Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:08 am

Hi Jeff,
Yes this belief is strong with me, the idea of a watcher, something that is aware.
As long as there is a watcher or something that is aware the illusion of the separate self hasn’t been seen through fully. The separate self is just disguised as a watcher/awareness/witness.

It assumes that there is a subject-object relation which are linked with the subject’s activity of observing. So there is a subject (like witness) which is experiencing/witnessing the object (everything else that is not-me).

There is no subject-object relation. There is no separation.

The illusion of the witness or the knower or awareness or consciousness (whatever we call it) is the bases of the illusion of the separate self.

Here are some common words used for the same illusion of the self:

awareness = consciousness = witness = experiencer = perceiver = knower = looker = noticer = watcher = feeler = seer = self = true Self = I = me = myself = emptiness = nothingness = my real nature = field = field of experiencing = space = knowing space… and more

Staying or standing as awareness or witness is just separating the self from everything else. I am the one which is watching everything else, untouched by them, dissociated from life. And this is separation. And seeing no self is seeing no-separation.
V: In English, awareness is a noun, not a verb. Nouns imply agencies, or entities.
But can such thing be found as an independently existing awareness?
J: No, awareness is not something that can be found.
Take a cup or any object into your hands. And investigate if the cup can be experience in any other way then with the 5 senses. Can you?

Can anything be experience in any other way than with the 5 senses?
Look carefully. Don’t just think, but really try to experience outside the 5 senses. Can this be done?

If awareness cannot be found, how is known exactly that there is such thing as awareness?
When I try to separate the two from each other, only more thoughts come along about them being separate. I can’t distinguish between the thought and the knowing.
But just because thoughts ‘say’ that a thought and the knowing of it are separate things, does this thought make them be ACTAULLY separate?

Thoughts ‘say’ all sorts of things, but look at experience and see if this above thought is actually right.
I can’t find the knowing….but I am aware of the thought. They are the same thing, or just thoughts about knowing.
“but I am aware of the thought” – what does the word ‘I’ points to in this sentence?
What is it exactly that is aware of thoughts?
Where is it exactly?
Yet, I experience thoughts and sensations from a unique perspective. If there is no knower then why is this experience just from my point of view? I don’t experience thoughts or sensations of others. I only experience sounds/sights close to me. I struggle with this, if there are just thoughts and sensations then what’s the point of each unique human perspective/experience?
You are trying to figure this out intellectually, by thinking.

Without thought how is it known exactly that experience is happening from a point of view?
What is the AE of point of view exactly? Is it a sound, color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
I only experience sounds/sights close to me.
This thought isn’t in line with experience.

This thought would be a bit closer to experience: There is the experience of sounds/colours close to THE BODY.

But where is the ‘I’, the experiencer?
Is the experiencer inside the body?
Inside the head?
Behind the eyes maybe?
How far or close to the eyes exactly?
Is it closer to the back of the head or closer to the eyes?
Is it in the middle or it’s a bit closer to one ear than the other?
Where is it exactly? – find the exact location

Where is the EXACT location of Jeff-inside-the-head looking out of the eyes?

What can be ACTUALLY FOUND at this location where Jeff seemingly appears?
I struggle with this, if there are just thoughts and sensations then what’s the point of each unique human perspective/experience?
This is a philosophical questions, and the answer could only be a thought speculation.
And seeing through the self cannot be done by thinking. Since the whole illusion is mainly created by thoughts. We cannot use the same tool which has created the illusion in the first place.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:19 pm

Hi Vivien,

Sorry to do this again, but I won't be able to post my reply today.

Thanks
-Jeff

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:02 am

Hi Jeff,

No problem. I'm looking forward to your reply.

