The Unfindable Inquiry (UI) is a useful, powerful tool that leads one to the discovery that the self is not an image, not a word or a thought, not a sensation. If you’re convinced that there is a deficient (or exalted) self in there somewhere running the show, consider a session with one of Scott Kiloby’s Living Inquiries facilitators. Any one of them can help you look for this mythical creature. “Is that it?” is the question. “No, it can’t be. I can’t find it,” is the usual response. Oh, what a relief it is!
If that dogged sense of self persists, consider this: The self is not an “it,” not a “thing” to be found. It’s an activity. An activity isn’t found, it’s observed. This pesky sense of self is not a noun; it’s a verb.
So what is the difference between seeing the self as an activity rather than an “it” or a “thing?” Take a step back and watch it happening. That is the way to find where it is hiding. Yes, I said find. Watch the creation and maintenance of the self in action just like you would watch a movie, but remember that you are the audience; and it’s only a movie. It’s not just a script, it’s the whole image-making production, expertly directed and poorly acted, but immensely entertaining nonetheless.
“Selfing,” or me-making, is a continually changing, mercurial activity. There is an ongoing movie, or a river, that seemingly has no beginning and no end. But we’re not watching, we’re living it. We are in it. It is your interior world, the stuff that frantic dreams are made of.
Would you stand up in the middle of a movie, yell “Freeze frame!” and conclude that this or any other image is what the movie is all about? Could you dip a cup in the river and say, “Here is the Mississippi?” It changes by the millisecond. You can’t grasp any aspect, or pull anything out of context, because it is the context.
Watch. It’s a movement. There is nothing static about it whatsoever—hot, cold, slow, fast, soft, sweet, harsh, stop, go–and in watching the hyperactive, frenzied activity, is there any way to even begin to describe, let alone identify with, what that activity is? Watch it with an alert curiosity. Ask silently, “What is that?!” The experience that comes out of the watching is the teaching. Nothing any teacher or facilitator could say or point to can compare to this.
The “benefit” of this kind of looking is twofold. One, you get to see it in action, pull the curtain back on the Wizard of Oz, and see how all the smoke and mirrors are being generated. And two, you see what is at stake here. Seeing the insanity, the frivolity, the absolute unreliability of being a person is enough to create a mobilizing sense of urgency, to get to the bottom of that lifelong sense that something is seriously wrong here.
And when you discover in this watching that the sound and fury in your head are no different from sounds and distractions out there, when it is realized that there truly is no in or out—the interior world and the exterior world are interdependent—the stakes get even higher. There is only one “problem” to solve, literally. Thus it becomes imperative to look into it with full-on earnestness and intense curiosity. A UI session will show that there is not entity, no self, no-thing there. If it seems to make an appearance again–take it further. Grab a bowl of popcorn, settle in and watch the me-making activity.
If they say to you: ‘Who are you?’, say: ‘We are his sons, and we are the elect of the living Father.’ If they ask you: ‘What is the sign of your Father in you?’, say to them: ‘It is movement and rest.’ ~ Gospel of Thomas, saying 50