Hi everyone my name is Steph was hoping for some help
Otter Rivers i'll work with you. i'll start with you here. is that ok? we'll just speak in these comments. this is a private group if that is of any concern. only other members can read this.
i want to ask that you reply as often as possible.
of course I understand there may be limitations on how often you can reply.
I may have days where i cant reply too. But every day is the goal.
Please respond as completely and honestly as possible. only say what you find in your direct experience. leave out any philosophy or anything that you have learned. just look again.
Please leave behind all other "spiritual" reading, teachings, practices, etc for the duration of our talk. if you have an essential daily meditation practice, it's fine to continue that. let's make a space for this.
you must be willing to forget everything and look again like a new baby. ok?
Assuming you agree, let's start with 4 little questions:
1) What brings you to L.U.? How did you find us?
2) When you say "I" "myself" "me" what do you refer to? Is there something real behind it? don't say the right spiritual answer. what is it that you DO find when looking for "myself"?
3) If i say There is no you (I) in reality, how does this feel? what feelings come up?
4) What are your expectations of this process? what should happen if this conversation is successful?
Stephanie M- Hey otter someone from Lu addressed me on the forum but honestly it's easier for me to access and read this
To start I found Lu by investigating dharma from the site dharma overground; a post there led me to read the PDF
Stephanie M- I am a big thinker always in my head ; when I say me, the direct me there is none. There is brain there is body, there are adopted personalities and I mean this literally; I remember adopting them in childhood I'm aware now there is nothing behind me but a bunch of aggregates
Stephanie M- There is a feeling of eureka and loss and fear in the feeling of no me, and when I investigate where the presence is, it resides in area of chest and stomach
Stephanie M- There is a great feeling of love there and will to do good, but massive guilt and fear; why I don't know I have lived like a normal person, but in living like this I feel dishonesty, like if the best way I can describe it is in a dream I had after meditation on this pain and hurt and where it comes from. I asked myself why I feel so awful watching hearing and realizing people suffer, why do I care where others seem not to? In that investigation I found a darkness in the heart I didn't want to let out. I imagined that my heart was locked,
Stephanie M- I unlocked it and imagined all of this black smoke like stuff pouring from it ; after falling asleep I had what they call a lucid dream, in this dream I was a pixie who was working with a dark entity that lived in an old village like the 1800. In that village was also an angel who the dark god loved, doing good for everyone. In the dream I was all three people, the pixie representing human I think. The dark god lived this angel but was jealous of her divinity. At odds. I am at odds with myself. Does this make any sense? I have been an atheist for 30 years, despite the buddhist stuff so I'm not trying to get religious on you. Does this make sense?
Stephanie M- Loved not lived sorry
Stephanie M- I guess my expectations of this process is peace? Not feeling like an alien around people, not feeling different being a person that I could love and appreciate not just on the outside but in, to rid myself of this guilt that I have no idea where it comes from. Now that I know the ego is a product of conditioning, I'm at a loss for words
Stephanie M- Thank you Otter Rivers
Stephanie M- Just watched the video about grey matter I got it otter, thank you so much
Otter Rivers you got it? you mean we're done already?
(can I have a link to this video. I don't know it.)
Stephanie M- Hey it's on the liberation unleashed website on front page under recommended videos great series! I still have a lot if work to do lol but the veil as it we're has been pierced
Otter Rivers so are we continuing this conversation here? I wasn't sure if you meant "I got it. otter, thank you so much" to mean "thanks. I get it. we are done here"
Stephanie M- Oh, yep were done!thanks so much for the questions though
Otter Rivers I have a few more. answer if you want.
Was there ever a self in any way?
What is the "illusion of self"? how does it start and how does it work?
Stephanie M- No never a self it's an illusion I could get down to fields of energy and that but I won't too much typing, it's all controlled and the illusion of control is just that consciousness a product of the brain no separation because there is no empty space just one big projection
Stephanie M- Makes sense why they say you are the content of your thoughts and peace in stillness now there is a merging and dissolving of all concepts as nothing but relatable language
Stephanie M- Sound about right ?
Otter Rivers you are the content of your thoughts?
Stephanie M- No absolutely not
Stephanie M- There is no separate self
Otter Rivers I only asked since you stated "Makes sense why they say you are the content of your thoughts..."
Stephanie M- But what thought action follows creates the world we perceive even though there is no control
Stephanie M- Oh I know thank you
Otter Rivers ok. how does the illusion of self/control, etc. begin? how does it work?
Stephanie M- Just making sure I'm not deluding myself here
Otter Rivers that's good.
Stephanie M- It begins at toddler stage with separate association
Otter Rivers what is it that adopts personalities?
Otter Rivers if you feel we're done and don't want me asking any more questions feel free to say so. part of the work of a guide is to help make sure. it can be easy to get an "aha" moment and just be satisfied with that. but don't rest there. keep looking. this conversation is for that purpose. if you want to stop talking, you may come back any time and continue.
Otter Rivers if you want to continue, I will likely have many more questions.
Stephanie M- Oh please question on to early in the game to quit
Stephanie M- I have a ton of questions I don't know how to ask so really very thank you
Otter Rivers if you don't know, "I don't know" is always acceptable as an answer. as long as you're looking and being honest.
Stephanie M- I guess no one lol it was the expression of the nature or whatever it was, deemed it necessary a biproduct of cause and effect
Stephanie M- That's where I'm lost
Stephanie M- At the time I remember just really living my grandfather and wanting to be just like him and he was always hardworking and grumpy
Otter Rivers right.
Stephanie M- So maybe it's adopted by the concepts of the brain? Baffled
Otter Rivers well no need to use the intellect or look in thought for answers. I liked your previous answers. those were from direct looking.
