How to L00K

This section has been updated as of 2014 because the previous account of how to undertake an investigation was no longer consistent with the type of work I am now doing. If you are looking to get the insight of Anatta (not self) you have come to the right place. 

I see myself as scientific researcher who utilises phenomenology to explore the human condition, and tries to demystify the idea of Anatta so that other people can 'get it'. Whilst embarking on this journey is difficult for new people, I have the fond hope that I can make the transition beyond the gate easier. This is to allow others to start out on the long and arduous road of ego deconstruction and make it more easy for the layman and noobs out there to get a handle on starting their investigation.

Basically, I am interested in phenomenological investigation and have little time for all the spiritual claptrap and its rituals. Whilst meditation does form part of my investigations it is not a prerequisite to be experienced in this area to discover Anatta. 
I would recommend you get in to the habbit of meditation for post-self investigations though. To start with though, you can cultivate your looking skills with no previous experience. You might be wondering what phenomenology is so I have written an article explaining the basics (LINK TO FOLLOW).

In summary the methodology is to look at direct experience and if you have any experience with meditation, it is that kind of internal looking but with a laser focus on a particular aspect of a phenomenon. With this whole no self/ Anatta spectacle and the spiritual scene in general, there is a lot of well established dogma out there mixed with some facts, but the signal to noise ratio is often poor.
 There seems to be a limited amount of straight forward resources available and this is where a fair enquirer may benefit from a no nonsense approach. The whole idea of this site is to present things in a straight forward manner and in particular, appeal to the western need for demonstrable proof.

Why Phenomenology?

It might be pertinent for me to now argue in favour of phenomenological investigation as opposed to investigating the physical world. In fact some people are openly opposed to first person methodologies and they deride them as worthless. 
Mr Searle is one such philosopher who thinks negatively of them and I am sure there are countless others who have criticisms. I am not going to make an extended defence of this as my priority, we will have to agree to disagree and the discussion of its merits can be done another time.

Phenomenology is well established as a qualitative research methodology in social psychology, and meditators have been exploring phenomenology for centuries. If you have issue with this methodology then that is fine. 
I will just say that if you actually gave this looking at direct experience a chance you would realise it adheres to the scientific method.

I am not really concerned about any detractors who claim it yields no knowledge, and I have no real interest in debating this particular issue. 
Once a fellow philosopher can present me an infallible system of epistemology, then I will change my opinion. Until such time we have no good reason to limit our exploration to the physical world.

So, you might ask given that this methodology is contentious, how can we know if the subjective realm is worth exploring? Basically, we are looking for patterns in our faculties of action and cognition and we can start to investigate them. 
If anyone would like to claim there is no pattern in their cognitions or actions, it is strikingly clear that they have never bothered to look. 

These patterns are quite apparent given that one may be startled by a loud noise. This would be an example of a pattern occurring. Maybe it is not uniform across all humans, maybe it strikes you with a different force or vivacity on different occasions when you are startled. The fact remains that a pattern can be observed empirically within your awareness.

Until such time we should be convinced beyond any doubt that the naturalist doctrine ignores a vast range of phenomena that is available for study presently, since it implicitly supposes that the physical world is the only object of study. 
Whilst there is great value in studying the physical it seems clear that science can never explain what it is like to experience the world*. It may explain the causal mechanism in the brain that brings about the process of thoughts, however, it seems to miss out the qualitative aspect of experience. 

Even if we can reduce the process of experiencing the startle response to its neural correlates, we have not explained what it is like to appear to be experiencing the startle response.

In any case, the scientific method is transferable and we can apply it to our own experience and hence scientifically study the phenomena that arise in our experience. The scientific method is absolutely the key to doing this investigation and we should not think otherwise. We can falsify the assumptions we make about mental phenomena and, as we will discover, there are plenty of false assumptions to be discovered.

*Foot note: There is an explanatory gap to explain and we have two choices. We could cling blindly to the belief that studying physical phenomena will explain consciousness. The naturalist has to form a belief here, and no matter how much they remain steadfast in their convictions, this is nothing more than a belief at present. 
Or, we can take a pragmatic  approach and explore mental phenomena until such time as it becomes superfluous to a naturalist epistemology. We need not deny that a naturalist explanation is possible but it does seem quite clear that it will always miss out on explaining what experience is qualitatively like. 
Personally, I was a card carrying anti – qualia materialist, who used to side with Daniel Dennet and made counter arguments against David Chalmers work. However, I have had to follow my convictions and concede that Chalmer's has a point, even if I disagree with his doctrine of property dualism.

Doing it right

There are some good resources out there on the web and you can find some on the links page. The problem I have with many others systems is that they lack the clarity and falsification principles of western science, and try to mix it up with all the hippy peace and love talk. Yeah, I like peace and love too but many people use it as a crutch to avoid facing up to their problems. 

In this sense my writing goes straight to the jugular and I do not try to disguise the cold blunt truth. In this sense I make no apologies if I am perceived to be screwing around with your belief system or offending your religion. If you do not like what you see you are 'free' to stop reading at any time. However, by the time we are done here, you will have experientially demonstrated that there is no such thing as free will, and there is no possibility of holding this belief again.

If you feel that this is something you do not want to explore I understand. You are free to live out your illusion and if its a pleasant and happy life you lead, I do not blame you for thinking that ignorance is bliss. However, if you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes then you will have no choice but to follow the March Hare.

You may not agree with what I say throughout and that is fine because I have nothing to prove to you. I am only making available the tools and resources to conduct your own investigation, nothing more. If I was to give you a set of Lego and you were to use the blocks to build an abomination it is not really my fault. There is the possibility that you can create something good with them but I am only giving you the possibility.

Ultimately you are going to have to do the work.

You are certainly not required to take anything I say on face value, and in fact, I will actively encourage you not to do this. The whole point of any disagreements is that you can test out these theories for yourself and see if my conclusions are true in your own experience. 

All I will present here are the tools for you to use, you may use or abuse them as you see fit. Ideally though, what you want to do is try and falsify what I am claiming by utilising them and testing them thoroughly. You need to keep hitting these ideas until you are convinced that something is the case, however, the only arbiter of truth you must use is direct experience. 

At times we will logically de-construct beliefs and assumptions, but generally you want to be looking at your direct experience for answers.

The core pattern

Of course, logically speaking it seems absurd on face value that there is no self and you may be wrestling with walking away during this process. Our thoughts are actually what the self is constructed from, and thoughts do not just stop. 
The goal of this process is not to think yourself away, it is see what 'you' really is. Essentially, this 'you' is nothing more than a fiction. Thoughts are believed to be about you but in direct experience you will not find this 'you'. 

This 'you' is simply a thought fiction and your true nature is not a mere cog in the machine of a capitalist society, who turns up to work every day and spends their money and efforts on a personal vanity project.

That is what your life is all about at the moment; vanity.

I do not say this to insult you or to stand on a pedestal where I proclaim I am not vain, as my doing this would in itself be vain. I say this so that you can start to explore the core pattern that is running your life, and has been programmed in to you since day one. 
If you take a good look at the way you think and your actions, you will see just to what extent this governs your life. Every time you choose what clothes to wear, it is because you are thinking about how other people will see you. Everything you buy, those selfies you put on Facebook, are all about constructing an image to other people.

The more you investigate this, the more you will see it is one of your brains core motivational strategies. Now I am not going to say that you should walk out of your house naked because it doesn't matter what people think of you. 
We are evolutionary wired to feel shame and humiliation, and it is also illegal in certain places! In this sense we cultivate our social image and as we are social creatures, it makes sense that we do this. However, you need to see where this obsession is unhealthy and part of de-constructing our self, removes our ties to our self image to a degree.

Obviously, we think about how we are viewed by other people very frequently, and these thought patterns will continue for some time. However, when you see that this self image is a fiction, then you do not need to spend so many resources trying to prop up a façade. 

What 'you' really are is life living itself there is nothing 'personal' about it. 'You' is simply this that is, and not the person you think you are, who is just a cog in the machine. In this sense, the investigation should be about finding the truth for yourself and what I want you to keep in mind the whole time, is simply that you need to look at the truth. There is nothing to work out here. It is the simple act of looking at the truth of what 'you' really is.

As this site grows more and more tools will appear and it is a little sparse at the moment (January 2014). However, this is a work in progress and I hope that there will be a more methodological order to the proceedings in future, and my aim is to create a step by step methodology, or as close as I reasonably can eventually. 

The thing with this endeavour has always been different people take longer than others to crack Anatta. This means that no fool proof system can ever be devised and any attempt to make a step by step methodology is doomed to fail. 
However, with the right persistence and a commitment to building ones honesty, these tools can be used to demonstrate many of our beliefs and assumptions are false. Then one can gain an intellectual inclination that this is possible and have some confidence that undertaking some looking will yield some insight eventually.

It took me nearly three weeks to crack this without a guide, although I was reading the Ruthless Truth forum and 'Brutal Beginnings' (which is about on the net somewhere). The rest of the time I worked hard on my own looking for a couple of hours a day until I got it. 
This kind of persistence is what is needed and if you go in to this half arsed you will not get any results. Some people took an hour, some 3 days, me three weeks, others, 3 – 6 months of looking. Your mind will try to convince you in to giving up every step of the way and since you are fucking with your own belief system, you will come to realise that belief systems do not like to be f**ked with.

If you are getting frustrated you are doing it right.

Face to Face With your Dishonesty

The thing that struck me is that this was staring me in the face all along. I had actually seen it multiple times during looking but I had not recognised it. It is so elegantly simple but I warn you there is a degree of difficulty. It is like threading the eye of a needle with a frayed piece of thread. 
It will go eventually but it takes a lot of patience and a steadfast commitment. Back in the day there were forums to help people do this but they became very hostile places and eventually closed. We were dealing with human delusion and that is exactly what you will be coming face to face with.

