Looking for a guide

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E.Z.E
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Looking for a guide

Postby E.Z.E » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:10 am

Hello, dear guides of LU,

I feel that I'm ready to give up the illusion of self. I have, in fact, trying to do that in countless ways during my six year long spiritual trip. My trip has included meditation, leading loads of books by Tolle, Ram Dass, Sri Nisargadatta, Adyashanti, Krishnamurti, Chogyam Trungpa and so on. I've had some blissful mystical moments through psychedelics and a deep feeling of peace from meditation but the illusion of self still lingers about even though intellectually and conceptually I do understand the idea of no-self. I read the LU-book and some threads here on the forum and I realised that this is exactly the big lingering realisation that I've been going after even though I may have been occasionally mislead by the chase of mystical experiences.

So, I hope one of you kind people here will hrlp me with this final step.

Thank you in advance,
Eerik

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Canfora
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:40 am

Hello Eerik and welcome to LU. Thank you for your introduction.
I read the LU-book and some threads here on the forum
Good, them you have an intelectual understanding of what we are talking about at LU and you know that my "work" here is to make you look to your own experience and see if you can find a separated self in any way, shape or form.
My trip has included meditation, leading loads of books by Tolle, Ram Dass, Sri Nisargadatta, Adyashanti, Krishnamurti, Chogyam Trungpa and so on. I've had some blissful mystical moments through psychedelics and a deep feeling of peace from meditation but the illusion of self still lingers about even though intellectually and conceptually I do understand the idea of no-self.
Are you willing to drop all this and see with fresh eyes what's always true here and now?
I realised that this is exactly the big lingering realisation that I've been going after even though I may have been occasionally mislead by the chase of mystical experiences.
How are you expecting this big lingering realisation to happen?
How will it feel and how will it change you?

Looking forward to your answer, Sandra

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E.Z.E
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby E.Z.E » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:23 pm

Hello Eerik and welcome to LU. Thank you for your introduction.
Hey Sandra - nice to meet you and thank you so much for helping me out!
Good, them you have an intelectual understanding of what we are talking about at LU and you know that my "work" here is to make you look to your own experience and see if you can find a separated self in any way, shape or form.
Yes, I feel that I understand the process to the extent that I am able to from my perspective at this stage. I could also add here already that one place where I know that an illusion of a separate self makes its' way to my experience is in monitoring and controlling the flow of my thoughts. What I mean here is that when "I" am faced with a choice ("Should I play the guitar or read a book now?"), there is a process that goes that makes the choice and to this process I describe a label of me-ness. The same process seems to be operating in that, for example, "I" don't act out all my impulses but there is a filter that chooses on which thoughts and impulses to act upon. That is one place where I know for sure that an illusion of separate self lies in my thought processes - there might be others for sure, but I'm sure you'll be able to dig them out of me and I'll do my best to help with the digging! :)
Are you willing to drop all this and see with fresh eyes what's always true here and now?
More than willing - everything apart from seeing what's true here & now seems like an act of dog chasing its' tail and once that is seen, it just seems inevitable to drop it and see with fresh eyes how it all is and was.
How are you expecting this big lingering realisation to happen?
How will it feel and how will it change you?
I have no strict expectations or ideas per se how it is going to happen, but I do know that it is going to happen in the here-now and quite possibly by a very simple process of seeing clearly how it all is - I know for sure that it is not going to happen "after reading this hugely important book", "after trying this new meditation out", "after eating just a lil more mushrooms this time to get further out in the field of consciousness" etc. etc. and I am all done trying those so I have no expectations of going through a mystical mind blowing experience with angelic orchestras and so on.

I feel that I cannot be 100% sure how it will feel and change me - I'm pretty sure it might feel a lot more mundane than one could imagine, but what I am hoping that it will lift of the weight of endless seeking that at this stages seems very consuming and that it rids the "after this..." -circle from my shoulders that I wrote about earlier. I expect it also to do away or somehow change my view on feelings of suffering and separatedness that are caused by the illusion of the self.

