You can think of our mind as a duality – the sea of association and the sky of consciousness.
Working memories are transforming clouds in the sky.
Short-term memories are loops of emergence and submergence between the sea and the sky.
Long-term memories are conditioned seeds hidden deep in the sea.
Things are systems formed along the strange attractors of Tao.
It is a slipstream.
It is synchrony.
It is the result of what the ancient Chinese calls – Virtue.
The panicked man wonders if his girlfriend has ever seen his real face. So he calls her up over the phone and asks. But instead of answering him, she shoots him another question:
“Is this your real voice?”
The man is shocked. “You mean the one you’re hearing now? Of course it’s my real voice!”
“No,” his girlfriend replies calmly. “what I’m hearing is the sound my phone creates, based on an electrical conversion of your voice. What I’m hearing is the sound my mind creates, based on the vibratory signals my ear receives from the air. I have never heard your real voice. Have you heard yours?”
The man hangs up, bewildered. Intellectually he knows that his real voice is the same as that of a one-handed clap. Yet no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t hear it.
Have you ever heard yours?
A handsome man wakes up one morning to look at himself.
He stares at the mirror in shock:
“What’s this? Where did my real face go?”
There is a face in the mirror, but the man has already decided: it’s not his.
It is only a mirror reflection. Not the real thing.
He then takes out his camera and snaps a selfie.
He looks at the photo but concludes that it’s not his face too.
It is only a digital image of pixels.
By this time he is in a state of panic.
For he realises what a deluded life he’s been leading, believing that reflections and images are his face when they are actually illusory representations. He has never seen his own face for real.
So he keeps searching and he keeps asking himself:
“What is my real face? How does it really look like? How can I ever see it?”
What is that ‘thing’ which knows?
Like when angry, you know you feel angry. Like when sad, you know you feel sad.
But the ‘thing’ that knows is itself unchanged.
It is not affected by emotion.
It is unmoved.
It simply knows whatever emotion that comes and goes.
To be awakened, find that ‘thing’.
When found, you’ll realise that you’re searching for the ‘thing’ that searches.
You are searching for yourself.
The guest stops at an inn where he passes the night, and as soon as he has done so, he packs and continues his journey because he has no time to stay longer.
As to the host of the inn, he has nowhere to go. He has to stay.
This is how you distinguish yourself from everything else. You are the host; you stay. Everything else are guests; they go.
– adapted from Ajnata-Kaundinya’s sharing
He is three
One’s in the middle unmoved
Waiting to show what he sees to the other two
To the one attacking – so afraid
And the one that keeps trying to love and trust
And getting himself betrayed
– Joni Mitchell
Despite the continuous change of our body and mind over time, there is a constant self that threads through our entire life. It is the same self we were as a child. We can connect with our young self in memory; we know we are essentially the same person.
What is this constant presence that remains unchanged?
It is pure consciousness – the awareness of awareness.