The No-Self Here


If you point your finger back to where your face is, what are you pointing to?  Most people would say that I’m pointing at myself and then go to describe that person with many labels and identifications.  But what is that fundamental awareness before the personhood is layered on?  Let’s look a bit deeper with an experiment.

Set your thinking mind aside for a moment and sit back in pure experience.  Now point to something in the room.  You can see it has a shape, colors, a size compared to other objects, there is texture, and perhaps it emits sounds.  Now point to a part of your body.  Again you see a shape, texture, colors.  Now point to where others see your face.  What do you see there?  Don’t conceptualize, don’t let your mind jump to conclusions, just go with pure experience.  What do you see?  There is no thing there, just a capacity for experience, there is an awareness.  Becoming aware of what you’re pointing at, you see no colors, no texture, no shape.

You may say, “Well if I look at myself in the mirror, then I see myself.”  But try it.  Look in the mirror and see what you see out there.  You see an image being reflected back, and you see how others see you.  But what is the awareness that is seeing this image?  Sometimes when you do this, it might even occur to you to ask, “Wow, who am I looking at?  Who is that in the mirror?”  Now you’re getting it.

Try this – with one hand point outwardly, and with the other hand point inwardly.  With the outer pointing finger, you can pick out objects and describe them and their physicality.  But with the inward pointing finger, there is no thing to describe.  There is just an awareness.  Can you reside in that awareness for a while?

Here’s another experiment.  Standing up, point at your face and then slowly spin in the same spot.  Do you notice that you are still and the world is spinning around you?  Extending this to moving forward in a car for example… do you feel like you’re still and your destination is coming to you?  That’s the shift in perspective that the masters of the ages have been talking about – an awakening to who you truly are, vs. the illusion that you are this body or mind.

If you need more convincing, think about this.  What is the distance between that which is aware and the field of awareness?  You can measure the distance between two objects but how do you measure the distance between your awareness and an object?  We’re not talking about your body and that object, we are talking about where the object lives in your awareness.  There is no distance, the object is arising right here at zero distance.  Your awareness is not two that you can measure between, not two that you can size up.  There is only one awareness.

When you realize that what you are is pure awareness, suddenly the game changes.  Suddenly there is no separation between you and anything else because all that appears does so in your awareness.  Others come and go in your awareness, intimately within you.  All of existence that you perceive is intricately weaved into your awareness.

In and of itself, awareness is pure presence, without any judgment.  We layer that on top of awareness with the egoic likes and dislikes.  But step back, before that happens, what is there?  What are you?  Do you see that you are absolute purity in beingness?

If you are interested in this line of inquiry, you can visit: and try some more of the experiments.


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