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vallorus
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Hi there

Postby vallorus » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:24 pm

Hi everybody, I'm really happy that I happened to find this place, it's really nice to see that a community like this can exist.

To be honest I don't even know if I'm ready for this, but I'd like to believe that everybody who finds this place or a place like it is ready. Allow me to introduce myself:

I'm in every sense of the word an average guy. I had a great childhood, and eventhough nobody's childhood is 100% happy or 100% dysfunctional, I can safely say that It was definitely on the happy side. I did well in school and I had a very secure future ahead of me in medical school, but I decided to drop out and I am now pursuing a career in business. I never was the popular kid, nor was I being picked on, I was just part of that grey area.

It all started for me about 6 years ago, when my mom gave me a copy of the Secret, which I believe had just been released around that time. I read it and what I felt at that time wasn't even exhilirating or anything, it was just a sense or recognition, like it resonated with me on a deeper level. Eventhough the teachings weren't 'new' for me, I did feel like my eyes were starting to open and I continued to explore down that path. All of the information I needed seem to flow to me in perfect ways and I was happy that I was somehow acknowledged in my quest for this. The downside of it all was that I started to feel a little alienated from my environment. I started to identify with the teachings and sort of made it into an ideology, which came with a certain sense of superiority over my peers. That's when I (re-)discovered the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, which came right on time, because I felt stuck. This past year has been great for me in terms of discovering new ways of life and also putting them into practice, but I still feel that it's mostly an intellectual understanding of the matter, like I know a lot about it but still not really know it.

I would really like to receive some help with this and I know that I can find someone who will be a right fit in this community. Thank you!

Jonathan

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Bill
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Re: Hi there

Postby Bill » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:51 pm

Welcome Jonathan, I'm Bill and thanks for the nice introduction.
We might be able to use some of it later.

Yes, understanding this in the head is different than what we call SEEING it.
In SEEING we use our mind a touch, but mainly all our other senses: seeing,
hearing, sensing, smelling, tasting, inutuition....

What are your expectations of this liberation? What is it going to be like for you?
Or what would you want to happen?

Tell me Jonathan, what comes up for you, thoughts, feelings, emotions, when I tell you that there is no 'you' at all in reality.
No you living your life.
No you to get enlightened.
There's just life, flowing.
What's your reaction to this?
Tell all that comes up for you.

Bill

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vallorus
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Re: Hi there

Postby vallorus » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:05 pm

Hi Bill, thank you so much for your time.

What I would like to happen is to step out of fear-based thinking and recognize it for what it is, a mental construct. The two biggest fears I have at the moment are fear of failure and fear of rejection, and although I can logically reason that they are completely unfounded, I still feel that I'm being limited in expressing myself. I think this liberation for me would be to be able to witness my fears everytime they may come up in a situation and be there to see them slowly dissolve, recognizing them as something seperate and not a part of my identity.

When you say that there is no self, it kinda scares me to be honest. I've heard it before, but everytime I see it or hear I think to myself: "then what is all of this then?" Did everything that happen to me, that made me into the person I am today, simply not exist? I used to pride myself in being someone who could see patterns and connect the dots pretty fast, I really identified myself with that. Since I've been working with this kind of teachings, it's slowly starting to fade, but I still can't quite believe that something like that is no part of who I am. How am I growing as a person, if there is nothing to develop? I'm scared to lose my sense as the person I thought I was I guess.


Thanks again Bill, and my apologies in advance if it takes a while for me to answer because of the time difference (I'm in the Netherlands). I will check the forum everyday, probably 2 or 3 times a day.

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Bill
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Re: Hi there

Postby Bill » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:30 am

Thanks Jonathan,

I wanted to go over how I'd like to do this.
First I need 100% honesty in all your answers to the questions I'm going to give you.
Not from books, tapes, or other teachings, but from your direct experience.

I am on the west coast of US, so our time is 9hrs diff. We will probably get in one good post a day each.
This is fine. Do not be in a rush or hurry. It will take what it takes.

