I have two selves: one internal and one external. Lately, I am getting to know my external self. The external self is the self that everyone sees and hears. I am looking from the outside in and creating a different perspective. Stephen Levine, an American poet and author, says that when we die, we pass out of a body and “we see that the body which we thought of us, the mind which we thought of as us, is quite a bit different, that life itself is a good deal different then we had ever imagined.”
When I die and look down at my body, will I even recognize that it’s me? When I listen to my voice on a recorder, it doesn’t sound like the voice that I hear. When I see a video of myself, I act and move differently than I thought.
Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Nonself means that your are made of elements which are not you. During the past hour, different elements have entered you and other elements have flown out of you. Your happiness, in fact your existence, comes from things that are not you.” He continues to say in his book, The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching, “The teachings of impermanence and nonself were offered by the Buddha as keys to unlock the door of reality. We have to train ourselves to look in a way that we know that when we touch one thing, we touch everything. We have to see that the one is in all and the all is in one.”
Maybe when I look down at my dead body I will understand how I can be and not be. I will see that I have a self and a nonself. And that I was made to be fluid, like the elements.
I cannot be attached to my life, and my body is not mine to keep. It is subject to illness, old age, and death. If I am fluid, then I have the ability to flow and change shape. I am a true shapeshifter.
Sadhguru, an Indian yogi and mystic, says you are the only doorway to the existence for yourself. It is our job to find out everything about ourselves. Exploration will lead us to self-realization. The more you know about yourself, the better you will live . For example, if you want to know how to use a camera, the more you know about it, the better.
So, it is good to look at life through different lenses. It will help us open our minds and lead us to self-realization.