Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

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Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby Jimbo » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:07 pm

I’ve been on this spiritual path for a long, long time. I feel I’m ready to take the next step.

Thanks much
Jim

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby vinceschubert » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:51 am

Gidday Jim, ok let's go, 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, which i want you not only to attempt to answer them for me, but to 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.
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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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby Jimbo » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:41 am

Vince, thanks for taking me on. I've read some of your threads and got a good feeling from them.

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.
Yes to ALL of that.

Maybe a little background is helpful. I practiced Zen pretty sporadically for many years. I always had the idea that if I could just get into a regular, daily practice then I could wake up. But family and work and lack of discipline got in the way. Anyway, about four years ago I was in a used book store and found a copy of an Adyashanti book. This led to a lot of looking into non dualism on the internet, and so on. So I've consumed tons of podcasts, videos, books on these subjects. But I don't think this will present a problem for this inquiry. I think I'm well aware of the limitations of concepts and ideas in describing reality. And I'm really drawn to the direct pointing, look directly at experience approach. I spend a lot of time lately looking into my own experience, have somewhat let go of some pesky self-concepts and stories.

Expectations...Well, I don't expect fireworks, the bottom falling out of the bucket. I do expect a recognizable shift in my perspective, a sense that something has changed. I expect I will be more in the world, less stuck inside my head. Life will in some sense be better - easier, less anxiety about situations and people, more joyful, more loving. Freer.

Maybe this is enough for this post?

Thanks again,
Jim

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby vinceschubert » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:45 pm

'Morning Jim, Well it looks like you have done most of the work already. A problem with 'pop' spirituality is that it fosters totally unrealistic expectations, and it looks like you have taken that coat off too.
I do expect a recognizable shift in my perspective
This is a pretty good way to put it. Like looking through a telescope that is pointed to what casts the shadow rather than the shadow itself.
If we remove the cover of the telescope and just retain the lenses in the same position will it still work. In this analogy the "I" and "my" are the cover of the telescope.
It's a language thing. We won't stop using those terms (no advaita cops here), but we will be aware, every time that we use them, that the personal pronouns point to a concept and not an actual self.
We could search indefinitely for an actual Self and never find it, but still that may leave a lingering doubt that it may be still hidden somewhere. i prefer to focus on the self that does exist. The concept. The story that has been mistakenly taken as true.
There are useful bits to this story and there are those bits that lead to suffering.
To seek it to suffer. Does this resonate for you ?
he limitations of concepts and ideas in describing reality.
What is "reality" ?
How do you know what is real ?

love

vince

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby Jimbo » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:42 am

Vince,

Life happens! Let me reply tomorrow. I just spent more than an hour composing a message and didn't realize I would be automatically logged off because I'd taken too much time. Lost everything I wrote. Live and learn.

It's late here and I've got to go to work in the morn. So tomorrow I'll start anew.

Jim

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby vinceschubert » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:56 am

No worries Jim.
There is a tick box that says "keep me logged in" (somewhere).
Others compose in another prog and copy/paste, but i don't. If i lose it (which happens only occasionally) i take it as an opportunity to look at it afresh. i don't try and reproduce what was lost.

love

vince

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby Jimbo » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:42 am

Hey Vince,

Let's try again.

Let me go back to something I said.
I do expect a recognizable shift in my perspective
I've read a number of threads at LU, and sometimes it will get to the point where the guide declares that the seeker has gone thru the gate. As for me, I can't see that anything has happened. I suppose the guide sees something I don't know to look for. I like to think that when I get to that it will be clear that something is different.
but we will be aware, every time that we use them, that the personal pronouns point to a concept and not an actual self.
Yes, I'm with you. Sometimes I think that using I and my is a bit like the way we use the word gravity - you can never see it or touch it, it's hard to say it even exists, but it's very useful for talking about a lot of stuff.
We could search indefinitely for an actual Self and never find it, but still that may leave a lingering doubt that it may be still hidden somewhere. i prefer to focus on the self that does exist.
I don't totally follow you here. Can you explain a little more? What's the difference between the two approaches?
The concept. The story that has been mistakenly taken as true.
There are useful bits to this story and there are those bits that lead to suffering.
To seek it to suffer. Does this resonate for you ?
Yes. I've been looking at a lot of my stories, self concepts. They're very often only partly true, often they're completely off the mark. They drive a lot of behaviors, trigger habitual patterns, there's a lot of cause and effect between them and emotions. And you cling to them so tightly that they have to be protected. This all leads to suffering.
What is "reality" ?
How do you know what is real
Ill comment on this in next post.