Stephanie M- So the illusion is projected for the flow? Cool
Stephanie M- Okay right no concepts
Otter Rivers i don't know about that
Stephanie M- Oh okay
Otter Rivers concepts happen but they're not a useful source for this conversation
Stephanie M- Ok
Otter Rivers explain "illusion is projected for the flow"
Otter Rivers (didn't mean to suggest that concepts aren't useful. but they are a substitute for direct experience aren't they? this can be very useful but not when looking for truth)
Stephanie M The field I guess I would call it, as there is no such thing as empty space, humans have overtime adopted a separation of themselves and other when the universe changes states consciousness shifts happen in nature ie destructive
Stephanie - This too what I'm saying is all concepts but from a vibration point it seems to help
Otter Rivers what was it that you got when you said "i got it" earlier?
Otter Rivers (i looked at "videos" on the l.u. main site and didn't see one called "brain matter")
Otter Rivers i mean "grey matter"
Stephanie - I'm sorry it's the first video, about nuerons he refers to grey matter I'm sorry I have this huge issue forgetting that just Bc I know something doesn't mean anyone knows what I'm referring to
Stephanie - I will post a link when I figure out how lol
Otter Rivers please go to the video again. then copy the "url" (http://www.blah blah blah) at the top and paste it here.
Otter Rivers i'd like to see this.
Otter Rivers the first one i see is "look with honesty". i think we are looking in 2 slightly different locations.
Stephanie - Got it sorry I have a four year old clamoring for my attention
Stephanie - Oh yep it's under links
Otter Rivers no rush. priorities.
Stephanie - Recommended videos, then it's the first video link, shows an MRI
Stephanie - First is a clip bbc then the hour vid goin to try now
Otter Rivers haha. wow i can't even find something called "links" is it at the home page on the left? if you can send the link when you get the time.
Otter Rivers i found it
Otter Rivers under "recommended"
Stephanie - Awesome
Stephanie - Secret you it's called, really amazing
Stephanie - There is also a paper I read on the grand unified theory I'll try to link both, the paper isn't on the site but it helped me to see
Otter Rivers i think I've seen this but watching again. but i think i know what you meant by "i got it". it's a nice way to show you if there is a 'chooser' or not.
Stephanie - Yeah it def helped solidify the truth
Otter Rivers i found the video. watching it now.
Stephanie - Awesome cool thanks a lot otter I appreciate your help
Otter Rivers it's good to understand this intellectually. let's take a break now and later i will have some exercises on this subject. it's much more profound to actually experience it yourself.
Stephanie - So there's more than the aha moment? Cool thanks
Otter Rivers maybe there is more. i don't know what the aha was for you. if there is not more, our question/answers will show that. if there is more, we'll move through it a bit at a time.
Stephanie - When I asked myself if there is no self who is doing all this controlling, aha! Eureka! : just to describe a small bit if what happened thank!
Otter Rivers very cool. we'll get to that more later. Sometime today or tomorrow i'll post some direct experience exercises here. bye for now.
Stephanie - Bye bye! Big hug too!
Stephanie - Hey otter I missed one of your questions, when u said u got it, my brain felt as if it had answered the puzzle if self, when it had the realization that itself is a receiver, and wave interpreter, there is no control, the" aha" moment happened .
Stephanie - And about adopting, looking into it, no one adopted it, feels like a pull from heart and will area, even saying it now I feel a block that is outpouring like a heart attack
Stephanie - I'm sorry that first message stating u got it, I mean " I got it" typos so confounded
Stephanie - I'm sorry Otter Rivers, I've realized I have no idea what's going on here. As many physics papers or dharma books I read, my mind is never quiet. I have not one darn clue
Nona - Stephanie, are you the Stephanie who is already conversing with Mike New in the Forum?
Stephanie - Yep let mike know I was working with otter here was a little confused at first not so good wth computers
Stephanie - Oh and hi Nona! Nice to meet you!
Nona - Hi Stephanie, it will serve you better to stick with only one guide. Please choose and let me know, okay? Thanks!
Stephanie - Cool thanks Nona! Easiest for me to access Facebook so if it's okay with otter I'll stay here? I of course thank mike new! And everyone for thier assistance.
Nona -Thank you.
Otter Rivers that's why I wanted to dig further after you said you "got it". The good news is you don't need to get it. it's not something you "get" in a logical sense. honestly if you do "get it" i'm more concerned than if you're comfortable just not knowing. That's why we are going to stick to direct experience. when you see for yourself, this is beyond comparison to understanding intellectually.
Otter Rivers (Nona was the thread with mike deleted? i'd like to read it but can't find it)
Nona - No; the one with Angelika was deleted.
Stephanie - Thanks everyone I feel very overwhelmed sorry for being all over the place, I'm like that in life too
Stephanie - I'm ready whenever you are Otter Rivers!
Otter Rivers it's ok just relax from now on. you have permission to chiiiillll out.
Otter Rivers this is easy. I question. you look honestly and answer directly.
Stephanie - Thank god phew
Otter Rivers haha. ok let me get that exercise ready for you.
Otter Rivers Take a few minutes and do this slowly and watchfully.
Sit with one hand on each leg. think about the right hand moving. think "I will move the right hand". imagine it happening.
did the hand move?
now just move the right hand. what was the difference? watch closely.
was there any cause-effect relationship between the thought and the movement? or was there simply a thought, then either movement or not, then another thought "I did that.-I moved the hand."? Do this a few times very slowly. report only exactly what is noticed.
Otter Rivers Take your time with this. don't respond for at least 10 minutes ok?
