Firstly, I want to start off by making a disclamer statement of some sort. This myTake is not meant to convince anyone necessarily, as we all have our own beliefs and opinions, and it's not intended to make people believe that I'm right or wrong or have a more legitimate opinion than others. This is merely to just share my thoughts and observations on this matter and share it with others that might be interested in this topic.
Children, their Eyes and Peek-a-boo
Have you ever played peek-a-boo as a young child or with a young child? It's interesting to analyse as a philosophical-psychological phenomenon. If we look closely, we realise that children, when they're young, tend to identify themselves with their eyes. What do I mean by this? Well, peek-a-boo isn't anything but hiding from the other person by only covering your eyes. That leads me to concluding this about our "true identity": children know or feel like that the peek-a-boo mate, doesn't see him or her just because the eyes are covered. That might seem as obvious and ridiculous to point out. However, how many times have we heard someone say that the eyes are the windows into one's soul? No matter if you believe in souls, or not, the peek-a-boo has something there that we can learn from. This observation leads me to the next part: senses and sensing.
Senses, the Sensed and the Sensing.
The next pillar to touch and wiggle is our senses, which is of course another big factor to our perception of existence and reality. The context and content of reality can be explained through two main concepts: the noumena (the fabric of what is sensed) and the phenomena (Kant, 1781) . First I will take these two concepts and set them in the context of the "outer world". Here's where the articulation of ideas becomes tricky. Let's use an example:
We have a ball. The noumena is the plastic of the ball. The phenomena is the perception of smoothness of the ball. What if the plastic of the ball was literally the same as the perception of the smoothness of the ball? In other words: noumena=phenomena? So far so good. The next step is: phenomena and noumena inwards: within yourself. I will explain this by presenting it in steps:
Step 1: look at your right hand. Touch it with your other hand. Yes. Exactly. You feel it. Your hand is real. However, what makes you differentiate the feeling your left hand experiences when not touching the right hand and when it is touching the right hand, isn't real, as such.
Step 2: You. Yes, you. Can you hear me? Ok. So now listen within you: can you hear that voice inside telling you all sorts of things? It might sound like "hehe, yeah, I'm me, here I am. Well, God damn it. I'm hungry." or something like that. Well I got news: that's also an illusion. So what is left as "real"? I mean, after all, just like the ball, if there's a phenomena (the perception of it, the sensation of it), there must be also a noumena right? Yes. Good question.
Step 3: Go outside or if inside, put more clothes on or take some off. Do something that basically changes your perceived temperature. Now let's call that voice we referred to in step 2 as "I".
So if the perception of ourselves is hearing that voice telling us that we are hungry, horny, tired, cold, warm...then what is ourself ACTUALLY made out of? What is the voice's MATTER? Answer: the voice's noumena is the "act of seeing", "the act of hearing", "the act of touching", "the act of smelling" . You, as in, real you, is the thing you perceive. In other words, you are sight, you are touch, etc. However, the fact that you think that the voice exists, is not the real you. It's the Ego. It's what makes you identify as something "other" than everyone and everything else that exists. It's what makes you feel pain when something doesn't "go your way" or when you resist something that happens naturally.
What I am not saying
I'm not saying that society, reality, the planet earth, everything we see, hear, feel, taste, smell... is the Matrix. Yes, the computer or telephone you're looking through now is definitely real. The hand you looked at and touched is also real, it's just not "your" hand, because there's no such thing as you, remember? This is where the key distinction between "real" and "true" comes in.
True vs Real
I'm going to explain this purely by exposing examples:
1. The computer in front of you is real but not true.
2. The earth is real but not true.
3. You (the ego) is real but not true.
4. The only thing that is true is your True Self (meaning that phenomena= noumena thing we were talking about before).
Where "you're being fake!" "you're so authentic!" come from
I'm sure you have heard one or both of these expressions in some way or other. What they mean is basically that when someone is reporting a true experience (a true phenomena=noumena) to another person, he or she is being authentic, or true. When someone smiles without really meaning to smile, we say the person was being fake (reporting a false phenomena=noumena).
Last note: life vs death
This is where Ying and Yang come in. Everything can be seen as two complimentary parts of a whole. Death vs life for example, or dark vs light.
1. How would you know what stars look like from earth if you didn't know what darkness of night looked like?
2. How would you know what it's like to be alive, if you didn't know what it was like to be dead?
Orange and Turquoise.