The "self" we ordinarily experience is a movement
of mind that reflects on itself and the world. It appears as
a virtual thought-factory that carries an emotional attachment
to its own beliefs, judgments, feelings, memories, strivings,
struggles, and commentary on just about everything. The one
thought that all the other ones depend on is the I-thought,
which partakes of consciousness, but also carries
identification as a separate and often fearfully conditioned
body/mind. Most people go through life without ever
questioning their view of the self. And yet, if we are moved
to find out, our very sense of "I am" is an entry point beyond
who and what we have imagined ourselves to be.
awaken is to step out of the world of time, swirling thought,
and separation—if even for a moment--and realize our eternal,
timeless nature that is one with the whole of life. As this
realization deepens, we come to see that the mystery of our
essential being is dynamically manifesting as everything every
moment. If we inquire with our heart who or what the "I"
really is, we may be drawn so deeply into the silent Mystery
that we discover Nothing. No self, no world, no other, nothing
definable, nothing the mind can know or understand. Now
what? It may seem easy at this point to say, or even
experience that "I am everything," and "I am nothing." But so
often these realizations become conceptual hiding places for
what remains of the spiritual ego.
What is it like
to actually live in the now-moment, without separation,
without identification with our thoughts, without worry about
the future, without attempting to manipulate, own or disown
experience? Here truth beckons us to move beyond everything
we think we "know" about self/no-self, relative/absolute,
Oneness/Nothingness. What is left when all the definitions
and identifications drop away, including the "spiritual"
ones? Are you moved to find out?
© Dorothy Hunt
Photo courtesy of Nina Cherington
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