Can't really find myself here.

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GrahamB
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Can't really find myself here.

Postby GrahamB » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:53 pm

I am a 65 year old male and after reading some of "Gateless Gatecrashers" and browsing this forum I note that I am not here, there are sensations appearances, thoughts, but no actual me.

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nonaparry
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby nonaparry » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:38 am

Excellent, and Welcome!! What brings you here?

Please tell me a little about yourself, your journey so far and what you want from a conversation here.

Cheers
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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GrahamB
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby GrahamB » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:19 am

Hi Nona, Thanks for responding.

I have been searching on and off for a number of years and now after reading this site I can see that there is no me, but I am not sure whether this will stay. I sort of feel I need to hold on to this freedom.

There is a sense that it will not last and I want to 'stay here' although I know there is no one here. Already, since writing my original post, I am starting to 'come and go' and keep sort of needing to remind myself (yes I know it sounds silly) that there is no one here.

With best wishes,
Graham

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nonaparry
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby nonaparry » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:56 am

Hi Graham,
I can see that there is no me, but I am not sure whether this will stay. I sort of feel I need to hold on to this freedom.
Freedom cannot be held onto; it is freedom! Belief that there is no 'me' will come and go; belief is a thought that is assumed to be true. What has staying power is SEEing beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no 'you' and there never has been.
There is a sense that it will not last
Sensation is a tricky thing; we assume that what our senses suggest we are experiencing must be true. Yet it is possible to fully experience something imaginary. We do it all the time.

Do this little exercise—close your eyes and imagine you are holding a large watermelon in your hands. Imagine it so vividly, that you feel its weight, shape, temperature, texture of the skin, its scent, the hollow sound when you knock on it. Hold it there, sensing it vividly. Got it?
Now open your eyes.
What happened to the melon? How about the sensation that was so believable?

Self is also vividly experienced by most of us, and it is equally imaginary. Once you SEE how 'self' is constructed and labels experiences, it becomes clear that there is no self in reality at all.
and I want to 'stay here' although I know there is no one here.
You are as here as it gets: there is only one present moment, and you cannot be anywhere but in it. All past, all future, are simply stories.
I am starting to 'come and go' and keep sort of needing to remind myself (yes I know it sounds silly) that there is no one here.
This frequently is experienced when the 'knowledge' that there is no 'me' is intellectual rather than experiential. When you see from direct experience that there is no self, it cannot be unseen.

Please tell me as fully as possible what you think liberation is, and what you want from it. What have you learned that it will be like? What do you think needs to happen for it to be real liberation?

i look forward to your reply!
love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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GrahamB
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby GrahamB » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:15 pm

Hi Nona, Great to hear from you.
I can see that there is no me, but I am not sure whether this will stay. I sort of feel I need to hold on to this freedom.
Freedom cannot be held onto; it is freedom! Belief that there is no 'me' will come and go; belief is a thought that is assumed to be true. What has staying power is SEEing beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no 'you' and there never has been.
Ok.
There is a sense that it will not last
Sensation is a tricky thing; we assume that what our senses suggest we are experiencing must be true. Yet it is possible to fully experience something imaginary. We do it all the time.

Do this little exercise—close your eyes and imagine you are holding a large watermelon in your hands. Imagine it so vividly, that you feel its weight, shape, temperature, texture of the skin, its scent, the hollow sound when you knock on it. Hold it there, sensing it vividly. Got it?
Now open your eyes.
What happened to the melon? How about the sensation that was so believable?

Self is also vividly experienced by most of us, and it is equally imaginary. Once you SEE how 'self' is constructed and labels experiences, it becomes clear that there is no self in reality at all.
Ok, I did the melon exercise, and when I opened my eyes I could see that the melon was only in my imagination, it wasn't really here, it only becomes or became perceivable when thought about. So no there is no real melon, just as there is no real me - there only being a me in imagination. I now see how self is constructed in and of thought. It is 'tagged' onto experience to make experience mine - all in imagination.
and I want to 'stay here' although I know there is no one here.
You are as here as it gets: there is only one present moment, and you cannot be anywhere but in it. All past, all future, are simply stories.
Right.
I am starting to 'come and go' and keep sort of needing to remind myself (yes I know it sounds silly) that there is no one here.
This frequently is experienced when the 'knowledge' that there is no 'me' is intellectual rather than experiential. When you see from direct experience that there is no self, it cannot be unseen.

Please tell me as fully as possible what you think liberation is, and what you want from it. What have you learned that it will be like? What do you think needs to happen for it to be real liberation?
I think liberation would be freedom from unconscious involvement in (my) stories, that it would make life easier in the sense of lighter, not so problematic or hard going at times.

I think what needs to happen is for me to REALLY see that all stories, all problematic situations, all hard times, all involvement, both conscious and unconscious are entirely in 'my' mind. And the 'funny' thing is that I see this (or think I see it), but I still get unconsciously involved.

