I'm Looking for a Guide

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
Ewoud
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Ewoud » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:24 pm

It is an expectation; no, the content isn't true.

It's an odd thought, really; its not like other feelings where if I feel "anxious" there are real physical changes in heart rate/sweatiness/shaking that the label points to; dissatisfaction has no reality outside of a concept in thought and language. All it tells me is that reality did not line up with my expectations.

In that sense it isn't "true" or "false", its just a necessary consequence of me putting expectations on reality.
I can expect that when I throw up a coin that it will come down. If it doesn't and my expectations weren't met, I don't get upset about it. How is it that other expectations are attached to feelings?

What is the role of the "I" in it. And what is true or illusionary about it?

Is it a necessary consequence that those feelings come up?

User avatar
Ewoud
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Ewoud » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:27 pm

sorry, first part is misquoted.

User avatar
Hurt
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:23 am

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Hurt » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:23 am

I can expect that when I throw up a coin that it will come down. If it doesn't and my expectations weren't met, I don't get upset about it. How is it that other

expectations are attached to feelings?

What is the role of the "I" in it. And what is true or illusionary about it?

Is it a necessary consequence that those feelings come up?
There are thoughts about the way things "should be"; these seem to be very tied in with the 'I'. Dissapointment only arises when life does something to upset the apparent reality of "me", or conflicts with the image it presents as. Your coin example made me slap my forehead a bit; I see now that it is certainly not a necessary consequence that these feelings arise. If reality isn't being pushed away then there isn't any friction between 'how life is' and 'how life should be' to create these negative emotions.

User avatar
Hurt
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:23 am

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Hurt » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:31 am

If reality isn't being pushed away then there isn't any friction between 'how life is' and 'how life should be' to create these negative emotions.
Bah, even that doesn't seem quite right now that I read it again. I think the important part is what you suggested and then I re-stated about those emotionally charged expectations being the ones that tie into an image of myself. If a series of coin flips lands heads up 50 times in a row, it's interesting and unexpected but certainly not generative of disappointment, disillusionment, ennui, or any of those other complicated self-reinforcing emotions that plague so many of us. When the "I" is presented with a reality that makes it question an image of itself that has been long-held, it can react violently; I have personally experienced this. This may sound like I am ascribing intent and agency to something that ultimately doesn't even exist beyond a word and a constantly changing concept, but it does seem to me to work how I described. I suspect that something similar can take place when the reality of "I" is called into question altogether, though I have not personally experienced that; instead it feels like a huge relief.

User avatar
Ewoud
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Ewoud » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:35 pm

So is there an ilussion? If so, what is it?

Are there any doubts?

User avatar
Hurt
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:23 am

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Hurt » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:51 pm

So is there an ilussion? If so, what is it?
There's nothing here to have a false belief in, and there wasn't a month ago or a year ago either. There is and was a story of an I, and from one perspective you could say there was belief in that story, but "I believe so-and-so" is just another part of that story. If I had to describe the illusion, I'd say it's that there is someone to be fooled by the illusion. Once that belief drops away, it's like there's nothing for the illusion to hold onto. A story about a story(the "I") being fooled by a story; how trippy is that?
Are there any doubts?
No, no doubts.

User avatar
Ewoud
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Ewoud » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:08 pm

What's it like to see this?

Now, that the illusion is seen through, what is left? What are the experiences in daily life?

User avatar
Hurt
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:23 am

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Hurt » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:32 am

What's it like to see this?

Now, that the illusion is seen through, what is left? What are the experiences in daily life?
Not that different, really. Some things are looked at a bit differently, like decisions happening instead of being made. I feel closer to the world, like it's no longer Me in this bag of skin and Everything Else outside that skin. "I" thoughts are still there, but they're just words and images in the mind; so why were they believed then and not now? I honestly could not tell you. Maybe there isn't an easy explanation that the mind can ascertain and then translate into words.

