Guide Request

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awasin
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Guide Request

Postby awasin » Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:17 pm

Imagine if the belief in a self is as false as the belief in Santa Claus.

I remember when I stopped believing in the jolly old elf, and how good that felt. I was really disappointed that Xmas: Tommy Insalaco had gotten a new bike from Santa - a red Schwinn Bantam with red training wheels - and all I'd gotten was a box of pancake mix, and I had to share that with my sisters! I complained to my older sister that I may have been a bad boy, but no worse than Tommmy, not much worse, and how unfair Santa was. My sister said that the bike didn't come from Santa, Tommy's dad had bought it, and the pancake mix came from our mom, and that there was no Santa, idiot.

I felt so much better. The anger and confusion and disappointment evaporated. And the pancakes tasted pretty good too, you know, for a mix.

I confirm I've read all the rules, and undertake to abide by them, should a guide accept this mission.

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moondog
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Re: Guide Request

Postby moondog » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:07 pm

Hi and welcome,

What should I call you? My name's Pete and I live in Somerset in the UK.

There are a few things that we need to go over so that I know the best way for us to continue.

Please tell me a bit about yourself and your story, how you came to LU and what it is that you're looking for.

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:50 pm

Hi Pete

Thank you for replying.

You may call me David, although I'll answer to anything you like, even pejoratives.

My story is a common one. Many years of seeking, prompted by dissatisfaction with what passes for my life, spiritual enthusiasms embraced and abandoned, disenchantment with teachers and gurus, lots of striving with less than nothing to show for it. I learned about LU from reading a post in the comments section on a blog for unhappy grad students (I'm not a grad student, but share some of their misfortunes).

I've pretty much despaired of "self improvement" or even change, so the idea that the self doesn't exist is a beguiling one to which I'm very open.

I'm hoping, by being here, to achieve a lasting shift in focus; to be able to see things as they are, rather than just intellectually grasp yet another idea that I'll eventually forget about.

I live in the Canadian Rockies, and am seven hours behind you.

Thanks again.

Cheers.
David

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moondog
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Re: Guide Request

Postby moondog » Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:00 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for letting me know a bit about yourself. There's a fair slice of time difference between us, but I've worked with that plenty of times before and it's been fine, so there should be no problem.

There are also a few standard ground rules before we start:

You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say that you're still around, and I'll do the same. Sometimes it might just not be possible for one of us to post substantively and of course we'd find a way to work round that.

I am not your teacher, all I can do is point and you look, until clear seeing happens.

In general, I will ask questions and you look deeply and respond with 100% honesty.

Responses require simple, uncontrived, honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.

Responses are best from direct experience (the physical evidence of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, prior to the story or explanation about them). Long-winded, analytical and philosophical or stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Just listen very closely to the answers that arise in you, and answer to the very best of your ability at that time. (Read the article at http://liberationunleashed.com/articles ... xperience/ for more help on distinguishing what is direct experience.)

Put aside all other teachings, philosophies etc. for the duration of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention into seeing this reality, as it is. (If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it's ok to continue with that. And it's fine to read threads in this forum and the Gateless Gatecrashers book.)

Please learn to use the quote function, see http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660 for instructions.

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info at http://www.liberationunleashed.com/, together with our disclaimer and a short video.

Please confirm that you have seen these, that you agree to the disclaimer, and that you'd like me to be your guide and then we'll begin.

Let's start with a summary of what you're looking for and what you expect to find. I know you've already answered some of these, but please forgive any overlap and just fill in the gaps where you haven't, and we'll get started.

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?


Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

1) You can press 'subscribe to this topic' in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive a notification email every time I post here.

2) The site has a nasty habit of logging you out while you write a reply, which can mean you lose what you have written. One way to avoid this is to write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

Don't worry, I don't intend to send any more posts this long, if I can help it! This is just to set things up for you nicely.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Pete
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:43 am

1. What are your expectations for this process?

2. What is it that you are searching for?

3. How will you know that you found it?

4. How will this feel?

5. How will this change you?

1. My expectations for this process are that it will be a conversation, with the goal of having me see that I have no self, or unique I driving my life.

2. I am searching for the truth.

3. I will know I've found it because I will see it, rather than accept it, or agree with it.

4. I don't know how it will feel.

5. I'm hoping that it will be a permanent shift in focus, away from the fiction of my imaginary self and its fears and intrigues, and onto the experience of life in the moment.

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moondog
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Re: Guide Request

Postby moondog » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:39 pm

Hi David,
My expectations for this process are that it will be a conversation, with the goal of having me see that I have no self, or unique I driving my life.
I am searching for the truth. I will know I've found it because I will see it, rather than accept it, or agree with it.
I don't know how it will feel. I'm hoping that it will be a permanent shift in focus, away from the fiction of my imaginary self and its fears and intrigues, and onto the experience of life in the moment.
Thanks for sharing your expectations above, and your understanding of what seeing that you have no separate self might and might not be like. It's certainly good that your expectations are quite simple and straightforward. It's natural, of course, to wonder and speculate about what this liberation/awakening will be like but, by its very nature, I can assure you that it's just not like anyone expects, although it does differ for each one of us. I'd just stress that the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's very helpful if you can put aside any expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and so are not within direct experience.

