Nick, welcome here.

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Ilona
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Nick, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:33 pm

thank you for the message. i see that you are getting close and i will help you if you are willing to be completely honest and take this seriously. your answers should be what feels 100% true. no seem, perhaps or maybe, no rush either just answer when ready and after you take a good look where i'm pointing to.

first step as you know is examining the expectations. take your time an make a whole list of what you do expect this seeing of truth is gonna be like, how you should feel, what do you want to happen, how do you imagine that your life will be after. what you do not want it to be, all that.

sending love and waiting for your answers.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book/events/

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Nick » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:22 am

Ok. Thank you very much for your time and attention. I promise to be 100% honest, and if/when BS is detected you may slap me.

What I expect it to be like, seeing the truth:
A feeling of relief and relaxation.
Like a confirmation or proof of what was previously only suspected.
A sense of certainty. A jumping off point or home base. Like "ok THIS... now what next"

What I want to happen:
Live life in a more natural, relaxed fashion.
Actions and thoughts more spontaneously harmonious, less internal dialogue and struggle.
Be more kind to others without having to force it. Enjoy ordinary life more.
Feel more at peace, less like "me against the world".

Maybe unrealistic, but I hope for a real "pop" or major change in perspective. I really want to see it deep and be blown away. Laugh, cry, all that crap.

How I expect life to be after:
Not much different on a superficial level. Work, marriage, eat, sleep, friends. I hope that these things may be more enjoyable as they happen, less worry about past and future, some new friends online.

What I don't want it to be:
Loss or dissolution of personality.
Deadening of emotions or detachment from others.
Running off to join a monastery/ashram.
Just another spiritual fad to be collected or consumed.
A "title" or badge or source of pride.

Unrealistic / fantasy expectations that pop up and must be acknowledged:
others will know that I am enlightened and special. They will want ME as their teacher.
Ecstasy, bliss, altered states of consciousness. Instantly become a meditation master.
Magical or psychic powers. Like a modern day Gandalf or something. Embarrassing, yes I know.

Ready. Serious.

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:23 am

Brilliant, I see you are ready. :) love that you pointed put the magical thinking- unrralistic expectation, Gandalf. None of that is a prize. States come and go, it's not result of liberation. And ashram thing, who knows, it may or may not happen, none of it is up to you.

For now let's leave your expectations right here and take a fresh look. We can come back to them later.
With fresh eyes, can you take a look at where thoughts come from. I know you read a lot, but putting second hand reports of experience aside, get right down to it, inspect properly and write what is true to you.


Can you control thoughts?
Can you stop them?
Can you know what's the next though will be?
Is there a thinker?

Looking forward to your answer.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book/events/

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Nick » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:46 pm

Thanks for your questions. I went on a long drive and a long walk in nature today to examine. Here are some ideas:

Where do thoughts come from? - Some are just reactions to the world. "Look at that nice tree", "Ouch that hurts", "OMG a bear just jumped out, run away!" Thought may follow other thoughts, like reasoning or making a narrative. Some thoughts are memories of the past. Other thoughts seem to come out of nowhere on their own. Like dreams, for instance. The mind is just working away on its own spitting out images, ideas and feelings, making up stories, etc. One thing I noticed today is that thoughts are often false or mistaken. I saw some weird thing approaching far down a path on my walk. I couldn't tell what it was, and I had it for a horse and rider before I eventually saw it was a couple on a tandem bicycle. Same with memories, totally unreliable. I was thinking, oh I've been here before at such and such a time with this person, and so on. And then I realized I was totally mistaken. So the thoughts don't necessarily pertain to the "real" world, and this makes it very hard to trust any of them as being true or believable. These "memories" are not real, just thoughts, which are occurring now.

Can thoughts be controlled or stopped? - I tried a few times to call up a thought and then arrest it, but this is silly and impossible. Its like the old story - "whatever you do, don't think about monkeys". I can't do it. Thoughts may calm down, but it takes time, and it is not through normal volition. It's like falling asleep, you can't just say "Ok I'm going to fall asleep now zzzzzzzzzzzzzz". Sleep just comes and you can't even observe it happening. I can force myself to think certain things, but this is just a thought (itself engendered by a thought), engendering other thoughts. So perhaps thoughts can be steered, massaged, or sculpted into other thoughts, over time and over the course of many thoughts. But what is the agent of this change? Me? Or just the thoughts evolving... (One thing that bothers me: if thoughts just follow other thoughts, then what is the beginning? What was the first thought? Can it be known? Does it matter?)

Is there a thinker? ...... This is tough.

I see that the controller is not necessary for motion, physical action. Driving the car today, for instance. The thoughts are somewhere else. The driving just happens. The road is being seen by the eyes. The brain is working, moving the hands and feet. Its so natural and automatic that it is unconscious. Walking too, not thoughts required, I could literally do it in my sleep.

Thoughts, too, do not require a controller. In my dreams for example. A dream is 100% thoughts. There is no controlling what happens in the dream. Sometimes it is Nick in the dream. Sometimes it another person, or no person. These thoughts and experiences occur on their own, naturally. So the controller is not necessary for thoughts to occur.

