Well, frankly I would say that you are the experience of the body, just as you are every other appearance there is for you. But when I say you are not the experience of the body, or the sense of self, I rather mean exclusively, not exclusive being the bodyappearance or sense of self. So instead of me trying to get you to see that you aren't the sense of self and such, let's try to go the other way, perhaps that's an easier way.I think it's entirely possible I can be the experience of the body there. The perception of the far away object is within me, and the experience of the Self is also within me. Where's the conflict? If we were to get down to the neurological level, and if we had fine enough instruments, we could say that THIS is the electrical circuit processing the sight of the far away object, and THAT is the circuit indicating the sense of self. They can both be me.
Please close your eyes and go to the experience you might call the space inside the head. Now perhaps you'll say that that space is you, or perhaps you'll think/feel it's more inside of you, now move your attention back and forth a bit between that space/location and to that which you may label as the sensations of the feet. Now, most people think more of themselves as being something inside the headspace, that would mean there would be a border somewhere between that headspace and outside that space, which would be the border of you. Now, please see/check (please don't stop with what now initially feels true for you) if you can find such a border. Could it be you are just as well the empty space 'in the feet', and what you may call the sensations in it, as you are that headspace?
Now, go to what you may call outside of the body, maybe use a sound that happens outside the body to bring yourself there more easily, and see if you can find (a suggestion) a border between the space most people may think of as inside the body and the space people often think of as outside of you, and see if there actually is/you can find such a border. I understand sensations and such may not happen in the space where the sound is, but I think you'll agree that those sensations don't actually make a real border. Could it be that border is imagined?
Maybe it helps you to loosen the notion of there being such separation is by taking that exact same experiment and applying it to a dream. I would say it's the exact same thing, and the distinction between dream and reality/this/waking life is imagined but you might think of them different and therefore might make it easier to loosen that notion up.
Well, because a thought of no-self or you thinking that 'these people must probably be on to something' doesn't make you really get what they are talking about. Would you agree for me that if you look at an object, that you believe you are not that, that you see/think of yourself as separate from that and that you think of yourself as being the body or in the body? If you think of you, don't you see mindpictures of the body? Wouldn't you agree that you live as if you're that bodyappearance? Maybe you do your make-up and then say something like 'I look great today', or 'I think that other person (actually rather a bodyappearence and not another) doesn't look so good/isn't so pretty/is very pretty, etc?'.So thoughts of 'No Self' have had a much longer run in my case, perhaps 3 times as long, as the thoughts that indicate there is a Self. Why haven't these thoughts had the desired effect? That's why I find myself forced into the conclusion that 'Energy' of the contracted self is not created by thought. I can't prove it's not; I just can't find these thoughts.
I wouldn't say that the sense of self isn't as real as any other appearance, just that it comes about by memory/thoughts/beliefs. Like, if people would have always looked/related to you in a way that you are incredibly smart/ugly/whatever and you started feeling from a young age a lot of pride/shame/whatever because of that, wouldn't that shame or pride or whatever you would be feeling be a strong part of the identity/how you think and feel yourself to be and that you would live in accordance with that (identity)? And would you agree that identitypart would be something we could call a construct/not really what you are? Won't you agree that you may be able to find this dynamic happening in your life?LU guides love the Santa Claus analogy! It has always bothered me, because it's always been obvious to me that Santa Claus is a cultural construct, whereas there is no way I can see that my sense of Self is a construct.
Yes. And here you say it yourself "because they THINK that they are separate selves".WHEREAS, on the other hand, if I ask everyone in the world if I am a Separate Self, 99% would say yes, because they also think that they are separate selves.
Because it doesn't have to be so much spoken, but it's in the entire way of living. If people see a babybodyappearance (I'm using these words on purpose to loosen your mind around these things a bit) don't people relate to that appearance as if it's another being? Aren't those appearances pointed at and statements such as 'look at him, look at that cute little person/boy/whatever' come? Don't people see themselves as bodies, live as if they are bodies and such? If a body doesn't look pretty, don't people feel as if they are ugly or pretty, or whatever? Aren't bodies that appear older get labeled as older than bodies that appear young? Aren't some people that go to the gym feel really good about themselves because they see themselves as the muscled body, and think they are showing pictures of themselves when they post pictures on the internet? Isn't it so that people say you are weak or strong, when the body has or hasn't so much muscle? Isn't it so that even the word/label 'people' or 'human' already implies an identification with the body? Because the life, the being that you are gets identified with the bodyappearance, by which people think of the body being alive and living.But I don't find this to be true with the self. I can't find thoughts that someone told me that underlie this sense of Self (and I've tried REALLY HARD to find such thoughts!) From all the Nonduality literature I read, I suppose it MUST be so that someone did convince me of that, perhaps when I was 2 years old. So perhaps what 'hard cases' like me need, is a time machine to take us back to infancy, when there was no sense of self. They say that the newborn baby does not see itself as separate; it sees the mother's breast and even its own outstretched hand as part of a unified Whole. That's what I need.
Wishing you well,