Looking for a guide

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Bolle
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Looking for a guide

Postby Bolle » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:56 pm

Hi there! I've been going through this site for a few days, reading conversations and articles. There has been seeking and meditation going on for 10+ years. It has intensified over the last few years. The mind likes to believe that there have been a progress in regards to self-inquiery and de-identification with thoughts, mind/body etc. At moments there seems to be (incomplete) seeing that "I" am none of this, but there is always more or less reestablishing of old beliefs / patterns afterwards. I would very much like to start a conversation with a guide.

Sincerely,
Bolle

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Xain
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:07 pm

Hi there Bolle

Welcome to the Forum.
I may be willing to guide you.

You say that you have been a seeker for 10+ years. During this time, did you follow any particular teachers or read any specific books on non-duality?
At moments there seems to be (incomplete) seeing that "I" am none of this
Can you explain a little of what you mean here. Why is the seeing 'incomplete'?
Do you mean because it does not last, or something else?

Can you tell me exactly what it is that you are looking for in our conversation together?

Very best wishes to you
Xain ♥

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Bolle
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Bolle » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:58 pm

Hi Xain! Thank you for your quick reply!

I haven’t followed any particular teacher. I’ve read books and shorter texts by a lot of different people, including Eckhart Tolle, Richard Sylvester, Jackie O’Keefe, Nisargadatta, Ramana Maharshi, Tony Parsons, Jeff Foster etc. I have also watched a lot of interviews about non-duality and surfed webpages, as well as practiced mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn) for a few years.

By incomplete I mean that there has not been any kind of complete “seeing through” the I, as well as no real lasting change. When investigating, there is seeing that thoughts come and go, and there seems to be a “program” which produces all these thoughts about I/me. At the same time there is identification with what I would call “being”, which at the moment of investigation, is felt like “I”. So there is always an I, which at different times seems to refer to different things.

And then there is time-periods when there is forgetting about all this, and what I would call identification with thoughts.

What I am looking for: There is a longing for peace, calmness, acceptance and “surrender of the ego”. At the same time there is a sense that staying in the above described “state” of non-identification with thoughts is not the end goal, as even in this state a lot of times there is still suffering based on the bodily reactions to the occurring thoughts, like being overwhelmed with what the thoughts describes as chores that has to be done. The seeing once and for all that there is no “I”/”me”, no doer, that it all is just happening, seems like a blessing and is longed for. I guess it would be nice to just watch and enjoy the show, without being pulled back into doership.

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Xain
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:27 pm

Thank you for your reply, Bolle. Is is ok to refer to you by that name, or do you have another preference.
By incomplete I mean that there has not been any kind of complete “seeing through” the I, as well as no real lasting change.
I understand. Would I be right in summing up that there is still attachment to a belief that what you are is a separate individual 'I'/'me', despite an intellectual understanding that this is not actually true?
What I am looking for: There is a longing for peace, calmness, acceptance and “surrender of the ego”.
Ok. For the moment, the only goal we are looking for here is the realisation that there is no 'I', no 'me', no separate individual here right now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, and that all 'I' ever is, is just a thought.
It is said that everything springs from that (certainly it was one of Ramana's main points).
Our conversation together can be considered as an extension of your own self-enquiry, but 'guided' to focus on important areas that you may never have looked at.
I may offer suggestions along the way, but there is nothing to 'learn' and I will not be giving you any new beliefs or dogma - Simply examining the ones that already appear.
At the same time there is a sense that staying in the above described “state” of non-identification with thoughts is not the end goal, as even in this state a lot of times there is still suffering based on the bodily reactions to the occurring thoughts, like being overwhelmed with what the thoughts describes as chores that has to be done.
It can be said that there are no end-goals, and many would say that seeing through the illusion 'I'/'me' is just the very start of 'a journey'.
Life goes on mostly automatically, but the stress and 'overwhelming' appears to come when there is the thought that 'I' have chores. Does this seem right?
There may seem to be 20 things to do in a day, and without thoughts of any kind those things get accomplished.
Or there may seem to be 20 things to do in a day and an 'I' thought appears right at the start that is believed in that states, 'Oh my god, I've got 20 things to do today!' and panic sets in.
The seeing once and for all that there is no “I”/”me”, no doer, that it all is just happening, seems like a blessing and is longed for.
Well that is what we are here for.
It is important, thought to 'keep your feet on the ground' and put away all expectations as to what will happen 'after seeing'. It cannot be predicted. If nothing else, once realisation happens it is 'the end of the seeker'.

