What am I, beyond Name and Roles?
Hello, my friend!
I was recently asked to write a “welcome” article the Radical Honesty newsletter and I got to thinking: How can I introduce myself and at the same time investigate some topic that you and I might be interested in? Then I started writing this article and discovered that “me introducing myself” and the question of “who am I” (beyond thought structures) is a great topic in itself. So here it goes…
Who am I?
If I say hello to a new person, I usually say a few “facts” about myself. Maybe something like so:
“Hello, my name’s Sean Grünböck. I’m a Radical Honesty Trainer Candidate, Musician, and Meditation Teacher. I am 40 years old, a father of three children, and I live in Vienna, Austria.”
All right. That’s it. Now you know me… or do you?
The question here is: Am I really defined by my name, job, age, location, and family standing? Or am I actually…
The Being behind the Curtain?
The things I have listed above are mostly roles that I play. They are thought constructs, as are my age and the place I live in. But do these thoughts really define me? Are these thoughts “me”? Or is “me” something else altogether?
Noticing vs. Imagining
In “Radical Honesty” we differentiate between “noticing” and “imagining”. We try to strengthen our capacity to “just notice” while losing our trust in our thoughts. This is a way out of our homebuilt thought-hell.
Noticing is all that you can be aware of right now: outer sense perceptions (seeing, hearing,…), inner body sensations (tingling, heat, tightness,…), emotions, and maybe some “deeper” experiences (space, peace, love,…).
Imagining are your thoughts.
Now a question:
“Where do you tend to hang around most of the time? Where do you prefer to put your attention, your focus of awareness?”
The answer to this question will also determine with what you identify.
If we hang around in our heads most of the time, we use our thoughts to create a sense of identity. And these thoughts are linked together with the thought we call “me”.
Even if you prefer to hang around in your emotions or in your bodily perceptions, you’ll probably still identify with your body, seeing as these things appear to be happening “in your” body, which is then connected with your name and the idea of “me”.
Body vs. Being
There’s another option though: we can shift our attention to the process of noticing. When diving into awareness, you can sense your aliveness, your beingness. You could call this the “Noticing Being”, it is the very process of noticing itself.
You could call this sense of being the ultimate truth, for it can not be questioned.
Nobody can tell you: “You are not!”
All other thoughts can be questioned. This is what we do in Radical Honesty Workshops.
We start questioning all the strange ideas, we’ve been carrying around with us most of our lives. Many of these ideas have become quite a burden to us. We question these ideas by learning to communicate in a way that is more connected to present moment noticing.
As far as I see the more we let go of these ideas the more alive, happy, and free we become!
So… let’s come back for a moment to the original question:
“Who am I?”
Let me try answering this question more accurately:
“I am a noticing being that seems to inhabit a body. This body has the characteristics commonly referred to as ’male’ and has supposedly been born 40 years ago. This body has been given the name ‘Sean’ by its genetic parents. This body has been a participant in the creation of three other bodies, which are currently in the so-called phase of childhood. This body-mind engages in a variety of activities. Currently, some of the major activities that this body-mind wants to tell you about are called Radical Honesty, Meditation, and Music.”
And so on and so forth. So… How does that sound? A bit complicated perhaps? But maybe slightly more accurate. I kinda like it. I get off on questioning the way we talk. And looking at the example above I see that I could go on and on, deconstructing these words. Like “years” for example. I could have also written: “Supposed revolutions of the planet this body-mind inhabits around its sun.”
Ha! Ain’t I clever?
Now. How to wrap up?
I enjoyed writing these words and I hope you liked reading them. I wonder if my words moved something in you or inspired you… if so, let me know. ;)
And I hope to see you, maybe sometime, somewhere in the Radical Honesty circus.
P.S.: On my webpage, you can find my upcoming Radical Honesty workshops.