The questions were fine, just over the last few days there have been a lot of very intense emotions rising. I haven't experienced them this intensely in many months. However, what you said is always there in the background, that this flip flopping may continue for a while.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
No, there is no 'self', 'me', 'I' or anything else that describes some sort of a figurative entity. It never existed. This was an illusion. It was only thoughts that were arising with these stories of a separate entity having an experience. Once this was seen through, it seems silly to even give it any sort of attention, however old habits and conditioning are still arising. Thoughts that have been associated with the separate self are still causing some emotional turmoil, however it it seen through quiet quickly, most of the time.
2) Share in your own words what the illusion of separate self is and how it shows up in experience. Also, through your inquiry, what is different now?
The illusion of the separate self shows up through thoughts. Thoughts that are of/associated with the separate self appear and due to old conditioning the body/mind react usually quiet emotionally to these thoughts. For example: ''Greta'' experienced quiet a lot of anxiety as a result of certain situations experienced over the years. Now, when a thought associated to one of those situations appears, the body/ mind instantly react to that thought with a feeling in the body that would usually be labeled as ''anxiety''. Prior to investigation, the body/mind and the experience were all ''Greta's''. Things that were happening around, where happening to Greta. Thoughts and emotions that were appearing, were Greta's.
It all seemed personal. Investigating that there was no separate self, showed that non of it is happening to ''Greta'', or is personal because there is no person, just the experiencing of senses. And that cannot be touched by thought/suffering caused by thoughts. In saying that, it is as it always has been....simple and ordinary...and nothing has changed that much apart from not associating with an imaginary Greta anymore and having a lot less suffering.
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.
It has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Firstly, it showed how simple, fascinating, peaceful life/experience is...that suffering is only caused by the belief in thoughts that appear randomly, without anyone controlling them. How there is no one in control of anything (including thoughts, emotions, sensations, anything that appears.) With that understanding a lot of compassion for others appears, because there's a realization that no one is in control of anything they do or what happens. There's acceptance of what's happening. Then again, other emotions are appearing all over the place and out of control (obviously).
Although a lot of this is happening lately, the emotions that are appearing don't seem to be as personal as it would have before, they are just appearing. Yet, this fluctuation has been very tiring.
In general, it is just how it always has been but slightly clearer and more vivid. Senses are heightened, thoughts don't have as strong of a pull as they did. Emotions are also heightened but there's also a sense of peace even though all these things are happening and appearing. The content of thoughts has become insignificant. Only when a thought is followed by a certain feeling, do emotions start to rise up.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
Emotions/reactions resurfacing towards situations...even though it seemed like they were dealt with. This need for ''self development'' lead to this (which was introduced to me by someone close). Once the illusion of the separate self was seen through, the need to ''self develop'' also fell away...as there is no one to develop. Through constant investigation, beliefs fell away over the few months, because it was obvious they were not true.
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work?
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
There is no one that makes things happen. Things just happen. A thought appears, then the body does it or doesn't depending on the next thought. A thought appears ''coffee'', then another thought appears; ''I would like some''...then the body gets coffee. Other times a thought appears as a result of direct experience, a smell of coffee appears, then a thought appears ''that smells like coffee, I'll go get some'', then the body goes and gets some. Decision, intension, free will, choice and control are all just concepts in thought. Thoughts are totally random or appear as a result of direct experience. If there was free will and choice, everyone would choose to be happy all the time then...there is no one choosing/doing anything.
Another example: A thought appeared that ''I would like to get back to work''. The next thought appeared; ''I will update my portfolio''....and the body did that. There was absolutely no control over what thoughts appeared. No one could predict them, but the body tends to follow some of those thoughts.
b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
There is no one that could be responsible, because there is no one in control of any of it. For example; when my mother makes a comment about me, the body/mind instantly reacts harshly....when she just says something, it tends to react the same way...harshly, because this is the type of interaction ''Greta'' has been used to. I don't ever want to react in that type of way, whether I like the comment or not, however there is clearly no control over it. I used to overthink and suffer a lot over these type of reactions, because I didn't want to react this type of way. After seeing it for what it is, there's acceptance that things are just happening this way and maybe eventually this type of reaction will fall away too...maybe not....
I'm not responsible for my emotions, nor my thoughts. Thoughts appear randomly. Nor am I responsible for anything that appears in experience. There is no one controlling anything. Although this is clear, it might take long time for old beliefs to fall away.
6) Anything to add?
I would like to thank you for your time and patience. For opening my eyes to see what was already right there seen by the eyes, but distracted by thoughts. This is something others seek for decades, that which is already there, and with your help it became clear within a few months (would have been faster but my replies kept getting lost by the Pigeon post! Haha)
So thank you again. <3