Hope the answers help you in helping me!

-Eerik

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:10 pm

Hey Sandra - nice to meet you and thank you so much for helping me out!
Hey Eerik, it's a pleasure!
More than willing - everything apart from seeing what's true here & now seems like an act of dog chasing its' tail and once that is seen, it just seems inevitable to drop it and see with fresh eyes how it all is and was.
Perfect.
I have no strict expectations or ideas per se how it is going to happen, but I do know that it is going to happen in the here-now and quite possibly by a very simple process of seeing clearly how it all is - I know for sure that it is not going to happen "after reading this hugely important book", "after trying this new meditation out", "after eating just a lil more mushrooms this time to get further out in the field of consciousness" etc. etc. and I am all done trying those so I have no expectations of going through a mystical mind blowing experience with angelic orchestras and so on.
Double perfect.
I feel that I cannot be 100% sure how it will feel and change me - I'm pretty sure it might feel a lot more mundane than one could imagine, but what I am hoping that it will lift of the weight of endless seeking that at this stages seems very consuming and that it rids the "after this..." -circle from my shoulders that I wrote about earlier. I expect it also to do away or somehow change my view on feelings of suffering and separatedness that are caused by the illusion of the self.
Forget expectations, hopes and how you imagine this could change you or make you feel like for the time being. It's not going to be like you think, anyway.

If i say "There is no you, no self, no Eerik, in any way, shape or form. There never was and there will never be."

What is experienced?
What thoughts appear, what is felt?
Please describe.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby E.Z.E » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:46 am

Forget expectations, hopes and how you imagine this could change you or make you feel like for the time being. It's not going to be like you think, anyway.
I kind of figured it would be so, so I have no problem in dropping any possible preconceptions I might have about it.
If i say "There is no you, no self, no Eerik, in any way, shape or form. There never was and there will never be."

What is experienced?
What thoughts appear, what is felt?
Please describe.
I have introduced this idea my mind repeatedly since yesterday and it seems that the thoughts and feelings about it are two-fold. If I look into my experience after hearing this, it seems that my thoughts and felt emotions oscillate so that sometimes this idea is met with a kind of light, peaceful feeling. It seems to me to be a kind of intellectual grasping on the no-self -idea, but I can´t say that it is strongly felt as an experience outside the intellectual understanding. This feeling seems to be accompanied by a peculiar feeling of "almost getting it" which I have gotten many times before reading stuff on no-self, for example - it´s a bit hard to describe but it´s like I almost get it but there´s nothing to hang on to so it passes away after a while.

The other reaction to it is a rising anxiety and fear. These feelings and thoughts revolve around the idea that if there is no self in controlling this body, mind and organism, wouldn´t I just "go haywire" - e.g. what would then prevent "me" from acting upon my thoughts and impulses and what would be there to make a distinction between "acting sane" and "acting insane". I guess I could say that it is a bundle of thoughts presenting itself as the (illusion) of self hanging on to anything it can and justifying it´s existance by claiming that it is needed in order for this organism to function properly, acting as a buffer between thoughts/impulses and action. It seems that "I" have no problem in giving up the story of me as for the past and the future but somehow the "I-buffer" seems to make a good case for it's necessity in the present moment, therefore inhibiting the conceptual idea of no-self morphing into an experience.

One a small side-note on this, I had to make up my mind yesterday about whether to partake in a project or not and I thought that this decision making process would be a place to investigate your claim of no-self. Curiously enough, I didn´t find a place where this "I-buffer" actually made the decision of me partaking but, rather, that the decision was made without any "I" or a central controller - like life played itself out. This seemed to experientally support the non-existance of any controlling Eerik, I or self.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:20 pm

Hey and thank you for your answers!

