No self help

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dementeddigital
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No self help

Postby dementeddigital » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:20 am

Hi everyone. I'm Dan in FL.

I'm struggling with the realization of no-self.

I started meditating in Nov 2011, during my divorce. Samatha first to stabilize and then on to Vipassana to try to gain some insight about the ultimate nature of things. I've looked at self, and I know what it's not. It's not parts of body or whole body, it's not mind - it's completely un-findable. I know this completely, and yet, I wouldn't say that I've experienced it. I"m not sure what I would experience it if I did. I'm an engineer, and I have a tendency to conceptualize things more than I should.

I've been online dating, and I also struggle with attachment. (I think that the realization of no self might help me here, if there is no self to get attached.) I get "hooked" easily, and my mind gets focused on future possibilities, which brings with it anxiety and attachment. Ekhart Tolle's The Power of Now has helped me recognize how this happens, and I can watch it arise. I have had the realization that the mind is not me, and that it's just a problem solving tool. But that still doesn't tell me what no-self actually is or realize it myself.

I'd love some help to get un-stuck! I don't necessarily know what to ask for, but I think that leaving it open might be better anyway. :-)

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Cam-RT
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Re: No self help

Postby Cam-RT » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:42 am

Hello Dan...

Now there's one rule...That when we ask you questions, please answer when ready,  with complete honesty, precisely, and what you "feel" is 100% true...

One more important thing to ask is, that whatever teachings, beliefs or spiritual practices, you have acquired along your journey till now; Please put them aside until this conversation is over. They are of NO use here...You can revisit them later if you wish...

Commitment is the key here... Seeing this will take a little time but if you don't perform "The Work" daily this will undoubtably take far longer than it should...
I've been online dating, and I also struggle with attachment.
What about loss?...Are you willing to let go of an illusion?

So what are you expecting from becoming liberated?

What comes up when I say..."There is no separate 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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dementeddigital
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Re: No self help

Postby dementeddigital » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:14 am

Cam-RT,

Thanks for the quick reply! I'll put everything I've heard aside...

>What about loss?...Are you willing to let go of an illusion?
Good question. I don't know. I'd prefer to see things as they really are.

>So what are you expecting from becoming liberated?
I honestly don't have any expectations. I don't even know what to expect.

>What comes up when I say..."There is no separate entity "Self" in real life at all??
I understand it conceptually. I've looked for "self" in meditation, and I can't find anything to call self. My problem with the concept is that I (or rather, "I") still am a person who is sitting at a computer, who likes Indian food, who is sore from working out, who drives a bit too fast, who likes to have dates, etc. :-) I still have a "first person" perspective walking around, watching TV, etc. There is no self to find, but all of these things still remain. I know that those aren't me, either.

Dan

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Cam-RT
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Re: No self help

Postby Cam-RT » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:02 am

Okay Dan...

Don't know what to expect? Good, just as long as we don't set the bar unreasonably high ;^)
I still have a "first person" perspective walking around, watching TV, etc.
So does it require a "you" to do all these things or do they happen Automatically??...(No doer, just doing.)
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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dementeddigital
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Re: No self help

Postby dementeddigital » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:16 pm

Don't know what to expect? Good, just as long as we don't set the bar unreasonably high
...
So does it require a "you" to do all these things or do they happen Automatically??...(No doer, just doing.)
Yeah, I like to set the bar low - and then crawl under it.

All of these actions start with intentions. These intentions seem to arise from this thing called "me."
When all of these actions happen, I'm aware of them and able to modify what I'm doing.

So there seems to be some directing and watching entity behind all actions. This is where I've been getting stuck. That directing and watching entity (awareness?) sure seems like something I can call self!

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Cam-RT
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Re: No self help

Postby Cam-RT » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:52 pm

Hey Dan...

In essence what we are dealing with here is a dysfunction of the thought process that in fact, creates what appears to be a separate being ( A thought.) that points toward ownership/identity that in reality doesn't exist...

Let me explain how this occurs right now. ( The UN-liberated state.)

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

Here's is an example...

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

This goes on endlessly as long as this mental dysfunction persists...(The Self)

Try finding some negative or insecure thoughts...The more intense the better for this exercise... Feel how the body responds when these thoughts arise?<-----You can use the body as a tool to trace back thoughts that are associated to "The self"...Remember the body doesn't lie. This reflex is the same if someone was to slap or punch you and the body automatically reacts to protect itself...TRY IT!! get the feel of that sensation. This to will help guide you.
All of these actions start with intentions. These intentions seem to arise from this thing called "me."
When all of these actions happen, I'm aware of them and able to modify what I'm doing.
Dig deeper, " I, Me, You " these are all referring to a construct that in reality doesn't exist...

