freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

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Florisness
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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby Florisness » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:19 pm

Thank you very much for this feedback. I wanted to be honest about doubts that have arisen. I am afraid that if this process of seeing somehow fails, it will because I was somehow dishonest in my answers.

I do believe that I have understood all of the pointers thus far, through my direct experience. I will try to relax and trust the process as we move forward.
Thank you for that too. You said "I am afraid that if this process of seeing somehow fails, ...", it won't fail, it doesn't work like this. Seeing through the illusion isn't really a one shot/insight/seeing deal, it's often -as it is happening in our talk- a series of seeing the difference between what thought says and our experience, which you've already done quite a bit!

No. The thinker is a thought. Each thought may or may not have a sense of a thinker. This thinker can not see any other thought.
very good

No, I cannot find anything beyond the thought itself
and can anything be found that is doing the finding? :)

This is an illusion that I have struggled with a lot in my life... That somehow I am responsible for thinking myself into and out of bad situations in life. I've spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to fix ongoing problems with myself and the outside world. But it is impossible to use willpower to try and think the next thought... which I hope somehow will solve my life's problems.

I have no control of the next thought. I don't know where it will come from or what it will be. Maybe sometimes it feels like I can access old thoughts in my memory (I now see there is no 'I' choosing to remember thoughts either), but in terms of having a new and insightful thought... it's impossible to control.
good insight. if you don't have control over thoughts as you mention, then how does it reconcile with the statement you just made "I've spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to fix ongoing problems with myself and the outside world."? Is there something that has spend a lot of time thinking, or could that also just be thought?

But it is impossible to use willpower to try and think the next thought... which I hope somehow will solve my life's problems.
could it be that your 'lifes problems' are only (the result of) thought?

What if we would lump all experience together (seeing, thinking, feeling, etc) and call it all 'experiencing'. Can anything be found out of it? Is there a seperate entity within it? Can anything be found besides this experiencing?

Floris

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gobs
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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby gobs » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:22 pm

Thank you for that too. You said "I am afraid that if this process of seeing somehow fails, ...", it won't fail, it doesn't work like this. Seeing through the illusion isn't really a one shot/insight/seeing deal, it's often -as it is happening in our talk- a series of seeing the difference between what thought says and our experience, which you've already done quite a bit!
I see this now. If I'm looking for a dramatic 'enlightening' moment I will not find it. But I am experiencing a gradual deepening in seeing.

It is very subtle and it feels very normal and unremarkable. I do believe that there is more peace here already as some old thought patterns are falling away.
and can anything be found that is doing the finding? :)
No. Even the seeker of Truth is a thought (or many separate thoughts)
good insight. if you don't have control over thoughts as you mention, then how does it reconcile with the statement you just made "I've spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to fix ongoing problems with myself and the outside world."? Is there something that has spend a lot of time thinking, or could that also just be thought?
It's just a thought. A memory.
could it be that your 'lifes problems' are only (the result of) thought?
Yes. Without thought there are no problems. It is only thought that interprets a particular situation to be a 'problem'
What if we would lump all experience together (seeing, thinking, feeling, etc) and call it all 'experiencing'. Can anything be found out of it?
Do you mean 'is there anything outside of experience'? If that is the question, then no.
Is there a seperate entity within it? Can anything be found besides this experiencing?
No, experience and entity are one and the same. I cannot find any separation, nor anything outside of experience.

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Florisness
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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby Florisness » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:49 pm

I see this now. If I'm looking for a dramatic 'enlightening' moment I will not find it. But I am experiencing a gradual deepening in seeing.

It is very subtle and it feels very normal and unremarkable. I do believe that there is more peace here already as some old thought patterns are falling away.
Yes it's like you say in that the shifts are often very normal and unremarkable. It can silently sneak up on you, you can become a completely different 'human' being, and hardly have noticed it happening. It's nice to read that things are changing for you.

- No. Even the seeker of Truth is a thought (or many separate thoughts)
- It's just a thought. A memory.
- Yes. Without thought there are no problems. It is only thought that interprets a particular situation to be a 'problem'
- Do you mean 'is there anything outside of experience'? If that is the question, then no.
Good answers. It's important thought that this comes from your understanding or experience, and that the answers don't come because you think it's the right answer. Can you respond to this? I need to check, be honest:)
If it does come from your experience or understanding (from investigating your experience), is it accurate to say that things have shifted, and that seeing might have already happened?

