Hi Faithy, I hope this finds you and yours well.
Thank you for being clear and honest, really helpful. It seems we’ve come a long way :-) You have been patient and steadfast, super useful qualities for the purposes of this inquiry. You’ve provided a useful recap of what we’ve covered so lets clear some bits up and build on the rest.
I've reread our whole thread and have redone a lot of the exercises.
I'm very clear that no self can be found in AE
I can also see content of thought more clearly now.
I can see that in AE there is no body.
Is there an ‘i’ wondering about anything or is there only thought with the content ‘I’ wonder how this happens?
I can see there is no self in charge but struggle a bit to accept that personal activities are automatic or just happen. eg my partner is playing his guitar and I will join him soon to play the uke. I can see in AE that no self decides when to join him exactly, that it will just happen. If I watch AE I can see that thoughts arise and are busy labelling as I get the uke and go outside. Content of thought before I get up includes thoughts about playing the uke. I watch all this and wonder how it happens and yes I notice the "I" that I use to describe that I'm watching. I still don't KNOW who exactly is watching.
Have another look at The Doer Exercise
I'll paste it into the next post to remind. Remember, its necessary and totally fine to explore these exercises many times.
I notice the 'I' that 'I' use to describe what I'm watching
Yes, you've spotted this, you're flagging this up for attention, so now go a little further with the insight, inquire yourself. The 'I' that is habitually referenced in language - is it ever anything more than a linguistic convention? Is it ever more than a thought? Is the ‘I’ that is embedded in a question i.e. am I watching? Is the ‘I’ real because it is part of a question? 'I' cannot be found in AE as you have seen, but thought continues to reference ‘I’ AS IF it existed. How will you square this circle yourself?
You’ve seen there is no ‘I’, no body, no thing that is controlling or making decisions, and yet there is doubt? In what medium is the doubt delivered? Is it thought? Is there some revision here needed around thought? It feels like we’re half way there, you’ve seen there’s no ‘I’ in AE but you haven’t totally bought it that there’s no ‘I’ in thought? Do you feel that this is accurate?
'I still dont know who exactly is watching'
Was the that which created the possibility of a watcher ‘thought’? Does thought arise with content i.e. ’who is watching’? And in so doing resurrect the possibility of ‘I’ that is doing some thing? Does thought say, there is seeing so that proves that SOMEONE must be seeing?
Go back to this sentence. Is there a self that you can find in AE that is watching. Be really clear. Can you find an ‘I’. Then when you’re absolutely clear go back to the question ‘I still dont know who exactly is watching’ and answer it in your own words. Repeat the thought question ‘I still dont know who exactly is watching’ and answer it again. Keep answering the same question until its absolutely clear - that the question is a thought but the truth of it is in AE. Thoughts like this will continue to arise, but it is a thought and the truth is in the seeing not the thinking or thought question.
'I still dont know who exactly is watching’
Reliance on Knowing -
'I still dont know who exactly is watching’
Just to repeat this earlier post - you will never 'know' this, remember the previous post where we talked about the hope, the wish that this inquiry, that life could be known by thinking - it cant. Wrong tools for the job. You will never 'know' the truth through thinking, suffering wont end through thinking, if we could have done it with thinking we’d all be free long ago!! Remember the post that started…There is a habit of trying to know through thinking but awareness cannot be known by thought. There will be no knowing. THIS is not knowable..etc… Is there doubt here? It's OK if there is...flush it out.
Each thought that arises infers that life happens because of …. something, it infers ownership (experience owned by ‘I’)… something is happening, someone must be doing it, there must be cause and effect (the world must be like this because I've always thought it was), but its a story that we've taken for granted for ever. But you've looked into experience and you cannot find the something that is doing/owning activity.
I am also curious about the role of habit and apparent personality when there is no separate selves. Where does personality arise if there is no separate selves?
What could have a personality? I wonder if you could answer the question. Where does personality arise if there is no separate self’?
Great...you trigger your own inquiry and you have the skills to answer it
what could have a personality?
The question is good. The answer and clarity is to be found by looking in AE, but not in further conjecture/thinking. Look yourself in AE - what could have a personality?
Let me know :-)