Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy-One

Who Am I?

Alexander M Zoltai


He was getting old…

His friends would tell him, “No, no Aziia, old is a state of mind, you’re still young!”.

But, he knew for a fact that his body was not young any more; still, he understood the state-of-mind argument—an issue that, for a few years now, had greatly troubled him…

He looked in his small mirror and said to the wrinkled face: “I’m just getting damned weary of myself… But, I can’t seem to let go and trust in something more grand than me and my life… And, dear Aziia, you just don’t look like you have much time left to straighten things out…”

On an intuitive urging, he went to his desk and searched for a certain piece of paper—eventually found it and considered the “to do” items he’d written down—nearly five years before:

* show compassion and goodwill

* render some service to humanity

* attempt to guide and counsel others

* be kind to everyone

* be humble

Some of those to-dos seemed rather grandiose; but, as goals, they certainly showed that Aziia was plagued with a desire to get rid of his all too familiar, judgmental, and fussy ego…

He wasn’t what some might call a rampant egoist; but, as he often reminded himself, it was becoming rather obvious that his vanity was holding him back from some “higher calling”…

He considered his to-do list again, chanted it like an agenda of affirmations, began to feel self-conscious, and went out for a mindless walk.

His stroll brought him, perhaps not so mindlessly, to his favorite café.

As he entered, he saw one of his treasured younger friends, a lecturer in philosophy at the local university.

“Hello, John!”

“Oh! Aziia, you seem so eager!”

“Uh… Well… My mind’s been hounding me and, in fact, you might be the best person to consult…”

“Shall I get you a cup of tea?”

“Oh, I’m not that old yet—I’ll be right back.”

After Aziia had returned, sat, and tended to his tea, John asked:

“So, the hounds in your mind…?”

“Oh… Yes… So, what’s your opinion of the ego?”

“Opinion? Hmm… I’m not sure it’s an opinion—more a considered premise.”

“And, this premise is?”

“The ego is the central focus of the physical concerns of the mind.”

“And, the central focus of the metaphysical concerns of the mind is?”

“The soul…”

Aziia finished off the tea in gulps and, as he stood and began walking back to the counter, said:

“Now, we’re getting somewhere…”


They’d conversed for about an hour when Aziia said:

“Now, I reveal the second part of my concerns—my age and my desire to attain what you indicated as “freedom from self”. I will ponder all you’ve said, John; but, my age beckons me to cease discussing and go home and rest. Can I book a longer appointment soon?”

John laughed and said: “As long as you want, next Saturday, around one-thirty?”



Aziia spent the next six days going over the points John had made—he’d taken many notes and worked hard to condense them into precepts or axioms:

* Being full of self leaves nearly no space for depth-learning.

* Without cooperation and mutual attitudes (altruistic purposes), there’s only limited and solitary development, like an animal or plant.

* What folks called evil or “the devil” is a power unleashed when the Truth of being human is falsified—when the ego smothers the soul.

* The ego doesn’t have to be killed; but, it must be fought if it tries to take the soul captive.

* A good practice for quelling an overactive ego is not broadcasting our sufferings or complaining about how we’ve been wronged—essentially, raising consciousness to the highest level and basking in the sunshine of the soul.

* Just as the earth attracts everything due to gravity and every object thrown up will come down; so also, materialistic ideas attract one to the center of the ego. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion, all of these suck you into the jail of egotism.

* A person trying to detach from one of the ego’s passions will fall, unconsciously, into the claws of another passion unless the consciousness learns some method of spiritualizing or raising the frequency of the desires—the love of self, like gravity, draws one right back to the materialistic cravings.

Aziia not only studied these new axioms, he correlated them with other concepts in the books of the ample library he’d accumulated during the many years of his life—years he was now more appreciative of…


When they met at the café again, Aziia began their consultation with:

“John, do you have a religion?”


“Hmm… Look over these statements I distilled from the notes of our last session.”

John took the paper and read what was titled Soul Axioms—looked up—cleared his throat, and said:

“This is what you got out of our talk?”


“Hmm… I see why you asked if I have a religion… Naturally, as a philosopher, I’ve studied all the religions—drawn parallels between their teachings—attempted to see their precepts being practiced… But, I’ve never noticed any large group of people who seriously applied those precepts; although, I’ve never done any rigorous searching for truly religious people… I have noticed, though, that most of the religious folks I’ve known are too eager, no matter the precepts they’ve happened to acquire, to redefine them according to what their ego demands, creating perverted and grotesque versions of priggish, stuffy devotion to their lower selves…”

“So, you’re anti-religious?”

“No, I just have a healthy antipathy toward religious pretenders…”

“Well, to get back to my Soul Axioms… Would you be willing to sponsor an elective course in Explorations of The Ego and let me facilitate it?”

“I’d love to; but, why would you want to conduct such a class?”

“You certainly know that teaching something is the best way to really learn it?”

“Yes, indeed I do…”

Well, even though I’m approaching Advanced Age, I need a crash course in… Well… Here.”

Aziia had reached into his pocket, pulled out his to-do list, and handed it to John.

John read it out loud:

To Do

“Show compassion and goodwill.
“Render some service to humanity.
“Attempt to guide and counsel others.
“Be kind to everyone.
“Be humble.”

Then, John said:

“Well, I must ask…  may I have permission to take your course?”

Their laughter echoed ’round the café…


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5 responses to “Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy-One

  1. dgkaye November 27, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Loved the message and the story Alex. :)

    Liked by 1 person

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