No, experience and entity are one and the same. I cannot find any separation, nor anything outside of experience.
It might not be the ultimate truth, but could we for now say that what you are IS 'experiencing'?

Is there something to point at that has been doing this investigation?

What is Gobs? Could we say that perhaps the realest thing of Gobs are the stories about one, just like stories about Santa Claus?

Floris

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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby gobs » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:17 pm

Good answers. It's important thought that this comes from your understanding or experience, and that the answers don't come because you think it's the right answer. Can you respond to this? I need to check, be honest:)
Yes, at the time when I answered the questions, it was my honest experience.
If it does come from your experience or understanding (from investigating your experience), is it accurate to say that things have shifted, and that seeing might have already happened?
I think things have shifted.

I cannot say for sure that I will not fall back into illusion, but for now, I can put any thought or sense of 'me' to this investigation and see that it is just a thought.

I have investigated if there is anyone who could gain or lose this knowledge and cannot find anyone there either.
It might not be the ultimate truth, but could we for now say that what you are IS 'experiencing'?
Yes, this is another thought so once I think of it I start to project and imagine what I am or experience is, or what it may all mean. But I cannot find any separation between myself and experience when I look, so for now I can say it is one and the same.
Is there something to point at that has been doing this investigation?
Not when I look. New 'entities' seem to pop up when I am not actively doing this investigation, but every time I look I can see there is nothing there.
What is Gobs? Could we say that perhaps the realest thing of Gobs are the stories about one, just like stories about Santa Claus?
I think the stories are imperfect truths, maybe not complete fantasy, but memories of how this human being appeared in the world at a certain snapshot in time. I cannot find any truth to the stories now, but I believe that these things in memory did happen in the past.

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Florisness
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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby Florisness » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:49 pm

Yes, at the time when I answered the questions, it was my honest experience.
Okay, good.
I think things have shifted.

I cannot say for sure that I will not fall back into illusion, but for now, I can put any thought or sense of 'me' to this investigation and see that it is just a thought.

I have investigated if there is anyone who could gain or lose this knowledge and cannot find anyone there either.
what do you think that would make one believe in a seperate self or I?
Also if you fall back into illusion, than how might this happen, what would be the factor that makes you be in the illusion?

Yes, this is another thought so once I think of it I start to project and imagine what I am or experience is, or what it may all mean. But I cannot find any separation between myself and experience when I look, so for now I can say it is one and the same.
good work:)

Not when I look. New 'entities' seem to pop up when I am not actively doing this investigation, but every time I look I can see there is nothing there.
yes it's all just thought. How does it feel that there is no self?

I think the stories are imperfect truths, maybe not complete fantasy, but memories of how this human being appeared in the world at a certain snapshot in time. I cannot find any truth to the stories now, but I believe that these things in memory did happen in the past.
can you close your eyes, and try to find a human being?

Insight or comprehension, or the feelingimplications of it can happen in different degrees you could say. I'd like to deepen your grasp on the matter. So please, take some quite time, relax and take a pen and paper. You could use the pc too, but pen and paper gives a different effect, and write down a good list of all that comes to mind when thinking about 'Gobs' or 'I'. don't filter, no need to write sentences, only keywords. Memories, ideas, feelings... e.g. memory of someone calling you 'such a nice kid' when you were 6 years old, perhaps some sort of typical shirt of you that comes to mind, anything related to your identity.
After you're done with that, try this- As good as you can, can you try to eliminate all your identity, your typical way of feeling like I/me/person/Gobs, even the sense of there being a body. take a second for this. Even if you can just get it a little bit, and just for a second. And then notice how your everyday 'self' feels.

What were your findings, and can you see how all these things (which only just thought) have molded together in what now may feel as everyday 'me'?

Floris

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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby gobs » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:49 pm

what do you think that would make one believe in a seperate self or I?
I suppose if there was a thought that could not be seen through as an illusion. So far, since we have begun our conversation, I have seen through every thought that I have investigated... but I fear that this process of seeing will someday 'stop working' and I will be stuck with thoughts that cause suffering once again.

