Is there a ‘myself’ that is telling stories or are there only thoughts ABOUT a myself that is telling stories about a ‘me’?There is no self. Forgive another jogging example, but here goes :) I am very clearly not a self and no one is present when out jogging. Just sensation and colour. Decisions are not made... I can feel as if I've chosen certain things, but only in thought, which I now understand these thoughts are just stories told to myself in the moment.They pass and I smile because I know I didn't choose. I'm not just saying this. I feel the truth of it.Is there a ‘self’ that can ‘make decisions’ or that can 'choose' anything?
So ‘experiencing’ is a verb…which means that something has ‘experienced’ something else or is currently experiencing an experience. Is there ‘experiencing’ or simply experience itself? In other words are colour, smell, taste, thought, sensation and sound experiencing experience?Are thought, sensation, colour, sound, taste and smell ‘experienced’ by a ‘separate self’?
No. They are not experienced by a separate self. They are the substance of experiencing. But there is no past tense experienced. Only experiencing. And there is no separate self. Experiencing is of the seamless whole.
Experience is seemingly appearing as trees, sky, manure, bird, laptop, family, children but experience never becomes these ‘things’. Experience only knows itself as itself.No. There is no self 'in here' separate to the others 'out there'. I am not separate from the world in any way. The world in direct experience is full of life and colour and cannot ever be separated from 'self.' Which is to say there is no self, only experiencing 'the world' as it happens. I know the trees, the sky, the manure, the birds, the laptop etc, are all a part of this experiencing formerly known as me :) The same applies to family, children, etc. I am one with them in experiencing. I have far fewer incidences of 'them and me' than ever before - examples? Traffic. Queueing. Shops. I don't mind the stuff that used to bother me, because I know those people are me too...Is there a ‘self’ ‘in here’ which is separate from the world and others ‘out there’?
What is the AE of “the world”?The separate self can only be imaginary. In the present moment, I can look for self but don't find it. Whenever I look, I don't find self. There, I just tried again. No self. Which means self is not a permanent fixture as the 'world' would seem to have us believe. No. The self is a concept. Thought. Imaginary.Is the ‘separate self’ anything other than an imaginary story?
Lovely, Carter!Confusion, no... but I was going to say that I think that treating all 'strangers' as part of 'me' (please forgive the incorrect phraseology) would be a developmental area. Eg, it's happening and the 'imagined boundaries' are fading. But as I write this, I am also keenly aware that this is just a thought with no basis in reality! There are no boundaries, just thoughts of boundaries and none of it exists in actual experience. Even the 'fading' is imaginary because they were never there in the first place.Is there any confusion at all or anything you would like to address?
Yes, life is simple when it is seen that there is no separate self that is doing anything…even the apparent ‘acting differently’. The above story is AE of thought. Experience itself is none of these stories, things, thoughts etc. Experience isn’t derived from people and things. People and things are derived from experience itself.Funnily enough, a guy rang my doorbell a moment ago and interrupted me as I wrote these responses. Timely and useful, right? The visitor was a young offender, a man who came to sell me some wares as part of his community rehabilitation program. I listened to his rehearsed sales pitch and I then simply told him I didn't want to buy his stuff. Before this process I might have struggled with my answer, because I felt sorry for him, or because of a whole bunch of other possible thoughts. I might have felt guilty for not helping him. But actually, I simply said no. The man went his way and I wished him well. There was no sense of him/me interfering with the experience. Nor did I feel a need to compose an answer in a certain way. There was no guilt and no need for any guilt. There was no after-thought tailspin! It was a clean experience. It was AE!
Let’s use gold as an analogy for experience itself (THIS) Gold SEEMS to appear in many forms, ie rings, ingots, bracelets, earrings, nuggets, necklaces, coins etc. Does the form make the gold or the gold is the form? In other words can a ring or bracelet etc appear on its own without the gold? Does the gold become something else just because it seems to appear as a ring, or a necklace or an ingot etc? Or does gold remains as gold no matter what it appears as?