Waking up to Truth by asking deep questions
What are we?
I love receiving these types of questions because I love the curiosity and depth in the attitude and approach of these people.
This is what I mean with being committed to know the Truth!
A few days ago I received this wonderful email and I want to share it with you (with permission from the reader):
“Here’s an odd question with an odd story, triggered by an experience I had a few months ago.
What are we?
We are not our bodies, thoughts, and feelings. We just have them.
Some say ‘we are love’ but in my truth love is a feeling so we can feel love but we are not love. But even if we were indeed love, it only moves the question one level up to what is love?
Some say ‘we are god’ but again then the next question is ‘what is god?’
Some say ‘we are life’ which I do understand because life encompasses everything thus also myself.
But seriously what is life?
Some say ‘we are all (or all of the above)’ and that is just not helping as well.
And then one day I dissected my original question ‘what are we?’ and asked what is ‘what’?
To be something (‘what)’ we have to also be something not (‘not what’). But this reflects a human concept induced duality in which we assume that there is something and that there is not-something.
And for reasons I cannot fully explain, this seemed totally irrelevant to me suddenly. The ‘what’ part of the question became irrelevant.
So the question transformed into: ‘are we?’ or rewritten: ‘we are’.
You have mentioned, if I am not mistaken, something like that in some of your previous posts (more in the sense: I am).
For a while I thought I understood this until I understood it even more and then I realized that before I was so not understanding it at all.
But then it hit me further: implicitly in ‘I am’ there is hidden ‘I am not’. “To be” implies also a state of ‘to be not’ and suddenly this part of the question became irrelevant to me as well.
And then I was stuck with ‘I’….. and then I saw that ‘I’ is not ‘we’. ‘I’ assumes something separate from ‘you’ and the ‘rest of the universe’.
And then ‘I’ became irrelevant to me as well because ‘I’ is a human concept made up to describe the experience we have in the world.
Note I did not feel connected to everything or something like that; I never really had that experience.
It is more that for a brief moment there was no “I”, no “to be”, nor “something”. There was just….. all and nothing.
So this happened about 2 or 3 months ago in a ride from a conference center in Spain back to a hotel I was staying in.
For a brief moment, there was nothing and there was all at the same time and “I” was irrelevant because I was everything and I was nothing. And then I become I again and it passed and I become very relevant again.
It was a very odd experience. Not unpleasant, but also not pleasant. I did not feel ecstatic or something like that. It was just an experience. Maybe with wonder I experienced it, but can’t fully remember actually.
It just showed me that my question ‘what are we?/what am I?’ is irrelevant. And I still see that (partly) but the scientist in me is still curious to understand ‘what are we?’ 😀
Also, the whole experience I described above seems to me a bit odd as well now.
I can sort of see it still but sort of not as well. Kind of weird, like a dream when you had the greatest idea of your life and when you wake up, it somehow is fading and makes much less sense than in your dream.
You just cannot hold on to it… Hahahaha, maybe life is just a dream after all 🙂
I hope it makes sense; I find some experiences so damn hard to explain in words… Language appears limited in describing such things”.
I don’t have one! 😀 And here’s why:
I would totally wreck someones process if I started to answer these types of questions.
These types of questions are exactly what leads to profound revelations and insights about Reality and no one can answer them for another.
And not only that, but it’s what leads to spiritual awakening too because this is what self-inquiry is at its best and I love when I receive these types of emails but if I would give you any kind of “answers” I would only hinder your progress.
But I will comment on some stuff 🙂
You mentioned that “we are not our bodies, thoughts, feelings” etc and an old article of mine came to mind:
mariaerving.com/who-we-are-not (It’s a very old one 🙂 )
This path, this process, is not so much about finding out who we are but actually it’s more about realizing who we are not, and when the false self drops away more and more, what is then left beneath all that nonsense (beliefs, ideas, concepts etc), that’s the Truth of our being.
In all it’s nakedness it’s full and whole, needing nothing to cover it.
