How do you know what you don't know?

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Ran
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How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Ran » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:35 pm

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?
"On a scale of 1-10, how ready are you?" - 8?? 7-9?? "I" have had a "experiences" of non-dual perception. "I" have experienced threats to my physical existence and discovered no fear, not even a rise in heartbeat. "I" am on my last disk set of holosynch meditatations - flowering 4 - after 6 1/2 years. "I" have read everything Jed McKenna has written, also Bernadette Roberts - whom I have met while in weekend attendance of her seminar, AND approximately 1000 other books. "I" have sat shikantaza meditation until "I" experienced , no time. "I" am currently enrolled in David Hoffmeister's online school for Mystic Mind Training, a Course in Miracles based training. "I" found "you" by Amazon book search.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?
If "I" am an 8, "I" have to see if "I" can get to 10??? Basically, there are times when "I" seem to get caught by wants, needs, even whims. Those moments are often fleeting, but can sometimes seem to occupy a bit more energy than "I" judge they ought to. Like the winess arrives a little late on the seen. The story is still alluring at times, like politics matter, climate change matters, caring matters, so "I" am not certain where "I" am, and maybe "I" can find out here --- mostly "I" need to check out that "I" am not merely in spiritual by-pass. My teacher, David Hoffmeister is all about Joy. "I" don't find a lot of joy, "I" have always been more melancholy, and "my" predominant "mood" is usually quieted equanimity.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?
40 yrs of seeking and inquiry, that has been a non-linear progression, but "I" got the mono-maniacle "virus" in 2004. A year ago I tried to walk away from it, and became mono-maniacle about learning to play bridge, but the demon came back, when the "mystical" experiences returned unbiden and unsought. Previous answers relate my path. There has been little that hasn't been tried. "I" paid Fred Davis $700 to receive his direct teaching, and got nothing from it, but the desire did prompt one of the strongest non-dual experiences I have had before I spoke with him. Maybe, "I" have tried too hard?

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? 11

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Olenko
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Olenko » Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:53 pm

Hello Ran,

I'd be glad to have a chat with you if that's ok?

Reading about your background, there's certainly a lot of energy going into seeking. A strong desire to reach something.. enlightenment maybe? What would you say it is that you seek (in your own words)?

Also, I see that you use the word "I" in quotes. What is this "I"? How would you define yourself?
The story is still alluring at times, like politics matter, climate change matters, caring matters, so "I" am not certain where "I" am, and maybe "I" can find out here --- mostly "I" need to check out that "I" am not merely in spiritual by-pass.
There are lots of stories that have been bought into for years, so there's understandably pull towards them. When clients finish the process here, the pull into stories doesn't stop there. But the underlying cause of the pull (believing to be a separate self) disappears, so in time the pull into stories happens less and less.
My teacher, David Hoffmeister is all about Joy. "I" don't find a lot of joy, "I" have always been more melancholy, and "my" predominant "mood" is usually quieted equanimity.
Nice for David, but we're not him, and we don't need to copy him. David, Olenko, Ran.. all perfect, individual expressions of life. I would say that the predominant mood here at the moment is also "quieted equanimity". It's perfectly fine.

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Ran
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Ran » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:12 pm

Olenko,

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me.
What do I seek in my own words?
Not my words, but very close to my desire is this site's own definition of liberation – “the clear, unambiguous and direct realization of the absence of a separate self” – with extra heaping helpings of unambiguous.
What is this “I”?
I is not what I think it is, it isn’t a thought, thinking, and it isn’t a body, but I do have ambiguity about that;…… because…….
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
#1) I am not very trusting of my thoughts about this. I am burdened with excessive exposure to the literature on this. I saw the recommended book list and I have read 26 of the 46 listed (including Ilona’s), and more on the same topics (much more). If I am not the thinker (and I am not) then every consideration is from "out there" likely, a book. ......What a whirling circular of meaningless illogic that is!!! Phew

#2) I have had experiences, extraordinary experiences, and they tempt me to consider that – that state is where I should be all the time. If I were, non-separated self would certainly be unambiguous. Readings seem to say once one loses the sensibility of a separate self it is permanent. These experiences argue differently?

#3) I can seemingly consider myself a separate person if I allow it. I am here to be honest – allowing myself to take on a separate self, sure makes sexual intimacies with my wife more interesting!—Can one who “knows” they are not a separate self engage physical lust? ----------------- I do, however; notice that this game play is becoming increasingly difficult to do (engage the role, not- not engage the role).

I am trying to say, that I can argue that the I, my thoughts have informed me I had always previously been can still be made, in the sense I seem to have a capacity to take on a role as one who is forgetful of “knowing” I am not an I.

