There's a Ghost in this Machine...

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Atillia
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There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby Atillia » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:09 am

Ah, Hello Whoever is out There,

A friend (and he is a Real Friend) referred me to this website, which I find more amazing than anything I ever expected to see in this lifetime. It's utterly strange to find myself typing this note, but, it is happening.

A brief history of time spent; have worked with one Teacher for many years, can't say much more than that. Don't know much, actually don't know anything for sure at this point. Self -- No-self, Witnessing Awareness, Abiding Awareness, Now, That, and so on ad infinitum. You name it it's all the same, yes?

No thoughts including the "I" thought, have any relevance, though I witness feelings of sadness, fear, happiness, expectation, regret, (sometimes) remorse, and a lot of wide open space. Looking for the Eterna Endless Joy of Youth that existed prior to conceptual thinking, and nothing more.

If anyone is free and available to poke around in this mentality, "I" would be grateful to a degree that is inexpressible in words, but certainly heartfelt.

Thank you.

Attilia

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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby neeeel » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:21 pm

hey Atillia

Looking for the Eternal Endless Joy of Youth that existed prior to conceptual thinking, and nothing more.
Funny, me too. still havent found it yet though. Do you think this is a realistic expectation ? How about listing all your expectations and thoughts about what this process will do, and what it will bring

Also, what comes up for you when I say "theres no you , anywhere. None whatsoever."

(You have posted this in the three - on - one forum, which means that multiple guides will be guiding you. Is this ok?)

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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby Atillia » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:30 pm

Hi Neeel,

Thank you for responding to my post. I will be back in about two hours, with detailed reponses to your questions. Just wanted to acknowledge receipt of your post. And, yes, I'm not sure why I posted in 3-1, but at the time it seemed the thing to do.

AT

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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby Atillia » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:05 am

Hello, Neeel,

Trying to list my “expectations” about what this process will do, well, that’s difficult as I’m not sure what to expect. I’m a few years past 60, and have been around esoteric work for almost forty years. I’m familiar with all the terms, a lot of teachers and systems, and have had some interesting adventures along the way, that shook me to the core and turned the world inside out. I had a Teacher for three decades who advised students to look under every rock, remain celibate, work with others, (sangha) dedicate your self to Truth, and, hope for a “happy accident”.

Truth is, I don’t expect much of anything, don’t even know why I’m here, except that it fascinates me that so many people are ‘popping through’ the illusion, in such short time-frames, that I just had to show up and jump in. Why not? I’ve tried everything else over the years, and I figure this is a “new technology” fostered by the instant communication capacity of the internet.

Bottom line is I hope to be released from the tyranny of self, or ‘self-centeredness’, which I believe will result in a direct experience of life, without editing or interference from the so-called rational mind, or thought. Not sure what that would be like, except that maybe when I’m driving down the road, and see a forest, the seeing might not include “there’s a maple, there’s a beech, wow! Look at that walnut tree! “ and so on and so forth. A type of being-in-the-world without preconceptions, pre-conceptual thought type living. Course I hope I remember how to tie my shoes, too.

I also hope to meet other people who are doing this work, who know what it’s about, and see the importance of it, and how people working together is the most awesome beautiful aspect of the entire endeavor. Even though it’s an “individual” effort, having guides to point the way is the best and highest thing anyone can do for another I think. Honestly, if I were ever to develop a capacity to help someone over the hump, it’d be the finest thing I can even imagine.

Ah, when you say “there is no you (me)” the first thought that comes up is “now he tells me! Where were you when I was a kid, suffering??” Course all the water gone under the bridge, the years of self-loathing, disgust, fear, isolation, arrogance, and hope, all seem like last night’s dream, really. The fellow I thought I was is gone, and what’s left is uh, ah, a shadow of that former self…a ghost in the Machine. He shows up once in a while, periodically, but “I” know he’s only a memory, an imposter, a caricature of a boy who wanted to be a man. Who wanted and needed love, understanding, and encouragement.
You know, all the standard stuff in storybooks.

