1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
There is no "self, I, me, you, individual" to be found in Actual (Raw) Experience. There never was. Never will be. This is the grand illusion!
This sounded so weird and impossible before doing this process, but this is how it really is - Raw Experience.
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.
It's not easy to describe the illusion, nor the end of it, but I'll do my best here...
Reality is Raw Experience (X).
X simply IS. The illusion is that X is separated into many things (and individuals) - separated in every thing, but in reality, there is No Separation in Raw Experience. X simply IS. And is ALL there IS.
The individual is an illusion. The wave believing that it is separate from the ocean when the ocean is all there is - including the wave.
The illusion starts with thought. Thought labels every thing like an overlay or a veil (thought/label).
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.
Right now, there is only X. No overlay. Like taking off a pair of dirty glasses. Sometimes thought arises, but quickly disappears.
One of the best examples you gave me was discovering that Santa Claus does not exist. Santa Claus isn't replaced with another belief/thought. The illusion of the individual just disappears when he's looked for and never found.
Now, there is a constant sensation of contentment. There is no worry about what might happen. There is no sense of past, present, or future. There is no time in Raw Experience. X just IS.
Worry about big or small things is GONE now. It's fine to be at work, it's fine to be a home... Everything is simply OK. What a relief! When sitting and looking, everything is great just how it is. There is no impulse/thought to change it into "something better." Everything is perfect just as it is.
Other people's actions are also perfectly fine. There's no compulsion to get into any drama, with other's drama. Also, the feeling of being attacked by others no longer exist. It used to seem like other's comments towards "Ray" would many times seem offensive, even when they were not, but not anymore.
Before, thoughts would pretty much come up constantly. Old memory-thoughts, stories, worry-thoughts, fear of forgetting things would cause the creation of many many notes and reminders on the Smartphone... That's all over and gone.
Realizing all this was a huge relief. It was not an explosive affair, but it was a relief! Ahhhhhhh... Nice...
At first there was a fear of "losing it." Watching out to make sure "it was still there." After a couple of days, that fear was gone.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
I had a glimpse of Raw Experience a couple of times before, but not understanding how X "works," kept the illusion from dissolving completely.
The tipping point was realizing that the card that had to be pulled was the "compulsion to understand" to "find meaning" in Everything (in every thing). Even when it was obvious that there was no individual (I, me), thoughts kept creeping up like: "How can this be?" "How does it all work?" "How can there be a 'movie' without actors - without an audience?" "What is it made of?" "If this is true, then..." etc, etc, etc...
When I finally let go of that last piece/impulse - when I pulled that last card, the house of cards came tumbling down. Then I could continue with the exploration till the end.
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
Decision, intention, free will, choice and control are ALL AE of Thought (Illusion). There is no individual "me" (or anyone) doing ANYTHING - controlling anything. - X IS
. It's like a dream that seems so real, so convincing, that one doesn't ever question its reality - but it is an illusion.
Einstein is quoted as saying, "Reality is merely an illusion. Albeit a very persistent one."
b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
There is no "I" to be responsible for anything! So there is no impulse to fix or change anything and no sense of responsibility. It's so easy now to "let things be" - to "go with the flow." like mentioned above, there is no urge to "get into other people's drama." Whatever happens, happens!
The other day, there was a kind of argument between my wife and daughter. Although it wasn't a comfortable situation, and I had to get in there and mediate between them, there was a sense of detachment (in a good way). There was no high stress level. Although there was real stress in the situation, the stress level was very low compared to how it would have been just a few weeks before.
Now, nothing feels forced anymore. No worries.
6) Anything to add?
Yes! Everything is different, yet everything is the same!
There's still work, chores around the house, taking care of the family and pets - all that stuff, but it's all easy.
Kay, I really, really, really appreciate your helping me with this exploration/process/journey.
I've been "searching" for a long time. My cup was way too full... Now, thanks to you, I only know that I know NOTHING! I AM nothing! There is no "I". There's freedom now!
I really appreciate what you've done for me and you're doing with others here. This is priceless.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!