Yes, all we are is the knowing of experience. We are the very essence of experience, an understanding that’s so pure and straightforward, yet we stand confounded, unsure of how to wield this profound understanding.
Through our collective unconsciousness, we live most of our lives expecting to get to a ‘better end’. In many traditions, we are conditioned to believe that all we live for is a good place in heaven. In other traditions, there’s an expectation that paradise or nirvana awaits at the end of life. This belief propels us, rendering the journey itself slightly inconsequential, our sights set solely on the ever moving horizon. Yet, ironically, this coveted finale remains ever elusive, akin to a carrot dangled perpetually just beyond our grasp. As we hasten our pace, the carrot recedes with equal haste, a mirage on the path of life. Yet this unconsciousness and the stress that this journey incurs on our backs has not allowed us to sit back and relax while examining the error in our expectations.
The vivid memories of my junior high school days are still fresh, a time when I immersed myself in studies with a singular aim: to ascend to senior high. Upon reaching that milestone, my focus shifted, now entirely riveted on securing a place in a prestigious college. College years were no different, dominated by the pursuit of exemplary grades, a prerequisite for a promising career. Once embarked on that career, the narrative evolved yet again, this time the dream was to own a home, to lay the foundations for a family, and to meticulously plan for the tranquil days of retirement. However, it wasn’t until life presented me with a series of sobering revelations that I recognized the gap. I was like the proverbial donkey, tirelessly chasing after carrots — carrots that, in reality, were nothing but the figments of expectations, tantalizingly suspended from a stick affixed firmly to my own head, a poignant metaphor for a mind ensnared by its own conditioned thoughts.
When the mind recedes into itself, it becomes crystal clear that all there ever is is this very moment. Nowhere to go! Existence crystallizes into the singularity of the present, a timeless ‘eternal now’ far removed from the notion of a journey towards a destined endpoint. In this state, life unfolds as the pure, unadulterated ‘experience of experiencing’, a state too intricate and profound to be encapsulated by the simplistic notion of ‘being human’. Even this description betrays a profound ignorance. There exists no distinct ‘human experience’, no ‘reptilian experience’, just the universal phenomenon of experience itself. An experience that’s colored by sights, sounds, tasting, feeling and sensing. The moment the label-maker called the mind drops, one finds that experiencing is nothing short of mystery. Colors are no longer colors. They are a display of unexplainable fireworks. Hearing is no longer hearing. It’s a vibration of random patterns. Tasting could be almost as vibratory as hearing. The sense of touch, wondrous.
But the mind!
The energetic system called the mind is conceptually where we witness thoughts. Thoughts are designed(if there were even any designer) to be narrative. Narration can only be about what was previously witnessed. Therefore thoughts narrate only what they have seen or heard. Our thoughts then hijack what is witnessed by sight, touch, taste, smell and feeling only to give it labels, narrating how safe or unsafe the experience is. Thought says this is good and that is bad. It says this is nice and that is not as nice. And so consciousness latches on to these labels and gives it life. And so when experience something, thoughts jump on to the experience and narrate how difficult it is. Consciousness, in all its power latches onto the narration and brings this difficulty to life. And so the mind finally places a seal on the experience: it was a bad experience. Same happens for the other side of this duality. Even good experiences are labeled this way by the mind.
Often times we need to see behind the curtain to see how these experiences are happening or rather what these experiences are made of. Where does seeing occur? Where do thoughts come from? Where is the experience of smell? The finer and more in-depth one gets with these explorations the clearer it is to see that all of life is just the experiencing of life for nobody, to nobody. Energy, in all its infinite dimensions, being conscious of itself. Losing itself to find itself. Finding itself to lose itself.
It’s a glorious dance!