How do you know what you don't know?

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

Postby Ran » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:34 am

What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I had previously written about some inner inquiry work I did to let go of what I presumed to be my strongest remaining identifications,…. being male,….being intelligent. I wrote “this involved stepping off a cliff”. I did not elaborate at the time, so it would seem appropriate to do so now. Basically, I undertook to imagine &/or visualize not being intelligent and not being of any gender. I stayed with these contemplations until I felt a falling. I started in a meditative posture, and I ended up asleep. I do not know at what time I fell asleep. I can only recall that my last awareness was of a sensation of falling. I woke up 3 hours after I sat down. It was late and I went to bed. That was the first night of 5 in a row, where I was “tested” in my dreams by being exposed to my deepest fears; being attacked, being mortifyingly exposed and ridiculed, suffocating to death, drowning, and being crushed to death. All of these dreams were lucid and very vivid. In every instance and occasion I had no fear. The dream death experiences became vehicles for entering a realm of awareness without appearance – the void. I awoke from the void shortly before my morning alarm was to go off. I had no sense of how long I had been of the void. Upon awakening I was surprisingly cool, but also quietly and deeply grateful for the experience. These experiences are what brought me to a place of unambiguously accepting the reality of non-separation.

(Why?/How?)

I have (I believe I mentioned this before as well) a history of receiving teachings in my dreams. My question; How does one know what one does not know, has long been a life destiny paradigm, and being 64 I haven’t lived this long without receiving an answer to this question. The answer is by grace, and grace is often expressed in a mystical experience or a dream. I believe any permanent shift, change, or newly “known” knowing is always preceded by a temporary experience. So, this accounting is of that temporary experience.

Since these occurences, extended occasions of the NOW, a tested absence of any ability to locate anything other than a whimsically fantasied self, and a growing utilization of “doing” without a doer has confirmed that --- that which was at first temporary, did indeed plant a seed that found fertile soil.

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.
“How does a duck know what direction south is?
And how to tell his wife from all the other ducks?...
How come all my body parts so nicely fit together?
All my organs doing their jobs, no help from me?


From “How Does a Duck Know” by the Crash Test Dummies

The short answer, my answer of choice, is the quote above. To avoid being cryptic, those lines are descriptions of bewilderment and unknowing. Questions with no satisfactory answer (gosh what if the drake mistook his hen??). THE answer can only come from experience. I have had some experiences, but not THE experience that quiets the bewildering query.
Describe decision, intention, free will, choice, and control.
My wife looking at my every day, sees the same Ran now she has always seen. I get up in the morning, get ready for and go to work, and come home and eat, take quiet time, exercise, shower, and spend time with her before cuddling up in bed, often watching movies or shows before going to sleep and waking up and doing the same thing the next day.

Those actions ostensibly involve the query points, and did some time ago ----but actually …… now ……they do not! That is a rather assertive declaration, that is actually quite difficult to show out, but the key is ---TIME!

Ran could wake up, curse the day, dread going to work, believe something awful (or wonderful) is about to occur @ work (or afterwards), could be holding onto a story from within an unaware self – waiting to erupt in unconsidered words, and end up sleeping in the doghouse.

This latter paragraph is of a Ran that does not live in the NOW. That is a Ran that forecast the future and holds onto the past. So, free will, choice, control, decisions, and intention are to me all of the past and future. In the now, in the place of “doing” with no doer there is only what is. It is the duck flying South!
What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
Things happen from the place of bewilderment, from unknowing. For sure, the duck doesn’t ask directions to find South, and I doubt he questions how he knows South. I just wonder if he waddles up to the wrong hen, if he gets an earful of unbidden answer to an unasked question? And while we are at, may I express my great glee that my organs don’t ask how or when to work and fit with one another!!!! So, I am not responsible for that! Funny, could there possibly be a more complex operational system than the body that carries our livingness? So, why would a sentiency presume it must assert itself to go to work?

The academic, book answer is that all manifests from the Mind of Brahman/God, which is ALL that is.

Experientially I have sensed being in the stream, the flow, the NOW, the moment. This happens more every day. It is decidedly pleasant, and involves doing without a doer. I have mentioned this as being absorbed by doing the dishes, and/or folding clothes, in both instances there is only that – the doing.

