requesting a guide

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fgrimberg
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requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:48 pm

Hello. My parents gave me the name Felix, so that's what I'm going by for now, although I want to change it to JoJo.
Brief bio: When I was about 15 I became severely depressed and stayed that way for the majority of my life. From that point on the only thing I cared about was finding a way out of depression. This led me to various psychologists and a prescription for Zoloft, which I only took for about a year. Needless to say, none of that worked. Eventually one of my psychologists showed me the book "Power of Now" and since then I've been seeking and seeking and seeking.

I probably wouldn't have sought for very long if in I think it was 2009 I had what people call satori. Something happened and I spent three days in absolute ecstasy that is far beyond possible to convey in words, but then it went away. Since then it's happened once or twice or maybe three times but never lasted more than a couple of minutes.

If it weren't for this experience proving to me that peace is in fact a possibility I probably would have killed myself long ago (btw I recognize this is a story in my head), but instead I kept seeking. Nothing really was happening until about a year or two ago when I started discovering things. It was pretty rare at first, but seems to be ever accelerating. For example, I know now from experience that I am life, but don't have a firm grasp on it. It comes to my awareness sometimes and fades again. This is just an example. One thing I've come to realize for my own self (hehe words again) is that I'm supposed to be having whatever experience I'm having at the time, and it is exactly what I need to learn.

Anyways, won't go on and on about this. In short, I'm tired of going back and forth and losing what I had a second ago only to wait until I find it again. I feel like if it's going anywhere, it's going way too slowly. This is why I need a guide. While reading Gateless Gatecrashers (I'm almost halfway through) there was definitely a shift happening, but I can't tell if it's sticking or not because there doesn't seem to be much change in my experiencing of life.

While reading the book I had come to the definite realization that I had made up the self, and I still know it's true, but it doesn't seem to have much of an effect on anything. Change hasn't really happened yet. Although while writing this I feel holier than ever. Anyways, won't make this any longer except to say that I can tell you guys are for real and I was hesitant to have a guide for fear of dependence and putting myself in a trap, but that doesn't seem a possibility because of your teaching style.

Anxiously awaiting a guide, and thank you.
Felix

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fgrimberg
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:42 am

btw I've periodically noticed some things falling off..can't really say what they are. notice a change. nothing in my everyday life has changed, but there is some change which I can't identify or see or put my finger on. but nothing in my immediate awareness has changed. so it seems to me that nothing at all has changed. nothing has gotten any better. still don't see any point in living.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:49 am

one more thing...I don't see that clear sense of "I am" that I keep reading about, and I think that will be my liberation.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:56 am

These are all just thoughts arising on their own...and very negative thoughts at that. Will this ever stop? Or am I just labelling them as negative? I can't tell.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:58 am

I think I'm through the gate. Am I? There's no sense of I am. I think that if people are reading this, some one is bound to respond.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby nonaparry » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Hi Felix,

Can you say more about why you think you're through the gateless gate, and what you expect Liberation will be like? You wrote "nothing has gotten any better." What do you expect to get "better"? What is currently missing? Please be as detailed as possible.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:27 pm

I really have no way to answer your first question except by saying because I am. Immediately after I wrote that last post I had a strange-feeling moment and the thought "I'm through" came to my mind. Like when you're being pulled down into the water thinking you're gonna drown and then suddenly you're free of what was puling you down. It seems to me like something happened which can't un-happen, like being born, but without the drama. Oh, and then maybe a half hour or hour later I noticed I had a feeling that I had been feeling my whole life but never noticed it, like all through the core of my body and in my stomach, and everything I've been doing my whole life was to cover up that feeling. When I saw that I knew that recognizing what was going on meant that feeling couldn't last, right?

I'm not through any gate as I would have imagined it. One couldn't imagine it. All I know is what happened to me, and it's like I read, very pedestrian, very subtle even. And the strangest thing is that I'm not worried that it'll go away, because nothing really spectacular even happened.