You will be trying to witness the depths of your own delusion during this investigation and the self deceit your mind is actively engaged in.

This is one of the keys to gaining any traction in this investigation. You need to realise that you are starting from a position of delusion and you are trying to discover the lies that you have been telling yourself all your life. 
These lies form the basis of your own dishonesty and we have to scythe them away layer by layer. Essentially, when you take on assumptions they appear to be self evident truths. 

For instance, I might say what colour is the sky? You will immediately reply blue, but have you looked? I will save you the bother in this instance, but essentially we take so many statements as self-evident givens that we do not take the time to investigate them. 
This is where you have to realise that you cannot take anything as reliable anymore and you are going to have to re-evaluate your knowledge. That means that anything that you have not verified as a matter of fact in this investigation, must be discounted as unproved until demonstrated otherwise.

Just to mention briefly, I am afraid my writing has got very dry and is somewhat more technical than it used to be, I may sound like a dusty academic as a result of my studies. I am trying to cut down on big words these days but I make no apologies for my drawn out analogies. 
I use David Hume's 'fair enquirer' term to denote someone committed to a fair, honest, and open minded investigation. This would be you I hope?

You must know the following things before you begin this investigation and then we will start out with a guide on looking.

Warnings and advice 

This is not enlightenment and you need to know it will not magically make all your problems go away, although you will see them clearly with open eyes. You wake up to your life as it is, and this includes all your insecurities and fears.

The insight of Anatta does open up vistas in to the human condition, and allows you to get somewhat of a handle on suffering. It may also take you to some dark places too. Be aware there is no return ticket after the gate and whilst most people are absolutely fine I am unable to make any specific guarantees.

There is further to go and you should not cling on to Anatta so keep exploring once you have made it through the gate. It is the beginning of a new phase of life rather than the end of an investigation and represents the start of your journey on the path of exploration.

You must actively avoid a journey to nihilism post self. I suggest you swot up on Greg Goode's work on emptiness after this investigation, and realise that the concept of nihilism is inherently empty. 
Stepvhen's excellent blog 'Burning True' went on a journey in to nihilism and back, and his journey is recorded there. Whilst seeing that everything is inherently devoid of meaning or value is ultimately the truth, this also means nihilism is devoid of value or meaning as a life philosophy. 

Life is basically much better filled with people, love and joy, than loneliness, hate and sadness. This itself is reason enough to behave ethically even if we cannot assert a logical argument for why we should be just. 
Even if as a consequence of this other people do not essentially exist, and their feelings and suffering have no inherent value, this doesn't mean we should ignore our moral prerogative. 

We have a sense of undertaking right and wrong actions and we are clever enough not to resort to animal like behaviours most of the time. This intelligence we are bestowed with can be put to any use and I strongly recommend that we use it to cultivate respect and tolerance for others, even if morality and moral persons are ultimately an illusion, and we have no objective grounding for ethics.

If you have a history of mental illness, or you are severely depressed and suicidal, I implore you to leave this website immediately. You should only do this investigation if you have your psychological trip together.

Believing that the proposition of 'no self' is true, is contrary to how this investigation should be done. You only need to be open to the possibility and then try to discover what the self actually is. 
Be sceptical of everything you read on this blog, everything that others tell you, and especially be sceptical of your own reasoning. In summary you need to develop scepticism about EVERYTHING.

JFL = In this investigation all you need to do is Just F**king Look at real life. Sorry for swearing here but it needs this kind of emphasis since it is often ignored and I will use this acronym a lot to emphasise what I mean by looking. 
When I say 'look' this means you turn your attention inwards and do not try and interpret what you are seeing. You just look internally at your direct experience unless you are specifically directed to look at physical objects. 

It is not magical looking or anything esoteric it is the simplest thing. It is just normal looking but, metaphorically speaking, you have never looked from this perspective before and that is why you cannot see through the illusion right now. The best pointer I can give you is this.

“Just actually look at real life honestly”.

There, I said it once and this is all you need to do. If you are stuck on seeing Anatta try imagining me screaming JFL at you and and then actually do this. All you need to do is actually follow through with this instruction it really is that simple.

There is no logical puzzle to solve, there is simply the truth. Just look honestly at the phenomena that arises in your experience, it only takes honest looking to crack this insight. If you are analysing or interpreting what you are seeing then this is commonly known as the verb; thinking. Thinking and looking are two different kinds of activity.
Thinking = X
Looking = Y
X = Y is fallacious reasoning, thinking is not the same thing as looking and vice versa. 

You need to be well acquainted with this fact as you will be convincing yourself that you are looking when you are merely engaged in thinking. You cannot think yourself in to oblivion that would be absurd. You can only see the true nature of the self, and that is why you need to JFL instead of think about it. 
Just be persistent and the truth will eventually show itself. If you have been looking for a long time with no results, you need to challenge the other beliefs and assumptions you hold that support the existence of the self. 
Some of the work will involve testing the coherence of our beliefs and our logical thinking. Generally though we just need to know that thinking and looking are two different things, and we want to find out what the beliefs and thoughts are actually referring to in real life.

You may experience headaches, volatile emotions, and anxiety when undertaking this investigation. You may find you are concentrating hard and are challenging your belief system, which may stir up buried emotions and repressed memories. These symptoms usually indicate that you are on the right track, although you may not experience any discomfort.

I have personally helped many people crack this insight but there are other places who will help you get this insight for free on the web, and in any case the whole idea - the raison d'etre of this site - is to provide you with all the necessary tools to crack this on your own. 
This resource is absolutely free of charge and always will be.I have no wish to guide people any more as inevitably you are seen as posing as a teacher. In any case check out 'Liberation Unleashed' on the web or 'Hall of Mirrors' on Facebook.

Without further ado lets familiarise ourselves with some of the key principles that we need to understand in order to undertake an investigation in to the concept of Anatta.

How to Look

It was customary in the past for me to give guidance on beginning investigation in the wrong form. I was always of the mindset that one needed to drop all their presuppositions and try and start the investigation from scratch. 
The idea being that we accept we are starting from a position of delusion in an investigation, and then we discard all our prior knowledge so that we can start all over again. Then, the task was to build up an accurate picture derived from phenomenological enquiry. 

However, I have come to the view that this was a foolish endeavour.

In hindsight, I was correct that we have to accept that we are starting out from a position where everything is distorted. However, it is not as though we can just abandon our prior knowledge and not let it influence what we are doing right now. We are already deeply embedded within a framework of concepts and a culture that already presupposes we think about things in a certain way.
The notion that people could suspend their beliefs and assumptions temporarily and try and build a new picture independently from the modes in which we think is absurd.

The mind is already conditioned to think in prescribed ways and to try and drop the frame of reference within which we investigate is impossible. Thus, the correct starting position entails that we accept we are starting from a position of delusion and we are going to have to investigate the assumptions that we are all already interwoven, and embedded within.

In summary then, the key is that we are going to have to investigate those assumptions and witness our own dishonesty first hand. Metaphorically speaking, we want to remove the rose tinted spectacles that deceive us.
Our investigation means we are going to have to turn over every stone and look at the logic underpinning of our assertions, and look at our direct experience to discover if our ideas have any traction. 

It is, in part, a case of showing our preconceptions to be uncertain, and then looking at real life to try and see what is really happening.

We need to be challenging our cherished opinions and common sense taken for granted understandings and assumptions. If you are not challenging these ideas then you are merely framing any new ideas within a framework of prior assumptions, which makes one no better than the lowly species of theist.
These people are shining examples of the most wretched kind of dishonesty, which is the inability to even question or challenge their framework of thinking. They simply ignore contradictory facts or try to warp them to fit in with their world view. You will witness, first hand, the way in which you have been subtly doing this all your life.

It must be remarked here that many western folk, who have far greater intellectual faculties than I, also fit this pattern. Dishonesty is not the provenance of the vulgar by any means, as it infects many of the narrative accounts we believe. If you can spot when you are engaging in the kinds of patterns we are going to outline, then that gives you a head start.

It is the endeavour of any fair enquirer to concern themselves with discovering the truth and that entails not listening to any claim, that I or others make, until you have challenged the logic and, most importantly, verified it experientially by looking.

It is certainly not enough just to utilise sound logical reasoning if we are merely using the preconceptions and assumptions we have been burdened with all our lives. The reason you are here is for looking to see what this 'self', you think you are, could possibly be.
Even if this is not your intention, if you follow this process you will undergo a radical deconstruction of what you took for granted as true - this in itself can be quite liberating.

Where to begin

Part of the problem in starting an investigation boiled down to the fact that the concept looking at real life appears to be quite vague. I tried to explain this in the past but found it very difficult. Quite often I would write the word LOOK in forum posts repeatedly, to try and hammer home the fact that one needs to look at real life.
The simple truth is that looking is simply an honest glimpse of real life. This insight of Anatta is simply attained by a laser focus on the question of what does the word 'me' refer to in real life? If you can look honestly for a few seconds that is all it takes for the web of deceit to shatter.

Maxi Jazz (lead singer of Faithless) came out with a good quote in his lyrics:
"You don't need eyes to see, you need vision".
That sums it up quite well really, you need to look with your  vision, as such.
At this point you're probably going to be asking yourself what the hell is this 'vision' and what on earth is he referring to?

Allow me to have a go at trying to explain this to you right now in these posts.

Does that seem a bit clearer now?

No, I thought not! Don't worry though, you are in the same boat as everyone who starts out on this journey. It is very difficult to grasp what we actually mean by looking, however, the best way is just to get stuck in and give it a go.
It seems inordinately strange to look at first, by definition, as we are usually going about the hurly burly of our everyday lives, looking at the world and monitoring our thoughts. 

