Perception of doership when we notice our nature

I find myself writing a short series of articles on how our perception of different things – distance, movement, time, and so on – may change when we notice our nature.

Here is one on our perception of doership.


In the world, it’s important for me to take responsibility for my actions, words, and choices.

It helps me live in a slightly more mature way. It’s more in integrity. And it helps me see things about myself more accurately which may lead to changes. (There is a lot of room for improvement.)

If I don’t take responsibility, I can notice it through some of the telltale signs (blame, victimhood, etc.) and I can use it to find the fear behind it. What’s the scary story? What am I afraid would happen if I took responsibility for my own words, choices, and actions in this situation? What’s the identity that’s threatened?


I can then find myself as capacity for the world as it appears to me. I can find myself as that which the world, to me, happens within and as. This is what I more fundamentally am to myself.

Here, I notice that all content of my experience lives its own life – this human self, thoughts, feelings, choices, actions, other people, ecosystems, the wider world. It’s all living its own life. It’s all happening on its own.

Within stories, I can tell myself that everything has infinite causes stretching back to the beginning of time (if there is any) and the widest extent of space (if there is any).

And in my immediate noticing, it’s all living its own life.


In daily life, there are both.

I aim at taking responsibility for my own choices, actions, and life – and don’t always succeed. (Any time I go into a stressful story, it’s a sign I am not taking responsibility as much as I could.) This helps me live with a bit more integrity and it helps me mature a bit more.

And I notice that this human self is happening on its own like anything else. This takes some of the stress out of it and there is less interference from the idea of fundamentally being a doer.


As I have written about elsewhere, in an awakening process, there are often shifts that highlight certain aspects of what we are.

In this case, I experienced several shifts around fifteen years ago that brought the “this human self is living its own life” aspect to the foreground. These were shifts into a stronger disidentification with any content of experience, and they made it blindingly clear that this human self is happening on its own. (There were many similar types of shifts during that period.)

And these shifts have helped me notice it later on, even when this aspect is less obviously in the foreground.

Note: I have written similar articles on distance, movement, time, the physical, and this human self.

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Perception of time when we notice our nature

This is another article in a mini-series on how we tend to perceive when we notice our nature. I have written about our perception of distance and movement so far, and here is one on time. (Since I have written about our perception of time in several other articles so I will only touch on it briefly here.)


In one sense, I perceive time as anyone else. I know how to use our ideas of seconds, minutes, hours, days, and so on. And my sense of time stretches and compresses depending on what I am doing and whatever states are moving through me, as it seems to do for most people.


At the same time, I am aware that my sense of time happens within and as what I am.

Any ideas of past, future, and present – and what I imagine in each one – happen within my sense fields.

They happen within and as what I am. They happen within and as what a thought may call consciousness.

It’s all happening in the now that’s all I know and have ever known.


I am aware of my mental representations of time – of a timeline with a future, kind-of-present, and past, and that my mental field places certain events on this timeline and in one or more of these three times.

I have examined these through more thorough inquiry several times, which helps me recognize them in daily life. And it helps me recognize them as mental representations happening now.

These mental representations are essential for helping this human self function in the world.


Another aspect of all this is timelessness.

Since time happens within and as what I am, I find my nature is timeless.

My nature is no-time allowing time and different experiences of time, including the three times and the stretchiness of time.


When we are in a process of exploring our nature, it’s not uncommon to have experiences that highlight certain features of what we are.

One of these for me happened fifteen or more years ago. I was training a more stable attention (focus on sensations of the breath in the nose) while music was playing in the background. Suddenly, there was a shift where any sense of continuity of time fell away. There was no continuity in the music, only the shifting sounds here now.

This helped me see how my mind, and especially the mental field, creates not only a sense of past, future, and present, but also of continuity of time. Without it, there is only an always shifting now with no continuity. Without it, we couldn’t function as human beings in the world.


In daily life, all of these are here and attention may highlight some aspects of this more than others.

I operate with time in a conventional sense, and with my cultural influences. (I like to be on time since I am from Norway, and I like to stick to schedules that involve others for the same reason.)

I notice my mental field creating and operating with representations of time – a timeline, three times, events on this timeline and in the three times, and so on.

I notice my timeless nature, either in the background or more intentionally.

And I am aware that without my mental field, there would be no sense of continuity in time.

Note: I have written similar articles on distance, movement, doership, the physical, and this human self.

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This human self is connected with my world in a special way

It’s not unusual in an awakening process to have apparently unusual experiences.


For instance, around fifteen years ago, I was in a Breema class in Oregon. We were three or four pairs practicing a new sequence. (On a beautiful Persian rug in front of the fireplace.)

And Big Mind shifted into the foreground (not unusual) and where there was no knowledge of which of the bodies were “mine” (less usual). There were several bodies in my field of vision.

Somewhere in me, there was the knowledge that “I” was supposed to be one of them. But it was impossible to find which one it was.

I am not sure how long it lasted, probably just a few seconds, and then it shifted again so I knew that this body – the one I can only see the arms, legs, and parts of the upper body of, is the one I am in the world.


These types of experiences, which I have had many versions of, help us notice certain things about the relationship between who and what we are. And more than that, it gives us a viceral sense of it.

In this case, it showed me that as what I am, as Big Mind, any content of experience is essentially the same. As Big Mind, I form myself into any and all content of experience. My nature is the nature of all of these experiences. It’s all essentially consciousness. There is no special relationship with any of it.

At the same time, there is a special connection with this particular human self. Yes, it happens within the content of experience as anything else. It happens within my sense fields, including the mental field in the form of mental representations, just like anyone and anything. At the same time, this human self is the only one there is inside information about. It’s the only one whose thoughts, feelings, sensations, and so on are within this content of experience. And it’s the only one others consistently take me to be.


It’s perhaps not so much of a mystery.

In a conventional sense, to others, and to myself when I take on the identity of this human self, I am in this human self in the world. That’s not wrong.

It’s also not the whole picture.

To myself, in my own first-person experience, I find I am more fundamentally something else. I am more fundamentally capacity for the world as it appears to me. I am what the world, to me, happens within and as.

As what I am, this human self happens within and as what I am along with any other content of experience. As what I am, this human self is the only one I have consistent inside information about. And this human self is the only one others consistently take me to be.


On the one hand, there is no special relationship between what I am and this human self. It happens within and as what I am, just like anything else. It lives its own life, just like anything else.

On the other hand, there is a special relationship with this human self. It’s the one there is inside information about. It’s the one others take me to be.

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