Are you saying that you understand everything else in this world, but do not know what is? Are you saying that you understand the astronomy and black holes, and quarks, you mastered computer science, but you do not know who you are? Man, even sleep. You are a scientist who is sleeping. Are you saying that you know who Jesus Christ is, and you do not know who you are? How do you know that you understand Jesus Christ? Who is this person who understands? The first to find out. This is the foundation of everything, do not you? It is because we did not understand all these mindless believers water and mindless religious wars: Muslims against Jews, Protestants against Catholics, and other nonsense. I do not know who they are, because if they did, there would be no wars. As it was one girl asked one boy: “Are you a Presbyterian?” He answered, “No, we belong to one another pittance!” 
However, what I would now like to stress is self-perception. You are listening to me, but you hear the other sounds except my voice while I’m listening to? If you do not hear, that means that I will brainwash you, or would you be operating force of your inner self which even you are not aware. Even when you are aware of your reaction to me, are you also aware of that and where they come from these reactions? Maybe you do not listen, you might listen to me your dad. I do not know if it’s possible? Of course it is. Over and over again in their therapeutic groups I meet people who are not present there at all. Their dad is there, their mother was there, but they are not there, nor have ever been. “I live, yet not I, but my dad lives in me.” This is absolutely, literally true. Could you take apart the pieces and ask: “So, this sentence, whether he comes from mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather – by whom?”
Who lives in you? It’s pretty horrifying when finding out. You think you’re free, but probably no one gestures, thoughts, feelings, attitude, belief in you that does not come from someone else. Is not that terrible? And you are not aware of it. I’m talking about a mechanical life that is imprinted in you. Very you care about some things and you think that you are the (j) who cares about them, but is it really so? You will need a lot of awareness to be able to understand that perhaps this thing you call “I” nothing but a bunch of your past experiences, your condition and programming.
It is painful. In fact, when you start to wake up, you feel really strong pain. It is painful to watch how your illusions dissipate. Everything you thought you built turns to dust, and it is painful. Repentance means just that, awakening means just that. How about now, right where you’re sitting, you spend a few minutes in becoming conscious, even as I speak, what you feel in your body, what you are thinking, and what is your emotional state? How about, if you have your eyes open, you become aware of plates in front of you and the color of the walls, and the materials from which they are made? How could you become aware of my face and your reaction on my face? In you are always going reaction, whether you know it or not. And it’s probably not your reaction, but one to which you have been conditioned. And it would be to become aware of some things that I just said, although it will not be awareness, but a memory.
You increase our awareness of our presence in this room. Say to yourself: “I’m in this room.” It’s as if you are outside yourself, watching from the outside. Note that this is a little different feeling than when you look at other things in the room. Later we will ask: “Who is this person who observes.” I watch myself. What is this “I”? What is the “self”? For now it is only allowed to be looking at, but if you start to condemn or justify, do not cut no judgment or trial does not justify, simply set, only observe. Condemned. I judge you. I justify the. Just watch and point. Do not accidentally try to change! Do not say: “We were told that we can not do.” Just watch what happens. As I already said, self-perception means watching – observation of what is happening in and around you as it was happening to someone else.
I suggest that we make another exercise. Write a brief paper on your description, for example: a business man, a priest, a human being, Catholic, Jewish, anything.
As I see it, write some things as: successful, a pilgrim seeking, capable, lively, eager, sober, flexible, pomirivatelj, a lover, a member of the human species, too complicated. I believe that this is the outcome of self-perception. As you’re watching another person.
But be careful, you have a “yes” that observing “self”. This is an interesting phenomenon which philosophers, mystics, scientists and psychologists never stop to wonder: “I” looks at “self.” It seems that the animals can not. It seems that this requires a certain measure of intelligence. What I’m about to tell you is not metaphysics or philosophy, but merely observation and common sense. Great Eastern mystics to be talking about “I” and not the “self”, the “corresponding” . In fact, some of these mystics say that the first should start with things, awareness of things, and then we pass on awareness of thoughts (ie “self”, “associated”), and in the end we achieve awareness thinkers. Things, thoughts, misltelj. What I really want is a thinker. Can the thinker to know? May I know what the “I”? Some mystics say: “Can a knife to cut himself? Can a tooth bite itself? Can the eye see itself? Can the ‘I’ know yourself. “But I’m concerned with something much more purposeful, and that is to determine what the” I “is not. We’ll go slow, the slowest possible, because the consequences are devastating. Horrible or frightening, depending on the angle from which you look.
