Locustafiera requesting guide

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Locustafiera
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Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:07 am

Hi,
Could I have a guide please? A couple of life changing experiences occurred earlier this year and my grip on self has loosened somewhat. I really want to do this. There are no years of study behind this one though, just a few months of seeking.
Thanks in advance.
Best

LocustaFiera

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Hannah B-T
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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:36 pm

Hi Locustafiera. What would you like me to call you here? My name is Hannah.

What timezone are you in?- I am GMT+1 - UK.

I would be very happy to guide you through this process.
Firstly could you confirm you have read this post and the disclaimer here:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=221

And that you agree to these 'groundrules':

1- 100% honesty- by this I mean- no censoring, no telling me what you think I want to hear, or repeating what you have heard from somewhere else.

2-That you strive to only report as closely as you can your direct experience right now when answering my questions. By this i mean what you can find right here and now, through the perception of your senses, not conceptual ideas, speculation or things from teachings you may have read or seen. To aid this i request you hold off reading spiritual books or watching such content online just whilst we are in this dialogue.

3-That we both agree to post daily, unless we let each other know why that is not possible at that time. Momentum is really important for this process.

If that's all ok- can you tell me a little about the life changing experiences you mentioned that have happened, and then about any expectations you have for this process- what it might be like or what things might be like afterwards, and or any fears that come up about engaging in this?
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:52 pm

Hi Hannah, many thanks for taking this on.

Yes I have read the post and agree to the ground rules,

I am in the UK and my given name is Andrew.

In brief, I quit an alcohol addiction back in May. All was going well until I went on a holiday and began to stress about things back home. I became rapidly depressed and paranoid, to a degree I had not felt since my teenage years, when I was often suicidal. When things were getting almost too much to bear my mind suddenly became 2 minds. The original mind shrank into a small ball and I saw it for what it was, a thrashing bundle of irrational fears and fantasies. The second mind that appeared was calm, wise and detached, and it had the quality of being both me and not totally me (it was greater than me) at the same time. With this new split consciousness, which was so real that I believed it to be a permanent shift, I felt calm and supremely confident. This situation lasted for 2 or 3 days, and towards the end of this period there arose a fleeting state, no more than a few moments, during which my experience of the world radically altered - it was as if everything was perfect and connected, everything in its right place and operating as it should, like a divine clockwork. The sense of peace and perfection was indescribable.

On returning to the UK I found my attitude towards myself had shifted somewhat. I saw my self as a creature with in built limits for which I was not responsible, that was learning and developing in a natural way and did not need to be perfect and right all the time. I lost the urge to constantly fight to prove myself right and I was comfortable with this creatures limits. For example I was freed of concern for my appearance, and at the same time much more comfortable thinking about how it could be improved. As if I wasn't really dressing ME, but HIM.

This perspective comes and goes though. It feels better than the previous one, but I feel it could be completed, stabilised, established, properly understood and permanent. This is my hope for this process.

I can sense absolutely no fear, only anticipation.
Best

LocustaFiera

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:33 pm

Lovely Andrew, that's really helpful.

Let's just take a look at a couple of things you mentioned:
With this new split consciousness, which was so real that I believed it to be a permanent shift, I felt calm and supremely confident. This situation lasted for 2 or 3 days, and towards the end of this period there arose a fleeting state, no more than a few moments, during which my experience of the world radically altered - it was as if everything was perfect and connected, everything in its right place and operating as it should, like a divine clockwork. The sense of peace and perfection was indescribable.
On returning to the UK I found my attitude towards myself had shifted somewhat
This illustrates well a very important point. Most people who come here have had some sort of 'peak experiences' as they are called, perceptual shifts, altered states of conciousness. The important thing you have hopefully seen here is that no matter how radical and intense these are, they are impermanent and therefore cannot and be grasped after. I like to put it that these are 'side-effects' of a new way of seeing how things are, not the point. Does that resonate for you? or is there a desire/craving to recreate this intense experience?
This perspective comes and goes though. It feels better than the previous one, but I feel it could be completed, stabilised, established, properly understood and permanent. This is my hope for this process.
Hmmm...'permanent' is a very tricky concept.
Looking into your experience right now through the senses, can you find me anything at all that meets the criteria 'permanent'?
Tell me what you find when you look...

