“I love myself”
When you say that, are you one person or are you two? Because it implies two. One is the lover and the other is the loved. So are you “I”, the subject that loves. Or are you “myself”, the object that is loved.
The purpose of asking you this is not to confuse you. But to bring to your awareness that what you think yourself to be, is not who you really are. Your notion of being a separate individual with a past history and a hopeful future, is an imagination of your mind. Since 8 billion people on the planet suffer from the same delusion, we consider it normal.
If you really existed then this ‘you’ would exist all throughout your life. However that is not the case. Where does this ‘you’ go when you fall asleep? If you were to write your autobiography would you include your dreams and sleep time, as they are very much part of your daily life. Or would you just mention the parts where you were awake?
Where is this ‘you’ when you are engaged in a creative activity that you lose the sense of time and space. It may be dance, painting, singing or sports. When you become so involved with what you are doing, it seems as though it is happening on its own and not a ‘you’ doing it. Just as it feels for me now, as I write this article. It’s as though the article is writing itself.
This thing that you call ‘you’ emerges only when you think.
It would be incorrect even to say that you think, cause you don’t choose to think. Thinking is happening without your volition. An endless mental chatter morning to night. Like a mental radio that is constantly blaring inside your head and you have no idea how to switch off.
The only difference between you and a madman is that you have the self-control not to voice all your thoughts. Imagine if a speaker was attached to your mind and all your thoughts were spoken aloud. Would you then classify yourself as sane? Or be mortified by the contents of your mind?
The ‘i’ that you take yourself to be, simply doesn’t exist. It is an abstraction created by the mind. It has tricked you into believing that you are a person with a name, gender, nationality, religion, family and a body.
“But the body exists, that is not an abstraction!” you protest. “How can I not be the body? Its visible, tangible and I can sense it every moment of my life.”
That’s true. The body is not an abstraction. It is visible and tangible. But you sense it every moment of your life is a lie.
What you experience every moment of your life is your incessant thinking.
You are lost in the world of your thoughts. You have created a private universe in your mind and you are living there as the heroine of your story. You have disassociated from the body. No wonder most ailments are psychosomatic.
But the body holds the key to unlock your true Self.
It is the gateway to freedom. If you care to pay attention to it.
The body exists only in the present moment. If you notice anything about the body, whether it’s the breath or the sensations, you will notice that in order to notice the body, you have to take your attention away from the chattering mind and bring it into this moment. The mind exists in the past and the future. The body exists in the Now.
When your attention comes into the Now, you will notice that the ‘you’ created by thought disappears. There is only awareness of What Is. Suddenly a new world comes into existence. The stars are visible. The trees are swaying. The birds are twittering. The body is moving with every inhalation and exhalation. This world existed even before, but you failed to notice it as you were living in your dream world of thoughts.
In this world of no thought, there is Awareness. It is not ‘your’ awareness. There is just Awareness.
Nothing can be said about Awareness. Because all words belong to the mind. Awareness is simply aware. In the moment of Awareness the mind stops. The past and future does not exist anymore. Words dissolve into an infinite Silence. There is a feeling of Oneness with the Universe.
All of life, and all of existence is a play of Awareness. It is this Awareness that is the true “I”. But this is not your ‘i’ or my ‘i’. It is the Only I. Until we realize this “I” all our attempts at brotherhood and love are futile mental attempts at good behavior. They do not last. On the other hand all virtues stem effortlessly from a space of contentment, oneness and bliss. The space of Awareness.
“All this sounds nice to read, but if I become Awareness will it pay my bills?” you ask
It’s like the wave saying “If I become water, will I be able to surf the sea?” You are already Awareness whether you realize it or not. There was never a time you were not aware. It is another thing, that you are not aware of your Awareness and are lost in thoughts. Being aware means being Alive. And that is the only irrefutable fact of your existence.
If you wish to truly love yourself, there is only one way to do it. Place your attention on the Life Energy in you. Watch your breath and sensations. This is the only practice needed to make you aware of your true self — Awareness. Come to think of it there is really no ‘you’. Unawareness can only transform into Awareness.
Unfortunately most humans are comfortable in their unawareness. It seems better to live in a familiar dream than to wake up to an unknown Reality. I am reminded of a joke.
After many sessions the psychiatrist finally told his patient “You are cured!”
“Big deal” said the patient. “When I came to you I was Alexander The Great. Now I am nobody.”