Guide, Please?

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Aiyana
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Guide, Please?

Postby Aiyana » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:15 am

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been studying “A Course in Miracles” for almost two years. I feel like I have an intellectual understanding of Reality versus Illusion, but not an experiential understanding.

I saw a Tony Parsons video a couple of weeks ago and it shook me up! I had believed for quite some time that life is not in my control, but my trust wasn’t deep enough to give up control all the time. I had seen how life (ACIM would say “The Holy Spirit) intervened in obvious ways during “big” events in my life. I was starting to see how something was guiding me even during the “smaller” moments. But I wasn’t applying that to every moment, every day.

Anyway, the video upset me at first. But I watched it again the next day and decided to try it out. I’m a teacher, and that morning at school I thought, “Teaching is happening”. All of a sudden there was no “me” there! There was no one to feel annoyed, frustrated, “not-good-enough”….It was liberating!

I want to wake up. I feel like I’m almost there. For a long time I’ve noticed that I feel blissful when I’m alone – especially during long drives – but feel more “guarded” around other people and don’t experience constant peace. Clearly I still believe there is a self there that needs to be protected.

A friend recommended Jed McKenna’s first book to me. I read it and it blew my mind. (My mind gets blown a lot.) Then I started reading “Gateless Gatecrashers”, which lead me here.

I’m also reading the “Enlightening Quotes” app.

I feel like I “get” it. But I don’t FEEL it. My understanding is intellectual. I am struggling with direct experience.

When I search for the self, I agree that I don’t see a “me”. There is a body, there are thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc… I am not any of those. But I don't find nothing... I find Awareness. There seems to be a "witness" who stays in Awareness until it gets lost in the thoughts or memories.

I would love some guidance on how to have a more direct experience. Thank you!

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Vivien
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Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Vivien » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:27 am

Hi Aiyana,

My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self', though I can only point the way. You have to 'see' it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides, not teachers.

We will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realisation that there is no 'self'. That will be our focus. I will tend to ask various questions and set you some exercises, but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong.

This process is a guided inquiry where specific areas can be examined. I am not a teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we start, let’s get through the formalities first:
If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info here, the disclaimer and a short video too.
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

A few ground rules:
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 only from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Longwinded
analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and
essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the purple-orange coloured button 'Post Reply" at the left bottom of this page.
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If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?

Please answer these questions in great detail. No expectation is too small to ignore.

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Aiyana » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:45 pm

Thanks, Vivien!

I do agree to the rules and look forward to working with you.
What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
Consistency. I feel peaceful most of the time. I am aware of my "triggers" - the thoughts that spark resistance in me -and I'm learning to let them pass by. I've struggled most with letting go of a couple of "passions" - beliefs in how things "should" be. Recently I realized there were fears I was hiding from and decided to face them.

I want to stay in that place of Awareness/No self all the time.I want constant peace. I've experienced the way life just seems to "flow" easily, but my thoughts seem to get distracted after a day or two, sometimes just a few hours... and I let go of the sense of peace.

Honestly, I think seeing through the illusion will make it easier to accept whatever happens. There is no me that I need to protect.I can feel the "me" dropping away slowly - I would like to hasten that process :)
How will Life change?
It won't :) I think everything in my life has happened perfectly. I see how someone/something was guiding my life and I was never in charge. Haha... any time I tried to be, that something intervened! Thankfully :) Anyway, I have no idea what's best for the no-me, so I trust that life will work out without my intervention. My trust is pretty strong when considering the "long-view", but I'm hoping for greater trust in my day-to-day existence.
How will you change?
I will be at peace all the time. I will still have an identity, possessions, relationships, etc... but I won't feel attachments to or needs for anything. I will be at peace and trust that I have all I need.
What will be different?



Nothing and everything. I don't think anything on the surface of my life will change. But peace will be my normal state of being. No matter what happens, I will be able to stay centered in that state of peace.

Thanks again!

Aiyana

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Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Vivien » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:44 am

Dear Aiyana,
I’ve been studying “A Course in Miracles” for almost two years. I feel like I have an intellectual understanding of Reality versus Illusion, but not an experiential understanding.
I’ve also studied ‘the Course’ in the beginning of intense seeking phase… :) and it was useful to see through some things. However, I’d like to ask you to focus on only this investigation during our time together. The more time you spend with this inquiry, the better. I will give you lots of exercises and questions to investigate on. After we finished here, you can read or study whatever you like.
Is this feasible for you?

Thank you for your honesty and the detailed list about the expectations.
This list is important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations are about the future. But liberation cannot be found in the future.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. Some of my comments may sound quite confronting. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises in the body. Is there any resistance to any of it?
I was starting to see how something was guiding me even during the “smaller” moments. But I wasn’t applying that to every moment, every day.
It may turn out that there is no ‘you’ that could be guided at all. So there is no ‘you’ that could apply anything either. Things just happen, with no doer or owner whatsoever.
Consistency. I feel peaceful most of the time
This is a HUGE expectation which can lead only to suffering.

Peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Liberation is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about encompassing all emotions, accepting WHATEVER is arising in this moment (even the so called negative emotions).

Many seekers believe that liberation is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case.

Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity ‘self’ is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual.

For example, did you ever once believe that Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy was real? If you did at one point, and don't now, does the experience of discovery last? Or is it that the knowledge that there is no such thing as Santa or Tooth Fairy is just another ‘fact’?

Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
I am aware of my "triggers" - the thoughts that spark resistance in me -and I'm learning to let them pass by.
“I am aware of my ‘triggers’” – there is no ‘you’ that could be aware of any triggers. Aware-ing may happen, but nothing does it.

“the thoughts that spark resistance in me” – there is no ‘you’ in what thoughts could do anything. And thoughts cannot do anything either.

“I’m learning to let them pass away” – there is no ‘you’ that could learn anything.
Recently I realized there were fears I was hiding from and decided to face them.
Very good. This is what liberation about… if there is fear then let it be there totally. Feeling it, fully allowing it, just as it is.
I want to stay in that place of Awareness/No self all the time.
No-self is not equal to awareness. We will investigate this later.

And no-self is not a place to stay. No-self implies the existence of a self now that somehow will be terminated, so it won’t be any more. But this not the case. There has NEVER been a self (you) in the first place. The self (you) has always been just an illusion. So it won’t disappear. Nothing cannot disappear or cease to be. It just can be seen that it’s always been an illusion, nothing more.

However, self-referencing is the result of X years of conditionings. At LU we only go so far as no self; but seeing that the self is just an illusion is just the first step, although the most important one. X years of conditioning won’t go away in an instance, but without a centre, a ‘me’, there is nothing they could attach to or stick to, so they GRADUALLY fall away. This falling can last until the end of the organism. So expecting that seeing through the illusion of the self is the end is quite unrealistic.

Identification with the I-thought and self-referencing thoughts and stories still arise as a content of thoughts. However, upon investigation (or sometimes without any investigation) it can be seen that they are only thoughts and nothing more, nothing ‘real’.
I want constant peace.
Sorry to be the bearer of ‘bad news’ but this simply won’t happen! Wanting this is a guarantee for suffering.
Life is in a constant change, in a constant flow. Different states, emotions, thoughts just come and go. And they ALL allowed to come and go… Liberation is not about resisting half of the emotions that are labelled ‘bad’ and striving for the other half… this is not liberation… this is bondage. Bondage of an illusion. Bondage to suffering. Only the ‘me’ wants constant peace and happiness… but this ‘me’ has never been.
I've experienced the way life just seems to "flow" easily, but my thoughts seem to get distracted after a day or two, sometimes just a few hours... and I let go of the sense of peace.
“my thoughts seem to get distracted…” – you don’t have thoughts. Thoughts appear, but they don’t belong to anything. Nothing owns them.
Honestly, I think seeing through the illusion will make it easier to accept whatever happens. There is no me that I need to protect.
Yes... accepting whatever happens can happen. However, it is important to know that resisting or not-accepting is the result of a lifelong conditioning, which won’t go away in an instant, but rather it GRADUALLY falls away. So just because of the illusion of me is seen through it doesn’t mean that resistance won’t come up again. It will!
I can feel the "me" dropping away slowly
So how many I’s do you have?
  • (1) The ‘I’ that could feel
    (2) And the ‘me’ that is dropping away???


Vivien: How will Life change?
Aiyana: It won't :)
Perfect :) Life or outer circumstances won’t change with seeing through the self. Life is always is as it is. Only the perception changes. So everything will be the same, although everything might look different.
I see how someone/something was guiding my life and I was never in charge.
There is nothing that is guiding life. Life just happens without any owner or doer. And there is no ‘you’ that could have a life in the first place. And yes, you’ve never been in charge, because there is no ‘you’ that could be in charge.
I have no idea what's best for the no-me
Ohh, there is NO ‘no-me’ either. This sentence implies that there is a ‘me’ and a ‘no-me’, as if the ‘no-me’ would be another form of entity. But there is no entity in any shape or any form. There is neither ‘me’ nor ‘no-me’. There is only life living itself.
I trust that life will work out without my intervention.
Life already works without your intervention. You cannot intervene anything. Nothing cannot do anything.

