The spiritual family with whom I spent thirty-seven years had a decade-long aversion to the word “I.” It was seen to point to the personal self, and since we all desperately wanted to lose that self, many people–even a few teachers–avoided using the personal pronoun. One teacher circumvented the word “I” for years, referring to himself as “this person.” This avoidance turns our language inside out, and forces strange passive constructions in what could be simple, everyday language. In a subtle way–by drawing attention–this reinforced the apparent separate self even more.
What if we understand “I” refers to that which cannot be expressed adequately in words–to pure awareness? Then, each time we speak of ourselves it is a gentle reminder of the beyond-personal that we all are. It serves to call us home.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: Panhala Poetry