There are some questions below, regarding what you say in your last post. Our learned reaction to questions is to rely on thought content - concepts/beliefs/"mind stuff" when giving an answer. What i would like you to do is to answer only after looking to reality - by reality i mean what is present here and now - and see if the answer you are giving is true in reality or only in the "realm" of thoughts.
Other way of saying this is: when answering a question try to see if the content of thoughts is the truth.
I kind of figured it would be so, so I have no problem in dropping any possible preconceptions I might have about it.
For instance, this sentence implies the existence of a real self that can figure things out and has the choice of thinking this way or another, changing the way reality is experienced.
This "I" exists in thoughts/language but can it be seen in reality, like the computer screen in front of you?
One a small side-note on this, I had to make up my mind yesterday about whether to partake in a project or not and I thought that this decision making process would be a place to investigate your claim of no-self. Curiously enough, I didn´t find a place where this "I-buffer" actually made the decision of me partaking but, rather, that the decision was made without any "I" or a central controller - like life played itself out. This seemed to experientally support the non-existance of any controlling Eerik, I or self.
I don't claim no-self and I’m not trying to convince you of anything. Why would i do that? I'm just giving you some pointers to help you look at reality and see if a real self can be found. Know that I will not give you any answers - this is about dropping beliefs, not getting new ones. Good to know that you are also trying to find an Eerik, I or self in your daily activities! Keep at it and bring what you find here if you want to. Glad to know that you couldn't find a self when making an important decision!
it seems that my thoughts and felt emotions oscillate so that sometimes this idea is met with a kind of light, peaceful feeling.
Are you expecting oscillation to stop and these kind of light, peaceful feelings to be the norm, a permanent state? If the self is an illusion, what will make this possible?
It seems that "I" have no problem in giving up the story of me as for the past and the future but somehow the "I-buffer" seems to make a good case for it's necessity in the present moment, therefore inhibiting the conceptual idea of no-self morphing into an experience.
Thoughts appearing are about an I that has no problem in giving up the story of a me.
Thoughts are also about an "I-buffer" trying to justify its existence.
Which one is truer? The "I", the me that has a story or the "I-buffer"?

If you think about "you", can you find more selves in thought - the one that knows, the one that wants, the one that made a mistake, the one that's seeking - waiting to appear and prove its reality?
And if you look, can any of these selves be found?

Let's also look at this:
The other reaction to it is a rising anxiety and fear.
If you think again about this sentence:
"There is no you, no self, no Eerik, in any way, shape or form. There never was and there will never be."
does anxiety and fear still appear?

If yes, what I would like you to do is to try to find the source of these sensations.
Be very curious and look to the experience:
What's beyond the anxiety and fear? What can be seen there?
What are the anxiety and fear trying to protect?
Tell me how that goes.

If i'm going to fast, please tell me. It's OK if you take your time looking at a thing at a time.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby E.Z.E » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:46 pm

