Beautiful responses and clear seeing :)
”I want...” → ”The body wants...” or ”There is a desire...”
”I think...” → ”There is a thought...”
”I will go get it.” → ”This body/'Vera' will go get it.”
Of course, this type of usage of language would sound silly, but you didn't ask if it would sound silly to live without the word ”I”. You asked if it was possible.
Yes! Language works perfectly fine without "I"/"me"/"my". In fact it could not even really be called silly, just an alternative and perfectly valid choice of style. "I"/"me"/"my" is really just a convenient social shortcut to shared meaning.
without the word ”I” the concept of ”I” would possibly melt away as well.
So if ”I” can be eradicated from the language and replaced so easily with other words that would be just as correct, what is ”I” really? How real is it? What is it? Where is it?
EXACTLY. This is where you need to LOOK. Can you actually find an "I" at all?
Where does a thought come from?
I don't know, it'a a mystery. :) It just appears out of nowhere.
Same place it came from? It just disappears and then it's gone.
No, because a thought doesn't have a middle (or a begginning or an end). It appears as a complete whole total entity or whatever it is. It's not like sentence in a book that you can stop reading. Wow, this is a new insight! :)
Indeed :) Interesting, huh?
Is there a thinker 'doing' the thoughts?
Or are thoughts simply experienced, like clouds blowing through a clear and unchanged sky?
Nothing happens. The thought goes away. Tailgating on what I said above, this is the situation where I don't give the thought energy and so it doesn't swell and snowball into a story that creates a bunch of suffering in the body.
Yes. This is the very basis of 'selfing' and suffering.
The more we grasp onto self-referential thoughts, more thoughts spawn, more grasping >>> downward spiral.
Thoughts are fundamentally impermanent, like all experiences. Grasping them only spawns new thoughts because we can only really BE in the present moment, so a new thought is required each time.
The best thing we can do is just observe with curiosity and let them pass. This is the very basis of "staying in the moment". Staying with present experience, whatever may come up, instead of grasping at thoughts which have already been and gone.
This was the hardest question of all. I asked myself this question many times but there was no answer. So I don't know
When we ask a question like this, and get no answer - "no thing"... that IS the answer. "Nothing"!
So what entity is thinking right now? There simply isn't one! It is imaginary.
Additional question: What do you think about me reading other threads on this forum? Would it be a bad idea? I don't want to hinder the process.
My suggestion at this stage is, you don't need to. It may also just confuse things. This is kind of a looping process between two people, where your responses guide me where to point you to next, as we spiral in onto a realisation. If you read someone else's pointers in another thread, that isn't necessarily pointing you in the right direction at the right time, and may just confuse matters.
But I understand that you are burning, I've been there :). My suggestion is instead, use the time to LOOK. Look in every place and dark corner that you possibly can. This process is an experimental one! Nothing really changes by reading - only by LOOKING with your own experiment, i.e. your own direct experience.
So whenever you are burning, do some regular daily activity, anything at all, mundane or otherwise - and LOOK for an "I", a "self", in that activity. Look and look and look until you are utterly convinced whether there is a "doer" in that activity or not. Then try a different activity. Driving, brushing your teeth, etc etc.
For your next exercise, I'll suggest a few places to start you off:
Observe thought one more time.
How do you decide the next thought which comes up?
Do you decide the next thought with another thought?
Then who decides the thought before and the one before that?
At which point do you make the decision what to think next?
Can you observe it happening in reality?
Describe the process.
As you talk out loud, observe the process from the background.
How EXACTLY do you talk?
How do you form the mouth shapes, control breath, and pitch to form words?
How do you do ALL those complex things right before the sounds come out?
And while deciding WHAT to say next?
Describe the process you use.
Take a walk, observe the walking.
How do you control all the micro-muscle movements and retain perfect balance and stability?
Can you still walk while thinking about other things?
Describe the process.
How do you control the flow rate, the aperture of the entrance to the lungs, the speed, rhythm of the breath?
How DO you know exactly how much oxygen is needed for the current moment, and when to speed up or slow down?
Describe the process.
Now please answer the following questions in your next reply:
Is there really a “you” inside there, controlling all of these things, all of the time?
Is there a thinker; or is there just thinking?
Is there a talker, or is there just talking?
Is there a walker; or is there just walking?
Is there a breather; or is there just breathing?
Is it in fact only thought which tells that you control all these things?