Looking for guidance please

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:49 pm

Hi.
No rush!
And ask if you are unsure.
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:22 am

Hi Nettie,

Thank you. Here are some answers to the final questions;
1)Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No. There is no separate entity / Ian thing that has shape or form that thinks, or talks or writes etc. Nothing has disappeared (no entity that was there before but isn't now) so it never was. The idea of an 'I' with substance was just that - an idea or assumption. Looking for an I that has shape or form or substance brings it home clearly that it doesn't exist.
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.
It is an assumption - basically a thought that has never been questioned. There are experiences (perceptions, sensations, thoughts) in awareness and the mind labels these. So there is thinking & there is an associated thought that says 'I am thinking'. Same with all activities - there is driving & there is an assumption 'I am driving'. The key thing I've found is to look for the 'I' that is doing these things in each situation - so during walking to check if there is an entity doing walking or whether walking is just happening. It turns out that there is no such entity doing the walking! & when this is seen it is quite clear. The mind loves spinning stories though & it is in the habit of telling stories centred on the 'I' & what's happening in my life & what might happen, etc. But looking for that 'I' brings home that it's just a mythical thing - the non-existent subject of an up and down story. If it is believed the self is real then it seems to need constant minding, propping up, protecting, enhancing, developing and so on. If it's not there (& actually looking for it has made the difference here) then it doesn't need anything! Which is a bit of a relief really.
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.
It's not earth-shattering or anything really - everyday life goes on but there is a feeling of freedom that goes with the 'looking & not finding a self' thing. Yesterday there was a wonderful feeling of peace all day but feelings come & go & today it's back to work & all that goes with that but that's okay.
4)What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
That's the absolute key - actually looking. My experience for a while had been of there being 'seeing' but no 'see-er' (visually that is) & hearing but no hearer but for some reason there was still an assumption that there was a thinker behind thinking, a walker behind walking, an author behind writing & so on. Actually looking for that entity in the present (i.e. when walking, thinking, writing was going on) reveals the absence of that entity / do-er & that makes it all so much simpler.
Someone telling me to ACTUALLY look (rather than try to think about the self in an intellectual or abstract way) made a big difference. There is no substitution for actually doing the looking.
5)Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.
What has stuck with me is there is just experience (& experience = awareness + perceptions + sensations + thoughts passing through). Within experience there can be a story about a 'controller', intentions, an entity who chooses & tries to control experience, but such an entity can't be found when looked for. There are just thoughts, perceptions, sensations inseparable from awareness. So there is just experience really with no separate experiencer.
6)Anything to add?
There has been a shift. Things feel fresh & new somehow. There will probably be a need to keep checking or looking to find a separate self / Ian entity at different times if the mind continues to tell the story of an entity that acts, chooses, experiences etc. Perhaps it is like walking out of the cinema after being immersed in a film for a few hours - emotions generated by the film linger, & the characters still seem to have some reality but you know it was just a film really & that these things will fade.
I've really loved focusing on your questions and I'm very grateful that you took the time to engage with all this. Thank you! Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:00 pm

Hi Ian,
Could you please give examples for question five?
Thanks,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:30 pm

Hi Nettie,
Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.
okay, some examples from today re intending, controlling, choosing, deciding;

Sleep - no intending or deciding about that really.
Waking up - no one does that, it just happens.
Thinking about the day - lots of that, but just thoughts passing through & no thinker. Some sense that these thoughts could be focused on or not but that doesn't mean there is a chooser or controller present.
Decisions; to get up, make breakfast, talk to family; go to work - lots of decisions made, lots of intentions, lots of 'internal' questions about who decides, intends etc, but no decider, thinker, do-er or chooser is found on looking. Stuff happening, no one doing it (no separate entity doing it anyway). That there is 'no one home' is clear enough here, but when looking at others it seems less clear - others still appear pretty solid & self-deciding & choosing. It's harder to see that there is 'no one home' with others as it's not a direct expereince of 'non-entityness'.
Now - writing, room is warm, feeling of being nicely full after lunch, gulls calling loudly outside, waiting for text from colleague, background concerns / slight angst re amount of work to do, thoughts passing through, etc, etc, etc - no evidence of anyone doing any of that stuff! Life flowing.

