Help through the Gate

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MLEG
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Help through the Gate

Postby MLEG » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:36 pm

Help through the gate

Hello group,
I joined today, April Fools Day, which I think is a good starting date !
I've been reading the Gateless Gatecrashers, and found a couple of posts which resonated. Those of Eric, Michael, João & Charles (though I haven't finished yet). Also reading the Marked Eternal blog. But I have decided to ask for guidance before I start thinking & analysing the material on the web too much.

The brain inside this skull is naturally good at analysis, looking for trends etc. But too much thinking isn't good, SO I would like to try a more experiential approach.

I sometimes have clarity on understanding what is meant by the idea of no-self - "the illusion that I/ me is here, but it's only words that point to a story about I/me, no such thing as me exists" - but I have never truly experienced it.

I believe there is more to me than my thoughts. I try to remain in what I know as Awareness. But what is this Awareness? Is it the sum of all my past memories, plus pure action, nowness & being undistracted in the present, plus concepts & projections about the future ? Is it a karmic cycle, endowed with memories of previous existences ?

I have been following the Dharma for a few years now, and when I practise formally, I am aware of thoughts / emotions coming and going, trying not to follow them, of sensations in my body from sitting for 20 mins, sounds and sights seen & heard.

But my question is : What is interpreting all of this information and making sense of it ? What is applying a unique perspective & commentary on a set of sensory perceptions ? What is this "personality" if not "me" ? Isn't "me" just a more concise way of saying "personality" ?

Sorry for the long post, but I truly wish to know a deeper, more lasting sense of happiness, peace & clarity. I just need a bit if help getting over these fences.

Many thanks
MLEG

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vinceschubert
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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby vinceschubert » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:08 am

Hi, 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.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info here, our disclaimer and a short video too http://www.liberationunleashed.com . Please take a look at that.

If you could confirm you have seen all the above, agree to them, and would still like me to be your guide - then we'll begin.

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.

vince

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby MLEG » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:20 pm

Hi Vince,

Thanks four the reply.
Yes, I agree to all the items in the contract.
Regards
Martin

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby vinceschubert » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:16 pm

G'day Martin.
it's only words that point to a story about I/me, no such thing as me exists" - but I have never truly experienced it.
Have you ever experienced an I ?
Can you find it ?
If you can't find it, What Experiencing is happening ? (can you experience a non-event ?)
I believe there is more to me than my thoughts.
Is a belief more than thoughts ?
Can your statement point to more than story ? To a concept ?
I try to...
For this enquiry, please don't try to do anything. Any effort is only going to distract us from what Actually IS.
Can you see why i might say that ?
Is it a karmic cycle, endowed with memories of previous existences ?
No, it's just (part of) the story of Martin.
What is interpreting all of this
It is language that seduces you into thinking that there has to be a who or what that does the interpreting. Might it just be the brain of the organism with the label Martin.
Show me the point of separation between the interpreter and the interpreted. Can you find where one starts and the other finishes ?

love

vince

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby MLEG » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:52 pm

Hello Vince,

Answers to your questions below.

Have you ever experienced an I ?
The straight answer is no. Not in reality, not in the way I have experienced phenomenon, or riding a roller coaster or shaking a hand. I do have a memory or a particular trend of thoughts & emotions that is predictable, which could be classified a "me" . Anger, jealousy at certain situations, laughter, happiness in others. These are predictable,which is why I avoid certain situations and seek out others.

When trying to find an "I", there can be two ways the experience happens. 1 is to be in the projection of thoughts & emotions, the stories, which results in being detached in a way from physical reality - "in a world of your own", "daydreaming". A 2nd way can result in realising that thoughts and emotions disappear, like parcels of energy in a quantum world, as soon as they are observed. This can bring you to a very grounded state, where you are aware of the physical reality in front of you.

Is a belief more than thoughts ?
No, a belief is just a thought too.

Can your statement point to more than story ? To a concept ?
Sorry, Im not sure what you mean by this .

please don't try to do anything. Any effort is only going to distract us from what Actually IS.
Yes, I understand why I shouldn't try to understand, it needs to be experiential.

It is language that seduces you into thinking that there has to be a who or what that does the interpreting. Might it just be the brain of the organism with the label Martin.
Show me the point of separation between the interpreter and the interpreted. Can you find where one starts and the other finishes ?


