"Looking for" direct experience

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Spacious
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"Looking for" direct experience

Postby Spacious » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:18 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
Reading about people having awakening experiences on Actualized.org prompted some investigation. Having done a lot of self-inquiry, it seems working with more experienced teachers who can guide the process of dissolution will be useful.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
To relinquish all identifications with the notion of a separate self. Moreover, to gain a permanent shift to seeing, rather than the current mode of the seer seeing existence.
Furthermore, to learn from more experienced seekers.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
I've read a lot of books and watched a lot of videos of people discussing the subject.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what?:
11

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DanielP
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby DanielP » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:41 pm

Hi Spacious,

My name is Daniel from Canada. Nice to meet you! :) If you are ok with that, I'm offering you guidance in this process.

First, please make sure you've read the disclaimer. http://liberationunleashed.com/register/disclaimer/

Now a few quick guidelines: try to post daily/regularly or post to say that a break is needed if that's the case; also please set aside any other spiritual practices, readings during our inquiry together. Finally, work with one guide at a time (I have to say this because recently, some people have registered simultaneously on two forums).

If you could confirm you have seen the above and that you're ok with that - then we shall begin. Also, could you please tell me what name I should use in our exchange? Spacious ? Anything else?

All the best,

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Spacious
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby Spacious » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:51 pm

Hi Daniel, I've read through all of the above an I'm happy to agree and proceed. I will post as regularly as possible with updates.

Some recent events seem pertinent to us starting. While going for a walk, I questioned the notion of being a self, exploring where does this self start and what beliefs provide the foundation for this sense of self. One of the beliefs interrogated was that space is three dimensional. Upon exploring the foundation of this belief, there was a period of three hours where there was no deer, just seeing existence.

Hopefully this will help with our work. And the name Jason is best.

Thanks

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DanielP
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby DanielP » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:55 pm

Nice talking to you Spacious Jason :)
Some recent events seem pertinent to us starting. While going for a walk, I questioned the notion of being a self, exploring where does this self start and what beliefs provide the foundation for this sense of self. One of the beliefs interrogated was that space is three dimensional. Upon exploring the foundation of this belief, there was a period of three hours where there was no deer, just seeing existence.
Very good. This is exactly what we are going to do ie. questioning the beliefs that you are a separate self. And questionning it from the only reliable point of view : the point of view of direct experience.

Although your intention was good to start with, I prefer a step by step approach. I like to start with the exploration of the experience of the senses. What is seen, heard, touched etc. rather then starting with something as subtil as three dimensional space. I find that doing so creates a thread which makes the whole process much smoother. So we'll keep three dimensional space for later :)

But before diving into the exploration of the experience of the senses, could you answer the following :

When talking about your 'self', what are you talking about? What are you referring to?
How do you think, feel or experience this 'me', this 'self' or this 'I'?
Where is this you? Where is it located? Is it inside your body? Inside one part of your body? Is it somewhere else? Is your body, you? Where does the 'self' that you conceive yourself to be reside?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Spacious
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby Spacious » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:37 pm

Ok, so, when referring to a self, it is clear this is a set of beliefs and concepts. The self was originally believed to be a genetic character that comes into manifestation from biology. However, the foundation of this is also a belief that creates a concept. The self feels like a location in space that has a boundary to it. It usually is assumed to resides behind the eyes, but it seems clear this is yet another belief. Upon questioning this, there is only assumption that provides the foundation for this notion. With regards to the self and the body, there feels like a barrier that exists between the brain and the top of the neck. There seems to be some separation and it wasn't until this assumption was interrogated that it became clear that this was another assumption. These beliefs and assumptions are still firmly in place though, hence why I'm here talking to "you".

Is the body me? There is a belief that the body is mine and that it is an extension of my social value, thus making it subject to the approval/disapproval dichotomy that the self is keen on using.

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DanielP
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby DanielP » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:59 pm

Hi Jason,
Ok, so, when referring to a self, it is clear this is a set of beliefs and concepts.
If it was that clear that the ‘self’ is a set of beliefs and concepts, then you would’nt be here right? Because seeing through the illusion of a separate self IS seeing clearly that the ‘self’ is a set of beliefs and concepts. Sorry to say but this sounds like a well learned lesson to me.

