Looking for a guide

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Kason42
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Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:51 am

Hi,

I'm looking for a guide. I'm 27 years old and have been searching for freedom for quite a while now. After reading through a lot of posts, I decided to see if I could find someone to help.

Thank you very much

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Kason42
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:03 pm

I actually feel that I am pretty close to realizing that the I that I speak of of does not exist outside of thought. However, this can't seem to be solidified. It seems that I have moments where I just am and others where I am the I.

When the moments of knowing that I is just a thought are going on, it still feels that I am identifying with the watcher.

I also feel that I have a goal to become enlightened and that goal comes with a prize (bliss, an intense experience of pure knowledge). I have come to see that this is all concepts created by the mind, and that even the doubt that I am feeling right now holds no truth because the mind created it. Ugh, frustrating.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:04 am

Hello Kason42,

Thanks for the introduction. By what name (if any) would you like to me to adress you?

I'll gladly work with you on this forum, as long as you are willing to stick to two guidelines:

1. Avoid speculation- only report from your own direct experience.
2. Make this investigation your top priority for the time being. This will only work if you approach it with a sense of urgency. Be determined to get to the bottom of this. In practical terms, this means that I'd like to ask you to try and post at least once a day, if possible.

Agreed? If so, then let's get to the juicy stuff straight away.
I actually feel that I am pretty close to realizing that the I that I speak of of does not exist outside of thought. However, this can't seem to be solidified. It seems that I have moments where I just am and others where I am the I.
Awesome! There is so much to work with in these three sentences that I hardly know where to begin.

Let's see... three questions to get you started on this. And remember... no speculation, just consulting your immediate, raw and direct experience of the actual present moment. Nothing else.

1. If the I that you speak of does not exist outside of thought, then what is the I that is pretty close to realizing that?

2. What do you mean by "solidifying" this? What would happen once this is solidified? Does anything need to be made solid?

3. So there's moments when "I just am" and others where "I am the I"? Can you descirbe the actual difference between these two states? Also: what, in actual, directly experienced reality, is the I that just is? What, in actual, directly experienced reality, is the I that is the I, or isn't?

Have fun and let me know what you find!

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Kason42
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:43 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to guide me. I was excited to see a response. I will begin work now and post later today again. Once again, thank you.

Oh yeah, my name is Kason.

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Kason42
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:20 am


1. If the I that you speak of does not exist outside of thought, then what is the I that is pretty close to realizing that?
I spent most of the day with this one and I'm finding that what I meant was that there are moments of experience where I can feel, smell, taste, and watch thought with a knowledge that somehow, someway, there is no one in control. Like I'm an invisible rider in a body with no ability to do anything but experience.

When I'm experiencing this, it is easy to slip back into a position where I feel like I'm back in control, with no consciousness of the fact, and be in the role It's like one second I'm this invisible thing that just experiences, and the next I'm lost in the illusion that I am in control again.

Today though, when in that mode of just watching, I saw that even then I was thinking, I am just a watcher and have no control, but then I realized without thought that that too was a thought, and then thoughts were happening, feelings were happening, smells and tastes, and the illusion of control was gone.
2. What do you mean by "solidifying" this? What would happen once this is solidified? Does anything need to be made solid?
3. So there's moments when "I just am" and others where "I am the I"? Can you descirbe the actual difference between these two states? Also: what, in actual, directly experienced reality, is the I that just is? What, in actual, directly experienced reality, is the I that is the I, or isn't?
I honestly don't know with this one. I guess I mean just waking up, whatever that means. I used to have so much expectation for what waking up would be, but today more than ever I saw these expectations as just thought.

It feels like I'm disconnecting from thought. What is disconnecting- I don't know. I don't know if it's I that's disconnecting from thought, or something else that I cannot explain in words. I know that I see no I in it. But what is the I that sees no I in it. I don't know!!

In direct experience the I is thought. No more.

This is not easy for me but I will not give up.

Thank You again

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:25 am

I spent most of the day with this one and I'm finding that what I meant was that there are moments of experience where I can feel, smell, taste, and watch thought with a knowledge that somehow, someway, there is no one in control. Like I'm an invisible rider in a body with no ability to do anything but experience.

When I'm experiencing this, it is easy to slip back into a position where I feel like I'm back in control, with no consciousness of the fact, and be in the role It's like one second I'm this invisible thing that just experiences, and the next I'm lost in the illusion that I am in control again.

Today though, when in that mode of just watching, I saw that even then I was thinking, I am just a watcher and have no control, but then I realized without thought that that too was a thought, and then thoughts were happening, feelings were happening, smells and tastes, and the illusion of control was gone.
Allright, great post, thanks!

So you see how 'control' is just a thought, how 'the controller' is just a thought? Has always been a thought?

That's a valuable insight, yet it is just the first step.

The real important part is what comes next.

What we point to here at this forum is the directly observable and experientially verifiable fact that in actual reality there is no self AT ALL, in any way, shape or form.

