Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

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Azumiq
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Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Azumiq » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:39 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:
A few months ago I read the books by Jed McKenna and Gateless Gatecrashers was mentioned. The books made me curious but there was no intention of reading the books as I was convinced the answer had to lie within, instead of in a book. After Jed's books my world came crashing down and I spent a few weeks in freefall (hope that makes sense). The need to seek information in books, meditation or from other people had vanished and I knew I had to search inside myself. I choose not to search as there was no burning desire to seek anymore.
Now a few months later I feel like there is still something I haven't considered. I may even be seeking again. Through the enlightenment subreddit I found the Gateless Gatecrashers book and this forum. After reading the stories and careful deliberation I feel this will be the last and only step I need to take. Tired of spending energy into seeking, frustrated after a few years of seeking and not finding I am ready to end this search.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:
The thing I'm looking for is impossible to describe. Frankly after I think about it, I don’t even know what I'm looking for anymore. I do know what I'm looking to get rid of:
-This feeling that all can be better
-The endless energy spent searching for a relief
-The belief that enlightenment has to be preceded by a grueling period of destroying values and beliefs, endless meditation or that it is some big achievement (that it will make my life better)
-The constant doubt whether or not there actually is free will or not
I expect that this will let me enjoy life. Experiencing life to the fullest.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:
Through fitness and being health concious I got exposed to the ideas of self improvement. A constant feeling of doubt, "there's more to this" reduced my productivity a lot. So I've read some books about Daoism, Zen and Meditation. No answers there. I've done some meditation for half a year, even had a teacher, no answers there. After that I found the books of Jed McKenna, and those were the first to hit some kind of nail on the head. I hadn't started the spiritual autolysis because it didn't feel right yet.
After all that I got to this forum and started reading the Gateless Gatecrashers book, read some quotes from the app, a few forumposts and then decided I probably need some personal handholding to take the one and only step.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? On a scale from one to ten (ten being most ready). : 9

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Bill
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Bill » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:52 pm

Welcome to LU. My name's Bill. Let's see if we can give you a little push..

It looks like you've done quite a bit of work on this already...
Yours is a common spot we find of people who come here..
they've exhausted all available resources....and are finally willing to hear something different.
And maybe one of the most important things is that they agree to be guided and not look at this as a debate or normal conversation.

Before we get started... I wanted to ask you something that you mentioned a few times in your into ...... 'the last step', and 'the one and only step' that you need to take.

What is this step you need to take?
I'm having a feeling you already know what it is...
Don't worry... there's no right or wrong answers here.
What do you feel it is?

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Azumiq
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Azumiq » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:54 pm

Hi Bill, thanks for taking your time to guide me. I really appreciate it. You can call me Menno :)
What is this step you need to take? What do you feel it is?
I feel there is still this very thin veil of unclarity and uncertainty between conciousness and reality. That is what drives me to continue seeking. At times it's so thin I think it's gone. But when searching within what is this "I", I can't find a me. Though there still seems to be a restricting, even constricting feeling when looking. A feeling of resistance, maybe sometimes even frustration that I cant figure this out. I feel like the last step I need to take is to experience life directly without taking ownership and see through this me-glue that is holding this "I" together. Intellectually I get it, now I have to look to see it.

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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Bill » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:33 am

Hello Menno and welcome.

Yes, I can see and read from your posts that you feel and are very close with this...
I feel there is still this very thin veil of unclarity and uncertainty between conciousness and reality.
yes.. it looks like it's 'you' that is the veil :)
Though there still seems to be a restricting, even constricting feeling when looking. A feeling of resistance, maybe sometimes even frustration that I cant figure this out. I feel like the last step I need to take is to experience life directly without taking ownership and see through this me-glue that is holding this "I" together. Intellectually I get it, now I have to look to see it.
This feeling of restriction, resistance, constriction... might be that you are looking to find some 'thing' instead of just looking at what is. This is normal as that's what we've always done. But this is really not something you can figure out in the normal sense, as it must be seen... literally. And you're right.. you have to LOOK, to see it.

What do we look for when we're looking?
Nothing but just to actually see what is there.

I want to borrow a good post on this 'Looking' topic from one of my friends here in here (Delma)
This was her response to a person who had trouble getting what this looking is about.
Please read thru it a few times and let it sit for a time...
Then give your response.

