Can't quite let go

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Dizzily
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:08 pm

Hmm, while driving, I looked at the experience of my hands. There is the colour and shape of hands seen. There are sensations of hands felt. There is a label of hands thought. But, in a sense, direct experience is not of hands, just the visual, just the feeling, just the label. A newborn baby would not know of hands, just of colour and sensation. Hands cannot be experienced so much as sensations and colour can be experienced.

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JonathanR
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby JonathanR » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:24 am

Hi Sean,
. Guess there is an expectation that things will feel a bit different. That this shift has temporarily come and left twice now in the past few weeks, and senses and thoughts felt impersonal. There's a knowing. Hard to explain.
That knowing sounds good.

. It's worth turning it around and asking 'for whom or what should things feel a bit different?'

Has 'self' ever 'existed' such that there should now be a grand disappearance with trumpets and chorus?
. Hmm, while driving, I looked at the experience of my hands. There is the colour and shape of hands seen. There are sensations of hands felt. There is a label of hands thought. But, in a sense, direct experience is not of hands, just the visual, just the feeling, just the label. A newborn baby would not know of hands, just of colour and sensation. Hands cannot be experienced so much as sensations and colour can be experienced
Great. Yes. You're getting right to it here.

It's not that there is not experience of sensations, colours and so on and also the appearance of the label 'hands'... But as you say a newborn baby would not know of hands.

How about the ramifications of this? If 'hands' is just a label then how about all the other labels? Are there fixed unchanging entities behind the labels?
. Strange, so no owner here of this experience. No me.
That's a great way to put it. 'No owner'. Of course it can SEEM that there is an 'owner' but where is that guy? separated off from everything so as to 'own' it somehow from behind a screen?

I'm wondering if you can say with a big fat 'yes' that the illusion of 'self' is seen? If you have doubts let me know and we can look at them?

All best

Jon

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Dizzily
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:58 am

Hi Jon,

Read another thread in the archive from a different guide that also talked, as you have, of the yo-yoing back and forth, of the doubting and checking, doubting and checking. That between glimpses, it all gets a bit muddled again, although perhaps not quite as muddled as before. Seems like that right now. Another glimpse/shift kinda came on Sunday, but right now feels utterly ordinary.
It's worth turning it around and asking 'for whom or what should things feel a bit different?'


There's just a thought that things will be different. Another thought. Another bit of experience that arises. The thought happens. As for the thought's contents? Labels/names/concepts that point but are not the thing itself.

In a sense, a part of experience wants another part of experience to be different. A part of experience tried to own another part of experience. Can colour own sound? No. Can a felt sensation own a smell? No. Can thought own another sense? No. Can thought own experience? No. Thought is just more experience.

But what is ownership in direct experience? An emotion (a felt sensation plus a thought story)? Not sure? The phrase 'identified with' could be used but also seems conceptual. Even 'conditioning' doesn't quite capture it. Don't know.
Has 'self' ever 'existed' such that there should now be a grand disappearance with trumpets and chorus?


A heavenly choir would be nice. But were there trumpets and a chorus before? No. Although, in some ways, maybe there were always trumpets and a chorus rarely noticed?

When those glimpses come and the sense of self seems to drop away, it's wonderful and ordinary all at once. All phenomena are impersonal in a sense, but all phenomena are just as before. It does feel like liberation when that shift occurs, and there's a knowing that this is only the beginning. Of course, who is liberated? In direct experience, there's no one to be liberated.
It's not that there is not experience of sensations, colours and so on and also the appearance of the label 'hands'... But as you say a newborn baby would not know of hands.

How about the ramifications of this? If 'hands' is just a label then how about all the other labels? Are there fixed unchanging entities behind the labels?


The ramifications would be, in a sense, that only the knowing seems to make it so. But in direct experience, it is not so... The shape of an apple, the colour, the taste, the smell, the label--but an apple is not directly known. The world is never directly known.

