Who Am I?

Good morning dear world!

I hesitated a long time about how to introduce myself or if I should even do it at all. One side of me wanted to be true and authentic; the other was concerned about reputation and the business: cautious about what I should say that could put off potential customers because, after all, I was coming to social networking for a hidden agenda.

The original intention was partly to promote my professional work as a coach and seminar facilitator but also – and mainly – to start testing the material I was preparing for a service project that is dear to my heart and that I had been pushing since a few years: the SEEDS for Change programme.

Meeting people and engaging into meaningful conversations was not my priority: there were already too many of them around stealing the time I needed for my work! At least this is what I was thinking at the time … until I started meeting them … and, like it always happens, felt grateful for being introduced to yet another pool of authenticity, experience and beauty and talent and creativity.

I hesitated … thought … felt … turned it around in my mind … postponed it … dropped it … took it back …. slept on it … sat on it and with it …. but always, it would come back with the insistence of a mother cat looking for shelter … so I had to surrender, give way and accept to jeopardize my reputation … once more – but wasn’t it what I teach after all (not to jeopardize your reputation but to be who you are)?

So I decided.

!!? 

~ . ~

Frederic is a kindred and independent spirit manifesting through multifaceted personalities all living together under the same roof with reasonable understanding, harmony, synergy, love, creativity and fun.

That is for ‘I’. Now what about ‘me’?

An angel of a child born in Paris, gracefully grown under West African skies in swimming pools, tennis clubs and comic books ~  a defiant rebel shocked by the Western materialistic, consumerist and colonialist worldview ~   encountered his life partner in Paris at 21 and traveled through more or less all the possible combinations of psycho-emotional states together to finally reach a place ,30 years later, of genuine understanding, acceptance and a reasonable approximation of that wonder we call love ~  introduced to real life in Marseille at 23 ~  touched by warmth, spirit and depth in Istanbul ten years later ~  educated to ‘mind your own business’, think and make decisions in a spiritual community in Oxford ~  emotionally healed and forever reconciled with humanity in Ha Noi ~   now living, or should I say ‘being’,  in India ~ a life traveler who went through two deaths and three lives on four continents although he spends most of his time inside ~ ten years meditating and living a very busy monastic life ~  ten years sharing for free what he had discovered ~  consequently lived most of his life without money and met extraordinarily lovely ordinary people all along the way. Period.

~ . ~

Now those ‘personalities’ I live with. Would you like to meet the main ones?

Here is Atman – the dignified and unconquered loner who dwells in secrecy beyond the reach of the world; a poet; kind, gentle and softly spoken, a traveler of inner landscapes and a mechanic of the soul; a diamond like integrity who doesn’t know how to spell the word compromise; brushes aside achievements and popularity with the back of the hand; owns nothing, needs no one; all in the here, now, “I’.

Then we have Swamiji or Thay Frederic as he used to be called in Viet Nam – the loving, warm, wise and wonderful mother like guru-friend-teacher-guide who keeps home, heart and treasure store open to co-seekers regardless of class, race, cast, age, status – and whether they drop a note in the donation box or not! A comforting tree to sit close to.

This is iLight – the talkative one – the explorer; the connector; the communicator; the lover of beauty, meaning and wonder – a restless source of curiosity, insights, enthusiasm and creativity living between a classroom and a laptop; serious in learning; greedy for being heard, understood and loved but honest enough to know it will never happen and yet committed to provide the best possible approximation of true love in return for someone’s gift of attention!

Vijayanti – the victorious one; an unpredicted version of King Aragorn, Mr Frodo and Gandalf all rolled in one; a king in exile missionned by destiny to eradicate sorrow, hopelessness, ignorance and non-sense – and meant to do it with heart and soul; the stubborn heart of a conqueror who doesn’t want to claim a throne but knows without knowing why that victory is unavoidable; cultivates dreams of glory, of a time when the world will be ruled by love, intelligence, authenticity and joy – and probably won’t give up until we’re there!