---------------------

Dear Seeker,

It's Never Easy to Write This....

I'm not sure how many ways I can tell you this, and so most times I just have to repeat myself. You don't listen. Thoughts crowd out the very ability to listen to direction. And! You often become frustrated with this direction and walk away from our inquiry thinking that the pointer can't be of much use. You assume that the person giving it is just wrong about what it is you need to hear in order to see this. But the truth is,

You're wrong.

There's a reason why this particular pointer is the most effective I've come across. It's direct. Blunt. It leaves no room for discussion, and my role is to end the discussion entirely.

I don't want a dialogue with you!

Don't be offended by that.


While a dialogue may help you to UNDERSTAND what's being said, that understanding isn't what's going to get this done. I'll tell you what will and I'll give it my best shot, knowing that it's worked for hundreds of people already, maybe thousands. Here it is, so listen up.

Just Look.

That's it. It's the best and most thorough pointer you're going to find if you could just stop long enough to do what's directed.

Now, you have to ask yourself this... how is it that this pointer can be it. The one. Everything. The KEY? Go ahead and ask that question. Test it out. Tear it up. How is that IT?

And when you hit a brick wall, just maybe you'll do what's being asked which is to notice that a speck of dust is more real than the self. A droplet of dew is more real than the self has ever been or can ever be.

How is that true? In what way is that true?

When the answer comes, just stop and take that in. Then scan that brain for all of the teachings which say that this is simple. Childlike. Humble. Think of all the accounts of those who've 'gotten it' and said that they couldn't believe how simple it is. And the look of wonder? It's not because they're suddenly seeing pixie dust or rainbows. It's because they stopped to follow the directive, and then they saw the truth of REALITY AS IT IS.

Now....

Just Look.

Look at something near you.... your hand even.

What is seen?
What is absent?

Look at anything.
Anywhere.
Any time.

What is seen?
What is not?

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Azumiq
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Azumiq » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:46 pm

I've read this comment from Delma a couple of times and let it sit untill a useful answer came up. It's a very good description.
What is seen? What is not?
When looking at my hand, I see the object, the label "my hand" comes up in my head. All that is seen is the object, what is not seen is the thoughts and labels that are triggered in my head.

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Bill
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Bill » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:14 pm

When looking at my hand, I see the object, the label "my hand" comes up in my head. All that is seen is the object, what is not seen is the thoughts and labels that are triggered in my head.
A very nice observation... thoughts aren't 'seen'.
And if you look in everyday life.. they are the things that we believe in most.
Yet they can't even be seen!
You're making more of a crack in the egg now.

If you stop and look... what is 'real'? (not in a scientific or technical way)
what, in your everyday world is real?

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Azumiq
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Azumiq » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:37 am

If you stop and look... what is 'real'? (not in a scientific or technical way)
what, in your everyday world is real?
When walking around the ground feels real, it looks real, the chair is real, the monitor is real. The buttons of the keyboard when typing this feel real. When taking a shower the warmth and the feeling of the water faling on my body is real.
This tangent isnt part of the question but I'm inclined to type "this body" since I've read the concept of no owner in other posts on this forum. I understand that intellectually, but there's still a feeling that it's mine, that there is a me. Eventhough there's no geezer to be found.

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Bill
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Bill » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:00 pm

Hello Menno,
When walking around the ground feels real, it looks real, the chair is real, the monitor is real. The buttons of the keyboard when typing this feel real. When taking a shower the warmth and the feeling of the water faling on my body is real.
Sounds about like what I see also... things I can substantiate being there with my senses.
Conversely, we could say, at least for this argument, that things not substantiated in the 'real' world are not necessarily real. Like thoughts and concepts for example. We have bought into a whole slew of these without even realizing it, and when looked at thoroughly, their illusory nature can be seen. And this is the world we all live in pretty much.

This tangent isn't part of the question but I'm inclined to type "this body" since I've read the concept of no owner in other posts on this forum. I understand that intellectually, but there's still a feeling that it's mine, that there is a me. Even though there's no geezer to be found.
Sure, there's a sense of self here...
Who/what is it that still feels the body is yours?
Look to find this..
Can you find something or someone in there?
What do you actually see when looking at this I thought?
Can you locate it?

Listen to a sound. What is hearing the sound?
“I am” is simply a thought.
Observe the direct experience of hearing the sound.
Is there a listener, or is there only sound?

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Bill
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Bill » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:01 pm

Throughout the years our many guides have discovered that one of the major obstacles to the direct, clear seeing of what is already magnificently the case is a thick layer of expectations and narrative about a self’s journey towards enlightenment, built up by years and years of seeking. Getting these expectations out in the open and out of the way is an important first step. Below is a list explaining what the LU process is not:

This is not about convincing anyone of anything.
This is not a self improvement program.
This is not about gaining a particular bit of knowledge.
This is not about having a certain thought or sequence of thoughts
This is not about stopping thoughts, changing thoughts, or getting rid of thoughts.
This is not a trick of the mind, or twisting the mind into believing certain thoughts.
This is not about cultivating an altered state of consciousness.
This is not a belief, religion, or a philosophy, nor is it magical or mystical.
This is not about gaining something extra, becoming something special.
This is not something that will lead to accumulation of money or things.
This is not about becoming a holy, good, moral or better person.
This is not going to lead you to eternal peace and happiness, it is not about happiness.
This is not a way to get free of depression or other diseases.
This is not about freedom from emotions and intense feelings.
This is not a way to escape your daily life.
This is not a way to make the story of you disappear.
This is not about getting rid of self, ego, I

please comment on this list.
What expectations are you still holding?
Look good at this, as we need to address any that are still around.
Be brutally honest in looking at this.

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Azumiq
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Azumiq » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:43 am

Who/what is it that still feels the body is yours?
Look to find this..
Can you find something or someone in there?
What do you actually see when looking at this I thought?
Can you locate it?

Listen to a sound. What is hearing the sound?
“I am” is simply a thought.
Observe the direct experience of hearing the sound.
Is there a listener, or is there only sound?
There's no who or what that is thinking that this body is mine. I've checked and there's nothing there. It's almost like a reflex that there's this feeling of I or mine when doing things. When thinking, thoughts come up, and as they come up in awareness, almost simultaneously the thought comes up that they must be "mine". Or that it must be me doing the thinking. Then when you check, there's no me. This is the loophole, the everlasting chase to see something that isn't there.
Yesterday I've listened to a lot of music and with music it seems very easy for me to notice that there's just sound, no listener. It's just tones and sounds coming into awareness, floating by and there's no-one or no thing they reach or nothing that holds on to it. The sound may trigger thoughts and emotions, but its all the same. Floating through awareness. This experience of sound actually gives me the certainty that there is truth to be realized, that the I can be seen for what it is. An illusion. I guess all other actions will eventually be percieved in the same way.

What expectations are you still holding?

This is not a self improvement program.
This is not about gaining something extra, becoming something special.
This is not going to lead you to eternal peace and happiness, it is not about happiness.
This is not about getting rid of self, ego, I
I still hold these four expectations. Let me elaborate.

I see this process as the final nail in the coffin of self improvement. The thought that things could be better is what started all this seeking and after the freefall a few months ago the seeking almost entirely stopped. The need for self improvement almost stopped and I think when this process is done, I’ve realized there is no one to improve. The end of self improvement.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I think of this process as a great achievement. Experiencing or becoming something special. Since not a lot of people get to this point and keep on seeking, there is this feeling that I’ve done something that a lot of people desire. Something extraordinary. As I type this I realize how stupid this sounds. That must be the bubble of “enlightenment” that I have created. The pedestal I put it on.

I think this will give me peace because the seeking will stop. The seeking is what gives me an uneasy feeling, that there are things to be done, that I could be doing better. When that seeking stops I can just chop wood, carry water without doubting whether its the right thing to do.

I know this is not about getting rid of the I, the self or the ego. But once the illusion is seen, I think eventually the things that were strongly tied into the self will fade. Leaving a shade of the former ego/self/I.

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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Bill » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:42 am

Hello Menno,

Very nice looking in your first two paragrahs, with the thoughts and sounds..
Yes, the assumption we've had forever is that its a 'me' having these thoughts.... and hearing these sounds.... but upon really looking for this me, nothing is found.. just thoughts floating by and sounds coming in...
Thoughts are no big deal and we don't need to try to quiet them or get rid of them as so many contemporary
spirituality ideologies advocate. They are completely natural and are for sure a part of what is. Just notice them as they come up.
This is not a self improvement program.

