Can this really work?

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da229
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Can this really work?

Postby da229 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:30 pm

The usual story I guess:

I thought I would be happy pursuing ideas that would make me look good to others.

Got into a lot of suffering.

Had an intense spiritual experience.

Wanted it back and started seeking intensely for years thinking I had got it then lost it....

Now I know it cannot be gained or lost as it's always here as that which knows/sees the experience ye...

...this "I" still seems to be here with its fears, desires, seeking tendencies, expectations, concepts and ideas. I have read hundreds of books, practiced a lot of self-inquiry and yet I suffer because of this "I" that seems to haunt me.

I guess I have become doubtful that there may be a solution to this. I am willing to do almost anything to find the freedom I long.

With Love,

Daniel

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neeeel
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby neeeel » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:37 pm

Hi daniel

Firstly, I would say you can leave aside for now about all the books you've read, the experiences you've had. Dont worry about all that. This is not a search for an altered state, or a mystical experience. Its a simple fact recognition, same as recognising that the sky is blue.

Can you tell me a bit about what the "I", the self, is. Where is it in the body? What does it do? Try not to give me stuff youve learned from books if possible, just tell me , who is this daniel?

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da229
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby da229 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:46 pm

I understand that as far as I know this "I" is not observable. It has no color or shape or smell. I can never find what this me is aside from an ingrained belief that appears alongside a "sense" of being me.

I can find many thoughts, memories, desires that refer to the entity I call me and its story but not the entity itself. But how does all of that matter if the belief in a separate little me is still there?

The problem is the belief and unless it is dropped or seen through suffering continues...

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neeeel
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby neeeel » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:54 pm

I understand that as far as I know this "I" is not observable. It has no color or shape or smell. I can never find what this me is aside from an ingrained belief that appears alongside a "sense" of being me.
Intellectual understanding is good, but you really need to see for yourself, not just have an understanding of concepts. This is what we help you with.
I can find many thoughts, memories, desires that refer to the entity I call me and its story but not the entity itself. But how does all of that matter if the belief in a separate little me is still there?

The problem is the belief and unless it is dropped or seen through suffering continues...

Ok, you say there is a belief in a separate little me. What is the content of this belief ? Eg, Do you believe that you are a good person? Do you believe that this little Me is living life, controlling the body? Does this me own the body, its "my" body, after all? Look deeper into the belief and tell me what you find out.

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da229
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby da229 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:10 pm

It isn't an intellectual understanding as I have really looked into this for some years now. I understand that I am not a perceivable entity unless I am the body, which if I am honest I still believe. I believe that I will die with the body as I am identified with it.

I am going to look into the last questions you posed regarding the content of this belief and get back to you.

Thank you

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neeeel
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby neeeel » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:17 pm

It isn't an intellectual understanding as I have really looked into this for some years now. I understand that I am not a perceivable entity unless I am the body, which if I am honest I still believe. I believe that I will die with the body as I am identified with it.

I am going to look into the last questions you posed regarding the content of this belief and get back to you.

Thank you
If it wasnt just an intellectual understanding, then you wouldnt be having this problem with searching and not finding, but no matter, its not important just now.

Will look forward to your responses.
neil

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neeeel
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby neeeel » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:27 pm

.....unless I am the body, which if I am honest I still believe. I believe that I will die with the body as I am identified with it.
This implies a separate entity within the body. The body will die, and You will die. So what is this separate entity?

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da229
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby da229 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:33 pm

I sometimes think I am a good person, at others I question that and see myself as a bad person. Some days I feel attractive whilst others I feel unworthy of love. At times I think I am quite smart and others that I am an idiot. That's the way it's always been but the tendency is towards negativity about myself. It is painful.

I believe that this little me is living life and is in control of the body, at least some aspects of the body's functions such as walking, chewing, speaking etc. and not others such as digestion, sleeping, heart beat etc.

