Let's do this!

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danl
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Let's do this!

Postby danl » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:23 pm

Hi,

I let go of religion in my early teens, dabbled in meditation over the years, read lots of books, practice concentration, and have read the LU mobile app.

The idea of no self makes sense to me though I still question it. I think this is where I'm currently stuck - Though there is a constant flow of thoughts, I can interrupt and briefly stop the thoughts, direct thoughts, and choose to focus on a specific one. If I'm not the one doing these things and making choices, then how does it happen and where does the desire to do so come from? There seems to be some consciousness/intelligence behind it all.

I appreciate anyone willing to help.

Best wishes to all who read this,
Dan

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Armstrong
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby Armstrong » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:57 pm

I could ask you some questions to explore this if you want.

Before we start, where did your question, "if I'm not the one doing these things..." come from? When you write, "there seems to be..." where does that come from? Maybe aliens are beaming thoughts into your mind - how do you know that isn't true?

Could you please check out my other posts and decide if you want me to guide you?

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danl
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby danl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:08 am

Hey Armstrong,

I checked out posts and I'm happy to have you as my guide. Thanks for taking me on.
"if I'm not the one doing these things..." come from? When you write, "there seems to be..." where does that come from? Maybe aliens are beaming thoughts into your mind - how do you know that isn't true?
It could be aliens for all I know! The first thought that comes to mind is that it just is. Which leads to more questions such as "why is there greater intelligence and desire in some and less than others?" I can see how desire can come from thoughts, even thoughts we may have forgotten. For example, at some point you notice it feels good to be healthy, so there is the desire to exercise, eat right, etc. Intelligence; maybe it's the culmination of experiences, passion, and genetics, but it appears to me to be in everything - plants, animals - nothing would exist without some level of consciousness which has inherent intelligence. But I could be wrong and it is aliens. :) I don't now how to prove it.

Anyway,I'm sleepy. You have a good one and I'll check the post tomorrow.

Dan

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Armstrong
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby Armstrong » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:50 pm

Ok, so, before I even give you the boilerplate terms, it is important for you to look at what happened.

I asked you a question. Somehow you typed out a big answer involving the universe being intelligent, consciousness, etc. The content of your answer is actually unimportant.

In order for us to do this, it is necessary for you to pay attention to your experience differently than you do. I suspect it was pleasurable for you to type out your answer. Maybe you feel proud of it, or like you're special, or that "your" answer was novel, that you hope I approve of the answer, etc. We'd be done sooner if you could pay meticulous attention to that stuff, because that is your experience too.

For example, I ask you to pick a part of your body at random, paying attention to how it works. I don't care whether or not you report your anus, mouth or neck - what I'd like is a report of - from your view - how that happens. Can you try that exercise for me? And when you type out your response, can you pay attention to how you do that, and how that works?

Please explain what you think a separate self is, why you want to investigate it and how you think things will be different in the future as a result of you doing this.

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danl
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby danl » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:43 am

Sure, I'll give the exercise a shot and answer the questions as well. I'll also work on paying attention to how I feel when contemplating/answering.

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Armstrong
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby Armstrong » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:38 pm

OK. Please pay attention now as you agree to these terms (assuming you do). What is your experience?


My role here is to lead you through some direct pointing exercises. Hopefully all I'll do is ask questions. You'll see whatever you see. Some conditions:

1) please confirm that you've read the disclaimer located here http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/ and that you are OK having me be your guide.

2) say which of these doesn't work for you:

You agree to post at least once a day. If you are busy, just a "still here" let's us know you are still there. If you post more than once a day, I'll try to reply so that we can get this done more efficiently.

You'll answer questions honestly, based on your senses, not your thinking. Please avoid personal details in your responses. I won't ask personal questions.

Let's try to keep things short, eschewing long answers, analytical answers, wordy answers.

If things are ambiguous or I'm curious, I'll ask more questions.

You agree to put aside your nonduality teachings, meditation teaching and philosophies until we finish - eg videos, articles and books. If you have a daily meditation practice, you are welcome to keep doing that.

Please look at this and use the quote function. It will make it easier on me and the other guides: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

3) if you have any requests, please let me know

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danl
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby danl » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:23 pm

please confirm that you've read the disclaimer located here http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/ and that you are OK having me be your guide.
I've read the disclaimer and accept you as my guide. Thanks for taking me on.
You agree to post at least once a day. If you are busy, just a "still here" let's us know you are still there. If you post more than once a day, I'll try to reply so that we can get this done more efficiently.
- Agreed. I'll reply to the prior exercise and questions this weekend.
You'll answer questions honestly, based on your senses, not your thinking. Please avoid personal details in your responses. I won't ask personal questions.

Yes.
Let's try to keep things short, eschewing long answers, analytical answers, wordy answers.
Sounds good.
You agree to put aside your nonduality teachings, meditation teaching and philosophies until we finish - eg videos, articles and books. If you have a daily meditation practice, you are welcome to keep doing that.
Agreed
Please look at this and use the quote function
No problem
if you have any requests, please let me know
I will, thanks.

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Armstrong
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby Armstrong » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:13 pm

Thanks for your reply. Looks good.

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danl
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby danl » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:38 pm

Hi Armstrong,
For example, I ask you to pick a part of your body at random, paying attention to how it works. I don't care whether or not you report your anus, mouth or neck - what I'd like is a report of - from your view - how that happens. Can you try that exercise for me? And when you type out your response, can you pay attention to how you do that, and how that works?
I picked my finger. There is a decision to do the exercise and the finger moves. I'm having trouble detecting a thought telling it which way to move, or even which finger to move. I've watched my fingers for the last several days and they know what to do on their own.
Please explain what you think a separate self is
The one thinking and looking.
why you want to investigate it
I want to understand
how you think things will be different in the future as a result of you doing this.
More clarity

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Armstrong
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby Armstrong » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:58 pm

I picked my finger. There is a decision to do the exercise and the finger moves. I'm having trouble detecting a thought telling it which way to move, or even which finger to move. I've watched my fingers for the last several days and they know what to do on their own.
Ok, so is this "I" connected to the finger? What do you see if you look right now, as you read this?