So; decisions made, no decider; intentions appear or don't; thoughts about who or what does this or that can also appear; feelings come and then go again; focus & attention changes often - none of these require a self. The belief in a self, when present, feels like it acts mostly as resistance to experience / life flowing - like driving with the brakes on (that might be from the Gateless gatecrasher book - can't remember, but that feels true at the moment).

Thanks,

Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:50 pm

Dear Ian,
So thought is composed of learned shared words....and it seems to divide the timeless flow into 'bits' that includes a separate you. And this all happens effortlessly....and is there a you who can step outside of this all-encompassing un-compounded unicity to change or re-arrange or add to or subtract any other part less part?

It would be like the sky itself trying to cut out a piece of the sky and put it someplace else.
So does life simply spontaneously naturally effortlessly happen all by itself?

Notice that all indivisible perceptions...thoughts sights sounds etc. spontaneously arise and are naturally labeled without a you doing a thing. Totally effortlessly. Believing the label or not also happens utterly effortlessly. Without a you having to do anything.
The story of you continues.... Yet it is seen as a story.
Do words actually divide this seamless timeless unitary flow?
Can you tell where one perception ends and another begins?
Can you put a knife blade inbetween two perceptions?
Can you put two isolated perceptions side by side and compare them?
If there is really no isolating or comparing them than how could there actually be a better or worse?
And if there is no isolating separate events, how could there be cause and effect?

And if there is no chooser or decider...life simply happening...
That would include all of it. There would be no-one who could stand outside of the seamless timeless flow of perception we call life?
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:00 pm

Hi Nettie,
So thought is composed of learned shared words....and it seems to divide the timeless flow into 'bits' that includes a separate you. And this all happens effortlessly....and is there a you who can step outside of this all-encompassing un-compounded unicity to change or re-arrange or add to or subtract any other part less part?
No, no 'me' who can actually break up, divide, change or be outside of what is. There is not an I either inside or outside - only the thought of an I that acts and changes and observes things from outside.
So does life simply spontaneously naturally effortlessly happen all by itself?
Apparently so!
Can you put a knife blade inbetween two perceptions?
Can you put two isolated perceptions side by side and compare them?
If there is really no isolating or comparing them than how could there actually be a better or worse?
And if there is no isolating separate events, how could there be cause and effect?
Not considered this before, but perceptions don't seem to have any distinct boundaries to them. There is also a sense that they aren't actually things with substance - that when sought there isn't much to them at all.
And if there is no chooser or decider...life simply happening...
That would include all of it. There would be no-one who could stand outside of the seamless timeless flow of perception we call life?
There is a little bit of resistance to knowing there is only 'what is' ('life simply happening') & that there are no grounds for the distinctions self / other, me / you, etc. Feels like there is a subtle fear of being totally immersed in something & thus lost for good! But as there is nothing there to be lost or immersed, just 'what is' then that can only be a fear generated or imagined by the mind. Never been aware of it before though. Hey ho!

Thanks Nettie, Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:15 pm

Howdy Ian,

"No, no 'me' who can actually break up, divide, change or be outside of what is. There is not an I either inside or outside - only the thought of an I that acts and changes and observes things from outside."

Yes!

"So does life simply spontaneously naturally effortlessly happen all by itself?
Apparently so!"
'Apparently?

"Not considered this before, but perceptions don't seem to have any distinct boundaries to them. There is also a sense that they aren't actually things with substance - that when sought there isn't much to them at all."
Yes...

"There is a little bit of resistance to knowing there is only 'what is' ('life simply happening') & that there are no grounds for the distinctions self / other, me / you, etc. Feels like there is a subtle fear of being totally immersed in something & thus lost for good! But as there is nothing there to be lost or immersed, just 'what is' then that can only be a fear generated or imagined by the mind. Never been aware of it before though. Hey ho!"

Simply life happening.. Wordless surges the mind labels 'fear'.
What would be lost for good?
If there never has been separation...

So look again.. Is there a do-er?
A thinker?
A chooser?
Anything stable or solid or fixed?

Love,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:37 pm

Hi Nettie,
What would be lost for good?
A subtle sense of control in life - but only a sense, no real control would be lost.
So look again.. Is there a do-er?
A thinker?
A chooser?
Anything stable or solid or fixed?
There is no me (other than as a thought) or entity that does or chooses, and there is no thinker of thoughts. But stuff is done, choices are made, thoughts are thought…

There is no one to be in control, and no one to be out of control or not in control. The body will keep doing what it has to do to get along, the mind will keep telling stories, but the body is not an 'I', & thoughts are just thoughts, and stories just stories. There is no me or I or entity.