Surely in this respect we are already looking?

If this was the case then we would have no need to get you to scrutinise your own experience or tell you to Just F**king LOOK. The real problem is that you have never tried to look in your whole life. If you can take an honest look at real life for just a few seconds, that is all you need to do, and you will see through the illusion of self.

We are not talking about some magical looking or esoteric process here either. We are talking about seeing the self for what it is: an illusion. When you are done with the process you will clearly know that 'you' refers to nothing that can be discovered in experience. It is merely a habitual inference that has no correlate in real life.

We start out from a position where we are embedded within cultural practices, social conventions, and ways of doing things. To start from here and then begin mulling over the possibility of your own existence seems tantamount to madness at first. It contradicts your cultural practices and if you were to tell someone else that you don't exist, it is certainly counter intuitive in the strongest sense possible.
Your way of doing things has been learned from experience, and this includes resting your world view on certain preconceptions and assumptions that we were all taught from a young age.

However, your way of doing things has also led you to this moment right here and now. 
You are here because you are sick of making yourself suffer. You are here because the story you have been told doesn't add up. 
You are here because you feel different from all the others, even if you have friends and family around you. 
You are here because others in society lack the vision to see that they are simply following preprogrammed patterns of consumer consumption, and are subject to relentless psychological manipulation by the media and advertisers. You are here because you are a sick of all the vacuous bullsh*t in your daily grind. You are here because your curiosity led you to this place and deep down in your heart, you already know full well it is all a facade.

You are here because you want out.

The Reality Of Experience 

The fact of the matter though is that everything you have already seen and experienced seems real. In the matrix movie, Neo was trapped inside a simulated world, much like the brain in the vat scenario. 

However, even if we accept the bounds of reality are beyond the sphere of possible human experience, the real life experience of sitting here reading this is certainly not illusory. It is happening right now, and it is alive and direct in the most intimate sense of real. Clearly, this is undeniable and therefore we cannot in any way reject any occurrent phenomena that appear in our experience.

It is also matter of fact that an aspect of experience cannot be changed either. It is a truism to say we cannot change the appearance of experience or any particular phenomenon that occurs within experience. 
The sky is blue because it appears that way to us  - unless you are colour blind. Even then, it appears in a particular way, and you certainly have no control over how it appears in your experience. 

Obviously then, this means seeing no self does not mean that any quality of your experience can suddenly change. You do not obtain x ray vision, insta-bliss, or anything like that. The qualities of experience are what they are, as such, and that will not change after you have realised no self. 
What does happen upon seeing no self is that you will get an insight in to the world that is like an earthquake to the foundations upon which your world was based. Your world view will shatter and fall apart and even five years on, I find myself grateful and still in awe of what happened.

In this sense then, looking is not about thinking things away, forming new beliefs or models about the world, or denial of any aspect of it. It is actually the search for truth derived from your own direct experience. Nothing more.

This also means that nothing can dissolve away since every quality of experience is real. Basically you can't destroy the self or think it away since it doesn't exist to start with. 
You can certainly see that what gives rise to the illusion of being a self, must be completely real – i.e. thoughts, suffering, happiness etc. All the qualities of experience are completely real, including the voice that says “Of course I exist”.

We need to be crystal clear on this. 

We are not going to deny any aspect of experience or else we are doing this process all wrong. Living in denial is inherently dishonest and is the antithesis of honest enquiry. 

However, we need to be sure that our concepts relate to a real life phenomenon. Take the “Of course I exist” claim. If we substitute the word 'I' for 'unicorns', we know that there is no such phenomenon. It doesn't matter if we say “Unicorns must exist, it must be true” a hundred times, that doesn't mean that the statement is true. 
The way to prove there are unicorns is to look for evidence in real life. If we experience the phenomenon of a unicorn then we can know whether that statement is actually true or false.

What we discover is that when we question the existence of the self, we quite often justify the statement “Of course I exist” with, perhaps, a number of reasons or just a gut intuition that you do. 
We don't ever come across the phenomenon of a self but we come across the phenomena of  reasons about “why I must exist” and often an uncomfortable feeling when this is directly questioned (you may not necessarily get an uncomfortable feeling but it has been widely reported). 

If you can see that this is actually what is happening in real life, then that means you are starting to look honestly at what is arising in your direct experience. 

When To Use Logic

Some of the process will involve a little bit of destroying beliefs by utilising logic and recognising patterns of dishonesty. BUT... this is not to be confused with looking since these are two distinct categories of activity. We will focus on how honesty and dishonesty will influence the investigation shortly, but for now lets check out the process. 

If I could lay it out in an overview format it would probably look something like this:

Look at direct experience for the phenomenon that 'I' refers to
Thought or feeling appears proclaiming the self exists. 
Ask how do I know the self exists?
Because of 'X'
Expose the dishonesty related to X
Look at direct experience for the phenomenon that 'I' refers to
Rinse and repeat 100 – 1,000 times until you have discovered the truth.

While I was involved at Truth Strike, I specialised more in helping people recognise their erroneous beliefs to facilitate them to look at direct experience. In this respect I used to help people recognise their dishonesty for the most part. However, I would always refer back to the core of looking which is simply looking for what this 'I' is.

The truth is, you only need to focus on that one thing - which is looking for what the word 'I' refers to in real life. 

If there was only one thing I wanted you to take from reading this piece, it would be the previous sentence  written in bold. 

It really is that simple.

However, there are also times when a more reasoned approach is necessary. Sometimes it is useful to refute certain beliefs as you unearth the dishonesty related to the illusion of self. The absolute key to doing this correctly is making a distinction between concepts and phenomena. 
Much of the work I have done on has been related to the emptiness of many of our concepts. Language is the medium in which we are able to deceive ourselves and by investigating certain facets of meaning, we can discover that what we took for granted as common sense assumptions, are actually without foundation. 

When we are engaged in this aspect of enquiry though, we need to be aware that we are not looking. 

When we are doing this we are thinking and you need to make sure that this is not your only means of enquiry. To put this in to a simple analogy we can think about removing buried concrete in the ground. One must use a spade, and a jack hammer. We use the jack hammer to shatter the concrete in to smaller pieces and then we use the spade to lever up the pieces and dig them out. 
This process involves the use of two tools and whilst the hammer is effective at breaking things apart, unless we dig out and remove the pieces, we are still left with the concrete.

Obviously, the use of both of the tools is effective but one in isolation makes the job as good as impossible. 

So, the correct method is to use logic to guide the enquiry. 

You use the jack hammer to focus on a small section and chisel it out. Then you start trying to unearth it by looking at phenomena that support the assertion. 
We will use a concrete (ha!) example later on that will make this clearer but for now we need only to be aware of the difference between phenomena and concepts. We will introduce how to utilise logic in an investigation in due course. 

You need to be able to distinguish between phenomena and concepts in order to utilise looking and thinking effectively.

Observations regarding Logic

When I started the looking process a few years ago I sat there with a notepad refuting every excuse I came up with. In the end, I broke through the pattern of dishonesty that prevented me from seeing, and this is why I came up with a more logically biased method than some others did. 
It is debatable whether my way of doing things is any better, all the evidence seems to suggest that it is a slower way of doing things in actual fact. What worked for me doesn't necessarily work for others, and thinking too much distracts you from actually looking anyway. 

Mulling over too many concepts is counter productive and is a distraction from the truth. So, my advice to you is make looking your primary focus but also be prepared to smash apart your faulty assumptions using logical thinking

However, you must do this within the context of looking at the ideas that support the notion of self hood. 

The reason I did things in this way is that I am not too keen on esoteric means of doing things. Like any rational westerner, I had to be sure that the logic worked and I went about rationally deconstructing my framework of thinking besides giving myself a headache from trying to look too hard! 

After I had seen no self and committed to helping others, I saw similar themes in the response patterns on forum posts and this led me to start to focus on ways of destroying our taken for granted assumptions and undermining the foundations on which they stand. 
I did not use a forum group to do the investigation, I simply put my framework of thinking to the test and scrutinised it with the light of reality. What I found was that my 'self' was merely assumptions based on more assumptions that I had never bothered to test, which formed the underpinning of my entire world view. 

Naturally, I was shocked at what I discovered, and I found the process somewhat uncomfortable. In this sense, I always preferred to let people discover the truth for themselves and most of my successful 'liberations' (if you really want to call it liberation) were as a result of people being left to their own devices. 

It is no good anyone giving you an account of 'the truth' - you must discover it for yourself.

In my honest opinion you do not need guides to do this successfully. I will admit that reading other peoples investigations who were being mentored by a guide can be very useful. However, you must be careful that you are not reading along nodding, instead of discovering the truth for yourself – be very careful with this and trust nothing that other people say.
It may be the case that you are reading the work of an inexperienced guide and they might be facilitating subtle dishonesty by allowing wishy-washy concessions.  However, in the hands of an experienced guide, the process can be a systematic demolition of the self and the kind of questions they ask can be the ones you can starting asking about reality. 

 Some people benefit from the motivation of guides when they have been unsuccessful for a long time in their search and using a guide also helps expose hidden dishonesty. There are benefits to doing things this way.
 However, the key to getting the insight of Anatta in my view, is to have a burning desire to get to the truth and that is sufficient to crack this on your own. If you work the honesty angle then it is possible to spot your own inconsistencies and come face to face with your dishonesty. 

I was just as, if not more so, dishonest than many people and I had rather poor critical thinking skills when I started out. So, know that it is plausible to crack this on your own with no philosophical or spiritual experience if you have the right attitude. 

You need to laser focus on looking at the truth - that is all that is required.

Do this relentlessly until you have investigated and turned over every stone looking for what this self could possibly be. However, this is not always easy as you are going to lock horns with the brains defence mechanism which will try to dissuade and confuse you at every turn.


