A key aspect of Awakening from the illusion of separation or self is seeing through Doership. Doership is another aspect of binding to the assumed separate self because it hinges on a self-referencing idea that there is someone or something that is in control.
When something is being done, we say "I did that". When a cup is picked up we say "I picked up the cup". When walking we say "I am walking". For the purposes of communication this is fine, yet this is the very conditioned way of thinking that keeps us bound to the illusion of separation.
In order to see through Doership, we must investigate Direct Experience (refer to my article on Direct Experience), here and now. We do so by examining the apparent Doership during activities. Here are a few exercises:
( 1 )
Get up . . .
. . . Walk slowly for about a minute,
Notice the Experience.
is there a "You" that is walking?
is walking just happening
( 2 )
Stand up. . .
move your left arm up and down slowly,
. . . then do the same with the right arm,
pay Attention to here & now sensory Experience.
is there a CONTROLLER that moves the arms?
is movement just happening by itself?
( 3 )
Pick any activity throughout the day. . .
is there an agent/doer/self behind the activity?
is the activity just happening by itself?
While doing these activities we pay close attention to our senses, close attention to Experience.
When slowly walking, we feel notice several things: movement, sensations of feet on the floor, feelings in our body, maybe vision a few feet ahead. If we simply notice Direct Experience, there is no "I" or "You" walking. Just a seamless Experience of walking. When contemplating an apparent "I" attention may shift to parts of the body, or the head, yet these are all aspects of Experience, and we can never find a separate "I" that is walking.
When moving arms up and down, we again notice several things: sensations of different parts of the arm and hands, maybe sensations in the shoulder, chest, maybe in the head, yet we can never find more than sensations. There may be thoughts that say "I am moving my hands" or "I am choosing to move", yet these are only ever thoughts and always self-reference to a fictitious "I" that can never be found in Direct Experience. There may be an insistent thought about a brain that controls movement, yet our investigation focuses ruthlessly on Direct Experience and not on any speculations about any 'brains' :)
In any activity that is investigated, we can see that there is only the activity itself, just happening. There is only ever a happening, a constant seamless happening. We can accurately describe this with respect to Direct Experience by saying: "typing is happening, jumping is happening, rolling around the floor is happening". Adding the "I" is only ever a fictitious addition that is only relevant in communication, and never refers to an actual self, agent, controller or doer.
A client recently asked me (paraphrase):
"if things are happening on their own, then why don't random things happen, why do they have a sense of direction, as if guided or planned by some agent? For instance, while writing this, why do I not suddenly rise up and start to dance and sing?... the writing process is maintained until it is completed. Don't know if this means there is a controller or not, but nevertheless it feels like some kind of a control happening."
There certainly seems to be flow, continuity, and intention in Life, yet we can only ever speculate about such a thing. A simple description would just be "happening". A simple description in relation to an activity (which is a further description of a happening) would just be "walking is happening". An unnecessary self-based addition would be "I am choosing to walk and it is happening" or "there is an invisible Self that makes everything happen". In order to see Truth directly, we must see thought-speculations as they are, and investigate Experience directly.
There is no separate self that does anything, no "You" that controls what is done, no "I" that chooses. Only thought creates this self-referencing description, yet when we honestly investigate Direct Experience, there is no such thing.