Dialogs With My Teacher #36

Michael McAlister Blog, Dialogs Leave a Comment

Here’s†another installment†in a series of emails that took place between Michael and one of his senior students beginning the Summer of 2009. May you find the exchange interesting and enriching.

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October 1, 2010

Student: So language, as usual, gets in the way here but Iím seeing that I am not apart from what is before the very sense of what we call I. But if Iím before what is experienced as I, I will never know this. And if I can’t know this, what is it that knows? There is something troubling about this not being able to know that I am not separate, so I know it can’t be truth.

Michael: First off, just because you canít know something doesnít mean itís not true. We can neither feel the texture nor recognize the taste of a DNA molecule but we know this biological building block arises as a kind of truth within our awareness.

Student: Okay, I can see that.

Michael: So with this in mind, think about how many times you referred to I in your initial question?

Student: A lot. But thatís what I mean by language getting in the way. How do I talk about whatís prior to I without messing up the essence of the question?

Michael: Get beyond what we might simply call that I-impulse that craves an answer and we uncover what is once and forever known prior to thought or any language that points to thought.

Student: Itís like there are no signs but the place is familiar.

Michael: Right. Totally signless and yet totally there as a perpetual peace.

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