You are both the Doer and the Non-Doer

There is a beautiful story in the Upanishads which goes, “On the tree of this universe, there are two birds sitting – one is enjoying the fruit, the other is just watching, like a witness”.

This story indicates the two aspects in you, that is, the doer and the non-doer. There is one aspect of you that is performing all actions. And there is another aspect in you that is not doing anything (the seer).

Now you might ask, “How?”
On one level, you find that you are changing. Your thoughts are changing, your emotions are changing, your body is changing. Yet at another, deeper level, there is something in you that is not changing at all, it is the same. That is how you know that you are changing. So, you are a combination of both, the change and the non-change, the tangible and the intangible. Similarly, you are both the doer and the non-doer.

When to Turn towards Non-doership?
When you are in activity, you are a doer; when you are retiring, or when you are getting into meditation, you are a non-doer (a state in which you recognize that everything in this universe is happening through a higher power).

When guilt eats you up, or pride takes over your head, then you should understand that you are not the doer.
Doing something good also makes you unhappy because you do so much and then you say that nobody recognizes you or nobody listens to you. So, not being recognized makes you miserable, and if you do something wrong, that too eats up your spirit and creates a sense of guilt. When such things happen, know that you are not the doer.

People who have committed the biggest crime on the planet, somewhere deep inside think, “Hey, I didn’t do it, how did this happen?” They feel surprised, and they feel that they are not the doer, it just happened. If you talk to the biggest criminals on the planet, you will see that they find themselves being caught up in a criminal act.

In the same way, someone who has done some excellent work, they also feel that it just happened; everything just fell into place. This non-doership is an experience in itself.

When you must do things, then don't say, 'Oh, I am not the doer'. Don’t go into that mode. It will only tear you apart. If you must focus on some work, focus and just do it.
“I am not a doer” is an experience, sometimes it just dawns on you. And it is also a reminder to you when you are reeling in guilt, or in arrogance.