After writing this I see I am still trying to maintain my existence as 'something' that is either conscious or unconscious - and this must be in mind. Seems like I am trying to maintain myself either as an idea of consciousness or an idea in consciousness In other words, I am still trying to maintain knowledge of myself in some form or other. Can't seem to get past this maintenance, even though I know this maintenance is only done in mind!


Pleased to be able to communicate with you.
Love, Graham

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nonaparry
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby nonaparry » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:25 am

Hi Graham!
there is no real melon, just as there is no real me - there only being a me in imagination. I now see how self is constructed in and of thought. It is 'tagged' onto experience to make experience mine - all in imagination.
Exactly. Now Notice this in your daily life! Every time thought "I" arises, check it out! The label "I" is just a word; it points to thoughts of 'me', but not to any thing in reality. When you check each thought, each experience, you will beging to SEE that it is always true.
I think what needs to happen is for me to REALLY see that all stories, all problematic situations, all hard times, all involvement, both conscious and unconscious are entirely in 'my' mind. And the 'funny' thing is that I see this (or think I see it), but I still get unconsciously involved.
There is an experience; the "I" labels it 'mine'; thoughts arise that create a Story of what the experience means. Experience has no inherent meaning; all meaning is created by mind by way of stories.
The question "...and it means that..." has been very useful for this one to SEE through the story.

If possible, LOOK at each experience for the story; sometimes one can catch mind "explaining" the experiences one is having, like a play-by-play commentary on sport. Notice how the commentary is out-of-sync with the direct experience; experience is first, the commentary or story gets added after.

Once you begin to SEE this, is is difficult to get sucked in. Who writes the story? The imaginary character Graham writes it.
I am still trying to maintain my existence as 'something' that is either conscious or unconscious
You will not disappear. You never were in the first place.
Body exists. Thoughts exist. Feelings exist. Things that do not disappear when you stop thinking about them exist.
Existence exists and always has and always will. It’s only now and all exists.
The only thing that does not exist is “you”, the label, the imaginary ownership.
Seems like I am trying to maintain myself either as an idea of consciousness or an idea in consciousness
Idea is a thought.
Thoughts are Real; but their content is always imaginary.

For example. Think of a cup. See it clearly, its shape, colour, capacity to hold liquid.
The thought is real; you are really thinking it.
The cup in your thought is an image; you cannot drink out of it.
Same as 'the map is not the territory'. The content of a thought is never the territory; always the map.
I am still trying to maintain knowledge of myself in some form or other.
This is normal. What do you fear would happen without a 'me'?

LOOK. Notice that breathing is happening. Diaphragm drops, ribs expand, lungs fill; blood flows and picks up oxygen; it all happens automatically; no breather is needed, and the breathing simply happens.

LOOK. Notice that walking happens. Foot lifts, leg straightens, weight shifts; foot strikes ground; sensations tell foot it is on solid ground; weight shifts again; it all happens automatically; no walker is needed, and the walking simply happens.

LOOK. Notice that decisions happen. The subject in the MRI machine is instructed to CHOOSE either the left or right button on a handheld device when signaled by the scientist. The signal is given, the subject presses a button. Later the scientist shows the brain scans which clearly show which decision was made up to 6 seconds before the subject was aware of making a decision. Decisions make themselves, and mind attaches an "I did it" to it. No decider is necessary.

LOOK. Life is happening. Everywhere you look, people, animals, insects, nature, it's all simply life living. No live-er is necessary. No direction is needed. Each living thing slots neatly into place, exactly as needed in the moment.

Take some time to notice, preferably walking in nature, and let me know what you experience!
love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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GrahamB
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby GrahamB » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:27 pm

Hi Nona, Thank you for your very full and helpful response.
there is no real melon, just as there is no real me - there only being a me in imagination. I now see how self is constructed in and of thought. It is 'tagged' onto experience to make experience mine - all in imagination.
Exactly. Now Notice this in your daily life! Every time thought "I" arises, check it out! The label "I" is just a word; it points to thoughts of 'me', but not to any thing in reality. When you check each thought, each experience, you will beging to SEE that it is always true.
Ok - to notice that when notions of 'I' or the thought 'I' or 'I' arises this is a thought self, an imaginary notion, not real, not actually existing.
I think what needs to happen is for me to REALLY see that all stories, all problematic situations, all hard times, all involvement, both conscious and unconscious are entirely in 'my' mind. And the 'funny' thing is that I see this (or think I see it), but I still get unconsciously involved.
There is an experience; the "I" labels it 'mine'; thoughts arise that create a Story of what the experience means. Experience has no inherent meaning; all meaning is created by mind by way of stories.
The question "...and it means that..." has been very useful for this one to SEE through the story.
Ok - experience has no inherent meaning.
If possible, LOOK at each experience for the story; sometimes one can catch mind "explaining" the experiences one is having, like a play-by-play commentary on sport. Notice how the commentary is out-of-sync with the direct experience; experience is first, the commentary or story gets added after.
I will try to notice this.
Once you begin to SEE this, is is difficult to get sucked in. Who writes the story? The imaginary character Graham writes it.
Ok, now I can see that the story written by the imaginary me provides meaning for that imaginary me. The experience that is given meaning by the story is inherently meaningless, ie without meaning.
I am still trying to maintain my existence as 'something' that is either conscious or unconscious
You will not disappear. You never were in the first place.
Body exists. Thoughts exist. Feelings exist. Things that do not disappear when you stop thinking about them exist.
Existence exists and always has and always will. It’s only now and all exists.
The only thing that does not exist is “you”, the label, the imaginary ownership.
So "existence" is 'everything' that is not me, the imaginary label.... And that/this 'everything' is just happening, appearing, flowing.... This is rather a cool experience here.
Seems like I am trying to maintain myself either as an idea of consciousness or an idea in consciousness
Idea is a thought.
Thoughts are Real; but their content is always imaginary.

