What should I do when I'm not the doer?

We ask this of ourselves in so many situations, from the trivial to the life-changing. Like so many other questions, from the nondual viewpoint, it's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is no more appropriate to ask this question of yourself than it would be to ask of a movie character what he or she should do -- as if you were the movie character. No more appropriate would it be if the movie character asked it, expecting that they have control over their situation, when they are clearly characters rather than people and really, in the movie you watch, mere images playing at 30 frames a second.

On the other hand, he who asks the question can think it over and answer it. The very asking of the question is also a doing. Nothing wrong with the movie character asking this question. In doing so, the character isn't really doing. There's no one to do.

In reflecting that he isn't really doing -- in that too the movie character is seemingly doing. and again, there's no one really to do.

And yet, as long as one believes one is the movie character, this reflection must take place.

Now the real key is to see that you're not the doer, not the movie character. But what are you supposed to do before one sees this fact? Pursue the spiritual search as if you are the doer, knowing in some abstract intellectual way that you aren't. Eventually the illusion is seen through.

Better put -- he who thinks he is the doer: that is a movie character. Don't identify with the one who thinks himself a doer. Don't identify with the identifier.

But who could or would so identify?

Ultimately only the mind would. So what precisely is the mind doing in not so identifying? What is changing in its structure? It may go on functioning, and having, at some level, a sense of itself as a doer -- but that sense is overruled by something higher which nullifies that sense. What is that something higher? It's the mind which is polished to the point of self-reflection. It takes itself as its own object. It reflects its own reflectivity. Or rather, not its own reflectivity but really -- the subtle image of its own reflectivity. Or its boundaries. Language breaks down. So that it may operate as itself -- I.e. as an identifying device -- but simultaneously view that operation from a higher vantage point, as within the context of its seeing itself, and that nullifies that operation. It sees the operation of identification as an overlay. Indeed even that higher vantage point, even the reflection of itself -- even THAT is an overlay. Realization is a change finally in the structure of the mind.

The Self does not require realization and is incapable of it.