Is a center really necessary?

erez's picture



Average: 4.5 (11 votes)
center.jpg

When we do some action, we take it for granted that there must be a center, an "I" that does the action, is it really so? Can't an action just happen without a subject, a doer, a center?

Can't hearing happen without a hearer?
- After all, the hearing is merely a vibration in our myringa triggering some pulses in our brain.

Can't seeing just happen without a seer?
- After all, the seeing is merely photoreceptor impressions on our retina transmitting electrical signals indirectly through our nervous system to visual areas of the brain.

Can't smelling, tasting, sensing just happen?
- After all, these are merely body processes that happen also in the case of a person who is in a comma.

Can't doing happen without a doer, a center, a controller, a someone who decides and does the action?

For a few minutes observe the actions of your body assuming that there is no center who is doing them - watch the hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, doing as if they are just happening, questioning your old habitual confidence that there must be a present center to which and by which these happen. You will be surprised by the resulting realizations yielded by this exercise.



nancy pro's picture

excellent article

And the same applies also for thinking and feeling - it appears that thoughts and emotions do not need a thinker and a feeler in order to take place. These are merely phantoms to preserve our sense of "I", the center. This may sound radical in the beginning but once you try to locate this thinking/feeling/sensing/doing center you find out that it does not exist.

nancy pro | Fri, 04/17/2009 - 08:55
santana's picture

where is the goddamn I?

In real time, the doer is untraceable as well as the point of decision to do a certain deed. They sometimes seem to vaguely exist but only in retrospective when you try to remember what exactly happened - but this is of course just a fake playback of the mind.

Puzzling how we tend to take the most crucial things for granted without even questioning or checking them first.

santana | Wed, 05/20/2009 - 15:25
lalo's picture

This ain't science fiction

Conditioning, my dear, conditioning. Behind the facade of the inflated phantom ego that claims ownership and prestige, hides a simple, automated robot that functions, or more precisely reacts, according to its conditioning.

It's not a science fiction, you see it at once when you take the effort to check inside (or more precisely - when a checking happens after reading happens of such a post :-)

Wake up!

lalo | Sat, 06/06/2009 - 12:36
Phroggy's picture

~

Yup, it's pretty wacky all right. In this "playback of the mind" you might notice the point at which a decision is declared. This decision is based on the assumption of a decider, which as you say is false, but given this, there is the motivation to reinforce it's reality by declaring a decision that is not at all necessary. This is the sea captain eyeing the sails and when they begin to fill, commanding the wind to blow, and although he himself knows of his deception, he conveniently fails to notice, and so establishes a sense of personal volition.

But who is this who has made a false assumption? It's not really a programmed robot as our walking man friend suggests, which is an analogy with it's own boundaries. It requires an intelligence to declare decisions and to act on a delusion. This is where the boundary is met between the linear and the nonlinear, between the thought and that which forms thought, between that which 'we' imagine ourselves to be and that which 'we' are.

Phroggy | Sat, 06/06/2009 - 20:03
Omkaradatta's picture

Decisions

"Yup, it's pretty wacky all right. In this "playback of the mind" you might notice the point at which a decision is declared."

Decisions aren't declared... they 'arise' out of nowhere, the same as any other kind of thought. "Realization" has nothing to do with the presence or absence of a decider... there never was one.

"he conveniently fails to notice, and so establishes a sense of personal volition."

The self is just a mistaken idea... it was never there. To say "somebody conveniently fails to notice X" is to suggest a volitional choice is made to establish a sense of personal volition!

http://www.omkaradatta.info

Omkaradatta | Sun, 06/07/2009 - 18:01
Phroggy's picture

~

"Decisions aren't declared... they 'arise' out of nowhere, the same as any other kind of thought."

Yes, decisions are declared, choices are made. They arise as thoughts just as any other thought.

""Realization" has nothing to do with the presence or absence of a decider...there never was one."

I didn't say anything about realization, and i certainly didn't relate it to the presence or absence of a decider. If you go back and actually read what I wrote, you'll see that my point is that there is no decider.

"The self is just a mistaken idea... it was never there. To say "somebody conveniently fails to notice X" is to suggest a volitional choice is made to establish a sense of personal volition!"

Context! Context!
'When' are 'you' going to actually 'learn' to use 'human' words without 'doing' battle with 'them'? Yes, that statement suggests a volitional choice. Maybe you can get over that? Oops, 'I' 'did' it again, didn't 'I'? Oops, no I didn't really. There is no 'me', but then again there is no me to say there is no me. (Sounds like I'm having a war of words with myself, doesn't it?)

Phroggy | Sun, 06/07/2009 - 19:41
sribonatar's picture

Allso applies to the concept of God

Great article. I read before about this concept of doing without a doer, that we associate a phantom doer because we are conditioned that if there is something done than there must be a subject that decided to do and did the action or the sensing but the simple and straightforward way this article presents this made me realize the truth in that claim for the first time. When you are attentive and observe in real time your body's sensing, actions and reactions you see that it is the same as a car - there is no intrinsic doer operating the engine or spinning the wheels.

The same may apply to our concept of God, for sure to the religious concept of God that assumes that if there is a creation there must be a mighty conscious creator who done all this.

sribonatar | Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:06
suzame's picture

Great way to realize the non-doing concept

Thanks for the clear presentation of this crucial topic which is so difficult to truly comprehend. Most people just recite the "there is no doer without truly understanding it and when you ask them and drill down they got stuck.

It's the first time I'm truly realizing the non-doer concept through this way of questions and examples you bring. Great great trick. I read a lot about it in books but never could grasp it fully.

Thank you. important essay!

suzame | Sun, 07/11/2010 - 10:53