Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Friday, 23 December 2016

Whatever experience may arise, we should investigate to whom it arises

A friend recently wrote to me describing an experience she had had, saying “Whilst in the middle of doing my chores, there arrived a sudden ‘clarity’ that there was no solidified ‘I’ or ego. That ‘I’ — my ‘ego’ — was just a bunch of synapses firing away in the brain. That it was just the result of conditioned experiences and habitual patterns”, as a result of which ‘a spontaneous self-enquiry’ arose, and then explained her interpretation of this experience. This article is adapted from the replies I wrote to this and a subsequent email.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Is it possible for us to see anything other than ourself as ‘the Self’?

On one of my recent articles, The observer is the observed only when we observe ourself alone, a friend called Zubin wrote a comment in which he ended by saying:
I also think it is possible (and I don’t say this to be proud, it is just what I experience) that any adjunct of the ego can be seen as the Self, and as such it is still self-attendance. For example, I can see a thought (frustration, sadness, etc.) running through and I can immediately see that that thought-feeling is infused with, made up of, awareness/consciousness, and it subsides back into awareness/consciousness when it is looked at directly.

I think looking at anger as anger gives the ego life, but looking at the Self in everything, including anger is, I hope, still self-enquiry.
What sees adjuncts or any other phenomena is only the ego, and since the ego is a mistaken awareness of ourself, how can it ever see ‘the Self’ (ourself as we actually are)? If it did see ‘the Self’ even for a moment, it would cease to be the ego and would therefore cease seeing any adjuncts or other phenomena. Therefore in this article I will try to explain to Zubin the fallacy in the beliefs that he has expressed in this comment.