This last push...

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Edmar
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This last push...

Postby Edmar » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:41 pm

Hi,

My name is Edmar and until three years ago I vividly believed in being a separate individual, arguing that 'anything else would be a waiver of your own responsibilities'.

Then I met my wife and out of courtesy I started to go to Satsang with her. I asked the teacher about responsibilities and he replied: 'when you realize that we are one, responsibilities transform from being out of duty to being out of love, like how a mother would take her daughter to weekly violin lessons. This resonated.

After that I started to adopt various new believes, each one putting less emphasis on 'me'. First came sexual Tantra with devotional practice by Alex Vartman. Then I started reading about Tantric Buddhism and lately I am practicing Dzogchen. This summer I have been to a retreat with Jackson Peterson and now I go on a weekly basis to Satsang, however this time it is more to join in silence rather than finding answers.

Currently I am intellectually convinced that there is no 'me'. There is human experience through this body and mind and there are 'me thoughts'. Stories about 'me' or 'they' are slowing down and this body is becoming more open.

But still... I live life from this epic center, called 'me'. Ambitions and goals are considered 'mine' and I still feel hurt and pleasure, albeit to a lesser extent and it is more quickly seen. But mostly there is this lingering thought that 'this is not it'. There is no absolute confidence that all phenomena, including 'me' are empty.

Also there is this deep longing to surrender to whatever is revealed or dissolved and hence this post....

Thank you very much for your time and effort to read this post.

Kind regards,

Edmar

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Jivanmukta_Nothing
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Re: This last push...

Postby Jivanmukta_Nothing » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:49 pm

Hi Edmar,

Welcome to The Gate Forum. Glad to see you here. If you'll have me, I'd be happy to be your guide and point the way through.

A few ground rules and "contract" to agree to before we begin.

1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Answer from personal experience only.
4. Read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
5. Read the FAQ page to get an idea of what we do here - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/LU_FAQ.html
6. Learn how to use the quote function when responded to messages - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

If you can agree and do this, we can begin.

Regards,

Delson

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Edmar
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Re: This last push...

Postby Edmar » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:41 pm

Dear Delson,

Thank you for responding so quickly. I confirm to adhere to all 6 points of the contract. Looking forward to your guidance.

I am ready.

Regards,

Edmar

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Jivanmukta_Nothing
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Re: This last push...

Postby Jivanmukta_Nothing » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:02 pm


Currently I am intellectually convinced that there is no 'me'. There is human experience through this body and mind and there are 'me thoughts'. Stories about 'me' or 'they' are slowing down and this body is becoming more open.

But still... I live life from this epic center, called 'me'. Ambitions and goals are considered 'mine' and I still feel hurt and pleasure, albeit to a lesser extent and it is more quickly seen. But mostly there is this lingering thought that 'this is not it'. There is no absolute confidence that all phenomena, including 'me' are empty.

Also there is this deep longing to surrender to whatever is revealed or dissolved and hence this post....
Great! Could you please take a look at the statements above and expand on them?

Regards,

Delson

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Edmar
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Re: This last push...

Postby Edmar » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:15 pm

Naturally, let's start with elaborating the first bit:
Currently I am intellectually convinced that there is no 'me'. There is human experience through this body and mind and there are 'me thoughts'. Stories about 'me' or 'they' are slowing down and this body is becoming more open.
Every time I try to locate a sound, taste, touch etc. I end up in my brain. Nothing seems to happen 'out there' or 'to me'. There might be a vibration out there, but it only becomes a sound, taste, touch after being labeled as such by the brain. Once after an intensive tantric retreat, I saw the world completely bright and new. This made me cry with joy. But most of the times there is no freshness sensed, just existing coding.