Hey and thank you for your answers!
Hey again and thank you for yours, too! :)
There are some questions below, regarding what you say in your last post. Our learned reaction to questions is to rely on thought content - concepts/beliefs/"mind stuff" when giving an answer. What i would like you to do is to answer only after looking to reality - by reality i mean what is present here and now - and see if the answer you are giving is true in reality or only in the "realm" of thoughts.
Other way of saying this is: when answering a question try to see if the content of thoughts is the truth.
It truly seems to be quite challenging to look for the answers outside this "mind stuff", but I will do my best to stick with the here and now!
For instance, this sentence implies the existence of a real self that can figure things out and has the choice of thinking this way or another, changing the way reality is experienced.
This "I" exists in thoughts/language but can it be seen in reality, like the computer screen in front of you?
Sure enough, it is easy to habitually refer to such an "I" and to conceptualize it within the realm of thoughts, giving it the power of figuring out things or making choices, but it does not seem to be found within reality. Different kinds of I-though forms and structures which appear to have a kind of referential relationship with reality seem to exist but the referred "I" does not seem to be found in the here-now/reality.
I don't claim no-self and I’m not trying to convince you of anything. Why would i do that? I'm just giving you some pointers to help you look at reality and see if a real self can be found. Know that I will not give you any answers - this is about dropping beliefs, not getting new ones. Good to know that you are also trying to find an Eerik, I or self in your daily activities! Keep at it and bring what you find here if you want to. Glad to know that you couldn't find a self when making an important decision!
Sorry about that - the word choices and "thought leaps" were way off on what was written there. I realize that you are not claiming anything or trying to convince me of anything and are in fact giving me pointers. Being used to writing academic English kind of makes such phrases as "claim" drop in habitually but it´s not an academic logic puzzle but a look at reality, so sorry about that again! :)
Are you expecting oscillation to stop and these kind of light, peaceful feelings to be the norm, a permanent state? If the self is an illusion, what will make this possible?
There are no expectations concerning these oscillating feelings/emotions nor are there really preferences over any of these states - the part about the oscillation was just a notion without judgement on either way on the reaction to the thought of "no-you". With or without a self, some kind of oscillation of feelings seems to be inevitable so it would seem to be true that it continues even if the self is an illusion.
Thoughts appearing are about an I that has no problem in giving up the story of a me.
Thoughts are also about an "I-buffer" trying to justify its existence.
Which one is truer? The "I", the me that has a story or the "I-buffer"?
Neither of these seems to be any truer than the other - they seem to be equal thought forms in the realm of thoughts that does not have an inherent relationship with the here-now.
If you think about "you", can you find more selves in thought - the one that knows, the one that wants, the one that made a mistake, the one that's seeking - waiting to appear and prove its reality?
And if you look, can any of these selves be found?
By thinking these selves seem to found and, sure enough, there seems to be an infinite number of them - and contradictory ones, too - hanging out in the realm of thoughts.

By looking at the reality or what is now, they do not seem to be anywhere to find. They seem to exist only in the realm of thoughts.
Let's also look at this:
The other reaction to it is a rising anxiety and fear.
If you think again about this sentence:
"There is no you, no self, no Eerik, in any way, shape or form. There never was and there will never be."
does anxiety and fear still appear?

If yes, what I would like you to do is to try to find the source of these sensations.
Be very curious and look to the experience:
What's beyond the anxiety and fear? What can be seen there?
What are the anxiety and fear trying to protect?
Tell me how that goes.
If it´s okay, I´d like to give this one just a little bit more time and I´ll get back to you tomorrow about what I can find here!
If i'm going to fast, please tell me. It's OK if you take your time looking at a thing at a time.
[/quote]

So far so good! :) As I wrote above, I´d like a little bit more time for the last part of it all but otherwise everything´s good - I´ll give a shout if I ever feel that more time is needed for something.

Thanks again for all the help so far!

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:29 pm

Good, just a small observation. Take all the time you need to look. If the idea is having more time to think this over don't do that, please. Looking is just that, looking. Any doubts about this?

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby E.Z.E » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:45 pm

Good, just a small observation. Take all the time you need to look. If the idea is having more time to think this over don't do that, please. Looking is just that, looking. Any doubts about this?
Yes, this is all understood - looking in the here-now instead of ruminating on it in within the realm of thoughts.
If you think again about this sentence:
"There is no you, no self, no Eerik, in any way, shape or form. There never was and there will never be."
does anxiety and fear still appear?

If yes, what I would like you to do is to try to find the source of these sensations.
Be very curious and look to the experience:
What's beyond the anxiety and fear? What can be seen there?
What are the anxiety and fear trying to protect?
Tell me how that goes.
The anxiety and fear seem to still be there but more "in hiding" than the previous times on investigating the reaction to this thought - yet still detectable.

While looking at the immediate experience of physical reality, senses and emotions, there does not seem to be anything behind the anxiety and fear. It seems that they are thought reactions to the thought about the sentence the reaction to which you asked to investigate and it feels that through seeing there is nothing to be found behind them. In the realm of thoughts, yes, but in the immediate here-now -experience, no. Maybe "I" should keep looking or am not looking closely enough?

