My Facebook friend Darren:
I wrote this up thinking I would post it in the forums once I get access to do so:
Aren't I conscienceness inside a human head?
The human I'm "in" does exist as a human, and I am not him.
Am I not awareness? a viewpoint? am'ness?
When I dream while alseep, the self I am while awake is not present and am
dreaming as some personna which may be similar to my waking self. But am I
not the witness/awareness in both states?
I've heard "you are space" or "you are silence", but how could that be true?
I see space and silence around me and know there is a lot of it in outer
space (outside earth) but I don't feel that that is me.
I feel like I am this person I am always in. I'm the ghost inside the
machine...inside his head, hearing all his thoughts and viewing all his actions and am the silent watcher and forget that I am nothingness and am totally into what this person is doing. But why am I trapped here inside this person's head? It is so persistent. It is all I remember. All I know.
What do you think?
D: I've always thought since the Jed books is that I'm awareness. This viewpoint doesn't persist though. I go back to being in the middle of being Darren because that is always what is there especially when emotions/thoughts come up.
I also think about when I'm dreaming when I feel like I am without being a Darren. I've meditated a lot before and have had moments when the sense of Darren and his story dropped away and I just was aware. Of course in those times I have a hard time staying awake or conscious, which seems ironic. I'm awareness, but I'm not very aware when I'm not aware of Darren, but whatever, lol. I know Darren does a lot of stuff automatically: emotions, drive for food, motivation to defend, take care of, etc. A lot of interest have fallen away and I feel like I am left with just a few simple things I'm
Now, since reading this ruthless truth stuff and talking with Jeanne De Wet, I'm questioning this "I am awareness" stuff. When I watch a movie I can tell I identify with the characters to the point (and to a degree that I suspend my disbelief) that I am that character and have to remind myself it is all fiction. I guess that is the case with me being Darren...except the show never ends.
Not sure if this is the type of stuff you're looking for or something
I: Spill everything you've got.
No, we are not awareness.
Awareness just is
It is impersonal.
Like space in which experience happens.
Do you have pets?
D: Yes, I do. We just got a kitten. I've also had dogs/cats in the past.
I feel like I'm a camera or a taking in of information. Like perception is happening and it is fed to me. I've given thought to the whole "we brains in a tank" idea, which I really can't disprove.
It feels like I am the center point of what I take in with the five senses. That point may not be anything, but it feels like I am that.
I: Great, I have a cat too, 2 year old now. Lovely creatures.
Ok, look at the cat- how does it run? Look at it and observe, how are decisions made? Is there an I in the cat? Is he in charge of his life? Is he awareness?
Notice that cat is aware, but awareness is not in the cat.
Give me your observations.
D: I think it has impulses that arise and it just acts/does in the moment. I doubt there is a thought in the cat that has anything to do with "I". I think he acts, plays, eats, etc. as the impulses arise, so in that regard I guess I'd say he is in charge of his life in so far or in the way I provide for him.
The difference between me and the cat? If I were to apply the concept, of what I have about myself, to the cat I'd have to say the cat is not the cat, but this feeling of being aware in the cat, which doesn't make much sense. I don't think animals have language or concepts floating around in their head about am'ness, so does it exist for them. But awareness isn't thoughts.
Can awareness exist without stuff for it to be aware of? There's the whole koan of the tree falling in the forrest and the question of did it really happen if there was no one there to perceive it. What if the opposite is true. In outer space, is there were no particles or planets or light or anything, would there be any awareness to perceive or take in what is not there? This shit is crazy.
I: Zoom in, look deeper.
Look at cat, another human, your body and say, There is no self at all in real life.
What comes up?
Notice the obvious.
D: Now I'm feeling quite ordinary. I feel like there should be more to me than a cat.
I've been thinking since I've been reading stuff from RuthlessTruth and talking to you and Jeanne De Wet...what does it mean to be a self or have a self or to be a me or an I. One part of it is specialness. And I wonder what it would be like to not have a self or a me. Maybe my mind wants to maintain the self to be important and worthy of something... survival maybe.
I: What do you see that is obvious right now, what do you see as real?
Just write, keep it going.
Thought comes, hands move, typing happens, another thought, all this is flowing without anyone directing it.
The human is same as a little cute kitten, run by the same life force. What could be simpler than that?
There is no self as such in reality, no watcher, no observer, no thinker, no doer.
There is seeing happening, witnessing, observing, breathing, heart beating just happening.
What feelings come up?
Is there any fear?
Any other uneasy feeling?
