Wednesday, 28 September 2011

If There Is No "Me", Then "Who" Is Witnessing?

Hi, let's start from you describing where exactly you are at the
moment.  Do you exist?

Thank you.

Do I exist?

I know there is no me.  Never has been, never will be.  I've done
enough work or thinking/meditating on this to really know this is the
truth.  But then "I" get trapped by negative thoughts.  I'm sure you’ve
 heard this 100's of times, maybe 1,000's!  It's "understanding" that there
 is no such thing as "me", but I can't seem to  get "to" the gate, never mind crossing through it....I don't exist as a separate entity, no.

In reading one of the posts on the One On One board, LetMeIn responded to someone's response, which was "similar" to mine by saying, "so you understand the concept but have not seen it". I think that describes where I am. What a great site!

I know exactly where you are......staring at the gate, unable to cross...
there is no gate.....and there is no you to cross.  Crossing happens by
itself.  It is happening now, just notice.....noticing happens too.

Is there a witness or is witnessing happening?  Tell me what you've

Is there a witness or is witnessing happening?

Hmmm....I'm truly not sure.....I feel there is a witness watching all this happen, but that may be due to my Buddhist background?  Maybe this is a sticking point for me.  If there is no "me", then "who" is witnessing?

I'm feeling yes and no and I know that is not really a great answer, but that is what is coming....

Look here, there is reading happening, focusing happening, seeing
happening, what is behind all this?  Is there a separate entity
watching this?  Or is it just a thought passing by, I am witnessing...
Can I do anything?

Answer when you are 100% sure.

Ha!  Of course!  There is just another thought "I" am witnessing, no different than, "I" am writing, "I" am walking, "I" am breathing, I am bad, good, etc......When you put it that way, it's so obvious.


So is there a you as a separate entity at all?  Was there ever?  What is
the I then?

So is there a you as a separate entity at all?

No, there was never really a separate entity....."I" was  given a name, told I was a boy, sometimes good, sometimes bad, "I" was conditioned to believe in a separate "me" from my family, teachers, friends and society.....and of course, I had no reason not to believe in "me" at that point.

Was there ever?

No, looking back I know that now. The conditioning runs SO deep, right through the bones. People, places, events "appear", but as a separate entity, "I" have never really been there.  Maybe that's why we feel the same inside, as our bodies age, we don't feel different inside, cause there is no one there inside to feel any different?  I've always felt that way, but never looked at it from that "view"...or "no view".

What is the I then?

The "I" is a bundle of thoughts and conditioning.  Though when in emotional or physical pain, it sure feels as if there is an "I" experiencing it. (which is what I'm going thru now) It feels that way when "I' take the pain "personally", which I tend to do, even when I "know" there is no one that the pain is happening to.  I know it's just "pain happening", and I need to get past the taking it as a personal
"I".   I know the pain will still be there, but will be much reduced when I know, really know, that's it's just pain, happening to no one.

I hope I didn't over explain my point, Ilona.....

No no, it's great.  Just rant about everything.

So how does it feel to be liberated?

So how does it feel to be liberated?

If you're asking me, personally how it feels to be liberated, I don't know.  I don't believe I am there yet.  If you're asking, as I've heard you ask before, what should liberation feel like?

A liberated human behaves like all of "us" but is not attached to anything that happens.  Events come and go and though some can be seen as good or bad, to the  liberated, they are simply events "happening".  Neither good nor bad, nor necessarily do they have much to do with him/her. There's no one to judge.

I guess from my perspective, that's what it should be like. Life's events don't stop is living itself, as a matter of fact, quite well, from the perspective of being truly free of the Buddha said so well, "Deeds are being done, but there is no doer." Life is being lived, but there is no "one" living it.

You gave me permission to rant, so this is how I feel this moment, Ilona.....

I want peace.   Real ever lasting peace.....freedom from this treadmill of self-ing.  It's so tiring and pitiful, actually.  I want to be free of judging and seeing myself in a negative light.  Sometimes I wish I knew nothing of this, then I wouldn't beat myself up over my suffering as I should "know" better.  Is ignorance bliss?  I don't want to think so.