I can see that some of your comments are based on ACIM’s terms… it might happen that along with this investigation some of the terms of ACIM will be questioned… so be ready for it… :)
I'm hoping for greater trust in my day-to-day existence.
Yes, greater trust can happen, but ‘you’ don’t have day-to-day existence. There is only existence, without ‘you’.
I will be at peace all the time.
You won’t. I assume you’re not happy to hear this, but if I can guarantee anything, this is what I can… Life is in a constant flow, ups and downs… everything is included… peace and not peace equally…

However, not being in a constant peace seems to be a problem only for the illusion of me.
I will still have an identity, possessions, relationships, etc... but I won't feel attachments to or needs for anything.
Identity = attachment

Attachment occurs when there is an invested identity in that particular object.

“I won’t feel attachment to or needs for anything” – just by seeing through the self, it doesn’t mean that attachments or needs would stop… because they are the result of a lifelong conditioning. They developed through many years, so they won’t go away in a night.
But peace will be my normal state of being. No matter what happens, I will be able to stay centered in that state of peace.
It seems that this is the BIGGEST expectations among all. And no expectation can match what it really IS… Every expectation is a hindrance to see what it really is…


What I propose to do is to set you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this direct experience, or the uninterpreted moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening. Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. These exercises can help to see what is ‘real’ and what is not.

But before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?


Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Resistance

Postby Aiyana » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:18 am

Wow, Vivien!

Thanks for such detailed and specific responses. I read them quickly and will need to read them again. But I wanted to tell that you I noticed BIG resistance to what you said about there being no one guiding me.

Since I was a little kid I've noticed someone helping me. I called that someone "God" when I was little and call it "the Holy Spirit" now.

But this is something I will investigate. Terms/beliefs/stories can interfere with direct experience. Was I helped by someONE? No, it wasn't a person. I developed a story to describe what was happening. But when I think back to the events, it's possible to see that I became aware of life just happening on its own - maybe I became aware that there was no me doing it. Yes, I made up a story about it being someONE, and when I read ACIM the Holy Spirit matched quite nicely to that idea.

(Well, I made the Holy Spirit fit into that idea but who knows what the Course is really referring to.)

But if there is no me, there was never any need for anyone to help me. And there wouldn't have been an outside force intervening specifically for me because there is no me!

I'm also resistant to letting go of the idea that there's no "plan" for my life. I had realized, through ACIM, that the only plan is to wake up and remember who I am. But if there's no me.... there's no need for a plan.

I agree not to read ACIM while I'm working with you. But I read it this morning and smiled when I saw the line "What time but now can truth be recognized?"

I can see now that I was taking the ACIM story and making it fit into the story of me. But stories are meaningless; truth matters.

I'm going to re-read your comments, so I may be back with more resistance!

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More Resistance

Postby Aiyana » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:46 am

So there was also resistance to the constant peace part.

I get it. I used to have a very unrealistic idea of "enlightenment" - namely, that it would be a sudden transformative process that would leave me in a state of constant bliss. Like Eckart Tolle sitting on the bench for two years or whatever it was ;)

But reading Jed McKenna's book blew that theory out of the water. And I realized that I was going to have to wake up myself. I also realized it would not be an overnight process and that work would still need to be done after I gave up the belief in a self.

But peace... is so nice..... But this week I saw the power of facing negative thoughts. I had hidden them for years because I was so scared of facing them. But this week I looked at them and they disappeared. They were always nothing; I had attached importance to them.

So I see what you mean about accepting everything, good and bad. Its the resistance that causes suffering, not the "negative" feelings themselves.

Focusing on staying peaceful was keeping some of these thoughts out of awareness, so they could not be released.

There is no me that needs peace, and awareness needs nothing.

Okay... that belief is floating away.
So how many I’s do you have?
(1) The ‘I’ that could feel
(2) And the ‘me’ that is dropping away???
Haha - good question!

There is no answer. There is not an "I" or a "me".

Whatever is aware, I assume to be "I". What is that?

