Looking for a guide!

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freee
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Looking for a guide!

Postby freee » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:29 pm

Hi,

I'd like to see the illusion of self with the help of a guide please!

Sincere thanks!

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vinceschubert
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:41 am

Hi freee, But first a contract.
Are you willing to;
(try and) post every day ?
To give 120% honesty to yourself and me ?
To relate only from your own experiencing, no second hand knowledge, quoting etc.
To suspend all other seeking type activities for the duration of this ? (reading, viewing, satsang etc.)
Not expect a transfer of knowledge. We are not teachers.
I will ask questions, you will not only attempt to answer them for me, you will communicate the response that you experience to me. The questions are to position you to SEE, to DISCOVER, to RECOGNISE something for yourself.
Agreed ?

To use the quote function, first click "post reply"
Then scroll down to my post and highlight (drag mouse over) the question or part of it that you want to respond to, then click "quote" at the top of my reply. This will put the quote in the Reply editor, with the cursor ready for you to type your response.

Now, give me a rant on what your expectations are for being here. Your hopes, desires and what you actually expect might happen.

vince

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freee
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby freee » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:48 pm

Hi Vince,
First, sincere thanks for offering to guide me!
Next, yes to the contract: I agree to try to
post every day, may be other than on Tuesdays (more on this at the end of my reply)
be 200% honest to myself and you
relate only from my experience and bring awareness to any tendency to talk about others' experience
suspend all other seeking activities
not expect (or get into) intellectual discussions
while answering your questions, I'll try to communicate my experience also
remember that the questions are to position me to see, discover, and recognize (realize) something for myself
Now, give me a rant on what your expectations are for being here. Your hopes, desires and what you actually expect might happen.
The first thought that passed through my mind when I read this sentence was "I'm not sure about what exactly I'm seeking". Then, several thoughts popped up in my mind, roughly in the order below. The first thought was about what my husband had read to me from this website. Something like "Once you see the illusion of self for yourself, there is no turning back. It's like realizing that Santa is not real". The realization about Santa is internalized in me and semi-consciously influences my thoughts and actions when a Santa is involved.

While the realization about Santa does not affect my everyday living otherwise, the realization about "self" being an illusion may affect me more. That's because thoughts keep coming and going most of the time (when I'm not sleeping or fully engaged in something) and many of the thoughts seem to be about protecting "me" (or my interests). Some mindfulness-based meditation and cognitive behavioral techniques helped me to see that thoughts come on their own, mostly in response to input from the five senses or in response to other thoughts or emotions following the thoughts. Therefore, they are not real. But even with this realization, I haven't been able to always disassociate my emotions, words, or actions from the thoughts. Maybe the realization is just the starting point. But then, with Santa, just the realization was enough.

What I do feel now is that if I'm not too burdened with thoughts about protecting or serving my "self", it's likely to feel very light (weight-off), free, or liberated. I do understand that some sense of self has to be there for existence and planning. In any case, I'd like to try to see the illusion of self and then see what happens afterwards. So, I'll be happy with whatever I learn during this journey. Since my mind seems to be healthy enough (no medication etc), I'm not worried too much about harming myself during this journey!

BTW, I'd like to reply to your questions as soon as I try to answer them so that I'm still close to the experience but that may not be possible on Tuesdays. Just on Tuesdays, I don't have much help with my (stay-at-home) high-energy toddler and also my work. But I'll make every attempt I can as I realize that you are only trying to help me.

My sincere thanks again,
Shobana

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vinceschubert
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby vinceschubert » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:46 am

they (thoughts) are not real. But even with this realization, I haven't been able to always disassociate my emotions, words, or actions from the thoughts.
So are you saying that you want to have different responses to the thoughts that occur ?
Maybe the realization is just the starting point. But then, with Santa, just the realization was enough.
So you're expecting a complete and instant change ?
What I do feel now is that if I'm not too burdened with thoughts about protecting or serving my "self", it's likely to feel very light (weight-off), free, or liberated.
So currently you do feel burdened ?
... and is there a noticing of "self serving" or "protecting self" ?