For example. Think of a cup. See it clearly, its shape, colour, capacity to hold liquid.
The thought is real; you are really thinking it.
The cup in your thought is an image; you cannot drink out of it.
Same as 'the map is not the territory'. The content of a thought is never the territory; always the map.
Ok - thought real, content of thought imaginary; ie, real/imaginary or territory/map.

There is some difficulty here with this real/imaginary divide. Sometimes it seems here that 'everything' is in mind, and not in my mind in the sense of a person's mind. In other words 'the world' is all imaginary.
I am still trying to maintain knowledge of myself in some form or other.
This is normal. What do you fear would happen without a 'me'?
The fear here is that things will not get done, meals cooked, house and garden maintained, etc; that no one will 'look out' for me. Things are already starting to 'slip' here as I age. I see that I am actually not going to be able to do this maintenance at some stage in the future.

Despite relating all this story, I see that all this is in mind only and that life will go on now and now and now. Nevertheless this fear can be the experience here - however now I know it is an experience only, experienced by no one.
LOOK. Notice that breathing is happening. Diaphragm drops, ribs expand, lungs fill; blood flows and picks up oxygen; it all happens automatically; no breather is needed, and the breathing simply happens.

LOOK. Notice that walking happens. Foot lifts, leg straightens, weight shifts; foot strikes ground; sensations tell foot it is on solid ground; weight shifts again; it all happens automatically; no walker is needed, and the walking simply happens.

LOOK. Notice that decisions happen. The subject in the MRI machine is instructed to CHOOSE either the left or right button on a handheld device when signaled by the scientist. The signal is given, the subject presses a button. Later the scientist shows the brain scans which clearly show which decision was made up to 6 seconds before the subject was aware of making a decision. Decisions make themselves, and mind attaches an "I did it" to it. No decider is necessary.

LOOK. Life is happening. Everywhere you look, people, animals, insects, nature, it's all simply life living. No live-er is necessary. No direction is needed. Each living thing slots neatly into place, exactly as needed in the moment.

Take some time to notice, preferably walking in nature, and let me know what you experience!
Interesting - about the MRI decision making.

Ok, have been noting this noticing or looking, and it is rather wonderful. Experiencing just coming and going being noted by no one.

Just to relate: Last night, in bed, attention was moving from a headache to a stomach ache to a pain in my side, to one in my leg; then attention sort of 'spread' so that 'everything' was only one sensation and it was not an ache or a pain, merely a 'sensation' or 'experience', an experience not experienced by anyone - rather wonderful.

Thank you for being here Nona.
Love,
Graham

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nonaparry
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby nonaparry » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:18 am

