Is it just random? It doesn’t feel that way.
The question is not so much whether it is random or not but whether "I" am really "doing" it.
We commonly assume that expressions like "I am thinking" are literally true, that "I" is something that "does thinking" ... which would imply that "I" am in control of "my thinking" ... yet this is plainly not true, as you have discovered.
Well, OK, if "I" is not "the thinker of thoughts" then what IS
self, what is "I"?
As you say in your later post, you're clear intellectually that there is no self, but if it seems that there self in experience, the question is - where?
‘I’ is what is directing me towards seeing through the sense of ‘I’, its illusory nature.
OK, can you find this 'directing I' in direct experience? What exactly is going on in the process of directing?
Who is doing this, how is this happening if there is no ‘I’. How even can anything be happening.
Is 'I' required for things to happen?
We say "the wind is blowing", does this mean that there really is "wind" doing the "blowing", or is there just "blowing"?
How about experience? Is it necessary that there is an 'experiencer' to do the 'experiencing'? A 'decider' to do the 'deciding'?
is the sense of ‘I’ the narrator
good question, did you come to a conclusion?
If it is, then does that mean that while there is no narration, is there no 'I'? How could that be - if there is 'I', surely it is always there, it can't wink in and out of existence, can it?
Yes the familiarity sense is significant.
Yes, it is important to the maintenance of the illusion - what is familiar is immediately passed over and assumed, it is like a back-stage pass for the lie of selfhood.... It can be helpful just to investigate that which is familiar, to identify its qualities, as you have done with the familiar narrator's voice, asking what sensations make it up.
For example: say 'Mark' to yourself - what arises? Most of what arises is probably normally taken for granted - see what can be explicitly noticed. What stories, what feelings, what memories? Are these truly special, or are they just stories, feelings and memories?
All this helps to bring into awareness whatever has been assumed to be 'self', so it can be examined, and you can ask - "is this really self"?
I’ve been reading one of the awakenings from Gateless Gatecrashers, Elizabeth. Although I understood it and related to the whole thing, fear arose. “Could it be as simple as there is no me” - this seemed innately scary. Fear that it would lead to a loss of identity – feeling a huge emptiness – what would fill it? This seems like another dimension. After the event in Worthing in April with Ilona, I woke up the following morning and had a flash like a “seeing” that, yes, everything was really just “happening” as it were (best way I can find to describe it in words). Since then I’ve felt somewhat different. In fact to start with I couldn’t ‘process’ things. I had great sensory overload and almost a panic attack on the motorway going home (thankfully I’d asked my wife to drive). I felt like I’d been hit with a brick! For a while after recovering from this I felt much clearer but then doubt has crept back. Anyway, I thought I ought to share that with you.
Thanks for sharing this - it helps a lot to know the background.
Fear is very common at some point in the process, it may well crop up again before we're done. Actually, it is a usually an indication that the truth is starting to be seen, so treat it as a good sign!
If it does arise in the future, it is very worthwhile to stay with it and investigate. Fear is a protection mechanism, so somewhere in the mix is a sense of what is being protected, and what the threat is ... If fear arises, ask: what is it protecting? What is the threat? See if you can look 'beneath' it.
At the moment I feel like I understand that there is no self and am sort of acting like there is none but when I look inside the feel/notion of self still exists. The thing with reading Elizabeth’s story was a more immediate feeling that no self was more real and obvious than that. It really means NO self and fear and emptiness arose in me – the mind wanted to retreat from this.
Yes, no self is real and obvious, and incredibly simple, but it normally takes a bit of pointing out before it is readily apparent - sort of learning how/where to look. That's what we're here for :-)
the feel/notion of self still exists
It is really important to understand that we are not seeking to 'get rid of' what you might call the 'sense of self' - only the belief that we project onto it that it represents some real entity.
Some of the fear may be connected with the assumption that something real must be destroyed, but of course nothing is destroyed, there is just a shift in perspective. What assumption is implicit in the "fear of emptiness"?