Hi. I'm looking for a guide

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Lawrence
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Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:52 pm

It says you need to be honest. Honesty is not the problem. It is putting everything down to start with I suppose, without overloading. I never believed in God, Santa or any mythical beast. My parents were both English Jews but only paid lip-service to Judaism and never toughed me to believe in fairy tales. So I came upon meditation etc quite late and though helpful to problems in this life, it's just a like a calming balm; it does not last. I have tried hypnosis route to understanding what makes the body and brain tick, and though it works to a great extent,ultimately even the most generous characters in hypnosis ideology just want to be money-making machines despite their statements to the contrary. I have a partner who has tried suicide, which is why I went down that road to help her but she is now a completely different personality and hypnosis could only help me. So when I went to a Liberation meeting, I read a little on it before-hand and met and talked with Ilona. The ignition in my head turned. In the last week I have read some of the book and listened to most of the quotes more than once. At 64 you know there are no answers, so all I hope for is to no longer search for questions. Can anybody take on this 64 year old dude ?

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biisuto
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby biisuto » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:29 am

Hi,

Congratulations on your courage! I’d be happy to walk with you, Lawrence. You mentioned honesty up front; that’s great. I’d just like to include here the need to just say, “I don’t know,” and prepare to move on when that happens, too. Many see a void at times throughout this process and the temptation is to fill it with speculation, imagination and cognitive deduction because that’s how the mind often works.

If you’ve read around this forum then you understand this relationship: I’m not a teacher and cannot ‘give' you anything. You will be doing all the heavy lifting here and my role is one of overwatch, to remind you to look and keep looking... and maybe asker of strategic questions.

Also, please understand that the conversation requires a kind of momentum, so if possible, please don’t leave week-long gaps between responses, let’s keep it moving at a reasonable pace. If you can’t, or just want a little more space, then just a post or PM to let me know and I’ll do the same.

Please get to know how the forum works (quoting, etc.) and it's a good idea to compose your posts in another local app on your machine, such as Evernote or Word before uploading, as this forum might log you out in the middle of your composition.

I’d like to start us off by clarifying something. I read your introduction, but would ask you to focus your words into a distilled statement of intent.

What are you looking for?

From what are you seeking liberation?

What are your expectations regarding any outcomes of this process?


Welcome and warm regards,
Michael
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:48 am

Hello Michael Thank you for your time and regards. I look forward to this process. To answer the 3 questions you have posed gives the need to add to the story that is attached to me. Before going to a Liberation meeting I was looking at a way to deal pragmatically with a partner who smashed her body and who has given up her mind to a new person, presently living in a psychiatric and may be returning home soon. Every time I see her she is a slightly different person. Maybe we all are different people, from day to day, but it is not so exaggerated. I can only help her by looking to see what makes me work in life itself. Perhaps that is a cope-out answer, but it is the only one I have at the moment. As to the second question, as I started to write, I thought that I did not think I was seeking liberation from anything in particular. I keep playing with the question. I started answering it in the wrong way. I was assuming at first in a way that I needed to actually answer the question, so I put down the nearest I could, that I wanted freedom from the straight-jacket that is life, but it wasn’t really the truth, just the nearest answer. I think there is an answer though. Freedom from my own confused thought processes. Then on a secondary level , freedom from the old human fears death and the loss of that which I believe I am or was . I am untested as to where or what that really means now. At the outcome of the process, I would like to be able to be able, as far as possible, to comprehend the loss of “self”, without losing the humanity that needs to deal with everyday life.
Regards Lawrence

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biisuto
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby biisuto » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:24 pm

Hi Lawrence,


I congratulated your courage because I know this is not an undertaking for the faint of heart. You need to be keenly aware that this can be a radically life-changing gig for participants. While I am an advocate of what we do here, you need to understand that what you are embarking upon here is far more likely to precipitate further instability (at least in the short to medium term), rather than be of assistance in settling things down for you.


So, having read your response, I’m going to suggest we get surgical, Lawrence, to first make sure that this process is really appropriate for you right now before proceeding. Please excuse any abruptness, I don’t mean that at all. I’m just trying to reduce what’s on the table here to its essential elements.

I was looking at a way to deal pragmatically with a partner who…
We need to be crystal clear here: this process will not help you to help your partner at all. It is a journey of precisely one and, given the circumstances you describe, seems far more likely to incinerate the relationship than to offer the kind of benefit of which you might be hoping.

So if, as you claim, you want to be available to that person, you may want to re-consider whether the timing of this is appropriate for you just now.

I’m going to ask you to take a day or two to think about this. Maybe you should finish the Gateless book and read a little more from the forum literature to help you make a more informed decision?