when notions of 'I' or the thought 'I' or 'I' arises this is a thought self, an imaginary notion, not real, not actually existing.
CHECK it! Can you locate a 'self' in reality?
experience has no inherent meaning.
Check it! Breathing happens. And it means that...??? Walking happens. And it means that...?
Ok, now I can see that the story written by the imaginary me provides meaning for that imaginary me. The experience that is given meaning by the story is inherently meaningless, ie without meaning.
Exactly.
So "existence" is 'everything' that is not me, the imaginary label.... And that/this 'everything' is just happening, appearing, flowing.... This is rather a cool experience here.
Yeah—it's a pretty cool experience here, too.
CHECK it! Everything real continues to exist when you stop thinking about it; label 'me' disappears when you stop sustaining it.
thought real, content of thought imaginary; ie, real/imaginary or territory/map.
There is some difficulty here with this real/imaginary divide. Sometimes it seems here that 'everything' is in mind, and not in my mind in the sense of a person's mind. In other words 'the world' is all imaginary.
No worries. This is due to the way perception works. All of your perception takes place in mind, so in a sense everything is imaginary. Here's how neuroscience explains it:
You have an experience, a sensation, a stimulus. Data about the stimulus are sent to the brain, but before being processed the data are massaged by one's perception, or frame of reference, which is made of all one's memories of similar stimuli and their meanings. [Has this stimulus happened before? Yes/no. To the same part of the body? Yes/no. While in the same location on the earth? Yes/no. What happened when this stimulus happened before? Is it dangerous?] Then the massaged data get sent for processing. End result: you never actually experience the stimulus directly; everything you experience has been filtered through a frame of reference, and is thus 'imaginary'.
What do you fear would happen without a 'me'?
The fear here is that things will not get done, meals cooked, house and garden maintained, etc; that no one will 'look out' for me. Things are already starting to 'slip' here as I age. I see that I am actually not going to be able to do this maintenance at some stage in the future.
Things are getting done without 'you' all the time! Look! Most of the time we operate "on automatic pilot".
Is a 'self' required to cook and garden? A little Graham who sends memos to the body, telling the legs how to bend and stretch, fast- and slow-twitch fibres to extend and flex, feet to strike the ground, hands to grasp the rake or shovel or whisk or saucepan...all these get done automatically and then thought attaches an "I" to it. Cooking happens, Gardening happens, and then an "I did it" gets tacked on at the end. Check it!
I see that I am actually not going to be able to do this maintenance at some stage in the future
In what future? What you see is a projected image of some imaginary time when what happens automatically will not. But there is no future; there is only This Moment Now. The one in which you are breathing. The one before the "I" gets run over by a bus or falls off a mountain.
I see that all this is in mind only and that life will go on now and now and now.
Indeed. And without your assistance or direction!
this fear can be the experience here - however now I know it is an experience only, experienced by no one.
Fear can be experienced; it is a thought. But the content of the thought, the imagined future of incapability, is imaginary. It exists only in imagination.
When fear arises, stare it in the eye. Fear is a protective mechanism; ask it what it's protecting. It doesn't need to protect a 'self'; there is no self requiring protection.
Ok, have been noting this noticing or looking, and it is rather wonderful. Experiencing just coming and going being noted by no one.
It is rather wonderful. How's it going today?
Last night, in bed, attention was moving from a headache to a stomach ache to a pain in my side, to one in my leg;
It is interesting to notice that wherever one shifts one's focus, that is experienced! For example. i was riding the stationary bicycle at the gym. Suddenly i looked down and focused on my feet, pedaling. Before that moment, i had no experience of feet; with the shift in focus, BOOM! Feet!!!
then attention sort of 'spread' so that 'everything' was only one sensation and it was not an ache or a pain, merely a 'sensation' or 'experience', an experience not experienced by anyone - rather wonderful
Yes. There is sensation; until we describe it in thought, it is merely an experience. 'Pain' is just another label we tack on to an experience.

It's fun to take this walk with you!
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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GrahamB
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby GrahamB » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:26 pm

Hi Nona. Pleased to hear from you.
when notions of 'I' or the thought 'I' or 'I' arises this is a thought self, an imaginary notion, not real, not actually existing.
CHECK it! Can you locate a 'self' in reality?
No. There is no one here!
experience has no inherent meaning.
Check it! Breathing happens. And it means that...??? Walking happens. And it means that...?
Experience happens and it means nothing; it has no meaning. There is nothing else other than the experience to have the experience, take meaning from the experience, watch the experience. Watching an experience is another experience. Experience just arises ongoingly.
So "existence" is 'everything' that is not me, the imaginary label.... And that/this 'everything' is just happening, appearing, flowing.... This is rather a cool experience here.
Yeah—it's a pretty cool experience here, too.
CHECK it! Everything real continues to exist when you stop thinking about it; label 'me' disappears when you stop sustaining it.
Yes, this is seen now. The 'I' only appears in imagination, when thought about. And this thought is no different than the thought of a unicorn - total imagination, just not here. It appears that the world arises along with the thought of 'me'.
There is some difficulty here with this real/imaginary divide. Sometimes it seems here that 'everything' is in mind, and not in my mind in the sense of a person's mind. In other words 'the world' is all imaginary.
No worries. This is due to the way perception works. All of your perception takes place in mind, so in a sense everything is imaginary. Here's how neuroscience explains it:
You have an experience, a sensation, a stimulus. Data about the stimulus are sent to the brain, but before being processed the data are massaged by one's perception, or frame of reference, which is made of all one's memories of similar stimuli and their meanings. [Has this stimulus happened before? Yes/no. To the same part of the body? Yes/no. While in the same location on the earth? Yes/no. What happened when this stimulus happened before? Is it dangerous?] Then the massaged data get sent for processing. End result: you never actually experience the stimulus directly; everything you experience has been filtered through a frame of reference, and is thus 'imaginary'.
Thanks for this explanation Nona. And the seeing that there is no me removes all frames of reference to do with a self... including the world? It seems that when I am not here, and I am not, that the world is 'empty' or 'gone' as all meanings, all reference points (frames of reference) have gone too. However this 'loss of meaning' is by no means 'nasty' as it is freedom itself; in other words, there is nothing to 'hold together' or make sense of arisings (experiences) as it is only the mind that does this, and the mind is open, empty, clear.
What do you fear would happen without a 'me'?
The fear here is that things will not get done, meals cooked, house and garden maintained, etc; that no one will 'look out' for me. Things are already starting to 'slip' here as I age. I see that I am actually not going to be able to do this maintenance at some stage in the future.
Things are getting done without 'you' all the time! Look! Most of the time we operate "on automatic pilot".
Is a 'self' required to cook and garden? A little Graham who sends memos to the body, telling the legs how to bend and stretch, fast- and slow-twitch fibres to extend and flex, feet to strike the ground, hands to grasp the rake or shovel or whisk or saucepan...all these get done automatically and then thought attaches an "I" to it. Cooking happens, Gardening happens, and then an "I did it" gets tacked on at the end. Check it!
Yes, I see how this may explain why 'I' can have trouble getting 'myself' started on say cooking or gardening, but once the 'project' gets under way I quite enjoy it. It is almost as if life is telling 'me' not to force 'my will' or 'myself' onto life.
I see that I am actually not going to be able to do this maintenance at some stage in the future
In what future? What you see is a projected image of some imaginary time when what happens automatically will not. But there is no future; there is only This Moment Now. The one in which you are breathing. The one before the "I" gets run over by a bus or falls off a mountain.
Ok. So the only 'place' that anything exists is in the mind, and all future, present, past, is in the mind, but experience is real, actual; it is only when mind comes in and 'splits' what has happened into an experience and an experiencer that the trouble, the worry, starts.
this fear can be the experience here - however now I know it is an experience only, experienced by no one.
Fear can be experienced; it is a thought. But the content of the thought, the imagined future of incapability, is imaginary. It exists only in imagination. When fear arises, stare it in the eye. Fear is a protective mechanism; ask it what it's protecting. It doesn't need to protect a 'self'; there is no self requiring protection.
Fear a thought? I can see how fear arises from thought (and that, as you say, the content of the thought is imaginary).

