top of page

Not the doer 

You are not the doer! You did not decide, intend, choose, control, or make anything happen; you just think you did. Don’t dismiss this as just another repetition of a teaching you’ve heard before. Let it really sink in; let it be a fresh teaching; it’s too important to just dismiss or ignore once again.

Wayne Liquorman, in his book Enlightenment Is Not What You Think writes "When I talk about Enlightenment, I talk about it very, very specifically, and it's extremely simple. In humans, at around the age of two-and-a-half, a profound shift occurs in which we change from spontaneous, free-flowing beings, to creatures in which everything is about 'Me!' and 'Mine!' and how to get what 'I' want and think 'I' need. It is the moment that the false sense of personal authorship starts. It happens to virtually every human being. It is the false sense that 'I', as this body-mind organism, am the source that makes things happen. (false sense of being the doer of actions) It is this false sense of authorship that creates suffering, because the new perception is that 'I' am in control of things. Yet there is continuous evidence to the contrary - that 'I' am not in control. So a powerful tension is established. Later, for some people, for whatever reason, that sense of personal authorship permanently dissolves. We can say it dies. That event is called Enlightenment. Over the millennia, people have mystified the hell out of it. Basically, it's an event that happens in the history of some human organisms." 

What is this egoic self? I like Gail Brenner’s description “The ego is another word for the separate self. It’s the psychological sense of ourselves as a person in the world with a given identity. This identity is a collection of stories, memories, beliefs, desires, fears, judgments, and feelings that we believe to be true about ourselves. And when we believe this identity to be true, it becomes the distorted veil through which we view ourselves, other people, and the world.”

Founded upon our ancestral heritage and our lifelong conditioning there has been instilled in us a belief of separate, personal doership and personal thinking.  We take for granted that we have the capacity to make independent choices and take independent action based on ideas of good or bad, right or wrong, etc. and that we know the difference. This viewpoint is so strongly held that we initially resist even investigating whether teachings about non-doership are true or not.

Can it be noticed that our senses are just happening, feeling is just happening, thinking is just happening, actions are just happening, and there is no need to personally claim any of it? Can it be seen that all self-judgments of blame, shame, worry, and pride are based on the belief that you are the doer? Can it be seen that fears and worry about the future assume that there’s a separate, independent, autonomous you that must make the right choices? Can you see how you judge others based on the belief that they could do better or be different? Can you see how you reject the reality of the world and cause unnecessary suffering for yourself and others?












The individual personal energy is convinced that it is acting, or making decisions and choices, and having at least a bit of influence in the flow of things. It believes that it is deciding to move the hand, or to put the kettle on, scratch the ass, or stroke the dog.
Maybe it doesn’t believe that it has all control, but it does think that it is influencing things in some way.
That is not the case at all, not true.
That personal energy of “me,” and the storyteller of it, is simply a by-product of what is happening. They are not creating anything, or in control of anything, They are just a part of the flow.
The designed program is to give the appearance that somebody is separate, and somebody is in control of his or her life, and living separately from everything else. That is not the case at all, not true.
~ Lisa Cairns

He who thinks he is the doer
is also the sufferer.
Suffering will not cease until
individuality is lost.
~ Ramana Maharshi

You ask: "How to live my life?" But with the question you are suffocating life itself for life is spontaneity.
~ Mooji

People, confused by ego, think they are doers of all kinds of work while it is being done by the energy of nature.
~ Bhagavad Gita

It is more than enough to see that the beliefs in personal doership and the belief in attachment to outcomes are false and misguided and are the root of all suffering.
Life is a happening.
~ Roger Castillo

Nothing to do, Nothing to force, nothing to want - and everything happens by itself.
~ Lama Gendun Rinpoche

There is never any choice. Choice is based on the idea there is a separate someone who can choose. If I have a look at the most simple action that appears to have choice involved, it is obvious that there is no question of choice. . . . Whatever I think I decide to do is a thought that simply arises and then falls away. Doing happens or not. . . .The thought "I am doing this" is just a thought that actually has no connection to the action that happens.
~ Unmani

