Knock, knock

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eizen
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Knock, knock

Postby eizen » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:34 pm

Hello, a friend / teacher told me about this site, I believe based on my interest in Buddhism combined with my belief that there is no such thing as free will.

Much of what I have read, both on the site and the book, resonates strongly with me. When I examine my experience I find thoughts, feelings and senses. I can also detect awareness / consciousness.

Recently I have been defining the self as awareness, but I'm no longer think this is correct. The label self seems to be a convenient way of pointing to a collection of things associated with the organism that is experiencing them.

However I can't find any separate self or anything that can be considered to manage or control things, even amongst the constituent parts that could be used to define self. The mind might be a candidate manager, but it is completely dependent on conditions (i.e. no free will), which rules it out.

So no separate self or manager can be found.

So this is where I am. Feedback and guidance would be really appreciated.

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JonathanR
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby JonathanR » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:15 pm

Hello Eizen,

I may be willing to assist, or guide, though we need to establish a few things first to see what is appropriate.

What you have written about 'no longer thinking that defining the self as 'self awareness' is correct' is interesting. What changed your view?

Do you have expectations of Liberation Unleashed? If so Please state what these might be?

JonathanR

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eizen
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby eizen » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:59 pm

Thanks for your response Jonathan.

The self as awareness was partly a learnt thing. Think it might have come from E. Tolle. It started with not really knowing what the self is, but thinking it must have some stability to it. Everything else is in a constant state of flux, nothing to hang on to. Awareness or presence seems to under pin thoughts, sense perceptions and feelings, although it seems it can still be present when all else drops away. The thing is this can all be true without associating it with self.

The difficulty is you have to have some grasp of what Self means before you can look for it. I could ask you to try and find a Grothrix within yourself and you wouldn't find one because you don't know what it means.

Reading the site and book it seems that the definition of the Self needs to include it being a separate entity and to be in control via free will. With this definition Self won't be found.

OK, so maybe the reason for the change of heart is some confusion and vague unease that the definition of self may change according to the point that is being made.

I think I'm getting too hung up on the word here, because I do have some understanding of your use of it.

With regards to expectations, I am expecting a beneficial shift in perspective, i.e. the mind seeing things differently.

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JonathanR
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby JonathanR » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:39 pm

Thanks for your reply eizen, (is it OK for me to call you that?) and for explaining your thoughts a little more.. Perhaps we can take this further?

You wrote:
I could ask you to try and find a Grothrix within yourself and you wouldn't find one because you don't know what it means.
Had you thought that it might not be possible to find anything within your 'self', Grothrix or otherwise?

OK, so maybe the reason for the change of heart is some confusion and vague unease that the definition of self may change according to the point that is being made.
I understand. What makes you think that it is possible to 'define self'?


The whole focus of our discussion here will be aimed at bring about the realisation that there is no separate self, nor was there, nor will there ever be. 'I' or 'me' is just a thought,. It's important not to expect anything in particular to 'happen' though changes are possible.

Think of our conversation as a 'chat' or a discussion, as between friends if you like, rather than any sort of test or judgement. Do not feel that any of your answers will be judged as 'right' or 'wrong.

Before continuing any further, here are a few guidelines which will assist us both.

1. Please post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Answer from direct personal experience only. Answer from what you believe is true, rather than replying with what you have been told by non-duality teachers or what you have studied. We are here to address your beliefs, not ideas that may have been instilled by others - Not that there is anything at all wrong with that - I just want to be clear what we are looking at here.
4. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
(Scroll down the page)

If you need to you can use the QUOTE function like I have done above to quote part of your repliesy- It may make it easier to read through the dialogue.
A guide for this function can be found here: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

When writing a long post in the text editor, it might be a good idea to periodically copy and paste your text into notepad or another text editor on your computer, as it is not uncommon to be logged off automatically and lose all your text. Alternatively, at least copy your replies into clipboard memory every so often.

Jonathan :)

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eizen
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby eizen » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:46 pm

Thanks for your reply eizen, (is it OK for me to call you that?)
My real name is John, eizen is just a user name. I'd prefer John.
Had you thought that it might not be possible to find anything within your 'self', Grothrix or otherwise?
Yes I can envisage a definition of self that I would not be able to find and hence not be able to find anything within it. If I had to define the use of the word self in the context that I used the word yourself, I would say it meant a conscious organism. In my sentence I meant the conscious organism called Jonathan.
What makes you think that it is possible to 'define self'?
Hmm, given my poor attempt above I'm not sure I can, but words like 'I' and 'self' are so common in everyday speech and often they are only used to identify a person. When I used the word 'yourself' I could have said Jonathan instead, but that is not a very natural way of speaking. It seems that I and Self can be used in a very casual and straight forward ways as well as in deeper ways?

I'm happy with the guidelines. Thanks for helping me with this.