No matter how subtle, ethereal, disconnected. There is no self at all. None whatsoever. Anywhere. In any way.

Simple as that.

Now, you've seen through the illusion of self as controller, yet there's further to go.

I'll give you some hints as to where to look. You write:
Like I'm an invisible rider in a body with no ability to do anything but experience.
I'm this invisible thing that just experiences
I am just a watcher and have no control
What is the I that has no control?
What is the I that is experiencing this?
What is the I that is riding this body?

That self- the experiencer- the "invisible rider in a body"- where is that self located? What does it look like- what is its shape, form, substance? Where does it come from, how did it get there? What does it do? What is is made of? What is it? What does it feel like?

Look directly at that self and describe it in as much detail as possible.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:19 am

Sorry for the late response. LONG DAY. But plenty of time for working on these questions.
What is the I that has no control?
What is the I that is experiencing this?
What is the I that is riding this body?
I wouldn’t say that I have seen through the illusion of control completely, although, it feels like it’s close. More so than ever today I was able to observe thoughts. I see two kinds of thoughts. I see the ones that seem to be just random arisings about anything, and I see the self talk. I actually didn’t even realize the self talk until today as a thought. Almost like it was hiding in plain sight.

Observing thought, I see that it does to an extent just do it’s own thing, but there is still a lingering subtle belief that I control it.

The I that is experiencing, the invisible rider, in direct experience is not visible, tastable, smellable, feelable- it has no traits that can be named. It’s just an invisible sense, or a belief. I don’t know why I still feel like it has to be there, somehow some way. Like it has to in someway be more than just thought.
I experience sound, seeing, smelling, tasting, thinking, all experienced obviously. Can I observe the I that observes. I can’t. But I feel like it is there, somehow. Not just a thought. Maybe a belief.

That self- the experiencer- the "invisible rider in a body"- where is that self located? What does it look like- what is its shape, form, substance? Where does it come from, how did it get there? What does it do? What is is made of? What is it? What does it feel like?
Can’t locate it. Feels like in the head.
Doesn’t have a look, shape or substance.
What it does. It feels like it does nothing but experiences.
I think I will sit more with this one tomorrow. I can’t find anything in it that could be self. It feels like it’s just there. I think I had a strong insight today with realizing the self talk as a thought, instead of looking for what this observer actually is.

The mind likes to create doubt, doesn't it.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:09 am

I wouldn’t say that I have seen through the illusion of control completely, although, it feels like it’s close
Let's explore the idea of control more in-depth then, before going on. We will continue with the observer and the experiencer when this has become clear, allright?
Observing thought, I see that it does to an extent just do it’s own thing, but there is still a lingering subtle belief that I control it.
Ok, this is very simple.
I know it doesn't seem so because, as you rightly say "the mind likes to create doubt".

The issue under investigation right now is simply: is there a self that is able to control anything that occurs?

You already experimented for a bit with toughts and thinking, and that's a good choice. Observe more closely. Take a moment to sit down, slow the breathing a bit and focus attention completely on the actual experience of thinking occuring.

How does the process of thinking work?
Where do thoughts come from?
Where do they go?
Where are thoughts located?
What are thoughts made of?
What is a thought?
How does a self relate to thought and thinking?
Do you make thoughts happen?
Do you make thoughts stop happening?
Are you thinking these thoughts?
Is there a thinker of thoughts?

I'm sure you get the gist of the kind of questions I'd like you to ask.

Have fun!

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Kason42
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:57 am

It does seem like thoughts come out of nowhere and just go away to nowhere. When I'm focusing on thought it's hard to see this but when I'm doing some mundane action like taking a shower and I become aware that thought is happening, I see that I am not in control of them. The thoughts just float in.

Doubt comes up when I identify with the mind to examine whether thoughts are under my control.
When I just become aware without identifying myself with them, I see that they just come an go with no control.

If I was in control of thought I wouldn't think 90 percent of the thoughts that I do.

They do just happen. One comes and another one and another one.

Thought seems to use memory of past experience. This makes it seem personalized and easy to identify with.

I still feel doubt, but where that doubt was towards not having control of thought, I am now leaning more towards doubting that I do have control.

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Kason42
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:59 am

I apologize if I'm moving slowly. I get the urge to people please and say I got it. But, I am not going to do that.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:12 am

I apologize if I'm moving slowly. I get the urge to people please and say I got it. But, I am not going to do that.
Please don't apologize. There is no need to rush this at all. When you see what it is that is being pointed to it will be quite obvious. Until that moment comes, we'll take as much time as is needed.

You're doing great. Let's continue looking at the issue of control.
If I was in control of thought I wouldn't think 90 percent of the thoughts that I do.
This may sound like a simple, but interesting observation.
It is quite profound, however.

Why is it that you are unable to control 90% of the thoughts that occur?
Why does it seem as if are you able to control only 10% of the thoughts that occur?

What kind of control is that?

