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.
October 1, 2010
Student: So language, as usual, gets in the way here but Im seeing that I am not apart from what is before the very sense of what we call I. But if Im 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 cant know something doesnt mean its 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 thats what I mean by language getting in the way. How do I talk about whats 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: Its like there are no signs but the place is familiar.
Michael: Right. Totally signless and yet totally there as a perpetual peace.