Inside buzz

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Smerfie
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Inside buzz

Postby Smerfie » Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:39 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
The central core that used to be what I knew to be me seems to have changed. Its as if there is no central magnet that attracts all the thoughts anymore. Thoughts seem diffuse, they come and go but its different somehow. I cannot explain.

What are you looking for at LU?
There had been very intense seeking for the past couple of weeks. Long periods of present moment awareness alternating with fear and peace. A feeling of reality changing. All senses became very acute.
Then very randomly was led to this website online. I started reading gateless gatecrashers, and a few chapters in, the need to read further fell away.
Something has changed. Almost continuous presence since then, deep peace and a constant sound of silence.
Reached out on the Facebook page and was advised to join the forum.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I would like to know a little more about what happens after the shift. I understand it is a period of deconstruction and falling away of old patterns. Was given a link to article called Beyond the Fall by Scott Kiloby and it has been very helpful.
I am hoping to have someone I can turn to if I have questions or just get some help navigating through all the new terrain.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been reading and listening to Eckhart Tolle for the past 5 years. I suppose he has been my Guru of sorts. There were periods when I would turn to his teachings actively and then there would be longer periods when no, so to call, spiritual pursuits went on. In the past few weeks seeking got very intensified and the strange thing was there was no internal need to read or listen to Eckhart anymore. I read a book by Kirshnamurthy called Freedom from the known and then just more and more presence starting happening and it brought up a lot of fear which then lead to more conscious choosing of presence and ultimately to gateless gatecrashers which seems to have given the final push.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
10

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JonathanR
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby JonathanR » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:02 pm

Hello Smerfie,


My name is Jon and I guide here at LU. Welcome.. Its a pleasure to read your post. Perhaps I may assist with your questions?
The central core that used to be what I knew to be me seems to have changed. Its as if there is no central magnet that attracts all the thoughts anymore. Thoughts seem diffuse, they come and go but its different somehow. I cannot explain.
That sounds interesting. Does there seem to be a 'you' that thinks thoughts?
There had been very intense seeking for the past couple of weeks. Long periods of present moment awareness alternating with fear and peace. A feeling of reality changing. All senses became very acute.
Then very randomly was led to this website online. I started reading gateless gatecrashers, and a few chapters in, the need to read further fell away.
Something has changed. Almost continuous presence since then, deep peace and a constant sound of silence.
Reached out on the Facebook page and was advised to join the forum.
That's wonderful. Really.
I would like to know a little more about what happens after the shift. I understand it is a period of deconstruction and falling away of old patterns. Was given a link to article called Beyond the Fall by Scott Kiloby and it has been very helpful.
I am hoping to have someone I can turn to if I have questions or just get some help navigating through all the new terrain.
Ok well I am here to help, primarily as a guide pointing to no self but also to assist with examining the new terrain.
I have been reading and listening to Eckhart Tolle for the past 5 years. I suppose he has been my Guru of sorts. There were periods when I would turn to his teachings actively and then there would be longer periods when no, so to call, spiritual pursuits went on. In the past few weeks seeking got very intensified and the strange thing was there was no internal need to read or listen to Eckhart anymore. I read a book by Kirshnamurthy called Freedom from the known and then just more and more presence starting happening and it brought up a lot of fear which then lead to more conscious choosing of presence and ultimately to gateless gatecrashers which seems to have given the final push.

Lovely.

Well, this sounds good. We can start simply by chatting. You are welcome to ask questions and I will probably ask some too. At some point it may well be useful for you to join our Aftercare group.

Let me know you have read my reply and we can take it from there.

Warm wishes,

Jon

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Smerfie
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby Smerfie » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:59 pm

Hello Jon,

Thank you for your email, I was very happy to read it. I have a had little more time to experience and understand this shift since my first post and a few things got clearer to me already but its all still a bit new and wonky.

Now to answer your question.
That sounds interesting. Does there seem to be a 'you' that thinks thoughts?
No. When my mind is quiet and I look inside there is only awareness, depth and silence. Thoughts just come and go. I have been examining deeply and frequently and it was easy to recognise the fleeting, random thoughts as undirected. However from a state of quiet alertness, it is obvious now, that even the thoughts that seem directed and purposeful arise from the same nothingness. All 'I' and 'me' thoughts are also arising from that same nothingness.