Couldn't help but notice you used the word fear or scared many times in your first reply.
This must be something big in your life. Fear.
Let's look at it in two circumstances right now and see if we can see anything real there.

Fear can be a very real feeling dominating our daily lives.
You had mentioned fear of rejection and fear of failure.
I'd like you to imagine a situation where both of those fears would come up.
Two different situations. Take your time to get these in your mind.
Take one of them. First relax and then imagine the situation. Feel the fear you are talking about.
Feel it as much as possible. Close your eyes during this if you need to.
When you have the fear feeling alive, look 'behind' it in your mind.
Is there anything real there? Check it. Is there anything?

Let that one be and do the same looking for the 2nd fear.
Also look behind that one too and what do you find, if anything.
Let me know how this turns out.

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vallorus
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Re: Hi there

Postby vallorus » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:39 pm

I imagined two situations and I closed my eyes to let myself absorb in the feelings that came up. I noticed a difference already in the sense that when asked to observe my arising feelings, they would come up but also fade very quickly, where I would normally be completely engulfed in them.

My first reaction was that I was desperate for success, that if I would fail it would take a part away from me. It's like I'm constantly fighting to keep something in my life. While observing that, a question that popped into my head was: "how is it possible, that I already made something that isn't mine or is out of my control such an important part of my life and wellbeing?" And the following thought was: "where does this attachment come from?"

I imagined failing and feelings of sorrow and sadness came up, as if I was a lesser man because I failed. Is it real? I don't know to be honest, it feels real to me. If something can make me feel this way, isn't there some truth in it? Does the experience of me connecting such strong feelings and emotions to the possibility of failure make it real?

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Bill
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Re: Hi there

Postby Bill » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:16 pm

I imagined two situations and I closed my eyes to let myself absorb in the feelings that came up. I noticed a difference already in the sense that when asked to observe my arising feelings, they would come up but also fade very quickly, where I would normally be completely engulfed in them.

My first reaction was that I was desperate for success, that if I would fail it would take a part away from me. It's like I'm constantly fighting to keep something in my life. While observing that, a question that popped into my head was: "how is it possible, that I already made something that isn't mine or is out of my control such an important part of my life and wellbeing?" And the following thought was: "where does this attachment come from?"

I imagined failing and feelings of sorrow and sadness came up, as if I was a lesser man because I failed. Is it real? I don't know to be honest, it feels real to me. If something can make me feel this way, isn't there some truth in it? Does the experience of me connecting such strong feelings and emotions to the possibility of failure make it real?
Hi Jonathan,

You're probably wondering why we're looking at this fear topic now?
We've found its better to address fear now at this stage, then it won't be an obstacle
in seeing further down the road. And it can be if not addressed.
Seeing thru the illusion can bring up some fear.
So we look at it now.

We don't get into a lot of 'why this' and 'why that' about our afflictive states.
It doesn't seem to be helpful here.
We look at what's here right now and deal with it as it is.

I want you to answer your own question here (your last paragraph) when you ask that when you IMAGINE failing & is that REAL?
Also the strong feelings... just because they are there and I don't doubt they are, does that really make anything like failure be REAL?
What do you think on both these questions?

The fears are there to protect you. You have to make friends with it. Love it. Be with it. It is only there to protect.

Try this. Just pick one situation this time. Relax a bit and bring those fears in again. Welcome them in. Allow them to be there. Acknowledge the fear. Talk to it. Ask it what it wants and what its doing. I am serious.

When you feel comfortable try looking behind the fear and let me know what is there.

Bill

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vallorus
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Re: Hi there

Postby vallorus » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:59 pm

Hi Bill,

I actually got to have a fear-infused experience today, when I confronted someone today about the way she treats me. I used to tell myself that she may be right, that I should see myself through her eyes to get an understanding of the way she treats me, that it's probably my fault she's treating me this way and that I should please her more to make it right. It was kinda gnawing at me, when I suddenly realized that this was a perfect opportunity to observe and look past my fear of rejection in this situation.