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Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Vivien » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:12 am

Dear Aiyana,
But if there is no me, there was never any need for anyone to help me. And there wouldn't have been an outside force intervening specifically for me because there is no me!
Exactly :)
I'm also resistant to letting go of the idea that there's no "plan" for my life. I had realized, through ACIM, that the only plan is to wake up and remember who I am. But if there's no me.... there's no need for a plan.
There is no plan for your life, because there is no ‘you’ that could have a life, let alone a plan. The emphasis is on the ‘you’ not on the plan.
I can see now that I was taking the ACIM story and making it fit into the story of me. But stories are meaningless; truth matters.
Yes, good to see this. This happened to me too, until it became clear that this story just fortifies the belief in ‘me’.
So I see what you mean about accepting everything, good and bad. Its the resistance that causes suffering, not the "negative" feelings themselves.
Exactly! The resistance causes suffering, not the feeling… nice looking :)
Focusing on staying peaceful was keeping some of these thoughts out of awareness, so they could not be released.
I’d say that the focusing on staying peaceful is keeping the unwanted ‘negative’ emotions suppressed, avoiding to feel them fully, thus keeping the illusion of me in place.
There is no me that needs peace, and awareness needs nothing.
and
There is not an "I" or a "me".
Our approach here will be different from the course lessons. In the course you take a phrase like the above and repeat them throughout the day, thus initiating some change.

But here, we don’t just simply want to replace one belief with another, from (1) believing ‘there is a separate entity called me’, (2) to another belief ‘there is no me’. The second belief would just cover up the original one. What we aim for here is to really SEE it EXPERIENTIALLY that there is no me. This is what we’re going to work on.

For this reason, I’d like to ask you to write these sentences like “There is not an ‘I’ or a ‘me’” or there is no ‘me’ that needs peace” ONLY when this is you’re ACTUAL experience. So please don’t try to be careful with the language, systematically avoiding the word ‘I’. If you do that then I’m not able to help you, because I cannot see where you’re at the moment. So please, use the language that feels/sound the TRUEST for you at the moment. This is very important. I need your 100% honesty. Don’t write anything that is not 100% true for you at the moment.


OK then, let’s start it.

The first thing to investigate is to find out what you currently believe yourself to be.
This should be kept very simple and should not be anything requiring in-depth analysis or thought.

The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.

Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?

What does the word 'I' point to?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
What makes this body ‘you’?


From now on, I will write all questions in blue, please always answer ALL of them. These questions are pointers where to LOOK. Of course, you can also reply to any other parts of my posts if you feel need to.

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Aiyana » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:25 am

Hi Vivien,
Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?
Sort of. My sense of self is dimming. I don't feel that need to protect myself that I used to have. I don't engage with things that my "passions" - beliefs (political, social) that strengthened my sense of identity. Though, to be honest, I think I've adopted "spirituality" as an identity, as I read and watch a lot of spiritual material and blog about what I'm learning. I did notice I was getting a bit protective about my spiritual ideas, which shows I've identified with them. So, to answer your question... Maybe the best way to put it is that I still feel like a person typing on a computer, but I don't exactly see myself as Aiyana.... Since the last identity I was clinging to is spiritual, and I'm learning to let go of those ideas too... I feel like my identity is weakened, in a good way.
What does the word 'I' point to?
I points to a collection of thoughts and memories that seem to have occurred in my life. It points to my job, my relationship to family, and my past.
What makes this body ‘yours’?
I seem to be inside of it. It seems to be affected by my decisions. It gains weight when I eat too much chocolate. It gets a headache if I drink too much wine.
What makes this body ‘you’?
My only memories are inside this body. It seems that I have lived with it my whole life. I communicate with others through this body. Others perceive me in this body.I use this body's voice to speak and its hands to type.

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Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Aiyana » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:31 am

But here, we don’t just simply want to replace one belief with another, from (1) believing ‘there is a separate entity called me’, (2) to another belief ‘there is no me’. The second belief would just cover up the original one. What we aim for here is to really SEE it EXPERIENTIALLY that there is no me. This is what we’re going to work on.

For this reason, I’d like to ask you to write these sentences like “There is not an ‘I’ or a ‘me’” or there is no ‘me’ that needs peace” ONLY when this is you’re ACTUAL experience. So please don’t try to be careful with the language, systematically avoiding the word ‘I’. If you do that then I’m not able to help you, because I cannot see where you’re at the moment. So please, use the language that feels/sound the TRUEST for you at the moment. This is very important. I need your 100% honesty. Don’t write anything that is not 100% true for you at the moment.
Okay!

