheep stopped before the cliff and talked to me:
“The shepherd must be able to fly, and I am sure his trails continued on the other side of the hill.” Though the hill is visible from our point, it is impossible to access, since we cannot fly at all. I saw then that the trails of the shepherd were not the only one, and there are also other trails of the other sheep. I said to the sheep that it might be the shepherd fell from the cliff, and we could follow him beneath the darkness, but he declined with absolute repulsion. “No! It is risky, and it is uncertain. It is possible that the shepherd flew over the other side, we cannot risk our lives on a simple guess.”
As he argued against me going through the depths of the unknown, some lambs had already jumped without doubt, while some fled away from the cliff, away from the presumed death and tragedy; but no one can justify, no one can prove the truth where the shepherd really went. All came up to their own conclusions, and chose their own decisions.
He made his point clear, and of course I didn’t insist. It is reasonably risky, and we were against an unknown adversary. While I saw our trails before are the same, since we have the same feet, now I wondered why it was different. I examined myself clear, and the four feet I have morphed into something peculiar, and I couldn’t tell I am a sheep now. I found the sheep morphing too into an odd ball of emptiness, until he turns into a speck of dust.
Now I am alone, left with the small paper once knew as a guide. Afraid to jump through the darkness, I walked back with the form I cannot comprehend. I saw a rock that fits my aspect, and thus I sat on it and relaxed, feeling lethargic and morose; I lost all the joy and contentment I once felt. I told myself, “I was never a sheep, joyful and satiated, oh what an illusion!” I sat on the rock as I sat before, and in the span of time, I forgot it all, the sheep, the trails, everything, all of it with the help of time itself.
I sat on the rock, once only with morose and boredom, now with anger and envy. I saw moving creatures, ranging from rat to elephant, walking past me, each choosing their own diversity on their existence. Here I am, formless or just unknown, waiting, contemplating, who am I? Who am I? What is my existence? And all things are futile, all efforts bore nothing, and even I, I think I am nothing. And so I digressed, and sat on the rock, waiting for the time to move, move until the end of time.
One day, or one night, still sitting on the rock, I saw a lone feeble wolf chasing a lone sheep for dinner, or breakfast. Too weak the wolf cannot chase the startled sheep, until the sheep ran away from its sight. Frustrated, the wolf saw me sitting. He approached me and asked:
“Why so glum? Why so bored? There are many to reap; there are many to find. This life is a game, and we must strive to win it. Winning means fighting until death, because death is inevitable. Death with honor is winning, so don’t misunderstand me, punk.”
I heard his focused resolve on survival. The wolf is a real survivor, ready to face challenges up to the extreme. Although feeble and old, it is truly diligent and passionate. I became envious of its burning passion in life, and so I stood up from the rock and saw the world as a enormous blood sport. I saw sheep running at every place, from the quick to the sluggish. I feel myself gushing of lust, greed, and hatred on every sheep on my sight. I grew a silver fur and strong legs like a wolf, and strong jaws to chew the flesh of every lamb. Once morose and lethargic formless entity, turned into a demon lusting for blood and flesh. My endeavor fills me up, decimating every sheep in sight. I feel overpowered, I feel invincible. I feel satiated on every sheep and flesh I consume.
The old lone wolf was elated and cheered me up as a strong young wolf. “That’s it, young wolf. Let your passion burn the fuel of your will, and let your force be the way towards self-indulgence. Live the life, survive the life, and fight until the end.” And so the old lone wolf died, I wonder if it is satisfied or not, nonetheless he died fighting, and died with honor.
As I satisfied myself from the flesh, I noticed that the number of lambs are getting lesser and lesser. I can’t contain myself but lambs, and the numbers of them are getting worse, until the very last lamb was slaughtered. Now I am all alone together with other creatures I do not desire, and so I lost the passion; I lost my desire to feed. My insatiable hunger continues to grumble, but there was no more. And then I noticed myself, losing fur, the blood sport crumbled, my strong feet distorted and I myself become formless again, with no aspect of identity. There was void within me once again together with the rock and the cold hard ground.
Once again I am formless, or unknown, morose and unsatisfied. Sitting on the rock, with no knowledge of time whether it progress or regress. I saw again the progressing creatures, from rat to elephant, passing through me, making their own decisions and fate.
What is my destiny? I asked; but no one responded. No one knows, even I do not know, as there was never anything who know me. I am formless, I am unknown. I have no identity. I have no destiny. Death is my desire, but even death is oblivious about me.
