The Power of the Impersonal

In the same way that traveling externally light eases movement through space traveling internally light eases movement through time, that is psychological time, the world of daily thinking.

As we switch off our mental chatter experience itself counter-intuitively becomes switched on. It actually becomes closer, more real and less abstract if much less personal. 

Some have survived the most difficult trials imaginable by dissociating themselves from their surroundings and actions, finding only in this distancing the strength to deal with their predicament. In essence they went through a forced spiritual revolution by releasing the weight of the personal. The impersonal has a power that the egocentric can never know.

Our experience is subjective and not quite the total proof we imagine it to be. Our own particular knowledge becomes partly counterfeit when placed against the reality of the general, the complete picture. We weigh our changeable feelings and unreliable experiences too heavily and it’s useful to remember we’re a sample size of one.

The commonplace command “know yourself” really amounts to “be objective”, not to take the distortions of the self as reality.  Objectivity is simply the truth seen once we abandon our personal biases of position and experience, of place and time. The universal delusion that reality varies depending on our place in space and time robs us of the gift of true vision. What has higher meaning and value than to see more clearly?

We can start to elude the personal mindset by thinking of each day starting anew and unconnected with previous days. We can instill objectivity into the body – which includes the brain – by thinking of it as being on loan for that day like a rental car, one that we treat well to return in good condition.

Wrestling with a false sense of self is an undertaking that has to be carried all one’s life and one where victory can never be declared. For the satisfaction of victory would itself be defeat.

Understanding as art and science