Stephanie - Ok cool gonna try now
Stephanie - Ok this might sound weird when I imagine moving or thinking about moving the hand the instructions "feel " like they are originating in left hemisphere of brain I imagine it right hemisphere activates the origin seems to come from heart resistance when I don't raise the hand felt in chest, when the hand moves of I guess it's own accord, when there's no thought about the action it comes from stomach and then gets recognized
Stephanie - It feels as if I am still engaging this movement however
Stephanie - I don't know like when I talk with my hands? It seems like something innate
Otter Rivers check the rest of the question in the exercise though. does the thought "move right hand" move the hand?
Otter Rivers And does it really feel like "you're" engaging the movement? are you really sure? what does "me" feel like?
Stephanie - It does
Stephanie - When I think move the right hand awareness goes there
Otter Rivers when you think "move right hand" the hand automatically moves? can you think "move right hand" without moving the hand?
Stephanie - And it seems to jerk fingers but not actually move it
Stephanie - Sorry I mis wrote that, no I can think move my hand, and no it doesn't actually move it
Stephanie - Me feels like tummy area exertion
Otter Rivers Ok. good direct reporting. Now take a few more minutes and return both hands to resting on your legs.
Now think "I will decide to move my left or right hand".
Wait until you are calm and settled then move one of your hands (or both/neither. whatever).
Watch closely. did choosing really happen or was there possibly just a thought "I will move my ____ hand" and then this happened or not, followed almost immediately by another thought "I did that. I chose to do that." ...?
is there choice happening? is there a chooser/agent/decider? did you do/choose it? or did something just happen followed by a habitual thought "I chose/did that."
let's say the right hand moved. looking directly in the present, is there any possibility at all that the left could have moved that time? could it have been different? can you know that?
Stephanie - Actually no, the idea to move Is there before I engage....
Stephanie - Okay wow, body just had a huge movement of own accord in left shoulder weird.. But still trying exercise
Otter Rivers yeah don't let that throw you off. it's interesting though, isn't it? but yes, keep going.
Otter Rivers i'll be back in about 10 minutes.
Stephanie - Ok cool
Stephanie - Oh my god otters your right, I have no control the body seems to have an awareness of stimuli, when my daughter moves in my field or near me my body auto pilots
Stephanie - And then it dawns oh" I am doing so and so"
Stephanie - This is messed up it's like intuitive
Stephanie - Gonna try the exercise again hard to concentrate with little girl
Stephanie - Oh my god it's every move I don't think about! Sorry this is just so bizarre
Otter Rivers good. so there is one way we come to believe we are a "me" self. so you saw for yourself that the mind isn't controlling anything. so what about the mind? can you control what you think?
Stephanie - No I guess not
Otter Rivers (and there is no rush to answer any of this. family first, of course.)
Stephanie - It wouldn't make logical sense for me to have predetermined movement but let me go smoke and take a look brb
Otter Rivers so let's do the same type of exercise with thinking. so you can see what is true directly rather than "i guess not".
Stephanie - Ok lol sorry I'm feeling scared
Otter Rivers ok i'll get the next exercise ready while you're away. come back and let me know if there's any "me" doing any of it. and look around at everything around you. is there any individual selfs moving any of it?
Stephanie - Oh previous post above yours please ignore I didn't finish that sentence brb
Otter Rivers we'll take our time. we'll go slow. no need to push. there's nothing to be scared of but I understand. we'll do this gently.
Otter Rivers nothing is going to change except maybe the perspective you see from. but take a break. breathe. 1 step at a time. no rush. let's just play at this.
Stephanie - So there is no one controlling thought production, just urges to follow or not to follow
Stephanie - The urges to follow come from body parts it seems like chest stomach, the urge to revolt the same
Stephanie - Feel like I'm finally getting somewhere
Stephanie - Urge might come first actually if I'm just following senses
Stephanie - Yup urge first then thought quick though and hard to pinpoint
Otter Rivers so how are you feeling about this?
Stephanie - Like darth vader, more machine than man lol
Otter Rivers hahaha. does this seem like a bad thing?
Stephanie - My heart is pounding fear to find out something maybe
Otter Rivers have a look. what is this impulse or presence that is doing these things? is it empty? how so?
Stephanie - A little disorienting, relieving but also prisoning I have no free will
Otter Rivers does this make you feel nihilistic? or does it seem ok?
Stephanie - Well it's not me, it feels there but not recognized, nah nihilism still seems ridiculous, hate has never gotten those around me anywhere
Stephanie - It feels like I already knew it, like a confirmation
Otter Rivers I mean nihilistic as "nothing matters. there's no point." etc
Otter Rivers when you say "I have no free will" what does the "I" in that sentence mean when you say it?
Stephanie - Oh yes, that's what I mean by hate lol
Stephanie - Sorry
Otter Rivers about the nihilism: for example, seeing there is no real individual called "me" anywhere in you or others or anywhere, this means there is nobody to hurt or to be wronged. right? but there is still an innate sense that to hurt someone isn't right?
Stephanie - There is no one to have free will so I guess it's just fear, but yeah I'm lying if I don't say it doesn't exacerbate nhilism but if there's no me to feel that there's anything happening to, then there's a point I guess
Stephanie - I'm feeling a loss of identity There was already a disconnect but nah I still feel the love and it's huge!
Stephanie - The love is what drove me to the suffering and examining it so yeah there's still a great appreciation
Otter Rivers good! so if any of this starts to feel weird or unreal or scary, you always have the old safe, familiar pattern to fall back on. I just want to be clear on this.
Stephanie - Cool but that pattern really sucked, time to move on!
Otter Rivers do you have an identity as "no self"?
Otter Rivers right. but just for safety. something to hold to in the mean-time if things feel too weird.
