If you're looking for a guide, step in

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
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Iida
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby Iida » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:55 pm

Oh Jeff!! I'm so happy to read your last reply! The lightness and joy is felt here too through your words.

This is a Beginning, not an end, which is endlessly fascinating. Life unfolding as it is, just life-ing as they say in LU. And actually it's been the same way all the time whether one believes the thought 'I' points to something concrete, a separate entity or not.

For now, let it all sink in. Just as you wrote, "seeing how everything is playing out in the world", no I needed...
Maybe if you feel like it, go out for a walk, with or without Stanley the dog. :) See how the legs take Jeff to some direction without a decision about where to go next.

I'll get back to you tomorrow but in the meantime you can write me anything if you feel like it. Or just be with this direct observation. You can always look again. What is seen cannot be unseen.

So happy for you
Marie

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JeffBurkhart
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby JeffBurkhart » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:59 am

I got to play with being choiceless today. Lucy, my 14 year old step daughter was game, so we went out to dinner exploring this idea of choice. Quite fun because she was so open and willing. So before we knew it we were watching hunger arise, memories and associations coming up, options being presented, desires coming up, and then a sorting process of aligning the desires with the options (which was nothing more than the desire to fulfill our desire), all of which we had no control over. Even the will to act on a desire (or not), who is to say where that comes from? No choice in any of it. Just reality playing itself out. With that we both wound up laughing. And from that place there is the experience of everything being new. The mind really is a step behind - reality is happening and then any movement of mind is just an attempt to label and/or frame what is already here. And with that recognition there is the sense of reality being this perpetual surprise - no idea what sound is going to happen next, what thought, what emotion will arise. There is no predicting any of it. All of it is a mystery which has the effect of keeping this attention riveted and curious. Again, in a light and playful way. Nothing heavy about it. And oddly enough, the sense of that is also peaceful, as in everything is ok and is running itself.

Tomorrow I am back to work. There is a lot of motivation here to not lose this understanding/perspective in the busyness of work. But there is also a suspicion that the busyness may appear differently from this perspective. We shall see.

Take care, Jeff

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Iida
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby Iida » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:23 am

Hahaha... I know, it's fun to see it all arising: desire, apparent options and how the mind labels it: I chose this or that, always a millisecond (or more) behind reality. And yes, the idea of busyness may indeed look quite different...

Here are the final five questions we always ask. Please answer them in full length as this will show if there are some beliefs that need to be addressed now. Also answering them will probably still further clarify things for you.


1) Is there a 'me', 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.

3) How does it feel to see this?

4) How would you describe it to somebody who is very interested, but has never heard about this illusion.

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

Have fun, no rush!
Marie

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Iida
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby Iida » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:31 am

Also, I'd like to add something about this:
"There is a lot of motivation here to not lose this understanding/perspective in the busyness of work."

I know, I felt exactly the same when this happened for me.

The thought "I don't want to lose this" is the mind trying to grab on this once again. This cannot be lost, this direct perception is always here and if in doubt or seems to have been lost, you can always check again. Later on I'll send you a couple of great docs to read on this and other things that are helpful to most people after 'seeing' has happened.

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JeffBurkhart
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby JeffBurkhart » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:10 pm

Hi Marie -
I'll probably answer these one at a time to do each one justice and spread it out a bit.

1) Is there a 'me', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
There is only a habit of assuming there is a "me". Any time that is investigated it breaks down. There isn't a 'me' in this body - the cells are all getting replaced all the time, there isn't any specific place where the "me" is found. "I" am not in my feet, legs, hands, arms, not in any specific organ, not in the torso, nor the throat, jaw, not in the blood, not in any specific cell. There has been some belief about the "me" being in the brain, somewhere behind the eyes. But in looking directly at that there is nothing there. No proof of anything. The openness that is there is empty and has nothing personal about it. Its not anything that can be claimed as a "me". It is just a causeless emptiness.

The "me" is not in any perception as we have seen. They are pure and only give information about themselves. The "me" can't be found in a thought because thoughts come and go and by definition thoughts are only about things, they are not things in and of themselves. And there is space between thoughts so what happens to the "me" in those spaces? So no persistent "me" to be found there. So if the "me" isn't in a cell or a collection of cells, its not in a thought, and its not in any perception being received, then its not on the inside of this body or in anything coming in from outside this body, so that leaves us completely empty handed with no "me" to be found.

