What if mind is silent, emotions are under control and body is comfortable … what happens if we stop identifying with thoughts? There are no more thoughts to identify with. What happens?
Consciousness is the totallity of body, emotions, memory, reasoning, thought, opinion, …
But what is that thing that identifies with thought? And what if we don’t identify any more?
Now meditation comes around the corner. In meditation we are asked to watch our mind, and to watch how thoughts and emotions well up and sometimes calm down. Eventually we might conclude that we are not our body, emotions, mind, thought, opinions, reasoning. We can stop the identification. Not by thought, not by opinion, just by the realization that mind is not the center.
Then we have to keep silent, and see what happens.
When we really engage in asking ourselves what we really are, we might discover that our conceptual image of who we think we are, is not who we are. We are not a concept, we are real. But more than that, we are also not our thoughts and opinions.
It’s easy to say “I am not my body”.
It’s a bit more difficult to say “I am not my emotions”
But how difficult is it to let go of that self image,
the identity that I carry around since the age of three.
When we are very very young, it is difficult to find the boundaries between our own self, and the rest of the world. But when we bite our own finger, it hurts, and when we bite Charlie’s finger, Charlie makes the noises but we don’t feel much ourselves. Slowly we discover that we have a body and identify with it. Likewise, at a later age, we identify with our emotions.
Somewhere, beginning at 18 months – and speeding up at ages 2 and 3, language truly develops. We learn concepts as words and words as concepts. We start to identify with what we say, in fact, our thoughts … our mind. This identification only grows stronger over the years. We identify with our mind, and our image of our self becomes a mental concept. This is amplified by society, in plastic and paper tags like passports, driver’s licences and credit cards.
When we are asked to introduce ourselves, we will disclose this conceptual self image, and spice it up with our past and history: our curriculum vitae.
And that is not who we really are.