I approached it with a sense of "how can my fear benefit me in this situation" and came to the realization that my fear points me to opportunities to let me grow as a person. In this case, being a people pleaser which hasn't been all too beneficial for me in the past few years, manifested as a fear of rejection in order to let me see that it doesn't have to be that way and that everytime that fear comes up I get the opportunity to confront it and make me grow in character.

So to the question whether that fear is real or not. At first I thought that because my experience was paired with such strong feelings, that it had to be real. But now I see that my fears are a manifestation of what I believe, consciously or subconsciously, to be my flaws to help me grow. So in that sense I make them real in my mind, which brings up strong feelings, which makes the experience that much more intense and therefor seemingly real.. But because it all comes from the mind, that means it's not real at all.. This is kinda twisting my brain a bit, but I think I'm on to something here.

Oh and to make the story complete, I confronted the girl and everything went well. I stood my ground and we had a good conversation, which afterwards made me feel really good about myself!

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Re: Hi there

Postby Bill » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:44 am

Oh Jonathan...what an analytical mind you've got.
Click....click.....click....
Yes I can see you're very intelligent. and you like to find out the
why's and how's of things.
This is a bit different here. That mind will only take you so far.
We have to LOOK to get the rest.

What I want you to do here in the forum is turn that down just a bit and use our senses more.
It's not that we're trying to get rid of the fear. Or figure out how to deal with it.
What we want to do is see if there is anything real there.
The feeling is there for sure. We all feel it to some extent.
I'm not sure if you noticed but you didn't do the exercise.
and not in the other post either.

I might have forgot to tell you this, but for you to get the most
out of this dialogue and for it to progress, all questions asked, need to be answered.


So you might check the question/s before you hit submit and see if you
actually answered them.
So I ask you to answer this question in your next post, there's an important
concept for you in the answer.
The fears are there to protect you. You have to make friends with it. Love it. Be with it. It is only there to protect.
Try this. Just pick one situation this time. Relax a bit and bring those fears in again. Welcome them in. Allow them to be there. Acknowledge the fear. Talk to it. Ask it what it wants and what its doing. I am serious.
When you feel comfortable try looking behind the fear and let me know what is there.
I'm going to go ahead and continue here with 'thoughts'

There's no I in reality. It can't be found. Only the thought or illusion of an I.
We're going to keep moving toward you SEEING that.
Everything I ask will be with that goal in mind.

How we think and thoughts are huge in this process.
No matter what we do, we can't get away from thinking.

Since thoughts are so prevalent, lets look at them.
Can you look very carefully and tell me where thoughts arise, for you?
Can you see a point of origin, in reality?
Use direct experience to answer this question

Bill

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vallorus
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Re: Hi there

Postby vallorus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:18 pm

Hi Bill, thanks for keeping me focused.

I tried looking behind the fear (this time actually looking, not trying to rationalize it) and... there was nothing. Doesn't matter how hard I tried or if I just kept looking without expectation or effort, I couldn't see anything.

The same for your question about thoughts. I know they arise and a lot of times they originate from other thoughts, but when I try to trace my thoughts back, at some point it's just empty. There are thoughts lingering everywhere and at the same time nowhere. I don't know where they came from, and to be honest I hate not knowing that. Like you pointed out I have a very analytical mind, and I used to pride myself on the fact that I have the tendency and the capability of connecting the dots and seeing the bigger picture, so not being able to structurize or conceptualize this is a bit frustrating for me.

I don't know if there's something behind the fear or if there's a point of origin of thought, all I can say right now is that I can't perceive it. So I guess it's very possible that there's nothing there

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Re: Hi there

Postby Bill » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:57 pm

Jonathan,

Yes if we really look through these fears we usually can't find anything real or solid.
It doesn't' mean we don't feel the fear. Or that we're not going to in the future.
But in looking through and seeing nothing, we get another perspective.
Its hold and intensity may be less.
Keep this in mind as we progress down this path.

