"Who am I?"

This is the penultimate question in life. The never-ending mystery. The societal taboo. Something which I'm sure you've thought about many times.

Your life can be defined as an ever changing relationship between you, the individual, and your environment. Your environment is both natural and social - and both are coming at you constantly in a vast multi-dimensional continuum of sensation and experience. This means that everything is happening everywhere all the time.

Contrast this with what is commonly referring to as your mind, but more specifically is your narrow focus of conscious attention. Your narrow focus of conscious attention is linear in nature - think of a small penlight or mini-torch - and can only handle one, two or at most three different variables at a time.

When you put the two together what you end up with is a life experience which is a constant, never ending stream of coordinated sequences, random unexplained occurences, contradictions, conflicts, unexpected events, things which you expect to happen but which don't happen, and things which you didn't want to happen but which actually happen.

This is where you face a fundamental choice. Either you accept that because your environment (both social and natural) is constantly changing you recognize and understand that you need to become familiar with the fundamental principles of existence so that you can develop a 'meta-physic' and understand not only what changes but also how it changes, or you don't. You don't have to become familiar with the fundamental principles of existence or develop a meta-physic. It is after all your life, your reality, and your relationship with your environment.

However if you choose not to develop a 'meta-physic' and become familiar with the fundamental principles of existence, then you leave yourself wide open to deception and delusions either from other people and yourself. You will also continuously mess up your life experience with constant assumptions, half-baked notions, and wonky beliefs. But more than this you will miss out on both the many different possibilities and realizing your full potential in life.


Consciousness and space

In the above image you see, from left to right, three black and white images. What is the very first thing you see in each of the three images? Going from left to right, do you see..

  • ..a black Rubin vase or two white faces in profile facing each other?
  • ..a black tree and birds or a white gorilla facing a white lioness?
  • ..a black silhouette of a man playing a saxophone or a black and white image of a woman's face?

This is not a trick question. The very first image you saw in each of the three above examples is what you connected to through consciousness.

But see if you look over the three images again, you should find that you can see both images. In each case you will see either one image, or the other, but you will never see both images at the same time. This is despite the fact that both images exist together.

This is because, as I mentioned previously, in comparison to the consciousness coming at you from the universe and your environment your focus of conscious attention is extremely narrow and can only focus on one or two things at a time.

But if you look at the images again you will notice that one image will always define the other image. For example on the left the black Rubin vase is defined and shaped by the two white faces in profile facing each other which form the space, against which you can perceive the Rubin vase.

This means that consciousness and space are one and the same thing. This will become important in the next insight titled 'Time and energy'

Existence & reality

In terms of Qultura consciousness is defined as existence, and space is defined as non-existence and reality.

The basis of all existence is consciousness and out of consciousness we get energy and physicality (physical form). But much of the consciousness which exists in the universe exists way beyond your ability to perceive it, so you perceive it as space. Both consciousness and space are infinite and neither can be understood, explained, defined, or fully known.

This also means that reality - actual reality - cannot also be understood, explained, defined or fully known. But we know that both exist and much of the consciousness that is out there we perceive as space. It's important to understand that everything in existence is connected through consciousness and space and this is what makes up the entire universe.


The mystical transaction

Life can be defined as a conscious relationship between an individual (organism) and an environment. This relationship between the individual and the environment is what is known as a mystical transaction.

The answer to the question of why you exist is the exact same answer as to the question of why the universe exists. Just because.

If there was no universe then there would not be any existence, no galaxies, no solar systems, no planets, no planet Earth, no living beings, no human beings, and no you. You are a manifestation of energy arising out of the consciousness of the universe.

The Principle and the Process

How the universe works is extremely simple and easy to understand. Existence is a principle. Creativity and interaction is a process. That is fundamentally all there is to understanding the universe. Everything in existence has a principle and a process. You have a principle and a process.

This is the 'how' and 'what' of all existence - the principle and the process.


You and Nature

The mystical transaction is manifest in physical terms as relationship between you and Nature as one of the millions of living species which make up biodiversity and the rich ecosystems of living beings which are characteristic of planet Earth.

The environment creates, the individual (organism) grows.

This is the fundamental principle of Natural Law.

But what is individual and what is environment is entirely arbitrary. If we understand environment to be different things which are interconnected and interdependent together in space and in relationship then not only the this planet is a natural environment, or the natural habitat of a species or humans, but environment is also the universe and also, just as importantly, your physical body.

Let's think about what a physical body is for a moment.

Fundamentally your physical body started out as an ovum or 'egg' in your mother's womb and once fertilized through sexual intercourse went from a zygote, an embryo, a foetus, into a fully formed human being starting from a newborn baby. The physical body grew from a new born baby into a child, a teenager, an adult, and will finally end up as a corpse after someone dies no different from other biomass, such as a fallen leaf or a dead animal.