Hmm, no fixed entities behind labels. Cars are driving past right now. As a car drives past, it's a shade and shape of colour changing. But that doesn't capture it, because there are the colours around it, too. Like a flow of colours among other colours perhaps? Like seeing the hole in a doughnut not as a hole but just as a shade of colour of whatever is beneath the doughnut.

Probably easier to recognise with sound, because the sound so obviously changes. And it's one sound among many, which adds up to one great big sound. Cognising only points to a bit of sound.

What does this mean for all labels? They point but are not the thing itself. What they even point to is not quite the thing itself. They point to a bit of fluxing experience, but it's all one big experience. Can't really grok yet what labels are in and of themselves. 'Just more thought' doesn't quite capture it. And some labels seem to point only to themselves or to other labels and not to direct experience.
Of course it can SEEM that there is an 'owner' but where is that guy? separated off from everything so as to 'own' it somehow from behind a screen?


No such guy. It's not happening to anyone. It is the happening. Hamlet had it wrong: It is not 'to be or not to be'; it is being.

There's an initial belief we're on the ride of life. Then there's a realisation that we're the ride. Then it becomes there's only the ride. Then because there's only the present moment, there's only riding, like an empty rollercoaster.
I'm wondering if you can say with a big fat 'yes' that the illusion of 'self' is seen? If you have doubts let me know and we can look at them?


Probably can't say 'yes' yet. What is the expectation here? That this perceptual shift will be full-time now or become full-time as old conditioning falls away? Right now, that shift seems to come and go. And mostly, it's more of a sense of 'I' falling away in thoughts. Is there any expectation of having that non-dual sense of seeing things visually that way, too?

And how to deal with the paradox of free will? There's definitely doubt here about this. A 'What if I'm wrong?' thought. What if I'm investigating this but have made a mistake. Because the paradox of a belief in free will or no belief in free will affects the outcome. Or is it more that there is no free will, but things are not yet determined because a belief in either free will or no free will seems to affect what is done? Of course, there's no one to do the doing. So, if free will exists, it's not my free will. It seems like a moot question or something from this perspective.

Thoughts keep trying to integrate this all conceptually with the idea that there is a brain in a piece of life. That piece of life is not 'me'. That brain is not my brain. Rather, here is the experience of that brain. That experience is not the real world--that experience is only the senses of that piece of life. 'I' am not that experience. There is just the experience as that piece of life goes around doing its thing. There's a sense of experience owning or inhabiting the body of that piece of life. But can experience own or inhabit anything? No. One great big experience.

But this leads to a lot of confusion right now. Many questions here. But perhaps I'll leave them for a later post.

Thanks again,
Sean

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Dizzily
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:37 am

So, in direct experience, there is the looking. But how does the looking look at itself? Is that even important?

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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:19 am

Hmm, there's no looking. There's just form.

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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:26 am

Hmmm, there's always this talk of 'awareness being aware of itself'. But right now, that seems a bit of a misnomer. Without thought and memory, would hearing or sight or the other 'bodily' senses be aware of themselves? As experience, there would just be flows of forms.

In a very loose sense, it would be like a flow of light through an eyeball with no brain attached. So, it's thought and memory that seem to trip things up. That seem to give a sense of awareness.

Memory is an experience coming up in the now that might seem like a sensory experience also in the now. This gives the illusion of past. More form. Gives continuity. Possibly gives the illusion of awareness.

Ugh, it's so close. Predominantly verbal thinker here, and trying to grok thoughts in thoughts can't work here. It should seem obvious that it's not the meaning of the words in thought; it's the flow of thought 'sounds'--more form. But that hasn't sunk in.

No looking, only shifting forms.

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JonathanR
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby JonathanR » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:51 pm

Hello Sean

You've done some great work in your inquiry so far.

There seems to be quite an insistent restlessness in what you're writing. The impression that 'something's wrong'. Am I correct?

