understanding but not seeing

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cloudrift
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understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:04 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand this to mean that self is just a construct based on top of thoughts and feelings. A way of tying these things together into some sort of narrative. Despite this making sense it 'feels' as if there is a self - behaviours and feelings arise which feel very concrete. So I am hoping that the guiding will cut through that.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for something that will fundamentally change the perception of everyday events thoughts and emotions. It makes sense that if there is no self except a fiction then thoughts and emotions are just what they are. They have no "meta" level of meaning as there is nothing in reality at that level to attach to. To experience the reality of this what I am looking for.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I am expecting something similar to the gateless gatecrashers pdf in form. However I am worried if I will be capable of seeing anything. There is doubt if I will be able understand and do what a guide asks me to do. I am also worried about just 'giving the right answers' on paper but not really being there still. From reading the conversations in the book I intellectually know what the right answers are and can probably reproduce them in a myriad of forms but that doesn't mean seeing has taken place. There is a curiosity about how a guide can tell the difference between someone just using the right words and making an appearance of the outer form vs the real deal.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have not done any spiritual practice seeking or inquiry. At least in the commonly accepted forms. So no mediation, esoteric religions, retreats etc etc. I always felt that I would not find what I was looking for in those things. I travelled and climbed mountains for a bit but in the end realised that whatever I was searching for was inside of me. That was many, many years ago. Since then I have done nothing except ponder myself. Mainly because I didn't know what to do next. In the past couple of years I followed some people on social media who I sensed had "something" which was different to the normal well trodden paths around this. That is they were not speaking in the jargon of spirituality but cut straight through the crap and spoke plainly. This is what eventually led me to here. Since I found this site I have been gradually reading the gateless gatecrashers pdf my expectation and understanding of this process comes from what I have read in this book.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:10 pm

Hello Cloudrift,

Yes, I will be happy to assist you in exploring the illusion of the ‘separate self’. I can only point the way but you have to see it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides and not teachers. If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Also please read “Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

Just let me know that you have read the disclaimer, the FAQ's and we can then start the exploration.

Yours,

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:10 pm

Hi Michael

Thanks very much for taking the time to explore this with me. I read the first two links but the third one was broken for me. I think I know how to quote the question being answered in any case so good to continue anyway.

Thanks

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:39 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Great. FAO's etc can be found on the LU site and there is guidance in relation tothe quote function on this forum.

Crucial to your looking (like with so many things in life) is having the right attitude and this is what we will now address.

I would like you to do two things please:

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me.

And

Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.

We will then address whatever comes up which will be a bit like clearing the decks, or emptying the cup!

The aim is so that you begin looking with a sense of open curiosity free from preconceptions of any kind. Also, as we are doing, let’s try and post every day and if we are unable to for a couple of days out of consideration let’s notify each other accordingly. That way we can create a continuity and momentum. It is also best to avoid reading 'spiritual' / Dharma books etc to avoid your experience being coloured in any way.

Enjoy the process.

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:20 am

Firstly, can you identify what your expectations are and briefly write them for me.
Expectations wise I am hoping something will change. Probably in the form of a realisation that will be immediate but that may not have any immediate other effects. There is a hope in me that after a period of time this realisation will cause other things to shift. I have an intellectual idea of the what the realisation is described as but I am not really vested in that - there's something new here and there is a curiosity to see what that is. Overall I just want to see what's there! :)
Secondly, can you also tell me any reservations, fears, or possible obstacles that may hinder you.
My biggest fear is that I won't be able to have any realisation. That I will not be capable of seeing what is there because of some lack or defect in my mind, despite my best effort. I haven't had any contact with spiritual stuff or meditation in the past so I don't have a lot of the introspective skills that I have seen others demonstrate in the guidings I have read.

There is a lesser fear of losing motivation if I do see reality. What I have read in the other guidings seemed to indicate that things will continue on anyway so this is why this is a lesser fear for me.

When I think of obstacles all that comes to mind is just that I wont 'get it'. I have tried other non spiritual stuff in the past and came away not getting it. I don't tend to go along with things just to be part of the group so something really has to be real for me rather than me just saying its real.

That reminds me of one other fear - I am kinda worried that I am going to say all the right words and seem to be there to outside appearances - because I have read all of the guidings in the PDF I know what I should be seeing. So I guess I am worried you will ask some question and I will answer from my knowledge of what I have read on those previous guidings.
It is also best to avoid reading 'spiritual' / Dharma books etc to avoid your experience being coloured in any way
Haha! Don't worry, I have never read any spiritual books, only the gateless gatecrashers PDF :)

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:46 pm

Hello Cloudrift,

Honest answers. Thanks.

