What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

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EHS
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What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:07 pm

I was reading the gatecrashers book and I got completely stuck with this question: What does the thought of "I" point to?

The deepest answer I could get to is that the "I" points to that element which creates meaning in all the sense perceptions that flow into the body. It is like a center where all these perceptions end up and are put into a unifying story: I am me and this is my house. I am sitting in my chair looking out the window at a tree in the garden. "I" am the storymaker so to speak which based on memories and experiences of the past filters and orders the input of the now into a coherent story. And one of the key elements in the creation of this story is that all the perceptions seem centered "here". I cannot hear or see what is going on at the other end of the street. I cannot even know that there is any other end of the street, it only exists as an idea. So "I" feel localized where my body is and where the world is being sensed.

I completely understand that this story the "I" is creating is relative and based on the specific filtering of my beliefs and understandings of the world. None the less I cannot seem to feel my way behind this "I". It seems to be always there as the center, the lense, the point of focus through which the world is being experienced. I can have moments, sometimes long ones, of pure joy in experiencing what is. I can walk in the woods and everything is simply what it is and I feel a great peace and freedom and all is OK including that I tell my "I"-stories, but then it goes and always sooner or later I am back as "I" projecting a past or future story about freedom and so not experiencing it now.

I have sort of learned to live with this since I saw through the whole predicament of seeking and how that is in itself what pushes me out of now. But then I happened to come across LU and although mixed with a lot of doubt and fear of disapointment the story has awoken again: maybe here is the final solution, the ultimate liberation, the permanent freedom - all these things that I clearly still hope for and desire like nothing else. And I am afraid of this desire. I fear that it will only lead to frustration. That frustration is build into it, that the dream of liberation is an illusion with which we haunt ourselves and that only a precious few experience it for real and that the rest are simply lying to themselves, living in a fantasy world which I really want to avoid.

Needless to say that also sparks some doubt towards you who would offer to guide me: Can it really be done? Are you the real deal or just someone fooling yourself with the best intentions? The last thing I want is to fool myself into anything. What I want is the truth. That above all else.

Well. So many words. Too many, my mind says. Noone will want to guide me now, it says. I am lost.

So be it. Rather lost than dishonest is my answer. But behind that, underneath, hidden because I believe that it will hurt me less if I don't admit it: a childish hope that someone - the right one - will hear this call and help me through.

Ernest

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby lex » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:07 am

What I want is the truth. That above all else.
I'm delighted to have the honor to work with someone that is so motivated and earnest.
Rather lost than dishonest
Couldn't agree more. Hope you get lost soon and forever. 8^)

I briefly repeat the few "rules", which I suppose you read in the introduction:
1. Write from experience, not speculation.
2. Be 100% honest.
3. Post regularly.
I suppose that you understand and agree.
I will put one more now, actually my interpretation of 1:
Although it is good to use our thinking equipment at times, our field of investigation will be direct experience and our tool observation, sheer looking.

Your subject is “What does the "I" point to” ?
My first question is then: What do the words "I" and "you" point to in daily life? What is the use of it in communication?
Just simply without mysticism or philosophy, what is the personal pronoun for?

Let's see about your expectations from this process:
I feel a great peace and freedom and all is OK including that I tell my "I"-stories, but then it goes
Do you expect this process to make that peace lasting?
maybe here is the final solution, the ultimate liberation, the permanent freedom
Do you have more expectations from seeing there is no self, apart from seeing there is no self?

Now let's investigate some of the things that you put forth:
It is like a center where all these perceptions end up and are put into a unifying story
Is this center itself experienced? Or is it a story too?
I completely understand that this story the "I" is creating is relative and based on the specific filtering of my beliefs and understandings of the world.
That is a good start. Almost there. Only thing left is to see that this "I" is a story too. Seems you have a hunch about that already, putting “I” between quotes.
I cannot seem to feel my way behind this "I"
That can have two reasons:
1. There is only one "I", so this "I" can't get behind itself.
0. There is no "I" at all.
Worth pondering, not?
That is your homework. When you go about your daily life, especially when you are performing simple actions like cleaning the dishes, walking, taking a shower, etc. investigate if there is "someone", a self, an "I" doing the walking, taking decisions, creating the feelings, thinking the thoughts, formulating words. It's not complicated and it doesn't need effort or special attention or a lot of alertness. Just relaxed, but honest observation.

