Looking for a guide

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Paulo77
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Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:57 am

Can it be Ilona or Elena? The reason I ask is that I was very impressed when I read Gatecrashers, and I feel it would be easy for me to "surrender" to them, so to say. If they are not available, it's ok, let's do it with somebody else and I will give 100%.

Brief introduction: Thanks to recent reading the awesome non-dual authors (Spira, Weber, Mckenna) I have learned in an accessible way the method of "self-inquiry". I already knew it from of Ramana Maharshi but could never put into practice. Maybe I needed someone to put in more contemporary words. Now I am able to briefly see through the illusion of the self. It has happened several times, actually. However, the dispelling of the illusion does not last. A few hours, maybe? A day? I am not sure. Then I try again and sometimes succeed, but not for long. Soon I go back to being "self-ish".

What I want is for it to last. Drop the illusion of the self for good.

Can you guys help?

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moondog
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:35 pm

Hi Paolo

Thanks for letting me know a bit about yourself and how you've arrived at this point. My name's Pete and I live in Somerset in the UK. Both Ilona and Elena are busy right now but I'd be very happy to guide you through so that you can clearly see for yourself that there is no separate self entity.

Here are a few standard ground rules before we start:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your expectations for this process?

What is it that you are searching for?

How will you know that you found it?

How will this feel?

How will this change you?


Finally, here's a couple of helpful points:

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

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

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

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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

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Paulo77
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:20 pm

Hi Pete

I agree to the disclaimer, saw the video and will be happy to be guided by you. I will put all my readings on hold while we talk. My time zone is GMT+3, no DST, and I will definitely write every day. I am eager to do this.

Since I already wrote a little, let me try fill in the gaps, as you said.
What is it that you are searching for?
Experiencing life without the feeling of having a self. Experiencing things directly, without the judgement, or the narrative, that the self imposes. Being like that all the time, not just having a brief glimpse that goes away.
What are your expectations for this process?
That by talking to someone directly, and that someone addressing me, I can perform the self-inquiry better than by reading or watching videos directed to a generic viewer. In other words, that the way you guys do things work for me. Seemed to work for a lot of other people!
How will you know that you found it?
Self-referential thoughts will stop, or become very rare. That is the litmus test. Stop by themselves, without my having to think, “here comes another, let is pass, like I do in meditation”. It will be efortless once the process is done. They just don’t come, and I experience only experience, as it is, without their mediation.
How will this feel?
Still. No agitation from pointless inner dialogue. Contemplative. I guess I will know when it comes. As I write this I do feel a bit of fear we should perhaps explore.
How will this change you?
I don’t really know!

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Paulo77
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:26 pm

Can I add something?

I see now that I have been doing things backwards. Since I was not able to really personally see through the illusion of the self, I take advantage of the fact that I know about the illusion, and I act accordingly. That has made me more forgiving of myself and others, more understanding, less upset about setbacks, more loving, less guilty about mistakes, and sometimes capable of being more still with my self-referential thoughts.

But this is not awakening. It takes effort, and constant reminding myself of those things. Good thoughts, but still thoughts.

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moondog
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:41 pm

Hi Paulo,
I agree to the disclaimer, saw the video and will be happy to be guided by you. I will put all my readings on hold while we talk. My time zone is GMT+3, no DST, and I will definitely write every day. I am eager to do this.
Great, and thanks for accepting me as your guide and for agreeing to all of that stuff.
What is it that you are searching for?
Experiencing life without the feeling of having a self. Experiencing things directly, without the judgement, or the narrative, that the self imposes. Being like that all the time, not just having a brief glimpse that goes away.
What are your expectations for this process?
That by talking to someone directly, and that someone addressing me, I can perform the self-inquiry better than by reading or watching videos directed to a generic viewer. In other words, that the way you guys do things work for me. Seemed to work for a lot of other people!
Thanks for sharing your expectations, part of which I've quoted above, and your understanding of what seeing that you have no separate self might and might not be like. It's natural, of course, to wonder and speculate about what this liberation/awakening will be like but, by its very nature, I can assure you that it's just not like anyone expects, although it does differ for each one of us. I'd just stress that the work we do is definitely not intellectual or thought-based. That being so, it's very helpful if you can put aside any expectations, as they reside in thoughts about the future and so are not within direct experience. And yes, this really does work; it did for me, and it has for many of the folks that I and the other guides have guided.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing exists outside the present moment.

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


And next:

How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?

Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?


