1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
There is no 'I' 'me' 'mine' 'self' in direct experience. There never was, only thoughts, an idea about a 'self' that isnt anywhere to be found in experience.
There is nothing controlling whats happening, life is happening, its labelled and conceptualised from the point of view of the mind.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
In my experience, thinking perceiving sensations happen, and some of the thoughts are about a character I/Viv that seemed like a person/something real and separate, but are thoughts (thoughts are real, the self isnt).
As a child theres experience happening, and then with language and seeing others as separate, an idea of self forms, thats encouraged by culture and language.
When dancing, sensations and seeing happens, and thoughts appear around 'what i am doing' etc, but theres no i doing, no one in control.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Its beautifully simple - the same but different. When thoughts about self or i happen, theyre recognised quickly and in looking in direct experience, there are only ever thoughts + sensations.
Theres often a 'sense of self' but thats an 'I am' awareness, without the 'person' in control or at risk. Theres not such defensiveness, not such a need to take thoughts about 'i' seriously.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
There were so many expectations about what this seeing would feel like, be like - seeing those too were thoughts, real but not true, there was relief. Seeing already happened, experiences are flowing in awareness, theres no new state to 'get to', no state that can be 'got to' at all!
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
Thought appear and fade. Theres no i that controls which thoughts come, or make them start or stop.
When theres a decision, theres a series of thoughts, and at some point a decision happens that comes with pleasant sensations and 'feels right'. Then other thoughts come that 'explain' how 'i' rationally made that decison.
Free will and choice follow this pattern - thinking happens, choice happens, thoughts about the choice happen.
An example is just now someone asking for some time off - reading & understanding the message happened, a choice appeared as a thought and sensation, i had thoughts and words to share about it.
6) Anything to add?
Theres lots of gratitude for support in this journey - the simplicity and beautiful gift of seeing what was already there!
So many expectations (thoughts) of what it would be like that got in the way, but looking and seeing in direct experience, with new questions, it became so clear.