Another thought arising is “how will life be, what would life be, with no ‘me’?” I know, or suspect, one hell of a good time, “in the moment” conscious contact via the five senses, body, and mind. What a trip. No responsibility, no ownership, no expectation or regret, only NOW HERE AT THIS MOMENT ETERNITY always was always IS, always will be, sort of thing. Course I am a bit melodramatic, always have been, but being free of attachment to any idea of “me” Michael, (Atillio was my father’s middle name, misspelled it as Atillia when I registered, couldn’t change…funny that). Anyway, I don’t want to run on too much, and hope you are able to make some sense out of what I’m saying

So to ‘sum up’, when you say “there’s no you, anywhere”, what enters my mental field of vision, are the words “Thank God!!” and…prove it show me I know I believe, yep makes damn good sense to me. Hah! The language traps us everytime, but we don’t live in language, we just live, or just ARE, yes?

ps: I think this Three-on-One is best, if there's others who have the time and inclination. Course it might just be that arrogant pseudo-self saying "look how damn important, smart, loveable, awesome, pitiful etc. etc. etc. this character is!!" Sheeesh. now you see what I want to be free of...

best regards,

Michael

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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby neeeel » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:18 pm

Bottom line is I hope to be released from the tyranny of self, or ‘self-centeredness’, which I believe will result in a direct experience of life, without editing or interference from the so-called rational mind, or thought. Not sure what that would be like, except that maybe when I’m driving down the road, and see a forest, the seeing might not include “there’s a maple, there’s a beech, wow! Look at that walnut tree! “ and so on and so forth. A type of being-in-the-world without preconceptions, pre-conceptual thought type living. Course I hope I remember how to tie my shoes, too.
This may happen, or it may not. We are not looking for specific spiritual experiences. We are simply looking at a belief, the belief in a separate self, and seeing that its false. So, you may still be under the tyranny of self, and be self centered, and yet see that there is no actual self doing any of it.





I also hope to meet other people who are doing this work, who know what it’s about, and see the importance of it, and how people working together is the most awesome beautiful aspect of the entire endeavor. Even though it’s an “individual” effort, having guides to point the way is the best and highest thing anyone can do for another I think. Honestly, if I were ever to develop a capacity to help someone over the hump, it’d be the finest thing I can even imagine.
You will be welcome to become a guide, and there are lots of facebook groups where you can deepen the seeing and discuss various aspects.

Another thought arising is “how will life be, what would life be, with no ‘me’?” I know, or suspect, one hell of a good time, “in the moment” conscious contact via the five senses, body, and mind. What a trip. No responsibility, no ownership, no expectation or regret, only NOW HERE AT THIS MOMENT ETERNITY always was always IS, always will be, sort of thing. Course I am a bit melodramatic, always have been, but being free of attachment to any idea of “me” Michael, (Atillio was my father’s middle name, misspelled it as Atillia when I registered, couldn’t change…funny that). Anyway, I don’t want to run on too much, and hope you are able to make some sense out of what I’m saying
Well, if theres no me, theres never been a "me",and life already is what it is with no "me". That is, your previous life up to now also has contained no "me", was it "one hell of a good time"?
Ah, when you say “there is no you (me)” the first thought that comes up is “now he tells me! Where were you when I was a kid, suffering??” Course all the water gone under the bridge, the years of self-loathing, disgust, fear, isolation, arrogance, and hope, all seem like last night’s dream, really. The fellow I thought I was is gone, and what’s left is uh, ah, a shadow of that former self…a ghost in the Machine. He shows up once in a while, periodically, but “I” know he’s only a memory, an imposter, a caricature of a boy who wanted to be a man. Who wanted and needed love, understanding, and encouragement.
You know, all the standard stuff in storybooks.
So what is the self to you , now? What does it mean, what does it do? Who or what is Michael? Is Michael the liver of life? Is he the entity inside the body, the owner of the body? Is he the one who thinks thoughts, who makes decisions?

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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby Atillia » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:58 am

Neeeel,

Thanks for taking the time. I'm not actually sure how a person could still be under the tyranny of self, be self-centered, and still see that there is no self doing it. For a moment there a glimpse of what you're saying crossed the field of vision, now it's gone. If one sees that there's no self doing anything, how is it (still) possible that that false self could still hold sway in the organism? Would it be out of habit only, or would it be just an illusion of tryanny, and who or what sees there's no self? It's confusing as hell, really. There's just "seeing", I've heard this a thousand time; no "one" is seeing, there's no ownership of the seeing, there's no seer, yet seeing happens. What am I missing here? Seeing happens, the seeing of a tyrannical false self inhabiting the organism; that which is seen is not the seer. Therefore, the false self is not "me". It all makes perfect sense, but the seeing part is elusive and not evident, or else unavailable.

Has life been one hell of a good time? Well, truthfully, nope. There've been moments of complete abandon to 'what is', and those were pure timeless ecstacy. Yet the majority of years were fraught with fear, guilt, misery, "self" pity, striving, regret, and other negative emotions and states of mind, alot probably caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, but primarily the basic belief that "I" was a bad person permeated everything, and that if "I" tried hard enough, someday the magic formula for social acceptance, success, happiness, and normality would become evident. So far no dice on that one. The only thing that has brought any relief at all has been a rather spontaneous forgetting of all the above; a leaving behind of all that baggage, without analysis or much thought. It's just too heavy to carry any further at this stage of the game. It's hard to factor in the possible effect of (not) having realized that there's no me, never has been a me, and never will be a me, period. Who does the factoring? Can't be me, or is it the same "x" that sees all this? Apparently the fact that seeing exists still implies in this mind that someone or something is seeing. Awareness is aware might sum it up.

So what is the self to you , now? What does it mean, what does it do? Who or what is Michael? Is Michael the liver of life? Is he the entity inside the body, the owner of the body? Is he the one who thinks thoughts, who makes decisions?
Bottom line is I hope to be released from the tyranny of self, or ‘self-centeredness’, which I believe will result in a direct experience of life, without editing or interference from the so-called rational mind, or thought. Not sure what that would be like, except that maybe when I’m driving down the road, and see a forest, the seeing might not include “there’s a maple, there’s a beech, wow! Look at that walnut tree! “ and so on and so forth. A type of being-in-the-world without preconceptions, pre-conceptual thought type living. Course I hope I remember how to tie my shoes, too.
This may happen, or it may not. We are not looking for specific spiritual experiences. We are simply looking at a belief, the belief in a separate self, and seeing that its false. So, you may still be under the tyranny of self, and be self centered, and yet see that there is no actual self doing any of it.





I also hope to meet other people who are doing this work, who know what it’s about, and see the importance of it, and how people working together is the most awesome beautiful aspect of the entire endeavor. Even though it’s an “individual” effort, having guides to point the way is the best and highest thing anyone can do for another I think. Honestly, if I were ever to develop a capacity to help someone over the hump, it’d be the finest thing I can even imagine.
You will be welcome to become a guide, and there are lots of facebook groups where you can deepen the seeing and discuss various aspects.

Another thought arising is “how will life be, what would life be, with no ‘me’?” I know, or suspect, one hell of a good time, “in the moment” conscious contact via the five senses, body, and mind. What a trip. No responsibility, no ownership, no expectation or regret, only NOW HERE AT THIS MOMENT ETERNITY always was always IS, always will be, sort of thing. Course I am a bit melodramatic, always have been, but being free of attachment to any idea of “me” Michael, (Atillio was my father’s middle name, misspelled it as Atillia when I registered, couldn’t change…funny that). Anyway, I don’t want to run on too much, and hope you are able to make some sense out of what I’m saying
Well, if theres no me, theres never been a "me",and life already is what it is with no "me". That is, your previous life up to now also has contained no "me", was it "one hell of a good time"?
Ah, when you say “there is no you (me)” the first thought that comes up is “now he tells me! Where were you when I was a kid, suffering??” Course all the water gone under the bridge, the years of self-loathing, disgust, fear, isolation, arrogance, and hope, all seem like last night’s dream, really. The fellow I thought I was is gone, and what’s left is uh, ah, a shadow of that former self…a ghost in the Machine. He shows up once in a while, periodically, but “I” know he’s only a memory, an imposter, a caricature of a boy who wanted to be a man. Who wanted and needed love, understanding, and encouragement.
You know, all the standard stuff in storybooks.
You ask "So what is the self to you , now? What does it mean, what does it do? Who or what is Michael? Is Michael the liver of life? Is he the entity inside the body, the owner of the body? Is he the one who thinks thoughts, who makes decisions?"

The so-called self, what is it to me, now? Not a damn thing, a memory at best, a little shadow hiding in the corner that still occasionally cries out when some perceived slight occurs, or some opportunity for agrandizement appears, but generally no action is taken due to lack of interest and/or energy. This 'self' does nothing, is nothing, yet what remains are thought patterns and (emotional) reaction patterns that can and sometimes do get activated by various experiences. Example, sombody cuts in front of the car in traffic, and a reaction pattern of mild anger, frustraton, disbelief, etc. arises; curse words are uttered with vehemence. And then its gone, until the next time.

There was a time when hearing the name "Michael" meant a tremendous lot; as it was never spoken when I was a child. Not until the age of 57 or 58 did anybody use my full name, and a lot of grief ensued when requests were made to friends to use the full name. Much trauma and stress was the result, and today it all seems so meaningless. Yet I still go by the name Michael, not Mike or Mikey, or Mich, but it doesn't have the emotional charge that it did a few years back.

Directly in response to your questions, the character Michael, is at best, only an observer of this body, this life and experience, the thoughts and feelings that occur, and the decisions that are made. All those things just seem to happen, and Michael has no great say or part in the activity. He's along for the ride. It is very strange indeed after a lifetime of ownership, doership, and living life. The character Michael isn't needed anymore than a fish needs a bicycle, and that's a major change from the fellow whose greatest desire was to be needed! It's somewhat embarrassing to recall all the hell he put people through for all those years, looking for acknowledgement, love, acceptance, meaning, and purpose. It seems none of those things are important, though they still seem to exist somehow in the grand scheme of life as possible experiences or events.

What is happening right here right now is a bit of a mystery still...

MC

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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby Atillia » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:41 pm

Is everything okay?

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neeeel
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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby neeeel » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:49 pm

sorry, I am usually on the one on one board, forgot I had a thread going here, will do a reply now

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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby neeeel » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:22 pm

I'm not actually sure how a person could still be under the tyranny of self, be self-centered, and still see that there is no self doing it. For a moment there a glimpse of what you're saying crossed the field of vision, now it's gone. If one sees that there's no self doing anything, how is it (still) possible that that false self could still hold sway in the organism? Would it be out of habit only
Yes, habit, conditioning, programming, whatever .






Has life been one hell of a good time? Well, truthfully, nope.


I just brought this up because you appeared to expect that suddenly a life with "no me" would be all sweetness and light, and I wanted to point out that your life up to now also had "no me" and wasnt all sweetness and light. It was, to me, an unrealistic expectation of what this process may bring.

Nothing is removed, no "me" is got rid of. Rather, the belief in a separate me, that controls everything in life, is seen through.

There've been moments of complete abandon to 'what is', and those were pure timeless ecstacy. Yet the majority of years were fraught with fear, guilt, misery, "self" pity, striving, regret, and other negative emotions and states of mind, alot probably caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, but primarily the basic belief that "I" was a bad person permeated everything, and that if "I" tried hard enough, someday the magic formula for social acceptance, success, happiness, and normality would become evident. So far no dice on that one. The only thing that has brought any relief at all has been a rather spontaneous forgetting of all the above; a leaving behind of all that baggage, without analysis or much thought. It's just too heavy to carry any further at this stage of the game.
Who or what is the "I" that is a bad person? Can you find it? Where is it? There may be lots of thoughts about michael, is there a michael in reality?



It's hard to factor in the possible effect of (not) having realized that there's no me, never has been a me, and never will be a me, period. Who does the factoring? Can't be me, or is it the same "x" that sees all this? Apparently the fact that seeing exists still implies in this mind that someone or something is seeing. Awareness is aware might sum it up.
Awareness is a useful word to use, yes. So are you awareness? Is awareness an entity, the doer, thinker and decision maker? Is awareness the "something that is seeing"?



