I want to wake up

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andersonx
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I want to wake up

Postby andersonx » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:31 pm

Hi,

I want to wake up, now. Please help me.

I'm not sure how relevant my background is, but the brief synopsis: 7 years of meditation (since I was 19). Past 3 years, twice daily meditation. I've had a good deal of 'ecstatic' / kundalini type experience, and a great deal of attachment/aversion falling away, to the point where I'm in a state of surrender/embrace to most of what happens to me, whether good or bad. Massive equanimity in my life. There's great joy, peace and stillness flowing through me every day, which comes from within, irrespective of circumstances.

Since identification with my emotions has greatly declined, approaching spirituality with the intent of manipulating my emotions via spiritual means into a happier state has dropped away. I now just want to know the truth, instead of just wanting to feel better. I don't care whether it feels good or bad to know the truth, I just want the truth, at any cost.

Please assist.

Thank you,
Josh

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Bill
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby Bill » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:36 pm

Josh,

Very nice you're here. I can help you.
Sounds like you've done a lot of work and
are ready to see. Good.

Here's a few questions to start.
I ask - you answer.
Write lots.

What are your expectations of liberation? What is it going to be like for you? What does knowing the truth mean to you?

Tell me Josh, what comes up for you, thoughts, feelings, emotions, when I tell you that there is no 'you' at all in reality. No you living your life. No you to get enlightened. There's just life, flowing.
What's your reaction to this?
Tell all that comes up for you.

Bill

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andersonx
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby andersonx » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:00 pm

Hi Bill

Sorry for the late response. I don’t have internet at home temporarily, so am only around to answer 8am – 530pm eastern time.

Thanks for your response and help. I’m just going to be totally open and splay out everything that arises in response to your questions. I have a sense I may even start to feel a little foolish when some of this stuff comes out, but I guess that’s ok.

What are your expectations of liberation? / What is it going to be like for you?

Firstly, I feel kind of unsure what to expect. I think maybe I’ll have a sense of certainty, as a result of knowing my true identity. When I think of liberation, I think of freedom. Freedom from all the stupidity and error that comes from being caught up in identifying myself with/as a body, mental positions, a physical appearance, as an individual person, as someone from this or that social class.

I don’t know if this is this an expectation, but I’m hoping I’ll find peace and freedom in this. I know that seeking peace and freedom in the external world is redundant, so I’m hoping to find the total liberation that I seek within myself. I’m going to be totally open here, to clarify the previous sentence: I think I’m hoping that liberation is going to have some kind of emotional impact, that liberation will help to end the suffering that comes with identifying oneself with an ego.

What does knowing the truth mean to you?

There’s the conceptual meaning that I’ve been taught, which means knowing oneself as pure awareness. That which perceives yet is not perceived. I think through my meditation I’ve had some experience of myself as pure awareness. Like I'm the rushing water of life. I certainly feel life plays before me like a movie, in a calm, still, beautifully clear field of awareness at times.

But am I that? I don’t know. What am I? I don’t know. The socially-accepted norm is to believe oneself to be the brain and the physical body. Then my mind figures, somehow awareness is generated in the brain, and the awareness generated in the brain, can be aware of the brain, and aware of the physical body. This doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. Certainly awareness that I experience is centered around my own physical body. I’m aware of the information I get from the 5 senses of my body, but I’m not exactly aware of the information other people get from their 5 senses. So the awareness itself, that I experience, seems to linked to the brain and physical body that people refer to as Josh.

But who am I? I still don’t really know. I’ve heard this concept, that we are awareness, or that we’re not the ego, and I’m interested. I want to know more. I want to find what the truth of this is, and know it. KNOW IT BY EXPERIENCE. Not know it as a belief or a concept.

That’s what knowing the truth means to me.

What comes up for you, thoughts, feelings, emotions, when I tell you that there is no 'you' at all in reality. No you living your life. No you to get enlightened. There's just life, flowing. What's your reaction to this?

First of all, I think, that’s a nice idea. I don’t particularly like or want to have this concept of myself as an individual. It seems freeing to think that there isn't me, but also a little crazy. It makes me feel relaxed and peaceful. But then I think, but I don’t know whether this is true. I feel uncertain. And I think: It doesn’t matter what I believe about my identity. I’m not here to accept a new belief that someone proposes to me, I’m here to find out the truth by experience, and the truth has nothing to do with what I believe. So I feel skeptical, there’s the “social norm” to believe oneself to be the body and brain, there’s the knowledge from experience that my awareness is aware of the 5 senses that come from this particular body and brain, so the tendency is to think that it’s probable (but not to believe) that I am the body and brain people are calling Josh, that the awareness originates within this body and brain.

I don't want to exchange the trance of believing I'm the body and brain, for the trance of believing I'm just life flowing, I need to know something by experience. Something that I can't reasonably doubt.

So when you say that, there’s a few things going on: a feeling of peace and liking this idea, and then open-minded intelligent skepticism and uncertainty about it, unwillingness to accept it as a belief, but an openness to the idea, and a desire to find out more.