Trying to find out where thoughts come from is similar. We've always thought
they were ours and we thought them. They do seem to come from us but with
a determined LOOK we can't really know that. They just come.. one after another
Good thoughts, bad thoughts, crazy thoughts, loving thoughts, and we can't shut
them off. Only for a very short determined time are we able. Once we stop
they keep coming again..

Looking at thoughts, are they possesive; do they all start out with an I attached, or does the I attach to the thought somewhere?

Here is a small exercise. Look at the computer. Which is more true?

it is A computer?
or a MY computer?
Can you attach a computer to a me?
If so, how is that done?

Look at some other common things in your life.... clothes, other people, cars, houses..
Are they yours?
or just objects?
If they are yours, how does that process of possession happen.

Bill

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vallorus
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Re: Hi there

Postby vallorus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:04 pm

Bill,

I never looked at objects that way, but it's an interesting question. Paying for something and calling it mine is the most normal thing in the world, but does the computer change as soon as I pay for it? No it doesn't. If somebody else bought it, it would be the exact same computer and he or she would call it his/hers. You can't attach objects to people that way. And that attachment or ownership can not be explained by the money you paid for it, because that feeling also arises with objects of little to no value.

When you extend the question to people it's a little harder to observe, because you obviously can't own people, but if someone you feel is an important part of your life leaves you, it's a comparable feeling I guess. If I look at myself, then it's an emotional bond that makes me say that I 'have' friends. I have an, albeit different, emotional bond to all of my material goods as well and I would definitely feel sad if I lost them. Does that trigger the process of possession?

In the end the material goods, objects are static, they don't change when owned by someone else, but still I feel they are part of me. They partly form who I am, how I am being perceived by the rest of the world. But to answer your question, no you can't attach objects to a me, it's not possible to do that.

And I guess it's the same for thoughts then. I would like to think that I am responsible for my thoughts, but as we talked about earlier, there is no point of origin and when comparing it to objects that you can't attach to a me, thoughts can't be attached although it seems to be that way. If I use objects to construct part of my identity, then could the same be said for thoughts? I can see now that it's very possible that I attach myself to certain thoughts, and by doing that construct a part of my identity. There are random thoughts going through my head at all times, but who's to say that maybe all thoughts are random and the ones who seem 'intentional' are just the thoughts I choose to identify with? I'm sorry if I'm going off track again.

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Re: Hi there

Postby Bill » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:12 am

I never looked at objects that way, but it's an interesting question. Paying for something and calling it mine is the most normal thing in the world, but does the computer change as soon as I pay for it? No it doesn't. If somebody else bought it, it would be the exact same computer and he or she would call it his/hers. You can't attach objects to people that way. And that attachment or ownership can not be explained by the money you paid for it, because that feeling also arises with objects of little to no value.
Yes Jonathan, what you are saying is true here... however, you're over-thinking this a bit. What we're looking for here is that its simply our thoughts and thought alone that allow us to possess something. example: take two identical cars, one yours the other not. Its our thinking and thinking alone that distinguishes one of them from the other and allows us to claim the other. This is also true for anything else we possess.

When you extend the question to people it's a little harder to observe, because you obviously can't own people, but if someone you feel is an important part of your life leaves you, it's a comparable feeling I guess. If I look at myself, then it's an emotional bond that makes me say that I 'have' friends. I have an, albeit different, emotional bond to all of my material goods as well and I would definitely feel sad if I lost them. Does that trigger the process of possession?
it very much the same for people. my people, your people... all in thoughts.
In the end the material goods, objects are static, they don't change when owned by someone else, but still I feel they are part of me. They partly form who I am, how I am being perceived by the rest of the world. But to answer your question, no you can't attach objects to a me, it's not possible to do that.
well you can't stick them on, but you can attach them with possession.
And I guess it's the same for thoughts then. I would like to think that I am responsible for my thoughts, but as we talked about earlier, there is no point of origin and when comparing it to objects that you can't attach to a me, thoughts can't be attached although it seems to be that way. If I use objects to construct part of my identity, then could the same be said for thoughts? I can see now that it's very possible that I attach myself to certain thoughts, and by doing that construct a part of my identity. There are random thoughts going through my head at all times, but who's to say that maybe all thoughts are random and the ones who seem 'intentional' are just the thoughts I choose to identify with? I'm sorry if I'm going off track again.
Yes, very good. We attach to things and identify with them.