The so-called self, what is it to me, now? Not a damn thing, a memory at best, a little shadow hiding in the corner that still occasionally cries out when some perceived slight occurs, or some opportunity for agrandizement appears, but generally no action is taken due to lack of interest and/or energy. This 'self' does nothing, is nothing, yet what remains are thought patterns and (emotional) reaction patterns that can and sometimes do get activated by various experiences. Example, sombody cuts in front of the car in traffic, and a reaction pattern of mild anger, frustraton, disbelief, etc. arises; curse words are uttered with vehemence. And then its gone, until the next time.
Do you do the anger? Is there an active entity being angry? Or is anger just there, in response to stimuli, following age old patterns,habits and beliefs?
There was a time when hearing the name "Michael" meant a tremendous lot; as it was never spoken when I was a child. Not until the age of 57 or 58 did anybody use my full name, and a lot of grief ensued when requests were made to friends to use the full name. Much trauma and stress was the result, and today it all seems so meaningless. Yet I still go by the name Michael, not Mike or Mikey, or Mich, but it doesn't have the emotional charge that it did a few years back.


So you notice the investment other people have in keeping their definition of "you"? Their story of you? Are their stories the same as your stories? How can it be that people can have such different stories about the same person? Whos got the correct one?

Are Michael, Mike, or Mich anything more than labels? Is there anything real behind any of them? there may be stories attached to the labels, are these stories real?

How do these stories come about? For example, the story "I am a bad person". ( Im not asking you to write out how you came to think you were bad person, just to explore what makes up the story)


Directly in response to your questions, the character Michael, is at best, only an observer of this body, this life and experience, the thoughts and feelings that occur, and the decisions that are made. All those things just seem to happen, and Michael has no great say or part in the activity. He's along for the ride. It is very strange indeed after a lifetime of ownership, doership, and living life. The character Michael isn't needed anymore than a fish needs a bicycle, and that's a major change from the fellow whose greatest desire was to be needed! It's somewhat embarrassing to recall all the hell he put people through for all those years, looking for acknowledgement, love, acceptance, meaning, and purpose. It seems none of those things are important, though they still seem to exist somehow in the grand scheme of life as possible experiences or events.
Is the character Michael real? Can you find Michael anywhere outside of thoughts about Michael?

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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby Atillia » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:20 pm

Thanks, Neeel. You ask very good questions.

I'm not actually sure how a person could still be under the tyranny of self, be self-centered, and still see that there is no self doing it. For a moment there a glimpse of what you're saying crossed the field of vision, now it's gone. If one sees that there's no self doing anything, how is it (still) possible that that false self could still hold sway in the organism? Would it be out of habit only

Yes, habit, conditioning, programming, whatever .

Has life been one hell of a good time? Well, truthfully, nope.

I just brought this up because you appeared to expect that suddenly a life with "no me" would be all sweetness and light, and I wanted to point out that your life up to now also had "no me" and wasnt all sweetness and light. It was, to me, an unrealistic expectation of what this process may bringYes I admit perhaps there was some of that lurking in there, but realistically it’s another false belief. There’s so much subtlety here, or it seems there is. But on the other hand, it’s simple: No separate self exists! Halleluhiah!

Nothing is removed, no "me" is got rid of. Rather, the belief in a separate me, that controls everything in life, is seen through..


This is so eloquently said it’s impossible to misunderstand or misconstrue the meaning. It brings freedom. Only the (false) belief in a controlling, powerful, separate, important, wise, etc. etc. “ME” disappears. How absurd, in retrospect, to succumb to such a thing.

There've been moments of complete abandon to 'what is', and those were pure timeless ecstacy. Yet the majority of years were fraught with fear, guilt, misery, "self" pity, striving, regret, and other negative emotions and states of mind, alot probably caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, but primarily the basic belief that "I" was a bad person permeated everything, and that if "I" tried hard enough, someday the magic formula for social acceptance, success, happiness, and normality would become evident. So far no dice on that one. The only thing that has brought any relief at all has been a rather spontaneous forgetting of all the above; a leaving behind of all that baggage, without analysis or much thought. It's just too heavy to carry any further at this stage of the game.


Who or what is the "I" that is a bad person? Can you find it? Where is it? There may be lots of thoughts about michael, is there a michael in reality?

Damn good questions. That character was somebody who came along somewhere in childhood. “You are Michael” was hammered home, literally, and a bad, unwanted, clumsy, weird, odd, stubborn, (etc. etc). Michael at that. But in reality, from this point of view, it or he was just a collection of ideas, thoughts, memories and statements about a body that looks like the fellow in the mirror that was born in an Italian family, second son of six children. .

