Thanks for guiding me :-)
Welcome to the forum.
How do you imagine it would feel to really see that there is no separate self? Would it be different then what it feels now?
I can't imagine anything would "look" very different or feel very different. It more feels like I should be able to see my body the same way I see "other peoples" bodies. However, the body in front of me still feels separate during conversation. There have been times where I have felt "watching myself talk". Where there was no effort to talk or converse with others, it all happened and I was just there to see the conversation. However, most of the time if I try to replicate this experience it ends up with me just standing in silence and not conversing much in social situations at all.
There was a time when I felt "complete oneness" and during this time I was having conversations with "others" and it was seen much more like I was talking to myself than talking to an "other"...
And what do you mean by 'my awareness'? Where is the line between mine and somebody else's? What is that owns this awareness? Is it in some kind of container?
I am what notices this awareness. I am this space in which this conversation appears, the thing that rationalizes what turns up in "this". When I talk about my awareness, I just mean life... Or the space in which sensations arise or the space in which colors arise... My consciousness, the thing that doesn't change. I can't find a line between mine and somebody elses, although the illusion is very convincing that "others" have an awareness, I can't find it in my experience besides the fact that "others" can point me back to myself as if they have done it themselves in the past, which would imply that they are conscious too (as much as there is no evidence in my direct experience other than thought). I feel like deep down I know that "others" are just a thought, just a construct like the thought of a table... but I don't want to admit this because the idea of being alone is scary, and the thought of having another 'being' like me that I can converse with is fun.
What do you expect to happen and how would you recognise it?
I guess I am expecting to be able to detach myself from what happens to my body, and to permanently know that I am not the "doer". I can't be sure what I am really looking for if I'm being entirely honest.
What is exactly that you are looking for?
The honest answer is I don't know. I am here to see what all the fuss is about... I feel like I know or have known the magical secret everyone is talking about in here, but don't really know what is so great about it... And because everyone else is acting like this thing is really great, it makes me feel like I'm missing something because for me it feels like if anything, this secret potentially takes all the fun out of life. (but for some reason I'm here wanting to know more about it)... How confused am I!!
This process is yours, I suggest you write everyday till all is clear. Writing helps mind to focus. I may not answer everyday, but please report what you notice at least once a day, that helps to keep momentum going.
So for me it feels like right now there is colour, there is sound, there is sensations. Thoughts arise which are seemingly not constructed by the thing thought refers to as "me". That's about all that happens over here...
So for example someone in a social situation will say "oh man, I just got the most awesome new car it has this and that and this and that"... Then thoughts say "well I know that the car really isn't that awesome, it's just representing a climb of working hard for something and getting it, it's just a trophy like anything else".
Or someone will say "omg I'm so upset life is just terrible" and I'll know that life can't possibly be that terrible, there are only thoughts saying it's terrible and thoughts are just thoughts.
Or someone in a social situation will say "so what are you doing with yourself, you should be doing this that and the other"... And thoughts will say "well I don't have to be doing anything, I can jump off a building if I really wanted to, so ultimately you're just trying to sell me a dream to create motivation to do something, but whatever you're trying to get me to do I know isn't that important and probably not worth the effort".
Sorry if that sounds a little suicidal, ultimately that's the question I always get down to when looking within. The question that I always get to is "do you want to kill yourself?"... I've asked this question to myself a few times and generally get the answer "yes, but not yet". Which then comes the question, "well, when?"... Then thoughts pop up and say "when you've exhausted this world of all it's pleasures". So then I think of all the ways I can exhaust the world of pleasures, but then ultimately come back to the question of "free will", which is a very tricky question...
On one hand I see that I am not the author of my thoughts... On the other, the world I'm currently living definitely seems very much like the world I would create for myself if I had "total" control. So i get left in this situation of wonder as to whether I have total control, or whether I have no control. The answer is I don't know.