Who am I? …or… What am I? ...or even… Am I?
These are the ultimate questions of our existence. Is there anybody on this world who has not asked themselves one of these questions at least once in their lifetime? Anyway, for most of us, it would be awesome to reveal answers to these most profound questions.
But why should anyone bother with such questions at all?
The self-inquiry should be self-sufficient per se, with no external benefits. There is no goal to it, except for revealing our true nature. The practice of self-inquiry naturally occurs when an individual reaches spiritual maturity, which genuinely accelerates their pursuit toward the ultimate Truth. An inner urge for self-realization spontaneously arises. Enlightenment is going to happen, of its own accord and that should be sufficient as such. However, there is even more to that.
The practice of self-inquiry naturally occurs when an individual reaches spiritual maturity.
Are There Benefits of Self-Inquiry?
Yes, there indeed are significant side-benefits of such a practice.
If you are doing the self-inquiry on a regular basis, you might experience some profound changes in your life, similar to those of “normal” meditation sittings or mindfulness practice. For example, you might:
If you are doing the self-inquiry on a regular basis, you might experience some profound changes in your life, similar to those of “normal” meditation sittings or mindfulness practice.
But the most precious gain of this practice could be out of any concept of benefit whatsoever: The Ultimate Truth.
The Technique of Self-Inquiry
Now, let us dive into the nuts-and-bolts of self-inquiry. You may be doing it by following these steps:
Here is a more detailed explanation of each step.
1. Enter the state of Presence. Just be here and now. Accept any external impressions, or internal sensations, emotions or thoughts that may arise. For that purpose, you may apply the Dissolving the Temporary I technique, which will take you directly to the boundless state of Pure Consciousness, or Presence.
2. Turn your attention inward and ask the question: What is present?
Note that the question begins with what instead of who. Of course, you may ask the “classical” question Who am I? and might end up with the same result. However, what doesn't imply any identity, while who does. In this process, identities are the obstacles to the Truth, so we aim to release all our identities to experience the essence of our being.
In this process, identities are the obstacles to the Truth, so we aim to release all our identities to experience the essence of our being.
You will probably get many answers to this question. They could appear as thoughts, inner voices, images, or even emotions and blurry feelings. Often, some thoughts, seemingly unrelated to the question, might arise. In any case, accept all these mind contents entirely and return to your question.
The real answer does not relate to your body (e.g., I am this body) nor any identity (e.g., your name, like I am John Smith; family role, such as I am a father of two; profession, as in I am a teacher, etc.).
The real answer will never come in the form of your mind content - thoughts, images, or emotions. It is not your sense of “I” neither. The real answer to this question is beyond all of that. Try to find that which is beyond. It is a kind of presence in the background of thoughts, emotions and all other experiences.
3. Ask yourself the next question: What is aware of that presence?
This question is merely another pointer to the Truth.
Attend to your consciousness. Be aware of your awareness. Does it have any boundaries? What is that mysterious, conscious presence? Do you recognize that subtle “is-ness” or “am-ness” in the background of your consciousness?
The only real answer to these questions is a direct experience of your True Nature. It’s beyond any word, concept, impression, or identification. It’s pure nothingness, pure presence, “is-ness.”
However, we are going to name it for the sake of this process. So, let’s call it “Pure Presence.”
4. Abide in Pure Presence.
This state we could name in countless ways: Inner Truth, Emptiness, Nothingness. It is formless, inexplicable, unknown, unexplainable. It is beyond mind and any concept. You can see that it has always been present within you. The “Is-ness.” Your true Essence. And, to you, it is the most familiar thing in your life.
5. When any disturbance arises, repeat steps from 1 to 4.
It is almost inevitable that a distraction will emerge, whether from the inside (thoughts, emotions, physical sensations) or outside (sound, somebody shows up, a phone call, or anything else). Now, after being deeply grounded in the state of Pure Presence or Inner Truth, you will more easily return to that state and merge with this Nothingness.
What if You Fail to Recognize Your Inner Truth?