I thought liberation would be feeling the way I felt during that first satori forever. Well, it's definitely the same feeling, but nowhere near as intense. It's very very subtle, but if I put my attention on it I can feel it. It seems to me that that feeling is life itself. Nothing really can be said about it. It's indescribable. So I thought liberation would be like the way I feel now except without the unhappiness, which I still feel. But now it's in the foreground, and that feeling is in the background. But I'm not worried, because what's been seen can't be unseen. I do still have a lot of very very unpleasant thoughts that "I'm thinking" pretty much all the time. But I guess it hasn't even been a day yet. Will those thoughts change if my outer circumstances change?

To answer your question as to what I expected to get better, I was hoping I'd be happy. But now circumstances are as they are. But only in the present moment. If there is only this moment, then how come things seemed so desperate when I woke up? I was thinking that I have nowhere to go.

What is currently missing? Currently, nothing. It's the future that's the problem.

I never explained my situation. I've been homeless since February, and at the moment I have exactly 69 cents. After I counted my money last night I knew I'd remember the number. So I've been hanging around Palo Alto, which is a town in the San Francisco Bay Area, because I have a friend here who was letting me store my things with her. I've never begged, and I don't know if I'll be able to. I'm an EMT, but can't find an EMT job, and every other job I get I hate and end up losing. It's especially hard when you have no place to shower and sleep and yada yada yada.

So yesterday after I wrote that last post for some reason I called up my buddy to hang out and went over to his house and smoked some cannabis, something I do very rarely. But I remember thinking that what's been seen can't be unseen so there's really no danger. Then I went to my storage space and packed all my things into two huge suitcases (well only one of them is huge, but it's a lot of stuff) and told my friend I was leaving town. Which I am. I'm planning where I'm going to walk to today. I don't know how I'm going to do it, two giant heavy suitcases and me pulling them along the highways without even enough money for bus fare. But I figure I'll take it one day at a time.

So what's missing? I guess all I can really say is that I'm in a situation and I really really don't want to suffer, but I think suffering is coming. So hoping for things to get better was hoping that my life situation would change, but it hasn't, but I'm taking some sort of action, even though to me it seems like things are just going to get worse and worse and worse and I don't see how anything will ever get any better. Anyways, a lot of this is just rambling.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post Nona. I hope to hear from you again.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:49 pm

forgot to mention one thing - I also knew after I posted my last thread yesterday that nothing would ever be the same.

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nonaparry
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby nonaparry » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:10 am

Dearest Felix,

Thanks so much for your reply!
I noticed I had a feeling that I had been feeling my whole life but never noticed it, like all through the core of my body and in my stomach, and everything I've been doing my whole life was to cover up that feeling. When I saw that I knew that recognizing what was going on meant that feeling couldn't last, right?
Feelings don't last; they are simply States of being. States change; we feel one way, and then we feel another. We can think of States as mind-weather: sometimes cloudy, other times beautiful.
I thought liberation would be feeling the way I felt during that first satori forever. Well, it's definitely the same feeling, but nowhere near as intense.
Seeing through the illusion is not feeling a certain way, however pleasant and peaceful. It is experiencing a fact: you are not, and do not have, a separate self.
I was hoping I'd be happy. But now circumstances are as they are. But only in the present moment. If there is only this moment, then how come things seemed so desperate when I woke up? I was thinking that I have nowhere to go.
...It's the future that's the problem.
So how do you answer that? If there is only This Moment NOW, what exactly makes things seem desperate? How can a future be a problem if this is true? I'm asking you to dig deep and answer with complete honesty.
I remember thinking that what's been seen can't be unseen
What's been SEEN, or observed, cannot be unseen. But what is thought or felt will most certainly change — change is the essence of thought and feeling. "This, too, shall pass."
hoping for things to get better was hoping that my life situation would change, but it hasn't ... it seems like things are just going to get worse and worse and worse and I don't see how anything will ever get any better.
One thing I can promise: seeing through the illusion of self does not change circumstances. If you imagine awakening, or liberation, will make circumstances better, you are bound to be disappointed.

