Isn't it curious how our sense of "I" varies enormously from person to person and also from moment to moment? It seems to range from a very contracted sense of self all the way to an expanded "spiritualized" self. However, regardless of the point along this scale it rests to become the "I" of the moment, it assumes itself to be permanent. And it has an interesting method for creating this illusion of permanence. This "I" identifies itself with something impermanent like a thought, an emotion, a belief, a concept, and then creates a story that allows it to appear permanent.
How does the mind largely identify itself with this "I", and how is this movement responsible for so much suffering in our lives? What would it be like to have no story at all? Would our life become a living meditation?
Ordinarily, we create storylines and projections and become trapped within those. We imagine that our external conditions and others are causing our feelings and creating our situation. Now, imagine dropping all concepts about who we are. Imagine relaxing completely, letting go of our usual participation in the creation of the outer drama we call “reality”.
If we bring any experience with a life situation or person to mind, we will notice that it carries a kind of vibrational signature. If we attend to the experience very carefully, we might notice the first feeling or response resonate in our energy field. If there is a degree of resistance to that feeling, our habitual reaction is likely to be one of immediate judgment, opinion, justification, and so the projection and story has already begun. Now our attention has moved out into the external environment. There is an inability to stay curious and present with the experience. So immediately that experience becomes a totally new creation. It becomes "what it is not" and we become "who we are not".
Energetically, a locking mechanism arises. That moment creates another solidification of the "I". The flow of energy moves into a kind of limited circuit. We have become trapped by something that compelled our attention and are cut off from a full life.
If, however, we take any experience and practice simply holding still in the feeling, just before we leap into our story and projection, our judgment and justifications, we begin to use attention in a fascinating way. Attention immediately moves from the external environment back into our inner environment, and the "I' , that a moment ago seemed so solid, begins to dissolve. The story stops and the truth emerges. What a moment of freedom!