Freedom from Alex...

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Icarus
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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:48 pm

Are you selfing?
Are you not-selfing?
No. Neither. There just is what's going on.
And then sometimes there is being distracted from that by the illusion of a sense of a self. When the distraction is there, I forget to look into what the 'i' is that is distracted. But when I remember to look, there is neither selfing nor not-selfing.
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:16 pm

Are you selfing?
Are you not-selfing?
No. Neither. There just is what's going on.
And then sometimes there is being distracted from that by the illusion of a sense of a self. When the distraction is there, I forget to look into what the 'i' is that is distracted. But when I remember to look, there is neither selfing nor not-selfing.

If we lift the lid of distraction, what is it we call distraction?
Let's say there's distraction for a minute, and then it ends.
What is going on during that minute?
And what changes when it's over?

Thank you,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Icarus
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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:04 pm

If we lift the lid of distraction, what is it we call distraction?

I'm not really seeing this clearly. it seems that there is a temporary narrowing of awareness - one of the sense-impressions (generally thought) monopolises awareness for a bit, and in this there is a feeling of contraction around that impression/stream of thoughts/emotion etc. But quite where the sense of a 'self' arises from in this I cannot see.

what changes when it's over?

Again, I don't clearly see a difference. There is a general feeling of a re-widening of the field of awareness to include more of what is going on. And in that widening, there is no need for a 'me' at the center; no need for the sense of a subject for awareness to attach to.

Despite not being clear on what happens during these times, there is still some sense that there are times of more and of less selfing. There are times of relative easefulness and of relative being-caught-up. I still have a feeling of willfully 'letting go of the self' and opening out the field of awareness. I don't find what that willfullness is, but there is this feeling of shifting between states of relative selfing.
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Wed May 01, 2019 2:45 pm

Hi Alex,

Despite not being clear on what happens during these times, there is still some sense that there are times of more and of less selfing. There are times of relative easefulness and of relative being-caught-up. I still have a feeling of willfully 'letting go of the self' and opening out the field of awareness. I don't find what that willfullness is, but there is this feeling of shifting between states of relative selfing.

Ok, there's two strands here. One is to do with so-called selfing, and one is to do with being conscious.

As for selfing, in a nutshell we map a concept of ourself onto regular natural functions and feelings. There are times when the natural functions and feelings express, and we're not hooked in to mapping them as 'me' - which are generally peaceful, wholeness, ease - and there are times, when out of habit, we do map regular natural functions and feelings as 'me', and in those times, the idea 'me' gets tangled up with natural functions and feelings.

This is all fine and the clearer you get, the less that occurs, simply because when it does occur, it no longer has the purchase it once had, the purchase of identification - like why would you?

Being more conscious in life in general and in particular, is something I'd always recommend as a quality worth nurturing. Cos' when not conscious, life sails by, and it's more fun to participate.

Something to notice is that we tend to look at all this stuff from the perspective of 'me', even when we know that's a fabric of fiction. And that's really worth taking the time to sniff out.

Just ask, 'Am I looking at this from 'my' (me) perspective?'

Just presume you are, and explore, 'Were that perspective to not really be a perspective, and drop away, what then?'

Thanks,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Icarus
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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Mon May 06, 2019 8:52 pm

Thank you John. I'm glad to be doing this.

There are times when the natural functions and feelings express, and we're not hooked in to mapping them as 'me' - which are generally peaceful, wholeness, ease - and there are times, when out of habit, we do map regular natural functions and feelings as 'me', and in those times, the idea 'me' gets tangled up with natural functions and feelings.


Yes, this is feeling clearer. More able to let go of the mapping, or at least to see it as mapping even when the feelings & experiences hook me in. Sometimes this feels like a relief, to see that I don't have to follow the contractions - the feeling of 'why would you?' can very much be there sometimes. It's just better not to!

Just ask, 'Am I looking at this from 'my' (me) perspective?'

Just presume you are, and explore, 'Were that perspective to not really be a perspective, and drop away, what then?'

The 'dropping away' changes nothing, and yet is perceptible. There can be a letting go of all the unneccessary internal commentary on experience; for moments the experience itself feels closer. But nothing is 'done' for this to happen. It's more that I give myself permission not to perpetuate self-thoughts for a bit. And although I recognise the quality of this state, something in me (?!) feels like a young child without his teddy - it feels like something is missing which provides me a sense of security in the world - something to hold on to (i.e. self-identity) is gone, and there is this need to pick it up again. And so just as it feels liberating to let go of the perpetuation-of-self dynamic, there is also relief in picking it all up again, and having that story of who I am and what I want to do next and what I think about it all etc etc etc.