Yes, there is an understanding that the brain is the interpreter, but also a sense that the sum is greater than the parts too. I just found myself hypothesising there, trying to understand. So I came back into the room (stopped following stories) and realised there is no interpreter or interpreted, only interpreting. Very zen :)

Im going to go running now, but Ill be back in a couple of hours. Thanks for your help.

All the best
Martin

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby vinceschubert » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:14 pm

Morning Martin.
I do have a memory or a particular trend of thoughts & emotions that is predictable, which could be classified a "me"
i presume that you mean that it is a label of convenience and not an actual solid thing ? Is that right ?
there can be two ways the experience happens.
Is the first way SEEN to be the acting out of story ? (the projection) and if it is, then is it possible that there is just acting out ? Not an I doing that.
As for the second way, when the watching of the process is happening, is it necessary that there be a separate I doing this, or is it possible that "realising" is just happening ?
If you were to LOOK while either of these ways were happening, could you find a Self doing them ?
Surely any idea of a Self could only be found in thought ?
Can your statement point to more than story ? To a concept ?
Sorry, Im not sure what you mean by this .
When you say "I believe there is more to me than my thoughts.", is there anything tangible, anything other than thoughts, to indicate this, or is it just another (good) story ?
and realised there is no interpreter or interpreted, only interpreting.
These are the epiphanies that do a radical re-wiring of the brain (my story)
As there is only interpreting, there is only seeing, hearing, experiencing. Right ?
Does ANYTHING exist outside of experiencing ? (for Martin) ..or put it another way, if there were no experiencing happening in the organism with the label Mark, what would be left of Martin ?


love

vince

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby MLEG » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:28 am

Good morning Vince,
Ive had a good look at your reply, and answered as best I can at the moment !
i presume that you mean that it is a label of convenience and not an actual solid thing ? Is that right ?
Yes, I can call "me" a label of convenience. Thoughts & emotions are not tangible objects, but my arm is, my legs are and they are inextribaly linked to the brain inside my skull where the thoughts and emotions arise. So the identity transfers across. . "my" + legs = "my" legs.
Is the first way SEEN to be the acting out of story ? (the projection) and if it is, then is it possible that there is just acting out ? Not an I doing that.
If we are doing anything other than experiencing the present moment, then it is all acting, acting out a story/ projection, a fantasy of what we "think" is, but ignorant of what is actually happening - is it happening TO me though ? If I say TO me, it still implies that there is a "self":, or an "I". . so I'm stuck for the right word. .
As for the second way, when the watching of the process is happening, is it necessary that there be a separate I doing this, or is it possible that "realising" is just happening ?
After much typing, deleting and re-tying, I see what your getting at. Yes, realising is happening, it is a process / experience in itself, and happening more and more since discovering LU :)

If you were to LOOK while either of these ways were happening, could you find a Self doing them ?
Surely any idea of a Self could only be found in thought ?
No, there is no tangible self, if i dissected my brain I couldn't pull out the bit that was in charge of everything.
Yes, true. Thought involves a fictitious "I" character. Like a post match analysis, we create I's and You's, he's and she's. Experiencing is watching the game Live. no analysis or talk, just watching. Is feels like the experience is real time, the thoughts, emotions, the "I" has a lag to it.
When you say "I believe there is more to me than my thoughts.", is there anything tangible, anything other than thoughts, to indicate this, or is it just another (good) story ?
Yes, there is an awareness, a sense experiencing the unfolding of events around me. but this is limited to my field of view, to the range of my hearing. to sensory input. the awareness is not itself tangible though.
As there is only interpreting, there is only seeing, hearing, experiencing. Right ?
Does ANYTHING exist outside of experiencing ? (for Martin) ..or put it another way, if there were no experiencing happening in the organism with the label Mark, what would be left of Martin ?
Yes, things can exist outside of experiencing. The tree outside my house exists, even though I am not seeing it right now.
Shape and form exist, but the thoughts / emotions about them don't. they are imaginary. and language is the means through which we transfer these thoughts. there is the experiencing and then the communication of that experience.
If mark stops experiencing, Martin would cease to experience Mark.