Have a nice day,
Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:37 pm

Hi Vivien,
Take a cup or any object into your hands. And investigate if the cup can be experience in any other way then with the 5 senses. Can you?
Can anything be experience in any other way than with the 5 senses?
Look carefully. Don’t just think, but really try to experience outside the 5 senses. Can this be done?
No, I can’t experience the cup outside my 5 senses.
If awareness cannot be found, how is known exactly that there is such thing as awareness?
It’s not something I can find. Only the thought of ‘awareness’.
But just because thoughts ‘say’ that a thought and the knowing of it are separate things, does this thought make them be ACTAULLY separate?
No it does not make them separate. The thought is about a concept, it’s just a label.
“but I am aware of the thought” – what does the word ‘I’ points to in this sentence?
What is it exactly that is aware of thoughts?
Where is it exactly?
I can't find it or describe it.
Without thought how is it known exactly that experience is happening from a point of view?
What is the AE of point of view exactly? Is it a sound, color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
The only way to know this is by the thoughts. The AE of ‘point of view’ cannot be found with the 5 senses, only thought.
But where is the ‘I’, the experiencer?
Is the experiencer inside the body?
Inside the head?
Behind the eyes maybe?
How far or close to the eyes exactly?
Is it closer to the back of the head or closer to the eyes?
Is it in the middle or it’s a bit closer to one ear than the other?
Where is it exactly? – find the exact location
When I look I can’t find the I anywhere.

Where is the EXACT location of Jeff-inside-the-head looking out of the eyes?
There is no exact location of Jeff, no location to be found.
What can be ACTUALLY FOUND at this location where Jeff seemingly appears?
No location, so nothing to be found.

-Jeff

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:31 am

Hi Jeff,
It’s not something I can find. Only the thought of ‘awareness’.
Yes. Awareness is not something that is waiting in the background for an object (like thought or sensation) to appear and then latch onto them with its knowing or aware-ing ability, so the thought or the sensation become known by it. For this to be true, there must be not only a stand-alone awareness, but a stand-alone thought or a stand-alone sensation without the knowing element. But there cannot be a thought or sensation without the knowing of them. We can fantasize about it, but actually thought or sensation without the knowing element simply doesn’t exist either. Can you see this clearly?

Is it also totally clear that there is no stand-alone, independent awareness waiting in the background for an object to appear and then latch onto it with its knowing or aware-ing ability?

Rather aware-ing is appearing simultaneously with the appearance of the thought or sensation. But this is even not true. Since no two separate ‘things’, an awareness and the thought appearing together, but just one ‘thing’ appearing ‘thoughtawareing’ or ‘sensationawareing’. Can you see this clearly?

And even saying that only ‘thoughtawareing’ is appearing is not completely true, since the word ‘appearing’ already implies something or somewhere in which or where it can appear. But this is the point where language fails us, due to its dualistic nature.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:22 pm

Hi Vivien,
We can fantasize about it, but actually thought or sensation without the knowing element simply doesn’t exist either. Can you see this clearly?
Yes I see this. Knowing is not separate from thought or sensation.
Is it also totally clear that there is no stand-alone, independent awareness waiting in the background for an object to appear and then latch onto it with its knowing or aware-ing ability?
Yes, there is no stand-alone awareness in the background.
Rather aware-ing is appearing simultaneously with the appearance of the thought or sensation. But this is even not true. Since no two separate ‘things’, an awareness and the thought appearing together, but just one ‘thing’ appearing ‘thoughtawareing’ or ‘sensationawareing’. Can you see this clearly?
Yes, I see this, there are not two things appearing simultaneously.

-Jeff

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:33 pm

Hi Jeff,

Now let’s start to investigate time and memory.

What is memory exactly? – please don’t go to thought explanation, but just let a memory be there, and look at it…
What is the memory ‘made of’?
WHEN does the memory appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?


Then, look at a thought about the future.
What is the future thought ‘made of’?
WHEN does the future thought appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?


Then let’s compare a thought about past and a thought about the future.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future?
If there is difference, how that difference is known exactly?

Please spend lot of time with EACH question… Look very carefully… Look at what actually going on and not what thoughts say… but what actually is.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:10 pm

Hi Vivien,
What is memory exactly? – please don’t go to thought explanation, but just let a memory be there, and look at it…
What is the memory ‘made of’?
WHEN does the memory appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?
- A memory is a thought about the past.
- Memories are ‘made of’ thoughts.
- They appear in the present moment.
- The difference between a general thought and a memory is the content of the thought. Both are thoughts/thought containers and are essentially the same.
- In AE it cannot be known exactly that a thought is about the past. The thought is a ‘story’ being told in the present moment.

