The illusory self

When we think of ourselves, we have been accustomed to looking at ourselves from an outside perspective.

Let’s say your thought is of you looking at a computer screen:

This is what you might be imagining.

But this is not how you EXPERIENCE it.

This is how you experience it:

So, if you want to REGAIN a clear understanding of your no-self, you have to start with this basic examination:

When I think of myself, am I conjuring up an image of myself from an outside perspective?

If the answer is YES, change it.

Visualize the situation from the first person.

When I used to try to understand the concept of no-self, I would use rational thinking: “There is no real self, it’s an illusion.” This doesn’t work. The sense of there being a REAL “I” is too strong. Instead, we are much more likely to succeed if we experience the fact that there is no “I”, through investigating thoughts, views and actions.

Let’s think of it in terms of actions.

If we describe what we SEE in the first image:

  1. There’s a person
  2. The person is looking at the computer.

This is a clear explanation of what we see in the image.

But if we look at the second image, which is actually how we experience it, we see:

  1. There’s a computer.

That’s it, no number 2. No duality. Just computer screen. This is the nature of the no-self realization.

It’s the beginning of having a clearer mind, that is not dividing everything into two things that don’t really exist, self and outside.

Action item: Start noticing your thoughts. Notice when you are thinking of yourself in the third person.

“Here’s me, and here’s a beautiful woman. I should go and talk to her.”

This is a false statement. Change it to:

“Here’s a beautiful woman. She should meet words.”

That last line is a bit strange, I know. But again, it’s the closest description of what is experienced upon closer examination.

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