understanding but not seeing

Welcome to the main forum. When you are ready to start a conversation, register and once your application is processed a guide will come to talk to you.
This is one-on-one style forum, one thread per green member.
User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:52 pm

Hi Cloudrift,
There is still a habitual generation of "I" in thoughts. This is noticed now (unlike before) and commented upon by other thoughts. It seems to be a default mode of expressing reactions to thoughts and feelings that "I" is placed into the thought and acts as a pointer in the thought to the current mind / body state. Which of course doesn't exist as a coherent entity because it changes every second just like the river.
Well noticed.

So is there any 'self' outside of thought stories about a self?

Michael

User avatar
cloudrift
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:27 pm

So is there any 'self' outside of thought stories about a self?
Searched again but there is no self to be found in direct experience. The self only appears in the thought stories.

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:41 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

So no self can be found. Excellent!

Do you feel ready to tackle the final questions?

:)

Michael

User avatar
cloudrift
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:39 am

Do you feel ready to tackle the final questions?
Yes! let's do it! :)

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:52 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Excellent!!


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

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

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

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

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

6) Anything to add?

If you answer please take your time and answer as fully as possible, that really helps. You can answer them any way that suits you, one at a time, in pairs, or all at once, whatever is best for you.

Enjoy the process,

Michael.

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:52 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Is everything ok? Are you unwell? Are you relying on notifications? (they switch on and off), or have you lost interest in your inquiry?

If the latter is the case can you let me know please so I can go and pick up another client.

However, if you want to stop now you are still welcome to pick up the thread anytime you may wish to in the future.

Kind regards,

Michael.

User avatar
cloudrift
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:56 am

Hi Michael

Really sorry for the long delay. Yes I have been unwell, unfortunately still not great but better than I was. Well enough to write a reply now though :)
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No there is only what is experienced now, the rest are all stories. Stories in the from the past, present or future.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
The illusion of separate self is the thought that another thought exists in a real form. Real in this case being something that needs to be dealt with or reacted to by further thoughts. This thought that another thought is real then creates a cascade of further thoughts. This seems to be something created by socialisation / growing up. An idea of self is given by our environment which we then treat as real. So the self is really a network of interdependent thoughts. But the keystone is the first thought - that the self is real.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Honestly, it feels no different. That was "my" greatest fear. But that's just an emotion triggered from that cascade of thoughts. There is nothing else. Had quite a few days to process this since you asked this question and can't detect any difference.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
This is not answerable - at least nothing comes to mind. Am "I" over? Unknown! :D Maybe not. Maybe "I" can never be over. I cannot see I because there is nothing seeing and nothing to see.
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
Decision - A decision requires an I. I is that which is making a decision. Without an I there is no decision.

Intention - Again an intention requires an I. Something has to have an intention. There can be no intention without a subject.

Free will - And again, free will requires a subject. If there is nothing to be free and there is nothing to have a will then freewill is not a meaningful concept.

Choice - Something has to choose. Without I there is nothing to do the choosing.

Control - Something has to be in control. There needs to be a subject for control to have any meaning. Without the I then control is null.

What makes things happen - Nothing makes things happen. Things happen and thoughts arise about those things.

"I" can make itself responsible for anything or nothing. Responsibility is a thought that relates the the thought of I. So again its all really the same as above. Ultimately with no I thoughts of responsibility are just that - thoughts. They may be there or not. But that's it.

Am I responsible for pressing these keys? The body is pressing keys. The is an idea of I. There is an idea of responsibility. Are they all linked? No. They can be linked. Or they can be left unlinked.

Going to leave 6) for now - will consider that one tomorrow :)

User avatar
cloudrift
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:53 pm

6) Anything to add?
"I" don't feel certain I have entered any gateless gate. In a way that's not surprising because it would make sense that its not in fact possible for any "I" to enter any such place. Everything is the same - "my" uncertainty and doubt is the same. Maybe that's the point - those things are what they are and will never change.

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:11 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Sorry to learn that you have been poorly. Nothing too serious I hope.

Glad you have re-entered the fray!

