Sorry for the late reply, I had a busy day.
Do you mean that a litmus test for whether I have clearly seen that there is no self is no longer wanting to des-identify from bodily sensations since they will be recognized as just sensations with no self behind them?
Not necessarily. But rather seeing when this wanting is coming up, it’s based on an illusion, so this desire/want cannot be taken too seriously. These just thoughts, nothing else.
Do you also imply that somebody who has clearly seen that there is no self does not want to get rid of uncomfortable feelings?
Definitely not. Seeing through the self is just the beginning and not the end. Lots of further looking is needed to let go of the habitual wanting and not wanting of certain sensations/emotions.
Although when I experience difficult emotions I no longer numb myself like I used and feel comfortable enough to stay with the sensations and explore the root cause of my suffering, I am on the spiritual path with the hope that it will bring more peace into my life.
You see, this is the problem. You still believe the thoughts that there is a ‘me’ who wants to bring more peace into its life.
You are still believing that sensations (both pleasant or unpleasant) are belonging to me.
“I was not completely hypnotized’ – Can you see that there is still the belief that there is a ‘me’ that can be hypnotized by emotions and thoughts?
I was not completely hypnotized by these emotions in that I could still notice them instead of acting on them but there was no recognition that they were not personal.
V: ) How does it feel to see this?
N: When I conduct this inquiry, I am usually in a peaceful state of mind, and noticing that there is no one feeling bodily sensations does not change my experience.
Naya, we are not trying to change experience! What I’m asking if there is an emotional response to the seeing that there is no self anywhere. NOT whether the experience has changed or not.
Imagine discovering that something so fundamental as learning that you were actually born on Mars. Wouldn’t you have a response of surprise, delight, or horror, or even a "wow, that's weird"?
It’s possible to take on no-self as a belief without being aware that there has been a shift in beliefs only, just replacing one belief with another. This shift in belief can be very convincing, but the only way you can see this is in retrospect, once a real, deep experiential shift has happened. And my job is this and point it out to you.
If there is no self, then bodily sensations are just noticed intermittently (sometimes attention is directed at thoughts and there is no awareness of bodily sensations…) and there is no one to detach from them. There are just thoughts that say “I don’t like this, this is uncomfortable.” But these thoughts also arise spontaneously. They are not thought by anybody.
“If there is no self…” – this comment shows that you are not really seeing that there is no self, but you are just convinced yourself (meaning took it on as a new belief) that there isn’t one. And probably you are unaware that this is what happened.
You are giving good sounding replies, but the ‘aliveness of the seeing’ is missing. Like barren words, without emotions. Really, seeing through the self is as fundamental and as surprising as discovering that you were born on Mars. Can you imagine that you wouldn’t have emotional response for that discovery?
On the other hand, like all people, I am on the spiritual path with the hope that being less ignorant will progressively bring more peace into “my” life.
Yes, probably this is one of the biggest reason why people embark on the spiritual path. However, at some point the discovery is that there is no me who has a life and need more peace. That the person who has embarked on the journey is imaginary with all her desires for peace.
And it’s seems that this discovery hasn’t happened for you yet. So we have more work to do.
I would like to ask you to search for this ‘me’ that has embarked on the spiritual path for more peace.
And as you do it, please write me the steps how you look for her. So write me in detail the process of looking for her.