Knowing too much

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Bambaji
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Knowing too much

Postby Bambaji » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:41 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
I need help. Intellectually I think I understand that there is no self, but I don't actually see that or experience it. I've been reading Douglas Harding, trying to look back at myself, to see the empty fullness. That seeing doesn't happen. I feel as though I am being a bit dense.
I have been on this journey for a long time, I have read that liberation is a matter of chance, it may happen in this life but it may take many lives. I don't understand the continuity idea of having several lives to liberate a self that doesn't exist. I mostly ready non duality these days. It's a comfort but not an ending/beginning. I started reading Gateless Gatecrashing yesterday, keep reading, trying to answer the questions honestly, but I know I'm not. I'm scared of being too clever for this, it's too simple, I can fool you into thinking I am there. Ha!
I yearn for freedom, but I am told that this cannot be a true yearning, that what is yearning is my ego and it wouldn't yearn for its own death. I should strive for the death before death so that I can truly live. But what has to die? Such confusion.
Please help me how to see what is true. I do not understand how to look. How do I turn the attention to something that's not there? How can I get myself to see that it's not real?!!

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
Oh ok, I didn't read this question before going on and on in the last!
Truth.
Freedom from the belief that I am someone. I am so tired of upholding the facade of "me", some days it takes such a lot of energy.
Authenticity.
I want to truly see this world without the veil in front of my eyes that gives false identity to everything and gives rise to the belief that it must all matter.
Peace. Not the peace of "all problems are gone" but the peace of no one having them in the first place!

What is your past experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Retreats with Gangaji, Ekhart Tolle and Tony Parsons. Workshops, books, dvds, more books, endless discussion and dark nights of the soul. I have an impressive library of spiritual literature. Started off fairly soft, gentle, cuddly but having been getting progressively more hardcore in the hope of shocking my ego in to leaving once and for all!
I studied TM and other forms of meditation, but these days I just call it sitting quietly, hoping for an insight or some actual quietness!
I have moments of happiness, nano seconds before thought comes in and makes a story. It's not always believed.

I feel close. To what!? I don't know! I believe I can be free. I don't want to believe it. I don't want to know it. I just want to be free. Is this possible?

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what?: 10

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JonathanR
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:09 am

Hello Babaji,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Jon and I guide here. I'm very happy to offer to assist you in your inquiry.

I read what you wrote with intereset.
I need help. Intellectually I think I understand that there is no self, but I don't actually see that or experience it. I've been reading Douglas Harding, trying to look back at myself, to see the empty fullness. That seeing doesn't happen. I feel as though I am being a bit dense.
No you are not. I can tell from the way you write.
I have been on this journey for a long time, I have read that liberation is a matter of chance, it may happen in this life but it may take many lives.
That is one of a number of possible ideas about liberation that might seem to suggest that it would be impossible to get anywhere. So the thing is to see beyond ideas and that is something we can address.
I yearn for freedom, but I am told that this cannot be a true yearning, that what is yearning is my ego and it wouldn't yearn for its own death. I should strive for the death before death so that I can truly live. But what has to die? Such confusion.
Well one of the things LU guides tend to be good at is not telling people what their experience must be. We tend to ask questions instead and it is down to you to take a look within your own experience to find 'answers'. The language of 'getting rid of ego' can be confusing and plain unhelpful. We do not get rid of or kill anything, simply point to an illusion.
I feel close. To what!? I don't know! I believe I can be free. I don't want to believe it. I don't want to know it. I just want to be free. Is this possible?
It is a very good place to be right now because there is such motivation. Yes, I'd say it is really possible, provided that the expectation of what 'freedom' should look like is not too fixed.


Looking forward to hearing from you,


Warm regards,

Jon

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Bambaji
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby Bambaji » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:53 am

Good morning Jon

Thank you for your email, so timely, so perfect. This morning I finished reading Gateless Gatecrashers. Wow. Caroline's account touched me so deeply, released something, I feel so close, so teetering on the edge. Waves of heat rising through the body, so much laughter, so many tears, something big is shifting. And every day I have checked, so many times, have I a guide yet, have I a guide? And here you are, right on time!! For whom? I don't know.

So, yes, YES, let's do this thing. Get it done. Thank you, thank you, so much gratitude for this help.