Stephanie - Lol hard to describe but, no
Otter Rivers ok. just something to keep an eye on. I don't know, but I feel it's much more harmful to identify as "no self" or "nothing" than "Stephanie"
Stephanie - Mother would be the only one, having to raise this kid other than that it's all falling off
Stephanie - Yeah there's no personality, but a spark
Otter Rivers right. see it may be true that you are not the roles you identified as but it can be too easy to hit the other extreme and identify as "not steph. not human. not mother"
Otter Rivers good. I just wanted to make sure we took that step gently.
Stephanie - Otherwise she is a combination of mom dad and experience
Stephanie - Cool cause I've had it with Stephanie lol over emotional!
Stephanie - J/k
Otter Rivers so earlier you said "Me" feels like a tension in the belly. is what you truly are a feeling in a body?
Otter Rivers haha. well I wouldn't get any ideas that being "over emotional" will stop. it's just not what you are.
Stephanie - Drive I think it pulls me to do to create to work, where the strength seems to rise
Otter Rivers i'm not asking you to find "something" that you are, and if you don't find an answer, just relax with the question.( looking in direct experience now rather than in thoughts about past etc) Look now. what is the truth of what you are?
Stephanie - If I had to by gun point point to a me, I would point to the heart
Otter Rivers you are not a tension in a belly right?
Stephanie - No not the tension
Otter Rivers what sees this?
Stephanie - Feeling is all I can honestly say
Otter Rivers is there anything feeling the feeling?
Stephanie - I can feel the truth or the lie does that make sense?
Otter Rivers yes
Otter Rivers I think I know what you mean.
Otter Rivers it's like a piece of blank paper. a horror story or a comedy could be written on it but there is always the blank paper as the background that it is all on.
Stephanie - The body feels it and then whatever it is directs it as natural state. Gah I wish I had words for this! Am I completely off?
Otter Rivers hit "refresh" once in a while to make sure you see all my responses
Otter Rivers no you're doing ok. what is feeling the body?
Stephanie - Tee he sorry
The body feels the body, if need be the feeling can be turned off
Otter Rivers we have a useful thing called language but there are issues with it. such as the word "felt". this implies there is a separation between a feeler and what is felt. is this true in your experience?
Stephanie - So I can't be body but there remains an awareness of it
Stephanie - Yeah there is a separation
Stephanie - I don't know how to describe the area feels the feeling, but I don't actually feel it
Otter Rivers hearing is a form of feeling right? sensing. listen to a sound now. try your hardest without straining. can you find the exact point of separation between the source of the sound and the perception of the sound?
Otter Rivers leave behind any learned ideas of vibration, pressure waves travelling through air, hitting ear drum, becoming electrical signals, etc. just D.E. (direct experience)
Stephanie - There seems a blink of separation it's hard to pinpoint if it's before or after or both
Otter Rivers just like with the hand moving exercise. watch closely. is this separation noticed before thought or after?
Stephanie - It seems like the hearing happens with the sound then there is a pause in processing what it is
Stephanie - Before thought
Stephanie - Before cognition I mean
Otter Rivers yeah. that's what I notice as well. we are taught through language to see this separation so it can seem quite natural to think there is a separation
Otter Rivers before cognition of "what is this sensory input? oh it is sound. identifying... it is a fan, car bird, whatever." is there any separation?
Stephanie That's wild
Otter Rivers look at the computer screen. or out the window or whatever. is there REALLY a separate thing there that is being noticed by an eye/brain?
Otter Rivers or is it just "seeing"?
Stephanie M Doesn't seem so, sound seems to happen with hearing, like a foreign language
Otter Rivers close your eyes and feel the sensation of touch on the body. can you find (outside of thought) a boundary between feeling and what is felt? or is there simply feeling happening?
Stephanie M Just a feeling
Stephanie M My medical background might hamper me with the sight stuff,
Otter Rivers we've done a lot today. do you have anything you feel we need to discuss further before we stop? or are you ready to be with this for a while and come back later?
Otter Rivers right. learned explanations and thoughts can be quite useful but never a good substitute for direct experience. if I am operating on someone, a medical background is great. but when looking for what is true, I stick with the 5 senses.
Stephanie M Def ready for a break thanks for the help this means so much I can't begin to express my thanks
Otter Rivers ok let's talk more later.
go through a day and watch decisions as closely as you can without straining. every little decision you notice... what is really happening?
(also watch this investigation. is there something there that is investigating, or is investigation simply happening?)
Stephanie M Kinda freeing
Otter Rivers that's why it's called "liberation" unleashed. bye for now.
Stephanie M Bye bye xoxo
Otter Rivers and don't worry if that "free" feeling comes and goes. this isn't about feeling a certain way. just truth. ok byebye
Stephanie M- This is going to sound nuts but I'm going to ask anyway, just to get it out there. Am I dead?
Stephanie M- Not crazy just something that came to me, I googled and turns out I'm not the only one who has thought it
Stephanie M- Oh wait there is no one to die just the body yea I guess question remains but is just a question
Stephanie M- Sorry otter my notions of what alive or dead is have been blown apart
Stephanie M- The only other thing would be it's like being dead and watching a tv show through cameras like a character in grand theft auto, or the Truman show, the characters in the games are set up with coded personalities, change thier clothes and locations without activity from the player. But I'm so damn angry! This life has been utter shit at its core, mostly my fault, but now who do I blame? Why do I feel this urge to release violently! And laugh and cry like the butt of some joke! All the suffering in this world, all for nothing. If I were some rich asshole who didn't have kids and could go to the mountains to find myself beautiful, but unfortunately I'm poor white trash with a beautiful mind. I'm not mad at you of course otter, I thank you. With all of my love and heart truly, so how to rid the darkness now? How can I fight it? I don't want to harm anyone of course, my respect for life is where this anger comes from. Humanity is like the anti- nature, like a parasite. Like a virus. A virus with the potential to live harmoniously with nature, but all of this I has caused a hell. I reiterate, are we all dead?