I can sense absolutely no fear, only anticipation.
Great! But if any comes up, i encourage you to bring it straight 'to the table' as it were for us to look at together.

xx
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:47 pm

I equate 'new way of seeing how things are' and 'perceptual shift'. I.e they are 2 ways if saying the same thing. So, it resonates with me that there would be side effects of a new way of seeing things, yes absolutely - there must be side effects, and perhaps radical or intense side effects yes.
Is there a desire to recreate the intense experience? At first there was a desire to develop the ability to recreate states like it, yes. Not really now though. It has come to mean more of a sign at a turning point. Not to be recreated but a highly concentrated pointer to the fact that things can be perceived very differently. I don't have any real expectation of reaching that peak state again, things have moved on - There are hopes, of awakening in some way, or many ways if its possible, but also fears that it is not going to be possible in this lifetime.

When I look closely at my experience I see nothing permanent in the sense that it will last forever, but I do see repeating patterns. Types of feeling and thought that in my memories have happened time and again and cause pain, and I believe they will keep happening if there is no awakening.

I have found one fear; it is that this is some kind of confidence trick, some kind of mental trickery that I may fall for and end up looking like an idiot. :-)
Best

LocustaFiera

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:56 pm

Great stuff- just to let you know i'm having a 'free day' today so can post more, but usually i'm working quite long days so will only be able to post once a day.
There are hopes, of awakening in some way, or many ways if its possible
What 'many ways' are you talking about here exactly? What does the word 'awakening' mean to you right now?

Some fears popped up there, great, let me give you some thoughts to shake them up a bit...-
but also fears that it is not going to be possible in this lifetime
Seriously, why not?
All those many many people out there over the last few thousand years, and who are around today just getting on with life but clearly expressing that awakening has happened and is possible... Are they all lying? Why would they bother? If not, what makes your case special in that it couldn't happen right here, and right now? What are you waiting for?
When I look closely at my experience I see nothing permanent in the sense that it will last forever
wow. That's a biggie to notice. Really let that statement sink in.
Types of feeling and thought that in my memories have happened time and again and cause pain, and I believe they will keep happening if there is no awakening.
What if they kept happening after this, but were just experienced differently? Would this process still be of interest?
I have found one fear; it is that this is some kind of confidence trick, some kind of mental trickery that I may fall for and end up looking like an idiot. :-)
Great! let's be clear. Do NOT under any circumstances, take anything at all i say as true here. Anything. I absolutely want you every time to go to your own current experience, ask the questions of that, report back to me as purely a mirror to those answers, and even attempt to prove me wrong if necessary. I am not here to convince you of anything, in fact i would be really disappointed if that's what ended up happening, as it would not serve anything.

So let's dive in!
I may fall for and end up looking like an idiot.
What is this 'i' that could 'look like an idiot'?
What exactly are you referring to when you use the words 'i' and 'me'?


Take your time with these, don't settle for the first answer that pops up, really look.
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:18 am

What 'many ways' are you talking about here exactly? What does the word 'awakening' mean to you right now?
I was only trying to convey that I don't know much about the subject. I have heard there is an initial awakening to first path in some traditions and subsequent paths after that. Is this gate the first path? I don't know.
All those many many people out there over the last few thousand years, and who are around today just getting on with life but clearly expressing that awakening has happened and is possible... Are they all lying? Why would they bother? If not, what makes your case special in that it couldn't happen right here, and right now? What are you waiting for?
I guess this is rhetorical? It's just a fear, irrational maybe, but I hear of others searching for years with nothing to show for it. One wouldn't have to be special to join the ranks of those that sought and did not find. But don't get the wrong impression. If anything it is over confidence that I fall foul of. I believe I will awaken. I just have this small fear of failure.
What if they kept happening after this, but were just experienced differently? Would this process still be of interest?
Yes it's fine. They will keep happening I know, but they won't cause pain.
What is this 'i' that could 'look like an idiot'?

What exactly are you referring to when you use the words 'i' and 'me'?
Finding this hard. There is a feeling first of slight indignance. 'Isn't it obvious?'. But really looking, there is is an emotion - a feeling of vulnerability, a hollowness inside. Then a feeling of physical weight in the body. Then a memory of many memories of the past. Then a sense of familiarity with surroundings, a feeling of comfort and trust in the company of family. There is an expectation - that waking and life will continue tomorrow, and a weariness. A feeling of distinct boundaries and separateness from other physical things.

I'm referring to a belief in an entity that inhabits this body and senses the body, and which to some degree directs the body, and which strives to survive.
Best

LocustaFiera

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:35 am

You mentioned memory and thoughts about the future, we'll come back to that...
You mentioned possession...'mine' 'my family' etc...we'll come to that too...
A feeling of distinct boundaries and separateness from other physical things.
oooh, i've got some great exercises to look at this as well. :)

But let's start real simple here:

Doesn't it strike you as odd that when someone asks you a quite straightforward question like 'what are you referring to when you say 'i' the thoughts come back with all that?

