The following is a both an entertaining and illuminating passage of self-discovery from Richard Hughe’s 1929 novel “High Wind in Jamaica.”

“And then an event did occur, to Emily, of considerable importance.  She suddenly realized who she was.

[…]  She had been playing houses in a nook right in the bows […], and tiring of it was walking rather aimlessly aft, thinking vaguely about some bees and a fairy queen, when it suddenly flashed into her mind that she was she

She stopped dead, and began looking over all of her person which came within the range of eyes.  She could not see much, except a fore-shortened view of the front of her frock, and her hands when she lifted them for inspection: but it was enough for her to form a rough idea of the little body that she suddenly realized to be hers.

She began to laugh, rather mockingly.  “Well!” she though,  in effect: “Fancy you, of all people, going and getting caught like this! – You can’t get  out of it now, not for a very long time: you’ll have to go through with being a child, and growing up, and getting old, before you’ll be quit of this mad prank!”

Determined to avoid any interruption of this highly important occasion, she began to climb the ratlines, on her way to her favorite perch on the mast-head.  Each time she moved an arm or a leg in this simple action, however, it struck her with fresh amusement to find them obeying her so readily.  Memory told her, of course, that they had always done so before: but before, she had never realized how surprising this was.

Once settled on her perch, she began examining the skin of her hands with the utmost care: for it was hers.  She slipped a shoulder out of the top of her frock, and having peeped in to make sure she really was continuous under her clothes, she shrugged it up to touch her cheek.   The contact of her face and the warm bare hollow of her shoulder gave her a comfortable thrill, as if it was the caress of some kind of friend.  But whether the feeling came to her through her cheek or her shoulder, which was the caresser and which was the caressed, that no analysis could tell her.

Once fully convinced of this astonishing fact […] she began seriously to reckon its implications.”

Step out of your mind for a few minutes (like Emily).  Discover this body of yours.  And then discover the discoverer.


Lotus Effect: Shedding Suffering & Rediscovering Your Essential Self