What you say is good advice when thought has generated the fear, but what about when I open my front door and a lion is there? I won't hesitate and look at the fear, there won't be any I there, there will just be slamming the door shut! I suppose it could be said that there will be no time to notice the fear in this type of situation...
Ok, have been noting this noticing or looking, and it is rather wonderful. Experiencing just coming and going being noted by no one.
It is rather wonderful. How's it going today?
'I' am quite clear at the moment. I note, over the last couple of days, that overnight the rest appears to make 'me' clear in the morning, but as the day goes on tiredness seems to allow old habits to resurface and clarity is lost.
Last night, in bed, attention was moving from a headache to a stomach ache to a pain in my side, to one in my leg;
It is interesting to notice that wherever one shifts one's focus, that is experienced! For example. i was riding the stationary bicycle at the gym. Suddenly i looked down and focused on my feet, pedaling. Before that moment, i had no experience of feet; with the shift in focus, BOOM! Feet!!!
Thanks for relating this Nona. So it could be said that experience is this focus this moment, then shift-of-focus this moment, then this focus this moment...
then attention sort of 'spread' so that 'everything' was only one sensation and it was not an ache or a pain, merely a 'sensation' or 'experience', an experience not experienced by anyone - rather wonderful
Yes. There is sensation; until we describe it in thought, it is merely an experience. 'Pain' is just another label we tack on to an experience.
Yes, and how those labels can apparently change the experience!
It's fun to take this walk with you!
Pleased that you finding this enjoyable Nona. I notice how my approach to this varies: When I am 'at my best' ie, not here, things seem to flow, words come more easily, there is more confidence, there is no fear of 'making a mistake', it is very much fun. But at other times, when I am trying to work out what to say, or where I am on this, it can appear quite hard work, but still, work that I am very much enjoying. I am very grateful for you giving your time to this.

In appreciation,
Graham

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nonaparry
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby nonaparry » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:13 am

Hello Graham. What nice work you are doing here!!
there is nothing to 'hold together' or make sense of arisings (experiences) as it is only the mind that does this
Ilona says it's the "I" that is the glue that 'holds it all together'.
No "I" = no glue, and the stories fall apart.
once the 'project' gets under way I quite enjoy it. It is almost as if life is telling 'me' not to force 'my will' or 'myself' onto life.
What good advice life gives!!
So the only 'place' that anything exists is in the mind, and all future, present, past, is in the mind, but experience is real, actual
There's a little discomfort here with the idea that "all future, present, past, is in the mind". Future and past are imaginary "times" that one can never be in; the only "time" one can ever be in is Now. One cannot go to a location called "mind" and visit an imaginary time. Just to clarify.
it is only when mind comes in and 'splits' what has happened into an experience and an experiencer that the trouble, the worry, starts.
Indeed!!! And so far, every time!!!
Fear a thought? I can see how fear arises from thought
Fear is an emotion, and emotion = thought + sensation. The thought triggers a sensation that is felt, in this case as fear.
what about when I open my front door and a lion is there?
Yeah, what about it?? is there a problem?

There is no meaning inherent in a lion at your front door. None. Any meaning you experience has been placed there by you; it's 'your' story.

i open my front door, and either there is a lion or there isn't.
if i am used to seeing a lion there, i tell the story that this is usual; if i am not used to seeing a lion there, i tell the story that this is unusual.
The lion does not make fear happen; only the story that there is something to fear makes fear happen. Really. Check it!!