Courage is required to see this through the illusion of self. Putting it simply the mind will twist and turn, and throw up every excuse not to look and convince you that you are looking, when you are actually thinking. It will also throw up the idea that seeing no self will make you insane and this will also obstruct you from looking. 
It will also cause other strange artefacts but generally the fear of insanity theme seems to be common in 90% of cases. The way to dissolve this one is simply to acknowledge that all you are doing is looking for the truth. Can the truth really affect your sanity, or is this just a story related to a self that you have not discovered yet?

If there is no self, then you are entitled to ask “How come this happens?”

As discussed, experience is real and hence the appearance of thoughts is also a real appearance and we obviously cannot reject the appearance of thoughts in our experience. The illusion of self arises from the myriad of thoughts and projections about an entity being in control of thinking and having agency over the body. 
As far as the mind is concerned, there is no problem and everything is working fine. The idea of no self is a disturbance to the equilibrium and I'm sure when you first heard about the idea there was, and certainly still is, a degree of resistance. Basically, the brain filters the incoming sense data through its model of reality. If you believe there is a self, everything that comes in to the brain is in terms of this model of the world. 

On an evolutionary level this makes perfect sense, as the brain needs to form a working model of reality in order for it to be able to judge the appropriate action to be taken in a wide variety of situations. As an example, take a look at this picture:

Do you see a six of spades?

Look again

It is actually a red six of spades. As we know the six of spades is black, therefore, this card does not exist. As you have never seen a red six of spades before, the brain filtered the incoming sense data in terms of its model of reality. Therefore, we can conclude that our brains model of the world actually influences our perception of it. It also follows then, that our beliefs and preconceptions can potentially obscure what is really going on in reality. 

This is literally what is happening through the illusion of self. It warps reality in terms of an illusory entity being responsible for thoughts and actions. If we think about this in terms of confirmation bias, we are prone to interpreting data in terms of our entrenched beliefs. What is happening, to put it simply, is that we are fighting against our own confirmation bias to try and discover the truth. 

This is why some seekers in the Ruthless Truth and Truth Strike days could not even muster a shred of courage or honesty. 

Hence the reason why we thought people actually needed harpooning and lancing, and why we aggressively tried to tear a persons ego to shreds. 
The whole point of those endeavours was to smash apart their reality bubble in the hope they could see that they needed to look honestly instead of arguing from a set of preconceptions they had never tested. But that's another story, I digress.

At every step of the way in an investigation we are disrupting our equilibrium to try and search for information that might contradict our model of reality. Naturally, the brain does not want to do this and hence we might experience mild emotional turmoil, all the way to more intense physical ailments. For me, I had a migraine. For others, they experienced a little fear when looking. 

The scariest thing about liberating people during the Truth Strike and Ruthless Truth saga was discovering the degree to which people deceived themselves. Watching people slither out of uncomfortable questions was one of the ways in which we highlighted to people the circular logic they were utilising. Quite often this helped folks hone in. 
Other people used to fight to protect the integrity of the illusion and delude themselves that they were not arguing against the idea of no self, when they clearly were. In this sense the inability to face up to difficulties for their story or the contradictions they were faced with was indicative of a degree of cowardice. 

In this sense, it was those who were brave and cared about the truth who managed to push their way through to the other side of the gate. 

Remember being brave also entails being afraid.  

It is not so much a special quality that only tougher people have but it is the courage to keep going, no matter what uncomfortable truths you might find, that will serve you well on this journey. One of my good friends who was a fellow administrator at Truth Strike came out with a great quote. 

'The opposite of truth is not a lie, it is cowardice', (Stepvhen 2011)

To this day I realise the profundity of  this statement and you need to realise that we lie to ourselves and weave intricate stories for the sake of avoiding suffering. Now, if we weaved ourselves a story about god and heaven, what we have is a paradigm example of the most putrid form of cowardice.  Religion is merely taking on an ontology that avoids the fear of death and tells us that our suffering is a virtue. 

All of us have  weaved complex mental fictions in some way or another, however, it is on us to untangle the mess and find out what is true - Or else we are simply wrapped up in a vacuous story and our humanity is suppressed. 
If you believe religion actually encourages our humanity you need to realise that that it is actually self serving. It is done within the context of trying to curry favour on the day of judgement as such, and any supposedly 'selfless act' in this context has, at its core, the vile stench of ego. 

Of course, one weaves a story of how they are a 'good' and 'just' person, but this is just one of the ways that the deceit, in which they are suckered in to, is rationalised in to a narrative that can be rote learned and parroted ad nauseam. You have to grow a pair, metaphorically speaking, and challenge everything - even things you never even dreamed of questioning. 

Dishonesty - An Introduction

This word has a negative connotation straight off the bat. It does suggest that there is a degree of conniving and plotting, much like in the sense of perpetrating a scam on some poor unsuspecting victim. 
As a matter of fact dishonesty is just as toxic as this metaphor makes out, however, the conniving and scheming aspect is done entirely by your brain. 

It is in fact you who are both the unsuspecting victim and blissfully unaware of the deceit your mind is perpetrating all the time to prop up the facade the constitutes 'your world' – but fear not. 

The whole purpose of this investigation is to root out and shine the light on this dishonesty. 

You will find I make unkind references to religion frequently in my work but I do not blame the adherents, it is actually this core mechanism of human dysfunction that riles me. The depths of dishonesty to which we all sink will literally shock you, once you start to explore what is happening. 
Back in the Ruthless Truth days we use to refer to it as 'the lie'. When we used to spot patterns of delusion within our own ranks, we used to cry “There is lie in you”. In the context of this view of the self as a 'lie' it seemed pertinent to label it as 'wretched dishonesty'. 

I will concede here that nobody likes to be told they are dishonest. To come across this site for the first time and be told that all your life you have been engaged in wretched dishonesty is hardly going to endear you to me. 

That being said though, if you have the nous to investigate no self be prepared to discover the uncomfortable truth. 

I am not here to make this more palatable or persuade you that you need this no self insight, I am primarily interested in studying this as a curiosity and I happen to think that others would benefit from my previous work. For this reason I am laying out some of the tools one can use, and I will be presenting some of my findings whilst working out in the field. 
You are not required to undertake this investigation so if the notion that you are dishonest upsets you then please walk away now. I take it as a given that our starting point is being wrapped up in an intricate fantasy story that is held together at the seams by dishonesty. 

Whilst there are a number of narratives available in which to view this process, the only things that are important for us to note here are that dishonesty is a very destructive force against humanity and we are all unconsciously engaged it in some way. Some more than others. It is probably worth mentioning that I was drowning in wretched dishonesty when I started this journey, so you are probably not as much of an extreme case as I was!

Crucially though, we have to recognise that it is not our fault that we are dishonest. 

It is pointless looking back at what life threw at us and how we built psychological defences to cope with the world. It is also pointless blaming others and making accusations of dishonesty. We are already engaged in dishonesty and we have to accept that we will find it when the story begins to unravel. 
We certainly didn't intend to deceive ourselves from the outset but, unfortunately, that is what happens ultimately. It is up to us to start and dispel our ignorance and test our taken for granted assumptions. The first step is actually gathering the honesty and courage to be willing to face up to what we find. 

Dishonesty can only be perpetuated continuously in the absence of truth. 

The Ruthless Truth and Truth Strike Days

One of the reasons I do not masquerade as a  so called 'liberator' anymore is because I realised that no-self as an end, in itself, is a trapping. There is further to go and there is no sense in which it is a final liberation. 

However, it must be remarked that it opens up great vistas and insights in to the human condition, and for that I am grateful. 

That being said I still fall foul of dishonesty from time to time, and it is not so much that one  vanquishes it after seeing through the illusion. 
It is such an ingrained response to coping with the world, that it still happens. One must be vigilant and continue to look at the mechanisms.

The second reason I stopped 'liberating' was because I realised that I was swimming against the current. Trying to take on dishonesty and fight it with fire was a fruitless endeavour. To give an analogy it was like fighting a hydra. Once you chopped one head off, another would grow back immediately and the creature would be far more riled this time. 
Credit to Moonscream:

Once I turned my back on doing this I was glad to walk away from it. The depths of deceit that some people were engaged in absolutely sickened me. This dishonesty is the core mechanism of human delusion , and it was not pleasant trying to battle it. 
All the fire and brimstone that came out of ruthless truth and truth strike was never directed at the person, but it was directed at this mechanism. Persistence would usually win the day but it was at a great cost to my time and it was disheartening to think that humanity was held in its clutches. 

Instead of doing this, I feel it is better to let people find the truth themselves and now I am no longer burdened with trying to wage a futile and demoralising war against psychological defence mechanisms and peoples inherent dishonesty.

It is now your prerogative to try and bring in to awareness the mechanisms of delusion.

Having being acquainted with fighting human delusion, I am now a weary veteran and have an intimate understanding of the mechanisms we use to delude ourselves, and can tell you some of the downright bizarre phenomena that I discovered when dealing with peoples psychological defences. 
It is not so much that you need to rote learn these or anything, but once you get an idea of what to look for, it will become apparent that this is actually happening in real life. Once you start investigating, you will witness the mechanisms of dishonesty playing out and they become easier to spot. 

Honesty is not some simple resolve to be honest, it is actually being attuned to the way in which we live in a fantasy world. This world is held together by assumptions which are contradicted by what we discover when we begin looking. 

Seeing the truth is what loosens the stranglehold of dishonesty.

Truth is a very relative term and is an empty concept in of itself. If by truth we mean it is derived from direct experience then this is what I am talking about. However, when we investigate this area we actually discover that most of our ideas about the self are given to us within the constraints of a social construct. 
If you adopt the view that all of this knowledge has been framed through a socially shared cultural context which has never been challenged, then it should now make sense to you now that challenging the constraints of this context piece by piece, is exactly what we will be doing.    