Xain ♥

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Bolle » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:56 pm

Thank you for your reply, Bolle. Is is ok to refer to you by that name, or do you have another preference.
That name will be fine :) Am I correct in assuming I can call you Xain?
I understand. Would I be right in summing up that there is still attachment to a belief that what you are is a separate individual 'I'/'me', despite an intellectual understanding that this is not actually true?
Attachment: yes. Intellectual understanding that this is not actually true: I want to say yes, but I guess I waver here, depending on what perspective is active at the moment. (One of my strengths and weaknesses, I guess; always doubting, always seeing things from different perspectives)
Life goes on mostly automatically, but the stress and 'overwhelming' appears to come when there is the thought that 'I' have chores. Does this seem right?
Yes, but I should probably add that this "I have a lot of things (that I don't enjoy doing but have) to do (in order to do the things I enjoy)" appears quite often.
It is important, thought to 'keep your feet on the ground' and put away all expectations as to what will happen 'after seeing'. It cannot be predicted. If nothing else, once realisation happens it is 'the end of the seeker'.
Ok, I will try to do that. Expecting "the end of the seeker" is more than enough, as this process has been spending a lot of energy lately, and of course is the reason why I got into this at the first place.

Sincerely,
Bolle

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Xain
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:36 pm

That name will be fine :) Am I correct in assuming I can call you Xain?
Sure (Pronounced the same way as 'Zane')
Yes, but I should probably add that this "I have a lot of things (that I don't enjoy doing but have) to do (in order to do the things I enjoy)" appears quite often.
I understand. I guess that the phrase 'There has never been an 'I' that had to do anything and there never will be an 'I' to has to do anything' may appear quite bizarre right now.
Ok, I will try to do that. Expecting "the end of the seeker" is more than enough, as this process has been spending a lot of energy lately, and of course is the reason why I got into this at the first place.
Ok, good.
Before setting sail to uncharted waters, a few guidelines which will assist us both.

1. Please post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
A certain 'momentum' is useful in this sort of concentrated enquiry. The more focussed you are, the more determined you are to see this through, the greater are the chances of you reaching our point of call with the flag aloft the mainsail and all hands cheering.

2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
This is very important.
The reply we often like to give people is the one that seems logically right, or perhaps one we have read to 'be the truth' somewhere. Or perhaps 'the reply that we think that they want to hear'. This is not the approach here.
Put intellectual analysis, thoughts and prior reading aside for this dialogue.
What is asked for here is to be totally open, honest and truthful. What do you truly believe the answer to be?
What do you feel is right? That kind of approach.

3. Answer from direct personal experience only (we can go into this in more depth later if needed).
Again, we can often think what the answer might be to a question or logically 'work it out'. Maybe tie in thoughts about the past and the future to give an analytical or speculative answer. This is not the approach here.
What we are looking for here is an answer that comes from your own experience right here and right now.
Don't worry if this not 100% clear at this point. This will become clearer as our voyage travels on.

4. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
(Scroll down the page)

Have any further questions before I raise the anchor and head out of the harbour?

