Discovering the chooser

This exercise only succeeds if you rush through it very QUICKLY. Be prepared to IMMEDIATELY begin the exercise after these instructions are read.

From each of the following pairs, choose your favorite “word”-base your decision ONLY on the actual sound of the word when it is spoken aloud. Do this entire list in less than 10 seconds-one second per pair. Try to make real choices that you will stand by for the rest of your life. Take this exercise as seriously as possible. Start NOW:

Bell or Paper?

Aurora or Weather?

Vinyl or Canvas?

Bark or Leaf?

Dulorig or Mahwoni?

Machine or Pejorative?

Condemn or Wrilgrug?

Mugwamp or Thingamajig?

Rutabaga or Sesame?

Mother or Father?

Ask yourself,

Who makes these decisions? Why am I not invited to the “debate” that must have been held “somewhere” within my mind?

Why are some decisions so easy to make?

Why are some decisions so hard for me to make? How do I feel when decisions come slowly?

Why do I resist the time requirement of this exercise? What part of me dislikes rushing?

Now that I have made them, how do I feel when I am forced to live “forever” with these” artificially rushed” decisions? What suffers in this process? Why do I want the right to change my mind if I want to later?

Did I somehow feel the exercise “played unfair” when nonsense “words” were used?

Did I feel immoral making the final choice?

Did I feel anger toward the creator of this exercise for asking me to make the final choice?

Why do I insist that the set of letters “bannanna” is a misspelling of the word “banana”?

How is this exercise similar to “working”?

Intermediated Mitigation Of Veneer Isotelepathy By Itchytoowamees Pancultural Psychicorporeal Transformationalism

Read the below strange report from an alternate universe.

This topic has been such a media darling lately that frankly, I’ve had it. Isotelepathy this, rotting flesh that-I say let’s drop it. By now, we all could get Phd’s in Psychicorporealtransformationalism. So, here and now, is the last word on it that you’ll hear from me. I’m going to lay it all out one final time, and that’s it!

Even on the very day that dirt was invented, a line or two scratched in it could represent anything. Oh, to have been there thousands of years ago to see it done for the first time in that prehomo moment, when Harry Nowashamogli watched Loama Itchytoowamee’s fingernail furrow the ground a few strokes to indicate just how to get to the annual intertribal mastodon picnic site. Did Mr. Nowashamogli dance in transported delight at being the first ever to be symbolically told where to go? (Ah, the sweetness of unrequited historical wondering!)

Who among us is not now utterly familiar with every nuance of the Dead Swamp Clay Shards on which we have the precious record of Ms. Itchytoowamee’s mind reformation formula? Who doesn’t recognize the Dead Mastodon symbol now fad-plastered on every retail product like its predecessor, the Smiley Face? It seems unbelievable-when even small children can recite The Litany of Onemindedness-that just a few years ago not a single reference to Onemindedness was being made anywhere except in obscure cult publications. Who knew? Yet, within months of Ms. Itchytoowamee’s burial chamber being opened, the world wide pyschocultural transformation was virtually complete.

Okay, forgive my boring history lesson. We all know now after Mr. Nowashamogli ran off to the picnic, Ms. Itchytoowamee immediately recorded the now famous Shard Symbols that prove that the basis of symbolism is Onemindedness. We know that her explication was so clear that no modern human nervous system could help but be instantly transformed by even an incidental exposure to it.

It’s quite accepted now that Ms. Itchytoowamee did know the magnitude of the event. We are also sure that she knew her discovery would require a posttech, media exhausted, Beavis-class world like ours to take hold. She knew that her Personal Enlightenment Formula needed rough edged personalities (like ours were pre-Shards) to find psychic purchase.

From the moment of the first viewings of her Shards by Professor Yogijihosaphat to the latest person being shown them tomorrow during some deep jungle lost tribe’s blessed transegomografacational rite, her invention’s fecundity is absolute. To date, every human being shown the Shards has immediately had the veil of separateness lifted in that universal wave of mother’s hug sweetness in which we are all immersed. What poignancy did Ms. Itchytoowamee feel knowing that only she-for millennia to come-would know the power of her simple scratches in clay?

And the millennia passed. Histories upon histories of isoego conflict gradually formed an exact environment that could support the creation of modern humanity’s psychophysiological readiness. Were we ready or were we ready?

Blessedly that is the past. Let’s look at the profundity of Ms. Itchytoowamee’s Omniego discovery that we are all sharing One Mind. We all have this ability to make abstract designs bend into meaningfulness solely because only One Mind is shared by all. As an almost rhetorical endeavor, I have created the set of small designs you see above beneath Ms. Itchytoowamee’s First Symbol. After they were created, I then “named” them with the first word that each “Re-Minded” me of. As an example only-certainly not as a lesson-let me list the words and let you “guess” (ha ha) which of the designs below “deserve” which names. The names are

Vice, Maze, CB, Pyramid, Window, Tunnel, Shotgun, Clover, Tubecross, Squaircle, Trellis, Bart, Phonehead, Breakfast, Aid, Tar, Boxes, Checkers

These designs and names are in no particular order.

