You would think by now..

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Johnw
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You would think by now..

Postby Johnw » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:26 pm

Amazon recommended Gateless Gatecrashers after I had purchased yet another Non-duality book. I am 67 years of age and have been seeking all my life. Firstly through Christianity then TM, Sai Baba, Buddhism,Hinduism,Channeling,Mooji etc etc and finally I found Non-duality which made most sense.

I have traveled the world looking for enlightenment and visiting Non-duality Gurus from England to Australia. I have been at the Gate for years and Gateless Gatecrashers leads me to believe that it is possible to go through (if there was a Gate!)...but in spite of "my" own efforts, "I" am still here. I need a push. My expectation is that with some help, it will finally dawn on me that "I" am not here and that this endless searching will be over-before this John dies!

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KevinD
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Re: You would think by now..

Postby KevinD » Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:34 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for your introduction.
A lot of it sounds very familiar.
I'd be happy to walk through this if you'd like.
I'm from coastal British Columbia, in Canada. What time zone are you in?

Before we begin, here are a few ground rules:
  • 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.
  • 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 viewtopic.php?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?

My questions will typically be in bold to make them clearer to see.


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.

My posts will happily be much more brief than this.

Best,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Johnw
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Re: You would think by now..

Postby Johnw » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:28 pm

Hi Kevin
Thanks for your post. Yes, I would be happy for you to walk me through this, please. I am in Scotland, UK so my time zone is GMT/UTC, 8 hours ahead of you. BC is beautiful-like Scotland-only bigger! I have skied at Whistler a few times.
Let me go over the rules again and have a look at the Experience article. I have finished reading Gateless Gatecrashers and quite a lot of the web site. I am not currently reading/studying/following anyone else. I will then reply in detail to you. 
I cannot find "subscribe to this topic" on the blue bar - only "unsubscribe to this topic". Not sure what to do here since it would be useful to have a notification of your posts. 
Will return to you soon-and thanks again for taking this on.
Regards
John

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby Johnw » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:18 pm

19 July.
Hi Kevin
Firstly, I confirm that I have read the intro info, seen the video and read the disclaimer, and I would like you to be my guide. 

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS PROCESS ?
That I will realise once and for all that there is no "I" at all - that I will go through the Gateless Gate with no turning back. 

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR?
The final understanding and acceptance that there is no "I". I believe that once understood, there is no "un-understanding it". The search will then be over. 

HOW WILL YOU KNOW THAT YOU FOUND IT?
Not sure. I guess I am expecting that this body and mind will experience some difference 
perhaps relief and tranquility that may come from the knowledge that I am not in control and that life is carrying on without any input from an "I". Oh-and the inevitable laughter that appears to occur when it is seen through! 

HOW WILL THIS FEEL?
Perhaps I may be able to cope with all that life throws at me from a more detached point of view (which should be easy because there is no "I"). 

HOW WILL THIS CHANGE YOU?
Hopefully this "John" will lose anger, frustration, stress and will be able to sit back and relax and see that he was never in control and responsible for past happenings. How could he have been when he never existed? That is what I need to be convinced of!

I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards
John

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby KevinD » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:50 pm

Hi John,

If the choice you have is "unsubscribe" then you are already subscribed.
All good.
Next, can you learn how to use the quote function here: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660.
It will make the posts easier to read for both of us.

To your responses.
You've listed some very noble wishes for the outcome of this. All of them seem like they would make this world a little better in which to live.
That I will realise once and for all that there is no "I" at all - that I will go through the Gateless Gate with no turning back.
I'm hoping we can show you the illusory nature of an "I" or a separate self, but there are no guarantees.
As to going through the gate and never coming back? Nope. Can't even suggest to you that's going to happen.
The final understanding and acceptance that there is no "I". I believe that once understood, there is no "un-understanding it". The search will then be over.
Possible, but again, no guarantees.
I guess I am expecting that this body and mind will experience some difference
perhaps relief and tranquility that may come from the knowledge that I am not in control and that life is carrying on without any input from an "I". Oh-and the inevitable laughter that appears to occur when it is seen through!
These are common expectations, but, sorry.
As a matter of fact, however this turns out, I can almost guarantee you life will continue. Uninterrupted states of laughter and bliss are extremely uncommon, if they exist at all.
Hopefully this "John" will lose anger, frustration, stress and will be able to sit back and relax and see that he was never in control and responsible for past happenings.
Nope. People living in the awakened state get angry, frustrated and stressed.
All from the Buddha on down.


Here's the issue.
Expectations in this process are killer.
It's quite likely the expectations you listed above may have been blocking you.
I am going to ask you to please, for your benefit, drop all expectations of what this process will bring.

Please think about this for a bit and get back to me as to whether you can drop the dream of any outcome whatsoever.


You are essentially walking on this journey with me, I will point, and you will observe and report back.
In return, I am assuring you nothing.

Are you up for that?

Best,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Johnw
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Re: You would think by now..

