Looking for guidance

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biisuto
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Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:20 am

Hello, I've been reading GG and following some of the LU threads. Have been a student of nonduality and meditator for years and, while I can intellectualise everything about the absence of a self here, aside from the odd glimpse or short-term loss of the 'my story' that nobody needs to tell me is true, I keep 'snapping back' into this habitual me-shaped thing. Any volunteers to help would be greatly appreciated. x
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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smi
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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby smi » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:50 pm

Hi Biisuto,

My name's Milan and I can guide you if you accept me as your guide. By the way, how should I call you? Is Biisuto okay or would you prefer something else?

There are a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happen.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

Responses require simple, uncontrived, honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read this article: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/Arti ... ience.html for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. (If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer, and that you'd like me to be your guide and then we'll begin.

You’ve already written a few words about your path so far. Could you please write a little bit more about what is it that you seek? Questions bellow might help to describe and clarify it.

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you've found it?

What are your expectations for this process?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?

Are there any fears or concerns?


Kind regards
Milan

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:21 am

Hi Milan,

Thanks you for your time and patience in advance. I've seen what you asked me to look at and I welcome you as my guide. I am here to learn from you. You can call me biisuto, or Michael...or whatever it takes for '?' to know Truth, instead of just conceptualising it. I will respond with as much honesty as I can find in the moment...from the things I've been reading here and in GG that's not always easy to remain focused upon, it seems, but I'll do my very best.

I'll also try to be brief in my replies, but I've noticed in other threads that guides find 'hooks' to work with in the seeker's responses. I've re-read my reply below and noticed the inclusion of some of that too. In the hope that it is useful for you in guiding me, I've left it in. But if you need me to be tighter and briefer please let me know! (-/|\-)

I've read the articles you asked and have been keeping away from my usual readings for the past week or so, to focus on GG, the contents of this forum and the direct experience that seems to be 'mine'.
Please learn to use the quote function
Done :)
Could you please write a little bit more about what is it that you seek?
The illusory, aggregate nature of the self is recognised, and yet the ghost of it persists. What is this pinpoint of awareness, this core entity, that seems in times of clarity capable of directing (but not directly spawning) thoughts? It seems like a light that illuminates and then sees what it illuminates ... But what directs it? Is that the illusory 'me' that seems to be in charge? Or, like a crafty but inept manager, does this fiction merely take credit for what's already happening, as the ongoing dance of the universe?

The 'I' seems a conceptual fence thrown around a tiny fragment of the universe that turns the rest into 'other'. It is surrounded by a gravity well that bends light towards it, making it self-perpetuating. Without this aspect, would it maybe die a natural death? It is an organising principle, giving agency where none really is or is needed... Awareness glimpses the universe encumbered by this limiting concept... has even leveraged this same knowledge to transcend it's puny limits in performing tremendous feats... But only to replace them with slightly larger boundaries. It is a tar baby and frustration appears when it seems to have been transcended (...by what?) only to get stuck to the 'soul' of 'my' now bigger shoe on the way through...

What is it that you are searching for?
I want to experience unembellished Reality as baseline, be grounded in that and to always know the return path when consciousness wanders. I believe that some people know that and that it can be (re-)learned by everyone. My meditation, studies and enquiries have led me over many years in this direction, to an understanding that the error is in fact quite tiny, but because it is so fundamental- ie., directly related to a misunderstanding about what 'I' am- it has had profound implications upon the experience of this life- and because it is so widespread, the effects are readily apparent in the insanity in plain view in the world around me. In fact, it may be coincidence, but as my enquiries have led me closer to this Truth I feel drawn to seeking (the Gate?), there has been a corresponding (and quite alarming) increase in the insanity I'm witnessing in the outside world. I don't actually believe this is coincidence (or maybe even fact, perhaps), but rather a perceptual manifestation of a relative and growing inward calm and clarity.

How will you know that you've found it?
Because I have glimpsed it as a deep knowing numerous times, the first time when I was 12 years old and I had been practicing TM for a few months. That started me in the direction of enquiry. First it was philosophy, then it became karate and then, from 2001, non-duality. This deep knowing (as I've called it) has happened numerous times while reading, meditating or just noticing that I am in the only right place at the only right time- and always have been.