#4) Where my sense of being a non-separate self is most strongly realized is emotionally. I was in a motorcycle accident 3+ years ago where I ended up flipped through the roadside ditch after clipping the rear end of a truck in front of me (I was in a sideways slide and the impact righted the cycle). Afterwards, I was completely calm, no racing heart, no adrenalin rush and I was concerned for the people who were gathering and expressing graven concerns for my well being. Everything slowed down during and after the accident. I remembered seeing the driver of the truck, just before impact, leaned over and down as if looking for something in the front floorboard. He was still wanting to look after the collision when I inquired how he was. I saw the "roach" he had been looking for, laughed and showed him where it was while I stood where I could block others view of what he was doing to retrieve it. Then I winked at him and put my finger to my lips, and shook my head no to put him at ease (would keep it secret).

The occasional “normally” upsetting occurrence comes upon me. Normally unsettling news about money issues (needed auto/home repairs), and/or even an occasional verbal assault upon me, and my response is I simply have gratitude for these occurrences, because then I see how quickly it is nothing and I take a nominal solace that I am blessed with this response. These moments stand out, because normally everything is normal!

#5) However, I got very, very upset this past Christmas season. My siblings and mother and I got into a triangular dynamic (with mom in the middle playing the triangular cornerpoints of her 3 children like an old mazda rotary engine) over who was going to care for her after her miraculous recovery from a bought of pneumonia (aggravated by her smoking and drinking addictions). So, I thought,.......well, I had shot to hell any notion of being a personal equanimity "savant".

#6) I have gaps in thought/memory where I lose thinking, and I wait it out, knowing if it is essential it will come back to me from "somewhere", sometimes even as my mouth may be moving - that which moves the mouth is also that which is beseeching the same/something to see if it is going to fill in the blanks. Sometimes the blank remains blank, & sometimes I apologize to whomever I am speaking that I can't recall, sometimes I don't,& I just leave it, and then too, it seems that if I just leave the unrecalled unsaid no one gives a shit anyhow!
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

--- Lunch &---
-thought better of it- has intervened on my narrative. In the interests of being honest I am leaving what I wrote before lunch, but I think, now, it is all spiritual identity BS. Let me, be here now, and observe what is with this I ponderance.

Obviously, I can replace or take on a “spiritual” identity, that is every bit as much of a story as anything else! Also, here I am writing to another (thank you and blessings upon you for your indulgence), asking am I there? (the place? of non-separated self) ----– so I am not!

My response to I-?, is,…………… I only know when I stay in the upset or perturberance. In those moments I know I am bought into the story of an I. So, remembering (out of the now) such an occasion,..... who did I think I was? I don’t know, but whenever it is considered the upset is soon to cease!

I have a notion I am keeping a foot dragging, allowing moments to keep me back, keeping me from plunging over the edge entirely.

Sitting, quieting, breathing, pausing……..

I feel ……….. a pleasant, soft, alive, and aware space from above, around, and in my head and down, but not quite to the area of my heart – it is a high heart area , an ovular area, and my image is of a translucent permeable weightless membrane – there is no me in it or outside it --- a place of no words, empty, very content ……. yes.

A final sanctuarial remnant?

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Olenko
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Olenko » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:37 am

Hi Ran,
Not my words, but very close to my desire is this site's own definition of liberation – “the clear, unambiguous and direct realization of the absence of a separate self” – with extra heaping helpings of unambiguous.
Just remember the rest of it:

"Seeing self for what it really is - a story, does not mean that your life is suddenly upgraded in every conceivable way. Old habits, beliefs, programming and conditioning will very probably remain in place. Awakening from the story of you allows old patterns to drop away quickly. The foundation upon which these patterns were based is gone. In this sense, liberation is just the beginning."

You wrote that you've had extraordinary experiences, which tempt you to consider that it's a state where you should be all the time. You're perhaps referring to what are called as "pure conscious experiences".

"Pure consciousness is the state of mind. The state of mind, where you are free from all the mind activities. The nature of the mind is to think thoughts, imagine things, accumulate experiences, and impressions and create a circle of thoughts out of it.

Although the mind functions with its thoughts process, you have the state of pure consciousness, which is beneath the functions of the mind. The functions of the mind such as thinking, imagination, visualization, dreaming, forming desires, creating the perception, forming perspective, only remains at the surface. "

Seeing trough the illusion of self, is only the start of the unrolling process of our mental clutter. All these thoughts and desires are based on the belief to exist as a separate being. Including the desire to be liberated.
Readings seem to say once one loses the sensibility of a separate self it is permanent. These experiences argue differently?
Seeing doesn't change what we sense. But our perspective changes in a fundamental way, which causes our experiencing to change in time.
I can seemingly consider myself a separate person if I allow it. I am here to be honest – allowing myself to take on a separate self, sure makes sexual intimacies with my wife more interesting!—Can one who “knows” they are not a separate self engage physical lust? ----------------- I do, however; notice that this game play is becoming increasingly difficult to do (engage the role, not- not engage the role).
There is no roleplay here. It's not a choice. It's not mental gymnastics. One who knows, engages (or doesn't engage) in physical lust, just as anybody.