Also, there is no constant "me" that is shown by direct experience. For something to exist in this field of awareness there must be the direct experience of it. Looking around for the "me" there is no such experience. There is no seeing of it, touching of it, smelling, hearing or tasting of it. No experience of it. Only thoughts about it, but thoughts are only thoughts. There can be thoughts of lots of imaginary things. For something to be real there must be the direct experience of it and there has never been that experience.

And these facts have always been true. Its not as if there was a direct experience of a "me" at any point. Ever since there has been awareness at this focal point it has only ever been filled with the experience of thoughts, emotions and perceptions - none of which are a direct experience of a "me".

So there has never been the direct experience of a "me", not now, not ever. Pretty amazing that there was such conviction in something that there was never ANY proof of. Right now the conviction of that absolute lack of proof is resonating deeply.

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Iida
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby Iida » Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:16 am

Great! Keep going. Looking forward to the rest of them.

Love,
Marie

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JeffBurkhart
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby JeffBurkhart » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:24 am

Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how
it works.

With human birth awareness becomes embodied - receiving all the
perceptions from the body, aware of the activity of the mind, the mind starting
with a completely clean slate of no memories, judgements or associations. And
this arrival comes with just a few innate things -
- primal needs of nourishment, comfort, safety and love
- discomfort arising via perceptions when these needs aren't met
- a primal desire to resolve discomfort
- a capacity for memory and association
- an ability to learn through modeling those around us
- an amazing sensitivity to the emotional field of those around us

We are completely dependent on our care takers to meet our needs. Inevitably there is some
friction with that as our needs are not exactly met.

Following our desire to resolve this discomfort we employ the tools we have -
watching how our care takers interact with us, modeling their behavior, and learning
from the interactions.

Our parents are fully ensconced in the belief of the individual and the world of
objects and they communicate that with their use of language and their behavior.
So we learn to label things and think of everything as objects, including
ourselves.

And this is reinforced in all of our social interactions. This is the consensual
reality we are taught to believe.

But since there isn't a real "me", this belief takes constant reinforcement -
associating the belief in "me" with self images (I am good, I am bad, etc.,
etc.), getting others to reinforce that self-image, believing in self-will and
control, believing in cause and effect, and constant mental activity to keep it
all going - beliefs, judgements, reactivity, more thoughts on how to resolve that, ruminating on the past, trying to control the future (time has become an object), everything, including ourselves, is believed to be an object, and the goal is to manipulate those objects (including ourselves and others) in the attempt to create the most favorable outcome.

But the belief in a separate "me" has a huge cost. We have to locate the "me"
somewhere and putting it inside the body makes us believe in our inevitable
death. Being cut off from everything means we have to defend for ourselves in a
very large universe, believing we have control over things makes us feel
responsible for having to control things. All of this makes us relate to our
environment with fear because ultimately these strategies are all prone to failure and they are all based on a false core assumption. But fear also gives us motivation to perpetuate the cycle
- create a better self image, exert better control, make better decisions - create a stronger, better sense of self in order to resolve the fear. So the cycle reinforces itself - operate on the basis of a separate sense of self in the hope of resolving the discomfort caused by a separate sense of self.

Until it gets to a breaking point where it
becomes clear that our strategies aren't working. Then there is the possibility
of questioning the whole system and seeing if there is another possibility.

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JeffBurkhart
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby JeffBurkhart » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:23 pm

How does it feel to see this?

It feels like being at the foot of a great mystery - truly no idea of what is going to arise next in this mind, in this body, in the world. No illusion of control and there is a great feeling of freedom with that. There is also a deep, quiet sense of simplicity. Believing in the machinations of the mind feels complicated. Lots of considerations in fending for the "me". Without that there is the sense of everything being more direct, quieter and simpler. There is an immediacy to this experience. And there is a feeling of openness - more room for everything, everything is allowed, every is granted its freedom, and there is a deep sense of spaciousness with that. So sitting in the middle of a quiet, free, open, immediate, spacious mystery. And there is a quiet excitement with that. And leading with either the recognition of there not being a "me" or leading with the question of there not being a "me" has the effect of opening up the spacious mystery at any moment, in any context. And in each moment there is the invitation to be washed clean in the purity of the direct perception of what is here. So add freshness to the list too. And a quiet sense that there is much more to be discovered about this mystery and this is only the beginning. So a feeling of great, quiet potentiality too. . .

