Journey inward and explore the landscape of your inherent connection with all that is. Tiger Singleton lifts the curtain of perception and exposes the profound truth of what you are. This is day 1, track 3, of a 5-day retreat experience held in Sweden, August 2019.
There’s a very ancient question for human beings and that question is, “Who am I?” It’s so ancient that I would say, in a very real way, it’s the only question you’re ever asking. “Who am I?” It’s the only question you’re trying to figure out,
I invite you to recognize this, that even if you were to ask questions about life ultimately, you’re trying to understand YOU to ask questions about another human being. You’re asking because you want to understand you. Just notice this – you could come up with 10,000 different questions and they’re all trying to get at the same thing, “Who am I?” In your most sufferable times, you have no clue who you are. Do you ever notice this, those times that are terrifying, you thought you knew who you were and then something happened and you realize, “I don’t know who I am”? It’s like you’re thrust into the unknown. Yes, that can be terrifying.
Part of the game that human beings play is that they will lose who they’re thought to be. They’ll go through some sort of sufferable experience, lose their identity. Then build another one, only to watch that one collapse as well. Maybe you’ve done this more than once, whether it happens in a relationship, a job, and in everything that we might be chasing after, in some way or another, we’re trying to find ourselves, trying to answer this question, “Who am I? Maybe I’m that.” We want so desperately to know who we are.
Our experiences with suffering- that thing we are trying to get away from and avoid at all costs- I invite you to see how closely that is tied to identity in such a way that the mind can say, “I’m suffering because of this and this and this and this” but what’s it really about? “I don’t know who I am. I lost who I am.”
Do you see this movement in the mind that tries to tell stories of why you’re suffering? However, the mind doesn’t really want to be honest about it. It’s kind of like you could be stressed out or frustrated or angry then, the mind tells a story about why, but when you get down to it, what’s the real issue? “I’m scared,” “I’m afraid.” Then, I tell a story about that fear.
I just invite you to recognize the mind’s capacity to distance itself from the real issue in such a way that the mind in its incredible craftiness doesn’t want you to see the real issue. So, we’re invited to be still and incredibly vigilant, not so quick to believe what the mind is saying.
We can hear the mind’s commentary, we can hear what it’s saying, but also maybe from our heart ask, “What’s really going on though?” What you will find is that throughout your human experience, you keep running into the same issue over and over and over again, almost as if life keeps saying, “Look at this … look at this … look at this.” The mind comes up with infinite ways to not look at it.
The only real dilemma that you have in this human experience, what you keep running into is a truth that says, “I can’t find myself.” Just notice that all the disappointments that you’ve experienced in your life, what you might be trying to hold onto or capture, “I can’t find myself,” and that’s true.
Throughout all spiritual pointing, regardless of which tradition it comes from, in some way or another, all of the traditions have said all is one. You’ve heard this before? Oneness? What that saying is, that everything is the same thing, that there’s only one, ONLY ONE.
Do you see how if everything is one then there can’t be you? It can’t be there’s one and then, you. That would be two. This One that’s being referred to can be also referred to as God. If everything is one, it makes perfect sense why we have a hard time finding ourselves. As it relates to your individual experience, in a way it points to everything you experience.
Everything you experienced is you. Everyone you come in contact with is you. Everything that happens is you.
I want to illustrate, (Again, please understand, I’m just using words to point to these things. The words that I’m saying are actually quite irrelevant), one way that we can look at this is to see that your entire experience is to experience what you perceive. Like for example, the fly that was buzzing around my face, I didn’t experience something out there called a fly. I experienced my perception of the fly. Do you see that?
As I’m sitting here and you’re looking at me, you’re not experiencing a person outside of you. You are experiencing your own seeing of a person. You see the mind says, “Oh, I see something out there. I’m experiencing that thing that I’m separated from.” No, you’re experiencing how you see that. Everything that happens throughout your day, the mind says, “I’m experiencing something out there that I’m separate from that, there’s me and then there’s that.” No.
You see? Like the fly that’s buzzing around beyond my perception, like imagine I was dead and there’s a fly buzzing, do you see that the fly buzzing means nothing? It’s almost like it is blank. If there’s no one there to perceive it, to experience it, it’s just empty, blank, no meaning. Then, the awakeness of what I am experiences that blackness and paints a picture and experiences its painting.
In a gentle way, I invite you to see that through your entire life you’ve thought and believed that you were experiencing something outside of you, that you were separate from. In the belief of that separation, you’ve tried to control that something out there and it kept slipping through your fingers.
What I’m inviting you to see is that there’s absolutely nothing to control out there because there’s nothing out there.