Please answer the following questions with some detail please, and answer what's true for you rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Also please provide examples where asked.
1)Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
No, there is no separate self. Look as much as possible and there is no place, so sound, no taste, no touch, no smell of it. No form, no shape...only thoughts about it. And like the “self”, they also cannot be seen, touched, tasted, heard or smelled. Unreal.
Was there ever?
I only know what is now. I can think about what that means in terms of what is called the past. Logically it would follow that what is True now, would have been true before and will be true in the future. But I can only tell you what I know now. Following that, no there never was.
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.
Looking is happening right now. It is always happening. This capacity for looking (5 senses) seems tied to the body or is experienced through the body, but it is not the body. The body is a conduit for the looking. Kind of like the camera is the device through which pictures are taken. As an infant, there was only looking. Slowly learning began to happen. The body was given a name, Stella. It was broken down into parts, thumb, nose, eyes, etc.. Then good and bad, wanted, not wanted. Stella went to school and learned ideas about how to control the world around her. What the “rules” were and how she could use them to get the things she wanted.
And along this way, Stella stopped looking purely, everything became clouded over by thoughts about how things are “supposed” to be, not how they actually were seen. She saw how others seemed to see things more clearly than she did so she read and listened to all these others and began to build her own belief system about how the world is and should be. Very rarely did her feet ever touch the seen and even when they did, even a little bit, very quickly this thought life swooped in and took what was seen and modeled it into something that matched her already thoughts and beliefs.
As soon as this process of seeing Stella began, and this thought world grew, there was a feeling of loneliness, a need to protect herself, her ideas, her way of being that worried and caused unrest in her thought world. It felt like if her thoughts told her to go right and she did, she was wrong. If she went left, she was wrong too! No matter what, she was losing. Despair. This can’t be right.
Because of all this labeling of everything, breaking everything down into parts, pieces, and the despair of never finding a true answer, Stella starts to look for where she came from, before all of this labeling, who she truly was. So the journey for the Higher Self begins. More books, more teachers, more and more thoughts and beliefs and even less looking is happening. And with every thought addition, there’s more to protect, more to lose. Even though some teachers have stressed to look for herself, it’s been so long since she’s looked, she doesn’t understand what it means. She looks, but in her thought world. Not the looking before Stella was named. And seriously, after all these years of studying and reading and struggling and seeking it’s all about going back to where none of that had been achieved? Ludicrous. Find another teacher. Read another book and on on and on it goes....until it doesn’t.
3) How does it feel to see this?
Like I said in yesterday’s post, relaxed. Lighter perhaps. In some ways, empty. Where before I entertained a host of thoughts and engaged with them ad nauseous, now, they are mostly seen and off they go. Maybe openness would be a better word than empty.
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
The striving is pretty much gone. Talking with you continues but the need to read more, talk more, argue about...seems to have subsided almost to disappear. And its not as if all the beliefs have disappeared, the annoyed states gone...but they are not as troublesome as they were once thought to be. Mellow. That’s a good word.
This seeing that ALL thoughts are unreal was a huge realization. Especially as in some ways, that’s been part of what I’ve been reading/learning for many years. It was never seen that all that has been done is to divide up thoughts into which ones are real in her opinion and which ones are not. LOL! I’ll keep thoughts and beliefs about the spiritual world, the Holy Spirit and that the physical world is not real and cast out thoughts of victim, separation, heaven and hell.... probably one of the biggest realizations was that beliefs held supported separation even though it was believed that I didn’t believe in separation. (Awareness and object is an example as you pointed out.)
Examples... as some realizations rose, thoughts about how if this continues on I will be unable to return to my old groups, rejoin them in a meaningful way. This was seen as a thought and released quite easily that there’s no way of knowing what that moment will be until that moment arrives.
Seeing there’s no one here making decisions about what to “create” in the next moment. Waking up in the morning, who decides to hit the snooze button? It just happens. No one is there to decide.
Seeing when I’m talking about something that I have not looked at for myself. I really don’t have any good examples of this as I’ve been pretty much cloistered these weeks. Once I return to regular life of the groups, this will be able to be seen in action better.
That action doesn’t need a subject. Looking, walking, breathing, typing, hearing, feeling, sleeping, waking on and on. Just happening. No one to blame, no one to feel shame, no one to worry about, no one to criticize...wow! How great is that!
Watching the news last night at my sister-in-law’s house...just shook my head with a half smile. Not that comments weren’t shared but before I looked, it would have felt “right” and “wrong” and a position taken. Again, mellow comes to mind. And a bit of a smile.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
I’ve shared most of this already, in previous posts. The rain just raining. Realizing no one is there. This was really the breakthrough that action does not need a subject to happen. There’s something that happens when something is truly seen and I cannot describe it. Words fail or maybe thoughts fail. But it’s like where before I saw one thing, in the next moment something wholly different is there. We haven’t really talked about recognition but maybe that’s a bit of what it might be?
Seeing how in my own idea of being totally correct in what I was saying that there was the seeds of exactly the opposite of what was thought to be said. The example of using Awareness as an entity or thing while touting non-separation. Thoughts were saying “I’m looking” but there wasn’t really looking going on, just falling back on learned knowledge. This was pretty similar to the moment talking about the garden hose. Seeing how this thinking world cares not for truth but merely to grind on.
And seeing that thoughts are unreal. Not just saying the words but looking for them. What an absolute astonishing experience to not even know if there was thinking going on, where they come from, where they are, go to. I said they were like wisps of smoke but they are not even that accessible. Shocking for someone who treasured them.
So I don’t know what the last bit was, perhaps the seeing thoughts are not real. It was an accumulative chipping away at the unreal.
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work?
This has been a really difficult question to answer. You’re asking me questions and I want to do what you are asking me to do but honestly, all of those words are concepts, products of a thought world that isn’t real. What makes things happen? No idea. It just happens. How does it work? No clue. I could tell you a story about how decisions are made in this conceptual world but it would only be a story.
Give examples[/u][/b] from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
Breathing happens all the time. There’s seeing, there’s walking, there’s typing, there’s rocking, there’s talking, thoughts show up, emotions show up, one moment is followed by another. Looking happens all the time.
b) What are you responsible for?
Who would be responsible?
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
Have none as there is no one to be responsible for anything. Am I missing the point here?
6) Anything to add?
Everything seems to just move from one moment to the next. The perceived angst of the beliefs in self no longer seem to surround each moment. there is just the moment experienced and then the next. And of course, that’s all that’s every happened. Paradox. One of my beliefs has been that when one approaches a paradox, one approaches truth. Perhaps that belief will be kept a bit longer. ;)