‘When the I is divested of the I, only the I remains.’ ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
We say, ‘As I move through the day’, or ‘As I travel through life.’ But this isn’t our actual experience. We don’t move through the day. We don’t travel through life. The day moves through us. Life travels through us. And there is only one ‘us’ or ‘I’ that can be found.
Of course we think ‘I’ move through the day. But what I are we talking about? If it’s the individual I, the separate self made up of a cluster of fleeting ideas, images, and feelings that perceives the world through the senses, then yes, that I moves through the day, subject to all its whims, all its limitations, ups and downs, joys and sorrows and everything in between.
But if it is the I with nothing attached, the I at the source that precedes all else, the I that is ever-present and aware, that knows the coming and going of all things (even the individual I) but doesn’t come and go with them, then we know our actual experience.
All things, including the separate self, arise in and pass through this original I. Actually, that’s not quite right. All things arise in and are therefore made of original I, the source of our being, so nothing really passes through anything. There is nowhere to come from and nowhere to go because everything is always already here. Just this.
Whatever happens, original I, the source of our being, remains untouched, unblemished, unchanged, and unmoved, never going anywhere or becoming anything other than itself. It stands alone, not two – only one thing going on – and you, I, we, all things, are that.