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

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moondog
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:44 pm

Hi again Paulo,
I see now that I have been doing things backwards. Since I was not able to really personally see through the illusion of the self, I take advantage of the fact that I know about the illusion, and I act accordingly. That has made me more forgiving of myself and others, more understanding, less upset about setbacks, more loving, less guilty about mistakes, and sometimes capable of being more still with my self-referential thoughts. But this is not awakening. It takes effort, and constant reminding myself of those things. Good thoughts, but still thoughts.
Yes, as you'll have seen from the frequent references already, this is not about intellectual understanding. If it was, so many more people would have been able to see for themselves and know for a fact that there's no separate self. By pointing you to look in 'your own' experience, you will be able to see for 'yourself' as a fact whether there's any separate self to be found anywhere. Hence the analogy to Santa etc. mentioned in the earlier, main post.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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

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Paulo77
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:30 pm

Ok, Pete, just as you were writing your post I was in deep self-inquiry for the first time. Lying in bed on my stomach, holding my head in my hands, looking deeply with my eyes closed. The simple fact that you were talking to me served as a powerful stimulus, even though we didn't talk much so far.

What I mean by first self-inquiry is that this is the first time I asked about MY "I", not about a generic I that may be attached to me, and about which I just don't care anyway. I had to summon this particular I very hard in order to investigate it. The idea just had not occured to me before. I was looking at a vague, general idea of a self, not the specific pseudo-self we are dealing here.

I looked at the things that I think strongly as my distinct identity. I closed my eyes and thought very hard and very focused for several minutes about what aspects of me I think are the most defining. Which past achievements, which qualities good and bad, etc. And I asked: without this trait, am I still Paulo? Without having achieved this, without having those issues, without being born of those parents, and so on.

At that moment of inquiry I saw that no, all that was just something that "was lived". But just during the inquiry. I tried hard to keep going until I "crossed the gate", but it did not quite happen. I was distracted by the following thought: if I "wake up" now and get up from this bed, what will I do next? That thought really threw me off, again and again. Quite a silly obstacle, one might say. So I just opened my eyes, tired, and then opened the computer expecting to find your reply by now.

So ultimately nothing has happened, although a lot happened. Maybe in the end it was fear, hesitation, or maybe I still have to do a more thorough sweep, look again. But like I said, this was my first real deep self inquiry, the first exploration of this self, this illusion in particular. I thought it was very meaningful. A start.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:45 am

Hi Pete,

Yesterday I just missed your long post. I didn't notice it was there since I just assumed I would get exactly 1 email for every post. So I only read the small one.
Yesterday night I told you about an experience I had just had. However things changed after I wrote. Once I got to bed, and I didn't have to worry about anyone needing me, or interrupting me, I think I just "let go
a little and allowed the intuitions I had just had sink in. Things changed A LOT after I shut down my computer. So let me try to update you as I answer your questions.
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?
Only as something dependent on what is attached to it: Paulo son of so and so, Paulo the holder of this job, Paulo who had this life history, etc. Then I asked one by one, "without this, would you still be Paulo"? And then I decided that of course that contingents things could not "produce" the self, no matter how many of them you pile up. That is like saying you can have a christmas tree just made of balls and stars hanging from it, with no trunk to hold them. How could that possibly be? So I looked for the trunk.

(update later)

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Paulo77
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:39 am

(continued)
And I found no trunk. So those things were attached to what? Together, they make what? Finally the "nothing" non-duality talked about revealed itself.
And I woke up today maybe feeling I have no self, maybe not. I am not sure. Let's wait and see, and maybe go back to that.

It would be good now to move on to your next question, about time. I want to really get into it.
Now look directly at the flow of experiencing. Where in that flow does the 'self' that you conceive reside? Can it be found, at all?
Let's tackle this one after we finish the one below. This is the important one right now.
Nothing exists outside the present moment.
Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?
Hmmm... no? Knowledge-wise, I know there isn't. But how do I investigate that, in order to know from direct experience? Can you break it down, give me more questions, point me somewhere?

About the flow. You see, I can force this experience. I have observed the flow many times, seen the world as the flow. If I focus, I can make myself live only in the present moment, just abide in it, see that there is only the flow. But I have to make it happen, and it only lasts for some "time". Please help me really get this from experience.

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moondog
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:22 pm

Hi Paulo,
Yesterday I just missed your long post. I didn't notice it was there since I just assumed I would get exactly 1 email for every post. So I only read the small one.
Yeah, I replied to your first post, then your subsidiary. One for each, rather than a combined one, in an attempt (failed) to avoid confusion.
How do you conceive the 'self' or 'I'/ 'me' that you hold 'yourself' to be?
Only as something dependent on what is attached to it: Paulo son of so and so, Paulo the holder of this job, Paulo who had this life history, etc. Then I asked one by one, "without this, would you still be Paulo"? And then I decided that of course that contingents things could not "produce" the self, no matter how many of them you pile up. That is like saying you can have a christmas tree just made of balls and stars hanging from it, with no trunk to hold them. How could that possibly be? So I looked for the trunk.
Great, it's good that you can see that.