No worries about tuesdays. Our tuesdays may not sync (i'm in Australia) just answer when it suits you.

love

vince

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freee
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby freee » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:48 pm

freee wrote:
they (thoughts) are not real. But even with this realization, I haven't been able to always disassociate my emotions, words, or actions from the thoughts.
So are you saying that you want to have different responses to the thoughts that occur ?
Yes, something like with breathing. Breathing happens involuntarily and I don't notice or react to it unless I experience a problem with it or I want to focus on it. Similarly, I'd like to choose to react to thoughts but otherwise, let them pass by simply. Not quite sure how or when I'd experience problems with thoughts though.
freee wrote:
Maybe the realization is just the starting point. But then, with Santa, just the realization was enough.
So you're expecting a complete and instant change ?
A watershed moment or a switch (self) going off would be nice and easy. But, I remember (from my very little reading on this site before I sought a guide) that it may not be like that. So, I don't have a strong expectation either way.
freee wrote:
What I do feel now is that if I'm not too burdened with thoughts about protecting or serving my "self", it's likely to feel very light (weight-off), free, or liberated.
So currently you do feel burdened ?
... and is there a noticing of "self serving" or "protecting self" ?
When I think about not having to worry about serving or protecting myself, it feels light. It's only then I realize that I'm so used to carrying the burden that it has become my normal state!

What I've observed is that, at times, when the thoughts are about how someone is being unfair to "me" or using me or affecting my preparedness for future, the thoughts lead to high-charged emotions. This also happens when I perceive injustice being done to other seemingly helpless people or animals. Then the emotions cause more similar thoughts and it becomes a negative cycle. Sometimes, the emotions build up into resentment and maybe even prejudices. Some of this is needed for survival. Not sure where that boundary is. On the other hand, if there is no self (in me or others), then, there is nothing to be protected and such a realization might help the thoughts pass by simply and hence liberating.

With sincere thanks again,
Shobana

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vinceschubert
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby vinceschubert » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:59 am

Breathing happens involuntarily and I don't notice or react to it unless I experience a problem with..
Yes, so how do you see a problem with your response to thoughts ?
I'd like to choose...
Ah, this is a big one. Obviously you have taken it for granted that you CAN choose to DO things. Let's examine this.
Lift your left arm into the air now.
Now, was a choice involved ?
..or did lifting just happen ?
Certainly, thoughts most definitely arrived to claim ownership of a decision, but when you examined what happened, did thoughts lead or follow?
If a choice was made, then who or what made it?
Can you locate the source of that ?
..that I'm so used to carrying the burden
Do you think habit is involved here ?

love

vince

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freee
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby freee » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:58 pm

Lift your left arm into the air now.
Wow, I thought upon reading your words, I had a thought that I should lift my arm and "I" "chose" to "obey" the thought and that's why "I" lifted it. But then, upon examining it, almost immediately, I now think the lifting happened on its own when "my" eyes read your words. I can't believe this! The thoughts followed the action so rapidly that it appears that the lifting was in response to the thought! It's so unbelievable that I want to remember to observe this throughout the day!

Regarding carrying burden, yes, I think it's an almost unconscious habit.

With sincere thanks again,
Shobana

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vinceschubert
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby vinceschubert » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:38 am

I now think the lifting happened on its own when "my" eyes read your words.
Here is a confirmation of your findings. Towards the end of this video there is a part where the subject (DeSoutay) is put into an MRI machine and his 'decisions' are known some six seconds before he is conscious of them himself.
The other thing to take notice of (there are many things in it) is where the sense of self is relocated to behind the subject, using virtual reality goggles. This shows how the sense of self is the result of perceptions (minds interpretation of them)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Biv_8xjj8E

Regarding habit, there will be a process of brain rewiring.
The old neuronal pathways will atrophy, and new synaptic connections that make new pathways will be established.
Have a look at this video on that;
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mskv8uxmnmf2f ... _Being.mp4


love

vince

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freee
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby freee » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:56 am

Hi Vince,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm still here. I haven't finished watching the BBC documentary yet but hope to tomorrow. I'll post again then.

Sincerely,
Shobana

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freee
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby freee » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:33 pm

I've watched first few minutes and last 6 minutes of the BBC documentary and the whole of TED talk but I've been wondering about something. While continuing to think about the arm lifting experience, I've been thinking (from even before I watched the second video you had sent), that though it looked like the arm lifting happened automatically, it's from the wiring (or conscious decision I had taken) when I signed up to be guided from you--that I will do whatever you ask me to try. I haven't been able to observe but I suspect that if a stranger approaches me and starts saying something, I may walk away if I don't perceive that person to be safe. Similarly, if someone I disrespect or mistrust asks me to do something, I suspect I will not do it.

A question is whether the wiring happened automatically and only from the (past) physical experience or whether it was also influence by the emotions or feelings. Also, do emotions happen independently or follow thoughts.

Hope I'm not digressing. I'll try to finish up the video today.

