Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
12th January 2014
Primitive man neither knew that he was a doer nor that anything was happening. Primitive man simply did not know that he knew. When life’s intelligence manifested intellect, primitive man began to know. Man did not make knowledge happen to him either, just as he did not make intellect to happen to him. Intellect is a gift of life’s intelligence to man by which he began to know and knowledge accumulated within his mind.
As man began to know, he also came to know that he was a doer. But when he came to know that he was a doer, he did not realise that doing was happening before he knew that he was a doer. He did not realise that now he merely claims for doing it. Life gifted this realisation to a few and they realised that man was never a doer and that all the doing happens through him. They were the sages or the enlightened.
If man were the doer, his daily life would work the way he wants it to. He would have no need to expect it to work the way he wants it to. For he would know what he will do every moment and what he will not do every moment to make sure his life would be what he expects it to be. In which case, it would mean that, from the moment man knows that he is the doer, his daily life will be in harmony. But man’s experience of his daily life tells another story.
If man were the doer, it would also mean that he would know what to prevent, as he would know what he would be doing at that moment. The fact that man does not know what to prevent, but tries to prevent only after it has happened, means that man is not the doer.
If man were the doer, he would never commit a mistake, as he would do everything correctly, for no man would want to do anything incorrectly. But the philosophy of man contradicts that he is the doer for it states: failure is the stepping stone of success, and man learns by his mistakes.
If man were the doer, the question whether man is able to or unable to do would not arise at all.
Man believes that his ability to do depends on his capacity. His capacity, however, is inherent and depends upon life’s intelligence. But man has no control over his intellect, let alone the intelligence of life. But these questions arise. This means that man doubts whether he is the doer or not the doer.
If man were the doer he would organise and plan everything that needs to be done to perfection. But it is obvious that even meticulous planning and organising sometimes do not work as expected. This again proves that man’s daily life is not in his control, as he is not the doer.
As intellect sophisticated man came to know that he is the doer. Similarly, as intellect sophisticates further, man will realise that he is not the doer. Intellect did sophisticate to that degree in few men during ancient times and made them realise that man is not the doer. They came to be known as the sages.
During the period sages appeared, the little intellect and understanding that some people had imparted an understanding to them that the sages did spiritual practices to realise that they were non-doers and a conclusion that the sages had experiences of non-doership too. The sages, however, never could have declared these assumptions and conclusions, as it would have been a contradiction to their statements. They were the people’s interpretations of the sages. Also, during that period, understanding did not happen to those people that to do anything time would be required. Man will understand at the right moment that if the doing is happening and man experiences, and he thinks he is doing it, he will never be able to realise that he is a non-doer, as he will be doing to realise it.
If man were the doer, he obviously would experience what he is doing. Man, therefore, believes and dreams to have the experiences that a non-doer has, not realising that a non-doer would not have any experience, as a non-doer would not think that he is doing. The knowledge to have the experience that a non-doer has stimulates man to do more to become enlightened. A vicious circle sets in and man is trapped by his own mind.
If man were the doer, he would take the experience of doing anything in daily life to be real, as this is the understanding that has happened to him. Man with that understanding, therefore, believes in getting spiritual experiences by doing, believing they would be real too. The sages, however, have declared that life is a dream - to mean that experiences achieved by doing anything in daily life are a dream. The sages used the word dream for they knew that a dream is not real because it goes away, as dreams are temporary and soon fade away.
Similarly, the sages realised that everything that happens in daily life fades away and therefore has to be a dream and not real. The experiences that a spiritual seeker seeks to achieve by doing and claims that he does would also be a dream and not a real spiritual experience of a non-doer. To a non-doer an experience in daily life is illusory and not real.
If dreams were real they would not go away, nor would any experience in daily life. If they were real they would not go away. But experiences of daily life do go away, and when man thinks he does them, and they do come back, he believes they are real. So he thinks that a spiritual experience is real and that he should do to get the experience again. Accordingly, he does spiritual practice more for them to come back. Spiritual practise also happen until a realisation happens that experiences come back because they are a dream and not real.
Dream is not real because it goes away. The real, if it were real, would never go away. Life will continue to sophisticate as it has ever since it manifested. Therefore, man is the doer in the sense that the doing or sophistication happens through him, so that understanding can happen to him at the right moment that the doing or sophistication is illusory and not real, as it did to some ages ago who are known as the sages.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
Dutch Translator’s Note:
In this article “Non-doer” it is explained that experiences are illusory and doing happens through man. He who seeks enlightenment and believes he is the doer, will misunderstand the enlightened. He will interpret the movements of the enlightened and try to ‘do’ likewise. He will expect enlightened experiences and believe the enlightened has the same too. All the while he is unaware of the crucial understanding ‘I am not the doer’.
Paula Smit, Netherlands