Skip to content

Who Do I think I think I Am?


"Clara" by Clara G Perry, Boston, 1922 Pastel


I was sitting last night with a friend at a crowded bar called Garibaldi’s. Everything was loud – the sounds, the people, the colors, even the taste of my house white wine  had a certain attack!  Still, there was a reigning inner quietude. This morning, writing at the window of my favorite cafe ( they have a 2%  reduced, low-noise back room with classical  music that goes nicely with my whole-milk English Breakfast  tea)  there’s that  same quiet inner space. It’s a kind of look-out, an implacable place, that both is and isn’t in the game.

It’s not like there’s  this poetic and “delicate sensibility” hovering above and apart  from the action. On the contrary, there is a “sense” of real involvement. A non-experience I call “engaged  disengagement”. One is hard wired to the moment; to the full spectrum that all the senses can convey and the mind can think. What’s more, despite the room noise, despite the street noise, despite the mind-noise, despite the young woman now sitting near me planning her entire wedding on her cell phone! – there is mostly no resistance to this that is happening. I say “mostly” because sometimes I do engage.

 That is, sometimes the “I” that I think I am emerges. That mind-based  “me” has a very subtle way of claiming and re-claiming its take on reality. It asserts a kind of mind-self that is almost, but not quit, as strong as truth. It produces a mighty me-ness that has all the backing of conditioned memory and present, peer supported assumptions about reality. So then the, the dance, begins.

The world whirls in my head, and I take its proffered hand and join the waltz. There’s nothing wrong with all this, of course. It’s human to experience all our senses and our mind at play on the planet. It’s  just that they are believed to be our totality; that their limited, though amazing ,capabilities are taken as  the whole portrait of reality and  not simply as our mind/body projection about what is. In other words, there is what our mind/body proposes as real and true, and there’s that  which is actually true.

That reality is beyond our personal belief, beyond whatever construct we may feel or think about it. Seeing that we are this undefinable, unknowable more, completely changes our relationships. In fact, as we see we are  more, we gradually (or sometimes, suddenly) lose all the usual  relationship between “self”  and  “other”. Nothing ultimately real is lost  when we discover who and what we are. 


 To “Love Being” means to fully engage in the wholeness that we are, both the human, personal “me” and the divine, impersonal “not me”.

To quote one of my favorite non-dual teachers, Jean Klein: “Mind continues to come and go, but the moment you know yourself as awareness, you are this throughout your activities. The non-state is completely unaffected by the thought process, by activity, emotions or desires. These come and go, but you are.”