Our modern mind is stuck on the rim of the wheel looking on our our experience as IT. We are IT! When we realize that, our center of awareness shifts to the Center. BAM! This is a life turning revelation. I am THAT! I am life. I am Time. This damned sense of separation is gone. However, I still have the view from the rim so I can catch a bus and function. But now I no longer seek my true center in time, from outside of time. I am time.
All that I share here one the two centers of consciousness has been inspired by the works of Albert Low, Zen philosopher, I so don’t aspire to the be expert here but I do practice applying the teaching to my everyday life where it comes out as me.
But I want to point out how strong the current us of our conditioned view of reality from the periphery. In our material world everything is an IT, including our mental experiences. This view from the outside is always there as it contains our sense of individuality maintained through memory and habitual behavior. Our behaviors or games we play are the rituals that reenact out Story of Me, which is the narrative that holds in place this view from the rim.Buddha’s awakening and Tolle’s Awakening is the discover of the view as the center, which is empty. The center is not an IT.
When I look back at what motivated my spiritual path in the late 50s, it was this Dukkha or sense of being separated from myself, always on the outside of my experience. I didn’t know it at the time, of course, but now it all fits in one wheel. All spokes lead to your Center when your pain activates this shift from living on the periphery to living from your center.
Tolle sits in his center and speaks from that Center, which is the center of all of us. That’s why his teaching resonates; he speaks to us from our own center, of the Heart. While he has a personality with its quirks and mannerisms, he is empty, just as we are empty at the center.
But we keep wanting to have an “experience”of our center, to know it as an IT, which means we remain on the periphery, trying to be our center and experience it too. To Know AS the Center, we have to relax trying to know the Center as IT or object.
When I write here, I write from my center. It’s an interesting phenomena. I am on the periphery watching my fingers write from the center, so my person sitting on the rim of the wheel is informed by what my Center writes. It’s as if my mind (I-IT periphery) is passively watching what my body (fingers) are doing. This is whey it is so important on the spiritual path to practice some art, hobby, or activity, where you discover how to surrender to your center in that practice. Then at some point your practice begins to do you.
We fall into despair when we fall into our center one day, discover its joy, and then find ourselves back stuck on the periphery, unable to get back to our center, and so we being the seeking of our own center, which is the necessary path of thorns we need to realize we always are out center.
It is impossible to conceptualize our Center because it is Empty, like the hub of a wheel. When Tolle says we are all the Son of God, he is saying we are all the One Center that has no second. This Center is impersonal. It’s our center on the periphery of the wheel that is personal. God in theology is often described as the Center that is everywhere but has no circumference. God is a metaphor for our own center that has no second, that is beyond experience and name and form.
I think what is most powerful is when we have an image that metaphorically provides a way for our mind to get a visual grip on an invisible subject. The wheel with me at the Center as the Knower and me on the rim or periphery as the viewpoint of the subject with the center now the Object makes our being mindful of how our mind operates as a system workable while we are caught on the wheel of suffering.
We suffer when we can’t get off the rim where the mud is; we suffer when we can’t make the sudden Satori shift to the Center where we see our mind caught on the rim of reality. This SEEING restore center and its creative source. Center is the source of creativity and awareness, closet to us that we are to ourselves…because the center is not Personal, not personal subject/object consciousness. In order to get to the center which is no place, we have to let go of our identity with the center on the rim of the wheel. And we do that when we see that everything we do from the rim just collects more mud.