It's somewhat clear that there is no omnipotent controller behind the actions and thoughts of the body/mind. It really feels like there is a continuous watcher or an audience, though. Thoughts aren't made by me, but they seem to be presented to me. Its like a motion picture that is running on automatic, and can only be played once - there is the appearance of continuity, but I can never pause and turn it back to re-watch what happened. I can never fast forward. And its not a re-run; I have no idea what could happen at any second.

I know that memories are not real. Thoughts are not real, and can be mistaken. It follows that the idea of "watcher" or audience may also be an illusion. A seeming continuity. In reality its just the movie, happening now. Just the typing, thoughts arising and passing, fingers transcribing. This all feels very shaky and I can't get a hold on it.

For instance, why is this movie always about Nick? :)

If driving just happens, why is it always this "Nick body" that's driving. There are others who also experience driving. Why are these experiences never presented here? All experiences seem to be located around this Nick body/mind. I can't feel pain in my wife's body, even when she is right next to me. Why are there only Nick-thoughts popping up? Where are the Ilona thoughts happening?

This is where I get stuck...

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:12 am

Thank you for answer nick. Why is this about nick? It's the story about nick, not Ilona or batman.
This nick character is the main character in the movie. And there is this body and brain here and it's unique.
Anyway...
You thought about thoughts. Now take a look. Where do they come from? Get right into the direct imediate experience and see if you can catch the next thought.. And what is here now without thought, if you don't think about it? Take a look if there is a watcher or is watching happening, watcher, watching and the watched not being separate.

It may help to compare it to breathing: is there an I that breathes or is it breathing happening?

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

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Nick » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:34 am

Thank you for your response. "it's the story about nick, not Ilona or batman." very nice. I see this clearly. No need to question it. This is a story happening now. Other stories happen too, but this one is happening here and now.

You asked me to look where the thoughts come from. The thoughts arise as the mind describes what is happening. The thoughts describe the experience. Pain happens, and it hurts. The thought says "this is pain". It doesn't change the hurting. It's just useful for describing and organizing the things that happen. It describes it so that it makes sense as part of a framework of other thoughts. If the thought said "that felt good", it wouldn't matter, the hurting would still be there.

The thoughts are calling out what happens, describing the experiences to the other thoughts, and all together they make a story with beginning, middle, and end. Or the thoughts may be distracted, irrelevant to what is happening now. But either way it's like the commentary in sports. If the tv is muted, the game still happens. The players don't know that the commentary has stopped and they don't care. The game is still real, still just as fun. Without thought, nothing changes. Obviously mental things like math and memory and such are not happening, but the rest of the world and body and life continue uninterrupted.

Nobody is breathing. Breathing just happens on its own, most of the time unnoticed by thoughts. A thought may say "I am breathing" but that doesn't make it true. The thought could just as well say "I am not breathing now. I am dead." but the breathing still happens. Same for thoughts themselves. "I am thinking" is just another thought. A thought about thoughts. And thoughts may be true or not, but either way reality continues without interruption. So whether "I am thinking" is true or not, thinking still happens.

Without the thought "I am breathing", breathing still happens. Without the thought "I am thinking", thinking still happens. This extra level of "I" thought is redundant, unnecessary, it's like an obsessive tic that continues to poke up out of habit, conditioning, feeding on itself. It is clear to the rational mind that there is no I, but the defenses are strong. Demons at the gate.

Gratitude. Feeling humble. Thankful for the love.

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:01 am

You asked me to look where the thoughts come from. The thoughts arise as the mind describes what is happening.
Give it one more try. Where? Find that answer by looking. Can you pin point the location of thoughts?


Demons at the gate are imaginary. Gate is imaginary :)
What are the demons protecting? What is it there to guard, what they don't want to be found out? Can you look
Behind the demons and take a peek with curiosity, what is there?

Write what feelings/ thoughts come up here.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book/events/

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Nick » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:32 am

The location of thoughts is right here and now, together with everything else and not separate. They come from nowhere (nonexistence), exist here and now for this moment, and then are gone.


Regarding the demons: First is distraction. When looking for the thoughts and the thinker, it throws other thoughts in the way. Random thoughts, plans, memories, desires, whatever. A lot of the time when i get past the superficial distractions, i notice that theres music playing deep inside my head, little snippets of whatever, sometimes songs i havent thought about or heard in a long time. This is a very tough distraction because trying to stop the music leads to other thoughts and im back to square one. Overall I can deal with this by saying fuck it. After all, everything's very distracting. Nothing new there.

The other demon is fear. It threatens. I will be out of control. Maybe I'll go insane, raving and running around like a maniac or criminal. After all, what's to stop this body from murdering, if there's no one at the controls? This threat seems silly, and I can dismiss it. Next it reminds me of all the time and effort I have invested in myself and that it will all be ruined. I'll lose my job, my marriage. This hits closer to home. I know the "right" answer: the job, marriage, identity, memories, the whole epic story of nick's life was never "mine" to begin with... still scary.

