We are limited Is

One of the spiritual experiences that we are given to live is the perception of ourselves as “I”, that is a feeling like being in a room where we cannot let enter any other; this room is our “I”. One of the feelings about the I is freedom: with my I, I can decide what to think and what to do. For example, I can choose to think of a number; I decided what number to think of, I could think of any other one, I still can think of any other one and nobody has the ability to know what number I decided to think, no one can penetrate into my thoughts.

Faced with this situation, however, some problems emerge soon. One concerns impotence: I soon realize that there are things, both inside and outside of me, on which my freedom cannot be exercised. Therefore it is a limited freedom. A second problem concerns the indecision: I have some freedom in my I, but now how do I use it, what will I make me guiding? It’s like the feeling of having in front a blank page and not knowing what to write. A third problem is the inability to be certain that this freedom really exists: let’s suppose that my freedom does not exist and then all my thoughts are actually determined by other factors; this means that my feeling of freedom, its concept that I formed in my understanding, my awareness of it, the same question if freedom exists or not, could all be mental phenomena created in my mind by factors that have determined it. This means that humanly we have no way of knowing if freedom exists, since already this very question could be nothing but a phenomenon produced in us by other factors. In this context, perceiving I and perceiving freedom are interdependent: in fact, if my feeling of freedom is exposed to the suspicion of being merely the product of deterministic mechanisms, it follows that it is illusory to believe that we can consciously think to our I at our will, that is, choosing when to do it. If my freedom to think of the existence of my I when I choose to do it is illusory, it means that everything that has to do with my suspicion (or my hope) of being a dofferent I, irreducible to the sensation that I have about others I, is illusory, or at least is exposed to this unsurpassed doubt. This means that I cannot say even to myself to have a certain perception of diversity of my I, different from the others as it is mine and then subject to a perception that only I can have about it.

All this is nothing but defeat of the comprehension, that favors a shift towards a relationship with it set not on understanding, but on spiritual experience. It is a defeat similar to that of the understanding of God and of the world. From this point of view, any restriction of the freedom can be interpreted as a manifestation of the universal evil, as a limit that the non-human of the universe imposes to my humanity. On the contrary, the I may be reckoned as a non-metaphysical project of humanity in a process of permanent investigation and experimentation; in other words, it is better the self to be considered no more and no less than an aspect of the progress that life has given me and as one of the dynamic spiritual experiences, that are a result of this progress.