What is the Illusory Self? – Drukama RadioTM Episode 17
Today Daishi talks to Liviyahu on the subject of the illusory self, identity or transient “sense of self”. Are all aspects of the identity illusory? If the identity is an illusion, what lies beyond it? How can we move beyond the illusory self?
Episode 17 Extract
What is the Illusory Self, Identity or Sense of Self?
“…basically, if someone tells me that ‘I’m a stupid person’, I get defensive and react against that because I’ve been somehow influenced as I grew up to defend myself, to feel that I need to defend me for whatever reason. It’s the way that the ego works, it’s the way that the ego is built, and it’s the way that we typically get influenced as we grew up. So, we defend ourselves.
Now, that’s in ignorance because we’re actually defending something that has nothing to do with the self at all. So, that would be an error. All of these voices, all of these different karmic loops, the synaptic mind that fires off different kinds of chemical reactions and causes us to have different kinds of feelings, sensations and experiences within, since they have nothing to do with the ‘me’ or whatever we’re calling it, the seer position, I have to become aware of them. Otherwise, what happens is they happen under the covers, under the radar. They go on happening unconsciously and I keep repeating or enforcing those loops.
And, when I create errors over and over again and I allow those errors to persist, I continually cause an entanglement in the illusory self identity. And if we keep doing that, we’re gonna find that suffering and delusion continue as well…”
Drukama™ podcast extract – Ep17
Full Transcript of this Episode
Liviyahu: Hello everyone and welcome to Drukama Radio. My name is Liviyahu and I will be your co-host today. We are honored and grateful to have Daishi with us again. Hi Daishi, how are you doing today?
Daishi: I am doing great, I hope you are doing good too and I am really excited about talking about the illusory self.
So, can you tell us what does the illusory self mean in practical terms?
Daishi: The illusory self, in practical terms, is the character or the idea of the identity that we believe that we are. So, in real quick concept, it is the self, the selfing, the person John Doe, that we have been societally and culturally identified with, and influenced by, our whole lives, but is really non-existent. Really does not contain anything of substance, it is transient, it is temporary and it is actually not there at all when we investigate it.
And as we look into it more and more, we see that the physical body, the emotional energy, the mental formations, all the sense perceptions, everything that is happening within us is coming and going. Nothing is permanent and infinite there, it is just transient and temporal. So, a thought will come up, an emotion will come up, a physical action, speech will come up, and even the macrocosmic or outside world will come and go, and nothing is sustained.
And there is something that is watching all of those things happen, including the memory, including the intellect, including the ego, the boundary of the body, the boundary of the person, all of these aspects of the self are coming and going and changing and shifting; none of them remaining consistent. And because of that we find we are trying to believe that is us, that the memories are us, that the projections are us, that the intellect is us, that the identity is us, that the ego boundary, the emotions, the thoughts, the speech, the actions and the outside will all relate to what we are, encompass what we are. But in truth, none of that is really true, because none of that is really real in the sense that it is not lasting. So we cannot have a consistent and persistent self associated to, really, inconsistent and not persistent things.
So you said that there is something watching all that, so if the identity is illusory and there is something beyond it, then what is that?
Hope this makes sense.
Daishi: Yeah it does, it is absolutely the right question because the observer cannot be the observed, right? In other words, if I can see something, it is not me. So if I see a thought, it is outside of the seer, therefore it is not the seer, it is the seen. So if I see a thought or I feel a feeling, that comes and goes, or I say words or I perform actions or I see events outside of me, all of those things are not me by default. They are outside of whatever it is I believe the “me” is.
So, as you mentioned, the only thing that we can kind of perceive as ourselves is the watching part of that, because the thought is not me – it comes and presents itself and somehow what I believe I am sees the thought. So, I see the thought and say “oh there is my thought” – it is not yours if you are looking at it. On one hand if I make a picture is that me? No, it is what you created, right, you created something that is not really you, it may represent some aspect of what you believe you are, but you cannot say “here I am, let me introduce you to myself” and point to a picture. I mean, an artist might do that because they are kind of creative in that way, but in truth that cannot happen, it would not be right.
So, if we look at a thought the same way, you may have a thought or see a thought or observe a thought, but in truth that thought is not you. So, the problem with all of this is that all of the collections of thoughts, of speech, of emotions, of actions, of the outside world, have been collected and experienced by something, and all of those experiences have conglomerated into what constitutes the identity or the illusory identity. In fact, all of those outside things that I think makes me up, cannot possibly make me up, they can only be experienced, they cannot really be what I am.