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:24 pm

While looking at the immediate experience of physical reality, senses and emotions, there does not seem to be anything behind the anxiety and fear.
Does the use of the word seem in this sentence means that you are doubting what is being experienced?
If yes, can you please look when doubts arise and tell me what are the doubts made of?
Maybe "I" should keep looking
Yes, keep looking to anything that triggers the illusion of a real self. This is "your" investigation.
or am not looking closely enough?
You looked and couldn't see a self. That's it! If fear and anxiety keep appearing please tell me.

What i would like you to do now, when you have some free time, is an exercise that can help in seeing the difference between how thoughts create images and seeing/experiencing something, what is really happening:

Close your eyes and imagine you are in the kitchen. Just visualize and look around, notice where things are put.
This is an image, it can trigger feelings and sensations. See how a image can be created and explored in thoughts.

Then open your eyes and go to the kitchen. Look at the same things that you saw in the image, how does imagining and experiencing the same things differ?

Please, write your observations about doing this exercise.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby E.Z.E » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:05 pm

Does the use of the word seem in this sentence means that you are doubting what is being experienced?
If yes, can you please look when doubts arise and tell me what are the doubts made of?
Initially there was a kind of hesitation and a doubt to what is being experienced in the sense that maybe there is a "deeper" kind of looking which was unaccessible to me and therefore "I" couldn´t see something that lays behind those feelings. After looking at it as well as actual here-now reality further this idea now seems a bit absurd - what is is what is and looking at actual reality instead of thought forms, there really is nothing behind these feelings. So now the use of the verb "seems" feels like an understatement - there really IS nothing behind there.
You looked and couldn't see a self. That's it! If fear and anxiety keep appearing please tell me.
These feelings are not around at the moment but I´ll let you know if they make a comeback! :)
What i would like you to do now, when you have some free time, is an exercise that can help in seeing the difference between how thoughts create images and seeing/experiencing something, what is really happening:

Close your eyes and imagine you are in the kitchen. Just visualize and look around, notice where things are put.
This is an image, it can trigger feelings and sensations. See how a image can be created and explored in thoughts.

Then open your eyes and go to the kitchen. Look at the same things that you saw in the image, how does imagining and experiencing the same things differ?

Please, write your observations about doing this exercise.
Wow, this was a very interesting exercise!

First of all, it was very surprising to see how much information the mental image of the kitchen can actually have and it seems to encompass impressions from all the senses but the visual sense was the strongest in this exercise. What seemed very interesting was that, like you said, this image can trigger feelings and emotions but it triggered them a lot more than the actual experience of being in the kitchen!

In this mental image kitchen, everything seen there went through a very strong judgement filter: "Damn it´s dirty in here, I should really have made more time to clean it during the week", "Why are there two unwashed pots in the sink?", "I should really throw away those old newspapers from the table" etc. etc.! A lot of the sensations in this image had these imposed thoughts and judgements on them.

In the actual experience of being in the kitchen, the same things were seen there - the pots were in the sink, it wasn´t as neat and tidy as "I" would like to have and the newspapers were on the table but these were just observations on how it is. They were not immediately met and conjoined with these judgements but rather just seen for as they were.

So all in all, the thought image and actual experience contained surprisingly similar elements in the experience through senses but the thought image was way more loaded with judgements and negativity than the actual experience. In fact, there was nothing negative or positive in the actual experience - the kitchen just was as it is.

Thanks once again for your help and the interesting exercise! :)

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:20 pm

Initially there was a kind of hesitation and a doubt to what is being experienced in the sense that maybe there is a "deeper" kind of looking which was unaccessible to me and therefore "I" couldn´t see something that lays behind those feelings.
Yes, there isn't a "deeper" kind of looking. Just looking happening. Only in thoughts can the existence of a "deeper" kind of looking be believed, expected and looked for. In reality what can be seen/experienced is only This, what is.
Wow, this was a very interesting exercise!
I'm glad to know that you liked the "kitchen" exercise. I can see that you really looked to the difference between the thought image and the actual experience.

