In my previous post, while I was fascinated by a statement from A New Earth, I believe I posted it a little preemptively. As I read further, I realized that I took it out of context. I don't know that I can make it make sense concisely, but I will make the effort, concise or not...
The very next paragraph (after the one I posted) says-
'The word "I" embodies the greatest error and the deepest truth, depending on how it is used. In conventional usage, it is not only one of the most frequently used words in the language (together with the related words: "me", "my", "mine", and "myself") but also one of the most misleading. In normal everyday usage, "I" embodies the primordial error, a misperception of who you are, and illusory sense of identity. This is the ego.....
[I am skipping a bit here]
What you usually refer to when you say "I" is not who you are. By a monstrous act of reductionism, the infinite depth of who you are is confused with a sound produced by the vocal cords or the thought of "I" in your mind and whatever the "I" has identified with. So what do the usual "I" and the related "me", "my", or "mine" refer to?
When a young child learns that a sequence of sounds produced by the parents' vocal cords is his or her name, the child begins to equate a word, which in the mind becomes a thought, with who he or she is. At that stage some children refer to themselves in the third person. "Johnny is hungry". Soon after, they learn the magic word "I" and equate it with their name, which they have already equated with who they are. Then other thoughts come and merge with the origianl I-thought. The next step are thoughts of me and mine to designate things that are somehow part of "I". This is identification with objects, which means investing things, but ultimately thoughts that represent things, with a sense of self, thereby deriving an identity from them. When "my" toy breaks or is taken away, intense suffering arises. Not because of any intrinsic value that the toy has- the child will soon lose interest in it, and it will be replaced by other toys, other objects- but becasue of the thought of "mine". The toy became part of the child"s developing sense of self, of "I".
And so as the child grows up, the original I-thought attracts other thoughts to itself: It becomes identified with a gender, possessions, the sense-perceived body, a nationality, race, religion, profession. Other things the "I" identifies with are roles - mother, father, husband, wife, and so on - accumulated knowledge or opinions, likes and dislikes, and also things that happened to "me" in the past, the memory of which are thoughts that further define my sense of self as "me and my story". These are only some of the things people derive their sense of identity from. They are ultimately no more than thought held together precariously by the fact that they are all invested with a sense of self. This mental construct is what you normally refer to when you say "I".'
There is so much more beyond that... but in the interest of trying to be somewhat concise, I will stop there. Just FYI... beyond that he does allow that he is not saying that any of this is good or bad, it is just the ego. It is simply the structure of it and how it gets created, which I completely agree with. If this interests you in any way, get the book and read it, and then we can discuss it, each with our own interpretation and understanding of what is being said! :)
So, in my previous post "Food For Thought", the main part I was fascinated by was the part I bold-typed. Do you believe some combination of such basic sounds could ever explain who you are? I was, in no way, negating words. I love words. I love to read them and I love to write them. I am passionate about putting them together in a way that is pleasing. But I am also starting to understand that the words that flow through my head... the constant chatter I hear... the harsh voice that pummels me when I feel inadequate (which is most of the time)... is NOT who "I" am. That is just my past. That is just the combination of circumstances that has helped shape me and give me the experiences I need for growth, but who "I am" is not the collective of those experiences. I came to this earth who "I am". I was a unique individual the second I took a breath (and even before that!). I hadn't had any of those experiences that I "think" define me, yet I was still who I AM. "I am" a piece of God. I have Him in my spiritual genetic makeup and that is what I am figuring out how to access. And to do that, I have to tell that chatter to SHUT UP sometimes. I can't hear who I really am when all that chatter is going on.
So... it's all a process. I certainly haven't even come close to "figuring out" what I am trying to explain here, but there is an awareness there which is the first step and opens doors to learn more.
I don't even know if I am making sense, here. I can't tell you how it terrifies me to think of publishing this post. That is one of those fears that my "ego" screams at me about. It tells me that I am an idiot to think I have a "voice" in this world. And to that, I am learning to say, "SHUT UP!"