I was driving in the country the other day and it came to me that the drive was very much like the journey of the search. At first, it is clear that I am driving. I feel distinct, definite, separate. There is clearly a “me” doing the driving. I look around and see the car in which I’m driving as well as the trees, people, buildings, other cars, road, weeds, signs, clouds, dust, bugs – all of the objects – that I am driving past.
At some point, the space in which all of these objects are appearing becomes evident. Then there is me seeing all of the objects as well as the space in which they appear. I seem real. The objects seem real. The space in which the objects appear seems real.
A little further down the road, I become aware of thoughts and sensations as objects arising within my body. I see those objects in me as well as all of the other objects and space outside of me. They all seem real.
Rounding a curve in the road, I become aware of a kind of space in me in which all of the thoughts and sensations (objects) are arising. I see the space in me as well as the objects in me. I also see all of the objects and space outside of me. It all seems very real.
Driving on, it dawns on me that everything that I see outside of me arises within me as a thought – including space. Just a thought. The thoughts-sensations seem real as does the space within me in which they all float.Outside seems to have disappeared.
Now, while driving, it occurs to me (?) that even the saying “I” or “me” is itself a thought. No objects exist outside of the car and it is beginning to look like nothing exists inside of the car, either – including the car. Gulp. The thought of me is a thought arising within me which is another thought arising within…? Inside and Outside are both recognized as concepts that no longer seem to refer to anything. Something recognizes that space in the body is another concept as well as the body itself…and what is aware of it? Nothing seems real.
Everything has disappeared. No trees or beetles or worms or clouds or corn or dust or breeze or ditch water or cars or little kids with sticky fingers and scraped knees; no dogs, no up, no down, no inside, no outside, no thought, no sensation, no me, no you, no body, no realization, no need of realization…nothing. Not even nothing.
An intersection appears, a foot pushes on a pedal that slows the car. Both directions – left and right – appear as well as corn and soy beans, bullfrogs grump at a pond in the distance. A dog barks from a barn down the road. Red-orange light in the sky staining the bottom of narrow clouds. A rusty corn bin creaks ahead. Ash from a cigar held by two fingers floats to the floor. Pain in the lower back. Sweat in the ear. Butter-yellow moths dart across the road. The foot, the hands, the corn, the flies, the dog, the thoughts, the frogs, sweat on the ear, the breeze, the ditch water, the car, the clouds, the purple-blue-orange-red sky – all drive on to get bird seed from the hardware store. The birds will be hungry in the morning.