Most recently, in my work I have also, at times, been able to just step beyond the boundaries of 'myself', when it felt too constricting for what needed to be accomplished, making me totally fearless. This has been kind of freaky because it has been truly liberating to 'just do it' -and feel bulletproof while doing it.

What are your expectations for this process?
From my readings in this LU area, there will be an imperceptibly tiny shift in understanding/perception and this 'me'-centred point of view will lose its habitual anchor point in this field of awareness. And the seeking will stop. That must be true.

How will this feel?
Well, thinking just of crossing the threshold...I imagine a rush of endorphins, but it's probably nothing of the sort. From my experience, it's kind of like when the eyes have been struggling to resolve one of those 3D hologram-type pictures...the 'Ah-ha!' moment you 'get' it and can see the hidden image.

How will this change you?
What is non-existent will be recognised as such, so nothing will change...there is no 'me' to change... but I know that...I'm just not living that truth.

Are there any fears or concerns?
Well, there must be, or 'I' would've been dropped by now. Like many others', I'm afraid of what will become of me without me to look after me ...and especially mine... but re-reading that it is obvious hubris, right? How could this little-me possibly know better than the entire universe?!

Another fear is that I'm not just trying to polish up a bigger, better self...and put it on a higher altar? Is this 'I' trying to build a larger 'I' within which to house a smaller, portable one....?
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby smi » Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:02 pm

Hi Michael,

Thank you for very detailed answers. :) Please, during our investigation be as brief or as detailed as you prefer. It is true that longer answers usually reveal more “hooks” than responses of only few words. In my experience writing down your stream of thoughts is very helpful for clarifying whatever topic so I would encourage longer answers.
I am here to learn from you.
Just a brief reminder that I’m no teacher and I have nothing to offer. This is not about passing on some esoteric knowledge or new ideas, concepts or beliefs. I’m here simply to assist by asking questions that can stir up looking and recognition of that which is already present. As a figure of speech, you’ll have to do all the work by looking and noticing.
The illusory, aggregate nature of the self is recognised, and yet the ghost of it persists. What is this pinpoint of awareness, this core entity, that seems in times of clarity capable of directing (but not directly spawning) thoughts? …
Most of the time I will not answer your questions. The point of this enquiry is for you to find your own answers. I hope that is okay with you.

Your expectations and fears are quite down to earth. Also the desire to see reality as it is, is very “healthy” attitude for enquiry into non-dual nature.

I don’t see anything in your responses so far that would require further examination so I would simply suggest going straight into the core, so to speak.

Let’s start by noticing from your direct experience a reaction to following statement:

There is no separate self in real life at all in any shape or form and there never was.

What thoughts and feelings come up? How does body react? What happens?

I’m also interested what do you mean when you are using words like “I”, “me”, “myself”, “mine”, etc…

What are those words pointing to in reality? What do those words represent?


Kind regards
Milan

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:16 pm

Hi Milan,
Let’s start by noticing from your direct experience a reaction to following statement: There is no separate self in real life at all in any shape or form and there never was.
What thoughts and feelings come up? How does body react? What happens?
Intellectually, the thought of no separate self is very attractive. This being a separate self illusion seems like such a slow way to live...having to interact with and interpret the universe instead of just being part of the flow. It's just not seeing it that is frustrating the hell out of ...me.

I was just reading Elizabeth's story in GG and had tears in my eyes at the transition from frustration to clarity I could read about but am still on the other side of the gate away from. It seems so simple: how do you drop an imaginary watermelon? You just stop believing in it. My cat lying next to me knows no 'I'...ok, not 'my' cat, but the cat that seems to live here and eat the food I put out for her...not 'I', but this real Michael, whose imaginary self is fretting about an imaginary self it feels trapped inside...grrrr.
I’m also interested what do you mean when you are using words like “I”, “me”, “myself”, “mine”, etc… What are those words pointing to in reality? What do those words represent?
Pointers to describe an identity derived from the aggregate of blood, flesh and bone and the thoughts and other possessions that seem to bind it all together. I really understand that there's no 'I' at the middle of it all, pulling the strings and somehow negotiating with the universe for its own little patch of ground... But what is deriving this sense of identity and what is it "sticking" to, that it feels somehow 'real'?