Life doesn't change. It's just a simple seeing; there is no you.

As the popular Zen saying goes: "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."
I seem to have a capacity to take on a role as one who is forgetful of “knowing” I am not an I.
It's great that you realize it's a role. It's just another identity believed: "I know that I don't exist, but sometimes I forget". Who is this I? Don't start mental acrobatics, "I don't know.. I am.. I am not..". Thinking doesn't solve it. Just look, this moment, in all that is sensed, where is I?
Obviously, I can replace or take on a “spiritual” identity, that is every bit as much of a story as anything else!
Indeed! Just a story believed.
I have a notion I am keeping a foot dragging, allowing moments to keep me back, keeping me from plunging over the edge entirely.
The foot drags in its own pace. And there is no one to go over an edge. :)

There was much more clarity in your later post, compared to the first. How has it been for the last few days?

With best regards,
Olenko

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Ran
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Ran » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:52 pm

Again, but with all due sincerity, thx for taking the time to chat with me. There has simply been no one I could speak with about any of this,
How has it been for the last few days?
I had a dream Friday night, that I only remembered upon nightime awakening as extraordinary. My (now) vaguest of recollections was it seemed to answer everything I was seeking to answer here. I thought I woke up (then), as that is often what provokes the dream recollection, but being still tired and lazy, I remember I thought -- no way I won't remember that one, so I just went back to sleep. I didn't even remember I had the dream until 3pm or so Saturday, and then I tried to sit down & reach back to it. What I then felt/sensed was that whatever the message/answer/teaching consisted of --- inherent within the failing recall effort was that it didn't matter! Whatever was/is to be, will be, and It didn't need "me" to remember it.

So, I have been checking in, checking in with my own truth and with this forum to see your responses.

Checking in with my own truth; --- If one reads a book one can gain an understanding of a character, have a sense of knowing that character, such that maybe even years later you still know that character, and that...... is the source of my ambiguity. I remember my character. I embodied it a long time, but ...... and I don't know that it happened the day of my motorcycle accident, earlier- probably, or when, but that motorcycle accident I related was the day something of what "I" am now,..... first, strongly suspected I wasn't in "Kansas" anymore. Damn, when that oh so familiar sense of self is gone, who or what is there left to notice it? "You might miss it, cause you aint there!"

To become lucid in a dream I was taught you need to notice the anomalies!! So...............It took this most peculiar motorcycle accident to say hey, dumbkoff -- look! & just in case it wasn't peculiar enough,…….. I clipped - hit - impacted up against the truck in front of me hard enough to right my motorcycle from a deep near horizontal slide to bust his right rear taillight to pieces, I laid my bike down on the road @ 10 to 20 mph, there the bike skidded along the road at its edge where it was gravel covered ......me?...., I was turning somersaults in mid-air - get that? :-) --- literally and figuratively ---- & afterwards there was 0 damage to my motorcycle, no bends, no scratches, absolutely nothing to indicate what had happened AND the 62 year old who just did a flip 15' through the air -- no bruises, no soreness either.

I have also considered again how upset I became during last years Christmas holidays, as this had been my single biggest cause of ambiguity. My wife has pointed to that moment (more than once!) to say there is no way I am “enlightened” or I would not have had the outburst of anger that I did. I bought into that story, now it is more of what that which is would have me question. Perhaps, anger needed to be.

Mostly, I have come to consider, that it may be best that I gain no "answer" from you. Ambiguity is no longer the concern that it was. Continuing with what has brought me to now is (a concern), questioning what that might yet come to be (even if nothing at all), doesn't matter, I can't change anything about it, cause I ain't in charge. "I" do practice. Most of the time everything is effortless; occasionally I consider what frosting layers of story I may be putting on top of this cake of existence, and I then open to a more direct perception of what is, ...........and that is all there is, .............and I don't want for more!

What is it that lays a frosting "story" on the cake? The character me, occasionally thinks he is called back to stage front and center for an encore appearance -- what a ham! The audience aint clapping no more!

Finally, I ask myself, could I change or lose this orientation to what is? And, damn it, there is the unambiguous answer –--- not possible, not even remotely possible!

