Just as the snake sheds its skin when it outlives its purpose, so too does the separate self fall away when it’s seen for what it is – an illusionary bundle of passing thoughts, images, sensations, and perceptions.
A snake’s skin doesn’t grow with the snake, just as the separate self is revealed as a limited entity under the bright light of ever-present awareness.
The snake grows a new skin under the old. When its growth is complete the snake makes a small rip in the old skin by rubbing on a rock or log. It then works its way through the old layer until it’s off.
In the growing light of awareness – the unbounded, ever-present sense of being that is the background of all experience – the separate self, or who we ‘think’ we are, turns out to be as useless as a snake’s old skin.
We outgrow the idea of an individual self, a temporary ‘skin’ made up of passing thoughts and sensations, rub up against the ever-present light of awareness, and the old skin falls away to reveal the infinite and eternal centerless center of our being.
Our one being, for how can there be two or more of something that is limitless?