Who you are when you are not trying to be anyone or anything else.
We can pursue roles and titles when we feel ourselves to be not enough.
Yet, the spontaneous me is enough, not least because this me is the me who can be grown and developed best of all.
Eckhart Tolle coins the phrase spontaneous me as who we are beyond roles, but then adds: ‘But don’t try to be yourself. That’s another role.’*
Whilst this “thoughtless” kind of personhood feels similar to telling someone, whatever they do, they mustn’t think of elephants, I appreciate what Tolle’s trying to take us to. Roles and titles can threaten our incredible capacity for exploring, questioning, adapting, developing, failing, beginning over, connecting, collaborating, and creating.
I’m beginning to read Stephen Pyne’s fascinating history of fire** – our discovery of how to make fire has changed life on earth. Fires require the triangle of combustable material, oxygen, and heat.
To embrace this imagery, we are heat.
The spontaneous me is the particular heat we are, our special ability to start fires, including the kind of fires we seek to combust, as all fires depend on the material they are consuming. Fire is a synthesiser of its surroundings – without oxygen and fuel, there could be no fire: we cannot make fire without connection – to others and to our world.
Your spontaneous me is the most pure heat you can be.
Believing you are not enough, trying and be someone or something else, only isolates your heat and robs the world of the fires you can make.