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby vinceschubert » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:45 pm

Ive had a good look at your reply, and answered as best I can at the moment !
thank you, that is what i expect as a normal.
So the identity transfers across. . "my" + legs = "my" legs.
Is this the result of a thought process ?
Is it actually experienced ?
Do this exercise; Sit and make a mental list of the things that are happening to Martin. e.g.. I am sitting. I am seeing etc. As you (mentally) say each one, really get a feel of the happening of it.
Now, when the list feels a bit finished, start again and this time drop the "I am.." part. So you just think "Sitting, Seeing, etc." Again really get a feel for the happening.
Now, which one felt more accurate ? What was your experiencing ?
is it happening TO me though ? If I say TO me, it still implies that there is a "self":, or an "I". . so I'm stuck for the right word. .
You are right. It "implies". A trick of language. Is there a subject and object, or is there just the happening ? (go to your answer about "realising".)
Is feels like the experience is real time, the thoughts, emotions, the "I" has a lag to it.
Excellent. You are SEEing how the 'normal' process works.
Yes, there is an awareness, a sense experiencing the unfolding of events around me. but this is limited to my field of view, to the range of my hearing. to sensory input. the awareness is not itself tangible though.
So, again, there is just experiencing. The idea of awareness as a thing is really just thought stuff. Right ?
Yes, things can exist outside of experiencing. The tree outside my house exists, even though I am not seeing it right now.
Does it ? How do you know this ?
It is just an assumption. Right ? (albeit a good and useful one) but nevertheless you can ONLY have thoughts ABOUT it. Right ?
If mark stops experiencing, Martin would cease to experience Mark.
Ha, interesting. That was a typo on my part. Of course it should have read "If Martin stops experiencing.." But just to follow through on that anyway, Where is experiencing of Mark happening for Martin ?

love

vince

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby MLEG » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:36 pm

Hello Vince

I did your exercise & wrote - I am typing, I am looking at the keyboard, I am deciding what to write. So to drop the "I am" - there is typing, looking, deciding.

My experiencing is a blink of an eye moment, the individual experiences are very impermanent, each one coming and going or starting and stopping. What follows are thoughts, the mind interpreting / labelling the experience. But the experiencing seems very dynamic and tricky to keep up with. it's is too easy to get left behind in the labelling.

"Awareness is a thought too" - I had taken awareness to be real, but Im starting to see it as just another label of experiencing. Am i experiencing awareness ? Awareness as a "thing", looking at it very closely, no. it is just another label. But awarenessing maybe, though i don't think that labels exists in dictionary

so what to do with these labels ? just let them be, not to follow them etc. but that requires a conscious choice - which turns is also a thought…..

I see your point about things not existing outside of experiencing. it is all assumption that the tree is there.

Where is experiencing of Mark happening for Martin ? - if Mark is in front of me, then i am experiencing him by sight, sound, touch, smell etc. If he isn't, then I am just making assumptions on Marks existence.

So, to re-cap - There can 2 ways to see the world.
1) the world based on an assumption of a self, an "I" who is the governing body, a controller, person in charge
2) the world based on direct experiencing - no controller, no one in charge. Just things happening

When seeing the world with a "self' , there are thoughts which link the past, present & future, I did X yesterday, so now I am doing Y, and tomorrow I will do Z. It seems very deterministic.

When seeing things in terms of experiencing, there is only now - the experiencing. No control, just events unfolding. This seems very fatalistic though, which sits uncomfortably with me. It also raises an element of fear. A fear of how do I prevent making wrong decisions etc ?

How are decisions made, if there is no "I" ?

For example, I am trying to stop smoking. If there is no controller, what determines whether I smoke or not ? The whole process seems laden with "I"'s, I don't want to smoke, I do want to smoke. I asked myself where is the "I" that wants to smoke, and couldn't find one, there is just wanting. Im quite stuck on how this becomes an experience where i have a cigarette in my hand.

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby vinceschubert » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:29 am