So, the best way to do this is to give a very basic example of looking at real life and investigate the way we draw our conclusions. From here, we can have a glimpse of the process and look at the way we use the information derived from experience. 

The Ease of Dishonesty

Let us think about the actions of the body. Do they all just happen of their own accord, or do they require any conscious thought? Perhaps we could try and take conscious control of certain actions. Can you, for example, influence and regulate the rate at which you synthesise ATP from Glycogen, or even metabolise proteins, and produce insulin? 

Can this be done?

If you are reading this and then immediately answer no, then in all likelihood you are being dishonest. Unless you can clearly remember sitting there previously, and trying to manipulate these processes that do not, apparently, come in to consciousness, then you are taking it on faith that this is a true state of affairs without actually testing it. 
This is not honest enquiry, it is simply resting on the assumption that this is a taken for granted matter of fact. 

This is simply dishonesty at work. Welcome to the first pattern of dishonesty that the brain engages in.

1. Resting on prior assumptions without actually testing their validity.

The way that dishonesty comes in to play is that we are merely resting on such assumptions rather than engaging in testing their validity. To equate this to a real world example it is like claiming you know what the contents of a box are without actually opening it and looking inside. 

The tin can may be labelled as crab meat and every tin you have ever seen, you were told had the same contents time and time again. It didn't occur to you that smugglers were putting diamonds in the tins!

Have you ever been so convinced of an assumption that you have made plans only for them to fall apart because your assumption was wrong? Assumptions are useful don't get me wrong, however, we are now in the business of testing them.

Going back to our example, if you cannot think of a specific experience or you have a vague intuition that something 'must' or 'just is' true, then it probably requires that you investigate it. 
What I want you to do now is actually get a feel for this process and look to see if your reasoning was actually true. Can you control the synthesis of glycogen from ATP in your cells or insulin production? Is there any phenomenon that appears to contradict your world view? 

Take 30 seconds or so to actually try this out and for once in your life,  and you will have momentarily engaged in honest looking. 

Actually do this right now...

… ...

There, that wasn't so hard was it? 

This honesty lark is not complicated at all, it is the most simple act of looking for the truth. 

That is all that is required

There is no magical looking or anything esoteric about this at all. It is just making sure that we actually look to see if our assumptions are true. If you can keep this at the forefront of your mind instead of trying to imagine what no self is 'like', or trying to deny the self exists then you will actually be more inclined to look instead of think about it.

Anyway, as you could see during the exercise these kinds of processes happen of their own accord and cannot be manipulated simply by willing them. No phenomenon appears in our awareness to suggest that there is any control of these processes. 
It may seem a little trivial to do this but we have utilised looking at direct experience to see if we can manipulate these processes and we have discovered that the following proposition is necessarily true: That there are certain aspects of physiology that we cannot consciously control. 

We can also logically work on this because we can suggest conditions under which our logic holds. For example, if we were asleep or in a coma it does not require that we were are involved in these processes to make them work. Clearly, it is not necessary that we are conscious of these processes. 
Were it requisite that we consciously had to will these states we would have no explanation for why these processes occur during our sleep or in the event we were comatose for example. 

If we could refute this line of reasoning just once we could discard it, however, we have discovered that consciously willing is neither necessary nor sufficient for causing these processes. Part of doing things in this way is that we don't rest on this as universal truth because it is impossible to prove a negative. 
We also acknowledge that this reasoning is based on other suppositions such as there being a real physical brain that regulates our metabolism, and some 'thing' that is conscious to try and look to see if it can manipulate these brain states. 

We could have worked this out from logic and infer that we don't have the ability to will certain things like this to happen. We do not will ourselves to sneeze for example and we can extend this argument to other physiological processes. 
The point here though is that by extending the same argument we create an assumption that this idea has universal applicability. Whilst in this case, our assumption was true, the point is we actually looked for evidence in direct experience and that is all you ever have to do when you are engaged in this looking.

It is not complicated at all, it is simply looking at the truth of direct experience.

However though, we have to leave open the possibility that we may find sufficient cause through simply willing the action to occur at some point in the future. We might be able to take control of certain processes eventually by training ourselves, for example. It may also be the case that other people might report that they can manipulate these processes. 
You are testing your assumptions and that means that you have to be agnostic about other claims and trust only your own direct experience. It might seem that we are looking for absolute certainty when we are using honesty, however, in light of the lack of evidence in empirical reality, we have to concede there is no evidence to suggest that our willing is a sufficient cause for our metabolic function. 

I am sure there are very few, if any, that would argue against this conclusion but we must leave open the possibility nevertheless. Before we go any further I think it is important to make a clarification on the above paragraph. You will have noticed that I wrote 'It might seem that we are looking for absolute certainty'. In one sense we want to be sure that what we have found is true. However, the truth of the matter is we are actually dealing in uncertainty. This is because we are challenging our preconceived notions and assumptions. 

Once we demonstrate the fallibility of our preconceptions, we actually find we are increasing our uncertainty about the world. 

Where we thought we'd find foundations of certainty, we actually find these notions are quite empty which can be a little disconcerting. In essence, we are highlighting how our belief structures are groundless. These structures become more unstable throughout this investigation, and hence this is directly correlated with the overall sense of uncertainty that we may begin to feel. If anything, where we thought things were black and white we actually find shades of grey.

We should take away the fact that we need to make sure our ideas conform in a one-to-one relationship with reality, and this is done with experiential validity aka looking. We also accept that where we expect to find certainty we actually find uncertainty, simply because we cannot prove the non-existence of things. 
Proclaiming that something does not exist is actually dishonest as it is committing the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacyAs you go through the process and unravel the fiction, you will start to get leverage on the difference between concepts, and phenomena that have a real existence in real life.

In doing things this way we have to leave open the possibility that an experiential proof that confounds our findings may arise at some time in the future. However, until such time as one presents itself in your direct experience, it is not valid to use possibility as the basis for further reasoning. 
An example of this is time travel. 
Yes, we cannot prove it is definitely impossible in the future as this is committing the argument from ignorance fallacy. However, this is certainly not grounds for us to reason that, therefore, time travel is possible and then rest our entire world view on this assumption, or reason from the possibility.

A more relevant example of this is the self. Without an experientially validated proof of what the self is, it would make sense to suspend any reasoning based on it without having ascertained what it is we are actually reasoning about. Naturally, you should expect that you will be finding uncertainty about the concept of your self during this investigation but this leads us on to our second mechanism of dishonesty.

The Dishonesty of Assumption

Having outlined this mechanism of dishonesty and shown how easy it is to slip in to it, we need to take a broad look at where we are situated. If we can be dishonest about something that simple then we do have to ask questions about whether our entire world-view is founded on honesty. What we often find is that it is based on our second mechanism of dishonesty which is this. 

2. Reasoning about an unvalidated assumption using another unvalidated assumption as the basis for the inference.

To illustrate this by analogy it is like arguing about the contents of a box, which you have never looked inside, and then using this assumption as the basis for your argument. 

I accept that a fair enquirer such as yourself may think I am being unnecessarily patronising in saying this, but I have to mention it since it was one of the most common aspects of dishonesty we used to come across in the TS days. 

An example of such an argument is: 'There is a self because I can think when I want to'. 

This kind of argument is derived from not looking in to and investigating the aspects of free will regarding our thinking. Then, it is a simple matter of using this reasoning to assert a self which has, hitherto, never been observed. 
In both sides of this proposition a fallacy has been committed but it is not so much that I can or should convince someone the self doesn't exist. However, if they were to look inside the box, so to speak, and examine their free will regarding thinking then maybe they would see this was questionable. Then they might look in to the self after seeing this assumption was untrue.

This kind of investigation is all I can ever hope to achieve in writing any piece here. I cannot convince you about the self, but hopefully I can convince you to look inside the box (and see if the cat is dead or alive Schrödinger! :).

To most people the fact I have mentioned this might seem absurd but the simple fact of the matter is that is scarily common. The depths of your brains deceit will shock you when you start investigating - I can promise you that much. I should also jog your memory that our first pattern was 'resting on prior assumptions without testing their validity' - We are simply dealing with an extension of the first pattern. 

This pattern is so common because we have had a lifetime of learning about the world, social conventions, learning coping skills, observing others, making our own mistakes, and of course being exposed to our education system. I think in one sense that it could be labelled as an 'indoctrination system'. 
The reason for this is that we are spoon fed an ideology from a young age and this shapes the way we grow up and the thoughts we form about the world. 

For instance, if we compared a Nazi ideology to our own, we would find it somewhat abhorrent that school kids were taught they were superior to all other beings and that these others were 'untermensch'. 
In our own education system we were relentlessly hammered with a more tolerant ideology of others, which I think makes for a better society, but the fact remains that it is still ideological. 

Naturally, if we could cram the best knowledge of the best historical tried and tested ideas and principles in to a training program, it makes sense we have an education system. 
This is not without its own set of problems and the way in which the education system was implemented was rightly criticised by Schopenhauer back in the 1800s and has never actually been addressed even to this day. 

He made the simple observation that our knowledge  in education arises from books and lectures, and rarely from experience. If you think back to the evidence based learning you did at school, maybe you will remember your science classes with fond memories. However, when you think about it you would concede that the majority of your studies were simply taken on faith that the teacher was a legitimate authority in possession of the facts. 

What leads us to think that these facts we learn are legitimate is that disciplines such as mathematics and the English language are consistent and internally coherent. In these fields there is certainly little in the way of contradiction until we start learning more English words, especially those with two meanings, or getting in to 'Godels incompleteness theorem' with mathematics for example.

