Who Is the Doer?

Close your eyes and imagine seeing a tree with your inner eye.

Imagine touching this tree and experiencing the tactile aspects of it. While you are doing this, ask the tree questions about itself. It may seem silly, but go ahead and do it anyway.

While doing this, note changes in the tree’s qualities, such as, textures, colors, spatial orientation, etc. Note how the imagery changes as your interest and attention changes and/or continues. See if the tree has any secrets to yield. Note any emotions that come up or ways that the tree might be triggering memories.

Try other imagined objects too–dog, modern painting, a library shelf, etc.

Ask Yourself:

Does this seemingly silly exercise have depth for me? Can almost any experience I have, using my imagination, contain symbolism about my psychological and spiritual dynamics?

Just what was that tree anyway? How is it that I thought of it as a separate entity and not just “mental stuff?” Why do I separate “mental objects” (such as found in this exercise and my dreams) at all? Aren’t they all seamlessly one solid mental event, and isn’t it only my mind’s auxiliary conceptualization that makes it seem they are separate? How much of my daily life involves this sort of thing? Why, while watching movies or reading a book, do I insist that a contiguous flow of data bits must be segmented into discrete units?

How do my interest and attention change my real life experiences? Am I constantly changing my filters and evaluators in such a way that how I perceive my environment is a direct measurement of my inner dynamics? Is this always the case, or does it mostly occur only when I am experiencing strong emotions?

Can I see my world at all? Or, is reality so contorted, colored, disregarded, enhanced, etc. that I am more its author than it is my muse?

If I could, and actually did, stop segregating reality into a grand illusion of separate objects, what would that be like? If I stopped all evaluations, would that be a good thing?

How effortless was this? Once set in motion, did I really have to push very hard to keep it going? In this regard, how can I claim authorship, except in those flickering moments when I restarted the exercise? Who does most of my life?