"I" don't feel certain I have entered any gateless gate. In a way that's not surprising because it would make sense that its not in fact possible for any "I" to enter any such place. Everything is the same - "my" uncertainty and doubt is the same.
Bang on! You will know when you have gated because doubt and uncertainty will have ended.

Your correct answers to the previous questions are intelectual (as you know) and because you cannot answer No 4.

No worries. Keep looking directly at experience.

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
Decision - A decision requires an I. I is that which is making a decision. Without an I there is no decision.
Intention - Again an intention requires an I. Something has to have an intention. There can be no intention without a subject.

Free will - And again, free will requires a subject. If there is nothing to be free and there is nothing to have a will then freewill is not a meaningful concept.

Choice - Something has to choose. Without I there is nothing to do the choosing.

Control - Something has to be in control. There needs to be a subject for control to have any meaning. Without the I then control is null.

Let us look at choice. Here is an excercise:

So, what is running the show? Is there something/someone to be found in your experience making decisions, choosing, controlling?

Put your hand in front of you, watch closely like a hawk and make the hand lift up and then down. How did "you" do it? Did you know when the hand would go up, and when it would go down?


Have fun but don't do it outside too much or you'll be arrested ;-)

Michael

User avatar
cloudrift
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:44 pm

Thanks for your patience Michael, I am determined to continue no matter how long it takes!
Your correct answers to the previous questions are intelectual (as you know) and because you cannot answer No 4.
It's a relief that it's obvious to you :) That was one of the concerns at the start and it has proven to be the case.
So, what is running the show? Is there something/someone to be found in your experience making decisions, choosing, controlling?
The commonly accepted story is that there is. As you know I can give you all the "right" answers that there isn't. But I still seem to have a feeling that there is. However "I" can only point to my thoughts in this moment as being "I". I have nothing more than that. Yet that seems sufficient for this feeling / belief to have a significant hold - by that i mean to appear to exist and appear to be real.
Put your hand in front of you, watch closely like a hawk and make the hand lift up and then down. How did "you" do it? Did you know when the hand would go up, and when it would go down?
I feel the muscle in my arm activate and the hand lifts up. I don't actually know how "I" was able to do it to be honest. I can't find any connection between "I" and the lifting of the arm. Except that the commonly accepted story is that "I" did it. However "I" feel like "I" know when its going to go up and down because the story is that "I" control it. But did I only know because it saw your words and knew that because of this my hand would go up and down? And therefore it is able to claim this as its own action? "I" don't know.
Have fun but don't do it outside too much or you'll be arrested ;-)
If I go quiet for a few weeks again you know why :D

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:26 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Patience is not an issue so have no worries on that score :-)

In these 'choice' exercises you are trying to notice that the story comes milliseconds after the action begins. It is as you begin to get up that the thought comes, " i'll go to the kitchen and make a sanwich" Its all just happening but a story is added on top.

We are not looking for a 'sense' of 'I', - in general that will persist for some while.
We are looking for the assumed ME, the gnome at the steering wheel that we think is in control of the journey.

Let's check for a driver!

Would you set up two different drinks that you like on a table in front of a comfortable chair.
Sit down, relax, take your time.

When you are ready reach out, pick a drink and take a sip.
Repeat if required (though if you use a range of vodkas it may interfere with quality of inquiry!!)

Can you describe to me what happened in detail please?

If the glasses are side by side, each as easy to reach as the other

A 'choice' is made.
Or is it?
Who makes it?
How?
When?

Relax, observe, without preconceptions or worries.

I am off on retreat so will be back to guiding on tuesday 16th April.

Try and notice just how much is happening by itself. Look at nature too.

Worth reading the odd thread in 'Gatecrashers' by Ilena and Ilona as well. It can be downloaded free from the site.

Enjoy!

Michael

User avatar
cloudrift
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 pm

Let's check for a driver!

Would you set up two different drinks that you like on a table in front of a comfortable chair.
Sit down, relax, take your time.

When you are ready reach out, pick a drink and take a sip.
Repeat if required (though if you use a range of vodkas it may interfere with quality of inquiry!!)

Can you describe to me what happened in detail please?

If the glasses are side by side, each as easy to reach as the other

A 'choice' is made.
Or is it?
Who makes it?
How?
When?
As there is a very real difficult decision I feel I am wrestling with at the moment I thought maybe I could use that as an example? It's more painful and has more emotional investment to me than the drink choice so I was thinking it may perhaps serve as a strong catalyst.