Stephanie M- I feel like lucifer looking down on humanity from heaven and asking god why? Beyond his capacity to understand, a concept but one that has followed me from childhood. A shadow. Anger, big anger and pride. Stephanie was an atheist, believed in nature alone humanity as a separate entity, alien maybe. Now I have to wonder what all of this is? All of these concepts seem wrong, but just puppetry seems so dirty, so dismissive of our human ability to cognize? And what is the cognition? What of all these so called gods people see? I've felt the presence, it was with me for 3 days when I surrendered to it, but got lost. I don't know anymore. I'm afraid, not for me, but for everyone.
Stephanie M- Sorry the belief system is just falling away, the fact that I've been living a lie, fighting myself for 30 years for nothing! Where does this dualism come from? Is it purely scientific? Or is there more to it. My whole way if thinking has been eradicated. There is empty, clean slate, but I feel betrayal
Stephanie M- Wait a sec, is there no self? Or no separate self, because that connotates two entirely different ideas. I'm sorry otter please forgive these rants I hope they provide useful
Stephanie M- Alright I'm good now, let the thoughts get the best if me
Otter Rivers wow I see you did a lot of work while I was away. I think it's perfect timing. I probably would have just made it more confusing. it sounds like you got it all out and talked yourself through it.
Stephanie M- Really? That's it? Lol
Stephanie M- Lmao
Stephanie M- I feel silly having wrote all of that I'm sorry
Otter Rivers well I certainly can't begin to address everything you've spoken about. at least not while maintaining the focus of what this conversation is for. besides I see you went on a wild ride and brought yourself back to some clarity.
Stephanie M- Yeah lol
Stephanie M- Fair enough
Otter Rivers you said "is there no self, or no separate self?" yeah that does connotate 2 separate ideas. or it can. self is a word. it means what ou think it means.
Stephanie M- One?
Stephanie M- There is life I believe that, and in all the amazing science stuff it's the mystic aspect of all of this
Stephanie M- Just seems like people being nuts
Stephanie M- But knowing my control is an illusion how can I deny? Am I on the right track?
Otter Rivers remember yesterday I asked you to look at your little daughter. you said there was no personality but a spark. (we could debate the use of "personality" there. you might say there is a personality but it is not what you are. but we can leave that alone. I feel I got what you were saying)
Is that spark any different than what you are? look at plants, walls, anything. is that spark not in all of it? maybe noticed to a greater or lesser degree? some philosophies call that "true self" or "atman" etc. when we are trying to help you see there is no self, we mean nothing that is you that is not anything else. no separation.
Stephanie M- Okay that's where I keep ending up with reason phew thought I was destined for looney bin
Otter Rivers I wouldn't say "one" as that is separate from "many". I just mean NO separation. but i'm supposed to be the one asking questions here. I promise this is not the place to hash out any philosophical conundrums you may find. though it may help/ I don't know.
Stephanie M- I once played virtual reality, all of the sense impressions were there(this is just gear on your head affecting your vision) it made me wonder but alas for another convo
Otter Rivers well we can use that here. to see the non separation.
Otter Rivers look around at the wall or window. anything. near and far. where does the seeing happen?
Stephanie M- Okay I'm sorry Lol I will stop philosophy now
Stephanie M- The seeing happens right in front if me it feels like in the brain
Otter Rivers are there really 3 dimensions in your experience?
Stephanie M- I'm blocking at that question, like a word I know but have forgotten
Stephanie M- Deductive reasoning would tell me no
Otter Rivers but sticking to direct experience of what is noticed now, you don't know anything about seeing happening in a brain ok? so where is seeing?
Stephanie M- Front both sides awareness wherever I shoot my head
Otter Rivers here's some help:
Stephanie M- Cool dude I'm dying
Otter Rivers when you wear a virtual reality helmet, there are near things and far things and if you move your perspective the images seem to move in accordance. where is theimage happening on the helmet?
Stephanie M- Eyes
Otter Rivers do you see any eyes?
Stephanie M- Like cameras like movie projectors
Otter Rivers what about the screen?
Stephanie M- Nope
Stephanie M- No screen
Stephanie M- But there are holes appearing in it
Otter Rivers if you hold still and look straight forward, are there really any near or far things or is it all seen "here"?
Stephanie M- Oh you mean there's no empty space?
Stephanie M- There's def no empty space
Stephanie M- All seen here, depth is so illusory this is tricky
Otter Rivers is what is seeing separate from what is seen? or are these ideas you use to get through life safely? is there seeing, seer, seen, or is it just the screen, or "seeing happening"?
Stephanie M- I could not be moving and never know it
Stephanie M- Oh, no no seer
Stephanie M- Who is there to see it except vision?
Otter Rivers try this:
Stephanie M- Oh darn it's the senses that sense not me, huh?
Stephanie M- Ok
Otter Rivers pretend for a moment you have complete amnesia. (except you can read this still haha.) look around. without referring to anything you've ever learned or any past experience, what is going on?
Otter Rivers I need a break. stay with that.
Otter Rivers i'll be back soon.
Stephanie M- Cool
Stephanie M- Way harder than I thought
Otter Rivers it's a good exercise for this. you can't talk about eyes or brains or light waves or anything. you have to stay with what is noticed now. give this a few more minutes.
Stephanie M- Trying it without labeling
Otter Rivers is there a past, present, future? is there a world beyond your current senses with good or bad things going on? are there good or bad things?
Otter Rivers I wouldn't try to say these ideas aren't useful for going through practical life, but are they more than ideas? are they truth?
Stephanie M- No no truth just ideas other than that just right now
Stephanie M- No past no future
Otter Rivers and don't even latch on to that idea as truth. it's an idea too.