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Olenko
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Olenko » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:02 pm

Hi Ran,
Checking in with my own truth; --- If one reads a book one can gain an understanding of a character, have a sense of knowing that character, such that maybe even years later you still know that character, and that...... is the source of my ambiguity. I remember my character. I embodied it a long time, but ...... and I don't know that it happened the day of my motorcycle accident, earlier- probably, or when, but that motorcycle accident I related was the day something of what "I" am now,..... first, strongly suspected I wasn't in "Kansas" anymore. Damn, when that oh so familiar sense of self is gone, who or what is there left to notice it? "You might miss it, cause you aint there!"
Yes, we have all "embodied" our character for a long time. That is why getting caught in the stories and feeling the associated emotions, won't disappear in an instant. But what was seen, cannot be forgotten.
To become lucid in a dream I was taught you need to notice the anomalies!! So...............It took this most peculiar motorcycle accident to say hey, dumbkoff -- look! & just in case it wasn't peculiar enough,…….. I clipped - hit - impacted up against the truck in front of me hard enough to right my motorcycle from a deep near horizontal slide to bust his right rear taillight to pieces, I laid my bike down on the road @ 10 to 20 mph, there the bike skidded along the road at its edge where it was gravel covered ......me?...., I was turning somersaults in mid-air - get that? :-) --- literally and figuratively ---- & afterwards there was 0 damage to my motorcycle, no bends, no scratches, absolutely nothing to indicate what had happened AND the 62 year old who just did a flip 15' through the air -- no bruises, no soreness either.
That's quite a story! And amazing that no damage happened to you or the bike.
I have also considered again how upset I became during last years Christmas holidays, as this had been my single biggest cause of ambiguity. My wife has pointed to that moment (more than once!) to say there is no way I am “enlightened” or I would not have had the outburst of anger that I did. I bought into that story, now it is more of what that which is would have me question. Perhaps, anger needed to be.
A fellow guide was just joking the other day: if you think you're enlightened, ask your wife ;)

But seriously, who would be enlightened? Or not be?
Your wife sees a body, a personality, that she calls "Ran". I ask you to really contemplate back on how that personality has become what it is today. All those different circumstances, that affected Rans behavior and thinking. And how "you" had nothing to do with how those circumstances came together. You didn't choose which people you met at which points in your life. It all happened out of reasons outside of your control. Yes or no?

Physical sensations can be felt, because there is this body. How did this body come together? Of course "you" had nothing to do with how it happened. How your parents met, how their parents met, etc.. The genes "you" got, that have defined together with the different circumstances experienced in life, the "Ran" that is experienced today. Anger or no anger.

Can you see a you in control somewhere in this?
Mostly, I have come to consider, that it may be best that I gain no "answer" from you. Ambiguity is no longer the concern that it was. Continuing with what has brought me to now is (a concern), questioning what that might yet come to be (even if nothing at all), doesn't matter, I can't change anything about it, cause I ain't in charge.
It's great that you aren't expecting any answers :) I cannot give answers to you. I can only point the way. Answers are only descriptions of reality.
What is it that lays a frosting "story" on the cake? The character me, occasionally thinks he is called back to stage front and center for an encore appearance -- what a ham! The audience aint clapping no more!
Why not clap if you can stay as the audience? ;) Why not take joy in experiencing this show? Sometimes we forget and believe again to be the main character. That's when the joy usually ends ;)

With best regards,
Olenko

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Ran
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Ran » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:33 pm

A fellow guide was joking the other day; if you think you're enlightened, ask your wife;)

But seriously, who would be enlightened ? Or not be?
"Life is too important to be taken seriously".

If you lived in a monastery full of self proclaimed 'enlightened' monks and that was your 24/7/365 world, I suspect after a while - whatever the circumstance - you would come to experience yourself as enlightened and likely join the chorus.The punch line to this poor joke is that,.... that would also likely be true (at least to the novice monk). Even to this hypothetical monk the question is not only who is there to be enlightened, but also, perhaps who isn't there to be, and what is ,.... to be? The question is,.... koan like,......in that, only if the question is dropped,.... might, it be answered, but then who cares, which of course is answering the question with not only a question but the same question.

I prefer the term,.. enlifenment is.
Can you see a you in control somewhere in this?
I think of the times I shed tears over moments when events didn't turn out as I hoped, times that were related to therapists, and long held a capacity to bring me to tears even upon their recall, and now it all seems like a good movie in which I was the STAR. Now, I am still in the movie, but I don't have to write or study the script, I don't know how it all ends, I don't even know what it is all about, and I just learned there is no director. I don't know if I would buy a ticket to this one, but from within it, it is the best damn movie I've ever been in. NO control over anything!

take
joy in experiencing the show
-- yes, I am also in the audience.

I am spending a week camping on the beach in Florida, starting Friday, so I will be off grid.

