To be or not

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
50kjerry
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 am

Re: To be or not

Postby 50kjerry » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:34 pm

Hi Nic,
I live in Portland, Oregon, USA (Pacific Northwest). You?
Answering the questions is more difficult than expected but I'm ready to move on. Simple instructions may work best with me as lack of memory and understanding seems to get in the way when looking.
It seems you looked and couldn’t find a hearer, then felt trapped preventing you from finding the hearer? Is this simply doubtful thoughts or are you experiencing fear and claustrophobia?
I did not regard it to be thought. The feeling appeared as anxiety and frustration. I wanted to find the answer but was prevented.
Ok, so there is sensation in the body, this is known directly. What we are looking at is the sense that the sensation is felt by ME or I. The reason you can’t separate the feeler from the body is that the feeler isn’t there. Could you please look again, even a few more times, until there is certainty about this?
Absolute certainty eludes but getting close.
Yes, only in thought is there a self, an entity feeling sensations. You see this, and then fall into doubt or confusion. This is ok, unless it feels upsetting, in which case I would try pendulating; gently moving in and out of the looking. You are having glimpses of the absence of this entity but it needs to be crystal clear so that no doubts are left.
If you can, and it is not too uncomfortable try to keep looking into this with all of the senses, during your days, especially when you are feeling positive and happy. Just look into the sights, sounds, sensations, smells, tastes, and let it become a habit to look for the senser. Please do this and let me know what happens?
Wednesdays and Thursdays I drive quite a bit so I certainly can do this then. In between deliveries I have been using this time to listen to teachings by Eckhart Tolle and Rupert Spira. If there is anything else I can do that is simple or repetitious that would be a good time. Wednesdays I also microdose so there is a somewhat more relaxed mind.
Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
Can you predict your next thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
I can't see where thoughts come from or go. I did not do anything to make the initial thought appear. The series of thoughts after that may be deliberate thinking such as when doing math or contemplating the original thought. I cannot predict my next thought except when searching memory for a known answer such as when adding 2 + 2. I cannot select only pleasant thoughts. They are usually unpredictable. I cannot choose not to have certain thoughts and if I try they are more likely to appear. I cannot pick and choose any kind of thought unless asking for a known answer. It is not possible to prevent a thought.
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
Thoughts do seem to randomly jump around with only a light attachment to each other but I don't see an organized sequence.

User avatar
Skygazer74
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:21 am

Re: To be or not

Postby Skygazer74 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:39 pm

If there is anything else I can do that is simple or repetitious that would be a good time
Hi Jerry, just so you know you don't have to answer in blue, I use blue for the questions so it is easier to see what you need to look at. Ideally during the period of looking we focus mainly on the looking, other teachings may be a distraction. Also the mind likes nothing better than to look for more information and more knowledge, but this illusion cannot be seen through the intellect, or through thought, only through the direct looking. So it would be good to ask questions such as - what is the self? What makes be believe in the self existing?

If I was to say to you right now - there is no self anywhere, what comes up for you?
What is the self?

I can't see where thoughts come from or go. I did not do anything to make the initial thought appear. The series of thoughts after that may be deliberate thinking such as when doing math or contemplating the original thought. I cannot predict my next thought except when searching memory for a known answer such as when adding 2 + 2. I cannot select only pleasant thoughts. They are usually unpredictable. I cannot choose not to have certain thoughts and if I try they are more likely to appear. I cannot pick and choose any kind of thought unless asking for a known answer. It is not possible to prevent a thought.
Nice looking. So the logical follow-on to this, is can you find the thinker of thought? Are thoughts arising and passing, or is there a controller? Again, don't worry what thought says about this, just look and see if there is a thinker anywhere :)


The story of "me’ can seem to have continuity. Is it really continuous? Or are there simply isolated thoughts that never can truly touch each other, some of them claiming that there's one continuous story?

User avatar
Skygazer74
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:21 am

Re: To be or not

Postby Skygazer74 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:40 pm

Sorry - that first question should read - what makes ME believe in the self existing!?