Thee is an ongoing experience of nothingness / emptiness which is very lovely, but no experience of connection with everything, or thoughts 'I am everything'. I have had those experiences before (& have no pining for such experiences now) but am curious as to whether liberation would usually include that sense of being all that there is?

Thanks Nettie, Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:25 pm

Hello Ian,


"A subtle sense of control in life - but only a sense, no real control would be lost. "

Yes!


"There is no me (other than as a thought) or entity that does or chooses, and there is no thinker of thoughts. But stuff is done, choices are made, thoughts are thought…"

Yes!

"There is no one to be in control, and no one to be out of control or not in control. The body will keep doing what it has to do to get along, the mind will keep telling stories, but the body is not an 'I', & thoughts are just thoughts, and stories just stories. There is no me or I or entity. "

Yes! How lovely!

"Thee is an ongoing experience of nothingness / emptiness which is very lovely, but no experience of connection with everything, or thoughts 'I am everything'. I have had those experiences before (& have no pining for such experiences now) but am curious as to whether liberation would usually include that sense of being all that there is? "

For some that is a temporary feeling.
"I am all this". But for others there is a direct leap into emptiness.
Does it feel like you are still searching? Like something is missing?
Love,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:54 pm

Hi Nettie,
Does it feel like you are still searching? Like something is missing?
No, not that I'm aware of. Maybe there will be some searching type behaviour in the future but there doesn't seem to be much desire for any sort of search now, or any sense of incompleteness. What is is what is - not very profound but without a 'central character' then experience / life flows on complete in itself not needing anything (or anyone) to make it whole or complete (actually, quite the opposite - it needs an idea of an 'I' or self to make it seem incomplete or deficient or in need of changing).

Thanks Nettie,

Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:54 am

Hi Ian,
So describe in particular life right now without a controller.
Decider or thinker.
Love,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:36 pm

Hi Nettie,
So describe in particular life right now without a controller.
Decider or thinker.
There is seeing but no one doing the seeing, thinking but no thinker, hearing but no hearer, talking but no talker. So thoughts happening, music playing, sensations felt, decisions being made, words being typed - nothing special really, but all arising within an empty awareness rather than happening to an imagined individual.

Actually it's hard to describe! Where the imagined self was, or where the self was imagined to be (in the body? in the mind?) there is nothing, & it's hard to describe an absence.

Thanks Nettie,

Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:09 pm

Dear Ian,
Thank you for your beautiful answers..
We have just one more question....
His last comment is "Where the imagined self was, or where the self was imagined to be (in the body? in the mind?) there is nothing, & it's hard to describe an absence."
Would you ask him "does this also apply to 'other' selves? Or do 'others' have a self but you don't?

Where do you experience 'others'?

"That there is 'no one home' is clear enough here, but when looking at others it seems less clear - others still appear pretty solid & self-deciding & choosing. It's harder to see that there is 'no one home' with others as it's not a direct expereince of 'non-entityness'."

In direct experience do others have control?

Much love,
Nettie

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ervinos
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby ervinos » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:20 pm

Hi Nettie,
do 'others' have a self but you don't?
No!
Where do you experience 'others'?
The same place where thoughts, things, sensations, etc are experienced - within empty, impersonal awareness.
In direct experience do others have control?
In direct experience, no. The mind tells a story of separate others with separate selves but they are only stories.

It has really hit home this week that there is nowhere for a separate self to be. This is slightly awkwardly worded but for me what has seemed true is the phrase 'no interiority, no self'. It is seen really clearly that there is no inside or outside, there is no interior space where a self lives or operates from. There is no internal 'mind space' - that is an illusion - there is only a limitless aware space without any separation. There is nowhere for a 'me' to be, & without a 'me' then everything is open & free & 'one' - not in a big mystical way, but just there with a sense of natural wholeness. The questions asked here have stripped away a few misconceptions & it has been great really. Very effective! Thank you :-) Ian

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Nettie
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Re: Looking for guidance please

Postby Nettie » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:15 pm

Dear Ian,
It has been confirmed that you have seen through the illusion of separation.
It has been a beautiful treasure to be with you during your deep looking.
Our dance is finished here but there are many FB groups that can be very supportive if you wish to join them.
Please PM me with your FB name so we can add you and send you more information.
Much love,
Nettie


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