With respect to thoughts and stories, if I slow stories down, they are nothing but connected thoughts. If I then try to locate the 'thinker', I come up with nothing...

then the second bit:
But still... I live life from this epic center, called 'me'. Ambitions and goals are considered 'mine' and I still feel hurt and pleasure, albeit to a lesser extent and it is more quickly seen. But mostly there is this lingering thought that 'this is not it'. There is no absolute confidence that all phenomena, including 'me' are empty.
I investigate sensations not very often, only during meditation, but I investigate thoughts regularly and as they happen. And I stop believing them rather quickly. Every time someone triggers me, I am annoyed that for a full minute I was still identified with a provocation. This "I" is expecting more than just 'being on to me', it wants full and immediate release of any 'me-thought'. The funny thing is that I realize while writing this, that this same expectation is keeping the me-thought alive.

Then the last bit:
Also there is this deep longing to surrender to whatever is revealed or dissolved and hence this post....
Yes, there is this unchanging part in me, a kind of compassionate wisdom, that is longing to be brought to light. It feels like I can access it in my solar plexus, for that I have to be quiet inside...

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Re: This last push...

Postby Jivanmukta_Nothing » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:28 pm

Edmar,

Great reflections on these statements. Let's continue down the rabbit hole shall we? ;)
But most of the times there is no freshness sensed, just existing coding.
Okay, you speak of existing coding. Is this what the world is or this what you see? If this is what you see, what is it that is "seeing?" and if this is just the world, how do you know it to be the case? Thirdly, this freshness you speak of... who experienced it and why was it experienced?
With respect to thoughts and stories, if I slow stories down, they are nothing but connected thoughts. If I then try to locate the 'thinker', I come up with nothing...
Keep going down this thread of locating the "thinker."

This "I" is expecting more than just 'being on to me', it wants full and immediate release of any 'me-thought'. The funny thing is that I realize while writing this, that this same expectation is keeping the me-thought alive.
If the "I" realizes the "I" expectation and "me-thought" who is it that is doing this? Where is the "I?"
Yes, there is this unchanging part in me, a kind of compassionate wisdom, that is longing to be brought to light. It feels like I can access it in my solar plexus, for that I have to be quiet inside...
Compassionate wisdom. Can you elaborate on this as much as possible? If there is something unchanging, it implies something permanent, yet at the same time, the experience of it seems to bring up an "I" which you've established doesn't exist. Care to explore this further?

Regards,

Delson

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Edmar
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Re: This last push...

Postby Edmar » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:49 am

Morning Delson,


Let's go then down the rabbit hole.
Okay, you speak of existing coding. Is this what the world is or this what you see? If this is what you see, what is it that is "seeing?" and if this is just the world, how do you know it to be the case? Thirdly, this freshness you speak of... who experienced it and why was it experienced?
The existing coding is what is seen, it is not the world. This morning I listened to the sounds of cars outside and when thinking slowed down, the sounds were just there. Sights and sounds appear to take place as some sphere without any owner. Same goes for the freshness I experienced after the retreat, it was of an utmost clarity, however I realize that it was just experience, not experienced by anyone, just less obscured by thoughts...
Keep going down this thread of locating the "thinker."
That was a good one, Delson. I ended up in circles. So when a thought arises and I shift the focus to the Thinker both thinker and thought are not to be found. When attention is put on the 'Focus Shifter', I come up empty handed, so finally I look at who is empty handed, and I am back to square one. Hilarious... I finally understand why Dzogchen teaches that thoughts arise as consciousness and not in consciousness.
If the "I" realizes the "I" expectation and "me-thought" who is it that is doing this? Where is the "I?"
Back to this tango of thought and consciousness. There is no I, there is thoughts and sensations. The Expectation is a thought that implies an Expectator, but when you the thought is seen, there is nothing left, no thought no "I". When the focus is then shifted to the one that notices this emptiness, there is only the thought of a noticer, and round and round it goes, until the music stops...
Compassionate wisdom. Can you elaborate on this as much as possible? If there is something unchanging, it implies something permanent, yet at the same time, the experience of it seems to bring up an "I" which you've established doesn't exist. Care to explore this further?
Yeah, looks like I was holding on to some 'eternal awareness'. Who knows if there is anything unchanging... In any case the container in which all phenomena take place is experienced as unchanging. Like coming home. Every time thinking stops and the focus goes to the solar plexus, there is this sense of knowing and love. This love is not directed at anything, it is just there. Same goes for answers, they seem to come from there as well, hence this knowing...

