Q: Why is it so hard for me to get an understanding of the question “Who Am I’ ? The harder I try to get it, the more complicated it seems to be. You seem to ask for a deeper understanding, and at the same time I have to drop all Idea’s I have on this world. More specific do we have to get rid of the concepts we make of ourselves in particular!?
A: It’s no problem to explain it to you once again. It’s not so easy to grab it. So no worries. It’s like that you have lost your car-key. You just had it in your hand. Now you don’t remember where you put it. You keep looking and looking for it and when you ultimately find the key, the spot where it lies is very obviously. One moment of inattention made you put the wallet on a forgotten spot.
And so it is with losing the happiness in your life. Often it all starts to tickle with a vague sense of missing something. No longer changing partners, houses or jobs will work to fill up that gap. Hey, but how do you know you are missing something in the first place? You can only miss something, well …, that you miss! This means you once had something, lost it and now you’re looking for it like the first Love that did you blossom as a Teenager. Something Pure, Spontaneous, New and Fresh. And now all that you renew in your life ends up into more of the same. And that is not encouraging.
My first suggestion to you is: don’t change your life as it is now at this very moment. Of course changes are natural in the process of life. Everything is on the move constantly like energy from A to B and vice versa. So don’t interfere this process of change for the sake of spirituality. There is no need for that. You don’t have to find another more ‘spiritual ‘ partner or become a vegetarian to find an answer to Your Quest. Yesterday I had a nice encounter with a man, who’s daily livelihood is collecting and delivering pigs for the meat-industry. His warm presence was for me way to prefer above some new age people I’ve met that tried to endorse me to a strict and rigid regime of so-called spiritual behaviour patterns. Sorry for the restrictive answer, but the search for Truth itself has no dogmatic patterns. Really, for the matter of finding answers on the subject ‘who am I’ Life has no pre-conditioned terms.
Q:So what can I do then?
A:Start observing the process of thinking and feeling. They both are the one and the same and therefore not to unwire. Its very common to urge people to encounter to live with feelings and a ‘open mind ‘ but that’s on a whole other level. I don’t care what you prefer to do. By the way, there is no such a thing as an open mind. We could discuss about the existence of a mind anyhow, but for sure I have never seen an open mind. It’s a closed system. So it doesn’t matter if you visit a few Indian ashram or just do your work as no matter what. Just observe all body-mind activity wherever you are in all circumstances.
Observe it while you are working, eating, relaxing, standing, running, sitting, talking. Just watch yourself like your own shadow. Make yourself the object of Your study. And now it comes: don’t interfere. We love to change things, work out schedules, discipline ourself as if you have to work towards the olympics. Relax, keep a little distance and just watch.
Q:What will happen then? I mean, by observing myself, I am still part of the same body-mind-system!
A:Oh so true you are. You can meditate for 24 hours in a row, and sure you will be quiet. At least for a short period. But still you are behind closed doors, part of the same self-chosen prison. Realise that. Whatever you DO brings you to the edges of your system. It’s impossible that you will be able to escape that fortress. Clean it up, decorate it, but you, in this body structure, will never escape!
Remember, this whole manifestation as part of the world of objects, is an IDEA, a THOUGHT. A thought that became manifest in a world of objects that you call you with a small y. So everything in your prison is the small you. Outside that world is no freedom. So the only thing you can do is: to observe endlessly. Its like the Zen-koan, ‘the goose is out ‘ A Zen master gives a pupil a Koan, a riddle. The master will notice how the pupil will handle the Koan during a certain time-line. This particular Koan tells the following story. There is a bottle, and in the bottle lives a goose. Now the pupil has to ask himself how to free the goose without braking the bottle. In the tradition of Zen you are urged to observe yourself closely. At some point the pupil will KNOW . Then the Goose is out . The master will notice this big step.
This is also what the tradition of Advaita Vedanta is aiming for. So keep living your life and observe it without getting involved. It’s not easy, but at some point YOU will KNOW.