Thursday, November 8, 2012

seeing through Doership / Control

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. . .
simply Notice.

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.

Friday, November 2, 2012

are You the thinker of thoughts?

Try this exercise:

Close your eyes....   
 Watch thoughts come and go....

Where do thoughts arise from? Where do thoughts go to? 

Can you stop a thought that has arisen?

Can you choose to only think thoughts of a blue flower?

Can you choose to NOT think about a pink elephant?

and finally, here & now,

Can you think a thought?

Are you the thinker of thoughts?
Are they YOUR thoughts?

One of the bindings of the illusion of the separate self, is the belief in the thinker, and the thinker being "I" or "me". There is identification with the voice in the head. This may vary to different degrees in different people, yet this identification is common nonetheless and is something that is essential to address when Awakening to no-self is undertaken.

When we refer to simple experience (refer to my article on Direct Experience (d.E.)), we see that thoughts arise from nowhere, and then disappear back in to nowhere. Thoughts may manifest as a voice heard, or an image, but they are empty of any inherent substance.

When we try to stop a thought, it is observed that we cannot. Some may claim that they are able to stop a thought once it has arisen, but if looked at carefully, there is just a sensation (squinting of eyes, tightening of face muscles), and a thought. Simply, you cannot stop a thought, because there is no you to do any such thing. The experience observed is simply the experience observed and may cause the assumption that a thought can be stopped, yet it can never be stopped. Thoughts will continue to arise.

When we try to only think a thought of a blue flower, that thought of a blue flower may be held for very long periods of time that may give rise to an assumption that it is possible, yet, it is never possible to ONLY think of that blue flower. Other thoughts will continue to arise, all on their own.

When we try not to think about a pink elephant, the thought of a pink elephant will still eventually arise. Although one may assume that when the face muscles are tightened and the eyes are squinted (an attempt that is assumed to be thought control) that the thought will be prevented from arising, it inevitably arises at some point and in some form. It may seem possible to not think about a pink elephant for a while, yet, the pink elephant thought will arise, nonetheless. 

If I ask you, can you think a thought? The immediate answer will probably be
"yes I can think a thought". Notice how that is just a thought?

Then a thought may say "
I am going to think of a BLUE FROG" and voilĂ  another thought "BLUE FROG" and then another thought "I just thought of a BLUE FROG" and a further concluding thought "I am the thinker of thoughts and I just thought a thought". Notice how these are all just thoughts? Can thoughts think? Is perhaps "You" another thought?

And finally... are You the thinker of thoughts? If you are... then where is that thinker? Where is the You? When looked for in Experience, it can never be found, because there is no such thing, no such thinker, no such You! There is always only ever a thought saying "Yes I am the thinker". Thought are always self-referencing, and they always center around an "I" or "me". There is never a thinker of thoughts, and all one has to do is refer to Experience, here & now, to see that.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Direct Experience (dE)

The most important catalyst for triggering Awakening to no-self is to investigate our Direct Experience. Direct Experience is what is noticed, here and now. 
We can skilfully divide d.E., for the purposes of investigation, in to 3 main aspects:

1) thought

2) sensations
feeling [tactile + kinesthetic)

3) an unmistakable sense of Aliveness 
(presence, being)

The illusion of separation is maintained by a stream of self referencing thoughts that are based on past conditioning. The most common reference point is a thought-created center referred to as "I" / "me" / "self". There is no such center, and those self-labels refer only to other thoughts, or to some aspect of Experience. 

By referring to d.E., one is able to deconstruct any assumptions of separation or self, and see that there is just an Experience. There may be thoughts about Experience that conceptually divide certain aspects of Experience into a "me" and other aspects into "the outside world", yet those thoughts are also just a part of Experience, and as such there is ONLY Experience.

There is an assumption that there is an experience-er that experiences. This is propagated by a belief, as expressed by a thought such as "I experience". We investigate this in d.E. by looking for this "I". Is there a separate "I", or is there just an Experience that thought conceptually divides as such: "I" + "what is experienced"?

There is an assumption that there is a perceive-er that perceives. This is propagated by a belief, as expressed by a thought such as "I am the perceiver". We investigate this in d.E. by looking for this perceiver. We can see that there is no such thing as a perceiver, just a perception and thought dividing it in to an "I" + "body" + "perception through the senses".

A sound is heard, then there is a thought "I hear a sound". We can investigate and see that there is no hearer of sounds, just sound. If there is something felt and assumed to be the hearer, or self, is it anything more than some other sensations? or that sense of Aliveness? or another thought?

"I feel my body against the chair" a thought says. So, we investigate d.E. and see that there are sensations that are habitually labelled "body" and other sensations we refer to as "feeling of chair against body". When we investigate where this "I" is that claims these sensations, it cannot be found, as there is either another self-referencing thought, some sensations or another aspect of Experience.

We can pick up an object, and look at it. We might say "I am looking at the object". We then test this conclusion to see if it correlates with d.E., and what we find is that there is a sensation of seeing, and maybe some sensations that we usually label 'head' or 'eyes', or even other feeling-sensations labelled "body". A thought may arise with the conclusion that these are inherently separate, and that one is "self" and the other is "what is observed". When we test this out we see that there is never an "I" looking, never a watcher, never a seer. There is only seeing, only feeling, only Experiencing. We can say that it is simply Experience experiencing itself.

We look deeply in to Experience, and see that the assumptions of separation, self, "I", perceive-er or an experience-er are just references to Experience. There is never an actual separate object, just the perception of such, and thoughts labeling it. We deconstruct all these assumptions of there being a watcher, or a looker, or a hearer, and find that there is only Experience, never an actual separate self.

Is it possible there is just Experience, with no separate experience-er?