Checking in:

The loss of ambiguity seems to be a page turner, like the adversary has ceased to chase, is knocked out wobbly kneed and ready to fall to the canvas. In terms of energy spent, hell in terms of money spent too, I have pursued and sought after whatever this is for 40 years. What could be more signifigant, more worthy of celebrating? And it just feels like the next breath is a little lighter, more carefree, and each next moment is its own mystery. Ran, thought it would all be such a bigger deal. I may contemplate the question;....what will my life orient itself around now that I am no longer this possesed and ardent seeker?

I guess I'll watch the waves role in. There is a forecast for a hurricane rolling into the Yucatan,.. I'll be 500 miles north, so if it rains and makes the waves bigger I'll watch that too,...... in a rain coat, .......or not,......

How do you know, what you do not know? who knows? who cares?

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Olenko
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Olenko » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:19 pm

Hi Ran,

All sounds very good.
I am spending a week camping on the beach in Florida, starting Friday, so I will be off grid.
Ok. Being on a camping trip is a very good time to simply observe the flow of life. See how everything is connected.

In nature it is often more apparent than in society. See how the blowing wind causes the waves. How some big wave may cause some surfer to loose balance. Was it the surfers fault to loose balance? That he wasn't prepared for that big wave? Is there ever actually anyone to blame? How some bird is looking for the next meal and as a consequence how some tourist may suddenly loose a few french fries, causing him/her to feel anger and perhaps yell at the bird.

Remember to have fun! But also observe, and see; how life is in a single constant flow. Can you see any separate beings anywhere making choices?
The loss of ambiguity seems to be a page turner, like the adversary has ceased to chase, is knocked out wobbly kneed and ready to fall to the canvas. In terms of energy spent, hell in terms of money spent too, I have pursued and sought after whatever this is for 40 years. What could be more signifigant, more worthy of celebrating? And it just feels like the next breath is a little lighter, more carefree, and each next moment is its own mystery. Ran, thought it would all be such a bigger deal. I may contemplate the question;....what will my life orient itself around now that I am no longer this possesed and ardent seeker?
What reveals itself, is more and more feeling of freedom.

As the following moment is build on this moment; Just relax completely and enjoy simply being.

Happy camping! And you can write to me anytime you want.

With best regards,
Olenko

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Olenko
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Olenko » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:59 pm

Hi Ran,

How is it going?

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Ran
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Ran » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:45 am

Everything is interconnected!?! ------ O.K. --- My wife’s Passat leaked oil on the garage floor, which I didn’t much care for. She calls me @ work to tell me she was in accident. She is all right. I say I’ll leave to pick her up and help, but before I leave work she calls me back. She hit a tow truck! The driver of the tow truck tows her car to a parking lot, and gives her a ride to work. (later AAA tows the car to an auto repair shop). After her work, the wife gets a ride to a place I was planning to meet her anyhow, and the insurance company totals the car. [We vacation camp in Florida]. We return and car shop. Many synchronicities point us toward a Prius. I ignore them and try to convince the wife to look at a Cadillac. She considers it, but doesn’t like it. The Priuses we looked at didn’t have the “feel” of support. We go to the credit union to get pre-approved financing. That hit a snag and I just smiled, because I “knew” the loan officer would re-consider, and get it right. Turned out she was new and her boss came in and pointed out her error. That night I awoke to a voice saying “2015 Prius, dummy, find one”. The next day it took a while of searching the internet, but we found a 2015 Prius with just 8000 miles. It “felt” right though the wife didn’t like it that it was listed as white. She doesn’t like white, white. She loves cream white like my Silverado. The salesman has to get the car driven into town from 300 miles away. He calls to tell us the color was listed wrong. It is effervescent pearl (aka cream white!). The advertised price of the car, the down payment of 10% and the 13 payments works out to within $1.50 of the insurance money (thus keeping the experience budget neutral), but the sales people try to jack the cost up by $880. I talk them down$600. We go to sign off the final papers at the credit union, and notice the day we are there is the day (unbeknownst to me) that they make a members rebate deposit into my savings account. The amount? $280.

So, I find I am using the dreaded word “universe” to make sense of the thingamajig that does all this, but this ride is pretty damn cool!

On the driving trip to Florida I was nearly disoriented, I felt soo not who I remembered myself to be. I heard my wives near every, or every other utterance as an opinion or a judgement about what was all right or what wasn’t. There is a hell of a lot of that everywhere, from everyone!

Florida was wonderful. I re-read Jed McKenna’s “Dream state” to the wife. We only got through 5 chapters. We were due to spend our last day and night when I saw 30mph winds forecast, and I just felt that was a bit more than I wanted to deal with in a pop-up camper, so we went home early. The 30-mph wind forecast apparently became more like 60mph in Pensacola as a tornado hit Panama City Beach. The State Park called and refunded my last day and everyone else who had plans for the rest of the week, as it was to take them 5 days to repair the wind damages.