I see this process as the final nail in the coffin of self improvement. The thought that things could be better is what started all this seeking and after the freefall a few months ago the seeking almost entirely stopped. The need for self improvement almost stopped and I think when this process is done, I’ve realized there is no one to improve. The end of self improvement.
Great insight there. What's true is that there is NO self to improve. That's why all of that never really worked. Most of us have worked on ourselves all our lives... wondering why things really never changed much.... well a fictitious self can't really fix itself! When all of this improvement seeking is let go of.. a big sigh is let out.
This is not about gaining something extra, becoming something special.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I think of this process as a great achievement. Experiencing or becoming something special. Since not a lot of people get to this point and keep on seeking, there is this feeling that I’ve done something that a lot of people desire. Something extraordinary. As I type this I realize how stupid this sounds. That must be the bubble of “enlightenment” that I have created. The pedestal I put it on.
This may or may not continue. Take a look though....
Are there 'special' people? or special anything for that matter?
This is not going to lead you to eternal peace and happiness, it is not about happiness.

I think this will give me peace because the seeking will stop. The seeking is what gives me an uneasy feeling, that there are things to be done, that I could be doing better. When that seeking stops I can just chop wood, carry water without doubting whether its the right thing to do.
Again.. maybe...
nothing really changes... :)
only your perception of things.

Is there something that needs to change?
This is not about getting rid of self, ego, I

I know this is not about getting rid of the I, the self or the ego. But once the illusion is seen, I think eventually the things that were strongly tied into the self will fade. Leaving a shade of the former ego/self/I.
This is different for every one.
Some have a great letting go of the self.. others its much more subtle.
Your life long conditioning does not go away.. nor does your basic personality.
We see thru the illusion of self.... but the I is not destroyed.

Really this is about just seeing things as they are. Simply.

If I ask you now... what do you feel you have questions about or feel stuck on.. what would they be?

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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Azumiq » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:43 am

Are there 'special' people? or special anything for that matter?
As there is no me to be found inside myself, I guess there are no selves in other people. That means that there aren't any special people. Just more awareness sharing the experience. And maybe some more imaginary selves trying to hold on and make things their own. Although, I can't say for sure that there are other awarenesses, because for all I know they are just characters in my own experience.
We have to dive in some semantics if I want to explore whether or not there is a special anything or not. Because this is all life, experiences, emothions and thoughts coming in awareness. No thing is special to awareness, and simultaneously every experience is special (because: how awesome is this, being able to be aware of all this?) .
Is there something that needs to change?
There’s no self to change, but the perspective can change. There’s no need to change anything as everything just comes up in awareness and no-one is doing any changing. Changing happens by itself. Although typing this I realize that I just get the concept, it’s knowledge, not direct experience.
I do realize that all that doesnt result in happiness or eternal peace. I see that now. What does that even mean? Eternal peace and happiness sounds impossible to me.
If I ask you now... what do you feel you have questions about or feel stuck on.. what would they be?
There’s still the same process going on. When I apply the practise of just listening, there’s just sound and music coming through awareness. No listener to be found. This takes no effort, but I guess some amount of concentration to actually let go and let listening happen.
Yet when I do things (more complex tasks), when something comes up in my mind, I instantly feel like it’s personal action. The reflex we’ve talked about before. The instant label that it’s me doing it. Let's call it autopilot selflabeling. That I have a say in it. That it’s my will. The feeling that there are actions that just arise in my mind without an owner, that there is no free will, is known intellectually. When there’s no self to be found who’s there to will things? But the sound of it is just very scary. Letting go of the tiller, seeing that there’s no captain and just letting the ship sail. The desire to hold on to this will has to be let go. (As I read back what I typed I ask myself: What is there to let go of? There's no self to let go of. I've looked there's nothing there. Who has to do the letting go? No-one, there's no-one there.) There is no-one to desire anything. There’s no-one to do anything.

