Anything we can name is not what we (most fundamentally) are

I am watching Your Name which is about a teenage boy and girl who find themselves occasionally swapping bodies and life.

There is a lot to learn from imagining ourselves in someone else’s body and life. And although we cannot switch like this in real life, it does also point to our more fundamental nature.

THE ESSENCE: AS CONSCIOUSNESS, WE CAN TAKE ON ANY IDENTITY

To ourselves, we are consciousness. And as consciousness, we can take on any identity. We can take on the viewpoint of any story. And in daily life, we usually take on identities that happen to fit (more or less) our physical body and the life of this physical body in the world. If we had another body, we can take on the identities that fit that particular body and life.

To me, that’s the essence of the body/life-swapping part of the movie. We can imagine having a different body and a different life. And that’s because we are not, most fundamentally, our body. We are not, most fundamentally, any particular content of experience. We are consciousness, and as consciousness we can play with and take on any identities and viewpoints.

WHAT I MORE FUNDAMENTALLY AM

It’s not wrong that we are this particular human self in the world. It’s an assumption that works reasonably well in daily life. (Although it comes with some inherent stress.)

But is it what I most fundamentally am? What do I find when I explore my own first-person experience?

I find that I more fundamentally am something else.

I am more fundamentally capacity for all of these experiences. I am what this field of experience happens within and as.

A thought can call this consciousness. As consciousness, I am capacity for any and all content of experience. I am what forms itself into any experience that’s here. I am what forms itself into this experience of a human self and the wider world. I am what can take on any identity and any view.

THE CLUES ARE EVERYWHERE

When we discover this for ourselves, and as we get more used to finding ourselves as that, we also get to see that the clues are everywhere. What we are is always here. And the clues and pointers are also always here.

As suggested above, Your Name is also a pointer. If it’s so easy to imagine swapping bodies and taking on a whole new life and set of identities, what does it say about our more fundamental nature?

WE ALREADY SWAP BODIES

In a sense, we always swap bodies.

When I see you, you are happening within and as what I am. In my experience, what I am forms itself into you.

And who you see me as is not really here to me. I cannot see my own face or head. My name is a memory I have to access in order to tell you.

And I assume it’s the same for you.

When we meet, we swap bodies. To me, you happen within and as what I am. To you, I happen within and as what you are.

POINTERS AND FINDING FOR OURSELVES

This may make sense logically.

And that’s just another pointer. The invitation is always to find this for ourselves.

Fortunately, there are some effective pointers so we can explore and find this for ourselves. (For instance, Headless experiments and the Big Mind process.)

And fortunately, this exploration doesn’t require any spirituality, religion, belief, or anything else. It just requires some guidance, curiosity, and sincerity. And it does require some diligence to keep noticing and to explore how to live from (and as) this noticing.

ANYTHING WE CAN NAME?

Why did I say “anything we can name is not what we fundamentally are”?

It’s because the function of words is to differentiate, and what we are is what anything differentiated happens within and as. Words can, at best, point us to notice what we are. But they can never capture what we are.


INITIAL DRAFT

I am watching Your Name which is about a teenage boy and girl who find themselves in each other’s bodies and life.

There is a lot to learn from imagining ourselves in someone else’s body and life. And although we cannot switch like this in real life, it does also point to our more fundamental nature.

SHIFTING IDENTITIES

We can take on any identity in our minds. We can dream we are someone else. Our human self in waking life is always changing.

If we sit in basic meditation, we notice that any content of experience comes and goes, it’s always in flux, including anything we think we are.

What does this say about what we are? If all of this is coming and going and always changing, can it be what I most fundamentally am?

WHAT I MORE FUNDAMENTALLY AM

In one sense, I am this human self in the world. It’s true enough and it’s an assumption that works reasonably well in daily life. (Although it comes with some inherent stress.)

When I look more closely in my own first-person experience, what do I find? I find that I more fundamentally am something else. I am more fundamentally capacity for all of these experiences. I am capacity for what’s here in this field of experience. I am what it all happens within and as.

THE CLUES ARE EVERYWHERE

When we discover this for ourselves, and as we get more used to finding ourselves as that, we also get to see that the clues are everywhere. What we are is always here. And the clues and pointers are also always here.

And although few may see this movie as a pointer to our more fundamental nature, it is.

If we could swap bodies, what does it say about our more fundamental nature?

If I take myself as something within content of experience (this human self, a doer, an observer), and this content always changes, what does that say about what I more fundamentally am?

WE ALREADY SWAP BODIES

In reality, we always swap bodies.

When I see you, you are happening within and as what I am. In my experience, what I am forms itself into you.

And who you see me as is not really here to me. I cannot see my own face or head. My name is just a memory I have to access in order to tell you.

And I assume it’s the same for you.

When we meet, we swap bodies. To me, you happen within and as what I am. To you, I happen within and as what you are.

POINTERS AND FINDING FOR OURSELVES

This may make sense logically.

And that’s just another pointer. The invitation is always to find this for ourselves.

Fortunately, there are some effective pointers so we can explore and find this for ourselves. (For instance, Headless experiments and the Big Mind process.)

And fortunately, this exploration doesn’t require any spirituality, religion, belief, or anything else. It just requires some guidance, curiosity, and sincerity. And it does require some diligence to keep noticing and to explore how to live from (and as) this noticing.

ANYTHING WE CAN NAME?

Why did I say “anything we can name is not what we fundamentally are”?

It’s because the function of words is to differentiate, and what we are is what anything differentiated happens within and as. Words can, at best, point us to notice what we are. But they can never capture what we are.

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