I mean if I said
'what are you referring to when you say 'table?'...you'd quite easily point to one wouldn't you.

I invite you to do this exercise.... exactly as written and describe to me what happens....

take your right index finger as if you are going to point at 'table'...'tv'....'lamp'...even do it if you like with stuff in the room.

and then point to 'I'
i mean actually point, with the finger, exactly where it seems to be right now. Just use your senses like looking for the table in the room.

Tip- you're looking for this very thing you described so clearly here:
I'm referring to a belief in an entity that inhabits this body and senses the body, and which to some degree directs the body, and which strives to survive.
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:08 am

Hannah, am I to try to point at the belief, or at the entity I call me?
I tried both. Pointing at the belief led to a pointing at the head, in a circular motion as if to say, 'it's somewhere in here'. Pointing at the me led to a pointing to the chest. But it doesn't really feel like there is an entity in there. It does feel like Me, but the sense of Me is that the whole body is Me.

I pointed at my head and I pointed at my chest. It feels like I am pointing at me if I point at my chest, but it doesn't feel like I am pointing at the belief. It feels like the belief should be in my head. Pointing at my head doesn't feel like pointing at me.
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LocustaFiera

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:24 am

Great response, loads to look at here. Tell me if i'm bombarding you with stuff to look at at any point, there's no rush here.
One way of viewing this approach is we are on a sort of treasure hunt, looking for this illusive 'i' /'me' that the thoughts seem to be constantly banging on about right? So we look everywhere it 'seems' to be, and then check in direct experience...well... Is there a self actually there?

Read your responses again, can you see how confused the thoughts start getting immediately, saying there might be 2 selves, one in the head and one in the heart...and giving completely opposite answers from one sentence to the next. That's to be expected and is a good sign!
Pointing at the belief led to a pointing at the head, in a circular motion as if to say, 'it's somewhere in here'
Ok. So what is a 'belief'? Where does a 'belief' exist?
Can you taste, touch smell, hear or see a belief?
Does it have an actual physical location?
Are you simply talking about what i would call 'thoughts' here?

try the above questions with the word 'thoughts' as well.

Do thoughts have a location? Where are they? Where do they come from? where do they go?
Is there a 'thinker' that you can find making and directing the thoughts that appear?
pointing at the me led to a pointing to the chest. But it doesn't really feel like there is an entity in there
Really? So why when i asked you to point at the me did you point to the chest?
ok...get still (if you meditate- ideal if not no problem just be in a quiet space and shut your eyes)...
focus specifically on the raw sensations coming from this chest area that seem to be linked to this 'me-ness'.
Just sit with them for a while and report how that was experienced, the sensations, in as much basic detail as you can, like you would describe a symptom in your body to a doctor.

but the sense of Me is that the whole body is Me.
Ok. Can you see how closely this might be linked to this statement?
A feeling of distinct boundaries and separateness from other physical things.
Whilst sitting on a chair let's take a look the sensations of 'sitting'.
Look really closely at those sensations with eyes closed.
Can you find:
an actual 'bottom' on 'a chair'?
a boundary or division between 2 lots of sensations labelled 'bottom' and 'chair'?
Is that really how it is, or is it much simpler that all that?

xx
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:50 pm

Great response, loads to look at here. Tell me if i'm bombarding you with stuff to look at at any point, there's no rush here.
One way of viewing this approach is we are on a sort of treasure hunt, looking for this illusive 'i' /'me' that the thoughts seem to be constantly banging on about right? So we look everywhere it 'seems' to be, and then check in direct experience...well... Is there a self actually there?

Read your responses again, can you see how confused the thoughts start getting immediately, saying there might be 2 selves, one in the head and one in the heart...and giving completely opposite answers from one sentence to the next. That's to be expected and is a good sign!
Pointing at the belief led to a pointing at the head, in a circular motion as if to say, 'it's somewhere in here'
Ok. So what is a 'belief'? Where does a 'belief' exist?
Can you taste, touch smell, hear or see a belief?
Does it have an actual physical location?
Are you simply talking about what i would call 'thoughts' here?

try the above questions with the word 'thoughts' as well.