Of course, anyone who has been exposed to Ms. Itchytoowamee’s Shards immediately knows which names “belong” to which designs. Before Shards (B.S.), only highly evolved souls could quickly sort out which name “goes with” which design, but even a common B.S. person back then could eventually solve this naming game, because the veneer of their B.S. isolated egos could be pierced enough for symbols to have universal interpretations without pre-learning an agreed upon response (hence the use of their international road signs.) Of course, B.S. cultures “ascribed” meanings to words and other symbols and “learning” was the universally adopted method for achieving this Lesser State of Onemindedness-commonly called “an education” back then.

Now at last the true destiny of humanity can be engendered. Without the obfuscations of separateness, all of us share the delight of knowing without doubt that the One Mind within each of us is the Grand Interpreter of all experiencing-be it a cloud, a baby’s hand, a mote of dust in an afternoon’s sunbeam, or a spider in one’s hair. The One Mind translates all symbols, and every perception is symbolic and interpretable.

As Ms. Itchytoowamee discovered, a few lines can symbolize a great mass of stinking rotten mastodon flesh and bones, because all of us are directly in touch with an incredible, infinitely flexible “meaning machine,” the One Mind of all. A few lines that magically become a dead mastodon are not magic at all. The lines have almost nothing in common with that which they symbolize. But the One Mind sees enough there to which meaning can be attached. However, the lines are not intrinsically mastodonish. The One Mind decides what meaning to give any symbol and has absolute freedom.

Similarly, being Sharded, everyone knows that everything we cherish and hate is only a matter of interpretation. Having fully learned this lesson, and having surrendered to the One Mind, peace of mind and absolute freedom to mean has been granted to us. At last, the world is as we wish it to be, because we now know it always has been. The choice has always been ours. Imagine the difficult interpretation efforts that this very simple essay would have required of a B.S. type, instead of being effortlessly seen for what it truly is, a symbolic word dance reverberating and celebrating that ecstasy of infinite symbol fluidity that Ms. Itchytoowamee first knew.

Ask yourself,Is there really any basis for this odd concept? Do I share in Onemindedness?

Am I agreeing with others about what symbols mean because I was taught that they did or because I intuitively knew the meanings at some deep level?

Would I really want a world in which everyone knew EXACTLY what I meant? Is there a downside to this?

Would I miss being “allowed” to interpret the meaning of things and words and having “my own” special meanings?

Am I really “getting off” on being, in a fairly strong way, the “God of Meaning” for my life? Is this a freedom I should be appreciating more?

Just how much AM I actually “adding to” my daily life that is beyond the “content” of life? Just how much am I projecting inner values for outer events and things that “just aren’t there?”

Just how much AM I actually “adding to” my inner thoughts’ values that is beyond their meanings? How much more do I “pump them up” when in actuality they start out as merely “faintly meaning?” Do I indulge in making thoughts far more important than they actually are? What is the reason for this if I do do this? What have I got invested in that process that requires that I “make a big deal” out of thoughts?

If I could see thoughts in exactly the same way that I now see a sensation-message from my skin that prompts me to scratch it, how much of my day WOULD I spend attenuating to thinking? How much of it would I, like hardly noticed sensations of my skin being brushed by my clothing, simply ignore?

Am I a thoughtoholic?

Where have you been

Time to take stock and see what profits, if any, have come from it your participating with the previous Consciousness Exercises. Thus far you’ve experimented with a lot of aspects of life that all people share. It will serve now to lightly review your progress.

FIRST: Take the time to read the following listing of topics we’ve covered:

Perceptual processes, memory, sensations, psychological patterns, morals, values, spiritual beliefs, religious beliefs, philosophical axioms, theoretical alternate states of consciousness, “higher” consciousness, the consciousness of others, emotions, dreams, dream consciousness, deep sleep consciousness, ego, individual identity, perfection, psychological healing, aphorisms, being, witnessing, imagination, creativity, spontaneity, personal power, mental techniques, destiny, the future, NOW, death, absolutism, love, humor, energy, false assumptions, practical jokes, immortality, silence, mirrors, fulfillment, relationships, fictional and cultural beliefs, beauty, desire, gratitude, temptation, forgiveness, relativity, chance, meaning, super beings, sociological impact, survival, voices inside your head, blaming, being jaded, animal consciousness, garbage, how to make faces, and the ultimate truth.

SECOND: After reading the above, consider that the Consciousness Exercises have taught skills that improve, in diverse ways, all the various operations of human consciousness. Once mastered, many of these skills are dramatically empowering.

THIRD: Consider the scope of your life now-the huge range, the vast expanse of all you find within your intellectual, emotional and “spiritual” reach.

FOURTH: Add to your thinking that over a million persons have read at least a few of the exercises, and only a few hundred, like yourself, actually purchased them. Think about how rare that makes you. Think about whether that’s a good or bad rarity.

FIFTH: Think about all the above for a few minutes. Get a good feel for the ground that’s been covered, and come to at least a few conclusions about the nature of the Consciousness Exercises that are yet to come.

Ask yourself,Am I rare? What does your common, typical, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, rare person do about being rare?

Have I gotten my money’s worth yet?

How seriously have I taken this program?

Have I found at least a few “nuggets” in my panning? Do I DAILY practice some of the techniques? Do I review previous exercises? Why?

Have I passed them on to friends?

Have I found “inner hungers” intensifying or being recognized?

Do I feel I know “this Edg character” pretty well now? Do I have his “number?” Can I see his agenda and where he “wants me to end up?”

Have I been brain washing myself? Have I joined a cult with one member?