Good luck and take the time you need.

Looking forward to your reply.

Lex

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:35 am

Hi Lex,

Thank you so much for coming to my rescue. Or.. well. Not "my" rescue, I suppose. The opposite :o)

First:
My first question is then: What do the words "I" and "you" point to in daily life? What is the use of it in communication? Just simply without mysticism or philosophy, what is the personal pronoun for?
On a practical level "I" and "you" seem to refer to bodies. "Dad, where are you?" my son asks. "I am in here", I answer, referring to where my body is located. 
When I imagine this scene, I "see" an image of my body standing in one room and his in another. When I doublecheck I can see other situations (remembered and imagined) and they all begin with an image of my body in a certain context. So it would seem that my internal representation of myself, of "I" is also an image of my body seen from the outside. 
Sometimes I say things like "I am happy". In those cases it is not so much the body as an object I refer to but the emotional state of the body. There is a certain sensation in the body - a bobbeling feeling of lightness and sunshine - and I have learned to express that (inwardly and outwardly) as "happy". 
But there is more to it. When I say "I am happy" or "I am in here" it refers to more than a body. I speak of "my body" and "my emotions". So "I" and "you" refer to more than just bodies and their states. It refers to the owner of the body so to speak. The controlling force, an individual consiousness with a free will who makes decisions based on thinking and is responsible for the actions of the body.  
So "I" and "you" in daily communication refers to the thinker "inside" the body, "behind" (and affected by) the emotional states. A constant in all the changing moods and sensations which learns and evolves and as such changes, but in a linear way and with some sort of essence intact, like the body which looks different after 40 years but still has recognizable fearures connecting the child to the old man. 
Do you expect this process to make that peace lasting?
Yes! Yesterday I was deep in the experience of "I am", walking in the forest talking to a friend on the phone. She told me someone thought I was bossy (which I don't like) and I could feel the burning sensation in my stomach and a lot of reactions going on, but it didn't have anything to do with this "I am". My story is: I was so identified with "I am" that what was going on in the psychology of the character Ernest did not affect me. I could sense it happening but my head was above water so to speak, completely peaceful and at ease while these emotional processes played themselves out. 

So this is how I imagine the lasting effect: that the psychology of it, the emotions, thoughts and beliefs can happen, but I don't identify with them - and over time I imagine that even they fall away and there is only peace and a quiet joy in seeing the magnificence of life playing around me.  (I notice the "me" here). 
Do you have more expectations from seeing there is no self, apart from seeing there is no self?
For the Ernest character there is a lot of expectations/hope along the lines of: I will finally be that perfect being whom everyone will respect or who will not care if they don't, he will just love them anyway (thus proving how supremely wonderful he is). He will never be hurt again, he will live in a constant state of bliss and appreciation of life in the Now, not believing his worth as a person is connected to success in what he does, always loving himself and being able to laugh at his own inabilities, and so being an example for others, who will love and respect him even more and around and around it goes. 

When "I am" I know this for what it is. When I am under preassure and identify with having to succeed and make a good impression or think I need someone to love me or whatever, my knowledge that this is a contradiction becomes only intellectual. 

So just now, not being under any type of pressure, I reread what I have written above and it felt good. I thought it was precise and intelligent and immediately came an image of you reading it and going:"wow, this guy is really special, I have never heard this stated so well, he is honest and precise and sticks to the questions. He is really a joy to work with (unlike all the other difficult cases I have to deal with). I must show this to Ilona and Elena and all the others". And I see you doing that and everyone going: ahh, and liking me. "And if we make a new book, we must remember to include this!"

All of that happened in just a split second, and that is what I am talking about. I am so sick of it and I dream of it going away and setting me free to just be me without having to compare or compete or search for love and approval.
 
So yes, that is the expectation also. 
Now let's investigate some of the things that you put forth:
It is like a center where all these perceptions end up and are put into a unifying story
Is this center itself experienced? Or is it a story too?
This was a very good question. No, it is not experienced. It is just a story. 
I cannot seem to feel my way behind this "I"
That can have two reasons:
1. There is only one "I", so this "I" can't get behind itself.
0. There is no "I" at all.
Worth pondering, not?
What I observe is this:
1. The "I am" is the only one. So there is no way behind that. I can't capture it right now since my focus is on thinking and it is very clear how with thinking as the tool there is no way of getting it. But I remember what it is like when "I am" and then "I am" is all. There is no outside or behind. It simply is what is. No need to look for anything else either, no desire to. 

0. The other "I" that I am trying to get behind cannot be gotten behind either because it is just a story. It has no real existence so there is no "behind". If I look somewhere I think is behind, it just congregates there. Just now I imagine it like I imagine the quantum field: the particles are potentially everywhere and whereever you look, they will show up. Thus there can be nothing behind them. 

That feels clarifying. Thank you. 
That is your homework. When you go about your daily life, especially when you are performing simple actions like cleaning the dishes, walking, taking a shower, etc. investigate if there is "someone", a self, an "I" doing the walking, taking decisions, creating the feelings, thinking the thoughts, formulating words. It's not complicated and it doesn't need effort or special attention or a lot of alertness. Just relaxed, but honest observation.
There is absolutely definately no self present or required in the simple tasks. It all happens by itself, and I really havo no idea how. How does these fingers move? I wouldn't be able to explain it even if my life depended on it. 

I find myself on the sofa and I have no idea how I got there. I can very quickly project a story to explain it but I really don't know if it is true. Which leg did I move first? Why did I decide to sit down? I didn't. It happened by itself. 

Looking out the window I just asked my wife: is the wheather nice out? I have no idea why. It just happened. 

Now some fear is stirring. My mind began to contemplate a life like this, completely surrendered to this flow with no controller. And the thought hit: you will lose her. You will lose everything. 
Some drama there. And yet I see that when I do not contemplate it, everything goes back to being OK. She asked a question and an answer came by itself. No problem really. 

So in simple tasks: clearly noone there. 

I just made another intersting observation. I was taking a shower, and first of all: everything was going on by itself. I was washing my hair, but it was just happening because what should otherwise have been the "doer", my thinking mind that is, was very busy talking to you, so there was noone there running the practical side of it.

But what struck me was this: In my mind I was having a conversation with you, reiterating the points from above and saying to you that I would like to do the facilitation work that you do and asking if there was a playbook you were following and so on. And although I was definately doing most of the talking, now and then you answered or asked or acknowledged what I was saying. And here is the point: I suddenly realized that playing the character of you felt exactly the same as playing the character of me. Apart from me taking up a lot more talking time, there was no real difference in it. And if "me" is real, it should feel different from the obvious not-real "you"-part that I am also playing. But it didn't. I was identifying more with the "me"-part, sure, but in substance there was no difference. Both were just characters in this play-conversation.

Ernest

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:00 pm

A couple of further observations:

When I engage in activities that are more dynamic than showering and brushing my teeth, I forget myself completely. I play with my children or run a few arrends and there isn't a single thought about "me" there. They step in after the fact. What impression did I make? Should I have said so and so? When "I did it" it just happened by itself. "I" show up in the evaluation afterwards.

Only when something is anticipated to be potentially problematic or thought to require handling does identification as "I", the doer, step in in advance to plan and control tone of voice, gestures etc. This identification is also not done, though. It happens by itself and suddenly "I" exist again in a universe of seperate identities, evaluating (some of the) activities while they transpire.

The mechanism seems to be the same though as when "I" step in after the fact, when what happened is replayed (retold) as a story with the Ernest character being evaluated; when "I" am there while events are taking place the story is just being told while it unfolds, so it is merely a matter of how long is the timelapse. In both cases it is not in the happening that "I" turn up. It is only in the story about the happening that "I" exist. (And based in part on prior experience and not fresh observations it seems that these "I"-stories are always about some sort of social relationship, about being loved or losing love, aproval, respect. But I may be speculating/thinking/storying here).

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby lex » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:10 pm

Wow, you're going full speed ahead. Great to see. The unveiling process is in acceleration.
Actually it is no miracle, because I am one of the best guides around. You are so lucky to get me. I can't wait to show Ilona and Elena how well we are doing. 8-D
As I demonstrate above these kind of thoughts appear here too, as well as: “I'm a total failure at guiding, I'd better give up”. Sometimes even they are believed (for a while). Don't want to scare you, just to be realistic.

I see you have BIG expectations and it's nice that you didn't hold back in exposing them, that is a great help. Now we can forget about them. Realizing and then relinquishing them is essential to clear the way. We are looking for the truth, not for interesting or pleasant side-effects.