Consume me, fire of obliteration; annihilate this oblivion of mine, if I am not formless and without identity. And so a fire gorged and filled my body, and all I can see and feel was the fire; fire that burns without pain but satisfaction, and the infliction it left me is a saving grace, a mark that I still exist. Though in the end, the fire gave nothing but infliction, and it proved nothing but the truth that I am nothing.
And so the fire rescinded, and I saw the world again as it is. Walking creatures, some may notice me, but some ignore me; but they will never approach me. Time passed but I am oblivious of it, and this unprecedented event occurred one day.
A pig, that stood erect, appeared in front of me, gazing his eyes towards mine. I know he was looking at me, but gave no remark. I asked him what’s the problem, and he punched me with its trotters. “Get with your lousy mind, you pig! Give my food back!” and so I replied, “Me? I am no pig, sir. I fear you are mistaken.” The pig grew angry, unleashed his wrath by lifting the rock which I sat before, and threw it on me. “No! You sly perjurer! You stole my food, didn’t you?”
I was confounded about this plight. I was never a thief, nor moved myself from this stone. The pig called the other pigs which also walked, and they came near me. The pig, sternly said, “That pig is the thief isn’t it? Look! He looked like the thief! I even saw the food he stole on the ground!” I looked at the ground but I saw nothing, but the other pigs concurred with the angry pig and join with it, accusing me for the delinquency I do not even know.
I asked them, “How come you think of me as a pig? I am not even a pig! Look at me, formless and unknown, different from the likes of you!” The pigs were shocked when I asked them, and the angry pig said with exasperation:
“Are you out of your mind? You are a pig! You are a thief as well! Stop lying and give back what was mine!”
and so I was kicked, beaten to the ground, but I felt no pain, felt no guilt. It is because I was never the criminal, they were just mistaken, they were just wrong. I am not a pig, and I will never be.
After the beating, the pigs left me. The rock where I sat was turned upside down, but I can still sit on it. I noticed that when some pigs cross through me they sometimes call me “thief”, but I don’t care, they are just mistaken. I still see myself as formless and unknown, until this one monkey came to approach me.
This monkey had these two peculiar mirrors on his hand. He said to me,
“You never saw or knew your own face, didn’t you? It is because you deprive yourself a mirror!”
As he talked to me he gave me the first mirror, it was shaped square. “This mirror is the mirror of the world. Look at it, and you will know how the world sees you.” I am excited, so I tried to look at the mirror, but it was covered with a black lid. “Well, wait first.” He gave me the other circle-shaped mirror. “This mirror is the mirror of you. Look at it, and you will see yourself, your true self, the face you always wanted to be.” I understand what the mirrors would do, but I asked, “Is how the world sees me and how I see myself is the same?”
The monkey replied, “No, no, my friend. You see yourself formless, unknown, something different – unique; but here I see a pig, who sits on a rock, bruised by the common pigs. That makes a difference isn’t it?” I am convinced, and thus I asked to use one mirror, but he stopped me, and said, “Well, it isn’t free my friend. I’m doing business here, monkey business.”
“Well, I’m afraid I do not have any money to pay you.” I said to the monkey. “No, no, you are mistaken.” The monkey replied. “The mirror is free, but it has a cost. I have two mirrors here, and you are to use only one, and you will destroy one.”
Another dilemma, I am to choose my identity. Am I the entity seen by the world, or the entity seen only by myself? The answer is in my hands, and I will choose the circle mirror, open the black lid, and will see the face I wished I am – a perfect face, a face without a flaw, the visage I wish to be formed.
But it was all a lie. There was never a mirror of me. I was tricked by the monkey. All I saw was a face of a pig, bruised by the pigs who accused me. I became who I never wanted to be, in other words, I was always the entity the world wanted to be.
I was frustrated, depressed, seething, exasperated, mad and enraged. The monkey was laughing at me like I am a joke, saying:
“Fooled you, my friend. There was never an opportunity to identify yourself your way. Everything was identified by the world. Your form was from the world, and your fate was from the world. You have no power here. Here, as a token of apology, I’ll give you this square mirror.”
And the monkey left, vanished into thin air.
And so I threw away the circle mirror, and I looked at the square mirror. It was true that it reflects both of me, as a bruised pig, it has no difference. So I threw away both of the mirrors.
Once oblivious now conscious, I sat again on the rock. But I found myself not able to fit on the small rock, since I was aware of my true identity. Nothing to do, I found myself walking with the creatures, creating the diversity of myself, living the life, with an identity, the identity which came from the world itself; the identity which started since the start of my existence, until the end of it.
When will I ever know my true identity? I am still wondering. I still believe that there is an identity of mine that I myself will only know. Someday I will know, or I will never know, or I maybe I already know, the truth behind my identity; and I am just unaware about it.