Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
I cannot see an ‘I’ in direct experience at all. There never was.
Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
The illusion of the separate self begins when we are babies and beginning to make sense of the world. It often begins through language – I very quickly learnt the name given to me and the names for other people and objects that were all around me. So I quickly assumed that I was a separate entity, with my own thoughts and feelings, free will etc. Throughout my life, this belief was constantly being reinforced.
How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Since this investigation into DE, I can see that the illusion exists entirely in thought alone. Nothing changes but the perspective is different. Thought content is still there but there is less attachment than before.
Despite knowing this, there continues to be a feeling of a separate ‘I’ but seeing and understanding that the illusion exists in thought, leads to less attachment and more clarity. It feels like there is much less confusion and much more awareness of the present moment. Before I started the dialogue, I had an intellectual understanding of the illusion but had not seen the evidence in direct experience.
What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
The simplicity of experiencing through the senses was the final piece of the jigsaw. I had not expected this – I always thought I would make sense of all this through deeper thinking! It is just looking closely with the senses, which we are not used to doing and noticing what is sensed before thoughts being involved.
Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.
No, I do not decide, intend, choose, or control events in life. Actions happen automatically. When I feel thirsty, the body gets up and goes to make a cup of tea or coffee. There are thoughts arising about the making of it possibly, like a thought might arise of having a snack with it or not, but it is all done automatically. There is however very little thought involved, it is just action taking place. There is no entity called ‘I’ that make the legs walk, one foot in front of the other, that chooses to stop at the kitchen worktop, open a cupboard to get a cup, switch on the kettle etc. It is quite possible, that thoughts arise, completely disconnected from the action of making a drink, such as planning a social event or whatever. Still, despite this, a drink is made perfectly.
Neither does an ‘I’ control life. When an appointment is made to see a doctor, it is as a result of a thought arising about seeing a doctor, which may have arisen due to an ongoing ailment. The action of picking up a phone and dialing a number happens automatically by the body when conditions are right, which is due to a thought arising which causes the action. It is done practically on auto-pilot without much awareness being present, although awareness may be present.
Anything to add?
Nothing to add at present
Sending love and gratitude
for your guidance and patience,