Which “I” am I?
When we call ourselves “I,” which “I” do we mean?
There’s the first”I”—our ego, our conscious self, our reasoning intellect. That’s the “I” that writes a grocery list, identifies itself to the census, raises a family, subscribes to the daily paper.
But if we go to yoga class or sit down to meditate, we come immediately upon a second “I.” This “I” watches us as we enter Downward Dog or endeavor to calm the mindless chatter inside our skulls. This “I” is a witness. It’s somewhere “behind” or “above” the first “I.”
There’s a third “I” that can witness us witnesses ourselves.
Not to mention a fourth “I” that stands in for us in our dreams.
Which one are we?
There’s a fifth “I” as well. That’s the one that writes our books, paints our paintings, starts our start-ups.
The fifth “I” operates independently of the first four.
That’s the “I” I’m interested in.
People ask me sometimes, “Don’t you get lonely, just being in a room by yourself all day?”
I’m not lonely because I’m with this other “me,” who is me and not-me at the same time and whom I have spent my entire life trying to find, to prove myself worthy of, and to labor in collaboration with.