The next one is Shaoshivaleen, he is the twin brother of Vijayanti and his protector in many ways – a martial meditator and freelance warrior monk feeding on sprouted wheat bread, fruits, nuts and rotis (google or contact us for meaning); a laughing, dancing rishi who can strike with yogic precision and unbounded compassion – when needed; undoubtfully convinced he can change the world with a condensed stream of focused thought-energy emerging from the heart of light inside the soul; a true brother.

And the last one, the little one messing around between everyone’s legs, is Mr Happy, the child; he is 50+ and still innocent, young, carefree, playful and … yes, so naughty at times.

Here we are. This is all ‘I’ know of ‘me’ at this stage – or maybe is it just what I wish/dream I could be, or just effluent imaginations forged by an overactive heart … I do not know. Life will decide.

You may think that it all sounds a bit like the Fellowship of the Ring and yes, it does. I think this is why Tolkien so much impressed our consciousness: he described the key archetypes operating inside our consciousness. He also showed us that, when they are motivated by a unifying sense of purpose and mission, all the different parts and dimensions of our being can come together and re-conquer the kingdom that was once lost.

And yes, there is a battle raging on the outside as well as on the inside. The outside one is against all the forces that seek to conquer our mind; the other is about re-asserting self-mastery.

Anyway, I am sure you understand now why I got into self-awareness…

~ . ~

~ . ~

I am sure there is much more to know, including some divine, enlightened and all-powerful parts living in higher dimensions but, to this day, I have not stayed there long enough to make them mine. It will come, I remember it and I have also read it somewhere although I seldom read more than one or two pages at a time so much does it excite my brain cells and start moving things inside mind and heart!

And oh! Did I mention about my friendship with God? It is something I am a bit shy to declare publicly but it is also very hard to hide. I hope you will not mind and it will not create a feeling of embarrassment between us. It came on me like a life-giving rain falling on dry land, like a merciless mirror in a mind populated by shadows and dreams; like a deep, irresistible, affectionate bloom in the heart; like the long-awaited Beloved.

I was not looking for it. I never went to church or temples or mosques apart from purely aesthetic, cultural or spiritual reasons and I am very cautious about organized religions or anything that looks like an elite ‘club’ whatever the label of that club may be. It just came, probably because something deeper that what I know about myself was calling for Him or should I also say ‘Her’? And when it came, it changed everything, forever.

When I ask myself why I still love this incorporeal Presence of Light and Pure Consciousness despite all the demands He/She makes on me, I find that ultimately, it is because This Is THE Force that can erase the sorrow and the pain of the human heart, of nature. I have looked around quite a bit and it seems obvious that, from what we now know from history, spirituality, psychology, quantum physics, etc, nothing other than Consciousness can bring transformation – personal, social, etc – and move us toward peace and love and happiness. He/She is the Essence of Consciousness and this consciousness is currently exclusively focused on helping us make the shift – how could I not give a hand?

Another compelling reason is, to me, His/Her extraordinary humility. We are conditioned to see God as a great almighty power that can do, undo or redo more or less whatever He/She wants and this is why many of us who claim to be intelligent have turned the backs of our minds away from that Great Presence. But this is not so. There is power of course but this is authentic power: the expression of an absolute Awareness free of the blind corners ego or form bring and therefore exclusively rooted in Benevolence; it is a total Freedom of being and therefore an eternal youthfulness that knows all but doesn’t pay attention to it – and yes, I said Being: there is a Being.

OK. Stop for now.

~ . ~

Thanks wordpress for providing a seemingly safe space where I could conduct this perilous experiment; gratitude to Sharon, first online true friend for her authentic supportive heart and genuinely appreciative eye; regard to Mario for the example of the type of content I wanted to share; and yes dear Soma, I can also hear God laughing his heart out!

* ~ A draft of an angel.

~ . ~

21 thoughts on “Who Am I?