Then, look at a thought about the future.
What is the future thought ‘made of’?
WHEN does the future thought appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?
- Future thought is ‘made of’ thoughts.
- It appears in the present moment.
- The difference between a general thought and a future thought is the content of the thought. Both are thoughts/thought containers and are essentially the same.
- In AE it cannot be known exactly that a thought is about the future. The thought is a ‘story’ being told in the present moment.

Then let’s compare a thought about past and a thought about the future.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future?
If there is difference, how that difference is known exactly?
The content of the thoughts say they are different, one about events that have happened the other about what will/might happen. But in AE they are the same, just thoughts that are telling ‘stories’ and are not real. The experience of the thoughts coming and going are the same.

-Jeff

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:47 pm

Hi Jeff,

You did a great looking.

Here are some questions to see if is there anything that is not completely clear. Please answer what's true for you right now, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer.

Has it been seen that there has never been an ‘I’ that could control or own life or anything?

Is there any chooser or decider of any kind?

Is there an ‘experiencer’?
Is there a ‘thinker’?

Is there a ‘doer’ of any kind which performs activities and movements?

Is there an 'I' of any kind whatsoever that could be responsible for anything at all?
Do others have responsibilities?

Is there a self that is inside the body, perceiving a world that is outside?

Is there a 'you' that started this investigation?
Has there ever been a 'you' doing anything?

Any confusion at all or anything you would like to address?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:28 am

Hi Vivien,
Has it been seen that there has never been an ‘I’ that could control or own life or anything?
No, there has never been a controlling 'I' who own’s life.
Is there any chooser or decider of any kind?
No, there is no chooser or decider of any kind.
Is there an ‘experiencer’?
Is there a ‘thinker’?
There is no experiencer or thinker. There are thoughts and thinking, but they are not controlled by anything.
Is there a ‘doer’ of any kind which performs activities and movements?
No, there is no doer that controls the movements of the body.
Is there an 'I' of any kind whatsoever that could be responsible for anything at all?
Do others have responsibilities?
The ‘I’ is a thought, a concept. Thoughts are not responsible for anything, there are no responsibilities owed by others.
Is there a self that is inside the body, perceiving a world that is outside?
No, there is no resident in the body perceiving the outside world.
Is there a 'you' that started this investigation?
Has there ever been a 'you' doing anything?
No, there was no ‘I’ that started this investigation. Never an ‘I’ that was doing anything.
Any confusion at all or anything you would like to address?
The ‘I’ feels strong with me. I understand, and see that it’s an illusion. Will the idea of a self diminish over time? It’s frustrating, because I see through the illusion, but there something still there, holding me back. But it’s nothing that I can find.

Much thanks to you Vivien, I appreciate all your help.
-Jeff

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:25 am

Hi Jeff,
The ‘I’ feels strong with me. I understand, and see that it’s an illusion. Will the idea of a self diminish over time? It’s frustrating, because I see through the illusion, but there something still there, holding me back. But it’s nothing that I can find.
What is it that wants the self to diminish over time?
Whose problem is that?
What is it that wants the idea of the self to be gone?

And what is it exactly that is frustrated because of the idea of the self is still there?

“but there something still there, holding me back” – what does the word ‘me’ point to in this sentence?
What is it exactly that is being hold back?

Is there an expectation that the illusion of the self should be gone?
If yes, what is it that is expecting that?


Just because the self has seen through, the illusion still can be taken as a reality (probably more often than one would expect), and the self could seem to be very real. But when it looked at closely, it’s clear that there is nothing there.

Falling for the illusion can happen much more often than one might expect. It can last for even hours several times during the day. And why? It’s because every time an emotion is triggered (by some circumstances or because of certain thoughts coming up), the self is activated. So whenever there is frustration, wanting or not wanting something, expecting something, having anger, resentment, feeling hurt, disliking something / somebody, etc. the self is there immediately. Since all these emotions are on behalf of the self. And after seeing no-self, all these conditioned issues need to be worked through, otherwise whenever these emotions arise the self comes with them. Humans are very often triggered (many-many times a day) and those triggered reactions can last from minutes to hours, meaning that the self is there and believed to be real for minutes or hours while those triggered reactions are functioning.

