You do not exist.
You think you think your thoughts. You don’t think your thoughts; there is thinking. There is no you or your. It is not your life; there is just life. You don’t have feelings; there are just feelings. You don’t breathe; there is just breathing.
You did not exist before life. Life was not given to you. It’s not as if you existed, and someone came and gave you a body to call yours, and gave you a mind to call yours. There never was a you.
If you don’t exist, how did you come to be?
When the body was born there was no you. You were consciousness as an infant. There was seeing and hearing and learning and playing.
People fed you lies. They fed you names and labels. Thoughts recursively became your thoughts. You are a creation of the mind.
The mind is not your mind. Who’s is it? No one’s!
The idea of you was created in your mind. Then the you acquired beliefs and ideas and conditioning and this sealed in the delusion of you.
This is the core delusion which every spiritual tradition talks about.
Tolle, with astonishing clarity and simplicity of language, has bypassed all the freaky mysticism and burdensome reverence of spirituality, and this is why he has been able to reach so many of us. He told us what it means to be unconscious. It’s the ego and pain-body and all the problems they cause. And he told us there was such a thing as enlightenment and it is accessible to all equally. And he told us what it means to be enlightened. It’s presence and acceptance and peace and connection with natural being.
But Enlightenment fell on Tolle’s head, accidentally, and so he’s not very good at explaining how to get there.
We go through practices–of spirituality and meditation and awareness and release and acceptance and gratitude and karma and heaven and hell and presence and all the rest of it, and we learn and memorize and practice, for decades, even lifetimes, and yet, enlightenment is a rare event.
Why is this?
Maybe enlightenment is very tricky and therefore rare.
Or perhaps this is just another myth, perpetrated by diabolical egos which have a great investment in long practices, and by our fear of awakening, and by unexamined assumptions.
The delusion of the self is what Buddhas and the ancient Indian scriptures and the enlightened talk about. When you throw out all the fancy wrapping paper and the ribbons and bows, this is what enlightenment comes down to.
The emptiness or fullness or oneness which the enlightened speak of is just reality itself, right here and now, without the delusion of self.
You are not outside the fullness of this present moment looking in and living your life. There is just the fullness of the present moment. There is just life. Of course, the delusion itself is very much a part of the fullness of life. It’s a beautiful integral of life, like the method actor who has forgotten he is acting.
I literally do not exist. I am literally an imagination.
What I’m doing these days is looking very directly at this lie. I now know rationally it’s a lie. I now know rationally that I literally do not exist. But the recognition has not yet popped.
And I am wondering why I did not directly go to this delusion right away. Why did I spend four years dancing around this?
This is the power of the delusion. It captures your attention even when you know it does. And of course, well-meaning spiritual aspirants are not of much help. They help promote the myth that awakening requires an investment in practice and spiritual concepts and spiritual advancement.
Let’s leave behind what we think we know.
“I” is the core delusion on which every other human foible hangs. Let’s tackle that first. Not as a theoretical possibility, but actually look at it. Let’s stop being students, and do this. Actually do this.
And how do you do an inquiry like this one?
You look at it as if it were true and hit it from various angles. You don’t exist is literally true. So you can’t break it or crumble it or corrupt it. You sit and look. Pretty soon you find yourself looking all the time.
It’s not a meditation. You don’t try to calm yourself or reach for a spiritual or peaceful state. You look at “I don’t exist.”
Look at your life through the view that you don’t exist. Is it true that you literally do not exist? Is it true that you are not experiencing life. There is just the experience of life. That you did not exist before you were born, and life was not given to you after you were born. It is not your life because life was not given to you after birth. There is just life. You are an imagination, supported by thoughts. They are not your thoughts. They are thoughts. There is no you who is registering this moment; there is just registering of this moment.
I do this for ten minutes at a time. I walk or pace around when I get into this.
Everyone’s experience at this will be different. If it brings up agitation and anger, or peace and quiet, remember that the you which feels this anger or quiet does not exist. There is just anger or there is just calm. If you feel that you don’t quite know what you’re doing, or that you’re missing some secret, remember that the you which feels this insecurity does not exist. There is just insecurity. If you understand this rationally, remember that the you which claims understanding does not exist. There is only understanding.
Unfortunately, I come to this like the proverbial full cup of tea. I have to put aside what I think I know to make room for this. And yes, the “I” which is full of pre-conceived notions does not actually exist…