Who is the ‘I’ Who Chooses

In the age of internet addled attention spans I’m slightly reluctant to recommend a twenty minute video, but if you’re interested in the nature of the mind this talk by Rupert Spira really is worth a watch.

This comparison between an email on a screen and a thought in consciousness (at 14:22) particularly stood out:

…the email doesn’t actually come from somewhere, because the email is not a thing in itself. It is just a temporary colouring of what is already there.The screen doesn’t suddenly appear, the screen just takes a new colour, a new name and form. And when the email disappears, the stuff it is made of doesn’t disappear, all that happens is the the screen loses a certain colour, but the stuff the email is made of remains.

When a thought appears, no new substance, no new object, appears. The stuff that was already present, which is consciousness, just takes the shape of thought. The only stuff that is present in a thought is consciousness, or knowing…and then when the thought disappears, the knowing out of which it was made doesn’t go anywhere, it just ceases taking that name and form, and takes the next name and form, which is the next thought.