We learn to identify ourselves with our idea of ourselves. We make that idea up of who we think we are and who we think others are. Therefore, we have a subjective feeling of a “self” which has a mind of an inwardly isolated subject to whom experiences involuntarily happen. The mind seeks emphasis on the concrete, while life experience points out that our precious “self” is just an idea, useful and legitimate enough if seen for what it is, but disastrous if identified with the “we” versus “them”, or, “I” versus “them” syndrome. A feeling of awkwardness arises when we are aware of conflict, or contrast between the idea of ourselves, on the one hand, and the immediate, concrete feeling of ourselves on the other.
When we are no longer identified with the idea of ourselves, the entire relationship between subject and object, knower and known, undergoes a sudden and revolutionary change. It becomes a real relationship, a mutuality in which the subject creates the object just as much as the object creates the subject. The knower no longer feels himself to be independent of the known; the experiencer no longer feels himself to stand apart from the experience. Therefore, the idea of getting something “out” of life, of seeking something “from” experiences becomes meaningless. It is clear that in concrete fact I have no other self than the totality of things of which I am aware.
We feel that our actions are voluntary when they follow a decision, and involuntary when they happen without a decision. But if the decision itself were voluntary, every decision would have to be preceded by a decision to decide. Some brain scientist says that the brain in fact does that based upon the past information it has on the object, but it does so at warp speed. In truth, we are not free to decide, because this rapid automatic brain action has already decided for us. We either feel that we are deciding everything that happens or, we feel that everything, including our decisions, is just happening spontaneously like a hiccup.
We must get rid of the subjective distinction between “me” and “my experience.” The individual, on the one hand, and the world, on the other, are simply the abstract limits of a concrete reality which is “between” them, as the concrete coin is “between” the abstract, Euclidean surfaces of its two sides. It is the reality of all inseparable opposites – life and death, good and evil, pleasure and pain, gain and loss. It is that in between for which we have no words.
No words. We have created time for our human convenience, but in the universe, there is neither time nor words. The idea of “me” makes it impossible to live freely both in the present and in the “promising” future when it arrives. There is never anything but the present, and if one cannot live there, one cannot live anywhere. The “me” does not like termination, in fact, fears it. Termination and change our reality. To create a dream of no change or a fictional continuance after termination partially satisfies the “me,” but it is not concrete. It is the predisposed warp speed of the brain seeking concrete immortality.
This is not a philosophy of not looking where one is going; it is a philosophy of not making where one is going so much more important than where one is that there will be no point in going. We begin life in a delusion with the pursuit of goals which do not really exist – the good without the bad, the gratification of a self which is no more than an idea, and the morrow which never comes. All of these things are the deception of time and symbols pretending to be realities and to seek after them is like walking into a wall when it looked like a passage.
To live in the present by reprograming the mind and bringing the Self into the focus of now is the path to peace and self –preservation.