I’ve had ponderances about purpose and motivation. I put away all my “spiritual studies”, dropped out of my Course in Miracles Mystic Mind Training Class, and even ceased to read “Liberation Unleashed” stuff. I told my wife I was here to make her happy (she of course likes that). But I said that, because I don’t seem to have plans, and motivations for myself. (this “for-the-wife” gives me purpose?) After the car shopping I conceived to figure out all the permutations of my retirement choice possibilities and probabilities. So, I projected every conceivable scenario from social security claims, rules, regulations, and choices, along with estimates of pension accumulations, 401/457 growth projections and balanced it all against outstanding debts to basically map my financial future forward for the rest of my estimable life! But that only took two days and 8 pages of math, then I am done.

Maybe I am getting the hang of it, but it is weird! I am fine with whatever is in front of me. What Is determines whatever!

One more detail to report. I am receiving “teachings” @ night, in my dreams I suppose. I don’t try to purposely recall it (there was a time in my life, 25 years ago, when I remembered every detail through the night and had lucid dreams 4 times a week). I figure if there is a purpose to be had by my recollecting my teachings it will be recollected. I have been told to speak to a family member when given a chance, and I have found myself in the void (awareness with no appearance). I have “died” (in my dreams) several times with no alarm and no fear, as I experience remaining awareness. The death experiences were enactments of former phobias,….. being crushed, drowning, and asphyxiating. Numerous dreams just seem to show me that I have an utter absence of fear.

While whatever is before me engages me, that engagement (even a kind of fascination with whatever) is not assured as something else may come along, and then while what is now before or in front of me becomes something else, I have found wonder that I became disengaged from what had formerly so thoroughly engaged me, and sometimes ask what was so wonderful about that past engagement?

So, I saw you had written, and that has given something to respond to, and I am glad to do so.

Life is very fucking different, but not really??? It feels right to write this out.

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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Olenko » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:02 pm

Hi,

The focus on this forum is quite simply seeing through the illusion of being a separate self (controller, doer, thinker, etc.). That is the only thing we focus on.

While I really appreciated some of what you wrote there; the bit about how you conceived to figure out all the permutations of your retirement choice possibilities and probabilities, with all the many variables included, was quite an eye-opener for me. :) I will have to keep that in mind in the future! But there was pretty much nothing about how you consider this process going.

Do you consider having seen through the illusion of separate self? If you do, I will give our last questions for you. After you've answered those and there's nothing more to ask, you'll be invited to our "after-gate" groups, where further looking can be done.

How do you feel about it?

With best regards,
Olenko

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Ran
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Ran » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:40 pm

there was pretty much nothing about how you consider this process going
I thought you wrote asking me about how it is going, and I answered what it is like to respond to one's wife wrecking her
car and then going through the process of acquiring a new one without a doer, and then, later, letting the wind take me home.

Most of what I wrote (including the retirement planning) was an apparently poor attempt to convey what my real-time ... NOW... experience is like. I can see it is lost in the translation

I said I have experienced disorientation, a very f___ing different life, I attempted to describe the experience of now, and I have reported difficulties relating to questions of purpose and motivation.

I appreciate your giving me shit, 'cause that at least allows me to give a shit!

Anyhoo, my apologies for the verbosity. You seem to want to get to the brevity of it. ---- O.K.
Do you consider having seen through the illusion of separate self?
-- yes
How do you feel about it?
-- Like I am not in Kansas anymore, and I have got no one to talk to about it.

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Olenko
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Olenko » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:26 am

Ok. Sorry, I misinterpret you post.

I understand what it's like having no one to talk this about. I still have only 2 real-life friends who can understand what I'm talking about. But fortunately here online there are so many people with similar experiences and interest in spirituality. In the after-care groups, you can get to know plenty of them. :)

So I will here present you with a 3 of the 6 final questions. It's surprisingly rewarding to put all this deep knowledge in ones own words (though it may feel a bit frustrating at times):

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.

---

No hurry with these.

With best regards,
Olenko

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Ran
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Ran » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:11 pm

Olenko,

Know that I am forever going to remember you, bless your name, and be grateful that you have freely taken your time to watch over this caterpillar.


1.)
Is there a separate entity ‘self’, ‘me’ ‘I’, at all, anywhere, in any way, shape, or form? Was there ever?
The deeply unsatisfactory but true answer is; I do not know!

The simple answer is; there is no self, me, I, at all anywhere, in any way shape or form, and never was! (see, so if there is no I, then I cannot know!)