Disciplines such as history (my favourite subject at school) paved the way for our critical thinking faculties and taught us to question versions of events. However, I later learned that we are taught a certain version of history in English schools and it was only when I went travelling and met others from Europe and wider, I realised the horrors that we had inflicted upon the world in our imperial days. 

To say we are taught a skewed version of history was an understatement. In Irish schools they teach a more in depth account of the potato famine and the vile horrors that the English inflicted upon starving masses. At our school though it was merely acknowledged that this happened and the atrocities were simply ignored. 
This certainly did not interfere with general consensus that we won many wars, were victorious in colonising the largest empire the world had seen, single handedly kick started the industrial revolution, and paved the way for the modern world. 

The fact of the matter is that in many ways our knowledge is given to us in the form of concepts and these are learned from books and lectures. I am sure you will also agree that since you left school a fair proportion of the information we derive from TV documentaries, other people, and the like, is 'reported knowledge' rather than derived from your experience. 

A clear example of this is regarding outer space. Whilst you may have observed a blurred distant dot that was allegedly the moon through a telescope that shook all over the place as a  youngster, much of our knowledge here is purely conceptual. Yet we know a fair amount about the solar system without ever actually going in to outer space. 
Cheeeeese Gromit?!

We take it on faith that the moon is not made from cheese but we have never bothered going there to look!

Whilst there is nothing wrong with reported knowledge and you can apply this to your own life usefully and critically reflect on it, it points to the fact that Schopenhauer's observation rings true. Whilst we may have had some practical lessons and even questioned some of the concepts we learn, I'm sure you will not be inclined to disagree with me when I say that much of our knowledge is second hand. 

Much more of our knowledge than we previously recognised is not actually derived from discovering it for ourselves experientially, it is conceptually taken on faith from a trusted authority.

We take a lot of things on faith  from authority and it would be plainly be absurd for me to try and suggest that this is a bad idea. Conversely, there are many things we have learned from our experience too, namely social skills, coping skills and using tools, driving cars etc. 
It makes sense that we are indoctrinated with a code of how to behave towards each other and are packed full of the most up to date concepts ready to take out in to the adult world. There is nothing wrong with this but we simply have to recognise that not all of the 'facts' we have learned are necessarily true. 

Whilst much of our knowledge is consistent, we merely have to open ourselves up to the possibility that some of it may not be true.

If we take the self as an example, I think you will find that you were never taught anything about it. Your  earlier existence entailed that 'you' were responsible for your actions and that you felt shame and humiliation when you were scolded by teachers and parents. Later you learned that all thinking is in a relational capacity to ones self, in relation to others, material needs, goals etc.

The fact of the matter is you were never explicitly taught any of this stuff, and if you ever did question it it was when you first encountered a philosophy class or came across someone else's viewpoint. It is simply a prosaic observation that this account is the way we view the world as 'selves' without ever having ever made it explicit. We simply assume our existence without ever working it out logically and our experience reinforces this notion of our being subjects in the world.

All we have to do really is start to investigate this area thoroughly  and check out whether our assumptions were true. 

When it comes to the bigger questions like why are we here? Or what is the meaning of life? We are told not to worry about such things and our philosophical inclinations are curtailed from a young age. I was lucky enough to rediscover them with a sense of vigour back when I investigated this no self malarkey.  
Your curiosity cannot be buried forever. That nagging doubt you feel about your place in the world, and what it all means, arises from starting out with a distorted view of the world. This view is based purely on the groundless assumptions our brain made about us being some kind of entity having the experience of the world, that we took as a given without ever questioning this notion. 

A Given Framework Of Thinking

With limited information our brain fills in the blanks and makes assumptions necessary to fit the framework of facts we are presented with. We are hammered relentlessly by advertisers who play on our primordial fears of being ostracised by our peer group, or try to associate the most mundane and banal items with positive images of fun. Take any advert and look at the images it portrays. Then  take the item itself independently from the advert and see if it excites you quite so much. It's just a fucking ice cream right?! 

You get people in offices sat there all day trying to associate unconnected things like 'healthy lifestyle' with chemically laden food. This pattern is actually played out to us on the receiving end relentlessly. It is not so much that we take these things as truth, it merely reinforces the view that we are deficient in some way, or of some need, and that these products can fill this void in your life.
Some of the adverts try to elicit us in to feeling an emotional connection to the protagonist. The fact of the matter remains is that it actually works. If it didn't, then why would it be a multi million business? 

I would like to say it doesn't work on me as such but when I find myself having to shop around for insurance, what are the first places that spring to my mind?, Go Compare etc (In the UK). If I am honest, I am a sucker like the rest of the masses despite not wanting to be. 
I am already familiar with these companies and the way they arise in my mind when I want insurance is because when I listen to the radio they are there, when I watch TV they are there. You could literally spend a whole day and have one of their adverts appear every 15 – 20 minutes drumming in to your brain. 

I tend to stay away from TV and read books instead, and I also try to avoid listening to local radio, so I am not subjected to the relentless advertising which I have come to despise. I also have ad blockers on my web browser and I delete marketing messages without reading them. 
The thing to note is that even though we may try and insulate ourselves from this relentless stream of BS, it still has an effect on us because we absorb the things around us that either grab our attention, or pass us by unaware. 

It is impossible for your mind not be polluted with these cultural artefacts.

The fact that and go compare spring to mind is not because  you have the remotest interest in insurance products, it is their aggressive advertising practices which means you can't help that they spring to mind when you have the ball ache of hunting for a cheaper insurance renewal.

More alarming is the active influence in society which emanates from the news and print media. When we engage with any form of media we are being deliberately led to think in a certain manner and their goal is to convince us that their account is correct. If we think about communication in its most basic form we use it to influence people. 

Even if we are telling the time or talking about the weather, we are in some way attempting to influence another person to believe the facts we may be in possession of.

Politically speaking, matters are far far worse than we may think. What we have is not a debate in this country, but parameters to contain any real debate. Mention Karl Marx and be ready for some opinion editorial piece , by someone who never read a single page of Marx's work, to tell you what a wretched political system he advocated. 
Whilst Mr Marx's positive thesis has been laid to waste and has been a proven failure in practice, his criticisms of the capitalist system are poignant and as valid as ever. However, these howling contradictions he highlighted within this system are generally ignored. 

We might ask how is it that we can ignore such howling contradictions that render the capitalist system as broken? The way in which in this done is by the media repeatedly portraying Marxism as a failed system and by extension we  simply assume that he never had any good insights about the current system that organises society at large, since these are never mentioned anywhere. 

By framing Marx as a villain they propagate the ad hominem fallacy by trying to slur his character and make it sound as though he had nothing valuable to say.

It should be no surprise that it is the wealth accumulating to the top 1% and various other things that the power elite want to maintain. Their vested interest is in maintaining the status quo is in order to propagate the favourable arrangements that they and their cronies enjoy at the expense of the common man. 
It should not be too difficult for you to see that the majority of Britain's media is owned by the wealthy and they try to keep control of the parameters of the debate. 

As Noam Chomsky said: 
'The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum' (Chomsky, 1998).

The media in this country have pulled off a coup de tat. By silencing genuine and poignant criticisms of the capitalist systems they have effectively silenced this aspect of the debate. Where do we ever get to hear any meaningful debate these days? 
Rather than being presented with the arguments for each side, we have opinion pieces which aim to influence us by appealing to our emotions rather than present any kind of rational debate.

The reason for this is that we are apathetic to what is going on and most people don't want to hear about the debate. If we were to present the debate it would take up multiple pages and lets face it, most people are more inclined to read a few paragraphs that sum it up simply, and arouse their emotions, than engage in any real critical thinking.

This is because critical thinking and philosophy are boring to most people. 


It is asking a lot for the layman to engage in any kind of debate that goes way over their heads. However, some of us are condemned to the compulsion of a life of picking away at orthodoxy and exploring the implications of our discoveries.

To say that capitalism is flawed is missing the bigger picture since there are definitely virtues of such a system. Communism is hardly going to solve the problem and has its own major flaws and contradictions. However, the way in which neo-liberal economic orthodoxy is failing us is in that the state is deregulating restraints on business and curtailing the liberties of its citizens. 

You need only read about the way our governments have been busted for spying on its citizens (viz. Snowden) yet allow companies like Amazon to avoid paying its fair share of tax. The fact of the matter is that corporate power has infiltrated our democracy. Economic priorities trump the very people whom the economic practice of capitalism is meant to serve. 

Keynes (1936) described it as 'The worm that had been gnawing at the insides of modern civilisation... the over-valuation of the economic criterion'. Nearly one hundred years later we are still faced with the same problem and there has been little impetus for society to move on from this dead end of thinking (we are in a post modern crisis of capitalism).

Our priorities have been skewed by our indolence to the real debate we should be having and the fact of the matter is that economics are prioritised above human well being and that of the fragile planet upon which we live. To my mind the right / left split in politics is a false dichotomy that pits one aspect of human nature against the other. I am not the first to call for a new politics but what we have currently is broken in many ways. 

Whilst we have got sidetracked here, what we have shown is that what we see and hear is controlled in the sense that an orthodoxy is entrenched, and alternative views silenced. The internet is the greatest threat to this control of information so have the government responded to it?
They are starting to ban certain sites, curtail freedom of speech and our military have even created an army of pro government propaganda trolls

If we were not influenced so much by society then why would there be a need to go to such lengths to control the narrative, and why would the Chinese government, for example, attempt to throttle free speech on the internet? Clearly certain narratives are dominant and are reproduced across society. Big narratives are ideologically determined by the media and often go unchallenged. These form the basis of political discourse and try to make it more palatable to the everyday layman by simplifying things. 

'Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are most dangerous is the man of no ideas. The man of no ideas will find the first idea fly to his head like wine to the head of a teetotaller' (G. K. Chesterton, 1905).

