I-Other Dynamics


If Existence is beyond and includes all polarities, then that is the only “I”, or rather – there is no “I” anywhere within all this, and not even really as all this – since there is no “other”.

There is the whole hierarchy of being, from matter through spirit and the nondual, but there is no “I” as a segment of all this.

Functional connection

At the same time, it seems that this whole is (apparently paradoxically) separately and functionally connected to various selves, various organisms.

When there is an awakening through one human self, it does not mean that there is a simultaneous awakening through all the other selves. Some veils remain.

Transparent overlay of abstractions

In the realization of no “I”, there is just what is, beyond and including all polarities. There is still the opportunity for an overlay of abstractions, differentiating this seamless whole, but it is transparent to the whole and seen as what it is – just an overlay of abstractions to help us, as human beings, explore and communicate, and navigate and orient in the world.

Opaque overlay of abstractions

And when there is a belief in the idea of “I” as a segment of all this, then the overlay of abstractions tends to be taken as real in itself. The lines on the map is mistaken for the features of the terrain. It becomes opaque to the seamless whole. The lines are taken as boundaries, and the main boundary is of I and other. What is taken as I changes, but the process is the same.

I as fragmented human self

If I is taken to be parts of my human self, the any other part of my human self and the rest of Existence is seen as other. I am whatever corresponds with this particular and temporary image of “I”, and everything else is other. I am good, and bad is other – and placed on others. I am right, and wrong is other. I am superior and inferior is other. Or I am inferior and superior is other. I am a human, and animals and plants are other. I am a finite being, and the infinite is other. I am matter, and spirit is other. I can be present, but the present itself is other. And so on.

I as whole human self

If I is taken to be the whole of my human self, then every quality I see in the outer world is also here – consciously – in the inner world. I am the whole beyond and including psyche and body, and the wider world is a mirror of the qualities of my human self. This is quite a big step beyond the image of I as a fragmented human being, but there is still an other. And this other may be the Earth, the Universe, the infinite, Spirit, God and so on.

Breaking in of other

As long as there is the belief in I as a segment of what is, what is perceived as other will continue to break in, as waves on the shore.

At the fragmented human self level, this other is anything excluded from our self image, including what Jung called the shadow.

At this and the whole human self level, this other may be the Earth, Universe, Spirit, God, bliss, clarity, awareness, and so on.

Reversals from the typical

Then there is the possibility of certain reversals. At the fragmented human self level, it could be that I am bad and others are good, or I am wrong and others are right. Or – as we awaken to the “spirit” levels, the reversal could be that I am really the infinite, but not really the finite. I am spirit and not really matter. There are innumerable possible figure-ground reversals from the more common content of I.

Still from the idea of I

Of course, all of these still come from a belief in the idea of “I”. It is only the content – what this image is placed on – which changes. It is an interesting exploration process, but the essence of it remains – the belief in the idea of “I” as a segment of what is. And this perpetuates the appearance of separation and thus of suffering, in some or all of its many forms.

Realization of no I

When this realization dawns, the whole idea of “I” looses its grip. The rug is pulled out under its feet. It becomes more transparent, until it falls away.

The content may still be the same, but the context changes. The content of sensations, feelings, thoughts, focus, awareness, behavior and so on continues, but the context changes from the appearance of “I” as a segment of what is, to no “I” found anywhere.

There is the doing, but no individual doer.

Temporary masks

It is just the whole, beyond and including all polarities, temporarily acting through and as a human self. It is the infinite exploring itself as the finite.

This human self is revealed as one of the many and temporary masks of Spirit.

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