Do thoughts have a location? Where are they? Where do they come from? where do they go?
Is there a 'thinker' that you can find making and directing the thoughts that appear?
pointing at the me led to a pointing to the chest. But it doesn't really feel like there is an entity in there
Really? So why when i asked you to point at the me did you point to the chest?
ok...get still (if you meditate- ideal if not no problem just be in a quiet space and shut your eyes)...
focus specifically on the raw sensations coming from this chest area that seem to be linked to this 'me-ness'.
Just sit with them for a while and report how that was experienced, the sensations, in as much basic detail as you can, like you would describe a symptom in your body to a doctor.

but the sense of Me is that the whole body is Me.
Ok. Can you see how closely this might be linked to this statement?
A feeling of distinct boundaries and separateness from other physical things.
Whilst sitting on a chair let's take a look the sensations of 'sitting'.
Look really closely at those sensations with eyes closed.
Can you find:
an actual 'bottom' on 'a chair'?
a boundary or division between 2 lots of sensations labelled 'bottom' and 'chair'?
Is that really how it is, or is it much simpler that all that?

xx
Best

LocustaFiera

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:43 pm

--Tell me if i'm bombarding you with stuff to look at at any point, there's no rush here.

No problem right now, it's a good pace.

-- Read your responses again, can you see how confused the thoughts start getting immediately,

Yes, i almost wrote 'confused'.

-- So what is a 'belief'? Where does a 'belief' exist? ........Are you simply talking about what i would call 'thoughts' here?.....Is there a 'thinker' that you can find making and directing the thoughts that appear?

Agreed, beliefs are a kind of thought. I can't see where they come from, they seem to pop up out of nowhere and disappear. I have seen this quite clearly when meditating. The 'I' may be perceiving the thoughts but it certainly isn't creating them, and it seems to have little or no control over them.

--- So why when i asked you to point at the me did you point to the chest?

Don't know. There is quite a small area of the chest that qualifies to be pointed at as me. If I use my right hand, it is an area to the right of the breastbone, beneath the collarbone, to the left of the nipple and above the bottom of the pectoral muscle. But I notice it switches to the left side if I use my left hand. However, it's no good pointing to the left side with the right hand, that's not Me there, and vice versa, so unless the Me is shifting about depending on which finger is pointing, this method seems unreliable.

--- ok...get still (if you meditate- ideal if not no problem just be in a quiet space and shut your eyes)...focus specifically on the raw sensations coming from this chest area that seem to be linked to this 'me-ness'. Just sit with them for a while and report how that was experienced, the sensations, in as much basic detail as you can, like you would describe a symptom in your body to a doctor.

Nothing, nada, zero, rien, Doctor. Can't feel a damn thing. That self is quiet as a church mouse, if it is there.

--- Whilst sitting on a chair let's take a look the sensations of 'sitting'.?...Can you find:an actual 'bottom' on 'a chair'? a boundary or division between 2 lots of sensations labelled 'bottom' and 'chair'? Is that really how it is, or is it much simpler that all that?

There is only one set of sensations, I think. Not surprisingly, I can't feel for the chair. Although......it's not entirely clear if the sensations are part of the chair, or part of the bum. Difficult this one. Can't work it out. I will spend some more time with this.

X
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LocustaFiera

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Hannah B-T » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:03 pm

Hey, sorry for later reply, have had a family emergency to deal with.
beliefs are a kind of thought
Are they in some way a 'special' kind of thought? What actually makes something a belief rather that just any old thought?
The 'I' may be perceiving the thoughts but it certainly isn't creating them
Ok great, so is there an 'i' creating any thoughts? Ever? Can you find that 'i'?
What about thoughts about choice?
'I chose x'.
I'm going to do y'

Try this-
lay out 2 beverages you usually drink (when you are going for a drink!). sit in front of them and look really carefully into exactly what happens and let me know what you find out.
The specific criteria you are looking for here are:
1- an exact 'choicepoint' and how that is directly experienced.
2- and/or a 'chooser' and how that is directly experienced.
and it seems to have little or no control over them.
Little? Sounds like a get out clause to me.
Show me any thought that 'you' control and describe to me this 'you' that controls that thought.
Don't know. There is quite a small area of the chest that qualifies to be pointed at as me. If I use my right hand, it is an area to the right of the breastbone, beneath the collarbone, to the left of the nipple and above the bottom of the pectoral muscle. But I notice it switches to the left side if I use my left hand. However, it's no good pointing to the left side with the right hand, that's not Me there, and vice versa, so unless the Me is shifting about depending on which finger is pointing, this method seems unreliable.

--- ok...get still (if you meditate- ideal if not no problem just be in a quiet space and shut your eyes)...focus specifically on the raw sensations coming from this chest area that seem to be linked to this 'me-ness'. Just sit with them for a while and report how that was experienced, the sensations, in as much basic detail as you can, like you would describe a symptom in your body to a doctor.

