No such thing as an Ego

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Jefftos
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No such thing as an Ego

Postby Jefftos » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:28 pm

I wrote the subject line to myself yesterday and for the first time after years of seeking and hearing this very thing, the words seemed to sink in for a moment, they seemed to delve into the marrow of my very being. For a few minutes everything seemed to make sense. There is no ego, and once more, their is no such thing as the concept of an ego, it seems to be a boogey man that we tell ourselves to keep from actually realizing the truth that their is nothing to be done, there is no doer, there just is. This experience brought me to search for someone else who had an experience like this, I googled, "No such thing as Ego" and eventually found this site. I've been seeking for years and have become tired of the search and while my experience above was quite lovely, I would love to have a guide to help me through this strange concept and come to a better more full understanding.

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Cam-RT
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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Cam-RT » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:10 pm

Hello Jeff...(is that what you preferred to be called??)

First I do have one rule...When I ask questions that you answer (When Ready.) them with complete honesty, and what you feel is 100% True and Concise. Please take time daily to perform 'The Work" and LOOK introspectively...This in essence is a dysfunction of how one processes thought, what we are doing is challenging and triggering the thought process and shedding light on what truly is behind these thoughts...

One last thing I need to ask, is whatever spiritual practices, beliefs or readings, please put them on hold until we are done. They are of NO use here. You can revisit these when we're finished...

I realize that life gets a bit hectic, If you can check in and let me know how you're doing daily, we can address where you're at on the path.

The Key here is Focus, Courage and Commitment, if not this will take far longer than it should.

Are we Good??...Let's get Started.

So what expectations do you have from liberation ?

And what comes up when I say "There's no such Entity "Self" in real life at all??"
The illusion isn't destroyed...Just seen for what it 'Is'
Thoughts vs. Reality----->Reality always wins.
"Have courage...Don't give up!!"

http://cam-rt.blogspot.com

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Jefftos
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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Jefftos » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:55 am

Hello Cam-RT,

Okay, I understand the rules and Jeff is the name I go by, so on to my answers,

1. What expectations do I have from Liberation?

Mostly I am just curious, to be honest I don't know what to expect.

2. What comes up when you say there's no such entity Self in real life at all?

It almost seems as if there are two trains of thought in my mind and they are split on this, on the one hand I am accepting and relieved to hear that there is no self and it seems to explain a lot about things I've observed and this is the stronger thought of the two. With the other train of thought their is a faint doubt that it can't be possible, it is like a small whisper asking, "if there is no self, then who is it that is making the statement, "there is no self"?" It is quiet but still definitely there.

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Cam-RT
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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Cam-RT » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:04 am

Alright Jeff...
Mostly I am just curious, to be honest I don't know what to expect.
Curious? Okay well then the out come will be a surprise then!?...

First I would like to address that the "Self and Ego" go hand in hand, where the "Self" is a delusion supported by various thought; And The Ego could be more viewed as a genetically hard coded survival instinct...Like in animals. But none the less can be interconnected with thought. Eastern spiritualality points toward the 'Ego' as something to be quelled as a quest toward perfection. This is not the case here...
You know when you are standing on a ledge or doing something death defying, and you get that "rush"? That's the body and ego working together to keep you from harm...
With the other train of thought their is a faint doubt that it can't be possible, it is like a small whisper asking, "if there is no self, then who is it that is making the statement, "there is no self"?" It is quiet but still definitely there.
Yup, that's "The Self" shedding doubt, it will continue to distract you and may toss some fear in there to keep you from looking...Not a problem Right?? ;^)

Remember there's nothing to fear...

Okay, now we're going to address how thoughts and feelings coincide within the body and how the body will help guide you to finding and seeing the "Self" as it really is...

The mind, in addition to being an incredible processing and storage device, is also a labeling machine that labels experience as soon as perception happens.

Here's how it occurs...

Thought triggers feeling, feeling gets labeled---New trigger---Feeling gets more intense ---More labels--->Vicious feedback loop...

This is what go's on endlessly when " I " is at the centre...

Now I want you to think of a uncomfortable thought...(The more negative the better.)  Pick a couple, (You know those reoccurring ones that really bug you.)

Do you feel how the body reacts when these thoughts are revisited??

It's that physical connection that we are going to practice; Even after liberation this can be a valuable tool in inquiring thoughts and  tracing them back to it's source..  Remember the body doesn't lie...When the body feels threatened it will react to protect itself...Same as if someone was to threaten to "hit" you and the reflex that follows to protect the body.... You'll notice the same reaction or "connection" with other negative thoughts / feelings like...
Anger,  frustration, sadness, depression, impatients, anxiety  etc...

