I don’t know about you, but I can remember the exact moment when I realized I was a whole, separate person, distinct from the outside world.
I was between 4 and 6 years old. I was playing and the adults were having an animated conversation nearby. I don’t know what mysterious forces were at work, but in a split second, I suddenly realized that the words and images in my head really existed and they were my own.
Before this moment, they had been there without my being fully aware of them. Now, suddenly, they were coming to life and were separating me from other beings and things. For the first time, there was an inside and an outside. I was perceiving another world – filled with thoughts and disparate images – a strange and fascinating world. In spite of myself, I felt attracted – like Alice in Wonderland – to this new and unknown world. I had no points of reference and I was playing it by ear, but I wasn’t worried.
I began the journey into this new world without fear. I felt as though I were being guided down a path to find myself. Others suddenly become strangers to me – I had to find them as well, but in a different manner. The road would be long, but that particular instant registered in my mind as a moment of peace and clarity – a calm lucidity and wisdom I would rarely experience afterwards.
Then I came back down to Earth. This sudden plunge into the metaphysical world was quite intense for my little childish brain to take in! Nevertheless, guided by my experimental soul, I continued to explore my sudden perception. I went up to each individual and asked them what they were thinking, right at that very moment. All their thoughts were different. I now had proof of my theory!
With a flower in hand, I experimented to find out what others were seeing. This brought a new surprise – no description was alike. « Your flower is pretty, it has a large stem and large leaves, » « I like the orange petals of your beautiful flower, » « Oh, that looks funny, there’s brown in your flower. It looks like it ate chocolate « …
Now my thoughts went into high gear. So, where do our thoughts and perceptions come from? And if each person is a world unto himself – and there are many people on Earth – what is the great reservoir that feeds all this?
I wondered if it came from the sky and I looked up at the clouds. I told myself that maybe they were holding our thoughts. But I quickly reached the conclusion that my theory did not hold water because sometime there are no clouds in the sky and there are certainly not enough of them for every human on the planet!
It was too much for my mind to absorb in one day! I was exhausted and I knew I could not find the answers to all my questions.
To calm down, as I usually did, I went in to listen to my nursery rhymes on my record player. I loved listening to my records, especially the one that came with a kind of multi-faceted cylinder covered with mirrors which I would place above the record. As the record turned, it would reflect and animate the cartoon animal images on the disc. Since it was associated with nursery rhymes, this repetitive movement had the power to calm me down and comfort me – it focused my mind. There were no surprises, I knew exactly what image would appear and at what time. There was no need to think, just to observe.
But this would only work for a short time.
I was already wary of things that go round and round. So, when I finally felt at peace, I closed my eyes. But the images in my head continued to rotate and repeat until they formed a spiral. The little animals no longer went around in circles, they rose in an upward spiral in a movement that would never end.
I fell asleep, enchanted. I prefer things that do not go around in circles. The security of so many discoveries made me want to grow, find the strength to live and the drive to learn. I think this experience was the starting point of my need to look within myself without fear and to understand others so that I could better respect them.
Every time I meet someone new, I have this reflex of feeling the spark of intuition that launched their being and determines their destiny. Some individuals are so far removed from the spark that they feel lost and miserable. Others strongly deny its existence and are desperate to escape their memories. Still others have let it slip away, but are passionately and patiently seeking to recover what they had lost along the way. All this often weaves a complicated and distorted, sometimes exciting, series of meetings.
I am fortunate in my work to experience these moments of great authenticity – moments that transcend and embellish everything.
And then there are the beautiful and rare encounters with those who remember and know how to make the magically attuned strings of their instruments – their lives – vibrate. I am happy and thankful to have met such people along the way. They have helped me, and help me still, to maintain my original spark of life without feeling lost as I move forward on a road riddled with obstacles.