I am having trouble not feeling like the “self” from a logical standpoint.
1. I feel that I am this person, this mind-body, which has developed over time from childhood with new inputs and experiences. I am a result of all of that today, and so if I am insulted, it is a reflection of the person I have become and I am at least partially, if not fully, responsible for that.
2. not only do I feel I am this person, but others see me as this person giving it additional validity. they refer to me as this person and see me in the same way that I see myself.
I know this way of thinking is very basic, but I can’t seem to shake it. Can you help me understand how I can logically believe that I am not a person?
Feeling like a limited, separate self is our most common experience. After all, the belief that I am a limited mortal body mind is the most prevalent religion today.
And yet, it spite of the image on the screen, the screen is there, unmoved. No matter what image appears on the screen, the screen is untouched, unstained, not augmented nor diminished by the images. While the images are transient and limited, the screen is eternal and without limits.
How come we don’t notice the screen? How come we don’t notice the aware presence that perceives all perceptions and out which all perceptions arise?
Could it be that we love the images, the world, body mind above all else? Maybe we want to continue the me-stories and tales in time and space. Maybe our love for truth is periodic and whimsical and not deep enough. We might love our identification above all else.
In contemplating truth, the results we get depend on our love and commitment to truth.
Notice that those feelings of identification you mentioned are noticed by YOU and not by the body mind character. The body mind, meaning sensations, perceptions and thoughts, appear to you, aware presence.
It is the imagined character that gets insulted. Like in the night dream, it is the imagined character that runs away from the imagined lion that is chasing it in the imagined dense forest.
You are not a person and have never become a person. That is thought. In the night dream you dream you are a butterfly, but you have never been a butterfly nor have you become a butterfly. Even your strongest and most stubborn belief that you are a butterfly will not turn you into one.
Other see their own projections and want you to confirm and support their projections. The imagined separate self loves the company of imagined separate selves that it imagines. You do not need to do so.
Ignorance feeding ignorance ceases once you cease feeding it. You do not need to proselytize nor preach. Simply know yourself, as the awareness, the presence that is not contained in any form.
Remain as that.
All forms arise to me and dissolve in me.
I, the real I, do not.
Follow up question: I guess my question is: Where is the proof of this lack of separate self? Everything we see and experience seems to point to the opposite. You will say..”through meditation”. Is there any other answer? 🙂
Reply: The more relevant question is: Where is the proof of the presence of the separate self? Do you experience a separate self? Do you see a separate self? A feeling is not a proof. it only proves the feeling.
Your experience is all you have to go by. Other people beliefs and experience is not your experience since all you know is your experience. From your experience, do you perceive a separate self? Look carefully.
You perceive a tree, a car, a bird, a hand, an image in the mirror, a sensation in your leg, a sensation in your belly, a thought, a computer screen, fingers moving, a memory of an 8 year old girl, a thought that this 8 year old girl was you, a chair, etc.
You see what I am getting at?
You perceive sensations, Perceptions and thoughts. The separate self thing is an add on.
It is a belief. And a bodily sensation.