Now, let's take this a step further...When you feel the body react, bring this thought up close, look...(with "laser focus") deep inside and behind this thought...

What's driving these thoughts?

What's in control??
The illusion isn't destroyed...Just seen for what it 'Is'
Thoughts vs. Reality----->Reality always wins.
"Have courage...Don't give up!!"

http://cam-rt.blogspot.com

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Jefftos
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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Jefftos » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:49 pm

So I decided to think on this during my morning meditation and bike ride into work. I simply brought up thoughts that would invoke those negative feelings and then focused in on them, here's what happened.

I started out calming my mind so as to have better focus on the thoughts and feelings that would come up, I started with fear, I was actually very taken aback at how little I actually use this emotion, I don't say that to seem macho at all, just that I was very surprised that I really don't give this emotion much thought or anything. I introduced the word, "fear" into my mind and waited for something to come up, eventually death came bubbling up to the surface. But this feeling was weak, just a weak tightening of my chest and an uneasiness in my stomach, I tried to look into the thought, but it seemed so vague and abstract that I decided to move on to something more concrete so that I could really feel it and see behind it.

Eventually a fear did come up, a fear I've always known was very irrational and silly, but very strong. I am deathly afraid of roller-coasters, so I began to think of roller-coasters, about memories of having people force me on them, how I'd feel while waiting in line, it was a paralyzing feeling, my body felt immobile, yet at the same time it wanted to run, I felt adrenaline surging through my body, especially in my chest, like I should get up and run right now. So I began to focus, what was behind these thoughts? I tried to trace it back, why am I afraid of roller-coasters? I asked, and at first I was met with silence, but then a thought came up, "Lack of control" I then thought, "Who is it that fears the lack of control?" at this question my mind began to become distracted, so I slowly pulled it back and asked again, this time I got an answer, but very reluctantly, my body felt resentful as it said "I do." then I asked "Who is "I"?" and I focused on what could be driving this thought, what may be in control of it, it seemed to take all I could give it, it was as if there were a very tall wall that I could just barely see over if I just jumped high enough, I only got a very slight glance at it, and there was nothing.

I've never seen the self in that manner before, as if it was piled under so many layers of protection, as if it hides in the very corners of the mind it knows you wont go to, and tries to slide away and resents you when you actually go looking for it. I did similar exercises for other negative feelings, for sadness I thought of my brother who died while on duty in Iraq, and a similar process happened, I thought of the night we found out, of all the sadness and tears, then I tried to focus through the tears, at what was going on, what was driving these thoughts? What was in control? It came back to the self again, and then when I tried to peek beyond that I saw nothing and then a push away from that nothing.

For anger I thought of a time in the army while I was in South Korea, I was only ten days from finishing my tour and my squad got in trouble because one of our guys decided it'd be funny to write porn-star names on the back of all the vehicles of our squad, we got a week of extra duty for that, it wasn't the extra duty that enraged me as much as the whole year in general, I hated being in that place more than I've ever hated a place and wanted to leave so badly, so when one more shitty thing happened, it was the straw that broke the camels back, and although it was actually pretty funny, I was probably the most angry I had ever been in my life at that point, I snapped at the soldier who did it, actually I went all the way up the chain of command to the Sergeant Major and told him off for upholding the decision to make us all have extra duty, and almost got my tour extended, but luckily he knew me pretty well and just sent me off to calm down, I think I smoked an entire pack of cigarettes in about an hour that day. I tried to remember those feelings of rage that welled inside, and looked deeper, and it was the same, who drives these thoughts? Who is in control? I was again led back to the self, and then nothing, and then pushed away.

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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Cam-RT » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:22 pm

Good Morning Jeff...

It appears your doing really well with this, you're asking the right questions AND at the right times...So keep this up in "real time" this may be difficult at first but try and keep in the back of your mind, when these feelings arise to mentally take a step back and trace that feeling back to it's source, and then try and focus on whats behind the the thought. (where are these thoughts coming from?)

