Looking for my self

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Calyx
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Looking for my self

Postby Calyx » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:54 pm

Hello,
I have been reading, contemplating and meditating occasionally for 20 some odd years. This past year I discovered direct pointing and enquiry through "Freedom from the Known", "The Book", "Be as you are", Mooji podcasts, "I am That", "The Direct Path" and currently, "Gateless Gatecrashers". I have been enquiring and feel like I am on the edge some kind of breakthrough.

I understand that I can perceive no person that generates thoughts or experiences perceptions. Nor can I detect any person that listens to thoughts (although that is less clear). But it all seems like merely an intellectual understanding and not anything that has changed the way I see myself. Its clear that while some thoughts arise to me from out of nowhere, others (like this post) I seem to be able to direct. What really perplexes me is that if I were simultaneously the originator, the expressor and the listener then why would I need to use English, as if communicating to someone external? Wouldn't the thought just be known to me without having to use language to awkwardly express it to myself? It seems very inefficient.

However, I can perceive no thought behind the thought; No seed thought that acts as the original intent before its expression arises as thought in English. There seems to be only the words expressing an intent without separation between the two. If there were an imperceptible thinker communicating in English via an imperceptible speaker to an imperceptible listener then why do I identify as all of them? What is this undeniable presence that makes it seem like there is a "me" behind it all, generating thoughts, perceiving things, filtering perceptions into memory, accessing memory as knowledge, and forming inferences?

Its clear to me that a "flock" of birds only appear as a tangible object but is intrinsically nothing more than my label for an uncoordinated spontaneous activity - "flocking". Likewise I see that it is possible that I could be no more than my label for a verb "Clark-ing", but I still feel like a proper noun. I don't know what it is that could be "Clark-ing". After all that I have read to the contrary my gut belief remains that I am "a Person", living "a Life", in "The World", which are all mutually involved but fundamentally separate. I wake up in the middle of the night trying to understand but I feel blocked by something, as if I am almost seeing it but not quite. Would anyone like to help me?

Thanks,
Clark

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Andrew1
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Andrew1 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:00 am

Hey Clark,
Andrew here.I would be happy to assist you if want.But first you must drop everything you have read or heard up till now.You can go back over it later.You may find some of it was correct but there will a lot of rubbish as well.
First thing though...what do you expect to get out of liberation?.


Cheers
Andrew

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Calyx
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Calyx » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:26 pm

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for talking with me about this. I must admit that so far seeking has been an intellectual pastime; indulging curiosity. I hardly ever meditate but when I do its relatively easy to let thoughts come and go. My friends have called me "disturbingly calm".

I have come to trust when intuition tells me when something is bullshit and when it should be taken to heart. Ever since I encountered enquiring into self identity, this intuition has been screaming that it is not only "the real deal" but the realest deal there is. Like the old wisdom, "When the student is ready the teacher will appear", t has always seemed like the right influence becomes available at exactly when I am ready to benefit from it. Since encountering enquiry I have been unable to let it go. I ask myself "who is walking", "who is listening" without really understanding the question but realizing that it is a good one to ask. I feel like I have woken up inside a room with no exits, realized for the first time that I am indeed a prisoner, and yearn for a freedom about which I know nothing. I expect liberation to dissolve my expectations, collapse the room, and leave nothing but effortless clarity.

There is a secondary reason, to be fully honest. Since I can remember I have been passionate about making music and inventing musical instruments. In playing I have come to understand that music flows best when "I" am not there making it, systematizing, analyzing. The best form of practice is the practice of getting out of my own way. My decades-long quest to invent an instrument with genuinely unprecedented capabilities has resulted in my currently building a new kind of slide-piano. The music it is capable of has never been created from a single instrument. So, when it is complete I want to give it the musician it deserves, offering its new voice to the world with a free heart. I don't want to "play" it. I want to get out of the way and let the music be what it needs to be. To lose myself and evoke the muse, so to speak. And perhaps through its voice, inspire others to lose themselves as well. Its a mundane dream but a lovely one.


