what is all this

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Vivien
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Re: what is all this

Postby Vivien » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:27 am

Hi Ron,
No, a self needs to be separated by creating a division between what's conceived as 'inside' and the rest of the world which is 'outside'. When adhering to direct experience, there is no division, no self and objects in any experience. There is only experience.
Yes :)

And how does it FEEL to see that there is no self and no division?

Could you tell in details how it felt when you realized what you realized during the conversation?

How does it feel now, and how is life led?

Any differences from before starting this conversation?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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putamen
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Re: what is all this

Postby putamen » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:39 pm

Hi Vivien,
And how does it FEEL to see that there is no self and no division?
It feels just fine, that fictional me was never that much fun to itself anyway. Seriously thought, this is how it is, no one to argue with, it's a fresh look at how it has always been before obstruction took place. No self and no division feels much nicer than a self that is always on the lookout, even though this self really really liked being a special self.

Could you tell in details how it felt when you realized what you realized during the conversation?
There were a couple of big realization during our conversations, where deep beliefs were clearly seen and shattered, and there were quite a few more subtle but essential ones. It's more than what you asked for, but I found it useful to actually review our conversations and see how this onion was peeled (and we know what's inside an onion - nothing). Please pardon the liberal use of "I" all over the place.

The was an intellectual realization for a while that an illusion of self is in the way of the realization. But there was an assumed I still assuming he was the seeker, the one looking, it was so deep! Then you said:
There is ALREADY no self, and yet looking is happening - that was amazing, the logical paradox just short circuited that assumption and sent waves of vibrations through the body with a recognition that this cannot be.

There was a deepening in previous incompleted realizations of how there is no thinker, no doer, nothing that I control, and the illusion of cause and effect.

The idea of a mind was seen as an idea. There was a big mish mash of real crap 'in my head' from reading BS and believing it, or simply assumptions made from pointers without real looking, just fantasy. I was so unclear about how thoughts differ from reality, what is real and what is not. Such simple things to grasp, yet they were so easy to miss due to habitual thinking.

Then I had an amazing but brief no-self experience and quickly bounced and clinged to the next big idea that is a staple of the nondual teaching - the "awareness which is what I essentially am". That thing had to be seen and with it the deepest confusion of sensations and the body was exposed. I bought the idea that what I sensed when being present is presence itself, the self-awareness of awareness knowing itself. Ah! What a belief that couldn't stand the light of simple looking. This 'me-awareness' is such a terrible and unfortunate idea to promote, one that will guarantee a lifelong of futile seeking. That one was so deep it had to be seen again and again, the very old identification of sensations-body-me-tagging. There was an assumption of awareness being experienced in the body, as a type of sensation, oy vey!

There was further discussion of what thoughts, memories are - that really cleared up a lot of remaining confusion about how the contents of thoughts is always imaginary, a pointer to something real at best. Despite all the realizations, there were a few bouts of total Maya, taking place, and that was finally also seen for what it is.

These realizations were often met with brief lasting emotions on behalf of the self. There was some moments where I felt a loss, saying goodbye to an old friend (that I loved and hated), bitterness when deep beliefs were clearly originating from wrong/poor teachings by very famous gurus. Some dismay of "how I did not see that!" and there was also relief and release of tension, the dropping of beliefs makes one feel lighter. I recall feelings of "what a cosmic joke this is!" and a then peace and acceptance. There is no one feeling all these, just thoughts! - you got me on my toes :)

How does it feel now, and how is life led?
It feels like decades of dust and grime that were clogging perception had been removed, and there is just what was always there, and has been overlooked. It feels right, sober, the truth is realized but there is so little I can say about it. I had so much more to say before I realized it because it's easy to convey fantasies, concepts and ideas, not easy to convey an almost mundane simplicity.
Life maybe got simpler, no seeking but more observing, joy in seeing things in their rawness, before tagging occurs, flattening images, going right into sensations, tastes, smells, sounds and looking how they are known, just a wondrous looking at what is that knowing. There is a realization that this body and the assumed I are part of all experience, there is less resistance and more acceptance even when that I is at the helm.
Any differences from before starting this conversation?
It's all the same and it's also different at the same time. Realizing the truth is nothing to celebrate, it has never been any other way, but not living a life of illusion, not being tossed in an out of emotions, drama and thoughts (at least not for long) is much appreciated.