So to sum up...we don't seem to know where thoughts come from
It seemed like they were ours but we can't stop them
or know what we'll be thinking next.
You missed this but also most all of our thougths are possessive
in the sense that they are about us, in some way shape or place.
Not all, to be sure, but most all.
if you doubt that just observe your thinking for a short time.
Ownership is really not possible without a thought.

Now how about the body? Is that owned and controlled in reality, by a self?
As you move around in your normal activities, check and see if you can find a self moving the body around.
Walking, driving, typing, dressing yourself, etc.
Is there a WHO living your life?
Or are there just thoughts about everything, including a self, seeming to live your life?
Big difference.
Just look at the evidence. In your daily life, in all your actions, keep returning to this focus on the thoughts as you move around. Keep checking if there is something real, besides a thought, that owns and directs the body.
And please write it down. Try describing an activity like typing in detail. Describe exactly what is happening as you type. Is the typing controlled by an entity, or is it just happening?

Not sure if I mentioned two important aids in this process.
Three actually. One very good resource right here is to
take a look at the Liberations section of the forum and read some of the threads.

Next is the excellent book in pdf format by Ilona and Elena of 21 real dialogues like
you are doing now where people have actually saw. Excellent as companion while you are doing this.
Download the pdf here. http://liberationunleashed.com/PDF/Gate ... ashers.pdf

Then there is the excellent 5 min video on Youtube by one of our members
describing what it takes to do this and how to LOOK. Its called Look with Honesty. It's very good.
Watch it a few times. Its worth it.. http://youtu.be/wyNwhK2Ur1c

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vallorus
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Re: Hi there

Postby vallorus » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:15 pm

Thanks for the links Bill, I watched the video already and started the book, so far they are helpful
Try describing an activity like typing in detail. Describe exactly what is happening as you type. Is the typing controlled by an entity, or is it just happening?
I'm typing this response to your question and when breaking it down in smaller bits I see that my fingers are moving over the keyboard. My fingers press certain keys in a certain order and it's connected to the thoughts that I want to transfer to this forum. Is there something that controls what I'm doing and how I'm doing it? No, not that I can see right now. I can see the process, but I can't see the one doing it.

Before I started typing this message I tried to observe this as much as possible in my daily routine and when looking for someone or something that controls the movements, the actions, the intentions, I come up empty. The only thing that I perceive is the process, not the doer.
Now how about the body? Is that owned and controlled in reality, by a self?
As you move around in your normal activities, check and see if you can find a self moving the body around.
Walking, driving, typing, dressing yourself, etc.
Is there a WHO living your life?
Or are there just thoughts about everything, including a self, seeming to live your life?
After these few days I feel like I'm looking at myself a little bit differently. My feelings are real, my body is real, my thoughts are real, my actions and movements are real, because I can perceive all those things. Yet I can't see someone orchestrating all of that, I can't see a seperate being controlling every part of this I call myself. So I guess I'll have to rephrase my earlier sentence and say that the feelings are real, the body is real, the thoughts are real, but there is no self to possess those seperate things. The fact that I thought they composed my own self, is because I made them my own through possesive thought. The 'I' is just a label that makes it convenient for us to function in this world, since it's much easier to say hi to 'you' than to acknowledge all the thoughts, feelings and the body when greeting.

If I make the comparison between my 'self' and the typing; just as I can only see the process of typing and not the one typing, I can only see the thoughts and not the thinker. Does that mean that everything just is? Typing is, thought is, breathing is? It all seems to fit, but I notice that my mind is having a hard time accepting that, like it's fighting the possibility that those things just are and that there's no doer involved.

