Curiosity

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Dsydnll
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Curiosity

Postby Dsydnll » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:06 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
Curiosity. I understand the basic concepts but have questions and trouble experientially.

What do you expect of the conversation on this forum?:
To understand more clearly.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
Constant questioning and seeking in different ways. Probably thinking too much.

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JonathanR
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Re: Curiosity

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:29 am

Hello Dsydnll,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Jon and I'm a guide here. Please let me know how to address you, if you'd like me to use a different name?

First thing I need you to do, please, is to write some more. You say you understand the basic concepts but please say more about which ones? What sort of trouble do you have experientially? Feel free to ask questions. I don't promise to answer them but I will take note.

Curiosity is good and investigation will help. I can offer to ask questions that will point towards a realisation that there never was a 'self' or 'I'. The rest is down to you, your willingness to look at your own experience. It's not so much about understanding or thinking but much more about a willingness to place assumptions aside and to answer honestly from experience.

For the duration of our converstaion on this forum please put all spiritual or non-dual teachings aside and focus on the investigation here. Also, please try to post every day. Let me know if you can agree to these requests.

Wishing you the best. Shall we begin?

Jon.

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Dsydnll
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Re: Curiosity

Postby Dsydnll » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:05 am

Hi Jon,

Thank you very much for making contact, I appreciate your time and effort.

My name is Tim, the username is simply one that I will remember.

Regarding my 'understanding' of the basic concepts, I may well be mistaken however I can appreciate that life evolves regardless of our experienced thoughts, that thoughts are simply thoughts and that we don't need to identify with those thoughts. Conceptually I understand that there is no inherent owner of those thoughts, that many thoughts come and go without conscious effort and that Tim is just a story in the greater fabric of existence.

Experientially, I find difficulty in being the whole rather than a part, I find it difficult to experience that the tree and me or you and me are one. I am often perturbed by negative thoughts arising, such thoughts may be judgmental, egotistic, anxious and selfish etc.

I have downloaded the app and watched some of the videos here etc but I seem to be left with many questions which I will ask as this process unfolds and any feedback will be much appreciated. One of my major questions which may simply stem from ignorance is that the teachings seem to indicate that there is no free will. If this is the case, does this not give free reign and excuses for bad conduct and evil doings?

I must confess here and now that I am a hypnotherapist and a mature student of psychology. I have 'chosen' to help others to make positive changes in their lives. I have been trained to communicate with the unconscious mind which leads me to another question... Does the label 'conscious mind' refer to experienced ego and the unconscious mind refer to a holistic mind/energy? My conditioning tells me that the conscious mind represents free will but I am willing to experience something different.

*Important note* - I recently was very disappointed to receive a communication from a Vipassana retreat refusing my admittance to a retreat because I admitted that I am a hypnotherapist. This 'energy work' apparently conflicts with their teachings. I am simply a human being trying to live my life in the best way possible, I am a hypnotherapist because I experienced anxiety disorders and other difficulties brought on by burn-out at work a few years ago which led me to reassess my life and what is truly important ( I am now 43). I chose to do something positive with my life by helping others. It is very important that you understand, I am simply looking to become a better human being, I hope that I will not be rejected on the basis of my present experience. Incidentally, I first attended a Vipassana retreat in 2002 and thought that I would gain far more from the experience this time.

Since a child, I have experienced a strong spiritual drive for no particular reason. I am not looking to escape from life, on the contrary I am hoping to live life to the full. I am hoping to be the best version of Tim that I can and would dearly love to spend more time in the moment (I find this difficult), trusting that this will lead me to whatever I am 'meant' to do and be.

For the duration of this process, I will try my very best to put aside all preconceptions and any acquired knowledge to focus on the very important task at hand experientially. I will try my best to respond each day and am very excited to begin!

A further note - you may need to be patient with me, I have a tendency to overthink!

I look forward to hearing from you Jon and thank you again for your time and effort.

My very best, Tim

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JonathanR
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Re: Curiosity

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:25 am

Hi Tim,

Thank you for this really helpful information. It is good to know your thinking and approach so far. Forgive me if I do not address all points but instead concentrate on one or two.

One more thing I almost fogot. Please read the disclaimer on the Liberation Unleashed main page - http://www.liberationunleashed.com/
(Scroll down the page)

During our conversation I will be using the 'quote' function (that can be found by switching to 'full editor' and using the 'Quote' button. This highlights quoted text.) Feel free to use it yourself. By the way, it is a VERY good idea to copy your reply to memory before submiting it becasue sometimes it is possible to loose your work. Copying your reply ensures that if something goes wrong you will still have a copy you can paste.
Regarding my 'understanding' of the basic concepts, I may well be mistaken however I can appreciate that life evolves regardless of our experienced thoughts, that thoughts are simply thoughts and that we don't need to identify with those thoughts. Conceptually I understand that there is no inherent owner of those thoughts, that many thoughts come and go without conscious effort and that Tim is just a story in the greater fabric of existence.
Sounds as though you get this conceptually. Now the job is to look at experience so as to see it experientially without doubt. Your question about 'free will' is a good one but let's leave this until a little later on.

Your work as a hypnotherapist sounds fascinating and rewarding.
Does the label 'conscious mind' refer to experienced ego and the unconscious mind refer to a holistic mind/energy? My conditioning tells me that the conscious mind represents free will but I am willing to experience something different.
Perhaps these questions will be answered as things unfold. Perhaps not. But we will come to 'free will' later.
*Important note* - I recently was very disappointed to receive a communication from a Vipassana retreat refusing my admittance to a retreat because I admitted that I am a hypnotherapist. This 'energy work' apparently conflicts with their teachings. I am simply a human being trying to live my life in the best way possible, I am a hypnotherapist because I experienced anxiety disorders and other difficulties brought on by burn-out at work a few years ago which led me to reassess my life and what is truly important ( I am now 43). I chose to do something positive with my life by helping others. It is very important that you understand, I am simply looking to become a better human being, I hope that I will not be rejected on the basis of my present experience. Incidentally, I first attended a Vipassana retreat in 2002 and thought that I would gain far more from the experience this time.
Very disappointing. Do not worry. You will not be rejected :-) Actually we do not offer any 'teachings' as such. We must still use language, but only in order to question existing beliefs, not to create new ones.
Since a child, I have experienced a strong spiritual drive for no particular reason. I am not looking to escape from life, on the contrary I am hoping to live life to the full. I am hoping to be the best version of Tim that I can and would dearly love to spend more time in the moment (I find this difficult), trusting that this will lead me to whatever I am 'meant' to do and be.
This drive is very positive. No particular reason is also great.

So let's begin.

You have mentioned 'Tim'. But what is it that you currently believe you are? As suggested, put any previous study into this subject aside, and focus simply on what you believe is true.
What is 'I'? What does the word 'I', or 'me' point to?

Thank you,

Jon

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Dsydnll
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Re: Curiosity

Postby Dsydnll » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:33 pm

Hi Jon,

Thank you for your response.

I am sending this on my phone via Tapatalk so I hope the formatting comes out ok. I also don't think I can a quote from this application so I will abbreviate your questions.

What is it that I think I am?

As discussed, attempting to put all previous experience and knowledge aside... I believe that fundamentally I am a human being with some form of 'spiritual' essence attempting to navigate my way through life. I believe I am a physical organism with a non physical component that I do not pretend to understand. I experience sensations and thoughts via my nervous system. These thoughts are non-physical but real to me.

What is 'I', what does the word I or me point to?

'I' is the name I call myself. I and me both point to what I believe is the experience of being me (see above).

I hope the response is ok.

Thank you for your continued time.

My best, Tim



Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

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JonathanR
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Re: Curiosity

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:38 pm

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your response. Tapatalk seemed to work.
As discussed, attempting to put all previous experience and knowledge aside... I believe that fundamentally I am a human being with some form of 'spiritual' essence attempting to navigate my way through life. I believe I am a physical organism with a non physical component that I do not pretend to understand. I experience sensations and thoughts via my nervous system. These thoughts are non-physical but real to me...

