Shared on Quora – On “Sense of Doership”
D. Samarender Reddy, Blogger – https://selfrealization.home.blog/
Shared Feb 6, 2019
One of the best answers on the “sense of doership”, with a wonderful sense of humour at the end.
In Advaita Vedanta, what does it mean by, “I am not the doer.”?
Answered by G Tyler Wright
G Tyler Wright, Author of Enlightenment Now and I Do Not Exist (2016-present)
Answered Aug 21, 2018
“I am not the doer” comes from the perspective of speaking for the I that is awareness, the I that we all are and share deep within. This I doesn’t do anything. This I doesn’t have a mind to come up with this thought, or a mouth to speak this idea.
This I that is at the core of our being, which we experience as our awareness, is the feeling of being, or the knowing that is awareness. It exists even before the label of I that we put upon it.
The essence of us all has no faculties to do anything, thus it is said, “I am not the doer.”
In contrast, we obviously have the experience of things being done, and even hold the belief that we are the ones doing things.
When we can see that first of all the I that each of us thinks we are, the body and mind that most people equate with the person they are, really is only a misunderstanding, then we can understand that the I being spoken of as not being the doer is not the same I that we think we are as a person.
We the people do things all day long, but when we know ourselves not as the misunderstood personal I, but as the impersonal, universal, eternal I, the doing of things can be seen as a happening coordinated through the whole, instead of an act of an individual.
No one person exists to decide to do any action or to perform any action, and no action is independent of all other acts.
Can you drink that cup of coffee without the coffee bean being recognized, cultivated, grown, packaged, ground (by an invention), brewed (by another invention), and the cup being bought (with money earned by the interplay of innumerable actions), picked up (by a hand shaped by millions of various contributing DNAs), and moved to your mouth (made of chemicals made inside of exploding stars)?
All of these seemingly infinite interactions show that every case of “doing” is actually more appropriately seen as a multitude of “happenings”.
Finally, to bring it around to be viewed from an even higher perspective, all happenings happen only because the I that we really are exists. This I, by its very existence, is the source of all happenings.
Through this perspective, the statement can actually be made that “I am the doer,” although the I is universal, eternal awareness, and the doing is all actions of all, everywhere, always.
A more accurate statement could be, “Beingness facilitates all that happens,” although it isn’t as catchy.
The grand actor behind all, the I of each of us, simultaneously, is the ultimate cause of all that happens.
Now I am going to see if I can get the universe to do my dishes!