I like to put again the question:
What do the words "I" and "you" point to in daily life?
because I feel that the answer could be different now. Keep it simple and try to be concise.
Let's make the appointment between us, that in our case with “you” and “me” we just mean both sides of this communication. You and me being Ernest and Lex, the guidee and the guide. If we investigate the concepts “I” and “me” we'll use quotes.

I can tell you roughly the guiding principles I use: It is mostly custom improvised questioning with emphasis on direct experience. Is that different from our conversation in the shower? I'm curious what I told you then.
I am so sick of it
That's a pity, I assure you that it is highly entertaining seen from another perspective.
There are no guarantees. These thoughts can become less or not. For sure, resistance to them will help to keep them in place. It is about seeing the truth of there being no such thing as a separate self, not about other states.

Talking about states, you mention this state which you call "I am" in which inner peace seem to be detached/not disturbed by emotions. What is this “I am”?
When I engage in activities that are more dynamic than showering and brushing my teeth, I forget myself completely.
Great and important observation. So what about “I am” in such a state?
it seems that these "I"-stories are always about some sort of social relationship
Yes, both real or imagined. No self without the other. What does that say about “others”?

I really enjoy your honest reporting and laughed out loud a couple of times.


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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:06 pm

Hi Lex,

Here we go :o)
these kind of thoughts appear here too, as well as: “I'm a total failure at guiding, I'd better give up”. Sometimes even they are believed (for a while). Don't want to scare you, just to be realistic.
Realistic is good. I am a bit disappointed, but as you say:
We are looking for the truth, not for interesting or pleasant side-effects.
And I can resonate with that. So be it!

Okay.
What do the words "I" and "you" point to in daily life?
I think I have found this one.

The words "I" and "you" point to a set of habitual patterns of thinking and behaving that is imprinted in the nervous system of a specific body, making responses and actions recognizable and predictable. It is like handwriting. You can recognize and decipher and even to a certain extend copy somebody's handwriting and similarily, I can act like my mother and my children will recognize it and say: you are pretending to be grandmother. 

So "I" and "you" refer to the programs (beliefs, habits etc.) that are running in our minds/bodies making us behave in certain ways that are then used as the basis for the stories of "who" we are, the stories of the supposed doer behind the behaviour.

In other words, I can say to you: "I ordered the salmon sandwich for you because I know that you don't like tuna." And I would be right in the sense that "your" mind/body dynamic has a preference towards salmon above tuna. Making it so easy to think there is a "you" in there, having the preferences, doing the eating etc.

Next, you ask:
you mention this state which you call "I am" in which inner peace seem to be detached/not disturbed by emotions. What is this “I am”?
"When I engage in activities that are more dynamic than showering and brushing my teeth, I forget myself completely."
Great and important observation. So what about “I am” in such a state?
At first I reacted against calling this a "state". This is the real thing, dammit. But then I made the following observations:

After seeing that I disappear when I involve myself completely in a dynamic activity, I now notice it is the same with everything else too. When I am absorbed in thought trying to solve some problem or when I am focussed on observing something, when I am looking for somebody etc., "I" am not there. All that is is the thing I focus on. There is nothing else present, it is like I become the thing, all thoughts are directed at it and there is nothing left to be "me". When I observe the sky, I am completely sky. When I listen to somebody explaining something, I am that explaination. Not in a metaphysical sense or anything like that, it simply is all that exist in my thoughts (and the use of "my" is very misleading here because it is not anybody's thoughts, it is just thinking happening). And then maybe the thought of myself shows up, and that becomes the focus for a moment and then on to the next thing, forgetting me, and then back to me again. 

So although my perspective when observing the physical world is anchored in the body and it's sense organs, mind/thinking/focus can move anywhere and "become" anything that fills it. (A little trouble with the words here). 

Now, in combination with your follow-up question: What about "I am" in such a state (of being engaged in dynamic activities), I realized that when I experience this state of "I am", this too is just what fills the mind/focus/thoughts in that moment. Because when I focus on something else - dynamic or not - "I am" disappears also. So "I am" is also just something that focus can be directed at and full of. But if focus goes to something else, that something else takes over. Indicating that "I am" is not the final point after all; that which experiences "I am" is the final point! How about that?!
No self without the other. What does that say about “others”?
This one is a bit more open and I am in doubt about which direction to take. It seems to invoke logics rather than direct observation - looking into it in any case only led me to logical dead-ends ("dead" in the barren sense of the word). So I have chosen not to report on that but ask you to repeat in a different form if it is relevant.

