Monday, December 12, 2005

A Diamond Soul

A Diamond Soul

When I was a secondary school student, organic chemistry was one of my favourite subjects. I found the study of carbon-based compounds quite fascinating because there are endless variations in the way carbon combines with other elements. Carbon is also the basic building block that forms all life on this planet.

At one time in the evolution of the universe, there were no carbon. The element of carbon was formed in what is called the "triple-alpha process", where three helium atoms fuse to form carbon, deep in the interior of stars during a particular phase in their evolution. So we have to thank the stars for the abundance of life that we see around us. No one puts it more eloquently than the late American astronomer Carl Sagan: "We are star-stuff, harvesting star-light".

Carbon is a restless element. With its ability to form four covalent bonds with almost every other element especially hidrogen and oxygen, it is present everywhere in the air, sea and the earth. The blueprint of life itself, the DNA, is essentially a carbon polymer, made up of four nucleotides--guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine ("GATTACA"). In other words, carbon is not only the building block of life, it is also Nature's "memory"--providing a persistent mechanism to encode, store and transmit information to create the multitude of lifeforms on this planet.

Why am I writing about carbon? Well, I find that we who are carbon-based creatures, exhibit some of carbon's natural tendencies too. We are eternally restless. Like carbon, we are always trying to search for perfection through external relationships. We search for the perfect life partner; we want a work environment where we can express our abilities to the fullest; we want friends who understand us and whom we can talk to--we want to shape our environment through our actions and relationships so that we can be "happy".

In the process, we are constantly frustrated because the world of form is never permanent. Happiness eludes us because no relationship can bring complete satisfaction. Our relationshp with the external world repeatedly exposes the imperfections that we carry inside. So we keep on trying to shape and reshape our bonds with the people around us, in the hope that there is a perfect combination of relationships that work. Unfortunately other people are trying to do the same too; what is perfect for you may not be perfect for other people.The whole of human history is but a neverending process of bonding and unbonding between people to find happiness and perfection.

Under intense pressure and heat, carbon turns into a crystal and becomes a diamond. In a diamond, carbon bonds with itself--each carbon atom bonds with four other carbon elements and forms a 3-D lattice of tetrahedrons--the most durable compound that can be found in nature. If there's such a thing as perfection in nature, it has to be diamonds. It is almost indestructible, yet translucent to light. Carbon finally finds its peace, within itself, by becoming a diamond. To borrow Eckhart Tolle's words, diamond is the stone's enlightenment.

We cannot find true happiness by manipulating the external world. Like carbon atoms, one day, we will have to realize that what is required is an inner transformation; a new way of looking at the world from inside-out which will bring inner and external harmony. We have to find peace within ourselves first. We have to quell the restless promptings of the ego and understand the imperfections that we harbour within.

Perhaps like diamonds too, we will have to go undergo intense pressure and pain before the soul can be transformed into something that is at peace with itself. A perfect soul, like a crystal, allows Divine Light to shine through. It exists in complete harmony with the universe, because it does not need to hold anything inside.

How do we attain that? Ask yourself, what is holding your peace inside? Is it your fear? You insecurity? Your ego? Why do you need the external world to acknowledge you before you can find happiness? Let them go. They can only impede the flow of Divine Light. Allow your soul to find its peace from within, and let yourself be guided by your inner purpose.

Allow that diamond within your soul to form.

No comments: