Excited to learn

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raymundo
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Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:32 pm

I am Raymundo from Los Angeles.

I have studied Buddhism and practiced Shambhala Buddhism for several years.

I began this part of this journey as a recovering alcoholic. For many years, I pursued self-annihilation. Now, I have reached a point at which I acknowledge the seed of a positive intention behind my past behaviors.

Although I don't want to travel through that valley again, I am deeply intrigued by the possibility of seeing beyond the ego. Liberation Unleashed has been on my radar for some time, and the work you have done here has piqued my curiosity.

Now, I feel I am able to set my expectations appropriately. I do not wish to escape my life, but to learn a new view. I believe that you may be able to help.

I am relentlessly curious with core rationality and an open mind. My sense of humor is my greatest comfort - I probably wouldn't be here without Adams, Vonnegut, and Firesign Theater. I am a lifelong student, and am ready to immerse myself in what the LU community has to share.

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Ilona
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby Ilona » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:33 pm

Hi Raymundo.
Welcome to LU! Gald to have you here.

You say you are intrigued to see beyond ego. That's great. But what if there is no ego, as in it does not exist as a separate individual entity, I. There is none whatsoever. Then how are you going to see beyond something that is imagined? Not here, never was.

How does this land?

Kind regards.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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raymundo
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:37 pm

I imagine it would be like my experiences in the past seeing through my own false mental constructs such as prejudices, superstitions, and logical fallacies.

I am prepared to travel through the valley of cognitive dissonance and let go of something I cherished as protection at some point. To humble myself.

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Re: Excited to learn

Postby Ilona » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:03 pm

thank you for answer, good to hear that you are ready.

have a look here now, what is that i? where is it? what is separate self, the doer?
describe what you find.
if i say, that there is no self at all, none as in zero, what happens? how does the body react? what mind is saying about that?

write what feels true.

sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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raymundo
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:43 pm

It's been awhile! Fortunately, I have had time to ponder this in some depth.

When I am alone, or "alone in a crowd," I have experienced profound sensations of no-self in the pauses between inhaling and exhaling and vice versa. The doer, the thinker, is absorbed into the sounds and smells in the room, and I feel a sense of weightlessness that I can only obfuscate by description.

When I return to social situations, the Self rears its head with a vengeance. This has made me more socially awkward than before. It's as if I've found a false back in a wardrobe, undressed, and escaped into a dreamlike space. But I am afraid to pass through the front door again without first putting on my clothes again.

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Re: Excited to learn

Postby Ilona » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:54 am

hi Raymundo! lovely to hear from you!
interesting.. what you are saying is that something/someone called Self is present in social situations.. well, there is no such entity. there are habits, reactions, responses arising within situation, but ego does not exists, it's an illusion.

the sense of contraction, frustration, awkwardness is not a Self.
so what is actually happening? can you look and tell me, what is that you call a self, and how does it appear and disappear? is it something that you have? is it something that takes over?

what if there really is nothing there? what would be lost?

sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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raymundo
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:32 am

After long wanderings, literal and otherwise, I have found The Gate again.

I am afraid that if I lost my self, I would cease to look after myself.

I am afraid that losing the self would mean reneging on all of the promises I have made to my future self. I am afraid I would have to give up on my creative and artistic efforts and resign myself to mediocrity. I am afraid that I would die a lonely and unfulfilled death, wondering what I could have accomplished if I had believed in myself enough to follow through.

I am afraid I would lose any sense of pride. More essentially, I am afraid that pride and ego are not my cage but rather the key components of my survival.

These are not proud thoughts, but I do cling to pride.

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raymundo
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:42 am

I am ready to look. I am glad I've found this place again and I think I'm gonna like it here. I am back and I commit to posting at least once a day.

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Re: Excited to learn

Postby Ilona » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:34 pm

Hi Raymundo, sweet to see you back and ready to look.

i hear you, there is fear around this process.
I am afraid that if I lost my self, I would cease to look after myself.
you can not loose your self. and caring is not going to be lost. nothing that is real can be lost. only illusions drop away. which does not mean that you will become a vegetable with no creativity. creativity is not something that you do, isn't it. art happens when you are open, isn't it? I am an artist too, and that did not go away :) so no fear, nothing to loose, other than old ideas that no longer work.

the sense of pride, being better, special, more amazing then others, that may fall away. but uniqueness is not falling away, everyone is unique and that is default.

you can look at ego as a means for survival, but you are alive not because ego is holding you alive, but because you are. alive. no need to fight for survival. can you see that?

tell me, what is it that a self does? what is it's job?

sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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raymundo
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:19 am

I think of my self as my OS. Everything I experience is filtered through that interface. It's how I decide where to put things and how to interpret them. I think verbally and am often figuring out how to categorize things more than I'm really feeling or experiencing them.

From a young age I was exposed to a hell of a lot of pop psychology. I learned not just to process my thoughts and feelings but to second- and third-guess them rigorously. I generally look at everything in terms of whether or not it's something that someone like me would like, and how someone like me would or should react to it.

My self is also my liaison with others, my PR/marketing wing. I spend a lot of time thinking about how my self is perceived by others and whether or not it's in harmony with their selves. I feel that I need a highly curated and mediated self in order to keep my social status and the perceptions of others from slipping out of my control.

I often wonder if my self needs an upgrade. It doesn't seem as cool or as tough as other selves. I often feel I am running Windows and surrounded by Macs. I generally feel out of step with the world and as though everyone else takes for granted a certain level of security and self-confidence that I fundamentally don't have.

I self-sabotage on a regular basis. I often do a half-assed job of things to protect my ego from actual failure. Looking back, I often believe that I could have done better and accomplished more had I been the sort of person who really goes for it, not the sort of person who wallows in excessive self-awareness.

I don't particularly like myself. And part of why I'm interested in enlightenment is that, although I know it's silly, I want a major OS overhaul and I want it now. I think things would be a lot easier if I weren't who I am.

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Ilona
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby Ilona » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:09 am

thank you for honest and thoughtful reply.
lets have a look what is that owns the Operating system.

have a look at a computer, or phone, whichever you use and think in terms of OS. what is that own the OS? is windows program the owner of computer?
when you look at computer, is it a computer or your computer? what make a thing MINE? what is that claims ownership?

now look at your self, that is that claims it MINE? can you find the owner? or owner is part of programming- an idea among other ideas?

write what you find
sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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raymundo
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:56 am

I think of the OS as something I own because I paid for the phone. I customized the settings.

But it won't be mine indefinitely. The phone could be destroyed, I could lose it, or I could decide to upgrade. It isn't really mine now. It was created by Google and designed to bring some benefit to them throughout my usage. I can only customize it so much within the limits of its design. It filters my reality, but it certainly isn't "me" in any way that makes sense.

***

I've thought about it and here is the most detached description of myself I can give. My self exists in my brain as a series of electrical impulses. It has been proven that these neurological signals can carve out pathways for themselves to make their regular travels more convenient. So my self is an ongoing equation involving everything I've experienced, all the habits I've (usually unwittingly) cultivated, and all the traumas that have shaken me.

Inorganically speaking, my self is a series of stories that I tell myself about this information, loosely based on these patterns. It's my attempt to get all of my experience into a coherent Powerpoint presentation. They exist to give me a sense of being a separate entity, to imagine the chaos of my experience has some internal logic I can rely on, and to (ideally) keep me from making the same mistakes over and over. But the stories aren't real. I'm not even sure mine are particularly credible.

I can see this storyteller, call it by its name, and acknowledge that its stories are clever fictions. But I can't quite find the hook to yank the storyteller off the stage. There is still a hell of a lot of fear of what would come after its fall from power.

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raymundo
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:24 pm

I fear I got far off track here.

One encouraging thing I've noticed this week is that my self as perceived by others has little to do with the one I perceive. I can see and hear myself acting differently in attempts to impress different people, usually feeling a lot of fear as I do it.

Those presented selves are owned by the people I'm performing for. They get to decide who I am to them.

The main reason I keep my "real," private self around is to keep believing I'm more than that.

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Ilona
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby Ilona » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:17 am

Hm, but what if there really is no self at all? No self in you, no self in others? Just life, dancing as different happenings and unique characters? What would be lost if that is true?
Here is something written by neuroscientist Gary Weber about the brain and I. I think this will be good for you to read from scientific point of view http://liberationunleashed.com/articles/where-is-the-i/

Again, there is no real or false self, none as in zero.. No higher self. No self at all.
Write what comes up when you consider that to be true.

Sending love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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raymundo
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Re: Excited to learn

Postby raymundo » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:34 am

The more I consider that there is no self, the more true it seems to me. It is a series of stories I have told myself, a marketing campaign designed to sell myself to myself and others. It is very tied into social status and transactional games, but there is no essence. It really is "all over the place," which would explain why my self-esteem bounces between 1 and 10 and everything between throughout the day.

I think it's starting to sink in, but it hasn't been a big epiphany or revelation. I can't say I've popped. It has been a slow burn. And my old assumptions still sneak up on me, particularly when I'm feeling sad or "down on myself."

There is a sense of mourning for all the big plans I had for my ego. For how good I thought I would feel when I finally "lived up to my potential."

But there's a sense of freedom, too. I don't have to build monuments to myself in an attempt to preserve something for the ages that was never anything but a concept. I am free to hear, see, and feel without struggling to process everything through how I think I ought to think about it.

I am still looking for the self but I no longer believe I am going to find it.


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