We often speak of going or looking inside. But looking with careful attention, it can be seen there is simply no such thing as inside/outside. When we close our eyes and just watch whatever appears in our awareness, a bird singing, a thought passing, a sensation in the body, there is not any delineation between inside and outside. And it is the same when looking with open eyes. Either everything is outside, meaning outside of the seer and hence seen, or they are all inside, as all being contained in awareness. But I have found no distinction between inside and out.
As a result of finding there is no longer an inside opposed to an outside of me, it is discovered that the belief, that I am some being residing inside this body, is exposed as a mere fabrication. It is much more accurate to describe the situation as the body, and for that matter the rest of the manifestation, as residing inside my awareness. It is a bit like an inside-out sock that one pulls right-side out. It is here that the Zen story applies, “The Goose is Out.”
This revelation is more important than it might first appear. The inside/outside division the mind makes is part and parcel of the me identity, and when one sees, and I mean actually sees, not just intellectually understands, then the very foundation of the ego self is pulled out from under.
This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Order the book Here.
One thought on “Inside Out”
Good reflection on the subject
of inside/outside,me/not me.I feel that as long as there is
identity to the body-mind complex,human performs his action
with body-mind complex as the reference point.Then for him
there is an empirical inside and outside.He divides the mental movement as inside and outside with reference to this identity.Actually it is a single movement like ebb and tide,
the so called inner affects the outer and outer modifies the
inner movement but movement is one.If we establish in the
witnessing consciousness we will existentially come to know that this mental movement is only one and the movement happens when mind leaves its source and attend to things
either in mind or outside world.