Forest Walk Insights (lost)
Today I went for a walk in the forest with my dog, and there I had an “ah-ha!” moment, and then watched as that brief glimpse of truth was translated into conceptual thought, and these new concepts were added to my storehouse of of ideas. I laughed. It was both funny and tragic, liberating and frustrating. There was a sense of being on the right track toward actually uncovering the truth, which was really encouraging, and then along with it came pride and craving and grasping to hold on to this realization. It’s as if the realization happens, it gets translated into a thought, and it’s the thought that I have access to, not the direct realization. Now I can’t even remember what that realization was. Perhaps something about the very idea of “being hijacked” as at the root of the hijacking (though that statement seems to me, at this moment, both obvious and contrived, and possibly missing something).
But constantly I come up against this pesky concept of “I” again and again. And I don’t know quite what to do with it. I try to find the “I” and yet I don’t find anything. While at the same time I experience profound identification with it. I feel the “me-ness”. I feel stuck in it. Here I am. Confined and separate.
I ask the question “who am I?” or “where is this ‘I’?” and no answer ever comes. And somehow that in and of itself seems to blatantly reveal the answer. The no-answer reveals the absence of self. But I can only conceptualize it and I don’t seem to have access to it experientially.
Here’s an interesting observation that keeps coming up:
I notice that at some times I use the terms “I” or “me” or “my” in thinking and speaking and writing, and at other times there is a shift toward a way of thinking that is naturally devoid of these words. At still other times there is an initial phrasing using those first-person terms, then a noticing of that phrasing, and next a re-phrasing occurs which edits out the “I” terms. This very paragraph is exemplary of this phenomenon. The thought has come up: “maybe it would be useful to always try and phrase without the ‘I’, and when it happens habitually, to go back and re-phrase the statement”. Another thought has also come up: “maybe it is counter-productive to re-word statements in this way, because it is just a strategy used by the “I” to conceal itself.”
I would welcome any advice or direction on this matter.