    1. Good morning Genie, warmest greetings from India and many thanks for your kind thoughts. I tried to drop you a note but could not find a comment option on your blog. Glad you made the connection. I am glad this little blog is doing its work and I liked yours. I like your style – no fuss, to the point and essenceful. I always tend to write too long. I do gratefully accept the award and will go through the guidelines. Still very new to wordpress so may not have too many people to give it to but will do. All best wishes and blessings for the day!

      1. The fun part of giving the nomination is finding bloggers who do inspire you. As far as comments, if you click on the “About” there is space at the bottom for comments. I’m glad you are accepting the award and I hope you have as much fun as I did fulfilling the rules. Blessings, Genie

  1. wow what an introduction oh i just love all your personas they are so full of life and warmth,fun and generousity. you did take your time to write this one but what a write up Federic..
    cant tell you how happy i am to have met someone who too doesn’t believe in these organised religious affairs…to me all the places of worships are places are things of beauty,great architechture but i never believed God lived in structures
    and religious preachers bore me, and most of the times i find them totallly ignorant about religion
    all that they make people do in name of religion…i stay away from all the drama..
    where i find peace and tranquility i find God
    where i see love and generousity,i see God
    where i hear laughs and smiles and echoes of happiness,i hear God

    loved this page :).

    1. Many thanks Soma, your comments have great value. Glad you liked my little inner population! Yes, I do ‘comb’ my texts quite a lot until they flow without scratching the mind. Can only agree with your feelings about organised religion.It often seems they are a completely different story than what the founders taught. One speaks of the laws of life and love and freedom and the others write rule books. One liberates the others tie. Who likes to be tied …?

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog and for such a nice comment. I liked you post ‘about me’, to me religion means love, friendship , compassion,understanding to get along with each other and compatibility.

    1. Oh Many thanks Indira! Most welcome here and yes, this is true religion – religare: to link, to connect or ‘yoga’. And the sign that one is connected to God is that one is equally connected to humanity, nature, life and therefore love, friendship that you describe. THe old religious concept is dying and the new religion of the true life is emerging. Wah! Many thanks for your lovely comment and for connecting!

  3. Dear Frederic,
    Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into the many fascinating layers which make up you and yet isn’t all there is to you! Thank you for taking this daunting task of letting us see the worlds you have traversed, the people who have shaped your destiny and the journey of a thousand miles.

    Out of all you shared, I somehow gravitated towards that paragraph where you mentioned about your relationship with God! 🙂

    “It came on me like a life-giving rain falling on dry land, like a merciless mirror in a mind populated by shadows and dreams; like a deep, irresistible, affectionate bloom in the heart; like the long-awaited Beloved…. And when it came, it changed everything, forever.”

    That somehow touched me so deeply. This precious encounter that so few ever have yet man since time immemorial have been seeking.