Thank you for helping me with this. Intuition also tells me that what this web community offers is perhaps a global singularity for the positive transformation of the world. I feel blessed to have found it. Per your request I will try to forget what I have read for now and just focus on the process at hand. Please be hard on me, ruthless even, until I am through the gate. Call out my bullshit. I want to be out of this room in a bad way.

Clark

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Andrew1
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Andrew1 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:11 am

Hey Clark,
Andrew here.I would be happy to assist you if want.But first you must drop everything you have read or heard up till now.You can go back over it later.You may find some of it was correct but there will a lot of rubbish as well.
First thing though...what do you expect to get out of liberation?.


[quote="Calyx"]Hello,
I have been reading, contemplating and meditating occasionally for 20 some odd years. This past year I discovered direct pointing and enquiry through "Freedom from the Known", "The Book", "Be as you are", Mooji podcasts, "I am That", "The Direct Path" and currently, "Gateless Gatecrashers". I have been enquiring and feel like I am on the edge some kind of breakthrough.

Cool,now let all that go for the moment and concentrate on what we have now.

I understand that I can perceive no person that generates thoughts or experiences perceptions.Nor can I detect any person that listens to thoughts (although that is less clear). But it all seems like merely an intellectual understanding and not anything that has changed the way I see myself.

Exactly.You understand but are not seeing.

Its clear that while some thoughts arise to me from out of nowhere, others (like this post) I seem to be able to direct.

You can still think and write but that is all it is.Thinking and writing.Not a personal you thinking and writing.Don't identify with it as a "me" doing it.It's just happening.

What really perplexes me is that if I were simultaneously the originator, the expressor and the listener then why would I need to use English, as if communicating to someone external? Wouldn't the thought just be known to me without having to use language to awkwardly express it to myself? It seems very inefficient.

Thoughts come in images and language Clark.Do you think in language when your thirsty and get up to get a drink?.You would still operate without a language.Language is just a way of communicating.Something you have learned.Also,what if your thoughts just happened to be in Spanish,but you spoke English

However, I can perceive no thought behind the thought; No seed thought that acts as the original intent before its expression arises as thought in English. There seems to be only the words expressing an intent without separation between the two. If there were an imperceptible thinker communicating in English via an imperceptible speaker to an imperceptible listener then why do I identify as all of them?

Because as a human you think,speak and listen.There does'nt have to be an entity inside to do these things.YOU are just doing them.Next time you speak notice how it is just happening.There's no you commanding it.There's no middle man between thinking and speaking.Watch it next time.


What is this undeniable presence that makes it seem like there is a "me" behind it all, generating thoughts, perceiving things, filtering perceptions into memory, accessing memory as knowledge, and forming inferences?

There is no you.What you have is conditioning from an early age.As more beliefs are piled onto more beliefs and conditioning your mind has invented a you.As you said,there is nothing behind the thoughts.You are just a human being living life.The "presence" is a combination of all your body functions such as thought,speach,listening,touch,taste etc.

Its clear to me that a "flock" of birds only appear as a tangible object but is intrinsically nothing more than my label for an uncoordinated spontaneous activity - "flocking". Likewise I see that it is possible that I could be no more than my label for a verb "Clark-ing", but I still feel like a proper noun. I don't know what it is that could be "Clark-ing". After all that I have read to the contrary my gut belief remains that I am "a Person", living "a Life", in "The World", which are all mutually involved but fundamentally separate. I wake up in the middle of the night trying to understand but I feel blocked by something, as if I am almost seeing it but not quite. Would anyone like to help me?