You say - So I looked for the trunk. In direct experience, can you find who or what actually looked for the trunk, and found no trunk?
And I found no trunk. So those things were attached to what? Together, they make what? Finally the "nothing" non-duality talked about revealed itself. And I woke up today maybe feeling I have no self, maybe not. I am not sure. Let's wait and see, and maybe go back to that.
It's good that you've already reached this understanding; it can be useful as intellectual corroboration for what is the real work here, that is, looking in direct experience. No worries, just relax, we'll cover all of this as we move through the investigation.
Nothing exists outside the present moment. Can you find anything, anything at all, that does?
Hmmm... no? Knowledge-wise, I know there isn't. But how do I investigate that, in order to know from direct experience? Can you break it down, give me more questions, point me somewhere?
That's exactly what I'll be doing as your guide as we move through this process, as I'll explain a bit later in this post.
About the flow. You see, I can force this experience. I have observed the flow many times, seen the world as the flow. If I focus, I can make myself live only in the present moment, just abide in it, see that there is only the flow. But I have to make it happen, and it only lasts for some "time". Please help me really get this from experience.
Can you force experience, make 'yourself' live only in the present moment, make it happen ? Just look at 'your' direct experience and tell me if you can find anything, any entity or agency that is doing or can do these things. If so, please describe it to me. What does it look like and how does it function?

My job as your guide during this enquiry will be simply to point out to you where and how to look in direct experience so that you can see for sure for yourself whether there's a separate self-entity anywhere doing or being anything. I really like to maintain a specific skeleton structure to this process, which then allows us to explore much more loosely within each and every area within experience where a separate self might be found.

As you'll have seen, the initial questions point you towards looking into 'your' direct experience, which is, as I say, where I'll be frequently pointing you to look, and where this investigation will take place. That's as opposed to thought content. Direct experience is the very core of what we're doing here with this. Essentially, and utterly fundamentally, all there is, and can ever be, is here right now in this moment. So looking to see whether a separate and separating self is to be found can only take place within direct experience of this. Now. There's nothing else. It follows therefore that all of our work to realise and actually know that there is no self is done by investigating In direct experience. To this end, we can divide direct experience into thought, sensations (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling [tactile and kinaesthetic] and an unmistakable sense of Aliveness (presence/being). I referred to the useful article on direct experience in the introductory post, and you might want to have another look at that.

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

So, let's start, at last, investigating in direct experience where a self-entity might be by looking at sense arisings and the self as experiencer:

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

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

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


Pete x

Ps. Just so you know, I tend to post once a day, round about the time I'll send this, mid to late afternoon. But sometimes earlier, sometimes more than once. Far from written in stone ☺️
'Just consciousness taking the shape of experience from moment to moment.
Just this'

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Paulo77
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:25 pm

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

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

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

The feeling I had when I tried to investigate as you asked was that the body was a center for the reception of information. The fact that the self is illusory is relatively irrelevant to the process. Self or no self, the body is a material thing, that relates to other material things in several ways. One of them is by receiving information (light, sound vibrations, etc) through the senses. Walking around, one gets the impression that this center is just moving.

Now as to who experiences it... no "who". The sound and light impressions influence thought (after they are processed by the brain and nerves), thought belonging to no self, and that is all. Thought does not influence them back (the things seen and heard), so there is no oneness between things seen and the seer (which is apparently the body). A piece of paper and a stamp are not one. It's a one-way street. Seeing would be the process of pressing the stamp or seal on the paper.

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Paulo77
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:54 am

Dear Pete,

As you can see from yesterday's post, I was conceptualizing a lot. Even though I was lying in bed, with my eyes closed and totally willing to investigate, I ended up looking at my experience from a purely detached, objective, almost scientific way. I investigated the senses and I found only the physical mechanism of sensing.

There is a reason for such a silly escape from experience. I was exhausted from driving to the other side of the city and back. The lesson is that when one is tired, there is a greater tendency to racionalize things. To fall back into concepts, which are easier to handle. Which means that "reasoning" is actually a lazy way to inquire!

Anyway, I am fresher today. Let's try your question again.
When you look at something, a book, a tree outside or whatever, can you find an 'I' that is looking or seeing, or is there just seeing?
The thing seen is here. The seeing is equally here. Just here, in the seer. It doesn't matter whether the object is far away or close, the object and the seeing are together here, with no separation between seeing and object. As for the seer, how could it be separate? Only if there was no seeing.

This is strange. What does it mean?