I saw you asked "who is " I "? Good... very good! That's getting straight to the core of all this. Now start to ask
"What is " I "?? Intellectually you get that there's no you...So What "IS" it?
I introduced the word, "fear" into my mind and waited for something to come up, eventually death came bubbling up to the surface.
There was No-You, before you were born...There's No-You Now, and the same after death...Most people view death as if it will "catch up" with them. When in fact their own heart beat is a constant reminder that it's right in front of them!... Hence the Latin term ' Memento Mori ' or to "live with death in front of us."
Again What's behind that fear, bring it up close and with "laser focus" get a look at it..
I tried to trace it back, why am I afraid of roller-coasters? I asked, and at first I was met with silence, but then a thought came up, "Lack of control" I then thought, "Who is it that fears the lack of control?"
Again Very good! But here I'll give you a "spoiler"... There never was a "YOU" in control. ;^)
Just life living it's self,There's no liver (not the organ)...Just life!
this time I got an answer, but very reluctantly, my body felt resentful as it said "I do." then I asked "Who is "I"?" and I focused on what could be driving this thought, what may be in control of it, it seemed to take all I could give it, it was as if there were a very tall wall that I could just barely see over if I just jumped high enough, I only got a very slight glance at it, and there was nothing.
Ahhh...So you got a direct answer from your adversary! "It" knows it's being challenged and doesn't want to be found out...Remember it's been around since you've been a child, so it has intertwined itself throughout your mind/thoughts... Even after liberation it will try and pop up, kinda like a habit or addiction "per se" BUT this is why your here, to pick up the "tools" and see it for what it " IS".
See what I underlined...THAT IS where you nailed "IT" you caught your first glimpse!!
I've never seen the self in that manner before, as if it was piled under so many layers of protection, as if it hides in the very corners of the mind it knows you wont go to, and tries to slide away and resents you when you actually go looking for it.
You took the words right out of my mouth, Excellent!...:^)

I'm very Sorry to hear of your brothers sacrifice and my condolences go out to you and your Family...I'm sure between your brother and yourself you guy's saw a lot of shit go down...My Deepest thanks to you and your brother for the your time served.

I did thoroughly enjoy your story about South Korea, I got this picture in my mind and couldn't help but laugh :^D
But ya, that was a bum rap...None the less, glad you made it Home!!

Here another Question to try when you're going about your day.

Does it require an " I , You or me" to go about your daily duties or is it just Automatic??
The illusion isn't destroyed...Just seen for what it 'Is'
Thoughts vs. Reality----->Reality always wins.
"Have courage...Don't give up!!"

http://cam-rt.blogspot.com

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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Jefftos » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:53 am

Cam,

Thanks for the encouraging words and kind regards for my brother. Anyway on to the work,

What IS "I"?

It is an illusion, well, let me back up and explain how I got there.

At work today and along the bike path home today I thought on your question, does it require an "I, you, or me," to go about my daily duties? I work maintenance at a hotel so I have lots of time to just sort of be mindful of what I am doing, so I was mindful, but I also turned that in on myself, as I worked on a vacuum I wondered, "what or who is working on this vacuum?" "who is it that is pulling the pliers and changing the belts?" It became very apparent that no one was, all of it was just happening, sure a hand was pulling the pliers but there was nothing behind the hand, just action, there was changing of the belt when a vacuum needed it, but no independent self doing it. There were thoughts like, "I'd better check to see how that sink in room 314 is doing." and then a going to do it, when I had thoughts that involved "I" I would check to see what it was, "What is doing the checking on the room?" on further thought it was found that no one was, just walking to the room, opening the door, inspecting it and leaving.

But I did notice that when something frustrating would happen, say I got called out for several jobs and all of them needed me to be there right this instant, I found that suddenly a self seemed to appear, it would feel frustrated, the blood would rush through my chest and my neck would get tight and thoughts would appear demanding they be more patient and that I'm not there damned servant, and I can't be everywhere all the time. When this happened I took a deeper look like I did this morning, when those feelings happened I looked behind them and the thoughts, where they came from, who or what might be controlling them, and again I found the self, then nothing, but also it seemed as if the frustration was different. It was still there, but somehow it was far less personal, it just was and I moved on.

On my way home I asked, "who is pushing these peddles, what is steering the handlebars?" all the way home, I looked everywhere, feet, shins, waist, chest, arms, neck, face? All of those were easy to look at and find no self, but when it came my head I felt fearful, what if I look in my head and there really is nothing there? What if I look and there actually is no rider of a bike, only biking? I looked beyond those thoughts, and the fear and pressed on, is it on the right side or left, base or frontal lobe? Nothing, absolutely nothing is all that I found, just a body on a bike biking and thinking but nothing else, no self to do any of those things not even the thinking.
So my answer to the question is, no it absolutely does not require an I, You, or Me to go about daily duties and it is very much automatic.

So from this experience, I would say that the self is an illusion of reality, it only seems as if there is a doer, but upon closer inspection it's revealed to be nothing. That all being said, the thing I have the most trouble with is thoughts, I can easily get on board with actions being without a doer, and even though I can kind of understand the concept of thoughts, "just happening" without a self and I even sort of proved it to myself, when I imagine thoughts just happening and there being no thinker, that is where I begin to feel a bit dizzy and out of control, my head becomes ablaze with thoughts about how there just has to be someone thinking the thoughts, even after I prove that their is nothing up there to think them and that they do in fact just happen. Maybe I need to sit with this for a while and let it sink in.

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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Cam-RT » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:06 am

Hey Jeff...

Wow, your brief description of working at the hotel, really took me back to my younger day's doing the same things at local motels/hotels (grounds and building maintenance). But you know what they say... Before Enlightenment... chop wood, carry water...After Enlightenment... chop wood, carry water... ;^)
when those feelings happened I looked behind them and the thoughts, where they came from, who or what might be controlling them, and again I found the self, then nothing, but also it seemed as if the frustration was different. It was still there, but somehow it was far less personal, it just was and I moved on.
You're doing Great!!...You see that these thoughts are coming from no where, nothing is driving them they just come and go kinda like clouds in the sky...Sorry for the metaphor, but if you think of your mind is the sky, everything else is just the weather :^)
but somehow it was far less personal, it just was and I moved on.
There you go...Your first taste of liberation...Cool Huh!!
but when it came my head I felt fearful, what if I look in my head and there really is nothing there? What if I look and there actually is no rider of a bike, only biking? I looked beyond those thoughts, and the fear and pressed on, is it on the right side or left, base or frontal lobe? Nothing, absolutely nothing is all that I found, just a body on a bike biking and thinking but nothing else, no self to do any of those things not even the thinking.
Sorry, got a bit of a chuckle from that...Don't hurt yourself! and Yes it's just riding, No rider is necessary ;^)
There's more than enough on your mind, You're just dumping all the crap that " I " is associated to. Consider it lightening the load on your mind/shoulders. (When it hit me, it was a lot like that.)
That all being said, the thing I have the most trouble with is thoughts, I can easily get on board with actions being without a doer, and even though I can kind of understand the concept of thoughts, "just happening" without a self and I even sort of proved it to myself, when I imagine thoughts just happening and there being no thinker, that is where I begin to feel a bit dizzy and out of control, my head becomes ablaze with thoughts about how there just has to be someone thinking the thoughts, even after I prove that their is nothing up there to think them and that they do in fact just happen.
When you get down to the science of thought, think of it this way...The brain is a muscle, thinking is what it does, meditation helps quiet and control thoughts in certain settings, but that's not what we're after here. Thoughts basically are pulses of Energy that crave attention, the more attention you give to a thought, the more energy it builds, like a storm picking up energy. Then there's little ones like chatter... Distractions help, but where liberation comes in is, that you see and understand that "nothing" is driving them. That lessens the severity of this...I see this a lot like a computer accessing data, picking and choosing what's necessary to get the job or whatever done. The rest is just there waiting for the next job.

Another important word for me is perception Think about it, if a big rain storm hit while riding that bike, you would end up soaked, but for the farmer it's a welcome gift!

Here's a couple of quotes that prior to liberation were very profound for me...

"Wrongness is in the eye of the beholder...And Nowhere Else."---Jed McKenna

"Everything we know, no matter how sure we are , is really just belief, and all beliefs are self limiting and serve to reduce the truly infinite to falsely finite"---Jed McKenna

So think back when you were a child...Was there ever a you?
The illusion isn't destroyed...Just seen for what it 'Is'
Thoughts vs. Reality----->Reality always wins.
"Have courage...Don't give up!!"

http://cam-rt.blogspot.com

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Jefftos
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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Jefftos » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:31 pm

Wow, your brief description of working at the hotel, really took me back to my younger day's doing the same things at local motels/hotels (grounds and building maintenance). But you know what they say... Before Enlightenment... chop wood, carry water...After Enlightenment... chop wood, carry water... ;^)
Haha, it's always nice to meet another person who worked maintenance, you must understand those thoughts I had very easily then.
There you go...Your first taste of liberation...Cool Huh!!