In reply to your post, I asked,
Can you say more about why you think you're through the gateless gate
And you replied,
I really have no way to answer your first question except by saying because I am.
I am not disputing your assessment, and from your post I am not seeing it. Can you please describe for us the events leading up to your passing through the gate, what pushed you over, and what is different for you now? What was it that "happened to" you? What is different now from how you experienced Life previously?

with love,
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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fgrimberg
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:28 pm

Thank you Nona. Before I start I just want to thank you for reminding me that change is the essence of thought and feeling. I know I've heard it before, but for some reason it never really hit home until now.

Also, I'm reading your statement "you are not, and do not have, a separate self" and reading it it's like "duh." "I" don't even have to think about it. It's almost as if you were to say "You are not a fish." And I'd be like "Well of course."

At the same time, now as I'm rereading this, the words on the page make it seem like I do have a separate self, but I'm pretty sure it's just semantics. If I were to tell you what I feel it feels like I am a different self. But not in any noticeable way. I think that's the best as I can put it.

To answer your question:

"I am not disputing your assessment, and from your post I am not seeing it. Can you please describe for us the events leading up to your passing through the gate, what pushed you over, and what is different for you now? What was it that "happened to" you? What is different now from how you experienced Life previously?"

I noticed several things are different. Here's the first one. I'll do my best to describe it as accurately as I am able from memory.

I started feeling really bad when I was lying awake trying to get to sleep last night, it felt like I was struggling, a feeling I've become used to. But last night, instead of panic like I've always felt before, I KNEW somehow that, and I'll quote a thought that just kept repeating in my head, "this is all just part of waking up." And I know that it's true because I wouldn't have felt such immense peace otherwise or calmed down. It became beautiful. I was able to allow whatever was happening to happen because I knew that it was "just part of waking up," and the whole thing together was quite beautiful. Somehow I knew it. I use the word "I" a lot in this paragraph because I don't know how I would describe the experience without it. In my mind right now it happened to "me." I'm laughing out loud right now because I don't get it. How could it have happened to me and not me. It's like a catch 22, or rather a complete and utter paradox. To be completely honest I don't understand it one bit.

Ok, so it's just semantics. There is no me, but we can't communicate without it. So what does the me point to in real life? From a subjective perspective nothing. By subjective I mean one's direct experience in the here and now. Seems that when we're talking about past and future we have to use it, to describe a past subjective experience, because experiences happen to different people individually. I feel like I'm always talking in circles and can never express the point. That's just

The events leading up to I'm not really sure, when I was reading Gateless Gatecrashers I recognized the illusion of the self, which is just a semantic convenience used for communication that we unconsciously believe in because we never had an opportunity to question it and take the way we communicate literally, although I'm still not 100% sure of that. Haven't figured it out yet.

So, I think what pushed me over was deciding to go with complete honesty. That's just a guess though. I honestly don't even know how honest I'm being at any given moment. If you were to ask me, I can't tell. Really I can't. I'm not sure. I can tell immediately afterwards though I think, but I'm not absolutely certain of that either. That's the way it seems to happen in my perception.

What I do know is that when I was writing that last post on the first day I committed to going balls out honest as best I could, and after I wrote that post I had the realization that I was through the gate. Could have been lying to me, but I don't think so.

So back to my story, I lay there for a while and appreciated the beauty of it (it being isness I suppose, not the story) and then got up to find some (shhhhh don't tell anybody) cigarette butts. As I was walking around I became certain that I was waking up. Don't know how and there was never a question of it. There was no uncertainty, just as there isn't now. There's doubt, but no uncertainty. I see doubt now. Doubt is saying "is there doubt? I don't know." But obviously that IS doubt.

Anyway, I ended up having a conversation with somebody and I actually listened for the first time in my life. It was a singular experience. I had never fully communicated with anybody before…ever! Or been fully myself. Then I remember remembering? the fact that I had seen, but I don't remember what I saw, but I also remember having a very strong urge to close my eyes mixed with a fear of closing my eyes (metaphorically speaking) and that being nullified by knowing that it would be impossible to unsee.

