Tag Archives: Doer

Illusion of Doership*

When a child wants to lift its hand, the hand does go up. When it wants to throw a toy, the toy indeed smashes into something. Since childhood, these desire obeying acts continue to happen throughout life with reasonable consistency. All these make the person believe that the results of actions are in his/her control. Let us say, at some point in early adulthood a man wants to own a mansion. He works very hard towards the fulfilment of this desire throughout his life but when he is in his 80s there is no sign of the mansion. He is not even close to possessing it and hence suffers blaming this or that.

Actually, everything is done by the laws of nature. A thought comes via the brain and the latter is made of nature and hence is controlled by its laws. This thought is processed by the mind and the decision is taken either in favour of it or against it or is kept pending or is forgotten etc. Say, for example a thought of eating sweets comes to the mind of a diabetic person. The mind processes this thought taking into account various factors & feelings and arrives at a conclusion. If decision is favourable, the hand is given the command to pick up a sweet and place it in mouth. Though everything happens automatically, false “I” thinks that it is responsible for doing it. This false “I” taking itself to be the doer is sometimes happy due to its achievements and is sometimes sad due to its failures though in reality this false “I” is not responsible for any of those results. Many times in spiritual teachings it appears that false “I” is treated as the primary problem. Actually false “I” is not the primary problem, it is the doer attached to false “I” that is the main problem. In other words, false “I” identified with doer is the primary problem. False “I” is fine if it is recognised as false.

False “I” + Doer = Bondage

The moment, “I am doer” notion is negated, it is freedom. False “I” can continue to watch the games of the mind without getting attached to them.

*Doership means results of action are in control of the individual.

Do I speak when the mouth speaks?

A cook touches a very hot utensil accidentally and automatically the body pulls the hand back.

An electrician touches a high voltage live wire accidentally and automatically the body pulls the hand back.

The above two examples are the illustrations of how things happen automatically without us doing them consciously. These actions happen via defence mechanism thanks to the nervous system.

It is easy to see via both of these examples that we are not the doers. However, when it comes to other acts like speaking for example it is not so easy to see that things are happening on their own. We often tend to own the doership. This  is because, while tuning of attention does happen automatically, it happens so quickly when attention keeps on drifting from one place to the other that our conditioned intellect is unable to catch the autopilot behaviour. When this fact that everything happens by itself is recognised by watching the activities of body-mind, e.g. the appearance of thoughts, movement of hands, words coming out from mouth, happening of hearing via ears etc., the astonishing realisation that I am not doing anything and everything is happening by itself takes place (also refer to Bhagavad Gita 5.8, 5.9). After the recognition of this fact that if everything is just happening and I am not doing anything and this body-mind is like a robot, the question, “Who am I?” is natural to come. Seeking of the answer to this question may eventually take the seeker towards enlightenment when the seeker after finding itself sees itself everywhere.