Ron

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Vivien
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Re: what is all this

Postby Vivien » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:46 am

Hi Ron,
Thank you for your detailed explanation.

Is there any topic that is not 100% clear and you would like to look at?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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putamen
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Re: what is all this

Postby putamen » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:04 pm

Hi Vivien,
Is there any topic that is not 100% clear and you would like to look at?
I have no further questions at this moment. I think this tofu goose needs to stew in its own juice for a while now to get fully cooked. You did an amazing job here, I am sure it's not always pleasant, fun or even rewarding, but I want to stress that what you do, and how you do it, is simply unlike anything else out there, it's priceless. I'm so greatful.
If there is anything I can do I'd be delighted to, please let me know here or directly.

Thank you Vivien!
Ron

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Vivien
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Re: what is all this

Postby Vivien » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:30 am

Hi Ron,

Sorry for my late reply.
but I want to stress that what you do, and how you do it, is simply unlike anything else out there, it's priceless. I'm so greatful.
You are most welcome :)

What usually happens at this state is that if you feel ready I would ask you some final questions what we always ask at the end of all conversation. And then I will show your replies to other guides to make sure that we covered everything and that my pointing was clear. Other guides might have further questions, but not always.

Are you ready for the final questions?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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putamen
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Re: what is all this

Postby putamen » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:53 pm

Hi Vivien,
Are you ready for the final questions?
Ready!

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Vivien
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Re: what is all this

Postby Vivien » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:47 am

Hi Ron,

Please answer the following questions with some detail please, and answer what's true for you rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Also please provide examples where asked. You already answered some of it a few days ago, but nevertheless please answer them again as if this were the first time (I’m referring when you described the ‘steps of realization’).

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience.
Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this?
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

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

5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work?
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.

b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.

6) Anything to add?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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putamen
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Re: what is all this

Postby putamen » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:18 pm

Hi Vivien,
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
No, there is no separate 'self' entity, there has never been one.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience.
Describe it fully as you see it now.
The illusion of the separate self has many layers that can be peeled to reveal deeper and deeper illusion taking place, but the fundamental one, is a belief in thought content of a story about a self; it is relatively simple to observe that there is no self when there is no thought, and there is an appearance of a presumed self as soon as thought occurs. However, this is not enough to see the illusion taking place.

A fundamental layer is the association of sensations with an idea/belief of a body, and the belief that sense perception is the proxy by which one is sensing signals from a solid and persistent world outside the body. All experience is therefore getting interpreted as if originating from a self entity occupying a body that is aware. In the illusion, that 'I' on the 'inside' is sampling an world 'outside'. That assumed 'self', looks with its eyes to see objects that exist independently of the 'I' observer.

Let's examine the first deep body illusion:
The illusion of self starts with a belief of the body. The 'body sensations' have a specific location and characteristic, 'I feel my hands', 'my heart beating', 'an itch on my eyelid'. The body appears as an image map, every limb and many parts location is known on that map, the head is felt above the shoulders, the feet blow, all specifically positioned in space etc. This illusion is created by the amalgamation of sights, sensations and thoughts/tags/images. When looked at, 'feeling my hands' reveals a sensation we can qualify as a warmth, tingling, paulsating, vibrating sensation, the location is easily dropped. Further looking revelass that the warmth or tingling is also nothing but a tag, as this looking unfolds, there is nothing left to the body but the raw sensations that are experienced and are by themselves impossible to describe. There is no body to be found at all outside the thought of the body.

Let's observe the illusion of a self and an object:
There is something called "a glass of water", and it's right "in from of me", on the table. Seeing the glass does not infer a 'me' or a seer, there is just "seeing" which is nothing but color, all interpretation of this appearing as a solid object made of matter, situated such and such distance and direction is seen as a process akin to thinking (visual processing). It takes some practice, but it is possible to "flatten" that image into nothing but color, just like what a photograph is. There is no 'me' in seeing, there are no eyes or a brain in seeing, these are all imagined, what is left is only the indivisible knowing of the seen, which we can call "seeing". If the glass is held the illusion says that "I am holding a glass of water in my hand, it's made of glass and is heavy". But the direct experience has no such story, there are sensations experienced as vibrations or tingling etc. and there is absolutely nothing there that suggests a body, and 'I', that can qualify heaviness, coldness or warmness or anything whatsoever. The combination of the visuals, the sensations and the thoughts create that illusion of a me holding a glass of water.