Remember in your opening post you mentionned how ready you were to question beliefs. Well this also includes non-dual or spiritual beliefs…
The self was originally believed to be a genetic character that comes into manifestation from biology. However, the foundation of this is also a belief that creates a concept.
Ok.
The self feels like a location in space that has a boundary to it.
Ok we’ll look into this idea of location and boundary later on.
It usually is assumed to resides behind the eyes, but it seems clear this is yet another belief. Upon questioning this, there is only assumption that provides the foundation for this notion. With regards to the self and the body, there feels like a barrier that exists between the brain and the top of the neck.
Behind the eyes is a very common candidate used to try and prove the existence of the self. We’ll look into that as well.
There seems to be some separation and it wasn't until this assumption was interrogated that it became clear that this was another assumption. These beliefs and assumptions are still firmly in place though, hence why I'm here talking to "you".
Good. Now we’re getting to the point. It seems to me that the idea that the ‘self’ is a set of beliefs and concepts is yet another belief…At least for now.
Is the body me? There is a belief that the body is mine and that it is an extension of my social value, thus making it subject to the approval/disapproval dichotomy that the self is keen on using.
Ok.

Great. Thank you for these answers Jason. Now lets dive right into the exploration of the experience of the senses starting with seeing…

Seeing experiment

Please answer only from the experience of seeing. Not from what you know or think you know. Not from how you think perception should be. But answer only from ‘what is seen’. We are looking at the direct experience of seeing.

Close your eyes, so that you now witness an undefined 'blackness' or maybe a red/orange glow if you are staring at a bright light. ‘Go to' the experience that we call 'seeing' and answer these questions from what you can find.

1) Describe ‘what is seen’ in simple terms.
2) In 'seeing' is there anything else to be found other than 'what is seen' (what you just described)?
3) Can anything be found that is performing a function or an action called 'seeing'?
4) Can you ‘not see’ ‘what is seen’? In other words, can you ‘not see’ ‘what is seen’ as you described it in 1)?
5) Can a pair of eyes, a body, a brain, an 'I', a person called Jason be found that is doing 'seeing'?

Talk to you later

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Spacious
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby Spacious » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:10 pm

Yes, the notion of a self being a set of beliefs and concepts is another layer, it's what has been referred to as an intellectual understanding rather than a direct experience.

1) Yellow slithers of light moving around.
2) There are small yellow dots similar to pixels on a computer.
3) No
4) Tightening the eyes seems to darken what is seen into near blackness, but nothing, it seems, can change seeing.
5) No

A question, should any knew awareness be brought into the thread to be explored at a relevant moment, or would it be best purely to follow "your" lead?

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DanielP
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby DanielP » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:34 pm

Hi Jason,
1) Yellow slithers of light moving around.
Fine.
2) There are small yellow dots similar to pixels on a computer.
I guess I should understand here that there nothing else to be found other than 'what is seen'!
3) No
Ok. So no function or action ‘doing’ the seeing.
4) Tightening the eyes seems to darken what is seen into near blackness, but nothing, it seems, can change seeing.
Ok. So seeing is always present.
5) No
And last, no person, ‘doing’ the seeing is to be found.
A question, should any knew awareness be brought into the thread to be explored at a relevant moment, or would it be best purely to follow "your" lead?
This is an exchange, a dialogue Jason. So you are most then welcome to bring up any issue that comes up at any time during the process. I might or might not answer right away depending on how the thread develops but i’ll definitely try to answer your questions and explore areas which are of importance to you.

That being said, let’s work a little more on seeing.

Seeing experiment part 2

Look to the right, 'what is seen' is what I will call, the image on the right.
Look to the left, 'what is seen' is the image on the left .
Look to the front and close your eyes, 'what is seen' is what I will call, the image with closed eyes.

Please note:
Despite the fact that the eyes are closed, "something" is seen. The 'Yellow slithers of light moving around'.

Now here's what happens:
The image on the right is seen.
Then
The image on the left is seen.
Then
The image with eyes closed is seen.

Questions:
Can you not see the image on the right? The image on the left? The image with eyes closed?
Now when looking with eyes closed, where’s the image on the left? At this moment, isn’t the image with eyes closed the ONLY LIVING experience? The images on the left or right being DEAD experiences?
Does SEEING leaves at some point during the experiment or is it always present?
Can you choose not to see 'what is seen'?
Also, check if there is a SEER?
Can you find an independent or separate seer?
Is seeing separate from you?
Where do you experience seeing?
Is there any distance between you and ‘what is seen’? Doesn't seeing happen IN YOU so to speak?
Can you find 'something' that 'does' the seeing? Something that does the action of seeing?
Can you see SEEING?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Spacious
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby Spacious » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:00 pm

Questions:
Can you not see the image on the right? No

The image on the left? No

The image with eyes closed? No

Now when looking with eyes closed, where’s the image on the left? Gone.

At this moment, isn’t the image with eyes closed the ONLY LIVING experience? True.

The images on the left or right being DEAD experiences? Yes.
Does SEEING leaves at some point during the experiment or is it always present? No.
Can you choose not to see 'what is seen'? No.
Also, check if there is a SEER? There isn't, there is only what is seen.
Can you find an independent or separate seer? No.
Is seeing separate from you? No.
Where do you experience seeing? The belief is in the brain, but again, this another belief, it feels like seeing is without location, it is just seen.
Is there any distance between you and ‘what is seen’? Only my beliefs about distance create this sense of distance, but upon interrogation, there is no definitive answer that there is any distance, these images are just seen.
Doesn't seeing happen IN YOU so to speak? Under my current model yes, seeing feels like it happens in the head.
Can you find 'something' that 'does' the seeing? The eyes was my first response
Something that does the action of seeing? No
Can you see SEEING? No.

Regards

Daniel

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DanielP
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby DanielP » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:11 pm

Hi Jason,

Ok, so to summarize :
Seeing is always present.
From the point of view of a seeing experience, the only living experience is ‘what is seen’ right now.
You cannot choose not to see.
There is no ‘seer’, no independent or separate ‘seer’.
Seeing is not separate from you.
No function or action ‘doing’ the seeing can be found.
You cannot see seeing.
Is that right?

Now let’s look at some beliefs…
Where do you experience seeing? The belief is in the brain, but again, this another belief, it feels like seeing is without location, it is just seen.
In the experience of seeing, what is your experience of what you call ‘the brain’? Have you seen it? Touched it? Smelled it? Experience it? If so how?

Is not ‘the brain’ just a label which is totally valid as a mean of describing how the body seems to works but totally invalid as a mean of describing our true/direct experience?
Is there any distance between you and ‘what is seen’? Only my beliefs about distance create this sense of distance, but upon interrogation, there is no definitive answer that there is any distance, these images are just seen
In the experience of seeing, do you SEE distance? or is it infered or assumed from previous knowledge?
Doesn't seeing happen IN YOU so to speak? Under my current model yes, seeing feels like it happens in the head.
In the experience of seeing, try to describe the experience you call ‘in the head’. What is this experience?
Can you find 'something' that 'does' the seeing? The eyes was my first response
Tell me more about the experience you call ‘the eyes’. Remember, we are doing an experiment solely on seeing. Can you SEE the eyes? How does ‘the eyes’ translate in your experience?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Spacious
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby Spacious » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:14 am

Is that right? Every statement prior to this is correct
The belief is in the brain, but again, this another belief, it feels like seeing is without location, it is just seen.


All correct.

In the experience of seeing, what is your experience of what you call ‘the brain’? During meditation there are feelings like certain parts of synaptic connection are happening, but nothing is observed, only felt.

Have you seen it? No. Touched it? No, only feelings. Smelled it? No. Experience it? What has been interpreted to be through feeling, but at its core, an interpretation is another word for a belief, so the sort answer: no. If so how? I've answered this.

Is not ‘the brain’ just a label which is totally valid as a mean of describing how the body seems to works but totally invalid as a mean of describing our true/direct experience? True.

Is there any distance between you and ‘what is seen’? Only my beliefs about distance create this sense of distance, but upon interrogation, there is no definitive answer that there is any distance, these images are just seen
In the experience of seeing, do you SEE distance? No, it's estimated based on other concepts. or is it infered or assumed from previous knowledge? Yes, inferred.
Doesn't seeing happen IN YOU so to speak? Under my current model yes, seeing feels like it happens in the head.
In the experience of seeing, try to describe the experience you call ‘in the head’. What is this experience? It's like a physical tension. But then, the word tension another conceptual label.
Can you find 'something' that 'does' the seeing? The eyes was my first response
Tell me more about the experience you call ‘the eyes’. The eyes are another concept with a felt sense based on another concept of tension. A concept layered with another concept to create contours that give the sense of a self.

Remember, we are doing an experiment solely on seeing. Can you SEE the eyes? Not without a mirror. How does ‘the eyes’ translate in your experience? As being like windows to the world that the executive agent sits behind like some little person driving a mechinoid.

Jason

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DanielP
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby DanielP » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:38 pm

Hi Jason,
Can you SEE the eyes? Not without a mirror. How does ‘the eyes’ translate in your experience? As being like windows to the world that the executive agent sits behind like some little person driving a mechinoid.
Ok, so you are the ghost in the machine :)

Let's see if that's true. We'll move on to the experience of hearing.