Xain ♥

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Bolle
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Bolle » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:17 am

I take this as you confirming you will be my guide. If so, thank you!
I guess that the phrase 'There has never been an 'I' that had to do anything and there never will be an 'I' to has to do anything' may appear quite bizarre right now.
No, it doesn't seem bizarre. I had some experiences of what I like to call (minor) awakenings last fall. One of the consequences was that when I now think of the past (near or far) I spend little and often no energy on going over alternatives, like I at some level know that in the past, the "I" had no free will, the thoughts that lead to / accompanied "decisions" or doing could not have been any other than they were, they just happened. This knowing is not complete though, and it's like it doesn't apply to the here and now: I usually believe, at least to a certain extent, that I can make free choices here and now, even though I doubt this also, like when I observe "my" doing of something which I haven't contemplated/decided to do (like 5 seconds ago when drinking water was happening). And when I read the above paragraph after having written it, there is a sense that the "I" described in the sentences were just thoughts/part of thoughts, and it was the "I"-program that were writing. Same now, reading the last sentence.
Please post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
I will.
Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry
I will do my best.
Answer from direct personal experience only
Again, I will do my best and hope for guidance if I fail.
Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page
I have read the disclaimer and watched the video on the bottom.
Have any further questions before I raise the anchor and head out of the harbour?
There is a sense that I would never run out of questions if I started. There are also some fears about where this will lead, it suddenly seems real like never before. But I don't want to mind the fear, I just want to know the truth. And there is a sense that knowing the truth of no self will lead to the dropping away of these other questions I could put. So if it is ok, I'll just leave the questions for now.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:20 pm

I take this as you confirming you will be my guide. If so, thank you!
Sure. If you'll have me? I promise not to make any more nautical puns (me hearty!) :-)
I like to add a little bit of humour in. This investigation does not have to be deadly serious all the time.
There is a sense that I would never run out of questions if I started. There are also some fears about where this will lead, it suddenly seems real like never before. But I don't want to mind the fear, I just want to know the truth. And there is a sense that knowing the truth of no self will lead to the dropping away of these other questions I could put. So if it is ok, I'll just leave the questions for now.
Your honesty is appreciated. It can take courage to examine our inner most beliefs and be open to the possibility that they may might not be right.
Fear is a protection mechanism. It is a good thing. It is there to protect 'us' from what we perceive might be a danger. If there is extreme fear or stress during our conversation, then please mention it and we can look into it together.
What I can say is that we are taking the approach (even if not truly believed right now) that there is no separate 'I'/'me' here now, nor has ever been in the past, or will ever be in the future.
As such, there is nothing to 'disappear' and really 'nothing to change' - The only thing would be to truly realise this is the case and always has been.
You may find that all the questions you have suddenly answer themselves upon 'realisation'.
I spend little and often no energy on going over alternatives, like I at some level know that in the past, the "I" had no free will, the thoughts that lead to / accompanied "decisions" or doing could not have been any other than they were, they just happened.
Free-will is a big one. One that has been debated over and over and will continue to do so.
The approach here is rather than saying there is an 'I' that has free-will or there is an 'I that does not have free-will, we look and see that there is no separate 'I' here, so there is nothing here that the label 'free-will' could be hung on to. Does that make sense?
So from that perspective, there is no free-will.

Let's have a look at it.
Is there an 'I' right now that has free-will. Let's examine choice.

Simple experiment.
'Mentally' choose either your right or left hand.
Now raise that hand up into the air.

Ok, now was there free-will in making that decision?
If 'yes', then it follows that there is an 'I'/'me', a separate 'thing' here right now that has free-will.
What can you find to attach that label to? Is it the body? Is it the mind?
Don't try to analyse or think of the answer - Simply LOOK. Examine your experience.
What is here right now that makes choices? In other words, what exactly is the 'I' that has free-will?

Xain ♥

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Bolle » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:29 pm

If you'll have me? I promise not to make any more nautical puns (me hearty!)
I do :) Feel free to make any puns you'd like, I enjoy them as well as setting sail for foreign harbors (both in the literal and metaphorical sense).
The approach here is rather than saying there is an 'I' that has free-will or there is an 'I that does not have free-will, we look and see that there is no separate 'I' here, so there is nothing here that the label 'free-will' could be hung on to. Does that make sense?
Yes, it makes sense but is not clearly seen.
Simple experiment.
'Mentally' choose either your right or left hand.
Now raise that hand up into the air.