I have to go to work soon for a few hours, but will come back to this, will take this with me, all the time in my head "there is no self at all in reality, how does that feel?" on and round that goes....

With much love

Fran

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JonathanR
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:17 am

Hi fran,

Great to hear from you so soon.

Yes. Let's start. Could I ask you to agree to a few things please?

I expect you know already but we will simply have a conversation here? I will tend to ask quite a few questions and it will be for you to look at your own experience. All our efforts will go towards you seeing that there is no self or that self is not what you thought it was.

Honesty is very important and it always pays to take a good look at expectations. Please take a good look around and see if there are any particular hopes or expectations, however small or insignificant, of what the outcome of this conversation should be?

Please post at least once a day unless circumstances really prevent this, in which case could you let me know that? I will also try to post each day.

Thank you. OK. We can start...


Please let me know what it is that you think or feel that 'you' are?


love,

Jon

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Bambaji
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby Bambaji » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:36 am

I absolutely agree to be as honest as possible to any question that you ask. And I promise to post at least once a day.

I will take your question with me and reply later

Thanks Jon

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Bambaji
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby Bambaji » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:20 pm

Hello again

"Please let me know what it is that you think or feel that 'you' are?"

More and more often comes the feeling that there is no me to be anything. But sometimes, well feeling first, I feel that I am this huge er......this is very difficult to describe!.....a whole lot of love!!! Just the last couple of days a feeling of euphoria, my chest feels too small to hold this feeling in. I feel no identity in this.

Thoughts are more complicated: I think I am on the verge of liberation, but there is nothing to liberate, I think I am excited, I am hoping the feeling is excitement, could be anxiety, often feels the same.....lots of thoughts. More awareness that they are just thoughts, even/especially the "I" thought.

I realised as I was walking home from work that "I" didn't go to work today, and that felt thrilling, because nobody noticed and because everything got done that needed to be done and I wasn't in the way of any of it.

One of the things that has always driven me to this kind of work - not that there is anything quite like this! - is the "taking everything personally" syndrome, I have a masters in TEP!! Today it hasn't felt like any kind of an issue. I also have a voice that tells me I will soon be found out for hamming this up and pretending that I am liberated and then life will come crashing back in again, so a nagging doubt is there.

I tried to bring up some of the expectations that I have about Liberation, there are quite a few!
I expect the world to look subtlety different, maybe fresher or cleaner or shinier!
I expect to really see the oneness of everything
I expect to be kinder, more tolerant
I expect others will see this in me and notice that I am different from usual!
I expect to not take things personally any more
I expect peace
I expect freedom from the tyranny of thoughts that I can't control or stop
I expect not to be judgemental or critical any more

There is a fantasy that I will maybe suddenly be able to heal or become a great empath or something. I don't believe I want this, but it helps cushion the fear that I have been working with that I am going to disappear and will lose all my friends and my sense of humour and all that makes me ME. Hahahaha. I see the humour in this sure enough, but fear is still there. I can't seem to see behind it.

Does any of this make sense, or even answer your question?

Fran

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JonathanR
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:07 pm

Hello Fran,

Thans for your detailed reply.
But sometimes, well feeling first, I feel that I am this huge er......this is very difficult to describe!.....a whole lot of love!!!
How beautiful !
also have a voice that tells me I will soon be found out for hamming this up and pretending that I am liberated and then life will come crashing back in again, so a nagging doubt is there.
Don't loose any sleep over this. It isn't going to stop us :-)
I tried to bring up some of the expectations that I have about Liberation, there are quite a few!
I appreciate your honesty. Let's take a look at them:
I tried to bring up some of the expectations that I have about Liberation, there are quite a few!
I expect the world to look subtlety different, maybe fresher or cleaner or shinier!
I expect to really see the oneness of everything
I expect to be kinder, more tolerant
I expect others will see this in me and notice that I am different from usual!
I expect to not take things personally any more
I expect peace
I expect freedom from the tyranny of thoughts that I can't control or stop
I expect not to be judgemental or critical any more

It cannot be known how 'seeing' will be experienced. Experiences vary. Sometimes unrealistic expectations prevent the simple noticing of no self, becasue the searching FOR an experience prevents the seeing of what IS right here and now.

