Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Who Is This "I"?
Scientists estimate that, on average, people think about 60,000 thoughts per day. Many of those thoughts begin with the word “I.”
I am a teacher, a poet, a bank president, a slut. I am going to the store, to the doctor, to school, to rob a bank. I need money, I’m hungry, I must have these shoes. I feel good, I feel bad. I hate him, I love her, but I lust after her. I want to quit my job. I am afraid.
Quite a busy beaver, this “I.”
If we can stop, calm our minds, and Have a Moment, we might begin to wonder who the “I” really is. Who is the “I” that wants this dress? Who is the “I” that worries? Who is the “I” that helps these sick people, and gives all this money to charity? Who is the “I” that sleeps around, and takes drugs, and continually does these self-destructive things?
Most of us realize that we are not our bodies. A growing number of us also know that we are not our feelings, and we are not our thoughts. We aren’t the knowledge we’ve accumulated, or the roles we play. If we are none of these things, then who are we? Or more to the point, who is the “I”?
In Hindu tradition, there is an idea called Maya. Maya is illusion, and specifically, the illusion that there is any difference between “I” and god, or GOD, or Unity, or the Universe. In fact, there is no “I.” There is no separation between us and the creative force of the Universe. We are GOD, experiencing Itself, watching, tasting, loving, wondering in awe at Itself. That’s all we are. Everything.
When we forget this, that’s where the suffering comes from. But that’s also where the fun begins. The curse of being human is the pain of separation. It is also the gift we are given – the gift of feeling this world fully.
GOD wants us to wade into this world without any trepidation or self-consciousness. GOD is infinitely replicating Itself into infinite form because GOD wants to feel it all – the pain of cancer, the joy of sex, love, motherhood, fatherhood, taking a shit, fear, awe, ennui, falling, dying, being born – GOD wants to feel it all and not miss a beat, to suck it all up.
The great suck GOD is not merely watching over or simply listening. GOD is experiencing this world directly though us. We are beings of light and feeling machines for GOD.
And that’s who the “I” is. No more or less than GOD.
That’s who you are.