1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
No, there is no separate self, and it never existed.
2) 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.
There is just what is going on. What creates this illusion of a separate self in the middle of it is that, whenever thinking happens, it is followed by an "I", a "little me", giving the impression that this "I" is thinking, deciding, controlling, doing everything. Sensations also seem to make this impression stronger. But the fact is that this "I" is just another thought passing by, among all the other thoughts.
There is no I in reality, just seeing, hearing, sensing, smelling, tasting and thinking happening by itself. This is simple, but at the same time very liberating.
I believe that this "I" thought and believing in it has started at childhood, with parents pointing at you, saying that you are this or that, and is doing this or that. In pure innocence, they were replicating an untrue model of reality that they themselves believe. The structure of our language, and the way that our minds work, breaking everything into concepts, seem to also play a role in giving rise to this illusion.
3) How does it feel to see this?
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue?
Please report from the past few days.
Life goes on as it always did, and this "I" thought continues to pop-up as it always did. The only difference is that now it is seeing for what it is, a thought, and this brings easiness to life. More space.
It also seems that thoughts are less sticky, and there is much less emotional involvement in day-to-day activities, and towards other people (although these connections seem to happen in a deeper level). There is a subtle sense of gratitude and wonder.
The deepening of this realization, with insights about its ramifications, has also been occurring lately, and some thoughts can still provoke a little fear. But this deepening is now happening more from a place of exploration, rather from a place of lack.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I think that, since the shift that happened during the Finders Course, I was kind of aware of this "I" thought, and the mechanics of the illusion. But the fact is that it seemed that I was still identified with the "thinker". I can also see now how I was overthinking this, and, especially, how expecting everything to change was getting in the way of seeing how simple this is.
I believe that pointing me again and again to this simple truth was essential, and that the last bit that pushed me over was I being honest about expectations, and you questioning it, one by one. These sentences also had a special impact on me:
When the "I" is seen for what it is, nothing more than a thought, to what does "my body" refer to?
There are sensations. There is the idea of a body. But where is this subject that says "my body"?
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control.
b) What makes things happen? How does it work?
c) What are you responsible for?
d) Give examples from experience.
There is choice happening, but no one doing it. There is just what is going on, with everything going by itself. No I is responsible for anything. When, for example, a decision to take a glass of water happens, there is a thought about taking the glass, and there is the action of taking the glass, but no one behind the curtains making the decision or doing the action.
6) Anything to add?