Please don't slam the door shut on fear; it then simply hides from plain view but doesn't go away. Only seeing through the story of fear, checking if it is true that there is in fact something to fear, has it slink away, defeated.
as the day goes on tiredness seems to allow old habits to resurface and clarity is lost.
Old habits don't disappear overnight just because one has seen through the illusion of a separate self. And in this experience, they drop away as they lose their grip on a story of "I".
it could be said that experience is this focus this moment, then shift-of-focus this moment, then this focus this moment...
Exactly so. And how nicely put!!
Yes, and how those labels can apparently change the experience!
Hahahaha!! Yes; we focus, we experience, we label, and then we judge. It's all an inside job!!
I notice how my approach to this varies:
Try noticing how your focus varies, and that your experience matches your focus.
When I am 'at my best' ie, not here, things seem to flow, words come more easily, there is more confidence, there is no fear of 'making a mistake', it is very much fun.
You can't make a mistake. There is no 'you' to make a mistake. Life is simply life-ing, and everything that happens happens just as it does. No mistake. Honest! Check it.
at other times, when I am trying to work out what to say, or where I am on this, it can appear quite hard work,
In this one's experience, everything new takes some sorting through. And even that's a story!!
I am very grateful for you giving your time to this.
i am very grateful to have an apparent 'other' to bounce these thoughts off of.
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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GrahamB
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby GrahamB » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:18 pm

Hi Nona, Good to communicate with you again.
What nice work you are doing here!!
I am enjoying doing it with you. Thank you.
there is nothing to 'hold together' or make sense of arisings (experiences) as it is only the mind that does this
Ilona says it's the "I" that is the glue that 'holds it all together'.
No "I" = no glue, and the stories fall apart.
Ok, yes this is clear now. As far as I can see, both the 'I' and 'mind' arise together and are imaginary.
So the only 'place' that anything exists is in the mind, and all future, present, past, is in the mind, but experience is real, actual
There's a little discomfort here with the idea that "all future, present, past, is in the mind". Future and past are imaginary "times" that one can never be in; the only "time" one can ever be in is Now. One cannot go to a location called "mind" and visit an imaginary time. Just to clarify.
Ok, understood now. The mind cannot really be 'visited' as it is imaginary. Anything thought of or about being imaginary.
Fear a thought? I can see how fear arises from thought
Fear is an emotion, and emotion = thought + sensation. The thought triggers a sensation that is felt, in this case as fear.
Very good.
what about when I open my front door and a lion is there?
Yeah, what about it?? is there a problem?
Ok, in essence I see that the lion at 'my' front door is not a problem, but the imaginary 'I' is having some difficulty with it.
There is no meaning inherent in a lion at your front door. None. Any meaning you experience has been placed there by you; it's 'your' story.

i open my front door, and either there is a lion or there isn't.
if i am used to seeing a lion there, i tell the story that this is usual; if i am not used to seeing a lion there, i tell the story that this is unusual.
The lion does not make fear happen; only the story that there is something to fear makes fear happen. Really. Check it!!
Ok. I now see that it is only the story that makes the fear, not the lion. The 'I' is having some trouble getting past the fear here. But then again this is just the 'I''s story.
Please don't slam the door shut on fear; it then simply hides from plain view but doesn't go away. Only seeing through the story of fear, checking if it is true that there is in fact something to fear, has it slink away, defeated.
Yes, understood. I was not meaning that I slam the door shut on fear, only on the lion. And of course 'I' do not do anything as 'I' do not exist. There is really no knowing what would happen if/when a lion is seen.
as the day goes on tiredness seems to allow old habits to resurface and clarity is lost.
Old habits don't disappear overnight just because one has seen through the illusion of a separate self. And in this experience, they drop away as they lose their grip on a story of "I".
Ok, and 'my' fear goes with the 'I' story.
I notice how my approach to this varies:
Try noticing how your focus varies, and that your experience matches your focus.
Thanks Nona, useful tip. Yes, certainly, focus/perspective/point-of-view varies and gives varied experience. And there is nothing other than this, moment to moment.
When I am 'at my best' ie, not here, things seem to flow, words come more easily, there is more confidence, there is no fear of 'making a mistake', it is very much fun.
You can't make a mistake. There is no 'you' to make a mistake. Life is simply life-ing, and everything that happens happens just as it does. No mistake. Honest! Check it.
Checked. Yes, no mistakes have ever been made here. Imaginary 'I' having trouble believing this, but then he, himself, is only imaginary, a self belief. Basking in mistakeless freedom here now. It's pretty cool, I tell you!
at other times, when I am trying to work out what to say, or where I am on this, it can appear quite hard work,
In this one's experience, everything new takes some sorting through. And even that's a story!!
I like that story! It seems here that the imaginary 'me' is getting quite a 'sorting'. 'He' is being relentlessly hammered by this joint investigation (thanks muchly for your input here). His stories are being exposed and 'he' is looking/feeling a bit sheepish; he has been a 'naughty boy' that has been 'found out'. 'He' imagines that he may well carry on being a 'naughty boy' for a while, but just for the fun of it! How's that for imagination run wild!

