since you have no questions for me and everything is clear for you
If with 'everything is clear
' you mean that in my AE it is clear that there's no self, then yes, it's clear : I don't see/smell/hear/touch/taste any self in AE, only a thought can imagine a self but the content of thought is only the content of a thought and I can't see/smell/hear/touch/taste the content of a thought.
There's also no separate
self, that exists independently from 'the rest' because there's no division between 'self' and 'the rest'.
I also see that precisely because there's no separate self, the illusory nature of self is necessarily the same for all experience, the 'whole soup'. Since there is no self, no subject can meet an object. Objects are unfindable : I experience no table but see colours, feel a touch, smell the odour of wood.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
An entity, a ‘self’, a ‘me’ or an ‘I’, cannot be found in or as AE and there is nothing outside of AE because one can’t experience what would be outside of the field of one’s experience. AE shows that AE functions without having to be activated or organized by a self. Days and nights follow each other without someone rotating the earth and keeping the sun in place. Sensations and thoughts occur without some entity activating them. Therefore there’s no self.
Was there ever?
There’s nothing in AE that reveals that a self would have been activating experience before; therefore there has never been a self.
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.
In experience, the illusion of a separate self is an inner tension based on the mistaken differentiation of on the one hand what is experienced and on the other hand an imagined operating centre that is assumed to function independently from the experienced.
This tension, based on the unawareness of the fact that it is the experience itself, solidifies the experience and creates otherness, erroneously differentiating it from the ‘one’ who lives that experience.
It all begins with a kind of restlessness, a dividing movement that breaks the harmony/perfectness; the flow tries to grasp itself and ignites creativity whereby appearances are seen as being solid and ‘other’, giving rise to a feeling of duality and incompleteness.
Once the ‘selfing’ movement is launched, thoughts arise giving subsequently birth to attachment, dislike or indifference to the objects of thoughts.
3) How does it feel to see this?
Seeing this generates mixed feelings:
- a joy of having realized a truth;
- a liberating feeling because the burden of false beliefs in the ‘hardness’ of a self is abandoned ;
- solace based on the realization that no-one will die, that only experience will change;
- a feeling of certainty because one looks directly to experience and isn’t immersed in / preoccupied with dreamy content anymore;
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Generally speaking, I feel better. There's inner clarity where previously there was doubt and obscurity. Much more simplicity, straightforwardness.
I have some difficulty remembering the different stages of the process that took place because I did not take notes of the daily evolution of my thoughts, except of course the posted answers. I had an inner questioning every day, confronting my operating habits with the questions asked during our dialogue. Over the course of this work I felt a kind of joy rising, a little like when you slowly recognize someone you haven't seen for a very long time.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
Answering all the questions required time and work and the further the process went on the more I felt that after all these questions I had to know the truth once and forever and therefore drop all possible masks or tricks. That’s how I made an extra effort to look directly at experience as it is and not as I thought it was.
5) a) Describe decision
‘Decision’ is a label that a thought puts on another thought. No "I" can make a decision because there's no separate "I" / self that exists independently from the thought-decision. When there is a thought the I is the thought.
‘Intention’ is a thought labelling one or more other thoughts about an imagined future; in the AE there are only thoughts.
‘Free will’ is a thought based on the thought that there is an “I” that makes thoughts happen. Since an independently existing “I” is not found in AE, there’s no ‘I’ that is free or not free.
Free will doesn’t exist other than as a thought because no second, ‘other’, awareness exists separately from awareness itself. No twin of awareness (second awareness) decides what will appear in the first awareness, let alone that it would decide ‘freely’ how something will appear (or not) in awareness.
‘Choice’ is a thought that tends to label thoughts.
A choice between A and B presupposes there’s a C that makes the choice. ‘Choice’ implies that there would be an “I” that makes thoughts happen, which is contrary to experience.
If I say ‘I choose A' it is clear - when looking to AE- that this statement is in itself only a thought (decision) about thoughts (the options).
Since in AE thoughts occur in an unplanned process the choice-thought necessarily also occurs in an unplanned way, which implies that there is no choice.
‘Control’ is a thought that presupposes an ‘I’ that can act independently from anything and freely make reality be one way or another, which is contrary to experience.
What makes things happen?
Things happen spontaneously. No ‘thing’ makes things happen.
Neither does thinking make reality: horned rabbits do not exist because we do not see/hear/smell/taste/touch horned rabbits, we can only think about
/imagine horned rabbits but his doesn't make them come into existence.
How does it work?
Reality can be known as experience but how reality works cannot be known because nothing exists independently from reality in order to see it function independently from itself which is necessary for knowing how it works.
We can only 'know' reality in/as duality: a subject considers itself to be real and different/independent from an object that it also thinks to be real. In non-duality reality simply is what is, there is no other, no one, no-thing called reality, the knowing is the reality.
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
Same as I looked for an apple in the picture of an apple, looking to my hand I try to see where exactly in the colours is the hand, the more I look the more the feeling 'this is my hand' vanishes and gives way to the feeling that 'my hand' can't be colours. I further only experience the feeling but that feeling is not a 'hand'.
Further, 'my hand' can't be 'a peace of flesh and bones' because 'flesh and bones' (just like 'the brain') doesn't exist in AE, 'flesh and bones' is a thought.
For all these reasons 'this is my hand' is a lie/dream. This lie/dream functions to preserve the lie/dream of self.
Again, same as I looked for an apple in the picture of an apple, when I look into my mind I see nothing at all, no square, no triangle, no colour that is 'me' or 'my mind'.
Similarly I may look to my car and ask myself 'where precisely in this pile of scrap is my car', I don't see/hear/smell/ touch/taste or think 'car' in the seen colours, in the heard sound of the car, in the odour of the car etc.
Only an imputed car makes a car, apart from that label there’s no car. The concept 'car' is only the consequence of the thought that there is a car. Same for 'self', it's only imputed, thought.
b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
'Responsible' is a thought about other thoughts.
No ‘I’ being found in AE, no-one can be responsible or accountable. No-one can be right or wrong, educated or uneducated. 'Responsible' literally means 'able to give an answer'. An answer suposes a question, duality. In actual experience there's no duality, no question, no answer, no self, no other, all is the experience.
6) Anything to add?
Silence is the only way not to betray reality, :).
Thank you very, very much !