Do I have active challenges that I am fairly certain could be addressed wholly or partially by the techniques, but I just haven’t done so? Why not?

Based on my experiments, have I changed my definitions for “ego, consciousness, personality, and self?” Have I changed my values?

Do I believe that I am something amazingly grand? Cosmic even?

Do I believe? Do I?

Am I going to make it all the way?

Who would notice?

Getting saturated

Time to take some personal-belief inventory by looking at some “new age” definitions. Read the words and meanings below. The definitions may not be the same as yours; if so, pause and compare your definition with them. If you are unclear or cannot make distinctions, well, work on that!


There are two kinds-individual and Universal. Universal Consciousness is ALL THIS. Whenever Universal Consciousness creates an individual nervous system, it is said to be localized or an individual. An analogy for this is: water, when it is found inside an open jar that at the bottom of the ocean, can be said to be “ocean too” even though it is inside the jar, but from the “jar’s point of view” the water inside the jar is “different” from “all that other water” just because of its “association” with the jar. The jar is wrong about this. People are jars filled with Universal Consciousness. Universal Consciousness is NOT SENTIENT. It is ALL THIS, but it is not the witness.


These are words for individual consciousness. There is only one soul, but it appears that there are many souls, but it is only like the ocean inside many jars. You have the same soul as everyone else, and it is vastly bigger than the jar’s boundaries. Imagine a master-puppeteer with a huge number of hands placed inside all the “puppets” of the world-it would spoil the “play” if the master-puppeteer had all the puppets always “knowing” that they were puppets. It’s more fun to pretend that there is no connection between the puppets, and so the master-puppeteer has the puppets pretend to be individuals.


An adjective that means that an action, thought, or emotion is directly related to Universal Consciousness. ALL THIS is within Universal Consciousness-just like everything inside a dream that you have is inside your mind. And so, everything is spiritual. It is an erroneous conceit of an individual to label only some things as spiritual.


There is no way to define this-even these words here. But, here’s what “witness” means when one pretends that it is definable: it is the sentience that is aware of the doers-doings-dones that comprise all the “actions” of Universal Consciousness. The witness is the only entity in the audience that watches the great drama put on by Universal Consciousness. Universal Consciousness is what the witness would see if it looked into a mirror. Universal Consciousness is an illusion-a precise, but nonetheless reflected image. The witness is absolute; any THING is not the witness. Any thing is relative. Any thing is only found within the illusion that is Universal Consciousness. Universal Consciousness is not the witness, but it is as close as you can get! You are the witness. Everything else (thoughts, personality, consciousness, emotions, perceptions, memories, etc.) is not you.


That part of the “water inside the jar” that seems to create concepts and seems to have perceptions that are localized and shaped and colored by the intrinsic characteristics of the jar. Hence, a human jar has very complex and sophisticated “mental activity.” Animals, less so. Plants, lesser so. Rocks, still less…..and so on. “Mind” and “self” are often not distinguished by the individual as separate objects, but they are. A self HAS a mind. Universal Consciousness has both of them within its drama.


A concept that individual minds use to think about Universal Consciousness.


All knowledge is false-in that it is illusory. If a dream character says, “I’m alive,” this is an analogy of how knowledge is false. Anything within the dream is false/illusory. Anything you see in the mirror is NOT YOU-it is an image only. Anything presented to the witness is NOT the witness.


There is no such thing. A dream character cannot become a living entity. Just so, an individual soul cannot become the witness. The only thing a character in a dream or “you” in Universal Consciousness’ great drama can achieve is harmony with the knowledge of the definitions on this page-that is, your character in the drama can become so saturated with this knowledge that it no longer feels threatened or thrilled in any way whatsoever by the drama, and yet, your character will be a perfect actor in it! This is the equivalent of waking up while still keeping a dream going and realizing your true status while at the same time “letting the dream continue and acting the role properly within the dream.”

Ask yourself,What does my image in the mirror see when it looks at me?

How can I possibly use the above definitions and mean them deeply? Wouldn’t it be/mean the end of “me?”

Why bother with all this abstract stuff? Why shouldn’t I just go on believing myself to be a sentient entity? What harm could come to me if I don’t believe the above?

If the master-puppeteer sees fit to have me do/think/feel something, who am I to argue with him/her?

Final lessons

With these last exercises, I will start with a cartoon. After reading the cartoon, you will then be able to proceed with the exercise.

These last exercises will be strong philosophical statements about the ultimate truths of life. Your job is to decide if they are in harmony with your experiences during this Complete Consciousness Exploration Program, and your values, beliefs, religion, philosophy, and knowledge about psychological patterns. If you find yourself conflicting with the statements, then your job is to resolve that conflict. If you have been participating with the previous exercises, you WILL have had experiences that will have given you certain tools with which to bring about such resolution.

Today’s exercise: Can I find my Witness

Introducing Walter Ego. He symbolizes your plight. His problems are your problems. His desires are your desires. The more you identify with Walter, the more the remaining exercises will impact your knowledge about consciousness.

Walter’s issue today is that he cannot experience the witness of his life. He knows someone or something is receiving all his experiences, but he cannot find a way to experience that witness as a perceivable object. None of his senses are sensitive enough to capture the witness.

Just so, you too have a witness of all your experiences that cannot be experienced as an object. The witness, it turns out, is simply you. You are the witness, but any THING that is presented to this witness (any workings of your mind or senses) is not the witness. Emotions, memories, sensations, ideas, mental images, values, personality, psychological patterns-these are all THINGS!