It's hard to factor in the possible effect of (not) having realized that there's no me, never has been a me, and never will be a me, period. Who does the factoring? Can't be me, or is it the same "x" that sees all this? Apparently the fact that seeing exists still implies in this mind that someone or something is seeing. Awareness is aware might sum it up.

Awareness is a useful word to use, yes. So are you awareness? Is awareness an entity, the doer, thinker and decision maker? Is awareness the "something that is seeing"?

Yes, absolutely, I AM AWARENESS. No doubt about it, timeless eternal impersonal all pervading AWARENESS. How could it be otherwise? Awareness of doing, thinking deciding and everything else that happens, and also of nothing. There is no ‘thing’ that is aware, there is only awareness being aware as awareness, always and everywhere, undivided unmitigated and pure.

The so-called self, what is it to me, now? Not a damn thing, a memory at best, a little shadow hiding in the corner that still occasionally cries out when some perceived slight occurs, or some opportunity for agrandizement appears, but generally no action is taken due to lack of interest and/or energy. This 'self' does nothing, is nothing, yet what remains are thought patterns and (emotional) reaction patterns that can and sometimes do get activated by various experiences. Example, sombody cuts in front of the car in traffic, and a reaction pattern of mild anger, frustraton, disbelief, etc. arises; curse words are uttered with vehemence. And then its gone, until the next time.

Do you do the anger? Is there an active entity being angry? Or is anger just there, in response to stimuli, following age old patterns,habits and beliefs?

Nope, the anger arises and falls, just like any other thought or feeling. There is awareness of the anger, and of its rising and falling. There is no “I” or active entity “being” or “getting” angry, there is only anger as a reaction to various stimuli in the environment. It’s like the wind and rain, in a way, just there, then gone from whence it came.

There was a time when hearing the name "Michael" meant a tremendous lot; as it was never spoken when I was a child. Not until the age of 57 or 58 did anybody use my full name, and a lot of grief ensued when requests were made to friends to use the full name. Much trauma and stress was the result, and today it all seems so meaningless. Yet I still go by the name Michael, not Mike or Mikey, or Mich, but it doesn't have the emotional charge that it did a few years back.

So you notice the investment other people have in keeping their definition of "you"? Their story of you? Are their stories the same as your stories? How can it be that people can have such different stories about the same person? Whos got the correct one?

Are Michael, Mike, or Mich anything more than labels? Is there anything real behind any of them? there may be stories attached to the labels, are these stories real?

How do these stories come about? For example, the story "I am a bad person". ( Im not asking you to write out how you came to think you were bad person, just to explore what makes up the story)
Ah, yes this is a tough pill to swallow so to speak. The blasted ever-present stories about that poor fellow! Excuse me while I puke. Different stories for different people about the same person come from different perspectives, different “I’s” that people engender. There may or may not be a ‘correct story, or, every story is correct, or, none of them are. Actually, every story is the same in that it’s a bunch of thoughts about a fictional character, kind of like a play’s scripted dialog and plot.


All those names are labels for something believed to exist separately from the One unity of life, like different labels for a drop of water in the ocean, or a leaf on a tree. The stories are only real in that they were told, may have been verbalized, witnessed, thought, or remembered, but beyond that they have the same essence as a dream or fantasy.
What makes up the story? People make up the story, or rather the mind makes up stories to ‘fit’ experience or to fit what is happening in the field of vision and awareness. The mind creates Duality by concepts of good and bad. The mind also creates Time through memory and by constructing stories.
The stories vary with time, place, culture, environment, but they are what gives rise to Time, in that they are sequential in nature, which action itself divides up the Unity of Life into linearity and the Ten Thousand Things. The mind weaves the fabric of life.


Directly in response to your questions, the character Michael, is at best, only an observer of this body, this life and experience, the thoughts and feelings that occur, and the decisions that are made. All those things just seem to happen, and Michael has no great say or part in the activity. He's along for the ride. It is very strange indeed after a lifetime of ownership, doership, and living life. The character Michael isn't needed anymore than a fish needs a bicycle, and that's a major change from the fellow whose greatest desire was to be needed! It's somewhat embarrassing to recall all the hell he put people through for all those years, looking for acknowledgement, love, acceptance, meaning, and purpose. It seems none of those things are important, though they still seem to exist somehow in the grand scheme of life as possible experiences or events.

