I find this a difficult question to answer. I can see clearly that there is no separate self. There is only awareness itself, one with life, everything just happening. Nothing to doubt.
And yet there is still the dream of thought. The story of me and my life and all the ideas that go with it. It seems less a question of doubt but of which perspective. The world of thought is clearly not real or true, but it is immersive, like a good book or film. Most of the time the truth is forgotten amid the drama of the story. Not so much doubt but forgetfulness perhaps.
This is totally normal, this is how it happens for most of us.
Seeing that there is no separate self is a shift in perception, and not the disappearance of the story of me. And even this shift in perception is not a constant. It’s not a 24/7 thing, at least not at the beginning.
Seeing that there is no inherent self is just the first step, just the beginning and not the end.
At the beginning, for almost everybody, there is a flip-flopping back and forth between seeing and identifying. Even after the self is seen through. The old conditioning of identifying is still strong, and there is a pull back to identify. So at this stage, which can last some time (and it cannot be known in advance how long it will take), looking should go on to help to stabilize this flip-flopping.
Perception changes and with that some reactions may change. The core belief of being a separate self is seen through which also includes others beliefs that support this idea. However, like a rug that is beginning to unravel, there are still many knots (beliefs, patterns) that need undoing. Falling away of conditionings can last at the end of the organism. Continuing to LOOK after the realisation is very much the key.
Probably what you’ve found doesn’t match your expectations, right?
Did you expect the cessation of the story, or the disappearance of self-referential thoughts?
Or perhaps you expected an uninterrupted state of clarity for 24/7?
To see there is no separate self at the core is liberating - an end to suffering. It's like dropping heavy bags that I've been carrying all my life. The realization is that I don't need any of it. In fact there never were any bags in the first place. I just imagined them.
Yes, and this is beautiful. And there are many more packages to drop :) there are lots of conditionings that are still at place, pulling back to story, creating a seeming identifications. The deepening of this process depends on the willingness and openness to continued looking.
There is still a tendency to try to 'do' life instead of resting into the beingness of life.
The story can appear about the person, who is trying. That’s ok. That how the story is.
But the question really is: Is there an actual entity trying to do life? Or this is just a line in the novel/story, how the character shows up?
And what is it that that would rest INTO the beingness of life?
Is there someone that is separate for the beingness of life and trying to get there to rest there?
Who/what is the rester?
Whenever there is a ‘waking up’ from the story, smile for noticing it. Simile for noticing that this is just a story.
But at the same time be careful with the hidden assumption that the dream or story is something that shouldn’t happen, or it should be always clear that this is just a story, and never be lost in the content ever again. Maybe, this would be just another story taken a bit too seriously…. :)
Falling for the story or being without story…. is one superior, more valuable than the other?
In the story clarity or seeing might be the more valued, but is it really so?
Many try to get rid of the story, the self, thoughts, emotions – but is it really necessary?
Does the story (or even diving into the story) have to disappear in order to see that the self is just an idea and not a real entity?
Does it have to disappear at all?
Just notice if there is even just the slightest desire to get rid of the story, or not dive into the dream…
Who or what has a problem with the story/dream?
Is the story/dream happens to someone, therefore it’s better not to dive into the story?
What dives into the story? What believes it?
Or believing or not believing the story is just another story presented by thoughts?
There is a thought that says I should do more to strengthen my knowing of truth and weaken the illusion of separateness.
Another thought says that there is nothing to be done and that trying to see truth only gives more weight to the illusion that I am separate from it.
There is always more to see. As I mentioned before, this is just a beginning, just the first step. There are many beliefs that gradually need to be looked at for slowly to fall away. This process takes years. Often many years, for many, the falling away lasts at the end of the organism, provided there is a continuous looking.
30-40 years of conditionings won’t disappear is a swoop. It took many years to reinforce those patters, so times is needed (many years) to ‘undo’ them.