And by the way I am in the UK, in Bristol :)

User avatar
50kjerry
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 am

Re: To be or not

Postby 50kjerry » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:21 am

Hi Nic, I guessed correctly. It was your British accent that gave it away. :)
Thanks again for being here especially with the time difference. I feel privileged.
Anyway, I will try those questions you recommend. I have tried similar ones only to quickly get stuck not getting any answers and soon give up. Should I just continue repeating the same question hours at a time even when the mind draws a blank? I want to be able to use that driving time as constructively as possible. One thing I enjoy is catching myself when the mind drifts off into dream/thought but even that gets old after awhile.
If I was to say to you right now - there is no self anywhere, what comes up for you?
What is the self?
Question 1:
The thought that it is possible.
I need more proof.
Useless distractions.
I want to learn more.
If I find there is no self, what comes then?
Without a self there is no life purpose.
I'm doomed, followed by a hearty laugh.
Question 2:
The controller... but no, that can't be right.
Imaginary or real? Just not getting it. It has to be real. Why? I don't know.
A little bit of sadness maybe.
Am I being brainwashed?
Now I feel like Charlie Brown when he has that "Good Grief!" moment.
So the logical follow-on to this, is can you find the thinker of thought? Are thoughts arising and passing, or is there a controller? Again, don't worry what thought says about this, just look and see if there is a thinker anywhere :)

I cannot find the thinker of thought. Thoughts do arise and pass. I want to say there is no controller but I'm not totally convinced. I have the ability to notice thoughts and have them disappear at will instead of remaining caught up in the story like I used to do, so in that case I do see a thinker.
The story of "me’ can seem to have continuity. Is it really continuous? Or are there simply isolated thoughts that never can truly touch each other, some of them claiming that there's one continuous story?
I don't know how to investigate this. Since they appear to be continuous seeing otherwise is difficult because I don't remember the different thoughts in a "string". I usually only remember a couple and those seem to have a connection. How can I determine one way or the other? I can sometimes "wake up" after about 10 minutes or so.

User avatar
Skygazer74
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:21 am

Re: To be or not

Postby Skygazer74 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:53 am

Haha yes I can't help the accent being transmitted through the typing, maybe its a special function of the Mac!

I need more proof.
Useless distractions.
I want to learn more.
If I find there is no self, what comes then?
Without a self there is no life purpose.
I'm doomed, followed by a hearty laugh.
Question 2:
The controller... but no, that can't be right.
Imaginary or real? Just not getting it. It has to be real. Why? I don't know.
A little bit of sadness maybe.
Am I being brainwashed?
Now I feel like Charlie Brown when he has that "Good Grief!" moment.

This is brilliant, it is kind of amazing what the mind will do when faced with the truth, it goes into gymnastics to throw us out of looking! It is as if thought feels threatened by the looking, or the assumption of the self in thought feels threatened. In a way, we were all brainwashed, and this is a process of undoing that brainwashing. We were taught we were separate selves, by language, by conditioning, and we compete and compare and wish we were different, or wish that everything was different to how it is. In other words, it causes a lot of suffering. When this illusion falls, it is not a loss, it is a dive into the reality that we are totally connected to all that is. Life purpose becomes more beneficial for life when we do not think we are separate. Perhaps we start to change more in the direction of working for the benefit of all beings instead of simply trying to please and satisfy this 'I.' It is also more a sense of flow, when everything ceases to be about the self, life's up and downs seem to be taken less personally! I don't want to give any expectations, but there really is nothing to fear, and instead it is a blessing.


I will give you two exercises, one to do at home or when you're out and about sitting at a table, and the other that can be a daily practice - again you will have to judge whether its appropriate while driving! Feel free to do them one at a time and report separately, I just wanted to give something you could focus on, and an exercise you can do to look at the controller from another angle.

I am wondering whether too much looking on the road could be dangerous? I was going to suggest while driving to simply look and see whether you can find the controller, but I don't want to spin you out on the road so to speak! What I mean is, driving happens, the hands move and change gears, and I want you to look and see if you can find the one making decisions, but perhaps it would be better to start by doing that while walking!

So you can do that, look for the agent, the one doing the things in your day. You can look for the one hearing, seeing, thinking, tasting, moving.

It might help to try labelling what you are doing, so for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:-

Seeing a cup, simply= shape/image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

See the difference between the labels and the experience, and label the experience instead.
Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual/direct experience) and report back how you go.


This is a really good exercise to examine this idea of the controller or agent - the one who decides things.So you don't experience a shift in reality while driving try this exercise at home:

1. Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
2. When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.

Don't go to thoughts, examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:-

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?

