Okay. here goes...

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MikeShaw
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Okay. here goes...

Postby MikeShaw » Wed May 08, 2013 2:20 am

Years ago, in my 20's, I was sitting with a very close friend and we were talking. Suddenly, I was witnessing it all from a different perspective, and I said, "This is the same consciousness talking to itself." It was a realization deep within. As we continued to talk it was proven to me. Everything I said was like my body was doing the talking, but the voice was the voice of pure consciousness. Not "my" voice. There was no self, and there was not the "other." When she spoke, it was the same voice talking to itself. We were one.

I added, "We are simply separated by these bodies. But this is the same voice; we are one. This is pure consciousness speaking to itself." I realized at that moment that my body was just like a small part of a single giant organism of life on the planet, and all life was one at one source.

I'm 60 now. On and off over the years, I tried to share this realization with people I've met, with family, with little success. All the while, I've studied Krishnamurti, Zen, and read all the books, and most recently I'm enjoying Tolle and Byron Katie, who simply reinforce my experience. So that's been nice.

Reading a little of this forum, and some of Gatecrashers, now I'm really feeling it again, that total sense of no-self. There is a slight scariness to it, but in a nice way, because it's like coming back home after you've been away for so long.

I love the Santa Claus analogy. That's true for me. Externally, I've been cleaning house for the last three years, relinquishing all the identifications and ego stuff. Now I feel I can really let go of conceptual false self totally. So thank you for being here.

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Angelika
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby Angelika » Thu May 09, 2013 4:19 pm

Welcome Mike!

So nice to see you here! Do I understand you correctly, that you have been living liberated for almost 35 + years?

With warm greetings,

Angelika

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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby MikeShaw » Fri May 10, 2013 2:35 am

Geli -
Thanks for your comment!

To clarify - tasted liberation, then spent 35 years trying to confirm what it was.

It was all conceptual, although gaining a good understanding of Zen and Krishnamurti's pathless path kept me faithful to seeking the gateless gate.

Over the last two to three years listening to Eckhart and reading Byron Katie, I was able to shed almost all of the ego stuff and cease identification with most external attachments. So you might say groundwork was being prepared for what happened in the last two days.

It was only when you pointed me to LU, and I started reading the posts and gatecrashers dialogues, and watched that video on the main page that I experienced a sustained clarity and presence - and the self dropped away 100% for me. It was like pure consciousness just being. So I posted here.

So to answer your question, about two days now. Effortless presence where nothing seems to attach or stick to what in the past was self. Even going to work, interacting with people, anything that previously would have added to self simply doesn't attach. It's kind of amazing.

So thank you.

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Angelika
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby Angelika » Mon May 13, 2013 5:54 pm

Wow Mike,

I did not fully understand before, what happened. Thank you for clarifying this :))))

It is absolutely amazing. Congratulations!

I will ask some questions now, out of pure curiosity, if this is alright with you.

In case it is not, tell me, yes?

  • So the initial awakening happened 35+ years ago, yes?

    What do you mean by "it was all conceptual ?"

    Can you perhaps tell, "what" kept you in the realm of conceptual knowledge?

    What caused the shift?

    How did you experience the shift?

    Do you experience non attachment as a result of the realization of No "I"? What was first?



Thank you very much indeed for sharing this wonderful experience here.

All of the best to you!

Geli




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MikeShaw
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby MikeShaw » Tue May 14, 2013 3:04 am

Geli -
The initial experience was not conceptual. It was a very real revelation. Over the years, however, since there was no one and nothing I could relate it to (except the label on a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap which read "We Are All One.") my mind froze the experience like an ice cube- to use a familiar analogy.

So to answer what kept me in realm of conceptual knowledge was lack of positive reinforcement in the world. I could have a place for this experience - in thought. So what happened was reduced to a concept, and then a search in books and teachings for matching concepts. That's all we know. Linear, reading and writing, and verbalizing.

Fast forward to Eckhart's specific teaching points about the impermanence of form, and more radical Byron Katie showing the unreality of thought and unconditional acceptance of what is, and the concepts begin to dissipate in every way. A letting go of form, and total acceptance of every moment as it is, prepared me for the shift, you ask about.

Next, reading this forum, and watching the video of the man on the home page, some YouTube of Elena talking in Arizona, and the gatecrashers book - everything fell away, and I was left in a state of presence.

This was not induced as usual by mind saying, hey Mike, you're drifting, be present, and then being present, in the moment. My everyday Zen, you might say. There is the dance I do where you know - how long can I stay present? How long can I stay conscious? Drifting into mindstream, catching myself, then focusing awareness on present moment to come back to reality.

No. This No Self, this "I" does not exist is different. It is a solid tangible beingness that needs no effort, no reminders, no "this is good, stay with this" feelings. For me, suddenly - there was a shift- and I like your selection of that word -a shift- and the "I" and everything that would normally get sucked into it, stopped.

The shift was a sudden scary series of moments like oh, this is it, this is going to happen, I know this, do I want this? All taking place within say an hour or two.