This is different from what I'm used to, not just with ACIM lessons. When blogging, I grapple with ideas and concepts I can only relate to on an intellectual level and I'm trying to understand. Here I'm noticing the urge to "theorize" and play around with these ideas. Writing what I actually experience is new for me, but I'm enjoying it.

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On Second Thought

Postby Aiyana » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:21 pm

Hi Vivien,

I've been investigating these ideas all day. Well, I couldn't really focus at work, but now I'm at home and am taking another look at your questions.
What makes this body ‘you’?
I can't say I am the body or I am not the body, but I do know I'm not limited to the body. When pursuing the idea, "I am only aware of what my body is experiencing," interesting ideas surfaced.

When I dream, I am aware of something that my body is not experiencing. I travel to different places and inhabit different bodies.

My thoughts don't depend on the body. Sometimes I get "lost in thoughts" and forget about the body entirely.

I can see things that aren't in front of me, using my imagination, so I don't really need my eyes to see. The other day I imagined the taste of mint chocolate chip ice cream and it was delicious! I hear songs when no music is playing.

Now, I guess one could argue all of this is a brain versus body issue. But I have been aware of things that neither the brain or body could have picked up on. Sometimes I sense my sister is going to call me and she does, a few minutes later. The first time I saw one ex-boyfriend the thought, "I could date him" came to me. This had nothing to do with my body's perception because he gave me a mean look. I thought he disliked me! But we ended up dating.

The first time I met a work colleague, the thought, "This is the perfect guy for you" flashed through my mind. This made no sense because although we got along, I didn't think of him that way. He was married! But he ended up getting divorced 7 years later and we ended up dating.

I have had other "psychic" thoughts. My awareness cannot be limited to the body. So I can't be limited to the body.

So, no. I don't know that the body is me.

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More Pondering

Postby Aiyana » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:16 am

What makes this body ‘yours’?
I can't see a way to deny this body is mine. I have lived with this body for 38 years. Now, this body has changed a lot over the 38 years. I have been fatter and thinner, healthy and sick, younger and now older. My hair has been short and long. But it still seems to be the same body and it seems to belong to me. I mean, nobody else inhabits it (as far as I know...)

What I am is not a body. I will continue to exist after the body dies. I have awareness that transcends the body. But I seem to be inhabiting this body now.

I seem to be "in" the body because I am looking out of the body's eyes. But I'm not in the body ALL the time - when I sleep or daydream my awareness leaves my body.

I seem to have thoughts and memories associated with this body. I have holes in my ears because I pierced them. I have tattoos on my ankles. I have a mercury filling in one of my teeth.

I've had those for years, which suggests it's the same body I inhabited back then.

I experience thoughts and sensations related to this body. If someone in the same room as me as a headache I don't experience that. But when my body has a headache I experience it.

Emotions are a different issue. I used to let myself get caught up in other people's emotions. It's hard for me to read about or watch certain things because I can FEEL what people seem to be going through. I am very empathetic.

So there seems to be less emotional distance between me and other people than physical distance. Though... it's hard for me to watch people get physically hurt too.

So maybe I have physical empathy too. So my emotions and sensations are not limited to my body. Other bodies can spark thoughts and feelings in me.

Maybe these boundaries aren't as solid as I think they are...

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Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Vivien » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:17 am

Dear Aiyana,
Though, to be honest, I think I've adopted "spirituality" as an identity, as I read and watch a lot of spiritual material and blog about what I'm learning. I did notice I was getting a bit protective about my spiritual ideas, which shows I've identified with them.
Yes, this is not uncommon at all. But the question is:

What is this ‘I’ exactly that could identify with spirituality or take on a spiritual identity?
I still feel like a person typing on a computer, but I don't exactly see myself as Aiyana....
What does the word ‘I’ in this sentence point to?
Vivien: What does the word 'I' point to?
Aiyana: I points to a collection of thoughts and memories that seem to have occurred in my life.
What is this ‘thing’ that has a life? Where is it exactly?
Vivien: What makes this body ‘yours’?
Aiyana: I seem to be inside of it. It seems to be affected by my decisions. It gains weight when I eat too much chocolate. It gets a headache if I drink too much wine.
My only memories are inside this body. It seems that I have lived with it my whole life. I communicate with others through this body. Others perceive me in this body.I use this body's voice to speak and its hands to type
Now we try to find the ‘owner’ of the body.
We are LOOKing for a real ‘I’. Real is something that can be found.