Here we can give an example of how narratives proliferate the mindset of a nation.

Bertie lives in a reclusive village and is a reader of a propaganda rag that masquerades as a newspaper. In the pages of the 'Daily Fail' it speaks of the horrors of foreign immigrants coming over here to maliciously steal our jobs and pillage our benefits system. 
Bertie has never seen an immigrant before but he doesn't need to. He has all the facts he needs to know already. He can go down the pub in the evening and recite these horror stories. As he slams down his drink proclaiming that immigrants have ruined this country, his compatriots nod along in unanimous agreement.

Perhaps if Bertie left his insular village and went out to meet some of these 'horrendous' immigrants who have only 'come here to commit crime and cheat us', he might discover that most of them are the same as us. They want enough money to have a decent standard of living, and be happy. 
Many are prepared to work hard for this opportunity and have left their families behind to try and escape the poverty trap they found themselves in. Others have fled war zones and risked their lives by placing themselves in the clutches of people smugglers who profit from desperation.

Immigrants are a convenient scapegoat for the abject failings of successive governments. Whilst immigration inevitably causes some problems, it is more convenient for the government to say it is immigrants who have put public services, such as the NHS, under strain than to admit that their philosophical outlook is completely broken and is failing its citizens.
Check out the scandalous PFI contracts as a clear example of how Neo Liberal economic orthodxy is bleeding us dry.  Then compare how many stories about PFI contracts and immigrants there are. Do you see a pattern occurring? What did you make of the expose at 25:30? Is this legalised institutional corruption bleeding the taxpayer dry, or is the problem really eastern Europeans working a shitty minimum wage job and paying taxes?

In any case, Bertie may come across a bad example that reinforces his stereotype, or he may meet someone who challenges his view. The point here is that whatever experience he has, at least he can reason from the solid grounds of direct experience instead of a reported knowledge that was designed to fit an ideological viewpoint. That's a start at least.
Whilst Bertie might end up committing another fallacy by tarring everyone with the same brush, at least he has made an effort to see if his assumptions were true, even if he doesn't change his convictions. 

The moral of this story is simply that it is so easy and common place to reason from untested assumptions, that it is natural for us to absorb narrative accounts and use these as a basis to draw conclusions. Most often,  we simply absorb the conclusions we are spoon fed by society that may or may not have a factual basis. 
The important thing to realise here is that we are now in the business of checking our assumptions and conclusions with a fine toothed comb, and we are aware that this pattern of dishonesty is so common place that we often don't realise we are doing it. Unlike Bertie, we cannot rest on mere generalisations derived from our limited experience either. 

We are going to have to dig much deeper.  

It is not honest enquiry to say “I must exist” without actually checking all the assumptions. Naturally, the difficulty in looking at no self arises from the standpoint of being in the world as a supposed participant. We cannot simply reason that we don't exist as this is contradictory information to our experience so far in life. Nor can we do detached objective enquiry, since we are always already within the bounds of our cultural preconceptions that shape how we process that knowledge.  

It should now be not so shocking to you to conceive that if it is possible for adults with a brain to absorb narrative accounts from propaganda gutter journalism, then the possibilities for polluting a young inquisitive mind, that lacks critical thinking faculties are unlimited. We need only consider folly such as the tooth fairy, god, and father christmas for examples of perpetrating deception.
Your teachers, parents, and society at large, had a head start in telling you things were a certain way and, unlike the father christmas story, you never once stopped to question what you were told. 

It might seem obvious and intuitive that we are an agent pulling the strings behind our experience. Once we start to peel back our assumptions and unearth our dishonesty though, we discover that there is not much logical basis for our assertions and that our received 'default wisdom' is quite empty. 
We may assert that there is some being in the tree telling its leaves how to grow but this is just as empty an assertion as claiming there is a self that directs the thoughts and actions. Our enquiry therefore, is not focussed on logically denying our existence or assessing dialectical arguments endlessly. 

We have to look at the phenomena unfolding in reality at the present moment. 

Crucially though, we also have to be aware this enquiry can be distorted by our taken for granted beliefs and assumptions and this is where dishonesty comes in to play for the fair enquirer. By utilising looking, and logic as a tool, we can actually discover the doublethink in which we are engaged, which supports the notion of being an independent entity living in an internal world that directs the bodies actions in an external world.

By now you should have a very solid grasp that we cannot take anything for granted – we have to do the work and test it out. 

In this manner, we need to be vigilant of when we are using untested assumptions and investigate them instead. We also need to drop any reasoning that are extended from any untested assumptions. We will look at a comprehensive example later on, but for now you need to be aware that this pattern is so very very easy to fall in to, and infects a surprising facet of what we think of as 'truth'.  

It is now pertinent to turn our attention to begin to look at how we conceptualise this self on an intuitive level...

LOOKING guide under construction, here is the old one:

How to Look (2010)

I have written this section because at the start of my journey in to liberation, I was hearing the terms look and see all the time. My question was how do I actually look. This may seem counter intuitive but Maxi Jazz (leadsinger of Faithless) came out with a good quote in his lyrics "You don't need eyes to see, you need vision". That sums it up really, you need to look with your inner vision. Now I'm going to cover the proces of looking and what it really entails.

I'm attempting to write the post I wish I had, before I started looking but as language is so limited for conveying this, it will probably be a vague guide to looking like I actually encountered. So this is merely my effort to try and make it clear...

Ok there is a difference between looking and thinking. To see the truth of no "you" you need to LOOK at existential reality. Thinking about it will not do you any good. Thinking too much in to things is not healthy anyway and my advice is not to think about it at all but just look. Thinking will only obstruct you from looking.

This is not some logic puzzle you can solve, this is something that can only be witnessed with awareness. So whilst many people will try and work it like a puzzle or riddle to crack, in actual fact, this is diverting your attention away from looking at existential reality.

Seriously... I will give you the tools you need to do this and you can crack it in five seconds.
Here you go: LOOK in reality, there is no you, there is no thinker behind the thinking, no doer behind the actions and no experiencer behind the experience, there is just thought, action and experience but no you, it is an illusion.
Take a look in reality now and LOOK at how there is no entity that is called self there whatsoever, to have the thoughts do the actions and have the experience.

This is all you really need, nothing more than this is required but in practice it very rarely works like this. All it takes to become liberated is a few seconds. The problem is because the mind has been conditioned to have its reality processed in terms of a self, this inner looking becomes tricky and frustrating. If you have meditated before, you will have some experience of looking at your inner reality but really this is not a pre - requisite to go through this process.

Some people can get this quickly, others take longer, others come back after a month off and some will just eventually give up. Not everyone is capable of seeing it through.

To go through this to the end requires courage and honesty.

Courage is required to see this through as the lie of self being threatened, will twist and turn and throw up every excuse not to look. It will throw the idea that no self is oblivion and will obstruct you from looking.

Why is this? If there is no self then how come this happens?

Ok.... basically we have established that self is an illusion, there are thoughts but no thinker, this is the illusion of self. So how does this illusion then arise? Basically from the myriad of thoughts and projections, you have the assumption of an entity being there in control of the thinking. As far as the mind is concerned, there is no problem and everything is working fine.

The idea of no self is a disturbance to the equilibrium and I'm sure when you first looked at the idea there was a lot of resistance to this idea at first. Now hopefully by doing the experiments with honesty, you will agree with my observations and now rather than being 100% skeptical, you are only 90 - 99% skeptical. That is at best all I could hope to acheive in this blog.

My aim is to sow a seed of doubt and give you the information you need to start looking at reality for the truth, nothing more.
If there is the tiniest shred of doubt in your mind as to your previous belief, then you have something to work with. Seriously, the observations made in the experiments can not be explained by anything else. So if you think you can explain why these observations occur then thats a good thing, you have something to start working with. If you don't have something to start working with, you have an untested assumption that there is a "you" and you can get to work trying to prove that "you" exist, is a good starting point.

Honesty is also required to see the lie of self.

Take a look at the picture below and tell me what you see:

Its a flag right, it is the symbol of the English nation, a symbol of nationalism, an isnpiration to all English people....
No no no. This is not honest looking. What is seen is a picture of a flag on the computer screen.
Here is a metaphor I told a friend:
Me: Basically all you have to do is look and you can prove it, for instance take a look at that flag, tell me what you see.

Friend: I see the national flag, it stands for the nationalism of the country, the people....
Me: Hah, there you go, you weren't looking at the flag, you were telling me what it means. This is what I see... a metal
pole and some material flapping in the wind.

This is the level you need to look at reality on. If you see what the flag represents, you are interpreting its meaning and thinking about what it actually means. You are not in fact looking at it for what it is.

The problem with trying to see no self is this impression that you are looking at something for what it is. This is what a flag is, it has meaning, it represents something. So it is with a false self there is so much meaning tied in to this illusion that one will find it difficult to really see it for what it is at first.
This is the problem right here. Your current logic is processed in terms of a self, so your logic will never disprove it existence. When you observe this processing of the self i.e. take a step back and look at the actual process behind the idea of “self” itself, then you can see that "self" is only a thought.

Seriously, this realisation is about as deep as a puddle: "There is no you". It really is that simple. It takes 5 seconds to see the truth in this statement. Trying to understand it is futile. It's not a logic puzzle, it is not nihilism, it is simply universal truth. Just LOOK in reality. If you need help check out ruthless truth or contact me but first, I suggest you do the experiments to give you an idea of what is really happening.

Ok this is the level of honesty you need.
If you get one thing from this page it is this and the fact you have to look and not analyse.

Imagine an alien trying to understand how a humans mind works. The alien has no knowledge of our thought processes, maybe it only uses feelings and does not even process in terms of sight and sound as well. Now lets presuppose the alien was interested in learning about us and didn't want to eat our brains just for this instance... See presuppositions are worthless, aliens might be very kind? 