Are they uncoordinated Clark?.Is your life uncoordinated?.Do you see how it is moving along naturally.Can you look at how everything just fits together.It's the false you that is fighting it all.The block is your fear of letting go of believing you control everything.It's only a step to the other side of the line and you will see that "YOU" don't control anything.That's the imagined "YOU".The "YOU" that you have conjured up.Don't fear it because it's actually happening right now but you can't see it.That's the only difference.Observe your movements over the next few minutes.Really observe them.Are you saying what to do in every single action you take?.No?.When your thirsty are you saying in your head "I'm thirsty get a drink"?.

Cheers
Andrew

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Andrew1
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Andrew1 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:26 am

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for talking with me about this. I must admit that so far seeking has been an intellectual pastime; indulging curiosity. I hardly ever meditate but when I do its relatively easy to let thoughts come and go. My friends have called me "disturbingly calm".

Meditation is not necessary mate

I have come to trust when intuition tells me when something is bullshit and when it should be taken to heart. Ever since I encountered enquiring into self identity, this intuition has been screaming that it is not only "the real deal" but the realest deal there is. Like the old wisdom, "When the student is ready the teacher will appear", t has always seemed like the right influence becomes available at exactly when I am ready to benefit from it.

Cool,I'm the same

Since encountering enquiry I have been unable to let it go. I ask myself "who is walking", "who is listening" without really understanding the question but realizing that it is a good one to ask.

Don't ask who is walking etc,observe that it is happening.You are not thinking "left leg move forward,now right leg move forward are you.In fact do you see that if you want to say walk across the street that it just happens.You don't even think "walk across the street" do you?.

I feel like I have woken up inside a room with no exits, realized for the first time that I am indeed a prisoner, and yearn for a freedom about which I know nothing. I expect liberation to dissolve my expectations, collapse the room, and leave nothing but effortless clarity.

Liberation is only the first step.It will allow you to see the lie you are living.

There is a secondary reason, to be fully honest. Since I can remember I have been passionate about making music and inventing musical instruments. In playing I have come to understand that music flows best when "I" am not there making it, systematizing, analyzing. The best form of practice is the practice of getting out of my own way. My decades-long quest to invent an instrument with genuinely unprecedented capabilities has resulted in my currently building a new kind of slide-piano. The music it is capable of has never been created from a single instrument. So, when it is complete I want to give it the musician it deserves, offering its new voice to the world with a free heart. I don't want to "play" it. I want to get out of the way and let the music be what it needs to be. To lose myself and evoke the muse, so to speak. And perhaps through its voice, inspire others to lose themselves as well. Its a mundane dream but a lovely one.

Sorry Clark but liberation won't change that.It's about seeing the truth about how you percieve the world.It definately has'nt helped my tennis game LOL


Thank you for helping me with this. Intuition also tells me that what this web community offers is perhaps a global singularity for the positive transformation of the world. I feel blessed to have found it. Per your request I will try to forget what I have read for now and just focus on the process at hand. Please be hard on me, ruthless even, until I am through the gate. Call out my bullshit. I want to be out of this room in a bad way.

I will.First off I want you to watch your simple everyday actions like picking up your coffee cup and drinking while reading this.I want you to see how automatic it was.How you did'nt even realise you did it.How when you walk that there's nothing controlling it.It's just walking.Seeing is just seeing.Thinking is just thinking.I want you to stop the intellectual stuff and observe life,lifeing

Clark

Cheers
Andrew

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Calyx
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Calyx » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:03 am

Hi Andrew,
I observed my actions today and can totally see that I don't control my movements. Washing my hands I noticed how they just did it by themselves. This isn't surprising though. Muscle memory is responsible for the vast majority of our movement. Maybe even all of it. Learning to dance salsa feels like you have to consciously coordinate everything but that's not true. The body already knows how to balance and shift weight, learned as a baby. It's all built up on a lifetime of muscle memory that needs no control by anything personal.

I may recognize that muscle memory is not "me" any more than my current personality is. However, the limbs don't just start dancing themselves. Something must give them the initial command to start doing so. That is where I sense a "me". I may not have controlled every nerve impulse and managed muscular mitochondrial metabolism but it feels like I gave some kind of instruction to begin it. The initial impetus to "begin dancing" feels like the result of a personal will. Certainly not every impetus, not even most, but enough to reassure me that I as presence can initiate action in the world and experience the result.

How can I test whether or not this impetus came from "me" or if it too just happened? How can I be assured that it is a mistaken assumption when my direct experience seems to confirm it?

Clark

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Andrew1
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Andrew1 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:40 am

Hi Andrew,
I observed my actions today and can totally see that I don't control my movements. Washing my hands I noticed how they just did it by themselves. This isn't surprising though. Muscle memory is responsible for the vast majority of our movement. Maybe even all of it. Learning to dance salsa feels like you have to consciously coordinate everything but that's not true. The body already knows how to balance and shift weight, learned as a baby. It's all built up on a lifetime of muscle memory that needs no control by anything personal.

Exactly it is just happening.Sure you have to learn to do things but watch when you are learning.There still is'nt a you learning,just learning.

I may recognize that muscle memory is not "me" any more than my current personality is. However, the limbs don't just start dancing themselves. Something must give them the initial command to start doing so. That is where I sense a "me". I may not have controlled every nerve impulse and managed muscular mitochondrial metabolism but it feels like I gave some kind of instruction to begin it. The initial impetus to "begin dancing" feels like the result of a personal will. Certainly not every impetus, not even most, but enough to reassure me that I as presence can initiate action in the world and experience the result.

It is a desire to dance Clark.Just like a desire to eat or drink.Can you look behind the desire and find an "I"?."You" still have emotions,feelings,thoughts wants and desires etc and nothing will change after awakening.

How can I test whether or not this impetus came from "me" or if it too just happened? How can I be assured that it is a mistaken assumption when my direct experience seems to confirm it?

Yes you can by looking at REAL life.Look at all your experiences and see that everything you do is directly from some conditioning from your past.Your false self is just built up from things that you have learnt from others.Nothing you say is original but learnt throughout your life.Think about that.You are living your life by someone elses rules.When you see this you will also see that the you that you think you are is just conditioning from when you were a baby until now.Things like how you put your pants on to how you brush your hair.All your thoughts are from somewhere other than "you".
Another thing,if there was a you why can't you stop all those craooy thoughts that seem to pop up out of nowhere?.Look at your thoughts and tell me where they are coming from.


Clark

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Calyx
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Calyx » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:13 am

I have been mulling over something you said yesterday: "it is a desire to dance... Can you look behind the desire and did an I?". Well I looked and no, I can't. There is no perception of a person desiring. I suppose it makes sense. No one is needed to operate the mechanism of desire. Like dancing or whistling it just happens according to the capacity of whatever is dancing. We could go on and on examining the desire to desire but I suspect that it's all the same. There is no perceivable entity at the origin of any thought.

I can certainly see that thoughts are not me. But where is the attention coming from that sustains a thread of thought? I looked into that as well and could not find anyone behind the attention.

All this still feels like an intellectual exercise. Despite recognizing the automaticity of action it still feels like I am present. Perhaps that feeling is also just something that arises; a feeling just like desire. But who witnesses the feeling of presence? Is presence witnessed or witnessing? This, I can not tell. Is this the right question to ask or should I stop analyzing? What am I not seeing?

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Calyx
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Calyx » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:20 am

Also, it just occurred to me that I don't really know what a "me" even looks like. That is, how would I even recognize a me if there were one there at all? It's not like I can compare it to anything known.

The closest I can come to understanding it is how I am just a point of reference for experience. And like a mathematical point I am just a location and not anything that exists. Points don't exist. They are just a location from which all other things can be referenced.

But referenced by who?

