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The Personal to the Impersonal
The “all about me” story can become a painful one. If you have become fed up with talking about “my life, my beliefs my opinions, my belongings, my money, my life style...” then perhaps the futility of these unending and repetitive stories is beginning to show itself.
Take a look and see if you can recognize that many of these stories about “me” are simply an attempt to defend who you THINK you are. Without these believed stories you might find you are not who you think you are. The personal I can never be satisfied because it is fundamentally inauthentic. Its very nature is filled with desire. There is no personal I that is constant and unchanging. The personal I knows no stillness and moves between pleasure and pain in response to the senses. The personal I is an insatiable idea constantly protecting itself and seeking acceptance and love.
This unending cycle has no resolution. It can only be recognized as a futile play and abandoned. Let the “all about me” story fade out. At this point you will find there is something that is watching the play of the one who wants everything to be about itself. The one who sees the hungry personal I does not require the world to rotate around itself. The impersonal I has a knowing that all that happens does not have a direct impact on who you are. Simply put, the impersonal I does not take things personally.
If your reference point has moved from the personal to the impersonal I, then emotional reactions will have lessened greatly. The search for love and attention will have taken a back seat and judgement of others largely subsided. Without a doubt, the impersonal I is a reference point from which you can operate with significantly less suffering. A sense of being less self-absorbed arises. Increasingly, you will notice that when the personal I appears, some drama ensues, because the personal I is perpetually seeking attention.
Many have found that the withdrawing of attention from the personal to the impersonal I is a useful spiritual practice. For some, mind is calmer and for most an inner contentment begins to develop. This is a natural consequence of the removal of attention from who you think you are.
So why bother training your mind to operate from the perspective of the impersonal? Undoubtedly there is less suffering when events are understood to be not about you. However, there is an inconsistency in this practice. It is impossible to be established in the position of the impersonal while the belief that you are a separate individual is still active. It will feel like there is an internal switch which reactivates the personal I. While it seems obvious to seek to avoid suffering and therefore relocate your perspective to the impersonal, something inherently continues to be not at rest. Both the personal and the impersonal points of reference are tricks of the mind as it attempts to make life an experience with less suffering.
Mind imagines that something is to be gained by the perspective of the impersonal, but what it has to offer is limited and becomes not good enough. It is mind that plays with spiritual practice and you are not your mind. Neither are you a product of your thoughts. Both the personal and the impersonal are conceptual states of mind that run their course experientially, and you can erroneously think that you are making progress towards freedom.
So what to do? What you are, is prior and beyond the games of mind. But while you think you are an individual, let it be known that this is idea of separation is no more than a thought believed into a subjective reality. What you are knows nothing of personal and impersonal, of spiritual practice, of awakening. You are not who you think you are and mind cannot conceive of what you truly are. Mind was not designed to know your true identity.
Mind is a tool kit to allow manifestation to appear as real. It imagines as it goes. It believes or doesn’t believe, as it goes. Who you are is not concerned. In fact, who you are has no capacity to imagine anything at all. Who you are knows nothing of who you think you are. The lies that are offered by mind are no more than a smokescreen, an apparent movement that has the capacity within itself to like and dislike what it has created. Do not be bothered with any of this as there is nothing to be fixed or changed here. However, the appearance of manifestation will appear to continue as it plays a game of control. It is mind that tries to control mind, tries to minimize suffering, tries to annihilate itself and imagines that without itself it will be happy. See this game of life for what it is. What you are is beyond all of it.