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Bill
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby Bill » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:14 pm

Josh,

Thanks for getting all that out on your expectations. I don't see anything that is a major issue there. Lets just put most of those aside for now and move forward. We can deal with anything that comes up for you down the road.
Liberation is not a thought, a feeling or a state. Its really so ordinary that we have almost totally missed it. I can't convince you of it, in fact the only way I can help is to point you in the right direction to look so you can see it for yourself. You have to do the seeing.
And you are so right.. it is through direct experience that it is seen. Its like we want you to look with fresh eyes at the truth of common everyday experience. Its not hidden. Its just a shift in perspective.
Do not expect fireworks. they may not happen. Each person is different. And all of the emotions we have had in the past are still here.. it just seems there is much less stickiness to them.

Its not how much you write, but what you do must come from your honest direct experience. No theories, book stuff, guru stuff, postulations. Save all that for later. Just what you see and experience. 100% honesty is needed.
We may just get in one good post each a day, Can you commit to that?

I can tell from your response that you are very intelligent and like to think long and hard about these matters, and maybe complicate things. Honestly, liberation is not complicated. In fact, complicating it often gets in the way. Let's see if we can keep this easy by dealing with just one concept at a time.


We don't want you to believe anything. Healthy skepticism is good. This is good that you want to see this through direct experience. It is the only way.
We have found that we cannot find the I when we look deep and hard at reality. There is the illusion of an I, but nothing real. That's where we're going here.

So Josh, since thoughts are so prevalent, lets look at them.

Can you look very carefully and tell me where thoughts arise, for you? Can you see a point of origin, in reality?

Looking at thoughts, are they possesive; do they all start out with an I attached, or does the I attach to the thought somewhere?

Here is a small exercise. Look at the computer. Which is more true?

it is A computer?
or a MY computer?

Can you attach a computer to a me?
If so, how is that done?

Bill

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andersonx
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby andersonx » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:21 pm

We may just get in one good post each a day, Can you commit to that?
Yes. Whatever it takes. It doesn't really even require a commitment with my level of enthusiasm for this ;-)

I see I need to give your questions some consideration, so I'll print them out, and respond tomorrow.

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andersonx
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby andersonx » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:17 pm

Can you look very carefully and tell me where thoughts arise, for you? Can you see a point of origin, in reality?

They seem to arise in the body, in the area of my head / brain.

Looking at thoughts, are they possesive; do they all start out with an I attached, or does the I attach to the thought somewhere?

Not completely sure I understand this question, but I'm going to venture a response. The I attaches to the thought.

1.For example (I can be) thinking about a cat.
2.There are thoughts of a cat, then there is the idea that there's an I who is thinking them.

Here is a small exercise. Look at the computer. Which is more true?

it is A computer?
or a MY computer?

It's A computer is more true. This is the noun used to describe the object.

My computer requires the concept of belonging/property which is an abstract concept.

Can you attach a computer to a me?
If so, how is that done?


Conceptually, yes. With the concept of self/other, property/belonging, we have a computer which is mine, belongs to me, but does not belong to others.

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Bill
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby Bill » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:52 pm

Hello Josh,

So thoughts just arise, in your head/brain area. They just come in. One after another after another.
Are you in control of them? Can you stop them? Can you choose what to think?

Thoughts are about many things, some about a cat, some about you, about many things.

How does a thought assert ownership? Is ownership even possible without a thought? Or a belief?

Look at your life and the things you say are 'yours', the things you say you own.
Is this true, this ownership, in reality?

Bill

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andersonx
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby andersonx » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:31 pm

I'll preface this with the fact that I'm feeling the need to try and be 'right' here. I.e. to feel out what I think are the right answers to your questions, and say them. I'm not identified with this need, it's just occurring. So I'll just give you the truthful answers that come into mind.

Are you in control of them?

When I ask myself: Am I in control of my thoughts? The answer that comes is yes. The answer is yes, because I have a will. I.e. the ability to intend something to happen. If you say to me: Josh, think of plane. If I intend it to happen, there will be a thought of a plane.

Can you stop them? Yes. If I will it, I will give 100% of my attention to my senses, and I will only receive the sense information, and there will be no room for thought. I sometimes do this if my mind is annoying.

Can you choose what to think? Yes. As in the aforementioned example.

How does a thought assert ownership?

By applying a label to something. First there's just a computer then there's my computer. But this idea of "my computer" is just that, a concept.

Therefore, ownership is not possible without a thought.

In reality, I don't own anything. Ownership is just a concept, and a social convention.

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Re: I want to wake up

Postby Bill » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:05 am

Josh - that's good you're giving your true and honest answers. That will be very helpful as we move along to always give your most truthful reply and not just give what looks like the 'right' answer.


Ok, just because we have a will doesn't necessarily mean we can control our thoughts.
Yes sure, there is this seemining control.
But is it true?
Is is really true?
Are you really in control of your thoughts?
Check for yourself.

Do you know what your next thought will be? For real. not a contrived situation.
How about sometimes some weird thoughts come in... where did they come from? You chose them?
Can you really stop your thoughts from arising?

Thoughts arise, labels are put on the thoughts and we have ownership.
Ownership is just another thought.

