selfhood: awareness of the presence of awareness

First a confession. Let me clearly state up front, the words that start after the second colon (“:”) in this post are not mine. I found them on the web some time ago but I’ve forgotten where. I congratulate the author on a fine piece of writing and on some very interesting ideas, and I apologise for using zir material without attribution. With that confession and apology out the way, here goes:

Where does the feeling of helplessness, which is the essence of feeling victimized, come from? It may come from the thought that there is something "wrong" with "me" for being so helpless. Thus, we see that this experience of suffering may have as its roots identification with a self-image of inadequacy, plus a negative judgment about it. (Clearly, inadequacy also implies a doer that is inadequate. Without the concept of "doership", there could be no victim and no suffering, not to mention no victimizer. But imagined doership is the problem in identification at the second level.)

There are two important lessons to be learned from this example. The first is that the image I see in my mind of myself as victim means that I cannot be the victim! I am what is looking at the image, so I cannot be the image! This is the most fundamental step that anybody can take in disidentification. Whatever I am aware of cannot be me because I am what is aware! This one realization is enough to produce a gigantic crack in the bonds of identification.

The second important lesson is just a generalization of the first. Since nothing that I see can be me, there is no object, thing, or entity that can be me. I am not a person, not a mind, not a body, not a being, not a thought, not a feeling, not an image, not an observer, not anything. And most importantly, I am not a doer, not a thinker, not a decider, and not a chooser. Now we have progressed to disidentification at the second level.

If I am not anything, then what am I? The answer is simple: I am the pure Awareness that is aware of all things, and the pure Presence that is the Presence in all things. I am the Awareness of Presence, and the Presence of Awareness. What could be more simple, and yet so profound and so liberating?

Note: One of the interpretations of the mysterious "Tat Tvam Asi" ("you are that"/"I am that I am") of vedantic hinduism is the identification of the soul (or consciousness if you prefer) as being wholly or partially the ultimate reality, (whatever that means). The ideas of the author of the above content are related to the still unresolved debate about the nature of consciousness and personal identity ("selfhood"), as set out in "a sharp jab to the eye".

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chook said...

I don't know Cosmic. Your whole argument is based around "I am what is looking at the image, so I cannot be the image." Why not? If you look in the mirror I agree the image and the self are different but it's pedantic to assume they aren't the same. Also if the image is in the mind it's only imagination not a reality so the two, self and the image, can be the same.
I know where you are coming from but it's difficult to apply science to the mind

masterymistery said...

mmm, yes I see what you mean. I'll have to do a bit more thinking on this. Thanks for splash of cold water on face.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mm,

Interesting blog to say the least. Echoes of old gothic writers, eastern mysticism and even the whimsicality of Edward Lear and John Lennon's prose.

Well done ...

Pete

Lily Strange said...

I end up pondering this sort of thing a lot, both as a student of All that Is and from the psych issues perspective. I often figure that the greatest proof of a soul is the awareness of oneself.