So… who is it that wakes up? Since there is no self, no I or me, and something is obviously still conscious and aware, what is it?What is awake?
First, a description. Two experiences of the personal self as non-existent happen here. The first and most powerful is what occurs in the explosive awakenings that take place: There is a shockingly empty space, profoundly lacking in anything at all, where the ‘I’ had previously been ‘experienced’, where it was customarily sensed as being ‘located’. The emptiness of this is so obvious that, when it’s seen, it is ludicrous to imagine that anything ever was there. The formerly held belief in a separate ‘me’ becomes ridiculous, and a lot of belly laughing ensues.
The second way no self is experienced is the more sustained of the two. It is a quiet blankness where self used to be, and it is this that is the usual experience. Volcanic awakenings have their moment in the sun, to be sure, and then they fade, leaving a residue of deeper awareness, disappeared belief, and more tangible knowing. This is where the meat of the matter resides, everyday existence as something entirely new and gloriously unburdened of a demanding, insecure, lonely little me.
Without a personal identity, consciousness Itself is what lives, perceives, speaks, thinks, feels, sits, sleeps. And that is the way it always was, even before the falseness of ‘I’ was recognized. The I was never real to begin with, yet all along living, awareing, speaking, thinking, feeling, sitting, sleeping consistently took place. Everything simply happens, with no self needed to ‘do’ anything, then or now.
It was and is only consciousness here, not a human self. Radical stuff, this. Also entirely ordinary and natural. It’s what is; what isn’t is what used to be believed: a personal self, considered by ‘me’ to be Queen of the Show. However, once the lights came up it was seen that me wasn’t even there, much less in charge. Such sweet relief that it isn’t the one waking up!
And here’s the very short little video that will add the punchline.