On both sides of this seeming decision are strong emotions. One set pulling me towards someone and one set pushing me away from them. Love and pain I guess you could say. So the first thing driving the decision is the battle between these two emotions.

At different moments different emotions are present. Thoughts arise from those emotions. One thought is in simple terms was "continue". The other is in simple terms was "stop". I made a choice to stop. Or did I? Because as the time pain was the overwhelming emotion. I had thoughts and then actions were triggered actions based on that chain of pain and thought.

Could I have chosen otherwise? At the time not. It seemed out of my control. Now other emotions dominate and my thoughts become different. Now I feel like I want to make the opposite decision and say "continue". But I have not yet done so. I exercise my will to override my emotion and my thoughts. To prevent my body taking the action that would make this new decision manifest in the world outside my brain.

So looking back at what I have written above and looking at your questions. I can say here I do feel a choice is made by something. When emotions and thoughts are pulling in one direction - but something resists in another direction. What is that thing? Is it another thought driven by another emotion? It feels like me.

So the mechanism of decision comes from internal conflict. One set of thoughts conflict with another set of thoughts. I seems to be identified with one side or the other in this conflict. The side which is "I" seems to be identified with the pulling against some emotive force. It is in opposition to emotion and the thoughts generated by emotion. So the process of decision comes about by the interaction of these two processes. If the emotions wane before the will gets "tired" then the will wins and vice versa.

Going one step further then. "I" seems to be the thing which opposes the natural instinct - if necessary. How does "I" determine this is necessary? Based on other conflicting emotions. So I guess it could be said there is some illusion here. Because it seems there is a belief that on one side or the other of this internal conflict is "me" or "I" being independent everything else. But now I see that actually this "I" is just another thought based on an opposing emotion.

Hmm, for a brief second there I thought I had something....then it slipped away! :D

User avatar
cloudrift
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:02 pm

Another thought then comes to mind - what is it that identifies with one side or the other? One set of thought emotions over the other set. So that it feels like "I" is either fighting or flipping between them.

User avatar
MichaelD
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:21 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:37 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Sorry to learn that you are having a bumpy ride just now. A good idea to follow your intuition and observe what is happening.
On both sides of this seeming decision are strong emotions. One set pulling me towards someone and one set pushing me away from them. Love and pain I guess you could say. So the first thing driving the decision is the battle between these two emotions.

At different moments different emotions are present. Thoughts arise from those emotions. One thought is in simple terms was "continue". The other is in simple terms was "stop". I made a choice to stop. Or did I? Because as the time pain was the overwhelming emotion. I had thoughts and then actions were triggered actions based on that chain of pain and thought.
See if you can notice that life is taking the form of strong currents. It is like our 'self' is a small boat that we are desperate to control being buffeted around on the surface. Many waves, currents, tides.

See if you can see that actions are occuring; first one way and then the other (due to the conflict), and then your 'self' the thought construct then argues / rationalises back and forth depending which current is in operation.

Hope it is not too painful.

Warm regards,

Michael

User avatar
cloudrift
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:02 pm

Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:44 pm

See if you can notice that life is taking the form of strong currents. It is like our 'self' is a small boat that we are desperate to control being buffeted around on the surface. Many waves, currents, tides.
I see that things happen in the external which trigger some emotional response in the internal world. I know rationally thats an artificial distinction though as its all internal. This emotional response then this triggers thoughts about how to fix / mitigate / deal with that. I guess this is the control you speak of.
See if you can see that actions are occuring; first one way and then the other (due to the conflict), and then your 'self' the thought construct then argues / rationalises back and forth depending which current is in operation.
Yes I can see this happening. Or am I just understanding it but not seeing it? There is still a sense of I am someone real and this person is feeling happy / sad etc etc. "I" seem to be attached firmly to each of these things as they come up. Which of course is true because "I" is only those things - it is not a seperate coherent entity. I don't really know how to get past the rational understanding of this into seeing it. Everything still seems unchanged. Just I will keep looking I guess?


Return to “THE GATE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 98 guests