I almost wanted to say that "paradoxically enough, *experience* feels more intimate while *experiencing* feels less intimate." I quickly realized that this is because experiencing is experience; there is really no difference in saying that there is a sound or that there is hearing of a sound. My mistake before was believing that there was a Hearer independent of the hearing that existed before and after the sound. Experience feels less personal because there is no person to experience, but more intimate because I am as close to experience as can be. To say "I am experience" feels like a more accurate (if pompous-sounding) statement than "I experience".

User avatar
Ewoud
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Ewoud » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:02 pm

I've got 4 more questions for you. answer as deeply as you can. Avoid short, 1 sentence answers if possible. really feel free to rant away.

1) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

2) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

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

4) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

User avatar
Hurt
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:23 am

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Hurt » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:25 am

I've got 4 more questions for you. answer as deeply as you can. Avoid short, 1 sentence answers if possible. really feel free to rant away.

1) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
My memories of early childhood aren't very good, but it starts somewhere during that time. That isn't to say that its a switch that got flipped at age 7 and stayed on; belief in identity waxes and wanes, and sometimes ceases completely; dreamless sleep being an obvious example of the latter. Somehow the mind is gradually taught that the best way to operate in the world is to think and behave as if it exists cut off from the rest of reality, except for those times in which it chooses to exert influence upon the environment. This concept can be useful as a matter of social convention (imagine trying to talk to someone without "I" or "You"), but when taken as real it causes all kinds of problems.

Much of the illusion of self is based around brute repition of thoughts, like "I decided to do that" or "I am thinking my thoughts". When examined these thoughts can be revealed to be nonsensical, but we hear them in our head thousands of times a day and eventually the 'evidence' of millions of I memories comes to outweigh a present observation, if there even is one being performed.
2) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Yesterday I looked at my hand and for the first time thought of it as myself; not "my hand", but my self. Before I would consider My Hand as an extension of My Arm, which is in turn an instrument of My Nervous System; this series of interacting objects going back to some undefineable point somewhere behind the eyes which I call "me". I feel this same closeness with other (non-bodily) things, but interestingly enough not to the same degree. This doesn't feel like a problem, but a result of this particular slice of experience being mediated by a body-mind that carries with it an innate sense of self (self in the spatial, bodily sense of the word).

Today I attempted to engage in my personal problems as a Someone with a personal investment, but I couldn't do it. It felt like trying to swim down to the bottom of a pool but being forced up by the water pressure before you can touch the bottom. The problems themselves don't seem any more trivial than they did a week ago, but considering them fails to produce the same mental anxiety and looping thoughts that "I" try and fail to make go away with other thoughts (haha).
3) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I find it funny that I ended up not needing *more* information, but less information. There wasn't some moment of finality where I really dug down deep and strained and tried my hardest to look and see what was what; instead I relaxed and stopped stirring up all the shit inside that was blocking the view. Afterwards it feels that even if the sky gets cloudy again, I'm always aware what is just behind the clouds. What was necessary for me was to be completely exhausted by the active portion of this investigation so that only the passive looking remained. That way I could stop trying to pick individual bits of detritus out of the water of the mind when really I was just muddying it up all the more with my flailing.
4) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.
No, not actually. There may appear thoughts such as "I intended this" and "I chose that" coinciding with an action, but the thought did not cause the action. This body makes events happen in the sense that is an integral part of the continuous process of the environment, but it is equally as vital to that process as any other part. It would be no more or less accurate to say that life makes me happen as it is to say I make life happen. Both are half-truths borne out of the fact that everything that is going on is really one event.Right now I am opening and closing my right hand; I have no idea how I am doing it and could not describe so to you, but it functions perfectly well anyway. Immediately after that I start opening and closing my left hand before there is even awareness that I am doing so. A thought along the lines of "I am opening and closing my hand" never appears.

It is continually interesting to me that in this sort of investigation: the less we understand something, the more control it can seem we have over it. That sounds sort of counter-intuitive, but if all the machinery (so to speak) behind an event that I am involved in is revealed, it is very clear that there is no room for an independent agent.

User avatar
Ewoud
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Ewoud » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:45 am

Yesterday I looked at my hand and for the first time thought of it as myself; not "my hand", but my self.
Maybe it is just words, but what do you mean by this sentence?