Without conplicating it just jot down in a few words what's wrong. Don't embellish. One line will do.

Thanks

Jon

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Dizzily
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:54 pm

Hi Jon,
There seems to be quite an insistent restlessness in what you're writing. The impression that 'something's wrong'. Am I correct?


Yes, it's expectation. More thoughts. It seems like a perceptual shift takes place occasionally, one which seems like 'enlightenment'. There's that old religious saying about being hollow like God's flute? That makes perfect sense at those times.

Thanks,
Sean

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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby JonathanR » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:55 am

Hi Sean
.
Yes, it's expectation. More thoughts. It seems like a perceptual shift takes place occasionally, one which seems like 'enlightenment'. There's that old religious saying about being hollow like God's flute? That makes perfect sense at those times.

OK. Does the occasional perceptual shift make a real self disappear?

Was there ever a real self?

Does the expectation that a perceptual shift should happen create an actual self, or the illusion of one?

Notice that there is the appearance of an illusion of self.

Is it clear that this is always an illusion, an appearance, thoughts, and not a separately existing entity with 'choice, control. free will' and so on?

Jon

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Dizzily
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:56 pm

Hi Jon,

Thanks for your eternal patience.
OK. Does the occasional perceptual shift make a real self disappear?


No. It never existed, so it can't disappear.
Was there ever a real self?


It does not exist, never existed, will never exist.
Does the expectation that a perceptual shift should happen create an actual self, or the illusion of one?


It creates the illusion of one, but not an actual one. I realised there's been thoughts that this process could help fix some of 'my' problems. But they're not even 'my' problems. If there's a real body/brain that this is the experiencing of, which cannot be directly experienced or even definitively proven, it might be that thing's problems. But experiencing can't own a problem. And even that so-called real body, from this perspective, doesn't contain an 'I'. It's all just life as a process. And problems are only defined by the thinking. Everything is as it should be.
Is it clear that this is always an illusion, an appearance, thoughts, and not a separately existing entity with 'choice, control. free will' and so on?


Originally wrote a lot here, but rather than bore you with it, I've saved it elsewhere. So, the idea that there is no 'I' to be found in the traditional five bodily senses is accepted. The illusion of reality includes the perception of body, but that is more sensory form within experience, as opposed to experience inhabiting a body. Stepping out of direct experience to the conceptual, this is likely the experiencing of a brain, taking place inside that brain, but direct experience doesn't inhabit or own or know a brain. Is that clear?

What doesn't sit comfortably is free will. Accepting there's not a separate self is the dropping of a belief for which there is no proof. Like believing in Santa. And free will would seem to be intrinsically the same. Yet, this entire process seems to hinge around an acceptance of no free will. And accepting there's no free will leads to a different outcome. But for whom, of course? And doesn't the term 'liberation' imply greater freedom? This all seems like another paradox.

There's something in all this that seems recursive/circular/infinit that isn't quite clicking in this tired state very late at night. And all these questions about free will are all more thought. And so it all seems like a dog chasing its own tail. Will sleep on this and write again tomorrow.

Thanks as always,
Sean

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JonathanR
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby JonathanR » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:19 pm

HivSean

I remember talking with a guy ages ago about free will and he had something interesting to say. He'd accepted that no self could be found but when it came to doing stuff or intention he felt that he was, somehow steering events. In particular he maintained that if he was writing an essay he was doing that with intention.

Now that's a very widespread view or belief. After all, how could a complex arrangement of ideas expressed as words be organised without a 'my intention'?

Would you agree that as you read this or as you go on to write your reply somehow ideas will get expressed in a relatively organised fashion?

Now, is it possible that complex intelligence and organisation could go on perfectly efficiently, driving for example, without any person, entity, 'me' in any way whatsoever 'making them happen'?

Is it possible that the whole persisting notion of a doer or decider is exactly that... a notion, an idea of a 'me' that is part and parcel of an illusion of free will or control?