Postby Johnw » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:34 am

Ok. I will try. Thanks for your time. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Regards
John

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby KevinD » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:24 pm

Great, John,

We'll both keep an eye on any expectations as we move through this.

What comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be?

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?


Remember, I'm looking for observations seen in direct experience, that is, what's happening in this very moment by the felt senses rather than thoughts or intellect.

Best,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby Johnw » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:17 pm

What comes up when it is read that there is absolutely no “you” in any way, shape or form, there never has been a “you”, nor is there or will be there ever be?
Visceral excitement. And relief that there has never been a doer and that life has simply been lived through this "John". Relief that life will continue to be lived through "John" (until it is not) with no "me" to make decisions - and a quiet thought "what next"? There is no sadness that "John" does not exist.

When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?
I have accepted for a long time that I am not my body. My heart beats, blood flows through my veins, my hair and fingernails grow and I am doing none of that. And yet, if I have an itch, who makes the decision to scratch? Because sometimes I can leave the itch alone by will power. Sometimes I feel there is an "I" looking out of my eyes at the world around me but "I" is not my whole body. Other times I can feel behind my eyes the presence of awareness like a matrix from which all life flows. I accept intellectually that thoughts arise and I know this to be true mostly yet sometimes I feel that there is a "me" who can intervene and, for example, change bad thoughts or change the subject so that the bad thoughts transmogrify into a different and more acceptable train of thought. I can also fantasize and make up fictional stories. Sometimes, particularly when walking my dog, a 4 beats to the bar tune comes into my head in time to my footsteps and the tune may be unacceptable or just annoying and I can force myself to change the tune or stop it altogether. I often think "I" am doing that. And yet I cannot get rid of my tinnitus!
I know that there are large parts of my day that just happen (eg often I don't remember physically driving that last mile of road so I know that driving just happens). I know also that I am not in control of my mind. There is no original thought and most of the day's actions come from memory. And yet I wonder about personality and character - and likes and dislikes. Where does that come from? Is that "me"?
I feel I may have strayed from the "felt senses" somewhat so will stop.
Hope I haven't rambled on too long.
Regards
John

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby KevinD » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:27 pm

Thanks for the very complete answers, John.

Just some housekeeping matters here:
and a quiet thought "what next"?
Please sit with that "what next" thought, examine it for me in direct experience, and tell me more about it.

And it was a very complete answer to the following question, but you told me about control, volition, and the body.
When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?
This was the question. I'm asking when you say "I", what IS that? Please describe its physical characteristics (if there are any) in detail.

Thanks,
Kevin

BTW, thank you for using the quote function. Much easier to read.
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby Johnw » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:31 pm

Please sit with that "what next" thought, examine it for me in direct experience, and tell me more about it
I guess that that was an "expectation" creeping in that there might be something to look forward to after the truth is known. Will try to make sure it doesn't happen again!
I'm asking when you say "I", what IS that? Please describe its physical characteristics (if there are any) in detail
I know it would be helpful if I said that I cannot find an "I" but that is my problem. I can say that I don't think it is my body for reasons previously mentioned. I believe my thoughts are given to me-they just arise from nowhere and disappear again. My brain is a working part of my body. My mind seems to contain the thoughts that arise so I am inclined to say that I am my mind. I think I can control my mind to an extent. I can recall things from memory, I can read a book and learn new things. I can make decisions. The mind is an amorphous mass that surrounds me both visually and inside my head when I close my eyes. It extends to infinity and has no boundaries. I cannot show it to you and I cannot touch it-but it seems to control my life with input from "me".

Regards
John

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby KevinD » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:58 pm

Hi John,

This is most excellent.
This is exactly the stuff we are looking for. Something has been blocking you from seeing clearly, and you are here to find it.
Things are arising for your examination.

Firstly, though.
You say:
I guess that that was an "expectation" creeping in that there might be something to look forward to after the truth is known. Will try to make sure it doesn't happen again!
Please don't "try to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Sit with the thought of that expectation of something else. Do that in direct experience.
What exactly is that? Is it a thought? Is it a story? Is it true?
If not, why should it be believed?


My mind seems to contain the thoughts that arise so I am inclined to say that I am my mind. I think I can control my mind to an extent.
If I is the mind, and something is controlling the mind--the I as you say--what is that that is doing the apparent controlling?
If the I is just a thought, as you say, how can it do all these things?

The mind is an amorphous mass that surrounds me both visually and inside my head when I close my eyes. It extends to infinity and has no boundaries. I cannot show it to you and I cannot touch it-but it seems to control my life with input from "me".
This mind seems to be a very powerful thing.
It sounds like your mind extends well beyond your body.
If the mind is infinite, how can the I control it?
What is this mind's function?