Where are all these thoughts coming from??
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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dementeddigital
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Re: No self help

Postby dementeddigital » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:50 pm

In essence what we are dealing with here is a dysfunction of the thought process that in fact, creates what appears to be a separate being ( A thought.) that points toward ownership/identity that in reality doesn't exist...
Separate from what? I'm not sure I fully follow. I can't say for sure from where thoughts arise any more than I can say for sure where awareness is happening. Could they be the same place? Could the thoughts belong to the awareness? Could that be the self?
The mind in addition to being and incredible processing and storage device also is a labeling machine that lables experience as soon as perception happens...

Here's is an example...

Thought triggers feeling, feeling gets labeled--->New trigger--->Feeling gets more intense--->more labels--->Vicious feedback loop...
Yes. I can easily experience that, and I have recently. I recognize it when it's happening. It's not very fun.
Dig deeper, " I, Me, You " these are all referring to a construct that in reality doesn't exist...

Where are all these thoughts coming from??
That's the thing. How can I know that it doesn't exist? How can I know that this awareness I have isn't really "self?" I honestly have no idea from where thoughts arise. I can watch them arise, but from what? I can see that there is no findable self. There is also no findable awareness, but it is still there. Where am I stuck?

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Cam-RT
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Re: No self help

Postby Cam-RT » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:32 pm

Hey Dan...
Separate from what? I'm not sure I fully follow.
Separate from life around you!
Is there a liver (Not the organ) living life? or is it just life??
Could the thoughts belong to the awareness?
Nope Pardon the analogy, but think of your mind is like the sky (limitless) and the clouds are thoughts, sometimes you see Big dark ominous ones, and most of the time you see little ones (like chatter)..."You" are the sky, the rest is just the weather...
As a matter of fact, we're not worrying about the clouds just let them come and go. That's the brains job is to think.

What I'm pointing at is the sky...There's Nothing there...
Yes. I can easily experience that, and I have recently. I recognize it when it's happening. It's not very fun.
Yup, that's what we're here to do, is breaking the "loop".
How can I know that this awareness I have isn't really "self?"
It's just awareness....THAT'S ALL.------>The rest is just thought and ego mixed in which too is just thought.
There is also no findable awareness, but it is still there.
What is "it"-----What's There?
What"s Behind all this thought?
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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dementeddigital
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Re: No self help

Postby dementeddigital » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:21 am

Is there a liver (Not the organ) living life? or is it just life??
I know that the answer to this from those who have experienced it is that it is just life happening. I'm struggling to see this. If there is an observer (awareness) who also has some control over the experience (choice to do or not do something), how is this not the "self?"
Nope Pardon the analogy, but think of your mind is like the sky (limitless) and the clouds are thoughts, sometimes you see Big dark ominous ones, and most of the time you see little ones (like chatter)..."You" are the sky, the rest is just the weather...
As a matter of fact, we're not worrying about the clouds just let them come and go. That's the brains job is to think.

What I'm pointing at is the sky...There's Nothing there...
But the sky has no awareness of the clouds. I have awareness of thoughts.
Yup, that's what we're here to do, is breaking the "loop".
I'd be very grateful if you could help me do that! A particularly frustrating loop brought me here!
It's just awareness....THAT'S ALL.------>The rest is just thought and ego mixed in which too is just thought.
Since everything in this awareness is relative to me (body, mind, etc.), then how is this awareness not self? What makes them different? What separates them?
What is "it"-----What's There?
What"s Behind all this thought?
Awareness is there, but it's as unfindable as self. I'm struggling to see how "awareness" is not "self." I feel like I've been chasing my tail on this for a while, and I can't seem to break past that. I do appreciate your help!

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Cam-RT
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Re: No self help

Postby Cam-RT » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:18 am

Hello Dan...
I'm struggling to see this. If there is an observer (awareness) who also has some control over the experience (choice to do or not do something), how is this not the "self?"
There seems to be some confusion ( projected by "The Self") that is causing this...
Here is a definition of awareness...From Wikipedia.
***Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, or sensory patterns.

This is the first part of the definition...Yet later It also mentions an observer. The problem with this, is there is NO observer only the observed....It boils down to who's perspective are we talking about.
There is no thinker, just thought....So what you're wrestling with here, is there someone else in your head that is responsible for creating thoughts and assuming identity or ownership?

"The Self" we're talking about here, is a construct of thought that when traced back to it's source does not exist in real life...It's a Self imposed delusion.

Think about it, when you wake up in the morning (without an alarm of course) is there someone involved in waking?
Next time try observing this...
But the sky has no awareness of the clouds. I have awareness of thoughts.
The clouds don't attach themselves to the sky they just come and go...
A particularly frustrating loop brought me here!
Please elaborate on this...
Since everything in this awareness is relative to me (body, mind, etc.), then how is this awareness not self? What makes them different? What separates them?
Like I said above, there is consciousness and then there is the dysfunction or misdirection of thought, called " I, me or self." Again, when these thoughts are traced back, they simply refer to nothing.
Awareness is there, but it's as unfindable as self.
Well there, you answered this question....Just awareness, No-Self required...it's just that simple.