What I want you to do for our examination together, is to try to separate out thoughts from what is ‘real’.

But at first, as an example, let’s try to find Darth Vader from Star Wars.
We’re looking for a real Darth Vader that can be found.
In order to prove that it exists, we have to experience it directly by seeing, hearing, touching/feeling, smelling.

The image projected to the cinema screen is not it.
The poster on the wall about Darth Vader is not it.
The memory in ‘my head’ about Darth Vader is not a proof of its existence.
A thought suggesting that “he may be exist somewhere in the galaxy” is just an idea, but not a proof of it.
A lego figure of Darth Vader is not a real Darth Vader.
A life size wax figure exhibited in a museum is not it.
A twelve-year old boy dressed in a Darth Vader costume is not it.

Now, try to find the ‘I’ that supposedly owns the body. Look everywhere. Search every corner of the body, memories, feelings, thoughts, or any other places. Don’t leave any stones unturned.

Let's take 'seeing' as a first example.

Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine the actual experience right now.

Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?

I can't say I am the body or I am not the body, but I do know I'm not limited to the body. When pursuing the idea, "I am only aware of what my body is experiencing," interesting ideas surfaced.
In this investigation we are not interested in ideas, we are only interested in our actual, direct experience.

“I do know I’m not limited to the body” – find this ‘I’. Where is it exactly?
I can see things that aren't in front of me, using my imagination, so I don't really need my eyes to see.
Where is this ‘me’ that could use imagination or have eyes?

Look for it in a similar way as if you were looking for Darth Vader…

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Aiyana
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Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Aiyana » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:57 am

Dear Vivien,

I have only a bit of time now, so I'll give the answers that occur to me quickly. But I'll try and revisit them throughout the day tomorrow.
What is this ‘I’ exactly that could identify with spirituality or take on a spiritual identity?
This "I" has always taken on identities. I have no idea what it is, under the labels. Aiyana. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Teacher. Ex-Catholic. I've been told my true nature is spirit, but I haven't seen that. I can't perceive the "I". It seems to be a collection of thoughts, feelings, and identities. But collecting around what? I don't know.
What does the word ‘I’ in this sentence point to?
That which is aware.
What is this ‘thing’ that has a life? Where is it exactly?
Well, it seems to be in my body. It's the identity-seeking thing that inhabits a body.

That's all I have time for right now. I don't want to rush the "looking" exercise, so I'll save that for tomorrow.

Thanks, Vivien!

Love,

Aiyana

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Vivien » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:19 am

Dear Aiyana,
I have only a bit of time now, so I'll give the answers that occur to me quickly. But I'll try and revisit them throughout the day tomorrow.
Please don’t rush with the answer. If you give answer from ‘what occurs quickly’ then that reply will come from thinking, from the intellect, and you cannot get anywhere with that. From now on, I’d like to ask you to answer to ALL questions only from LOOKING and not thinking.

So, after doing the exercise, please come back to these questions, and reply to them only from LOOKing.
Furthermore, here is an additional one.
What does the word ‘I’ in this sentence point to?
That which is aware.
Find this ‘thing’, localize it, that is supposedly aware. Please write a list about where you looked for it, and also what have been found.

Take your time.

Love, Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Aiyana
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:01 am

Re: Guide, Please?

Postby Aiyana » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:21 am

Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?
My body's eyes are reading this. Beyond that I can't locate what's reading this.
“I do know I’m not limited to the body” – find this ‘I’. Where is it exactly?
I can't find it.
Where is this ‘me’ that could use imagination or have eyes?
The me with eyes is sitting on the couch. The me who has imagination cannot be limited to a location.
Find this ‘thing’, localize it, that is supposedly aware. Please write a list about where you looked for it, and also what have been found.
Awareness seems to shift around inside my body. My stomach growls; I am aware of my stomach. I think about my toes; they tingle. But I am also aware of things outside my body, so I don't think it's located inside my body.

I can't find it in thoughts. Thoughts enter awareness and then leave awareness, but awareness is not in thoughts.

Feelings enter awareness, but feelings do not contain awareness.

Awareness is informed by the senses - what I see, hear and feel. But it's not limited by the senses. I am aware even when sleeping.

Memories come and go, but awareness is not IN memories. Memories enter awareness.

Awareness is not in the body, in thoughts, in feelings, or in memories. Awareness has no location.


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