Seeking a Guide

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Alph
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Seeking a Guide

Postby Alph » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:50 pm

Hello,

I'm a 66 year old man, living in southern England and have been seeking the meaning of life since perhaps the age of 16. This has entailed a lot of reading around "spiritual" matters and many years of meditation practice, mainly in a Buddhist context.

I would like to be able to see clearly through the illusion of there being a separate "I" and seek someone to guide me through the process. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Damon Kamda
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:51 am

Hello Alph,

Thank you for your introduction. Allow me to welcome you to Liberation Unleashed.
I would like to be able to see clearly through the illusion of there being a separate "I" and seek someone to guide me through the process. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Well, that means you've come to the right place, so that's a good start.

Let's simply begin by taking a look at your expectations of this process.

What do you hope to get out of this?
What would seeing through the illusion be like?

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Alph
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Alph » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:05 am

Hello Damon

Thanks for taking up my request.

Here are my responses to your two questions:
What do you hope to get out of this?
Well, there would be nothing for a 'me' to get anything out of it.
Sounds a bit artful and tricky perhaps but that is how I see it. So, I suppose the only hope would be some confirmation that this has been clearly seen. My experience of religious groups have led me to be reserved about this due to their generally held beliefs and instructions that seeing through to no-self is difficult, requires purification and might happen in a life time, if you are lucky. I don't believe that anymore.
What would seeing through the illusion be like?
As it is now I suppose. A couple of years ago, twice in a period of about a week, during the night I was awakened from sleep by a feeling of abject terror, with the strong feeling that I didn't exist and there was nothing to cling to whatsoever. I had been looking consistently into the thought "Who Am I?" for some time.

Probably as the result of that and other contemplations, I have seen that there is no 'me', (never has been) and life just flows wonderfully without the thought of 'me' constantly grabbing onto everything that is experienced and pretending to own it.

Best wishes

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:27 am

Thanks, Alph.
So, I suppose the only hope would be some confirmation that this has been clearly seen. My experience of religious groups have led me to be reserved about this due to their generally held beliefs and instructions that seeing through to no-self is difficult, requires purification and might happen in a life time, if you are lucky. I don't believe that anymore
.

Perfect! There has been so much mystification surround this for so long. It's wonderful to be able to demystify it and speak about it painly and simply.
Probably as the result of that and other contemplations, I have seen that there is no 'me', (never has been) and life just flows wonderfully without the thought of 'me' constantly grabbing onto everything that is experienced and pretending to own it.
So, what exactly is the 'me' that is not there?
Can you describe that absence in some detail?

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Alph » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:21 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Damon.
So, what exactly is the 'me' that is not there?
It's a thought, acting habitually. I have found it useful to imagine the 'I' thought as one of those cardboard labels with the word 'I' writ large on it. Through the hole in the label is attached a fish hook and the mind whacks the label onto every arising sense impression, every thought, so the 'I' can own it and thereby feel secure in it's identity, trying to believe that it owns and is responsible for what is going on.
Can you describe that absence in some detail?
Those labels come less often and the jab of attachments is felt and seen more often when it does happen.
Yes, there is apparent separation - we have physical bodies, each apart from one another; as babies we are given a name and there is constant repetition to us all that the world we are experiencing is 'out there' and everything we experience has it's own name, each discrete. We build our own shell to protect ourselves. We are told we are 'good' or 'bad', successful or unsuccessful, bright or dull (as examples), so we build up our own personas and learn to react to other people and situations through this personality in a protective and reactive way. The idea of 'me'/'I'/'you'/'them' becomes a core belief with which we navigate through life.

So, (coming to the point of your question at last), the absence of that belief in the 'I' makes life less complicated, more content and much lighter. Things are fine, just as they are. We may like or dislike what is happening but it is that reaction which colours our experience according to our preference as to how things should be. Things are just happening, simply that. They change from moment to moment anyway and life is not out to 'get us' or judge us. It's not personal! This makes for a less judgemental attitude, living with much more immediacy as life is seen and experienced as a flow. We are distinct and separate in the context of being all a part of the same whole, each a facet of that completeness, appearing as separate but with a reflexive consciousness which allows life (whatever made all this and whatever you want to call it, the Source/God/Spirit etc etc) to experience itself. I love what Julian of Norwich said often to those who passed beneath her cell window. She'd tell them, "All is well".

