The more you look…

02022-01-09 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

…the less is there.

This is a follow-up post to Reading + Identity, from a few days ago.

When we stop spinning our wheels, when we sit down and try to get to the bottom of this strange and wonderful experience of being human, we discover that there is no ground, only shifting sand. This is true for me but not at all unique to me. Many have reported the same or similar experiences.

It’s like staring at an image and watching it dissolve.

The more we look at ourselves the more of a mystery life becomes. All of the names and identities, all of what we thought we are begins to unravel… in a good way, because this is freedom.

We lose ourselves in love, in playing music, in practicing a craft, in meditation or prayer. Strangely, we feel more complete when we lose ourselves. No more guitar player, only guitar-playing, no more lover, only loving. The self and the identifications were only getting in the way.


  1. Steve

    This is what I was contemplating when I wrote, “it’s more difficult than one might think … tricky.” All the activities just serve as awkward proxies … the reality is that it is a mystery.

    Take for example: I am re-learning the ‘cello suites by J. S. Bach on double bass … but I find that the flow state, the pseudo-meditative state of learning, practicing and playing these pieces melts away and there is no me there: just the pure music of Sebastian Bach … and I may have sat down just after dinner to play through just one prelude, but … to my amazement … remarkably … it is now 1am. Where did I go? What has been my identity for the past 6 hours? I have no idea.

    • ottmar

      Beautiful. One could say it’s how we find our real identity, unburdened by all of the overlays. I know exactly what you are talking about. How many times did I go to the studio to work on one little thing, only to look at my phone and discover many hours have passed. That state is the best. No doer, only doing. Thanks for that comment!

  2. JaneParhamKatz

    Me too – I disappear into piano practice not realizing hours have passed. Is it some sort of coma? I experienced a medical coma many years ago. I had prayed very energetically just before going unconscious, and I feel that prayer continued the three days I was “out.” Truly just prayer, not a person praying. Just Life, not a person connecting to Life. And there was a tiny moment when I regained consciousness that I closed my eyes again and felt a pull to return to the “coma” state. I did feel my established beliefs disappear with the absence of my usual consciousness – yet I was still there! It was a wonderful feeling! The hospital staff was amazed at my good condition after my ordeal. Secretly, I felt much better than ever before. I’m grateful to that hospital (in Atlantic City). But I am even more grateful to the forces of Life that sustained me, especially considering the dire prediction made for me.

    Yes. I recall Ottmar’s post a while back – “No auto racer, just racing, etc.” That was a tremendous revelation for me. Thanks for refreshing this. No pianist, just piano playing! No artist, just painting. No knower, just knowing. Apply it to everything. Living becomes so adventurous in this spiritual State.


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