An Exercise on Self Enquiry - Who is the "Doer"?

by Ramesh Balsekar

At the end of the day sit alone, quietly, for about 20 to 30 minutes, and think of one or more actions during the day which you were convinced were "your" actions. Find out if you decided, out of the blue, to do that action; or, was it some thought or event which started that action over which you had absolutely no control? Then, investigate the course or process of that action and find out how much real control you had over it. If your investigation has been thorough and honest, you will come to the conclusion in every case that every action which you thought was "your" action turns out to depend on several factors over which you had truly no control. In other words, you come to the conclusion that no action was truly your action. Of course, it is needless to say that you are doing this investigation - and observe how honest and thorough it is even this investigation itself depends upon God's will!

Once this investigation begins - and proceeds, day after day - you may find that it has become an obsession which could be termed "the dark night of the soul"! But this need not necessarily be so. How smooth or difficult the process of this investigation becomes, would itself be the will of God. The important point is that when the ego is finally convinced that he cannot truly call any action "his" action, the ego is faced with the significant question: if no action is my action, and actions actually happen without any necessity of a "me", then who is this "me" I am so concerned about? Is there a "me" at all?! The question becomes an unbearable pain, arising from the gut, from the Source, and the answer finally comes from the Source: "My dear child, there never was a 'me' to suffer the pain of life and all there has ever been is I, the Source from which the manifestation has emerged, and it is I alone who has been functioning through the billions of human beings." An action happens because that is the will of God; the results or consequences, whatever they are, are also the will of God. The human object cannot know the results or consequences of any action - the same action need not produce the same consequences every time. And what is more, the consequences of any action will not be restricted to only the individual organism through which it happens - it could affect many others who had nothing to do with the original action. Thus, for instance, a decision made by the head of a large business enterprise could affect, for better or worse, not only the one who made that decision but many others: the many other businesses connected with the large enterprise and the many employees of the business concerned.

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