D: "What do you see that is obvious right now, what do you see as real?Just write, keep it going. "
What do I see right now? Physically, my arms, my computer. Inwardly, I don't see anything except maybe thoughts and emotions that come and go. I can't see awareness...that is just there or is happening. I'm not sure I see much more than that in this moment.
"The human is same as a little cute kitten, run by the same life force.
What could be simpler than that?"
I guess I feel different about myself because my vantage point is inside me, and not the cat....and thus I am more important or special. When I watch a movie, the camera is rarely in the 1st person...the camera shifts and the viewer gets many angles and it changes every 1.5 seconds. Here, in real life, my "camera" is always coming from inside my head. I think if my viewpoint was on the wall watching Darren, it would make sense I'm not him. But I might still think I am awareness. But would this feeling of being awareness even exist if there wasn't a mind/brain attached. I don't know.
"There is no self as such in reality, no watcher, no observer, no thinker, no doer."
I have no problem seeing I am not the thinker or doer, but have a hard time imagining I'm not at least a watcher or observer. I'm trying to see past that, but...it's crazy. The person typing this has a brain and a body, etc.
"There is seeing happening, witnessing, observing, breathing, heart beating just happening."
I see that...that it is all happening. What is the difference between it all being or happening and having the feeling of me? Ownership Specialness?
"What feelings come up? Is there any fear? Any other uneasy feeling?"
Just what I mentioned in my last email about being ordinary if there isn't a me... like there isn't anything special about me if I'm not there. I don't think I feel fear, at least not yet. I've thought about the ah-ha moment for years and have always told myself there's nothing to be afraid of if something happened. Who knows...Jed talks about going through the most horrifying, gut-wrenching processes there is. I do feel my mind thinking along the lines that if there is no me and I'm so ordinary, and
enlightenment isn't going to get me anything, then what's so great about it. This again is a road I've been down. There is something that will still seek and seek. And I'm tired of seeking.
I: Good good. Think of it that it's just an unexamined assumption in the mind. Just a thought which precedes other thoughts - I walk, I breath, I have tv, I do stuff. This is just a word, that points to nothing. Like university. -it's not building, not students, not desk.
I is just a label.
You can't have self, "you/I " is just a thought. How can thought do or have anything?
We will come back to the cat later, for now look at the thought with the
Mind does not want anything, it's just label for process of thought.
What do you find?
D: Ok, I think I get the idea that anything I think of as myself or me is just a concept and is just happening. I think part of me still believes it is in
control of facets of self, although I have given myself many examples to the contrary. So maybe there is controlling going on...but it isn't me. Any sense of self is just thought and not evidence or deed of ownership of anything. So there is this thought/belief that says "I am me. I am myself. I have this body and this life and these things". ...and this thought/belief has thoughts/beliefs.
I've always heard Adyashanti say something like "the reason you can't find God is because you're trying to find him with your own eyes". But what you're saying is "the reason you can't find God (or yourself) is because he doesn't exist" even though there is searching going on. I think I get it conceptually, but not sure I "see" it for myself.
I: It's ok to feel this kind of loss of specialness. No, you, are not special.
Special to compare to what? Another thought?
The camera, who owns the camera? Who is filming?
You are not awareness. Awareness does not need an I to exist. When you are asleep, awareness is still there, right.
Now go with this.
Look around and notice, that all the physical world is real. It's here and
it does not disappear if you stop believing in it.
The body is not separate from the environment. It's also real. The character Darren is real too: it has likes, dislikes, hobbies, same like cat- instinct, different personality.
All this is, but not the self. It's just an assumption and only as thought,
not in real life. Fiction.
Life is expressing as stories, but stories are not reality. In reality there
is no self! Reality is all there is. Look.
You are already seeing it. There is nothing else to see.
You can't do anything, because there is no doer. Dissolve the witness.
D: Wow, this is it? I'm enlightened now? How anti climatic. :-/
I: what adya is saying is correct. You can't see it with "your" own eyes. There is no
you to see anything.
D: I understand what you say, but can't I see anything big, but maybe I'm not supposed to. .
I: Morning Darren.
Did you sleep?
So what happened? No trumpets? No angels choir?
Shift is subtle, but permanent.
Can you describe in detail what you see.
D: Yes. Just got up. I'm in the shower thinking about this. About how there's no me here and wondering how that changes anything. I feel a lot of my ego has dropped away from listening to Eckhart Tolle / Jed Meckenna audio books hundreds of times over trying to see this and have tried to not route any energy to a sense of self over the years. But who knows if that is true.
