Chapter 16: Beyond All - the Witness
Then many profound things happen because of this unidentified presence. For instance, your sex center may try to assert itself, but if you remain a witness it will not be able to, because as soon as you become the witness you are disconnected from the sex center. As soon as you are a witness you have receded back into yourself and you have distanced yourself from your sex center. The proximity of the consciousness, which your sex center needs in order to function, is disconnected. The sex center can remain throbbing and calling, the sex glands can continue asking for sex, but your presence is not available.
That is why amazing things sometimes happen. You are sitting there, full of sexual desire, your mind totally absorbed in it, and suddenly someone shouts that your house is on fire. Why is it that your sexual desire vanishes from the mind within a split second? - because the consciousness moves from there and becomes connected to the thought of the house being on fire. Otherwise try separating your mind from sexual desire and you will know that it doesn’t work! You cannot separate from it. But as soon as you hear the news of the fire - even though it may be a false alarm - the whole mechanism of your sexual desire comes to a standstill; you forget about it and it is finished.
What happened? The presence of your consciousness shifted. An emergency has arisen, and now the mind cannot afford to be anywhere else. It moved away from the desire, and the desire disappeared in this very moving away. The mechanism of sexual desire was there, and you too were present within this mechanism - but then what changed? What has changed is that you are no longer present near the desire; your consciousness has shifted from it, your attention has moved away. Freedom from sexual desire is not attained through effort, it is attained through effortless witnessing, because you are not a doer.
So the sage begins this sutra:
I am neither the doer nor the experiencer.
“I am not the doer” - this is somewhat comprehensible; “I am not even the experiencer” - this is more difficult to comprehend. In doing, we are doing something on the outside, doing is always external, but experiencing is internal. When we are doing something we move without, and when we are experiencing something we move within.
Experiencing is internal, hence it is nearer. That is why, maybe, you can understand that you are not a doer, but it is very difficult to understand that you are not the experiencer either. But one who is not the doer cannot be the experiencer, because deep down experiencing too is an act, a doing. To say “I experienced” is also a subtle doing. “I did” is a gross doing, “I experienced” is a subtle doing.