Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Looked for My Self

Often when we hear the masters speak about emptiness, stillness, awareness, pure space, openness, etc. our minds can create a copy of it, a concept….
Bentinho Massaro, Insights into Awareness- a collection of articles

I wrote what follows a few weeks ago. By the end of it I was so disgusted I never posted.
Now I realize it was kind of a nice letting go, a nice STOP.
I gave up trying to see that an “I” does not ultimately exist.
Giving up proved to be a nice stepping stone.
So, let me post that old inquiry now. Failure is good and it went like this:

The Looking
A friend keeps urging me to “just look and see.”
I’ve been meaning to ask exactly what she means by those words, realizing you must be pretty knot headed if you’ve reached the point of needing “look” and “see” explained.
Dick and Jane could do it.
Spot, the dog, could probably even do it.

And, it’s not as if I haven’t tried.
It’s just that is hasn’t led to any huge revelation.
Recently, I copied her instructions down leaving room for me to try and “Look & See” at each step of her description. Below her words are in bold.

i looked for my self, within the direct experience of the present moment.

OK, Present Moment.
Who’s sitting here? Body, mind, thoughts, fingers – none of that is me.
That’s the vehicle I drive.

I am what is here all along, all along, birth to death.
I am who feels the typing, the wind, the anxiety…
“What” is far more accurate. That is obvious.
“What am I?”

There is a gap, a huge, huge gap, between me and everything else.
I am on one side. All That is on the other.

The gap seems to warrant attention, more so than the now ancillary “me”
It’s as if the banks of the river (me and that other) are not the essence of the river (the gap).
The banks are not what you really need to notice, not when the River seems more real and water is the river’s essence.

And the Gap?
What is the Gap?
The gap is nothing, yet the word is totally misleading.
This nothing almost pulsates with so many unspeakable qualities.

The gap is what holds everything: both “me” and All That Other.
I never really noticed that!

Attending to the gap is like dropping water on a dry sponge.
Instantly there is expansion, twisting, a spreading out in all dimensions.
The Gap is all pervading.
The Gap comes out my eyes, except it’s no longer shaped liked Gap.

In some Klein Bottle twist of Nothing - Gap is Everything:
“I” as individual am Gap.
“All That” out there is Gap solidified.
Gap is Nothingness become alive.

Maharishi told us once, “Never try to bridge the Gap.”
Now, I think you have to fall into It.
Let It swallow you.

And still, I am a “me.”
‘Cause I drive around inside this body, mind, thoughts, feelings.
A “Me” walks through this oceanic Gapness, curled back upon and through itself becoming something out of nothing, just as much Me as the sparrow over there.

… Or, maybe I’ve read too many books and all I’ve come to is a concept, not direct experience.

i looked for the looker.

And I found the “non-orientable” Klein Bottle of Creation
which is the Looker (me) and the Looking.

But see, this is what my friend said:
and what was found?
there's nothing there. it isn't A nothing, that is somehow experienced.
it is instead that there is no findable me.
everything else is right here.

I’m not sure that it matters.
But, I do like the picture of the Klein Bottle that I labeled.


rjh said...

After reading this post, I randomly read this quote, in a different part of the internet. It seems somewhat relevant:

"The problem with talk of illusion, I think, is that most people contrast illusory with real, so to say the self is an illusion is to imply it is not real. But it is. There is an ego trick, but it is not that the self doesn't exist, only that it is not what we generally assume it to be...... the self is like a cloud that not only looks like a single object from the outside, but feels like one from the inside too. Knowing the truth doesn't change the way it either looks or feels, and nor does it conjure it out of existence. It simply makes us recognise that, at root, each of us is an ever-changing flux, not a never-changing core. The solidity of self is an illusion, the self itself is not. The ego trick is not to persuade us that we exist when we do not, but to make us believe we are more substantial and enduring than we really are. There may be an illusion as to WHAT we really are, but not THAT we really are."

-Julian Baggini, The Ego Trick

Pat Bralley said...

That's nice.
And from a new (to me) voice - and that is always nice too.
Actually, from the perspective of today, I think I was "seeing" awareness... fairly innocently and fairly non-conceptually. But the frustration was actually good because it led to deeper inquiry... which I want to get around to mentioning - when this illusory thing I call "a job" let's up a bit.

Thanks for sending the comment. And thanks for the "urging"!! :)

rjh said...

i'm sorry, i'm using a different account i guess, but this is becky, so not a new voice. :)

i like this part of the quote particularly: 'recognize that, at root, each of us is an ever-changing flux'.

take care, and i look forward to hearing more about deeper inquiry.

Pat Bralley said...

I wasn't confused. I was referring to the quote by Baggini - he's new (to me).
You now are awell recognized trouble maker. :0

rjh said...

how clearly our exchange illuminates for me the never-knowingness of what is. hee hee!

Pat Bralley said...

I rejoice in one moment of NOT being the confused one... or so it seemed. ha,haaaaa.

And OH! I just looked up Baggini.
Found him talking about how science co-opted study of the Self and it is mere hubris. You need philosophy. I believe him... but too, I remember when my brother wanted to study consciousness in neuroscience and the phrase was, "You cannot ask the question."
Scientists would say that.
It's a good example of the need for a middle path. ... but, we weren't talking about the middle path. Were we? Ha... ha! Back to not knowing aka confusion is one is mean spirited.
Ok... hang up the line, Patty. ;)