Thanks again for your time and guidance, the fact that any search for someone ends up at square one instead of an answer. This was an eye opener...


Kind regards,


Edmar

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Re: This last push...

Postby Jivanmukta_Nothing » Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:11 pm

Morning Edmar,

The existing coding is what is seen, it is not the world. This morning I listened to the sounds of cars outside and when thinking slowed down, the sounds were just there. Sights and sounds appear to take place as some sphere without any owner. Same goes for the freshness I experienced after the retreat, it was of an utmost clarity, however I realize that it was just experience, not experienced by anyone, just less obscured by thoughts...
Can you give other examples of such experience in daily life? Bring some more awareness into this "non-experiencing."
When attention is put on the 'Focus Shifter', I come up empty handed, so finally I look at who is empty handed, and I am back to square one. Hilarious... I finally understand why Dzogchen teaches that thoughts arise as consciousness and not in consciousness.
Ah, interesting - so who is empty-handed in this case? And indeed, it is hilarious! :)
When the focus is then shifted to the one that notices this emptiness, there is only the thought of a noticer, and round and round it goes, until the music stops...
You talk about shifting focus, and that there is an act of shifting focus. Is this necessary?
In any case the container in which all phenomena take place is experienced as unchanging. Like coming home. Every time thinking stops and the focus goes to the solar plexus, there is this sense of knowing and love. This love is not directed at anything, it is just there. Same goes for answers, they seem to come from there as well, hence this knowing...
What is this container? If this "knowing" is unchanging, does it need anything such as focusing on the solar plexus for it to be there? In other words, if that sense is unchanging then that denotes an independency on any sort of "I" or doing or thinking if it is unchanging. Please try to explore this as you say the love is not directed anywhere either. If that is the case, then it denotes something beyond an "I" which has been established as non-existent. If all this comes from an "I" doing something, is it at all then ever-changing? To clarify further - is it the "I" that brings this awareness and if so is the awareness permanent?
Thanks again for your time and guidance, the fact that any search for someone ends up at square one instead of an answer. This was an eye opener...
Of course, anytime. If you're willing, we can further continue and clarify... So, what is "square one?"


Regards,

Delson

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Edmar
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Re: This last push...

Postby Edmar » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:23 pm

Hi Delson,


Thanks again, please keep these pointers coming. There still is no absolute confidence, although all alternatives to the inevitable conclusion that there is no 'me' have lost ground.
Can you give other examples of such experience in daily life? Bring some more awareness into this "non-experiencing."
Actually it happens all the time. There is this typing, there is a thought that I am typing, there is the investigation of that thought, nothing found, a smirky smile and the typing continues...

There is pile of things to do, some procrastination with the excuse that these pointers are to be prioritized, then a smile that this is a poor excuse but there neither was any alternative to what actually happened and the following of these pointers continues.
Ah, interesting - so who is empty-handed in this case? And indeed, it is hilarious! :)
This merry go round has no beginning or an end. Shifting the focus from thought to thinker is happening as a thought. Even the idea that there would be something like 'Consciousness' that shifts its attention seems a desperate need to hold on to somebody. So the thought that there would be a 'somebody' is what remains empty handed.

