This morning, I listened to a NPR program about the Bush response (or lack thereof) to Hurricane Katrina. They had several people in the studio engaging in Bush bashing, so I found myself partly upset by the incredible corruption that goes through the US political system and society, and partly upset by the one-sidedness of the commentators. My identity contracted somewhat down to these patterns of the small self, so when I went over to my partner – working in the kitchen – to suggest that she would do whatever she was doing in a more mindful and quiet way (so as to not wake up our housemates at 7 in the morning), it came out a little more forcefully than normal. And she mirrored this back by contracting her own identity and expressing it as defensiveness.
But I also saw that I was still the capacity for all these experiences, the space & awareness in which they unfolded. In the midst of being engaged in it, I saw the whole situation unfolding within me and I couldn’t quite take it seriously. It was as if I engaged in old patterns, as an actor, not really believing it.
I also took this contraction into identification (with only one or a few objects among the vastness of phenomena arising in the present) as a reminder to come to the other aspect of my holarchy of being, myself as space & awareness. When something is experienced, when an object appears in this pure awareness, and when my identity contracts down to it, what is really experiencing?
This immediately brings me back as headless, as pure awareness, as space & awareness within which this all unfolds in the present. It gives me a sense of myself as distinct from all these phenomena – of welcomed separation and spaciousness. And at the same time, it gives me a sense of myself as these phenomena as they unfold.