I am questioning the "I" who needs to hold onto this process to relieve suffering, and it has dropped away for now...

Also if you fall back into illusion, than how might this happen, what would be the factor that makes you be in the illusion?
Again, a persistent thought or pattern of thoughts that I could not see through and that I would get 'stuck' on.

Who is the "I" who would get 'stuck'? I cannot find it

I have memories of other times in my life where I thought I had finally reached some realization or been free of my suffering, but in the end it seemed that the old thoughts and suffering came back after some time.

Can I find the one who has 'failed' before? No.
yes it's all just thought. How does it feel that there is no self?
It feels fine, mostly. Sometimes there is thought that is sad, when I think about my family or the story of my life and I do not want to lose my connection to this world or find out that it was all meaningless. But when I investigate this, the sadness drops away. It is all ok. Nothing has changed, nothing has been lost.

Do I 100% believe that I do not exist, at all times during the day? No. Illusion comes and goes to various degrees. But every thought of the self that is investigated disappears, and whatever 'me' that is left does not feel any sadness or loss. Actually, quite the opposite. There is more peace and well-being.
can you close your eyes, and try to find a human being?
I cannot find anything beyond thoughts, sensations, sounds, etc...
As good as you can, can you try to eliminate all your identity, your typical way of feeling like I/me/person/Gobs, even the sense of there being a body. take a second for this. Even if you can just get it a little bit, and just for a second. And then notice how your everyday 'self' feels.
I spent some time working on this, but I know I could spend more time eliminating the sense of identity. As I go through the day, and move towards the world there are problems, desires, thoughts about myself and relationship with others, that I use as opportunities to investigate the sense of self. Every time I do this, I feel more peace. However, it feels like new 'layers' are continuously coming to the surface to be investigated. I hope that there is some progress being made and eventually I will be completely clear in my understanding.

You mention the sense of a body. This is actually a very important investigation for me. I have spent most of my life hating my body, and many of my habitual thoughts throughout the day are negative thoughts about my body. I know this comes from identifying with the body and all of its imperfections. I have begun to feel some relief from these intrusive thoughts since questioning 'who's body is this?'... but again it seems that additional layers remain and there still is identification.
What were your findings, and can you see how all these things (which only just thought) have molded together in what now may feel as everyday 'me'?
Yes, there are so many different thoughts and memories that surface repeatedly that come together as 'me'. Many of them are unrelated to the others, but they all have the sense of identity so they seem to form one individual person. I understand this is an illusion, but when a thought with identity arises, there is still identification if it is not investigated.

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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby Florisness » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:51 pm

Hi Gobs,
I suppose if there was a thought that could not be seen through as an illusion. So far, since we have begun our conversation, I have seen through every thought that I have investigated... but I fear that this process of seeing will someday 'stop working' and I will be stuck with thoughts that cause suffering once again.
Yes, when thought it not believed it has no power, and thus cannot cause suffering. Btw, can a thought ever cause something? Does an appearance cause another appearance?
Doubts can and often do arise after seeing, they just might take some time to fall away again:). Progression does not happen linearly, so don't expect it to be that way, or feel down when it doesn't.

- I am questioning the "I" who needs to hold onto this process to relieve suffering, and it has dropped away for now...
- Who is the "I" who would get 'stuck'? I cannot find it
- Can I find the one who has 'failed' before? No.
In your first paragraph you wrote "I fear that this process of seeing will someday 'stop working'". Were you referring with 'this process of seeing' with the kind of questions I qouted above? Is there a hope or expectations that this question and answer technique will eleviate suffering or something else? It might work, but perhaps it will stop working after a while.

I have memories of other times in my life where I thought I had finally reached some realization or been free of my suffering, but in the end it seemed that the old thoughts and suffering came back after some time.
And what was the respons to this (when it came back)?

Can I find the one who has 'failed' before? No.
And could the story that everything works as it should, be just as true, or perhaps even truer, than that something is/can be failing?

