No Core

two children with the core of an onionMy friend Phil Hughes wrote another book of metaphors. His first book was great. I like this one even more. It’s called “You Are Not Who You Think You Are!”

One of my favorite chapters is called What Remains When the Last Layer Falls Away? 

“Discovering who you are is like peeling an onion.

Layer after layer disappears and just as we joyfully believe we are about to see what is at the core, the last layer falls away and we realize there isn’t one.

That’s what’s left, is absolutely nothing.

Or, that there is no longer anything separating us from the experience of being absolutely everything.”

I love “we joyfully believe we are about to see what is at the core”.  We’re so sure there is an “us” in there, a “me” that is our true soulmate, the “self” we’ve spent our lives searching for. 

(To be fair, I’ve been writing about that placeless place “beyond psychology” for years, no doubt contributing to the expectation that there is some core at which we’ll arrive).

We search for that feeling of core, of home, in other people, in physical stuff, in accomplishments and identities. 

And then we get to the core of the onion and…wait, what?! There isn’t one! 

But what if this is the best news ever?

What if the stories, thoughts, dramas, pasts, and futures that appear to be woven together by a unifying “me” are not woven together at all? They are simply life rising and falling in each and every moment, not carried through time, not meaningful in their own right? 

Can you imagine life without a story of “you” that needs to be constantly created and bolstered?  

What if it’s only a brain that creates the experience of continuity, not “you”? 

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