The Eye of the Paradox
I grew up in two worlds: Portuguese and American. I never felt completely at home in either world. I did not speak a single word of English until I hit the first grade. At home I spoke only Portuguese and at school I heard only English. The feeling and thought patterns of my two worlds became locked up in separate language systems.

I was highly uncomfortable when my parents came to the school, because I did not want my friends to see me with these two people who spoke hardly any English. On the other hand, if one of my American friends came over to spend time in my "home" my mother was most uncomfortable with their presence. Eventually, my friends never came to my home and I was not allowed to go visit my friends. School became the middle ground and battle ground for these two worlds. I wanted to be All-American but could not be with a name like Americo Azevedo. I grew to dislike my name but I was my name after all. Years after I left home that I dropped the "o" from my first name.

Now, in my middle 40's, I am beginning to accept my cultural and ethnic origins. These language and sound patterns, I now find, contain some of the keys to understanding my way of being in the world. This helped heal my inner split by accepting the Portuguese aspect of myself in an American culture and language.

We are all split into many worlds. We may be driven to the transcendental, while at the same time wanting to be involved in worldly life. Many of us want to be free of possessions, while desiring a beautiful car or house. Most everyone has some of the "grass in greener on the other side" syndrome.

For me the question of "where is home" is deeply important. It seems that I have always had "two homes". After spending a while in "either" home I start to get the feeling that I must go to the "other" home. At home with my parents I wanted to be in school. At home in school, I wanted to be at home with my parents. This was the restless quality of my growing up in two worlds, two homes.

At the moment of birth, the separation from mother's womb, we lose the most secure feeling home. From then on it is pure change -- especially in modern times. All human beings eventually come home -- either by physical death or by becoming enlightened or fulfilled while alive. Between birth and death/enlightenment there is a long search punctuated by periods of escapism.

There is an "om" in "home". In Sanskrit, this word "Om" is the sacred seed syllable from which all creation comes. It is the primal sound. In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was made flesh. God is the true self of the Universe. It is said that God is everywhere. "Om" is sometimes translated by the word "God". The feeling of "finding God" is much like the feeling of "being home at last."

But, again, where is home? Being truly home is being centered in one's real self. Perhaps, that is why there is an OM in home! Home is our very own deepest center. If we do not enter this center when we are so called "at home", we then go out seeking home because we are restless, i.e., without rest. Home is where we rest. So many modern people today feel alone and uncentered in their apartments and houses simply because they have failed to attain self- realization.

Home is where the heart is. Now, to find the heart!

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