So what has really hit me in this round are these two:

1) "I" and "you" are not misleading words to use so long as I realize the limits of what they refer to - namely the body/mind-dynamic which is just running by itself without any doer or controller running it. It is simply a process like so many other things in nature (a tree, for instance, growing without a "grower").

2) What I am is not "I am" or anything flimsy like that. What I am is that which experiences it all, including "I am". And so it suddenly makes sense to me why so many talk about the eyes not being able to see themselves, the teeth not being able to bite themselves, the knife not being able to cut itself. I can't seem to make this which experiences the object of observation. This is where the buck ends, it seems. As soon as I try to make it an object of observation, it becomes a story being observed, and that which I wanted to observe is back in the observer-seat.

No. 1 is a combination of known things and so not all that difficult to take in (I think so right now, at least, but lets see). But no. 2 is really new, and I will be looking more into that , trying to stick with observing and avoid making theories out of it.

Thank you tremendously once again. You really need to show this to Ilona and Elena so they can see how good you are.

;o) E

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby lex » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:27 pm

Haha, yes, we're the best!
Unfortunately no time left today to answer.
Just a quick reaction, preparation to a longer answer: What is the body in direct experience? Are there organs, flesh, bones, arteries, blood, brains, a head, eyes?
that which experiences "I am" is the final point!
And is that you?
Is there "something" that can experience anyway?
Or is there just experiencing?

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:54 pm

Thanks for the quickie :o)

Just had a shower (no relation to above statement). This time all alone. This formulation came, by the way, nuancing what I had written earlier and going along the lines in your question ("Is that me?"): I am not the observer, I am that which observes. Will dive further into it, of course. Will also look at the body question.

But why I came back to write was that most of the shower consisted of a mild attack of panic.

I am not Ernest. He is just a robot (sounds so dead, but you understand) running by himself. No free will, just a complex set of reactions to stimuli based on conditioning. Like a dog, basically. So no free will there. What I really am (not taking your question above into account) is that which experiences. Which has no will either. It is just experiencing. Open space with no ability to shut anything out, allowing all that comes to come and be experienced. So I felt completely caught. No power to influence anything. A spectator, a passenger. Like on a train running on the rails towards whatever end and with no possibility to influence it in any way. Speed, direction, everything is just laid down since the Big Bang - cause and effect, conditioning in a chaotic system running on its own. So I feel a loss of control which is total. There is no little hidden corner where I can get back on top. All is out of my hands, I am caught, nowhere to run, forced to be here until the end, with no influence.

That really scares me right now.

I know it must be a story of course. There is nothing new in this, I understand. This is how it has always been, I have just been living the illusion of influence. But right now... auch.

OK. We will see who comes back first. I will look into your questions.

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:07 am

Hi Lex

I have been looking intensely into the body thing:
What is the body in direct experience? Are there organs, flesh, bones, arteries, blood, brains, a head, eyes?
I am unsure what counts as direct experience. And I think I am blocking because I am expecting to find a new profound insight form this question, but not finding it.

However, here is where I am:

First of all - there is no doer, that is clearer than ever. The whole thing is running by itself. I watch my hands as they tie my shoes or prepare dinner and I am struck by the elaborate movements, the coordination, the precision, all of it just happening. A bird flew past outside the window and my experience of the bird and the hands were exactly the same. Just watching them do their thing. No influence.

You ask if there are organs, head, blood, bones etc. And in direct experience the answer is "no". First of all they are all just concepts - words pointing to arbitrary divisions of the whole (where does "neck" end and "head" begin?) But as for the "objects" that the words point to - well, no head, I think (but here I am affected heavily by what I have read and heard, so it is difficult). I have never observed it directly, only seen it in mirrors and photographs. "My head" is just a story, an idea in the mind. The same goes for inner organs, blood, bones, eyes. What I observe are some kinestetic signals, sensory experience, "feelings" in the body like pressure, tension, warmth, soreness etc. And then of course the parts of the body that the eyes can see - front torso, legs, feet, arms, hands. They do not feel like "me" at all. They feel like they are external objects in the world like all other objects. (I censored "external" away at first because I know it is dividing, but I have to admit that this it how it feels: external - outside the mind (body, others, objects); internal - inside the mind (thinking and experiencing, "me"? No, not really me anymore, which is nice to notice. Mind and "me" are not as identical as they were)).