Oh, I was going to stop there, but I guess that's my work to answer, isn't it....?

Ok, 'I' is a thought and, over time, has become a self-organising pattern of thinking... I have to go now, but will come back to this.

Thank you, Milan! (-/|\-)



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"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:50 am

... I’m no teacher and I have nothing to offer. This is not about passing on some esoteric knowledge or new ideas, concepts or beliefs. I’m here simply to assist by asking questions that can stir up looking and recognition of that which is already present. As a figure of speech, you’ll have to do all the work by looking and noticing.
Noted, thank you. :)
There is no separate self in real life at all in any shape or form and there never was.
What thoughts and feelings come up? How does body react? What happens?
OK, so more thoughts arose from this question, but also observations. I noticed that, while thoughts don't think, they can trigger cascades of further thoughts and ideas. These are not at all in 'my' control...in fact, in another context the very same kind of thing is happening when 'i' am at my most creative and have subconsciously surrendered to the flow...except this time the focus is what's arising in the flow itself (not trying to build a 'flow' concept, just borrowing a term to explain the experience). and when 'i' observe them happening, there was a strange sensation of thoughts having a life of their own...viewed forensically, this totally supports the idea of 'I' gradually getting more and more attention (...from that core awareness sensation that seems to be at the root of this 'me'-centredness), until it was internalised, sometime in Michael's formative years.

So what's guiding the awareness? Is it just happening then, and the 'I' algorithm sweeps it all up afterwards into a story of 'me''? That''s what it seems now. So, to drop this imaginary watermelon... these thoughts, mental grooves and the seemingly causative/resultant behaviours are just following an impersonal, Life-itself-only-knows track. The 'I' idea fudges an illusory framework around it all and says, "Look what IIIIIII did!!!"

I can accept that idea, these habitual 'me' thoughts...and that they are a cobbled-together mosaic of an entity that doesn't exist in reality. It's merely a mistake of perception to build a view of the universe on foundations of air...in fact, this is a pointer to there being no foundations at all and it's only this 'i' thing that is yearning for a solid base from which it might leverage existence from nothing..for that's all that could give it substance. But reality is the never-ending, never stationary flow.
What are those words pointing to in reality? What do those words represent?
As mentioned, they refer to a contra-factual idea that believes otherwise. A ghost entity that is only inferred but never perceived. It is seen only from the corner of the eye and disappears whenever the mind tries to engage it directly.

Re-reading the above, frustration is arising at the amount of detail generated over nothing. Breath, typing, birdsong...thoughts coming and going through this ownerless field of awareness. not 'my' thoughts...what is missing from this moment? not.a.thing. wow, noticing sensations of completeness and peace.

OK, ask something! (-/|\-)
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:59 am

...that "core awareness sensation" to which "this sense of identity" is sticking to, that "feels somehow 'real'" seems now loosely explainable by analogy to the core of a boil or pimple...where the centre gets packed so densely that it takes on (an apparent) solidity that -without examination or enquiry- can be easily mistaken for something real.

So that 'core' feeling of substantiality is also now easily explainable as an illusion...Santa Claus is turning to smoke!
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby smi » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:07 pm

Hello Michael,

Fantastic. It seems like you don’t need a guide at all. :)
I noticed that, while thoughts don't think, they can trigger cascades of further thoughts and ideas. These are not at all in 'my' control...
Great noticing. From my point of view you are right inside the Gate. Just keep looking.
Re-reading the above, frustration is arising at the amount of detail generated over nothing. Breath, typing, birdsong...thoughts coming and going through this ownerless field of awareness. not 'my' thoughts...what is missing from this moment? not.a.thing. wow, noticing sensations of completeness and peace.
Really fantastic. Now, this frustration… How is that different than any other automatic thought, or breathing or typing or birdsong or any other appearance?
So that 'core' feeling of substantiality is also now easily explainable as an illusion...Santa Claus is turning to smoke!
:) Beautiful. I have nothing much to say or comment, therefore I only suggest some further questions to stir up some more looking, maybe a bit deeper now, to see if there are any more sticking points.