If you are not able to become aware of Pure Presence, do not despair. It has already been there, within you, and it will always be. Do not worry, you will recognize it, sooner or later, because it is actually the most familiar “thing” in your life. You are so used to it, since a long time ago, that it has become unrecognizable to you. It is your true nature, and you are entirely accustomed to it. You are that since the dawn of your whole existence as an individual being.
If you are not able to become aware of Pure Presence, do not despair. You will recognize it, sooner or later, because it is actually the most familiar “thing” in your life.
You are the nothingness or pure space behind everything. This nothingness is not nihilistic. It's the source of everything – you, your mind, body and your individual life. It's the source of all inspiration and creativity. It's the inexhaustible well of deep Love and great Joy.
Your True Nature is the source of great peace. Whenever you recognize it, you will enter a state of profound peace. You will be able to feel deep love for others. In all circumstances, you will enjoy every activity and feel subtle peace within.
After recognizing your True Nature several times during your sessions of self-inquiry, you will become able to recognize it in everyday life. So, whenever you remind yourself to become present here-and-now, you simply shift your attention to your “is-ness” in the background of everything. Every time you spontaneously become aware of the present moment, switch to the “formless” behind. This is something similar to mindfulness practice, but in this case, we could name it the truthfulness practice.
Author: Larry Mager
Readybrain.net | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve been laid off or your boss gave you a negative review, it’s not unusual to experience low self-esteem, frustration or sadness. You may not even know how to move forward after a career setback.
Sure, you can find another job. Maybe you’ll even find one that offers the same pay or benefits. But when some people suffer a career setback, they decide to start their own business. Read on to discover why starting a business venture may be one of the best decisions you ever make.
Why Starting Your Own Business is a Smart Move
When you start your own business, you’re the boss. You don’t have to worry about getting laid off or fired. No one’s ordering you to do mandatory overtime, and no supervisor is taking the credit for all your amazing ideas. Since you call the shots, you get to decide when you work and how long you do it. Even better, owning your own business may eventually lead to more time with family and friends. At first, you may put in long hours, but once your business gets off the ground, you may enjoy more down time. Some business owners even get to work from home.
When you’re a business owner, you decide how to guide your company and create your own company culture. As an entrepreneur, you experience each day as a new challenge. Whether hiring new employees, learning about taxes, marketing your company or designing a website for it, every day offers new experiences and opportunities. That means you’ll rarely ever be bored. You can’t always say the same when you’re working for someone else.
Another benefit of owning your business is the joy you experience building something from your dreams. You may even start a business that springs from a hobby or side job. Making a full-time living doing something you love makes owning a business even sweeter.
How to Get Started
You’ve decided to create your own business. Now, you just have to get started. First, think about what interests you and the fields where you have the most experience. If you’re an accountant, maybe you could start your own accounting firm. Do you enjoy baking? Maybe you could start a bakery. Are you a writer? Consider starting a content marketing company. If you like sales, maybe it’s time to consider a job in real estate. Many people love the freedom and flexibility that come with being a real estate agent.
No matter what you decide, find out how much it will cost to start your business venture. If you don’t have the funds in your savings account, you’ll need to find investors or score a small business loan to get started. Some organizations may even offer grants to people who are starting a new business. It’s also important to check out your competition by going online to view websites run by businesses like the one you want to run. A great business idea gives you a greater chance of receiving backing from investors, banks and grant organizations.
Also think about ways you can use the resources you already have to launch yourself on the path to success. Making the most of what you already have access to is a great way to save on startup costs. For example, working from a home office rather than renting office space is a huge money-saver. You will, however, want to invest in quality equipment to make sure every aspect of your venture runs smoothly and that you stay productive in a home office, so be sure to factor this variable into your startup budget.
Experiencing a career setback hits at your self-esteem, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move forward and achieve success. If you have a passion for something and have always dreamed of making it your career, consider creating your own business. While starting any new venture involves risks, there’s also the chance to experience a myriad of benefits when you take the leap and create your own business.
We are living in a time of gadgets. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, TV, smart watches, and many other “smart” things are indisputably helpful in many tasks we are facing every day. However, all these gadgets are, at the same time, great soakers of our attention and energy, often being extremely addictive.
