RICHARD: (…) there is more to identity than just the ego-self … much, much more.
RESPONDENT: Okay … then I want to find out what it is that’s more to it.
RICHARD: As simply as possible: it is who you feel yourself to be at the very core of your being (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).
RESPONDENT: G’day Richard, How do I learn and discover the essence of who ‘I’ am? Thank you.
RICHARD: G’day No. 11, In a word: intuitively (aka feeling yourself out subjectively).
Also, much use can be made of what is known as hypnagogic (pre-dormient) and hypnopompic (post-dormient) states which occur, respectively, in the drowsiness stage of intermediate consciousness preceding sleep or in the semiconscious state of transitional consciousness preceding waking … of the two the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago found the pre-dormient state the easier to manifest.
However, as it was the hypnopompic state which revealed the essence of who ‘I’ am – the precise nature of ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – an anecdote from that period may throw some light on the matter.
I was on a coastal sea voyage, making a northerly passage under sail in a trimaran I then owned, off the north-eastern seaboard of Australia when a storm came up from the south late in the day.
Rather than make a run for the port I was heading for under a storm jib alone (with all that entails) I chose to anchor overnight in the lee of a nearby island until the storm blew itself out. A perusal of the appropriate chart showed a narrow bay, between two jagged coral reefs, with a tiny beach at its head and the notation ‘fair-weather anchorage’. I figured, were the worst to come about, I could beach my yacht (an advantage multihull yachts have over monohull yachts) and weather the storm out thataway.
I negotiated the two jagged coral reefs, dropped anchor several boat-lengths short of what was actually a miniscule beach, and retired below for the evening. I slept soundly, despite the storm howling all about and the yacht pitching and tossing at anchor, only to emerge from deep sleep into a crystal-clear fully-lucid hypnopompic state just after midnight.
(Please note that it was, of course, the ‘I’ who was hypnopompic).
In that crystal-clear fully-lucid hypnopompic state ‘I’ was able to penetrate deeply into ‘myself’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – or, rather, the penetration took place via ‘my’ full acquiescence – and there, in the centre of all the feelings swirling around, the essence of who ‘I’ am lay gorgeously exposed … not all that unlike a beautiful rosy pearl, nestled coyly amidst the delicate fleshy tissue of its host, in its shimmering nacreous shell.
Except that the essence of who ‘I’ am was a void (and not a ‘thing’ like a pearl is) so the analogy of the void at the centre of whirlpool of water – which is the whirling water in motion – is more apt (albeit not conveying the ethereal radiant beauty of the rosy pearl analogy). Or, in other words, the essence of who ‘I’ am is akin to the calm, still centre of a swirling cyclone/ hurricane/ typhoon.
The swirling air/ whirling water is, of course, all the feelings – all of the emotions/ passions – which ‘I’ am comprised of (as in ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).