Mirrors!!! Each person is like an amusement park mirror. These mirrors represent me in all kinds of funny ways – some show me as fat, ugly, beautiful, with a big face, short etc. I cannot look at myself, just as an eye cannot see itself or a fire cannot burn itself. So I try to judge who I am from these reflections shown to me. I record these reflections in memory during early childhood. The recorded reflections then became ‘ME’. Later I begin to pursue only those mirrors that show me these recorded reflections. If my early life reflections were good and if people accepted me well, I would believe ‘I am a loved individual’ if not, I would form a negative image about myself.
Seems logical right, if you didn’t know how you’re back looked and if did not have a mirror, what would you do? Ask 100’s of people right and then try to form some concept of how you’re back looked? But here again, there is an unquestioned core belief. How do you know if others can see your real back or what they really see when they look at your back? How do you know if they are seeing the real thing or just telling you something they see as part of their own imagination? Why do you believe them? Because everyone else does? How does everyone else doing something make it true? How can you assume that they are seeing ‘Your Real Back’? Another belief here would be of assuming the back is a static unchanging entity. Why should the back be static? What if it completely transforms all the time? Yet another belief here would be ‘why is what you call your back ‘YOURS’’? What does it mean to own/possess something? Just because you can control it? Does it mean anything you control is you? In that case why is your car not you? Is it because, you disappear when the body dies, but you do not die when the car is destroyed? Do you call your body ‘YOURS’ because it makes YOUR perception possible, and without it there is no perception? The instrument that makes perception possible is not YOU. The belief in this case is thinking that the instrument of perception is YOU instead of YOU being separate from the instrument. There is another belief too, how do you know what happens after death. The only thing that you can know is that it is unknowable. Why are we so afraid of the unknown? Is death the problem or ‘fear of death/unknown’ the problem?
What if ‘YOU’ were nothing? What if ‘YOU’ were totally independent from what the mirrors were reflecting and that ‘YOU’ does not exist at all? ‘YOU’ only exist in your memory of recorded reflections from various people. But what is memory? Isn’t it just a fraction of a fraction of your recorded experience? It is a story like any other story book. There is no reality to the past beyond what you choose/believe to give it.
‘You’ being nothing simultaneously implies you are ‘all experience happening at this moment’. You are everything that is happening/the entire universe. We are surprised why different people think different things about us. Some think we are very nice. Some praise us for being intelligent. Some consider us to be dumb, average. Some admire various qualities. Some find endless faults in us. Well which of these reflections is the REAL thing? None of it is true, because there is no ‘ME’ in true reality beyond my belief that my early childhood reflections from other people represent me.
The blueprint of what we carry around as identity is basically a memory of certain experiences tagged with ‘ME’ and preserved. The rest of the experiences are tagged with ‘OTHER’ and discarded. Just like how we look into the refrigerator and tag items as ‘GOOD’ or ‘SPOILT’ and throw the spoilt into the trash. What we call our identity is actually a burden in a way. It is our accumulation of certain memories based on the belief that ‘THIS IS ME’ usually given by parents and early childhood influence.
In life, as we age, we try to further this accumulation. In truth there is no need to remember/collect anything. There is no life story, there is no past. It’s interesting to note that our memory starts working only after we have formed our ‘I’ concept from other people’s reflections (parents, siblings) at the average age of 3-4. The amount of information entering is infinite, so formation of this identity based on reflections simplifies things. Once simplified the brain can start storing small parts of experiences based on this ‘PRIMITIVE I’ formed. Have you noticed we store things in memory only when it’s related to the ‘I’ in some way. Otherwise what is the need? If a stranger tells you a long story, why would you store it in memory unless it’s related to something you desire? The formation of identity is for simplification and convenience sake. But a convenience is not reality. An analogy would be drawing a moon on paper and calling it ‘the moon’ for convenience. But it is not the real moon.
What every person thinks about you in this earth at all times is ‘YOU’ and you are much more than that too. YOU are everything that has ever existed and that can ever be conceived. There is nothing outside of you.