G'day Martin.
it's is too easy to get left behind in the labelling.
Yes, that labelling is very quick (and the emotional response to it is also).
What i was asking was for a report of the difference in the 'flavor' of Experiencing between those with the personal pronoun (i me mine my etc) attached and those without. Would you do it again and notice the difference please ?
But awarenessing maybe, though i don't think that labels exists in dictionary
Absolutely. Awarenessing is a perfect description. There are no words in the dictionary to talk about much of what we are going to, so feel free to invent new ones. i do.
..and yes, awareness is an abstract noun. A thing that doesn't exist as a thing. Just as there are no such things as Universities. That describes a bunch of buildings (unless it is an online uni) and some people (lecturers, students, admins, professors etc) and an intention to teach/learn.
The problem, when it comes to relating to what is real, is that many abstract nouns have been seen as concrete nouns, simply because language seduces us into this point of view by frequency and convenience.
Another abstract noun is I or Me or Self.
Can you see how this works ?
so what to do with these labels ?
Simply be aware that they are labels. They are the finger and not the moon.
So, to re-cap - There can 2 ways to see the world.
1) the world based on an assumption of a self, an "I" who is the governing body, a controller, person in charge
2) the world based on direct experiencing - no controller, no one in charge. Just things happening
Perfect. The first way is via story. The second way is responding to what is Real.
Now if we recognize the first way when it is happening, can it be dropped ?
In fact can Martin continue to treat a story as Real once it is SEEn that it is only thought fluff ?
It seems very deterministic.
The key word here is "seems". That will pass.
What we are intending to do here is to SEE the way 'things' actually work in the world.
So consider this; However you see the world, it works the way it does. How you see it, doesn't change that. Does it ?
So if there is no choice, for you to suddenly realize it, doesn't change the fact that there never was any choice. The fact that you lived with the delusion that Martin was in control actually means that everything that needed to happen, did happen anyway without actual control
This seems very fatalistic though, which sits uncomfortably with me. It also raises an element of fear. A fear of how do I prevent making wrong decisions etc ?
Can you SEE the story associated with "fatalistic" ? "deterministic" ?
i can describe "Surrender" as giving up, or i can describe it as a Welcome Acceptance.
How are decisions made, if there is no "I" ?
Ok, this is a big one. Decisions and choices are dependent on conditions being present. LOOK for yourself. To do something as simple as move your left index finger, it requires the conditions that make it possible. This not only needs all of the physical conditions, but it requires intent (not necessarily conscious) but it also required absolutely everything that has ever existed in the evolution of Martin to be exactly the way it was. Then it is realized that everything that was involved in everything that had an influence on Martins evolution was also necessary to be the way it was. ..and so on.

So for the moment, let's just accept that choices and decisions just happen. They emerge from the huge bag i call "The Great Mystery". This is where EVERYTHING emerges from. It's a way of not having to explain (create a story)
If there is no controller, what determines whether I smoke or not ?
Dependent Conditions.
there is just wanting.
..and there is also just wanting not to.
Many of the conditions involved have to do with the stories both in the background and conscious ones.

Will the (organisms) preference to be healthy be bigger than the preference to have a short term fix ?

love

vince

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby MLEG » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:02 pm

Hello Vince,

Im travelling today and tomorrow, on the way home from work. There was a lot in your last posting. So if you don't mind I'll continue thinking about what you said while I travel and reply more thoroughly when I get home.

Some very interesting points you raised though - 1 in particular struck a chord in relation to viewing the world based on direct experience - you said it is a way of responding to what is real - responding. it seems to fit in very nicely just after experiencing and just before labelling.

Im also looking at the difference in "flavour" between experiencing and projecting reality - another huge one. Im taking these ideas with me while Im travelling, sots to be pondering on.

Ill be in touch tomorrow when I get home.

Martin

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby MLEG » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:03 pm

Hello Vince,
Ive been reading your post on my travels and have had quite a few in the moment experiences. I'm seeing a bit of a pattern through your postings now.

They seem to be aimed at rolling things back to a finer and finer moment of experiencing. the 'flavour' of experiencing felt like a sum of all the senses - i could almost see each instant of reality rolling forward with each second, or each split second. to dwell in that instantaneous moment, there are no labels, no I or me. it is difficult to write about it without the trappings of language. the further i get away from labelling (e.g. I, me, & also useful labels like awareness and experiencing) the more NOW comes into view.

You mentioned seeing the world based on direct experiencing is a way of responding to what is real. Responding seems to fit the picture very well. It doesn't have the same elements of control as before, but it still has a link to NOW. Responding to reality as it unfolds :)

The stories of the "I" & "me" world can be dropped. Ive learnt through meditation to have better awareness of these stories - and when I realise them, they can be dropped by looking directly at them. An great quote I remember from a Rigpa course is "Just as space is not defined by the objects that move through it, neither is Awareness defined by thoughts and emotions". I find this to be very profound, and helps to not see myself as my thoughts and emotions.
When stories arise, it is too easy to follow one story with another, including awareness - but that too is a thought which needs to be dropped. But apparently you cannot have a mind with out thoughts. Awarenessing feels like a "higher" mind state - more distance from the stories. The awareness-ing / experiencing is before thought. I really need to be sharp to stay with it. But your point about seeing the flavour of experiencing helps with this. The stories loose their potency once they are looked at directly, and by doing this it gives that energy to awareness-ing. (also learnt from my Rigpa courses)