Is self = body?
Is it your body? How is ownership seen in direct experience?

User avatar
Hurt
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:23 am

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Hurt » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:46 am

Maybe it is just words, but what do you mean by this sentence?

Is self = body?
Is it your body? How is ownership seen in direct experience?
There is no self, but there is a body. This body is an instrument through which experience happens and although there is no independent agent occupying it, there are decreasing degrees of influence the further physically removed an object is from it. There are rocks on planets millions of light-years away that I will never see or touch, or someone that I met briefly on a trip, or the hand connected to this body; each feels more intimate than the last. This sounds a bit rambling, but what I'm trying to get at is that this body and mind are an aperture of experience that are, in certain ways, cut off from other beings.

Yes, this body is part of the flow of existence and ultimately inseparable from it, but it does not have direct access to other people's memories/experiences/thoughts. My hand feels more like "mine" because it's been there all my life, and is used constantly as a way for this body to interact with the environment. All these thoughts about intimacy/closeness/distance arise wholly out of and refer back only to the mind-body complex, and seem to me to be true when looked at from the perspective I outlined. If reality is an ocean, than people are the whirlpools and eddys that temporarily form; inseparable from the ocean and as much a part of it as any other bit, but recognizable as a distinct structure with certain pecularities.

If you think that this may be me trying to retain some sense of "Self" in a subtle, watered-down form then I am very open for you to continue pushing me on this.

User avatar
Ewoud
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Ewoud » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:37 pm

other people's memories/experiences/thoughts
.
Are your memories yours? Do you own memories/ experiences/ thoughts? What is there in direct experience? How is this for others?

My hand feels more like "mine" because it's been there all my life, and is used constantly as a way for this body to interact with the environment. All these thoughts about intimacy/closeness/distance arise wholly out of and refer back only to the mind-body complex, and seem to me to be true when looked at from the perspective I outlined.
Do you have a direct experience of the hand being yours?

Is a cup on the table your cup, or a cup?

User avatar
Hurt
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:23 am

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Hurt » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:28 am

Are your memories yours? Do you own memories/ experiences/ thoughts? What is there in direct experience? How is this for others?
Memories certainly seem to be "mine" in the sense that this particular body is the only one with direct access to them. There's no one experiencing them, but there is a little cluster of experience, memories, thought, and sensation localized here that we call a Person; these things interact with eachother much more than they interact with that collection of things making up a different person. It is definitely not true that there is any central core actor or observer that these processes all feed back into or are directed from; feeling/thought/action are all continuous with eachother and with the environment outside the body/mind, and not separate from it. It doesn't seem to create problems when this feeling of "ownership" is seen only as conventional, and not ultimately true; that we can talk about "my memories and "my feelings" while understanding that there is no continual, unchanging thing that all this stuff we lay claim to as "ours" is organized around. That is part speculation, though. In a safe investigation like this I can easily state "these thoughts pose no threat anymore, I've seen through the illusion". That is all well and good to say, but I don't want to be caught up in the story of Self and Ego again once life throws a few obstacles my way.
Do you have a direct experience of the hand being yours?

Is a cup on the table your cup, or a cup?
No, I do not have direct experience of the hand being "mine". That was partly a bad choice of words, I fumble a bit when discussing these things. It feels like love, almost. Like I look at a rock or a cup and see that it's basically the same as me, or really is me. That sounds very spiritually high-flung, but it feels like the most normal and natural thing in the world when it happens.

It is "my" cup only in a conventional and social sense; I may say it is My Cup to indicate that I have used it in the past, will use it in the future, or am in the process of using it, but there is no reality to the concept of ownership besides an object's momentary interaction with another object (in the cup's case, the body that is picking it up). To think that something can be "mine" in any greater sense than that seems, to me, deluded. So again, just a story with a certain amount of truth to it when understood from a certain perspective.

User avatar
Ewoud
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Re: I'm Looking for a Guide

Postby Ewoud » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:30 pm

Thanks Bruce, I like your description. I've got two more questions for you.

Is the body the perceiver, or is the body perceived?

In direct experience is there a sense of inside/outside?


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests