Would like someone to help me double check

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benpaton
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Would like someone to help me double check

Postby benpaton » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:51 pm

Hello, may name is Ben. I’ve been a spiritual seeker on and off for a couple of years. The last couple of months I would say I’ve had a bit of a spiritual awakening and I have been more intensively searching, moving from one teaching and book to another. I found my way to Elena and Ilona’s batgap interview and now I’ve just finished reading Gateless Gatecrashers.

Since a revelation during meditation a couple of years ago I realized I could watch my thoughts from another view point and I’ve known for awhile that thoughts seem to come out of nowhere. Early in the book on page 39 when Elena is talking about finding a unicorn in the room I had a bit of a revelation when I realized just as I could look for a unicorn and not find one I couldn’t find myself, only emptiness. I imagined myself hiding in a draw under my bed hugging a unicorn tightly, which made me laugh out loud.

Then a second revelation came on page 138 when Christie talked about a video which describes the 6 seconds it takes for the brain to inform the mind of it’s actions. I went and found this video on YouTube and then realized that this is it. My mind has been labeling everything that has been flowing in my life, identifying with it, claiming it, pretending the conscious mind is in control and making up stories around events. Just as I don’t trust all the thoughts that come up, I now stop my mind when an ‘I’ thought comes up. I now seem to be able to stop it mid track and examine its value. Immediately after watching this video I felt freer, like life was happening and I was no longer responsible.

I feel like I’ve seen through the illusion of the self but would like it very much if someone could help me double check for certain?

Thanks in advance,

Ben

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby dreamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:05 am

Hi Ben

Let us doublecheck :)

Who is stopping your mind when an 'I' thought comes up?
Is it your mind?
What does 'I' point to in your intro?

Warm regards Vivi

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby benpaton » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:42 am

Hi Vivi, thanks so much for replying, very kind of you!

Thoughts seem to come up less these days than they used to as a result of meditation and spiritual texts I’ve read it seems. However thoughts do still come up and often I snap out of them half way through. Throughout this process I am going to drop all other seeking of course.

Since finishing reading Gateless Gatecrahsers yesterday the existence of 'I' thoughts has become apparent. Similarly to how normal thoughts get stopped when an 'I' thought surfaces the thought just stops and a voice says something like "you were in that mental cinema again". Other times awareness just seems to notice the thought and it stops dead without the voice and I realise my mind was trying to label something.

I'm not sure who is doing the stopping of the thoughts or the labelling. I would like to say no one is stopping them they are just being noticed and stopped. I'm not sure who is cutting in and saying "you were in that mental cinema again" perhaps just another thought surfacing and interrupting?
It seems virtually impossible to not use ‘I’ in conventional language to explain things!
The 'I' in my intro points to the experiences in my life story which have been occurring. These experiences, finding spirituality, have been happening in real life. The 'I' is just a way in language to point to where these experiences have been occurring.

Hope this helps answer your questions?

Thanks, Ben

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby dreamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:16 pm

Hello Ben

Is it your mind?
I'm not sure who is doing the stopping of the thoughts or the labelling. I would like to say no one is stopping them they are just being noticed and stopped. I'm not sure who is cutting in and saying "you were in that mental cinema again" perhaps just another thought surfacing and interrupting?
When you are not sure, look in to it. You 'would like to' say no one is stopping thoughts. Is no one stopping thoughts, do they stop by them selves? Is 'you were in that mental cinema again' another thought?
These experiences, finding spirituality, have been happening in real life.
What is real life and what is not real life.

What is the double-checking about, what makes you unsure that you have seen?

Greetings Vivi

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby benpaton » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:29 pm

Hi Vivi,

I sat with this a little bit, either one of two scenarios now happen when thoughts occur. Thought stops of it’s own accord or another thought interrupts it. Interrupting is my mind I think, the interrupting thoughts are like “this is just a thought” or “you’re in that mental cinema again”. Thought then stops.