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JonathanR
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby JonathanR » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:05 pm

Thanks for your reply John, happy to help.
Hmm, given my poor attempt above I'm not sure I can, but words like 'I' and 'self' are so common in everyday speech and often they are only used to identify a person. When I used the word 'yourself' I could have said Jonathan instead, but that is not a very natural way of speaking. It seems that I and Self can be used in a very casual and straight forward ways as well as in deeper ways?
Agreed. So, in the spirit of moving away from unreliable labels and definitions I want you to try some simple exercises in looking at direct experience of life as it presents its self this very moment.

Sit quietly in a chair somewhere. Close your eyes and just listen. Do you notice some sounds? Perhaps there is the sound of breathing? Perhaps sounds further away? Right here and now, can you find an 'I' anywhere in experience? Is it possible to locate 'me' at any place within this sensation? Try this, a few times and see if it's possible to find an 'I' that is 'doing hearing'?

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eizen
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby eizen » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:24 pm

I noticed the muffled sound of the tv downstairs, cars outside, breathing, a little tinnitus. I can't locate a separate me. I had other experiences when listening, such as feeling the breath when I heard it and thoughts arose that used the word 'I'. That's fine, I have no control over the words used on 'Radio John' (broadcasting direct from my mind).

I've liberally mixed a casual use of me / I with a deeper use, I hope you can make sense of it.

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JonathanR
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby JonathanR » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:11 pm

Good John,

The breath you also felt. Look at it again directly by repeating the experiment. Is there a 'noticer' of that sensation or simply the sensation? You may like to try this with other senses, Eyes, for example. With your eyes open is there a 'watcher' doing 'looking'?


Jonathan.

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eizen
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby eizen » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:58 am

Morning Jonathan.

There is no separate noticer and no separate watcher. However the only seeing that is real for me is that which I experience, that which use John's eyes and is processed by John's brain. Your seeing is just a concept that I can relate to based on my experience.

I must admit I still feel the occasional urge to stick the 'self' label on awareness / consciousness. I hesitate to do this because seeing, feeling etc. seem to incorporate this (does a camera see?). But I do sometimes experience pure awareness, which seems separate from any specific experience.

Having said all that I am noticing a shift based on greater confidence, internalising the fact that there is no separate self controlling things. There is experience, but consciousness is just along for the ride. This makes things feel odd.

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JonathanR
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby JonathanR » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:36 pm

Hi John
There is no separate noticer and no separate watcher. However the only seeing that is real for me is that which I experience, that which use John's eyes and is processed by John's brain.

Agreed, the SENSATION is real , but if, as you confirm, there is no seperate watcher during this looking, where is 'I' whilst this is happening? Where is 'John'?

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eizen
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby eizen » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:02 pm

John is the experience. John doesn't experience, he is it. So whilst looking, John is mainly the seeing. When thinking John is thought. Hmm that's not quite right, because thought implies some control. Maybe when thinking, John is hearing is closer? Certainly the experience of thought is like listening or reading.


John must be the experience because that is all I can find.

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JonathanR
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby JonathanR » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:25 pm

John is the experience. John doesn't experience, he is it.

Look again. Sitting down, perhaps there is feeling, pressure as the body rests against the chair? Examine that sensation,.Focus on it. Now, within that sensation, where can any 'self' be located? This is fun to do. Is there 'one who looks at the computer screen' or, simply, looking at the computer screen? Making a cup.of tea,.is there a 'maker of a cup.of tea' or just making tea? Please don't worry about thoughts just now. We will come to consider those a little later. For now just look to see if you can really find a 'self' anywhere in immediate sensaton. Can you?

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eizen
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby eizen » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:53 am

Morning Jonathan.

No self can be found in feeling the chair.

No one can be found looking into the computer screen.

No maker can be found when making a cup of tea.

This looking is hard because it isn't just looking, it's looking with a purpose - to try and detect self. Which means thoughts are on the side line waiting to kick in.

Self is a concept, it needs thought to survive. It is like a football team or the weather. We can directly experience wind, but is there weather in wind?

So self is useful as a concept, a label for an aggregate of experiences. No separate self exists outside of experience. Therefore self has no control, how can it when it is just the flow of experience.

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JonathanR
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby JonathanR » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:28 pm

Hi John,
No self can be found in feeling the chair.

No one can be found looking into the computer screen.

No maker can be found when making a cup of tea.
,

Good.

This looking is hard because it isn't just looking, it's looking with a purpose - to try and detect self. Which means thoughts are on the side line waiting to kick in.
Yes, thoughts are always appearing, aren't they, even though no self can be found. Up they pop, there they go. Do 'I' create 'my' thoughts or, are there just thoughts, appearing and disappearing?

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eizen
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Re: Knock, knock

Postby eizen » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:57 pm

There are thoughts appearing and disappearing.

There is inter-connection. So reading your words triggers thought, leading to a response, but this isn't being directed, it's more like snooker balls bouncing off each other. This isn't directly experienced though. It happens over time and therefore has to be conceptualised.


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