To many of us, building the daily habit of meditation sittings is a challenging task. Even if we establish it, we might be often distracted by many external influences, including electronic devices.
When we are watching something on the device’s display, we are in fact totally immersed in that content. Our attention is entirely absorbed by the games, movies, music, images, or anything else emerging from that shiny rectangle. Our life energy is drained, and we often feel exhausted after a few hours of such an activity.
And much of our free time we spend immersed in endless contents these devices offer. We have become the society of gadget-addicts.
Wouldn't be awesome if we could reverse this situation somehow? Is it possible to actually transform all these gadgets into gateways to conscious living? Of course it is.
Is it possible to actually transform all these gadgets into gateways to conscious living? Of course it is.
One of the ways to turn this immersing habit into a portal to inner freedom is this meditation. Here are the steps you may follow:
Before you begin, it is necessary to become familiar with the terms “physical attention” and “mental attention.”
By physical attention, we mean to direct our eyes toward something in front of us.
On the other hand, mental attention implies an intense awareness of something, which means focusing our mind on that (regardless of our eyes’ direction).
1. Focusing on the phone’s frame
You can begin this meditation in whatever position or situation you find yourself in. Whether you are sitting, lying down, or standing, you can do this brief exercise, as long as you hold the phone or some other device in your hand.
First, while still looking at the phone’s screen, become aware of its frame or bezels. Extend your mental attention on the frame. Remember, your eyes are physically still directed toward the center of the device’s display, while you are becoming more aware of the device’s edges.
If a thought or emotion arises, just accept it. If you find a related tension in your body – accept that as well, and return to meditation.
2. Sensing the phone
Now, while still being aware of the phone’s edges, become aware of the gadget as a whole. As you are holding it, feel its surface and weight.
So, your mental attention should now encompass the phone’s display, the edges, and your senses of its surface and weight. All the while, keep your physical attention on the screen.
What is Consciousness?
To discuss the great mystery of gaps in consciousness and their meaning, we should define what is consciousness in the first place. Most of the scientific authorities agree it is a state of awareness of one’s environment and an ability to respond to various external stimuli. In a broader sense, we can even include awareness of self, which implies the state of being self-conscious.
From a spiritual point of view, consciousness is impersonal and inherently independent of mind, body, matter, energy, space and time. Related to that, consciousness can be unlimited, which is its true nature, or seemingly limited.
Unlimited consciousness is actually the Primordial Oneness, infinite, omnipresent, eternal, without any boundaries of mind, space and time.
On the other hand, limited consciousness is apparently constricted to the dynamic points of view. The word “dynamic” here indicates moving by the limitations of space and time. We, as conscious beings, or any other conscious entities, are examples of limited consciousness.
Indeed, during our wakeful time, our consciousness is severely confined by space-time. So, by the gaps in consciousness, we mean discontinuities in the stream of limited consciousness, with no memories of these periods whatsoever.
By the gaps in consciousness, we mean discontinuities in the stream of limited consciousness, with no memories of these periods whatsoever.
Continuity and Discontinuity of Consciousness
The discontinuous nature of our everyday consciousness is evident. Indeed, there are many gaps in our awareness. For example, we sleep regularly, and the state of deep sleep naturally interrupts our conscious presence. There are also other states of mind in which we are not aware at all – coma, vegetative state, anesthesia, etc.
Note that in our awake time there are many smaller and unnoticeable discontinuities of our awareness during so-called visual saccades (quick movements of eyes between phases of fixation in the same direction) when our conscious responsiveness is turned off. Nevertheless, these small but frequent blackouts are very hard to notice, and there is always a pretty firm notion of the continuity in awareness.
What happens with consciousness during all these discontinuities? Does it simply disappear, or something happens but we don’t retain any memory of that?
Windows to Oneness
Consciousness cannot be absent. It cannot disappear. It cannot be annihilated as it is present everywhere, in everything. It is impossible for us to become nothingness in the nihilistic sense if something conscious is already there. That’s why those continuity gaps are, in fact, windows to the higher levels of our existence or even to the Primordial Oneness. And those discontinuities are persistently repetitive.