The first 2-3 days after the shift were very intense. There was almost continuous presence and even physically I felt many sensations. First was this bearing down or pulling down in my head and a massive feeling of expansion in my chest. Also expansion in the lower abdomen. Deep feeling of peace and slowing down of everything. I had been feeling anxiety in the pit of my stomach for sometime and that has gone completely. Then all of it calmed down and things sort of went back to how they were. That nearly continuous presence subsided and regular thinking returned. I was initially disappointed but even that has passed now. Thoughts do have a momentum and I find myself sucked into this momentum often but just as quickly there is recognition and disassociation as well. They don't have the same grip as before.

Spending time in nature, just looking out the window at clouds, listening to music and walking have been immensely helpful in deepening the awareness. There is a sense of peace within underlying all thoughts and feelings, even when I catch myself lost in thought its still there.
I know I have been describing many changes but having said that, nothing has changed. Everything is also just the same. I'm still me and Brussel sprouts still taste vile. There is just more flowing with life rather than directing life. Thats all.

I'd like to know a little bit about what to expect. Does the momentum of thoughts reduce or does it go on at the same pace? I also find that there are times when I realise I wasn't present but when I look back and examine what had been going on I realise I hadn't been thinking but I hadn't been aware and present either. So what is that? Unaware not-thinking....

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Smerfie
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby Smerfie » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:00 pm

Warm Regards,

Anna

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JonathanR
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby JonathanR » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:11 am

Dear Anna,

I promise to reply to you later today (properly) and my apologies for not replying sooner. I was busy late yesterday on a flight but am home now.

Thank you very much for your post. It's lovely.

Just for now:
Does the momentum of thoughts reduce or does it go on at the same pace?
There doesn't seem to be a rule for this. Some people report fewer or less insistent thoughts. You might find that thoughts increase in number and insistence if the body is in danger or if there is hunger or illness. Thoughts happen or they don't, it seems.

Speak soon.

Jon

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Smerfie
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby Smerfie » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:34 am

Dear Jon,

Thank you for your reply. There is no rush at all so please take your time.

Warm regards,

Anna

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JonathanR
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby JonathanR » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:42 pm

hello Anna,

Thank you for your patience.

No. When my mind is quiet and I look inside there is only awareness, depth and silence. Thoughts just come and go. I have been examining deeply and frequently and it was easy to recognise the fleeting, random thoughts as undirected. However from a state of quiet alertness, it is obvious now, that even the thoughts that seem directed and purposeful arise from the same nothingness. All 'I' and 'me' thoughts are also arising from that same nothingness.
Good.

What about the times that the thought 'I' appears? Have you noticed that this can happen, in spite of finding no self?

Is it possible to prevent thoughts about 'I' or 'me' from appearing?
The first 2-3 days after the shift were very intense. There was almost continuous presence and even physically I felt many sensations. First was this bearing down or pulling down in my head and a massive feeling of expansion in my chest. Also expansion in the lower abdomen. Deep feeling of peace and slowing down of everything. I had been feeling anxiety in the pit of my stomach for sometime and that has gone completely. Then all of it calmed down and things sort of went back to how they were. That nearly continuous presence subsided and regular thinking returned. I was initially disappointed but even that has passed now. Thoughts do have a momentum and I find myself sucked into this momentum often but just as quickly there is recognition and disassociation as well. They don't have the same grip as before.
Well, it appears that you have addressed and answered my previous questions here in any case :-)
Spending time in nature, just looking out the window at clouds, listening to music and walking have been immensely helpful in deepening the awareness. There is a sense of peace within underlying all thoughts and feelings, even when I catch myself lost in thought its still there.
Yes, Nature is very beneficial to all this, it seems.

When 'lost in thoughts' is there ever a self that is lost?
I know I have been describing many changes but having said that, nothing has changed. Everything is also just the same. I'm still me and Brussel sprouts still taste vile. There is just more flowing with life rather than directing life. Thats all.
Very good.
I also find that there are times when I realise I wasn't present but when I look back and examine what had been going on I realise I hadn't been thinking but I hadn't been aware and present either. So what is that? Unaware not-thinking....
Could it be that 'you' literally weren't 'there'? I am not Buddhist actually but there is a line from some Buddhist text that reads: 'I am the unmade, the unborn, the unbecome'. Does that resonate?

Or perhaps what you describe is beyond labels altogether? Unknowable, even?

Is it possible to look at that particular 'place' of unaware not-thinking?

The thing about 'awareness' is that it can often be reasoned that there must be something that 'is aware' or 'have awareness' or even 'do awareness'. Can this entity be found?