It feels fine, mostly. Sometimes there is thought that is sad, when I think about my family or the story of my life and I do not want to lose my connection to this world or find out that it was all meaningless. But when I investigate this, the sadness drops away. It is all ok. Nothing has changed, nothing has been lost.
The sense of loss can often occur when things fall away, it may be expected. You seem to handle this well. It's always gets better after something dropping away

Do I 100% believe that I do not exist, at all times during the day? No. Illusion comes and goes to various degrees. But every thought of the self that is investigated disappears, and whatever 'me' that is left does not feel any sadness or loss. Actually, quite the opposite. There is more peace and well-being.
lovely:)

I spent some time working on this, but I know I could spend more time eliminating the sense of identity. As I go through the day, and move towards the world there are problems, desires, thoughts about myself and relationship with others, that I use as opportunities to investigate the sense of self. Every time I do this, I feel more peace. However, it feels like new 'layers' are continuously coming to the surface to be investigated. I hope that there is some progress being made and eventually I will be completely clear in my understanding.
Yes this dropping and discovering of (new) layers can take some time to fall away.

You mention the sense of a body. This is actually a very important investigation for me. I have spent most of my life hating my body, and many of my habitual thoughts throughout the day are negative thoughts about my body. I know this comes from identifying with the body and all of its imperfections. I have begun to feel some relief from these intrusive thoughts since questioning 'who's body is this?'... but again it seems that additional layers remain and there still is identification.
Can one appearance own another appearance? You could also look at it this way, isn't the body a collection of food? When is the point that a piece of food becomes my body?
The sense of identification, however, will (i think) never fall away completely, it might even be necessary. But there can still be an awareness that the identification is not real.

Floris

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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby gobs » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:39 pm

Btw, can a thought ever cause something? Does an appearance cause another appearance?
No, the thought contains the suffering. It is one appearance.
Were you referring with 'this process of seeing' with the kind of questions I qouted above?
Yes
Is there a hope or expectations that this question and answer technique will eleviate suffering or something else? It might work, but perhaps it will stop working after a while.
I'm not sure what you mean. Could you please clarify?

Yes, there are still hope and expectations arising that the story of 'me' will somehow be improved through this process. I need to investigate those thoughts, even though they may be the most difficult to let go of.
And what was the respons to this (when it came back)?
The response was to keep searching, I guess. Which led me to where I am today. I had 'seen' enough to know that the old way of functioning in the world would not bring me any lasting happiness or peace. I knew that freedom was the only path for me, although I may not have been fully ready to ask the right questions about what is true.
And could the story that everything works as it should, be just as true, or perhaps even truer, than that something is/can be failing?
Yes! All conditions and everything that has happened in life has lead to this point. Perhaps it could not have happened any other way. When you asked me to write down memories, I had (and still have) a lot of pain in my childhood that came from such a strong sense of identification with my story. I found myself wishing that I could go back and change the past, and rewrite a happier story in place of all the pain. Instead, I should be questioning whether or not the circumstances that appeared were really personal or not.
The sense of loss can often occur when things fall away, it may be expected. You seem to handle this well. It's always gets better after something dropping away

Yes this dropping and discovering of (new) layers can take some time to fall away.
I'm glad to hear that! Are you willing to share your own personal story at this point and how the 'human' life has changed? Or will it just set up more expectations and hope that will lead me down the wrong path?
Can one appearance own another appearance? You could also look at it this way, isn't the body a collection of food? When is the point that a piece of food becomes my body?
No, I guess not. Thank you for pointing this out. The self-reflecting thought about the body is the only one appearance

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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby Florisness » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:08 am

Is there a hope or expectations that this question and answer technique will alleviate suffering or something else? It might work, but perhaps it will stop working after a while.
I'm not sure what you mean. Could you please clarify?
Just that the assumption that looking for the one who is suffering, might not always take away the suffering. Just like seeing that identity is false, doesn't eliminate it completely.

The response was to keep searching, I guess. Which led me to where I am today. I had 'seen' enough to know that the old way of functioning in the world would not bring me any lasting happiness or peace. I knew that freedom was the only path for me, although I may not have been fully ready to ask the right questions about what is true.
And if the searching for lasting peace or happiness would be released too, would that result in more peace and happiness?:) Does it feel true that wanting or searching for peace, is the biggest obstacle for it?

