knowing and being and marveling at the universe
May 11, 2010 § 1 Comment
how do we know ourselves?
how do we betray ourselves?
how do we know if we are betraying ourselves if we do not even know who we are?
+watching/observing/witnessing the thoughts and feelings that flow through me constantly and realizing/reminding myself that these thoughts and feelings are not me. i do not identify with them. most of them are the flotsam and jetsam of social conditioning. ways i was told i was supposed to think and feel from a myriad of sources: my parents, teachers, television, books, friends, preachers, doctors and other social authorities.
if these thoughts and feelings are not me, then who am i?
i am the one who is witnessing. i am the one who is paying attention to these thoughts and feelings.
see it like: i thought that i was composite of all of my thoughts and feelings and beliefs and memories and hopes and dreams. but all of that is really just the ‘content’. and *i* am the one who is paying attention to the content.
how do i see this? one way is that i meditate. i sit (or lay down) and breathe and just feel all the sensations coursing through my body, the thoughts and memories floating through my head, all the stories and dramas spun out.
another way is that i write. stream of consciousness for pages. no editing. only stopping to catch my breath. letting it all out. rarely do i go back and read this stuff. srsly it is trash trash. the trash that floats in my head constantly. society’s trash that i have taken on. but by writing, i am now seeing myself as 1. who is recording/witnessing these thoughts. 2. the content of the thoughts/feelings/beliefs/memories themselves.
here’s the thing: there are infinite number of thoughts floating in the universe. why do i identify with some of them and not others? who is choosing which thoughts/beliefs/feelings to identify with? a lot of them are coping mechanisms i developed long ago to deal w the world i live in.
a thought floats in my head: god, i really need to start eating healthier. something is wrong w me that i am not eating the way i should, blah blah blah. and i feel: guilty and self-blame. and my torso muscles and organs feel tense/contracted.
but, where did this thought come from? out of thin air? nope. my ideas of what is ‘healthier’ come from a long line of social messages. stuff i read online, in books, from authorities, etc. where did i get the idea that if i dont eat ‘healthier’ i am ‘wrong’? again from all of these social messages and memes. and the ‘should be eating healthier’ meme triggers the feeling of guilt and self-blame. triggers the torso muscles tightening against themselves. and i watch/write all this happening.
so since all of this came from outside of me, why do i choose to believe it? i identify with it? beat myself up with it?
i could worry my pretty little head about this ‘health’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘why do i believe it’…
or i could open myself to the thought/feeling/belief. because no thought hangs around for ever. they float away and then float back and then float away again. so, i remind myself: this too shall pass. i open my hands and let the thought go and it floats away in its own time, in its own way. i dont believe it. i dont hang on to it. i dont push it away.
and i become curious about how my body feels. how my heart feels. is it painful? then i am curious about the pain while it lasts. is it joyful? then i am curious about the joy. is it pleasurable or sorrowful or some mixture of all of these and more?
i become interested in the stories that are spinning. i am learning, not so much about myself (because these stories are not me, they are just floating through me), but about this feeling. about this thought. this belief.
because this thought is not me. its not you. its not us. it floats among us. you think it too. you feel it too at times. we all do. and so by being curious to this pain and pleasure, i am not just learning more about what it means to be human (about how other human beings feel and think), i am becoming more human animal, rather than human sapien/civilized/cultivating my public image.
i become curious about this animal that i am. moment by moment.
i see that it makes as much sense to identify w these thoughts and feelings as it does to identify with clouds and waves and wind.
these thoughts stories dramas beliefs feelings sensations are real. as real as leaves in the wind. as transient as pollen floating down a city drain.
they are real. but they are not *me*
i am the one who is able to watch all of this happen. and marvel.