When I close my eyes and touch the head, all that really is are sensory signals coming to the mind. If someone could tap into the flow of signals and send the same kind of signals, I would not know the difference between the "real" and the "simulated". It is like The Matrix (the movie). I cannot know that the head exists really. It is only a flow of sensory impressions.

I have tried with a number of formulations of answers, but they all become quite conceptual and not very direct. (What is the body? Part of the manifest world. An object that can be experienced. A potential point of focus. A biological organism capable of expressing extremely varied behaviour and responding to stimuli in very nuanced ways. A selfcontrolling biological system.) But one thought that seemed to strike a chord in me was this: The body is a channel for sensing/experiencing the world. What I saw was that without the body, there would be no way of experiencing the world. The whole experience of the world happens through the body, without it there would be no experiencing.

This was nice, but it does create a division that I can see intellectually does not entirely fit the bill. Even with every clever wording I can invent, it still says: There is experiencing, there is the world and there is the body as the interface between these two, experience experiencing the world through the body. So it feels a bit off, but that is as far as I have come so far. If you can point me in some direction with it, that would be greatly appreciated.

In any case it opens up to your second question:
"that which experiences is the final point!
And is that you?
Is there "something" that can experience anyway?
Or is there just experiencing?
I will dive into that now, see where it takes me.

/E

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby lex » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:31 pm

Again a busy day, sorry, but I see you're doing fine on your own, or in other words: the process is running spontaneously in the right direction. As long as there is a clear discrimination between beliefs/thoughts and direct experience all will be fine. I also believe firmly in things like organs and also that the body is necessary to experience, but I am also very aware that this is a belief, not a direct experience.

I still see a subtle concept of an invisible and unknowable "experiencer", but that is what is under investigation now, so I trust that will be solved soon too.
If this experiencer (a.k.a. the absolute?) is invisible and unknowable, why postulate it?

Is there an experiencer anywhere or just experience/experiencing?

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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:09 pm

Hi Lex,

So... I have been looking at this experiencer and been unable to find anything. Yet there is a constant sense of "somebody is here, experiencing". It is as if the "doer" which has been seen through in the body has moved a floor up so now the body is doing its thing based only on conditioning and the mind is also just running along, associating and thinking its thoughts based on conditioning (this sometimes takes a little more effort to see, but it is known). But behind this, now there is the experiencer, but only as a sense of something, never seen directly.

It is like a slippery fish that keeps getting away, but not to a point where I lose the idea of it completely.

Then I realized that this is only when I am looking for it. When I focus on the inner processes, there is this notion of "I", the experiencer, the one who is focussing on what is going on. But any time I get lost in something - even very little things like putting the leash on my dogs collar or my eye getting caught by something on the street - then, when I come back to my focus on myself, I see that in the moment of attaching the leash, there wasn't anybody there. No doer, no experiencer, only experiencing happening.

So this is what I observe. Whenever something catches me enough, when I forget everything about everything and just is in the action, it all disappears. There is only the action or the object of attention. But the minute I become self aware, the minute I begin to examine myself for whatever reason, the sense of "the one who sees" shows up in the background.

I have been speculating that it is maybe because I am so used to the story that there must be a noun for any verb, there most be a subject for an action. Observing myself I notice that the underlying logic now that the "I" of the body is gone is the explanation that it is "the conditioning" / "the programming" / "the nervous system" that is doing it. So although I have lost the notion of an "I" inside the body with a free will, there is still the idea of a subject in a grammatical sense: "The program" doing the actions.

When I go to the experiencing going on, though, I can find no such entity or subject. I cant get a fix on anything doing the experiencing, I can't find any subject, and yet I still believe the story that there must be something there, because the notion of experiencing without an experiencer is simply too foreign.

These are speculations though. When we speak of direct observation, I can sum up as follows:

I have noticed the belief that "the programming" is now running the body. The idea that a process runs without a cause is not clear to me. I have been unable to find any experiencer, true, but there is still the sense of "something" there when I try to observe. However, when I forget everything and fall into action and then look back afterwards, I can see that the "something" wasn't there, only the action was happening and the experiencing of that action while it happened. This does not hit me strongly enough to wipe out the sense of "something" when I return to focus on myself, though.

This is where I am. I will keep looking, but any pointers would be nice.