Hearing experiment

Sit for a moment and breathe naturally in order to let the dust settle. Then close your eyes and listen to a sound. Any sound will do. Birds singing, the sound of a bell, music, cars in traffic etc.

Then, direct your attention to the experience of hearing and answer the following questions:

Do you experience a separate entity that hears?
Do you experience an independent hearer?
By relying solely on sounds, not on thoughts, inference, imagination or how you think perception should be, do you experience a separation between that which hears and the sound?

Do you experience an object separate from the sound which is producing the sound? Another way to ask the question is: where is the object in the sound? Or, do you experience an object in addition to the sound? For instance, do you experience a bell plus a bell sound? Answering yes to this question would mean that you experience an object outside of your experience, but is that true?

Do you experience sound to be independent from hearing?
Do you experience sound to be distinct or separate from perception?
Does the sound seem to be waiting for you to hear it?
Do you experience sound as separate from you?
Is there any distance between you and the sound?

Do you experience hearing as separate from that which hears it?
Do you experience hearing as something that exists independently of what perceives, of awareness?
When you say I hear a sound, is it the same experience as being aware of a sound?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Spacious
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby Spacious » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:30 pm

Do you experience a separate entity that hears? No, only the running commentary of thoughts related to the sound.
Do you experience an independent hearer? No, just the commentary.
By relying solely on sounds, not on thoughts, inference, imagination or how you think perception should be, do you experience a separation between that which hears and the sound? No.

Do you experience an object separate from the sound which is producing the sound? Another way to ask the question is: where is the object in the sound? There isn't one.

Or, do you experience an object in addition to the sound? No, only the commentary.

For instance, do you experience a bell plus a bell sound? No, just the sound, unless touching the bell.

Answering yes to this question would mean that you experience an object outside of your experience, but is that true? Not through hearing.

Do you experience sound to be independent from hearing? No.
Do you experience sound to be distinct or separate from perception? No, I would say they are the same, but for the definitions we apply.
Does the sound seem to be waiting for you to hear it? No :)
Do you experience sound as separate from you? Only by the interpretation of distance and location of source, but it all exists within our field of awareness nonetheless.
Is there any distance between you and the sound? No.

Do you experience hearing as separate from that which hears it? No.

Do you experience hearing as something that exists independently of what perceives, of awareness? Only under the conditions of definition, but all sits within awareness.

When you say I hear a sound, is it the same experience as being aware of a sound? Saying 'I hear a sound' is a commentary of the experience, but it is within experience, so no.

This is really useful work Daniel, thank you.

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DanielP
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby DanielP » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:51 am

Hi Jason,
This is really useful work Daniel, thank you.
Glad to hear that!

So to summarize:
No separate entity that hears, no an independent ‘hearer’ can be found.
No independent object in addition to the sound.
No sound independent from hearing.
No sound separate from you. (besides an interpretation of distance and location of source), also no distance between you and the sound.
Right?

Even though my english is ok, it is not my first language. In your answers you said : ‘but for the definitions we apply’ or ‘only under the conditions of definition’, I’m not sure I understand. Could you clarify for me please?

For the time being, let’s move on to touching.

Touching experiment

It may be best to close your eyes for this one, as the sense of 'seeing' is very strong and ties us quite strongly to the belief that there is a world of objects 'out there' being experienced.

Rest your hand on a flat surface, something like a table or a desk.
Then, with eyes closed, 'go to' the feeling that we would normally call 'hand on desk' and see what can be found.

Questions:
In the actual ‘touching experience’, exactly how many things can you find. You can find 'a sensation' no doubt - Anything else?
Besides a feeling (or a sensation), how does the experience you normally call ‘my hand’ translates in this experience?
Can you find a body (a hand) actively performing a function called 'feeling' or ‘touching’?
Can you find an 'I', a 'Jason' or a ‘toucher’ touching some-thing?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Spacious
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Re: "Looking for" direct experience

Postby Spacious » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:42 pm

Your summary is all correct.

The clarification: my point refers to labelling of the sounds. Only by applying a definition does it (sound) have separation, but under the light of awareness there is no separation. If this is still unclear, I will try and explain further.

Touching experiment

Questions:
In the actual ‘touching experience’, exactly how many things can you find. You can find 'a sensation' no doubt - Anything else? Only sensation.

Besides a feeling (or a sensation), how does the experience you normally call ‘my hand’ translates in this experience? Only by applying labels. Everything else is sensation.

Can you find a body (a hand) actively performing a function called 'feeling' or ‘touching’? There is only the awareness of the hand's sensation.

Can you find an 'I', a 'Jason' or a ‘toucher’ touching some-thing? No.


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