What does it feel like when identified as a separate self?



Since it can be so fascinating to attempt to describe what it feels like when one realizes Oneness, let’s go in the opposite direction.

What does it feel like when I’m identified as a separate self?

  1.  It feels like I’m a person in a separate body with separate thoughts and separate feelings.
  2.  It feels like I am the thinker.  A thought flits through the brain and it seems to come from me.
  3. It feels like the sensations which arise are actually mine. They hurt, they please.  They are joyful or angry or sad. And they seem to be mine.
  4. The focus is on the individual.  The barn across the street is something other. So is the dog and my best friend and enemy.  Shapes and forms seem to divide the world into me and otherness.
  5. Wants and aversions arise.  A strong inner energy dictates life along these lines.  Addictions or compulsions often appear.
  6. Issues of control occur regularly.  The separate self thinks it can dictate reality.  Or, conversely, it feels helpless because it can’t quit an addictive habit.  It’s all about attempting to control what arises.
  7. Much of attention identifies with thoughts.  The thought-world is perceived as real.  Awareness of the now comes and goes.  Much of attention relates to the dream-world of mental and emotional activity.
  8. One argues with reality.  Thoughts delineate and attempt to disparage other thoughts.  Things are labeled “right” or “wrong” or “good” or “bad”.
  9. Love, when it arises, often associates with how it relates to the separate self.  Love is not unconditional.  It seems connected to preconceived perceptions.  It is not universal.
  10. A lot of energy is spent propping up and defending the individual.  It’s easy to feel threatened.  Fear operates often as a background software operating system, sometimes not even consciously.
  11. Doing seems very important.  Not-doing often appears as a threat, an empty hole into which one might disappear.
  12. Life sometimes seems a series of problems which must be solved through thought.  Emotions are seen as reliable indicators of what to do next.  Emotions are sometimes perceived to be what one actually is.
  13. Being is seen as nothing important.  It is often not even noticed.
  14. Drama periodically reigns, either internally or externally.  Emotional, mental and physical pain may arise.  Great delight and happiness also arises, although it’s often attached to an external stimuli.  Something often appears to cause to the joy.
  15. It seems necessary to fix oneself, to make oneself more acceptable to self or others.
  16. One tells a lot of stories about oneself and actually believes them.

Just noticing today how I feel when identified as a separate self. Even though intellectually I might remember or recognize Oneness, it’s still not available as a moment-to-moment recognition. It is available when the I remembers to look. Then it sees that it’s immediate, always here, never inaccessible.


Not supposed to be here.

Rattlesnake bean

I am not supposed to be here.

Not supposed to be on-line.

The Mind dictated:  “Off you go!”

I am cheating.

I am not obeying.

(Who is not obeying?  And why?)

Here is what I  believe.  What I do not say publically.

I do not believe we are a Unified Self.

I do not believe we are Who We Say We Are.

I do not believe Thoughts.  Thoughts keep the self alive.

I do not believe beliefs.  (Beliefs do not believe beliefs?) Beliefs keep the self alive.

I do not believe that we are individuals, even thought 99.9% of us yearns to be individuals.  Convinced that we are individuals.

I do not believe the inner voice that decides, that dictates.

I do not believe (and this is anarchy) that there is such a thing as an individual.

If you believe in individuality, please unsubscribe from this blog.  Please go elsewhere.  Find yourself a haven where other so-called individuals think you exist.  Please. 

If you think you are an individual, please peer closer at yourself–without the veil of thoughts which insist that you are a person who has existed since 1957 (or whenever you think you’ve existed).  Please abandon what you think you of yourself.  Look out over the swamp, out over the beaver-moving swamp, and try to separate yourself from the wet smell of beavers, sticks, sunlight, wood ticks.  If you can separate yourself, ask:  is a thought?  If it’s a thought, look again.

Dive in the swamp.  I dare you.  Even though it’s April and damn cold–dive in.  Hold your freezing breath as long as you can.  When you emerge…

…I swear you won’t argue with yourself again.

Sneaking off now. 

I’m not supposed to be here. 

The Mind says.

Diving beneath the branches now and not emerging until—-