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby moondog » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:09 pm

Hi Paulo,
As you can see from yesterday's post, I was conceptualizing a lot. Even though I was lying in bed, with my eyes closed and totally willing to investigate, I ended up looking at my experience from a purely detached, objective, almost scientific way. I investigated the senses and I found only the physical mechanism of sensing. There is a reason for such a silly escape from experience. I was exhausted from driving to the other side of the city and back. The lesson is that when one is tired, there is a greater tendency to racionalize things. To fall back into concepts, which are easier to handle. Which means that "reasoning" is actually a lazy way to inquire!
Yeah, I thought it must be something like that. No worries. It's certainly true that, when tired, stressed etc., concepts and the illusion of a separate self seem so much stronger and more convincing.
The thing seen is here. The seeing is equally here. Just here, in the seer. It doesn't matter whether the object is far away or close, the object and the seeing are together here, with no separation between seeing and object. As for the seer, how could it be separate? Only if there was no seeing. This is strange. What does it mean?
That sounds spot on. I like your description - 'The thing is seen here'.

Just to be absolutely sure, can you find, in direct experience, any 'I' doing the seeing, any separate entity present or doing anything, or is there just seeing? You say - Just here, is the seer. What is this seer? Can you find it in direct experience?

Also, for each of the other sense arisings: hearing, tasting, touching and smelling please say, from direct experience, whether you can find a self-entity that is separate from experiencing. Can you find an object that is separate from experiencing? Or is there just experiencing, i.e. hearing, tasting, touching and smelling?


Finally, there's a couple of questions from my previous post that you haven't yet answered (if they're in bold, it just means I'd like them answered):

i) You say - So I looked for the trunk. In direct experience, can you find who or what actually looked for the trunk, and found no trunk?

ii) Can you force experience, make 'yourself' live only in the present moment, make it happen ? Just look at 'your' direct experience and tell me if you can find anything, any entity or agency that is doing or can do these things. If so, please describe it to me. What does it look like and how does it function?


And rest assured Paulo, this is all going just fine, just as it should; as you become increasingly familiar with simply looking at your everyday direct experience, without effort, much as you look out of a window, hear traffic passing by, catch the smell of bread baking or whatever. So long as you don't listen to what thinking is telling you, and then prefer what thoughts are telling you to 'the evidence of your own eyes', i.e. direct experience, you'll be just fine.

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

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:35 pm

Before I answer, an observation: as I am doing this journey, I am also in the process of kicking a nicotine addiction. I just felt there was no reason to do one or the other first, though I certainly didn't plan to do them at the same time.

When I forget to chew my nicotine gum, I get a little jumpy - this is normal with people who are quitting smoking. And those are times when the clear view I got during self-inquiry crumbles, because thoughts rush. As thoughts rush, the identification with thoughts comes along very strong.

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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Paulo77 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:41 pm

Just to be absolutely sure, can you find, in direct experience, any 'I' doing the seeing, any separate entity present or doing anything, or is there just seeing? You say - Just here, is the seer [sic-in the seer]. What is this seer? Can you find it in direct experience?
The first feeling was that the object is "in the seer". But it immediately followed that they are not separate things, there is no I doing the seeing. Those are just 2 quick steps in the inquiry.

Incidently, something strange happened. The feeling of non-separeteness from the objects lingered on and at a point it became unpleasant. Me and my colleagues were sitting with my boss and he was telling a story, and as I looked at him and felt no separeteness, I felt - yuck!. For an hour or so after doing the inquiry I only wanted to look at beautiful things. It was unpleasant to be one with objects that were not admirable.

But after a few hours, the spontaneous sensation of being one with the objects seen, touched, heard, went away. Only when I pay attention to the separeteness it goes away.

Also, for each of the other sense arisings: hearing, tasting, touching and smelling please say, from direct experience, whether you can find a self-entity that is separate from experiencing. Can you find an object that is separate from experiencing? Or is there just experiencing, i.e. hearing, tasting, touching and smelling?
With the other senses, the perception that the objects were not separate was far more obvious. Seeing is a little more difficult, since it is the sense we use the most to analyse, make distinctions, identify objects, etc. The other senses are already more passive.

Notice that I keep using the past tense. I was feeling non-separate, etc. Some time after the inquiry, the usual way of being, thinking and feeling comes back.
You say - So I looked for the trunk. In direct experience, can you find who or what actually looked for the trunk, and found no trunk?
"Who" looked, indeed! As far as I can remember, it was an active pursuit, an active search. Since I was searching for an object, an inner image, there must have been an "I" (an eye?) doing that. However, although there was a sense of initiative, of effort, there was also a clear sense that I was not in control, that it was not my choice to do that. I get that sense often, though not always.

But that was 2 days ago, I can't remember exactly.
ii) Can you force experience, make 'yourself' live only in the present moment, make it happen ? Just look at 'your' direct experience and tell me if you can find anything, any entity or agency that is doing or can do these things. If so, please describe it to me. What does it look like and how does it function?
As I write now, I feel that there is an "I" that takes initiative. It decides, but decides by reacting to thoughts, which in turn happen independent of its will. So it's contradictory - it is not a real decision. Once the I decides, it commands the mind to see a certain way or the body to perform some action.

All of this is contradictory. Looking at experience is an active pursuit. Doesn't it take an I to perform it?


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