Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Immediate State

In our normal mode of being we have the perception of a self identity that is extended in time - a 'me and my story' that extends back into the past and forwards towards an anticipated future. We might refer to this identity as the extended self or autobiographical self (it could also be known as the psychological or conceptual self.)

Contrasted with this 'normal' mode of being is a state that is revealed in certain circumstances (often at times of absorption or quietude; meditation, moments of intense experience and immersion in nature etc.) In this mode there is the apprehension of life simply happening exactly as it is happening (in real time - so to speak.) Past and future are suspended in this immediacy. 

This might be called the immediate self or the empty self (though it is somewhat paradoxical to call it a self since in this immediate present unfolding, autobiographical considerations are absent - this is why it is sometimes referred to as 'no self'.) 

In this state of immediacy where life is simply happening exactly as it is happening there is conscious alignment with the real-time creative unfolding of the universe. From here there is the certainty that there is nothing that can stand apart from (nothing other than) this ever-fresh unfolding. In this certainty, strain and struggle become redundant and an underlying sense of ease and harmony arises.