That dynamic of feeling like something's missing, and creating the 'me' to fill that gap, I guess could be allowed to exist without self-nature too. And yet it is so compelling (for now at least) to identify with it. To identify with that neediness, with that seeker-of-identity, and then with the identity which is created to fill that gap. I suppose it is a kind of answer to the 'what then?' of your last post. Somehow it doesn't feel like it's enough to allow experience itself to be the 'what then' and so thought comes back in to make it into a 'what then' and put it into the context of 'me and my life'.
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Sat May 11, 2019 8:09 pm

it feels like something is missing which provides me a sense of security in the world - something to hold on to (i.e. self-identity) is gone, and there is this need to pick it up again. And so just as it feels liberating to let go of the perpetuation-of-self dynamic, there is also relief in picking it all up again, and having that story of who I am and what I want to do next and what I think about it all etc etc etc.

In the last couple of days this has been developing a bit. I now haven't been feeling that need to pick up the self-identity in this way. I think that before I was experiencing a sensation that I labelled as 'self uncomfortable with this not-me perspective.' Now the sensations arise without this labelling. They don't have that quality of selfhood or being uncomfortable.

And yet, the self perspective reasserts itself quite quickly. I don't find anything to pin this on - no causality so nowhere for me to do or stop doing anything. So to answer your question again:
'Were that perspective to not really be a perspective, and drop away, what then?'

There is the letting go of the perspective for a while. Things arise. And then there is somehow a forgetting-to-let-go or a re-establishment of my more usual selfing perspective. And I'm 'me' again until I remember to let go again.
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sun May 12, 2019 3:09 pm

In the last couple of days this has been developing a bit. I now haven't been feeling that need to pick up the self-identity in this way. I think that before I was experiencing a sensation that I labelled as 'self uncomfortable with this not-me perspective.' Now the sensations arise without this labelling. They don't have that quality of selfhood or being uncomfortable.

Cool. And we're not making it about never feeling selfy :) as if It's some kind of competition. Because feeling selfy is but an expression of living. We treat it as we treat any other expression, we live it, we're conscious of it, we might learn something about our conditioning from it - which all helps to loosen the strands.

You, I'm sure, know the difference between being lost in selfy and watching selfy show up. In being lost in it, this is what feels like identifying, we are absorbed in the persona-lity. This happens habitually, but lessens simply because you see there's no truth in it. It's just not interesting anymore.

And yet, the self perspective reasserts itself quite quickly. I don't find anything to pin this on - no causality so nowhere for me to do or stop doing anything. So to answer your question again:

For as long as there's a residual idea that you are this selfy :), it'll habitually occur from time to time. That's good, because each time gives you another opportunity to see the phenomena up close, to see what a peculiar sham it is, and withdraw from it a little more.

There is the letting go of the perspective for a while. Things arise. And then there is somehow a forgetting-to-let-go or a re-establishment of my more usual selfing perspective. And I'm 'me' again until I remember to let go again.

Thing is, when we let go, it presupposes that there's something to let go from. And I know it seems like there is, but really, we can use the selfy times to really discover and see the nature of the selfy experience from the inside.

So, we don't need to see being selfy as bad, on the contrary, we're excited to be up close again, to pierce the perception, to see what a joke it is.

Having seen what a selfy is, when it comes up, how it comes up, we see it's nature as a perceptual habit, that's all. It loses all authority as some kind of me, person, Alex.

At that point, the apple is ripe and falls of its own accord.

Warm wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Tue May 14, 2019 7:02 pm

we can use the selfy times to really discover and see the nature of the selfy experience from the inside.

As soon as I remember the 'oh good now I can look at this selfing' approach, it goes away and I don't get to see anything from the inside! There is more easing - as you say, the selfing is feeling like any other expression. And there are also the old mental habits which say 'oh yes that's me' that go along with it. But when I remember to, those don't need to be taken so seriously.
Having seen what a selfy is, when it comes up, how it comes up, we see it's nature as a perceptual habit, that's all. It loses all authority as some kind of me, person, Alex.

As this selfy is seen, there is a letting go of the desire to identify as that. And there is also a subtler assumption/thought that 'I' am whatever is seeing the selfy; the self becomes something appropriating that insight, appropriating that letting go:
"oh good, now I've stopped selfing so much. What shall I do now?..."
and so it goes on.

At that point, the apple is ripe and falls of its own accord.