User avatar
50kjerry
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 am

Re: To be or not

Postby 50kjerry » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:44 pm

Hi Nic,
A couple things to start. First, I unintentionally gave you the wrong idea with the thought "Am I being brainwashed?" I meant it in the other direction like I was brainwashing myself into thinking the self doesn't exist but your point about the mental gymnastics is still spot on in regards to the thought process during the exercise. I just felt you should know I might not be as advanced as thought.
Thank you for the description of life after liberation as it is very helpful.
I don't want to give any expectations, but there really is nothing to fear, and instead it is a blessing.
May I ask for help addressing a fear that may be holding me back? Having read of others liberating experiences temporarily placing them into almost a vegetable mind state leads to fears of insecurity. An extended experience like that could cost me a business, ending up homeless and in debt at an age too close to retirement. How do I address this? Is it a real possibility or a smokescreen?
1. Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
2. When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.

Don't go to thoughts, examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:-

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?
It is thought that chose to move and control the hand. It is just following instructions like on automatic pilot. I don't know how the decision is made.

User avatar
50kjerry
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 am

Re: To be or not

Postby 50kjerry » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:39 am

Good news! Went to bed and started drifting in thought then caught myself changing thoughts without any connection. I can't remember exactly how the first one ended and the second started. I just know the first could not have led to the second. So that demonstrates I was not involved. While I don't understand how it all works they appear to be either random or controlled by something other than what I consider to be me. I'll try to look for more of this tomorrow.

User avatar
Skygazer74
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:21 am

Re: To be or not

Postby Skygazer74 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:04 am

May I ask for help addressing a fear that may be holding me back? Having read of others liberating experiences temporarily placing them into almost a vegetable mind state leads to fears of insecurity. An extended experience like that could cost me a business, ending up homeless and in debt at an age too close to retirement. How do I address this? Is it a real possibility or a smokescreen?
Which of these do you think it is?

As you will have read there are no guarantees, and expectations can be as unhelpful as fears. However if you are more in touch with the truth, what is likely is that you will continue with your life but with less getting in the way of it, less 'selfing!'
I would be tempted to see this as more of the same, thought creating doubt and fear, perhaps holding you back from looking. is the fear present in the body? You can use what comes up as fuel for the fire and this investigation - can you find the owner of the feelings of fear?
It is thought that chose to move and control the hand. It is just following instructions like on automatic pilot. I don't know how the decision is made.
Ok, so for this purpose it doesn't matter how the decision is made, it is about simply seeing that it just happens. Did thought make it happen? Did thought precede the movement? Can a sequence be found?
It might be that both action and thought simply happen, and not necessarily connected. If I was in front of you and simply said pick a hand and put it in the air, nine times out of ten you would respond without thinking about it. Try it again and go to experience rather than thoughts?
So that demonstrates I was not involved. While I don't understand how it all works they appear to be either random or controlled by something other than what I consider to be me.
Try as you might, but when you look, the only thing to explain the controller is a thought or assumption. To posit a me, or something other, such as a deity, are both construct. In direct experience, what can be found controlling thought? It doesn't matter what thought says about it, just look!

Nice looking, and it is good that you are seeing the nature of thought and mind more clearly. The way I like to see it is that mind is like a sky, and thoughts just arise and pass, like the shapes of clouds. The only way a cloud obscures the sky is by perspective. The sky is there, unchanging and clear, just like the awareness that is behind and around the thinking. Thought is simply arising, not mine, not I, not permanent, and the more we see that the less power it has and the more we are available to the experience of awareness, or sky.

So lets stay with thought, and try looking at it from a different angle -

Finding the gap:

This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.

2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.

3. Then wait for the next thought to come.

4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.

5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:-
Looking how they come and go, and
Observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Please do the following exercise:
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

Let me know how you go.

User avatar
Skygazer74
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:21 am

Re: To be or not

Postby Skygazer74 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:12 pm

Hi Jerry,

How are you doing? Hope you're well?

Nic

User avatar
50kjerry
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 am

Re: To be or not

Postby 50kjerry » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:30 am

Hi Nic. Sorry for the delay. I have been working with your questions and just seem to go back and forth on answers as before. I initially wanted to take just a couple days off but just never felt able to resume, stuck in confusion. I would like to suspend this project until there is more clarity and confidence in success.
Thank you very much for your help. It really has brought much insight that can only expand. Thank you.

User avatar
Skygazer74
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:21 am

Re: To be or not

Postby Skygazer74 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:08 pm

Hi Gerry,

No worries, and if you are sure you wish to suspend that is fine. Try to remember that the confusion is just thought, and clarity lies beneath the thought!

You can come back and reply any time, or start a new thread if you wish.

Best wishes,

Nic


Return to “THE GATE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest