‘I am’ is a made-up sentence; its interior is hollow; Not-doing is an interruption in the flow of the habitual interpretation of the world

(The Universal Spiderweb by Armando Torres)

“‘I am’ is a made-up sentence; its interior is hollow, and it feeds on a nucleus of insecurity. Not-doing is an interruption in the flow of the habitual interpretation of the world. As long as you’re not able to overcome the feeling of ‘I am,’ there’s no way of stopping that flow.”

“Then by suppressing the ‘me,’ do you automatically enter into not-doing?”

“In a certain way,” he answered. “‘Doing’ is when you act in accordance with the personal inventory, the summary of everything that someone has put together during their life. It’s like a warehouse that’s revised constantly, discarding the readings that are not practical and accentuating the value of those most used.”

“The fixation on being ‘myself or on my way being better or more important than the others comes precisely from that; it’s the basis of personal importance, and it’s what impels people to need to control others. It is, in fact, the obsessive focus on the ‘me’ that transforms people into petty tyrants. Making the inventory is an order that no one can disobey; however, through the practice of not-doing, it’s possible to maintain a healthy control over the inventory. That, by itself, casts one directly into a magical environment where everything is possible.”

“Not-doing is a technique, a different way of hooking the world. A small shakeup in the value scale of the inventory, and the priorities change. Just by suppressing some detail or throwing a dissonant element in to disrupt common sense, suddenly, not-doing emerges, filling the awareness with an extraordinary range of new perceptions.”

It was during that time that he put to me the challenge to stop using the pronoun ‘I.’ At first, it was difficult to communicate in that way, but over time, I adapted and came to understand that the constant reference to oneself is a vice that ties us to the ego, like a quadruped to its water trough, and everything becomes me, me, me.

“One of the best ways to approach not-doing is by imitating the games of children,” he said with an amused expression, and continued explaining. “To change the perceptive command, you can carry out non-utilitarian activities, for example, walking blindly or walking backwards, going in circles around a tree, concentrating the attention on a pebble or the clouds, stalking your own shadow, and anything else you can think of. But the most important of all is to take care not to transform those into a routine.”

“In what way can not-doing change the perceptive commands?”

“Not-doing is truly a trick that deceives the mind for a moment, allowing it to break free from conventional things by aligning to something entirely new. The body feels it as an energy burst; that’s the reason why people feel dazzled by a magician’s show, despite knowing that the tricks are mere deception.”

“Keeping the perception in line with not-doing depends totally on the warrior’s personal power, on anchoring the perception – or else he’ll fall back into everyday life again. That happens because our world is formed by very delicate principles. If you remove some of its key pieces, the whole scenario comes tumbling down.”

“The warrior tunes his perception; he focuses his attention on certain aspects of being aware so that he becomes an energy tracker; he finds in daily events the points where the energy is manifested in a more evident way. Such points are the signs of intent.”

“The signs of the spirit are what indicates to us the way to escape from the corral. This is how the warrior makes a quantum leap with his thought, transforming each moment into a new experiment, with which even the quotidian becomes an exciting trip to the unknown.”

“Does it mean that the warrior no longer has an ultimate destiny?” I asked.

“No,” he answered. “That means that his destiny has become mysterious; it no longer fits into the pinche (petty) sequence of causes and effects.”


It was a pleasant night. We were seated in the dimness of his back porch, talking about many topics. Our chat about the ‘I am’ had caused in me great agitation; it was like losing my virginity. In the beginning, I despaired; I believed that without that center of security I wouldn’t survive; but later, I realized that in fact, it didn’t matter. However, I had a peculiar sensation, maybe comparable to the curiosity of a child who asks his father where he came from.

My reason was that what I called me or myself doesn’t exist and doesn’t have any transcendency, since at death one has to return each particle of information and experience acquired during life, disappearing as an individual being. Based on that, I put to him my question:

“Then, don Berna, what defines ME? What is it that makes me be me?” He smiled understanding^, knowing exactly what I was going through. He said:

“The amusing thing is that after all you’ve experienced, you still believe that a ‘me’ exists. What we conceive as ‘me’ is just an artificial structure, equipped with the information and experience of life; it’s our personal history.”

“At the time of death, the individual ‘me’ disappears, but the energy of which it was formed survives because it’s eternal. For that reason, it’s so important to do a complete recapitulation because that’s the only way you can clarify and resolve unassimilated feelings. Only when you reach a state of internal balance can the organic memory transcend as conscious energy. This is how we can keep the union of what we are.”

“Otherwise, the conglomerate of sensations that we call ‘me’ would disintegrate into thousands of specks of isolated memories, like a hive that gets dispersed and forever loses its cohesion from what it once was.”

“No matter what you do, in the end you’ll have to die. However, death, as well as life, is not the same for everybody because it’s not the same thing to die miserably as it is to die full of power and awareness. Like a drop that returns to the ocean, for some, what awaits them is an almost immediate dissolution of their individuality; that’s the second death. They return to be recycled again in the eternal.”

“Their energy particles, now dispersed in the sea of awareness, maybe can be part of something or somebody again, but the cohesion of what they once were is lost forever, while others are able to maintain their awareness of being through willpower. So one can say that that persistence, that cohesive force that we call life is really all we are.”

“The practitioners of recapitulation who are able to reach self-awareness will remain united for a much longer time, and some, maybe, for all eternity because, although like everybody else they have to pay the price of the transition, they’ll be prepared; thus it’s very possible that they’ll be able to maintain their sense of being indefinitely.”


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