Nothing, nada, zero, rien, Doctor. Can't feel a damn thing. That self is quiet as a church mouse, if it is there.
Ok ;) So what you are telling me here is that 'you', what you really are, the self, is a small localised sensation in the chest that only 'qualifies as you' if you point to it with the correct hand, and that disappeared and soon it was looked right at....ummmm.
That self is quiet as a church mouse, if it is there.
Let's be clear- from your report, when you looked it wasn't there in direct experience. It's very simple.Sensations are either present in direct experience right now or they are not... right? if i said is your left toe itching? you'd say yes or no. Not 'probably not but it might be there' lol!
It comes and goes. It moves. It is a sensation.
So what exactly makes this sensation 'you'? Compared to say, an itch in your left toe or a headache?
do 'you' cease to exist then when this sensation isn't present in direct experience? Check this!

re the sitting:
There is only one set of sensations
paradoxical words here. Are there a set of sensations? Or one sensation?
I think
Don't think. Look.
I can't feel for the chair
huh?
Although......it's not entirely clear if the sensations are part of the chair, or part of the bum. Difficult this one. Can't work it out. I will spend some more time with this.
Go for it!
This is not a thought puzzle. A lot of these are yes/no answers. Seriously.
Can you find a boundary between sensations labelled 'bum' and 'chair'?

Try with sounds- sometimes easier way in- listen to a piece of non-lyrical music you like, just relax into it and watch thoughts analysing it if that's what's happening
Can you find in your direct experience outside of thoughts about what's going on:
'ears'
'a hearer'
'any boundaries or separation found in that experience?
Are there keys in your pocket? Is the sky blue? Is there an 'i, a self?' LOOK! :)

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:19 am

Hi. I hope the crisis is over and things are OK now.

Beliefs seem to be special kinds of thoughts, yes. A belief is an operating assumption. For example, when I place my mug of tea on the table, I believe it will support the cup. There doesn't need to be a normal thought each time that asserts 'the cup will not fall'. I cannot currently see how this kind of thought manifests In direct experience though. Is it simply automatic?

You're so right about the cop out. I've been thinking about it all day since I posted. When I wrote about the possible 'little' control the I might have, I was thinking that the I can force a thought, or cease a thought, or make choices but I looked and looked and realised that it can't be true, because - where did this thought come from 'I will show that the I can force a thought ...'? Not from the I. And that thought is really this one 'I will show that the I can force a thought about ...da da da... ' Oops, the forced thought is already there. And to imagine ceasing a thought, the thought must already be there.

I also thought about the 'choices' scenario. There is a preference that just appears. If a need to try to prove I have a choice arises (a desire over which the I has no control , it just pops up), I have to do the opposite, which is not a choice at all.

And so I concluded there is no I creating any thoughts at all, or making any choices. It was a bit of an 'aha' moment.

I was already grinning writing about the pointing exercise. It became amusing and a bit ridiculous to look for the Me in this way.

It's beginning to unravel. I can sometimes see clearly now that there is no manager. The I is like the guy at work who runs around trying to be in charge when things are already working perfectly. Today I fancied that I felt the beginning of a shitty feeling about this Me begin to arise, but it had no power and dissipated immediately.

It's hard to believe that 36 or less hours ago my belief was 'I can see how some thoughts are not in my control' to 'I have no control over thoughts whatsoever, how ridiculous to imagine I ever did'. It's radical.

I am only just beginning to 'get' the question about sensations. I will investigate again tomorrow.

Many thanks for your help by the way. This is fascinating stuff.
Best

LocustaFiera

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Re: Locustafiera requesting guide

Postby Locustafiera » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:18 am

I was thinking further about a few things in your last message:

Firstly, with the pointing, when I point, there is no sensation associated with something I'm pointing at. There is just an area that it feels right to point at. The feeling 'right' is not a physical sensation, more of a kind of thought. If If you were to point at a little old lady and say, 'meet my son', that would feel wrong in a similar way, no physical sensations, but a mental sense of 'not right'.
I wonder if I'm approaching this the way I'm supposed to. I am pointing to me as I would if I were in a group of people and someone outside the group looked in our direction and said 'hey you, come here', and it wasn't clear which one of the group they were addressing. I might point and say 'who me?' It's this kind of pointing I'm testing.

However, the general answer to the thing you told me to check, about the Me ceasing to exist, is yes. I disappear. It's nice when I disappear. It would be good if I disappeared more often, maybe to stay disappeared... although how could I tell? It only seems evident that I disappeared for a while when I reappear, and only then is it apparent that it was enjoyable. There is a fear here. Does deconstructing the self result in a loss of awareness.
Best

LocustaFiera


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