Rest assured, that when you see that there isn't and never has been a 'you', a self-entity, with my guiding to help you see that fact for yourself, you'll just know. In exactly the same way that you know that unicorns aren't real, Batman doesn't exist, and there's no Santa Claus. It isn't fundamentally at all difficult, amazingly simple in fact, but only if you don't rely on trying to figure it out by thinking it through but, instead, just LOOK, LOOK, LOOK in direct experience.

So, as I've already said, actually seeing for sure that there is no separate self, and never has been, is different for everyone. It can come with a definite pop of realisation, or it might creep up gradually until it is seen. Also the effects on life lived after liberation can vary widely.

It’s worth mentioning at this early stage that what can hold a lot of people back, and something that we can perhaps knock on the head now, are assumptions around what one would 'be like' or what life ought to 'look like' once it’s seen that there’s no self-entity. There is a view that 'getting it' is tantamount to kind of somehow seeing it all the time, or being in some kind of state in which negative emotions or problems don’t arise.

It's really helpful to be clear that it's not any kind of state - it's simply direct knowing, insight. The Santa example puts it very well - 'seeing through' Santa, i.e. knowing for sure that there is no Santa, doesn't mean that little kids then spend the rest of their lives constantly thinking, 'there's no Santa'! Nor does it mean that Santa isn't apparently spotted in shopping malls in December. It's just that the story has been seen through. The direct knowing of no-self may be recollected at any time, but states still continue to come and go - pleasant, unpleasant, 'positive', 'negative'. However, that said, changes will be noticed, some possibly quite dramatic, including in relation to suffering arising from a pre-occupation with a separate self that simply doesn't exist!

I hope that's helped to clarify the background stuff a bit. Don't hesitate to ask me about any of this.

Moving on towards the core of this work - just look at the following statement, and ponder it every which way you can:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?


And next:

There is no self at all, no manager, no controller, no doer, thinker, watcher, none as in zero. All there is is life flowing freely, as one movement of totality, that includes all.

What thoughts, sensations, feelings come up? If there is fear, what feels threatened?


Love, Pete

Ps. Please confirm that you accept all the various conditions, agree to the disclaimer, blah, blah, blah, etc.
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:39 pm

Ps. Please confirm that you accept all the various conditions, agree to the disclaimer, blah, blah, blah, etc.
I confirm that I have read and accept all of the conditions, have read and agree to the disclaimer, wish you to be my guide, and undertake to abide by all conditions, rules, and terms of this site.

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:45 pm

Moving on towards the core of this work - just look at the following statement, and ponder it every which way you can:

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?


And next:

There is no self at all, no manager, no controller, no doer, thinker, watcher, none as in zero. All there is is life flowing freely, as one movement of totality, that includes all.

What thoughts, sensations, feelings come up? If there is fear, what feels threatened?


Nothing exists outside the present moment.

This leads directly to the conclusion that there is no self or manager etc., as they could only exist in the present at the same time as whatever else was in the moment, and therefore couldn't be controlling it, but rather would be manifesting at the same time.

Many thoughts arise from this. If there is no self, then the nature of the experiencer of life must be the same in everyone. The same experiencer is experiencing both sides of this conversation, for example, and also sitting on the end of the sofa, licking its paws.

The selves that believe themselves to be real at the time they manifest are characters with stories, and arguably less real, if reality could be relative, than what we call fictional characters, who are better and more widely known, typically, and have more developed story arcs.

Individuals - and perhaps cats - may have more than one self which can manifest at any given time and assert its reality. In what are called well-developed personalities these selves will work in harmony, at the other end of the continuum these selves may not even be aware of one another. None are real, their assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. All are just characters with stories. There is no "higher self" which controls everything, there is only the experiencer referred to above. When a self is asserted there is less awareness of the experiencer, and the converse is also true. Simple awareness that the self is only a character and not real is sufficient to bring the experiencer to the foreground of experience. Note that this awareness exists in the experiencer. The self can have no awareness as there is no self.

The feelings attendant to the realization that the self is a fiction and the attendant presence of the experiencer are calmness, peace, harmony, compassion and love. With the full realization that the self does not exist, fear cannot exist, and there is nothing to be threatened





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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:57 pm

Adding to the above, and noting that the quote ought to have ended after the boldfaced questions, a self is more likely to manifest when stress is experienced, with the strength of the manifestation correlated to the strength of the stressor.

This is because the self is a construct of both DNA and upbringing, as an adaptation to environment. This does not imply a controller or planner, but rather is an unfolding of life. A flower opens in the sun, and closes in the rain.

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:53 pm

It may add clarity to change the term "self" as used above, to "false self."