Is the character Michael real? Can you find Michael anywhere outside of thoughts about Michael?

The quintessential question, yes, this is it…and the answer quite simply and quite positively- NO. There is not a trace of a Michael, Mike, Mich, or Mikey outside or apart from thoughts (memories, hopes, dreams, fantasies, reflections etc.) ABOUT him. It is not about Michael in any way. There is nothing personal in life at all. It is all a Unity. Michael was a figment of the imagination of a mind stuck in self-centeredness. That mind dreamed a self, a funny little character, into existence, and mind can dream him out of existence, too. The implications are endless and profound.

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neeeel
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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby neeeel » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:19 pm

Damn good questions. That character was somebody who came along somewhere in childhood. “You are Michael” was hammered home, literally, and a bad, unwanted, clumsy, weird, odd, stubborn, (etc. etc). Michael at that. But in reality, from this point of view, it or he was just a collection of ideas, thoughts, memories and statements about a body that looks like the fellow in the mirror that was born in an Italian family, second son of six children
Yes, isnt it funny, if we are told a lie enough times, we come to believe its true, especially when we are young.

Really nice answers, and its seems you have seen through the illusion. I need to ask the classic 5 questions so that the other guides can see your answers. You have answered some of them fully in previous posts, so maybe dont need to go into so much detail, unless you want to , of course.

1) Is there a self , in any way, 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?


Just one little thing to clear up.
Yes, absolutely, I AM AWARENESS. No doubt about it, timeless eternal impersonal all pervading AWARENESS. How could it be otherwise? Awareness of doing, thinking deciding and everything else that happens, and also of nothing. There is no ‘thing’ that is aware, there is only awareness being aware as awareness, always and everywhere, undivided unmitigated and pure.
well, thats further than I would be prepared to state. But you say "I AM awareness". Are you clear that awareness isnt actually you, michael? It isnt personal, it isnt an entity, it doesnt do anything?

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Atillia
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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby Atillia » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:59 pm

Good morning, Neeel,

Going right to the point of you email...

"well, thats further than I would be prepared to state. But you say "I AM awareness". Are you clear that awareness isnt actually you, michael? It isnt personal, it isnt an entity, it doesnt do anything?"

Yes, it's very clear that nothing what-so-ever of "me" remains, nor ever existed at all. No one else ever existed or will exist, either. There is only clear perfect abiding Awareness, forever impersonal and pervasive, motionless, timeless, ineffable. All that remains, is ALL.

1) Is there a self , in any way, shape or form?

No self ever existed as anything other than an idea, fabricatiion, or belief.

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

The illusion of a separate self is created by the mind in response to sensory stimuli, natural programming, and social conditioning. The mind functions in a dualistic mode, which gives rise to time, space, and motion. It identifies with thoughts, especially those related to the specific body in which it seems to reside. This identification (grasping) is the root cause of all suffering, as it fosters the belief in an independently existing separate entity we call "self". The mind attaches personal meaning and ownership to all experience, promoting the "self" as the doer, seer, feeler, and so on. Thus all experience becomes "my" experience, which supports and extends the idea and belief in a separate self.

3) How does it feel to see this?

Many feelings may arise in response to this Seeing; among them surprise, joy, sadness, certainty, harmony, relief, mirth, and others. Much the same as Dorothy might have felt upon getting a peek behind the curtain at the Wizzard of Oz

4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.

This question is the most difficult of all questions. The best one can do for another is to point in a direction; and invite that person to entertain a new thought or idea. As far as description goes, how does one describe color to a blind person, or sound to a deaf person? One way would be to use some type of allegory or metaphor related to a specific situation that has immediate meaning to the person.

Of course it is imperative that the person has some sort of desire to know, to understand, to see, and a willingness to be open to what is most likely a completely foreign idea. They may be motivated by disatisfaction, fear, unhappiness, a sense of incompleteness, curiosity, intuition, or inspiration--it doesn't matter what, as long as there is a desire to know (or to See).

Another way is dialectic, the use of questions, as is done here on this website, that encourage the person to actually look at their beliefs, to see what's there, and to see if what they believe is supported by what they see when they look inside. This method exposes false beliefs and the result is a "backing into" the Truth of no-self, so to speak. The mind will answer a direct question if there is enough desire present. This is a direct and very elegant method.


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

What was it? Well, first came the realization that there's not much else to do that really matters, and the clock was ticking, relentlessly. Perhaps it was the weariness that comes from a lifetime of carrying the heavy cumbersome load of a false belief system, and the constant need to pamper that little "self" moment by moment! The 'so-called search for Truth culminated in an intense desire or need to dispense with all the trappings of "spirituality", and just go right to it. It was good fortune to discover this website.

The demand of each question coupled with a comittment to honesty provoked simple looking, and the conscious contact with the Guide--a living human being, necessesitated coherent verbal expressions of what was seen. That was most important and pivotal.

There's something magical in the living relationship of Guide & "Seeker" (if I may term it so), that includes the felt internal obligation to be impeccably honest with the person who is extending a hand to help. The whole process is simply amazing. It's right and beautiful...eternally so.


Thank you, Neeel, my friend, thank you very much. I hope to pay it forward soon.

Michael

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neeeel
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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby neeeel » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:36 pm

3) How does it feel to see this?

Many feelings may arise in response to this Seeing; among them surprise, joy, sadness, certainty, harmony, relief, mirth, and others. Much the same as Dorothy might have felt upon getting a peek behind the curtain at the Wizzard of Oz
Yes, but what is your actual experience of it. How is your day to day life now? Has there been any changes? How are things seen now, compared to before you "saw"?
How are things like conflict seen? How are your relationships with other people affected? And so on?

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Atillia
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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby Atillia » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:55 pm

Oh, I didn't realize you were asking for that type of detail. How have things changed? Hmmm. well first and foremost I'd say there's a definite absence of what was affectionately known as "undifferentiated anxiety", an almost constant state of tension and stress no matter what the situation. Life is noticeably lighter, meaning the neediness I felt around people, particularly close friends, has been replaced by a relaxed co-operation. And the feeling of constant impending doom has disappeared, replaced by...feelings of certainty, that "This" is okay, right, and all there is.

When I'm working (I do carpentry & woodworking), there's a greater flow of movement, and the need I used to feel for perfection is no longer a frantic necessity, but just an aspect of how this body approaches the craft. The quality and production are still there, but if something goes a little haywire (and it always does) it's okay. I adjust output expectations to reflect the true nature of the problem, meaning, it's not a watch, but a screen door I'm building. I no longer react to errors and oversights in the "my" work or method of work, is flawed, not the best, and so on" way that I used to. Now, it's just a piece of wood with a split in it, so get the putty and glue.

I've always been an introvert, but it bothered me that I wasn't able to be 'the life of the party', or even want to go to a party. The change is that it doesn't bother me to be that way, I'm much more relaxed around people, and don't feel the need to be the life of the party at all. I'm just there with other people, enjoying the social contact and the moment. This is quite different than my previous way of being in the world.

My earlier response did actually includ how I felt when the real nature of things became evident: I was surprised...at the ease of it, as I thought there'd be a total traumatic blast from "ego-death"; I was filled with joy...oh my god, what a relief, what a bright clear light Seeing is, is it not?? This joy is not a 'jumping up and down type joy', but just a steady state of pure satisfaction being in contact with whatever IS, right here right now. No worries; the mirth? hell it was funny, and I got a good laugh, the joke was on "me" all those years! Feelings of contentment, relief, and peace, if those are feelings, are constantly present, right here right now, even as these fingers are typing this response.

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neeeel
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Re: There's a Ghost in this Machine...

Postby neeeel » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:30 am

You wrote in answer to question 2 -
The illusion of a separate self is created by the mind in response to sensory stimuli, natural programming, and social conditioning. The mind functions in a dualistic mode, which gives rise to time, space, and motion. It identifies with thoughts, especially those related to the specific body in which it seems to reside. This identification (grasping) is the root cause of all suffering, as it fosters the belief in an independently existing separate entity we call "self". The mind attaches personal meaning and ownership to all experience, promoting the "self" as the doer, seer, feeler, and so on. Thus all experience becomes "my" experience, which supports and extends the idea and belief in a separate self.
Is it true that the mind creates this? Is it true that mind functions in a dualistic mode? How does the mind identify with thoughts? How do you know that what you wrote is true?


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