Poetry: Know thyself

swan reflection

Not that which comes and goes,
But that which knows both comings and goings;

Not that which is confused or clear,
But that which sees both confusion and clarity;

Not that which is happy or depressed,
But that which knows both happiness and depression;

Not that which swells with pride, or is deflated by humiliation,
But that which sees both pride and humiliation, and their effects;

Not that which is damaged by disease or benefited by medicine,
But that which knows both disease and health;

Not that which has desires and fears,
But that which sees both attraction and aversion;

Not that which judges or is open-minded,
But that which knows judgement and open-mindedness.

Not that which thinks or acts,
But that to which both thoughts and actions appear;

Not the ear, tongue, skin, eyes or nose,
But that to which smell, taste, sensation, vision and sound appear;

That which, in our experience,
never changes,
is always present,
and unblemished by experiences;

That which
looks with constancy,
is ever-patient,
always seeing things as they are;

That which
cannot be lost or removed,
is effortlessly present,
totally secure,
and is the innermost essence of your experience;

Know yourself to be that.

8 thoughts on “Poetry: Know thyself

  1. Nice poetry Tom!
    One question. I read so many times that what you are never changes, is always present and ever-aware. Although my experience in deep sleep, or when I’m under narcosis for instance, is that nothing is aware of anything. Can you elaborate on that?


    1. Thanks! My view is that this never changes in the waking state, experientially speaking. That’s enough. You cannot know for sure that it doesn’t disappear after death or with general anaesthetic or even during certain types of epilepsy, for example. Actually we just talked about this at our last meeting. Great question Tom!


      1. Thank you for the comment Tom!
        Experientially speaking we have the same view.
        Therefore, my question remains, why does all the sages, and you too ;), speak about what we are is something that never chances, is always present and ever-aware if that isn’t the experience in daily live?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fair point Tom. Usually I try to make that clear, but it doesn’t come across in all my posts, especially my poetry. I’ve written many posts on this though and will post some for you below which may give a better explanation:


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