Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:21 pm

Hi Vivien,

I won't be able to reply today, I would like to spend more time with these questions.

Thanks
Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:45 pm

All right Jeff. I'm looking forward to your replies.

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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:47 pm

Hi Vivien,
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
No there is not a separate entity ‘self’ anywhere. The ‘self’ is a thought, a concept nothing more. There never has been a ‘self’, though the illusion of one was present.


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 the separate self is the idea that there is a permanent entity that is in control of the body, and/or witnessing/being aware of the experiences. It is separate and things happen to it. The self will label events via thoughts and try to claim ownership over what is experienced. In reality, the self is nothing more than a thought and concept, it is a story.


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.
Everything feels pretty much the same. But when worries/negative feelings come along I observe the thought and feel the sensation and it helps me to see that it’s happening to no one. Observing the thought separate from the sensations helps to process the feelings quicker and move on. Also, re-enforcing the fact that the contents of thought are not real helps.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
I was fascinated by the concept of no-self ever since taking up a meditation practice a couple years ago. When I came across liberation unleashed I was excited to go through the process. Many exercises helped, no one in particular stands out. Seeing the random nature of thoughts coming and going, out of ‘my’ control allowed me to see the illusion clearer. The thought label/container exercise was eye opening for me. Thoughts are real (the container), but their contents are not.

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.
Decisions are just thoughts, where the content states that the self ‘decided’ to do something. These thought labels often happen after or just as an action is occurring, something that was going to happen anyway without the thought label. For example, I just got up from my desk to go to the kitchen for a snack. As I was walking there a thought stated “I decided to walk to the kitchen”, but I was already in the process of doing so. Prior to getting up a thought arrose “I’m hungry”, but there was never a moment where a “decision” took place, nothing decided, it just happened. The thoughts are disconnected from processes that are already happening. The thoughts are providing a commentary or analysis of the actions taking place, which happen with or without them.

Intention is just a thought that gives the impression that it will potentially ‘control’ thoughts that come next that trigger actions that satisfy the intention. But one thought cannot control another thought. I can set a firm intention before I meditate to concentrate on the breath, then during the meditation I do anything but that. Distractions and go and go, thoughts come and go with ‘no-one’ in control. Then, if there is a period of sustained concentration, the ‘self’ comes in a proudly claims control of the experience stating that the intention worked, via thoughts. I can see how the thoughts can create a story to re-enforce the illusion of self. In reality the initial intention thought did not ‘control’ anything. Thoughts about intention is like dancing for rain. Rain will fall without anyone dancing for it.

There is no free will, the thoughts come and go, sometimes the ‘body’ takes action on those thoughts, sometimes not. And when it does, it’s not at the exact moment that was intended. A thought may come that says “Maybe I should stand up now?”, then another “Yes, I am going to stand up”, but the body doesn’t stand up, then 3 seconds later all of a sudden I’m standing up, with no immediate thought about the action. Free will is a concept, but when broken down in AE it is seen through.

Choice and control are thoughts that label an action. There is no “chooser” or “controller”, just thoughts that try to claim an experience. Thoughts can’t choose or control. Often times feelings of frustration are associated with trying to control a situation. The thoughts labels of frustration arise when a situation cannot be controlled. And when a situation is “controlled” in reality it wasn’t, there just happened to be an associated thoughts about controlling.

5) b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent ex
periences to how this works.
Technically ‘I’ am not responsible for anything. There is no I to be responsible. Responsibility is another thought. Sensations & thoughts come and go without any entity controlling the experience, so there is no entity that is ‘responsible’ for what happens due to thoughts and sensations. I cannot control a single thought so how can I be responsible. Furthermore, the I is one of those uncontrolled thoughts, and a thought cannot be responsible.
6) Anything to add?
Thank you for all your help!

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:28 am

Hi Jeff,
Thank you for all your help!
You are very welcome :)

Thank you for your responses. I am going to get other guides to have a look at the thread to ensure that I have covered everything and that my pointing has been clear. This may take a day or so. Sometimes, not always, the other guides may have further questions which I will bring to you.

If there are no further questions, I will let you know and you will then be invited to the LU FB groups.

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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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:29 pm

Hi Jeff,

One of the guides has a question for you:

Did you experience a shift in perspective, even if it didn’t last?
If yes, could you please write a bit about it?


