Am I there yet?

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EmptySet00
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Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:14 pm

Sometimes I feel like I see through the "I" illusion, but other times I don't. I'm also conscious of how much suffering it's bringing me, thoughts of whether I'm capable and accomplished, or lazy and haven't amounted to much. Whether I'm good at certain things or not. Life circumstances that I construe as acceptance or rejection of "me". Other times I just accept myself-as-I-am-at-that-moment without identifying with the thoughts, sensations, etc, and feel such relief. But I go back and forth between the two. Maybe I just need a final nudge?
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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Ilona
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby Ilona » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:52 pm

Hi emptyset,
Welcome to the forum.

What do you think should be different and what is not welcome?
What are you hoping for, expecting to change?

Give these questions some time and answer as fully and honestly as you can. Let's see what is in the way of clarity.

Kind regards.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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EmptySet00
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:51 pm

Ilona,

What isn't welcome is that I have feelings of inadequacy, which are tied in to thoughts that I haven't lived up to my potential, that my life hasn't turned out the way I thought it would have and should have. That I've done something wrong in the past or am doing something wrong now. There's some kind of barrier to accepting my life as it is. It feels like there's a residual, subconscious pull towards thoughts and feelings that depend on a solid, independent "me" to even make sense. Usually negative thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I "see through" those thoughts and feelings as phenomena that just come and go. But other times I get caught up in them, even after reminding myself that they have their roots in a fiction. I'm hoping for, want, more internal consistency and less suffering caused by thoughts that are based on a fiction. It's like not believing in Santa Claus, but at the same time being harshly critical of how Santa is doing his job. I'd like for that to stop.

Thank you for working with me on this.
ES
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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Ilona
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby Ilona » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:59 am

Thank you for honest answer. Yes, these thoughts about how something is wrong, how something should be different are in the way of peace. Let's look closer.

Let this thought in and write to me what comes up, what feelings, sensations, thoughts show up here :

There is no separate self, I, me at all in reality. None as in zero. No manager, no controller, no owner of thoughts or feelings, no agent, entity, that chooses what happens, manipulates life, no thinker or doer. All there is is life flowing freely as all this, as one movement, nothing is separate or not how it should be. Including all intense emotions, getting lost and coming out of story, including all.

What is the headrest to accept?

What would be lost, if life was accepted as it is.

Sending love.



Ps. During the course of our conversation, please write at least once a day and don't read any more books or watch videos about subject. Focus on your own experience and thinking and be completely open and honest. That's the key.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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EmptySet00
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:55 pm


There is no separate self, I, me at all in reality. None as in zero. No manager, no controller, no owner of thoughts or feelings, no agent, entity, that chooses what happens, manipulates life, no thinker or doer. All there is is life flowing freely as all this, as one movement, nothing is separate or not how it should be. Including all intense emotions, getting lost and coming out of story, including all.

What is the headrest to accept?

What would be lost, if life was accepted as it is.
What comes up?

I still haven't quite abandoned the "self" belief. There are thoughts, memories of what a relief it was those times I did see through the veil, or thought I had. Still some residual fears of life changing in unpredictable ways, although nothing like the sheer terror I remember experiencing when first really opening up to the "self" question. Thoughts that "maybe I'm deluding myself?" followed by the question, "Just who is deluding whom?"

I'm having a hard time with the notion that "all is as it should be". If feels simplistic. How can things be as they should be when they are sometimes so painful?

A couple of other objections that come to mind: If there's no "I", no controller, does that undermine any sense of moral standards? If "nobody" is responsible for my actions?

And how come I can't read your mind? There is a flow of subjective experience here, a stream of consciousness. But that stream of consciousness includes other people, who seem to have thoughts, feelings, and experiences radically different from my own. They seem to understand the world completely differently, strongly dislike things I like and vice versa. Sometimes we don't even speak the same language, and communication becomes difficult. These things seem difficult to reconcile with the notion that there's no "me" over here and "you" over there.

Thank you again for your guidance. I will post every day, but some days it might just be "still thinking about it".

ES
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby Ilona » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:33 pm

I'm having a hard time with the notion that "all is as it should be". If feels simplistic. How can things be as they should be when they are sometimes so painful?
If it's happening, then yes, this is exactly what should be happening. How to know? - it's already here.

