1)Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
The only ‘self’, ‘me’, ‘I’ entity is a thought, an image that is not real. It can’t be found in reality. It can’t be found inside of a body, there is no body, only an experience of colors and sensations and a thought labeling it a ‘body’ or ‘my body’.
2) Share in your own words what the illusion of separate self is and how it shows up in experience. Also, through your inquiry, what is different now?
The illusion of the separate self is believing that there is an entity inside of a body, one that can produce its own thoughts and animates the body;It has separate private thoughts and it has to make sure it does the right thing, whatever that is - to appear good and likeable - to all the other perceived Selves that appear to be separate and outside of it.
What is different now?
There is a sense of a relief and trust. Emotions seem to not stick around for as long. (I’m still looking into this), but there is no single reason to feel stuck or trapped. (There wasn’t before either but now it’s easier to see it)
There is a deep sense of not having to do anything, relaxed excitement experiencing the body moving with everything else as if all part of one inseparable dynamic painting/movie.
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.
It’s really liberating. Simple. Relieving. Curious.
Open. Trusting. Humbling.
(I’ll speak from the first perspective)
Before the inquiry I came with so many hidden expectations. Vivian helped me to see some but there were so many hidden ones that were so interfering with just experiencing all the way it is. The biggest difference is the sense of rush somewhere - seem to be gone. My car and my Mac broke down last week as well as I had a tooth emergency and even my boyfriend told me he enjoyes being with me so much more as I’m just being with him, without rushing. I feel more open for what is In front of me and curious about what is next as opposed to being consumed by how things should happen next..
I’m still looking into this..
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
There was awareness of the character Olivia in the thoughts, seeing her as in a movie. And there was awareness of the thoughts/voices and images and the fantasy land of the mind. But I kept saying ‘the thoughts are showing ‘me’ this or that’, and so Vivian asked who was the ‘I’ that the thoughts were presenting themselves to? So I closed my eyes and was looking deeply. And I saw a head. It was like the inside of where ‘my head’ would have been. And when I saw the head I realized it couldn’t be real since I had my eyes closed, and so it must also belong into the same category as the invisible fantasy land. I realized that I always thought of myself as a whole body with a head on, even though I actually don’t see my head, just the body and a piece of a nose (I could go deeper here in how I perceive the body now as more of a two-dimensional part of everything else perceived). Anyway, so ‘I’ looked if there was any ‘real me’ there and it was so clear and obvious there was absolutely nothing. And never could have been. Except of the awareness of thoughts and images.
I realized the experiencing was happening to nobody, just happening.
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
All don’t exist, are illusions, same category as the self. Since thoughts just pop into awareness and I don’t control or choose them, there can’t be any control or choice or free will. Even when it appears that way. I looked deeply into the ‘conscious thoughts’ too, it’s the same - there is no conscious thoughts lol.
Examples: fingers typing this and there is nobody doing it, especially not me since there is not me, and a thought can’t type, effortless(no free will) A thought popped today to go to the beach, an image of beach showed up. So now Olivia is at the beach writing this (no choice). And I can control things as much as Lisa Simpson is driving the car in the opening of The Simpsons :) .. voices arguing about how things should be and what ‘I’ have to do etc.- completely irrelevant. Nobody controls anything.
b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
I’m responsible for nothing. I’m not responsible for my health or bills as much as I’m not responsible for the tide. Just curious what will happen next.. this is huge!
6) Anything to add?
I’m still looking..
With much appreciation,