The Essential Query

Where am I?
I am where no things are not.

That is to say:
I am where things, which are not in fact 'things', and so are no things - are not.

This is the double negative of Shen Hui as clearly as it can be expressed in words.

Let us say it with a pronoun:
What am I?
I am what no thing is not.

That is to say:
I am what any thing, which is never in fact a 'thing', and so is no thing - is not.

I do not know whether it may be possible to point more directly at what we are.

Note: Of course instead of the general word 'thing' we can say 'object', 'dharma'*, 'phenomenon': all these describe the constituents of the conceptual universe in which all phenomena appear.

In this simple statement, in common terms, subject and object, noumenon and phenomena, are no longer separate: what I am is whatever each is and whatever both are when they are not either.

(© HKU Press, 1966)

*(Ed. note: WWW is using 'dharma' here in an earlier sense of 'phenomenal object', not in the usual sense of 'teachings'.)

* * * * *