The world may or may not look shinier. Most likely it will look very similar to the way it does now.

As for 'oneness' it is possible to notice a lack of separation. We will explore that.

It certainly can't be guaranteed that others will notice a change.

It is very unlikely that there will always be 'not taking things personally'. Though there is no self the illusion that one is 'there' can be persistent, even when self is seen through.

Peace may come and go.

There may well be freedom from a tyranny of thoughts but not really control of them. They will still appear.

Don't expect too much too quickly in terms of not judging or feeling critical of people.

Tell me if any of the things I have said worry you or seem like an issue and we can look at these?

Having possibly poured cold water on some of your expectations I have to add that this inquiry is still worth the ride and there is a mystery side to it that can flower.

Thanks for mentioning fear, by the way. Can you tell me what the core fear is? Describe what you are afraid may happen?

By the way, do you feel as though 'you' inhabit your body?


love

Jon

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Bambaji
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby Bambaji » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:33 pm

Hey there, thank you for your email. Here goes...
"Can you tell me what the core fear is? Describe what you are afraid may happen?"
It feels as though there are two big fears. Loss and failure.

Loss of: credibility; friends; sanity; humour. Although I can't say for sure I have any credibility or sanity to begin with!
Failure is more tied up with this work, that I just won't get it, I won't see what is staring me in the face (so I am told), that there is nothing more than I have right now, no new way of seeing, that I am truly separate after all. I guess loss of the dream of liberation could be added to the list too.

And I am very afraid that.....er.............how funny, that thought came up but when I invited it closer there was nothing to be found. So I have no idea what, if anything, I am very afraid of!! Laughing now. Contraction in the chest, but no fear there to be seen. Hey ho!

I am kind of writing this as a stream of consciousness, trying not to edit too much, just putting down what is showing up. Is that ok? I don't want to write stories.

Onwards.....next question:
"By the way, do you feel as though 'you' inhabit your body?"
There used to be a feeling of inhabiting this body and also serious, almost desperate, identifying with it too, and when I say that there used to be, I am talking only a few weeks back. But I have looked yesterday and today, and just now and I just can't see where "I" could be hiding. No one limb or organ, no compartment in the brain (wrote "my" brain then and changed it!) with a cartoon character sat behind a huge console controlling everything!! I know that I is not to be found in my body. It is known and accepted totally. Feels a bit intellectual....
But - damn, always a but! - there is the voice that labels and immediately takes ownership of just about everything, and although mentally changing "I am walking" to "walking is happening" helps in that it gives a feeling of loosening, it is still there. That voice is very persistent and really bossy and er.....what's the word .....belligerent!! I associate it somehow with a real entity that lives somewhere (somewhere inside maybe, but where could it live? And it can't live anywhere of course because it's not fucking real - DUH!!!), I'm not sure I even think it's actually my voice!! Oh dear. Confusion. Schizophrenic huh!!

These last couple of days, there has been much more awareness of an absence of ownership. Like I didn't take I to work today, not on purpose, just noticed that later. And when I do some yoga, afterwards I feel the difference when I am not there doing it. It's sweeter. Other activities, they just seem to happen. The head is so full of thoughts sometimes that it can't be me directing anything, it's far too noisy in there for anything to be heard, and yet "stuff" happens. All day long! Cooking, sewing, walking, breathing. All of it. Some activity I don't even think I am doing: digesting; sleeping; circulating the blood etc. Others, the voice says they can't possibly happen without direction - a director, probably a producer, a couple of stage hands - a whole crew making STUFF HAPPEN. Laughing again. How ludicrous.

It is so easy to slip into the language of ownership. Can that be avoided? How can any kind of conversation happen without use of me, I, mine etc? Does it lead back to believing in that thought. The idea that "I" is a thought has a strong resonance, it makes sense.

I'm going to bed now. All of a sudden feeling very sleepy. What a day!

Thank you Jon, and goodnight

Love

Fran

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JonathanR
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:59 pm

Hi Fran,

Thanks for your post. I'll just pick up on one or two things...
Loss of: credibility; friends; sanity; humour. Although I can't say for sure I have any credibility or sanity to begin with!
I understand these fears. I wonder how strong these fears are? If they are not too bad we can push on but if they are strong we will need to look at them closely.

