These are powerful moments when you seriously start to question the most basic assumptions of who you think you are. And very brave of Ronda to make this struggle public.
Honestly, I have no idea.
In examining this issue closely I wonder if the question itself is even valid. If I were to actually FEEL my own self, it would be implying a duality that negates the entire experience.
For example if I were to come to believe that it feels peaceful to be me, there are actually two things occurring. There is the peaceful feeling, and there is the noticing of that peaceful feeling. Which one is me? Now I could then move on and say that I am the noticer. But again there are two things happening. There is the noticing, and then there is the awareness of the noticer.So which one of those is me? On and on and on it goes.
Every experience requires a duality. In the quest for the true self our attention is always placed on the flavor of the experience. We want to EXPERIENCE our true selves. We want to somehow watch it from afar, see that it is beautiful, and then take solace in that beauty. We want that beauty to be eternal and never leave us. My spiritual journey is packed with attempts at searching for the perfect experience that is infinite and blissful.
But now knowing that no experience will ever show me my true self where does that leave me. It is pointless, or even insane, to keep searching for bliss, or joy, or peace. I know these only as different kinds of experiences. On the flip side it is also pointless to avoid those undesirable experiences such as fear, shame, and guilt. These must also be irrelevant and not indicative of WHO I am.
My true self is not something I can run toward or run away from. I can’t find it. I can’t avoid it. I can’t use words to describe it. It is not a song or a painting. It is not love or hate. It is not happiness or sadness. I am left with nothing but a blank space.
There is no next step. There is nothing to do to finally get it.
* I was about to write that I don’t need any time but i felt a huge panic attack sweep over me. On a deeper level I know this means I am on to something but the feeling is quite overwhelming. Like I am about to pass out at a moments notice and maybe not wake up again. Perhaps that is enough for one day 🙂
You say you can not find the truth, but who are you who can’t find it? The you who can not find it is not the true you. When this you is lost, you find you are the Truth you seek.
This is a wonderful documentary I came across on YouTube. A true hidden gem. Please check it out!
The real you is found within that truly original experience hidden in every moment.
Who Am I?
Who am I indeed. Who is it that could ask such a circular question? Better yet, who could ask it and not know the answer? What details about the “who” is the asker expecting to learn?
And don’t details sound an awful lot like content. Content being all that you are not as almost any rookie seeker may have read. The old saying “The devil is in the details” certainly takes on a whole new meaning.
It can only be the mind that asks for more information, more facts, and more guidance. Any ever-present, unchanging, observing self can have only a very limited interest in the question, who am I.
“I am that I am” as God said to Moses.
However, through this inquiry the seeker learns that the question itself has become another obstacle. Another quest of the mind on the journey to absolution. To continue to ask it is to remain trapped in your head.
Therefore the question must burn itself up. Forever it must remain unanswered, at least in the conventional sense. “Call Off The Search” as the title of Papaji’s documentary instructs.
It is better to keep quiet than for the mind to keep busy with questions. “Silence is the language of God” as Rumi famously said.
Is there anything about me that doesn’t come and go?
Every emotion, every thought, every image, every taste, and every sound. They all come into my perception, and then very quickly leave. I may add any habitual judgement to what I am perceiving, but that also comes and goes.
Perhaps it is the reactions to these perceptions that make up the self? But those also change. Your favorite music, preferred food, and taste in art may change dramatically throughout your entire life.
All of my perceptions only show me what changes. In order to perceive these changes I must be that which doesn’t change. For instance, in order to perceive the color white your natural state can’t be to see white. I can only be what is not perceivable.
I perceive things because they are different that I am. Anything that is me is rendered invisible (like the white paint on a white canvas). So in relation to all that is perceivable I do not exist. I am the eternal opposite.
Excuse me while my mind blows….
Perception is the birthplace of all conceptual knowledge. Therefor whomever I am must be known on another level. It must be felt without thought. Without imagination. It can have no content.
Nisargadatta says “The only fact you can be sure of is that you are”. So while I am nothing that can be perceived, I must be the space in which perception happens. I am aware that there is perceiving happening. When I identify as the perceiver, or the person, I suffer. When I am just aware of it, there is peace.
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