Teen and Transcendence


What is it with the young that makes them delicate?

I teach high- school students, human beings we call teen-agers. Some are raw, others tender. But all are as fragile as china. Everytime I rub shoulders with them, I would often wonder what might be behind their boisterous laughter, rambunctious energy and outlandish clothes. Then I would find the answers in my teen past.

I used to be an insecure, sensitive young soul. I cried often. In brawl, over books, and even in stage shows (of course, as play-acting). I used to be a maudlin lot. I laughed big too. I still do with less tears in my 44th year in life. But behind what was obvious with me was a soul, old and dilapidated, a spirit lost and transcendent. A young man whose childhood mind were filled with thoughts of death and things beyond.

What made me the kind of teen that I was?

Are the teens of today also think of transcendental things? Some cry easily, others laugh at even small things. Most of them love books, sketch well and go to Facebook. But do they also think of things beyond? Things like death? It is such a morbid thought to be had for a person much more for a youthful one, brimming with exuberant energy, full of hope and seem eternal.

As a child, I used to assuage my worry of ceasing to exist by thinking that I would continue to live in another consciousness or human being. As a teen-ager, I was sentimental over the man crucified for the sins of the world. I owe my religiosity or my spiritualness to this early transcendental awareness.

Are the young today especially those I teach also have this awareness? Do they also worry about ceasing to exist? Do they think of being conscious in another human being?

Everytime I brush elbows with them, I would observe that the youth of today seem to have a peculiar happiness and angst and different ways of dealing with things that concern them.

I believe that there is a universal thread that binds young people. This thread is what carries them over to what I thought of as “ceasing to exist” and finding “consciousness in another”. Whether this is the process of learning, of aging, or of dying, or the realm of death, I do not know. What I know is that teen-agers have unique defenses and fears much like my own and my peers in the late 80’s.

In the interim, the young has so much to go through, to learn, to feel, to write, to read, to achieve, to cherish.

Just like what I went through and learned.

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