Imagine that you are in a white room, with white walls, white floor, white ceiling, no corners. Imagine that you are suspended in this space by some invisible force. You are dangling there, in mid-air. You cannot touch anything, you cannot hear anything, and all you see is whiteness. How long do you think that you will "exist" in your own experience?
Neale: Not very long. I'd exist there, but I wouldn't know anything about myself Pretty soon, I'd go out of my mind.
Actually, that's exactly what you would do. You would, literally, leave your mind. Your mind is the part of you that is assigned the task of making sense out of all incoming data, and without any data incoming, your mind has nothing to do.
Now, the moment you go out of your mind, you cease to exist in your own experience. That is, you cease to know anything in particular about yourself.
Are you big? Are you small? You cannot know, because there is nothing outside of yourself with which to compare yourself.
Are you good? Are you evil? You cannot know. Are you even here? You cannot know, because there is nothing over there.
You cannot know anything about yourself in your own experience. You can conceptualize it all you want, but you cannot experience it.
Then something happens to change all this. There appears a tiny dot on the wall. It's as if someone has come along with a fountain pen and squirted a tiny dot of ink. Nobody knows how the dot actually got there, but it doesn't matter, because the dot has saved you.
Now, there is something else. There is You, and there is the Dot On The Wall. Suddenly, you can make some decisions again, you can have some experiences again. The dot is over there. That means that you must be here. The dot is smaller than you. You are bigger than it. You are starting to define yourself again—in relationship to the Dot On The Wall.
More things begin appearing in the room, and you begin to expand your definition of Self. Then it dawns on you. Only in the presence of something else can you know yourself. This something else is that which you are not. Thus: In the absence of that which You Are Not, that which You Are.., is not.
You have remembered an enormous truth, and you vow never to forget it again. You welcome every other person, place, and thing in your life with open arms. You reject none of it, because you see now that all that appears in your life is a blessing, presenting you with a greater opportunity to define who you are, and to know yourself as that.