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An Empty Vessel

November 12th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Funny Animals

It has occurred to me that for much of my life I have done nothing but copy the behaviours of other people.

It is as if I were an empty vessel, with no contents of my own at all. And in confirmation, if I look deeply within, beyond the ever-changing thoughts, feelings, sensations, I can find no “thing” at all. Just an empty presence, which observes, which is aware.

In early life this copying was of course almost entirely unconscious. There may have been instinctive responses and behaviours, but a combination of fascination, fear, enjoyment, horror and engagement with the people around me led me to mimic them, repeat them, and then apparently somehow adopt many of their behaviours as my own.

At a later stage, the copying became more selective, although still largely unconscious. There was some discrimination between behaviours which I found appealing, interesting, inspiring, beautiful, as opposed to those that were ugly, painful, inefficient, unnecessary. And there was a desire for, and an attraction to the more refined behaviours, which then presumably started little by little to manifest more in my own behaviour, and led to a more gratifying response from the world from the actions I subsequently took.

Now the process is much more conscious, and there is less inner resistance to it – perhaps because I recognise the illusion that I am actually anything tangible at all, and if I am not anything tangible, then there is no obstacle, no limitation to the ways in which I may express myself. Thus the delight of discovery of a special quality in someone becomes immediately a known new potentiality in my own behaviour.

The ultimate conclusion of this process, it seems, is to offer no resistance at all, to surrender completely any illusion of selfhood, and to recognise the oneness of us all. “My” qualities are not my qualities at all.  But neither are they “Yours”, because you copied them too! Rather, all qualities are inherent in us all. This is yet another pointer to the essence of non-duality.

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  1. Gale
    November 12th, 2010 at 13:15 | #1

    I can say only one thing…not two. Thanks

  2. November 12th, 2010 at 14:30 | #2

    Obviously spoken by someone who knows. 😉

  3. March 29th, 2013 at 03:53 | #3

    This is an understanding that leads to a tremendous sense of responsibility.

  4. Ms I
    September 4th, 2013 at 23:59 | #4

    I connected with this piece.

  5. Indweller
    November 6th, 2014 at 15:17 | #5

    It has been realised by this one also. Well observed friend.

  6. Carolyn
    April 8th, 2015 at 16:34 | #6

    We spend the first half of our life learning behaviours etc. to help us fit in with society’s expectations, and then, if we’re spiritually minded, last half stripping them away.

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