'I' is the name I call myself. I and me both point to what I believe is the experience of being me (see above).
Thank you. I appreciate the straightforward nature of your reply and the sense that you did not over-think this. That's a good start.

Let's start a little exploration and see where it may lead?

In standard communication, we say 'I see' and it may (or may not) be assumed that it is the body that is 'me' that is doing the seeing.

So - right here and now, examine your experience.
The words on the screen are being seen. What are they being seen by?
From thought, we have the idea that 'I see the screen'.
So what is 'I'? What can be found right here and now in your experience that is 'seeing the screen'.

Can anything be found? There is the thought 'I see', but is there actually an 'I' to be found that does the seeing?
If so, what is that?
Do you experience a body seeing? Or would you say that there is just 'seeing'? Just the experience alone?'


Thank you,

Jon

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Dsydnll
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Re: Curiosity

Postby Dsydnll » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:25 pm

Thank you so much for your continued assistance Jon.
Let's start a little exploration and see where it may lead?
Great, thank you.
In standard communication, we say 'I see' and it may (or may not) be assumed that it is the body that is 'me' that is doing the seeing.

So - right here and now, examine your experience.
The words on the screen are being seen. What are they being seen by?

From thought, we have the idea that 'I see the screen'.
So what is 'I'? What can be found right here and now in your experience that is 'seeing the screen'.

Can anything be found? There is the thought 'I see', but is there actually an 'I' to be found that does the seeing?
If so, what is that?

Do you experience a body seeing? Or would you say that there is just 'seeing'? Just the experience alone?
Physically I am aware of the structure of my body watching the screen. Experientially, there is just seeing, with no 'I' involved when there is no internal commentary.

Thank you again Jon.

My best, Tim

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JonathanR
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Re: Curiosity

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:29 pm

Hi Tim,
Thank you so much for your continued assistance Jon.
Very happy to do help Tim.
Physically I am aware of the structure of my body watching the screen. Experientially, there is just seeing, with no 'I' involved when there is no internal commentary.
Nice answer. You were right to check the actual experience. This is key to our investigations here. You noticed that there is no 'I' when there is no internal commentary, just seeing. So, is it also noticed that sometimes there is a commentary?

You also noted an awareness of 'body watching screen'. Look again right now. There may well be such a thought about 'my body watches this screen', but in this experience of simply seeing is 'a body' found 'doing watching'?


Thank you,

Jon

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Dsydnll
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Re: Curiosity

Postby Dsydnll » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:47 pm

Thank you Jon .

There is almost constant commentary, and internal dialogue by means of thoughts. In the actual experience of seeing, there is no 'I' and no body.

With kind regards, Tim

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

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JonathanR
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Re: Curiosity

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:48 am

Hi Tim,
There is almost constant commentary, and internal dialogue by means of thoughts. In the actual experience of seeing, there is no 'I' and no body.
Yes. Good.

Next, try Hearing. There is the sound of wind currently blowing outside my door and a fridge humming in the corner. But it could be any sound that you now notice. Simply notice the experience of hearing right now.

As before, is there a 'me' found in the experience of hearing, or 'body' doing the hearing? Or 'ears' that 'hear'? What is the actual experience?

As before, is it clear that the immediate experience of hearing is simply the sensation of hearing, but sometimes there is commentary going on that is not its self the hearing, but thoughts that are somehow additional to the actual experience?

Best wishes,

Jon

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Dsydnll
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Re: Curiosity

Postby Dsydnll » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:07 pm

Hi Jon,

Thank you as always.

Coincidentally I did this exact exercise early this morning. I felt that I was the experience. Just hearing rain falling and birds singing etc. Thoughts dissipated and I was in the moment. It was a lovely experience but didn't last, not that I thought it would. As the day began, I got carried away with thoughts.

No hearer, just experience.

Many thanks,

Tim

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

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JonathanR
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Re: Curiosity

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:43 pm

Hi Tim,
Coincidentally I did this exact exercise early this morning. I felt that I was the experience. Just hearing rain falling and birds singing etc. Thoughts dissipated and I was in the moment. It was a lovely experience but didn't last, not that I thought it would. As the day began, I got carried away with thoughts.

No hearer, just experience.
That's great. Lovely. Don't wory about thoughts. It's good that you notice them and mention them and we will come to them soon. But great that there just was this experience, as you say.

This sort of looking at immediate sense experience can be done with any of the five senses, so you might like to run through them, touch, tase and smell? Check the experience of each one in turn.

In taste, is there a 'taster' or simply the sensation happening in this moment?

Standing still, there is a feeling, of pressure or warmth perhaps, where feet meet floor? Notice the sensation. Are 'feet' doing the feeling of this or is there just the sensation happening? Can a self be found doing or having the feeling?

Thank you,

Jon

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Dsydnll
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Re: Curiosity

Postby Dsydnll » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:47 pm

Hi Jon,
That's great. Lovely. Don't wory about thoughts. It's good that you notice them and mention them and we will come to them soon.


I look forward to it!
This sort of looking at immediate sense experience can be done with any of the five senses, so you might like to run through them, touch, tase and smell? Check the experience of each one in turn.

In taste, is there a 'taster' or simply the sensation happening in this moment?

Standing still, there is a feeling, of pressure or warmth perhaps, where feet meet floor? Notice the sensation. Are 'feet' doing the feeling of this or is there just the sensation happening? Can a self be found doing or having the feeling?
I can say that In the actual experience of each sense, sensation is all there is. No 'I'.

Thank you as always,

Tim

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JonathanR
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Re: Curiosity

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:48 pm

I can say that In the actual experience of each sense, sensation is all there is. No 'I'.
So let's look at thoughts now. In these few exercises it was noticed that there was an immediate experience of seeing, hearing and so on in which 'I' was not found. But also there were times when thoughts appeared. At one point you described this as a 'commentary'. That seems like a good word for it.

Do you notice that this commentary can be ABOUT more or less anything? It might be commentary about 'seeing' or it might be about what's for lunch or about something else entirely.

Is it possible to prevent a thought or thoughts from appearing? Try it. Take a look and see if it's possible not to think the next thought.

If I say 'Blue Elephant', is it possible to somehow not experience that thought, or thought-image?

Likewise, creating thoughts. Is it possible to 'think' a thought? Or do they just happen as and when they do?


Thank you,

Jon

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Dsydnll
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Re: Curiosity

Postby Dsydnll » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:41 pm

Thank you Jon,

I will be careful here as I am beginning to anticipate what I think I am supposed to say! I will be as honest as possible from current experience.
Do you notice that this commentary can be ABOUT more or less anything? It might be commentary about 'seeing' or it might be about what's for lunch or about something else entirely.
Yes, this commentary can be about absolutely anything.
Is it possible to prevent a thought or thoughts from appearing? Try it. Take a look and see if it's possible not to think the next thought.
I can't stop thoughts from appearing, although I can sometimes stop them in their tracks and sometimes I seem to replace one thought with another. For example, I am sometimes unhappy with judgmental thoughts that arise so I may pre-empt the judgment and replace with another thought 'no judgment' or 'don't judge'.
If I say 'Blue Elephant', is it possible to somehow not experience that thought, or thought-image?
I struggle slightly with this question... My honest experience is that I can sometimes read the word without a thought-image (I am not good at visualising unless from memory which is ironic for a hypnotherapist). It seems that when I read words, I can comprehend some words without any experience of thinking.
Likewise, creating thoughts. Is it possible to 'think' a thought? Or do they just happen as and
when they do?
I also struggle with this... It seems that I can direct my thoughts (sometimes). For example, in a moment I am going to think of my car.

I am sure I am on the wrong track here but if I must be honest and not pretend to be more than I am.

My best,

Tim


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