The most intimate experience we have is the one we also most easily overlook: we are aware, and we know that we are aware. Our culture is complicit in inviting us to ignore this that is most obvious. The sense of being aware is so familiar–and taken for granted–that we miss it completely. And yet it is the groundless-ground, prior to all.
When all else fails, and we finally turn to examine our direct experience, we discover that our previous belief-laden understanding is topsy-turvy, and doesn’t hold up under careful, objective scrutiny. This investigation is not difficult–as the Sufis say, the truth is “closer than your jugular vein”–but the implications are vast, and the unlearning that ensues is unending.
Initially, it may seem that the noticing I is personal, and found within the bodymind–it’s like our own independent observer. But as we turn within again, again, and again–parsing our experience–we discover that it is not locatable after all. What we experience as the mind, body, and world erupts within it, as it–intimate, infinite, impersonal and aware.
* Rupert Spira’s definition of “I”
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit: Panhala Poetry
One thought on “the I: both intimate and infinite*”
Thank you, Amrita. This is exactly what I needed to read today! One question: what does “parsing our experience” mean? Is it to analyze? break down? deconstruct experience?