Best,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby Johnw » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:48 am

Hi Kevin
Thanks for your replies.
What exactly is that? Is it a thought? Is it a story? Is it true?
If not, why should it be believed?
It is a thought that all is not ok just now and that there is something better around the corner - after clear seeing. It is absolutely expectation of better things to come. I have read the Power of Now books. Even attended a lecture by Eckhart Tolle. While in Australia, I flew to Melbourne and had a consultation with "Sailor" Bob Adamson to hear him confirm "What's wrong with now except thinking makes it so!" So I KNOW that the present moment, here, right now is all there is and yet mind/thought tells me to look to the future. The phrase " this is all there is" arises. But that's mind stuff. My direct experience is telling me that there is a future- better than now - and that is what I am seeking. I don't know how to break through that barrier. (NB This was written before later responses.)

If I is the mind, and something is controlling the mind--the I as you say--what is that that is doing the apparent controlling?
If the I is just a thought, as you say, how can it do all these things?
I think I was trying to say that my mind contains thoughts. I know that the LU position will be that the "I" is a thought but I don't yet feel that. My former TM training tells me that the thoughts arise from consciousness.
Ahha. You've got me there in your question. Having re-read what I just wrote, consciousness must be doing the apparent controlling. So consciousness creates thoughts and is therefore in absolute control. "I" am not the doer so what is the point of me? If I am not the body and not the mind, then do I even exist? It's hard to let go! I am sending this as I wrote it. Trying not to edit it from the mind.
The above was written at 5am. Couldn't sleep. Woke up with all of this buzzing around my head. The house was quiet so could really look deeply. There is a feeling that consciousness is pervading everything, that everything is flowing from it. I am tempted to say that I can't find me-and then I wonder.....who is thinking that? I'll leave this alone just now and see what the day brings.

If the mind is infinite, how can the I control it?
What is this mind's function?
I was struggling to reply when I looked up at my PC screen and my eyes fell on the Nisargadatta Maharaj quote......and I laughed. Direct experience confirms that beyond the mind is consciousness. Everything arises from consciousness so consciousness controls everything. No - it is not my mind that is infinite - it is consciousness that is infinite.

Thank you for asking me such direct questions. Please ask some more.

Regards
John.

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby KevinD » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:38 pm

Hi John,

Great stuff, you're starting to kick over some rocks it seems that are causing some discomfort.
Good.
Firstly, all of your teachings--very nice.
Now, stack them in the middle of the room and light them on fire.
They have no place here.
You are your best teacher, and the rest will only get in the way.
Can you do that?
The phrase "this is all there is, arises
That's correct.
This is it. Expect no more.
My direct experience is telling me that there is a future- better than now - and that is what I am seeking.
This is not direct experience. It is your mind playing with expectations.
Is your statement above really true?
I think I was trying to say that my mind contains thoughts. I know that the LU position will be that the "I" is a thought but I don't yet feel that. My former TM training tells me that the thoughts arise from consciousness.
You're trying to think your way through this. We won't make any progress that way.
Be still, and simply answer from your felt sense in this very moment.
Through all learning and mental manipulation out the window.
Can you do that?
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Johnw
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Re: You would think by now..

Postby Johnw » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:29 pm

Can you do that?
OK.

Is your statement above really true?

I went within and came away with the statement. That was what I called direct experience. I have been seeking a better future. That has been part of my seeking process. When I go within now, I feel that this is all there is and that any thoughts about the future or past are simply present thoughts arising.

Can you do that?

Will try.

Regards
John

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Re: You would think by now..

Postby KevinD » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:57 pm

Hi John,

I want you to try an exercise in direct experience.

I've found this useful over time.

As described, direct experience (DE) is that which is felt by the senses in the immediacy of the moment.
It is absolutely crucial to what we are trying to achieve here.

There is virtually no thinking occurring.
Outside of DE, there is lengthy learned statements that usually involved a past and a future.
They quite often involve stories, those which we tell ourselves. Most of the time, these are patently untrue.

Here are the exercises:

Go line up a favourite piece of music on an iPod or whatever player is convenient for you.
Don't play it yet.
Now, think of what that tune sounds like. Try to remember all of the sounds that come from that piece. Go for as long as you can to remember that piece.
When you're done, play the music from whatever player you have.

What is the difference between what you thought (Conceptual thinking) and what you heard (Direct experience)?


Go grab a piece of fruit from the fridge (an apple or orange or grapes, etc.)
Set it away from you, and think about what that fruit tastes like.
Savour in thought everything that flavour would bring.

When done, take a bite from that fruit.

What was the difference between the experiences of what you thought (conceptual) and what you tasted (direct experience)?

Put an object on the table, maybe a rock or something.
Think about how that object would feel. All the nooks and crannies, go over them in your mind.
Now, pick it up and feel all those features.

What was the difference between what you thought (conceptual) and what you felt (direct experience)?

Do the same thing with an odor, maybe a cologne or a flower.
Think about that smell.
Then smell it.

What was the difference between the two experiences?

Continue this as many times as you want to ensure the difference between direct experience and conceptual thinking is crystal clear.

Thank you,

Kevin
"Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation."
~Nisargadatta Maharaj


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