I was obsessing about my self. My thinking was making me do it – it had been at me constantly. “Make up a story that there’s a self,” it had urged me. It kept on advising me over and over again – “Pretend that there’s this thing called the self and that you’re it… Pretend that there’s this thing called the self and that you’re it… Pretend that there’s this thing called the self and that you’re it…”
My thinking was insistent on this point. My thinking is always insistent – it gets its own way all the time. Its trick is to never let up – “Pretend that you’re a self, pretend that you’re a self, pretend that you’re a self, pretend that you’re a self, pretend that you’re a self, pretend that you’re a self, pretend that you’re a self, pretend that you’re a self, pretend that you’re a self…” it said. Eventually – just to shut it up – I did. I made up a good enough story and I fitted everything into this story so that it looked like there was a self and that I was it.
I did this just to shut my mind up but it didn’t shut up. It just kept on and on, urging me to work away at the story, encouraging me to add a bit here and a bit there, correcting this part and adding another. It soon became clear to me that this was a full-time job, this business of creating and maintaining the self and the story that goes with it. I was working away night and day doing the job and my mind was the foreman! Conditions were bad and all my pay went on bills and the rent. And bad sandwiches.
I’m tuning into the suchness and the suchness is so great. I’ve never come across anything like it before; I’ve never even heard of any such thing as the suchness! No one has ever told me about it. It must be a secret! I’m tuning into the suchness and I can’t tell you what it’s like. I can’t tell you because I don’t know. It’s not like anything and yet at the same time it IS like something – it is like itself. The suchness is so big – it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever come across and yet no one has ever heard of it. It’s the biggest thing ever and yet it has no name!
Then my mind cuts in again. It must have gone away somewhere. It must have nodded off. It must have been temporarily disabled. “Get rid of the suchness, Get rid of the suchness, Get rid of the suchness…” it urged me with its usual humourless intensity. It kept on and on maniacally in my ear, like a fiend: “Make sure that you get rid of the suchness… Make sure that you get rid of the suchness… Make sure that you get rid of the suchness…”
I obeyed my mind because that’s what I always do. I started obsessing about my self instead. I started obsessing about the self-story – filling in the holes, filling in the gaps, getting rid of the inconsistencies, improving bits, correcting bits that weren’t right.
The mind had given me the never-ending story and there was no time to waste. My mind had given me the time-wasting story and there was no end to it. I was the factory-worker and my mind was the Capitalist Pig Boss-Man complete with Cigar and Top Hat and Rolls-Royce making me sweat, making me groan, turning up the screws, putting the big squeeze on me. Nothing I did was ever good enough. I was always being disciplined for falling behind in my quota. My mind was cracking the whip and I was jumping through the hoops – slowly and clumsily and painfully but jumping none the less. I was too frightened to disobey. I was too frightened to see what might happen if I stopped…
I was tuning into the suchness, I was in the moment. I AM tuning into the suchness, I AM in the moment! I’m in the moment only there’s no one to be in it. It’s a moment that’s full of suchness. It’s a moment that belongs to no one. It’s a moment that lasts forever. Only there’s no more time. All the time has gone. The clock has stopped. There are no more clocks. There’s no more story and there’s no more time. There’s no more foreman and there’s no more job that needs to be done…