Simplicity is like death sentence to the mind that is focused on creating multiple what if scenarios, solving never ending problems and trying to manage life. Yes, it's all very simple. Life is happening. By itself. To no one.

Have a look. Is life happening to a tree? Is a three form independent from life and exist on it's own regardless of conditions?
Is life happening to a human or as a human?

Is there a separate entity inside the body that is moving body like a puppet? Find it if it's there.
Is the voice in the head you? If so, can you stop talking and stay silent for half an hour?

Write when ready. :)
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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EmptySet00
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:26 pm

Yes, I can see how the mind operates "on its own". There's no way I could blank out all thoughts for half an hour. And I used to have some vague idea that there was some "mini- me" inside my head who was really "in charge", but I left that behind a while ago.

I've been thinking through the whole "as it should be" question. I can see how everything just is as it is, while how things "should be" is a set of ideas generated by the mind. I may have desires for things to be different than they are, but the idea that they "should be" different goes beyond that. That thought is my mind casting a judgement against reality, which of course isn't going to magically change because I have a judgmental thought. It's also often the mind casting a judgement against my (fictional) self.

Maybe what's remaining is some residual "passive" sense of self. If my thoughts aren't me, and my actions aren't operating under control of the internal "mini- me", there's still some sense of "me" as a being who reacts and emotes. Who enjoys, or suffers. Who others can pass judgement on, and who the thoughts can judge and beat up on.
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby Ilona » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:05 am

Focus on the sense of being, aliveness, presence. Is there A Being behind perceiving, to which experiences are happening, or being is more like wide open space, being (verb) as a background to all that appears and disappears? (Arises and passes away, thoughts, sensations, feelings, sense perceptions)

Is it a being that reacts or reactions happen by themselves?
What is that does being?
What does being do?

Is it being that judges?
Is it the sense of me that reacts?

Have a good look and write what you notice.

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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EmptySet00
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:47 pm

Ilona,

Since I last posted it's becoming clearer that there is no "I" the sufferer. Just suffering. I think I had an expectation that awakening would mean that there would be no more emotional suffering. I didn't expect physical pain to come to an end, so "I" doesn't get stuck as a label on physical pain, it's just "pain". I'm investigating, is it "I'm sad", or "sadness"? It's becoming clearer, but it will probably take some time to sink in.

I will also follow your suggestion to look at who/ what is doing the judgmental thinking and reacting to the judgmental thinking.

ES
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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EmptySet00
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:59 pm

Ilona,

Still working on it.

Some realizations: Sometimes there's a more contracted, inward- focused state that gets labeled "I", but it's not "I", it's just a lot more awareness of emotions and reflective thoughts than of sensations of the outside world. Even the distinction between "inside" and "outside" is a sort of "I", though. But that more contracted state isn't "I" any more than any other set of thoughts/ feelings/ sensations.
Getting tripped up by the story lines is happening less often. It still happens, but less frequently. It will take a while to evaluate how much this has really been left behind.
The question of subjectivity still bugs me. If there is no "I" and no "you", how come we often see things so differently?

ES
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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Ilona
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby Ilona » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:52 pm

If there is no I and no you, how come there is we?

Examine language and mind's labelling function. See how mind labels everything, look around the room slowly, notice how mind stick labels in objects, labels on feelings, sensations. See how where focus goes, labeling follows.

Here is an exercise for you, do it here or on paper. Write what is there, that label I points to. Is there a doer? Or it's just the way that language works.

http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/labels.html


Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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EmptySet00
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:44 pm

First, it sometimes gets awkward to communicate about this, because it's much more convenient to say "I" than "this body/ mind/ experience at this moment", but it's also less accurate. Especially when I want to discuss the "I" thoughts, those thoughts about "me" as a separate and fixed "self".

Yes, I definitely notice the difference between "I am sitting", "I am typing", and "sitting", "typing", etc. The "I" statements produce physical tension that isn't there in the "non- I" statements. The "non- I" statements are closer to the bare sensations and actions.

