I Need an Experienced Guide

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NoOneHome
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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:15 am

Hi Ilona,

Between the weather and my work schedule I won't be able to get into nature until Saturday. I will give you a report then.

Today things still seem to be happening pretty automatically. Much of the time it seems that there is no me here doing things. On the other hand, I still have been dealing with worries about various things that happened and whether I made mistakes in different situations. So things aren't totally clear yet. But I have been feeling pretty peaceful and detached for the most part.

Who is feeling peaceful and detached, you ask? I don't know. It is just a feeling that exists. Even when I was feeling worried, the worry was just there. I felt compelled to address it by talking to someone about what I had done and whether it was a mistake. I'm not sure if what that means, if anything, regarding my progress in recognizing the illusion of the self.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:49 pm

No worries when you get into nature, as long as you do. If you don't want to wait, just observe all through a window.. Nature is everywhere and everything.


Let's look at the thought that you made mistakes in the past.
Remember a life changing event. Could you have done anything differently? Could you have chosen not to do what was done? Can you ever choose something that does not feel like a right choice? In the situation given, was there another choice, really.

Were you ever a general manager of life? Is it up to you what happens? Is it up to you what is happening now?

Is there free will?

Have fun exploring.

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

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:33 pm

Hi Ilona,

I didn’t really mean to skip a few days of posting, but my mind was totally absorbed in a problem that required “my” full attention and I didn’t have any time to spend on this spiritual investigation.

To get into nature I took the dog on a walk in the rain. It wasn’t raining too hard but was a bit windy. There were a lot of worms on the pavement. I could hear the birds and we saw a dog and a rabbit.

I saw how the movement of everything was connected, but to be honest, the whole experience didn’t seem that effective this time (I also went out for a nature experience about a month ago). The body still seems like a boundary between me and “out there”.

I’ve been having trouble getting out of my mind. I keep feeling like I am the thinker of the thoughts. I see how I can’t control the thoughts, but they still feel like “my” thoughts.

I’m feeling very discouraged about this investigation right now. It just doesn’t seem like there is any end in sight. Sometimes it feels like I’m on the right track, but most of the time it seems like I’m going nowhere. I don’t have the energy to answer any more questions right now. I’ll try to post again tomorrow.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:19 am

Let's have a close look at the mind. What does this word point to? Can you define, in your own words, from your own experience what mind is? Is it your mind? What makes it so?

Don't worry, there is an end to it. It's a bit like a game of puzzle. Lots of tiny pieces that make no sense what you look at each of them, but when they fall into place, a picture starts taking shape, and once the last piece is in put down, the whole picture is seen. So it's here, beliefs drop, one by one, till all becomes clear. A small step is still step forwards. With every question answered and dropped, the process continues.

Have a look, can you stop this process at will? Or it's taking you for a ride?

I tell you what, there is nothing to get. That's the whole thing to get. There is this, what is happening now and this is IT. It's as if you are looking for home, trying to get there, but you are already at home, always, never left home.. So don't try to get somewhere, notice where you are. Here now. Always here now. All the images and stories about imagined past and future also is happening in the now. But all is just images, not actuality. To get out of head, focus in senses. What is being experienced? Right now? This is where home is found.

Sending a hug.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:49 am

Hi Ilona,

Thank you for your post. It was very encouraging. I meant to reply yesterday but my mind pulled me back down the rabbit hole that had consumed me for the last several days.
Let's have a close look at the mind. What does this word point to? Can you define, in your own words, from your own experience what mind is? Is it your mind? What makes it so?
The mind is the series of thoughts and the mental parts of emotions. It seems like it is my mind. What makes it mine is that no one else is aware of my thoughts. They follow me around.
Have a look, can you stop this process at will? Or it's taking you for a ride?
It is definitely taking me for a ride.
I tell you what, there is nothing to get. That's the whole thing to get. There is this, what is happening now and this is IT. It's as if you are looking for home, trying to get there, but you are already at home, always, never left home.. So don't try to get somewhere, notice where you are. Here now. Always here now. All the images and stories about imagined past and future also is happening in the now. But all is just images, not actuality. To get out of head, focus in senses. What is being experienced? Right now? This is where home is found.
I’ve tried to focus on senses (DE basically), but after a short period of time, my mind overwhelms me with a barrage of thoughts about how BORING it is to focus on senses. Then I can’t resist the pull of going back into daydreaming, planning, thinking about problems, etc. That is a big part of what happened the other day when I “got out into nature” with my dog in the rain. Constant mental work is all I do, except when I’m absorbed in a task or some type of entertainment. And entertainment is difficult for me to focus on for more than 10 minutes without my mind wanting to revisit decisions or plan for the future.
Sending a hug.
Thanks :)

I still owe you answers to earlier questions. I haven’t forgotten.