The expectation that this realization would be apocalyptic (Adyashanti/Jed McKenna) or spectacular (Eckart Tolle) seems to be holding 'me' back. Perhaps at some point someone needs to say to confirm that 'this is it'.
You talk about shifting focus, and that there is an act of shifting focus. Is this necessary?
I don't know. Intuitively it feels like 'zooming in' to the identity of Edmar the body and mind helps in daily life, but it gets harder to imagine what this shift would look like. There is undeniably a body and mind as epic center of the senses, but there is no inside or outside, left or right that the focus can shift to. Have to put the answer on the back burner...
What is this container? If this "knowing" is unchanging, does it need anything such as focusing on the solar plexus for it to be there? In other words, if that sense is unchanging then that denotes an independency on any sort of "I" or doing or thinking if it is unchanging. Please try to explore this as you say the love is not directed anywhere either. If that is the case, then it denotes something beyond an "I" which has been established as non-existent. If all this comes from an "I" doing something, is it at all then ever-changing? To clarify further - is it the "I" that brings this awareness and if so is the awareness permanent?
This container is just a concept for language purposes, rather than ontology. The solar plexus is just a concept that helps this mind to quiet down. Feelings of love are sensations, but to a much lesser extent created by the mind. They still don't have any owner. Perhaps these sensations of love are the fabric of life, perhaps not. But there is no one that can tell, is there? What remains is awareness, more stable than thoughts, but there is no one that is aware.

As mentioned, I am appreciating the pushes you give and will appreciate receiving some more. Lastly Square one is the realization that thought is empty (after realizing that the observer, shifter, noticer, me etc. is merely a thought).


Kind regards,


Edmar

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Re: This last push...

Postby Jivanmukta_Nothing » Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:24 pm

Hi Edmar,

Let's dig deeper.
The expectation that this realization would be apocalyptic (Adyashanti/Jed McKenna) or spectacular (Eckart Tolle) seems to be holding 'me' back. Perhaps at some point someone needs to say to confirm that 'this is it'.
Where is the expectation and need for confirmation coming from?
I don't know. Intuitively it feels like 'zooming in' to the identity of Edmar the body and mind helps in daily life, but it gets harder to imagine what this shift would look like. There is undeniably a body and mind as epic center of the senses, but there is no inside or outside, left or right that the focus can shift to. Have to put the answer on the back burner...
Let's explore this - so this shifting itself is done how and why? How is the "I" related to the body and mind and senses?
This container is just a concept for language purposes, rather than ontology. The solar plexus is just a concept that helps this mind to quiet down. Feelings of love are sensations, but to a much lesser extent created by the mind. They still don't have any owner. Perhaps these sensations of love are the fabric of life, perhaps not. But there is no one that can tell, is there? What remains is awareness, more stable than thoughts, but there is no one that is aware.
If all there remains is awareness, how is the shift happening and where do these concepts reside?
As mentioned, I am appreciating the pushes you give and will appreciate receiving some more. Lastly Square one is the realization that thought is empty (after realizing that the observer, shifter, noticer, me etc. is merely a thought).
If these are all thoughts, what remains?

I'd like to explore further the practical aspects of your own life. For example, you talking about the observation of typing. What is happening when you interact with others? What is happening when making decisions?

Regards,

Delson

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Edmar
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Re: This last push...

Postby Edmar » Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:27 pm

Dear Delson,


Day three and views are shifting:
Where is the expectation and need for confirmation coming from?
I have been looking at that yesterday. It is a pretty sour thought and hilarious to watch. So it's a thought, and thus empty.
Let's explore this - so this shifting itself is done how and why? How is the "I" related to the body and mind and senses?
The way it is experienced is as follows: thoughts, feelings and sensations arise and dissolve together with the awareness thereof. Awareness is what witnesses these thoughts, feelings and sensations, but has itself no memory or location and thus cannot be identified, it just is.

A shift from the mind's identification with thoughts, feelings and sensations to stopping this identification is done by means of awareness and a bit of grace. However it is not awareness that is shifting the focus, it doesn't have any powers of its own. The body, mind and senses remain the same, only the believe that they are a separate entity and that there is an owner of this entity has ceased to exist.
If all there remains is awareness, how is the shift happening and where do these concepts reside?
All that remains is a sentient being and the awareness of all the sensory input. This awareness doesn't make any decision or has free will. For some reason the shift has taken place from believing this identity to unobstructed awareness. But to compliment awareness for its role in this would be making awareness into a 'thing'. So, I don't know how the shift is happening. My best guess would be that the mind stops shouting, me, me, me and thus making way for unobstructed awareness.
If these are all thoughts, what remains?

