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Relationships with the ultimate, and identities

There are many ways to relate to and explore Existence as a whole, as God, Big Mind, Brahman, Tao.

One is with a second person relationship, as a you, through prayer, gratitude, meditation, contemplation, noticing an influx of grace and energy, and so on.

Another is through a third person relationship, as an it, something to explore, inquire into, study and talk about.

Yet another is through a zero person relationship, through headlessness experiments, finding ourselves as awake emptiness and form absent of a separate I, and so on.

And finally through a first person relationship, as the one transcendent I without an Other.

And through all of them together, fluidly shifting from one to another, there is a far richer exploration going on.

Center of gravity shifting

Another way of talking about this is that our center of gravity, who or what we temporarily take ourselves to be, shifts.

In the second person relationship, we explore ourselves as an object in the world and God as the whole. This one is most readily available to anyone.

In the third person relationship, we set a part of ourselves as if outside of the whole, exploring God as an it.

In the zero person relationship, we see that there is no separate I anywhere, not even in this human self. When I am not, God is, as Meister Eckhart said.

And the flip side of a zero person relationship is a first person relationship, seeing that there is only the one transcendent I without an Other.

Freedom to explore

All these relationships happen on their own, over time, but we can also consciously give ourselves the freedom to actively explore any and all of them, when they arise on their own, or through various practices.

If we make up an identity for ourselves which leaves one or more relationship out, there is less freedom in the exploration, and there is also stress. Life will inevitably bring up what is left outside of the box we put ourselves or existence in, and when it comes knocking, we try to hold it at bay, which brings stress and discomfort.

I tell myself that the only ultimately real relationship is the zero person one (which is true), and that I shouldn't go into any other relationships (which is not true), so there is a constant fight holding them at a distance.

I tell myself that I am an object in the world (true) but not the ground of it all (not true), so I put down any mentioning of a zero or first person relationship, and get very confused if they happen on their own.

I emphasize a third person relationship, knowing a lot about it, but don't actively explore it in my own life. The wisdom, love and freedom inherent in it does not work on my life, so continuing in old patterns there is stress.

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