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Andrew1
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Andrew1 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:03 am

I have been mulling over something you said yesterday: "it is a desire to dance... Can you look behind the desire and did an I?". Well I looked and no, I can't. There is no perception of a person desiring. I suppose it makes sense. No one is needed to operate the mechanism of desire. Like dancing or whistling it just happens according to the capacity of whatever is dancing. We could go on and on examining the desire to desire but I suspect that it's all the same. There is no perceivable entity at the origin of any thought.

Exactly,it's just happening.It's just lifeing as they say.Yoy still had to learn how to do these things and they went into your memory but that's it.You could say your like a computer.Stuff is inputed into the memory be it brain memory or muscle memory.You see you have been so used to a you all these years that it's hard to imgine that you are just living life

I can certainly see that thoughts are not me. But where is the attention coming from that sustains a thread of thought? I looked into that as well and could not find anyone behind the attention.

Thought,attention,eating,driving...it's all just you ( body/mind ) living.Nothing magical behind it.You only have to observe yourself and you will see that everything is on auto pilot.

All this still feels like an intellectual exercise.

You are looking for a you instead of looking at life.Look at life and forget about a you for now.

Despite recognizing the automaticity of action it still feels like I am present. Perhaps that feeling is also just something that arises; a feeling just like desire.

There will always feel like there's a you.That won't go away.When liberated you will see through that illusion.It's only a look away.

But who witnesses the feeling of presence? Is presence witnessed or witnessing? This, I can not tell. Is this the right question to ask or should I stop analyzing? What am I not seeing?

No one witnesses it.It's just you ( body/mind ).There is awareness and your thoughts have hijacked it and claimed it as their own.Don't forget that "you" are alive,you are thinking and acting but there's not entity behind it all,just 'Clark" living his life with everyone else.Look at every detail of daily life and see how it just happens without an entity behind it.It's nothing strange.It's natural.It's strange to think that something is controlling it all.Another thing is to watch others.You will notice how they do things on auto pilot.It's all conditioning from a young age Clark.Spend the next 24 hours honestly looking at life in action without trying to find a me and tell me what you see
Cheers
Andrew

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Calyx
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Calyx » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:24 am

Hi Andrew,
When i try to just "honestly look at life in action without trying to find a me" I almost feel a bit disembodied. As if there is this body going about things and I am observing it from front row seats.

An old friend came back to town today and it brought up some strong feelings which I let play out, observing how they emerged and mingled with thought to transform in a dynamically alive way. But I observed it uninvolved, like a spectator. I didn't ask who was spectating.

I can only sustain this for a little while before I am drawn back into the play of personhood. It is easy to forget about exploring and allowing detachment when i am personally involved in the experience. Does it become easier with practice?

I also struggle with not doing anything. Not looking for me, not attending to the internal and external discourse. Just allowing it to happen. Is this what you wanted me to explore?

Thank you again for helping me to explore this. I have the deepest appreciation for your patience.

Clark

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Andrew1
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Andrew1 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:35 am

When i try to just "honestly look at life in action without trying to find a me" I almost feel a bit disembodied. As if there is this body going about things and I am observing it from front row seats.

So can you see that it is all just happening without a you?.That you still have thoughts,emotions etc,that "you" are still living life but without an "I" taking credit for everything.The "I" will always be there Clark,it does'nt vanish.What you need to do is see it for what it is...an illusion made up by the mind/thoughts.

An old friend came back to town today and it brought up some strong feelings which I let play out, observing how they emerged and mingled with thought to transform in a dynamically alive way. But I observed it uninvolved, like a spectator. I didn't ask who was spectating.

No spectator,just awareness.Look at that awareness.Now look at the thoughts that came up when you had the strong feelings.Were they just some conditioned thoughts that gave you an opinion.

I can only sustain this for a little while before I am drawn back into the play of personhood. It is easy to forget about exploring and allowing detachment when i am personally involved in the experience. Does it become easier with practice?

