Enjoyed the chat. Am still impressed with the patience you show.
1) Is there a 'me', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No, absolutely no me. Have been watching the last two days and am so convinced that I know there never was a 'me.'
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.
Separate self is an imagined concept. Images of identity change daily but the mind has become attached to the images. It is unreal because a mind cannot find it. We look and feel for it but only find a body, a body that is real without the concept of self so it is not self. Without layered thoughts there is no self. Thoughts are real but the content that envisions a separate self is not. The content is a fantasy.
It began before I can remember. I have no direct experience of it beginning but I can see it formulated by the conditioning of babies and toddlers. "You are so...,such a...."
3) How does it feel to see this?
Feels great! No revelation but a relief from trying to control the self and events. For two days I have enjoyed conditions just as they are. Not wishing something were different. Just watching and appreciating nature and other people.
4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.
It's not easy, is it? I can easily explain the second law of thermodynamics but 'no self' is a challenge. I would not even attempt to explain it unless someone showed an interest. A cop out would be to e-mail a link to the "Gateless Gate Crashers." But I may very well do that.
LOOK for your 'self' and tell me what you find. Likely response is "body and mind sitting here." Is the body real? "Yes." Is it 'you?' "Yes." Would 'you' exist without thought? "No, I'd be dead." Is the body you? "No". What is the 'self?' "A concept." What produces the concept? "Thought." Are thoughts real? "Yes." Is the content accurate? "Sometimes." Is it real? "No." Do you exist as a separate self? "Yes, I am my soul." Show me the soul. "Well that's not possible." Why? "It's something we can't see." Where does it exist? "Only in the mind." Does it exist without thought? "No." Can it be experienced directly with any of the five senses? "No." Is it real? "It is beyond thought, it is God." Are you God? "No." Where is God? "In heaven." Where is heaven? "In another dimension." Can you find that dimension? "In my mind." LOOK! Tell me what you see right now, without analysis. Just what you find from direct experience. "A body/mind that has concocted a fantasy."
That is my fantasy liberation :-)
5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
You suggested LOOKING without analysis. Just LOOK! So I did and that was very cool.
Thank you, Chris and Moonlight. I love your patience and lucid explanations.