Regards

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:55 am

Thanks for that, Alph. Seems quite clear to me.
Those labels come less often and the jab of attachments is felt and seen more often when it does happen.
Yes, there is apparent separation - we have physical bodies, each apart from one another; as babies we are given a name and there is constant repetition to us all that the world we are experiencing is 'out there' and everything we experience has it's own name, each discrete. We build our own shell to protect ourselves. We are told we are 'good' or 'bad', successful or unsuccessful, bright or dull (as examples), so we build up our own personas and learn to react to other people and situations through this personality in a protective and reactive way. The idea of 'me'/'I'/'you'/'them' becomes a core belief with which we navigate through life.
Who has a physical body exactly?
Who is experiencing all of this?
Who is navigating through life?
We are distinct and separate in the context of being all a part of the same whole, each a facet of that completeness, appearing as separate but with a reflexive consciousness which allows life (whatever made all this and whatever you want to call it, the Source/God/Spirit etc etc) to experience itself.
Is it true that there is an appearance of separation? Where? How? In what form? Can you elaborate?

Thanks!

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Alph
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Alph » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:50 pm

Hello Damon

I finished my last post and went to send it but it disappeared into the ether. Decided to paste future ones from elsewhere. Here goes again………….
Who has a physical body exactly?
There is no-one to ‘have’ a physical body. There is the illusion of ownership through the agency of the ‘I’ thought which persistently captures our experiences and takes them to be ‘mine’.
Who is experiencing all of this?


No-one. Life experiences it’s own creation.
Who is navigating through life?
There isn’t anyone to navigate through life. Only the flow of life itself.
Is it true that there is an appearance of separation? Where? How? In what form? Can you elaborate?
Yes, there is the appearance of separation. Our consciousness as human beings present as being in a material world of form, operating in our experience through our senses, (sight, hearing, taste, touch, feeling sensation) and we appear to be mastering our experiences and controlling what happens to us, at least some of the time!

Because we live in this world of form, we can experience things as independently existing and separate, each from the other, mitigated by space between objects, carried along in time.

The truth is that, in a relative sense, there are those appearances but taken at an absolute level, the divided, fragmented appearances are in fact a unified whole. Seen clearly, life, (we can call it Spirit, Oneness, God, Self, etc) flows seamlessly in the continuous moment, always vital and present. It seems to be just enjoying itself! I wonder if this apparent separation, set in place by the ‘I’ thought, adds a bit of spice and drama to it all!

I sat on a bench at a seaside esplanade recently and just experienced what was going on. It seemed that the people passing by, walking and cycling together were each precious parts of the flow of humanity, all of them slightly different in appearance, temperament, age, and so on but also just parts of life moving, just like the waves rolling onto the shore, birds wheeling in flight in the wind, flags waving, dogs scampering around. One sweet, lovely dance. Sitting there, I was just a part of that but all was complete and everything was just as it should be in that moment.

Damon, I want to mention that replies I am giving are just typed without preparation, so it is a relief to be able to let you know how things are seen, just by being open and letting it rip! I was involved in a ‘spiritual’ movement for many years where it was regarded as ‘bad etiquette’ to speak openly about these things. Your questions have offered the opportunity for me to open up and I’m grateful.

This is clearing out the cobwebs. Do keep plugging away!

Many thanks.

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:36 am

I finished my last post and went to send it but it disappeared into the ether. Decided to paste future ones from elsewhere. Here goes again………….
Yes, that happens sometimes. Best idea is to write your response in a text editor, then paste it into the forum. Many words have disappeared in this fashion over the last two years....
we appear to be mastering our experiences and controlling what happens to us, at least some of the time!
Really? How do we control what happens to us exactly? Can you describe a concrete moment of controlling what happens to you?

