One of the inquiries suggested by Joel is to identify and clarify the boundary of “I”. What is within and outside of it? Where exactly does the boundary go? What is the difference between what is inside and outside? And so on.
When I do this, I find a series of sensations and feelings which appear as an “I”. They happen in the space where others see a head, and they are disjointed and in flux. I can’t really find a clear boundary, nor can I see an inherent difference in what is inside or outside.
I also find some thoughts which appears as a possible “I”, although they come and go unpredictably and usually vanish into space as soon as they appear.
I find the attention operating as a searchlight placing various things inside of it, such as the sensations, feelings and thoughts examined in this process. But this does not seem to have an “I” in it.
And I find the seer, the knowing of it all, which appears somehow connected with the sensations and feelings mentioned above. The connection does not seem very reliable or solid on closer examination. When I look, the connection too vanish.
And what is left is this nebulous seeing which I can’t seem to get a hold on. When the seeing is combined with the sensations and feelings mentioned above, it seems to have a center somewhere where others see a head. But when I look at this connection of seeing and sensations, the connection vanishes. When I look at the seeing itself, there is not really any location for it, nor any inside or outside.
I can really only find the seeing, which appears as a seer when combined with some of these sensations and feelings, although that connection vanish upon examination.
So what is left is the searching itself. Where or what is the searcher?
Something is definitely searching, although this seems to go back to a combination of sensations, thoughts, attention and the awareness it unfolds within. I can repeat the inquiry for this, and here too find no clear boundary of I and other, nor any particular difference in what is inside or outside.
There are the sensations and feelings in the space where others see a head, but these are in flux and appear separate from each other in space. There are the thoughts, although they too are highly in flux and arises from and vanishes back into space. There is the searchlight, the focus, but this is just a tool – no “I” there. And then there is the awareness, the seeing, but when this is detached from its association with all of the above, there is no “I” there either.
There is obviously searching, but the searcher seems elusive. The more it looks for itself, the more it falls apart into its components. It vanishes in space as a ghost.