What are we, and who are we?

Superficially thinking, it seems the same: what and who you are; for example, a lawyer, working eight, perhaps ten hours a day, their mind full of laws, legal proceedings, appointments, etc. When somebody ask about her … “who is she?”  the answer probably will be: “a lawyer”.  But when this lawyer arrives at home, he forgets their job and becomes a wife, also a mother, and she is able to play other rules, like a friend, a follower of their local basket team, a sister, etc. We can say she is all of these rules, and at the same time she’s not any of them. What she is is the whole set of roles, also their thoughts, their objects of consciousness, all of those “objects” are what she is, in every moment, because those objects are variable with time. But, who is she indeed?

The individual mind absorbs almost all our consciousness

Imagine a guy in front of a computer; he’s absorbed looking at the screen. The computer is running many programs, and the user is attending them, paying attention one by one, because he’s not able to attend more than one program simultaneously. Sometimes the user starts a new program, sometimes close another, but there are always many programs running; moreover, the computer never stops.

The computer is a metaphor of the individual mind, and the programs are the thoughts; programs are a bit independents, once they are started, they are able to start other programs, in a non-endless activity, like the so called “monkey mind”, because is alike a monkey, jumping from branch to branch without stop, and without any definite purpose. Eventually, the user has very brief moments in which he notice himself as an user, but the feeling quickly dissolves, and the attention returns to the screen.

It happens that from looking and paying constant attention to something external to the subject itself, the user forgets himself, and comes to identify himself with the computer, or with the programs, or both.

A network of individual minds, and the Universal Mind

Some users have noticed their computers are connected with all the other computers in a network; the information, also the programs, are flowing through the net. So they feel connected with the world. As the user was identified with their computer, when he notice all the computers are like one big one, they experience an expansion of awareness, feeling as themselves were all the computers, feeling a sense of wholeness.  Similar with the mind: all the minds are interconnected with other minds and with the environment; realizing it deeply gives us such sense of wholeness. What we are becomes the whole.

However, we still are somebody …

Even when our field of consciousness expands and eventually encompasses everything, still there are an observer, the subject, in the middle of the field. The subject always has been there, unobserved; the field are constantly changing, the subject not. Can we define precisely the subject? They are not any of the contents of the consciousness: not thoughts, not emotions, not mind; is beyond. So the subject himself is … nothing! From the point of view of consciousness he’s like a point without dimensions in the middle of the field, containing nothing at all. However, we are him, we are beyond our consciousness, our higher identity is beyond mind. Here I’m stating something I think is very important: even when our consciousness expands and becomes Universal consciousness, we retain our identity, but is a identity  very different from the low identity named ego. Is the Self, the higher Self.

God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.”  Exodus 3:14 – Old Testament – The Bible

Is something similar to this: an identity which simply is, without any attribute.

You have no caste or duties. You are invisible, unattached, formless.
You are the Witness of all things.
Be happy. Ashtavakra Gita



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