The nature of the 'me'

Omkaradatta's picture



Average: 4 (2 votes)

I've heard ego-loss described before as "life without a center", and some folks seem to have the notion that enlightenment is a case of a 'missing me', the disappearance of our sense of presence. In my view, this concept is just plain mistaken. It fails to take into account the real nature of the 'me'.

So, what is this 'me'? In truth, it's not our presence at all, but our absence. It's the sense of lack, the sense of something missing, the black hole at the center of us comprised of desire and fear, the hole inside us we can never fill up, no matter how much we eat, drink, work and/or socialize.

Think about when you've become self-conscious in social situations before. Were you present? Quite the contrary -- you could hardly hear what the other person was saying, you were so lost in your thoughts. You became nervous, perhaps began stammering. ***You were absent from the situation!

So, if we're talking about getting rid of 'me', what are we losing? Quite simply, the absence of 'me' is the *absence of absence*.

We are not aiming to become more present at all, but to get rid of our absence, our unconsciousness. Thus, meditation that tries to make us more aware is more or less the wrong approach. We do not need to become more aware at all, as we are naturally aware by default. What we need to get rid of is our unawareness, those times when we are lost in thoughts about ourselves.

Now that we've defined the nature of 'me', it becomes clear: It is clearly and simply *not* our presence, but our absence. When the 'me' appears, we are not in the here and now at all, we are elsewhere.

So, if we had a mistaken notion about 'me' (as like a 'missing tooth'), let's re-evaluate what awakening is all about. We are not trying to get rid of our presence, but get rid of our absence, our unawareness, our unconsciousness.



shond's picture

no referencial center

Regarding your first paragraph - the complete loss of center, of a point of subjective reference and of sense of I is precisely part of what I have experienced for a few months in a "glimpse" state I had after extensive zen practices I did a few years ago. It was frightening and confusing and it was very hard to learn to function normally this way but I had my teacher with me that was familiar with every step I was in and so guided me and reassure me.

Precisely same accounts are provided by other who have experienced preliminary glimpses and especially by those who became realized (see especially the detailed accounts of Suzan Segal, Shay Tubali, Osho, Papaji and others). It is also well documented in esoteric literature and if I am not mistaken even in Yoga texts.

The mind cannot grasp this state. I am now reporting from memory as even my mind cannot simulate it.

shond | Tue, 11/25/2008 - 13:23
Omkaradatta's picture

Agreed (awakening experiences)

I agree that it can quite possibly feel frightening/confusing at first, as though the rug were pulled out from under. No reading of esoteric literature is necessary here, as something happened here too in January of this year. There's some 'live' documentation of it in the earlier posts on my two Yahoo mailing lists:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fewtchykrishnamurti

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/omkaradatta

If you're interested/curious in understanding the (mental) state of the fellow posting at the time... the first was intended as parody of U.G. Krishnamurti, the second is my current mailing list (but earlier posts there was a state of turmoil happening).

At one point, the English language completely 'fell apart' and the mind became extremely suggestible (nearly to madness), and there was some strange phenomena I still have no clue if really happened or not.. later, things stabilized completely and are OK now. In my case it wasn't a glimpse, although I don't normally go around claiming realization openly on the Net (well, maybe more so lately).

http://www.omkaradatta.info

Omkaradatta | Tue, 11/25/2008 - 16:57
nelo's picture

mischievous mind

There is a collection of quite a lot of mental states that people mistaken for realization or a glimpse period (satori), for example there are several instances of nervous breakdowns with symptoms very similar to satori. These are not satori or enlightenment and you can tell the difference by typical projected attributes and sublime quality of presence, not of course by what he/she reports.

I am not talking about the ones named "musts" (means "god intoxicated") which lost on the process any connection with a consciousness in this dimension and you can tell nothing excep of that very strange things happen around them.

The most classical sign that you cannot ignore when you are fortunate enough to be near or in connection with one of these very rare people is the complete absence of ego. Only then you fully realize what it means no-ego. No traces of ego at all, no residues, nothing. In case of satori, when they come back with time to a "normal" state, it is fascinating to see how the ego reappears as of thin air.

They are withdrawn from intellectual understanding and relying on logic. If they use words then they are succinct. Their presence is soft, sublime and satvic, they are hardly noticed. They are drawn to meditation as a default state. You can sometimes find some of them sitting in a park or in nature, eyes closed and be in meditation for the whole days or several days in a row.

They see no point in declaring themselves as in some named state. Moreover, they realize that there is a point in not doing so.

I think you do a bad service to yourself and to your spiritual endeavor by letting your mind and ego delude you - while you definitely show promising signs to get advanced and it is evident that you have a zeal and earnestness, you don't show the least of any typical signs of people entering into some type of realization or satori and I have associated with and took care of quite a few.

nelo | Wed, 11/26/2008 - 12:12
Omkaradatta's picture

Reply to nelo

> They see no point in declaring themselves
> as in some named state. Moreover, they realize
> that there is a point in not doing so."

There may be some point on the Net, as folks tend not to listen too closely otherwise. But maybe not, of course. It could actually have the opposite effect, it remains to be seen. Usually the silent ones who don't comment (much or at all) are the ones who are listening, who are coming to my list to listen more closely and discuss.

> The most classical sign that you cannot ignore
> when you are fortunate enough to be near or in
> connection with one of these very rare people is
> the complete absence of ego. Only then you fully
> realize what it means no-ego. No traces of ego
> at all, no residues, nothing.

Yes, that's the case here. If you see ego here, I consider it to be your issue. If it bothers you, there are things you can do (hit pillows?), aside from attempts to inject doubt. Absence of ego is absence of doubt, lack and questioning. In the absence of the (subconscious) mind, there is only absolute, wordless certitude. Your words don't reach here. The line is dead.

Your mistake may be in assuming internet communications are the same as real life. Perhaps also in believing you know "quite a few" "rare" realized people. Maybe that makes you feel rare, 'in the know' somehow?

Maybe we meet on a park bench someday :-). You could try listening/understanding what I say and if/how it applies to you, instead of trying to judge whether I'm realized or not through your mind-filters. You folks talk belief and acceptance a lot, but do you practice it?

Finally...

> I think you do a bad service to yourself
> and to your spiritual endeavor...

You do think, that's for sure ;-). I would agree, if I were in fact involved in a spiritual endeavor. If there's anything important to get across to you, it's that I'm not. There's no interest here whatsoever in being something other than what I am, spiritual or otherwise, or getting "elsewhere". All is perfectly well as-is, can't you see it?

http://www.omkaradatta.info

Omkaradatta | Wed, 11/26/2008 - 13:50