Now you might think that your physical body is 'you' and belongs to you, but on what basis do you believe that this is so?

Do you not need air to breathe? Do you not need water to drink? Do you not need a natural environment and natural habitat in order to live? How do you expect to be able to move around if you have no ground or earth to stand on or walk on? Where else can you exist other than the dry surfaces of this planet? Or can you live under water? Are you able to naturally fly and live in the sky?

Separateness between Self and Other

Somewhere between 5,000 years and 15,000 years ago Mankind discovered self-conciousness and the ability to transform the focus of conscious attention into thought in a way which can influence his natural environment. This development in human culture, described as 'The Fall of Man', is considered to be a mistake in human evolution. This is because in order to develop the narrow focus of conscious attention - which became the Ego - and become more knowledgeable about his environment, Mankind chose to perceive himself as something different from the natural environment and different from all the other species on the planet.

This is what is known as the false illusion of separateness and is one of many other illusions which make up conceptual reality.

The price Mankind is paying for developing the focus of conscious attention and Ego is ignorance because this false illusion of separateness exists not only between Mankind and his natural environment but also between Mankind and other species and also between himself and other human beings.

Does this mean that when you die you expect to be able to take your body with you somewhere? Where?

Can I make a suggestion? Can I suggest that you consider that your physical body has a much closer relationship with your natural environment and this planet than you might think it does? There is no separateness between you and your natural environment. You cannot exist anywhere else in this universe than where you are now right here on the dry surface of planet Earth.

You see when someone dies, what do they leave behind other than a dead body or corpse? Now you can do whatever you like with a corpse - you can bury it or cremate it, but it will always end up as part of the natural environment.

Please also keep in mind this false sense of separateness because it's going to keep coming up in each of the six different mystical insights. This is not a human-centric universe, nor is this - despite popular and widespread belief - a human-centric planet. We are just one of millions of other species out there and human rights never extend to having total control over all the natural resources on this planet.

Furthermore to assume that we are able to fully understand and know either our natural environment or even the reality in which we exist is an incredibly foolish and dangerous assumption.


You and the human species

The mystical transaction also exists between you and every single one of the 8 billion or so other human beings living on this planet right now.

Now you might identify yourself through any number of different labels - male, female, man, woman, old, young, black, white, Asian, American, Indian, and so on but these are just labels for various aspects of your physical being, or your Ego. You are not just your physical body, nor are you just your more conceptual physical form of Ego.

Who you really are cannot be defined because you are nothing more than the consciousness which lies beneath or behind the physical forms through which you perceive yourself and are perceived by everyone and everything else.

The three aspects of existence

Life, death and love are the three inseparable aspects of existence. Love and death are polar opposites because love is based on consciousness and death is emptiness or space. When someone dies they no longer physically exist but the mystical transaction or relationship continues and the consciousness you shared with that person becomes a sense of emptiness because they are no longer around. Or do you simply forget about that person? Think about it.

Life can be regarded as the experience of an environment through various physical forms through which we experience various sensations and go through various experiences. Sensations can be more conscious - such as love, truth, happiness, courage, insight, individual creativity, empathy, compassion, or they can be more physical - fear, pain, anger, anxiety. But these sensations and feelings are what translate into different thoughts, feelings and emotions that we all experience.

We all go through more or less the same common experiences in life. We are born, we experience a childhood, we all go through a process of social and mental conditioning, education, we all grow old, get sick, become ill, we all fall in love, experience trauma, heartache, disappointment, fear, rejection, and it is hoped that we all experience happiness, pleasure, joy, and fun. The actual experiences may differ from individual to individual based on various environmental and social factors, and the people we encounter in our lives. But human life experience falls within a broad spectrum of roughly similar common experiences.

Identity is difference, difference is identity

But what is it that makes us human beings unique and individual? What is it that makes our our experiences of life also so unique and individual, despite the similarities and common experiences we all go through? To understand this we need to go back to the foundation premise of Natural Law, the Principle and the Process. If you remember The World Tarot card, I stated that existence is a principle, and creativity and interaction is a process.

This is where we get to the most basic and fundamental mystical principle.

All existence is change, all existence is relationship.

Nobody else is you simply because nobody else can be you. Nobody else has experienced life and living existence in the exact same way as you have. This is true of any human being who has ever existed at any point in the past. This is also true of any human being who is ever going to be born in the future. You are that unique, that individual. You are only similar to other human beings in purely physical terms - you have a physical body, physical senses, a physical brain, and the ability to perceive your environment and interact with it through mind.

But you are also relative to every other human being through culture, through society, through the spectrum of common experiences of life.

You are not, for example, the exact same as your parents. Nor are you the exact same as your children (if you have them). This means that who you are as an individual human being is dependent on other people being who they are. You are always relative to a social environment, be it a family, a community, a society, or the entire human species.

Hopefully now you understand the mystical transaction and how self and other are always relative on different levels or planes of your existence.