Have you been able to find, a ‘self’ that is the ‘experiencer’?

Or a self that is the doer, or can control what happens?

Or a self that ‘makes’ decisions?

Or a self who ‘does the thinking’?

Is the "body" just another thought label for sensations (namely tactile & kinesthetic)?

Are the five body senses made to arise or experienced by this ‘self’?

Is there a self ‘in here’ which is separate from the world and others ‘out there’

Is there doubt or unclarity that in all these cases the ‘self’ is nothing other than a mental fabrication?


Kind regards
Milan

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:32 am

It seems like you don’t need a guide at all. :)
of course, because 'I' don't exist :)
I noticed that, while thoughts don't think, they can trigger cascades of further thoughts and ideas. These are not at all in 'my' control...
Great noticing. From my point of view you are right inside the Gate. Just keep looking.
That is a key realisation: that while thoughts (even those centred around 'me') don't think, they do bounce off one another, splinter, mashup and distort...creating the illusion of life...but really a kind of mockery of Life...in the same way monkeys dressed up in human clothes can caricature humanity. These are not real, more like thought-toys than the product of actual thinking...begging the question of where thought arises...? ...and what would a 'real' thought taste like...? (For another enquiry, perhaps). Selective energising (by what is unknown) of these arising thoughts starts knitting them together ...and the stories begin... bahahaha, feelings of heading into dark and dangerous waters arises when I feel the pull to follow that thought.

As others have reported, nothing has changed. But at the same time, the process of direct investigation seems like a mental high-colonic...there's a telltale feeling of calm, galactic expansiveness at the core of awareness...where a lifeless idol to separation once stood. In this process I have noticed a definite sense of contraction when 'me'-ness arises...all the same feelings and thoughts arise, but they seem somehow impersonal...yes, even the frustration expressed yesterday seemed more an observation than active participation, good pointer, Milan. (-/|\-)

...The watermelon has gone 'poof'! :)))
... some further questions to stir up some more looking, maybe a bit deeper now, to see if there are any more sticking points.
yes, please! There are many things ..."sticking points", still to examine, but that seems like basic housekeeping now, really....is it really this simple, or is The Self Habit just trying to reassert itself from a new angle...?

Have you been able to find, a ‘self’ that is the ‘experiencer’?
None at all...more like a series of mental mirrors, collated by the 'I' organiser, that function to deflect direct attention away from the emptiness at the heart of the assumption of self. ...I wanted to write that they are still there, but that's a trap...they never were there, just the walls of the illusory rabbit hole...a tunnel through nothing at all...

Or a self that is the doer, or can control what happens? Ok, this illusion seems stronger...until dropped. Life is embracing itself, always. The idea of 'doer' is garish presumption of influence by and on perceived 'local' phenomenon... A crudely projected sensation of centre, attracted to passing ephemera with aggrandising intention. Fearfully grasping at life in separation instead of graceful melding with what was never left.

Or a self that ‘makes’ decisions? If there's no self, how can decisions even exist? The idea of causality, will...or even freedom... seems a little superficial at the moment... There are no gaps or lapses...the very idea of self is a gap projected where none exists... Speculating a little here, but maybe it's because of a bias towards form that the mistake of 'I' seems so baffling... in reality it's actually quite simple: we think of the self as a 'something' when it's really more a matrix of 'nothing' we overlay onto a plenary whole to make it seem like 'many'...? Trippy.