    Thank you for sharing. I am glad we met.
    Sharon

  4. Our dear Sharon, loving greetings and … no, no apologies for replying to your words so slowly … the last days have been busy with technical issues which give me a headache and tend to suffocate inspiration – and I take this opportunity to really offer heartfelt gratefulness to those armies of technicians who work hard to allow us to express the inspirations and insights of our feelings, beauty and wisdom.
    I liked your comment because it reflects, like always, a deep truth: you can write 20 pages of great wonders about yourself with an abundance of colours and fragrances and sounds and only one paragraph about God and, for some reason, the eye of the true traveller ends up gravitating there! Wonder isn’t it? Another lesson – if we need one – for our sweet little ego.
    Yes, God. The word is loaded with meaning and bagage and emotion but the reality of the experience is simple, clear and clean and re revitalizing as the pure water of a mountain stream. I was very surprised when the veil was removed and an invisible door suddenly opened to let the light in. Some of Him/Her was as expected – although I was not particularly ‘expecting’ – but other parts where really … astonishing. There was the power, the love, the rapture; there was the extraordinary dignity and unreachable distance but also a total proximity and availability, the simplicity you hear of in the holiest among men and a playful innocence like you only find in children! And so unpredictable: when you expect love, you get a stern eye; when you expect the stick, She/He cradles you in Her/His heart; when you expect nothing, you get what you want – or need.
    This is the beginning of the story but the real story is to keep the connection alive and this means accepting a process of self transformation that takes you quite deep inside the intricacies of the ego and the weblike nature of habits and experiences accumulated over … centuries if you accept the possibility of rebirth. And that is another story …
    You know Sharon, apart from His/Her role as the Great Sustainer of Life, the Mystic Lover, the unveiller of all the secrets and the Conforter of the hearts, there is a very rational, ‘cold headed’ facet to our Father/Mother’s love – that of constituting almost a currency that you earn in exchange for your own sincere progress toward goodness. First you get the love, enjoy it and then it recedes and you feel like an addict in need. So you raise internally, work on yourself so you can access the source of nectar again – and here it is, sweet, nourishing and radiant – and you settle there in the conviction that it will be forever … and it recedes again, a bit higher this time … etc.
    It took me a long time to come to term with the concept that God was not just the Grace that is floating above the Law – He was the One who was respecting the Law and, apart from Love, the Law has another long chapter about personal responsibility or Karma and, apart from exceptional circumstances where an outstandingly positive account could be used to clear a mistake, He/She was not going to break that. We get nothing for nothing, even with HIm/Her. It doesn’t remove the poetry but it is like the fruit tree – you need patience and some work before it gives sweet fruit but when it starts giving, it is still felt as a miracle and you do not have enough baskets to gather it all! There is so much there that you cannot not share it.
    There is a lot written about God’s unconditional love and yes, it is there – unconditional and general like the sun in the sky equally shines on the saint and the criminal. BUt when the relationships becomes personal, then here is a form of conditional love coming is. The unconditional love is always there with the forgiveness, the sustaining presence, the total availability, the commitment from His/Her side, like a parent commits to an infant; but now this unconditional love is blended with something more ‘educational’.
    Anyway, here I am writing another book again!
    You know Sharon, I would love to hear your views and experiences about God because you must have some very precious ones.
    All blessings for today, tomorrow and the eternities to come!

    1. Dear Frederic, I have only just read this reply today. Thank you so much for sharing such a soul-stirring, personal yet magnificently powerful encounter with God. I will have to read this in the stillness and quietness of a sacred place because this is a sacred experience. I am touched that you took the time to share with me something so valuable. I will allow your words to ripen and in an opportune time I will attempt to write to you on this most great subject. With gratitude from a lifelong student, Sharon

  5. Beautiful description about God and ones relationship with Him/Her/It. I smiled when u wrote: “It is something I am a bit shy to declare publicly but it is also very hard to hide. I hope you will not mind and it will not create a feeling of embarrassment between us”. And then like a true lover could not stop talking about Him/Her in your last comment:)
    And it was what I needed today 🙂

  6. Very happy to know you opened this link at the right time … I also smiled when I wrote this … true lover … I wish I could be but it is a very demanding relationships – need to be up to it! and I am definitely not always, maybe not even sometimes. The big problem I find with God is that He/She feels so close I just want to treat HIm/Her as a good friend but then I find HIm/Her so high above, so absolute that I feel ashamed by my familiarity and it spoils the feeling. I read your poem yesterday ‘Come to me!’ (http://myownmindspace.blogspot.in/2010/07/come-to-me.html) and it is very beautiful and true. It was from 2 years ago. Did He/She come? Very happy that we met.

  7. Really happy to meet you too 🙂
    Oh that aspiration ‘Come to me’ was very powerful. I was made to write that, guess Divine was waiting for such a formal invitation 😉 It turned a snow flake to an avalanche… first mysteriously entangling me, in a way that I let go of my little psychologically safe world, and then crushing that entire subjective world altogether 🙂
    Guess, Divine has mysterious ways of loving, and sending His/Her grace … sometimes its really a ‘tough love’. But Still I can find joy in that suffering and so don’t mind it as much. But I do mind Him/Her leaving me back with the averageness of life with my small ego and its usual narrowness. What a poor company after your taste has improved! 😦
    🙂

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