Jim

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby vinceschubert » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:53 pm

I suppose the guide sees something I don't know to look for. I like to think that when I get to that it will be clear that something is different.
Yes, there are signs and sometimes they are not recognized as significant by some. i would like to thing that it is clear that a shift has happened. Some hold out for the bliss bomb as an indicator, but that happens to few and when it does, just like any experience, it is impermanent.
I don't totally follow you here. Can you explain a little more? What's the difference between the two approaches?
They can't really be separated. It's just that if you see how the illusion is created then that in itself is useful. If self was always a story then certain chapters can be rewritten. (for example, i rewrote the chapter that said vince was 'self' conscious and embarrassed when speaking to a large audience.)
Yes. I've been looking at a lot of my stories, self concepts. They're very often only partly true, often they're completely off the mark. They drive a lot of behaviors, trigger habitual patterns, there's a lot of cause and effect between them and emotions. And you cling to them so tightly that they have to be protected. This all leads to suffering.
Excellent. Well noticed. It is the recognition that these have/are/about to happen, that rewires the brain.
Whenever that Recognition dawns on you, celebrate it with a laugh.
That laugh can be anything from an inward chuckle to a full bellied guffaw. Whatever it is, the important thing is that you feel your stomach contract.
This has the effect of flooding your system with oxytocin (anti-stress hormones) and will instantly change your mood. It has the added effect of aborting the completion satisfaction of the old way of being which encourages the atrophy of the old synaptic connections that made up that neuronal pathway. Further it establishes new connections and pathways and so soon these are the automatic responses.
It doesn't matter when the Recognition occurs. Celebrate it !
Have a look at this video for an explanation of how it works; https://www.dropbox.com/s/mskv8uxmnmf2f ... _Being.mp4
vinceschubert wrote: What is "reality" ?
How do you know what is real

Ill comment on this in next post.
ok.

love

vince

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby Jimbo » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:02 pm

Vince,

There's a lot in your post for me to ponder. Here are some comments.
It is the recognition that these have/are/about to happen, that rewires the brain.
Whenever that Recognition dawns on you, celebrate it with a laugh...
It doesn't matter when the Recognition occurs. Celebrate it !
I need to try this laughing approach. Sometimes even though I’m aware that I have some reactive pattern, it will be triggered by some occurrence, I’ll be aware it’s being triggered, I can see the stories that run through my head, I’m aware of the extent that they’re only partially true or not true at all – still the emotional reaction is very present, very real, and fueling all of this turmoil. On a head level I know what’s going on, but on a body level I’m totally reacting. There’s a self there that’s offended/ threatened by the whole situation. Maybe laughing at what’s going on can interrupt the process and replace that self with … well, something else.
Have a look at this video for an explanation of how it works; https://www.dropbox.com/s/mskv8uxmnmf2f ... _Being.mp4
This is a good video. The three brains doing different functions – I suspect this is somehow correlated with the concept that you can be awakened at the level of mind, the heart or at the gut. Is the transformation process he's describing similar to what's happening here at LU?

His (JD's) example of the man who reads the book about unconditional love - I can imagine someone reading the book, taking it to heart, developing a whole concept of himself as a supremely compassionate person, maybe having this be reinforced by others, but still not being able to see the contradiction between this self concept and his dislike for his mother-in-law. He's only added another layer to his ego. What is it that makes the man in JD's example see this contradiction and then take the next step and change his attitude/behavior to the mother-in-law?

More later,
Jim

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:44 pm

Maybe laughing at what’s going on can interrupt the process
Absolutely it does this. Yes, Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells we have working for us, and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
There is a frustration of the 'completion satisfaction' which really plays havoc with the neuronal pathways that the old conditioning used.
Is the transformation process he's describing similar to what's happening here
It's a story of a biological (neurological) explanation of how the 'shift' happens.
What is it that makes the man in JD's example see this contradiction and then take the next step and change his attitude/behavior to the mother-in-law?
Ha, The SEEing of the contradiction is enough to change the way the brain processed. There was no step taken, and 'he' didn't do a change of attitude. The new attitude was exposed when the old one couldn't be continued because of the new recognition of the existence of the contradiction. (before it was denied and not seen)
Jim, do you have control to enact change ?
In your experience how often have you successfully changed a habit or predilection ?

love

vince

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby Jimbo » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:11 pm

Vince,
Jim, do you have control to enact change ?
In your experience how often have you successfully changed a habit or predilection ?
Change does happen, has happened. Big changes in behavior happen over a long period of time, it evolves. It’s not usually the result of a simple, single decision (“I’m going to lose 20 lbs. over the next 2 months”). Even if I “make that decision”, experience tells me that a lot of factors have to come together to make it start happening and to succeed. Almost as if the universe decides to move in that direction.

Four years ago I discovered I was borderline (pre)diabetic. I didn’t see letting my health deteriorate as an option, and I did not want to go the route of taking medication for it. So I changed decades of eating and exercise habits to the point where for several years now I stay in the borderline region; the condition never progressed into full, out-of-control diabetes. I’ve been pretty successful. The problem is maintaining this state. It takes a lot of conscious effort to eat foods that are good for me rather than those that are appealing, it’s easy to backslide. But these new habits do tend to take on momentum and get easier with time.

I could say that “I” made the decision, made the changes. But you could also say that the diagnosis just pushed me over the hump to change; I had always intended to eat more healthy and had made attempts before, though with only partial success.

“Control” seems to imply that just a decision is needed, a single action, like flipping a switch. But even on a small scale it’s hard to find me controlling things. If I look at all the little actions I’m doing all day long, I find that almost none of them are tagged with “I’m deciding/controlling that”. Most of them I’m not even aware are happening. If I do that experiment where you are told to lift your arm (or not), I see that I can’t find the point in time where I made the decision to lift it. It just happens and I have no control over precisely when.

Still, when I'm in the thick of daily life, not when I'm being reflective, it usually feels like I’m making the decisions, in control of things.

Jim

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:27 pm

Four years ago I discovered I was borderline (pre)diabetic. I didn’t see letting my health deteriorate as an option, and I did not want to go the route of taking medication for it. So I changed decades of eating and exercise habits to the point where for several years now I stay in the borderline region;
Ah, excellent example.
Was the discovery of the elevated sugar levels one of the conditions that was involved in the change ?
Was the knowledge that a change in diet would ameliorate the situation another condition ?
Were the conditions that enabled the change in diet, the ability to choose different foods etc, also part of it ?
i know convention and language makes saying "I changed ...", but was there a choice ? Certainly it may seem so, and the mind is happy to take credit for it, but look back and consider that it could not have been any other way.

As an aside, this happened here too. i went on a regime of keeping calories below 600 for 2 days a week, but it didn't bring it down (although it kept my weight under control and had other benefits) so i went on a 3 day water fast and that instantly brought it down to 'normal'. The 2 day calorie restriction kept it down. (when i stopped that it went back up again, so now it is part of this life-ing)
Still, when I'm in the thick of daily life, not when I'm being reflective, it usually feels like I’m making the decisions, in control of things.
Yes, of course it does, and this is useful. So, "feels like" doesn't mean that it is literal. Just as the useful 'feels like there is a self in there running the show', doesn't mean that it is actually happening.
Have a look at this video, paying particular attention to the bit where the SENSE of self is shifted to outside and behind the body. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Biv_8xjj8E

love

vince

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby Jimbo » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:21 pm

Vince,
Was the discovery of the elevated sugar levels one of the conditions that was involved in the change ? Was the knowledge that a change in diet would ameliorate the situation another condition ? Were the conditions that enabled the change in diet, the ability to choose different foods etc, also part of it ?
Yes all of these were conditions.
was there a choice ? Certainly it may seem so, and the mind is happy to take credit for it, but look back and consider that it could not have been any other way.
Not so much a choice as everything moving in that direction. Everything lined up to make it happen.

As an aside, this happened here too. i went on a regime of keeping calories below 600 for 2 days a week, but it didn't bring it down (although it kept my weight under control and had other benefits) so i went on a 3 day water fast and that instantly brought it down to 'normal'. The 2 day calorie restriction kept it down. (when i stopped that it went back up again, so now it is part of this life-ing)

I hope you’re well?

Yes, of course it does, and this is useful. So, "feels like" doesn't mean that it is literal. Just as the useful 'feels like there is a self in there running the show', doesn't mean that it is actually happening.
Have a look at this video, paying particular attention to the bit where the SENSE of self is shifted to outside and behind the body. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Biv_8xjj8E
I’ve seen this video before, but this time I paid closer attention and picked up a lot of details I hadn’t before. But when I reflect on it, there’s not a lot in the video I don’t already accept. At least intellectually. I wonder what it takes for this more enlightened view of control, cause and effect, etc. to become one’s default way of relating to the world, rather than just something that occurs to you when you stop and think about it?