I'd like to explore further the practical aspects of your own life. For example, you talking about the observation of typing. What is happening when you interact with others? What is happening when making decisions?
So what remains are thoughts, sensations and extra-sensory input. What has never changed was the awareness thereof, but it is no longer over-shouted by the thought of a 'me'.

So now what?

There still is this epic center from which most sensory input comes, called Edmar. Edmar is a nice kiddo and very welcome to continue with whatever hppens to him. Edmar feels more joy and lightheartedness and its a pleasure to observe him.

Edmar still feels hurt, pleasure, however less thoughts of a me and the ones that still exist are 'seen' by awareness thereof. This awareness thereof still likes to operate as an "I" and be called Edmar. But now there is the thought of a choice between living as Edmar and being the awareness thereof. This thought is experienced as freedom.

To conclude as Edmar: I am fully engaged in life and allows interaction with everyone like before. Even better, both the Seeker and Teacher persona seems to be gone and I don't take life so seriously.


Looking forward to your thoughts, Delson.

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Re: This last push...

Postby Jivanmukta_Nothing » Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:19 pm

Hi Edmar,

Let's continue -
A shift from the mind's identification with thoughts, feelings and sensations to stopping this identification is done by means of awareness and a bit of grace. However it is not awareness that is shifting the focus, it doesn't have any powers of its own. The body, mind and senses remain the same, only the believe that they are a separate entity and that there is an owner of this entity has ceased to exist.
What is this grace you speak of? Does it arise from an external source or is it within or was it ever there? Also, let's try to simplify things with the above statement.

All that remains is a sentient being and the awareness of all the sensory input. This awareness doesn't make any decision or has free will. For some reason the shift has taken place from believing this identity to unobstructed awareness. But to compliment awareness for its role in this would be making awareness into a 'thing'. So, I don't know how the shift is happening. My best guess would be that the mind stops shouting, me, me, me and thus making way for unobstructed awareness.
Right NOW, where is the experience of Edmar or the sentient being. If Edmar and awareness are separate, where is the experience of that right this moment? Take a clear look at this and see what's happening.
There still is this epic center from which most sensory input comes, called Edmar. Edmar is a nice kiddo and very welcome to continue with whatever hppens to him. Edmar feels more joy and lightheartedness and its a pleasure to observe him.

Edmar still feels hurt, pleasure, however less thoughts of a me and the ones that still exist are 'seen' by awareness thereof. This awareness thereof still likes to operate as an "I" and be called Edmar. But now there is the thought of a choice between living as Edmar and being the awareness thereof. This thought is experienced as freedom.

To conclude as Edmar: I am fully engaged in life and allows interaction with everyone like before. Even better, both the Seeker and Teacher persona seems to be gone and I don't take life so seriously.
How is the experience of such an epic center coming forth? Also, simplify your experiences when discussing interactions or decision making. Try to not intellectualize it and just witness right this moment, right now, and see what's happening.

Regards,

Delson

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Edmar
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Re: This last push...

Postby Edmar » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:36 pm

Dear Delson,

Thanks for your reply.
What is this grace you speak of? Does it arise from an external source or is it within or was it ever there? Also, let's try to simplify things with the above statement
It is a feeling when the mind relaxes and the heart fills up with gratitude and devotion. This manifests in awareness and is not external.
Right NOW, where is the experience of Edmar or the sentient being. If Edmar and awareness are separate, where is the experience of that right this moment? Take a clear look at this and see what's happening.
When the mind quiets to look for the experience of being Edmar, there is just emptiness. When I experience being Edmar, interacting with others or typing on this keyboard, this happens inseparable from awareness.
How is the experience of such an epic center coming forth? Also, simplify your experiences when discussing interactions or decision making. Try to not intellectualize it and just witness right this moment, right now, and see what's happening.
I have written down my experiences a number of times but none of them decisively pinpointed the epic center. But let's give it a go; at this moment there are noises that I locate in the head but the witness of it is both in the head and where the sounds appear to come from. The sights I see from the head, but the witness of these sights is located everywhere in the picture. Thoughts have no epic center, I expected to find them in the back of the head, but they seem to have no location.