Whatever you decide, I’m here to support you in that.

Warm regards,
Michael
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:35 am

Thanks Michael. I do understand what you are saying. I probably am not explaining my motivation clearly enough. I had never ever considered this would ever be anything but a journey for one. My partner can never be part of the process. Your statement that this process cannot help me deal with the situation I have has confused me. Let me explain. When I was in group discussion with Ilona, I explained I used a second self that stood on a sort of mountain looking down on the situation and I sent myself there, when necessary so I could be emotionally detached. During the break I asked her whether the process would be helpful or hinder me . She said it would help. Later on, I forget how, I became emotional and I tried suppressing my emotions. Ilona asked me why I was frightened of my emotions and at the same time she asked what was behind my emotions that made me afraid to reveal my emotions. On looking I realised there was nothing. At that moment the need for the second person disappeared and it went away. It also threw away my need to go to meditation, which I had been doing. Maybe my processes are not the same as most, but my journey has been pretty wired ( I meant to write weird-but wired looks fine also !) I thank you for your caution but this process is inevitable and cannot be halted . I await your guidance to seek further.
Amities
Lawrence

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biisuto
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby biisuto » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:41 pm

Hi Lawrence,

Better grab a cuppa!
I had never ever considered this would ever be anything but a journey for one. My partner can never be part of the process.
Apologies for not being clear myself: in answer to, “What are you looking for?” your response seemed to indicate that you were looking to (admirably) help your ailing partner, not to see that common assumptions about self are mistaken and that you desire to experience the possible truth of that. I inferred from your response (not that your partner would be part of the process, but) that your intention seems to be to trip through the gateless gate and then double back to somehow “rescue" them.

Not that any of this is my business, but my concern is that you are embarking on this process as panacea to something other than the very specific issue for which (I believe) this community was founded. If that were true then it is my feeling that this may interfere with the process, because it would mean you are approaching it with an agenda. This tends to get in the way because it’s then more of a therapy thing instead of an honest enquiry thing and (to be frank) while I can empathise with the former, the latter is the reason for which I show up here to help.

...But if that’s sorted then let’s bang on, shall we?
Your statement that this process cannot help me deal with the situation I have has confused me.

No need for confusion, Lawrence, but let’s be clear: you don’t “have” a situation, “you" are a situation. But what we are doing here is not about dealing with any situation -not even the one you are.

Instead, we are bypassing all of that, putting on our detective’s cap and launching a search backwards -not into the idea of "past" but to a kind of place, prior to our beliefs and untested assumptions- for that very thing which believes it both has a situation and is somehow living the story of that.

Now let’s return to the original questions:
What are you looking for?
To answer ... gives the need to add to the story that is attached to me

Please subtract the “story" from the “me” and then describe only what remains.
From what are you seeking liberation?
...as I started to write ... I did not think I was seeking liberation from anything in particular. I keep playing with the question. I started answering it in the wrong way. I was assuming at first in a way that I needed to actually answer the question, so I put down the nearest I could, that I wanted freedom from the straight-jacket that is life, but it wasn’t really the truth, just the nearest answer. I think there is an answer though. Freedom from my own confused thought processes. Then on a secondary level , freedom from the old human fears death and the loss of that which I believe I am or was . I am untested as to where or what that really means now.

Thank you for your response. By all means continue to consider it, but let’s park that question here and move on for now.

What are your expectations regarding any outcomes of this process?
At the outcome of the process, I would like to be able, as far as possible, to comprehend the loss of “self”, without losing the humanity that needs to deal with everyday life.

Please consider your beliefs about this “self" and the “I” that would like to be able to comprehend its loss at the outcome of this process.

The intention of this forum is not to help you make a real self disappear (ie., that it be ‘lost') or to trick the mind into somehow seeing through an actual entity, but to facilitate you seeing directly that no such entity exists: there is no self and never was.

Looking back at your expectations in this light then: if it’s true that the self is (and has only ever been) an illusion, then what is there to lose? …And what would experience this “loss”?

I’m going to jump to here: You mentioned that you “used a second self” as a kind of tool to achieve emotional detachment. That’s possibly useful for us here, because it means you are obviously familiar with the idea of projecting a persona. Your description indicates that you understand clearly also that this self-tool you make use of is obviously non-existent. But you are able to nonetheless employ “doublethink” to make it successfully work for the ends to which you put it. Is that correct?

If so, please look very long, very hard and very honestly at this 'secondary false self’ you make use of and compare and contrast it with what you believe to be your ‘primary real self’. It is the unequivocal assertion of this community and the testimony of all who pass through the gateless gate that both of them are false creations. This is not a belief, but the outcome of honest and thorough enquiry.