You mentioned that you have been inquiring into things like “we are love, god is love” and so on, so my advice to you is to ask yourself how you know that ‘we are love’?
And how do you know that “God is love”?
Not that we have to go into that right now (I have awakened from the belief in God), but asking these questions are important, like for example;
If god is “all there is”/everything (as many believe), doesn’t that god also have to include darkness, and not only Light?
Those are simply beliefs and nothing more, a glorified image of a fatherly figure that is loving and caring and so on but that’s the Western version of “God”.
Krishna for example is a bit different, he lies and murders etc and is not behaving like he’s always that all-powerful; he’s definitely not a god of “love and Light”, he’s the whole thing, the good, bad and the ugly.
In him all qualities are found, and just the other day I watched a young man doing some kind of prayer ritual and when he was done I asked him what he was just doing and he said that he was praying and I asked him about that too.
He said that there are thousands of gods here in India and that he at all times (morning and night) prays to maybe 4-6 different gods, depending on his human needs at the moment.
There’s a lot of gods here in India and not only a god of love and goodness (although the Christian god is certainly not only about that either, just read the old testament, but that’s what most people choose to see, and only that).
If we would say that okay ‘we are gods’, let’s say we are, then that would include all facets of our human existence and expressions, not only the good and jolly ones because if we only believed that then that would be merely a single aspect of a god who is defined as absolute/omniscient.
So, .. I’m just saying. The “love and Light” stuff is nor real 🙂 But neither are the other thousands of gods; none of them are real.
All gods are created by us; you’ve defined him as something, even given ‘him’ a gender and a personality.
I’m not speaking directly to the person who wrote me, I’m just speaking generally to all people who believe in any kinds of gods.
There is no outside authority but just to hear that or to say that is not enough; it must be realized, everything has to verified by yourself.
I urge anyone to keep asking what god is until you see the Truth for yourself, and keep asking yourself who you are and who you are not.
“What is this ‘me’? and how am “I” god?
Keep asking what god is, keep asking these questions until you don’t have to anymore.
Love those! And who doesn’t? 🙂
The blissful ones, the mind-blowing ones, the ones with profound insights and revelations into Truth, and also the ones where Life reveals to us our true Identity and Reality with a sense of a simple but life-altering ‘oh’ or ‘aha’.
One thing they all have in common is that they all fade away, no one is ever able to hold on to them but this is what most people thing enlightenment is.
The spiritual experience.
“Oh my God, I’m enlightened! Now I just have to get back to that ‘state’ again and I’m all set to sit on my enlightenment throne!”
And then the never-ending search for spiritual highs begins.
I have touched upon this before (here for example) so I won’t get into this again.
I have had a lot of profound experiences myself, seeing the whole construct of the universe with crystal clear clarity and it’s amazing, life-changing, but it’s only an experience and spiritual experiences can easily be created, join a chanting group, do some breathing exercises, or heck, join a revival and see if you’re not touched by Jesus as well! 🙂
Or simply begin to meditate every day, that way you get lots of other benefits as well.
Anyways, I know you (the reader who sent me the email) a little bit so I know you’re not a person who chase spiritual highs, I know Truth matters to you and not any of the other stuff I just mentioned.
I’m just mentioning this again (and will continue to do) because most people think that this is ‘it’, that the ‘state’ of a spiritual experience is where you’ll end up and stay forever and ever.
Dissecting the “I”
I loved this part of your email!
I have done the exact same thing in the past, I kept dissecting my questions and I also asked them in many different ways, looked at them from all angles and so on.
Even to sit with the “I” in silence is powerful, without asking any questions at all, but just to sit with it and let it reveal itself to you.
And yes, who knows, maybe life is just a dream after all?
You may like this post as well:
I don’t know why the text come out funny looking, maybe because I’m using Linux (I think I read that somewhere that Linux does something with the text format), but I can’t look deeply into it right now.
A lot of Internet issues here in India, you just gotta have patience with it and I don’t have much of that when it comes to the Internet and slowness haha! 🙂