It was very nice actually, I've been doing the same thing ever since and having the same results, self shows up, I check to see where it is, what it is, then see it for nothing, emotion remains but somehow less immediate and threatening, just there and then gone.
Then there's little ones like chatter... Distractions help, but where liberation comes in is, that you see and understand that "nothing" is driving them. That lessens the severity of this...I
That makes a lot of sense, I think for just a moment I was trying to make this into some kinda mystical, "aha" moment, but I'm starting to see it is and it isn't like that, I'm starting to see that it's a very profound change in perspective, but not in some Damascus road experience, I shouldn't be expecting to hear trumpets and see bright lights, just a change in perspective, I can see this is already happening with my seeing through the self throughout the day.
So think back when you were a child...Was there ever a you?
No, there was a body that people called, "Jeff" but when I bring up the memories, they are just memories, I can't bring up a separate self to point to and say, this was Jeff from when he was born until this very moment, I cannot bring up an unchanging separate self, everything is different from hair color, to size, to thoughts, even the emotions are perceived differently. So no, really there was never really ever a "me" as in a separate unchanging entity, just life.

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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Cam-RT » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:48 pm

Hey Jeff...
Haha, it's always nice to meet another person who worked maintenance, you must understand those thoughts I had very easily then.
Oh ya, and being in Reno, I've seen some pretty crazy shit from the guests too!
I think for just a moment I was trying to make this into some kinda mystical, "aha" moment, but I'm starting to see it is and it isn't like that, I'm starting to see that it's a very profound change in perspective, but not in some Damascus road experience, I shouldn't be expecting to hear trumpets and see bright lights, just a change in perspective,
Within a year or two (Depending how you use this gift.) The Awakening will Deepen and broaden.

Just remember...There is No-"I"... just the Suits, Faces or Roles we play to interact with people without freaking them out... ;^)

Okay you've done such an excellent job! Now it's time to ask some Questions to Confirm where you're at..
Please feel free to take your time and elaborate as much as you see fit on each question...

1. (One more time for the record:) is there any real 'I' in any sense, shape or form?

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 has never heard about this illusion.

5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
The illusion isn't destroyed...Just seen for what it 'Is'
Thoughts vs. Reality----->Reality always wins.
"Have courage...Don't give up!!"

http://cam-rt.blogspot.com

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Jefftos
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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Jefftos » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:31 am

1. (One more time for the record:) is there any real 'I' in any sense, shape or form?
No, there exists no "I" anywhere in reality.
Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.
The illusion of separate self is when thoughts, feelings, and actions come together and seem like a separate entity from what is, sometimes very strongly, but when looked at and inspected by looking deeper into those thoughts feelings and actions, it (the illusion) vanishes. This illusion starts very early in childhood with people reinforcing the idea of a separate self, they do this by giving "you" a name, finding roles for you, asking questions like, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" implying that there is a separate entity that knows what it may want to be, you don't think to question who it is they might be addressing or how silly the question is in itself, and you begin to identify the self with these things, "I" like this and not that, "I" am this and not that, "I" prefer this way or doing things and not that/ Eventually you come to simply believe this illusion, no one ever tells you it is an illusion you just assume it to be the truth, so you identify your thoughts feelings and actions with this separate self that you never question.
3) How does it feel to see this?
It doesn't feel much different than before other than things that happen seem far less personal (because there is no separate entity to be offended or hurt by them, they just are), and less urgent, it seems I was so close to this perspective all along and all I needed was a few nudges and tools to see it.
4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.
It would depend on who I am talking to, but in general I would describe it like finding out Santa doesn't exist, Christmas still happens, family still gets together, presents still happen, families still argue, did you really need Santa for Christmas to happen or does it just happen? The illusion of the self is exactly like Santa and life is Christmas, it just happens. I know for some that would be a poor metaphor but I'd try and find something more suited for them if I knew them a bit more.
5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I think it was my bike ride yesterday, going up and down my body as I rode, looking for the self in earnest, continually asking, "where is the self? what is the self?" When I got to my head and made that final push to investigate my brain, it was all done, after I really saw that there was no biker, only biking, I couldn't look back, life was just life living.

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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Cam-RT » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:43 pm

Hey Jeff...

There is some doubt on this end on how well your seeing this...Please elaborate a bit more to this question...

How sure are you that you see this? How do you know?
The illusion isn't destroyed...Just seen for what it 'Is'
Thoughts vs. Reality----->Reality always wins.
"Have courage...Don't give up!!"

http://cam-rt.blogspot.com

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Jefftos
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Re: No such thing as an Ego

Postby Jefftos » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:33 pm

Very certain, I know because I looked, I looked directly at the illusion of self throughout the day and found it to be nothing, this is not to say that the illusion isn't still around, I don't claim to have done away with it entirely, only that I saw it directly for what it was. The moments when the illusion is seen through are like a flowing, just life happening, just this morning I mowed the lawn, but the lawn was just being mowed, no need for an "I" to do it, that is how I know I saw it, through direct experience of the flowing and seeing the self for the illusion it is .


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