Yes! All conditions and everything that has happened in life has lead to this point. Perhaps it could not have happened any other way. When you asked me to write down memories, I had (and still have) a lot of pain in my childhood that came from such a strong sense of identification with my story. I found myself wishing that I could go back and change the past, and rewrite a happier story in place of all the pain. Instead, I should be questioning whether or not the circumstances that appeared were really personal or not.
Yes perhaps it couldn't have happened any other way. If you role a dice, and the number it roles on is for example 6, people often have the belief it could have been any other number too. Could it have been? How could this been known that it could have been any number?

I'm glad to hear that! Are you willing to share your own personal story at this point and how the 'human' life has changed? Or will it just set up more expectations and hope that will lead me down the wrong path?
There is still a lot to fall away here, still plenty of stories that are running, but it is known that nothing the mind comes up with has any truth in it. Mind doesn't know anything, the best for it is is to 'fall back' until all stories are out. 'mind' is still in the emptying out process, and the further it does the more clarity, widening and mystery there is. There can still be some sadness or heaviness to see friends and family who have no idea how life can be, and to see them think and do things that just don't work at all, and perhaps will never experience anything beyond there current awareness. A big mismatch in understanding is there, and which will likely only grow. So don't expect people to get you, or to understand your motivations. Every resistance is an opportunity to investigate the stories that are running.

When someone has seen, there are some confirmation questions to see if everything is clear. Would you like me to ask them, or wait, or?

Have a good day!
Floris

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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby gobs » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:26 pm

Just that the assumption that looking for the one who is suffering, might not always take away the suffering. Just like seeing that identity is false, doesn't eliminate it completely.
But then who suffers?
And if the searching for lasting peace or happiness would be released too, would that result in more peace and happiness?:) Does it feel true that wanting or searching for peace, is the biggest obstacle for it?
Yes, any sense of identity that is seeking peace or happiness is itself an obstacle that prevents complete peace and happiness.
Yes perhaps it couldn't have happened any other way. If you role a dice, and the number it roles on is for example 6, people often have the belief it could have been any other number too. Could it have been? How could this been known that it could have been any number?
Maybe, but that could not be known. All that is known (i.e. experience, all that is) is what is, not what could have been.
There is still a lot to fall away here, still plenty of stories that are running, but it is known that nothing the mind comes up with has any truth in it. Mind doesn't know anything, the best for it is is to 'fall back' until all stories are out. 'mind' is still in the emptying out process, and the further it does the more clarity, widening and mystery there is.
I am glad to hear that. Thank you for sharing! Even if mind continues to run in unpredictable ways, it sounds like there is some 'space' between thoughts and whether or not they are believed.
So don't expect people to get you, or to understand your motivations
This has been difficult for me to come to terms with, because I want to help those around me who appear to be suffering.

Also, I do not want to participate in conversations or relationships that perpetuate ignorance. Sure... not every conversation in life has to be about ultimate Truth, but I would rather speak in relative truths that are moving towards truth and not towards ignorance.

There are some people who love to talk, and give advice even if it is unwanted. I know through 'discernment' in the spiritual path that led me to this point, what is untrue, but I have never been the type to try and argue or convince anyone of anything.

I feel that someone can only come to this point on their own. Of course there have to be pointers from the outside, but if someone is not ready to receive them then they will do no good. I know the first time I heard the concept that 'self is an illusion', my ego resisted it with all its might. Yet, here 'I' am, so obviously some truth was seen and could not be unseen, which led me down this inevitable path.
Every resistance is an opportunity to investigate the stories that are running.
Yes, of course! Now I must go back and re-read what I just wrote about how much more enlightened I am than others, and investigate this identity. Even the supposedly good act of 'helping others' comes from personal motivations and can be questioned.

The only thing 'I' can do to is continue to investigate 'my' experience and deepen 'my' understanding. Trying to change others or any circumstances in the 'outside' world is the wrong path.
When someone has seen, there are some confirmation questions to see if everything is clear. Would you like me to ask them, or wait, or?
Let me take some more time to do the written exercise you suggested and investigate circumstances, memories, etc, where identity emerges. I want to give it the proper time and thought, as you had said. I understand that the falling away of identity is an ongoing process, but I would like to spend a little more time on this step before moving on to the final questions.

Thank you so much for everything. You have already made a huge difference in 'my' life!

