Are You a Person?

Are you really a person? With a continuous life, with a history, with a future? With problems, worries, fears? Joy, love, satisfaction? Accomplishments, opinions, righteousness? Is that you?

Most people think of themselves this way, and that's fine. But if you are reading this blog, there is a good chance this presents a problem for you in some way. There is something that doesn't feel right about the "separate" aspect of being a supposed person, and you've been inquiring into this issue for some time.

The inquiry leads to freedom, ultimately, so don't give up. And the freedom is from the idea of yourself as a person. You experience the freedom of being what you are, which is non-separate from the one undivided awareness, which is all there is. There is a happy ending to this story — always remember that. It's already here now, actually.

Can you ever really experience yourself as non-separate? Well, by definition, no, you can't. But what you can experience is a freedom from the thought-prison of continuity, which leads you on a moment-to-moment basis to keep creating the idea of a person in your mind. It really is possible to stop creating that idea of a person in your mind. Then who will you be? You will be what you already are, which is non-separate, non-dual, just this awareness here, with perhaps the current thought passing through. Nothing more.

The bondage and suffering comes from taking a current arising thought and attaching to it a habitual chain of other thoughts, which your mind is conditioned to follow. No arising thought, by itself, is ever a problem. Look for a thought now, and see if its arising in awareness creates any problem. It doesn't matter what the content of the thought is — you will notice it there, not disturbing anything, until you attach the rest of the "plot" to it. This is the habitual chain, and it is what I mean by "continuity."

Look into continuity and see if it is actually real. Is there any connection between this moment and the next? Really? Do you have any proof of that? Do you know for a fact that whatever is worrying you now even exists in the next moment? The beauty of reality is that it is completely unhinged from time. It is independent of causality. Your mind is free to drop whatever thought comes now, because any continuity or causality that you are attaching to it is just a habit of conditioning, not reality.

Bring up a thought right now that seems to always be troubling you — a worry, a doubt, it can even be a physical pain. And then do a little reality check on it. Do you notice that even though you say "this is on my mind all the time," it really isn't? Notice how often your mind will flit away to something else, and then where did that constant worry go? It wasn't there for a moment. The things we say are constant — they aren't really constant. Nothing is. It may be that a very small percentage of your time is occupied with that thought, and yet the thought arises, "It's on my mind all the time, causing me pain" — but before
that thought arose, it was not present! So we can deduce that that thought is not true. All of your thoughts will eventually reveal themselves not to be true.

We base our lives on the idea that things are constant and continuous, but neither of those things is true. You can look and see for yourself. We put so much pressure on ourselves to fix the problems, work on them, plan for them, be a superhero around them all, all day, every day. When in reality, we really don't have to do any of that. All of that only ever appeared in thought, in the idea that I exist in a continuous, constant flow of thought, and I have to work hard to keep that "life" working properly.

But the truth is, that is not your existence. You know this. You feel it in your bones, in your heart. You don't have to work to be. Keep coming back to awareness and notice how little impact those passing thoughts have on you. Remember that for next time. And after a while, you just won't think of yourself as a person anymore, because the whole person-creating mechanism will have been seen through.

Between and pervading all those passing thoughts of personal needs and cares — there is just you alone — just awareness alone. This is the happy ending that already is.