So, the path itself to begin with, at least in the beginning, is to really get through to where I am, or where whatever is, beyond all this fodder or this transient material. Because the truth of the matter is that all of the things that are happening in the physiological body and brain are mostly programmed and influenced data. So, from the time we were little babies in the womb itself we were inundated by information that shaped how we were going to grow and experience and perceive and filter things, and so on. So, our parents, and our friends, and government, and schools, you know, all societal and cultural influences has really shaped how the brain and the physiological body functions automatically.
So, if you put inside of that a perceiver that is just watching all of this, then there is kind of two separate things – there is the perceiver and then all of this mechanical process that seems to just be happening, right? Thoughts are coming and going, intellect is happening, memory is happening, projections are happening, feelings are happening, speeches, so all these things are happening and because of unconsciousness and unawareness we cling to these things as if they are me – I am stupid, I am great, I cannot do this, I can do this, I love this, I hate this and etcetera etcetera, it just goes on and on. And we are being fooled.
It is the greatest hoax ever played on humanity, to believe that those things are you. They are not, they are just experiences that have been shaped and formed by culture and society completely. And that is why there is a big debate about what is free will and what is not free will, because if you just took away the observer and let the machine run by itself – the brain, conscious, unconscious, the emotional reactions, the mental agitations and iterations and undulations and… and the physical speech and actions – you would have a robot. It has been programmed to love this and hate this, and as it goes through life it continually modifies itself to love and hate new things and experience things and make up decisions on what it believes on and what it does not believe in and so on and so forth, it really is just a machine.
Now, the problem is we have become habitually entangled in that machine to such a deep degree that we believe everything it thinks and choose and does is us, and that causes tremendous delusion and suffering. Tremendous. So, in the beginning of the path we kind of cut through all of that and get to a place of at least persistent observation from the soul singular place of seeing and perceiving. And that will cut us away from all the unnecessary ignorant filters and all the unnecessary and ignorant actions and reactions that are happening that cause karmic debt, or karmic action and consequence.
So, there are practices specifically to get back, back, back all the way to that source space and beyond, ok. But first we have to figure out what am I and what am I not. It is always best to start with what am I not. And, so, when we get through that we are cutting through that term “illusory self”, we are cutting through the thing I believe I am, but it turns out I am not at all. And that is essentially the most important part of the path in terms of setting the right foundation for the rest of the path, because I have to determine where I begin and end in order to get away from the delusional ignorance that is causing my confusion, delusion and suffering.
Liviyahu: Ok. I am kind of determining if I am understanding this correctly. So, the illusory self is composed of many things, like reactions and memories and experiences, and then it seems to be like one thing, but it is just like a ball of many things.
Daishi: It is like a salad. So you look and you say here is the salad, but what is a salad? It essentially is a bunch of things thrown into a bowl. It is not really one thing, so you could say salads, tomatoes and cucumbers, and so what if I pull a cucumber out of the salad bowl, I took all the cucumbers, is it still salad? At some point it just becomes lettuce. Here is a good way to look at it: if you have a memory of the past, is that you?
Liviyahu: No, I do not think so.
Daishi: It is you watching something.
Liviyahu: It is an experience.
Daishi: Yeah, you watching an experience. If you have a projection of the future, in the same way, that is not you, it is you watching an experience. So, the past and the future are not really you, they were you reviewing something you observed a long time ago. However, a lot of people inherently hold on to their past and projected futures as intrinsically connected to them. That it is their memory, it is their thing, their projection, part of their identity, it is part of what makes up who they are, when in fact it has nothing to do with who they are at all. It just has to do with an experience the observer went through at some point, and if you understand that the intellect, the conversations of the brain, the thoughts of the mind, the emotional reactions to those memories and everything else connected to it are also not you, then we are dealing with a huge salad.
We are saying all this salad is me, but no, it is all different parts – the intellect is not you, it just crunches numbers and shows you how to make a peanut butter sandwich. The memories are not you, we have established the projections are not you. The boundary in your body, can you say that the cells are you? No, because I can cut my finger off and I am still here. So, where does the purity of you begin and then all the other essential extra stuff from the physiological brain-body begin? And that really establishes the illusory self because what happens is people ignorantly connect with and associate themselves with all of the programming and influence of everything else around them that they had nothing to do with. That really does not represent who they are.
Liviyahu: So, what can we do to move beyond the illusory self?
Daishi: The whole path is to get to a liberating point, as they say in mysticism, to be liberated. Liberation merely means the end of error. There are no more errors. So liberation means that I have cut off errors, I have cut off the ignorance or delusion to such an extent that I am no longer entangled in any of it. So I have become aware of everything that I am not, completely, all the way down to the unconscious level.
