Peter van Straten Art by Peter van Straten

In quiet corners of a life

I more and more strongly suspect that the very concept of “I” constitutes a belief system. A belief system because in meditation one discovers how frail it feels (more like belief than knowledge). One feels then how there is something before “I” something far older and more connected, and one knows one is not “I” when in deep meditation critical self-awareness drops away and “I” is reduced to a very small and distant bit of consciousness: aware that “Before I” is resting, at peace and whole, and that it doesn’t need “I” (just as a child feels when its parents rest on a Sunday afternoon). And for “Before I” there is an element of disappointment when, after meditation, one is reduced to “I” again. Except that one isn’t. It is over-identification on the grandest scale.
For “I” life so often life feels like performance, because so few of us can be at rest in the presence of others. But there are quiet corners of ones life, when one is not performing, not even trying to be cool in front of oneself ! Perhaps even in the middle of African vastness, on an abandoned red sofa, which for me has become the reminder of surrender – of my “I-lessness.”