Not too long ago, Lukas Graham’s song “Once I was 7 years old” was everywhere on the radio. It seemed like you almost couldn’t get rid of it. Who knew 7 was such a significant age.
Yesterday listening to a speech by my Murshid (Spiritual Teacher) Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi , The Roohani Digest fame, I took his advice and meditated upon the time when I was 7 years old. The idea was to get in touch with your pure untainted self, the way you were sent upon this earth with no pollution caused by the collective human consciousness. It is believed that the human mind applies filters and tries to use reasoning after the age of 6.
Luckily the Murshid picked a good age because this meditation brought back all the wonderful memories of that time. I found myself thriving, pulsating with joy, and having not just metaphorically but literally the time of my life. Pick an older age and I might have given you a long list of complaints as to how life deceived me, how people were cruel to me etc. etc. But I guess Murphy’s Law didn’t apply this time and instead of worst possible scenario a good one was picked. It’s not like my life went downhill after that it’s just that 7 year old me was a particularly excited bundle of joy me, an apple of everyone’s eye me, a carefree, and untainted me. The meditation reminded me of being the darling, cherished child almost given the status of celebrity. When I was 6 my Dad decided to accept a job offer in Beijing, China. “Leo Soy” meaning “6 years old” in Chinese, became my nick name. Around that time I have memories of flocking to all the wonderful places in Beijing specially the Great Wall of China. Little later glimpses of being shown off to the family social circles as the whiz-kid having completed the entire Quran, and then receiving more gifts upon fasting the first Roza in Ramzan flash in. Then another vivid memory is of making a speech about Pakistan Independence Day in 1st grade which my dearest cousin, Baji Jaan wrote for me. We all lived in a big joint family and oblivious or immune to the adult household politics, we children totally thrived and bonded. Living in the then downtown and heart of the city “Sadar” among a vibrant and diverse community meant a very city life, full of daily street adventures which I enjoyed to the fullest and still call myself a city girl.
Now getting back in touch with the 7 year old me, a sense of calm, happiness, strength and the couldn’t careless attitude prevails over me. Perhaps that’s why they say to keep your inner child alive. I don’t know how long I will be able to maintain the calm but it makes me wonder if we were better off knowing less. Does this whole exercise mean that we were inherently created as blissful souls? We were meant to be happy go lucky, going with the flow, not holding grudges, furiously fighting and patching up in minutes like children do. Then somewhere along the line, all that parenting, the game of expectations, umpteen years of schooling, moral philosophizing, religious Mullahizing corrupted us, turned us into the unhappy, unworthy souls that we all have become as adults or even as teenagers. The least I can do with this awareness now is to let my children be. Let them live without inflicting them with my parenting. But will I really do that ….Ah the vicious cycle!
My first ever poem “Khud Aagahi” seeks and begs for a less aware life because “Aagahi” or awareness on the flip side can totally be an agony. Yes ignorance indeed is a blessing. Given a choice I would chose to be ignorant and blissfully oblivious, back to being 7 year old again. Can we make a conscious effort to keep that young and untainted spirit alive.
What’s your take on it? Meditate upon the time when you were 7. Close your eyes, invoke, and relive the 7 year old you and see what he/she says.