Of course what 'he' doesn't know is that fun does not have anything to do with 'his' imagination. It has everything to do with 'his' absence. Oh what fun to be here without 'him'!
I am very grateful for you giving your time to this.
i am very grateful to have an apparent 'other' to bounce these thoughts off of.
Pleased about this. I am perhaps starting to get the playfulness of all this in 'my' absence. Thank 'you' for sharing this fun with 'me'.

In openness,
Graham

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nonaparry
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby nonaparry » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:34 am

Hello Graham. Time to put the imaginary 'self' away. Seriously. You are standing in the gate, playing around with an empty idea you are attached to. LOOK at it, SEE it's an illusion, and step through.
in essence I see that the lion at 'my' front door is not a problem, but the imaginary 'I' is having some difficulty with it.
There is no "I", either real or imaginary. No "I" at all outside of a label. Label "I" points only to Thoughts of a 'me', not to anything real. Label "imaginary I" points to Thoughts of a 'me' too! Check it!
The 'I' is having some trouble getting past the fear here. But then again this is just the 'I''s story.
There is a clinging to the story that there is something Real to fear.

Do this, please.
Notice that the lion at the door is an image in your thoughts; there is not in reality a lion at your door. Go to your front door, LOOK out, and SEE!

In the extremely unlikely event that there is a lion at your front door, nothing that you Think, no Fear, is going to aid you.
Your body will be eaten or it will not. Just Life life-ing!!! Honest!! There is no 'you' for the lion to destroy! CHECK it!

Is the Worst Thing that you can Imagine being devoured by a lion??? REALLY???

Now that you have moved past this silliness, tell me what you really fear. Be specific and precise, thanks.
I was not meaning that I slam the door shut on fear, only on the lion.
You can't shut the door on the lion; the lion is a figment of your imagination—an imagination which you carry with you everywhere you go.
Physically go and LOOK out the front door, SEE there is no lion, and get real about your fears. POOF! lion then disappears by itself.
And of course 'I' do not do anything as 'I' do not exist.
"Imaginary I" does not exist either! Imaginary I is the lion in your imagination.
and 'my' fear goes with the 'I' story.
Yes; or as you like to call it, the "imaginary I" story.
Imaginary 'I' having trouble believing this, but then he, himself, is only imaginary, a self belief.
Dear Graham. STOP imagining "imaginary I". All you are doing is shifting identification to another character. The cast of fictional characters is getting longer instead of shorter!
Graham
Self
Imaginary I

Time to write these guys out of the Show. How to do that? By LOOKing to see if any is real!

There is a story of Graham, a fictional character. We know Graham is not real, because when we stop sustaining the thought of a Graham, there is no Graham to be found in reality.
Look around the room! Computer stays whether we think about it or not. Desk stays, body stays, Graham doesn't. CHECK it!!

Same with Self and Imaginary I. These are merely standing-in for Graham; they both point to the same fictional character.

LOOK at body moving through Life without a story of Graham. WATCH!

Isn't everything just happening all by itself? No direction from a fictional character required? In your Direct Experience, does cooking, gardening, typing, breathing, even thinking require a DO-er?? Check it! No Graham, no self, no imaginary I is necessary, or even present, in Life; they are fiction. Figments of an over-active imagination. Like Batman. Like Santa Claus.

DO as i ask. Hammer at the gate if you must! Reread the posts. Fall.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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GrahamB
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby GrahamB » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:16 pm

Hi Nona.
Time to put the imaginary 'self' away. Seriously. You are standing in the gate, playing around with an empty idea you are attached to. LOOK at it, SEE it's an illusion, and step through.


Thanks for this prompt. Yes, I now can see that I am playing with an idea of me, or perhaps more accurately that 'I' am enjoying being conscious enough to play at being 'me' rather than seriously being 'me' as 'I' was in the past.

The idea of your's to "put the imaginary 'self' away. Seriously" sounds as if it might spoil the fun of 'not seriously being 'me''. But I see now that the only way of not seriously being 'me' is to not be 'me' and 'I' am not, 'I' cannot, there being no way that 'I' can be. And this is the current fun, the lightness 'here'.

This is not to say that I am not taking this quest seriously, It is just that 'I' cannot as 'I' am not.

I cannot really say where I am as I cannot really locate myself anywhere.
in essence I see that the lion at 'my' front door is not a problem, but the imaginary 'I' is having some difficulty with it.
There is no "I", either real or imaginary. No "I" at all outside of a label. Label "I" points only to Thoughts of a 'me', not to anything real. Label "imaginary I" points to Thoughts of a 'me' too! Check it!
Thanks, yes, I see now that there is no real or imaginary I here, nor any location, as all that is definition/thought.
The 'I' is having some trouble getting past the fear here. But then again this is just the 'I''s story.
There is a clinging to the story that there is something Real to fear.