As I said,the "you" will always be there.Seeing as false is the trick.But don't fool yourself,look hard at the imagined you and see it for what it is.Anything becomes easier in time.The first step is seeing it.

I also struggle with not doing anything. Not looking for me, not attending to the internal and external discourse. Just allowing it to happen. Is this what you wanted me to explore?

Funnily Clark it is just happening and always has done.You were'nt looking for a "me" when you were a child but life was still happening was'nt it.Think back to your earliest memories and see if you identified as strongly with a "me" as you do now.I doubt it,but as more people said "you" were clever,"you" were good looking,"you" were thin,"you" were fat the more you identified with a "ME".Allowing it to happen is an exercise.Allow things to go on as normal in your life but also observe that there's no you controlling it such as picking up your coffee cup between typing here.Your thirsty,you reach over and pick up the cup and drink while at the same time reading what you have just written.Did you see any me make that command or was it automatic?.

Thank you again for helping me to explore this. I have the deepest appreciation for your patience.

It's all good mate.The thing is don't take it too seriously because everything is already happening.Just relax and observe real life( it's something you're not used to ) and it WILL happen.
Cheers
Andrew

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Calyx
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Calyx » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:50 am

Yes. I can see that it's happening without a me. It's especially evident with the physical stuff. Walking, speaking, shaving, etc. It's less evident with the mental stuff: directing threads of thought with attention. I write software for money; paid to analyze logical systems and dwell in thought all day. It's kinda hard to do my job and attend to awakening simultaneously. But I can see that all that logic is impersonal too, just not as clearly and only for a short while. I think its getting easier the more I sit with it.

It kind of feels like I am being carried along by life, which is not that different from how I felt before. I can't honestly say that I see the self as illusion yet, although I understand how it could be. It has been an interesting day.

Clark

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Calyx
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Re: Looking for what?

Postby Calyx » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:18 am

One more thought just arose. The most I can say is that I am filled not with increasing certainty about my own nature but with increasing doubt. I even doubt whether or not I can be honest about it. If I was able to be self-dishonest for four decades then how can I possibly know what it even means to be self-honest? How is it possible to learn without an example of self honesty that I can reference? Is this what I am learning? Is there anything I have assumed true in the past that actually is? I feel like the only thing I know for sure is that I am.

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Andrew1
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Re: Looking for my self

Postby Andrew1 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:25 am

Yes. I can see that it's happening without a me. It's especially evident with the physical stuff. Walking, speaking, shaving, etc.

Good,keep looking

It's less evident with the mental stuff: directing threads of thought with attention.

Look at what the thoughts are in reaction to.When you see that you will again see that it does not involve a "you".

I write software for money; paid to analyze logical systems and dwell in thought all day. It's kinda hard to do my job and attend to awakening simultaneously. But I can see that all that logic is impersonal too, just not as clearly and only for a short while. I think its getting easier the more I sit with it.

When doing your job you are living life.Nothing will change there.The difference is doing the job and thinking that there's a personal "you" doing the job.That there's a personal "you" doing it when in actual fact it's "just" doing it.

It kind of feels like I am being carried along by life,

Yes...just live it without an illusory you butting in and making it difficult.As I said the illusory you won't dissapear but you'll see that it is an imaginary entity conjured up by your thoughts.

I can't honestly say that I see the self as illusion yet, although I understand how it could be.

Imagine you have grown up with no human contact.You can't read,write or even talk.THINK ABOUT THIS.......So there's no voice inside your head.No one has said "you are" to you so you don't identify with a personal you.No you are tall,short clever or slow.THINK ABOUT THIS....You wake up when you've slept enough.You drink when your thirsty.You eat when you're hungry.You live life.THINK ABOUT THIS...Can you imagine what that would be like.It's how animals live their lives.They don't have imaginary selves.You only have an imaginary self because your intelligence has thought one up.

It has been an interesting day.

Good.Keep at it



Clark
Cheers
Andrew


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