"Dear -----, I have watched Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle and Mooji online. They speak about: there is no doer, no thinker, no knower, etc. What are they talking about? What does it all mean? Is everything spontaneous then? Every action isn't calculated or thought about? We are not really doing anything? I am not really doing this as I type out this question? I feel very confused.
Thanks for your time. I look forward to your reply"
"Everything happens for a reason. Except when it doesn’t. But even then you can, in hindsight, fabricate a reason that will satisfy your belief system."
So there I am pre-pandemic, dancing away in the middle of a dance competition. Dancing dancing dancing.
And then suddenly coughing coughing coughing.
Why? Well because I mis-swallowed my own spit of course.
And since no one else was hacking up a lung all over their wish-to-escape dance partners,
it had to be a personal problem.
It’s a Commandment: Thou shalt swallow your spit properly. If you don’t, that’s on you.
So of course after my mis-swallow, God, the universe, karma, Zeus, Yama -all sitting in some celestial pub making up rules for humans and meting out consequences – stepped in to provide the coughing punishment I deserved.
Because it seems humans have the power and control to cause bad things, aka be at fault,
but then somehow don't have the power and control to sidestep the results.
This is what we call “responsibility.”
We're in charge of success or failure, money in the bank, getting a hole in one, painting a masterpiece, writing brilliantly, the temperature of the planet, and whether polar bears go extinct.
We’re in charge of how we feel and what we think and whether we judge or compare or dislike. We’re even in charge of how “we make” other people feel and think too.
All happenings placed squarely on the me. I did this.
That’s how it works. I don’t make the rules.
Cause and effect is completely built-in to the sense of self. Everything is about the Me and what it did and what it caused and what it deserves.
We’ll even make up dots to connect if we have to, as long as we’re the center point and cause of what happens.
Although we might notice how heavy all that fault, blame, responsibility, free will and doership are.
It’s heavy heavy stuff.
Which it really needs to be. Since heaviness keeps us from noticing how wispy the self actually is.
The substantialness of the self is enhanced by heaviness.
Sigh. Maybe we could consider a different point of view.
Maybe we could consider- what if it’s actually not us doing anything? What if absolutely all happenings are-
literally and completely-
Money, health, spit, failure, personality, feelings.
Random, random, random.
What if there are no connecting dots from experience A to result B? What if experience is new every second and has no prior cause or reason?
Of course no one has to believe any of this. It’s just a point of view and a “what if." No harm in trying it on.
And it just may be worth playing with. Because believing we’re in charge of what happens feels awful.
And random, though granted, might be almost completely incomprehensible to humans, feels way better. Much lighter. Much more spacious.
We might discover a whole different sense of self, if we play with peeling off faux responsibility and cause-effect from that self's aching back.
We might discover that, just like there is no self, there are also no gods watching, judging, and meting out punishment. Perhaps nothing is out there lining up our failures, just waiting to give us the smackdown when we misbehave.
It could even be that we’ve been free of the ties of good-girl and boy all along, and we just haven’t noticed, so bent over have we been, carrying responsibility.
“Random” just may be the key to the unanchored, free-floating self.
Something so many lovely Mind-Tickler readers are looking for.
And who knows- that might be worth swallowing.
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Click here to watch Judy on Buddha at the Gas Pump
"The hand lifts, but you say "I lift". The eyes see but you say, "I see". The nose smells, but you say, "I smell". All this is the power of the Self and yet you say, "I did it". That power belongs to God. Who is this ego arrogating 'I'? He has no place in the palace, but once admitted inside, he overrules the king and affirms his own existence. But after some enquiry, this ego's existence is easily disproved. Then the king once again affirms, "I am Reality." There is one thing about this condition – there is bliss. If there are two, then there is pain. Where there is One, there is bliss.'
"Do you think that I know what I'm doing?
That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself?
As much as a pen knows what it's writing,
or the ball can guess where it's going next."