And can you describe, in detail- the entity that is exerting the control?
Because we live in this world of form, we can experience things as independently existing and separate
You see that this is a circular argument?
What is the "reason" that there is the appearance of separation?
What is the source of this appearance? Where does it come from, what created it?
I sat on a bench at a seaside esplanade recently and just experienced what was going on. It seemed that the people passing by, walking and cycling together were each precious parts of the flow of humanity, all of them slightly different in appearance, temperament, age, and so on but also just parts of life moving, just like the waves rolling onto the shore, birds wheeling in flight in the wind, flags waving, dogs scampering around. One sweet, lovely dance. Sitting there, I was just a part of that but all was complete and everything was just as it should be in that moment
.

Precious parts of the flow of humanity?
One sweet, lovely dance?

Really?

Hrm... blegh....!

Are you sure?

While sweet experiences like these are great, they're not really the point, are they?
Is it all bunnies and flowers now that the illusion of separation has been seen?

Is there, in fact, anything particularly "spiritual" about seeing this?
Is there, in fact, anything particularly special about seeing this?
Damon, I want to mention that replies I am giving are just typed without preparation, so it is a relief to be able to let you know how things are seen, just by being open and letting it rip! I was involved in a ‘spiritual’ movement for many years where it was regarded as ‘bad etiquette’ to speak openly about these things. Your questions have offered the opportunity for me to open up and I’m grateful.
Do continue to be open about this- that's the only way to cut through the crap and get to the core.
Drop the spiritual fluff and look at this directly.
Many thanks.
You're welcome. Fluffy hug. ;-)

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Alph
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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Alph » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:15 am

Okay, point taken. No fluff or romantic drivel, just straight looking and reporting what is seen. Here goes……
Really? How do we control what happens to us exactly? Can you describe a concrete moment of controlling what happens to you?
I was describing what appears to happen before it is realised that the ‘I’ is just an idea and is taken as real. We don’t control what happens to us. Life happens and the ‘I’ thought grabs the happening and makes it its own. There has never been a moment of control. That is seen now.
And can you describe, in detail- the entity that is exerting the control?


There is no entity to describe, save to say that it is a thought and thoughts cannot think.
You see that this is a circular argument?
Yes, but I wasn’t saying that the experience was real
What is the "reason" that there is the appearance of separation?
Things appear separate when there is a belief in an in-dwelling entity which we take as ‘me’ but when clearly seen this cannot be found and it is seen that it is simply a thought.

What is the source of this appearance? Where does it come from, what created it?
It came from early conditioning, constant repetition, habitual responses and cultural norms. We are taught that it is real but it is not.
Precious parts of the flow of humanity?
One sweet, lovely dance?

Really?

Hrm... blegh....!

Are you sure?
Well, it was enjoyable. Wanted to share it with you, mainly as an indication of the relief felt. By the way, I didn’t describe it as a spiritual experience.
Is there, in fact, anything particularly "spiritual" about seeing this?
Is there, in fact, anything particularly special about seeing this?
No, there is definitely nothing spiritual in this. It’s just what is, the way things really are. Nor is there anything special either. When that is seen, an appreciative response may arise. Sorry if you thought it was ‘fluffy.’

Looking directly and your question and observations are much appreciated.

(Its pink fluff……. The best kind!)

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:53 am

No, there is definitely nothing spiritual in this. It’s just what is, the way things really are. Nor is there anything special either. When that is seen, an appreciative response may arise. Sorry if you thought it was ‘fluffy.’
No worries, Alph, I'm just poking a bit. Everyone has their own way of expressing things, so I just want to see what's behind the language.

Let's do a little role-playing thing. How would you explain this to an interested friend. How would you invite someone to look? How would you enable them to see?