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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby Florisness » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:39 pm

But then who suffers?
No one, but suffering already never happened for a someone. But maybe it can be completely eradicated, I don't know, but also don't find it important.

Yes, any sense of identity that is seeking peace or happiness is itself an obstacle that prevents complete peace and happiness.
So what hopes and/or fears are still running that keep the peace from being there? Is there a belief that something is missing?

This has been difficult for me to come to terms with, because I want to help those around me who appear to be suffering.
Is this related to the story of the character?

Also, I do not want to participate in conversations or relationships that perpetuate ignorance. Sure... not every conversation in life has to be about ultimate Truth, but I would rather speak in relative truths that are moving towards truth and not towards ignorance.
Yes understandable. However, for the rest of your life you'll be dealing with people, so better to not make too strong of a stance on it.

I feel that someone can only come to this point on their own. Of course there have to be pointers from the outside, but if someone is not ready to receive them then they will do no good. I know the first time I heard the concept that 'self is an illusion', my ego resisted it with all its might. Yet, here 'I' am, so obviously some truth was seen and could not be unseen, which led me down this inevitable path.
Yes you won't get it if you don't want to see it, and you can't fake your way to understanding.

Yes, of course! Now I must go back and re-read what I just wrote about how much more enlightened I am than others, and investigate this identity. Even the supposedly good act of 'helping others' comes from personal motivations and can be questioned.

The only thing 'I' can do to is continue to investigate 'my' experience and deepen 'my' understanding. Trying to change others or any circumstances in the 'outside' world is the wrong path.
sounds like a good plan!
A question popped up: If there is no you, then what is another?

Let me take some more time to do the written exercise you suggested and investigate circumstances, memories, etc, where identity emerges. I want to give it the proper time and thought, as you had said. I understand that the falling away of identity is an ongoing process, but I would like to spend a little more time on this step before moving on to the final questions.
Yes that can help. The exercise wasn't necessarily to remove identity, but to show how made-up the person is. Would you like to take time off, or exploring certain areas where some doubt might be left (control, decisions, etc), or just see where talking brings us?

Thank you so much for everything. You have already made a huge difference in 'my' life!
Thank you for that, and thank you for your honesty and willingness!

Floris

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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby gobs » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:16 pm

No one, but suffering already never happened for a someone. But maybe it can be completely eradicated, I don't know, but also don't find it important.
I agree, thank you for your insight.
So what hopes and/or fears are still running that keep the peace from being there? Is there a belief that something is missing?
Yes, I still have an identity when it comes to relationships with other people. Although there is a large sense of peace that has arisen from disbelieving the story, there are still stories that have not yet fallen away.

I want to live up to other people's expectations of being a good person in the world. I have felt like a failure for a large part of my life, having not accomplished much worldly 'success'. It is because I always felt disillusioned by the world, and I knew I could not find true fulfillment in the material realm.

"I" have felt like I've failed to live up to the responsibilities of being a functioning adult in this world. I am now beginning to question who is this "I' who is responsible for keeping this life together? If I lose the "I" will everything in my world just fall apart?
Is this related to the story of the character?
Yes, it is the character who wants his story to be important.
Yes understandable. However, for the rest of your life you'll be dealing with people, so better to not make too strong of a stance on it.
So even if the rest of the world sees me as a failure, or a madman, or whatever else... I need to face that. I know what is true for me and where my path needs to go.
A question popped up: If there is no you, then what is another?
This was a good question. I see that "I" and "another" are two sides to one thought. There are many such thoughts for every such "other", but when they are questioned and seen through then the concept of "I" and "another" does not make any sense.
Would you like to take time off, or exploring certain areas where some doubt might be left (control, decisions, etc), or just see where talking brings us?
Yes, I think questioning things like control and decisions would be very helpful! As I mentioned before, this 'weight' of responsibility in my life has always felt so heavy. Sometimes it is so heavy that I am unable to move forward and function in a productive way as a human being in society. I have the intuition that if I was to unburden myself from this weight of felt responsibility, I would naturally be able to move through the world with more ease and would naturally meet my responsibilities as a human. It's almost counter intuitive, that I need to let go of the responsibility to fulfill it.

