As described earlier, ‘I’ is a word that refers to the ego. The ego is a bundle of desires you identify with. Sensory perceptions create a feeling; physically or mentally (sensation). Your desire for sensory perceptions and meaning is the cause of emotions. Your desires arise from your consciousness, after contact between your senses and stimuli from reality, because you identify with sensory perceptions. Consciousness is the capacity for perception; whatever the nature, content or scope of the observation is. These include; awareness, sensations, impressions, interpretations, imaginations, thoughts, ideas, emotions, feelings, desires, memories, and intentions. Consciousness is perception as such. Therefore, consciousness needs a reality in order to exist.
A part of reality is observed through the senses. Light, molecules/ substances, skin deformation, and vibrations are stimuli from reality that can be perceived by your senses. These stimuli can also provide mental objects in combination with your mind and your imagination. Thoughts, ideas, and memories are mental objects and an observation from your mind, which beholds the ability to imagine and to remember.
The perception of stimuli from reality is influenced by neural processes. Neurologists believe that neurons (nerve cells) of the prefrontal and parietal cerebral cortex send information back to the cerebral cortex through the thalamus and that this process makes it possible to experience consciousness. Nerve cells in the nervous system and the brain are connected by means of synapses. The conduction of the stimulus between nerve cells, via the synapses, is done by neurotransmitters. Well known neurotransmitters are; amino acids (group), serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline.
First there must be consciousness, only then can a concept of consciousness arise. The mind is an instrument of consciousness through which thoughts are perceived. That which perceives this concept of consciousness is consciousness: that is you, and not the concept that you have of consciousness. In other words; from your consciousness you cannot conceptualize consciousness, for you are consciousness. Consciousness cannot be conceptualized in any way, because it precedes and surpasses all concepts.
We thus perceive reality, via stimuli, within ourselves. However, we, ourselves are consciousness. As a result, we are not ‘selves’, but only reality. You can not explain yourself. However, that, which is perceived, can still have a meaning. As described before; conceptualizing is meaningful by definition.
Summarizing the above; you are consciousness, so you perceive reality (through stimuli) within yourself. Since, however, you are consciousness and only perceive, you thus perceive reality as yourself. If you perceive reality as yourself, you are not yourself but only reality. So there is no self, but only reality.
Understanding the above creates a radical change in the way reality is perceived. You are aware that you are the awareness of reality and are not separate from it. You are everything that happens in your environment and body, because you perceive this. This gives you a deeper connection with people, animals, plants and things from your environment, which is expressed in a (deep) sense of sympathy, compassion or loving kindness. This feeling arises because you no longer perceive from your person, but from reality, and realize that everything from reality is connected with your body and each other. This experiential knowledge, together with the extinguishing (enlightening) of your egocentric desires and emotions, is called Nirvana in Buddhism and is the final stage of the experiential doctrine of Buddhism. To fully understand the above, you need insight into the rest of reality.
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