How do I experience myself?
Mainly, as a field. The field my experiences – right now of this room, this body, the computer, the sounds of the keys, and so on – happen within and as.
Sometimes, the focus goes more into the human self. I am the field, and there is a kind of focus on the human self. It stands out a little more.
And I am also very aware that many parts of my psychology still operate from separation consciousness. They too happen within and as the field, and they seem to assume they are separate.
All of that is part of the richness of what’s here.
SEEING VS VISCERAL EXPERIENCE
This is also where the difference between seeing and a visceral experience comes in.
For me, it’s inevitable to find myself as this field in terms of seeing. That is the visceral experience most of the time. And sometimes, when parts of me operating from separation consciousness are triggered, the visceral experience shifts into a sense of being separate.
That too is part of the richness that is here. The field takes that form too, sometimes.
And when I look more closely, I find that these parts of my psychology experiencing and operating from separation consciousness color everything even when they are not triggered. It may appear to not be very obvious, but it’s here.
Until all parts are liberated, the whole is not fully liberated.
And that’s OK and more than OK. It’s all how the field and the whole expresses, explores, and experiences itself. It’s part of the richness.
What is this field?
It’s what I most fundamentally am. It’s what takes the form of all content of experience – the whole world as it appears to me. It’s more familiar to me than any particular content of experience. In reality, it’s all I have ever known since it’s what takes the form of all content of experience.
Thoughts can label it consciousness, or oneness, or love, or Big Mind / Big Heart, or – if we want to be more fanciful – Spirit, the divine, Brahman, and so on. And as with anything else, labels can only point to it.
How can we find it for ourselves?
In one sense, we are this human self in the world. It’s how most others see us, it’s what our passport tells us, it’s what our own thoughts may tell us since we have learned it from others. It’s not wrong and it’s an assumption that works reasonably well. Although it does have some inevitable drawbacks since it’s partially out of alignment with reality. (It tends to create an underlying sense of something being off, and – to the extent our system pretends it’s true – it tends to create discomfort.)
And yet, is that what we more fundamentally are in our own first-person experience? And how can we explore this for ourselves?
We can explore it through basic meditation. Notice and allow what’s here in this field of experience, and notice it’s already noticed and allowed. Through this, we may get a visceral sense of how any and all content of experience comes and goes. And yet, something doesn’t come and go. What is that? Is that what I more fundamentally am? How is it to find myself as that?
We can explore it by investigating our sense fields, and especially how our mental field combines with the other fields to make sense of the world and help us function in the world. (And how it also can create a sense of fundamentally being something within our field of experience, this human self, even if that’s not the full picture.)
We can perhaps most easily and directly explore it through guided noticing. The most effective approaches I have found are Headless experiments (from Douglas Harding) and the Big Mind process (Genpo Roshi).