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The Watcher Watching the Doer
Jane: Hello to whomever answers this – and thank you for taking the time, much appreciated!
Tan: Hi, Jane, I am sorry that I kept you waiting for the answer.
Jane: This is where we are at at the moment – are we on the right track?…
I, awareness, look at Jane as a movie character.
Tan: You, awareness, are not a doer. So you do not look at Jane. Jane arises in you.
Jane: She does this and that, has these relationships that play out, has hobbies and activities that she does. She thinks things and has a narrative going on in her life about most things. But everything that happens in the movie is not me.
Tan: It is the other way around:
Everything that happens in the movie is you. The movie is made out of you, the light of awareness. But you, awareness, are not the objects appearing on the movie screen. You are the light and always free of the objects which arise on the movie screen – including the whole movie itself.
Jane: I’m totally dispassionate about it and think of it as a single event in a moment.
Tan: You, awareness, are free of passion or dispassion. When using “I am totally dispassionate,” the “I” is identified with the subtle body (including a mind, an intellect and a doer). The word “I” in this can point to a relative, apparently real, identity such as a doer, a feeler and a thinker who can apparently be dispassionate or passionate or – it can point towards an absolute and true identity: you as non-dual, action-less, ordinary awareness.
So not you, awareness, are dispassionate, but the mind of Jane can be dispassionate. Feelings of passion and dispassion arise in you awareness and dissipate.
Jane: I see Jane wanting and fearing, and just watch.
Tan: You, awareness, do not watch or see, because you are not a doer. “Jane wanting and fearing” arises in you.
Jane: She has made her life very sattvic, and I see how she has simplified and let go of extraneous and distracting thoughts, activities, people and stuff. The more she jettisons, the more she’s comfortable to jettison. The result of which is her life becomes even more refined and focused. Old vasanas/samaskaras are dissolving – “burning up” seems too dramatic a notion, they simply and slowly evaporate.
Tan: It is very good that your life is becoming more sattvic. You are sometimes still mixing up the watcher, which is still a subtle doer, with awareness, which is not a doer.
An experiencing witness identity (a doer) is watching Jane, a doer. One doer is watching another doer. Both are not real. This experiencing witness identity seems to be more dispassionate because it seems not to identify with Jane so much, which probably feels calmer in a way, because the watcher is not identified with many of her desires. This is a first step. But looking at the way you use the words, it helps us to see that this witness is still – watching, looking, seeing and being dispassionate and evaluating Jane and her life.
Are you dispassionate or are you the awareness in whose light “being dispassionate” can be known? This is a very fine point and can sound extremely picky. But you are at a subtle stage now where precision is needed.
Jane: She puts events in place and then watches while Isvara enacts them appropriately as per the rules and requirements of the field. She knows that her entire life in the field is in service, so she is gratitude and an offering; how can it be any other way?
Tan: Yes, that is true.
Jane: When she is no longer of service to the field, I will leave the movie theater, no longer shine on Jane, and that particular movie will be over.
Tan: This sounds very poetic and quite beautiful. I am, however, not sure what the meaning of “I will leave the movie theatre” in your metaphor means, because you, awareness, never leave. You never stop shining.
Jane’s life is on the movie screen and is made out of the light of you, awareness, shining through the film reel (the karma) creating apparently real characters on the screen.
The film reel ends and the karma is played out and Jane dies and you continue to shine. When Jane dies it means that the film reel (the prarabdha karma) called Jane has come to an end.
You never stop shining and you never leave. You have no beginning and no end because you never change from experience to experience. You stay constant without being touched by experience. Experience is in time and you are free of change and therefore of time.
Let me know if you have more questions and if I can help. You are on the right track and at a fine and important point in your inquiry, because you now need to discriminate between the experiencing witness (the watcher) and the non-experiencing witness (your self).
~ Much love, Tan