What Being Is

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

What is being? Am I ever aware of the aspects of being that reveal being?

I believe that I am an actual self. But in fact, I don't actually know a thing at all about this self that I am. There seems to be evidence for my belief. My experience, which is gleaned from observation, and yet this is only a memory of it because what is forgotten is lost forever, but this I remember.

What do I actually observe? More importantly, what actually has the experience of me when I am observing myself?

In my experience, I seem to be seeing myself. Yet, this observer is distinct from what seems to be the very person, I see called me. I see it, and only then will I remember having seen it.

It is my body, emotions, and language (thought) that give the capacity for self-observation. Paradoxically, it is also my body, emotions, and language that perceive and experience everything that is observed and remembered. These are the lived experiences of the coherence of my life.

My task in this life is to wake up to it all. To be present to it. Then, my clarity can help others to also waking up. This is a doing that expresses how I completely inhabit my body, with all its sensations, feelings, and thoughts. I can do so as one who loves others with my doing, rather than as one who dominates them with my doing. Can you see how connected being is with doing? It is like the front and the back of one's own hand.

Living this way is a practice of being. Everyday life can be experienced richly in body, emotion, and mind, (language), because together these three are as one in the living of everyday life.

Life as lived is never an abstraction. Rather, it is a biological phenomenon that occurs to us as ourselves. We then label our self-hood, with the word “I”. We live as an expression of this “I”, but actually there is nothing to it at all, other than our subjective experience.

This “I” that we construct uses our life. Actually there is nothing in "It" to use, other than the memory of our past experience. That alone is what persists. "It, this memory called "I" is what we conserve. This idea about use, in language, pertains only to objects. To the extent that we can create the notion of "Self" as both a 'subject' and an 'object', which in the case of language is a necessary and useful construct, and thus enables the observing presence to be called “I”, which is always the subject, and further distinguishes the self to be observed, “me” to be treated as an object. Without this distinction, we could not use language in self-reference.

By virtue only of language and memory, we can speak about all of the actions we are doing, have done, or will do in day-to-day life using this subject and object awareness in language. This is the categorical distinction of time in grammar, as Kant described, that lets us speak of actions occurring in time.

So all the people we encounter, the situations we deal with, the material things that we use and handle, are known and the experience of knowing is known, through the magic of this language of being.

© Copyright 2013 Robert Fertman, All Rights Reserved

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