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Re: Hi there

Postby Bill » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:44 pm

After these few days I feel like I'm looking at myself a little bit differently. My feelings are real, my body is real, my thoughts are real, my actions and movements are real, because I can perceive all those things. Yet I can't see someone orchestrating all of that, I can't see a seperate being controlling every part of this I call myself. So I guess I'll have to rephrase my earlier sentence and say that the feelings are real, the body is real, the thoughts are real, but there is no self to possess those seperate things. The fact that I thought they composed my own self, is because I made them my own through possesive thought. The 'I' is just a label that makes it convenient for us to function in this world, since it's much easier to say hi to 'you' than to acknowledge all the thoughts, feelings and the body when greeting.
If I make the comparison between my 'self' and the typing; just as I can only see the process of typing and not the one typing, I can only see the thoughts and not the thinker. Does that mean that everything just is? Typing is, thought is, breathing is? It all seems to fit, but I notice that my mind is having a hard time accepting that, like it's fighting the possibility that those things just are and that there's no doer involved.
Jonathan,
I sense a shift in your thinking since your last post.
Do you feel anything different?
Is there an I there that can be found?

Yes it does mean that everything just is.
Walking happens, typing happens, thinking happens, breathing happens.
Yes, it looks at first like it happens to a you, but it just happens.
There's no you to found upon deep inspection.

It looks like you have a good intellectual understanding of this now.
Liberation is not a thought, a feeling or a state.
Its really so ordinary that we have almost totally missed it.
I can't convince you of it, in fact the only way I can help is to point you in the right direction to look so you can see it for yourself.
You have to do the seeing.
it is through direct experience that it is seen.
Its like we want you to look with fresh eyes at the truth of common everyday experience.
Like a child sees... without any bias.
Its not hidden. Its just a shift in perspective.

I is just a thought.
No doer can be found with true looking.
Life just happens.
We can say it's life, lifeing.

Keep looking as you have been doing!


Jonathan, please tell me what this means to you.

Well its a very simple thing that needs to be resolved...
There is this thought, I,... and once you see that I is just a thought
And you see that thought itself does not think
It clicks!
Its very very simple.

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Re: Hi there

Postby vallorus » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:51 pm

I sense a shift in your thinking since your last post.
Do you feel anything different?
Is there an I there that can be found?
Hi Bill,
I do feel different, but it's subtle. The reason I stumbled upon this forum was because of the urge to find some answers, to find the truth and in that, peace (as I'm sure almost everyone is who find this forum). This urge translated into pulling back from life a bit and try to find answers in spiritual teachings, be it books or seminars or videos or actual visits to a teacher. What I realized today is that the urge is slowly fading, it's subtle but noticeable. The answers I seek are not to be found by pulling back and finding new beliefs to satisfy me, but just by observing something simple as breathing the truth can be found. I think I get that now.

There is no I, the 'I' we conventionally use is a label that is supposed to give meaning to the collection of thoughts, feelings, memories, habits that just are. When I try to see the 'owner' of these things, there is nothing to be found. I see that now, but there's still a gap for me.. what is it that needs to be recognized as 'I' or 'self'? I can see that there's nothing there, but is the wanting to label it purely based in thought? Does the thinking feel the need to construct a thinker? I'm sorry if I'm going in circles here.
Jonathan, please tell me what this means to you.

Well its a very simple thing that needs to be resolved...
There is this thought, I,... and once you see that I is just a thought
And you see that thought itself does not think
It clicks!
Its very very simple.
This is actually pretty unsettling for me to be honest. Getting a glimpse of the truth just by looking makes me question what it is I've been doing and looking for for these past few years. It's definitely not what I expected, but not necessarily in a bad way. I think this last part of your post gave me the answer to my question above. The wanting to label as 'I' or 'self' is based in thinking, which makes it just a thought and not something that thinks. It's a harsh reality check, thank God I didn't expect it to be like a warm shower, smelling like roses and magically be freed from every fear and limiting belief I have, because then I would be really disappointed. This is good, it's honest and it's true.


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