Self as rainbow 2

We see a rainbow, but what we have is drops of rain and light—a process. Similarly, what we ‘see’ is a self; but what we actually have is a whole lot of thoughts going on in consciousness. Against the backdrop of consciousness we are projecting a self, rather than a rainbow. If you walk toward the rainbow you will never get there.

David Bohm, Thought as a System

I had posted this wonderful quote from Bohm several years ago; I now feel I have understood something new about it.

A whole lot of thoughts going on in consciousness. To this, Bohm would probably add, there are a whole lot of feelings floating around too. On top of which there is a subtle sense of self fleetingly dancing in there somewhere; and it is this sense of self, which is in essence a thought/feeling, that somehow seems to anchor all the other stuff that floats around in consciousness.

Try as we might, we cannot pin it down; the rainbow simply cannot be found, for it is ultimately an optical illusion. For this reason, probably, Ramana insisted that we try to find out the “I” thought. Seek and ye shall not find, for it is fundamentally illusory.

I absolutely love this metaphor: drops of rain and light posing as a solid self. Drops of thoughts and emotions. Can we merely see them as drops of light, sun, rain? Nothing else is required.

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2 thoughts on “Self as rainbow 2

  1. “Seek and ye shall not find, for it is fundamentally illusory.”

    Made me think of this:

    Huike said to Bodhidharma, “My mind is anxious. Please pacify it.”
    Bodhidharma replied, “Bring me your mind, and I will pacify it.”
    Huike said, “Although I’ve sought it, I cannot find it.”
    “There,” Bodhidharma replied, “I have pacified your mind.”

    This also reminds me of a couple of quotes from Alan Watts:

    “The source of all light is in the eye.”

    “You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.”

    Like

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