Tried to confront the fear head-on, but it squiggles away, changes. So I look behind it, what is it hiding? I think I know, but it's like trying to have a staring contest with myself in the mirror. Who will blink first?

It's nice to look like this, a little peek behind the curtain. I can get a whiff, a taste, like dipping a toe in the cold water before jumping in. I do get light headed and stare into space. My wife complained tonight that I was acting distant during dinner. I felt some resentment, but i saw her point. I apologized and asked forgiveness. I re-engaged and saw that I don't have to be detached or distant to do this, like mr.hardcore 100% yogi. it's just happening. All is well.

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:33 am

Yes, distraction is a bugger, but it's part of mechanism of protection. Same as fear.
Let's try a little experiment.

IMAGINE just for fun, that there are no separate individual entities at all. When you get into crowd, when you at home, just imagine and let your mind play with it.


What would life be like if it was true? Write up a little story.


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

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Nick » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:26 am

Here's a story:

Today, all of a sudden, all of the individual identities at the grocery store were suddenly taken away. At one moment, we were all there, standing and talking and putting eggplants and milk into carts, and at the next moment, every single special person was whisked away into the void. It felt like a tiny "blip" or hiccup, everything frozen, then sound and movement returned so smoothly. Empty bodies continued their actions as if nothing happened. Conversations continued without any interruption. It was like an animatronic show at Disneyland. The bodies and noises and thoughts were as innocuous and natural as birdsongs or a dog barking in the distance. "Real" life had been like a movie, each character speaking their lines and playing their parts. There was always a screen upon which the movie was projected, rectangular, flat, with four borders and it was "in front" of something. Now there was no front, no back, no limit on any side. There was no center and therefore everything was right here. There was the fleeting memory of a little boy, lying in his bed at night with eyes shut, terrified by the realization that his visual field, with eyes closed, was infinite in scope, and 360 degrees around. When the people faded back into existence, and the focus returned, there was sadness. No one remembered what had happened. No one noticed that they had, only a moment earlier, not existed. The watcher's sadness was for himself, having realized that he was already dead. There was an emptiness like a hangover, clarity with severe headache. How long do I have before I'm buried and forgotten? Are there other non beings on the far side of this wall?

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:27 am

Great story nick and would make a good sci-fi movie.

Now lets focus on real life. Don't wait for grand pause or cosmic boom, all goes on uninterrupted and nothing dies.
you mentioned the watcher. Let's see if you can find one.

Tell me, where is the watcher's control centre? How does it watch, when does it watch, does he come in sometimes only or always present.

How is watcher different from awareness?
Is there a gap between weather, watched and watching action?

Can watcher die?


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

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Nick » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:24 am

Hahahaha, OK I promise no more Sci-Fi...

I've been looking at the watcher for several days now. Watcher's control center at first seemed to be in the head, like sitting in front of a film screen. But with eyes closed, its obvious there's no "screen", the visual space is infinite like the real world.

And YES watcher is only there sometimes... goes away when everything's flowing.

Awareness is always present and can't be turned off. Awareness doesn't require subject/object which is the nature of the watcher. Awareness can be outside the head, part of the experience that's happening.

Any gap between the watched, watcher, and "watching" is imaginary. Even if I tried to explain it with materialist science it falls apart, matter is constantly flowing/changing particles and waves, and what matter constitutes a watcher? Eyeballs? Brain? Some nebulous "mind" that exists somehow apart from matter and yet is influenced by, and can itself influence, the material world?

All 3 are part of the same thing. Existence=awareness=being experienced right now.

Watcher can't die b/c watcher was never born. But the belief in watcher can be dropped.

Btw I haven't experienced one moment of boredom since this thread started, so thanks at least for that!!

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:41 pm

Great to see that you are moving fast.

So.. Do you exist as a separate entIty in charge of life?
What is in charge of nick's life?
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book/events/

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Nick » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:08 pm

There is the name Nick and the story of Nick's life. But its only a name and a story. There is no "one", no individual in control or in possession of Nick's life. Nick's life continues to happen in a natural way, and even if the belief in "Nick/I/me" continues, IT is unable to control what happens. But there's no need to cling to the stories, which are all wrapped up with a bunch of drama and heartache.

Its like the myth of Apollo's chariot, carrying the sun around the Earth. Its a nice story, but there's no little man pulling the sun around. And believing there is doesn't make anything better. Praying to Apollo can't change what happens. The sun is just there, and it and the earth move around each other naturally, time/space and gravity all doing their thing.

So no one and nothing is in charge. Also no fate, destiny, or determinism. Elaborate stories and ideas like Nick and Nick's life, Nick's beliefs and goals, these things can distract for a while like a movie or a book. But it's like getting drunk, it's an illusion to escape from reality. Reality and existence, happening now, are always right here.

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Re: Nick, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:38 pm

Beautiful! I see that you got it. I mean seeing is happening. :)
What was it that pushed you over?
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com/book/events/


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