About one of your ‘selves’ you would obviously agree, without reservation.

So what is it about the other that makes it somehow real? Wherein lies this reality? How does it manifest? What are its real qualities? What is the ‘realness’ about it that makes it in any way different to your admitted imaginary ‘self’?

How do you respond to the thought that, "there is no self and never has been"?
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:54 am

Hello Michael.
I have really puzzled over your first question and keep getting different answers, because each time I read the question I interoperate different ways. When I subtract the “story” from “ me”, the “story” remains-it is still there without “me” But on re-thinking that is subtracting “ me” from the “story”. Then I can only turn the answer the other way and say “me” remains without the “story”
The concept of non-existents of an “I” or a “self” is quite easy for me to accept philosophically and I do, but it battles with my old understandings . As you say I have imagined another personality made him real lived in his body and destroyed him. I loose absolutely nothing in reality. It is just realising that compromising the reality of non-existents cannot happen. There is no difference between the two imagined selves, except that one is imagined by the imagination of the other.
I haven’t completed my answer –I’m falling asleep and need to reflect further before completing my response.
Thank you
Lawrence

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:58 am

I put in a further response this morning and somehow it got lost...I will come back later

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:55 pm

Well Michael . I lost the last part of my response, but it would have changed. If you take the “story” from the “me”, you have no “me”; and as a “story” is just a story , “me” is just a story.
I was able to conjure a second self and live in it. There is little difference between the “real” me and the second “me”, except that I am more aware of the “real” me than the second me. The “real” me pretended to make exist and then destroyed the second “me”. The “real” me is no different except the “real” me does not exist in the first place, so they are both produced from the same function. So both their non-existence are equally irrelevant. They are both stories.

How do I respond to the thought that, "there is no self and never has been"?

Again such a concept is quite startling but also quite beautiful. As a child, I remember lying in bed and trying to get a handle on life and death and try and imagine what happened after death. I remember asking my father about it. He said something like"You will be doing exactly the same things as you were doing when Napoleon was around and you will have the same worries as you had then." It was from that statement I started to see myself in a sort of sky with clouds around me dressed like a Superman type character, but doing nothing. I have always had doubts about "self" in the same way that the universe will come to an end at the end of time which is ambiguous. or there are other universe outside this universe. It is far simpler and more beautiful to realize that life just "lifes ", rather than
something limited by thought.

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:35 am

Going back to the question
Looking back at your expectations in this light then: if it’s true that the self is (and has only ever been) an illusion, then what is there to lose? …And what would experience this “loss”?
There is nothing to lose and there is nothing to experience that "loss". However, as it necessary to be honest though these words are truly meant as I write them and though I accept it logically and intellectually, philosophically, there remains an unresolved concept that as I do not exist there is no "non-existence" for " me" to accept as there is no
"me" to accept that loss. What a wonderful dance of words...then looking at it again everything here has just become another unnecessary layer. There is no loss and does it even matter if there were, because there is nothing to experience that loss? The illusion expressing this is just an illusion. So can an illusion possess fear-only as an illusion. The fear of loss is just an illusion. Thus the illusion may experience loss but as it is an illusion, all it is experiencing is the loss of itself. As" it" always has been an illusion, it had always lost itself, because" it" never "was" itself.

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:10 pm

Hi Michael
I do need some guidance to continue. I await.
Thanks
lawrence

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biisuto
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby biisuto » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:56 pm

Hi Lawrence... end of a busy week here @GMT+8. Must sleep now but will be active over the weekend. You needn't wait for me though. You don't need as much guidance as you might think, so don't go back to sleep on me there.

Regards,
Michael
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:26 am

Hi Michael
I hope you dream/have dreamed well within your dreams. There is a need to actually experience " lifeing" as objectively as I can. I am off to a wedding today...gonna try and concentrate...

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biisuto
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby biisuto » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:21 am

Bravo, Lawrence:
Well Michael ... If you take the “story” from the “me”, you have no “me”; and as a “story” is just a story , “me” is just a story...both their non-existence are equally irrelevant. They are both stories.
You do understand what you are writing here, I know you do... conceptually.

But do you see it? Is it an experience?

Let's push forward, blow off any sentiment and and just smash on through. You know the self doesn’t hold up to reason, but now you have to test this against experience itself…do some proper empirical observation. Reason will help you continue forward, if you let it. Fear and attachment will get in the way of seeing what daylight will reveal is in plain sight to be seen- but only if you look.

Not “think about looking”, or “discuss looking” or dissect the word “look” to try and discover and explain some hidden, heretofore undisclosed and esoteric meaning.

