Friday, March 27, 2015

Is 'I' a Misnomer?

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Is the word "I' a misnomer? I often ponder on the concept of 'I'. In the daily walk of life, it is quite obvious that 'I' is considered to be singular in terms of grammar and common sense. So to doubt or to think about it may appear to be insane. But many would agree that we human beings are unique in our profound curiosity to know about ourselves. From where do we come? Where do we actually belong too? How are we formed? How different are we from other species? There are so many more questions to be answered and explored further.

Scientific studies says that human beings are similar to other living organisms. Fossil and molecular evidence support the belief that the human species, no less than others, evolved from other organisms. There are also studies that list 7,500 named parts of the human body. Even a minimal list comes up with 60 individual organs or pairs of organs. This large number of names itself gives us an inkling about the complexity of the human body.  

So even in biological respects I am not 'I', I am 'We' or the collection of 'Many'.

When we peep into the social arena, it is quite interesting to notice that from the birth to the last breath, the very existence of a human being is because of the collective contribution of the society. The language 'I' speak, the subjects 'I' learnt, the services and products 'I' use, the family name 'I' carry, the religion/belief  'I' follow... what not, every bit of 'I' is a representation of 'Many'. But still, we are so blind to proclaim and define our accomplishments to be our own, be it ordinary or extraordinary. The 'I' in us is so formidable that it doesn't acknowledge the 'Many' that made the 'I' an achiever.
When I walk into the professional sphere, where I often get easy entry because of my corporate trainer's tag, I get baffled by the self disposition of many leaders as the one and the only 'I'. Their egos are bloated to the extent that they may burst. They are intellectually sound, experienced and successful even then they fail to see that the 'I' is an illusion or cajolery that people create or practice around them to meet their vested interest.

The salary they draw, the work they get done, the visibility and their salability of the product and services they dole out, their brand as an organization... what not, everything is because of the customers and people from the lowest to the highest rung in the organization.

When people say I made a speech, a sale, handled the project successfully so on and so forth, I really doubt whether it is the achievement of 'I' per se or of the 'Many'? There is nothing an individual can do by his own, it is his misconception. Whatever the individual does is backed by an army of apparent and unapparent factors, elements and forces that make it happen, which is already there.

The awareness of this very fact can only make the 'I' believe in the power of 'Many', both visible and the invisible. Somewhere, I contain myself in my own way of perceiving things and unfortunately it is in tandem with the majority which also contain the 'I' and not the 'Many'. So the whole effort of human being is to justify the existence of 'I'. Therefore, there is a  disconnect with the collaborative existence and growth of human species. UG Krishnamurti says , that travelling destroys many illusions and strange as it may seem it also creates new illusion." We are stuck up with the 'I' so much that we don't feel the urge to move from there to see the many illusions get destroyed about 'I'.

What makes the emergence of 'I' so formidable? Is it because the 'Many' in me is so cohesive, harmonious and in tandem with each other that it gives an impression of  'I' being singular and not plural. Is it that in my singularity lies hidden my plurality?


The moment 'I' understands this very fact - then I am not in conflict with the other; I am not egoistic and self-centered; I am not a sole achiever; I am not only 'I' rather - I am you, he, she and they; I become seamless; I am not racial; I am not a religious antagonist.... because 'I' find my  'I' in many and the 'Many' in my 'I'.

Isn't I a misnomer?