I was born without both of my legs below the knee and without my right hand. This is due to a rare condition called amniotic banding where fibrous material wraps around limbs in the womb, cutting off circulation so that the affected limbs do not develop. I have walked on artificial legs all my life and do very well considering.
My body is defective but I have never thought of myself as defective. I know very well the limitations of my body and completely accept them. By virtue of this uncommon limitation I realized early in life that I am not my body nor sensations felt in my body. This is the grace of my physical disability. If I am not my body then I am something wholly different, but what that something is, is another question. I do not have a problem with it and never have because I am not handicapped, only my body is.
My “differently-abled” body gave me more time to develop my brain’s cognitive abilities. I couldn’t play football nor join the military, as my father would have liked. Instead I became a high school valedictorian and got a full-ride scholarship to a top ranked university. In my striving for academic achievement I subconsciously became attached to the notion that I was my mind. The more I learned, the better I seemed to become, at least in other people’s eyes. I recommend developing one’s cognitive abilities to a high level. The human mind is a wonderful tool.
However I found that once well developed, the continual pursuit of cognitive development is ultimately hollow. Thoughts come and go. You experience a thought for a few seconds and then it passes away. New and old thoughts continually mix and dance about within your mind. No matter how much ability you have in analyzing, synthesizing, and reorganizing thoughts, they still come and go.
So if I really am my mind then I cannot be any possible thought, regardless of its content, or I would come and go and that is simply not my experience. I am always here being aware. I must therefore be where thoughts come from. I am thinking rather than thoughts. I am a process not an object, a verb rather than a noun.
I am always the subject of my sensations, thoughts and perceptions of my body, mind, and the world respectively as the one who experiences them. As a consequence of this I can never be an object. I am no thing, nothing; I witness things.
If you struggle with the notion that your body is not something then consider that the atoms making up your body are continually and naturally being replaced. In fact there is no atom in you that is conserved after the passage of a few years. As a physical object you are a pattern at best, a pattern that is itself continually transforming. Your materiality and its pattern are ever in flux. Some thing therefore cannot be who you are. There is only one aspect to you that does not change, namely your awareness. How far from your awareness are the sensations of your body? How far from your awareness are your perceptions of the world? Do your thoughts take place in a separate space compared your sensations and perceptions? There is no distance. There is no space.
Consider also that the atom is not only made up of 99.9999999999999% empty “space” but the deeper quantum physicists look the more they see that the atom is really a complex set of mathematical probabilities and that it is impossible to observe an atom without changing it. There is no real substance to the atom or the world outside of awareness for how else could you be aware of it?
In my case it took 42 years to fully realize that I transcend the body, mind, and world! However this isn’t really true, is it? If I am both something and nothing then I am a paradox. Who I am transcends the physical and yet I experience physicality in this body every day. I embrace paradox as myself.
What I learned from researching and producing both volumes of Secrets In Plain Sight and in writing Taking Measure is that the world is a setup, that reality bears the unmistakable signature of design and this necessarily implies consciousness. We live in a matrix. The numbers are too perfect, the geometry too sacred, the synchronicity too miraculous to be the result of random chance.
Some imagine human conspirators, aliens, angels, demons, hyper-dimensional beings and/or God behind the curtain ordering the cosmos, our planet, our cities, our buildings, our cultures, our bodies, and/or the microcosm.
I accept all of these actors and recognize that they are each partially responsible at different scales but the consciousness ultimately responsible is you. For who do you suppose the actors truly are? There is only one “I am” behind the curtain. Your conscious awareness perceives these words right now. You are simultaneously intimate and impersonal.
Awareness not only transcends but is immanent in the entire universe pervading all space, time and matter. I am everything. All phenomena are nothing but my awareness of them and they are made of awareness myself.
My nothingness literally is the substance of everything. I am this paradox at the heart of all things. I am the ineffable verb, the unlimited creative potential bringing forth the dance, the dancers and the dance floor.
I went from believing I was a mind who emerged within a body inhabiting a world—to thinking I was really no such thing—to realizing that my body-mind and the world are made of nothing but awareness. All that is awareness and yet we are mysteriously manifesting staggering complexity within ourself for ourself, experiencing it all right now.