There’s lots of talk about The Real You in meditation and Buddhism. Your true self. Try to imagine “you” without your history, your preferences, your intellect, your opinions, your habits, your neuroses, your body and all that’s associated with it. What have you got?
For me, whatever it is isn’t, like, a person. The closest definition I’ve found is Consciousness. If everything else is stripped away, what I’m left with is consciousness, perception, Emerson’s “transparent eyeball.” But is that really a me? It seems more like an us, which is probably the point. I’m okay with that as an abstract concept, and even as something to strive for (without striving, of course). But I find it hard to imagine being loved – as a friend, partner, comrade, as that nondescript consciousness. The only time it makes sense to me at all is with my dog, V.
Why do I love my dog? I can’t explain it. I am heartbreakingly overwhelmed with love for her, love that far exceeds her objective talents or qualities. I love her very existence, her essence, outside of anything she does for me (not much) or feels for me (ditto).
Or maybe it’s just her furriness. Her internal and external furriness, and the smell of her fur, and her tolerance of my curling up around her fur and smelling her fur.
Where does that leave The Real Me? Perhaps that mysterious entity is the thing that loves V, entirely and completely and unconditionally? I’d be good with that; better if I could be that unconditionally loving force to everyone. I’d be good even starting with anyone. If I can someday grant unconditional love and acceptance to any single human in my life, I’ll assume I’m on the right path. Universal acceptance is still countless hours of meditation or an intense psychedelic trip away.