"You are not the body.
You were not the body.
You will not remain the body."
--Ramana Maharshi


"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."
--Mario Puzo, The Godfather

So maybe you get it for a while.

Maybe you have a few blissed-out hours or days or weeks, see that you don’t exist, experience that there is no self, become clear about the unreality of reality.

You may get a whiff or a lengthy immersion. You are all shiny with realization.

For however long, it’s quite clear that you are not the body.

And then… what’s this?

Depression, fear, panic, what’s-the point, no motivation, why get out of bed, it’s all nothing anyway.

An inexorable slide into… feelings.

Bad feelings, hard feelings, intense feelings. Dark night of the soul feelings. Life-crushing terrified feelings.

Quickly, Not-the-body disappears, replaced by All-about-the-body.

Because the feeling is too intense to be ignored. It’s awful, so there's really no choice.

So naturally you pay lots attention to it- describing, figuring out its meaning, analyzing, theorizing, connecting dots.

Ignoring is not even considered, what with everyone and everything telling you to feel, and sit with, and be with, and embody.

Which is ironic, since in the Got it! moments, you’d just experienced the exact opposite of embodiment.

And now here you are, sitting with those nasty feelings in the not-so-secret hope of tricking them into going away forever. (Shhh, don’t say that part out loud.)

Meanwhile, notice the timing of this terrible darkness.

It shows up just as you see that you’re not what you thought.

Just as it’s seen that the body is irrelevant to what you are, focus pulls you right back to that body.

Right back to the feels-terrible self.

While it tries to figure out why it can’t hold onto enlightenment.

Something is crying and curled up in a non-moving ball and pouting very hard about not being the star of the show anymore.

Aa attention routes back to wondering what’s wrong with that self, and thinking death would be better.

Which is kind of funny, actually. I mean, here’s thought saying you would be better off dead than be an illusion.

As in, death is ok, but not-existing isn’t.

Alrighty then.

Meanwhile, you’re hoping to get back to that enlightened state. But a no-body experience can't happen when you’re all about the body and its feelings.

The body is required equipment to maintain, not dissipate, the sense of self.

Focus on how body feels keeps one from noticing self’s lack of reality.

Feelings are the go-to resort of a mind threatened by its own nothingness.

Fine. Can you do anything about this?

Perhaps not.

Other than to notice what’s left if you’re not The One Inside the Body who is forced to feel terrible things.

Notice what’s left if, rather than being you, the one feeling,

and you, the one located in and affiliated with that body,

you’re literally feeling itself, instead.

Transitory, changing, uncentered, impermanent.


Without body to house it, the sense of self has no place to land.

Without body to house it, there's no one to feel, and no one to place inside it.

Leaving no self-reference hiding inside feelings, whether liked or disliked.

Leaving focus on Being

rather than feeling.

And no one to have a preference

either way.

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