You need an open mind, courage and a strong desire for truth…
“When you look at your direct experience at this moment, all the stuff that comes in through your senses and add to that all the internal, mental stuff like thoughts and emotions – that covers all that you can perceive.
That’s obviously not you, that’s what you perceive. And a lot of that internal stuff is very strongly connected to the person you think you are. There’s values, character traits, expressions you use, memories, desires, dreams, fears, etc. And when you say “This is who I am” what you mean is “This is what defines me”, because you do realize that you’re not any of those memories or dreams or all of that and that what they basically do is they paint the image of you, of your person.
But have you ever checked if the person in that image actually exists? The obvious answer is “Of course it exists, that’s me.” That’s an assumption. It seems pretty fucking obvious, of course, but that doesn’t make it any less of an assumption. There was a time when it was pretty fucking obvious that the earth was at the center of the universe, until someone dared question that and turned out to be right. The guy was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. You would take no such risk in questioning your assumption. If it’s true it will stand the test of anything you might throw at it. But if it’s wrong that would have pretty far-reaching consequences. The only thing you have to lose if it’s wrong is a belief, an assumption.
To even consider this seriously without brushing it aside as new-age-spiritual-crap (like which, I admit, it can easily sound), you need an open mind, courage and a strong desire for truth, which, I would assume, you think of yourself as having.
What lies behind the answer is mental freedom, plain and simple. You can even look at this economically – there’s nothing of value to lose (unless you honestly value the unquestioned assumptions you hold) and there may be a lot to gain. Do you care?”