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Alph » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:57 am

How would you explain this to an interested friend. How would you invite someone to look? How would you enable them to see?
First, I would ask them why they were interested, just to elicit whereabouts they were coming from. It seems that most people get interested through experience of suffering, when their world view gets jolted. It would be interesting to know and a good place to start.

Then I would ask them to look really carefully and with complete honesty at who it is that is experiencing everything in life; who controls what is happening to themselves.

“Well, I do of course,” would be the expected reply, sooner or later.

Then I would ask them to find the ‘I’ entity they refer to; where is it? I’d leave them to look and wait for their answers until we arrive at the point where they can’t locate it anywhere and then suggest to them that the ’I’ is a thought. Once that is seen, I would ask them if a thought can think? Also, what happens when the ‘I’ thought is not present?

I’d ask them to look at what they had been taught from their very early years about being separate, with a name, gender, expectations about how to behave, cultural influences and so on and if all that was really true in the light of the fact that the ‘I’ is only a thought and ask them to look very carefully at the way the ‘I’ thought assumes ownership and control.

If they were still interested, I would suggest that they visit the LU site, read the “Gateless Gatecrashers” book and look at “Enlightening Quotes.”

Thanks Damon

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:26 pm

Thank you for that! Quite clear.

For the sake of the LU confirmation machine, could you take a look at the following questions and shine your light on them?
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

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

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

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

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

6) Anything to add?

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Alph » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:16 pm

Here are the answers to your questions.........

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

No, in truth there is not, nor has ever been any separate entity of any description.

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

This concept of a separate entity is an idea, simply that. It starts, as far as can be seen, at the stage in childhood when a child takes on the notion which others present to it that it is separate. This is done in many ways, constantly reinforcing the notion. All through life this illusion is reinforced by society and culture; not forgetting the powerful influence of language, constantly making reference to all those personal pronouns. We build our own fortified tower of delusion from which we defend ourselves. It becomes a firmly held belief through habit and practice. It seems powerful and pervasive, while it lasts.

Seen now, as this is being typed, it seems like it was a heavy burden to carry. All that was necessary was to drop the burden, drop the belief in the ‘I’ thought and see clearly exactly what it was, just a thought. What a laugh!

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

There is a feeling of relief, huge relief. A lightness of being and the refection that many years of searching, believing what I had been told was difficult and rarely found was in fact amazingly simple, providing one has the courage and tenacity to really look deeply. It was right under my nose all the time, waiting to be found but wasn’t found because I was looking past it. The ‘I’ was looking for me!

Before starting this dialogue I did have the notion that I was on the right track but needed to address this illusion full on, without reservation. In the past few days I have stayed with it pretty well constantly and really dug deep. Now it has been seen through and is just simply obvious. Amazing!

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

I got half way through the “Gateless Gate” and something clicked but it was probably this from the “Enlightening Quotes” which gave the final push ….. “It is not the ‘I’ that is looking. Thinking that there is ‘I’ that is looking is an illusion – just an assumption that you must question.” That hit home.

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

There is no decision, intention, choice or control over events. It all just happens. Life is living. Simple and yet profound. Right now, I glance up from the screen to look through the window. There is just glancing, no ‘I’ to do it. Careful, immediate observation reveals that the ‘I’ wanted to own that movement but it is seen through now. Arm moves, fingers twitch. Effortless and no-one to own it. Thoughts about what words to type….. life thinking about itself.

6) Anything to add?

There are so many beliefs, views and assumptions that are starting even now to come up for inspection. This may well turn out to be a roller-coaster ride. I'll just wait and see.

Heartfelt thanks Damon for your help.

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Alph » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:23 pm

Is there anything else for you to ask Damon, or is our dialogue finished on these posts?

Regards

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Re: Seeking a Guide

Postby Damon Kamda » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:53 am

Hey Alph,

Sorry for the delay! Thanks for the answers to the questions. You've been confirmed by a number of my colleages which means you'll get access to some new parts of the forum as well as some facebook groups (which is where most action happens, to be honest).

We'd be thrilled to welcome you as a fellow guide here. Will you consider helping out?

We'll be in touch!


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