“We are not humans”

I like overhearing fragments of conversations and finding the truth in them.

The other day, walking on Karl Johan in Oslo, I overheard someone saying: We are not humans. (“Vi er ikke mennesker”.)

I have no idea what he may have meant, but I can find some truth to it.


In some ways, I am this human self in the world. That’s how most others see me. It’s what my passport tells me. It’s what my mind tells me when it has that thought. And it’s an assumption that works pretty well. It’s a story with some validity.


When I look more closely in my own first-person experience, I find something else. I find that I more fundamentally am something else.

I am more fundamentally capacity for the world as it appears to me. I am capacity for any experience that’s here. For what’s seen, heard, felt, tasted, smelled, thought, and so on.

And I am what the world, to me, happens within and as. I am what the world to me happens within and as. (And with “the world” I mean any content of experience, any thoughts, sensations, sights, sounds, and so on. This human self and anything associated with it. Others. The wider world. States that come and go. And so on.)

A thought may call this oneness. Or consciousness. Or even Spirit or the divine. It doesn’t matter so much.


What matters in this context is that, in my own first-person experience, I am most fundamentally not human.

On the one hand, what I am is what’s already the most familiar to me. It’s what I have known for my whole existence. It’s all I have ever known since what I am takes the form of any experience.

On the other hand, it can be a bit shocking and unnerving to realize this and take it in. It goes against our conditioning.

To myself, I am not most fundamentally human.

We are not humans. Just like the random guy on the street said.


And at the same time, we are very much humans in this world.

What I am allows and takes the form of this human self in the world. And realizing this allows me to even more deeply embrace my humanity and all of who this human self is.

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