..........I become aware of my awareness, yet am nevertheless subject to random thoughts and a slight feeling of frustration. Now and then I feel physical discomfort. In some way all those sensings are connected to my state of awareness, a massless, formless awareness. There comes a moment when it seems as if all I need to do is to stop concentrating or focusing on anything. In an odd way that leaves me in a kind of limbo where I am 'concentrated' almost by default on a nothingness. I give up 'trying', at least for a series of momentary-nesses. The links with the material world are still there in potential, but much weakened. It isn't until the stillness moves that I realise how deeply I have travelled..........
(An excerpt from my diaries)
How do I know that "I" exist, that is to say to exist as a reality? I tacitly assume that I exist for two reasons. The first is that everyone around me assumes that they exist, although they may have no real existence at all. They may simply be holograms projected from data encoded on the boundary of the universe for all I know. On that basis, therefore, my assumed existence rests on very insecure foundations. The second reason that I assume I exist is that when in a state of meditation I am able to observe and become aware that there is that which is called the ego, false or virtual self which acts from its own consciousness. There are even occasions when I watch my actions, as if I am an independent observer. However, that status, independent of a virtual and therefore unreal self, may simply mean I exist but only relatively. Whilst this second reason gives a firmer basis for the assumption of existence, it is by no means entirely secure. The fact appears to be that I do not know myself, do not have enough information on which to form a firm conclusion.
Still I have the unanswered question before me, "What am I?" for I do not know. With effort I can know, through my intellect, much of what I am not. To all the statements that I might make as to what I am, I can answer, "No! Neither this, nor that!" Such statements of what I suppose myself to be merely describe my relationships with others, the many roles I play in life, my gender, my sexual orientation, the emotions I feel, and so on. Not one of those statements defines what I AM. As the Old Testament God said, allegedly, I AM THAT I AM! Take it or leave it! I offer, can offer, no explanations; nothing!
An inability to define myself, to know what I truly am, does not remove the urge to know. For so much of my life I have felt incomplete, two dimensional, like a cardboard cut-out. Now, I feel more complete. What has changed? What has happened inside me? Am I closer to knowing what I am? Is the consequence of all that I do, all that I seek, a growing sense of Being? Is what I am somehow a part of all that? Yet still I find myself at the mercy of powers I cannot control. Events occur within my unconscious mind of which I have no knowledge, much less understanding. Is it even possible to know what I am, the reality of what I am?
And life passes. I do not. Oh yes, my body ages and tires. It almost seems as if my energies are steadily becoming converted into experiences and memories. But deep inside my being I am aware of that which does not seem to age. It is not so much everlasting, which implies time, but eternal, timeless, outside time. How can that be? If I, this tacitly assumed presence, could answer that question I might just get closer to knowing what I am, and maybe where I am.
The deeper I slip into meditation, the more I disidentify from all that would falsely claim to be my "I"-ness, the more I pass into a state of nothingness; no-thing-ness. Thoughts, emotions and senses come and pass on, but I remain. Images pass away and I am left behind. Do I sense fear? Maybe, or something like it perhaps. I sense an approaching state of ultimate emptiness, of a profound stillness that goes far beyond what my ego chooses to allow me, when it chooses to indulge me. I cannot force the pace of this new discovery, that I am nothing that I ever thought I was, or would want to become. I do not know what I am to be, because I first need to know what I am.
The Great Darkness of unknowing, of not understanding, steadily approaches, but I do not wish to turn away. This inner expanse of nothingness, this remnant of "I"-ness, would not wish to turn from the Presence that approaches, that somehow seeks me. Something else begins to tug at my attention. That something else forever seeks to dull my awareness of what is, my awareness of a new kind of freedom. That something, so full of its own fear, tugs again and again.
"Do not leave me!" And I am held back; my strength begins to wane. "I cannot face annihilation!"
That is not the real fear. To be left alone, to be lost, to be annihilated, implies I once Was and that I can remember. In that memory I am aware of a state of Having; I have a virtual being-ness. However, that is not true Being-ness. It is an illusion. I sense, but cannot know, that true Being-ness is having the slate wiped clean, to be nothing and nowhere except before a detached state of eternal presence; to be at one with the Reality of Eternal Presence.
And the Stillness moved........