What does it mean to be in the world but not of it?
This is a phrase inspired by some verses in the New Testament and it’s not a direct quote.
What we find when we notice what we are
Still, it fits very well with what we discover when we notice what we are.
We may take ourselves to most fundamentally be this human self, but if we look, we may find something else.
We may find that to ourselves, we are capacity for the world, and what all our experiences – including of this human self and the wider world – happens within and as.
As a human being we are in the world. And as what we are we are not of it, rather the world as it appears to us happens within and as what we are.
There are three distinct things going on here.
In a conventional sense, and to others, we are a human being in the world. This is not wrong, it’s just not our most fundamental nature.
To us, this human being and the world happens within and as what we are, so we are all of it and also not fundamentally any of it.
And as what we are, we are not in the the world but what it all happens within and as.
When we find this for ourselves, we may see that all three are valid and part of what we notice and live from and as.
Direct noticing vs abstract philosophizing
As mentioned in a recent post, this can seem abstract, a philosophy, and perhaps a fantasy if we haven’t found this for ourselves. And when we do, it’s very clear and immediate, although it’s a bit difficult to put it cleanly into words.