And who/what would watch this movie?
Like watching a movie, being lost in the drama, but then realising that you’re looking at a tv screen. Nothing changes – you were looking at the tv screen the whole time, but there’s a subtle shift. Now you’re no longer “falling for the illusion” of the movie.
Who/what would not fall for the illusion?
Is there anything that could be outside the movie watching it?
Is there anything that is falling or not falling for the illusion?
There is NO separation! There is nothing outside of the movie that could watch it! There is NOTHING SEPARATE from the MOVIE.
If there is a seeming watcher of the movie than that watcher is also part of the movie, but with the belief that I’m outside of them movie watching it. The only difference is that in the story of ‘me’ the belief of being inside the movie is shifted to being outside watching the movie. But it’s still the same story/movie. It’s still the same belief in a separate self. Just now the self is not inside the movie, but rather sitting outside watching it. It’s the same illusion.
The everyday belief is that I am inside the body, the body is me or mine, and everything outside of this body is not-me. So I am watching from the body what is happening outside of the body.
As searching for the self starts, it gets clear that I am not the body, or in the body, since the body (sensations) and thoughts are not me. So the belief in the self is shifted from being in the body, to being outside of the body, outside of everything being watched. Since the I has become the watcher. I am the watcher and everything else is not-me (not even the sensations or thoughts).
So if you expect a shift in perception of watching the movie and not falling for the movie, then you are still expecting that there will be a SELF or something, like a WATCHER or AWARENESS that could watch or fall for the movie.
Here are some common words used for the same illusion of the self:
awareness = consciousness = witness = experiencer = perceiver = knower = looker = noticer = watcher = feeler = seer = self = true Self = I = me = myself = emptiness = nothingness = my real nature = field = field of experiencing = space = knowing space… and more
Nothing has to change, but there must be some sort of “shift” in the WAY that life is seen.
In what way? Like being the watcher? If there is a perceived watcher, then it means that the belief in the self hasn’t been seen through, it just shifted to awareness.
The perception of the life won’t change. Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, but this is not the case.
Seeing through the self is much simpler as one would imagine or expect.
The only thing that changes is the recognition that the self is not there, and it never has been there.
But even seeing this doesn’t happen 24/7, but mainly when looking happens.
Life will still go on from the perspective of the body, but upon looking it can be seen that there is no self anywhere.
How could the perception of life change if there has never ever been a self there?
Perception change can happen only if there were a self and upon looking this self is being removed. But this is not the case.
The self is already not there. It’s just the RECOGNITION that there is no self.
Since no self being removed, kill, annihilated, transformed, etc. therefore NOTHING changes IN EXPERIENCE.
The only thing that changes is RECOGNITION of no-self. This is the shift.
The recognition that there has never been a self there is the shift.
But the visual perception doesn’t change, there won’t be a watcher watching the movie, nothing like that.
The stories in the “gateless gatecrashers” book: a lot of them describe a shift in the way of seeing. Many of them say, “nothing has changed, it was always like this, but now I see it clearly!” – that kind of thing.
The shift of the way of seeing is the recognition that there is no self. But the visual perception of the world won’t change.
But rather the seeing that there is nothing moving the body, nothing making decisions, nothing thinking thoughts, nothing making sounds coming out of the body in form of speech. Rather there is just the body functioning by itself, thoughts about decision arise, sounds coming out of the body as words. And there is no self in other bodies either.
But this ALREADY IS. This has never been any other way. When this is recognized nothing changes, only the knowing of it. Only just the belief in self is changed. Since this belief is seen untrue. That’s all.
You are expecting something much more than what it is.
“nothing has changed, it was always like this, but now I see it clearly!”
This is what I am talking about. Nothing has changed, only just the discovery that there has never been a self. And this can be seen clearly upon LOOKING, but NOT 24/7.
The suffering really is an illusion. A mirage. It only seems to be there from a distance.
A “shift” definitely happened here – I see it clearly. Nothing changed; suffering still occurs, just like it did before. But now I see it for what it is (or isn’t) and can go up to it at any time and look at it, and “watch it disappear” (and it’s not really that “it” disappears – there’s no “it” there).
All right. So it’s seen clearly that suffering as such doesn’t exist. It’s just an illusion.
And what about a sufferer?
Does a sufferer exist?
Ah, that’s right. I haven’t even been questioning these thoughts. They’re automatically believed… The thought says, “I still feel like a me”, but is that actually true? Who’s the “I” that feels like a “me”? Neither have a referent...
There are subtle thoughts (not really verbal thoughts) which whisper about “me” in nearly every movement, every felt facial expression. So many things whisper of “me”.
Questioning these thoughts, or any thought about ‘me’ is essential.
If these thoughts are not questioned than the actual seeing of no self can be unrecognized in spite of clearly seeing that there is no self. I mean there might be a clear seeing of no self, but then thoughts come in saying “It feels like there is a me”. If this thought is not questioned but taken as reality, the previous moment of clearly seeing that there is no self is annulated or ignored.
But there are always more places to look, and now I'm not so sure about room number one anymore because "I" am starting to feel like the body sensation again...
Yes, since the main identification is with the body (sensations). We have been trying to look at this before, and you said that there is no or hardly any identification with sensations. But this is probably not the case. You might just not recognizing this. And maybe this is the missing link.
I cannot imagine a human being without having identification with sensations. Actually, identification with sensations is the primary residency for the self, alongside thoughts.
“I” feel most prevalent in the torso and head.
The legs and arms don’t feel like “me”, but the general area of “upper chest and head” feel like “me”.
Now we are going to focus on these sensations.
First localize where this sense of me appears inside the chest and in the head.
Your job is to stalk and trap this Michael in a net of attention.
It will come and go, and there are times when Michael really shows up in the head, some other times in the chest.
When it does, fix in with precision to that place Michael occupies.
Hold it for a while in this net of attention.
Try to localize Michael in the head more precisely.
Try to find the exact spot where it feels the more, “yes, this is me”.
When you have found it, just keep the attention there.
Just feel it. Just feel.
And investigate what makes this feeling/sensation into a ‘me’?
Do this as often as you can during the day. Do both longer (15 mins or more) and shorter sessions (20-60 seconds). Do as many short ones as you can in a day. Especially, when there is an emotion present and it feels that it’s happening to me. Or when it seems that I am looking out of the eyes observing the world or others out there.
Let me know what you find.