Ilona: what is the self, how does it work? was there ever an entity behind words i/ me/ self?
Regardless of the varying characteristics we attach to each individual person, there are certain basic ideas that people everywhere identify as the innate roles of the self.
It is that there is an individual who experiences things, who thinks thoughts, who lives life. The idea stems from the belief that there is a person behind each life, a central conscious unit that freely decides to be one thing or another, which is a very convincing idea, except for the fact that it is a lie.
It is a lie because when you actually look for the experiencer and really try to find the actual thing the word is pointing to, you can't find it, not in any shape or form. All that can be found are experiences. The same happens when you look for something the word thinker is pointing to -- all you find are thoughts. The content of the thought may say that its existence is the product of a thinker who have just thought, but upon closer look there is only the thought -- no thinker anywhere.
Ilona: what is real?
What is real is what is. The table is. The computer is. This writing is. These words point to something that is, that can be observed, in real life. To me that constitutes reality.
Ilona: how does it feel to be free?
Well I am much more resilient to emotional suffering and damaging thought content and such things than I ever was, but still, the freedom comes with quite a burden, to be honest. It's not nearly as light as I thought it would feel, probably because I am not sure how to break away from the roles I have always played. That and the fact that I haven't successfully got anyone around me to consider this.
Ilona: how would you introduce this to somebody, who have never heard about no self before?
You probably have heard about spiritual enlightenment, right? The deal is that there's a few dudes who are awakened, and they have been telling us for centuries that most of humanity is living their lives under the spell of Maya -- that we are living a lie that blinds us from the obvious truth in front of the eyes. There is an assumption we so dearly cherish as the unshakable truth, that just isn't true.
Well, for the past year I have been obsessing over this stuff, reading a lot of materials and practicing various spiritual techniques and going on retreat and stuff like that, chasing one clue after another, trying to get my act together because my head was so filled with conflicting information that I just couldn't go on unless I figure out what is true.
But what kind a lie would it have to be, that billions of people throughout the age would fail to see it after being hinted at by countless spiritual traditions? It would have to be something really unthinkable, right? It would have to be the last thing we would ever question, an assumption we are so certain to be true that very, very few would have the nerve to even consider that it *might* not be true. Yeah?
You wanna know what the lie is? It's you. You are the lie.
You are the hypothesis that does not hold up to direct observation.
Now, if you were like me the first time I heard about this, you're probably like -- whoa, what kind of prank is this guy trying to pull? But wait, look. Look at the actual words that the awakened masters have said:
"You want Enlightenment straight up? YOU don't exist." - Adyashanti
"You are saved by realizing that there is no self to be saved." -
“Enlightenment is the recognition that there is no you; that your sense of separation and individuality is an illusion.”
"The mind perceives thoughts. There never was a thinker, just the view that there was one." - Buddha
Does this spark your curiosity at all? Well, thankfully, there is an internet community devoted to help people see the truth of this in real life. All you need is honesty, and the willingness to look, and you can see the truth of this TODAY. To see the lie is to kill it, and I gotta tell you, this is one big ass lie that you wouldn't want to miss. Look, I'm really not the best guy to walk you through this. Sign up at [url]liberationunleashed.com[/url] and there you will find people who are trained to help you see this. So trust me, spare an hour, do this, and life will never be the same.