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Tuesday, 22 June 2010 02:00

On Showing I's and Seeing Eyes

By  Mehita Iqani
Who am I? I am Mehita Iqani. I have three i's in my name and two eyes in my face. One I in my heart, and a million in my head. I am the product of my parents, the socio-economics of my upbringing, the injustices of the past. I am my acceptances and refusals, my journeys and waitings, my goals and failures, my inspirers and mentors, my hopes and ideas. I am my friends. I am the spider in the middle of a web called ITCH. I am part of a place for I's to show and eyes to see. I facilitate some form of visibility.

I am both embarrassed and empowered by speaking about I. But where else could I possibly justify doing this, than in this notoriously self-centred issue of ITCH Online. Like you, I want to be noticed and appreciated (sometimes). But more than this, I want to integrate into the structure of bits and binary code that make this space. As opposed to fill it up with me. That would be terribly dull. Instead, it is filled up with many moments of many different I's.

Six point six billion human beings on this earth, each with a unique individuality, a name, a set of experiences, hopes, dreams, disappointments and talents. Each with a private mental world. Each with particular narratives of hurt and anger, joy and gratitude. Each holding unsayable thoughts and deep whispers of the heart. Each with loves loved and unloved, with hopes hoped and stopped up. So many I's - so many of us, all together on this scrap of dust we call home - but also all, ultimately alone.

In this issue of ITCH you will get some glimpses into almost 70 of those 6.5 billion inner worlds, and their connections to so many others. Please, go explore!

Funny too, how our inner realities are related to outer materialities. I once read that the human animal has a physiological tunnel running through it from the mouth through the intestines to the other end (you are what you eat / excrete, etc.). Maybe our experience of life is a similar journey, as we travel through the core of something else, from outside through the inside and back out again. We enter this world and leave it under circumstances beyond our control.

Thinking of the self, its id and ego, seems to throw up questions of birth and death, of becoming, being and ending an I. This mystery of existence becomes so much more tangible when, away from the distractions of everyday life, of trying to be through work or play or talk or making a cup of tea, suddenly someone is born or dies. The sudden drama of a new I becoming, or an old I exiting stage left. Deep love and longing flare up those occasions - the knowing that we are all human, we are all connected, that we are mortal flesh and blood. We are nothing but weird little miracles called lives that are born and then die and do things inbetween.

Who am I? The words I might bring to bear to describe myself all seem to fall short of communicating anything - except an eliminating and frustrating sense of essence. I am more than the sum of my labels. But without those labels, I am no one, just a ghost of a personality floating through time. With them, I can be recognised while I am here. I am named therefore I am. I am seen therefore I am.

I is me. I is we. I is you and me and everything between us. I see myself reflected in your eyes. Thank you for looking.
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6 comments

  • Comment Link Takalani Lubengo Thursday, 28 October 2010 02:00 posted by Takalani Lubengo

    The "I", is a sea of constant movement, and through our own perceptions we exist of it. Never shall it cease for we are progressively moving to its understanding, only a small fragment of it is in existence...

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  • Comment Link onoedosio Saturday, 09 October 2010 02:00 posted by onoedosio

    the issue of the I is that of immortality (and consequently mortality).what shall I be remembered for?where shall I go after here?what happens to all I have done here?what happens to the "I's" that came through "I"?

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  • Comment Link gary waters Friday, 06 August 2010 02:00 posted by gary waters

    Oh, the I . All of us have a sense of "I" In the west we locate the "I" somewhere in our head, between our eyes. In other cultures its located somewhere in the heart. One thing is certain the more we search for the I the more illusive it seems to be. Who am I? My name, my job, husband, wife son, lover, tinker, tailor, soldier, thief ????? Why yes and no . Don't confuse identity with "I" Identity is the fortress built by the ego to protect, and if we look inside the fortress we find an empty courtyard. There's simply nothing there, nothing to protect. No "I" at all. It was all a hoax.

    Interesting Zen koan Who is it that is dragging this corpse around?

    Thank you for a beautiful topic.

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  • Comment Link Mehita Saturday, 17 July 2010 02:00 posted by Mehita

    Thank you both for your comments!

    Allan - I can't believe you don't find our existing themes (namely: /, *, $, ..., ?, and i) brief and simple? Precise, perhaps not. Point taken. But then I've always felt a theme should be provocative not prescriptive. An invitation to find and make connections rather than a drawing of clear lines in the sand?

    Either way, the inspiration from my keyboard will soon wear out, so new themes must be dreamed up! Suggestions most welcome.

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  • Comment Link Heidi Sincuba Friday, 16 July 2010 02:00 posted by Heidi Sincuba

    What a fascinating subject. The self is a topic which we can never hope to resolve because it is inconsistent and entirely biased. But who can resist it?
    Scrumptiously penned.

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  • Comment Link allan kolski horwitz Thursday, 15 July 2010 02:00 posted by allan kolski horwitz

    dear mehita, i enjoyed reading your philosophy - it combines features from many different disciplines - in most respects it embraces my own views and, i believe, those of many others influenced by the reflections and discoveries of our species over the past centuries and particularly the last two. i look forward to reading the contributions on the theme you have gathered from 70 others. however, in conceptualising a new theme, please try and be more precise, - let brevity/ and simplicity be your watchwords! all best , allan

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