Expectations are fine. You are open to a shift or realisation that will go on to change you. Great that you don't expect complete and perfect Buddhahood as many do!!!
My biggest fear is that I won't be able to have any realisation. That I will not be capable of seeing what is there because of some lack or defect in my mind, despite my best effort.
I had that too! If you have an ordinary human mind (not that it is yours but that is for further down the track) and are open, diligent, and honest (as you appear to be) there is no reason why your inquiry will not be successful.
There is a lesser fear of losing motivation if I do see reality.
If you lean towards nihilism post gate you can address it then so no need to be concerned now.
That reminds me of one other fear - I am kinda worried that I am going to say all the right words and seem to be there to outside appearances - because I have read all of the guidings in the PDF I know what I should be seeing. So I guess I am worried you will ask some question and I will answer from my knowledge of what I have read on those previous guidings.
Yes. So now is the time to stop readings guidings. However I will spot what is happening but the main safeguard is you remaining ruthlessly honest and answering from direct experience rather than conception.

So this brings us to the beginning!

There is not a lot of theory that we need to get going, however, it is worth just mentioning what I mean by 'direct experience', since this is going to be a recurring theme.

When I use the term 'direct experience', I mean immediate sense experience (what is seen, felt, heard etc right here and now) and also thoughts as immediately experienced.

So for example "I am hungry" is a judgement, not a description of direct experience.

On the other hand, "There is a hard ache in my stomach, and thoughts about food and the possibility of eating keep arising" is describing some of the direct experience involved in being hungry.

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?

Your inquiry is beginning. Do enjoy the process.

Michael.

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:59 pm

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?
There is a sensation of slight pressure on my finger tips. A humming sound. A click. Rattling sound of the wind pushing the door. A thought arises, am I writing enough? Is this enough of a reply. Another thought, of wanting to write more. Then another one of no this is just the start, don't go overboard. A dull ache in my neck.

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:37 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Well done. You seem to be able to notice direct experience and seperating thought and sensation is very important.

You have a good basis to start from so let's get underway!

Sitting quietly somewhere, become aware of the six senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and whatever is passing through the mind.

Focusing on sight say to yourself,
'I am seeing -a table, wall, lamp' whatever it is.

Then with sound 'I am hearing - traffic, the fridge' or whatever.
'I am touching - the floor, cushion, chair, as occurs.

Smell and taste are obviously subtler so don't worry if you don't notice anything, and we'll see how you get on with thought later on.

Then do just the same without the 'I'

'Seeing table'
'Hearing a dog'.
'Smelling incense' etc
What happens when you drop the notion or label "I"

Enjoy!

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:54 am

Hi Michael

Really sorry about the delay in replay, I have been avidly awaiting notification of your reply but nothing came. So I decided to check back and saw you posted on Sunday! Anyway let try what you said...
What happens when you drop the notion or label "I"
What seems to happen is that those sensations without the I become more immediate and closer. There is no intermediary. Thoughts come up now that I should write more. That I can write more interesting and nice sounding words. But then other thoughts come up that say to go further is to engage in speculation about the initial experience. This isn't reality or what is being sought here. It's really tempting though! haha!

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:34 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Yes notifications switch on and off so best to check daily at the forum itself.

Nothing to pick up on in your answer except to agree with you - there is no value at all in fabricating stuff and writing for the sake of it.

So, thoughts are a strata of labelling and interpretation etc laid on top of direct experience.

Let us look at seperation:

Our upbringing teaches us that we are a subject (separate self), that there is an object of perception, and an act of perception.

But is this true?

Choose an item such as a cup or an apple and look at it. If there is a separate self, we should be able to locate a boundary.

In direct experience can a boundary be found?

Is there an act of perception or is perception just occurring?

Enjoy!

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:40 am

Our upbringing teaches us that we are a subject (separate self), that there is an object of perception, and an act of perception.

But is this true?
Choose an item such as a cup or an apple and look at it. If there is a separate self, we should be able to locate a boundary.

In direct experience can a boundary be found?
When perceiving a cup it consists of the appearance of a cup, the touch sensation of a cup when held and the thoughts that arise in relation to that cup in that moment. The appearance of the cup is outside the physical boundary of my body. The sensation of the cup also seems to indicate the same thing. The thoughts related to the cup seem to be based around those two sensory perceptions.