Oh, I wanted to mention that I was doing some intense investigation of what the "me" is and started homing in on the "self-awareness". There seems to be something that is aware of itself that could be making the decisions and what is affected by things happening to "me". I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but that is what I found.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:23 am

Great work!
What makes it mine is that no one else is aware of my thoughts. They follow me around.
Thoughts follow you around? Really? Or thoughts are telling a story about you?
Are you saying, that story about batman belongs to batman, as in he owns it?
Look at computer screen in front of you, is it a screen or my screen?

What do you actually own?
If thoughts says- this is mine- is it true?

Thoughts about imagined future are coming up, so what? Does that mean that they create future or just images about possible what if scenarios? Do thoughts make anything happen? Is so, precisely what?

Have a good look.

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

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:52 am

Hi Ilona,
Thoughts follow you around? Really?
They follow me around in the sense that they occur wherever I am. I never leave the thoughts behind when I leave the house, for example.

Or thoughts are telling a story about you?
They are definitely telling a story about me.

Are you saying, that story about batman belongs to batman, as in he owns it?
No, he is not real. But that is clear. Whether I am real or not is not clear yet.
Look at computer screen in front of you, is it a screen or my screen?
It is a screen. But social convention labels it “my screen”.
What do you actually own?
If thoughts says- this is mine- is it true?
It depends how you mean. There is social convention on the one hand and on the other hand there is ownership in the absolute sense. It is not clear that I own anything in the absolute sense. I can’t find anything that is definitely “part of me”.
Thoughts about imagined future are coming up, so what?
They cause suffering.
Does that mean that they create future or just images about possible what if scenarios?
Just images.

Do thoughts make anything happen? Is so, precisely what?
Sometimes it seems like they lead to action (e.g., “I should pick that up off the floor”, and then I do), but it is not clear if there is a causal relationship.

Now to answer one of your earlier questions:
Is there free will?
You asked this before and I said no. I will give more detail now.

Suppose a person makes a decision. Some percentage of the decision, call it X, was based on the circumstances at the time of the decision. The circumstances include the person’s environment at the time of the decision, their state of mind, their genetics, their childhood, what they ate for breakfast, etc. The remaining percentage of the decision (100-X) was random because anything that was not random was included in the circumstances.

Any decision that is completely determined by circumstances is not a free choice. Likewise, any decision that is completely random is not a free choice. Since neither circumstances nor randomness brings an element of freedom to a decision, any decision that is determined by a combination of circumstances and randomness is not a free choice either. Since all decisions fall into one of these categories, there are no free choices and thus no free will.

I will answer the remaining questions you had in your March 26 post later. I have been looking more at the implications in my direct experience of not having free will and plan to write about it.

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:07 am

Hi Brent,

Thank you for answers.
This is still funny to me:
They follow me around in the sense that they occur wherever I am. I never leave the thoughts behind when I leave the house, for example.
It's like saying that sounds follow you, wherever you are sounds are heard, hehe
Thought flow is just another sensation, thinking is happening, like seeing colours is happening, it's just another channel of perceiving.


Good noticing about free will. Notice, it's not about loosing free will, just dropping belief, that you ever had it. Life moves all, it's not you moving life. Life is life-ing as this and all is included.

Tell me, is ever anything that is happening wrong? What makes it so?

And please answer the remaining questions :) you are getting closer with each question dissolving.

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

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:26 am

Hi Ilona,

This is the first time in a while that I’ve actually enjoyed the process of posting. No offense; you are awesome. But this investigation has been somewhat painful, especially lately. But then this week, things seem to be turning around. Is this the beginning of the end? Let’s see…
This is still funny to me:
They follow me around in the sense that they occur wherever I am. I never leave the thoughts behind when I leave the house, for example.
It's like saying that sounds follow you, wherever you are sounds are heard, hehe
I see what you are saying, but the difference between sounds and thoughts is that “my” thoughts only appear to me, while the sounds that “follow me around” are also perceptable to other people.
Thought flow is just another sensation, thinking is happening, like seeing colours is happening, it's just another channel of perceiving.
Yes, I see that.
Good noticing about free will. Notice, it's not about loosing free will, just dropping belief, that you ever had it. Life moves all, it's not you moving life. Life is life-ing as this and all is included.
I agree. I see that I never had free will.