I doubt that your sense of humour will go. There is no reason to loose friends, unless you insist on trying to 'enlighten' them ;-) How about loss of sanity? Is that genuinely a biggie or more like a little nervousness?

Tell me if there are any persisting anxieties.
Failure is more tied up with this work, that I just won't get it, I won't see what is staring me in the face (so I am told), that there is nothing more than I have right now, no new way of seeing, that I am truly separate after all. I guess loss of the dream of liberation could be added to the list too.
I understand this too. If you want to see this it will happen. I'm here to try to make sure it can't not happen. I wonder if this fear of failure can be reasonably easily placed to one side? Allow me to let you know if you're going awry, then you can relax?

love

Jon

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Bambaji
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby Bambaji » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:33 am

Good morning Jon

None of the fears are very strong, they are, for the most part, a thought of fear rather than a feeling of fear, and I really don't find my thoughts to be terribly reliable! I don't actually mind the thoughts so much, but the stories can get exhausting.

Thank you for helping me, let's push on please. I feel that there is more anxiety to be found around not doing this work now that I am here and have found the help that is needed. Much greater anxiety for this than for loss or failure it seems.

A great feeling of nameless emotion comes here, tears. I am ready and I am so tired of not seeing the truth, so tired of the seeking. It seems that so many people are Liberating, so why not me huh?!

Love

Fran

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JonathanR
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:09 am

Hi Fran,
None of the fears are very strong, they are, for the most part, a thought of fear rather than a feeling of fear, and I really don't find my thoughts to be terribly reliable! I don't actually mind the thoughts so much, but the stories can get exhausting.
Yes. well, that's interesting. Do you notice that thoughts appear and at some stage disappear or are replaced by other thoughts? Take a look at your actual experience.

Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing ? Try to do that.

Is it possible to create a thought? Try thinking a thought.

Let me klnow how this goes?
Thank you for helping me, let's push on please. I feel that there is more anxiety to be found around not doing this work now that I am here and have found the help that is needed. Much greater anxiety for this than for loss or failure it seems.
OK Fran, we will push on.
It seems that so many people are Liberating, so why not me huh?!
Why not?


love

Jon

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Bambaji
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby Bambaji » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:18 pm

Hi
Yes. well, that's interesting. Do you notice that thoughts appear and at some stage disappear or are replaced by other thoughts? Take a look at your actual experience.
Thoughts come and go. They sometimes seem to follow a theme (different from a story, related to each other but not commentating). I have noticed that they don't necessarily have anything to do with what is actually happening. After reading your email this morning I did a yoga practice and I noticed that thoughts carried on, nothing to do with yoga at all! Yoga was just happening, it really was, regardless. There was an element of story-telling: what I was going to write to you about this experience, that kind of thing, but I was able to watch and these thoughts passed on through like the rest.

I am not sure about being replaced exactly. They come and go so in a sense they replace each other. An image of a wave comes to mind. Can one wave be said to replace the next? Not sure.

I did notice that the thoughts aren't quite as constant as I had "thought" haha. I was/am aware of gaps between thoughts. Maybe I have not paid attention before to notice this.

Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing ? Try to do that.
Nope!! It seems that I need to have the thought "I am going to stop thoughts" to even try! and even then they don't stop. The thought comes up "who is trying to stop thought?", if there is no fat controller, who could possibly even want thought to stop. But trying to stop a thought is bit like saying "don't think of pink elephants" and it's immediately all that comes to mind!!

Are there two kinds of thought Jon? One that is a sort of background chatter, like traffic noise and another that actually thinks relevant thoughts, helpful thoughts?

Is it possible to create a thought? Try thinking a thought.
It seems kind of possible to think a thought. I look at the screen and consciously think "blue screen" or I close my eyes and think "I am going to think about dinner now" and it seems to happen.


