Becomes a little longer

The stuff I neglected to mention...

If you are reading this page it is either because you are curious about me, the word 'satori' or have simply arrived by accident. Each reason is perfectly valid.

Some words of explanation might be required regarding the pages that follow as much of what you will read runs contrary to what we might have learnt, acquired or been told.

I wish to begin by citing from my own experience of growing up. It was quite obvious that while some people seem destined to know at an early age what course their lives were to take - I refer here to so called 'life choices' such as a specific career - many, like myself, have literally no idea what the future holds.

Caught up in a predominately prescriptive education system aimed at serving materialistic goals, the indecisiveness that arises can be the source of much personal angst. You sense something is missing, yet not knowing what it is combined with a sense of having no idea what you want to 'do' with your life, you are subsequently at the mercy of all kinds of social pressures - both from others and you 'self' - actively suggesting what could / would be best for you. This persistent and nagging guilt can continue well into mid-life, as it did in my case. In fact it only fell away when I finally realised I was what might be termed "a seeker". A seeker of what was not immediately evident, however it is a perfectly legitimate life activity. I would argue an essential one as being a bank manager or a teacher.

Then ever since I can recall, the mysteries of life have held a particular fascination over me. As a young boy one of my earliest conscious awakenings arose after watching a spider wrapping a fly in its web. Only after the fly's resistance was spent, did the spider go about sucking any remaining life out of it. It seemed natural, yet so cruel. So the question arose: "why?". Nature at once so vibrant, so alive - yet equally so violent. But at that time I wasn't yet aware of man's contribution to the world's suffering which put this episode in the shade. This event was possibly some kind of preparation for what was to come. Later, upon seeing how humans could inflict such pain on fellow humans only increased the urgency to find some form of answer.

Deep down I knew there must be something more to life than that which was on offer i.e. that which is fed to us by conventional education, materialistic religions, the consumer state, self-proclaimed figures of authority such as 'spiritual' gurus, where in most cases the messages they are peddling are aimed at serving their own self aggrandised interests rather than those of the recipient. Then it is not unusual to encounter many wolves before meeting someone exhibiting that 'true' humility - an utter selflessness in the knowledge of Truth.

My story certainly comprised many years searching while adopting a 'not this, not that' approach to life toward the various experiences encountered on the way. Even those occurrences which proved 'fulfilling', as long as they still possessed an air of finality (confined to the body mind) could not be regarded as that elixir which I was intuitively seeking - founded on the solid rock of 'permanence'.

It is frequently the case that when there there are no more doors to try a new one opens. Often this particular door has been there facing you all along. What appeared with the opening of this latest door was akin to a flash of inspiration. Instead of bouncing from one experience to another, constantly asking myself, "what was in it for 'me'?", I found myself posing the question: "Who is this 'me' who is seeking?" This question in turn became further distilled into what I now realise is the only one worth asking, "Who or what am I?" (who is asking these questions.)

For without knowing the root or source of 'who' it is who is asking (seeking), how could I know who would be receiving the answers? Maybe the answers had been there all along without my knowing. Maybe who was asking the questions already knew the answers. Could this latest twist be the enigmatic something I felt I was missing? Perhaps 'it' wasn't a thing. Still I sensed an answer would help me explain and understand most of, possibly all, the elusive questions which had continued to puzzle me over the years, during my numerous encounters and varied experiences. I also realised that at the heart of great religions and philosophies, this knowlege of Self was integral to their message - as in "Know Thyself".

I needed to find out who 'I am'. All very well, but very soon - in practice - there arises an obvious problem. Who is trying to find out? Well- I am. In other words I am trying to find out about myself. Self knowing self. Can subject know subject? Subject can only know object, surely. An object certainly cannot know subject. The 'I' that was trying to find out about who 'I am' could only be an object trying to know its subject which is absurd.

It follows that who I am cannot be known, for there is no knower other than what I am to know who I am. It is the equivalent of the eye trying to see itself. For those who are still reading and following, I can only say this to you. Should you 'understand' this simple notion, a world of possibilities may open up before you. The Greek philosopher Protagoras beautifully encapsulates it when he states, "Man is the measure of man". For are we not told what and who we are supposed to be from as far back as the moment we learnt how to hold our first coherent conversation. Our idea of our 'Me' is modelled on an aggregation of concepts often rammed into us by those with ulterior often nefarious motives. But it is not only we ourselves who can truly say who we are? Just as when we look in a mirror, we might be tempted to question if the reflection we see before us is the real me.

We must be the true measure of ourselves. Science has recognised this fact by means of the 'observer' principle where a particle's behaviour is dependent on the actions of the observer. Then the smallest particles known consist of energy and we are made up of them. We are energy, and energy as we know is in constant flux.

Which is why I have named the page to follow: space. For space provides one of the closest analogies as to what we really are, which is boundless, formless space animated by a living energy. Although what we truly are cannot be known, for there is no knower other than what we are - to know what we are - something akin to a self-intuiting seems to take place: a type of 'knowing' separate from mind activity. If this sounds like a paradox it is supposed to be. What we are pointing to here operates at a place prior to that of our mental processes - which are limitations imposed upon us by mind and / or the brain. Just as a flash of 'insight' can occur without any prior warning, perhaps brought about by reading random words contained within a sentence.

So what is 'satori'? And who has it?

Last updated: Sat, Sep 23, 2017