On the surface, it might seem confusing. What is a self? There are those who tell you there’s no self. There are those who want to help a self feel more self–esteem, confidence, love. There are those who suggest it’s all the same, or that it is a mystery that can’t be known. And some that if you just employ them as a coach, they can share their years of learning with you to help you find yourself.
Let’s go to the beginning. Well, the beginning of the story.
A baby is born. And there’s just experience. Open, expansive, unlimited, centre-less experience. Naturally, the baby tends to grow to a toddler, a child, a teen, a young adult, an adult. And during that process, a centre to experience is noticed. A sense of self, an ego, an “I”.
This is no bad thing. This “I” is not separate from the whole. Simply put, it’s a gradual recognition that experience IS, and that experience is known, has always been known. “I” is nothing more substantial than this knowing.
But, commonly (but by no means normally) our culture adds belief to this simple sense of self. And the belief stalls the natural process.
What is the belief? That the centre of knowing is produced by, resides within or is associated with a body. That this centre of knowing is one among many. In other words that this apparent human is a being, living in or creating its own reality. (We call this a separate self, but this is a description of an assumption, and no such being exists.)
What is the natural process? That this centre of knowing comes to know all experience is itself. That all perception, sensation, emotion and thought belong to the whole. That there is a single, singular, reality, and that reality sees all things, knows all things as its own, undivided Self. (We call this the true Self, as in the only Self, both transcendent and intimate.)
What is a Self? Everything and nothing. God and apparent world. A single dynamic Now, that is creation and destruction, beyond time, space and matter. A life, lived as though time, space and matter were real, knowing that their only reality is the reality of the Self that knows them. And a life lived as the expression of that Self.
One Self. Simply knowing. No confusion. No mystery. Nothing to find. It is all for the sake of the Self.