Ok, now was there free-will in making that decision?
Yes and no.
No: There are sentences written by Xain which influences the body/mind here to rise its hand. Kind of like an neverending pattern of dominoes from the dawn of time: a few minutes ago the words were written at "your" end, they were transmitted over the net, arrived here, and since there is an acceppting here of following Xains instructions, the hand was raised. Now the pattern (of dominoes) keeps going in terms of the body/mind writing this answer. Everything is a product of what went before. I can write it, and I believe it in hindsight. There is still a different perspective, which is here and now (and then the answer is "no"): I could choose to not follow your instructions. I can choose not to keep on writing. But then again, in hindsight I couldn't. There seems to be thoughts saying "I can choose what to do next", but the moment is already here, the "choosing" has been done, and this moment is what defines the content and choices of the next.

I believe I may be falling in the trap of analyzing now, but I keep the above text here anyways. Back to the question: It seems now like there was no free will in making the decision.
If 'yes', then it follows that there is an 'I'/'me', a separate 'thing' here right now that has free-will.
What can you find to attach that label to? Is it the body? Is it the mind?
What is here right now that makes choices? In other words, what exactly is the 'I' that has free-will?
There is grasping for an answer, but it eludes being pinned down. I have meditated over this before. I guess I could now describe it like there is consciousness which has body/mind at its disposal, and a sense that this consciousness can make things happen through the body/mind. There is also a sense that the whole "system" of body/mind/feelings/consciousness is what is labeled as "I", and the "I" refers to different parts of this.

Like before; reading through what I have written, there is believing that nothing could have been different. At the same time, now, there is a thought saying "I can choose what to do next". The mind seems to stay one step ahead..

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:11 pm

There are sentences written by Xain which influences the body/mind here to rise its hand.
How can letters on a screen affect movement?
Do you experience sentences influencing bodies and minds? Or is this more 'a thought' about what is going on, and not actually experienced?
Everything is a product of what went before.
We cannot examine what 'went before' - We can only examine what is happening 'now'?
Do you agree that all 'what went before' just appears as a thought? A thought that appears 'now'?
I could choose to not follow your instructions. I can choose not to keep on writing
But these sentences do not address the question. You again write that there is an 'I' that can choose, an 'I' here right now that has free-will. I am asking you what exactly this 'I' that you speak of is? How does this 'I' that can choose appear to you in your experience right now.
But then again, in hindsight I couldn't. There seems to be thoughts saying "I can choose what to do next", but the moment is already here, the "choosing" has been done, and this moment is what defines the content and choices of the next
Hmm . . . you could be on to something . . .
Thoughts say it . . . but what is the actual truth?

Is there a 'next moment'? Was there a 'previous moment'?
Do you experience the world as moments? How long do these moments last for?
Or is there just 'thoughts' - Thoughts about something that happened, or something that will happen?
There seems to be thoughts saying "I can choose what to do next",
Yes, thoughts. What about a REAL chooser? One you can find that is NOT a thought?
I could now describe it like there is consciousness which has body/mind at its disposal
Do you experience 'consciousness that has a body/mind at its disposal' or is this a thought about what is going on?
The mind seems to stay one step ahead
It's a slippery little fish, isn't it.

A suggestion.
Rather than 'one step ahead' I would suggest it is 'one step behind' . . .
Could it be that something happened (in the past), and then when examined in hindsight the mind jumps in with 'I' and labels the event 'I had a choice to do that'?
Or perhaps an event is imagined in the future, and the mind jumps in with 'I' and labels the event 'I have a choice to do that'?
Can you see that with this suggestion, that 'I' in the past is just a thought.
Also, that 'I' in the future is just a thought?

What about right now? It is the only moment we can examine this 'I' and track down what it is and what it does.
What 'I' can you find right now that chooses?

