Byron Katie: We are not the doer. We can just watch

We are not the doer. We can just watch. Like, I invite everyone to notice where their hands are right now. Where their feet are right now and did you put them there? Did you plan it or was it a happening? You know, it could be that we are being done and everything else is just a story we’re believing and who would you be without your story? Not forever, but just right here, right now, in this moment, who would you be without your story?

– Byron Katie

The most direct way to notice this is to find what we are, in our own experience. When I find myself as capacity for the world, and what my field of experience happens within and as, I notice that anything in my field of experience – including this human self, thoughts, feelings, choices, actions – lives its own life. Even a sense of a doer happens within this field of experience and lives its own life. As does any sense of an observer. Or anything else.

Right here and now, I notice hands typing words on this screen. The hands move on their own. The words appear. Some thoughts appear on their own, the hands write them on the keys, and the words appear as black lines on the screen. There are sensations mapped on a mental image of the body. Thought of going out into the sun shortly. This is all happening. It lives its own life. Even saying that it’s happening within and as what I am is, in a sense, too much, even if it’s not wrong. Saying I am capacity for it all is the same, as is saying it’s all happening within and as awakeness. It’s all happening on its own and living its own life.

2 thoughts to “Byron Katie: We are not the doer. We can just watch”

  1. Hi Elizabeth – thanks for your comment! A good question.

    I am not Katie so I can’t answer for her.

    Here is how it is for me: These are two different things.

    This human self lives his own life. I – whatever that refers to – cannot predict what will happen next. It’s just something to observe. Also, from a more mental angle, any choice or behavior has infinite causes. I can always find one more, going back to the beginning of time and out to the widest extent of existence. There is no room for a doer there. This helps me notice my more fundamental nature, as what any content of experience – including this human self – happens within and as.

    At the same time, it makes perfect sense to take full responsibility for my actions and my life. It helps me live in a more sane, grounded, and mature way, and it helps me change the things I can change. Having this orientation seems to work the best in a practical sense. (This orientation is also something to observe, it’s part of this human self living his own life.)

    The first is about my more fundamental nature, and the second is just practicalities.

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