Do this, please.
Notice that the lion at the door is an image in your thoughts; there is not in reality a lion at your door. Go to your front door, LOOK out, and SEE!

In the extremely unlikely event that there is a lion at your front door, nothing that you Think, no Fear, is going to aid you.
Your body will be eaten or it will not. Just Life life-ing!!! Honest!! There is no 'you' for the lion to destroy! CHECK it!
Ok, yes this is clear now: life life-ing, happening.
Is the Worst Thing that you can Imagine being devoured by a lion??? REALLY???

Now that you have moved past this silliness, tell me what you really fear. Be specific and precise, thanks.
Wow this hit pretty hard, no playing now. There is a tightness in my chest. I REALLY AM CONCERNED about not existing - and am facing this.... It's all very well to play with words but this is it. No words are coming....

After some time the fear is reduced a bit. I am VERY humble now, so humble I don't know anything.... Allowing the unease to take it's course... Perhaps if I go on now to respond to the rest of your message...
And of course 'I' do not do anything as 'I' do not exist.
"Imaginary I" does not exist either! Imaginary I is the lion in your imagination.
and 'my' fear goes with the 'I' story.
Yes; or as you like to call it, the "imaginary I" story.
Imaginary 'I' having trouble believing this, but then he, himself, is only imaginary, a self belief.
Dear Graham. STOP imagining "imaginary I". All you are doing is shifting identification to another character. The cast of fictional characters is getting longer instead of shorter!
Graham
Self
Imaginary I

Time to write these guys out of the Show. How to do that? By LOOKing to see if any is real!

There is a story of Graham, a fictional character. We know Graham is not real, because when we stop sustaining the thought of a Graham, there is no Graham to be found in reality.
Look around the room! Computer stays whether we think about it or not. Desk stays, body stays, Graham doesn't. CHECK it!!

Same with Self and Imaginary I. These are merely standing-in for Graham; they both point to the same fictional character.

LOOK at body moving through Life without a story of Graham. WATCH!

Isn't everything just happening all by itself? No direction from a fictional character required? In your Direct Experience, does cooking, gardening, typing, breathing, even thinking require a DO-er?? Check it! No Graham, no self, no imaginary I is necessary, or even present, in Life; they are fiction. Figments of an over-active imagination. Like Batman. Like Santa Claus.

DO as i ask. Hammer at the gate if you must! Reread the posts. Fall.
[/quote]

Not sure what to say here Nona. Great humility, but still some self concern here. Do I still take normal life preventative measures such as locking door at night, be careful about Internet passwords, go for medical check ups. Does all this continue without me? I know this sounds silly but it is what is happening here.

Sorry Nona, nothing else is coming at the moment; there is a great emptiness and melancholy here.

Thank you.

Love,
Graham

PS. Upon rereading this post I see I was just playing at there being no me. Now this is really hitting me. I feel a bit of a chump.

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nonaparry
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:55 pm
Location: London, England

Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby nonaparry » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:15 pm

Upon rereading this post I see I was just playing at there being no me. Now this is really hitting me. I feel a bit of a chump.
Yes.
So now there is a decision that will make itself: will Graham choose to keep his story and live the rest of his life with an itch to be free that he is too afraid to scratch? or will he buckle down and LOOK with his eyes and mind Wide Open?
Notice there is no choice, and it is not up to Graham. THIS is freedom. No chooser; no choice; just life life-ing.

i invite you to come be devoured by the lion at your door.
I REALLY AM CONCERNED about not existing
There. That is the lion.

Graham, if being really devoured by a very real lion were your only path to liberation, would you take it? Would you offer your 'self' up? Take some time to sit with this.

How, exactly, would life change without a Graham?

Without existence of Graham, would the body stop breathing? Check it!! Does body breath at night when asleep and not sustaining story of Graham?
Without existence of Graham, would the body stop moving? Check it!! Does body move at night when sleeping and not sustaining thoughts of a Graham?
Without existence of Graham, would the body stop cooking? gardening? LOOK!!!! WATCH body doing these things. WHERE is the Graham???? Where?
POINT to the Graham with body's finger; now LOOK at what it is finger is pointing to and tell me what exactly you SEE.

‎"The bad thing about falling to pieces is that it hurts. The good thing about it is that once you're lying there in shards you've got nothing left to protect, and so no reason not to be honest."
~D.J. Duncan
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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GrahamB
Posts: 69
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Re: Can't really find myself here.

Postby GrahamB » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:41 pm

Dear Nona, This is how life has changed without Graham; in other words, after he has been devoured by the lion:

There is nothing here to be devoured and never has been. When there is thought to be something that can be, then that thought is entirely imagination. Graham was an imagination in imagination. It is quite surprising what can be created via imagination! Any thought to be happening in any thought to be world being entirely imagination.

I cannot quite believe what has happened; and yes, this is just one of the 'background' attempts to locate a me somewhere, to confuse: an attempt by ego mind to sustain/recreate itself - in imagination.

But life goes on.

Many thanks Nona.

In great gratitude,
Graham


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