As I said in my last post, I’ve been looking more closely at the implications of not having free will. I’m now going to discuss this further. Ilona, I beg your forgiveness here, because I am going to incorporate some “conventional wisdom” about the physical universe into a logical analysis and not rely solely on direct experience. For me, this is a more intuitive approach. So please bear with me…

(Note: From this point of the post until I quote you again, I will be asking myself some questions to aid this looking. The questions are not meant for you to answer, Ilona, although you are welcome to answer them if you can.)

Without free will, everything is just a physical process happening. The brain in this body is just reacting to the current physical situation in it and in its environment. The random element that I discussed before is probably manifested as quantum mechanical effects, which are generally probabilistic. There is no one in control. All of “life-ing” is just a complex physical process playing itself out according to the laws of physics. That includes what every person is doing and the interactions between people.

An important component of this is that thoughts also are a part of the physical process. They don’t have any special significance.

So what does this mean for the self? Is the self any more than a label applied to parts of the matter and energy that are undergoing the physical process?

If the self were to exist, it could have a few possible roles:

1) Decider – makes decisions about what should happen
2) Implementer – makes what happens happen (i.e. carries out the physical process)
3) Perceiver – perceives what happens

If the self is none of these, then it only exists as a concept in a series of thoughts that give it the illusion of non-conceptual existence and continuity.

Since there is no free will there is no Decider. So the self has lost that as a possible role.

Is an Implementer required? Does a physical process need “someone” to carry it out? When an apple falls off a tree, does it need someone to pull it from the branch and throw it to the ground? No. Does a refrigerator need someone to turn its light on when the door is opened? No it happens because the opening door closes an electrical circuit. So it doesn’t seem to make sense that an Implementer is required. Another role for the self is lost.

What about a Perceiver? Does there need to be a Perceiver for there to be perceiving? (A commonly posed question at LU.) It doesn’t seem so. Perceiving is just another part of the physical process that is happening automatically. Photons hit my eyes and cause images in my brain. There doesn't need to be someone doing it. It is no different than the apple falling. Even thinking is just a combination of things happening automatically (presumably electrical and chemical changes in the brain) and being perceived automatically (presumably with the brain via other electrical and chemical changes).

To summarize, once it is seen that there is no free will, there doesn’t seem to be any room for a “self” any more. What would its effect be? Nothing. Can something that has absolutely no effect on anything actually exist? It doesn’t seem possible. And if it could exist, it would be totally irrelevant.

So the validity of the concept of a self is apparently falling apart for me.

Now, back to your questions:
Tell me, is ever anything that is happening wrong? What makes it so?
What does “wrong” mean in this context? Is it wrong for the apple to fall off the tree? What if it then rots in the yard and attracts a bunch of unsightly ants? Is that wrong? Thoughts may arise that it is a disgusting situation, but the falling of the apple is just a physical process that has no inherent correctness to it. Same for the thoughts about it that came up.
And please answer the remaining questions :) you are getting closer with each question dissolving.
Ok, here we go:
Let's look at the thought that you made mistakes in the past.
Remember a life changing event. Could you have done anything differently?
No. The circumstances and random factors dictated what I did. I had no control.
Could you have chosen not to do what was done?
No.
Can you ever choose something that does not feel like a right choice?
No, because I can’t choose anything. The thought may arise “I’m going to do this despite the fact that I’m going to regret it later”, but in fact there is no control over whether or not “I” do the thing.
In the situation given, was there another choice, really.
No. If the circumstances were slightly different at the time, then maybe something different would have happened. But choice was not involved.
Were you ever a general manager of life?
Heck no.
Is it up to you what happens?
No. In fact, it is getting harder to understand what you mean when you say “you”. Are you talking to the Decider, Implementer, or Perceiver?
Is it up to you what is happening now?
No. It is up to Ilona. (Just kidding! [about the second part])

I think I have now answered all of your posted questions. If I have missed any, please let me know.

Thanks,

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:33 am

Awesome! I see that you are looking at the right direction, there are cracks in the old thinking and new seeing is emerging, yey!

Yes, self is a concept, convention, way of expressing. As all concepts, it's useful. But as you are starting to see, the concepts is not an entity in charge. :)

Please describe, what changed in every day ordinary situations, what hasn't changed, what is still there waiting to be resolved? Is seeking still full on?

Give some examples, of what is different since we started this conversation.

Have a lovely day!
Much love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:42 am

Hi Ilona,
Awesome! I see that you are looking at the right direction, there are cracks in the old thinking and new seeing is emerging, yey!
Yes, things seem different now.
Please describe, what changed in every day ordinary situations
Things seem to be happening more automatically without a “me” involved as much (as the Decider, Implementer, or Perceiver). Suffering and obsession with thoughts are noticeably reduced. There is much less resistance to what is.
what hasn't changed, what is still there waiting to be resolved?
There is still some residual belief in the me, although it seems to be working itself out with each passing day. The more I look at how there is no one deciding, implementing, or perceiving, the more my confidence grows that there is no me. I need to see how things go with another week at work. It is always easier to “be spiritual” on the weekend. There is still concern that this may not be "it".
Is seeking still full on?
Definitely not. I’ve lost most of my interest in reading through LU threads, which I had been doing constantly since New Year’s Day. I have lost the interest because there is a sense that I now know everything I need to know to complete this investigation. Also, now that I feel that I may be on the home stretch, other peoples’ investigations don’t seem as compelling.

I've had to push myself some to continue my own investigation because my interest in other activities has been returning.
Give some examples, of what is different since we started this conversation.
I gave some examples above. Another example would be that my fear and worrying are not happening much. I’m not dreading “bad things” happening as much. Sometimes I’ll have a thought like “I really don’t want to have to do that” but then I’ll see that it is more from habit than a true thought.

When I started with you, I felt like I was lost at sea. I didn’t have any direction. Now I can see a lighthouse and I’m moving in that direction.

I’ve gotten past the belief that the intense experiences of “no self” that I had in January and February were to be cultivated. Your assertion that it is not about experiences but about recognition of the truth has sunk in.
Have a lovely day!
Thanks, I did!

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:16 pm

brilliant, Brent, sounds like you found the way home, from which you never left :)
can you say with a big confident YES, it's clear, that i-entity is an illusion? if yes, are you ready for the final questions?
if not, is there anything else we can look at together?

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

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:14 pm

Ilona,

No, I'm not ready for the final questions.  I may be close to the end, but I don't think I am there yet.  In the last couple of days some challenging life situations came up and it was clear that there is still some identification with a self.  I'm not sure why, but it may just be that I need more time looking and for my recent revelations to really sink in. 

I'm not sure specifically what you can do at this point.  I feel like it is mostly up to me to continue to look. I need to examine why it seems like there is a self to whom the challenging situations are happening, and why it seems like there is a self that is reacting to the situations.  It may be out of habit more than a residual belief that there is a Decider, Implementer, or Perceiver. If that is the case, then more time may be all I will need.  If there are subtle beliefs that need to be exposed, then your help may be required. 

I will keep looking and let you know what happens. 

Thanks for your help and patience. 

Brent

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby Ilona » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:36 pm

the question why is not useful here, it only creates stories. see what is behind sensation, what is happening. what triggers uneasy feelings, what beliefs are there that are challenged, what beliefs stick to.

it's ok, that you need more looking, it's good to be honest and say as it is..

resistances and reactions come up not because there is self or not. they come up, just like scratch following itch. when you say YES to all that comes up, resistances melt. then what is happening can be observed and felt, without judgement. freedom from reactions comes when there are no more painful spots that need to be protected.

so keep looking in experience and keep writing what you notice. i'm here for you as long as it takes.

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

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Re: I Need an Experienced Guide

Postby NoOneHome » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:10 pm

Hi Ilona,

I’ve been looking at the lingering sense of self. I haven’t been able to resolve it. The clear seeing that had earlier this week has subsided into merely improved intellectual understanding, which is not fulfilling.

I’m trying to focus more on direct experience again, but the sense that I have a clear direction is gone. The rollercoaster continues.

Brent


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