Nine months after a sperm manages to beat two million others and break into an egg, a body-mind is born, and its brain wires up to perceive and act and be in the world. Sensory receptors send messages to the brain and this ridiculous amount of information is then collected, sifted and pattern matched. It’s looped through the dense neural networks of identity and all kinds of other crazy things to come together as a first-person perspective construct of being the person in the world. It comes together in the observable tip of the mind as the present moment – all that is happening within, to and around the person right now – which is truly wonderful stuff.
It all happens in the dark room of the brain, in the lump of grey matter that’s locked in the skull. You don’t see the world through eyes – you see the construct, the interpretation of what is. This experience of being the person in the world appears in the present, which is consciousness, the knowledge that says ‘I am’, the awareness of being present – not the knowledge of any particular person being present, but simply conscious presence. The sense ‘I am’ – I am and I know that I am – appears in the knowing ‘I’ that you are – I am and the ‘I’ that I am, is that which knows. There is this awareness of being present – the most familiar fact of experience – and within the present is this play of being who and what you take yourself to be.
In the play is a brain. The brain produces the play. The brain filters reality, the play of the present, and centres it around being a person, a separate self, in a world of countless other things. The brain has learnt to know the body-mind as the body-mind and all other things to be something other than what it is. It generates the experience of being the person looking out into the world and within the body with the senses, and thinking, feeling, remembering and imagining and looping all of that noise throughout the perceived scene of being in the world. It is busy, complex and knows identity, separation, difference and otherness, and all that can come with that.
It is the known, the present, the round of experience – that which is being perceived, that which is.
Before the brain had done much wiring, when you were cute and screaming, there was consciousness only – no separation, no difference, no otherness. The subsequent wiring made you forget what is; but hey, nothing can cease to be what is, and the mind changes the brain and the brain changes the mind – so you can remember that which you never ceased to be.
Just drum it in, drum it in, drum it in – be earnestness itself – cease being what isn’t, step out of being lost in a relentless stream of thought, and find that a quiet mind is all you need. Peace, be still and know.