Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

My (?) Identity

Originally posted on July 5, 2015

As another bit of mythmaking, this metaphor is useful: I’m but a cell on a finger-tip of God. We cells sort of know about the other cells that make up the skin, and there are other cells in the subcutaneous tissue, pressure receptors and such. Here the metaphor shifts over to the ranks of angels, each operating at deeper or higher levels. In the metaphor of fingertips and fingers and hands, other structure do things that support the skin cells—the fingertip cells that are actually typing these letters and words.

There are blood vessels and other kinds of tissue that “we skin cells” sort of take for granted, not that we know much about them. Then there are blood cells and liquid that we hear gets pumped from some distant land, the “heart”—so they tell us. I can’t even imagine it. But that’s not the bizarre part.

You know I dance on the keys of the computer: It seems that “I”do, and make them go down. I do this. But then it occurs to me that I don’t know how I do this. I’m informed by my guardian angel, the astral field, trying to explain, that there are these things called muscles that push the bones down. I don’t know what bones are! But they tell me that this is so. Okay, smarty pants, but how do they know which button to push, huh? They know because the muscles are coordinated by the brain and the nerves. Like I, a perfectly normal, intelligent skin cell could begin to begin to know about those! Fairy tales! Exclamations of disbelief!

Because the guardian angel of the astral field inspired me, I was led to withhold my inclination to mock and try to understand, and I do what they tell me. I tried. She said it had to do with it being less in control than I thought I was. “What?!”

I exclaimed that clearly it was I—“me”—pushing the keys. She patiently showed me that, yes, I did have a part to play in the dynamic, but in fact 98% of the “doing” was from on high, the subcutaneous tissues, the structures beyond my familiar surroundings.

Wow: It’s not just the skin cells, but all of the skin, and the deeper structures too! This includes bone cells, muscles, nerves that give feedback and nerves connected to muscles. Ligaments and tendons, too. They’re all innervated by nerves that carry messages form a brain far away.

Now one of the points here is, as I said, it seems that I’m doing it, and higher wisdom is hinting that lots of others are doing a lot of other processes that contribute to the overall process. Meanwhile, they let me think I’m doing it because it seems that way to me. A deep part of me is hinting in ways that suggests that it’s really my doing! Sure it’s my unconscious, and habit, but I can be rightly given the credit for that. Yet another part says, “seems” is not an automatic conclusion. I was helped in this realization by reflecting on how dreams seem real at the time, and then awakened consciousness seems pretty real for a longer time.

But I know that consciousness itself can be fooled, and more than when I was younger I have a dim sense howl. But it’s like the reality that I think is awake, which, compared to the reality of dreams, well, it seems really real. So there.

But then maybe it isn’t much more real than dreams. It is more real, no question, but how much more? There are some deep spiritual teachers that suggest that this everyday reality, while more real than the dream reality, isn’t all that real, all that out front. The illusion that there’s an “I” who does it is absolutely the most real thing—well, maybe not! Yet it’s technically almost inconceivable that there’s more, but then again, that’s what they said to Galileo.

On a transcendental level the acknowledgment of history suggests an analogy. What if we’re locked into the “magical” paradigm of the illusion of ego, that it’s really me doing me?

And I’ve sorta-kinda realized that I am really 90% all these other parts, muscles, bones, and nerves, and behind them heart and brain, and I hardly know what to make of them. But on reflection, I just get a hint that (1) it really seems that I’m doing it; and (2) that for a guy who’s in charge, in fact I don’t know all that much about what “I” am or what I’m “doing.”  Could it be that this, too, is illusion, just as in dreams?

Well, what if that’s really dreams are for, in part: to let you know that conscious-ness can dream and be involved in daydream, fantasy, play, fiction, supposing, myth, and—really rather thinly– reality testing. We do reality-test, but then we get sucked into the illusion that double checking is really quite enough—and no way is it, really.

What if the nature of human evolution is that it’s taken us thousands of years to live long enough to begin to discriminate between myth and fact, and to systematically test fact, and in fact we’re only beginning to do that rather widely? Again and again we get sucked in. It’s like growing up. We get to an age when we can compare ourselves and we think that compared to what we used to know, as kids, as people who don’t know about airplanes, we are pretty good. In fact we don’t really know how airplanes work either, not most of us, but a few of us do and we take credit. It seems—the operative word is “seems”—sufficient. We take credit.

Yeah, our team won, so we won. We didn’t even play the game, but those guys for whom we rooted, they won, so it seems as if we won. Is this what Plato meant by the parable that we sorta kinda  live in a cave and take the pictures projected on the wall of the cave to be reality?

But if I reflect, ah, that’s not easy to do, if I reflect: So many kinds of meditation are being touted as the answer, so it’s not that weird to think about thinking and illusion. With a little reflection it becomes apparent that I’m really hardly “in control” of my thoughts or senses. It’s a little spooky. I see now that it’s what the deep mind wants, and it’s helped by all sorts of habits, routines, and the limitations of muscles, joints, etc. It seems so much that it’s “me” doing me, but it’s 90% or more “them.” What the hey!

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