Is there really an entity I that owns all this this stuff?
Or is this entity just another thought?
If there is an entity, Where is it?

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andersonx
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby andersonx » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:16 pm

I need a few days to absorb these questions. I'll reply when I've done that.

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Re: I want to wake up

Postby Bill » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:52 pm

I need a few days to absorb these questions. I'll reply when I've done that.
Josh - take whatever time you need.
Remember these are not essay questions and there is no right or wrong.
Please don't overthink them.

Bill

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Re: I want to wake up

Postby andersonx » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:57 pm

Hi Bill.

So I spent yesterday looking intently at my thoughts. Your question first shocked me, and then took me to a place of very deep silence for the entire day. I think it's rare to have experienced a silence as deep as that. But it was a passing experience. However, I did realize that my thoughts seem to occur on their own. I'm not sure if there's really any control.

Even if there is a decision: "I'm going to think of a cat", then I think of a cat, the decision itself seemingly came from nowhere. I'm still not totally sure about this however.

It also seems that it is me who is perceiving these thoughts, even if I'm not in control of them.

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Bill
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby Bill » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:56 pm

Hey Josh,

Very good looking and noticing. Wow!
Deep silence for a day! Amazing.

Yes all these thoughts 'seem' like there is a me who is in charge.
But if we look very closely, we cannot find this I, this me.
We perceive; labeling happens immediately, and then the stories start.
It feels like the I is the controller.
But is it really?
Or is the I just another story?
Another huge story that has never really been looked at.

There is this felt sense of self though.
It is before the I thought.
That feeling of being alive.

Try this:

Sit and relax for awhile.
put your attention on your right hand
keep it there for a while.
then put your attention on your tongue
hold it there for awhile.
Notice we can move the attention around easily.
Now put this attention on your sense of being
whatever that means to you.
This sense of aliveness that is yours.
keep it there for awhile


Tell what happens if anything for you.


I have another thought for you to ponder.
Ilona came up with this.
I call it Ilona's Gem as it is a beautiful short summation of what this is about:

Please tell me what this means to you.


Well its a very simple thing that needs to be resolved...
There is this thought, I,... and once you see that I is just a thought
And you see that thought itself does not think
It clicks!
Its very very simple.

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andersonx
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby andersonx » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:35 pm

Thanks for your ongoing help Bill, it means a lot.

I tried the attention technique. I want to know: who or what is moving the attention around? Right now my mind believes it is me. And my mind believes that me is a person called Josh.

The technique produces a light ecstasy and inner silence. I tend to get a sensation of bliss/ ecstasy and inner silence from any pointer to truth, whether meditation, listening to adyashanti or eckhart tolle, etc etc. It seems I experience this a lot, but it all means very little when I can't be sure who I am.

For Ilona's gem, my response is that I is a feeling, there is a sense of I. My mind believes that this sense of I comes from the person called Josh. If I look at myself in the mirror, there is a feeling of I, that this is me, who I am looking at.

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Bill
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Re: I want to wake up

Postby Bill » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:00 am

I tried the attention technique. I want to know: who or what is moving the
attention around? Right now my mind believes it is me. And my mind believes
that me is a person called Josh.
Josh - I ask you to look again here for yourself. Who or what is moving the attention
around? Is it really your mind? Who really owns it?

For Ilona's gem, my response is that I is a feeling, there is a sense of I.
My mind believes that this sense of I comes from the person called Josh. If I
look at myself in the mirror, there is a feeling of I, that this is me, who I
am looking at.
When you look in the mirror you see an image of a body reflected.
It's your conditioning that tells you this is your 'I'.
You've seen it and reinforced it thousands of times.
This doesn't necessarily mean that its true.

Josh - are you clinging to this notion of self so strongly so you will have something to improve? to work on?
If so, can you let this go?

Do you see how literaly all thoughts are stories?
Every thought is essentially past tense in its nature.
Describing something that has happenend in the past.
The only thing that is real is what is happening right now and here.
To see this we need a willingness to see that what we
might have been thinking all along is wrong.
Or at least open to the possibility that we have been wrong.
We need a willingness to see prior to labels being put on what we see.
We only need a very short amount of this 'pure' perception
to see that I is truly illusory in nature.

We've believed that the self is needed.
But no self is needed to function at all.
You've been tought since you were just a young boy that yes, there
is a you and your name is Josh. We have never looked at this and
questioned whether its really true or not.


We've looked at thoughts.
now lets look at the body and see if there is an owner or entity controlling it.
Lift one of your hands. either one.
Move it to the right. Now move it left. Look with your eyes what is happening. Did a self move the hand?
Or did the hand just move?
Direct observation. Move it again. Check it.
Which is more true, the hand moved, or a self moved the hand?

-------------------------------------------------------
Please keep pondering this statement.
Look at it a few times a day while we are
in dialogue. It will be helpful.
No need to discuss now unless you want.

Well its a very simple thing that needs to be resolved...
There is this thought, I,... and once you see that I is just a thought
And you see that thought itself does not think
It clicks!
Its very very simple.


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