NO seeer, just seeing

Try this with all your senses, does it require a "YOU" to do these? Or does it just happen??
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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dementeddigital
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Re: No self help

Postby dementeddigital » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:50 pm

Hello Dan...
...
This is the first part of the definition...Yet later It also mentions an observer. The problem with this, is there is NO observer only the observed....It boils down to who's perspective are we talking about.
Exactly! This is where it's breaking down for me. I am aware of everything from the perspective of my own mind and body. Therefore, it's MY awareness (and therefore, SELF). Surely it's MY awareness, otherwise someone else could look through my eyes, have my experiences, etc.
There is no thinker, just thought....So what you're wrestling with here, is there someone else in your head that is responsible for creating thoughts and assuming identity or ownership?
If I have the ability to direct thoughts ("OK, mind, let's work on this problem..."), then how is there not a thinker?
Think about it, when you wake up in the morning (without an alarm of course) is there someone involved in waking?
Next time try observing this...
If it's my body waking up, then isn't it my awareness that's experiencing it and therefore involved? How can I know that awareness is just passively looking and not somehow also directing?
Please elaborate on this...
It was a two week long exchange with a girl, leading up to a date. We had incredible chemistry. When we finally met for the date, I just had a panic attack, and blew it. Part of the issue was not being fully present before and during (and after) the date. Part of it was certainly self-cherishing.

I had meditated on no-self previously and thought that I had a good understanding (conceptually) of it. I'm doubting what I've learned so far, because I can't see how awareness and self are separate. Just because they are both unfindable, doesn't mean that they don't exist, does it? My meditation instructors would always say, "what is YOUR experience?" Honestly, my experience is that my awareness sees things from the perspective of my body and mind (which I have experienced as separate from my awareness). If this awareness is relative to me, how is that not my "self?"
Awareness is there, but it's as unfindable as self.
Well there, you answered this question....Just awareness, No-Self required...it's just that simple.
No label called self required, I agree. Yet all experience is still from my perspective, and therefore could be labeled "self," right? (again with the tail chasing...)
Try this with all your senses, does it require a "YOU" to do these? Or does it just happen??
It requires a "ME" to experience them. I've had the experience in meditation where self seems to just not be there, and meditating is just happening. But I can't say that there was no self. In an airplane I have no sensation of speed, and yet it's still moving at 500 MPH. Just because I have no sensation of speed, doesn't mean there isn't any.

Thanks for your patience with this...

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Delma
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Re: No self help

Postby Delma » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:13 pm

Hey dementeddigital,

Valarie here jumping in on this thread. :)

I've read through, and this stood out:

"My problem with the concept is that I (or rather, "I") still am a person who is sitting at a computer, who likes Indian food, who is sore from working out, who drives a bit too fast, who likes to have dates, etc. :-) I still have a "first person" perspective walking around, watching TV, etc. "


Point directly to the referent for the I that is sitting at the computer. Tell me where it is.

Thanks!
There is no "I" doing this inquiry. There is no "I" looking for the "I".

Delma
tabulrasablog.com
seeingnoself.com

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dementeddigital
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Re: No self help

Postby dementeddigital » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:46 pm

Hey dementeddigital,

Valarie here jumping in on this thread. :)
...
Point directly to the referent for the I that is sitting at the computer. Tell me where it is.

Thanks!
Hi Valarie. Thanks for jumping in. I'm Dan.

It's not possible to point at a referent. It's unfindable. So is awareness, yet that arguably exists. How is it that the unfindable self doesn't really exist, yet the unfindable awareness does? How are they different? With the awareness being from my perspective, isn't that self?

This is why I posted in the three-on-one forum. ;-) I'm hoping that someone will say something that will "click." Or three of you will have a boot party on me... <ouch!>

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Re: No self help

Postby Delma » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:49 pm

Hey there Dan. Good to meet you!

Can you point to awareness as a referent? Or does awareness simply exist?
There is no "I" doing this inquiry. There is no "I" looking for the "I".

Delma
tabulrasablog.com
seeingnoself.com

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dementeddigital
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Re: No self help

Postby dementeddigital » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:50 pm

Ah! I was reading the Ruthless Truth blog to try to crack this, and I think that I see it. Ciaran says at one point (and this was the key for me), "Nothing can exist that is not contained within the present." Agreed! He also goes on to say, "There's no you. You are literally the imagination of yourself." I see that "self" is outside of the present, and therefore, non-existent. Awareness is totally within the present. That is the key difference between awareness and self.

So, if I understand this correctly, awareness is. Mind is a construct. Self is a construct. The thing that bothers me is, WHAT made these constructs? Where did the creator of these constructs come from? Is that the self? (How deep can we go?)

I've listened to the audio book The Power of Now a few times, and I thought that I understood being present. Now I think that I only partially understood it. It's very related to awareness and no-self.

But WHAT created these constructs?


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