When I witness a decision or an interaction, it is the same. I notice when it has happened, but cannot see when it happens. I experimented with observing when the decision to get a cup of coffee would be made, and even tries to induce the decision. But in the meantime I looked at my iPhone, typed a bit and so forth. No conscious decision was being formed.

It is getting tougher to answer your questions Delson. Please keep them coming

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Re: This last push...

Postby Jivanmukta_Nothing » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:36 pm

Hi Edmar,

Glad to see you continue your exploration. Let's keep going :)
It is a feeling when the mind relaxes and the heart fills up with gratitude and devotion. This manifests in awareness and is not external.
Is manifestation then not something that occurs with a cause? If there is a cause, would that suggest impermanence? Please consider this and try to find a root.
When the mind quiets to look for the experience of being Edmar, there is just emptiness. When I experience being Edmar, interacting with others or typing on this keyboard, this happens inseparable from awareness.
If the mind is being quiet, isn't that the action of "Edmar?" If awareness and Edmar is inseparable, is there an inherent duality or something else? In other words, when looking for experience, who is it that's searching, when all there is is emptiness/awareness?
I have written down my experiences a number of times but none of them decisively pinpointed the epic center. But let's give it a go; at this moment there are noises that I locate in the head but the witness of it is both in the head and where the sounds appear to come from. The sights I see from the head, but the witness of these sights is located everywhere in the picture. Thoughts have no epic center, I expected to find them in the back of the head, but they seem to have no location.
So in this search of a center, what have you found? At this point in time, in this moment, is there an experience of such a center?
When I witness a decision or an interaction, it is the same. I notice when it has happened, but cannot see when it happens. I experimented with observing when the decision to get a cup of coffee would be made, and even tries to induce the decision. But in the meantime I looked at my iPhone, typed a bit and so forth. No conscious decision was being formed.
So in terms of interaction and decisions, what does this suggest if no conscious decision is being formed? In other words, is there a decider, an event or something else? Is it a process or is it something fluid, something, for lack of a better word, "natural?"

Looking forward to your explorations, Edmar.

Regards,

Delson

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Edmar
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Re: This last push...

Postby Edmar » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:28 pm

Is manifestation (of Devotion and Gratitude - E) then not something that occurs with a cause? If there is a cause, would that suggest impermanence? Please consider this and try to find a root.
Devotion, love and gratitude are sensed when the mind slows down. In fact it is sensed every time the mind slows down. In that sense it has always been there and is not produced or done. There is no impermanence, which is quite contrary to my believe that everything is impermanent and inherently empty.

It feels like the awareness of this sensation as well as the existence of love and gratitude are unchanging and always present, but the noticer of this sensation is caused by the mind and is impermanent.
If the mind is being quiet, isn't that the action of "Edmar?" If awareness and Edmar is inseparable, is there an inherent duality or something else? In other words, when looking for experience, who is it that's searching, when all there is is emptiness/awareness?
Yes, quieting the mind is an action of the 'Mind Quieter' (not necessarily identified as Edmar), which is a production of the mind and inherently empty. This action arises in awareness and they are inseparable. Same goes for the 'Searcher', 'Experiencer'... It all happens within awareness/eptiness and doesn't change one bit of the nature of awareness.
So in this search of a center, what have you found? At this point in time, in this moment, is there an experience of such a center?
There is no center, just the experience of a center by the 'Experiencer', all inherently empty. At this moment there is indeed the experience of me typing this reply, but also an 'Observer' of the experience, and so on and so on. So effectively there is no center...
So in terms of interaction and decisions, what does this suggest if no conscious decision is being formed? In other words, is there a decider, an event or something else? Is it a process or is it something fluid, something, for lack of a better word, "natural?"
I can refer to a reply above. Decisions and interactions are not different than other experiences, they just happen naturally.

Thanks again for making 'me' look, deeper, harder.


Kind regards,


Edmar


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