However as mental experiences I can't seem to find the edge of those perceptions. It seems they don't have a boundary where the perception ends and something else begins. So the perceptions are whole as they are. Hmmm. I don't feel convinced, even though that's what direct experience tells me. Things still seem somewhat misty or uncertain for some reason.
Is there an act of perception or is perception just occurring?
Perception just seems to be occurring. I can find no act. Hmm. Quite an amount of time was spent pondering this for so little written again :D Will keep examining this and add some more tomorrow if more becomes apparent.

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:29 pm

Hi Cloudrift,
When perceiving a cup it consists of the appearance of a cup, the touch sensation of a cup when held and the thoughts that arise in relation to that cup in that moment.
What percieves a cup?

The appearance of the cup is outside the physical boundary of my body.
Can you find 'boundary' or 'physical body' in direct experience?

It seems they don't have a boundary where the perception ends and something else begins.
Good, look to notice this more definitely.

Perception just seems to be occurring. I can find no act.
Bingo! Really see this!!

Stay with this.

Try with sound too.

Sit, relax, notice sound.

Is there a boundary?

Act of perception?

Who \ what is noticing?

Or is it just occurring?

Is there seperation?

Enjoy!

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:34 am

What percieves a cup?
The thought keeps coming to mind that its such a hard question! Then "I don't know!". Thoughts about the 'right' answer being "there is only perception". Then that there must be something to perceive because perception only has meaning in relation to something else. For perception to exist there must be two. One is split into two.
Can you find 'boundary' or 'physical body' in direct experience?
No. Because I can see a body, I get sensations of touch, feel pain etc. But those are sensations they are not a body itself. There are just various sensations which are tied together into the narrative of body. The a body is a thought built on top of the sensations of touch and sight etc. The sensations are unbounded by their nature. They just are.
It seems they don't have a boundary where the perception ends and something else begins.
Good, look to notice this more definitely.
Perception just seems to be occurring. I can find no act.
Bingo! Really see this!!
I am just sitting with these things now. Just keeping looking at these. Thought keeps coming into my mind that this is hard and doubt it I can ever see it. Do I just need to keep examining these two now? This is what I am doing anyway.

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:48 am

Try with sound too.

Sit, relax, notice sound.

Is there a boundary?

Act of perception?

Who \ what is noticing?

Or is it just occurring?

Is there seperation?
I am not able to identify who is noticing. Again noticing just happens. Perception is one and the other is the sound. This makes two. Now it seems there is a gap between perception and what is perceived. But again when I think about that some more there can't be..or can there?

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:46 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Thanks for both your posts. I will answer both of them here.
What percieves a cup?

The thought keeps coming to mind that its such a hard question! Then "I don't know!".

It is Ok not to know so there is no need to agonize. It may have been a poor question. In a way it is a bit of a trick as there is nothing that percieves a cup (cup just appears) whichis why you couldn't find anything!

Can you notice now that there is nothing noticing a cup?

Because we imagine / believe a self is there folk use words like awareness, consciousness or mind.

But can they be found?
Can you find 'boundary' or 'physical body' in direct experience?

No. Because I can see a body, I get sensations of touch, feel pain etc. But those are sensations they are not a body itself. There are just various sensations which are tied together into the narrative of body. The a body is a thought built on top of the sensations of touch and sight etc. The sensations are unbounded by their nature. They just are.

Wow! Bang on and expressed with real clarity! Very good seeing.
Try with sound too.

Sit, relax, notice sound.

Is there a boundary?

Act of perception?

Who \ what is noticing?

Or is it just occurring?
Is there seperation?

I am not able to identify who is noticing. Again noticing just happens. Perception is one and the other is the sound. This makes two. Now it seems there is a gap between perception and what is perceived. But again when I think about that some more there can't be..or can there?
I am not able to identify who is noticing. Again noticing just happens.


Exactly!!

You then go on to say "Perception is one and the other is the sound. This makes two".

Have another cheeky listen. Is ther really two?

A couple of times in these posts you have said it is hard. Can I ask you to drop that idea. Really it is the exact opposite. It is so simple we kind of overlook it and layer more and more complexity on to sense experience.

When you relax and just listen and look is there anything more than whatever appears, whether that is sights, sounds, smells etc and then thoughts simply occuring as well?

Try not ro struggle rather just enjoy investigating / looking. You are exploring the nature of reality - what an amazing quest to be on.

Enjoy the ride!

Michael


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