I have also been caught out of flow. (By what? By what am I caught – we ask? – exactly!) I told my wife to make the decisions, but realized, too late that was a decision. I was doing her bidding when my mind went blank for awhile,… enough so that she came up to me and said “What, are you OK?” I said, “I said no, I won’t do that.” Essentially it involved doing something that time showed would have been a waste of time to do. I do not presume that that means what came to pass was what was supposed to happen or in some way better, ……. who knows --- what captured my attention was how I experienced a blankness of mind as a prelude to a change of course.

It happened again several days later in the course of a conversation while visiting my near reclusive, aging, TV watching mother. She asked me how I was dealing with Trump (as president-elect). I proceeded to espouse great and grand wisdoms for 15 minutes or so, until I said, “but the worst of Trump was the same thing I heard expressed by Stephen Colbert in his Face the Nation interview on Sunday.” Then I went totally blank. My Mom patiently waited, and I eventually apologized for going blank. Then she told me my last words, but it didn’t help. So, she used her remote to ask for Face the Nation and we just both sat back and shared her favorite activity---watching TV ---(again, a change in course from my lecturing, that I am sure my mother welcomed. Especially, for the return to the TV watching) . Eventually, Colbert related what I couldn’t get back to; …….. that quite aside from his coinage (and recognition for it) of the word “truthiness”, he had recently been recognized (by some newspaper) for a new word of the year (once again) this year,…. “post-fact”. He said Trump has made facts meaningless,… a mere choice, and that the acceptance of this would forbode a descent into CHAOS!!! (truthiness is a cheapened truth whereas post-fact holds no coinage).

Now, if I may,….. I see a stunning (like a whoop upside the head stunning) about both silences. They were both teachings. With my wife, I thought I didn’t have a dog in the hunt about anything, but not having a dog in the hunt was having a dog in that hunt (Whaaaa?). With my Mom, Colbert’s accusation about Trump’s deployed use of post-fact is actually and most surprisingly an accurate reflection of ultimate reality!

So how are these recountings of my experiences related to the original question? They are just stories of what happened when this drake cozied up to the wrong hen!
Anything to add?
YES

I am not (so much) unsettled by the sense of no-self anymore. Instead, I am excited. I feel like a newborn, a baby, and babies grow up. I was so happy to cease “seeking”. I dropped out of my Mystic Mind Training online school. I have put away the “spiritual” books. I have sighed, deeply at all the effort and blind alleyways I have pursued in the past, while still holding gratitude, knowing all was always exactly as it had to be. Where I see myself going forward, I cannot characterize as a seeking. Neither is it an attempt to understand. I am excited to let go and let the tractor beam pull me home. This journey is not done, because I have a new paradigmatic question! Who, what sees?

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

Postby Olenko » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:17 am

Basically, I undertook to imagine &/or visualize not being intelligent and not being of any gender. I stayed with these contemplations until I felt a falling. I started in a meditative posture, and I ended up asleep
This is a great practice to do. Personally I have often meditated on my worst fears becoming reality. Being with the sensations. Accepting all of it. I would imagine that working through these in dreams would be even more effective in bringing peace.
THE answer can only come from experience. I have had some experiences, but not THE experience that quiets the bewildering query.
Can you give an example of one experience?
Those actions ostensibly involve the query points, and did some time ago ----but actually …… now ……they do not! That is a rather assertive declaration, that is actually quite difficult to show out, but the key is ---TIME!
With "query points", do you mean points of choice? They were there before but not anymore? What happened?
my organs don’t ask how or when to work and fit with one another!!!! So, I am not responsible for that!
No, they don't. Who would be / not be responsible for that?
what captured my attention was how I experienced a blankness of mind as a prelude to a change of course.
Sounds a bit similar to what I've experienced as as result of meditation; there have been more and more space between a sensed impulse and a response to it. Leading to different choices of behavior.
This journey is not done, because I have a new paradigmatic question! Who, what sees?
This is an important question. There is the seeing of these written words on this screen. Is any effort needed of 'you' for this seeing to happen? Or does seeing happen automatically when the required prerequisites are present (a working eye, a brain)?
In this seeing, can you find a see-er?

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

Postby Olenko » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:24 pm

Hi,

Do you want to continue?

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

Postby Ran » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:30 pm

Yes, I have been relying on an e-mail notice to know when you reponded to my last post. For whatever reason I never saw it.
So now I thought well I better find my log-in and check to if I unwittingly dismissed a notice. I checked the same minute you posted this. I will respond to last weeks response tonight.

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

Postby Ran » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:11 am

Can you give an example of one experience?

No I cannot, that was meant to be the point of the flying ducks and all, though I concede saying I have had some experiences would seem to allude to an experience of an answer. The only answer is the ducks flying (I did say that was my first choice, but of course my fingers are too verbose!). The only thing I know about how decision, free will, choice and control makes things happen is that things are happening. The closest I felt I could come to having any answer at all was to relate the experiential phenomenon of going blank in the midst of doing, and afterwards continue doing in a different direction; but I have no explanation whatsoever for what that is about, or how it comes about, it just does.

One more thing, ….. this question has lingered with me and been a point of inquiry even before you asked me. I ordered a book by Joanna Macy called “World as Lover, World as Self”. I ordered it about 6 weeks ago, and it has been on back order. It arrived last week. Within the book she, & the Buddhist have answers. All things interdependent co-arise from the anatta (non-separated self) perspective. One’s daily doings are expressions of sankhara – volitional formations formed of habit and previous activity. So there! Named, filed, and ready to sit on a shelf and stink! An intellectual answer only begs another question – what is dependent co-arising? Who/what moves a sankhara? Great place to go (a book) if you want to play the question and answer game, but I do not – hence how does a duck know his wife from all the other ducks?, …… if we are going to ask senseless unanswerable questions, lets play with them and make them fun!

Okay,….. but the above paragraph has a reason for being written, and that is to say that I have made the observation that the question brings forth its own answer, and, that it takes increasingly less time for it to come. That which is to be of the next moment must at some level be posited by this moment such that one meets the other. My responsibility is to not get in the way.

With "query points", do you mean points of choice? They were there before but not anymore? What happened?
What happened was I looked, as in “What was the last bit pushed you over, made you look?” Instead of life being a succession of moments accepted as they are, of living in the now, I thought I existed, and that I existed to bend things to my design. So, what happened was a final surrendering and letting go at a rather profound level, such that I may upon occasion find Ran lurking about, putting forward some non-sense to muck up what is, but I “see” his stuff now, and send him on his way.
No, they don't. Who would be / not be responsible for that?
Lifeing (bet you thought I was incapable of one word answers, ---- obviously I am not --- so your right)

This is an important question. There is the seeing of these written words on this screen. Is any effort needed of 'you' for this seeing to happen? Or does seeing happen automatically when the required prerequisites are present (a working eye, a brain)?
In this seeing, can you find a see-er?
No there is no see-er, seeing is automatic. What follows is my attempt to explain what I mean by the new paradigmatic question – who/what sees? I have had many meditative experiences in my days of shikintaza practice where I sit and things are hearing and the heard is hearing itself, and there is no space and no time between the heard/hearing/happening. The first time it happened wasn't noticed until the meditation closing bell was rung. I stood and smiled because I fully expected everyone in the zendo to fess up and admit they were shucking on me, and then confess that we all had in fact just sat for 2 minutes. They never did shuck me. Time and space had gone bye-bye. There was nothing but a few things heard and nothing, ……. I mean no thing existing between those hearings at all. This happened so many times I was surprised when it didn’t. When I was asked to begin to learn the duties of the time keeper, I explained that I couldn’t do it, and I quit going to the zendo, without trying to explain why to anybody.

Seeing is similar, but harder. Seeing is the more entrenched sankhara. Closing ones eyes, being still, only hearing is easy because it is non-ordinary, but waking, living doing had previously always occurred within the domain of an object/subject. At times of absorbtion in the moment the seeing of separate things, object and subject are not in the equation. Just such that my ongoing practice has become an observance of the nowkeys, and the question I ask myself over and over is who/what sees and the answer that becomes something experiential is seeing sees itself. If I see separation, a (me-subect and a other/object – out there – I deploy my nowkey,….my new life paradigmatic question, who/what sees? Seeing sees – repeat as necessary to be with the now.

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

Postby Olenko » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:23 pm

Hi Ran,

Looking good!
An intellectual answer only begs another question – what is dependent co-arising? Who/what moves a sankhara? Great place to go (a book) if you want to play the question and answer game, but I do not – hence how does a duck know his wife from all the other ducks?, …… if we are going to ask senseless unanswerable questions, lets play with them and make them fun!
Yes, getting an answer to one question tends to open up many more questions. It's a never-ending game.
Just such that my ongoing practice has become an observance of the nowkeys, and the question I ask myself over and over is who/what sees and the answer that becomes something experiential is seeing sees itself. If I see separation, a (me-subect and a other/object – out there – I deploy my nowkey,….my new life paradigmatic question, who/what sees? Seeing sees – repeat as necessary to be with the now.
Who asks the question "who/what sees?" ? Who is trying to be with the now?