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neeeel
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby neeeel » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:49 pm

I sometimes think I am a good person, at others I question that and see myself as a bad person. Some days I feel attractive whilst others I feel unworthy of love. At times I think I am quite smart and others that I am an idiot. That's the way it's always been but the tendency is towards negativity about myself. It is painful.
Ok. Can you see that "I am a good person", "I am a bad person", " I am attractive", "I am ugly" are all just thoughts that arise? that "positive" thoughts are thoughts which compliment the "I", and that "negative" thoughts are thoughts which detriment the "I" ? Now can you look at what these thoughts are pointing to? There are thoughts of "I am a good person", what is the "I" that is the good person? what is the "I" that is the bad person?
I believe that this little me is living life and is in control of the body, at least some aspects of the body's functions such as walking, chewing, speaking etc. and not others such as digestion, sleeping, heart beat etc.
Lets take walking, for example. When you are walking, do you control every little muscle movement ? Are you going "first contract left thigh muscle, lift leg, bend ankle, push off with toes, ok now lean forward a little bit now put left foot down now contract right thigh muscle...." and so on. Have you ever noticed how if you are walking along, lost in thought, your legs and body just function on automatic, taking you where you want to go? What about times where you slip and stumble, and your body seems to take over and recover? Is it possible that walking is just a process that occurs spontaneously, without any control from "you"? Look at other things ( chewing, speaking etc) and see if the same thing is occuring?

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da229
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby da229 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:29 pm

Good point. Walking is taking place with the aid of innumerable things happening that are beyond my control. The same applies to other activities such as chewing. But I can stop walking if I want to or I seem to at times. If a tiger would run after me I would arguably lose the choice to stop moving.

I don't know what this I is that good and bad thoughts point to but I can see that at times it feels like there is nothing there apart from being or seeing, then something happens and I am off back in the belief that I am a separate entity.

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neeeel
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby neeeel » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:46 pm

Good point. Walking is taking place with the aid of innumerable things happening that are beyond my control. The same applies to other activities such as chewing. But I can stop walking if I want to or I seem to at times. If a tiger would run after me I would arguably lose the choice to stop moving.

I don't know what this I is that good and bad thoughts point to but I can see that at times it feels like there is nothing there apart from being or seeing, then something happens and I am off back in the belief that I am a separate entity.
So we can see that a large amount of what happens in our lives is uncontrolled, spontaneous, and happens without us thinking about it. This is important. So, seemingly when we are not thinking about it, life just goes along naturally. When we start to think about it, then thoughts of "I did that" appear. We can do exactly the same activity, one time we wont be thinking about it, just do it, and it seems spontaneous. Do the same activity again, but focusing more on the activity, and thoughts of "I am doing this" appear. Does it seem possible that the I comes and goes like this? If there was an I, wouldnt it always be there? Can you see that the sense of "Me doing this" are in fact just thoughts, thoughts about I, thoughts about the activity, etc?

It is important that you dont just accept this as another belief. You need to really look at everything that is happening in your reality, and note when the sense of self is there, when it isnt, when its strong, when its weak. Also note whether there is an actual "I", or whether it is just thoughts about an I. Thoughts are real, but the contents of thoughts can refer to real or imaginary things.

Another interesting thing to think about. Are you thinking your thoughts?

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da229
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby da229 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:22 am

My thoughts just happen, I don't plan to have them. They tend to revolve around a "me" most of the time. I take credit for them often. I can't help but being pulled in by them and believing what they tell me about the world and myself.

I am worried that I will not be able to get passed this identity by seeing through it as I can understand it all and agree with it but the belief in a separate me is still there.

How does it happen? Does one just see that he/she is not real or is one left with just hearing,seeing etc.?

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neeeel
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby neeeel » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:46 pm

My thoughts just happen, I don't plan to have them. They tend to revolve around a "me" most of the time. I take credit for them often. I can't help but being pulled in by them and believing what they tell me about the world and myself.
Ok, so these "me" thoughts, are they different from other thoughts? Is there a you thinking them? When you think of a "me" or an "I", what are these thoughts referring to?

I am worried that I will not be able to get passed this identity by seeing through it as I can understand it all and agree with it but the belief in a separate me is still there.

