Here’s how to identify with the universal “I” and drop all anxiety
Here’s how to identify with the universal “I”, right now — how to identify with what you really are, which is the universe looking at itself from the point of view of a single human being:
- Sit quietly and focus on the sensation of your breath in your nose.
- As you do so, imagine the year of history 10 years before you were born. See some automobile produced in that year. Or hear some music produced in that year — 10 years before you were born. And ask yourself: Where were you at that time?
- You’ll have the sense that you were somewhere. Maybe you’ll feel that you were somehow inherent in your parents’ existence. Or in your hometown’s existence. You’ll feel you were somewhere. And you were, just not as your individual personality, the little “me” with which you may now identify. You were inherent in the human race. Feel that.
- Now try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up.
- You might even imagine your own death.
- I told you this exercise would be based in reality. Don’t run from it. If you persist, you’ll feel a great relief.
- Imagine that eventual reality, so real that it may as well already be true: you are dead. What is happening in your city, on your street, in your school, in your workplace? In your family? You see? Life continues. You will be a part of it.
- You are already a part of the life all around you — all the people around you, all the animals, even the plants. Even the stones. This is the planet which “fruited” you into existence. This is the universe which fruited you into existence.
- When you can realize this reality (and it’s perfectly scientific and realistic and rational — comfortingly undeniable), then you will feel just fine about any risks that you run.
- This comfort will enable you to face your responsibilities and moral duties with enthusiasm.
- This enthusiasm will enable you to act with consistency and effectiveness.
- And whatever fate befalls you, or your family, friends, or community, or nation, or your global community, you can accept because a) You fulfilled your responsibilities and b) in any case, you as the universe looking at itself can’t ever really be hurt or die.
Is this wishful thinking?
No, it’s not wishful thinking to recognize:
- You were “fruited” by the earth, and the earth by the universe, just as an apple is fruited by an apple tree
- You can choose to identify with your mere little vulnerable personality. And you can also choose to identify with the universe which “fruited” you the way an apple tree fruits apples.
This is the wishful thinking
Wishful thinking is what we do when we completely identify with the little “me,” the personal “me” who is at such risk. This is wishful thinking.
This is the wishful thinking of:
- “I wish I could live forever.”
- “I wish I wouldn’t grow old.”
- “I wish I wouldn’t ever become sick, or ill, or lose my health.”
Identify with what you really are: the universe looking at itself.
I’m just a retailer of this realism, this rationality.
I learned it from the lectures and books of Alan Watts, and Anthony de Mello, and Albert Ellis.
And they learned it from many ancient and modern sources.
You don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to be anxious. These come from wishful thinking.
There is a way out of suffering, and anxiety, and fear. And that way doesn’t take years to learn. It’s simple reality, right there.
It can be learned right now, or in the next few hours, with a little meditation as suggested above.