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 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:53 pm

Hi Vivien,
Did you experience a shift in perspective, even if it didn’t last?
If yes, could you please write a bit about it?
No, it has been quite subtle for me. My perspective has not changed in my day-to-day activities. Sometimes thoughts will arise related to the topic of self that appear to be triggered by things happening. For example, when I am laying in bed before I get up I will “decide” to get up, but will not immediately take action. Then all of a sudden I find myself standing. Times like this I think of the ‘self’ or lack thereof. No once directly controlling the actions of the mind/body.

Thanks
-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:24 am

Hi Jeff,

Thank you for replying to those questions.

Other guides who looked at our conversations have some concerns whether how much of your understanding is intellectual and how much of it experiential. What would you say?

Do feel ‘finished’ in terms of seeing through the self?
Would you like to continue looking?

Do you feel the need to do more exercises or you feel that your understanding experiential and there is no need to investigate further any topics?


We can continue if you feel like it. So you don’t have to hold back.

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 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:08 pm

Hi Vivien,
Other guides who looked at our conversations have some concerns whether how much of your understanding is intellectual and how much of it experiential. What would you say?
I think that it’s mostly intellectual, I have not had very many “aha” moments during the looking process.
Do feel ‘finished’ in terms of seeing through the self?
Would you like to continue looking?
No, I don’t feel finished. I understand I may not experience a huge perspective shift, but I don’t feel like I fully “get it”, or have not seen it enough in AE. I would like to continue.
Do you feel the need to do more exercises or you feel that your understanding experiential and there is no need to investigate further any topics?
I feel like my ego or self is trying to attain something, but there is nothing for the self to attain because it doesn’t exist. Yet, the thoughts about self are as much a part of my experience as any sensation. I struggle to get past this. I feel so motivated to “figure this out”. Maybe my expectations have gone a stray?

I would benefit from more guidance please. Thank you for your patience.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:28 am

Hi Jeff,
I would benefit from more guidance please. Thank you for your patience.
All right. But at first I will ask you lots of questions to ‘diagnose’ where the stumbling blocks are. All right?
Please reply to my questions as precisely as you can, so I can have a better picture what is going on.
I think that it’s mostly intellectual, I have not had very many “aha” moments during the looking process.
What makes you think that your understanding is mostly intellectual?
What is the difference between an intellectual and an experiential understanding of no-self?
How would an experiential understanding of no-self would be like, feel like?
No, I don’t feel finished. I understand I may not experience a huge perspective shift, but I don’t feel like I fully “get it”, or have not seen it enough in AE. I would like to continue.
How would ‘being finished’ feel like?
How would you know that you are finished?
How being finished can be recognized?

“I don’t feel like I fully get it” – How fully getting it would be like and feel like?
I feel like my ego or self is trying to attain something, but there is nothing for the self to attain because it doesn’t exist. Yet, the thoughts about self are as much a part of my experience as any sensation. I struggle to get past this. I feel so motivated to “figure this out”. Maybe my expectations have gone a stray?
“I feel so motivated to figure this out” – what is it that needs to be figured out?
What is missing?

When I ask you questions, how much of the time you actually look at experience with each question, and how much of the time you rely on the memory of a previous looking, or deduct a conclusion based on a previous looking? 50/50? Less? Or more?


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 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:42 pm

Hi Vivien,
What makes you think that your understanding is mostly intellectual?
What is the difference between an intellectual and an experiential understanding of no-self?
How would an experiential understanding of no-self would be like, feel like?
I tend to overthink and analyse, my mind is trying to figure out no-self. Even when I do the exercises, my mind still tries to figure out what is going on and how it could be that way. The difference between the two is intellectual is based on thoughts and concepts, while experiential understanding is experience by looking in AE in the present moment. An experiential understanding of no-self, the moment it is truly experencienced might be accompanied by a sense of relief, in my case. Though it is likely much more subtle than that, as I am well into this process. I am waiting for it to click, a point where my mind stops trying to figure it out and move on, no turning back.
How would ‘being finished’ feel like?
How would you know that you are finished?
How being finished can be recognized?
I don’t think I will ever experience an exact moment of being finishished. If I did it would be accompanied by a sense of relief maybe. As I mentioned above, my mind would stop trying to figure out no-self and stop obsessing.
“I don’t feel like I fully get it” – How fully getting it would be like and feel like?
‘Getting it’ seems to be too intellectual and counter to what looking is trying to achieve. I guess it may feel similar to ‘being finished’ … relief.
“I feel so motivated to figure this out” – what is it that needs to be figured out?
What is missing?
Not experiencing the truth of reality as we know it. For me, what’s missing is the moment where it all clicks, and I no longer question no-self.
When I ask you questions, how much of the time you actually look at experience with each question, and how much of the time you rely on the memory of a previous looking, or deduct a conclusion based on a previous looking? 50/50? Less? Or more?
These responses are based more on the intellectual side and memory, more than 50/50.


