I am feeling the sun rays tickle my face, listening to the happy, chirping cicadas, the distant surf. I am relaxed. Happy. Peaceful.
I realize suddenly that I’m asleep. Or, more precisely, I'm AWAKE – that is, my body is asleep, but “I” am right here. Present. Wow!
It becomes clear to me – “I” am not my body.
Many have had similar experiences, around that age. Not often younger, because we must be fully (or largely) individuated before we realize: we are not who we think we are. Some (spiritual prodigies) have out of body experiences at an absurdly young age. Paramahansa (Autobiography of a Yogi) Yogananda writes that he was conscious in his mother’s womb!
But even an everyday experience of “I” can be enlightening: “I am sitting at a baseball game with my dad.” I am present. Can you remember one of these?
Now...indulge me as I ask you another question. Can you tap into your sense of “I” right now? I am reading this blog. I am intrigued (I hope) by where this may be going...
Here’s the question. Is there any difference between your sense of “I” right in this moment and your most distant memory of “I am”...?
Don’t overthink this. What does your gut say?
Your body, of course, has changed completely, adding pillows of flesh, a thousand wrinkles, scars and wear and tear. In fact, every cell in your body regenerates every few weeks, so I can tell you for a fact that nothing of your body from the time of your distant memory is extant. It kinda indicates that “I” has nothing to do with your body, which is both revolutionary and emancipating.
Who is “I”? And where is “I”?