If we were the first people the alien met, you would tell it that there was a “soul” or thinker in charge of having the thoughts and experience and I would say that that there is only thought and experience. All the alien would have would be our testimonies. So what we need to do is look at this whole thing from the third person. I.e. We have no knowledge whatsoever of what is happening. How do we emulate this ourselves? We simply drop our knowledge and rely on observations. We use honesty to just observe each scenario and do not try and overlay what we “believe” is true. This is starting again and building a case from the ground up, with no presuppositions.

The way we start this process initially is to go about doing this the opposite way round; by finding out exactly what “self” is NOT.

That is why its a good idea to get your stock questions out of the way first. So we will start with our first one that despite being a very good question that everyone will ask to start with, actually just pisses me off now. So I will write out the answer to this one and get it out of the way once and for all:
I'm going to put a discussion I had on a forum here where I have addressed the answers to some basic questions that crop up initially...
But here is the simple answer to the question:

Well if I didn't exist, then who decides to go and make a cup of tea?

Seriously this answer is boring me to tears already, just because I am liberated, doesn't mean I don't get annoyed any more, so I'll spell it out for you simply.

There is an organism called a "homo sapien". It has a highly evolved brain and is capable of complex thought. Sometimes the organism likes drinking tea especially if it happens to be made in England. This is what we call free will. An organism has the freedom to have a preference for the type of drink it wants, if given the choice, it is not dictated by anybody. So the kidneys send the signal to the brain that the water tank needs topping up. The brain responds by producing the thought about a cup of tea on this occasion. The body then goes towards the kettle in order to start the procedure of making a cup of tea.

At what point is a self necessary to perform this action? You can insert a self in to this equation if you like but if we use Occam’s razor, we can say the simplest explanation is the most probable. So go ahead and insert the self in to the equation. It still works but it is not proof in any shape or form of a self. It also does not disprove it either. But all we have done is shown that there is another explanation for your current observations, i.e. your whole life’s experience.

Now going back to our alien metaphor... What would the alien decide in this instance? Who would he believe? Lets try and map what happened on to an organism lower in the food chain.

Lets use a pig. A pig is thirsty, it decides to drink some water. If it is a captive pig it probably doesn't get a choice. Unfortunately, it probably does not have a kettle or teabags. So it is safe to assume that the organism is thirsty and it walks over to the water and has a drink. Insert the self here.

Do pigs have a self? If we have then why haven't pigs? They are biological organisms, in order for a biological organism to work it needs a self or it doesn't?

This creates a problem... but we can gloss over this if we want to and find a nice excuse but if we use honesty we cannot be 100% sure. We have ditched all our knowledge, so from our observations, we can start to build up a case for and against.

All we have observed is this:
There is a case for no self in humans
There is a case for self in humans
There is a case for all biological organisms having a self or no self

Any other observations are not based in honesty since to do so would mean we have inserted a presupposition of facts. This is the level of honesty with which you must look... THIS LEVEL OF HONESTY IS REQUIRED. Always remember the third person view with no prior knowledge of how things should be and build it up piece by piece.

The fatal blow
Now... at any point a hole can be found in the fact that there is no self, then the whole thing gets shot down in flames spectacularly. And what will be proven is that I am insane. If that day comes I will bow my head in shame and walk away to the nut house. BUT... what we have actually discovered, is every time we have tried to explain our observations of no self in reality, it always works no matter what argument of a case for the self is presented. In fact it actually makes more sense as you go through that there is no self. It becomes highly illogical for there to be a self and then, we get to the stage where we have an intellectual understanding.

Understanding the concept of no self
We can use logic to get us so far and we can come to the conclusion that there is in fact no self if we spent long enough using logic. However, this is futile as really all you need to do is look at reality. So to start with you will be using a combination of logic and observation in the experiments that I have put up on this blog. Your observations will be based purely in honesty and many people get to the stage where they can comprehend logically there is no self but they are not yet liberated.

When this stage is reached we have the problem that we know too well the truth but we cannot see it. This was the stage I was at for about two weeks. This part was the most frustrating part of it if I'm honest. I had come to the logical conclusion that the self was an illusion however I would come out with a description that went something along the lines of "I know there is no self but the ego keeps on taking over again".

This is actually the thought of self clinging on desperately. Why does this happen? Ok basically the brain has a conditioning mechanism and the input is filtered throught the conscious mind. I don't like the idea of dividing the brain but this is a good way to explain it to the layman.

We know this to be the case because if I said "you are a monkey",
you would not be convinced that you are a monkey straight away. Of course the brain has to interpret the input and evaluate it accordingly. Now I could hammer on like this and literally brainwash you in to thinking you are a monkey. Very unlikely but with enough persistence, I could get you to say finally "I am a monkey".
This would probably be more out of irritation than anything but at this point nothing  has happened. I would stop, satisfied that you think your a monkey and then you would think "I am a human, I am not a monkey at all".
We could carry on for years but you cannot convince the brain logically of something. If a belief is conditioned, you can not unthink this conditioning. This we know for a fact. Or else you could simply just decide one day that you were not afraid of something. This obviously doesn't happen.

If this time I dragged you to a mirror and said "you are a monkey look". When you looked in to the mirror, you saw the reflection of a monkey then your whole world view would shatter. You look at your body, its covered in hair, you were always quite short, you look at the very primitive opposing thumbs and then at this point the brain would accept that its model of reality needs updating.
Of course this would be quite a shock if you had been turned in to a monkey over night with my genetic transmorpher ray but what we are illustrating here, is how the brain works when it comes to accepting an updated view of reality. Once you see there is no self, then reality is updated to incorporate this new fact.
This is the nature of the operating system that the brain uses. We cannot change this faculty which is a good thing but this provides certain obstacles to overcome.

How did you see it Gh0$t V1Ru$?
Now this description may or may not make sense depending on where your at but I will describe the main milestones that really hit me. First of all, I did a few experiments and it was obvious to me very quickly that it was logically possible that there was no you, then came the hard task of seeing the truth.
 Now check out experiment no.4. The one where I told you to wear the frame of mind that there was no you for a week. Nobody told me to do this but what happened is by chance, I noticed certain responses were automatic and there was no way a thinker could be involved in the process at all.
This is what happened to me to give you the idea..

I was sat there watching Viet Nam playing Malaysia on ESPN. It wasn't the best football match I had ever seen but anyways,with ten minutes to go, the Vietnamese made a fast attacking surge and overwhelmed the Malaysian defence.

The striker had only the last man and the keeper to beat. He knocked it past the defender on the edge of the box, he had beaten him but as he went past, the defender made the slightest contact with him.
Instead of carrying on for a golden opportunity to slot it past the keeper who was rooted to the line, he decided to dive on the floor to try and get a penalty. Then the replay came on, as the slow mo ran, at the point where the slightest contact was made, I lurched forward and screamed "you cheating fucking bastard".

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had reacted to the replay. In the process of doing this, I had seen that the cognitive process of the thinker just simply wasn't there. Usually people would attribute these such outbursts to "my personality" or whatever but I had witnessed firsthand that in fact any such outbursts, are a result of the brain reacting to the environment and the whole idea of a thinker being responsible for all thought was an incorrect assumption.

The whole point of that experiement is for you to re - create this realisation in your own view of reality. From this point my reticular activation was set to keep noticing when I was running on auto pilot, which was alot more than I would ever have dreamed of and this gave me a good shove in the right direction as I was able to start looking at the inner processes and start to remove the parts that the self wasn't responsible for...

I had various Satori's while I was doing my inner looking and I had a lot of false positives/ false dawns of what the truth was. I started looking so hard at the fact there was no self, I had a head ache constantly for a week. I devoted all my energy to this process and it does take its toll a little bit. This is common from what I can tell and this part is tough.

Here is where you must hold your courage. The mind is resisting this with all its might and you pretty much know its the last stand of the false self. I literally noticed that the mind was blocking my awareness from seeing the truth in the end.

I was literally sat in the chair and I had to summon up all my inner reserves to take a look at reality. At this point the mind was screaming NOOOO!! and then I had to make one last push to look in reality. This final look was actually using the same awreness that is used in  meditation, the kind of awareness where you are looking at the mind.

Its so hard to describe this and I vowed I would try my damndest but words cannot explain it. It is not a special kind of looking, there is no special way of looking, it is just using your awareness to see but it is not thinking, it is LOOKING.
You have to force it in the end, the mind resists hard, you literally have to muster up something and bust throught the resistance. Well thats how it was for me anyway, other people have had it easier!

How do I know I'm done?
When your done, your done. Some people are looking for the heavens to open and a light to shine down on them. This ain't a happy ending or the end of your problems, this is just seeing the truth that you was an illusion all along. I saw it and then I chuckled to myself and I felt pretty good. There is no change, no shift everythings as it always was except there is no you behind it all.

There is just the experience, or what they call non - duality in Neo - advita teachings.

Top ten tips for looking

    Go to Experiment no.1

  • If you are thinking, then you are not looking
  • Smack the crap out of this from every angle
  • Logic becomes an obstacle to looking, always make sure you are looking instead of expecting an answer
  • Honesty must be used at all stages
  • Write your thoughts down on a piece of paper or on the computer. Write everything down right from the beginning no matter how crazy it sounds. Only you need ever look at this.
  • DON'T WORRY ABOUT HOW IT SOUNDS, write for the sake of writing and then scrutinise it
  • Get help, contact me or check out the Ruthless arena, we can help you to see no self there
  • If its frustrating and causing you discomfort then you are on the right track
  • Try and focus on the absence of a self behind the thoughts, actions and experiences and describe what it means
  • Do not trust anything that can not be seen directly in reality

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