There is a clear "sense" of existence.
A "sense" of being is there.
There are sensations.
There is sensory perception.
The sensations and the perceptions define or reveal a "world".
Some of these become available somehow even after the physical sensations or absent.
We can define them as memory or thought.
The world is a set of such sensory perceptions.
A short sequence can be termed an event.
There is a continuous "stream" of such sensory perceptions.
Various objects appear in the world.
The sensory perceptions are "interpreted" as objects, with such and such attributes.
An "apple" is defined "out" of a plethora of sensations.
This is very similar to identifying a pattern of digits 314159 out of a stream of random numbers.
Digits are generated at random, and are streaming past.certain patterns are identified and named and recognized.
Relationships between objects are defined/identified.
Some objects are inert.some seem to interact and have a sense of existence, and seem to know it.
Some objects/events appear/identified as good/nice.
Perception of such objects/events seems to bring about a very desirable state.
Various such patterns are defined.
A more complex sequence of such patterns are termed as "explanations"/"theory".
A sequence is identified from this infinite bundle of sensory perception.
A sense of now, a sense of before and after are created.Time gets defined.
A sense of here and there is created or identified.Space gets defined.
Identity/definition is sense of limited experience.
(when there is no limitation then the identity is lost)
As an infant, first awareness of a limited sense of existence/identity comes from the name.
I am my Name. A sound.
People point at me and keep on calling me by that name.
I am now this name.
This name is identified with a body.
A body is a sensory perception.
A particular pattern is defined as "my" body.
I come to be associated with it.
In a world where all humans and aware-objects are destroyed the moment I am born, it would be interesting to know if I will ever identify myself with a limited part of the experience.
Anyway that's just a thought. we can move on.
So, by a sequence of events, an "I" gets defined, and I come to be associated with it.
All events/objects in the sensory perception, form relationships with the I.
Or rather, relationships/associations get defined.
The world is now viewed as a relationship and interaction between this I and all other objects/events.
The I begins to play a very important role in all experiences.
What is "desirable" is now very dependant on the I and its relationship to the world.
Blood is sensory perception. A mere experience.
Blood coming out of a bruise on my fingertip "becomes" an undesirable experience.
This false identification becomes central.
Initially there was no identity.
Now there is this wrong/false identity.
Is there a right/true identity?
We are defined/identified by a specific pattern of sensory perception. and this pattern is called the body.
The boundary is the body.I end at the body and beyond it the world begins.
Any clothing, accessories such as glasses, shoes etc are clearly outside the boundary.
False teeth, an implanted lens, a pace maker, any such thing also clearly is not me.
A tooth which falls off or a hair that is cut off is not me.
It was part of me, now no longer part of me.
So this boundary is little flexible. things come in, things go out.
It appears that this identification, is merely a definition, and not absolute.
We can define the I in this manner as whatever we want it to be.
We can also get rid of this identity completely and say the world/totality of sensory perception is Me.
Question is , is there an identity beyond such mere definitions?
Is this sense of "I" an absolute one, or a simply acquired/assumed one?
Initially there was no identity, then the false identity, hence the question.
Let us try shrinking this boundary inwards of the body.
The teeth, and hair, whether it is part or not, is not the I.
So are the hands,legs and so on.
Next we have the heart, stomach, kidneys, liver etc.
The life force is essential for the body. but it is only a perception.
(Life-physiology itself is merely part of the perception)
So these organs are not part of the identity.
The brain? It is also part of the sensory perception and no need to give special status.
So the whole body is not my identity.
So am I not part of the sensory perception, including thoughts etc.?
What we are actually doing in the pretext of going "inside", we are going "beyond". Inside/outside anything is still part of the world. Is part of the sensory perception.
What we are actually doing is we want to go "beyond" the world, seeking this identity.
But what all exists, what all is experienced is the world. And as long as we identify as part of this world, it is merely a definition.
So..Did we "find" it? ..... No
"Can" we find it? ..... Cannot. If we do find it, it would be part of the sensory perception/experiences, and only a mere definition. We can say it is the I. But wouldn't mean anything.
So Who and Whence am I?
There is no I, there is no Who or Whence :)