What is the origin and use of the phrase “apart of, not apart from, not the whole” of the self?

Meditation teachers will typically say something like, “if you can observe a thought or feeling, you know it is not you.”

One day, while mindfully observing the arising and passing away of word and image thoughts, observing them attentively without adding to them, another thought popped into my head:

“That observation is imperfect. If this brain is observing thoughts and feelings, this brain knows that those thoughts and feelings are a part of, not apart from, but not the whole of me. The real ‘me’ is every single cell from head to toe, considered, understood and experienced as a whole.”

These are three common characteristics of all subjective human experiences.


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