‘me’ is a mystery
to myself and to the world
of teeming memies
it morphs on-demand
to become … whatever is
it’s a shape-shifter
expert nanodrama artist
in cunning disguise
but no such mystery
shrouds the changeless One called ‘I’
right here, always ON
Creation’s unblinking eye
I was still very young when Granny taught me this little ditty:
sticks and stones
can break my bones
but words can never hurt me!
I hurled that little incantation at many a playground bully, oblivious to its profound truth.
Decades later I found out for myself that whatever ‘I’ is, it can’t be touched, let alone hurt, by words or anything else: no weapon, thought or circumstance has any power over ‘I’.
How could ‘I’ – a ‘something’ that isn’t an object of any kind – ever be a target?
What kind of weapon could ever affect a not-thing that has no particular place in time and space?
You want the ultimate refuge?
Break the bungee cord and free-fall into your very own ‘I’.
It’s nowhere near as scary as you might think.
Several highly respected books on ‘awakening’ advise that once the impossibility of a separate self-entity has been irrefutably seen, ‘identification’ needs to shift from that illusory person to the ‘watcher’ or ‘witness’, and that further along the path, this witness will dissolve into pure primordial Awareness – which is what One truly is.
I find this quite illogical. I just don’t get it, never did; I missed this step, totally.
Having met the impossibility of ‘my’ separate existence, the impossibility of an independent object called by my name here, there or anywhere, past present or future, just who would this person with ability to identify with anything BE?
Who could become the ‘watcher’ or ‘witness’ – or for that matter, emptiness?
Identification was suddenly as obsolete as the old ‘me’ and it took off – taking self and no-self with it – when it was clearly seen that wild wideawakeness is the only player in this game, and that that wideawakeness – aka natural, naked aware-ing – is none other than ‘I’.
The ‘I’ casts off the illusion of ‘I’
and yet remains as ‘I’,
such is the paradox of Self-realization.
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
Is Advaita* philosophy fatalistic? Escapist? Depressing? Negative?
Perhaps, if you’re asking from the perspective of an assumed independent entity, one who claims personal responsibility and purpose and is driven by either the carrot dangling from the stick in front, or the pressure of the ‘thou shalts’ from the rear. Perhaps, if you believe in goodness and evil, right and wrong, and that it’s ‘you’ that exercises the power to choose between them.
Perhaps not, if you’ve looked deeply and discovered that the independent person you took yourself to be is (gulp) a construction built up from thoughtstuff. Perhaps not, if, having profoundly understood this, you see that beliefs aren’t something you have but what the imaginary person is.
In the world of appearances, it always depends on where you’re looking from.
Looking from the absolute impossibility of independent person-hood, to whom could it matter? Looking from the relative reality of a daily life however – the one we apparently inhabit – it matters all right. Damn right it matters.
But there’s something about the weird knowing (weird in that there’s no knower) that ‘I’ is the ball of thoughts bouncing back and forth in an infinite rally creating the illusion of separation, as well as their very source, that bestows the freedom to be fully and fantastically human.
This is life’s ultimate brain-numbing and head-shaking paradox.
*Advaita = not two. Actually, not even one. Indivisible thusness.
Earth’s summer breath embraces the coolness of the pre-dawn atmosphere and for an hour or so reveals itself as soft mistiness. Through the big trees camellia blooms are showing pinkly; there’s a tree covered in huge scarlet trumpets and another clothed in a purple so intense it could explode:
I sees but does not watch
I hears but does not listen
I feels but does not touch
I tastes but does not eat
I smells but does not inhale
I is freedom without the ‘from’
I perceives but doesn’t conceptualize
I has never been born and can never die
I is the still, silent, ubiquitous point at the centre of the spinning world
I has never believed one single belief nor thought one thought nor made one choice
I is amoral, innocent, unconditioned intelligence which has nothing to do with intellect
I is joy without cause
I is love without object
I is what one is
and what all sentient beings are
(as the perfect purple of a Jacaranda bloom)
There were dreams last night. They involved intense activity and the emotional involvement was amazing. This is curious, for in the dream state called ‘daily life’ there is, for the most part, quiet emotional equanimity.
But clearly emotional reflexes are still intact and available in the brain, and there’s an ego construct that can ‘feel’ them to be real, even while the watching ‘I’ – the Knowingness of the dream – does nothing but be and see.
The impossibility of the separate existence of an entity that can own and suffer emotions penetrates even the night-time dream.
Wondering wonders if there will come a time when night-time dreams will disappear completely.
Strange, but ‘I’ doesn’t give a toss one way or the other. Night-time dreams and the infinite versions of the daytime dream are all the same to this changeless ‘I’.