The difference between being somebody or being nobody

The brain (and mind) is a multi-modal machine that is capable of operating in different ways and being many different people. It's greatest trick is that when we are being a certain way we don't even realise it; we think this is the way we always are. That's how delusion operates.

One powerful delusion is the sense that 'I' exist and that 'I' control how 'my' life is. Now, this person requires a lot of energy to 'be' in the world - we kind of pause reality and route it through a tight mental contraction that says 'does this affect me' or 'how am I looking' or some other self reflective cognitive filter. Mostly we have enough energy to sustain this without even thinking about it but, when our energy falters, this surge of mental effort can be quite tormenting.

So, what to do instead? There's no easy answer other than to find the place where you don't need to be anybody and recognise what that feels like (spend some time in a log cabin in the back of beyond). Once you have a good bank of experience being nobody, then you can observe what happens in your mind when you suddenly become somebody - quite often we start saying things that we don't even want to say, usually out of some misguided attempt to be somebody 'impressive' in some other person's eyes. This can then lead into self judgement - 'why did I say that, that's so stupid' - but we'll not go there just yet.

Observe the no person / person dynamic and then you might ask yourself: who is doing the observing? Is that somebody?


Popular posts from this blog


A standard view of the Jhana states (what happens when we meditate)

Pamoja - delight