The concept of self is an axiom that seems concretely fixed in the understanding of existence. We categorize the world in factions of two: that which is within us and that which is without. In the former, is the infinitely small content of matter that provides the opportunity for awareness. It is the component within life that allows for reality to simply be real to us. But what is this thing? What truly is within the articles that make up the self that we experience? Thought, thinking, is to be our only answer, the only justification for why we feel confident that we even exist at all. It is here in this place, that we find solace, comfort, and peace, in the chaotic reality surrounding us. It isn’t simply the explanation for the idea of self, of being an I. Rather it is something much deeper, something much more real. It is who you are, it is how you make sense of your being, of your individuality. Thought, and therefore the opportunity for it, allows you to feel that your consciousness is your own, that you really are a you. In the absence of it, we are mere computers, destined only to fulfill the programming that is already created within us. Yet, this programming isn’t one that was created by a mad scientist calvinistically attempting to control the ways of our life. Rather, it derives as a by product of life adapted. Squirrels don’t run around to strut their prowess, or as a means of exercise to slim off excess weight. No, they run to eat. Eating is their only desire, their only purpose. All that they do in their lifespan occurs for a sole purpose: to survive. Nothing more and nothing less, simply to perpetuate their existence of life on this Earth. We too would be doomed to the same fate if it wasn’t for the ability of consciousness, awareness. Thought provides us the opportunity to live a life of substance, not just survival. We can differentiate our cognitive being from that of a squirrel because thought is present within us. Yet, not just thought, but autonomy of thought, creators of it. In the absence of him, we are no more than a sciuridae. The ability to think, the ability to be an I, is what makes you a distinguishable being. Thought provides us a chance to call ourselves human, allowing us to experience and respond to reality in the modes that we do see fit. What is more powerful than any in this ability, is the metaphysical opportunity to amend the pattern of reality. We don’t have to live in a reality that was already determined from the word go. Rather, we have the force to decide it, to create it. Thought is what permits us to not be observers, but deciders of the world.
With thought, we set the course, because we are the drivers.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL: NEXT WEEK
Yet, beneath this axiom, lies a corrosive tinge of deceit that all but none try to hide from. It is the rodent in the attic, the ghost in the closet, that we fearfully don’t allow ourselves to address.
Thought is yours, and yours alone. It is your private quarters, your personal canvas, that ensures that only you can draw the painting on it. But what makes you think you’re controlling the brush? Close your eyes, and stop the talk, quiet the thinking. You can’t can you? The Buddha himself determined such a feat the pinnacle of his existence. But why? Are you not the thinker of your thoughts? Are you not the dictator of your own consciousness? No. You can’t stop them, you can’t control them. They simply arrive despite any attempt to make them. Thoughts seem to exist independent from your conducting of them. Rather, they form without your direction and without your doing. So what is this to mean to us? If we don’t control our own thoughts, then what is it that we do control?