What’s inside? Inside & outside in a conventional sense and when I look more closely

When we say “look inside”, what do we mean? What’s inside, and what’s outside? And what do I find if I look at this more closely in my own experience?

INSIDE & OUTSIDE IN DAILY LANGUAGE

In our daily language, inside refers to what only we have direct access to – our sensations, emotions, thoughts, and so on. Outside refers to our shared reality that we all can access.

This is obviously a useful and accurate enough differentiation.

WHAT INSIDE & OUTSIDE HAPPENS WITHIN AND AS

If I look more closely, and am more intimate with my experience, I find something else as well.

I find that all my experiences happen within my sense fields. What’s inside happens within my sense fields. And what’s outside happens within my sense fields.

It’s all happening within and as what I am.

THE MENTAL FIELD CREATES THE DIFFERENTIATIONS

The differentiation between inside and outside in a conventional sense comes from an overlay of mental images, labels, and stories.

It’s conveniently created by the mental field to help me function and orient in my daily life and in the world with others.

BOTH TOGETHER

These two go beautifully together.

In my own first-person experience, I cannot find any real inside and outside. I still use the inside and outside differentiation in a conventional sense, and I know it’s a convention and doesn’t reflect any reality beyond that – at least not in my first-person experience.

As who I am, as this human self in the world, inside and outside point to different things. And when I look more closely, I find that the conventional inside and outside both point to what’s happening within my sense fields. What they each point to is happening within and as what I am.

CHILDLIKE EXPLORATIONS

Does any of this matter? After all, the question itself seems childlike and naive, bordering on the ridiculous.

And what we find may seem like an interesting concept, and not more. We may even notice for ourselves that inside & outside happens within and as what we are, and see it as interesting but of little or no practical use. It remains a minor curiosity.

In reality, this type of sincere exploration of simple and childlike questions can be profoundly transforming.

From starting with a simple question (what’s inside?), we may discover what we are in our own first-person experience.

And if we keep noticing what we are, and keep exploring the implications and how to live from it, it can be profoundly transforming. It can transform our perception, our life in the world, and our human self beyond what we could have imagined.

DRAFT

What’s inside?

When we say “look inside”, what do we mean? What’s inside?

INSIDE & OUTSIDE IN A CONVENTIONAL SENSE

In our everyday language, we differentiate between inside and outside. What’s inside is what only I can know directly – my sensations, emotions, thoughts, and so on. And what’s outside is our shared reality that we all can directly sense.

This is a convenient and helpful differentiation, and one I sometimes use as well.

WHAT INSIDE & OUTSIDE HAPPENS WITHIN AND AS

If we are more intimate with our experience, and see what’s here for us, what do we find? I find that all my experiences – what’s happening in all of my sense fields – happens within and as what I am.

In my own experience, I cannot find any real inside and outside. I can still use the inside and outside differentiation in a conventional sense, and I know it’s a convention and doesn’t reflect any reality beyond that – at least not in my first-person experience.

BOTH TOGETHER

As who I am, as this human self in the world, inside and outside points to certain things. And when I look more closely, I find that the conventional inside and outside both point to what’s happening within my sense fields. As what I am, what inside and outside point to both happen within and as what I am.

DRAFT FRAGMENTS

I find that what’s inside – my sensations, thoughts, and so on, happen within my sense fields. And I find that what’s outside – the hands, keyboard, screen, table, happens within my sense fields.

All of it happens within my sense fields. Any sense of inside or outside comes from labels, from my mental images and words.

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