-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:52 am

Hi Jeff,
V: When I ask you questions, how much of the time you actually look at experience with each question, and how much of the time you rely on the memory of a previous looking, or deduct a conclusion based on a previous looking? 50/50? Less? Or more?
J: These responses are based more on the intellectual side and memory, more than 50/50.
It is ESSENTIAL that you actually LOOK at experience with EVERY SINGLE QUESTION I give to you.

With looking, you ALWAYS have to LOOK AFRESH and NEVER RELY ON MEMORY of previous looking. Why? Because if you rely on the memory of a previous looking in a form of a thought: “I know there is no self” without actually looking afresh for a self, then in that moment the no-self is just a belief. So every time it seems like or feels like as if there were a self, but you just remind yourself with the thought “there is no self”, then you just covering up one belief (the seemingly perceived self) with another belief (there is no self).

It’s the looking and looking and looking and not finding that brings about the realization.


So every time I ask a question, you always have to look afresh, to see it again and again what is being pointed it. Can we agree on this?
I am waiting for it to click, a point where my mind stops trying to figure it out and move on, no turning back.
You are waiting for it to click, but how could it click if you don’t look with very every question I give you?

When there are thoughts coming up trying to figure this out, then you have to STOP, and LOOK for the one that is trying to figure this out.

LITERALLY SEARCH FOR the one that is trying to grasp no-self intellectually. Where is this one, right here, right now?
my mind would stop trying to figure out no-self and stop obsessing.
Obsession is a conditioned pattern of behaviour. So even when the self is seen through experientially, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the obsession will stop. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.
‘Getting it’ seems to be too intellectual and counter to what looking is trying to achieve.
All right. Stop now….

Where is the EXACTLY LOCATION of this one that is trying to get this intellectually?

– don’t think… rather scan through the whole body….

Look at the hands.
How is it known that those hands belong to something?

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 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:30 pm

20190717

Hi Vivien,
So every time I ask a question, you always have to look afresh, to see it again and again what is being pointed it. Can we agree on this?
Yes, I agree to this.
You are waiting for it to click, but how could it click if you don’t look with very every question I give you?
Yes, I need to focus exclusively on AE with my responses.
LITERALLY SEARCH FOR the one that is trying to grasp no-self intellectually. Where is this one, right here, right now?
I struggle to find the self in this moment, it’s nowhere that I look.
Where is the EXACTLY LOCATION of this one that is trying to get this intellectually?
– don’t think… rather scan through the whole body….
I scanned through the entire body and I cannot pinpoint a location.
Look at the hands.
How is it known that those hands belong to something?
There is nothing in AE that says the hands belong to something. They are part of experience like anything else. They are just there.

Thanks
-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:30 am

Hi Jeff,
V: LITERALLY SEARCH FOR the one that is trying to grasp no-self intellectually. Where is this one, right here, right now?
J: I struggle to find the self in this moment, it’s nowhere that I look.
You struggle to find the self in this moment. And what about other moments?
Can a self be found in any other moment?

Have you ever been able to ACTUALLY FIND a self? Not an inferred one, not an assumed one, but an ACTUAL one?


Let’s start to investigate the sense of self.

The sense of self is nothing else than a sensation that is labelled as ‘me’, and this labelling is giving the impression as if that sensation were me.

Here is an exercise, you can do anywhere at any time. It helps to see again and again that the sense of self is nothing else then just a sensation. You can make this practice into a habit.

First localize where this sense of me appears inside the body.
Your job is to stalk and trap this Jeff in a net of attention.

Let's go straight for the most obvious example of me inside.
Where does Jeff/me feel most prevalent?

The intensity of the ‘sense of self’ can vary, and there are times when the ‘me’ really shows up let’s say behind the eyes, inside the head.

When it does, fix in with precision to that place the ‘me’ occupies.
Hold it for a while in this net of attention.
Look and see, is this me-behind-the-eyes-in-the-head anything but sensation?

Please repeat this as many times as you can remember during the day (preferably hundreds times). Especially pay attention to it when an emotion is present and it feels that there is a me here.

Let me know what you find.


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 18, 2019 11:00 pm

Hi Vivien,

I want to spend some more time with the suggested exercise. I will reply tomorrow.

Thanks for your continued patience and helping me through this process.
-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:33 pm

Hi Jeff,

You are welcome :)

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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