The sense of “I” is natural and common to all, but few care to enquire into the actual nature of this “I”.

Instead, it is taken for granted and empirical phrases such as “I come”, “I went”, “I did” or “I was” are employed.

What is this “I”?


It is not difficult to see that the body is not “I”. It did not exist before birth and will not survive death; in deep sleep, there is no bodily consciousness.

Even while waking there is awareness that one has a body and therefore one cannot be the body.


What is more difficult is to see that the mind or ego is not “I” but a superimposition on it.


All thought serve to support the unreal “I”

Every spoken “I” is inauthentic-I, usurper-I.

It points to be body and mind as author and actor.

Every spoken “I” is inauthentic-I, usurper-I.

The true I cannot be spoken.


You presume that there is a distinct “I” and then ask what it is.

You ask “Who am I?”, but there is one?

It all begins with Is-ness.

There is just being, not as I, he, it or anything.

You then differentiate it by the used of pronouns: I, he, you,it, and by “this” and “that”. That’s where all the difficulty comes in.


Wu Hsin’s advice is:


Confront the questioner.


Where did the questioner arise from? Clearly, it is not constant.


Investigate the reality of what you claim as “I”.


The moment the “I” is proven to be a mere mental construction,

then its polarity, the world that rises and sets

alongside it, must also be unreal.


Now, who is it who knows that the “I” is unreal?


This knowledge within you that knows the “I” is unreal, that knowledge

which knows change, must itself be changeless,

unmoving and permanent.


Every thing is attached to “I”.


Detaching every thing from “I” allows what remains to fully reside in that

one true, anterior nature which is the source of all worlds

and the seeming selves contained therein.


Are you investigating the reality of what you claim as “I”?

If not, why not?


If you are not prepared to do so, just reading this text

will not bring you very far.


Starve the I-thought by

Depriving it of all other thoughts and perceptions that

It normally identifies with


It is the cessation of the label “mine”.

When the self-fixation on “I’m “me”, and the “mine” is released,

”True-I” is revealed.


If one keeps the attention fixed on the sense of ‘I’ and

By remaining there,

The seeming self loses its hold.



Leave a Reply