Situations no longer seem so important, sometimes more like jokes than anything else. I still go through the same thought processes but at the end of each one there is a recognition of something that makes everything else not important. That recognition is sometimes recognizing that whatever I am stressed about is not important. Or sometimes it comes as me looking up and the world is still there, nothing has changed.

As for what pushed me over, I have no idea. From my perspective nothing really spectacular happened except the realization that I was through. Again, it could be self-delusion but so far everything seems to indicate to me that it isn't. If you know and are able and willing to clarify, that would be cool.

I'm frustrated. I wanted to write "Nona thank you so much for guiding me. I've been lost for so long and I've never been able to talk to anybody about this stuff." But then I realized that this is the me, which means I haven't gone through the gate. But then I realized that realizing this is being beyond the gate. How can I be two places at once?:) I am confused. Am I trying to do something that I've already done, or do I think that something has happened which hasn't?

Ok so, you're second question:

I wrote:

I was hoping I'd be happy. But now circumstances are as they are. But only in the present moment. If there is only this moment, then how come things seemed so desperate when I woke up? I was thinking that I have nowhere to go.
...It's the future that's the problem.

You wrote:

"So how do you answer that? If there is only This Moment NOW, what exactly makes things seem desperate? How can a future be a problem if this is true? I'm asking you to dig deep and answer with complete honesty."

It's thoughts. It's not the circumstances. I can tell that the circumstances aren't bad, they're actually wonderful. But I keep getting confused as to what I should do. And then when I think I should do something I feel guilty if I don't, even if there isn't anything I should do.

What makes things seem desperate is the negative perception of things as they are, I think. The future can be a problem is the negative perception of things persists. That's all I can think of.

Ok, so I know this is a huge post, so don't feel rushed or pressured or anything. I get the impression that you wouldn't feel that way anyways, which is why I'm confident in posting it. Thanks so much for your guidance. I really appreciate what you're doing.

Love,
Felix

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:47 pm

I also noticed that if you remove the "I" from a situation it goes from unpleasantness to something quite pleasant, but this seems like a superficial solution. If I wasn't living in time this wouldn't be a problem.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:47 pm

I'm noticing things now. When I go outside the sun feels really pleasant. I used to hate the sun. It's like I'm not confined to tunnel vision anymore...

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:35 pm

All things considered, I don't think I've fully seen through the "I" yet.

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Re: requesting a guide

Postby nonaparry » Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:34 pm

Dearest Felix,
All things considered, I don't think I've fully seen through the "I" yet.
Alright. Let us begin at the beginning then.
Once you have definitely seen through the illusion that you are or have a separate entity "self", what do you expect will happen?
What will change?
How will life be different?
How will you be different?
What have you read or heard about liberation or awakening that has you want it?
Please be completely honest, and detailed in your reply.

Once we have a clear assessment of all your expectations, hopes and desires, I will ask you to perform some exercises that will help you move out of mental understanding and into direct experience.

I ask you to stay focused on what we are doing here. It is best if you leave off reading spiritual stuff or listening to teachers during the period we are working.
I ask you to post every day, even if only to say you can't post that day.
I ask you to be completely honest in your posts; if it isn't absolutely true for you, don't write it.
I'm assuming you have seen the disclaimer on the home page.

Okay, let's get started!

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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fgrimberg
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Re: requesting a guide

Postby fgrimberg » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:43 pm

OK, I'm going to be completely honest and only write what I know for certain. The quote function isn't working for me so I'm just going to quote normally.

"Once you have definitely seen through the illusion that you are or have a separate entity "self", what do you expect will happen?"

I don't think it's possible to find out and I think it's a stupid question.

"What will change?"

I don't think it's possible to know.

"How will life be different?"

No way to find out.

"How will you be different?"

I don't think there's any way to find out.

"What have you read or heard about liberation or awakening that has you want it?"

That it's a state of bliss and the end of suffering.

I'm not trying to be mean at all, that's just exactly what I think and know for certain. I really appreciate your effort in this. To be more accurate I have incredible admiration for you and I think you're the bee's knees, so to speak. I really like and amazed by your togetherness, so to speak.

Felix


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