Or a self who ‘does the thinking’? no problem. Like shit, thought happens ...in the same way molecules travel in straight lines until acted on by external forces...ie., other thoughts. In the same way the cat has no idea of the name by which she's known to me, thoughts exist ...without DNA. Not 'mine', obviously, because they can be shared without diminishment... In fact they grow by sharing, so that totally belies any kind of ownership...and try as many times as I've silently watched thoughts appear and disappear in this mind...as many times as I've profited and lost because of the effects of the thoughts that pass through this mind, I'm yet to ever once experience myself thinking something... I don't even believe that "think" is a real verb...unless thinking is what the mind does only when you take your eyes off it... :D

Is the "body" just another thought label for sensations (namely tactile & kinesthetic)? totally. There's no way to prove conclusively that the body isn't just a localising vehicle for awareness itself... But that's not my experience, just kind of (as above) extrapolating from the spaciousness currently felt ...erm, speculating. Where does 'wind' reside when it's not blowing? ...the body... words just dropped over a cliff... This speaks to the bias towards form: formlessness cannot sense anything. Awareness is formless, eternal and infinite (woah) so that experience can even occur, a form-vehicle is necessary. ...slipping into solipsism here... A universe inside a mind...

Are the five body senses made to arise or experienced by this ‘self’? not sure I get the question. By what would they be made to arise? And what experiences these sensory inputs? If God was a verb, that seems to be what's occurring...and it feels blissful...

Is there a self ‘in here’ which is separate from the world and others ‘out there’ yes, in sensation, but that seems an obviously false dichotomy. There's a lot of back-and-forth, depth-of-field vacillation going on right now... Like when eyes move from one point of focus to another and back again... What's experiencing this, if not some 'I'? ...but then, no need to fret about it: the 'other side' has been experienced... Questions will be answered.

There really are (at least) two ways to look at this existence: the alone, tiny, frightened, defensive and ultimately terminal way... Or, the way that knows 'this' as a kind of eternal thread, embraced as part of an infinite tapestry that would be forever incomplete without it.

In answering the question and indeed in addressing the very drive to seek Truth, the writing of Yann Martel comes to mind, to ask, "Which way suggests a more satisfying existence?" To which The Answer is "The latter".

At which point arrives the zinger: "And so it is with God."

Is there doubt or unclarity that in all these cases the ‘self’ is nothing other than a mental fabrication? yes, it seems too easy XD ...except the clarity is awesome... The words get in the way of clear communication but, really, that's because they can only point fingers, right?

There really are feelings of, "that seemed way too easy" but hardly surprising, with a mechanism such as this selfing one has been. I think habits (lol, such as saying, "I think...") will linger, but I feel also that "infinite patience has immediate rewards" and I will remain in observation mode. I don't feel like it's over, but it also feel an utter absence of seeking... Like post-coital contentedness... (Sorry, that was the image that sprang to mind first!)

I feel more questions looming from this end... Can you please ask some more questions, or pull the eyes out of what I wrote above?

I really appreciate this process. Not surprisingly, reading about it and experiencing it are two different animals, aren't they? Totally recommended, if anybody else is following this thread.


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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby smi » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:58 pm

Hi Michael,

I really like your descriptive language. Being non-native English speaker I can only marvel at your wonderful style of expression.

Your answers clearly reflect that it is obvious to you there is no separate self. Even the tiny doubt in the form of a thought “is it really this simple” is seen as just another automatic conditioned response. Yes, in my experience it is this simple and obvious when looking, but impossible when not looking. :)

At this point I will simply suggest final questions as they may help reveal whatever is still unclear.

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?

Please give examples from your experience.

6) Anything to add?


Kind regards
Milan

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:25 am

Hi Milan, will unpack those questions over the next day or so...it's so great working thru this with you, please don't move on just yet... I smile at doubts and questions originating from fear that just isn't 'mine'... This really is simple, unpretentious liberation; waking with a smile is happening... The desire to share, to encourage the experience that suffering is literally 'self-inflicted', elective and totally unnecessary.

I cannot thank you enough...nor Ilona, Elena, et al, for establishing this community and their honest rigour in insisting that nothing remain unquestioned.

This really feels like a beginning...based on the ...erm, authority...? of direct experience.


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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby smi » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:25 am

Hi Michael,

Absolutely, take as much time as you need and as best as you can answer questions from direct experience as it is in this moment. Of course, if there is anything else you feel still needs to be examined, let me know and we can look at it.

Kind regards
Milan

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Re: Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:38 am

Hi Milan,

I've been riding this wave of lightness over the past few days…things seem exactly the same …but fresh...nothing seems so terribly serious, even continuing to read GG (although I have anyway…lots of ‘nuggets’ there) or examining the questions you left for me last time. ...not feeling pressed to do or be anything...I feel unencumbered ...by ‘me'.