Life is totally taking care of everything. Who I am, who everyone is - is life. We can all relax, and let life do all the work.
~ Pamela Wilson

Everything is preordained. Even when I raise my finger like this, it is preordained. Do not be egotistical and believe that you have any power over everybody or anybody, or that you are the doer. It's a privilege to have been born on this earth, and the reason you have been born is to find your real Self. Go for it, do it, and become free.
~ Robert Adams

You have never "done" anything. Because the mind has conceived itself to be an individual it conceives itself as the "thinker" and also the "actor" or "doer." Yet it is not anyone. The mind is not a thing or an entity but a process, the thinking process. It is simply a process that is happening automatically, in the same way the heart is beating automatically.
~ Galen Sharpe

From the perspective of the infinite it is obvious that the individual self absolutely does not exist. The idea that we have a self that controls. arbitrates, or is the doer behind our actions, is absurd. The individual self is nothing but an idea of who we are. Ideas are ideas - and nothing more.
~ Suzanne Segal

The appearance of an individual self as a separate entity and as the originator or 'doer' of anything is the primary illusion, the basic 'endarkenment' from which any enlightenment occurs.
~ David Carse

Self-Realization or Enlightenment is nothing more than the deepest possible understanding that there is no individual doer of any action - neither you nor anyone else. Also you are not the thinker of any thoughts, nor the experiencer of any experiences - they happen. When IT  happens, no bright lights are likely to flash in your head!
~ Ramesh Balsekar

Imagining that you are the doer of any action during your day is mistaken identity and an arrogance of the human mind. Mind will claim ownership. Mind will take responsibility. Mind will create expectations. Eventually, all of these ideas will bring suffering. When identification with the one who is doing ceases, life will continue uninhibited by the burden of the personal "I".
~ Jac O'Keeffe

When one sees oneself as neither the doer nor the reaper of the consequences, then all mind waves come to an end.
~ Ashtavakra Gita

All your activities happen spontaneously and they will continue to happen.
Your claim of being the doer is totally false.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

How foolish it is to believe that you are doing the writing
when, in fact, you are merely the pen in the Writer's Hand.
~ Wu Hsin

When we recognize personal powerlessness in our own actions, the twin burdens of pride and guilt vanish. When we recognize powerlessness in others, it frees us from the poisoning effects of resentment and hatred. Relieved of pride, guilt, resentment and hatred, we live comfortably with life as it comes, in true humility and peace. We finally recognize Who and What we truly are.
~ Wayne Liquorman


Sin, too, is a concept. Think of the worst thing you ever did. Go into it as deeply as you can, from the perspective of the person you were at the time. With the limited understanding you had then, weren't you doing the best you could? How could you have done it any differently, believing what you believed? If you really enter this exercise, you'll see that nothing else is possible. The possibility that anything else could have happened is just a thought you have now about a then, an imagined past that you are comparing with the real past, which is also imagined. We're all doing the best we can. And if you feel that you've hurt someone, make amends, and thank the experience for showing you how not to live. No one would ever hurt another human being if he or she weren't confused. Confusion is the only suffering on this planet.

~ Byron Katie

The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation. If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune, and the piper who plays this melody from an inscrutable distance—whatever name we give this—Creative Force, or God—escapes all book knowledge...

~ Albert Einstein

The truth is that nondoing is really nothing. No such thing exists that is called nondoing. Nondoing is the nonexistence of doing, but we make it something to aspire to, which can become a subtle obstacle. Something similar can happen to those who work exclusively with a nondual perspective about reality: at some point, they begin to reify nonduality, and it becomes for them an objective to aspire to and reach. So, as you see, the tendency of the mind to reify in order to create stability, a fixed center, or a particular orientation is unlimited. The mind, then, is a mixed blessing, a double-edged sword. And that is the condition of humanity: Our intelligence, our mind, can liberate us but it can also ensnare us.
~ A.H. Almaas



bottom of page