I know it's a form of insanity or craziness to believe both things at the same time, but that is where I am.  The times that I am in the "no me" zone are the happiest most freeing times of my life.....then I drift back to the "real" world (problems, self-pity, bills, etc, etc....) and it all comes back.  You said it PERFECTLY once, ."The world is real, YOU are not."  Simple, yet perfect.  Why can't I hold on to this? 
Why can't this TRUTH "stick"??  I know what you're going to ask, as I've sort of "studied" your writings....
"What is the fear that is keeping me stuck.....what's behind the fear...."

It's ok, all good, almost there. This liberation thing is happening.  Just
notice.  There is no you to believe thoughts.  Thoughts like 'this is bad,
this is good, this is how it should be' are simply appearing and
disappearing effortlessly.  There is no you to think them.  There is no
you to believe them.  There is no you that is crying for help.

This has nothing to do with belief.

Tell me, what can be known 100% present.  Look at thoughts and
Notice -  thoughts are real, the content isn't.

And yes, what is behind that fear?  Allow that fear to just be there.  Is
there a you to even allow it?

Notice how all is just happening.  Trusting this process is surrendering.

Hi Ilona,

I will answer your questions, but I wanted to share something with you that happened recently.  I'd been dating this woman for close to a year and we recently decided to end the relationship. I've been having a tough time with it, till our talk.  Whether it's through us working together, I'm not sure......but for the first time in a while, I really feel ok about the situation.  It just hit me that "this is perfectly ok....any sadness you feel is nothing more that a thought....completely unreal.”
Who is there to be sad? was a very strange, almost an "out of body" experience, cause for the first time, I felt like there really, truly, was "nobody home" one to be hurt. I went to bed feeling that way and sure enough, I feel the exact same way right now as I write this at 8:45 am.  I'm very happy about it, but not in a "Yay! Look what ‘I've’ done....or look how far ‘I've’ come way."'s sort of a quiet "non-event". Not sure how to deal with it, but I do like this feeling or way of "being"....

I know that's a bit off topic, but I HAD to share.....

Thank You Ilona….

It's not off topic at all.  This story is here as a natural flow of things.
It's great to hear that there is 'nobody home' to get upset....this  is
great.  All that does not serve anymore is starting to fall off, and all
that is true is falling into place.  Trust that.  I call this process Falling.
There is nothing to hold on to and no one to hold on.  All is just

Thank you for sharing.  Now back to the questions. :)

Tell me, what can be known 100% present. Look at thoughts and
notice, thoughts are real, the content isn't.

What can be known 100% is that our life is made of thoughts and you do not have to  believe them.  I've noticed that a LOT today as I really paid attention since I've had that "breakthrough" yesterday that I talked to you about.

Every time something came up, for instance...."Why did we break-up?   Did I do something wrong?  Why did this happen?"  When I step back and look at those feelings and what is behind them, I find they are nothing but thoughts.  Completely made up in my head, from who knows where?   It takes the personal sting out of them immediately. 
Things "happened".  Just like how the sun came out today, then it rained a bit.  No difference.  I'm a little disheveled as I don't know why I don't feel any connection to  the pain, this is very new.

Yes, thoughts are can't deny that, as they constantly come and go.  It's when we create the stories around the content and  believe them that the stories seem real.  We give them their life.  It seems I've been spending my entire life believing in a lie....a fiction....a  "woe is me sad story". (at least that's "my" story....and  I'm not sticking to it!)

And yes, what is behind that fear?

I'm afraid of losing the "progress" that I've "seemingly" made.  I feel I'm "really getting it" this time and my fear is that I’ll somehow slip back.....maybe for no reason or something perceived as "bad" or "upsetting" will happen and I'll revert back to the "poor me" story.   I don't want that.  I don't want to go back there. (I know there is really no 'where' to go, but I'm sure you know what I mean.)

I somehow feel "safe" here in this forum talking with you and like minded people, but "out there" in the world, I want to still live from the place of "nobody home".  I'm hoping this forum has a support type system in place in case of slipping back.....Do you ever slip back once you feel you really "know it"?  Does it stay?

Allow that fear to just be here.  Is there  a you to even allow it?

When I allow the fear to be there, it goes right to your second sentence. I feel there  is not a me to allow it.  Right now I feel so secure in my "knowing".  I don't have to do anything.  It's right here, where it's always been.  Sometimes I find myself laughing out loud at how obvious it is. (I am right now...).....Still........I have the  little devil on my shoulder that whispers that this won't last.  Actually, that's not completely true....the  little devil is NOT there whispering doubts in my ear, but I "imagine" that he is going to show up at some point.  Maybe this is the remnant of "me" trying to hold on?  Could that be it?