From the point of view of our limited minds, during the continuity gaps such as deep sleep, there is no consciousness, no time, so we merely jump on to the next period of being conscious.
From a broader perspective, the gaps are only occurring from the vantage point of our limited consciousness, not within the unlimited consciousness. As said before, consciousness cannot ever be absent, anywhere. So, in these periods, our limited point of view shifts to its background consciousness, or “ancestral consciousness.” Our limited, individual consciousness becomes one with the much broader consciousness of our Soul, which is aware of many other lives or existences which we can consider as “ours,” and the continued conscious existence between these lives.
To be more precise, during our continuity gaps, we experience all other lives or continual points of view of our higher-level ancestral being, or our Soul. But there is no memory of that when we awaken to the normal state of consciousness.
During our continuity gaps, we experience all other lives or continual points of view of our higher-level ancestral being, or our Soul. But there is no memory of that when we awaken to the normal state of consciousness.
Beings at All Levels of Existence Also Experience Discontinuities
Our Higher Self, or Soul, despite its much broader vantage point, is also a limited entity. Therefore, it must have analogous gaps in their consciousness’ continuity.
Similar to our everyday life, from the point of view of our Higher Self, there are no discontinuities in consciousness at all. Our Soul merely skips the time of the gap.
But, from an even broader perspective, there are such periods of our Soul’s life. In those interruptions, the Infinite Consciousness experiences the conscious time of an even higher-level ancestral being (higher Soul). Still, there is no memory of these experiences.
How many higher levels of our existence are there? It’s a mystery. However, the Primordial Oneness is the highest level of consciousness, and it experiences all at once, outside of space-time continuum and has the knowledge of everything and everyone.
In those discontinuities of the stream of consciousness, our individual point of view, regardless its level, sometimes completely dissolves and our consciousness even merges with the Unlimited Consciousness, the Primordial Oneness. That consciousness experiences everything and anything instantly, in no time and no space. Therefore, it knows everything; it takes all possible points of view in all universes ever. This is the most natural state of Being. Hence, during the continuity gaps we are not staring the face of God – in fact, we are becoming God, or the Primordial Oneness.
During some of those gaps, the Unlimited Consciousness, or Primordial Oneness, experiences all the lives of all conscious entities, including their past and future span, within the entirety of Existence. In all of those lives, similar continuity gaps are also happening myriads of times, which also allow experiences of all other existences, including this one. Yet, there is no memory of that when we awaken.
During these discontinuities we are not staring the face of God – in fact, we are becoming God, or the Primordial Oneness.
The Memory as the Key to Individual Life
Our consciousness is constricted to this specific point of view of this concrete person. It depends on time and memory. Since there is no time during these gaps, there could be no memory of any experience within the gaps. The individual life continues as there are no memories of other points of view which were experienced. The only memory present in the normal state of consciousness is that of this particular individual existence. So, there is an absolute impression of our personal continuity.
We, as God, or the Primordial Oneness, are experiencing all other points of view in all universes during the continuity gaps. Every one of us, as a particular being, seemingly experiences a continuous lifetime because of the lack of memory of neither of those lifetimes.
That’s why the gaps in the apparent stream of our everyday consciousness are critical. From “time” to “time,” we return to our creator, become one with Him or Her, and deeply refresh and re-vitalize our illusionary existence. These discontinuities are not only inevitable; they are essential for our life and spiritual growth.
Take full responsibility for your own life. That’s one of the fundamental principles of the Reintegration System, and one of the direct implications of the so-called Holographic Principle.
Holographic point of view can sound bizarre to our rational mind. It depicts the phenomenon of any provisional part containing complete information about the bigger system which it belongs to. In other words, we, as parts of the Universe, have within us all information about the Universe. That also means that we are the Universe. We are the source. And this implicates that we are responsible for everything, as we are the source.
But what exactly does “taking full responsibility for our life” mean? It does not mean to take full control, nor it implicates blaming ourself for anything. It merely means to truly acknowledge and feel that we are the genuine source of all events in our life that are of any personal significance to us.
