I have a new life now. I am married again and I live in a lovely house in the mountains in rural Southern Spain. I have a new peace and passion in my life. My previous life lies far behind me, not forgotten but left behind. In a sense I have started again with new knowledge about life, especially my life. I love my life. I get up every morning with energy for the day ahead. Although there has been much in my life that might have been different, I have no regrets. My experience to date has been crucial in forming who I am now.
My life has changed, not the continual change that is always there—the arrow of time—but a dramatic shift that recognises the true me. This has been coming at me as a raging bull, something I can no longer ignore. In order to embrace it I need to acknowledge who I have been, who I am and who I am becoming.
I am Sat Purusha.
As you will have realised by now, in my life I have been a seeker. As a teenager I sought a spiritual answer to an unknown question. I tried to understand where to look for the answer. What did I want? Why was I even looking? In the different approaches I tried, from Christianity to Yoga, I found many ideas to pursue, but no solutions.
Ten years ago my life went through a personal, emotional and spiritual upheaval that is still resonating through me. At the time I wrote about, and shared my life with others.
I want to be comfortable with myself, to cease feeling separate, to experience being part of Spirit. The Spirit that originates and ends life. As I sought understanding, I was restless. Conclusions came, but they never convinced me they were the answer. Santiago, in ‘The Alchemist’, came back from his journey to find his answer at the beginning. I sought an answer to find it inside me. It is inside and it is time to use it.
The realisation that the answer was inside became important in the years that followed.
While the light is within, inspiration comes from connection with Spirit. Through inspiration I understand the world and my journey in it. By allowing inspiration to flow through me, I change my perceptions, my view of the world and, hence, the world itself.”
I have taken the next step in this journey. It is time to move forward and embrace my true self, time to awaken the potential within my consciousness. I will spend my life in a peaceful, love-inspired, simple, spiritual way. I have died to my old lifestyle, habits and associations and taken on a new lifestyle and new qualities. To achieve this I have assumed a new name. This is a rebirth, a new life. It will propel me towards the realisation of my fullest potential.
For some time, Purusha has attracted me as a spiritual name that expresses who I am inside and what I am becoming. It is a male, Sanskrit name that has a special energy to it. At its core is the spiritual energy of a man. This spiritual heart of my life is growing and moving me away from my old connections. As a result I am growing in my masculine power, a power rooted in compassion and spirituality.
I have adopted the name ‘Sat Purusha’ so my name has changed from Graham Reid Phoenix to Sat Purusha Phoenix. In common use I am Purusha. For me, adopting this name heralded an enormous shift, but the people who know me and my growth will celebrate with me the growth into my true self.
‘Sat’, in Sanskrit, means ‘true’ or ‘being’. It refers to ‘the true essence’ and ‘what is unchangeable’. In ancient Indian literature it implies good, true, being, happening, real, existing, enduring, lasting or essential. The idea is expressed in a mantra found in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upanishad,
Lead me from delusion to truth; from darkness to light; from mortality to immortality.
‘Purusha’ meant ‘Cosmic Man’, or ‘Spiritual Man’. It evolved into an abstract idea of ‘Self’ or ‘Spirit’ where Purusha connects everything and everyone. In Hindu thought are two realities whose interaction accounts for our experiences and the universe. They are ‘Prakrti’ (matter) and ‘Purusha’ (spirit).
Splendid and without a bodily form is this Purusha, without and within, unborn, without life breath and without mind. Life, breath, and mind come from him. Purusha is the soul of every being.”
The goal of Yoga, in the ‘Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’, is to see Purusha as our true self, embracing our spiritual energy. Hence, Yoga is a path of self-realisation in a deeper spiritual sense. It is not knowing oneself as a human, but realising that the entire universe is within our own mind and heart.
The ‘Cosmic Man’ (Purusha) is the past and the future. The Moon created his mind, from his eye came the Sun and from his mouth arose the powers of fire and lightning. The wind created his breath, from his navel came the atmosphere, from his head, Heaven, from his feet the Earth and from his ears, the directions of space. Thus, they formed the world.”
Purusha is man and woman and is masculine and feminine. In Yoga the principle of Purusha is not an abstract reality because it is the fire within our hearts that is the light of the entire universe. As a result to practice Yoga is to understand this being of light. The human soul is this light, it resides in the heart. It gives people their individuality, vitality and creativity. True humanity is found in the light in the soul and it can see Oneness in everything.
My life has been about Light. My career has been in Light—the physical light we all live by and that creates existence. My life has been in Light—the spiritual light we can live by and that is the source of existence. It has long been my aim to bring these two forms of light together. I now see that in my life I am doing that. As Purusha this will continue.
I am a writer who uses his life to find new ideas about, and approaches to, life. I do this for myself and for anyone who cares to read what I write. As a writer I find a continuation of the creativity I have always embraced. As a writer I continue to bare my soul in the way I have done for many years. This feels like part of my Dharma, my purpose, my soul.
I am an explorer who ventures into the far reaches of my mind and soul to trace a journey that I was always meant to take. As an explorer I hack my way through the rubbish that has clogged up much of my life to find the path that will lead to the one clear diamond that is ‘the truth’ of my life.
I am a teacher who has the arrogance to think that his life can be a lesson for others. As a teacher I expose myself and let others take it as they will. As a teacher I seek the pupil who will travel way beyond me and find the answers that I was not able to discover.
I am an inspiration to myself and, maybe, others. I lead from the light to the light. To inspire I feign humility to avoid the arrogance of thinking my life can be a lesson for others. I live my life, talk about my life, and leave the rest to Spirit to work through me.
I am who ever I want to be because i now live in freedom. I need nothing and I seek nothing. I just am myself in whatever disguise suits me, not others.
I am on my own and I am part of others. In my solitude I live with others and welcome them into my life. They do not make me or complete me. They are who they are and they welcome me into their lives. I am never on my own and I love being with myself. In my writing I can soar into what ever sky feels good to me without leaving the ground.
Do you want to be part of creating a kinder, more inclusive society?
Join like-minded individuals in The Good Men Project Community.
—Photo Credit: Flickr/Arun P