Xain ♥

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Bolle
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Bolle » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:57 pm

How can letters on a screen affect movement?
Do you experience sentences influencing bodies and minds? Or is this more 'a thought' about what is going on, and not actually experienced?
Yes. This is a thought, not actually experienced.
Do you agree that all 'what went before' just appears as a thought? A thought that appears 'now'?
Yes.
I am asking you what exactly this 'I' that you speak of is? How does this 'I' that can choose appear to you in your experience right now.
The "I" appears as the experience, the subject.
Is there a 'next moment'? Was there a 'previous moment'?
Do you experience the world as moments? How long do these moments last for?
Or is there just 'thoughts' - Thoughts about something that happened, or something that will happen?
No, there are no moments but this one, and thoughts (in this moment) referring to other moments.
What about a REAL chooser? One you can find that is NOT a thought?
No, I can't find a chooser. I only find thoughts and action. The thoughts claim ownership of the actions. But I find "doing", and a feeling that I am doing. I can find a doer in terms of an experience of doing.
Do you experience 'consciousness that has a body/mind at its disposal' or is this a thought about what is going on?
There is experience/consciouness and experiencing of being able to make use of body/mind. Having written the last sentence there is a sense that may be a thought too.. It would be more right to say that there is a belief/thought about being able to use the body/mind. Not sure. This is a hard one..
Rather than 'one step ahead' I would suggest it is 'one step behind' . . .
Could it be that something happened (in the past), and then when examined in hindsight the mind jumps in with 'I' and labels the event 'I had a choice to do that'?
Or perhaps an event is imagined in the future, and the mind jumps in with 'I' and labels the event 'I have a choice to do that'?
Can you see that with this suggestion, that 'I' in the past is just a thought.
Also, that 'I' in the future is just a thought?
Yes, I can see that.
What about right now? It is the only moment we can examine this 'I' and track down what it is and what it does.
What 'I' can you find right now that chooses?
I can't find it. I find experience, thoughts that say "I can choose", and a sense that they are right.

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Bolle
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Bolle » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:00 pm

and a sense that they are right
It occurs to me that what I referred to here as a "sense" might be closer to a thought. Or at least that the "sense" is based on a thought or a belief. It doesn't seem like I can experience it directly..

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:37 pm

What exactly is this 'I' that chooses? How does this 'I' that can choose appear to you in your experience right now.
The "I" appears as the experience, the subject.
I think I get what you mean. 'I am the subject of experience'. We can look at this later, but for the moment let us concentrate on 'I' the one that chooses. 'Experience' is a tricky one, as it is not a 'thing' as such.
Do you experience a 'centre of experience' that chooses?
Does experience itself choose? How would this be known?
What about a REAL chooser? One you can find that is NOT a thought?
No, I can't find a chooser. I only find thoughts and action. The thoughts claim ownership of the actions.
But I find "doing", and a feeling that I am doing. I can find a doer in terms of an experience of doing.
I am the 'doer', this is something we can further examine a little later.
Let us keep focussed on 'the chooser' for the moment.
Are you certain that a 'chooser', or 'what does the choosing' can't be found in your experience?
That would then suggest there is no 'I' that does 'choosing'.
That would also mean that everything just 'happens'. There is no choice being made. There is no choice that ever has been made nor ever will be. How do you feel about that? Does that seem possible?
How can we really determine is this is true or not?
There is experience/consciouness and experiencing of being able to make use of body/mind. Having written the last sentence there is a sense that may be a thought too.. It would be more right to say that there is a belief/thought about being able to use the body/mind. Not sure. This is a hard one..
I commend the way you are looking into this. Very good work.
All we are trying to do is to really see what is actually going on here.
There may be a difference between what we THINK is true, and what is ACTUALLY true.
Examine what is 'a thought', and what is 'actually real'.
What about right now? It is the only moment we can examine this 'I' and track down what it is and what it does.
What 'I' can you find right now that chooses?
I can't find it. I find experience, thoughts that say "I can choose", and a sense that they are right.
Very good, honest reply.
Are these thoughts right? How can we determine if they are?
Are these thoughts anything more than 'just thoughts'?