The 'me’ stuff is still very much happening…most is just thoughtstream, but there are also feelings of discomfort arising from doubts and thoughts of limitation… Intellectually I still know that htese are not ‘my’ thoughts. Enquiry asks "what limits this?” and there is no response, but I keep bumping into ‘me’ artefacts; habitual boundaries that crop up like bumps in an otherwise pretty smooth mindscape. These are also usually followed quickly with a, “Where am ‘I’ in any of this?” kind of thoughts, but behaviour doesn’t always seem congruent…

But I want to get back to your questions, so sensation now of forcing hands to keyboard... that's what it seems.

There's nothing different at all and nothing has happened...there's just less confusion about what's real and it makes all the difference in the world. I really liked GG's Batman analogy... but it feels like I'm Batman! What I mean by that is that, with no 'me' occupying the space ...you know, in the middle there... there's a feeling of absolute freedom from the need to be this (or any) guy. It's like not just 'being in the zone' but more like, 'being the zone'
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No, I can no longer believe that, ever again. It is the single biggest mistake humanity has ever made and, to this ‘me’, explains all of the insanity visible in the world.
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.
It’s nothing, so not sure why the question is necessary, as it seems to be asking me to substantiate nothingness… the illusion of self is only a mistake, not a disease. If it were a disease it would need a cure. But because it is a very understandable misperception, it can be corrected…but only from within, where it started. The initial imprint of ‘me’ was made by others, starting in infancy. Although it is really a kind of unintended violence, adults believe we are ‘educating’ our children by imprinting them with a sense of identity, because it was the same for us as children. We are taught to look at the body, mind, thoughts, history and behaviour and infer from that a singular character, personality and identity. Direct, focused interface with the reality of the senses tells me it’s nonsense though, which is why this ‘en-selfing’ process is really an act of violence, forced upon a vulnerable child by …everybody in their life, as an act of ‘love’ and done in the name of education.

It ‘works’ by initially splitting the universe into ‘me; and ’not me’. It then teaches this ‘me' that every time it splits the universe it gains in understanding, power and ever-greater selfhood. This encourages ‘me' to examine, break down and analyse the shit out of everything I can. ‘I’ get educated and learn to break reality down into pieces small enough that I believe I can understand each one, in isolation from the whole from which it was excised.

When I feel I have understood one, small piece, I then work backwards from it, inferring a dark, fragmented understanding of the entire universe from it and, over time, building a ‘frankenstein’ picture of reality in the process (imagine a shattered mirror), based on separation, isolation and fear…which has led us to the world I seem to see around me today.

Again, it does not exist -and the world is waiting to be reborn in the gorgeous, seamless light of reality at every moment it is realised.
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.
Light. Free. Happy. Certain. …tired, like after a long, hard struggle ceases. I don’t feel any kind of ‘victory’ because there was no enemy…no ‘other’…and no ‘me’ to bask in the glory… It just stopped. I’m laughing, a little sheepishly because ‘I’ was climbing a very tall ladder- ony to discover it was leaning against the wrong wall!

‘My’ trajectory has incontrovertibly changed…i don’t know that, but am inferring it from this different… orientation... from grasping to …not grasping. Everybody needs this, as it is the antidote to suffering. I want to help others discover it.

...Ok, I also notice ‘seeking’ type thoughts as they occur. I notice they have a kind of ‘gravity’ around them...cause a kind of contraction, like the ‘me’ thoughts when energised. Before ‘I' was always seeking…in fact, seeking might be what energises the ‘I’ from just a thought to an irresistible compulsion…what do ‘you’ think, Milan? :)
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
While reading GG and the forum, I began to notice that, while I had plenty of quite elegant thoughts about there being no ‘I’, there had also been virtually no direct investigation into it, to examine actual experience for evidence…always distracted by other thoughts, other’s thoughts, or lost in meditation. I was also trying to interpret the lack of response itself as something, rather than the nothing that is the major clue that ‘I’ doesn’t exist…it’s like Homer Simpson saying to God, “If you want me to eat this (cookie), give me no sign” I laugh to realise that ‘I' am stupider than Homer!