How did I experience the shift? So it's like standing at the edge of the pool. You know you will dive in, in a minute. You know the water is cold. You know there will be a shock. You think that you will jump in quickly. You envision how cold it will be. None of these thoughts alter the decision you already made, because you are standing there at the edge of the pool already. Yet you have the uncomfortable thoughts of fear, and you let yourself go through that. Then comes the moment, and you jump in. None of those thoughts matter any more, and they never did. Suddenly you are used to the water temperature, and you don't want to get out!

So the "me" is like a vacuum, or the ego is a thing that is needy and makes the "me" do and say things that add to the "me." To answer your last question - non-attachment came first. Thank you Eckhart. A conscious cleaning of house (literally and figuratively), a cleaning of vocabulary, a letting go of the need to judge (make others wrong), and all of those things came first- setting goals over three years. Reminders in my phone, reading Don Miguel Ruiz- and watching myself and working to live up to the four agreements- slowly steadily.

Finally, then the realization of no "I" could take place for me. Then it was like, Oh- of course.

I am reading on LU Facebook site, and here on this site I read of the struggles "Post-realization" or "After-Awakening." It makes sense. I think people may have an easier time if they do the heavy lifting first, and then have the "no I" awakening. It works for me, so I can only share.

Thanks for listening.

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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby Angelika » Thu May 16, 2013 5:23 pm

Hullo Mike!


Thank you very much for your further explanations. :)

Do you wish to join the LU network?

If so, I will ask some more questions for you to answer. :)


All of the best to you!

Geli

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MikeShaw
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby MikeShaw » Fri May 17, 2013 2:18 am

Yes, I'd like to join.
Please ask.
-Mike

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nonaparry
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby nonaparry » Sun May 19, 2013 3:14 pm

Hi Mike,

Angelika has asked me to ask you the questions we use to gain clarity on whether the illusion of a separate self has been seen through. Would you please answer these from your direct experience of here and now?

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

6) Anything to add?

Thank you!
love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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MikeShaw
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby MikeShaw » Wed May 22, 2013 2:22 am

Hi Nona-
Thank you for taking the time to usher me through this. I'll start with 1 and 2.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
There is no separate 'self' or an 'I' except as a construct, and now seen by me as a tool of the language. We could refer to ourselves as "one," as seen in movies or in ancient times. When I was learning Portuguese, I found some old fashioned people in Brasil who actually talked this way. Instead of saying "we" they said "the people." Instead of referring to me as "you," they would say to my face "the gentleman." "Would the gentleman like some water?" "The people would like to rest now."

I remember the exact moment when my daughter (now in her early 20's) learned to call herself "I." She was about 4, and she was calling herself "you," because that is what we called her. We were very worried. We wondered if she would ever realize that she should see herself as "I," and say this... Sad, right? One day she started calling herself "I." We were so relieved. Welcome to insanity, my love. Answer: No. There is no "I" and there never was an "I" or a "me" as a real entity or person. As I see it now: I completely hear myself using the word "I" as a language construct for the convenience of the other people in the conversation.

Regarding when did it start- I explained how I observed it in my daughter. How does it work in my direct experience? I do find a challenge when taking certain actions, certain decisions, where I must question the action to see where it comes from. Although there is no I, this creature, this mammal, is doing. There is will. There is volition. So there is wonder at that, and an attempt to explain it. I see my cat develop the habit of jumping up on the sink to drink water. It is a behavior that has become a habit. Like the cat, I observe behavior in this big mammal with the big brain who likes to drink coffee in the morning, made a certain way, and eat an English muffin. Why? Where did this come from? If there is no "I," and I accept that fully, then I lose the lovely explanation for all of my actions. "I" like coffee. "I" like art. "I" like music. Verboten. Now what?

Being and doing: Okay. Music is easy. Being, in presence, music is heard and moves into and through and perhaps there is some emotion that arises within. Coffee, the smell, the taste, the warmth of the liquid in mouth and throat. Art, the beauty of a painting or photograph beyond words and concepts, and direct contact with the expression. Nature- the same. Direct sensing. No "I" or "me" needed here. BUT- what about making the coffee, deciding which CD or radio station to play, deciding to drive the car to the Art museum? Who, how, does this happen? A decision is made.

Above are my answers to your first two questions. Can you help me through my question? Am I a robot or little more than a dog or ape? Agreed- no "I" lives here any more. What is this creature that has "will," that has decided to press these buttons on this "keyboard" and select these symbols, to communicate with you at this moment using electrons through time and space - projecting thoughts onto your flat luminous screen and into your consciousness? From whence comes this action? Choice to do this, and not to do that? Choice, will... It's not just conditioning.

I am touching on question 5, and I can take a try at it if you wish. Will you offer, however, some hint?

Love to you,
Mike

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nonaparry
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby nonaparry » Wed May 22, 2013 9:48 am

Hi Mike!
There is will. There is volition.
...what about making the coffee, deciding which CD or radio station to play, deciding to drive the car to the Art museum? Who, how, does this happen? A decision is made.
...Choice to do this, and not to do that? Choice, will... It's not just conditioning.
It is just conditioning that has us believe our "lovely explanation for all of my actions." It's one of the beliefs we pick up at the same time we are taught "I". The illusion of control is often the last to be seen through.
When your daughter became an "I", she could then be held responsible for "her actions". She didn't suddenly transform into a controller of "her" actions; she remained Life living itself as a little girl. What changed was her family now believed she had personal control over an individual personal slice of Life.