So, in order to take the first steps that are the hardest steps on the path, building that foundation, we have to establish where we are not, who we are not. The thing that we play, the John Doe, the accountant, the two cars, the big salary, it is like a movie role, it is like an actor, it is like a character in a comic book. All of that stuff that happens to be what the physiological brain-body is doing every day, we have to move back, back, back behind until we get to a point where we are sure we are this seer only. And all of the seen has been categorized outside of that seer aspect.
And that takes some practice and some work because the more we go backwards, the more we watch the habitual karmic tendencies play out and detach from them. So, in other words, as we move back toward that seer position, we start to notice that – Oh there is something that I thought I reacted to, but now I clearly see this emotional or mental event and I do not react to it now because now I am in control of what is happening in that process. And that karmic loop has been unlooped, it has been detangled, untangled, it has been released.
So, as we move back, back, back further to the seen only position, we cut and clip all of these unconscious actions and habits and reactions, and we become clearer and clearer and clearer and clearer until we are absolutely purely stabilized in one seer position and not driven in any way at all, by anything other than that seer position. We are in control.
Liviyahu: Ok, so, in the last episode there was some talk about the mind stream and the voices inside our heads. Can you tell us how these relate to the identity or the illusory self?
Daishi: Absolutely. So, that is a good question. So, the conversations, the music playing in our head, the emotional reactions, these are just habit energy circuits. In other words, the physiological brain in the body is reacting to circumstances, to conditions, to causes and effects. So basically, if someone tells me that I am a stupid person, I get defensive and react against that because I have been somehow influenced as I grew up to defend myself, to feel that I need to defend me for whatever reason – it is the way that the ego works, it is the way that the ego is built, and it is the way that we typically get influenced as we grow up. So we defend ourselves. Now that is an ignorance, because we are actually defending something that has nothing to do with the self at all. So that would be an error.
All of these voices, all of these different karmic loops the synaptic mind that fires off different kinds of chemical reactions and causes us to have different kinds of feelings, sensations and experiences within, since they have nothing to do with the me, or whatever we are calling it, the seer position, I have to become aware of them. Otherwise what happens is they happen under the covers or under the radar – they go on happening unconsciously and I keep repeating or enforcing those loops. And when I create errors over and over again, and I allow those errors to persist, I continually cause an entanglement in the illusory self identity. And if we keep doing that, we are going to find that suffering and delusion continues as well.
So we have to become aware of that process precisely because when we get really aware of it, on a conscious and unconscious level, and become ultimately illumined in that degree; all of those errors are cut off and life becomes like a stream – it just flows perfectly. And then the suffering and delusion is stopped, and the errors, miscalculations, judgements and erroneous data conditions are all waved away, they are gone. I no longer rely on any of that and I become clear of life and its purpose and its process.
Liviyahu: That is awesome stuff. Can you give us any information on the new website?
Daishi: We can, it is going to be up at the end of next week, I believe Friday of next week will be the launch date. So we are looking forward to that, we have a bunch of people excited about experiencing that for the first time so we are inviting everybody in, whoever is interested, we are keeping in touch with those that have contacted us about it.
But, to finish the idea and the thought here: if we had a world of people who were clearer about these erroneous conditions, the illusory self, if we had a very small population of the world who were crystal clear about the difference between the seer and everything in front of it, the illusory self, and became detached or untangled from it – not that we do not use it, we still use the ego, we still use the mental aggregates or whatever forms the self, we still use the emotions, we still use the body, but we are just clear about using the body rather than it using us.
If we can have people move into just that space, we would have a very productive and beautiful world, because all of the fears would go away, all of the judgements would go away, all of the calculations and agendas would go away, and we would become honest, clear, concise and precise, radiantly pristine people. Who could associate and connect with each other in a wonderful way.
So, this is the most important thing, I think, for all of humanity, to understand these basic ideas so that we can begin to experience life in a very profound, clear and correct way. So, the idea of Drukama or any authentic teachings are to bring you to a place where that clearness happens for you and you get into the driver’s seat rather than being driven around to destinations that you have not chosen.
So, although that may be the beginning point for the path in some regards, it is the place that I think everyone needs to at least get to, and it is the place that we are trying to provide step-by-step instructions, an easy, simple way, at your home, to get there as concisely and quickly as possible.
Liviyahu: Great. Thank you so much Daishi for joining us today and sharing your time and energy with us.
Daishi: Thank you for being here, I appreciate it also, I know you have a lot going on and I appreciate you spending time doing this, so thank you for that.
Liviyahu: You are welcome. And if any of you guys listening have any questions or comments about the show, please send us an email at email@example.com. Thanks for being with us for today’s show, and we will be seeing you next time.