This exercise was a way of introducing the next one, let's call it the "I" exercise :)

Close your eyes and imagine that you need to find the "I". Just visualize and look around, notice what makes the "I" real. This "I" is an image, it can trigger feelings and sensations. See how the image of a real "I" can be created and explored in thoughts.

Then open your eyes and look around. Can you find what made that "I" real, when you look to what's here-now? How does imagining an "I" and trying to experience the "I" differ?

Looking forward to your answer!

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby E.Z.E » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:42 pm

Hey again! :)
This exercise was a way of introducing the next one, let's call it the "I" exercise :)

Close your eyes and imagine that you need to find the "I". Just visualize and look around, notice what makes the "I" real. This "I" is an image, it can trigger feelings and sensations. See how the image of a real "I" can be created and explored in thoughts.

Then open your eyes and look around. Can you find what made that "I" real, when you look to what's here-now? How does imagining an "I" and trying to experience the "I" differ?

Looking forward to your answer!
Wow, this was an interesting exercise as well! This time the difference between the image and "what is" was not as clear cut as in the kitchen exercise but there definately was a different.

Looking for the image of an "I" within thoughts, a LOT of stuff that could be considered as an indicator of an "I - or perhaps it´s better said that thoughts, feelings, images and projections which had an "I"-label attached to them - came up. In this image, the personal history of an "I", thoughts, emotions, the physical body that "belongs" to the "I", projections of past and the future, worries, general pulling away and pulling towards of things in the present moment (i.e. likes and dislikes) were tagged with this "I"-label, which create an image or illusion of a somehow coherent self. This "I"-image is a huge web stories that are interwoven together and always exist somehow in this realm of thought and also in the realm of time as these stories and the "I"-image proved out to be referential to past or future time, sometimes more cunningly disguised in the present moment than other times.

As for looking to what´s true here and now, this "evidence" of a self does not hold anymore. Similar kind of "I"-labels are still put on things within the mind even in the present moment but that´s just "mind stuff" like you said earlier, it is not true in the here-now. This process works so that there is awareness of something - an awareness of thought, emotion or an act - and, in the mind, the label of an "I" is added there but in actual reality they are just separate processes without a separate agent owning or controlling this process. Furthermore, this "I"-image that slips its way to the here-now through thought process is, as in the thought image, always in the realm of time and not in the actual present moment. As "I" noted earlier, the most convincing and pervasive "I"-illusion in the present moment seems to be the "agent" that control the relationship between thought realm and physical body. For example, if the hand reaches out to take a glass of water from the table, an image of an "I" that decided to take a sip of water comes in, claiming the process to its name - and this process also includes a convincing notion of its necessity, that is to say that it is accompanied with a thought that if it would not be there, there would be no certainty that the hand wouldn´t, say, throw the glass against the wall.

Re-reading and re-looking, it seemed that a little clarification to what was written above seemed in place: while looking at the actual reality, there here-now, no evidence of self cannot be found. What was written there on the "I"-labels making intrusions to the here-now seem more like lapses in actually looking at the reality rather than an actual self making its way to reality. Still, even though this is understood, they still include a more or less convincing feeling of a self within them once there is a lapse in actual looking.

As for differences between imagining an "I" and trying to experience an "I" within actual reality - the imagined "I" and an illusion of an "I" that somehow shadows what is are similar except that the imagined "I" has way much more pull and momentum. The illusion of an "I" that sometimes intrudes or maybe better put overrides the here-now comes from a lapse in looking that kind of makes the "I" agent possible to intrude the here-now and to assign an "I" label to an ongoing activity, emotion or process in which when actually looking, no "I" or self can be found.

Thanks again for the great exercise! :) Looking forward to hearing your comments on this.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Canfora » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:22 pm

Hey and thank you for looking, you did a great job!
the most convincing and pervasive "I"-illusion in the present moment seems to be the "agent" that control the relationship between thought realm and physical body.
Let's look to the abilities of this "agent". So, the agent seems to control the thought realm?
It's time to look at thoughts! Here are some questions that point you where to look.
Don't tell me what you think its the right answer, even if you are sure that you already know the answers to these questions. Really have a look and tell me what you see.