Yes, I have faith in this; that it'll occur by itself, when the time is ready. And I have experienced the apple falling before (as I explained in my first post). So how it is that the apple is back on the tree?! How can I orient myself towards practice and awareness without that being a further perpetuation of self? (I don't necessarily need answers to these questions - they are fairly perennial until they drop away with the apple)
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Wed May 15, 2019 12:42 am

Hi Alex,
As soon as I remember the 'oh good now I can look at this selfing' approach, it goes away and I don't get to see anything from the inside! There is more easing - as you say, the selfing is feeling like any other expression. And there are also the old mental habits which say 'oh yes that's me' that go along with it. But when I remember to, those don't need to be taken so seriously.

Ok, cool.

As this selfy is seen, there is a letting go of the desire to identify as that. And there is also a subtler assumption/thought that 'I' am whatever is seeing the selfy; the self becomes something appropriating that insight, appropriating that letting go:
"oh good, now I've stopped selfing so much. What shall I do now?..."
and so it goes on.

That's a good point - even seeing this selfy persona show up, and just watching the show as it were :) we still hold on to the 'I am' part of it. "If I'm not selfy, which I'm clearly not, then I must be that which sees that."

And so we cling to another possible anchor.

So again, we can see that clinging very clearly, and try on the space of what it's like not to have to be I am this or that.

Yes, I have faith in this; that it'll occur by itself, when the time is ready. And I have experienced the apple falling before (as I explained in my first post). So how it is that the apple is back on the tree?! How can I orient myself towards practice and awareness without that being a further perpetuation of self? (I don't necessarily need answers to these questions - they are fairly perennial until they drop away with the apple)

The apple is back on the tree because its back on the tree. :)

We could rationalise it and say, it's back on the tree so you can discover again the experience of a falling apple.

Also, in another sense, you get to see that 'the apple is back on the tree' is an old perception of the game being played. Maybe there is no apple?

Warm wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Fri May 17, 2019 11:16 am

There’s definitely an Apple! It feels like I’ve ‘gone backwards’ these last couple of days. Not a very helpful way of phrasing it perhaps! By which I mean, the thoughts of “I am...” are occurring with more regularity and rather than letting them be, I seem to get stuck in trying to refute them. Trying to find the “I am not...” as an antidote to the “I am-ing”. I can see that this is doomed to fail from the start, and in parallel am also able to hold the perspective you suggest of welcoming it as with any other perception. There is a sort of wry smiling at the ‘here we go selfing again’ dynamic. So there is space around the old thought patterns.

I can feel that the whole paradigm in which I think, choose, plan, self, un-self etc etc is too limited - it doesn’t have the capacity to approach the way of being that we work with here. And yet I can feel it’s strength in me - how much I still try to use that old paradigm in order to ‘see’ the new one. And again, the broader awareness is also here, waiting for me to stop with the words and let it be. Or rather, letting the ‘me’ carry on with the words and not needing to get so embroiled in that.
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Fri May 24, 2019 12:13 am

There’s definitely an Apple! It feels like I’ve ‘gone backwards’ these last couple of days. Not a very helpful way of phrasing it perhaps! By which I mean, the thoughts of “I am...” are occurring with more regularity and rather than letting them be, I seem to get stuck in trying to refute them.

The I that refutes. Now there's an interesting fella. And where does he hang out?

Trying to find the “I am not...” as an antidote to the “I am-ing”. I can see that this is doomed to fail from the start, and in parallel am also able to hold the perspective you suggest of welcoming it as with any other perception. There is a sort of wry smiling at the ‘here we go selfing again’ dynamic. So there is space around the old thought patterns.

It all gets kinda twee doesn't it. I'm trying to do this, but then this happens, etc. You know there's a layer watching proceedings keeping very quiet, watching the pretty dance.

I can feel that the whole paradigm in which I think, choose, plan, self, un-self etc etc is too limited - it doesn’t have the capacity to approach the way of being that we work with here. And yet I can feel it’s strength in me - how much I still try to use that old paradigm in order to ‘see’ the new one. And again, the broader awareness is also here, waiting for me to stop with the words and let it be. Or rather, letting the ‘me’ carry on with the words and not needing to get so embroiled in that.

It's ok, you're wrapped up in you. It's as it should be. Not supposed to be easy. Really. It's a fucking battle, and then it's not.

See how you're wrapped up in you - and there's nowhere to go forward, no way to go back.
Nothing to do but face the present, see all your horrors :) and accept 'em anyway.

Much love,
John

p.s. apologies for slow replies, got much to do.
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Sat May 25, 2019 5:24 pm

The I that refutes. Now there's an interesting fella. And where does he hang out?

mmm a bit of an opening around this one, seeing more clearly that there is 'nobody home' behind the thoughts, behind the skin. Just Alex, wandering around and thinking things.

Really. It's a fucking battle, and then it's not.

I sometimes get stuck with this dynamic - should I be trying now, should I stop trying and let the battle stop? Trying to stop the battle. Battling. etc etc. you know! Mixed up between the purification-of-karma-gradual-path and the already-awake-stop-trying-path. But for these past few days I am content to put that all down; to sit in the warmth with the grass and the insects and the wind and let it all be. It feels easeful, to not do anything, gradually noticing tension, letting things be. Seeing the 'no way forward, no way back' dynamic of the ego and letting space open up around that.
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Sat May 25, 2019 6:40 pm

Hi Alex,

mmm a bit of an opening around this one, seeing more clearly that there is 'nobody home' behind the thoughts, behind the skin. Just Alex, wandering around and thinking things.

Just notice whether 'nobody home' has become a kind of thing to gravitate around. We can all get hooked on an idea like this, along with what we think it means. But we don't need to frame it this way - yes, I know this site does do that :) along with some traditions - but we don't need to.

'the I that refutes' for example. We're well aware of the refuting. Just as we're well aware of tooth brushing and cooking dinner. If we frame it about somebody/nobody home, we get caught up in a game. But life isn't a game, it's life. You're neither a somebody nor a nobody. Dropping that game, for a second, opens up space, where life is living, and you read this, and pour a beer, and chat with a friend, and take a sip, and were we presented with life tomorrow, having not known it today, we'd be fricken stunned with the breathtaking beauty and dynamic of it.

Really. It's a fucking battle, and then it's not.
I sometimes get stuck with this dynamic - should I be trying now, should I stop trying and let the battle stop? Trying to stop the battle. Battling. etc etc. you know! Mixed up between the purification-of-karma-gradual-path and the already-awake-stop-trying-path. But for these past few days I am content to put that all down; to sit in the warmth with the grass and the insects and the wind and let it all be. It feels easeful, to not do anything, gradually noticing tension, letting things be. Seeing the 'no way forward, no way back' dynamic of the ego and letting space open up around that.

Ah, that's good. The traditions provide scaffolding, and that's useful, and then the scaffolding can go. And there's nothing there, and there's everything there.

The battle, should we approach it as such, is a battle with perception. Has nothing to do with already-awake etc - those are pointers to shake conditioned perception. So our battle is to see how we perceive our self, and having seen it, to see that it is a perception - and seeing that, relaxing, and not being bound by a perception of self.

First, we must assume that we have a perception of self that is operating - and grab that tiger by the tail. I think you've already seen that tiger. :)

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Fri May 31, 2019 11:27 pm

Just notice whether 'nobody home' has become a kind of thing to gravitate around.

Yes, I'm seeing how I've been doing this. And it's a useful pointer, when I remember that it is just a pointer.

Has nothing to do with already-awake etc - those are pointers to shake conditioned perception. So our battle is to see how we perceive our self, and having seen it, to see that it is a perception - and seeing that, relaxing, and not being bound by a perception of self.

Yes, this is arising more naturally. In the last week or so the pointers have been let go of much more, and there is more relaxing into whatever is being perceived just now. That relaxing means I'm not doing any 'practising,' which is fine and well, but it seems that I then don't post on here so regularly. Nothing to say; just learning that I can let the world in.
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan

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Re: Freedom from Alex...

Postby Icarus » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:21 pm

I'm noticing today how there is a compulsion to give 'myself' something to do. To be addicted to a subtle (and sometimes very unsubtle!) sense of urgency in the seeking, in the need to see through something. The need to have (construct) a self, in order to have a self to see through.

There is a different kind of spaciousness which comes through when I notice that I am trying to do this inquiry process, and I put it down and instead rest into the feeling of non-urgency and trust that the path will unfold in its own time. And yet I can't really allow that belief to permeate - I keep coming back to a need to do something; a need to be flawed in order to have something to do.

It's the same dynamic which we've discussed before. How to engage with the path when there is no path and no seeker, and yet if there is no engagement the assumptions of selfhood remain unquestioned. How much does it serve us to buy-in to the mythology that underlies my coming to LU? What if I tell myself a mythology of already-perfection and non-seperate-selfhood and rest into that storying instead?
...then the moon and flowers will guide you along the Way -- Ryokan


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