"Whatever you do to be free from the self also is a self-centered activity."
--U.G. Krishnamurti


"It is not necessary to identify oneself as Conscious Presence. Who is the one that would do that? That one, You, the only one that truly is, is already Conscious Presence. There is no other one."
--Rupert Spira

I asked for it. Right there on Facebook I asked what you wanted The Mind-Tickler to write about this week.

And predictably, the majority of requests were for a reliable topic that already has 5 Mind-Ticklers specifically about it, as well as a bunch more that are peripherally about the same. ​

What topic is that, you ask?

Why, the self, of course.

As in, is there one?

You want to talk about what you are, what you aren’t, your feelings, your thoughts, your mind and whether you’re in charge of existence via free will. You want to talk about how others see you and what they think of you and how what they do reflects on you. You want to talk about how you can get enlightenment so you can make sure to get everything that self is entitled to.

Self self self. You you you. Center of all things.

Which is funny because, if I ask you to show me this centered thing, there’s nothing to point at.

It’s not a body- elbows, nostrils, heart muscle. It’s not a brain. It’s not in the body or the brain. Yes everyone likes to pretend it is, but look inside there and there’s nothing a surgeon can scoop out. You point to the head but there’s no self in there. There’s theories about “energy,” and lights or colors on a medical test.

Those aren’t a self.

Still somehow it is clear there is a you.

Because you can see it. You can feel it.  

In the body.

There's a sense. A sense of something there.

In the body.

I sense, therefore I am.  

The body is the center around which it all revolves.

Here it is. Here I am.

You're looking to the body for a sense of the self, in order to prove there is a self.

Which is circular, and perpetuates the obsession that body is what you are.

Conveniently, turning to the body to answer questions about self–no-self is actually an attempt to prove you're something, rather than nothing.

Because self doesn't want to go poof and vanish. It wants to continue as is.

Whatever that is.

Which is fine.

But just for fun, what if you asked a different question?

What if the self is not affiliated with the body, at all?

Well that's weird.

If the self isn't located in a body, maybe not even associated with body in any way,

then where exactly is it? Does it feel, does it think, does it suffer? Does it lack for enlightenment?

You might be surprised to discover that simply considering that body is not the self, suddenly makes what that body feels and senses and attains, a whole lot less important.

Because it suddenly has nothing to do with you.

Turns out, simply playing with letting go of all that focus on what the body experiences for even half a minute, makes the old familiar sense of self...

Decentralize. Un-center. Diffuse. Un-locate.

Which is not what usually happens when you're looking for the answer in a body.

And then... this may be where fear shows up.  

In the body.

Fear, effectively bringing attention back to the center of all things.

Hello body, hello self-which-knows-it’s-there-by-feels.

“But what happens to meeee?” The inquiring self frets.

Nothing happens to it, because there isn’t one.

This has always been the case. Whether it’s been seen or understood, or not.

Nothing changes. It is what it is already. Whether that sense of self has been convincing or not.

Which is why there’s no need to fear you’re going to disappear the instant you somehow get this weird no-self business.

No one stops being. The sense of self carries on.

I mean, people can still see Adya and Rupert and Tony Parsons. There they are- body still there, personality still happening, each individual still carrying on with their lives.

They’re not gone.

So there’s no need to stop the fear- it changes nothing.

'Course, there's no need to worship it either.

And there's no need to try to stop feeling, no need to stop thinking you're in the body, no need to try to stop being engaged with this little dream.

There's no need whatsoever to get that the self isn't in there.

Because for you just like for every enlightened master from Buddha to Ramana on down, existence continues to experience via the body regardless.

So yes, self continues to pretend it and the body is what you are.

Even when you see otherwise.

That’s how this game is played.

Knowing it’s a game may perhaps make it easier to play.

Or not.

There may not be anything left to give a darn by that point.

And yet you'll get up, make the dinner, hug the kids, do the job, play the music.

Because it’s nothing.

And because experience

goes on

through you

and also

without you.

How fun is that?

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"This preoccupation with
Your personal drama is
The cloud that masks
The sun."
--Wu Hsin


"Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life."
--Derek Walcott