/E

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lex
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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby lex » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:44 pm

Good work!

You are way past the gate, already crossed it, just didn't notice, so you keep on seeking. :-D
Well, that is what I seem to observe here, anyway.

What is probably “bothering” you is the “sense of self”. This “I am”, which is totally impersonal and can also be described as “awareness of existence” or “the sense of being alive.” It has no properties like the apparent Ernest apparently has. It's just a sense. A soft, pleasant, peaceful humming in the back. Here (with me) it is now the most constant and reliable “object” I know. More steady than gravity, more present than any other object. It is gone when the attention is totally absorbed by something interesting. I speculate (it is beyond my experience) even that in deep sleep this background becomes the foreground and expands to blissfulness. There are some "experts" within the "unleashed community" who can probably tell you more.
It is like a slippery fish that keeps getting away, but not to a point where I lose the idea of it completely.
Well, stop trying to catch it. Let it swim. That's its nature. If you try to catch it, you immediately create duality, then there is a fish and a fisherman, an “I” and an “I am”, a seeker and a sought, a witness and a suspect.
there is this notion of "I", the experiencer, the one who is focussing on what is going on.
Now look very careful, because this is subtle: There is experiencing AND there is the notion of an experiencer, “me”, but this is still a notion, so it is itself an experience of claiming another experience.
This does not hit me strongly enough to wipe out the sense of "something" when I return to focus on myself, though.
Why must this “sense of "something"” be wiped out?
when I return to focus on myself
What do you mean with “focus on myself”? What self?
Is there a controller who returns the focus or does it happen spontaneously?
the notion of experiencing without an experiencer is simply too foreign.
But what if is true? What would be the consequences? Would anything be different?

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EHS
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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:48 pm

Hmm...
You are way past the gate, already crossed it, just didn't notice, so you keep on seeking. :-D
I suppose that may be true. I expected a little more fireworks. Some sort of shift. But I agree - it may be I just haven't noticed.
Let it swim.
That is nice.
Now look very careful, because this is subtle: There is experiencing AND there is the notion of an experiencer, “me”, but this is still a notion, so it is itself an experience of claiming another experience.
I get that. But it confuses me that the notion is still there. I would expect a break-through towards not having that notion but simply being experiencing with no story of any subject/experiencer. Simply experiencing.

This is what I refer to when you ask:
Why must this "sense of something" be wiped out?
Based on the proces I have experienced through this work, I have concluded that liberation means no sense of any subject/experiencer/"me". Am I wrong?
What do you mean with "focus on myself"? What self?
Is there a controller who returns focus or does it happen spontaneously?
No controller, no. It all just happens in response to the stimuli of your questions. So what I mean by "focus on myself" is attention goes from putting the leash on the dog to sensing/noticing the inner processes of thinking, emoting, experiencing. And when that happens there is this notion of the experiencer (never observed, but inferred as a story of a subject for the act of experiencing). Maybe I just need more time seeing again and again that I cannot find this subject and the story will wear itself out.
"the notion of experiencing without an experiencer is simply too foreign."

But what if is true? What would be the consequences? Would anything be different?
Well... As explained above I imagine the difference would be that there would only be the experiencing. No sense of self, subject, me. Just what is in any moment. Am I romantisizing? That is the belief in any case. And the consequence would be freedom.

But it may be that it is just this being alive humming that I misinterpret. I can certainly say that things have been a lot less personal in the last few days. An increased sense of freedom to just say honestly what is seen without weighing the impact on the story so carefully. And a freedom from the future also. A "whatever will be will be" kind of feeling.

I do have the story running though that this is just because of the increased focus on these questions and it will go away with the focus. Even as I write that, I don't really believe it though. There is some sort of change into an experience of liberation from the Ernest story. That is true.

Hmm... So where do we go from here?

/E

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EHS
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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby EHS » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:51 pm

How did you experience the coming of this "awareness of existence" / "sense of being alive". Was it a sudden shift or a gradual flowering?

Any fireworks?

/E

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lex
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Re: What does the "I" point to? Please guide me!

Postby lex » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:28 am

Maybe this helps:
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html

Really quick answer before I go to sleep:
It took me 5 minutes to see there is no I and after that it took two months to see/accept that I'd seen it.
It is so simple that immediately the belief rises: “This can't be it”

Look at a chair. Do you see it?
Look at your self. Do you see it?


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