Best wishes,

Jon

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Smerfie
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby Smerfie » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:08 pm

Hello Jon,

Thank you for your reply. You've asked me some very interesting questions and I will attempt to answer them to the best of my current understanding.
What about the times that the thought 'I' appears? Have you noticed that this can happen, in spite of finding no self?
Yes, definitely. "I" thoughts and seemingly self directed chatter is still there and it still has a pull but it doesn't last long until the awareness state arises and all thoughts are recognised for what they are i.e. the mind thinking. Even 'I' and 'me' thoughts are recognised as just thoughts that are not different in essence to random passing thoughts.
Is it possible to prevent thoughts about 'I' or 'me' from appearing?
No, not as of now. They just come and sometimes pass quickly but sometimes take hold and last a while until they're recognised for what they are. I don't know how it is for others, especially for people who have been awakened for a long time. I do feel perhaps they are able to sustain an aware state for much longer than newbies like myself. However, I don't think anyone can prevent 'I' thoughts from arising completely. Perhaps the recognition and dropping is much quicker, but thoughts come and go, and I don't think they can be controlled.
When 'lost in thoughts' is there ever a self that is lost?
No. This has become abundantly clear over the past few days. Presence, or awareness or 'I am' is our natural state and it is always there. Thoughts arise and they have an intensity and momentum and they seem to cloud or mask this underlying awareness and build a delusion of a separate self, but that is false. It feels like awareness has gone or we lost it but its always there only the identification with thinking seems to hide it.
I remember when I first began reading spiritual books I came across a teaching which said that to become enlightened one need not add anything, go anywhere, learn anything, it is here and now, readily available and accessible, we just have to experience it. Now this was extremely frustrating back then and I always thought 'Yeah right' but now I understand. Indeed whoever wrote that was correct. I suppose the mind makes up so many images and notions of what enlightenment is and how it is to be attained that something so simple is entirely missed.
Could it be that 'you' literally weren't 'there'? I am not Buddhist actually but there is a line from some Buddhist text that reads: 'I am the unmade, the unborn, the unbecome'. Does that resonate?
Thats very wonky :)
And yes, it does resonate.
Or perhaps what you describe is beyond labels altogether? Unknowable, even?
Maybe. I will have to ponder over this a bit more.
Is it possible to look at that particular 'place' of unaware not-thinking?
I don't know. If one looks then one becomes aware and then awareness is what is there so the unaware isn't experienced at that time.
The thing about 'awareness' is that it can often be reasoned that there must be something that 'is aware' or 'have awareness' or even 'do awareness'. Can this entity be found?
Hmmm...no, awareness is not a thing, its not even an entity it just is....I don't know what it is, its unexplainable but its real and no I cannot find it, I can find sensations such as expansion in my chest and feeling peaceful but they are feelings and sensations, the I Am-ness of me is something else. I cannot say what but I know it. It is all of me, my entire being.


Thank you for your time Jon, its immensely appreciated. Perhaps one day I can do for someone else what you are doing for me :)

Warm Regards,

Anna

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JonathanR
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby JonathanR » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:40 pm

Hi Anna
Yes, definitely. "I" thoughts and seemingly self directed chatter is still there and it still has a pull but it doesn't last long until the awareness state arises and all thoughts are recognised for what they are i.e. the mind thinking. Even 'I' and 'me' thoughts are recognised as just thoughts that are not different in essence to random passing thoughts.
A great answer. Thank you.
No, not as of now. They just come and sometimes pass quickly but sometimes take hold and last a while until they're recognised for what they are. I don't know how it is for others, especially for people who have been awakened for a long time.
I once heard a guy speak about this and he had 'woken up' ten years previously. He spoke of the same thing but asked the interesting question 'is there any control over the taking hold of thoughts'? And also 'is there any control over the recognising them for what they are (when that happens)'?
No. This has become abundantly clear over the past few days. Presence, or awareness or 'I am' is our natural state and it is always there. Thoughts arise and they have an intensity and momentum and they seem to cloud or mask this underlying awareness and build a delusion of a separate self, but that is false. It feels like awareness has gone or we lost it but its always there only the identification with thinking seems to hide it.
I remember when I first began reading spiritual books I came across a teaching which said that to become enlightened one need not add anything, go anywhere, learn anything, it is here and now, readily available and accessible, we just have to experience it. Now this was extremely frustrating back then and I always thought 'Yeah right' but now I understand. Indeed whoever wrote that was correct. I suppose the mind makes up so many images and notions of what enlightenment is and how it is to be attained that something so simple is entirely missed.
Thank you. Great.
Could it be that 'you' literally weren't 'there'? I am not Buddhist actually but there is a line from some Buddhist text that reads: 'I am the unmade, the unborn, the unbecome'. Does that resonate?