Speaking if sense of self , please allow me to rant a little about something I’ve been stewing over for a while. I’ve often heard advaita teachers talk about “sense of self” but never been quite sure what they were refering to. There’s a lot of talk about looking into your experience and not being able to find a self anywhere. But I find that when I look into my experience I see the usual sights, sound, thoughts, feelings, etc., but I also find some “thing” that I common sensically think of as my self. It is located inside my body, in my head or chest. It’s where I believe my thoughts emanate from or in which they echo, it’s the thing that sees, hears objects. Looking more directly at it I find its not really a thing, so much as a collection of things – a group of bodily sensations (feelings in my face, eyes, facial expressions, upper body, feelings from embarassment and other emotions) and vague images (maybe a picture of myself, of my face, how I think others see me, showing what my mood is, or maybe a view inside my head) and other sensations that can’t easily be classified or described. They’re not constant – they change, some are more prominent at one time, others at another. The locations within my body shift somewhat. This, to me, is what my sense of self is.

Upon closer look I find that all these self sensations seem to be qualitatively no different from the others in my expereince - the image of myself that that I believe the world sees is not different from an image in a daydream, the bodily feelings are not different from feelings in other parts of my body. So all these sensations are just another group of objects in my experience. Another complex object of (internal) perception. They just have some sort of elevated status in my view of the world. The portion of my experience I’ve sectioned off and designated as me.

Of course, these self sensations can’t be the thing that is seeing or hearing. Sensations can’t percieve other sensations. Also, how can sensations decide, control anything?
I find that if I focus on something, say a sound, these self sensations go away momentarily then come back. It seems that my attention switches back and forth between the sound itself and this internal me. (Maybe I’m catching my brain in the act of creting a sense of self?) Like it’s a more comfortable/habitual place for my attention to rest. Almost as if it’s unberable to sustain attention on the external object for too long.

Care to comment?

Jim

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby vinceschubert » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:46 pm

'Morning Jim.
I hope you’re well?
Yes, thanks.
I wonder what it takes for this more enlightened view of control, cause and effect, etc. to become one’s default way of relating to the world,
Practice. The mental reaction is a function of the organism, just as the other body functions. Brain re-wiring happens with repetition. Remember to laugh with the recognition of the old ways happening.
talk about “sense of self” but never been quite sure what they were referring to. There’s a lot of talk about looking into your experience and not being able to find a self anywhere.
It's valuable to distinguish between a SENSE of self and an actual SELF here.
It was the SENSE of self that the researcher manipulated in the video.
But I find that when I look into my experience I see the usual sights, sound, thoughts, feelings, etc.,
Yes, these are what contribute to that SENSE of self. ..and this is useful and convenient. Problem with most people is that they take it as an actual Self. This is identification which leads to suffering.
Almost as if it’s unberable to sustain attention on the external object for too long.
Yes. Story here is that we are habituated to constantly reinforcing an identity. An ok-ness about our (illusion of) Self.
A time will come when you will crack up laughing at catching intense emotion defending that.
Jim, what is your take on choice, decisions, control currently ?

love

vince

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Re: Requesting vinceschubert as a guide

Postby Jimbo » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:55 pm

Vince,
Jim, what is your take on choice, decisions, control currently ?
Currently…I don’t feel this sense of I that I talked about corresponds to anything of substance. It’s a process running in my brain, my body, the world; that all these sensations, thought, etc. are the observable evidence of the process going on unseen. (Or maybe the result of the process.)

On the other hand, throughout the day I appear to be making choices, making decisions – I’ll answer this email now, if I express the reply like this then I’ll likely convey this meaning or get this response; it would be better to eat an apple than a candy bar, I know it’s more nutritious, it will curb my hunger more effectively, it will be easier to keep my total calories for the day lower – and so on, again and again. I suspect that these choices are dictated by conditioned patterns. Patterns that have evolved and gotten more effective – as I learn that some foods are more healthy, that answering an email skillfully will avoid misunderstanindings later, that some actions are more effective for good results this info goes into tweeking the patterns. The result is I make better “choices” than I used to.

I think that all this conscious (and often just happening in the background) chatter – conversations with self, judgements, observations, decisions, just floats on the surface of the bigger me – the processes going on within my body and brain doing their thing and reacting to their environment – they’re partly caused by all of this activitiy, they can also be seen as a reflection of this activity. The content of this chatter is only reliable to some extent. Like the experiment in the BBC video where the decision to use the left hand has been made unseen and the conscious “choice” to use the left appears 6 sec later; the notion that Marcus decided at that point to use the left hand is just wrong.

But… It still seems like choosing is going on – not a choice by a separate me – maybe an orientation toward some outcome – an alignment of the various aspects of my life: habits, patterns, actions, motives, thought patterns, relationships, energies.

I don’t agree with a separate self controlling things, making decisions. In fact, my experience keeps suggesting this isn’t so – I often catch myself doing things on autopilot and get a sense that I am just a bystander watching this happen. Still, I’m not comfortable with determinism – it is too simple, too materialistic – the world is more complex, interrelated than that. I guess I’m not sold on absolutely NO control or choice going on.

-- Jim


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