Notice how all is just happening.  Trusting this process is surrendering.

That's exactly what I need to do.  Trust.  Trust this process. (which I do!) I told a friend of mine today that I've made more progress in knowing who I really am in the past week, than I have in over 25 years of meditating.  I don't say that lightly, as I love my meditation practice.  I still fact, my meditation is even better without "me".  It's much deeper and by not giving my thoughts the attention they want makes it much more efficient as well.

Where do I go from here, Ilona?  How do I trust more?  Just by "trusting" I take it?  How can I be sure this is real and is going to stay?  There a lingering doubt of this lasting way back in the dark corner of my conditioned mind.

You are right here, looking at it.  Now just a final push.
Look for yourself, is it true, that there is no 'me'?  Let the truth be

Once you find out that Santa is not real, can you believe that it is ever
again? Doubt can come up and it does.  But what has been seen, can never be
unseen.  And yes we gave aftercare group on Facebook. :)

So... how does it feel to be liberated?

Look for yourself, is it true, that there is no 'me'? Let the truth be revealed.

Of course there is not a real "me".....right now, that sounds ridiculous.....I mean, what would a real "me" look like??  Santa Claus is a  great analogy.  Once you "know" he's not real, how could you believe in him again?  You would not be sincere if you said you did.....How could there possibly be a me?  When you look at it in the right way, right between the eyes, no religion, no beliefs, no bullshit...where is it?  It is NOT.  I Am NOT.  Yet I am everything.  No separation.  I'm saying things I've read but never believed or "got", but now I don't have to believe, because I fucking (sorry) KNOW.

How did you come up with this "direct way" of guiding people.....why does it sometime take Zen people as well as others YEARS AND YEARS to  get this?  I know why it took me....but what about people who have "given their life" to their "Masters", for what?  For promises of Liberation.....always an arm's length away?  What do you do that is so different.  I've always heard that when you finally "get
it", don't be surprised that - "Nothing changes, but in the way you look at the  world, everything changes."

So how does it feel to be liberated?

Just like that last statement.  My bills are still there, I'm still by myself, I still live where I live, my job is the same.,.....yet, I "see" it all from a completely different view.  Why aren't I feeling the same sadness and self-pity?  I don't get HAS to  be that I've finally realized that there is NO ME to  feel that way.  I feel light and sort of care may sound strange, but I don't really care or feel "personally connected" to whatever comes.  Whatever comes, comes.  The End.  I don't control life.  Who the hell am I to think that I can control anything that happens?  Are you kidding me?  I don't have and don't want that kind of power.

I think that if I re-read any of the classic texts, like The Tao De Ching, or Ramana Maharshi, I feel that instead of being lost, I could actually "understand" what they were  talking about.  This is life altering.......I have to ask again......will this "stick" I need, as you say, "after-care".....I would not want to lose this freedom, maybe I can''s too new, I don't really know......what do you recommend I do?  I would love to help people once I am "stabilized".......How can
you not pay forward what you have "shown"?

Thank you! Your answer is really touching.
What is different in what I do?  I make you look for yourself.  That's
enough to break the wall of believing what somebody else says.  One
look and it's over.

Yes, we have an amazing aftercare group and it REALLY helps to
speak to people who went through the same thing,  because doubt
comes up. It takes time to settle, rebalance the system so it can run

Nothing to fear about, nothing to loose.  It's a period of falling...

So for the end of this conversation can you answer these few questions:

Is there a you in any shape or form at all?
What was that last push for you?
What is this 'self' and how does it work?
What would you say to somebody who came to this for first time and
never heard about it.

I make you look for yourself.  That's enough to break the wall of
believing what somebody else says.  One look and it's over.

Of course!  Any one truly liberated through the ages have always said things like, "it's closer than your breath", "you already are, but don't know it".....I have to say, and this is only "my" opinion, but having someone there who "knows" to guide you, makes all the difference in the world.  Yes, you have to look for yourself, but having someone "point" out where to look and what look for is the least to "me" (not).

On a side note, my depression has lifted. This is a sort of therapy, maybe another facet of what you do?