You can be the witness, but you can only know THINGS.

You cannot know the witness.

Ask yourself,Is this possible for me to verify? Have I ever “seen” that there is something that is not any of the qualities I label as “me”-something that is, nonetheless, me? Can Walter ever actually see his cartoonist-face to face?

Do I ever feel like a cartoon character? Do some parts of my life happen to me as if they were “sketched by a higher power?” Do I feel absolutely compelled at times to such a degree that I wonder “what came over me?”

Do I sometimes have nothing to do BUT witness what is happening? Do I have patterns of behavior and mind that are so practiced that I can just go along for the ride and literally do nothing but accomplish everything?

When I am having an intense emotion do I sometimes feel helplessly in its grasp?

When I wake up in the morning after a dream, who is the “I” that is so certain that it had the dream WHILE THE DREAM WAS HAPPENING but I was still asleep?

Cartoon universe

Walter is mistaken. He believes he can become sentient and is willing to die to become so. Keep in mind that Walter is exactly what he is-a cartoon character-not even a representation of a real life person. And keep in mind that these last lessons are like a final examination-you have to decide if any of these statements are true or not.

Always we are in the middle.Always new horizons beckon over the next hill.Always grass is greener over there. Always it seems there are good reasons to be moving on, moving up…..moving!Always we can be dissatisfied with where we are at-in every way, especially spiritually.But…..

The only source of perfection is THAT from which ALL THIS springs. ALL THIS is the sum total of all the THINGs that are time/space bound and therefore also relative. It is the “job” of ALL THIS to reflect (as a mirror) THAT which is sometimes called the absolute, the witness. In doing this, characters are created within ALL THIS. These characters explore qualities as the qualities are symbolized in a nervous system in time and space.

Characters (whether inside a cartoon or inside ALL THIS) seem to perceive THINGS. And an “evolutionary” goal of a character (Walter or you) could be to arrive at that point when ALL THIS is recognized as a reflection of the immutable potentiality of the witness. Then, to the character, every speck of ALL THIS becomes a reflection of perfection. The character is then said to be enlightened when this is deeply recognized. However, whether the character recognizes this or not, it is still true, and the character is a reflection of perfection whether it seems to know it or not. Enlightenment is a word to describe characters who seem to know they are not sentient.

All characters’ patterns (psychological, physical, etc.) ARE in complete harmony with the flow of the entirety of ALL THIS’s patterns, but the individual character is not always “drawn” to seem to understand this truth. When the character is drawn to seem to understand that truth, then it is said that the character is in harmony with the evolution of life and is “enlightened.” This means very little in that there is no difference between the basic truth of an enlightened and a “not” enlightened character. It is just that the enlightened character seems to be expressing “in harmony” qualities, and the other characters are expressing other qualities. Both kinds of characters are completely created by ALL THIS-just a characters in a book are created by one author. All characters in a book are equally real, equally in harmony with the author, etc.

Note: It is not the job of ALL THIS to only symbolize those qualities that we call “good.” ALL THIS’s job is to symbolize EVERYTHING, every quality. From the view of the individual nervous systems, this symbolization appears to happen over time in what appears to be a “drama” called “real life.” Characters are used to “explore” ALL qualities-good and not-good. The author decides which characters explore which qualities. Since the characters are not sentient, there is no harm to those who seem to “get lousy lives.”

As the character seems to begin to understand that its patterns ARE in harmony with the patterns of ALL THIS, the character is said to “evolve.” As it evolves, the character learns that it is “only” a time dependent entity with no sentience-like Walter. The character learns that it is ENTIRELY created by something other than itself. The character is not the author of its life, thoughts, feeling, actions, etc.

The character seems to gradually come to accept its synchrony with ALL THIS. It gradually seems to realize that its qualities are authored by Universal Consciousness (God) and discovers that its individuality continues without any sense of effort. Enlightened characters are, as a daily feature, seemingly experiencing the knowledge that ALL THIS springs from one source, the witness.

The character seems to come to learn that it is illusory, and that all, all, all springs forth from “beyond” the character’s domain. With enough understanding, it seems that the witness is “appreciated” or “realized” or “recognized to be beyond characterhood” by the character, and this is reflected in the content of the character’s patterns-to some extent.

The content of the character’s life cannot be used as a proof of this realization. This is because the character is not a sentient entity-it simply cannot know anything. It can only symbolize and seem to know. Because most characters get more “panels” out of life than Walter does, the illusion of sentience is much more compelling. Memory of previous “real life panels” is one way to develop the illusion that the character “was” previously.

Universal Consciousness (ALL THIS) has complete freedom to write the life of the character in any way-even if the character seems to be enlightened. For instance, Walter can say, “I’m enlightened” but no viewer of “his” world would agree, and any viewer would agree that anything can happen to Walter in the next panel. Always though, the witness is beyond all such doings. And always the harmonizing of the character can be further refined (“more” can be imagined,) but finally the character seems to “see” that the only thing left to do is to quit seeking for more!

At this point, it is said that Unity prevails as the dominant theme/paradigm of the character’s patterns since the “seeker” has quit, and duality has subsided to its state of least differentiation. From then on, there is no here, there is no there to go to, no future that will happen, and no past that happened-despite that it so exquisitely seems to be “otherwise” to the character-even the “enlightened” character.

