This post follows on from my previous post: Why seeing/understanding alone may not be enough
This understanding of no doer may initially take time to become embedded, and you may have to ‘practice’ it to start with. It’s just like many other forms of knowledge:
Take the example of a child learning his (or her) name. At first he doesn’t know his name. Upon his parents repeating his name to him multiple times, he finally starts to realise that his name is ‘Tom’. Maybe at first he forgets his name a few times and doesn’t respond when someone calls him. After sometime it becomes ingrained and embedded into his mind and he no longer has to think about it.
Eventually he can’t help but know his name. When someone calls out ‘Tom’, he automatically knows someone is calling him, whether he like it or not.
It’s the same with the understanding ‘there is no doer’. Initially the understanding may be a bit shaky, but after sometime, after repeated practice, after going through the logic behind it a few times and seeing the truth of it, it becomes more ingrained. Eventually it becomes effortless as knowing your name.
To be continued in my next post: Problems with utilising conceptual tools
5 thoughts on “Integrating the understanding of no-doer”
Wayne Liquorman (spiritual son of Ramesh Balsekar) makes the helpful distinction between being our being the “doer,’ and our being “the author of the doing.” As embodied beings, we make all sorts of choices and do all sorts of things…but are we the author of those choices and doings? We may “choose” to do things that are destructive to ourselves and others, and yet have no ability to stop doing them – such as using drugs or alcohol. The average addict swears off of ever using again hundreds of times and really means it… and then ends up using again…until they don’t. Or we may honestly chose to meditate first thing every morning and find ourselves sleeping in instead. (I’ll start tomorrow morning! … And tomorrow never comes.) Or a person with a serious history of mental illness may write a long philosophical treatise on “quality.” The book is then rejected by 121 publishers. A sane and reasonable person would get the message and give up. Instead the book is finally published and goes on to become an international best seller that has remained on the shelves of bookstores for over 40 years, (Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.) Wayne suggests we honestly watch what actually happens in our lives and see that even though we may choose to do many things, they may or may not happen and it becomes very clear very quickly that we are not authoring our lives or what happens in them. I had no idea I would end up writing this this morning instead of all the things that appear to need to be done.
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Yes, that’s a really helpful distinction. I’ve been making this distinction myself in my recent meetings, and perhaps it’s a better way of talking about this. I’m always looking to improve the way I communicate about this so I especially appreciate your feedback 🙂