no time like the present :)
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
(This is such a different use of the word, "no." It is accompanied by a great sense of expansion, release and freedom. Most of the time, "no" feels like a barrier, a border, for a contained space that has felt restrictive.)
There hasn't ever been a "self/me/I" as a separate entity in any way, shape, or form.
2) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference between 'now' and from before you started this dialogue? Perhaps give a report from the past few days.
The past few days have been interesting. There is an increased feeling of energy in the body. As someone who works with energy and other people, I notice a very strong sense of energy streaming through all parts of my body. Feels good. At times, it feels very strong... so I'm working with that as there are moments of intensity. All good.
Before the dialogue, I had been feeling almost opposite... as though a contraction was happening. It felt like I needed to solve this once and for all. "I" was beginning to worry that I wouldn't ever get there.
And now ... there is a sense of relief... thought that doesn't capture it. Relief that there's nothing to be relieved about! Ease. Joy. Easy joy.
There's a perceptual experience that is a bit like a low-level hallucinogenic drug, where everything seems brighter, crisper, and more alive. Or maybe more like after a powerful session with a healer, as the expansiveness has a grounded feeling as well.
Everyday struggles are less intense right now. It has been easier to make decisions in my work/business and implement things quicker than before. Less reactive. Personal experiences dissolve quickly into just experiences. Yes, I've noticed this all in a couple of days... we'll see how it lasts.
It has been profound. It's a state that my thoughts don't expect will last... but so far, it's lasting. I have felt similarly before, but there is a different flavor now. More settled. Less agitated.
There's a desire to tell others about my experience... but more a desire to simply share this energy. Like an outpouring of love.
So I guess it's been pretty dramatic. And... the world is still the same. The details of life still the same. Something like a big reminder/reorientation has occurred.
3) Was there a last bit that pushed you over? Made you look and realise? Perhaps something I mentioned, or something that you looked into yourself?
There were a few things that shifted it.
First off, reading Gateless Gatecrashers had a profound effect. I remember a point in reading when I practiced looking. At one point, "I" noticed that there was "just seeing" going on, instead of a me seeing or looking. It was a memorable state of nothing there but perception.
Then, reading a thread on this site, I tried the arm exercise and had a very clear sense of "no controller" lifting that arm. Very powerful.
Then you expanded on that and we did that exercise again and I felt stuck on the idea that even though I wasn't lifting the arm, there was some kind of intention to lift a particular arm... which had a sense of control. You told me to notice how thoughts come in before
and after things happen to take responsibility. It never occurred to me that thoughts could jump in before the action. That popped it open a bit.
Also the noticing how thoughts assign "foot" and "ground" when there is simply sensation... was a profound shift. I could see it all as thought.
All thought commenting and taking ownership over experience that is just happening. As I looked at that in all aspects of my day, it became very clear, indeed.
Many Thanks to Xain!