In this cartoon universe, live life one cartoon panel at a time. Any panel has NOW-and enough of it to satisfy any appetite for it!

Ask yourself,Is this a bunch of hooey to me, or is it parallel to the basic beliefs of every major religion?

Where’s the profit in my convincing myself that I have NOTHING to do or say about my life, my personality, my future? If I do that, won’t that be a form of very low self esteem?

Why should I participate with this so called Universal Consciousness? Given its definition, how can I not? Isn’t this very thought I am having right now created by it?

What is my next thought? Do I have to know what my next thought is in order to prove that I am, indeed, the author of my thoughts?

Have I ever, in all my life, ever, EVER known the future-even one second into the future?

So what if I don’t know the future-don’t I have my absolute confidence that I am the doer of my life? Aren’t I sure that I am creating my life?

How am I different from Walter? How can I prove it? When I stand before a mirror, is that like watching Walter? Is my image a “walter?”

Am I an image?

Of what?

Our partial selves

This exercise’s statement, again, is something you should compare your own experiences with. It is a powerful and extraordinarily subtle set of concepts. It may take several reading of it to grasp its depths. Give it your best shot.

Your final exam continues.

Walter “has gone” “his” whole “life” without a bottom half of his “body.” So too, we go through life thinking what we are experiencing is “everything that is” when all along we are ignoring an important aspect of life. Wherever our attention goes, life appears complete, but parts of ourselves, that we assume we have, are simply not there-like an understanding about true sentience, for instance.

When we examine our childhood memory, we can see that what we seem to be now was almost non-existent then. One’s body, one’s personality, and one’s daily life-one’s qualities-were then almost completely different from what is experienced now. Yet, even as children, we felt complete, and now, we also feel complete. Just as your childhood “person” could not know how much more was yet to be added to what “it” defined as “me,” so too is the adult character you think you are now not recognizing that another “half” of life is yet to be UNDERSTOOD-the truly sentient part.

When experiences are examined closely, anyone can agree that they are things that have a witness “of” them, and so, to find that witness, we naturally start our search for it by taking a particular experience and examining it. In doing so, we “set aside” those aspects of the experience that are not the witness. And so, in this process of elimination, we remove four “non-witness parts” of an experience to see “what’s left to be called the witness.” (This goes against our ultimate definition of the witness which is that it is the source of all qualities, but let’s “go with this” logical error for awhile.)

1. First, we remove what actually happened “out there”-the object of the experience, because, obviously, that is something that was observed and is therefore not the observer, the witness.

2. Next we remove something that also happened but is not generally thought to be part of the experience-this is the processing done by a nervous system while perceiving the experience. This means we do not think that the witness is our perceptual apparatus such as our eyes or ears, and also it means that we do not think that those parts of the brain that process and store the perceptual data about the experience, after the data is delivered to the brain by the senses, is the witness. We know this, because parts of our brains can be surgically removed, and this may render us blind, or deaf, or we will have a loss of memory, but we are still WHOLLY able to witness other kinds experiences after that surgery. The witness is still there-completely.

Thus, accepting incoming data, the memory forming process, and memories are not the witness. These are activities of a nervous system which are also observable and hence not the actual witness of the experience. All that has happened is that an external event has been modeled inside a nervous system. Thus, we remove the “receiver” portion (the embodiment of the modeling) of an experience from our “witness suspect list.”

Here is an analogy about this concept that a nervous system’s receiving process is not the witness: a computer too can receive a message that is sent to it, and it can then process the message by sorting it, storing it, and ALSO storing the fact that “a message was stored by its systems.” In doing such tasks, the computer never even comes close to being a sentient entity. Everyone knows that there is not a “being” inside the computer that “knows” it has been “experiencing” messages and processing them. Exactly parallel to this we find that the workings of a human mind are a series of processes that we could imagine being precisely replicated by some futuristic computerized robot. We would almost certainly erroneously call the robot conscious-despite the fact that all we have done is make a better computer which-like today’s computers-still does not have a witness. A human nervous system is a futuristic robot made out of organic materials, and none of its processes are the witness.

Any computer can be programmed to say, “I am experiencing,” but we know this is not a proof of the computer having an “I.” Now, consider the fact that your body’s “computer” can cause your mouth to say, “I am experiencing.” Yet, when this occurs, you strongly feel that there is an “I,” and this is quite compelling-we believe that the witness is this “sense of I.” The witness is there-it seems-but the witness is not a process that happens inside our nervous system. We are mislead, as we’ll see below, because, it turns out, this sense of “I” being there is itself a “process of sentience” within the nervous system, and this process is merely symbolic of the actual witness. The nervous system too can be seen as a computer, and the witness aspect of an experience is NOT provided by the nervous system.

3. Now we remove the ego from the experience-if it’s there at the time of the experience-which is not always the case. The ego is most easily observed whenever the words “I, me, myself, mine, etc.” are part of an experience. Here’s an example: I see a pile of lumber. If I think that I am a carpenter, I “take ownership” of that lumber by starting to think about how I might build with it. If I am not a carpenter, I just observe the lumber and go on my way. Once you limit yourself to a definition (carpenter) your ego is that part of your mental processes that “defends” that position by spurring thoughts like “I build things. I built that. I own tools. etc.” This “ego process” records a history of such thoughts in one’s memory, and the ego points to that history in memory and says, “See, I’m all that! I’ve been here my whole life.” But, in fact, “ego” is just a definable set of thoughts about all the experiential data in the past having been noted and received by another process, the ego, in the nervous system. As children we gradually form our egos by a process in which identification with our body-minds leads us to begin to “clothe” ourselves with concepts about ourselves.