Thats very wonky :)
And yes, it does resonate.
Ha ha! Yes it is wonky. But it resonates here too.

Thank you so much for your lovely answers.


Please let me know if you have any other questions right now about whatever you are experiencing?

My impression is that you really don't have any doubts that you have crossed the gateless gate? If you have any doubts please let me know?

If there aren't any doubts I could ask you our standard final questions? Do you feel ready for them?


warm wishes,

Jon

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Smerfie
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby Smerfie » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:12 pm

Hi Jon,

Thank you for your reply.

You're right, I don't have anymore doubts about having crossed the gateless gate. It took me a few days to get accustomed to it and to know it for certain. I also understand now that this is not the cessation of thought but the knowing that thoughts are just thoughts, they come and go.

Please go ahead and ask me the remaining questions, I'm ready.

Best wishes,

Anna

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JonathanR
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:12 pm

Hi Anna,

OK then. Here goes with the six questions, in two lots of three:

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

I realise that part of question 3 may not apply to you in any case but you could still say how it feels to see the illusion and report from the past few days?

Thank you,

Jon

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Re: Inside buzz

Postby Smerfie » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:28 pm

Hi Jon,

Thank you for sending the questions. Here are my answers:
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No there isn't. It is only a thought and thoughts generate feelings and then similar thoughts claim to own these feelings and the entire series and sequence of these thoughts and feelings seems to create an 'I' but this is false. And No, again, there was never a separate self, an "I", it was a delusion that we all believed so firmly we never questioned it ever.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
The illusion of a separate self is our most basic indoctrination. It is a belief that we acquire as we grow up and it is taught to us so firmly and so consistently that we believe it uncritically and do not question it at all. As a baby grows it is taught its name and then everything there is, is in relation to that. This is Anna's tummy, this is Anna's doll, this is Anna's house, Anna is cheerful today, Anna is upset today. Initially the toddler speaks of itself in third person imitating the adults but after a point he/she accepts it to be real and identifies with this notion. It becomes a core belief and this belief is like a magnet and it attracts a series of thoughts that are then perceived as a separate self. As the child grows, it accumulates further beliefs and all experiences are judged based on these beliefs and always in relation to this perceived sense of self. Thoughts come in such rapid succession that it really does give the illusion of a self. The nature of these thoughts pertaining to self can vary drastically. For some people their core belief of self based on their experiences can be positive, successful and confident where as for others it can be negative, depressive and overtly critical. Our beliefs determine the kind of thoughts we attract and then thoughts generate feelings and we live and act and experience life according to these. Ultimately, life is what is happening here and now, just as it is, as an experience. Thoughts appear within this experience and label what is happening as good or bad or acceptable or unacceptable, but this in fact has no bearing on what actually is.
I think awakening is a process. It starts when we are ready to question our beliefs and once we reach a stage where enough gaps between thoughts arise, then it becomes possible to truly examine and observe our thoughts and see them for what they are i.e. just thoughts be it good thoughts, bad thoughts, "I" thoughts, they're all are just thoughts. They come and go, arise and fade away but what remains unchanged and ever true is the experience of living life, the witness, the senser, the perceiver and the perception itself which are all one and the same thing.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
You know what it feels like? Its freedom. I feel free. Its not happiness, its not excitement, its not the high of success or the thrill of adventure or like any of the emotions felt when falling in love, its not like any of that. I don't feel accomplished or better than before. I feel free and I feel peaceful. Like I will never be a slave to my thoughts again. Sure temporarily yes, but recognition will not be far behind. They won't have the same grip and hold as before.
I do feel incredulous and amazed as well. You know I had this notion of what awakening would be like and how it needed to be attained and I thought once my kids are raised and I'll be older I'd devote my life to the pursuit of it, go on pilgrimages and retreats and do yoga and so on and so forth. Then a while ago I learned something, the details of which I won't bore you with, that made me extremely fearful. Also the fear was so irrational that I didn't know how to cope, it just forced me into the present moment and more and more of it kept arising, intense seeking began and my perception of reality started to change. Sight became so acute and what was seen was so vivid it shocked me into reality. Sounds were heard so completely I was left stunned. Then I found this site and I began reading gateless gatecrashers and the very same day I felt a sense of deep peace and great expansion in my chest and I think the shift began that day but I didn't realise it. The next day I was in a coffee shop reading again and there was a chapter in which the seeker is asked if there is any difference between these two thoughts "I am a separate self" and "I am not a separate self" and thats when I knew I need not read any further. I knew what they were talking about, not just conceptually but really. So I got up and started walking home. I had my headphones on and was listening to music. There was an elderly gentleman walking ahead of me and I was looking at his elbow. The skin was wrinkled and spotted and I kept looking at it, and looking at it, and the music was playing and I started to laugh, I cannot explain that moment, everything just became so obvious and so ridiculously simple. I must have looked like a lunatic laughing like that on the street.
And I was like "THIS???? THIS IS IT?????" Never in a million years did I anticipate awakening to be like this. But here I am and everything is as it should be. No more doubts.


