ABSENCE OF BEING

Surgeon writing down some operation notes

I am alive, I exist, and I am present. I also know that I am alert and awake… awake as in conscious and not asleep in my bed.

How do I know this? Breathing, heart beating, aware of the sensations being captured by the senses, thoughts arising then dissolving.

Notice all the I’s above…

Without the I, how is it known that breathing, sensing, thinking and all the rest are happening? There’s an awareness of it. For example, there is silence then a sound emerges out of that silence and it is noticed, there’s an awareness of the sound.

“being” is a synonym of the word “existing”… Existing, alert, alive, awake (conscious), aware, present… these words are often bundled into the phrase “sense of being” or “sense of aliveness”.

Has there ever been a time when the sense of being/aliveness was not present? During the first seven months of 2011, I had a rare but benign tumor removed; a hysterectomy, and a hernia repair. Two of those surgeries required general anesthesia. While on the operating table, each anesthesiologist told me to count backwards from 10. The next thing of which I was aware, was waking up in the recovery room. While I was under, there was no sense of being. The body breathed, the heart beat and all the rest of it without the presence or need of an I.

While there is a recollection of the idea of being under anesthesia, there is no memory of any content occurring while I was under.

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