Stephanie M- Just now
Stephanie M- Oh okay
Otter Rivers "just now" can either be an idea or an experience. know the difference. feel it?
Stephanie M- No world beyond my senses for me
Stephanie M- Now feels wonderful everything else and regular now in linear time sucks
Otter Rivers is there a linear time?
Stephanie M- Know what I mean?
Otter Rivers is there an "everything else" other than just this?
Stephanie M- Nope no linear time so there is no halucination as far as present is concerned
Otter Rivers or is "everything else" another idea which is also just happening now?
Stephanie M- Another idea like consciousness projects itself for experienced
Stephanie M- Or experience
Otter Rivers projected from where onto what?
Otter Rivers ok let's leave this point behind for now. no need to belabor it.
Stephanie M- That's what I don't know, lol it seems like it's projected onto itself
Otter Rivers check emotions. that's another place we tend to consider "there must be a me because I feel...."
Stephanie M- I have to bring daughter to doctors thanks otter I'll try looking some more
Otter Rivers ok. i'll set up this exercise. u answer later.
Stephanie M- Cool thanks much love xoxo
Otter Rivers i know you know how to feel angry, righteously indignant, betrayed, confused, etc. think of the things that get you feeling this way.
think of the idea "humanity is insane. anti-nature"
"i don't have a chance to succeed"
"i will never figure this out"
"I'm so damn angry! This life has been utter shit at its core, mostly my fault"
I'm not saying anything about these ideas specifically. Just feel the emotions that come up when you think them.
1) where in the body are these emotions felt? (it helps to feel it physically. keeps it from seeming like some nebulous problem "out there")
2)are you these feelings in the body? is a feeling a being? is a feeling aware? or is there awareness of feeling?
Otter Rivers do the same things with love and good feelings. people also tend to use these feelings to identify "who i am".
think of the love for your daughter.
think about the beauty that you do find when thinking about steph.
now look at 1) and 2) above again.
Do you see in a real, directly experienced way that these are not a separate thing called "me"?
Stephanie M- Yeah the emotions feel more like contractions in certain body parts contractions with upset, release with love
Stephanie M- I'm assuming that senses can't be aware that you'd need a body to sense something but then there's telephones. It seems all connected like one giant thing
Stephanie M- If you'd ask what I see in truth I see things walking through obitung each other with fuzziness and bends around them,
Stephanie M- I could step back from all of the above and sett arch beside caring for Kay but it hurt to detach,
Stephanie M- Re read, there's an awareness of the feeling, I'm not the feeling . I could fall away from all of it definitely
Stephanie M- It no longer seems logical that there are coincidences anymore either, so it's like this universe is like one big functioning organism
Stephanie M- When thinking of the way things work, my eyes don't actually see anything, the brain creates pictures dependent upon the senses
Stephanie M- Now I think I might be dead again lol, but what at this point is really the difference?
Otter Rivers i don't get the whole "dead" thing. what would BE alive or dead? the way I see it, the body is alive. there's a vitality to it. heat, movement, and certain needs. what is dead about that? the body's dead when it's lifeless. and I know you're still typing, so... You said it already. if there is no "me" there was nothing born and nothing to die. do you see it differently now?
having never truly existed except in thought does not equal death.
Otter Rivers so you've seen you are not the thoughts, actions, emotions, controller/chooser... what is left? when you say "me" what do you mean?
Stephanie M- Just the one experiencing it I suppose part if the great vitality, I would say the vitality is in this body, and that's the life, just energy, but no me
Stephanie M- Ive seen through I'm sure, just a matter of what's next? Where to go? I'm sure something will present itself
Stephanie M- Thank you otter I have more investigation and will continue to employ the methods you've taught I thank you deeply
Stephanie M- In utter reality no Steph Bryant exists
Stephanie M- Do you know anymore about what this universe is? What about like the 4th dimension, is my body an organic machine with transcendent energy, or is it like ashes to ashes dust to dust at death is annhilation ?
Stephanie M- I guess where my confusion is coming in is because of that virtual reality game, my body could be an illusion, and from what I know of beautiful quantum physics, it is, albeit organic, but just an illusion of continuity, all paths are simultaneously taken to arrive at a point, like the buckey balls experiment. The question begs, is anything actually here at all?
Stephanie M- Sorry otter I'm getting philosophical on your page, there is a great physics paper by some like minded folks that explains the universe and it components, like life, people, the quanta of man that describes the universe in terms of the friction expansion and contraction, like what people feel in the awareness of the body, that causes knots" in the in between of the friction and expansion , it may aide or not aide here but if you'd like ill link it. It ties in with a lot of well, belief systems I suppose, but I see it as a pragmatic approach, like Gary weber.
