The most fundamental question that you could ever ask in a lifetime is…
“Who am I?”
Most of the world would tell you about who they are based on their past experiences and acquired knowledge…
They will say…
“Well, my name is such and such….”
“These are some things that happened in my past and how it affected me….”
“These are the things I strive for….”
“This is what I like and don’t like….”
“These are the things I own….”
They could go on for days, weeks, and months and tell about who they are via knowledge.
Well, who you are in the absolute sense, is none of those things because they are all created based on thought.
Until you find out who “I” is, you won’t ever truly be fulfilled, content, and free from within.
The most vital aspect of awareness to find out who you are is by disidentifying who you are with the mind, and all the thinking created from it.
“Well, how could that be?”, the mind says.
Have you ever paid attention to what you were thinking?
Who was it that was paying attention to the thought itself?
Was it the thought paying attention to the thinking?
The answer is “no”.
Thought cannot be aware of thought.
That would be like eyes trying to see themselves or the ears trying to hear themselves…
So, if thought cannot be aware of thought, then this must mean there is something outside of thought, which means who you are cannot be the mind.
If you are not your mind, then who are you?
Firstly, don’t try to understand what these words are pointing to, the mind will not be able to fully understand.
Eckhart Tolle explains this eloquently when he says….
“’Water? What do you mean by that? I don’t understand it.’ This is what a fish would say if it had a human mind.”
A fish has no clue what water is, and yet, its very survival relies on it.
The present moment is not something that you can grasp, yet it is the very source of all life.
The reason that you cannot be aware that you are thinking if you’re identified with the mind is that there must be a space between the thoughts themselve, but you will barely notice that space if you’re trapped in thought.
Consider what space is and why it is. Space itself is here so that objects can exist.
Without space, there could be no objects. If there was no space between your thoughts, then you would have no idea that you’re thinking.
It would be like when you are dreaming during sleep, but never waking up from your dream and not even realizing that you are dreaming.
In this case it would be called the dream of thought.
Disidentifying who you are with the mind/thought is what allows you to be aware of the present moment.
It is only right now that you can find out who you are.
You cannot look backward, and you cannot look forward to know your true self.
This picture perfectly illustrates how we understand time with the mind.
It thinks in terms of what has happened (past), what is happening now, and what will happen. (future)
This representation of time was created by humans through pattern recognition throughout history, so that we can plan and prepare seasons (summer, winter, fall, and spring) for survival.
Time being created was and is perfectly necessary for our survival; without it, humans would go extinct.
However, you are more than just a human.
You are a human being.
Because time was created, humans have taken it to be based on absolute reality, and that has cut us off from knowing who we are as the absolute.
The reason that time is not based on absolute reality is that the present moment is the only pure reality, and that presence does not actually exist as a part of time.
Remember that thought cannot witness thought and that it is the gap or space between thoughts that allows for there to be thoughts, for you to be aware of those thoughts.
When you are aware of that space between those thoughts, is present moment awareness.
That space is the feeling aware presence or the inner body sensation I am here, being that mind can only comprehend time linearly.
“Mind and time are inseparable.” – Eckhart Tolle
This means that the mind can’t comprehend the space between the thoughts or the feeling aware presence; it must be felt on an energetic level throughout the body.
The observing presence who sees the thinker is what allows you to be free of the illusions that reality is based in the past or in the future.
The word free is used here because most are trapped inside a mind-based reality that can only interpret past and future.
Being that the very source of unconsciousness is mind identification, you won’t know you are identified with it because you cannot see an illusion, you can only see through it.
Unconsciousness, as used here, does not imply that we are absolutely comatose, it’s actually speaking of the complete lack of awareness of the formless dimension, or thus, timeless dimension.
It is the dimension that cannot be comprehended, or as Tao Te Ching puts it….
“The Tao that can be named cannot be the eternal Tao.” – Lao Tzu
Just as the physical world or form of the world that can be grasped is not the dimension that…
“Eternal life.” — John 3:36
…wants to know itself.
There has been a fundamental error in the English language that has most of the planet completely identified with the mind and what it says.
Until you know with complete certainty that you are not anything that comes and goes when you say the words “I am” and follow it up with anything, your identity has merged with whatever it is you say following it.
“I am angry.”
How does the old joke go “Hi Angry. I’m Matthew” …. (We will use my name, for point’s sake)
If I were to joke about this and completely identify who I am with “Matthew,” the joke would also be on me.
‘Me’ is a necessary illusory image we utilize in this world of form to distinguish from one another.
The mind and all its labels are necessary in terms of utilizing the world.
However, the moment they are taken to be who you are in the absolute sense is the moment the irritation and lack begin.
So, what about my present moment situation?
There is no such thing as your present moment situation.
Everything that is happening that appears to be in the present moment is happening on the level of the mind, which is filtered through the lens of the past.
Everything you interpret that you learned in the past was through the present moment.
You see someone riding a bike, the reason you know this?
You were taught what someone is, what a bike is, and what it means to be riding a bike.
Taught is past tense, what you are actually seeing is not the present moment but a past interpretation of the present.
This past interpretation, of course, is happening in the present, but not the conscious presence, in which nothing is happening, because no-thing is.
In fact, the eyes, which are perception-based phenomena that are distorted through form, cannot actually see the present moment.
So, when people say “Accept the way things are”, what you are really accepting is the way you are interpreting the way things are.
Again, interpreting the present moment through its natural processing is necessary while we have a human mind.
The present moment as it exists, we can know from beyond the mind and can be felt as direct evidence throughout the body.
There is only one way to accept the present moment, and that is to simply be aware of it, not through the thoughts about it, but through the absence of the thoughts about it.
When you feel this completely, you will realize you are not even a “who”.
Who implies that you are a subject, open for research, investigation, and inquiry.
The search ends now.
You are also not a “what.”
What implies object, or thingness, which is a classification of the mind.
The search for what is presence ends now.
Don’t even try to be present.
Let the present moment be…..
The disidentification of mind allows for the body awareness of “I am here”, to be here and fulfilled as that.
I really loved this article. Interesting but yet unable to fully grasp it.
Hi, don’t try to understand it with thought. See if there is something that is observes the thought…