Looking for guidance please

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ervinos
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Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:03 pm

Hi, I've been reading Gateless Gatecrashers & I'd like to go through a similar process & to see what's real & what isn't for myself. I'd say I've a few blind spots left in my understanding - like it's clear there is no one doing seeing or hearing, but there is still a feeling of someone (a me) doing stuff like thinking & acting (if that makes sense). Thanks for any help in advance, Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:11 am

Dear Ervinos,
I will be happy to be your guide.

Here are a few ground rules,
1. You agree to post at least once a day, even if only to say, "still here!"
I am not your teacher, all I can do is point, you look, until clear seeing happens.
2. In general, I will ask questions, you look deeply and honestly, and respond.
3. Responses require simple, uncontrived honest looking. There are no wrong or right answers.
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers, and stream of consciousness answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
6. Please learn to use the quote function; instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660”

If you haven't already seen it, there is intro info here, our disclaimer and a short video too.
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

This is an utterly intimate honest deep looking. Keep the focus on yourself. Keep it simple.

If you could confirm you have seen all the above and would like me to be your guide - then we shall begin.

What are your expectations for this process?
How will it change you?
How will this feel?
You can press 'subscribe to this topic in the blue bar at the bottom of this page and receive an email every time I post here. Some report its easier to write their response somewhere else and then copy it to avoid time running out on the forum.

Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:15 pm

Hi Nettie, thank you for your reply. The ground rules you set out all seem reasonable & I'll abide by them.

re your questions;
What are your expectations for this process?
Clarity of understanding about what is real or not real about me / my experience. An end to some of the dissonace in the mind over who is doing stuff like talking, walking, thinking, etc. On the one hand there is a clear seeing that no one sees or hears, but there is still a sense of the personal in thinking and acting (i.e. it feels like 'I act, 'I think'). That can create some confusion and dissonace in the mind.

How will it change you?
There will be less of a sense of experiences being personal - so less angst and sense of feeling responsible.

How will this feel?
Hopefully more light & free! The sense of personal responsibility that comes with believing in a 'me' who thinks and acts sometimes feels heavy. Also, there can be fear associated with that sense of 'me-ness'.

thanks for your time on this,

Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:37 pm

Dear Ian,
Now scrap all expectations and everything you've heard or read about this as it is beyond imagination.

When you use the word 'I' what does it point to? Does it have color or shape ....qualities and characteristics? Anything unchanging? Can you bring it to me and put it on a shelf?

Now simply notice the nature of thought. Not its content... Just notice without trying to figure it out.
Can you remember all the thoughts you had yesterday?
Can you predict which thoughts you will have tomorrow?
If you were the thinker of thoughts you would probably have only the thoughts you wanted....like nice fluffy thoughts...
Are you the thinker?

Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:58 pm

Hi Nettie, thanks for your quick reply. Okay, here are some answers;
When you use the word 'I' what does it point to? Does it have color or shape ....qualities and characteristics? Anything unchanging? Can you bring it to me and put it on a shelf?
The word 'I' doesn't point to anything tangible - no 'thing' at all really. I suppose it's an idea or an assumption without any basis. There is a sense that something is here, but I couldn't say it had any form or substance, colour or shape. So 'I' points to nothing at all then? That seems to be difficult for my mind - accepting that nothingness. It's not something that can be grasped or latched on to or made a story about - it's just absence / nothing. 'I' is not & never has been - that probably needs to sink in at some level.
Now simply notice the nature of thought. Not its content... Just notice without trying to figure it out.
Can you remember all the thoughts you had yesterday?
Can you predict which thoughts you will have tomorrow? If you were the thinker of thoughts you would probably have only the thoughts you wanted....like nice fluffy thoughts...
Are you the thinker?
That's interesting - thought is sort of hard to pin down when you try to look at what it is. It's like words or just noise but not really anything I could describe clearly. Can't remember many thoughts from yesterday, no! Couldn't predict any of tomorrow's either. Am I the thinker? If I look, there is no entity supplying the thoughts. There is no Ian thing / entity that precedes thoughts or makes them up or even listens to them. They just come & go in their own way (but with patterns based on habits too I guess).

That's as far as I've got with the looking. Thanks Nettie, Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:50 pm

Dear Ian,

"The word 'I' doesn't point to anything tangible - no 'thing' at all really. I suppose it's an idea or an assumption without any basis. There is a sense that something is here, but I couldn't say it had any form or substance, colour or shape. So 'I' points to nothing at all then? That seems to be difficult for my mind - accepting that nothingness. It's not something that can be grasped or latched on to or made a story about - it's just absence / nothing. 'I' is not & never has been - that probably needs to sink in at some level."

If it is. It there when looked for it is probably not there when not looked for. Look again.

