our thought-made self

Our sense of being a separate self apart from the world is actually a thought-made self. We take the basic sensations of the body–if you close your eyes, it’s mostly amorphous tingling–and label them: my hand, my heart, and so on. Then thoughts create stories linked to those sensations, and we refer to the results as feelings.

If, however, I stick with the raw sensations, I cannot separate them from the sensation of the air on my skin, or the pressure of sitting on my desk chair. Only my labeling creates the separation.

Thoughts will continue to label, and sometimes those labels are useful–when describing shoulder pain to my physical therapist, for example. But much of the time, we can simply let labels rest on the sidelines and notice the unified whole, instead. And even “unified” breaks down, because the whole was never anything other than that: whole.

Imagine, a house-of-cards built from thoughts!

© Skye Blaine, 2011

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