To be fully responsible for life can also have two meanings: one is responsible for their own individual reality (limited responsibility) or the entire Universe (Existence). These meanings stem from two interpretations of the Holographic Principle: limited and total view.
Two Points of View of the Holographic Principle
According to the Limited View of the Holographic Principle, all entities are symbolically volumes with their surfaces. Those surfaces have all information on the volumes.
On the other hand, the Total View of the Holographic Principle assumes that the entire Existence is inherently indivisible, so every entity has complete information on the Existence.
First, here are some thoughts on the “limited” interpretation.
The Holographic view of the universe has been relatively recently proposed by several renowned theoretical physicists (Leonard Susskind, Stanford University; Charles Thorn, University of Florida; Gerard 't Hooftand, Utrecht University; and several others) that were exploring string theory and an information paradox related to black holes. The outcome of their analysis was: the surface of any volume contains all the information about that very volume. In other words, all particles, structures, or events within a limited volume of space-time are mirrored on the surface of that volume, and vice versa.
Now, this leads us to a significant consequence to our everyday life. For us, if our being is a kind of the “volume,” what would be its “surface”?
It is the external world that we perceive.
 Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_principle
All particles, structures, or events within a limited volume of space-time are mirrored on the surface of that volume, and vice versa.
The reality is being experienced through our senses, on the “surface” of our being. So, our individual experience of the outer reality is that surface! Therefore, the outer reality and our inner being must correspond to each other. Each has complete information on the other. Whatever is inside our being, is perfectly mirrored in our external world, although in a strange and symbolical way. Note that this relates to our individual reality only, not to the whole universe.
However, the Limited View of the Holographic Principle has an inevitable consequence: every human being is fully responsible for their individual life, in all its aspects.
The Limited View of the Holographic Principle has an inevitable consequence: every human being is fully responsible for their individual life, in all its aspects.
The second and much broader way of thinking about the Holographic Principle is the “total approach.” It originates from the idea of indivisibility of the Primordial Oneness (or the Source, God). As the Primordial Oneness is not prone to any division due to its very nature (oneness), any limited entity or structure is actually an illusion, and it still equals to the same Primordial Oneness.
This also means that any entity potentially has the entire information within itself on the whole Existence. Although it is hard to believe in this, there is a possibility to extract any information from any subject, as that subject is an illusion and there is only Oneness, which is independent of the space-time limitations.
Chief consequences of the “total approach” to the Holographic Principle are: We are one. Inherently, we are the Primordial Oneness, God. And yes, we are responsible for the whole of Existence.
Chief consequences of the “total approach” to the Holographic Principle are: We are one. Inherently, we are the Primordial Oneness, God. And yes, we are responsible for the whole of Existence.
Layers of Holographic Reality
From our individual point of view, there are several layers of reality. Their main differentiating characteristics is the level of apparent influence we usually exert on them.
Beyond our inner world, in the external world, first, there is our physical body. It is an intersection between inner and outer reality. It actually belongs to the external reality, but our mind is deeply attached to it. It represents the first and closest layer to our inner being. Seemingly, we have a robust, continuous, and decisive influence on this part of our reality.
Then there are people and circumstances we are surrounded with: family, home, friends, co-workers, various life events, accidents, etc. Typically, we exert occasional but considerable influence on these people and events.
Going further on, we experience our wider environment – neighborhood, broader organization/company we are working at, many acquittances, and so on. This environment is whatever we have some slight or rare influence on.
Then there are social and global events around us. We perceive almost zero influence by us on those people or events.
The layers are shown in the figure below.
Now, let's take a look at each layer from another angle. What exactly is mirrored in those layers? What is the practical value of recognizing them?
Here are some insights on each of the layers:
Please note that most of the articles have a "Read More" break, which is sometimes hardly visible.
It is located at the bottom of visible part of the article, on the right side.
To continue reading the article, click on that link.
This page may contain affiliate links meaning we earn a commission if you use those links.
We only recommend pages we appreciate and trust.
Check out excellent meditation courses at LiveAndDare.com. We recommend them wholeheartedly!