"That's interesting - thought is sort of hard to pin down when you try to look at what it is. It's like words or just noise but not really anything I could describe clearly. Can't remember many thoughts from yesterday, no! Couldn't predict any of tomorrow's either. Am I the thinker? If I look, there is no entity supplying the thoughts. There is no Ian thing / entity that precedes thoughts or makes them up or even listens to them. They just come & go in their own way (but with patterns based on habits too I guess)."

Yes.
Can you say when one thought ends and another begins?
Can you isolate or catch a thought?
Can you change it when it appears?
Does it take any effort to have thoughts occur?


Love,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:05 pm

Hi Nettie,

Just lost a longer reply to your questions as the browser crashed. Oh well - probably for the best. It will teach me to use the save button more often.
Can you say when one thought ends and another begins?
Can you isolate or catch a thought?
Can you change it when it appears?
Does it take any effort to have thoughts occur?
When looked at thought is pretty weird - nebulous & insubstantial. Sort of fluid & comes in & out of focus. Some thoughts seem to become clearer & get written down (though maybe that's not how it works really). Thoughts can't be changed once they appear, no. & it certainly doesn't take any effort to have thoughts occur! Absolutely not - they buzz around constantly.
If it is not there when looked for it is probably not there when not looked for. Look again.
(I've changed the quote as I think there was a typo). It's a great quote & it made me laugh for some reason (there is something a little bit funny about looking for something that isn't there).

Thanks Nettie, Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:41 am

Hi Ian,
yes there is no better or worse.

"When looked at thought is pretty weird - nebulous & insubstantial. Sort of fluid & comes in & out of focus. Some thoughts seem to become clearer & get written down (though maybe that's not how it works really). Thoughts can't be changed once they appear, no. & it certainly doesn't take any effort to have thoughts occur! Absolutely not - they buzz around constantly. "
Yes.
There is an unstoppable stream of what the objectifying mind labels perceptions. And further labels thoughts emotions sights sounds...

So thought word seems to split up´this unitary flow into separate bits
Like when I say flower it seems to point to a separte thing called a flower.

And instantly there is the flower and everything that is not the flower....including a separate you.

does the word flower really convey the experience of the flower? If i say its yellow...there are infinite shades of color and light and shadows playing and the wind blows your cheek and there is the grass and your breath.....
Words are paltry poiinters
In fact all there is is a seamless flow of indivisible perceptions that the objectifying mind labels....yet never do words capture or contain it.

"If it is not there when looked for it is probably not there when not looked for. Look again.
(I've changed the quote as I think there was a typo). It's a great quote & it made me laugh for some reason (there is something a little bit funny about looking for something that isn't there). "

Yes. is there a separate you who can step outside of this seamless timeless all-encompassing unitary flow and stop it or change it or control it in any way?
Or is it that Life simply spontaneously naturally effortlessly happens all by itself.
Is there a thinker?
A controller?
A chooser?
A do-er?
If you were the conductor of your life it would probably have worked out better by now. Yes?

Much love,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:20 pm

Hi Nettie,

Thanks again for your reply & engagement with this. I'll try to answer honestly your questions;
is there a separate you who can step outside of this seamless timeless all-encompassing unitary flow and stop it or change it or control it in any way? Or is it that Life simply spontaneously naturally effortlessly happens all by itself.
There doesn't appear to be (as in a seperate self doesn't appear when looked for). There is just experiencing (which is always changing & flowing) but no experiencer except as a thought / concept. There is sometimes a subtle sense of being 'outside' or detached from everything - not as a separate self, just as part of experience. Not sure how to make sense of that.

Is there a thinker?
This is the crux of it I think. There are thoughts, & these can be a big part of experience, but when looked for there is no entity /thing / Ian that is the source of those thoughts. Ian / me / I can be the subject of thoughts (as in 'I really wished I hadn't done that' etc), but that self is not there when thoughts are looked at in direct experience.
A controller?
No seperate entity = no controller.
A chooser?
No chooser, no.
A do-er?
On the drive to work today I was looking to see if there was a driver (that sounds unsafe somehow) but there wasn't anyone there driving. And at this moment - writing but no author.
If you were the conductor of your life it would probably have worked out better by now. Yes?
That made me smile again - & there was an immediate thought 'my life's not too bad thank you!' That's habit I guess - for there to be a sense of ownership of 'my life' and to get defensive about how I've lived my life, who I am, whether I've lived a 'successful' life or not. But there wasn't much emotion behind the reaction - they were just thoughts passing through in (or as) experience.

Experience feels very unencumbered by personal reactions at the moment, & that feels very nice & free, but there will still be times of sadness, death, illness, loss at different points I guess - they won't go away. My understanding would be now that feelings such as grief, sadness, anger, loss, etc would still happen, but they'd be no 'owner' of them. Would that mean they would be of a different quality somehow than when there was a belief in there being somebody there who had those feelings? Or are those feelings the same with nobody home to own them?