I can type this 100 times, but nothing will change. It won’t make something click. I guess thats where I feel stuck on, this automatic reaction, automatic ownership of some illusory self. It feels so close. Ilona had a nice metaphor in one of the gateless gatecrasher casestudies about an imaginary watermelon. I feel like there is no watermelon when I check, when I look, then when you start doing things you find yourself holding the watermelon again. (does that make sense?)
I guess its the crux of knowledge. When you read about something, or hear other people talk about it, you feel like you already did it, like you get it. That you have some experience in the matter. But actual experience is only gotten by doing, by seeing, by experiencing. Why cant I see this? Feels like a Zen-koan. Your brain just errors and you feel like it hits a wall. This wall is the gate.

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Bill
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Bill » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:07 am

I like your writing on the first two questions. Very nice looking there.
As you can see with your own experience.. there is no hard and fast answers to much of this.
The mind wants these... so it can 'know' and make sense out of all of it, but they don't really come.

One thing you will notice on the LU site is we don't use alot of the standard spiritual terms you might see on others.
I notice you are using the word awareness quite a bit... we do tend to shy away from the use of it here.
The reason being it can give another thing for people to identify with. "you are awareness". Or, it can be used in such a way to imply that there is this 'thing' called awareness... that is 'out there' permeating everything. Its subtle but misleading and very dualistic used in this way.
First of all, I have no way of knowing exactly what permeates everything and if I LOOK, I don't see anything remotely called Awareness. Just what is, is what I notice being here... whatever is here now.
What we really want to do here is see what's there. and not add anything that is not to it.
I do understand there is there is being aware and noticing whats happening.

Does anyone 'do' awareness? Can awareness as a thing be found in direct experience?
I can type this 100 times, but nothing will change. It won’t make something click. I guess thats where I feel stuck on, this automatic reaction, automatic ownership of some illusory self. It feels so close. Ilona had a nice metaphor in one of the gateless gatecrasher casestudies about an imaginary watermelon. I feel like there is no watermelon when I check, when I look, then when you start doing things you find yourself holding the watermelon again. (does that make sense?)
I guess its the crux of knowledge. When you read about something, or hear other people talk about it, you feel like you already did it, like you get it. That you have some experience in the matter. But actual experience is only gotten by doing, by seeing, by experiencing. Why cant I see this? Feels like a Zen-koan. Your brain just errors and you feel like it hits a wall. This wall is the gate.
From what I'm reading in your writing, you are seeing this.
You seem to be expecting to go into some no self state maybe?
You're expecting things to somehow be different than they are now.

This is what you're looking for.. right here .. right now.
This... now. Not when things 'change' or you see better..
You're seeing perfectly now. Just Look.
What you are experiencing right now is IT.
Is there any way it could be any different?
You've had a lifetime of conditioning.....
Isn't this really just how things are unfolding?
Does it matter really that you are reacting to things?

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Azumiq
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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Azumiq » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:55 am

Does anyone 'do' awareness? Can awareness as a thing be found in direct experience?
There’s no one doing awareness and there’s no awareness as a thing found in direct experience. It has always been. It just is. I guess awareness is more of the spiritual labeling. This pointing, naming, labeling it awareness is the “I” trying to grasp it. Trying to grasp the ungraspable.
You seem to be expecting to go into some no self state maybe?
Is there any way it could be any different?
Isn't this really just how things are unfolding?
Does it matter really that you are reacting to things?
I think you hit the nail on the head. I might be expecting to go into a state of no self. The automatic labeling, the reactions, letting the mind do it’s thing, it doesn’t matter. It really is just how things are unfolding. But I thought the feeling that I wasn’t doing any of it would be more apparent. I thought I would know for certain when I was done.
I guess there’s still this doubt that when I let things be as they are, the automatic labeling and the feeling that there’s a me doing it all will take over again, or maybe even continues. That I will go back to sleep. As I don't know whether I have actually seen through the illusion that I'm not doing any of it or that I haven’t caught this “I” in the act of taking ownership good enough. I doubt whether i've seen it directly and know from the gut that it's an illusion. There's still some holding on.

I feel like I don't make a lot of sense. Thanks for taking your time and putting up with this!

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Re: Thought the seeking ended, but it still remains...

Postby Azumiq » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:46 pm

Ok after my rant this morning, it's beginning to become more and more clear. There actually is no control, there is no self that does things, everything goes on on its own. My actions arise by themselves, my thoughts arise by themselves, emotions arise by themselves. The fact that there's an I doing them is an illusion. Though sometimes the feeling of me doing it arises and catches me off guard. Thats what creates the doubt.

What is next?


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