I would like to get more specific if possible because clearly some doing and observing is more ‘suffering’ than others. I think I understand where you are coming from with the fundamental stand of “all doing…” but it is merely dogmatic, because nobody lives like that.
But back to observation. My position was “it is not possible to observe not-self”, not as self and not as not-self either. I should be more precise… When self is gone no matter what happens it is not-self - talking, eating, observing. When self is still there, no matter what you do there is self, even when it seems to be a “selfless” observation.
So it is not an observation that creates the switch from self to not-self, it simply cannot. Because there is no ‘observation ex nihilo’. Each observation is rooted in a ‘view’ or an unconscious stand - which is per definition not accessible to my conscious pursuits.
To use a sutta term - the asavas are not something that I can just change because I feel inspired or sit down for meditation. They are the under-current of what happens all the time.
What seems to be a paradox (“How do I change what is unconscious?”) I think can only be done by a proper re-programming, i.e. the Dhamma (not that I can pinpoint it precisely) changes my unconscious. Understanding is the key, facilitated by a proper explanation. Practice ideally strengthens it, but also has the great capacity to lead me astray if my understanding is flawed.
And that is my big issue with the texts. Some people here say “The suttas are the perfect words of the Buddha”, but they are for historical reasons formulaic and imprecise, they are memory aids wrapped in narrative. To shoot the rocket 1° in the wrong direction simply misses the moon (not to speak of 30° or 50°).
Our discussions show that almost no aspect of the dhamma is perfectly clear. It’s of course not non-sensical either, but to claim that by reading the suttas I would know exactly how to practice is proven wrong by the fact that neither this educated forum nor the myriad less involved practitioners are filling nibbana with enlightened beings.
Sorry for the broad monologue, but the practical point for me is that we can at least be precise about what we know, and precise about what we don’t know. To throw around enlightened buddhist slogans like “everything is conditioned” or whatever usually has no real application nor does it help to properly ‘re-program’ the unconscious.