I think the single strongest thing (if there was one) was the imagined image of the watermelon. It seemed very clear…and thinking about it realised it reminded me so much of an old Zen story that I puzzled over for years but had forgotten:

a monk comes to visit a deeply respected Master in a remote temple, bringing two expensive gifts, held in either hand. The Master was deep in meditation when the monk crossed the threshold, but called out, “Drop it!” The monk stopped in his tracks, confused. The gifts were precious, but he did a quick mental calculation and dropped the lesser on the floor, where it broke, before taking another step. “Drop it!” the Master repeated and the monk again, but reluctantly, obeyed. He took another step forward and the Master called out a third time, “Drop it!” ...and the monk was enlightened.

‘I' really ‘got' the watermelon koan...and the story of the monk now has this same resonance…in fact it always has, but ‘I’ just didn’t ‘get’ it.
5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen?
There are thoughts arising that definitely underwrite such an interpretation of reality, but mind is way ahead of experience in this. How can events be influenced when there is just no ‘I’ to decide, intend, choose or control them? …besides, a thought needn’t be true to be real…and, what is an ‘event’, except an absolutely arbitrary interpretation of a ‘chunk’ of infinity? It’s a vain attempt to impose meaning onto what inherently has none. Thoughts and actions may have correlations, but no owners and they don’t even necessarily have a causative relationship…science now tells us that the subconscious (meaning ‘unknown’) mind has already recorded a ‘decision’ way before it becomes aware to the conscious mind. No ‘I’ can possibly control that.

Reality flows without pause, movement or direction. This ‘I' seems just a kind of mental algorithm, that functions by inserting ‘gaps’ in this flow, allowing the mind to break up the eternal ‘now' and the infinite ‘here' into space and time and localising awareness into this ‘I’ that seems innate but is in fact a learned and mistaken perception. Considering so much of our shared and individual experience is tied up in these illusory ‘gaps’, it really begs the question of just how accurately reality could ever be reflected in the mirror of these eyes…
Please give examples from your experience.
For example, thoughts of wanting to stop trying to control ‘my' life, now that I really get this simple, tiny distinction. If there’s no ‘I’, how can there be any control? I’m watching closely to see how this works, because like I mentioned, mind is ahead of experience here.

6) Anything to add?
More experimentation! More enquiry!
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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smi
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:03 pm
Location: Slovenia

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby smi » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:11 pm

Hi Michael,

I really enjoyed reading your answers. I know that for some strange reason I didn’t comment much on anything you wrote even though there might have been some small insignificant things to “pick on”. Anyway there seems to be clarity about absence of self and that is all that matters.
The 'me’ stuff is still very much happening…most is just thoughtstream, but there are also feelings of discomfort arising from doubts and thoughts of limitation… Intellectually I still know that htese are not ‘my’ thoughts. Enquiry asks "what limits this?” and there is no response, but I keep bumping into ‘me’ artefacts; habitual boundaries that crop up like bumps in an otherwise pretty smooth mindscape. These are also usually followed quickly with a, “Where am ‘I’ in any of this?” kind of thoughts, but behaviour doesn’t always seem congruent…
When you say that after asking “what limits this?” there is no response… Is the response even necessary? What or who would receive/notice response? What or who is asking? Why not looking directly what is behind that feeling of discomfort or doubt or limiting thought or “‘me’ artifact”?
...Ok, I also notice ‘seeking’ type thoughts as they occur. I notice they have a kind of ‘gravity’ around them...cause a kind of contraction, like the ‘me’ thoughts when energised. Before ‘I' was always seeking…in fact, seeking might be what energises the ‘I’ from just a thought to an irresistible compulsion…what do ‘you’ think, Milan? :)
I’m not sure if I understand this paragraph correctly. You say there are still ‘seeking’ type of thoughts which is fine but the question is, is seeking still going on? What else is there that needs to be found?
More experimentation! More enquiry!
What would you like to experiment or enquire?