I've been noticing that the "I" thoughts occur more in some circumstances than others. More when I'm tense than when I'm relaxed. More in the city, less in nature. More when I'm around other people, less in solitude. There's the "non- I" state and the "I" state. I know that this switching is just one more example of how inconstant "I" am, but the "I" state can be a persistent illusion. Sometimes I feel "stuck" there and worry that I'll never have access to the freer "non- I" state again. All part of the story, just more thoughts and feelings, I know, but sometimes it feels like being in a hall of mirrors.
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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Ilona
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby Ilona » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:50 am

Good to notice, that descriptions with I create tension. And it's just descriptions, but they affect how you feel. So feelings get triggered in unpleasant situations, in the city, among people etc. is there I that comes and goes?

When you feel that I arrived, inspect what is actually going on- there is frustration, a tightening in the body, where is it? Is that frustration sensation I? Is it happening to an I? Is there I behind it receiving this sensation? What is behind raw sensation?

Do you imagine, that switching between I state and no I state should cease? In other words, do you hope that once you see what is going on, you will never be sucked into story again? See, this is part of life, part of flow of humanness. Nothing to get rid of. It's like you watching movie and it's so good, that suddenly all you see is the story and experience emotions with characters, then step back and know it's a movie, right? Same here. In and out, breath in breath out, contraction expansion, all is just happening. Nothing is in the way of what is happening, even if it appears so. Frustration arises- welcome it. Relaxation arises- welcome it. All that shows up, shows up because of conditions for that being ripe. Seeing no self does not mean that from now on you will feel only smooth happy dullness, it's an opening to freedom to experience all with supreme juicy intensity, without judging feelings as good or bad, wanted or not. All is allowed and all is included.

When you feel stuck, just stop for a second, find the sensations that are present and focus on them, what is it? What is behind? Look there.

Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com

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EmptySet00
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:00 pm

Ilona,

"I" is a thought, a thought that often accompanies uncomfortable sensations and emotions. But unpleasant emotions aren't "I" and can be experienced apart from the "I" thought. And yes, I'm starting to see how sometimes the story is seen through and then sometimes I'm drawn in again. That it's just another thing that "I" have no control over.

It seems that "I" is a confusion between two different things, "this-here-now" sensations/ feelings/ thoughts, and the story of "me" and the roles "I" play. "I" is a thought, an idea, a symbol. A thought can't think and a symbol can't act. But sometimes that gets forgotten.

"I"'m almost there. At least it seems so "here-now".

Will write more tomorrow when there's more time.

ES
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!

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EmptySet00
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Re: Am I there yet?

Postby EmptySet00 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:08 pm

Yes, when "I" is present, there's a lot of tension. At one point yesterday, "I" and the tension, and then the same tension with no "I". Like a suit of armor or something. "I" also seems to manifest as a resistance to negative emotions. "I feel anger" is less direct, less intense than "ANGER!". When any emotion is strong enough, it overwhelms "I". Maybe "I" is being attached to emotions before they get too strong, as a defense mechanism? "I" is also a way to insulate from how fast things change- thoughts, sensations, emotional states. At 10 AM life sucks, whatever I'm doing is pointless, etc. At 2 PM life is good, things are going well, I'm content and happy. But seemingly nothing much happened between 10 AM and 2 PM to cause such a change in mood and outlook. The idea of a fixed "I" provides a sense that these moods are happening "to" someone who really isn't changing that fast.

A fair number of my "I" thoughts are in the form "I should", followed by something that I think would be "good for me" but that I have a resistance to doing. "I should eat my vegetables". This makes "I" into the superego, the voice of morality. There is some fear that giving that up would mean that I'd be a lot more likely to do unwise or unethical things. That may be what's behind the moral responsibility question I raised before. These days there's even "I should give up the idea of 'I'!" The only possible response at that point is to laugh.

This is also related to the issue of expectations. That being "awake" should result in being a "better" and "happier" person. It can, but it also means more immediacy of negative emotion. And giving up a lifetime's worth of stories about how I "should" be. There is a sense of discomfort with this, almost an itchiness, like shedding a layer of skin. But also the sense that there would be relief in dropping some layers of armor.

Slowly coming towards more acceptance of the process, accepting even the desires for some things to go faster, or slower, or in a different direction.

ES
It's all fun and games until somebody loses an "I"!


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