4. Finally we must remove the “process of sentience” itself. Most people think they are sentient entities, when instead, their nervous systems are creating processes that symbolize or mimic sentience. They then use a lot of “ego energy” processing, owning, defending, and demanding that this sentience process be recognized as the witness, but the witness does nothing, is nothing-it is not a thing (object, process, etc.)

This quality we are calling “process of sentience” is also not the witness. It is a process that powerfully masquerades as and compellingly symbolizes a quality which is called “the witness.” But, without a nervous system there is nothing to “run” this process-hence, even the process of sentience is temporary-mortal. This process can be isolated and experienced separately-by human nervous systems. It is possible for a human nervous system to shut down all perception, memory, feelings and thoughts (to learn how to do this, choose from a variety of techniques taught by thousands of teachers-several of which have been part of the consciousness exercises,) and as the body-mind shuts down its various activities (perception, remembering, analysis, etc.,) at some point, the nervous system would experience the quality of least excitation or “pure sentience”-pure awareness and nothing else.

In this “waiting-state,” the human mind CANNOT distinguish the difference between sentience and the witness-since there is no other processing also going on in the nervous system to do this distinguishing or understanding! After this waiting-state “passes,” the mind can THEN say, “During that time, I was paying attention to self-knowingness-the process in my nervous system that symbolizes that I AM, and I see that there is a sense of being aware that ‘runs throughout’ all my experiences.” But this is NOT the same as experiencing the witness-instead it is experiencing a state of least excitation of the nervous system. For advanced nervous systems, there is the possibility of having such a powerful and subtle “awareness of awareness” during all experiences (the state of least excitation of the nervous system is then perceived as an all time reality,) that this constitutes a higher or “enlightened” level of operations. However, such nervous systems still do not have an ability to sense or perceive the witness. The witness has no qualities and therefore cannot be an object of perception.

So, after taking away what happened, what happened to note what happened, what happened to note that a noting of a happening took place, what happened as side notes by the ego about how it all happened to it, and that during all these happenings a sense of beingness permeated the experience, what do we have left?

The witness. This witness is subtle beyond words. You ARE the witness, but you cannot experience your “self” directly.

You are the witness-not the functioning of a nervous system. The futuristic robot may be able to mimic your operations, but not the witness. The nervous system’s activities are witnessed, but the witness is not observable by the nervous system. The eye cannot see itself. The “I” cannot “know” itself; it only “is” itself.

Walter, the cartoon character, and also all seemingly sentient beings (nervous systems) are merely representations of sentience-neuro-poetic expressions that symbolize sentience. Human nervous systems are vastly superior representational media-far exceeding Walter’s pen and ink media’s ability to symbolize. Humans, who can hardly be fooled into thinking that Walter is sentient, appear to be able to easily fool each other that this is not the case for themselves.

Using logic though, the human mind can see that the quality “sentience” is only meaningful relative to “something observable” while the witness is beyond all qualities and non-qualities. Logical understanding of these concepts forms a basis for a non-sentient character’s “evolution.”

The witness is not and has not any quality. It is beyond being. It is beyond non-being. Nothing completely symbolizes it, but ALL THIS (Universal Consciousness) is a very good attempt!

Anything you know or experience is conceptual, can be objectified, and is, in fact, an event happening in the nervous system that symbolizes yet some other concept, object or event. These are all time bound things that can be witnessed.

Ask yourself,So what is the witness?

Do I want to evolve? Why should I bother if the above and other recent exercises are true? Where’s my motivation to do so-wouldn’t it come from Universal Consciousness too? In fact, why don’t I just go out and do anything I please-it wouldn’t be my fault, since I am only a witness-not the doer-doing-done?

Am I free beyond words? Is “all of me” really just a part of ALL THIS and the “real me, the witness” is some quasi-understandable, non-material, ghost in the machinery of my nervous system? Is there an ultimate audience of one witness-which this vast drama (that includes this thing called “me”) is a symbolic reflection of?

If “I know that I AM,” is a true statement, isn’t that being sentient of true sentience? In every experience, I am, right?

What would happen if I “hung out” in that “pure sentience” thing for a long time? Would that kind of processing of my nervous system affect my other kinds of processing?

Is there ANY significant, spiritual or existential difference between me and Walter?

Dreamlife in the cartoon universe

In today’s cartoon we see Walter deal with the delight of all characters-absolute surprise at one’s very next thought.

We do not see even one thought “into” the future, and it is this fact that can be used to dissolve the ego’s puffery. If I, as ego, am the author of my thoughts, then why don’t I have a wonderful life filled with love, compassion, bliss, infinity-yeah!-those kinds of thoughts? If my ego is not the author of my thoughts, then the ego is not “the I,” eh?

Therefore, whenever you have a thought that contains a word like “me, mine, my,” be on guard, and know that thought to be, at the very least, misleading. Though it is impossible to describe the non-quality witness, there is a harmonizing clarity that comes to the personality of the character from pretending that the witness is not the noisy ego and is beyond even silence itself. This is a largely intellectual process that gradually builds an emotional basis for such a “belief.”

