The Many Faces of The I

Truth and our fundamental relation to it creeps into our everyday language whether we want it or not. This is so because in a manner of speaking we are the truth, though we may be oblivious to this truth. Let us take a look at the way we express our actions in the present tense, exactly where we always are:

I say “I am thinking,” “I am imagining,” “I am remembering,” “I am going,” etc. If we pay attention to the structure of these expressions we see that they can be viewed and meant from a different perspective:

I am the thinking; I am the imagining; I am the remembering; I am the going. etc.

I am the thinking because I have become that thinking, being the thinker and the thought at once.

I am the imagining because the “I” has transformed itself into the form of imagination.

I am the remembering because I am transformed to the memory.

That is why at each moment I am at liberty to withdraw myself from these regions, and upon my withdrawal, the withdrawing of my attention, those regions too disappear: The imagining and the remembering cease once I stop being the imagining and the remembering. It is never the case that the imagination is still there whether or not I am imagining anything.

In all these cases the formless “I” which is never grasped in itself has become the perceptible form; I perceive the “I” now as thought and then as imagination, etc. because I can at will flow into the space of perception or imagination, hence making, i.e. projecting, forms that appear to have become the objects of knowledge. In all these instances, it is the “I” that projects itself into this or that form. This ability to project oneself into forms has been known as the creative power of Gods, i.e. their Maya. The “I” at the center of human experience has this power due to its being constituted in the image of God, hence inheriting the power of projection from the Lord, and the human form itself is nothing but a projection of the “I.” With projection comes concealment, the two being the sides of the same coin. It is the projections of the “I” into this or that form that conceals the essential identity of the “I,” i.e. Atman, with its principle, i.e. Brahman. This Supreme Identity is realized immediately and with absolute self-evidence the moment the “I” ceases to project itself, the end of projection being coincident with the end of the “I” as empirical ego.

The I which is the abode of infinity can project itself into various regions of beings: It can project itself into the space of perception and become the perceivable object; I then say “I am seeing the desk” which is really “I am the seeing of the desk,” for I have become the seeing of the desk. Projecting itself into the space of perception the “I” produces the appearance of a perceived world; it produces the perceivable objects from its own depths. We must only add that this becoming is only apparent from the empirical point of view, while from the metaphysical, i.e. transcendental, point of view there is no becoming, for all things exist in their potential form in the simultaneity of the eternal present.

The objects of sight are embedded within the seeing; it is not as if seeing just bumps into objects in the world. The objects are always already constituted within the ceaseless flow of seeing before we make the abstraction that they exists outside our seeing. The objects of sight are made of seeing and not of atoms. The objects of touch are made of touching, those of thought are made of thinking, etc.

The “I” can also project itself into the space of thought and appear to us as the thinking. The space of thought is a region of Being whose beings, objects, have the form “thought.” When we are thinking we never have to inspect a thought to make sure if it is a thought and not a perception or a smell, etc. The thoughtfulness of a thought is self-evident, and its self-evidence comes from the self-evidence of my “I” to myself.

We may suspect the reality of the objects of consciousness but can never suspect the reality of the acts of consciousness. When we are seeing we cannot doubt that we are seeing, though we may doubt the reality of what is seen. You may think that the seen object before you is a fantasy, an imagination, a dream, etc., but when you are seeing you cannot doubt that you are involved in the act of seeing. The reason that acts of consciousness are indubitable is that they are transformations, i.e. projections, of the indubitable “I.” We cannot doubt an act of consciousness because it enjoys the same absolute certainty and self-evidence as the “I.” It is my own “I” that in each and every case appears as perception, imagination, etc.

The world is constituted in and through the acts of consciousness. it is always in consciousness that we know the world, whether as laymen or as scientists. Even the idea that “the world exists independently of consciousness” is itself an idea produced and held in place by an act of consciousness, in this case by the act of thinking and abstracting and theorizing. Everywhere we look, whether with the eye of everyday commonsense or with the eye of modern science, we are in fact looking at perceptions, thoughts, abstractions, experimentation, etc. all of them being acts of consciousness performed within the manifold of conscious experience out of which we can never step, and this because there is no out of experience, this idea being itself a production of consciousness and hence already inside experience. And these are nothing but the transformed “I.”

When you fear you are fearing only yourself, for nothing exists but the contents of your consciousness.

When you are looking at the world know that you are looking at your own infinitude appearing to you as this boundless world. Everywhere you look you are seeing yourself, for you are the seeing itself, the seer itself, and the seen itself. And know that when you seek you are indeed seeking yourself. To be found is to stop seeking.

6 thoughts on “The Many Faces of The I

  1. Well said. It is like there being no sound if there is no one around to hear it. Someone must be around to perceive the sound or else it doesn’t really exist, except perhaps as a bit of vibration. Dogs however, can hear things we can’t, so they exist in this whole world of sound that we are not even aware of, it does not exist, at least not as “sound” because we cannot perceive it. Out of sight, out of mind.

    “The world is constituted in and through the acts of consciousness”

    Yes! You can see this in it’s simpler form, sometimes in the actions of other people. They are seldom able to see it, but in many ways they are clearly creating their own reality, their own experiences. Dreaming their own lives into existence, so to speak.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment; It is exactly as you say it. We have vibrations in the absence of a hearer but we know that vibration is not sound; it is only an abstraction representation of sound. The problem is that, maybe due to historical bias, we treat sounds and hearing differently than seeing and sight. But if put them on equal footing we see that the same holds for sight; when we are not looking we may say that the object is there as a bunch of atoms, vibrations, etc. but these atoms and vibrations are only abstraction to what we actually see, and when we look at an object we don’t see atoms or photons; we see the object. that seen object cannot be without a seeing present. The world that science tells us exists independently is only an abstraction from what we see intuitively; that world exists only in the mind or equations. But even these thoughts and equations exist in consciousness. It is meaningless to speak of a world existing independently of consciousness, and by this consciousness I do not mean mine or yours since we are themselves things perceived; I mean rather the absolute consciousness of god which is the real perceiver of our thoughts and actions; His knowledge is the knowing that runs through all our acts of consciousness, though which we know what we know; this knowledge is god’s and not ours; it is in this sense that he known us, and everything about us, better than we know. He knows first and only later we know, and only through him. He knows what is in our hearts, for all knowing is His.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. dear Tomaji
    Does fear originates from mind or it is of Transcendental ego which can not be known/dissolved until you know yourself as the consciousness. knowing as you said in the comment above the fear too is his knowing only.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From phenomenology I can say that fear originates from the mind, but it is the transcendental ego that constitutes the mind and all experience. Fear being itself an experience it is created by that transcendental ego as well; however if the witness identifies with that fear, then it is empirical ego. The true subject of all experiences are the witness. If the witness identifies with certain experiences over and over, then transcendental ego produces more of that experience, or identification. We can say that the transcendental ego is the agent that keeps the mind together as the mind. In this way we can also say the fear originates from the mind. All knowing originates from witness; the content that is known is put together by transcendental ego. So when you experience fear you know that you’re experiencing fear; that knowing comes from the witness, but witness can identify with what it knows or don’t identify with it.

      Liked by 1 person

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