Thanks Jon

Fran

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JonathanR
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:54 pm

Hi Fran,
I did notice that the thoughts aren't quite as constant as I had "thought" haha. I was/am aware of gaps between thoughts. Maybe I have not paid attention before to notice this.
That's good to notice. Take a look at that gap over the next day or two. What does it feel like?
Nope!! It seems that I need to have the thought "I am going to stop thoughts" to even try! and even then they don't stop. The thought comes up "who is trying to stop thought?", if there is no fat controller, who could possibly even want thought to stop. But trying to stop a thought is bit like saying "don't think of pink elephants" and it's immediately all that comes to mind!!
Ha ha. Yes
Are there two kinds of thought Jon? One that is a sort of background chatter, like traffic noise and another that actually thinks relevant thoughts, helpful thoughts?
Both types appear. I wonder if you are thinking about 'intention'? It is fairly common for people to be able to see that many thoughts are like traffic noise. But sometimes there is the idea that some thoughts are 'intentional', in other words, that there is an entity 'me' that 'does thinking'.

Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you?

Are you the thinker of thoughts?
It seems kind of possible to think a thought. I look at the screen and consciously think "blue screen" or I close my eyes and think "I am going to think about dinner now" and it seems to happen.
Do you feel that this means a 'self' must be thinking thoughts?


love

Jon

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Bambaji
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby Bambaji » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:02 pm

That's good to notice. Take a look at that gap over the next day or two. What does it feel like?
I will "mind the gap" and report back!
Both types appear. I wonder if you are thinking about 'intention'? It is fairly common for people to be able to see that many thoughts are like traffic noise. But sometimes there is the idea that some thoughts are 'intentional', in other words, that there is an entity 'me' that 'does thinking'.

Do you think thoughts or do thoughts think you?
Yes, it seems that I do have the feeling that some thoughts are intentional, and I notice a subtle lean towards the idea that I am thinking those thoughts on purpose. Thank you, I shall pay attention to this and look closely at what is true here. I feel neither statement is true, thoughts just arise and fade away again. There is a feeling that this is true beyond all doubt, but I'm feeling it not seeing it. The feeling is one of calm and of rightness, hard to describe, but a knowing/sensing type feeling.

Thoughts think me in the sense that the I is a thought. They think the I into existence.

It is a mind-fuck - to have an intellectual understanding but to feel as if I am being presented with evidence to the contrary that seems to be true. But when I look closely at this, well there is no evidence, these are also just thoughts going round and round, tripping me up until I feel uncertain of what I know/feel/believe.

I have doubts that I am looking correctly. I am not seeing what I should. This is another thought though of course.
Are you the thinker of thoughts?
It seems kind of possible to think a thought. I look at the screen and consciously think "blue screen" or I close my eyes and think "I am going to think about dinner now" and it seems to happen.

Do you feel that this means a 'self' must be thinking thoughts?
Arghh!! Yes (hanging my head in shame), I do sometimes think this, not so much or so mindlessly as before, but there are definitely times when I get caught up in the story or me and feel there is a self thinking thoughts and controlling things. When I notice it then the feeling fades, usually quickly, and there is laughter at how ridiculous this is. I talked with my husband about this tonight, and it was obvious as we delved a bit into the idea, that thoughts just arise without a thinker. But sometimes in the moment it is not that obvious.


To let you know: I am on a course for the next couple of days but should have wifi in the hotel so will be in touch, but probably not so much.

Thanks for your time Jon

Love

Fran

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JonathanR
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Re: Knowing too much

Postby JonathanR » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:04 am

Hi Fran,

Thoughts think me in the sense that the I is a thought. They think the I into existence.
Right. OK. Is it possible to prevent thoughts from appearing, including the thought 'I'?
It is a mind-fuck - to have an intellectual understanding but to feel as if I am being presented with evidence to the contrary that seems to be true. But when I look closely at this, well there is no evidence, these are also just thoughts going round and round, tripping me up until I feel uncertain of what I know/feel/believe.

I have doubts that I am looking correctly. I am not seeing what I should. This is another thought though of course.
Don't worry about it. I will let you know if you deviate far from the inquiry. You can relax about that. By the way the feeling you describe often immediately precedes realisation.
Arghh!! Yes (hanging my head in shame), I do sometimes think this, not so much or so mindlessly as before, but there are definitely times when I get caught up in the story or me and feel there is a self thinking thoughts and controlling things.
No shame in honestly admitting what really happens.

'I' appears as an idea and some identification takes place and is then seen through, isn't it? How is this supposed to be prevented?

Who or what would do the preventing?


love

Jon


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