The Vibrancy of Life and the Deadness of the “Story of Me”

By Adam J. Pearson

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The mind’s constant storytelling about “me” and “my” and “mine” is so clearly… dead.

It’s a mental process generated by a live brain, but its content is dead: its focus is the past and the future, the past it remembers, the future it imagines.

The storytelling takes it for granted that behind its river-flow of thoughts of “me” and “mine,” there is a center–“me,” the “have-er” and “claimer” and “owner” and “sufferer” and “thinker” and “feeler”–that needs to be protected, defended, expanded, improved, enhanced with more having, and so on.

The storying introduces the deadness of a past long over into the present vibrancy of life and passes the result off as “my life.”

No wonder the body rejects it; the storying doesn’t care about the body as it is now; it remembers the body as it was, obsesses over that, and projects that memory into the future to worry about how it thinks the body “will be.”

In so doing, consider what it introduces into the body now: tension, fear, anxiety, sadness, worry, anguish, desperation, doubt, insecurity, loneliness, frustration, and a million other forms of restlessness, dissatisfaction, unappreciation, and discontent.

Have we really seen that? Or have we just continued buying into the “story of me” because of the rare moments of relief it seems to provide as few and far between, temporary islands of peace within its expansive ocean of overall dissatisfaction?

“You will know the tree by its fruits,” said Jesus. The fruits of the storying about “me” are overwhelmingly poisonous and rotting. We experience this fact over and over again, every single day. And yet we keep eating them! Why?

Dukkha, in the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, is deep dissatisfaction caused by craving, according to the Buddha. Deeper still, it’s caused by the sense of being the “dissatisfied one” and the “craver” assumed to be there behind the dissatisfaction and the craving.

The assumption of being the “craver” and the “have-er” seems to the only anchor keeping all the suffering accumulating in the body-mind. Without that, it just flows on through, unimpeded.

So, we can either keep working on each individual wave of suffering that arises in the mind or we can see if there really is an anchor of “me” holding all the waves in place. These are both valid approaches to the same issue, but the first one takes a lot of time and the second takes no time.

The “story of me” is dead. We see that so clearly, not from the story’s point of view, but from the life that it can never touch, the life that is, always was, and always will be free from being “my life.”

When the assumed and imaginary center falls out of self-centeredness and the bottom falls out of the bucket of “me,” the charade, the heist, the innocent mistake perpetuated over years–of enslaving life to the service of “me” and “mine”–is seen for the hoax it really is.

And in that present seeing, life is, denuded, free, radiantly present, and lightened of the seeming baggage of a “me” that never was.


 

Part of a series of Nonduality:

Everything You Experience “Now” is Remembered: Neuroscience and Nonduality

Emptiness and Radical Negation: Shifts in and Beyond the Story of “Me”

We Were Never Broken: Beyond the Sense of Lack, Incompleteness, and Deficiency

The Welcomeness Of Now

Beyond “I Am”

Remember To Be Unhappy!: The Unnecessary Root of Human Misery

The Remembered “Me”: Why Presence Implies “Your” Absence

The Futility of Sandcastling

Is the Body Limited or Unlimited? : A Dance Through Science, Philosophy, and Nonduality

The Difference Between Seeing A Thought or Emotion and Looking From It

Emptiness in Emptiness

The Ultimate Surrender

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