Decisions apparently get made, but is there a "you" that makes them? At all? Or is that just a story, an explanation we give after the fact to give us an illusion of power and control? Is there any controller, decider, director, compeller of any individual separate slice of Life?

I invite you to check it, in your direct experience!

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby MikeShaw » Thu May 23, 2013 2:04 am

Dear Nona -
I accept the invitation. Let me sit with this a day or two, and watch it.

There is a certain feeling of excitement, and a bit of fear of the unknown. This is uncharted territory now.
Is there any controller, decider, director, compeller of any individual separate slice of Life?
Let's find out. Okay, here goes...

Love to you,
-Mike

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nonaparry
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby nonaparry » Thu May 23, 2013 11:51 am

Dearest Mike,
I accept the invitation. Let me sit with this a day or two, and watch it.
With great pleasure!

I am available here if you have questions or if you wish to investigate any fear.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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MikeShaw
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby MikeShaw » Sat May 25, 2013 4:28 pm

Nona -
I spent the last couple of days in direct experience of action, all doing.

I avoided trying to analyze "where does will come from" or "what is decision making" and so on. To carry out the task - answering your question -
Is there any controller, decider, director, compeller of any individual separate slice of Life?
it was necessary not to analyze academic things like cognition and so on. Just watching was plenty to do.

Two things became apparent right away. First, staying present and in the moment was easy and clear, and this focus on action rather than thought about action was a great way to sustain presence and move back into presence from thought-streams. Second - allowing my mind to ask the question periodically through the days- is there a controller or director ? - well... it was obviously a big no. This was clear, because every hour thousands of routines and subroutines were occurring, motion and decision making in the most elegant detail and pattern. This behavior was too complex and too rapid for there to be any thought or controller or an "I" in charge of it all.

Easy to see was the task of driving where clearly a decision was made to go somewhere - but not questioned by me at this time - and there was the car and its driver fairly automatic, at one. Sure, I could focus on my hands on the steering wheel and become conscious of driving. I could at will look at the road and the other cars with conscious awareness, and be conscious of my driving abilities. It was not necessary, however, so where is the "I?" Non-existent.

Bringing it now to a more subtle direct experience, it was obvious by the way I scratch my ear, or blow my nose, or stand up, or open a book, or any simple activity that each motion is indeed a highly complex and practiced routine of motion that has been perfected over years. Tying my shoes, recently having learned a new way to do this, showed clearly that no "I" could possibly be tying my shoes in this way.

So I've confirmed in big things and small, all action conscious or not (we won't talk about breathing here - or burping!) there is no "I" or me directing all the activity this body engages in.

Now- relaxing in this observation, I'm leaning towards a theory of human training, like circus animal training- but I'll save this delightful topic for another day!

So, I feel ready to continue and answer the rest of your questions now.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

6) Anything to add?
Number 3 just answered.

Number 4 - What last bit pushed me over, made me look, was your invitation to look at one specific aspect of "no self," that being daily life without the "me" as decision maker. You know I was struggling with that - the idea of "will" and "volition," so you had me look at it in a new way and that made the difference.

Number 5 - I think I answered this Number 4. To expand a bit - there is no "I" or "me" that does the specific jobs. In terms of choices- the answer is yes- choices are made. Decisions are made. My theory on this has to do with input from the environment - pleasure or pain - the six or so physical needs of a man or woman - and then the reinforcement that is positive or negative and the behaviour modification that takes place. This sounds a bit like a college psychology textbook, and that's a bit silly I know - but give me a few months to work on that whole theory. There is, however no "I" or "me" in reality though, and regardless of how a man gets to the top of a mountain there is no "I" that hiked him up there. Your question number five alludes to big life decisions - and it is the same. Why did he decide to climb Mt. Everest? There is a reason, but no matter how much he thinks there was an "I" who made that decision, the reason will be found in the external material world, in a million places comprised of a million moments, including most likely the National Geographic Magazine he read as a boy, his father's photo on a mountain top hanging on the wall, his wife's nagging, and so on. That's as far as
I can go with this right now.

Number 6 - nothing to add but a big thank you, Nona, for clearing the brush, giving me a new pair of hiking boots and some good wool socks.

Love to you!
Mike

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nonaparry
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby nonaparry » Sat May 25, 2013 5:50 pm

Thanks Mike! I will ask other guides to have a look and see if they have any further questions for you.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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nonaparry
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Re: Okay. here goes...

Postby nonaparry » Sun May 26, 2013 8:35 am

Hi Mike,

One further question, about your Experience of this.
3) How does it feel to see this?
Can you please describe your actual Experience of seeing through the illusion of self back when it happened, and especially of seeing through the illusion of control just now?

Many thanks!!

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


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