I would love to talk with you more, but I also do not want to take time and energy from others whom you are guiding. I know that in the site rules it says this is not therapy or self-help, so I understand if you do not have the time to go through all my 'personal' problems with me :-)

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Florisness
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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby Florisness » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:35 pm

It's a bit much for one post. If you rather split it up in more responses, feel free to. Up to you.
Yes, I still have an identity when it comes to relationships with other people. Although there is a large sense of peace that has arisen from disbelieving the story, there are still stories that have not yet fallen away.
Identity seems only (or mostly) to exist as a way to deal with others, and it is always generated by contrasting your perception of yourself with that of other(s). Can you see this? It can be a useful story/model/lens.

I want to live up to other people's expectations of being a good person in the world. I have felt like a failure for a large part of my life, having not accomplished much worldly 'success'. It is because I always felt disillusioned by the world, and I knew I could not find true fulfillment in the material realm.
Does this seem accurate?: That feeling like a failure comes from a perception/interpretation of other peoples expectations about what a healthy human being is or should do and contrasting it to a constructed story(line) of self?
Does failure exist? And does everyone have the same view on what a healthy human should look like? Is one view right?

"I" have felt like I've failed to live up to the responsibilities of being a functioning adult in this world. I am now beginning to question who is this "I' who is responsible for keeping this life together? If I lose the "I" will everything in my world just fall apart?
Imagine having been brought up in a culture where everybody was hooked on the idea that they were controlling their heartbeat, and you were hooked on it too. Now this brings great stress, because what if you lose focus? What if you would get lazy, would you become sloppy with beating the heart too? It may seem like it, because when you become lazy you notice the heartbeat going slower too, so surely you must keep on your toes. What would happen if the effort would drop? Yes the heartbeat would change probably (a little), but likely only for the better.

So even if the rest of the world sees me as a failure, or a madman, or whatever else... I need to face that. I know what is true for me and where my path needs to go.
What will it be that will face the appearance/perception of 'others'? Does it feel like a self-image that will do the facing?

I have the intuition that if I was to unburden myself from this weight of felt responsibility, I would naturally be able to move through the world with more ease and would naturally meet my responsibilities as a human.
Can you pick an object somewhere close to you, and look what responsibilities it has? Then look in the mirror and see if you can find responsibilities in that object? And after doing that, does this feel too simple to take seriously opposed to the perceived worldview of society?

Yes, I think questioning things like control and decisions would be very helpful! As I mentioned before, this 'weight' of responsibility in my life has always felt so heavy.
Can you go to the fridge (or wherever) and (pretend to) plan to eat something from it, pick something. Be aware of what's going with thoughts and feelings.
how does the decision process exactly go?
Can a decision be found?
Can the moment of apparent decision be found?
What seemed to be the reason for the choice? Was that reason under control?
Could something else have been picked?

I would love to talk with you more, but I also do not want to take time and energy from others whom you are guiding. I know that in the site rules it says this is not therapy or self-help, so I understand if you do not have the time to go through all my 'personal' problems with me :-)
It's alright, you provide me an opportunity to explore deeper too :-)

Floris

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gobs
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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby gobs » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:03 pm

Identity seems only (or mostly) to exist as a way to deal with others, and it is always generated by contrasting your perception of yourself with that of other(s). Can you see this? It can be a useful story/model/lens.
Yes, I think I can kind of see this. Every thought of identity is a sort of relationship... this is 'me', that is 'other' and the contrast or conflict between the two.
Does this seem accurate?: That feeling like a failure comes from a perception/interpretation of other peoples expectations about what a healthy human being is or should do and contrasting it to a constructed story(line) of self?
Yes, interpretation is a good word for it, because many times I am creating the story of what other peoples' expectations are. Whether or not they have directly communicated it to me themselves. I made up and believed many stories about myself in childhood, and now every interaction with others is interpreted through the lens of that storyline.
Does failure exist? And does everyone have the same view on what a healthy human should look like? Is one view right?
Failure exists only as thoughts. It is the contrast between me and others who I am comparing myself to.

No, there are so many conflicting views and they often contradict each other. I don't know in whose view I feel like I need to live up to expectations.