Taking the self as real, is also a conditioned habit of thinking. It’s a habit of the ‘mind’. It’s the result of a life-long conditioning. But upon each looking it gets a little bit weaker and weaker. So further looking is the key.
Much thanks to you Vivien, I appreciate all your help.
You are very welcome :)

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:31 am

Hi Vivien,
What is it that wants the self to diminish over time?
Whose problem is that?
What is it that wants the idea of the self to be gone?
The self wants the self to diminish over time, but the self is just a concept, a bunch of thoughts. It’s no-ones problem then. My ‘self’ is tricky, it wants the idea of itself to be gone, but it’s not there in the first place.
And what is it exactly that is frustrated because of the idea of the self is still there?
I feel general frustration about it, but that is just a thought and some sensations.
“but there something still there, holding me back” – what does the word ‘me’ point to in this sentence?
What is it exactly that is being hold back?
Me points to the illusion of self. There is no entity holding me back, but it seems like the illusion is fighting with itself.
Is there an expectation that the illusion of the self should be gone?
If yes, what is it that is expecting that?
I don’t expect the self to go away, I expect my relationship with it to be different. Not allowing it to be as strong with negative thoughts causing anxiety, not as ‘sticky’ with negativity. But as I write this I realize that it won’t have a relationship with ‘me’, that implies two entities when there are none. Just thoughts and sensations happening.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:09 am

Hi Jeff,
The self wants the self to diminish over time, but the self is just a concept, a bunch of thoughts. It’s no-ones problem then. My ‘self’ is tricky, it wants the idea of itself to be gone, but it’s not there in the first place.
The self cannot want the itself to diminish over time, since there is no self thinking this thought.
There is nothing else than a plain thought with words ‘self’, ‘wanting’, ‘diminish’, etc, in it.
Can you see this?

It’s just a simple thought, but when it’s not seen only as an arising thought, as a phenomenon, but rather its content is taken as real, then it’s believed that there is self wanting this or that.
Can you see this?

Similarly, the self cannot be tricky, since there is no self behind these thoughts thinking it.
It’s just another thought believed, and not seen that just because the word ‘self’ is in the thought, it doesn’t mean that the self can be tricky or that there is a real trickiness going on.

There is NOTHING wanting to the idea of self be gone, there are only THOUGHTS ABOUT wanting the self be gone.
But there is no wanter, or anything behind it. There is no actual experience of wanting.

These are just words put together into a sentence, and when it’s not seen only as words, then the content of these thoughts are taken as reality, as if there were REALLY SOMETHING wanting the self to be gone.
But this is only a thought, not seen as a thought only. Can you see this?
Me points to the illusion of self. There is no entity holding me back, but it seems like the illusion is fighting with itself.
The illusion cannot fight with itself. There are just thoughts coming and going, and some thoughts are about no-self, some other thoughts are about wanting, not wanting, fighting, etc.

So some thoughts are more in line with experience, and some other thoughts are about just pure fantasy.
But nevertheless, these are just thoughts coming and going.
There is no actual fight going on.
There is no actual wanting or not wanting going on.
Can you see this?

Can you see that not seeing these only as thoughts coming and going creating the illusion of fighting, wanting or not wanting?
I don’t expect the self to go away, I expect my relationship with it to be different. Not allowing it to be as strong with negative thoughts causing anxiety, not as ‘sticky’ with negativity. But as I write this I realize that it won’t have a relationship with ‘me’, that implies two entities when there are none. Just thoughts and sensations happening.
Exactly, there is no you or anything that could have any relationships with the self or thoughts. This is just another unexamined thought believed and not seen only as a thought appearing.

Negative thoughts, anxiety is part of the personality. Just because the self is seen through, the personality doesn’t change. Your expectation is unrealistic. If you want negative thoughts and anxiety to change, then you have to work on these separately.

