What we imagine is our self is what we objectify, or can objectify through the means of knowledge at our disposal such as perception, inference etc– for example, the body and it's attributes, the physiological functions, the mind and its patterns of thinking, feeling, reacting and responding, memories, knowledge of different things, ignorance, the multifarious roles played etc. Based on all of these one says "I am tall/fair/short/dark", "I am hungry/thirsty", "I am angry/sad/fearful/guilty/selfish,loving,kind ", "I am smart/dull/bright/foolish", "I am timid/ shy/ aggressive/ assertive", 'I am father/ mother/ daughter / son" and so on and so forth. Each of us has our own history and we equate ourself to different aspects our history and thus have a self-identity based on a phychological history with all of its variable and varying factors.
We fail to take into account the presence of the one changless illumining, enlivening principle without which it would be impossible to know all the changing, varying experiences that consitute our history, or the history of this universe. Life is dynamic. Everything is in dynamic motion. Changes are taking place in all that is objectifiable in every micro second. And for any observation of change to take place, there has to be a changless, motionless, still, illumining principle in whose presence the change is observed. For the sake of understanding, imagine that there is a windowless room lighted by a single bulb, full of many items of furniture. These items of furniture are seen because of the presence of the lighted bulb. Now make a change. Remove all the items of furniture. The light reveals the absence of all items of furniture – an empty room. It is in the presence of the changless light, that these changes were illumined.
So too there has to be a changeless, motionless, illumining conscious principle in whose presence the changes in the body-mind-sense complex and the world around are illumined and observed. In the absence of this principle, it would be impossible to know anything whatsoever.
This changless, motionless, illumining principle is the truth about us that is ever-present and indestructible. 'Ever-present' should be understood well. It means it is always present. It is present when thoughts, observations, feelings, sensations, activities, memories, ignorance, ego etc. that constitute the psychological self is present. It is also present in the absence of all of these, or any of them (as in deep-sleep). It is not simply the stillness of a mind emptied of thought. Rather, it is the still illumining principle that lights up and reveals the stillness of an empty mind, or an agitated, restless mind.
It is this absolutely still, illumining conscious principle, one-without-a-second, of the very nature of wholeness, that is the very womb of all experience, of all motion, of all change. It is the one whole intelligence that is reflected as the consciousness in the mind and which in the process of experiencing appears to trifurcate in the 'I'-thought, the this-object-thought, as well as the various objects of the external waking world.
Being always present and being the very basis of every experience, it is always available in every expereince, in every factor of any experience. However what happens is that we do not know about it. Or even if we know about it, we are so occupied with the names and forms of the experience that we take the content, or essence for granted and do not take it into account. Imagine if in all the ornaments of gold, we failed to take into account the truth of the ornaments, namely gold!!! The gold prices would plummet! So too, we miss the most obvious – our whole self–we fail to count the truth of ourself and then go running after this and that.
We miss out on the wholeness of our self in every experience even after coming to know – because of the background chatter of habitual, mechanical modes of the egoity, the habitual false I. The habitual false I is occupied with keeping its identity going by being occupied with either the past, the future, or the seeming ills or fascinations of an objectifiable world of objects and ideas. And so it simply misses out on the fullness of 'I' – a fullness that brooks no division in reality of subject and object.
Being alive to the truth of oneself in and through every experience, profound or mundane is living. And to be alive in this way means to be free of resistance to what is, which is a topic by itself.
Om Tat Sat