There is no "self." There is a "false self" or "false selves" which manifest in the present moment spontaneously, and contemporaneously, with bodily functions, body movement, perceptions, thoughts, and so on.

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:05 pm

The false self may assert that it must have awareness of the experiencer, as it appears that it is the awareness of its own unreality - or at least its awareness of the existence of the experiencer - that prompted its own withdrawal and the subsequent emergence of the experiencer, but, although this illusion is a compelling one to the false self, it is only an illusion, as the false self cannot exist except in the present moment and therefore cannot cause anything to happen contemporaneous to its own manifestation. Things happen, and then a story is told rationalizing why.

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:19 pm

Free will vs. determinism. The false self has unfettered false free will. It can seem to make whatever choice it pleases, but, as it has no existence, and manifests contemporaneously with whatever else is happening - an Archduke is assassinated plunging the world into war at the cost of millions of lives, some mold is observed in a petri dish and penicillin saves millions of lives - it is merely an attendant manifestation to the unfolding of life.

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:55 pm

Hey Pete

I don't want you to spend any effort responding; I totally get it, and just went on a bit.

I also get why people bother to become guides, you know, if there is no self, and it's a lot of effort.

I've realized for a long time now that the same life force resides in all of us (although I was caught up in the illusion of self), and for me one of the ways that realization manifested was in saving things from a very broad and fast river in which I like to swim: everything from insects to mammals. It was sometimes a lot of effort, when the bee or whatever was in the middle of the river, and I had to worry about whether I'd be stung or bitten, and sometimes really easy, as in just reaching down.

But it didn't matter to the creature caught in the current. The result was exactly the same.

So thanks very much!

And much love,

David

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moondog
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Re: Guide Request

Postby moondog » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:21 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for all your comments and observations around the questions that I asked you to ponder David. You've obviously gone into all of this in depth and have a really good intellectual understanding of self and other and non-duality. Impressive.
The self can have no awareness as there is no self.
In reference to the separate self, I like that.
This is because the self is a construct of both DNA and upbringing, as an adaptation to environment
But, if there is no (separate) self, how can it be a construct of DNA and conditioning?
It may add clarity to change the term "self" as used above, to "false self."
There is no "self." There is a "false self" or "false selves" which manifest in the present moment spontaneously, and contemporaneously, with bodily functions, body movement, perceptions, thoughts, and so on.
if there's no self, what's a 'false self'? As we go through this process of looking for a self-entity, I'll point you to look in all areas of direct experience. If you find no separate self anywhere in 'your' experience, that's it. Just like you absolutely know there's no Santa, you'll know there's no separate self. And no 'false self'. Do you see?
I've realized for a long time now that the same life force resides in all of us (although I was caught up in the illusion of self), and for me one of the ways that realization manifested was in saving things from a very broad and fast river in which I like to swim: everything from insects to mammals. It was sometimes a lot of effort, when the bee or whatever was in the middle of the river, and I had to worry about whether I'd be stung or bitten, and sometimes really easy, as in just reaching down. But it didn't matter to the creature caught in the current. The result was exactly the same.
I'm glad. That's good.

The work we'll do here won't involve further thinking about whether there's a separate self to be found. If awakening from the illusion of a separate self could be attained that way, many more people would have seen through the illusion by now, but thinking it through just doesn't do it. Here, as I've just said, I'll simply point you to look in direct experience. Essentially, and utterly fundamentally, all there is, and can ever be, is here right now in this moment. So looking to see whether a separate and separating self is to be found can only take place within direct experience of this. Now. There's nothing else. It follows therefore that all of our work to realise and actually know that there is no self is done by investigating In direct experience. To this end, we can divide direct experience into thought, sensations (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling [tactile and kinaesthetic] and an unmistakable sense of Aliveness (presence/being). I referred to the useful article on direct experience in the introductory post, and you might want to have another look at that.

As I keep saying, the whole of this investigation centres around looking in direct experience to see if a self-entity can be found anywhere there. This is accompanied by seeing that it is in thoughts and only in thoughts that 'I' ever 'occurs' and that 'I' doesn't actually occur there either because thoughts, or at least their contents, are neither reliable nor real in any sense.

I like to maintain a specific skeleton structure to this process of looking, which then allows us to explore much more loosely within each and every area within experience where a separate self might be found. So anyway, let's start at last investigating in direct experience where a self-entity might be by looking at sense arisings and the self as experiencer:

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.


Pete x
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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awasin
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Re: Guide Request

Postby awasin » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:24 pm

Hi Pete

When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?

If there is an 'I', where are the boundaries between what is being seen, the seeing process itself and the seer?

Please do the same with hearing: birdsong, music, a pneumatic drill or whatever; and similarly with each of: tasting, tactile feelings and smelling.

When I look at something, really look at it, I can't find any I that is looking or seeing. All there is is seeing.

I tried this with the other senses as well - the garden was full of songbirds yesterday - and it was the same with all of them. No I just hearing or smelling or whatever.


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