Thanks again,
Shobana

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vinceschubert
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby vinceschubert » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:02 am

that though it looked like the arm lifting happened automatically, it's from the wiring
Yes, decisions and choices do happen from the huge number of conditions that are involved. Just not from the (imaginary) Self. This is the whole point. No Self means that as far as the mind goes, these things just happen.
A question is whether the wiring happened automatically and only from the (past) physical experience or whether it was also influence by the emotions or feelings.
There are also many conditions external to the organism that are involved in the 'wiring' of the brain.
o emotions happen independently or follow thoughts.
As you can observe, there are many thoughts that follow emotional expressions. The question of whether thoughts (story) were involved in the wiring that resulted in the emotion, has to be story (that is most likely true) as it is beyond observation. The real issue here is the re-wiring.

love

vince

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freee
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby freee » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:36 am

Hi Vince,

I managed to finish watching the videos. Yes, the parts about experiencing self through another body and the brain deciding 6 seconds beforehand are paradigm-shifting. Now, what do I do to start rewiring the brain to see the illusion of self?

With sincere thanks,
Shobana

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vinceschubert
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby vinceschubert » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:08 am

Shobana, can you SEE that when you lifted your arm, that it was the conditions that included your ability to read the instruction, the health of the muscles in the arm, the previous intention to be cooperative, and the infinite other conditions that arm lifting was dependent on, but no actual, separate self was involved ?
Can you SEE that the idea of a Self is inherent in language ?
Just as we use the word University to refer to something that has no inherent existence (remove the teachers and students and we just have a bunch of buildings), we use personal pronouns (I, Me, etc) as a linguistic convenience, but over time the fact that there is no actual Self has been lost and the assumption that it has inherent existence has been taken for granted. It is this taking for granted that has become habit. Do you SEE this ?
This is where the re-wiring enters.
You can use the trigger of any negative emotion to Recognize that you have been sucked in to expressing the content of a story, as if it was real.
Can you see that there is the organism with the label Shobana, and then there is the story of Shobana ?
Give me some examples of the story of Shobana.

love

vince

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freee
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby freee » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:27 am

I definitely see that Self is a concept, a label, an artifact of language for ease of communication and for the convenience of practical living. The simile of University is very effective (beautiful).

However, while you say that there is nothing physical or specific that can be identified as Self, I think of Self as the whole (i.e., more than the sum of the parts). In other words, as long as there are at least some (key) parts, the concept that Self represents is there. I do understand that there is no one thing called Self. Are we saying the same thing? Am I missing something?
You can use the trigger of any negative emotion to Recognize that you have been sucked in to expressing the content of a story, as if it was real.
I'm not too sure about what exactly you refer to as a story--the chain of thoughts? Also, did you capitalize Recognize because it's the rewiring?

Shobana

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vinceschubert
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Re: Looking for a guide!

Postby vinceschubert » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:23 am

Are we saying the same thing? Am I missing something?
You seem to 'get it' wonderfully. Yes, we are saying the same thing. That Self is nothing but a label. A conceptualization for the purpose of communication. A convenience of language.
So what would happen if somebody insulted Shobana ?
I'm not too sure about what exactly you refer to as a story--the chain of thoughts?
Yes, the thought stream that labels Shobana's non physical attributes. She is 'this' kind of person. etc. Particular the things that she has emotional responses to. "She is sweet. She is compassionate. She likes kids or dogs. She is a bitch, She is greedy. She is selfish, etc."
did you capitalize Recognize because it's the rewiring?
i capitalized it to indicate that it is more important than the mundane meaning. i also use 'single' quotes to indicate that the word is a little different to the usual meaning, but it is as close as language allows.
Recognition that Shobana was 'lost' in the content of a thought stream, will come with an "Aha !" (hence the capitalization) This Recognition may happen some time after the event. "Oh, I was angry/sad/happy/elated/depressed/etc, because I was believing thought ABOUT suchandsuch." ...or it might come during the 'event', ..or even before it. "WoW !, I was about to get sucked into that story. Hahahaa."
Whenever it happens, laugh. Laugh out loud. A great big guffaw if you are alone (or aren't embarrassed by the presence others) If that isn't appropriate a chuckle or even a silent smile with eyes only is fine. Whatever you do, just make sure that your stomach contracts. This has the effect of releasing Oxytocin (a happiness, hormone) which has the effect of neutralizing any stress hormones that would have been released by negative emotions. If you Recognize that you were feeling elated because of story, then allow it, but realize that story was involved.


love

vince


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