Best regards,
Olenko

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

Postby Ran » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:49 pm

Who asks the question "who/what sees?" ? Who is trying to be with the now?
Who asks?, who asks, who asks - said the three turtles holding one another up,.... must be the 4th turtle?

One "trys" to be in the now by not trying to be in the now, hence seeing sees as a paradigmatic mantra described in words because thinking uses words, All thinking is mechanical, habituated, and false. The real happens, but sometimes the mechanical thinking apparatus believes what is needs its assistance, or it just thinks it needs to assert itself into the process, because it doesn't know any better or any different, so you give it a job to do,.... you say, ... say seeing sees.

Great, but now who says, say seeing sees , and around and around we go, and where do we stop? No one knows.(That is actually a good place to stop, isn't it? --- except for the dizziness).

It isn't the moment to moment that "knows" the now, the now never questions itself, so it is only when the now plays with the mechanical mind that there is the slighest jar to the now, perhaps enough to make a time ripple, or perhaps it is that the now sees the not now, and because it does the mechanical mind --- in a perverse reverse thinks , ... oh ok,.... the now. YOU would absolutely NEVER know the now unless there were some means to catch yourself outside of the now (and Eckhart Tolle would lose all that money he has made talking and writing about the now). To say in words what does not ocurr in words is to say;..... when the mechanical minds senses a perverse reverse the new now paridgmatic mantra is teaching it to say ...... seeing sees.

Languaging and referencing uses a lot of imposed pronouns. Thinking and words are unalterably within the domain of the sankharic (conditioned, mechanical mind), to make one last attempt to futily put a "ground" under the fourth turtle, I am suggesting the best thing to do is to give it a job to do, because that is what it is good for, hence when the "mind" says are are you seeing a world out there and an observer (a subject/object), one "trains" it to say .... seeing sees. That makes it happy, and you go back to what is.

There isn't a who outside the domain of now, there is only a functioning mind that occasionally needs to be palliated.

(In real time),....."I" am driving home on a beautiful scenic highway, up and down hills, very little traffic. Thoughts in my head say, hey, are you driving through this scenery? Aren't you separated from this scenary? Who sees this scenary? ANSWER ----seeing sees, and this is what "I" say (seeing sees) whenever the "voice" in the head wants to be heard. Then "I" drive on amorphously sensing the road, the car, the wind, the passing trees - ALL driving.

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

Postby Olenko » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:58 pm

Hi,
Great, but now who says, say seeing sees , and around and around we go, and where do we stop? No one knows.(That is actually a good place to stop, isn't it?
That is a good place to stop. It is as you wrote in a few sentences;
All thinking is mechanical, habituated
Thinking and words are unalterably within the domain of the sankharic (conditioned, mechanical mind), to make one last attempt to futily put a "ground" under the fourth turtle
No one 'thinks' thoughts.

"Thinking" is just another process happening due to conditioning. And there's nothing wrong with having thoughts either. They can only become a problem when the content is believed; "I need this to be happy... I am miserable because.." becomes believed "reality" and the feelings of misery comes as a result. But seeing that there is no separate being, "I", in the first place, these thoughts lose their ground, and the misery goes with it. What remains is just being. Evermore peaceful.

The new "conditioning" (which is actually de-conditioning in the long run), is fundamentally just becoming aware when the thought-stories have once again pulled attention into them, and returning into presence. Whether this happens through using "nowkeys" (which I think is a good concept) or some other means (like solid meditation practice), is irrelevant in my opinion. And there's no need to stress about the process. "One" is "in the stream" so to speak (referring to the Buddhists term "stream-entry"), which I think is quite a good name in the given context.

I can't think of anything more now. Do you have any questions at this point?
I will soon ask a few fellow guides to have look at our conversation to see if they might have some more questions.

If they don't, our journey here will come to an end, and you'll get an invitation from the moderator to other LU forums and FB groups.

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 Jan 17, 2017 3:37 am

Olenko,

I would not wish to impose any further upon your good time. I have no further questions aspecting our work together. Please accept my thanks and gratitude for your assistance. I hope I may find my way to pay-forward your kindnesses.

Ran
_()_

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

Postby Olenko » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:08 pm

Hi Ran,

The other clients had no further questions to ask.
This conversation has been a growing experience for me as well, so thanks to you also. :)

All the best,
Olenko


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