One of the important things we all contemplate during life is who we really are, where did we come from and what life is all about, what’s the point of it all. Many people just live life and don’t wonder about these things much at all, but for the large majority of people these contemplations are a normal activity. It’s very clear what we are. We are the thing that is experiencing this moment. That’s undeniable, but what does it mean?
Experience is irrefutable
Whatever you’re doing, if you can just catch yourself you’ll realise that you’re definitely experiencing something. So, at the most fundamental level, you are the thing that is experiencing that. I say “thing” here because it doesn’t mean that you “are” the person, human being or body involved. The fundamental “you” could simply be experiencing being a person, human being and body as well.
So you are something that can experience. This cannot be denied but not much more can be deduced. The real “you” might have no physical representation but simply be something that can experience.
Everything in the world is experiencing
This simple thought becomes very interesting really quickly when we consider that everything in the world in experiencing something, all the time. Everything is experiencing this moment. All the other people in the world are experiencing their lives, they are experiencing things similar to you, but also different to you. Some are experiencing being male and some female. Some being rich, some poor. Some being violent, some peaceful. Everything is an experience.
But even animals are experiencing. They are experiencing life as an animal and all the things that animals can do. We might think that an animals life would be boring compared to ours, but we can’t refute that they are experiencing something that’s unique to them.
Even plants are experiencing. Does that sound surprising? Some of you might be thinking that this is not possible because they can’t experience anything like we do. But, a plant is experiencing the sunlight that falls on its leaves and we know this because we can see the effect of this through photosynthesis. Plants are also experiencing being attacked by pests. The list goes on easily (experiencing rain, growth, etc.) and it’s clear that a plant is also experiencing this moment.
Rocks? Yes, maybe even rocks are experiencing the life of a rock. Sounding even crazier now? Rocks experience the effect of water and wind through erosion. They experience temperature and pressure changes as they are buried by other sediments and they definitely experience tectonic activity. Maybe not the experiences we’d like to have, but experiences none the less.
One big experience?
So, if everything is experiencing, is it likely that there are an innumerable number of fundamental “things” that can experience? One for each person, each plant, each grain of rock? That sounds highly improbable. It’s actually much more likely that there’s only one fundamental “thing” that can experience and this is experiencing everything in the world all at the same time.
“Not possible!” I hear you say. Your argument is that you’re experiencing your life and not experiencing anything else. True, but this doesn’t preclude different levels of experience awareness.
The one-and-only “thing” that can experience must have decided to experience a world full of individual entities and full of dualities. This is clear because we see a world of endless individual things and dualities like man-woman, birth-death, day-night, hot-cold, up-down, rich-poor, young-old, east-west, soft-hard, big-small. There’s no reason why the one-and-only thing could not be experiencing this through a myriad of apparently separate experiences, of which our personal experience is one.
Wouldn’t that be cool? At a higher level, all these individual experiences are being felt at once?
The higher meaning
Apart from the sobering realisation that every single entity and part of the world are fundamentally linked and not different at all – we are all actually one – we see that all the dualities we experience in this world don’t normally exist for the one-and-only “thing” that can experience. This “thing” created the world as we see it, so it could experience these dualities. Pretty cool.
Without the world as we see it, there is just the one-and-only “thing”, with no possibility for any other individuals or dualities. The fundamental nature of this “thing” is peace (there’s nothing that could break the peace), love (in the sense that there’s nothing else to be disliked) and joy (there’s nothing to be sad about, nothing to worry about).
In some ways, the world we live in is an illusion created to have some interesting experiences. None of it is real. We have just been thrust into it to experience it, on behalf of the one-and-only “thing”.
Experiencing this moment – what’s the best way?
If all the dualities we see are not real, it’s not very good to align our experience with one side of these dualities, like monetary wealth or youthfulness. The only honourable way to experience everything would be with peace, love and joy.
The interesting thing is that, no matter whatever is happening in any moment, peace, love and joy are just waiting there in the background. They might be obscured by whatever else we think is going on, but they’re always there. If we can just catch our mind and stop it from racing away, we’ll see that peace, love and joy are always there waiting for us.
So, when experiencing this moment, it’s best to discover peace, love and joy hiding behind the things that don’t look like peace, love and joy. This is a bit like finding our true self in every moment. What would this mean for interacting with others? Something along the lines of “I don’t want to rule you, or be ruled by you, I just want to have peace with you.” and “I don’t want to be better than you or worse than you, I just want to have peace with you.”