Do you see that many things, perhaps everything, happens just as it does and that part of this is the impression of an entity exerting free will.

Love

Jon

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Dizzily
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:06 am

Hi Jon,

Thanks for your last post. Other commitments today, so just a quick message to say that I'll try to give a full reply tomorrow.

Thanks,
Sean

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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:41 am

Hi Jon,
Would you agree that as you read this or as you go on to write your reply somehow ideas will get expressed in a relatively organised fashion?

Now, is it possible that complex intelligence and organisation could go on perfectly efficiently, driving for example, without any person, entity, 'me' in any way whatsoever 'making them happen'?


Yes, life does complex things even in simpler organisms with no sense of 'I'.
Is it possible that the whole persisting notion of a doer or decider is exactly that... a notion, an idea of a 'me' that is part and parcel of an illusion of free will or control?


Absolutely possible. At this point, it all makes sense.

Hmm, from direct experience, the paradox of no-self/not-self is that there's nobody to get it, and there was never anything to get because it already was. It's also so damned simple, and yet it 'seems' so damned hard to get there. There is no problem, and there's not really any problems in a sense.

However, from a conceptual third-person point-of-view, this is the experiencing of what is likely a real organism. There's a thought that this real organism's brain needs to somehow 'learn' this--that the synapses/neurons need to rearrange around this idea that it only perceives its senses and not reality. That liberation does seem to change 'something' for that real organism. That this is why a process like this or meditation is needed.

Perhaps, in a sense, that is a subtle duality. Of replacing 'I' and 'other' with 'experiencing' and 'reality'. There's no 'I' in either the experiencing or that real organism, so not sure on that.
Do you see that many things, perhaps everything, happens just as it does and that part of this is the impression of an entity exerting free will.


Yes, senses are form. Thoughts are form. Form and awareness are one. All is form. Or something like that.

Right now, it seems there's this consistent pattern of two steps forward, one step back. Perhaps just time is needed, as this would seem to the one-step-back phase. There still seems to be subtle attachments to thoughts--such as the writing of this. The thinking to get to here.

It's a strong illusion!

Thanks,
Sean

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JonathanR
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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby JonathanR » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:17 am

Hi Sean

Thanks for your reply.

How do you feel in relation to anxiety or fear about no self? Now that we have gone on for a while since we first talked about fear?

Do you still experience these feelings?

Jon

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Re: Can't quite let go

Postby Dizzily » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:20 am

Hi Jon,

You've been wonderful throughout this process. Ever more amazed at how you and the other guides patiently spend your time helping like this.

There's been plenty of fear and anxiety along the way at each little glimmer of understanding. It's been a slow dawning where each tiny realisation has been accompanied by sensations across the body. At first, the sensations were predominantly in the stomach (like fear), then more the chest, and most recently the throat, almost like a strange sense of being on the edge of throwing up. Now, there's some tension in the head.

It really was a rough ride at one point, but the worst seems over now. Each time, 'I' try to sit with it and accept it for what it would seem to be--just sensation. No real story needed, because how the heck could any of this ever be explained? It does seem strange that the sensations have seemingly travelled up the body.

At this point, far fewer doubts arise about what has been discussed. It seems amazing that things could be seen any other way at times! But 'I' keep looking because it seems like there's ever more sense of 'I' to be found. No idea how to really explain that in direct experience. What happens is a thought arises such as that there must be a witness, but no witness can be found. Or a different type of thought arises to that encountered before where a word such as 'I', 'me', 'my', 'mine', or 'Sean' seems to resonate with sensation. Or a sensation of 'I am' arises that is nothing more than sensation.

Despite few doubts remaining, the understanding seems more intellectual than 'lived' at present. Been trying just to sit with it all, watch nature, and see where that leads. This all seems more vast than the mind could ever comprehend.

Thanks,
Sean


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