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What's Left?

The "self" we ordinarily experience is a movement of mind that reflects on itself and the world. It appears as a virtual thought-factory that carries an emotional attachment to its own beliefs, judgments, feelings, memories, strivings, struggles, and commentary on just about everything. The one thought that all the other ones depend on is the I-thought, which partakes of consciousness, but also carries identification as a separate and often fearfully conditioned body/mind. Most people go through life without ever questioning their view of the self. And yet, if we are moved to find out, our very sense of "I am" is an entry point beyond who and what we have imagined ourselves to be. 

To awaken is to step out of the world of time, swirling thought, and separation—if even for a moment--and realize our eternal, timeless nature that is one with the whole of life. As this realization deepens, we come to see that the mystery of our essential being is dynamically manifesting as everything every moment. If we inquire with our heart who or what the "I" really is, we may be drawn so deeply into the silent Mystery that we discover Nothing. No self, no world, no other, nothing definable, nothing the mind can know or understand. Now what? It may seem easy at this point to say, or even experience that "I am everything," and "I am nothing." But so often these realizations become conceptual hiding places for what remains of the spiritual ego. 

What is it like to actually live in the now-moment, without separation, without identification with our thoughts, without worry about the future, without attempting to manipulate, own or disown experience? Here truth beckons us to move beyond everything we think we "know" about self/no-self, relative/absolute, Oneness/Nothingness. What is left when all the definitions and identifications drop away, including the "spiritual" ones? Are you moved to find out?

© Dorothy Hunt
Photo courtesy of Nina Cherington

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