The Road To Becoming A Warrior Part 15
What is the real self and does that idea have any real meaning? When I was a kid my aunt found out that I had done something she did not approve of. She said to me: “That’s not you.” I hear people say this from time to time and it always baffles me.
My reaction was: Of course it was me. She assumed I had been influenced to do this thing she did not approve of, but that was not the case. I went in to it with open eyes. Of course I was influenced, but by my interest in the act, not because anyone had told me to do it and I just followed like a sheep.
What is the I? The one question a seeker often asks themselves and is often the source of their seeking n the first place is the question: “What am I?’
This is a question without a direct answer because there is no book and no sign on your body, no name written on your subconscious that tells you what you are. We can talk about behaviour and describe what we are. We can even use names like human or in some cases spirit or soul. But what is that?
To look at what we are we have to look at what we are made of. As far as we know we are just energy/mass in a specific configuration. The I is an emergent property of brain. A mix of many factors including as we have talked about a physical memory, biological needs, material senses which isolate us even farther. But what we are at our root is an awareness.
We are born with genetic predispositions which give a range of hard wired likes and dislikes. Within that range is some play. There is potential which is not actualized. As we grow up we are conditioned by the outside world, or teachers and parents and friends etc. Their influence actualizes some of our potentials and blocks others from becoming realized.
All our cells are replaced over our lifetime. All our atoms are replaced. The only thing that gives us a constant impression or illusion of I is memory. Without memory and without identity there is no I. There is just raw awareness. That’s what we are.
We are an awareness within a physical body which gives us hard wired conditioning and sets up an isolation which with memory creates a sense of self identity, which is then shaped by the outside world within the boundaries of what our genetic predisposition has given us as potential.
What all mystics are telling us to do, and what all meditation trains us for, is to find that awareness. To wake it up. But what they tell us to do is to shut down conscious thought to do it. Remove conditioning. Of course that cannot be done. As I have said we can only recondition ourselves never can we rid ourselves of conditioning.
But we can certainly remove conscious thought. Meditation allows us to come to a place of what I like to call non-thought. Others say no- thought. But I want to be clear about this distinction. No thought implies no thought at all. But non-thought implies a kind of thought that is not conscious thought but something else. And that is what I mean.
What is thought? A pure awareness has no thought and no feeling. For a long time now I have struggling with how to explain this, because it is the crux of the biscuit.
As I have said before, in my meditations I went too far. I went almost all the way to simple awareness. I lost all identity and ability to communicate. I felt no joy, no bliss. I felt nothing. I was just aware and may as well have been dead.
What the mystics want us to grab hold of is the instinctive. The raw feeling part of the human where the needs are felt and transmitted as feelings to the consciousness. The consciousness then has the duty to figure out what to do to resolve the feeling/need.
So all of this I is built upon the most fundamental rudimentary awareness that does not feel and does not think. Without considering a soul or spirit, where would this rudimentary awareness come from? We have nothing left to look at but the stuff we are made from. It is my contention then that energy is inherently aware, or has a potential awareness inherent in it.
Reaching this state of our mind is what I experienced and what U.G experienced and talked about as being a state where all is stripped away and nothing is left in its place. That is the true us. The source.
In a sense then I’m not postulating as most mystics are that there is a cosmic consciousness that we are part of and go back to or go to when we die. But there is a universal rudimentary awareness from which all life fashions its instinctive subconscious and conscious selves.
We don’t go back to it as we never left it.
If we call this source a rudimentary awareness without thought or feeling, what is instinct? Of course instinct is a manifestation of will. What is will? Will is a manifestation of genetic predisposition. That is what instinct is. That is why I needed that focused feeling of will in the pit of my stomach in order to accomplish states of just knowing without judging and of being in states of bliss or having out of body experience.
The goal of the master is to get us into the will or basic conditioning or the system. The inner workings. When we achieve states of enlightenment and self realization and see ourselves as part of the whole, we can still see ourselves as part of the whole. There is a kind of thought there. But it is instinctive understanding, not conscious thought. The instinctive understands. That is why when we enter a state of just knowing, it is not a state of knowing, it is a state of understanding.
The instinctive is educated through conscious deliberation. Bad habits have to be unlearned. And we have already talked about how to do that in the first few pages of this series. The entire package in whatever state it is in at any given moment is what we are. We are not one thing, we are a system of systems within a system of systems.
The unity we feel is the feeling of the rudimentary awareness of all. The subconscious gives us a window in to the machinery of the brain/mind. The consciousness deliberates on the input it gets and feeds it back in to the subconscious instinctive. There is no part that is illusion. The illusion is in thinking we are one solid unified being. An island. The I itself as that island is an illusion as the masters point out. But the system itself that we call I is no illusion.
There is a strange thing about many of the masters. That is in the way they handle death. Mooji is a Jamaican guru who lives in Ireland. He recounts his son’s death in an interview. It may come as a shock to some that he says he did not feel devastated by it, because he saw it as natural. A return to the all so to speak. The Toltecs talk about it in the same way. Death is not a devastating thing if you see it as a return to a cosmic consciousness or a soul going to heaven. Yet most people mourn. It is expected. It is considered cold and unfeeling if you don’t.
These people are trying to live in the awareness with an unshakable inner peace. This is what I would consider halfway between the awareness and the instinctive. They want to and have no doubt achieved a way to live in understanding instead of feeling.
The subconscious, while it does not think, it is where all the processing is going on. Where the understanding comes from. It is the place experience is processed. It determines how we will act.
They have dropped conscious thought but they have not and cannot have dropped the processing of the subconscious or they would not have the feeling of just understanding. They could have no understanding at all if they did.
Mooji said something very interesting which put in to words for me for the first time something I had been feeling for a very long time but had not brought to consciousness and put into words. He said forget attaining enlightenment. Forget about attaining self realization. There is nothing too strive for because you already live it.
Just as you do not go back to anything when you die because you never left it, you do not attain self realization because you already have it. It is there. You do not have to go anywhere to find it.
Mooji may mean something that I do not by these ideas. But to me they say it all. The journey is life. The magic of the world is not in altered states of mind. The magic of the world is the mundane day to day world.
The magic is the ability to reach out with your hands and manipulate matter/energy. To live as the best person you can be, at peace with yourself and living in the moment, aware. The whole package.
Yes, to get to being the best you can be as a whole package is a journey. But it is life’s journey. And there is nothing but life.
More by this Author
There is a big problem with some sayings that seem perfectly logical. Let’s look at this common example: There is an exception to every rule. Most people would just start thinking of all the rules they can recall...
The feminist movement has made a lot of inroads in the last century, but it is difficult to fight literally centuries of being considered inferior and even evil by men in society. It is even harder to fight the...
This essay is on the importance of venting a drainage system, the consequences of not doing so, and how to fix it.