Clearly “we” (our thoughts and other mental experiences) are all being manufactured by largely unknown processes. Clearly our nervous systems do not consult “us” about their functions or the products of those processes.

And, clearly whatever is deciding our next thought is not acting in the ego’s best interest.

Yet the ego, in utter desperation to be real (instead of a transparently convenient and edited history of occurrences of other unplanned thoughts,) is so insistent on being sentient that it will take responsibility for the “mental aspects” of our lives in order to “grasp at doership” and hence lay claim to being a conscious entity. “I suffer therefore I am.” The ego is a psychologically bogus milieu of smoke and mirrors.

Know ego to be a thief who steals doership from Universal Consciousness-the ultimate author of ALL THIS-just as your brain seems to be the ultimate author of that “smaller universe,” your dreams.

This is the value of supporting philosophical and psychological patterns of thinking (by these exercises or whatever method you find best) that seem to be about the witness. “About” is the operative word here. No thought or emotion or bodily sensation can BE or even adequately symbolize the witness-although, indeed, everything is a partial reflection of its infinite potentiality. When you support those thoughts you have about the witness, this does not make the witness “there” nor does this “increase” the witness; instead, it serves as an axiomatic meta-pattern against which your other patterns can be compared and thereby augmented. The more that you “bend” the “rest of your mind” into harmony with the basic concept that the witness is beyond all qualities and that the witness is the true “I” of all your experiences, then you’ll find that clarity and contentment results from earnestness in this regard.

You are the witness. Once your character gets this, the struggling begins to subside.

And the surprises continue.

Ask yourself,What do I say is the meaning of life if all this is true? Why would ALL THIS be set up so?

If I were to finally “imbue and saturate” my character’s personality with the conclusion that it is as helplessly “local” as Walter in its perceptions of the basic aspects of my existence, what would this do to my future after that? How could I even believe in a future if I no longer believe in a “me” that is individuated consciousness?

What would a dream character say after being clearly shown that its world is all happening “inside” the confines of about two pounds of brain sleeping on a pillow?

If I wrote, produced, and directed this vast entertainment called ALL THIS, how would I relate to the various characters? How would I justify having so many bad characters in this drama? Is this how the author of ALL THIS feels about me?

If I knew that tonight, in my dreams, I, as a dream character, was going to murder an innocent dream person, how would I feel about going to sleep? Would I feel differently if tonight I was going to fall in love?

How do I feel about all the dreams I have “created?” Have I ever “done” anything good or evil in my dreams? Did any of my actions therein “count?”

Who was me

Your final examination continues. Seriously study these last exercises and compare their “truths” with your normal thinking processes. Where dissonance is found, that is where change is required to dissolve the dissonance. You can 1. conclude that these summarizing concepts are in some way false, 2. change the normal operations of your “thought factory,” or 3. simply continue to live with the dissonance.

The ego is not the witness. The ego is a dynamic and normal functioning of a human nervous system that generates thoughts about an individual’s history of thoughts, feelings and actions. This functionality “summarizes” the past into an edited “report,” and this “constant” reporting can seem to be the sentient entity, the doer, the author of our lives.

It isn’t. The ego isn’t constant. The ego isn’t fully reporting all that happens. The ego isn’t summarizing truthfully or logically-it sometimes even “lies” about the past. The ego “reacts” to what is happening, but it isn’t the causal agent of an individual character’s thoughts and actions.

“Perceiving” himself in a “quasi now,” Walter is shocked by his “true perception” of the multiple instantiations of “himself.” In fact, Walter is violating one of the, usually sacrosanct, “laws of cartoon panels” by pointing to and commenting on the other panels’ contents. Walter, from your godlike viewpoint, exists simultaneously in four panels-four different “nows,” but when “he” notes this fact, you feel he is transcending his own laws of reality. But, in fact, there is no single Walter, no “his,” no “walter processes like ‘transcending,'” and no actual “laws of cartoon reality.” Your wisdom knows that Walter is in “a state of complete cartoon freedom-he can be anything in any panel,” but you allow “him to” masquerade as a single, time-bound, sentient, causal, entity whose past actions impact the “now panel” and the future panels.

Your ego cannot easily step outside of time, as Walter appears to do, because memory experiences are always far subtler experiences than our other experiences, such as perception, that are happening now. Memory experiences cannot compete with the intensity of other experiences you are having now. Your present memory experiences that are about your past “lives” are happening RIGHT NOW! Memories are thoughts you have right now. When else, eh? In fact, you are not remembering the past-you are, instead, experiencing, NOW, memory-thoughts that you designate as “about my past.” And so, because of the illusion of linear time, the faintness of “memory thoughts,” and the normal workings of the ego processes, “you” cannot see clearly all the various personalities you have been. Instead, the ego is there to assert an identity based upon abstract principles that are manifested in the various instantiations of you. If you get a chance, ask your ego if it thinks you are a set of abstract principles.

The ego seems to be the subjective aspect of the individual nervous system that experiences the objective world. The ego asserts that all the experiences of the nervous system happen to it. Use of the word “I” and other personal pronouns generally indicate that the nervous system is ego-thinking about its history-which is an edited version of the complete history of the individual nervous system’s experiences. The ego can and does “takes credit” also for the “bad” actions of the nervous system-a seeming “honesty”-but, while this “doership theft” strengthens the illusion of sentience and authorship, it in no way proves that ego is a sentient entity.

