It is pretty simple, but easily overlooked if we don’t explore it for ourselves:
There is a thought, a decision, and an action.
And when a belief in the idea of “I” is placed on top of it, it appears that “I think”, “I decided”, “I acted”. It all seems very logical and neat.
(Of course, if the identity built up around this idea of “I” does not fit with the thought, the decision or the action, then we say “it wasn’t me, it just happened”, or “I don’t know where that came from”.)
When this field of awake emptiness and form awakens to itself, it looks different. Now, there is just a thought, a decision, and an action, revealed as inherently absent of any I. There is doing, but no doer.
This is an immediate and very clear realization. No thinking or analysis is needed.
But it is also possible to taste this before such a clear awakening. For instance, for any thought, decision, or behavior, explore the many causes of it. You can always find one more, and one more. And then discover, bit by bit, how everything happening in the world of form, including anything associated with this particular human self, has literally infinite causes. It is the whole field acting locally.
It is the local manifestations of the whole field of form, always in flux, and the causes go all the way back to beginning of time, and all the way out to the extent of the universe.
The field first filtering itself through I and Other, then awakening to itself
There is always this field of awake emptiness and form, now reading this and also manifesting as the words themselves on the screen (and anything else).
First, it identifies with a segment of itself, for instance this human self, and there is a sense of I placed on this human self, a sense of I and Other, subject and object, of being finite in time and space, of a doer. And this sense of I is placed on anything this human self does, at least if it fits with the more elaborate identity made up for this human self.
Then, the field of awake emptiness and form awakens to itself, as this field, inherently absent of I anywhere, or as a whole as an I. And it realizes, immediately and very clearly, that there never was an I in this human self. There was the sense of an “I” placed on top of it, making the impression that “I think, decide and do”, but even then, there was never any inherent I in it. It was just a part of the field, just the local manifestations of the movements of the whole field of form. There was doing, but no doer.
Finding it here now
The nice thing is that we can taste this right now, just by looking. Just by exploring. Noticing what is happening, right here now.
There is a thought, but did “I” think it? It certainly arouse, but where is the “doer” in it? There is a decision, but did “I” decide? Didn’t it just happen on its own, just as the thought? There is an action, but did “I” act? Did that too just happen on its own? There is an apparent causality between all of these, a logical sequence, but is there an “I” there?
And we can also look for an “I” in the world of form in general. There are sensations, sounds, sights, tastes, smells, thoughts and so on, but is there an “I” there? They all come and go, while something does not seem to come and go. How can there be an I there, in the seen, when it all comes and goes?
What is it that does not change, that does not come and go? It is this awakeness that it all happens within and to. In this awakeness, there is a sense of timelessness. Of always presence. Yet, is this “I”?
If the awakeness is “I” then the changing forms must be “other”. But where is the boundary between the two? Where does the awakeness end and the forms begin?
Now, it appears as if the awakeness and the forms are made up of the same. It is as if the forms arise within, to and as this awakeness.
Now, the field of awake emptiness and form starts to get a sense of itself, without the overlay of a sense of I as only a segment of this field. It has a taste of itself as a field, without being filtered through the sense of I and Other. As a field with no center, with no I inherent anywhere.
A free fall
It can be dizzying at first, as a free fall. There is nothing to hold onto anymore. No fixed position. And also the realization that this is what allows all positions, what allows all forms, what allows anything and everything to be.
And that is what this field is, always and already.
It just didn’t notice before. It had temporary and partial amnesia. It was just a case of temporary and mistaken identity.