What we are intending to do here is to SEE the way 'things' actually work in the world.
So consider this; However you see the world, it works the way it does. How you see it, doesn't change that. Does it ?
For it to be true it requires giving up a notion of "Self" and "control". my view on the world does not give me control over the way things happen. I might have thought I had "control" before, but this was a falsity which only lead to more problems when my control didn't work. So again, this feels like its going back to the point at the start - rolling everything back to that instantaneous moment of experiencing. to be in that milli-second of the present, where reality is morphing out of nothing - I'm rambling now (!)

Fatalistic or deterministic - again all labelling. nothing to do with here and NOW

Im going to take onboard your idea of the Big Bag of Mystery - and hopefully come back to dependant conditions another time. theres enough going on in my head at the moment ! I like a Zen quote which I read on the forum that said "Spring come, Grass grows" - things just happen in the world.

Thanks for your view on not there being the choice of not wanting to smoke - and also whether my organism would prefer not to smoke. Ive taken this onboard, and have also given up the "I" want to stop - the element of control (or lack of) that I felt & that was so frustrating when "control" was lost. And your right - if I drop this view, and let my body decide almost - the urge is very different. I think my body prefers to be healthy :)

All the best
Martin

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby vinceschubert » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:58 am

Martin, i read your post a couple of hours ago and felt joy rise. i usually do this to allow responses to 'ferment' before answering. So i come back to read it again before responding and this time tears of joy flowed.
It is clear there that a shift has happened. What do you feel ?
(lovely, beautiful expression)
i like your ramblings, and eagerly await your next response to Dependent Conditions..
i get the intent of the Zen saying "Spring come, Grass grows", but would amend it to say something like ; "NOW is Springing, Grassing IS."

love

vince

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby MLEG » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:58 pm

Hello Vince,
Thank you for your lovely post. It does seem that a shift has taken place. At the risk of getting distracted in labels, feeling more grounded. less anxious to control the world around me (which seems to have manifested in a lesser desire to be tidying up around the house :)

Happier with what is occurring, more accepting of what is happening. Better listening, better seeing. Less "I" think, so therefore it should be….. More going with the flow.

It feels great to relinquish the illusion of control- bringing to mind a fictitious yacht which i'll own one day, and sailing it on auto-helm :) - and hoping this view isn't impermanent. Time will tell I suppose.

Dependant Conditions - I haven't been giving it a lot of thought to be honest. Ive spent most of the day playing with my daughter (1 ½) - and just enjoying that milli-second where reality is occurring - and experiencing it with my daughter as well - no labels developed in her wee head yet.

"Decisions and choices are dependent on conditions being present. LOOK for yourself. "
Yes, the circumstances or frameworks need to be present in order for a decision to happen or to make a choice.

"To do something as simple as move your left index finger, it requires the conditions that make it possible. This not only needs all of the physical conditions, but it requires intent (not necessarily conscious) but it also required absolutely everything that has ever existed in the evolution of Martin to be exactly the way it was. "

To do something, it is dependant on conditions;
Physical conditions - Ok
Intent (both conscious & sub-conscious) - Ok

"it also required absolutely everything that has ever existed in the evolution of Martin to be exactly the way it was"

So, "absolutely everything that has ever existed in the evolution of Martin" = the totality of my experiences ?
This totality may not be as "I" see it - does the TOTALITY of my existence mean the REALITY of my existence ?- not memories or projections of the past ? I would imagine there can be quite a difference between the two !

"Then it is realised that everything that was involved in everything that had an influence on Martins evolution was also necessary to be the way it was. ..and so on."

Nope, getting lost on the last part of that sentence . "Martin" all the influences that has brought me to this moment were & are as they should be. I can understand it, it but don't see it. Ill work on it over night.
All the best
Martin

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Re: Help through the Gate

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:41 pm

- does the TOTALITY of my existence mean the REALITY of my existence ?- not memories or projections of the past ? I would imagine there can be quite a difference between the two !

Everything that constitutes experiencing.


Stay with that last part - it is a portal to One-ness.

Love

Vince


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