A challenging question to answer “What is real life and what is not real life.” Real life is the experiences we have. In the world where you can touch objects thoughts aren’t real.

When I looked what the double checking is about I realised that it is a form of seeking, a form of validation. When I asked why do I need validation, nothing came back, just emptiness, there didn’t seem to be anything behind it.

Kind regard, Ben

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby dreamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:47 pm

Good Ben
Very clear answers
Yes all there is is experience. What are objects, really?

Do you feel anything is missing in seeing that 'I' does not exist?
If you do, what.
Is more double checking felt as wanted/needed/

Would you like to be asked what is called the Final questions?

have a nice day/evening
Vivi

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby benpaton » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:29 pm

Hello Vivi,

I found it difficult to answer what objects are. The best I can come up with is that they are tangible things. Things the senses can detect or things we can grasp. For example a laptop is an object.

As far as I can tell nothing is missing from seeing that the ‘I’ doesn’t exist. I had a worry that I was not 100% certain just now when I read your last post, so I investigated and asked “Who’s not 100% certain the ‘I’ doesn’t exist”, there was emptiness, nothing came up. Not being 100% seemed to be thought which came up and went again. There was no who behind this thought.

Another thought/worry that just appeared was “Will this be maintained in the future”. The answer I got back was again emptiness then a thought of “It doesn’t matter there is no I to maintain it, life will flow”.

I would like to be asked the final questions, yes, if you think they are appropriate.

It’s daytime here in the UK, a very relaxing Sunday morning so far. I hope you are having a good day/evening as well. Thanks for your questioning so far.

Kind regards, Ben

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby dreamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:26 pm

You seem to be ready for the final questions.
So here they come.



1) Is there a 'me', 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.



3) How does it feel to see this? describe in detail.



4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion but is curious about it.



5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look? was there a specific moment when seeing happened or was it gradual? what exactly happened?



If you like you can look into what objects are, by doing this experiment:

sit at at table. Put you hand on the table and close your eyes. In direct experience - without taking into account anything you have heard, read, learned, assumed and believed, without noticing what thoughts say do you experience any borders between hand and table?

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby benpaton » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:24 pm

Thanks Vivi, I will try my best to answer these:

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

There is not a real me, not that I can point to. There is awareness, that is all. I don’t think there was ever a real me just thoughts of a me in the past which came up.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.

I think the illusion of separate self comes from a point when our young conscious minds must have learnt to start labeling things as a way of identifying with things. As a way of taking ownership an ‘I’ is created. An event/occurrence happens and we must have learnt to think that this event must have happened to ‘I’, or because this event happened ‘I’ am now feeling this way. ‘I’ am impacted like this. Nowhere in my upbringing was I taught to question my thoughts. Through looking I have seen these thoughts seem to come out of nowhere and also disappear into nowhere. They are the result of thoughts creating a self. The thoughts may be real, in the fact that they do occur but you do not have to believe them. The separate self is a thought which can be believed or not believed. Once you have not believed in it however I think it would be hard to believe in it again.

3) How does it feel to see this? describe in detail.

The two feelings I have had since I started seeing the ‘I’ thoughts is a feeling of freedom and of relaxation. A feeling that I can just be, that life can flow and I can sit back and enjoy it. But actually there is no one to sit back. Life can just flow and be enjoyed. This feels a little bit scary for second, but life has always just flowed. Before I was just labeling it with an I.

4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion but is curious about it.

I’m not sure ‘I’ could describe it easily to someone but if someone was curious I would say something like, “Life still continues as it did before. You can relax if you can learn to watch your thoughts and then if you can further realise your self is just another thought then there can be a deeper relaxation and the realisation of a truth. This truth is that your self is a construct from thoughts and isn’t real but you need see this from your own experience or inquiry to believe it.”

There is less thoughts coming up now, so I could say my mind is less cluttered but it’s a Sunday and I have less stimulation around me to create lots of thoughts and a mental haze. I will see in the working week if my mind is still as clear. I expect thoughts will always still arise and more will arise when I’m busy but identification with them will now be different.