Xain ♥

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Bolle
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Bolle » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:37 pm

Do you experience a 'centre of experience' that chooses?
I guess I could say that I experience a "centre of experience". But choosing? No, I do not experience it. I experience happening and thoughts that claim that there is choosing.
Does experience itself choose? How would this be known?
No, I cannot see that experience chooses. It is a belief, a thought, and I can't see/experience it, there is only thoughts or a sense of it being like that. I started writing an analytical answer to the second answer, but erased it, since you instructed me to go with what I can see, I guess the previous sentence answered it in terms of seeing.
Are you certain that a 'chooser', or 'what does the choosing' can't be found in your experience?
I cannot seem to find a chooser, only a belief that there is one. But this belief seems to be deepseated and keeps re-asserting itself. When observing, I only find "happening". And right afterwards the belief re-asserts itself again. Observing again, I find only happening. This keeps going back and forth.
That would then suggest there is no 'I' that does 'choosing'.
The suggestion is being entertained, but not accepted as truth.
There is no choice that ever has been made nor ever will be. How do you feel about that? Does that seem possible?
Yes, it seems possible. And I would love to know this in my heart.
How can we really determine is this is true or not?
A thought says that we can not, like we can never determine with certainty that there are no pink elephants in the world. We could have missed it. Then again; it doesn't seem possible to ever observe a choice. It seems like looking for a black light instead of a pink elephant (that is: looking for an impossibility). In terms of looking, no made choices can be found, neither here and now nor in the past or future (which I have already agreed do not exist).
thoughts that say "I can choose", and a sense that they are right
Are these thoughts right? How can we determine if they are?
Again, it is like looking for a pink elephant.. If someone were convinced they existed, I couldn't say with certainty that they are wrong.. I do not know how I can determine it besides looking and not finding.
Are these thoughts anything more than 'just thoughts'?
No, they're not. They are a description of how the "program" views the world.

To sum up: The thoughts say that there is a chooser, and that choosing happens. When looking, none of this can be found. But the belief in the thoughts is still strong..

It feels like you're picking me apart, and it's enjoyable. There is also a sense that on my part it is all thoughts/mind defending the "I" in order to keep they're credibility. And I kind of feel like I am wasting your time when I let this happen. The mind here want's to surrender to you and at the same time it wants to win. Thank you for your help and patience.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:33 am

It feels like you're picking me apart, and it's enjoyable.
Oooh kinky ;-)
All I ask is for you to examine your own experience and work out what is going on for yourself. As I say, I may suggest things to you and ask if what I am saying seems right, but it is always up for scrutiny.
I cannot seem to find a chooser, only a belief that there is one. But this belief seems to be deepseated and keeps re-asserting itself. When observing, I only find "happening". And right afterwards the belief re-asserts itself again. Observing again, I find only happening. This keeps going back and forth
Interesting. A belief that appears to keep on re-asserting itself . . . I think you might be on to something there.
There is no choice that ever has been made nor ever will be. How do you feel about that? Does that seem possible?
Yes, it seems possible. And I would love to know this in my heart.
Well when you say 'I choose', determine what this 'I' is that does it.
Can you find a real 'I' that chooses, or just a thought that says 'I choose'?
There is also a sense that on my part it is all thoughts/mind defending the "I" in order to keep they're credibility
Again interesting. I think you may be on to something . . .
And I kind of feel like I am wasting your time when I let this happen.
There is no time-wasting felt here. Just be 100% honest with me (and more importantly, yourself)

Let us move on to another that you mentioned earlier, 'I do', the 'I' that does things.

A small experiment.
Either do this now, or when you are next walking.
Walk around. Begin to walk, and then at some stage, stop walking.
Simple. Just walk.

Now examine your experience while walking is happening.
In normal speaking we say 'I walk'. So what is the 'I' that is doing the walking?
What 'I' can you find that is controlling the legs? What 'I' is choosing (that word again!) which leg to put in front of the other leg? What 'I' can you find that decides and controls when to start walking and when to stop walking?
Or does walking 'just happen', and saying 'I walk' is just a thought about what is going on, but not actual experience?

Xain ♥


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