Of course, all these views of others are really just thoughts in my head that need to be investigated and seen through. They are all conflicting thoughts that I have taken on in my 'self'.
Imagine having been brought up in a culture where everybody was hooked on the idea that they were controlling their heartbeat, and you were hooked on it too. Now this brings great stress, because what if you lose focus? What if you would get lazy, would you become sloppy with beating the heart too? It may seem like it, because when you become lazy you notice the heartbeat going slower too, so surely you must keep on your toes. What would happen if the effort would drop? Yes the heartbeat would change probably (a little), but likely only for the better.
This analogy brings great relief and peace. I have often felt like keeping this body and person alive in the world required great effort, which I was somehow not enough to provide. The burden of keeping this life together has felt like an impossible task. Now as I let go of the effort, life will move and flow through me on its own (which it always did, in truth)
What will it be that will face the appearance/perception of 'others'? Does it feel like a self-image that will do the facing?
Yes, or rather these perceptions are 'my' own thoughts that will be seen. The self-image itself cannot face anything, the self-image itself must be seen and dissolved.
Can you pick an object somewhere close to you, and look what responsibilities it has? Then look in the mirror and see if you can find responsibilities in that object? And after doing that, does this feel too simple to take seriously opposed to the perceived worldview of society?
This is a great exercise! I also contemplated 'is this object a failure? .... is that object a failure?' There seem to be a lot more thoughts attached to the image of the 'person', but I am seeing that they are just thoughts.

Yes, it does feel a little too simple, but again that is because of thoughts. The worldview of society, that lens of looking at things, hasn't brought me fulfillment or peace, so I am now willing to question it completely.
Can you go to the fridge (or wherever) and (pretend to) plan to eat something from it, pick something. Be aware of what's going with thoughts and feelings.
how does the decision process exactly go?
There appears to be some sort of scanning. Thoughts about different objects as they appear. Then there are other thoughts like "I should pick that one... no, not that one... maybe that one?" Then at some point there is a decision thought that seems to end the process.
Can a decision be found?
Only after it has happened
Can the moment of apparent decision be found?
No
What seemed to be the reason for the choice? Was that reason under control?
It was something I had a memory of thinking about yesterday. The reasons that I thought of it yesterday was not under my control. Also, since today's decision seems to have stemmed from yesterday's causality, it also was not under control.
Could something else have been picked?
No
It's alright, you provide me an opportunity to explore deeper too :-)
Thats great! I hope to someday guide too, to deepen my understanding

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Florisness
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Re: freedom from the character I've created to protect myself

Postby Florisness » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:56 pm

Of course, all these views of others are really just thoughts in my head that need to be investigated and seen through. They are all conflicting thoughts that I have taken on in my 'self'.
yes, you might even have created a story of a 'me' or 'floris' with which you're talking, while what you read here are just some words on a screen, and they can't be found to come from anywhere (or anyone).

This analogy brings great relief and peace. I have often felt like keeping this body and person alive in the world required great effort, which I was somehow not enough to provide. The burden of keeping this life together has felt like an impossible task. Now as I let go of the effort, life will move and flow through me on its own (which it always did, in truth)
perhaps what was felt to keep up/going was a set of behaviours and the like which felt/feel unnatural? Does it feel like keeping up a story/gobs?
Can you try raising a hand as Gobs, and then for a next try let the hand raise without any effort on its own, just observe the hand going up. Is there a difference?
Could it also be that there is noone that is giving up effort?

This is a great exercise! I also contemplated 'is this object a failure? .... is that object a failure?' There seem to be a lot more thoughts attached to the image of the 'person', but I am seeing that they are just thoughts.

Yes, it does feel a little too simple, but again that is because of thoughts. The worldview of society, that lens of looking at things, hasn't brought me fulfillment or peace, so I am now willing to question it completely.
Yes the many years of conditioning don't go away in one blow.

There appears to be some sort of scanning. Thoughts about different objects as they appear. Then there are other thoughts like "I should pick that one... no, not that one... maybe that one?" Then at some point there is a decision thought that seems to end the process.
Okay good. Could it be that a decision is only thought? The next time that you're driving (if you do), then notice how the driving is going. Seem there to be decisions made, or can it also seem to happen without any? Can you find what is doing the driving? Is thinking necessary to change the gears? Can you get a feel for driving just happening?
Thats great! I hope to someday guide too, to deepen my understanding
You could do that!

Floris


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