Stephanie M- One more thing, I really want to thank you for working with me. I'm not terribly spiritual, or well that's a loaded statement I suppose. Thank you for seeing the human being in me. When I go on with all of this brash energy a lot of people assume it's fueled by hate, instead of recognizing it as frustrated love. Thanks for helping me through. Good and evil are proponents of the same force, and I really think it's all relative. There's no good or evil, just explosions of circumstance, and the thoughts are a projection, of that. It all seems to stem from the same source. But oddly enough the circumstances aren't just random chaos like I thought, but nature works perfectly
Stephanie M- And with more of that direct observation there is a split between autonomous thought, doing something then recognizing it was done assuming I must have done it, comes from cerebellum area, then the cognitive process, you can feel awareness travel to prefrontal cortex, I can anyway, it's quick. Seems like a lot if bad habits originate in autonomous decision,
Stephanie M- Then more the beauty of our brains, I don't know if the positive or negative energy stems from brain body or hangs in the air, I feel like the crown of my head is being opened or something, being touched, weird, anyway, but the I definitely originates in the part of the brain that cognizes imagination! Now the question begs, what is the imagination for? All things in this world work in accordance with thier nature, even man despite his inability to see this. It has to be, even if we are working against it, even if humanity is a parasite, or a virus in a huge matrix, it is natures virus, an evolutionary process in the universe beyond comprehension. All common knowledge can point to is that we are like 1000s of points of light, everything is energy some quantified some not. But again these are ideas, but for me they have some validity in light of observable investigation. We are equatable to walking trees, as bill hicks would say. Now why am I sitting here dishing all of this out where I'm not supposed to? Hopefully, for others who are as big on dependent origination, or analytical meditation if you will, can check yay or nay if they've gotten here through direct observation. I don't mind temporarily fooling myself if it will help another see the light as it were. Deep analysis can only bring you so far in my experience, sitting still and observing phenomena is at it's root, the best means to see. I still no nothing, but have found my previous seeking not in vain, but a necessary step, in the evolution of whatever nature is happening through me. Even in the light of Gary weber, who basically verified my own questions on reality and old religious studies whose writing seem to be evident of a great truth. nothing on the other side, which really there isn't, it's all here matters here as human. Past life exploration blah blah blah, mine didn't turn out so well for me. Found out things I'd rather not have known. In seeing there's no me to feel guilty ( I'm still on the fringe of believing people are fooling themselves there, there is no past as you we'll know) I am not my past, even if the painting is ugly, I am now, or rather there is only now. Though I may be a culmination of flesh and blood, this body and mind don't belong to anyone, rather nature is expressing itself through this vehicle. There is no one to be a slave to the desires of the body, body and mind are one, and giving in to rising thoughts make the world around one.
Stephanie M- If you don't want to Otter Rivers, you aren't under any obligation to read these ramblings, and I thank you again for your methods, better than any book would've ever done, it solidified my direct observations of life, there is no one left to battle. The duality is falling away, and I see, for the first time, why equanimity is found when we stop fighting what we already know.
Otter Rivers I see you do look into direct experience. but I also notice you start thinking about what you notice and then start proposing theories using past knowledge and terms learned from books etc like "vibration, the flow, projection, 4th dimension" etc. i'm not saying anything for or against these concepts but for the purpose of this conversation, those are completely useless.
Otter Rivers So you confirm that you have indeed seen directly that "me", "myself", "what I am"... These are illusion/hallucination? is this what you find in your own direct experience? (rather than seeing that it makes sense and agreeing?)
Otter Rivers if so, I have a few more questions.
Stephanie M- Yeah I see how the mind gets tricked into the thoughts
Stephanie M- Questions are good let me just re look into the above post
Otter Rivers ok
Stephanie M- The I us definitely a hallucination in meditation awareness, like looking in the mirror which I did today, without directly focusing and ignoring thoughts, maybe I'm fooling myself, but there doesn't seem to be a continuity, like when I expand my visual awareness the face seems to distort, with eyes not focused singly but to include the entire mirror the image of me distorts
Stephanie M- The no I in there is definitely known, it slips when emotion gets the best of me, but when I recall it, there is only empty
Otter Rivers please explain "the I is definitely a hallucination in meditation awareness"
Otter Rivers is this your direct noticing or a mental conclusion?
Otter Rivers also: is there a "no I" "in there"? Is there a self that comes and goes? is there a "non self" that comes and goes?
Stephanie M- Direct conclusion of no I, there's no self to come and go, just the illusion of it when the emotions get the best if the situation, there is no one to control the situation
Stephanie M- There can't be a no I in there, because the self never was
Stephanie M- The non self would propose that the non self would be a self somewhere, in my direct observation, the notion of I is habitual
Stephanie M- I can't find this controller, I can only find the being, or the or the presence , the feeling of being alive,
Stephanie M- Oh sorry I forgot the period between sentences. In awareness meditation, in the mirror I observe without paying attention to thought, the face actually holds no continuity
Otter Rivers so, to be clear, you do see there was never a separate "me" ever? it's not something you can get rid of?
Otter Rivers (you can always edit your comments by clicking the top right corner on the comment and selecting "edit")
Stephanie M- Lol oh ha ha I suck at internet
Otter Rivers it's ok just thought you might like to know that.
Stephanie M- So yeah, there never was a me, ever, no decider no chooser just nature or whatever we'd like to call it working through me
Stephanie M- The illusion is that of free will
Otter Rivers describe from your direct noticing right now: what is the illusion of "me"?
How does it start?
How does it work / how is it maintained?
Stephanie M- It starts by autonomous action, then the action is followed there is a thought following that suggesting due to habit that I did it
Stephanie M- It functions with the illusion of control, then our cognitive thoughts excellerate that I habit,
Otter Rivers How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue with me? Please report from the past few days.
Stephanie M- At first it felt like loss, now it seems amazing, freeing, liberating
Stephanie M- I no longer feel a slave to the body and habits, anything is possible
Otter Rivers be specific. give examples from the past few days, if you can think of any, of specific differences from now and before we started speaking.
Otter Rivers talk about actual experiences rather than what you think about it. (don't worry. you're doing good.)
Stephanie M- When I started this I was in disbelief that it was possible, but when I stopped following the thoughts I could see things in a different light, feelings arise and pass, when there is emotion I feel body contract and expand in different areas, emotion seems to effect body more than the calm regular presence that can be fell into, when I ignore the thoughts and watch them as just sensory perception thier meaning becomes unimportant just like the emotion. It changes rapidly if it's not indulged. There's acceptance and letting go, devastation not so devastating
Otter Rivers what was the last bit that pushed you over / made you look and see?