If someone watching you now asks what you are doing, you might say "I am reading a message to me." As you read this now, can you identify the "I", the person (with a past, projects, friends, etc) that is doing the reading? If instead you say, "it is reading", does it feel any different?

Armstrong wrote: Please explain what you think a separate self is
The one thinking and looking.
Do you find a "looker" right now? You are looking at this. So tell me about the looker.

You are thinking too. Perhaps thinking about what you just read, or what you have to do. Do you "author" your thoughts? Who is thinking them? Is there any evidence that you, the thing reading these words now, "does" the looking or the thinking?

Ok. How about the one making choices, doing these exercises, caring or taking an interest in things? Is that what a separate self does?

Please, in the next day, tell me what you think this separate self is, and how you'll know when you have explored it. Here's why - suppose I say I need a vacation. I quit work and fly somewhere and stay a few days. Then my boss calls and asks me to come back to work. I say, I haven't had a vacation yet." I go somewhere else. He calls and asks me to come back. I tell him I am not done vacationing yet - in fact, I have done travelling, but I really haven't vacationed yet, because I haven't had a thrilling enough time. Do you see the problem? It is important for you to know what you want to find before you go looking for it. Otherwise you might waste time.

Again, you job is to come up with a definition for "separate self" - and do some looking and see if you can find it, now. If it is you, you ought to be able to find it, right? As if you're there, it ought to be there too, easy to find. And it ought to be no distance from you. Your self can't be apart from you, right?

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danl
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby danl » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:52 am

Ok, so is this "I" connected to the finger? What do you see if you look right now, as you read this?
No, it is just awareness.
As you read this now, can you identify the "I", the person (with a past, projects, friends, etc) that is doing the reading?
No
If instead you say, "it is reading", does it feel any different?
It's hard to detect a difference, but it feels more impersonal.
Do you find a "looker" right now? You are looking at this. So tell me about the looker
I find awareness, and awareness of looking.
Do you "author" your thoughts?
No, the thoughts seem to be a reaction to what is read.
Who is thinking them? Is there any evidence that you, the thing reading these words now, "does" the looking or the thinking?
No
How about the one making choices, doing these exercises, caring or taking an interest in things? Is that what a separate self does?
Maybe, but I don't detect a self doing these things, when I look.
tell me what you think this separate self is, and how you'll know when you have explored it.
Awareness through this body. I'm not sure when I'll know, but think it may be when I can be aware of thoughts and emotions as they happen, or even before they happen.
But if I could do that, it seems there would still be a sense of "I". Then, where do I go? To nothing?...there is only the experience, action, etc. I'll explore this further.

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Armstrong
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby Armstrong » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:27 pm

Ok. Thanks for looking.

One thing to try to figure out - you read a question - what is the separate self and how you'll know when you've explored it. You answered with some words. How do you know that's true?

Eg I ask you to pick a number between one and ten (please do it). One pops in your head; you say it (please try that). I ask you what your birthday is - it pops in your head. In the first case, asking "is it true" makes no sense; you just say what popped in your mind. In the second case, "true" means the words correspond to reality. How do you know your thoughts correspond to reality? Dementia, drugs or just forgetfulness can mean you think "incorrectly", right?

So how do you know that any of the stuff you wrote above is true? It seems like you're afraid about something bad happening. How do you know it means there's an actual danger? What would get hurt? Your body?

Also, you use a word "awareness". What does that mean? Can you point to it? I ask you to point to your hand - you can do it. If I ask you to point to what you mean by "awareness", can you do it? So what is it?

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danl
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby danl » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:04 am

Hi Armstrong,

Still here. I'll reply tomorrow.

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danl
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby danl » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:33 am

Thanks for your patience.
you read a question - what is the separate self and how you'll know when you've explored it. You answered with some words. How do you know that's true?

...... How do you know your thoughts correspond to reality? Dementia, drugs or just forgetfulness can mean you think "incorrectly", right?
Right and I don't know that the words are true. It's just deduction.
It seems like you're afraid about something bad happening.
You may be right, I didn't notice. Definitely not worried about the body. Maybe failure, or loss of identity? If so, I'm sure it will pass. Realization that there is no self couldn't hurt because there is nothing to hurt, and finding a self seems harmless as well.
Also, you use a word "awareness". What does that mean? Can you point to it? I ask you to point to your hand - you can do it. If I ask you to point to what you mean by "awareness", can you do it? So what is it?
Ah-ha! Awareness is the act of looking...an action, not a self. It seems there is no separate self to find,which means I'd never know when I explored it. So what I call "I" is the looking - like when you try to see in the dark which is just an action.

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Armstrong
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Re: Let's do this!

Postby Armstrong » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:05 pm

Right and I don't know that the words are true. It's just deduction.
I don't think the word "deduction" makes sense. Did you mean "assumption"?

That's my point - if you make what you'd later look back and call a mistake, you'd think, "well it seemed so at the time."

Again, the question is, if you've got a thought, is there any reason to assume it is true (other than the fact that you noticed it)?

You say awareness is an act of looking. Is that really true? Please do this experiment: if you just relax and stop TRYING to hear, see, feel, think, etc, don't those experiences continue? If you then TRY to do those things, do they go on? And please tell me, what is trying like for you? Does it mean you tense up your body or your face? What does trying consist of?


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