Phew Jon, these are some super log answers. Thank you for taking the time to read them. It all just flowed out of me but it felt good to write this down. It has given me yet another level of understanding and I'm grateful for that.

I look forward to the next set of questions.

Warmest regards,

Anna

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JonathanR
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:50 am

Hi Anna,


What wonderful answers. Beautiful. Thank you! Especially the description of the day that you 'saw' and couldn't help laughing out loud!

Here are the next three then:

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice, and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

warm regards,

Jon

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Smerfie
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby Smerfie » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:21 am

Hi Jon,

Thank you for your kind words :)
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I think I've answered this already in my reply to question 3. As I mentioned earlier I had been experiencing a lot of fear which had pushed me into longer and longer states of presence and there was a feeling of being right at the brink of something but there was reluctance to jump. I had a feeling i was close to awakening but the mind kept saying this can't be it, it takes a long time etc etc. Then I found LU and started reading gateless gatecrashers and reading the accounts of all of those seekers gave me reassurance that crossing the gate is safe and I won't just end and my life will still go on more or less the same way. I suppose at some point while I was reading I must have crossed but I didn't notice the exact moment. I just felt so much peace that night and a kind of letting go. It was only the next day at the cafe when I continued to read chapters when there was a clear, distinct knowing that I need not read anymore. And of course the looking and laughing out loud followed which I've already spoken about. So that was pretty much it.
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice, and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
In an absolute sense decision, intention, free will, choice and control do not really exist. When one looks closely one finds there is no self that drives them, its is only life flowing in a certain way that appears to give an impression that we are actively deciding, or choosing or willing something. I don't think as a human being we ever stop experiencing this and it is necessary for our functioning. When this is realised and known then one is free.
Responsibility is a tricky one to explain. Realising there is no self is freeing as in it gives one immense peace however it is not a state where one just begins living recklessly and doing harmful things and then saying "oh well man its not me, its life" thats not a true realisation, only the ego trying to jump back in through the window.
Actions still have consequences. What I mean to say is that when one realises there is no self and it is only life, the one life that flows and lives and experiences then we do not offer any resistance to this flow but float along with it. It is also not about being in a state of faith and trusting life and going for a pleasant ride, no, that again is still only a belief. What this is, is not trust or faith or belief, it is knowing. I know that I am what is at all moments and that is what is the best, the absolute, because that is what is, there is no other thing, and life itself is responsibility, I am responsibility and I am all things that exist.
6) Anything to add?
You know after I crossed over I was in a state of almost continuous presence and the release was immense, the physical sensation of peace and expansion was just beyond any words I could use to describe it, surely you already know what that is like. However that subsided in a few days and the usual chatter of the mind returned and I was disappointed and felt no, this isn't a true awakening then. But I know now that awakening is not the end of thought, it is the knowing of our true self and that we are not our thoughts. I am sure this knowing will only get deeper, like any skill, even this needs to be honed and practiced, and no there is no self that is perfecting a skill, its only life experiencing itself through a form that is Anna.
As I type there are self congratulatory thoughts for writing such cool answers and I am smiling listening to them, the recognition arises soon after the thoughts. I am sure in a few moments there will be self praise for being so unbelievably awakened that even the self congratulation is recognised . So this is it. Ha ha ha ha it is a game of hide and seek and we shall play :)

Thank you Jon, writing the answers has been so tremendously insightful. I owe you much gratitude for your time and work with me.

Warmest regards,

Anna

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JonathanR
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Re: Inside buzz

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:12 pm

Dear Anna,

Thank you again for your wonderful answers.

We ask for 'examples' in question 5 but of course these would have to be examples of how Decisions or Choices are NOT happening, where the illusion is that they are. For example, I'm typing on my iPad and it might seem that there is Intention or Decision to type but really typing is just happening.

Can you find one or two examples from immediate experience?

Thank you.

With good wishes,

Jon


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