The Power of Inquiry
Have you ever wondered where the sense of an I comes from? It is an interesting phenomena that the mind is responsible for creating the sense of ‘I’. It does so by having the ability to self-reflect. The mind has the capacity to think about itself, about its own thoughts, the sensations arising in the body, and so on. When we self-reflect, a feeling of duality within arises, a subject/object polarization, which makes one feel like there is a self here. A self which is separate from the rest of life. This is a very painful experience, one that may lead to somebody wishing to explore oneself and one’s reality.
Interiorly, the arising of the subject (me), and object (everything else), creates this sense of being a ‘me’. By having the mind be self-reflective with an ability to see itself, the mind (or one can say, consciousness), becomes aware of itself. Opening to the fact that I know I am is a human being perspective . Without this ability, we would have no knowledge of ourselves. A bird or a dog does not self-reflect. As far as we know, their experience is one of simply being here, in the moment. The fact that we can look at ourselves, and think about what we are feeling, sensing, thinking, is an amazing thing. Being aware of this mechanism can be freeing in itself. Oh, so this is what is happening! I think a thought, which is believed by the mind, and then the mind has something more to say about it. On and on, it goes. I think therefore, I am. This feeling becomes continuous starting very young. In this way the experience of a ‘self’ is born.
It is an important moment in one’s development when we begin to wonder what we are. What is this sense of you? What are you really? Becoming aware of the ability that human beings have to be able to reflect, opens the door to awakening. The process of looking is called inquiry. The mind has the capacity to inquire into itself, wondering about this feeling we have of being a person. Questioning can lead to insights. Such as: what is it that is looking at itself? Is there really a me here, and another part of myself looking and noticing everything? Am I really a separate thing, or do I simply have a sense of being here? By inquiring, a doorway is opened within, allowing for the possibility of the subject/ object to collapse, leading to a non-dual realization. Living as one with all of life, without a feeling of being separate from nature, is achievable and is our birthright. May you realize your true nature, and come back home to yourself.