Yesterday I commented on how the mind is untrustworthy, often lying to you about who you are. It likes to barge into your awareness, often while yelling out “I” this, and “I” that, making bold claims about who and what you are. A common example would be to hear, “I can’t do this…” while attempting to do something that is difficult.
I’d like to challenge all of you to try something. When you hear that thought inside your mind, immediately pause, then stare back “inwardly” and say, “Who is this ‘I’ that can’t understand? How do you know whether this ‘I’ can or cannot accomplish this?” Call it out. Make it show itself. Drag it out of the shadows and put the light on it. Who are you? Where do you come from? Why are you saying this? How do you know this?
In life we have these thoughts in our minds, going all over the place, and half of the time they don’t know what they’re talking about. This is what I’ve been learning in meditation. I hear this chatter inside my skull and I observe it in awe. Every time I hear some sort of “I” statement floating around in my mind, I drag it out into the open, in self-awareness, and I shine a giant spot-light on it, then I grill it like a police interrogator. Put it up on the witness stand and make it accountable. Nine times out of ten, this phantom imposter will vanish into dust after the first few questions.
If you go to understand something difficult, say some complicated physics concept, and you hear that thought, “I can’t understand this…”, who is this “I”? It doesn’t exist. How do I know this? I can pretty much guarantee you, within a few weeks, you’ll keep studying it, and keep at it, and eventually something will give way and you’ll get “it”, whatever it was. I hear this from a student, I know they can get it. Why? Because I was able to get it, and there’s nothing inherently special about me. I just spent some time with it, that’s all. So I will ask all of you, who was this “I” that couldn’t understand? Did it exist? Was it real? Obviously not. So what was it?
It’s a belief that comes from who knows where. Maybe you took some exam way back when and didn’t do so well, and from then on you told yourself you weren’t good at physics. Maybe it was some comment a teacher, your parents, or someone you respect made to you years ago. Maybe a friend cracked some joke and it destroyed your confidence in this area. I have no idea where it came from, but it sunk deep into you, and it’s nothing but poison. Become self-aware of it, call it out, and then let it go. Don’t let it keep you under its bondage any longer.