Thanks Nettie, Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:37 pm

Hello Ian,

"There doesn't appear to be (as in a seperate self doesn't appear when looked for). There is just experiencing (which is always changing & flowing) but no experiencer except as a thought / concept. There is sometimes a subtle sense of being 'outside' or detached from everything - not as a separate self, just as part of experience. Not sure how to make sense of that."

Notice that all feelings arise naturally un-worded...and the objectifying mind labels them.
Have you ever experienced awareness without a perception?
Or a perception without awareness?
Or are they, rather, merely two aspects of the same thing?
Like wetness and water...
Or heat and fire?


"This is the crux of it I think. There are thoughts, & these can be a big part of experience, but when looked for there is no entity /thing / Ian that is the source of those thoughts. Ian / me / I can be the subject of thoughts (as in 'I really wished I hadn't done that' etc), but that self is not there when thoughts are looked at in direct experience."
Yes!
"No separate entity = no controller. "
Yes!
"No chooser, no."
Yes!

"On the drive to work today I was looking to see if there was a driver (that sounds unsafe somehow) but there wasn't anyone there driving. And at this moment - writing but no author."
Yes!

"That made me smile again - & there was an immediate thought 'my life's not too bad thank you!' That's habit I guess - for there to be a sense of ownership of 'my life' and to get defensive about how I've lived my life, who I am, whether I've lived a 'successful' life or not. But there wasn't much emotion behind the reaction - they were just thoughts passing through in (or as) experience."
Yes.

"Experience feels very unencumbered by personal reactions at the moment, & that feels very nice & free, but there will still be times of sadness, death, illness, loss at different points I guess - they won't go away. My understanding would be now that feelings such as grief, sadness, anger, loss, etc would still happen, but they'd be no 'owner' of them. Would that mean they would be of a different quality somehow than when there was a belief in there being somebody there who had those feelings? Or are those feelings the same with nobody home to own them?"
When the illusion of a separate self is seen as simply an illusion the story of you doesn't go away... It is seen through as it is happening.
The way we perceive the world changes ....and this is the first step.

Was there ever a separate self?
How do you suppose the story of a separate self begins?

Love,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:01 pm

Hi Nettie,

Thanks for your reply - that's helpful about 'When the illusion of a separate self is seen as simply an illusion the story of you doesn't go away... It is seen through as it is happening.'
Notice that all feelings arise naturally un-worded...and the objectifying mind labels them.
Have you ever experienced awareness without a perception?
Or a perception without awareness?
Or are they, rather, merely two aspects of the same thing?
Like wetness and water...
Or heat and fire?
Have I ever experienced awareness without a perception? Or a perception without awareness?
At the moment these (awareness, perceptions) seem to be part of, or make up, 'experience' (a unique experience maybe, but not a personal one - just 'experience' as an all-encompassing thing, like 'life'). There can't be perception without awareness - they are inseperable. Experience = awareness + perceptions I suppose (& doesn't involve a separate self at all - although the idea of a self / individual do-er can be part of experience).
Was there ever a separate self?
Only as an idea, not as an entity or a 'thing' that exists or existed.
How do you suppose the story of a separate self begins?
We get immersed in stories of seperate selves from the moment we begin to learn language I guess. The story of there being individual selves is absolutely everywhere, always, so it would be hard (probably impossible) not to have that as part of life. It's maybe only when the self is directly & specifically looked for (the entity who is doing the driving, the talking, walking, thinking, etc) that a different reality presents itself.

Thanks Nettie, Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:05 pm

Howdy Ian,

"Have I ever experienced awareness without a perception? Or a perception without awareness?
At the moment these (awareness, perceptions) seem to be part of, or make up, 'experience' (a unique experience maybe, but not a personal one - just 'experience' as an all-encompassing thing, like 'life'). There can't be perception without awareness - they are inseperable. Experience = awareness + perceptions I suppose (& doesn't involve a separate self at all - although the idea of a self / individual do-er can be part of experience). "
Beautiful.

Was there ever a separate self?


"Only as an idea, not as an entity or a 'thing' that exists or existed. "
Yes!

"We get immersed in stories of seperate selves from the moment we begin to learn language I guess. The story of there being individual selves is absolutely everywhere, always, so it would be hard (probably impossible) not to have that as part of life. It's maybe only when the self is directly & specifically looked for (the entity who is doing the driving, the talking, walking, thinking, etc) that a different reality presents itself."
Beautiful!
So if you have seen through the illusion of separation would you like to answer the final questions?
You're most welcome!
Love,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:37 pm

Hi Nettie, it's been really really good so far so fire away! Thanks, Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:25 pm

Hi Ian,

Here are the final questions:

1)Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2)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.

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

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

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

6)Anything to add?

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:25 pm

Hi Nettie, the questions do very good work I think so I won't rush the answers (if for no other reason than the enquiry is so revealing & strangely enjoyable!). I'll take my time, do some more looking & get back to you when it's done. Thanks for your time on this again, Ian :-)


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