The non-simple answer is; and by way of undertaking a more elaborative approach, I will attempt to answer this question within a context involving the other two questions with each question detailing one of the 3 aspects of tri-partite man. The tri-part man is one who relates to the world, of his own imaginations and illusions, by 3 faculties. Those three faculties are thinking, feeling, and willing. The nature and relationship of these 3 faculties is often (not always) experienced in terms of accessibility such that the most accessible to least accessible is in the same order already mentioned, i.e., thinking, feeling, and willing. Thinking will be emphasized in question 1, feeling in question 2, and finally willing in question 3.

The thinking argument then is the most accessible, and the argument most commonly put forth is to utilize logic to refute self-existence. To cut to the chase on this one, knowing by any means expressible through the intellect is refuted by reducing all thoughts to (minimally) once removed abstractions of perceptions, and perceptions are refuted by being only capable of categorization thru abstractions. This circular logic is deemed ludicrous, and therefore certain to be false via the deployment of a further analogy that all knowing, and thinking is only upheld by its own faculty. Knowing self is upheld on the back of the turtle of thinking, and what holds up that turtle is another turtle (of thinking) until it is nothing but turtles all the way down – forever. The primacy of thinking is enshrined as the penultimate a priori (turtle) by Descartes’s observation, “I think therefore I am”, (another turtle!).

That from within the realm of thinking, arguments and examples can be explored ad infinitum is easily attested by the volumes of threads posted within the Gate forum, and I choose not to fall into that rabbit hole. Perhaps it may come close to what may be true to say Descartes must ultimately be reversed in stages (or not!) to become; I am therefore I think, but what thinks? I am! What is I am? Awareness! Whose awareness? Awareness is of itself! And where am I in this? Nowhere! Awareness is, but awareness needs appearance, which is itself false, only such that awareness which is wholly self-referent can only be said to be by deploying the falsity of awareness. Otherwise awareness is, but is unknowably inexpressible. {hence; how does one know what one does not know?}

Within Jed McKenna’s book “Dream State”, on page 45 of the advance reading copy is a yin yang Taoist symbol. He calls the black appearance (Maya), and the White is called awareness (Atman). He claims, taken together the symbol is who we take ourselves to be – a self,…. and the infinite white background (Brahman) it is placed upon is as we really are – no self. I “looked” at that for some time, and I came to conclude this; the black is appearance and false, nonexistent but seeable in contrast to the white field (it helps to squint your eyes tight with this while “knowing” the false is false  ). The white field is again awareness - real and true but unknowable (in any way expressible) and indistinguishable from the field of awareness containing it,…… except for …………… drum roll please!!................ the imaginary, shadow line used to distinguish the white awareness from the white field of awareness (containing it) – such that -- that which Jed calls self, then is separated from that which Jed calls no self, by an imaginary shadowy line that is meant to be unnoticed, un-named, and unimportant! I posit that same imaginary, unnamed, shadowy line that is meant to be unnoticed, and unimportant is as close to representing in abstraction both what the self is “thought” to be, and concurrently what the self is not (as non-existent)! {If this is obtuse, I hope it is at least understood that this is meant to further diminish even the abstracted symbolic representational presentation of self by Jed to a lesser more purely imaginative and fanciful impossibility (while admitting of it only a functional role in the realm of duality for the purpose of defining what is true and real, but unknowable – awareness.} (by the way,….. if the explanation of the possibly obtuse is too obtuse, then we are all sh_t outta luck).

And, so from the POV of the false tri-part man faculty of thinking I have nothing further to say about the existence and/or nonexistence of the self, except that were it left to the thinking faculty alone I likely would not have realized no-self.

By the way there is an enlifened form of thinking. It uses white ink letters, i.e.






O.K?

Carry on, ….as above, so below……, let’s get out of the thinking “head” realm and journey down below (hint;…… follow me now to next question/answer)

2.)
Explain in detail what the illusion of a separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
For me, the illusion of a separate self is largely experienced through feelings (tri-part man’s second faculty). A sense of self as separate moment to moment is initiated when energy moves (e-motion) from the centering still-point of equanimity. The further from center it moves, the more energy it has. The energy utilized is life-force, which is to say, once again, we are in an unknowable realm of abstraction. So, when observations, occurrences, and or perceptions call out my life-force I give up that which I am, no self – and take on a self that then seeks to reclaim its presumed ownership of life-force. When anything is perceived as a threat, inculcates a fear, then that same fear is an expression of non-existence, death of self – hence the release of life-force. With no sense of self there is no sense of a possible loss of self and so far (lately) there is precious little that moves me from the still point of balance where life-force is not lost.

When life-force is not lost, it is found. It is found in an existence of being with that which is. There is no fear, no anxiety, all is as it “should” be.

From here the slide down the rabbit hole is inevitable. Grace grabs you (wasn’t it Grace that sang about the white rabbit? Ooohhh that’s a slick one!)


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.

Finally, it is the faculty of will forces that brings thinking and feeling into a new realm. This is where a full tri-partite incorporation of the sensibility of no self is expressed in full fruition and experienced as an existence in the NOW.

As said previously the will faculties are the least accessible, and least knowable of the 3 faculties. My experience is that the will forces are that which moves you. What puts you (me) in motion? That which is, in the moment. The experience of this is such that, that which is before me informs me and moves me as it needs to. It engages me, until for some reason it does not, and then that which is newly before me in a new moment engages me, and I find myself not assuming ownership of what comes before me. This will faculty is the will faculty of the One, administered, received, and freely given by Grace.

Being moved in the now, has proven extremely difficult to write about. I have made several attempts and every time I realize that what I might write (say) to someone other than myself will just come off as wholly ordinary, ---- with all the same sensibilities anyone would experience, and then I recognized, …..right, well…. everyone is in the now, always, there is no choice for anyone about that, like it or not. That, then is what I realized is different. I don’t,……….like it or not,……. I do not have anything to do with it. I just find myself deeply immersed in a doing. For one example; I almost sigh when I have to stop washing dishes or folding laundry. The activities seem to utterly absorb me. And you need to know, a month ago my wife couldn’t get me to do those things without hitting me with a broom.

As for those differences since starting this dialogue; 1 month ago I had some very unrealistic expectations of what a sense of separated self would be like. I thought it would be an ongoing experience akin to some very deep “mystical” experiences I have had, that would result in some big-time adjustments just to regain a functional existence. I thought an enlifened one would never express anger or upset, and learned otherwise. I made a statement about what my remaining sense of self was like, and then I spent hours questioning that sensibility. This was the statement;

I feel ……….. a pleasant, soft, alive, and aware space from above, around, and in my head and down, but not quite to the area of my heart – it is a high heart area , an ovular area, and my image is of a translucent permeable weightless membrane – there is no me in it or outside it --- a place of no words, empty, very content ……. yes.

The image was like a soap bubble, it notably didn’t encompass my heart, it was localized around the upper half of me (notably excluding all the --- down below), and it, though, permeable was none the less a boundary and limitation of the all that is. That was what I had to work with. I went deep ,deep, deep. I slept on it. I dreamed about it. I contemplated it at length. I posited possibilities, and I then ran those posits through a process of feeling out the truth of them. What little sense of self I held onto was (1) to avoid giving up superiority over the many people I have been highly critical of. & (2) To not let go of a masculine identity that needs to put forth and be in charge. I had to learn to be very comfortable with surrender and yielding and not knowing! Neither of these postulates of condition were new, or previously unconsidered. What was new was the relentless probing into the depths of the fears that had kept me from letting go of these useless concepts! This involved stepping off a cliff, so to speak, … a final letting go which I visualized and breathed into. So that I eventually saw the soap bubble extended into the heart, and then encompassed all of me before popping.

[The statement to follow is purely wild ass speculation, but] …. that work was an extended moment when thinking, feeling , and willing joined with Grace to bring forward an enlifened equanimity (described in question 2’s answer), and a surrender to the Will of What Is, experienced as living in the moment (question 3’s answer).

And NOW there is a bedrock certainty. I have reported that I have had dream experiences of dying in which I experienced moments of movement into awareness without appearance. This sensibility appears to be my solace. “I” can touch the face of that. That is home. I do not experience being down so much as occasionally being disoriented. I wonder if this is all I thought it was cracked up to be. I ponder being passionate and defensive about something, having a goal – seeking it, and acquiring it,… AND I KNOW that shit’s gone -- gone-- gone,……. I’ve tried to get some of that back – BUT …… the wizard’s balloon ride back to Kansas up and ran O-F-T!! No highs, but also no lows,…….There is just this that is before me.

My wife says. “So why did you want that? Why, did you seek after that for all these years?”,….. and my only answer is;………… I didn’t know there was a choice not to!

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Olenko
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Re: How do you know what you don't know?

Postby Olenko » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:45 pm

Hi Ran,

I'm very sorry for taking so long to answer, it has been a busy time.

Again, interesting answers. It is obvious that you have read a lot, giving the possibility to express ones understanding in many different terms and concepts. It is sometimes a bit difficult for me to follow, as I haven't read so much. But all in all, your answers resonate with my living experience. :) So I have no questions from the answers above, but let's continue with the final 3 questions:

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

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How
does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

---

And take your time. There's no hurry.

Best regards,
Olenko


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