As soon as there is a sense of an I with an Other, we need to maintain and flesh it out with an identity. And that identity, by definition, have to be special. It has to set this I apart from the rest of the world.
We find value in being special, in desirable ways if we can, and less desirable ways if that is what is left for us, because – at least – it gives an identity to this separate I. It helps it maintain its sense of being an I with an Other.
At the same time, the whole process of exploring who and what we are is a process of finding ourselves less special.
When we embrace more of the evolving wholeness of who we are, we deepen into an experience of the wider world as a mirror. Whatever we see in others and the wider world, is also something we can find right here.
Although there is still a unique flavor to how these qualities show up in our life, and others may see us as especially mature and insightful (or not), and we may see that too, the experience of ourselves is as more and more ordinary.
As we embrace more of who we are, we deepen into an experience of ordinariness. Of seeing ourselves in others, and others in ourselves.
There is a deepening sense of us. Of being in the same boat. Of shared dynamics of life.
And we can deepen into a realization of these shared dynamics in several different ways.
What shows up in each of us have infinite causes, and we share the vast majority of those causes – stretching back to the beginning of time and out to the furthest reaches of space. We all seek happiness and to avoid suffering. We all act from fear, which is really an expression of love. Each of us is one way the universe sees, touches, tastes, explores and knows itself.
And when we notice what we are, the falling away of a sense of being special goes even further.
What is notices itself as already and always this awakeness and its content as awakeness itself. It never went away. It leaves nothing out. It is completely unremarkable.
And there is also no “I” here to take credit for anything. No doer. No identification with a sense of an I with an Other, or any particular identity.
As before, it is expressed with a particular flavor through this human self. And others may think it is special and unique, but the experience of it is quite different.
This is why, if we sincerely explore who and what we are, the impulse to be special is a good thing to notice and investigate.
Do I embrace more of the wholeness of who I am to be special? If so, what happens when I hold onto that belief that I should be, or am, special? What do I get for holding onto those beliefs? What is the truth in its reversals? How am I not special? Even in the ways I appear to be different, how is that not different?
Do I explore what I am to be special? If so, who is it that needs to be special? What do I find when I look? Do I find a story? Anchored on sensations? All happening on its own? Happening out of, and as, thin air?
Trigger: Reading Stuff White People Like and noticing the tendency to want to be less predictable than that. (I fit into many of those categories.)
- want to be special
- yet the whole process, embracing the wholeness of who we are + noticing what we are – is a process of being/experiencing oneself as less special
- who: anyone+world a mirror, find in me what I see out there, sense of ordinariness
- what: Ground, of all w/out exception, unremarkable, ordinary + no “I” to take credit for anything
- may appear special to others (whole, mature, awakened)
- but the experience is of being utterly ordinary, unremarkable
- an experience of *us* as who I am, and of no I as what I am