- what's in the origin of thoughts, where do thoughts come from? Can you see an agent, a self making thoughts?

- can thoughts think, are thoughts creating thoughts?

What about the ability of the agent to control thoughts? Is it real? What happens if i ask "don't think for the next 10 minutes"? Or if i ask "think only happy thoughts for the rest of the day"? Or don't think about the sea?

Can thoughts be controlled? How?


Looking forward to know what you will find.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby E.Z.E » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:16 pm

Hey again!

Sorry for not writing yesterday - "I" couldn´t make it to the computer in the evening, but "I" will try to be prompt in answering you daily in the future! :)

Thanks for the pointers again! This was really some tricky stuff to look at but here goes...
Let's look to the abilities of this "agent". So, the agent seems to control the thought realm?
Just a little clarification here: like it was written above, this "agent" does not control the thought realm and it seems to recognize its lack of control over thoughts but where the illusion of this agent that portrays itself as self is pervasive is in the relationship between thoughts and action, the control whether which thoughts manifest in the physical reality. This means that the if a thought comes up that suggests this body to do something or not do something, the illusion of a choice whether this thought is manifested or not is taken to control by this agent. It seems like a sort of after thought of action - like the body does a movement (picks up a glass like it was written above, goes to the bathroom, does not answer the phone when in a library etc. etc.) and this agent plays the role of a "self" who decided to go to bathroom, not answer the phone and so on.

So the agent does not claim control over thoughts but control over which thoughts manifest in reality and which thoughts are "obeyed" and so on.
It's time to look at thoughts! Here are some questions that point you where to look.
Don't tell me what you think its the right answer, even if you are sure that you already know the answers to these questions. Really have a look and tell me what you see.
RIght on, will do! :)
- what's in the origin of thoughts, where do thoughts come from? Can you see an agent, a self making thoughts?
Looking at actual reality, the origin of thoughts is impossible to find. Most of the thoughts seem to be old thought forms and various projections that are imposed on the actual reality that truly exists, but try to justify their relevance to the situation even though on closer inspection they are not relevant at all to the actual reality of the here-now. There is no agent or a self that is making thoughts even though some of these thoughts and thought forms really seem to want to give that impression that they are a part of a self and possibly even created by some kind of self. In actual reality, even the "selves" that try to make their way as logical parts of thoughts are contradictory and unreal, with no actual relationship to the actual reality - a very loose referential relationship to the future and the past at most.
- can thoughts think, are thoughts creating thoughts?
This was a very tricky one to observe and perhaps more time would be needed to look at this but from what I could see now is no, a thought can not think. There is a very pervasive illusion that thoughts create logical chains of, well, thoughts, and that they have a kind of referential relationship between but looking at it, it does seem like an illusion. Some kind of association seems to bind thoughts together, but to say that it´s a thought creating a thought does not seem right - maybe a thought followed by a thought of association that is followed by a thought that is linked to this associative thought? This really is tricky.
What about the ability of the agent to control thoughts? Is it real? What happens if i ask "don't think for the next 10 minutes"? Or if i ask "think only happy thoughts for the rest of the day"? Or don't think about the sea?
There is absolutely no ability to control thoughts and no chance of trying to stop thoughts. They seem to have a life of their own. As I wrote above, the illusion of the agent´s control over thoughts has to do with the relationship of the thought world and the actual physical reality but as far as control over thoughts, absolutely there is none. Thinking happy thoughts for the rest of the day - no chance. Think about the sea - first thought after is about the sea!
Can thoughts be controlled? How?
They cannot be controlled. It seems that they don´t have to be obeyed or followed, that one does not have to do what every thought suggests (i.e. the illusion of the agent), but they can not be controlled. Attention can be drawn away from them at best by focus of awareness to something else, but actually controlling the thoughts - no dice.

Thanks again for your help - looking forward to hearing from you again! :)


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