Is there a you in any shape or form at all?

No, and I see there never was.  And life runs much better and more smoothly without "me" in the way.  I "thought" there was. Now I've "seen" through that illusion.  There's really nothing to add.

What was that last push for you?

Sort of early on, when you asked "is there a witness? or is witnessing happening?", I gave you the answer that I really didn't know, I said something like, "it seems like there is both".

Then you, not letting me off the hook that easily, said, "is it just a thought passing by, I am witnessing... Can I do anything?"  That was when it all really "hit" me and I "knew" I was really getting it, for the first time.  At that point it all seems so obvious, it was almost funny...

Maybe the final push was when I allowed the fear to be there, and  realized that no, there isn't a "me" to allow the fear.....then it got very funny as it was so completely obvious and so simple, obviously simple enough to overlook after a lifetime of seeking.

What is this 'self' and how does it work?

The 'self' is a bundle of conditioning from parents, school, friends, society that tell you 'who' you are, what to believe and very soon on, you do.  When you believe your thoughts, both good and bad, you create the 'self", with all its fears, insecurities, as well as "I’m better than everyone else at....whatever".  This 'self", when believed, runs your life, controls your actions and decisions.....when the truth is, only when you 'let go' of the 'self' are you TRULY in control.  By 'control',
I mean you allow things to happen as they do, you don't try to control anything, then you're not 'controlled".  You don't take life's 'events' personally.
 It wants you to believe it's protecting you by feeding off your fear......and  let's face it, there's enough fear to go around for everyone, if you choose to believe it.  Anything that happens in nature is not personal.....anything that happens in Life is not personal.  Why should it be any different?  Because of "self" and "thoughts".

What would you say to somebody who came to this for first time and
never heard about it.

What I've already told my best friend.  If you're still searching, you need to go to this site, or Marked Eternal first, read the work she is doing there.....go over the Start Here page and answer the questions yourself.  It doesn't cost a thing.  That's a big plus, when you see there is no money 'scam' thing going on.

Give it a chance.  You've got nothing to lose (except you!), which I do not say at first....I just tell them that I've found an inner peace and in this short time I've seen how life can just 'flow', if you get 'you' out of the way and just let it.

I hope I've answered that question in the way you were asking, Ilona....I wasn't really sure.

I feel really good....a little nervous, as I said of "back-sliding".....I want to tell people, but most of my friends would not really understand, I don't believe.

All I can say is thank you very much! Where do 'I' go from here?

This is just perfect!  I’m delighted for you.  I love your clarity.  I’m
feeling lots of appreciation here.

Please join our Facebook group and stick around.  There will be
questions and doubts and all other stuff as part of falling, but you are
through and from now on, life get’s interesting. :)

Thank you for sending your friend here.  It's a real pleasure to assist
in this.  If you get interested in learning some tips on guiding, you are
very welcome to join our team.  It's not magic.

But for now, just rest, let it settle.  Enjoy the ride!!  woo hooo!

 Thank you Ilona! You were great, and please feel free to use our talk on any of your sites!!

Thank you. You are blue now..


Thank you....though I certainly don't feel 'blue'!


  1. "You are blue now"...that hit me :-) I have an inner guide who is named Blue. When i am able to hear "him" it feels like listening to Love: completely simple, ordinary, like being reminded of something i always have knows.And "He" is certainly speaking from freedom: nothing to prove, reminding me to trust the process.
    All I want is to BE Blue- always

  2. If There Is No "Me", Then "Who" Is Witnessing?

    Just like the question “Can you see your own eyes?” Nobody
    can see their own eyes. I can see your eyes but I can’t see my
    eyes. I’m sitting right here, I’ve got two eyes and I can’t see them.
    But you can see my eyes. But there’s no need for me to see my
    eyes because I can see! It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? If I started saying
    “Why can’t I see my own eyes?” you’d think “Ajahn Sume-
    dho’s really weird, isn’t he!” Looking in a mirror you can see a
    reflection, but that’s not your eyes, it’s a reflection of your eyes.
    There’s no way that I’ve been able to look and see my own eyes,
    but then it’s not necessary to see your own eyes. It’s not neces-
    sary to know who it is that knows—because there’s knowing.
    ~ Ajahn Sumedho, “What is the Citta?”
    Forest Sangha Newsletter, October 1988