May 28th, 2020

Quote of the day

"Extinguish my eyes, I'll go on seeing you.
Seal my ears, I'll go on hearing you.
And without feet I can make my way to you,
without a mouth I can swear your name.

Break off my arms, I'll take hold of you
with my heart as with a hand.
Stop my heart, and my brain will start to beat.
And if you consume my brain with fire,
I'll feel you burn in every drop of my blood."
Rainer Maria Rilke

Who am I?

Photo by John Fowler on Unsplash
Photo by John Fowler on Unsplash

In self-inquiry circles, this is normally the jumping-off point:

Who am I?

Speaking personally, though, I never stopped to ask that question until I was given a not-very-gentle reminder that I was mortal!

And I went deep — very deep.

My name.

My job.

My history.

My senses.

My dumbfoundedness.

I really couldn't say, absent all the bloody labels, who I was at the deepest, most profound level.

For a while (quite some time, actually), I was ensnared in a trap of my own making: it felt the harder I pursued the question, the less I knew and that was (let's just say) unsettling.

There wasn't an ah-ha moment — i.e. my moment of liberation 🤣 — but it slowly dawned on me, much like the Zen practice of using koans to unlock the left-brain, thinking self, that there wasn't meant to be a discrete answer. 

Or at least that's my interpretation of where I now find myself; namely, I'm no more and no less part of everything I experience and trying to put a label on my I-amness is much like what Alan Watts said: 

“Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.”
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