A Morning Sketch: I Am the Space
“I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the content of my life. I am Life. I am the space in which all things happen.”
I am reading Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle while having steaming creamy oatmeal with splashes of golden honey on top of it and sipping hot green tea with jasmine. This has been my morning routine for several years now, and I am surprised that I keep “hearing” new things while rereading Tolle’s short quotes for a hundredth time.
“You continuously overlook the most obvious fact: your innermost sense of I Am has nothing to do with what happens in your life… It usually gets confused with content, and so you experience I Am or the Now only faintly and indirectly, through the content of your life. In other words: your sense of Being becomes obscured by circumstances, your stream of thinking, and the many things of this world…”
I look away from the book and allow the words to slowly go in as I have another sip of tea and feel it moving through my body in a pleasant warm wave.
My glance moves towards the window and for a while I stare at the beige tile roofs of my neighbors’ houses, the bare mountains in the background and the clear bright sky illuminated by the rays of the rising sun.
“Would it be the same if the window forgot that it’s a window and has its own essence and started thinking that it is ‘the content’ that it overlooks?” I wonder. “Or would it be the same if a TV confused its own identity with the shows being played on it?”
I imagine a family living in a big house and owning multiple TVs. The TV owned by the father “thinks” that it is very manly, strong and macho because it has identified with the American football games and motorcycle shows that dad likes to watch on it.
The TV owned by the mother “believes itself” to be extremely sensitive, dramatic and emotional because all it’s ever made to be “tuned into” is soap operas, teary talk shows, romantic comedies and the news.
And the TV owned by the family’s teenage daughter has its “self-image” completely merged with those of cool stars of the modern music clips, magazine covers and youngster programs that it’s “being asked” to show to the daughter.
Even though all three TVs look very similar when they are turned off, none of them “remember” that they are just TVs – just empty spaces for something to be projected onto them.
Is this how it is with humans? We get so attached to the people, objects, places and events in our lives, so entangled in the life circumstances that life chooses to “bring onto our screens,” – into our awareness – that we completely forget to “experience ourselves directly,” as alive entities that have come to this planet with no stories about ourselves or the world and that we will leave it pure and naked again – as the space, the potential, the observers…
Dr. Wayne Dyer explains “the content” in which most of us drown every day so well. He says that our egos convince us that we are what we have, what we do and what others think of us; this is what we usually choose to spend our whole lives being preoccupied with…
I contemplate the TV metaphor for a little longer and remember that Byron Katie often compares the stories that we make up and hold on to about our life experiences to movies as well: “It’s just a great movie. Get the popcorn, here it comes!..”
“I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the content of my life. I am Life. I am the space in which all things happen.” – I reread Tolle’s delicious quote.
“I am the space…” I savor it echoing in my whole body and move on to my morning meditation…