Stephanie M- The body moves in accordance to stimuli, I reach out to comfort my child without willfully doing it, that was the turning point, and in a devastating circumstance today I was able to step back and see there is no I to be affected, I wasn't
Otter Rivers was there a specific question or exercise while speaking with me that struck the final blow? if so, what was it?
Stephanie M- The hand exersize did it for me,
Stephanie M- But I'm still wondering of the sight bit , if there's more to that
Otter Rivers are you still seeking answers? or seeking a certain state of being? are you still seeking to rid yourself of "darkness"?
Otter Rivers it's ok. you don't need to know all about sight in order to know that it is not "me" that is seeing something "out there"
Stephanie M- No no seeking there's nothing to seek, I can find nothing to look for there's no reason, the darkness it's not me, it's a sense that gets picked up, and I assume it's me thinking it, then stories get related and labeled
Stephanie M- I guess there's nothing for me to know, because there is no me that is searching, there is still a burning curiosity regarding whether it's just a screen from which the world is viewed
Stephanie M- Especially because of the mirror experiment
Otter Rivers and I want to ask again, just to be very clear:
Do you decide, intend, choose, control ANY events in Life? Do you make anything happen?
Again, give examples from your experience.
Stephanie M- No I decide nothing, body is compelled to move to do in relation to stimuli, I've seen directly, it's out if my hands, because it was never me choosing it to begin with, just like when a baby needs to eat, it has no idea it does or doesn't decide, if just does, like a bird tree or flower
Otter Rivers can I have some examples over the last few days where this has been seen directly to be true?
Otter Rivers take your time.
Stephanie M- In one instance doing meditation, my body, left arm shot up into a position, I literally had no control
Stephanie M- In a prayer to Buddha, my body made a position I would've never known to do, turned out to be the "correct" way it's done
Otter Rivers what is it that prays to Buddha? is there a "me" praying to something else called "Buddha"? how have religious, spiritual concerns changed for you in the last few days?
Stephanie M- No me praying to Buddha just something that eases my mind reminds me to calm, helps keep the body at peace
Otter Rivers That sounds nice!
Stephanie M- I'm trying to let go of the belief systems, but in some instances it seems to validate what he preached, though I see now that all life is one in the same
Stephanie M- Am I deluding myself again?
Otter Rivers if you can't choose anything, can you let go of a belief system? is it necessary to 'try' to let go, or is it good enough to simply see that it is a belief system (possibly even a great, useful belief system), not truth?
Otter Rivers if by "deluding myself" you mean "believing thoughts"... maybe. just check when you have this question: "am I believing a thought or am I noticing what is experienced directly?"
Stephanie M- Cool that's all from direct observation
Otter Rivers can you get rid of anything? a self, inner darkness, beliefs?
Stephanie M- No , there's no one to let go of anything, no one to hold beliefs they are just like analytical thought trains
Otter Rivers here's another exercise to help you see this directly rather than coming to a logical conclusion:
Close your eyes. imagine you're holding a bright yellow bowling ball. feel the weight. the smooth coolness of the ball... it may even have a smell to it. imagine all this as clearly as possible. now tell me, how can you get rid of this imaginary bowling ball?
Otter Rivers Then open your eyes. now where is that ball? did it ever exist??? how could it be gotten rid of?
Stephanie M- It couldn't it's not there can't get rid of something that's not there
Otter Rivers I'd like to break here and read over our entire conversation to see if i feel we've missed anything. we can talk more tomorrow.
do you have anything else to add?
Stephanie M- No that's great thanks otter I'll keep looking, anywhere I'm going wrong
Otter Rivers can you go wrong?
Stephanie M- Lol no!
Stephanie M- Yay
Otter Rivers stay to direct experience. if you start believing thoughts, just notice it when you notice it and look directly again. believing thoughts is a life-long habit. don't worry when it happens again. just continue dropping it and looking again with fresh eyes. like a new baby or an amnesiac. you may find that believing thoughts becomes less and less.
Stephanie M- Thanks otter! Def more talk tomorrow if your up for it lol thanks a lot will continue through the night
Otter Rivers as much as possible, don't strain or push. don't even stress about whether you're straining or not. take it easy. remember to relax. ok talk to you tomorrow.
Otter Rivers there's nothing you need to do. you don't need to make anything happen. you can't anyways, as you have already seen. just look. check experience. that's it. and if you feel pressure or stress or confusion, check and see if you're looking at reality, or believing thoughts / looking for truth in the mind. As much as possible, just stay with "normal life". there's no need to maintain any special expanded state. relax. breath. there's nothing to get and nobody that could get it.
Stephanie M- One thing I want to ask, when looking in the mirror the image doesn't sustain continuity, eyes expand and contract face doesn't retain shape, lips expand and all without any crossing of eyes etc, just a calm natural way if looking in the mirror without a focal point. Is this part of the illusion, are the eyes playing tricks on the brain the way a doctor would think? When as a kid I used hallucinogens I noticed the same thing. Is this a hallucination or is there no stationary permanence in appearance?
Stephanie M- Should I go to an eye doctor lol ?
Otter Rivers I am not qualified to answer that. I have no experience with that. if it is bothering you or causing any problems, i'd suggest seeing a doctor.
Otter Rivers Stephanie, are you through the gate?
Stephanie M- Ha ha okay eyes playing tricks on me
Stephanie M- Yeah I'm through
Stephanie M- It's weird and indescribable
Stephanie M- Thanks otter very much
Stephanie M- Well there's no one to go through the gate lol
Otter Rivers i'll be sending some messages to you.
Stephanie M- Cool thanks a lot dude!
Stephanie M- I just re read our convo with new sense, things have definitely tidied up. The screen lol how could I have missed it? Lol
Otter Rivers Ok Steph. we are finished here. :) i'm very happy that you've found such relief.
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