Look at your feet. And while you are looking at your feet, notice that is seems like that one that is seeing the feet is ‘up in here’, in the head. So it SEEMS that the SEER of the feet is located in the head, seen from the head. Can you see this?
Now, while you are still looking at your feet, at the same time, focus on feeling your feet.
So where is the location where the FEELER of the feet resides? Where the feeler is feeling the feet from (from which location)?
There isn't any location for the feeler.
Is there a feeler at all? Or all there is just the sensations of the feet, without any feeler?
There's no feeler apparent, just the sensations of the feet.
And now switch back to seeing the feet. Where is the exact location where the seeming seer resides in the head?
There's no location for the seer in the head.
Can you pin down an exact location where seeing happens?
The only noteworthy location for seeing is the eyes, as they are the organs of seeing. Beyond that, there is no location detectable for a 'seer' who is doing or aware of the act of seeing.
What do you find there? Do you find there an actual seer, someone who performs the act of seeing?
I don't find anything there. A seer is not detectable at all.
Is there anything seeing the feet at all?
The feet are being seen, but there is no one doing the act of seeing.
Do you remember the chocolate exercise we did a while ago?
Now I would like to ask you to do it again, but this time focus on the FEELING of “I am choosing”.
Please put some chocolate (or something you think you shouldn’t eat or drink) in front of you. Look at it. Inspect it closely.
I did this with some spicy cheese.
Smell its delicious fragrance. And pay attention to emerging desire to eat it.
When the desire is there, pay close attention to the thought process.
See how thoughts list pros and cons why you should or shouldn’t eat the chocolate.
These opposing thoughts might even try to argue or convince each other what to decide.
In practice, this looking didn't happen quite as planned, but the exercise was still adhered to. On reading the above in my room I knew that to this exercise I would have to go downstairs to the fridge to get the cheese and that if I went down to get it I would very likely end up eating it. Because of this I started looking straight away, before I even moved. The pros noted at this stage that if I got up to go downstairs, I would get to eat some nice cheese and perform this exercise as I should, and the cons were that I am currently on a diet to lose a few extra lockdown pounds and have finished all my eating for the day.
On coming back upstairs with the cheese, I did the exercise as advised to and found that smelling its fragrance did little to convince and that the desire to eat it didn't grow because the decision had already seemingly been made before I even got up to go and fetch it. This initial point was where all the decision making had already happened so sitting smelling it and anticipated made little difference.
Does it FEEL that you are the one listing pros and cons?
When the pros and cons were being thought of, the only sensation notable was the perception of the thoughts noted above. The pros were thoughts and the cons were thoughts, and the pros had already won the argument before another thought came announcing that result. The feeling here was one of having no choice and simply observing.
Does it FEEL that you are thinking these thoughts?
No, not at all. It felt like I was just observing them.
Focus on this feeling.
What is the feeling of being the thinker of the thoughts?
There was no perception of being the thinker of thoughts, just a perception that they were happening.
Which feeling/sensation seems to be the thinker?
The feeling that seems to be thinker is that of the thought I mentioned above that seems to 'announce the result' of the automatically fought contest between the pros and the cons.
Is that sensation Dave, the thinker?
No, it isn't.
Now, make a decision, but whatever you decide, don’t eat the chocolate (yet). Rather just pay very close attention to the decision making process.
Let’s say a thought appear: “I decided not to eat the chocolate”
So the thought about the decision just appeared. Does it feel that you made that thought to appear?
No. These thoughts were all just happening.
How does it FEEL to make a decision?
Like no decision is actually being made at all. More like an observation of contradictory thoughts
How do you know that “I decided not to eat the chocolate” is your doing, your decision?
It really felt like it wasn't my decision at all.
Is decision something that you’ve done, or it’s just happened by itself?
It all happened by itself.
Investigate this similarly in the midst of everyday life, when it feels that I am making decisions.
Let me know what you find.
I've been doing this frequently during my exercise routine, paying attention to the decision process involved in when to begin doing a certain set of exercises. During push ups, I lie on the floor, face down, dreading the pain and exhaustion they cause, but feeling that as I am there on the floor, the exercises must start soon. Sometimes they start immediately, and sometimes I soend a minute or two just lying there in dreadful anticipation. What has been noticeable, though, is that whether I start within five seconds or two minutes after lying down, I never seem to have an actual choice of when the exercises begin, They just do. Particular attention has been a=paid to this process, and a decision to start coming from some central controller or 'Dave' has never been pinpointed.