Source: Our Internal Movie

A strange fact about the human condition is that each of us is always watching our own internal movie.

However our conscious mind, which contains our ego, is like the pointer arrow on the computer monitor. The pointer moves around on the screen, and we cannot escape it, no matter what we do, but this pointer flows from sources within our subconscious brain.

We are only a roving dot,our conscious mind cannot be simultaneously aware of everything that exists in the universe, or of everything that exists in our subconscious mind.

Our conscious mind is the transient center of focus, its way of restricting attention to a manageable area. Even emotions and what we call “will” are all “watchable” elements in the conscious mind that take place without our actually controlling them. Scientific experiments have shown that our subconscious brain decides what we will do before “we” are even aware of the decision.

The subconscious brain conjures up its own illusion of a conscious self that is watching the movie, but all it ever does or ever can do is watch that movie. The conscious self (the “I”) is just the attention-focusing activity in the brain, not the brain itself.

And yet, each of us feels that our conscious self is truly more substantial than just a bit of activity in the brain while it focuses its attention. We feel an inexpressibly profound conviction that not only are we real, we are in fact more real than everything else.

We feel that the world itself could possibly be an illusion, but us, the Viewer of the Movie, must be utterly real and inextinguishable.

The conscious self, created by the brain, is what turns events from the subconscious brain into experience. Like any other part of the physical world, the brain simply exists. Pain and pleasure take place in the brain, but the brain does not experience them. It does not experience anything. The brain hears, without hearing what it hears, sees without seeing what it sees. The conscious self, on the other hand, is what the brain has created to weave perceptions together to form experience.

Just like an elaborate dream that is woven in response to the sound of water dripping from a rooftop, or to food eaten before bed gurgling in the bowels, the self weaves a web of experience around the sense data flowing  from the brain.

The brain simply is. Meanwhile, the conscious self is that which experiences what it is like to have an embodied brain. The self is that which is convinced of its own experience. But it can do nothing else but evaluate all that happens in terms of experience.

Although the brain has no experience, the brain is all that is real. The self feels that it is in command, but that is only its illusion. The self is only a figment or side effect of the subconscious brain’s activity.

The conscious self is convinced of its own substantiality because it is precisely that device in the brain that experiences, and the subject that experiences also experiences itself as substantial.

Could the brain ever realize that it is much greater than the movie watcher? That it has itself created the movie watcher? That it is much more intimately connected to the world as a whole, and to the essence of other people, than the conscious self could ever be? Paradoxically, that can be a realization that could  be an awakening of major importance.

The conscious self (ego), on the other hand, can discover itself to be a shadow of the silent, unperceiving subconscious brain beneath. It would discover the subconscious mind as that which observes without an observer, listens without a listener, knows without a knower, decides without a decider and thinks without a thinker and feels without a feeler…we would finally be free of the “movie watcher”(ego) and all its efforts to control experience.

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