In the shower I think Darren has this realization that he wasn't going to live forever which struck him as depressing for a moment. What I'm doing is trying to is think of how this changes anything. I have a lot of anger problems and high blood pressure to go along with it especially in traffic. I remember Tolle would talk about being in traffic and someone flipping him off and he would just be there and think and thus say in his meeting "what?There's no one here". That would be refreshing if there would be no one here to be pissed.
If Tolle is right on, there's something definitely missing. I'm not walking around looking at things as if for the first time, so maybe there is a shift in the future. And I've experienced no void or anything, but I guess everything around me could be considered the void if there is no one here and no one there. There is just a bunch of shit going on.
The whole religion thing (which I put down a while back) makes more sense of why people do it. They feel special and that there is this even specialler being up in the sky who thinks you're really special and he'll want to cherish you up in the sky with him when you die.
The whole Fight Club's (if you've seen the movie) no name thing (as well as many other things in the movie) make more sense now.
I'm a little interested in listening to Jeds books again with fresh ears to see if more clicks. Going into work today where I normally get torque off in some way about how people treat me. I'll see how much of me is still there to react to anything.
Is there anything I'm missing, or does the popping happen over time and after trying to really realize the whole no me thing? I am just expecting an atom bomb to go off in me somehow.
I: No atom bomb... Sorry...
Ok, when you get back and have a moment, answer me this:
Is there a self in any shape or form? Just look deeper, push it. Until there is certainty and no doubt that there is something missing.
Just examine feelings that come up, including anger.
D: I'm sure its hiding somewhere because I'm not seeing much of anybody.
Ok...so, maybe this isn't enlightenment, but what Jed calls the first step. The first glimpse? Or is that two years Jed talks about all BS or only applies to some cases?
I know there's a lot of stuff I don't care about since I don't feel like
there's a self to defend or uphold. Things seemed a little automatic before (after jed books) but now more automatic.
I always run late to work. This morning I had a meeting with my manager and I would usually really stress out about it. Maybe because I worried about me and how I look to my manager...reputation type of stuff. Today was different. I was like I can't change how fast I get there within reason and what will happen will happen. More peace now with what happens or what doesn't.
I don't know if I have "arrived" or not, but nothing feels special.
I: This is what jed calls no self.
Ordinary? Absolutely. Simple.
Everyone is different and reactions to the shift differs too. It's what it
is for you. But the shift is real. It will start feeling more and more
peaceful inside, as there isn't anything needed to be protected or defended. Things will start to unfold in different ways then before and it's a great ride!
What was it that made tou see? Can you define what happened? How it
happened? You may not know the exact moment, but there must be some kind of shift that you can see.
Please write about it.
D: Well, I was really identified with the last thing I thought I could be. The whole "awareness" thing. SOOOO many spiritual teachings sort of point to this. People talk about scripture where in the old testament God said "I AM". So I thought at least "I AM"....and there I was stuck for such a long time. I kept listening and reading more enlightenment stuff and it kept
And when you pointed out or had me look that a cat has or awareness is going on in a cat too, which made sense...how can I be any more special than a cat? A cat doesn't have a concept of self and I can't say I have a concept of self for the cat either.
Two disturbing things happened, if that.
1. I'm not special
2. Darren, me, or me as a spirit isn't immortal.
I'd given up on the whole religious stuff and the idea of heaven sounded ridiculous to me for the last few years. But I at least thought, me as a spirit or awareness would move into the light and something great would happen. Now, I have no idea would happen. My only conclusion is that this person will cease to exist like a cat would. I think humans have to believe in an afterlife. If not, how insignificant are we if we're just going to die in a few years.
People are going around spending so much energy on upholding and working on a better sense of self. It's sort of amusing to think about now.
Nothing scary or fearful yet, which surprises me. Just seeing things
different. Wish I could dig in and find more of that bastard.
I: Yes, looks like you are through.
One more task:
Look at reality itself. What is real? What is Darren?
D: Crazy shit to think that was it. :-o
What is real? What is Darren?
Everything is real, everything that appears exists for this moment, at
least. Darren is a part of that, for now. Forms come and go. Things just
D: If I am in fact done...I would have thought I would feel more special, but I have no me to pin that on. I'm wondering if I'll wake up tomorrow and start identifying with me or my life.
I: What was seen, will not evaporate. That's what I mean, you can't believe in Santa again.
But as life unfolds there will be moments to unlock all this deeper, the journey without driver has started! It's really great stuff. And I'm sooo happy for you man!! Im delighted!
Thank you for really looking!
D: Wow. Cool. :)
Thank you so much for your help!