How does it happen? Does one just see that he/she is not real or is one left with just hearing,seeing etc.?
If you see through it, really see that there is no you doing all the things that you attributed to it, then the belief will fall away, it has to since the evidence shows that it doesnt exist. You say you understand it all and agree with it but the belief is still there, so I am guessing that you havent really looked closely enough. You need to spend some time looking at everything that happens, noticing how there is no you to do any of it. Also, although the illusion of self is seen through, the sense of self will still remain at first, its just that you see through it, you realise that its all just thoughts about a you. "I" thoughts still remain, its just that instead of identifying with the thoughts, grabbing onto the thoughts , thoughts are just seen as thoughts, and allowed to rise and pass away naturally.

You say the belief in a separate me is still there, can you tell me what you believe about the separate me?

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da229
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby da229 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:01 pm

Thanks for your help with this.

If I tell you the thoughts that stick to the supposed identity it might help you see what my beliefs are about this separate me. For example, today I worried about my future financial and career prospects. That means that I believe that I will exist at a future time and place usually under not very favorable circumstances. I also have the belief that this "I" could have acted differently in the past in order to make the present different now.

I spent 4 years in prison, went into treatment 11 times for heroin and crack addiction and spent years homeless. Who did this all happen to? Was I not there to see and feel the pain and suffering? Am I not there as awareness at least? Maybe I am not good or bad, clever or ugly as this definitions change constantly but the fact that I have been there throughout all these experiences seems undeniable.

The personality changes, disappears during sleep yet something remains. Am I not that?

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neeeel
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Re: Can this really work?

Postby neeeel » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:49 pm

Thanks for your help with this.

If I tell you the thoughts that stick to the supposed identity it might help you see what my beliefs are about this separate me. For example, today I worried about my future financial and career prospects. That means that I believe that I will exist at a future time and place usually under not very favorable circumstances. I also have the belief that this "I" could have acted differently in the past in order to make the present different now.

I spent 4 years in prison, went into treatment 11 times for heroin and crack addiction and spent years homeless. Who did this all happen to? Was I not there to see and feel the pain and suffering? Am I not there as awareness at least? Maybe I am not good or bad, clever or ugly as this definitions change constantly but the fact that I have been there throughout all these experiences seems undeniable.
Hi again
The body exists, the brain exists, experiences exist, thoughts exist. No-one is denying this. There is a body and brain sitting here now. With any luck there will be a body and brain sitting here 5 minutes from now. And, there is no separate "I" to which these experiences happen.The experiences are all that there is. There is no you sitting inside your head, feeling the feelings, thinking the thoughts. The very act of experiencing, is the experience. By which I mean, if I stick a pin in you, sensations travel from the pin, through your nerves, up to the brain, and automatically produce the sensation of pain. The process that produces the pain is the totality of what is. In the same way that the process of water going through a water wheel results in the turning of the wheel. There is no "self" turning the wheel.
So instead of "I feel pain", the reality is "There is an experience of pain produced by the processes in the body and brain" . There is no you, no self sitting at the end of the process that experiences that pain.

Another example I like to use is

Nuclear fusion in sun-> produces photons of light-> light travels through space-> light hits object on earth-> light reflects off object and enters eye-> eye converts light to electrical energy-> electrical energy passes through pathways of brain-> sensation of seeing object is produced.

Whereabouts in that chain of events is the "I"? Is there an "I" at the end of the chain sitting and watching a movie screen?

But dont just take this as true. You can find out for yourself. You can look at things that are happening to you, and see that they just arise, and fade, without a "you" doing them, without a you even experiencing them. Thoughts, feelings, sensations all arise and fade spontaneously. They are just life lifeing, a biological process producing an experience in a biological brain. There may be thoughts about the experience, but these are not you, these are just thoughts, another biological process. Look and see if you can find the "you" that is experiencing?

You asked this question "Who did this all happen to? Was I not there to see and feel the pain and suffering?"
I will ask back, for you to answer yourself, "Yes, who did this all happen to?"

The personality changes, disappears during sleep yet something remains. Am I not that?
What is the something that remains?


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