Just look.

I’m going to ask you to look carefully among and between and behind the words and thoughts for your self. Look in and around both body and mind for the thing that ‘owns’ or even ‘is’ body and mind. Look among the objects allegedly belonging to this ‘self’. Where is it? Where is this subject “I", that makes every waking moment reek of ‘me’; that has the gall to demand life structure itself entirely around it... yet hasn’t the decency to even turn up for the show?

What is it that you actually see when you go into deep search mode for that first self that projected the second one? When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail –does it have a shape? A size? A quality?

...While you answer that, I’d like to approach the next bit from quite another angle:
How do I respond to the thought that, "there is no self and never has been”?
I’m going to point out something about your response here, pulling salients together to demonstrate what getting lost in thought looks like:
...such a concept is ... As a child, I remember...try and imagine what happened ... I remember asking ... I started to see myself in a sort of ...the universe will ...the end of time ... other universe outside this universe ... realize that life just "lifes"

Interestingly, you concluded that para with “...rather than something limited by thought.” As if what you were relating was somehow not chock fulla nothing but th-th-thoughts…utter mind fluff…not a single observation from the bleeding edge of your perception, at all. Just memories and speculation about other things- many about which you couldn’t possible know.

My take on this is that there was a gap in the usual thought stream; a moment of clarity when you equated those two selves we discussed and found them both conspicuously fictitious... and then Ego couldn’t move fast enough to wallpaper over it as quickly as it could. “Nothing to see here, move on!”

…What’s your take?
Going back to the question…
...if it’s true that the self is (and has only ever been) an illusion, then what is there to lose? …And what would experience this “loss”?
There is nothing to lose and there is nothing to experience that "loss". However, as it necessary to be honest though these words are truly meant as I write them and though I accept it logically and intellectually, philosophically, there remains an unresolved concept that as I do not exist there is no "non-existence" for " me" to accept as there is no "me" to accept that loss. What a wonderful dance of words...then looking at it again everything here has just become another unnecessary layer. There is no loss and does it even matter if there were, because there is nothing to experience that loss? The illusion expressing this is just an illusion. So can an illusion possess fear-only as an illusion. The fear of loss is just an illusion. Thus the illusion may experience loss but as it is an illusion, all it is experiencing is the loss of itself. As" it" always has been an illusion, it had always lost itself, because" it" never "was" itself.


As many do (good on you!) you’re having a nice play in Ilona's existential sandbox with the words around the idea of no-self. And you’re correct in that, for unless we use the words to draw our conceptual maps and build our launchpads out of the universe of symbols altogether and into the black space of direct experience, then toys is all they will ever be.

Wordy as I am myself, I do get it: that words and ideas are only useful if they actually assist you in achieving escape velocity from their dark gravity… words can paint a hologram of sorts …that alludes to or suggests an underlying reality, but you have to drop the words to actually see what they point to. ... like fingers at the moon. But remember always that they are mere maps and can never be the terrain itself. You have to actually go there. The word “dog” and canine imagery is only useful to you if you have experience of dogs…or are going to. Otherwise it’s just irrelevant data or, at best, candy for the imagination.

The relevance of all this wordiness to our process of enquiry here is this: where is the underlying reference for the word, "self"? To what does it point?

In the end, this isn’t study: it’s a journey. The reason for that is that, (bless Ilona, Elena and the other gorgeous hearts in this forum for helping each other to discover) this is not esoteric flimflammery and word play, it’s the real deal. You’re going somewhere (a place I think I heard somebody once call "radical sanity"), by experientially revealing a core truth about your own existence.

And, as Jed McKenna said, “students don’t make journeys and travellers don’t sit in classrooms."
...There is a need to actually experience " lifeing" as objectively as I can.

Why? Objectivity is both overrated and impossible, as long as you are not God. Why do you “need” or even crave objectivity? How could it possibly improve the quality of “lifeing”…? Life is always and utterly subjective: an uninterrupted stream onto the lens of unpunctuated perception, at the bandwidth of reality - until fucked with by the mind. It’s only the puny ego that tries to choke that off, de-colour and break it down into “me” digestible chunks that only serve to reinforce an artificial division between “me” and “not me”.

...Why would anybody want that?
"Those who danced were thought insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche

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Lawrence
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Re: Hi. I'm looking for a guide

Postby Lawrence » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:40 am

Thank you Michael for the time and consideration in your response. I need time now to stop writing like a "clever" dick and actually look deeper than the words. I am going to print this off as there is much here to consider. I will respond further when I am ready. It may be quick it may be slow but meanwhile many thanks. Regards Lawrence


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