The ego is based in time, and is properly seen as merely a “panel about the history of panels.” The ego seems to “pull off” this illusion that your continuity over time is proof of sentience. The ego often can be found “operating” in and around other thinking processes that directly or indirectly seem to support the thesis that any object MUST be defined as existing across a period of time. Thus anyTHING has a history-quality which ego insists is “proof of a thing being real.” To the ego, if something does not have a past, it does not exist. The normal human ego cannot believe in the witness which, like Walter in the last panel, is beyond the “time-laws” that the ego “necessarily obeys.”

Walter is not Walter. Walter is a SET of “Walters.” But, nevertheless, your nervous system has been TRAINED from birth to think and act as if there is an individual “Walter.” To do this, you’ve had to engage in an active act of perceptual ignorance (what other panels?) and, delusionally impose a linear temporality (the panel I am reading is the only panel that exists now.) Your nervous system “insists” on viewing “your world” using these exact same “reality tactics” that are used when you view Walter’s world. You actively insist that: 1. You have past panels that are not to be considered as part of the present panel. 2. Your most recent “panel” speaks for all the other panels. 3. You are a single entity when instead you are ALL THIS-a “strip” world in which many illusory entities exist. 4. Viewing the whole cartoon strip at one time is an improper use of the strip.

When you consider your past, you ignore all the differences between your “thousands” of personalities. Consider that you no longer thoroughly enjoy crawling around on the floor looking for a houseplant to dig into-that was your baby personality. You no longer generate thought after thought about opening a cereal box to get a small gift inside it-that was your childhood personality. And so on, throughout life, you are changing so much that there is almost NOTHING in common between all your “many previous lifetimes” except the ever so slow and subtle morphing of one personality into another slightly differing personality. The ego functions as that part of the nervous system that is intimately connected with the morphing process and “presides over” those changes. This “running ego commentary” develops a compelling illusion of sentience.

Ask yourself,How often do I say “I?” Where is my ego most of the time? When I am observing an automated process such as typing or walking, where is my ego’s authorship of my actions then? When I am not using a word like “I,” am I myself?

What is the difference between the experience I have when I mentally say the word, “I” and the experience of self that I have immediately after I mentally ask the question, “Am I here right now?”

Is this “sense of presence” an all time reality? Is this sense of presence an actual part of every experience I have? When I do not have a thought about “being present,” does that somehow lessen my presence?

If someone presented me with a film of my entire lifetime, where would I say “I” appeared? Where would the “person I am now” appear? How many instances would I point to and say, “You didn’t get to see the real me there?” How far back would I have to go in this film to have 95% of the “now me” to be an undetectable potentiality in a “past me?”

What do I have to do to step outside of my world? What do I have to leave behind in this world to do so?

Values and meaning in an illusory world

Of course, Walter is wrong. He doesn’t get that he is part of a cartoon and that “readers” of his “universe” are vastly more complexly symbolic than “he.” You, as a walter-reader know that he has no nervous system, no thoughts-no nothing really. “His” seeming “personality” and “its” desire to adhere to some value system is, appropriately for a cartoon, laughable.

From our point of view, Walter’s values, goals and philosophy are inside his cartoon world, and therefore are meaningless in that Walter’s God-should he meet God-would be also a cartoon character who would only be representing God. If we see Walter carefully raising his family, we know that no family is being raised and he never fathered the kids. Walter cannot eat pizza-not even cartoon pizza. It is all baseless. There is no sentience, no doer, no actions, in this world. Only our imaginations see symbols that remind us of “real” things.

Yet, our great challenge as characters in the dream that is ALL THIS is to see ourselves exactly as we see Walter. Key to this accomplishment is to find a witness in our lives that can be understood to be something other than a physical process of our nervous system that merely symbolizes the witness. As Walter compares to you, a walter-reader, you can be compared to the witness, a “you” reader. There is no absolute reality in ALL THIS. All of ALL THIS constantly changes and is subject to an eventual end. The witness does not have any quality of ending, beginning, being, actions, doing, etc., and hence it is illusory to attempt to compare ALL THIS to the witness.

Ironically, to us as characters in this dream, the witness is equally unreal. This is because all of our definitions of reality are “tainted” with qualities like time and space. Here’s the good news: it is not the job of the character to believe in the witness or become one with it. The character has no job. As a character, I WILL ABSOLUTELY be whatever Universal Consciousness makes of me. As Walter’s author, I decide everything that is going to happen in Walter’s “life.” However, I, would “never” give him a lower half to his body. This is because I have established a certain aesthetic paradigm about Walter that I do not want to violate-it’s my artistic whim to maintain it. So too are we all representing aesthetic momentums reflected by our histories which only change according to the artistic whim of Universal Consciousness. Just as a character in your nightly dreams has no free will, neither do you.

However, once your personality finds itself being saturated with the consciousness-axioms that are discoverable by using the Consciousness Exercises (or other methodologies,) you will find that your entire life is laughable, and then, guess what?-you’ll laugh!

Ask yourself,Is between my thoughts where I should look to find the edges of my panels?

Am I in a vast cartoon that is flowing at almost infinite panels per second?

Is it okay for Walter to live his life being concerned about God, duty, etc.?

Is living a value filled life really valuable?