Kind regards
Milan

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biisuto
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:25 am

Re: Looking for guidance

Postby biisuto » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:33 am

Hi Milan,
...some small insignificant things to “pick on”. Anyway there seems to be clarity about absence of self and that is all that matters.
Milan, EVERYTHING needs picking here… There’s this awesome clarity, but still waaay too many smooth and smug words…don’t things quiet down after “gating”…? It was all light and airy...What was seen is still seen and cannot be unseen…yet even now, as the euphoria/hysteria settles, the same old ‘I’ thoughts are right there, pushing buttons and pulling levers, with seemingly as much influence as ever. What’s with that? Is it just the ‘death-kick’ of selfhood…? Doubt is asking “Did I walk through the wrong gate and emerge the other side as ‘I’ …?”

Is ‘I’ trying to resurrect itself? It’s not real. It doesn’t exist. There is no doubt. So wtf…?

What is feeling and thinking these things...and where are they manifesting? What are they sticking to…What is evoking the responses? Are they even ‘responses' or is it perceiving a correlation as causation?

What happens when it is seen as just ‘this arises too’?

Feeling and thinking are arising in this mind. They are not ‘mine’, any more than this mind is or has an owner. It is a wave of consciousness in an ocean of awareness, according to Jeff Foster. Does this point of awareness fly around and between phenomenon, or is everything that arises marching past the same stationary point of awareness? ...Isn’t awareness infinite? So why does it appear here and now as this tiniest of pinpricks?

‘Why’ it appears is beyond the scope of business at hand: of completing the ...'move' through the gate. OK, I can dig that.

There is no ‘me’ entity as such. I totally get that. But there is nonetheless this localised pinpoint of awareness that experiences the sensual datastream, is exposed to an ownerless (ie., source unknown) thoughtstream and represents a kind of wave crest of individuality that seems predisposed (or at least susceptible) to the notion that it is a self-contaned identity and separate from all the ‘other’ waves this process must create. No, the process doesn’t ‘create’ the waves…it merely puts a frame around naturally occurring movements and labels it as ‘wave’, ie., somehow separate from the unchanging ocean.

So what is it that craves the peace and freedom that liberation unleashes? It seems like there is no escape from these recursive selves…‘who’ is trying to escape and what is it trying to escape…?

Peace is available now…these kinds of feelings seem to fade as they and the thoughts around them are examined and released...
Is the response even necessary? What or who would receive/notice response? What or who is asking? Why not looking directly what is behind that feeling of discomfort or doubt or limiting thought or “‘me’ artifact”?


As to your first question, "no response” was my (happy) expectation because there is no ‘me’ to limit anything and thus nothing to make a response- and, you’re right, nothing to respond to. These are thoughts that arise and then questions that arise, seemingly in response. This phantom ‘self’ has other selves to make conversation with.

The habits of looking-away instead of looking-directly are strong. When I read what you wrote it made me look unflinchingly at exactly that…but they are still only thoughts and feelings arising, without owner. There is no ‘me’ for them to happen ‘to’…but they are still there.
...Ok, I also notice ‘seeking’ type thoughts as they occur. I notice they have a kind of ‘gravity’ around them...cause a kind of contraction, like the ‘me’ thoughts when energised. Before ‘I' was always seeking…in fact, seeking might be what energises the ‘I’ from just a thought to an irresistible compulsion…what do ‘you’ think, Milan? :)
I’m not sure if I understand this paragraph correctly. You say there are still ‘seeking’ type of thoughts which is fine but the question is, is seeking still going on? What else is there that needs to be found?
I was just saying that it seems that when ‘I’ is seen as unreal, then seeking also drops away. This begs the question as to whether there’s a correlative or causative relationship between them. I was asking your opinion.
What would you like to experiment or enquire?
Not sure, nothing is sure…I feel so free (…I was going to write “irresponsible”) …so what happens now? I had no plans for this…everything seems so wide open…I feel like the prisoner who has had his cell door unlocked but is standing at the threshold, uncertain about what comes next… But this is what’s next...

I think this sense of freedom is helped by a lack of compulsion to read and visit the texts...There's much more movement towards direct experience than to what now seem like secondhand thoughts... There's a feeling that I will compare notes with them again some day, but there's no rush back, which feels good. :)
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche


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