Seeing - usually there is a sense of separation between seer and seen. When looking at what is seen:
I want you to try to find that separation. Where does the seer become the seen, is there a boundary?
Can you actually find a separate witness? Can you find an inherent see-er? Can you find the eyes in DE?
This exercise is helping me to see how much I think about awareness when I try to bring it into my day. What I end up having is the mental experience of awareness, or frustration at the disparity between a past opening and the current apparent closing.
When I just look at that, and try to find the boundary between thought and seeing the thought, they merge into one. A few times it has flipped entirely, so that awareness feels like it is coming 'out' of the objects I am looking it. The seer is in everything, and in nothing at all.
What a grand show I have been making of all this. I am witnessing progressively more subtle layers of identity. At times its noticed that things are very quiet, with the senses arising and falling within this vast space. But actually, when I look for seen/seer, I notice that - in a very sneaky way - I am positioning 'myself' 'behind' the eyes, or behind the awareness. Like a centre. But that too, that is seen. There is the attention of the mind, which is pointed, directional. And there is the seeing in which that attention moves.
Once this feels clear, let me know if there is a self anywhere to be found in the experience of seeing.
On some level, it feels like there is a sense of self. But when watched very closely, it is a sequence of moments that have no inherent connection from one moment to the next. If I allow thinking to take the foreground, it is those thoughts that give rise to the sense of continuity. It's like the 'self' is more like a verb than a noun. An active process that requires a kind of participation in. It ebbs and flows as I watch it; many years of identification, like a habit.
It struck me earlier that maybe I don't have to do anything at all. If direct experience is here, right here, then all the looking and enquiring can continue, but it continues in the present moment. 'Trying' again is an experience that only comes together with the identification of one moment to the next, with the future thought of it arriving somewhere. Even as I write this, I can see the mind complaining, remembering all its past efforts. Like a sunk cost, there is an attachment to how much energy has been dropped into the search. The seeking somehow validates the search that has come before, but actually they are just memories. Arising now. The mind cannot grab onto direct experience; it is by nature untouchable.
I feel quite a lot of compassion for this 'Rick'. No wonder he has struggled so hard, for so many years, to find the answers. Real truth can't be found in something that has no ground though, can it?