5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look? was there a specific moment when seeing happened or was it gradual? what exactly happened?

The last bit that pushed me over was when I re-read what I posted earlier “Real life is the experiences we have. In the world where you can touch objects thoughts aren’t real.” Just after I posted it I looked at and was struck by something. Here I am writing thoughts aren’t real. If ‘I’ exist in thought I myself am saying I’m not real. I then sat very still in the realisation I had just declared myself not to exist. I do believe thoughts exist, they come up, but thoughts are just thoughts.

It has been a gradual experience starting from a spiritual curiousness leading to reading Gateless Gatecrashers and the two experiences I had during reading this book in my earlier post. Looking for the unicorn and myself and learning from that video that the brain informs the conscious mind of action after a six second delay also had a profound affect on me. If things happen or are decided and it’s six seconds later our conscious minds learn of it, then how can the ‘I’ thought which exists in conscious mind labeling things really be the master of anything. This really unstuck the ‘I’ thought for me.

I struggle with the hand on the table experiment. I feel like the body is a vessel, when I place my hand on my table there are no borders expect an aliveness to my hand and a dullness to the table. The table is colder and harder. They are not different apart from the physical sensations I just described. Please explain what should be experienced in this experiment?

I’m interested in what parts of this forum are best to use for support if I have further questions as time goes by?

Thanks so much for your time!

Kind regards, Ben

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby dreamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:53 pm

Hi Ben
Thank you for you're answers.
I don’t think there was ever a real me just thoughts of a me in the past which came up.
Please look into this again. Was the 'I' ever real?

Hand on table. If you look 'beyond' what the labelling mind is naming the experience. Do you experience any borders between tha hand and the table? Can you point out where the hand stops and the table begin? Not taking into account what you assume, believe, think. Just the experience right now.

I am not telling you what should be experienced ..it is your thoughts that want to know ;)

greetings Vivi

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby benpaton » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:05 pm

Hi Vivi,

Looking into this no the ‘I’ was never real and could never have been real. When I think back to past events I see that they happened and then labeling thoughts would have followed but the ‘I’ was never real.

I tried the hand on table experiment again. If I sit and look beyond the labeling mind then there is no boundaries between the table and my hand. There’s no way to distinguish the two apart, they could be the same as if both were energy or nothing.

Kind regards, Ben

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby dreamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:48 pm

Hello Ben
Looking into this no the ‘I’ was never real and could never have been real. When I think back to past events I see that they happened and then labeling thoughts would have followed but the ‘I’ was never real.
Good!
I tried the hand on table experiment again. If I sit and look beyond the labeling mind then there is no boundaries between the table and my hand. There’s no way to distinguish the two apart, they could be the same as if both were energy or nothing.
Exactly. And direct experiencing do you find any borders between body and not-body, between body and chair?

Does this give you a hint of what objects are?

greetings Vivi

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby benpaton » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:38 pm

Hi Vivi,

Examining body and not-body, body and chair. Without labeling, beyond this, there is no way to distinguish where one starts or the other one finishes. With eyes closed now, without labeling it seems it’s not possible to direct experience the existence of anything, as if nothing really exists and objects are nothing. It’s like with eyes open a world exists, eyes closed all ceases to exist.

Kind regards, Ben

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby dreamer » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:50 pm

Hi Ben

Fine observations. It is not that objects exist with eyes open and not with eyes closed. It is just that it seems much easier to see beyond labelling (thoughts) when slightly sense deprived (no sight).

All there is is experiencing :)

What significance does this have in relation to objects?

Greetings Vivi

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Re: Would like someone to help me double check

Postby benpaton » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:32 pm

Hi Vivi,

In relation to objects it seems they can’t exist or that they exist only due to labeling which is a process to make sense of something that we can then associate and interact with.

Kind regards, Ben


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