Who do you want to be? No one. Why? Because then you’re everyone. If you understood everyone’s perspective then there would be no issue or behaviour that would confuse you. The world would make sense, but you want to do that as an ego by learning lots of the words and ideas. What would really take you where you want to go is if you stopped trying to learn the contents of other people’s thoughts and you focused instead on the act of thinking itself.
You have to remember, you start off prepared to believe anything. It’s not like your brain is dark and you light it with education. You’re born with your whole brain lit up. You then have experiences that, if discussed with too many words, can become differences that evolve into the separateness you dislike so much. Those become the dark parts of your mind.
Any experience you call personal shut off parts of your brain just as soon as there’s an individual you to believe in something. That separates you from the unimpaired connection and understanding you displayed as a kid when you volunteered to take on the very complex and difficult tasks like learning to walk and talk and socialise. The ideas we come to learn only live within our consciousness as beliefs but they limit us nevertheless.
Some kids can go to a horror and love it. They can be scared as themselves and yet still remember they are simultaneously a movie-goer. So the experiences they’re having in the theatre are real, but they are also understood in a way where they are not damaging. The kid who forgets they’re in a movie and thinks Jaws might attack him in bed at night has lost that separation and therefore feels fear when it is clearly not needed–much like your ego does.
The Ultimate Observer would have no distortions in their view. No dark spots blocked out by experience. No raindrops on the side mirror of their car. No rose-colour on their glasses. Any impediment to an enlightened view will create a kind of blindness that influences our behaviour. We’ll start to worry, or be angry or disappointed or hurt. This is what it is to be an ego: you can be things like fearful or angry or heartbroken. The Ultimate Observer would be aware of those things but there would be no personal feelings. Things would simply be.
This is why empathy is so closely related to health. To be empathetic is to assume someone else’s perspective. You actually take that on yourself and in doing so you expand who and what you are. You become larger. You clean the observer’s lens. You remove an impediment to your world view. You remove a limitation. You see more.
Even if you’re an atheist, do a thought exercise and imagine that there is a God. Imagine this God is a single clear and reflective sphere. Light beams from within it, and yet at the same time it’s mirrored surface means it reflects the universe back to itself. Now imagine this sphere sprouting mirrored tentacles. Can you see that each of these tentacles is a consciousness? A perspective? That one of them is you?
What is reflected back to that tentacle isn’t the world, it’s just a small part of the world. The place you live, the languages you speak, the people you know, the ideas you’re aware of etc. etc. By losing our differences and fostering our connections we can merge these tentacles to the point where we can regain our sense of belonging to that central sphere. There is great peace in that knowing.
Clear your lens. Remove your opinions. See through your beliefs. You cannot see all, but you can know that all can be seen. Relax. Surrender. You cannot ever know the God-view in its entirety, but you can fully live your aspect of the God-life by keeping your lens as clear as possible and your mind as open as possible, and that’s important because in the end the light that travels through our lenses is love.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.