I noticed while quite young that when my body was tired, it fell asleep, and when it was hungry and thirsty or otherwise uncomfortable, it screamed. And when it needed to eliminate, it did all by itself. As I got older I learned that water, food, clothing and shelter was needed by my body.
Everything was about my body, UNTIL I learned and started THINKING. After that, I spent my life catering to my bodies needs and my mind’s demands.
So then it was that my body’s needs and my mind’s needs, wants and desires ruled me.
One day I decided to stop catering to my body and my mind. I started a fast, no food, just water, and kept my mind silent, refusing to listen to it’s thoughts.
My body and mind rebelled, but I persisted, and they became quiet, and I discovered that I wasn’t my body and I wasn’t my mind. I was something else. What is that something else? I found that something else in the stillness of silence.
Prior to food fasting and thought fasting, I never entertained the thought that I was anything but my mind and body. They were ME, and ME was given the name, Thomas, at birth. But I was about to experience a second birth, and that being is totally different than Thomas, is not Thomas.
I discovered that I wasn’t my likes and dislikes, wasn’t my emotions, wasn’t my personality, wasn’t my intelligence, wasn’t what I know, wasn’t my opinions, judgements, beliefs, faith, feelings, and wasn’t my perspective and attitude. I discovered that I wasn’t any of those. And I wasn’t the labels that had been applied to me and that I applied to myself. I also wasn’t an observer or watcher or awareness. I do those things, but those things are not me either.
During the transition from Thomas to “?”, I jockeyed back and forth, sometimes being Thomas and other times being “?”. But now, I play being Thomas when needed, or required, but mostly, I am “?” (there is a saying that goes like this: Before enlightenment–which I call, transition–you cut wood and haul water, and after the transition, you cut wood and haul water). You continue to live in the world–because you are still here–but you are no longer of the world.
The most profound difference after the transition is that neither Thomas nor “?” have concerns. Both walk in peace. It is as if Thomas and “?” have merged, become one, yet are two. Neither Thomas nor “?” get anxious, fret, worry or fear. Both accept the reality that is–that cannot be changed–and work together to change the things that can be changed, and both do it without a thought or emotion other than that everything is perfect....per effect....is as it must be and cannot but be, until it isn’t. It is total acceptance of what IS at any given moment, thus the profound truth and saying, “IT IS WHAT IT IS.”
So....what am I? Who am I? (AND of course, what and who are YOU....really?).
At this point, the question is, “Who is asking?” And the answer is, Thomas is asking. Thomas, the ego, the human, wants to know, “Who is “?”. What is “?”. Who is this being that is at peace during every changing circumstance, who lives without inner-struggle or inner-resistence, who is at peace and enjoys all that life offers, all that life IS?
To give it a name selected from human language–as many have done–is to humanize it, thus appropriately, it has no human name, though it can be called, “I am that I am....the nameless ONE”.