Can you describe, in detail, the actual experience of controlling a thought?
Take a really mundane situation, like choosing a particular brand of peanut butter in the grocery store, or deciding what to put in your morning coffee. Closely observer the actual experience of the thought process in such cases.
I still feel doubt, but where that doubt was towards not having control of thought, I am now leaning more towards doubting that I do have control.
Once you've done the experiment described above, let's take this investigation a step further and broaden it a bit. Zooming in and zooming out, as it were.

The confusion that many people experience, especially when it comes to these types of existential questions, are actually mostly (if not completely) linguistical in nature: i.e.: most of these so-called problems only exist in language, as language.

So when we say (or write) that "I am in control of thoughts" what are we actually saying? What does the word "I" actually refer to in that sentence?

The same applies to the following sentence:
When I just become aware without identifying myself with them, I see that they just come an go with no control.
This sentence (and the worldview behind it) presupposes a (at least) two poles to existence. Me over here, experience (in this case: thoughts) over there and a process of "identification" to link them.

Do these words actually refer to anything in reality?
What is the self that is able to identify with or disidentify from thoughts?

And, remember: take all the time you need. Don't feel as if you need to hurry up seeing this. It'll fall into place soon. Just keep looking, with focus, at the immediate, concrete, literal experience of the present moment, all of it.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:59 am

Work was so hectic today that most of the day was spent completely focused on it.
Can you describe, in detail, the actual experience of controlling a thought?
I tried and tried to observe the process of controlling a thought and I couldn't. Actions happened, but there wasn't any process of decision at all.


"I" seems to make so much sense linguistically. But "I" cannot find it in direct experience. This evening, I was taking a ride somewhere with a friend and I closed my eyes for a while. Suddenly there was the realization that thoughts are just thoughts, that I has to be a thought because it can't be directly experienced, like a gust of wind or rain on "my" skin which "I" can directly experience. Or like sounds which again can be directly experienced. This I can't be directly experienced. It's nowhere but somehow believed.

There was no I feeling to separate itself from experiences. There was a feeling of lightness for a few minutes, but try as I may, I cannot figure out a way to describe it any better than that.

This is fun, but frustrating sometimes.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:03 am

tried and tried to observe the process of controlling a thought and I couldn't. Actions happened, but there wasn't any process of decision at all.
Is that really true?
Then what's the deal with choices appearing to be made- deciding to go left or right?
Deciding to lift your left arm, or not?
How does it actually work?
Can you see the actual mechanism behind it?
that I has to be a thought because it can't be directly experienced, like a gust of wind or rain on "my" skin which "I" can directly experience. Or like sounds which again can be directly experienced. This I can't be directly experienced.
Is it true that the I has to be a thought because it cannot be directly experienced necessarily?
Couldn't it be hidden somewhere, out of reach, invisible, yet supremely real?

I'm not trying to confuse you here, but seducing you to look deeper still at the issue. I don't want you talking yourself into believing a certain position.

What is the I that has to be a thought?
There was no I feeling to separate itself from experiences. There was a feeling of lightness for a few minutes, but try as I may, I cannot figure out a way to describe it any better than that.
I'm not sure I understand you here. What do you mean with an I feeling that can separate itself?
This is fun, but frustrating sometimes.
I know... keep going though. The frustration is often a good sign, hehe...

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Kason42
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Kason42 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:40 pm

Then what's the deal with choices appearing to be made- deciding to go left or right?
Deciding to lift your left arm, or not?
How does it actually work?
Can you see the actual mechanism behind it?
A lot of choices seem to just happen without any thought whatsoever. I look down and I'm filling a glass up with water but have no recollection of making a decision to do so.

Some choices, like when I read your post this morning and then watched my arm to observe the decision of lifting it, seem to happen because reading your post put the thought into my head to watch the arm for when it would lift. When I'm watching my arm, I don't know when the decision to lift is going to take place, but it seems like there is a focus on waiting for it to do so. Then it does lift at some point.

Mechanism would be process began reading your comment, focus was put on watching the arm. The arm lifted.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:54 pm

Ok, excellent.

So, there are various types of choices or decisions being that can be distinguished.

- Those that "seem to just happen without any thought whatsoever"- like your filling up a glass of water.

- Those that are directly prompted by an external suggestion. (You read "lift your hand" and, lo and behold, a left hand is raised at some point).

These are relatively straightforward. They make it clear that a lot of choices in fact "just happen".

Now the type of decision that is most interesting in the present context is what we would normally consider volitional or conscious decisions. The type of actions that appear to come from a conscious and explicit choice. I'm sure you could think of a concrete example from your own life. Something you clearly chose to do. A conscious decision. An act of will.

Willing something.
Wanting something.
Deciding on something.
Choosing something.

I want you to experiment with these types of experiences, both by recalling such moments as well as in your day-to-day experience.

How do these type of experiences happen? Can you experientially observe the actual moment of choice? Can you experientially observe the entity making the decision?


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