OK, then find the EXACT LOCATION of this self.
Where is it exactly?
A location of the me, as self, cannot be found.
What is it like?
A separate entity called me or I can not be seen, touched, tasted, smelled. It is only perceived as a feeling of Existence/Existing. The word me or I is used to make reference to this body/mind/person/expression of existence - this organism. But an actual self, the experience of being a me, is just that self-referencing thought pointing to the expression of existence that is called Sandra.
How big it is?
It can’t be found and the feeling of existing/existence has no borders or boundaries, no beginning and no end. It just is.
Does it have a shape or color?
No, there is are no physical qualities that can be seen.
How is this self experienced exactly?
The thought “me” comes and then attention is turned toward the body and whatever emotions or sensations or subsequent thoughts arise… and the experience of all these things have been assumed and interpreted as the me/self/I. But it is seen now that these things just happen/arise and are experienced, but they are not a self.
S: No, I was trying to say that thoughts, sensations and emotions are experienced, so it has always been assumed that there was a me, a separate self who is the experiencer experiencing those things.
V: Yes, this is what you believed in your whole life. But now, you have to check if it’s true!
So is it? Is there a separate self who is experiencing sensations and emotions?
These things are just experienced. A separated self who is doing the experiencing cannot be found. There is the urge to relate the experiencing to a me, to make it personal, but all that is seen is in DE is thoughts, sensations, and emotions coming and going - they are experienced, but an experiencer is not seen, there is only the habit of thinking that there is a personal me doing the experiencing. Without being able to see, touch, hear, taste or smell a me/separate self in DE, I can not say that there is one.
A separate me/self entity can not be located. The experience of existing, of being here, is non-specific - it just is. Existence is here, now. Aliveness is here, now. This is undeniable in DE, but there is not an identifiable me/self to attach it to. When a sensation happens in the body, there is a self-referencing thought that it’s happening to “me” - but I know I am not the body - the body is experienced.
S: There is the perception that there is a separate self, a me, experiencing these things.
V: There is a perception that there is a separate self? Are you sure?
No, the word perception means that a separate self can be perceived. This is not accurate. No separate self can be perceived. There is only a non-specific, non-personal aliveness/awareness that is here.
How does this perception of a separate self appear?
It appears as emotions, thoughts, sensations that are assumed to be a me, or experienced by a me. This is the illusion. A separate self actually does not appear. It’s all just an assumption.
S: It has always "seemed like" there was the experience of a me, the feeling of a me here inside this body.
V: Please tell me, how does this ‘seems like there is an experience of me’ is actually appear?
It appears as thoughts, emotions and sensations coupled with the feeling of existing - together, all wrapped up in this body as a me.
Are you saying that you are literally experiencing a separate self?
Before, yes - there was the belief that I was experiencing a separate self. All the thoughts, emotions and sensations in this body have been believed to be happening to a me/separate self. However, now in DE I can not identify a separate self - there is just the experience of these things without a specific experiencer to be found. There are thoughts, emotions and sensations are happening and experienced. A separate self os not experienced.
There is literally an experience of a self being in control?
There is not the experience of a self in control, but rather the experience of life unfolding. It appears that choices are being made, decisions being made - but the self making them cannot be found.
There is an experience of a self thinking?
There is not the experience of a self thinking, rather just the experience of thinking - of thoughts coming and going on their own. Even when I have to answer a question and “think about it” to get an answer - the thinking happens, answers come but the who/self that is thought to be doing it cannot be seen.
An experience of a self feeling?
There is just feeling. Feeling is experienced. An experiencer, a self doing the experiencing, is not found. The feelings feel personal, but if I take an honest look at DE, feelings are just present. A self that is doing the experiencing of feelings can not be seen.
An experience of a self moving the body?
The body just moves. An entity that moves the the body is not found.
All of these are experienced? HOW?
With all this looking, I can see that a self doing any of these things is not experienced.
The self can not be found. Thinking happens, sensations are experienced, feelings arise, anything perceveid through the sense organs is experienced. But an actual separate me, self, I cannot be experienced. The only thing that is experienced as a self is this aliveness/ awareness - “I” exist. I I do not make it personal, “I exist”, then it is just existence. Existence is here. Awareness is here. Aliveness is here.
Is what makes “my” experience personal are the thoughts, feelings, sensations that are arising in this body-mind different from my husband, son, daughter, neighbor, etc. in any given moment? Two people can experience the same moment differently. What accounts for the personal unique experience of the moment?
Thank you, Vivien!