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Iida
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby Iida » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Great stuff! After you have answered the last two questions I'll ask the other guides to check this thread (this is how it's always done here). They might or might not ask you some further questions. Just a few more eyes to check we've covered everything that needs to be covered now.

We also have a great aftercare group, but I'll get back to that a bit later when you're done with the questions.

Looking forward to the next ones!
Marie

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JeffBurkhart
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby JeffBurkhart » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:28 pm

4) How would you describe it to somebody who is very interested, but has never heard about this illusion.

Experience and our Perspective are determined by beliefs and mental structures (memories of what happened, reactions to those events, the beliefs that are built up around that). For example, if there is the belief that someone is wrong for causing us pain there will likely be the experience of anger. If we believe someone is causing us discomfort in order to save our lives there may be the experience of feeling grateful. Same event, two different experiences arising because of the different beliefs. Belief systems are the glasses through which the world is interpretted, the lenses through which experience is filtered.

At the heart of this belief system is the belief in separation and the belief in a separate "me" - "I" exist as a persistant, separate object in a universe of separate objects. Believing that there is a "me" that is a separate object gives the experience of being isolated and cut off from the world - "I" am in here and the world is out there. This gives rise to fear - "I" am on my own, "I" am at risk in this large, separate universe. To try and resolve this inherent fear there is the attempt to strengthen the "me" - improve the self image, get the approval of "others", try to control circumstances so that "we" are safe and get want "we" want. Believing in a separate me, and believing in a world of separate objects, we have to locate the separate "me" somewhere - its an object so it has to exist somewhere. So we put the "me" somewhere inside this body, usually a vague sense of it being somewhere behind the eyes.

But all of this creates more fear. Our self image is just that, an image. Its not a real thing so it never matches reality so it is perpetually at risk. Feeling "we" are dependent on the approval of others makes their response a source or risk for "us" and creates the belief that we need to control their reactions to us. Believing that there is a "me" that can control things and optimize its destiny leaves us in the position of feeling like we have to control things and determine the outcome. And since that control isn't really possible we always feel like we are at risk of being out of control and of losing things. Associating the "me" with the body makes us believe we are dependent on the life of the body and thus we are stuck with the perpetual fear of death - the death of the body will be the death of us. So fear on all sides. Driven by fear, constantly trying to outrun it, but never being to outrun it. There is no security to be found in any of it because fundamentally it is all based on a false belief.

The false belief is the belief in a separate "me". The separate "me" does not exist and it never has. Its possible to verify this directly. This doesn't have to be taken on as another belief or assumption. This can be looked at directly to see whether this is true. But it requires openness, honesty and dedication so this can be looked at thoroughly, so all doubt can be removed one way or the other. Feeling ready?

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JeffBurkhart
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby JeffBurkhart » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:39 pm

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

The last bit was the investigation to whether there was ever choice. In the past there had been deep explorations of not having control, but there had not been this thorough exploration of choice. It seems that as long as there is a belief in being able to "choose" then there is the inherent belief in a "me". Seeing that there was no choice, no control at any level, at any time, had the effect of pulling the rug out from under the "me". Choice seemed to be the last hold out of a belief in control. There had been understanding of not having control over this body or external events, but believing that "I" could exercise choice gave the illusion of internal control. With that gone there was the recognition of no control at any level, just a mytery at all fronts. Somehow seeing this pulled the will out of the belief in self. If there is no control of anything at any level what is the point of a "me"? And without energy being put into it it seems to naturally deflate and leave just the experience of being present for this mysterious experience.

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Iida
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby Iida » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:37 pm

I just wanted to quickly let you know that I've read through these last two answers and I'm really impressed! That is so beautiful.
I'll get back to you soon, probably tomorrow.

Marie

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wolf
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby wolf » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:24 am

This is so beautiful.
I am very touched.
There is all this love.
Wonderful, thankyou, no questions, only awe, Wolf

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Iida
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby Iida » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:46 am

Hi Jeff,

I just sent you a PM about what next.

You have now been confirmed by other guides, no further questions. :)
I could write the exact same words wolf just did.

It's been a pleasure working with you.

Marie

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JeffBurkhart
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Re: If you're looking for a guide, step in

Postby JeffBurkhart » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:23 pm

Hi Marie - Thank you. This has been a real pleasure and this forum with your focus and support was just what was needed here to get this unraveled. What a truly wonderful service you are offering. Life's most precious gift offered freely. Thank you so, so much.

Jeff


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