Friday, September 6, 2013

Self Phone Logic

If I asked about the whereabouts of your cell phone, you'd mentally check your pocket or purse and give a response based upon experience.  If you weren't so confident as to your phone's location, you'd place a hand to your pocket, or maybe root around in your handbag, then likely feel a sense of assurance once the phone had been safely located. 

When I ask that you check reality for a self, I'm asking that you look for it as you would a cell phone.  And if your search ends without that self turning up, I'd tell you that the reason it's not there is not because it's some nebulous thing with the ability to hide better than anything ever hidden itself in the history of mankind.  (I DO mean history of all mankind, too.  There's not one individual whose been able to check for a self and present one).

There's a reason for this absence.

Someone once told me that though they couldn't locate a self, they weren't yet convinced that one didn't exist somewhere out there. Maybe in another dimension.  That they hadn't yet found it wasn't proof that it didn't exist.

Let's test that.

If it's located somewhere out there, it's obviously completely disconnected from experience because otherwise it would easily be located.  If it's disconnected, how is it a YOU? 

And if you insist that this entity IS experienced through emotion or just plain feeling, to WHOM would that experience happen?

That last bit of circular logic usually goes undetected.  It also the source of the confusion.

photo credit:  Empty Pocket I by boproductions on deviantArt


  1. Nice and simple. Good blog post Thassa.

    Something i've seen in my own experience (non-liberated) is the tendency to 'check in experience to see if something has changed'. i look in my pocket and don't see a self, mind checks shift... mind says there must still be a self.

    I bet it's the same for a lot of seekers. They look for a self, don't find one, then nothing changes in experience which doesn't compute with the underlying belief that if there is no self then the experience should alter (liberation/enlightenment/bells and whistles/peace/union/etc). When nothing changes the mind makes the assumption that it must still exist. So the seeker keeps looking for the non-existent. That too becomes circular.

    I guess the logical question then, is it a case of tackling that underlying assumption alone? Or does the seeker have to direct their efforts to other areas (eg looking at control or the doer). I think in my experience I tend to keep going back to looking for a self believing that is the key.

    1. Yeah I think I may be doing a similar thing. My 'strategy' has been to direct my attention to thought to see how it is that I am believing in myself/what it is that I take to be myself, but I feel like I haven't been able to pin down what it is well enough so that I can try to see 'no-self'.

  2. What both of you may benefit from is seeing that this is global. And if the self isn't here now, it's never been here at all. Ever.

    What's happening is that you're checking, finding nothing, and then not realizing that the very though-generated non-entity is looking for a change of experience. Should it change if there never *has been* a self? What would it change from?

    What this looks like, in the moment of seeing, can be as simple as an "OH!" and probably a "DUH". (real spiritual-sounding, I know.) But seriously, right now, if there's a self, it should somehow be detected. Looking out from the eyes, everything is crystal clear... nothing blocking it. No object in the way between the body and the view. Move the hand to make contact with something. The body makes contact, but is there something in the way of that contact? Is there an object blocking it? How about hearing?

    Where is the thing.... this self that has supposedly been carried around for an entire lifetime? Experience should not change because the self has NEVER been there. It's just a noticing of this.

    Simple. simple. Keep it as simple as possible. Check those questions above in the same way you'd check for a phone in your pocket.

    1. Okay, what's strange about all this, is that there's this intuitive/automatic way that I believe in a 'me'. The problem seems to be that I can't figure out-- in my mind-- what this thing is exactly in order to check if it's really there or not. When you look for a cell phone, there's a sort of blueprint in thought of a cell phone, which you can then use to look for the physical cell phone---but in a way, when I lose my phone and look for it, I don't have to repeatedly conjure up the perfect image of the cell phone (at least not that I am conscious of) in order to know when I find the real cell phone. With this search for the self it seems to be that I've been trying to figure out what the blueprint of 'me' is, so that I can then check the environment to see if it's out there. To some extent there seems to be some form of a blueprint, which would be self-images, etc., but I can never seem to properly grasp what this blueprint exactly is, so that I can check. Most of this 'trying to figure out the blueprint' is observing thoughts (images and then the narration) in order to hopefully intuit what/how/why the self seems to exist. Even though I can never pin down the blueprint/'me', it's like the sense of self is still so obviously believed in, though I just don't know how/what/where/etc. Maybe I'm just trying to do something impossible by trying to find the perfect 'me' blueprint, but I suspect it has to be there at least in some nebulous form?

    2. Actually, to see the absence of the cell phone, you don't need the blueprint of the cell phone, so that was a bit dumb. I've been taking the absence of the self to be some kind of thing that I have to see, and that I have to figure out what this thing/absence is. I'll have to reponder this now...

    3. Yes! I see you're working the problem right there in that last bit. I was going to point it out to you, but you've done a great job of finding it for 'yourself'. (Ironic, isn't it?)

      This about this... is there any reason why things should change after the realization? I mean if there's never been a self.... what in the world would change?

      Expectations as to how this might 'look like' are a killer. Those expectations will never be met.

  3. I would assume that there is a measurable difference after seeing no self clearly. Otherwise don't we run the risk of a false positive? ie Just creating a new belief.

    I have one the 'headless' thing and when I first did it it was an eye-opener alright. I get stuck in the thought that this is the visual system and nothing more.

    1. I could have sworn I'd responded to this comment earlier. :/

      Anyway, careful about assumptions as to what this should look like. They're ideas likely generated by the accounts of others who want to establish themselves as a teacher who 'has something' and can 'help you get it'.

    2. I'd first listened to Tolle so had visions of joy/peace/etc. Then you guys at LU saying it is ordinary and same as before 'but different'. In the middle I've had my own experiences; visual world taking a different hue. Brighter, things having presence. I even felt 'present' myself (which has since gone). So I kind of have the expectation that the world should take on a different quality, or more accurately, I should see the world as it really is for the true qualities it possesses.

      On one hand I can look at the world and almost perceive that there is no me and life is just happening. There is something to it that I can't quite grasp. So it feels like I could just say yup there is no me because one can't be found yet it feels like the jigsaw pieces are all laid out but ha aren't fitting together.

      So as far as an observable difference goes I would expect the world will be the same as before but a 'paradigm shift' will occur - a shift in perspective, understanding, and experience.

      It's an awfully confusing and frustrating this seeking game!

    3. When you say, "I can look at the world and almost perceive that there is no me and life is just happening.", you're talking about a state. This isn't about a state. Believe it or not, it's as simple as a binary answer.

      When looking out at the world, do the eyes find a You doing the looking, or is looking just happening?

      That's it.

      As far as joy/peace/etc....From the realization of the simplest of facts, YMMV. Look at U.G. Krishnamurti, then look at Mooji. Same thing, different expression.

  4. Do you mean to say you really can't imagine anything that exists that can't be found? The circular reasoning here is yours. Right now can you find atoms? Radio waves? There are many reasons to not believe in self, but I get tired of this endless instance that not seeing it means it's not there. The same damn eyeball metaphor used about conciouness can just as easily be used about self.

    1. If you know that atoms or radio waves exist, then they must have been found at one point or another. So go ahead and look for the self. I can show you an atom. Or even detection of a radio wave. Can you show me a separate self? Just go ahead and try.

    2. I love how these posts are always "anonymous".


thanks for the thoughts...