Listen to this: am I my thoughts, thoughts that mean? Not. Thoughts come and go, I am not my thoughts. Am I my body? They say that the millions of cells in our body to change or renew every minute, so that after seven years in our body does not have a single cell that was there seven years ago. The cells come and go, come and go, but it seems that the “I” permanent. Then, whether I am my body? Obviously not!
“I” is different from the body, and a little more of it. You can say that the body is part of the “I”, but that part is changing. Constantly moving, constantly changing. We have one and the same name for him, but is constantly changing. Just as we have the same name for Niagara Falls or Niagara waterfalls consists of water that is constantly changing. We use the same name for a reality that is constantly changing.
And my name? Is the “I” of my name? Obviously not, because it can change its name and not change the “I”. And my career, my beliefs? If I say that I am a Catholic, or a Jew – is it an essential part of the “I”? When you change your religion, whether to change the “I”? Will I have a new “I”, or is that the same “I” that has changed? In other words, if my name is an essential part of me, part of the “I”? I mentioned one girl who asked a little boy: “Are you a Presbyterian?” Someone told me a joke about Paddy, an Irishman from Belfast. Paddy was walking down the street when suddenly felt a pistol barrel on the back of the head, and heard a voice: “Are you Protestant or Catholic?” Paddy had to quickly think about it, then said: “I am a Jew.” The voice replied, “I’m luckiest Arab in Belfast! “
Labels are so important to us. We say: “I am a Republican.” But, are you really? You can not say that if you change your party got a new “I”. Is not that the same old “I” with a new political beliefs? I remember the man who asked his friend: “Do you want to vote for the Republican Party?” His friend replied, “No, I intend to vote for Democrats. My father was a Democrat, my grandfather was a Democrat, and my great-grandfather was a Democrat. “The first said:” It’s a crazy logic. I mean, if your father was a horse thief, and if your grandfather was a horse thief, and if your great-grandfather was a horse thief, what are you then? “” Ha, so then I was a Republican, “he answered.
So many times in life we respond to their own and other people’s labels. Identifies the label and “I”. “Catholic” and “Protestant” are very common labels. One man came to the priest and said: “Father, I would like to serve a mass for my dog.” The priest was shocked. “What do you mean, to serve Mass for the dog?” “That dog was my favorite,” said the man. “I loved that dog and I would like to see a Mass for him.” The priest said: “We are not displayed Mass for dogs. Try those lower down the street, they have other faiths. Ask them if they could have a ritual for you. “When the man came out he said,” Too bad. I really loved that dog. I was going to offer a million dollars to Mass. And the priest said, “Wait a minute, you have not told me the dog was Catholic.”
When you capture the label, which is the value of these labels, if we talk about the “I”? Can we say that “I” is not one of the labels that it beautiful? Labels belong to the “associated”. What is constantly changing is “associated”. Does the “I” ever changing? Does the observer ever change? The fact is that all labels (except perhaps “human being”) that use fall under the “related”. “I” is none of these things. And so, when you get out of yourself and observe the “related”, do not identify more with him. Suffering exists in “corresponding”, and therefore when “I” identify with “corresponding”, begins suffering.
Let’s say that you are afraid, or something you want, or you are anxious about something. When the “I” is not equated with money, or name, or nationality, or people, or friends, or any virtue, “I” is never threatened. It can be very active, but not endangered. Think of something that you caused, or you still causes pain, or anxiety, or you are concerned about. First, can you recognize the desire that lies beneath this suffering. There’s something you really want, because otherwise you would not have suffered. What is this desire? Second: it’s not just about desire, it’s about identification. Somehow you convinced of this that the well-being of the “I”, almost the existence of “I” associated with that desire. All suffering arises when one identifies with something in it or out of it.