Suffering happens when being lost in thoughts happens. It means that the thoughts in that moment are not seen only as arising thoughts (only as ‘containers’ coming and going), but rather their ‘content’, what they are about is taken as reality. And of course, since each thought is about the self, the self is taken as something real. And this, let’s call ‘delusion’ still can happen even after seeing the illusion of the self. But when it’s investigated, it can be seen for what it is. But there is no guaranty that in the next moment the story of a self won’t reassert itself. It’s a habit of the mind. It’s a conditioned pattern of thinking. It’s the result of a life-long conditioning. But upon each looking it gets a little bit weaker and weaker.

Also, personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.

But by the way, what is it that has problems with negative thoughts?
What is it that wants anxiety to be gone?
Is there anything there that suffers from negative thoughts?

And what is the AE of anxiety?
What is the AE of negative thoughts?
What makes a thought positive or negative?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:11 pm

Hi Vivien,
The self cannot want the itself to diminish over time, since there is no self thinking this thought.
There is nothing else than a plain thought with words ‘self’, ‘wanting’, ‘diminish’, etc, in it.
Can you see this?
The self is fleeting, it is only a singular thought at any given moment. It cannot want itself to diminish over time, because it can’t, it’s just a thought. I see this.
It’s just a simple thought, but when it’s not seen only as an arising thought, as a phenomenon, but rather its content is taken as real, then it’s believed that there is self wanting this or that.
Can you see this?
The content of the thoughts are not real, the content when taken as real have a great impact and create a strong illusion of self.
These are just words put together into a sentence, and when it’s not seen only as words, then the content of these thoughts are taken as reality, as if there were REALLY SOMETHING wanting the self to be gone.
But this is only a thought, not seen as a thought only. Can you see this?
Yes, I can see this. The thoughts are just words and don’t have real substance. They come and go and do not have any power or control, there is no-one behind them orchestrating.
So some thoughts are more in line with experience, and some other thoughts are about just pure fantasy.
But nevertheless, these are just thoughts coming and going.
There is no actual fight going on.
There is no actual wanting or not wanting going on.
Can you see this?
The thoughts cannot fight with each other. They are independent thoughts, that come and go. The thought may say it is fighting, but that is just a thought and not real.
Can you see that not seeing these only as thoughts coming and going creating the illusion of fighting, wanting or not wanting?
Yes, I see this.
But by the way, what is it that has problems with negative thoughts?
What is it that wants anxiety to be gone?
Is there anything there that suffers from negative thoughts?
There is no self that wants anxiety gone, yet it remains a desire that is experienced. These are recurring thoughts that come-and-go from time-to-time that want anxiety gone. I can’t find anything constant that wants this gone. No ‘wanter’ or ‘desire-er’ to be found. Though at any given moment a thought could appear wanting anxiety gone. Or a thought may come along that labels a sensation as anxious and not desirable, despite the sensations themselves being neutral. There is no ‘sufferer’, but there are thoughts that say ‘I am suffering’, because of anxious thoughts that come along from time-to-time, conditioning I suppose.
And what is the AE of anxiety?
What is the AE of negative thoughts?
What makes a thought positive or negative?
The AE of anxiety are thoughts that label sensations. I notice a sensation of “butterflies in my stomach” therefore “I am anxious”. A negative thought, is a thought label about a thought. A thought comes along “Will I meet my deadline at work?”, then another that applies negativity “You won’t make the deadline and let everyone down.” The initial thought was neutral, just a container, but the second thought creates a story of negativity. The second thought could be positive, “You will meet your deadline, you are almost done your work.” This is also a story, which labels it positive.

-Jeff

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:42 am

Hi Jeff,
A negative thought, is a thought label about a thought. A thought comes along “Will I meet my deadline at work?”, then another that applies negativity “You won’t make the deadline and let everyone down.” The initial thought was neutral, just a container, but the second thought creates a story of negativity. The second thought could be positive, “You will meet your deadline, you are almost done your work.” This is also a story, which labels it positive.
Yes. Nice looking.

Please answer the following questions with some detail please, and answer what's true for you rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Also please provide examples where asked.

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) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work?
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.

b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.

6) Anything to add?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/


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