When the body illusion is seen, another made-up entity can replace that function. It is possible to remove the body and still assume a knowing entity "the awareness", "aware presence", or "the observer". Just like the idea of a body, it's simply impossible to find that aware presence anywhere, all that is found are the experiences, the knowing of the sensations, the knowing of thoughts. There is no knowing that is free-floating, there is no subject awareness that just knows. When this is clearly seen, there is no further self to grab.

This description will not be complete without talking specifically about thoughts, the "normal" human existence can hardly be described as a sequence of sensations and observations that just gets interpreted and tagged with an assumed self, it is spent, lived, inside thoughts, inside stories. Thoughts glue sensations with an image of a body and a story about me, so they must be seen to reveal the illusion. Let's look at feeling like fear (we didn't discuss this actually, so that's a good opportunity). Fear arises as a contraction sensation, perhaps in the chest or abdomen area. That contraction is tagged as "very unpleasant" and there are thoughts arising with unpleasant content (usually about a dire future), which can 'trigger' (no cause/effect implied) more sensations such as rapid heart rate, shallow breathing etc. Realizing that thoughts content is illusory and brushing this off is not a real observation, looking right into the fear and finding out who is feeling the fear, is. First, there is the sensation, it's nothing but a sensation tagged 'contraction in my abdomen' and tagged 'unpleasant' 'I don't want it', 'make it go away'. It can be looked at and seen as nothing but a vibration/sensation that is free-floating, there is no body and it's not mine. Who is fearful? Who is sensing? That is found to be a thought, no entity or a self. The content of thoughts can be seen again and again as not real. They can point to a real experience or to other thoughts, but their content is simply never real, the experience however is.

Finally, the self illusion is effortlessly created all the time, with virtually every experience being veiled by tagging and interpretation at best, and often colored by commentary, judgment, stories etc. and always, somehow, related to that self.
The illusion continues, the story can be seen.

3) How does it feel to see this?
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
It feels right, simple, nothing to celebrate here, nobody to share or discuss with, and also no need to do so, It has simply never been any other way. There is very little to say about that realization because again, this is how it has always been, and it's almost mundane in its simplicity, no great mystical powers or outcome or a story to talk about. It does feel gratifying to zoom out of stories as they occur rather than drama or futile and pointless suffering by nobody and no one. There is no seeking for "who I am", there is still curiously but far less of an obsessive desire to understand or to know how and why. There is more joy found in simple experience, the simpler the better, just raw knowing of perceptions. There is empathy and a desire to expand this understanding to others, the belief in a self and the suffering it brings are still real experiences even if there is no self and suffering is a thought-story.

Before starting the dialogue, there was much seeking, almost compulsive analysis and trying to figure out life, existence, experience. There was indeed much confusion and the hopelessly futile search which would never end thanks to many teachings that planted concepts like 'awareness' and looking for the "I am" that I am...

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
I must start with the first one - that was the realization that the seeker was never me, before that there was a fake "I" that was in the way of seeing the true 'I'. "There is ALREADY no self, and yet looking is happening" shattered that ignorance instantly.
There were a few iterations and beliefs that had to be seen - the deep association of sensation with the body was one, and then exposing the belief in a global awareness that "I was part of"...
The self illusion has been seen, but the last point was clearly seeing and exposing the nature of thoughts. Despite these previous realizations, there was habitual continuous zooming into thoughts and believing their story contents. It took one more zen master whack to see that.

5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work?
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
The normal perception is that I am a person (body and a conscious self with volition and awareness). I make decisions and my actions have consequences, etc. Let's take a look.
Thoughts appear from nothing and vanish to nothing, there is no control over thoughts or thinking, there is no entity that thinks and no mind as a place where thoughts stew and a decision is made somehow. Decisions are therefore never made by 'me' since any "debate" or listing pros and cons will just be made by a thought that says "This". It takes a bit more observation to also see that a thought will often come and "claim" it was a decision made by a 'me', or that an action had an intention or a rationale, but no, things just happen, appearance of decisions made. The actions of the perceived body are clearly autonomous, there is no thinking involved in any action and no entity moving body parts, but there is often thinking taking place that tells a story of a 'me' deciding to get up, to wash the face, there is an illusion of action or decision that is nothing but another thought, there is no decision, intension, choice or control! This conclusion can be challenged anytime and action will finally occur without a decision taking place, just sit and refuse to move... Free will is just a concept that says "I have choice", "I can decide", how can a choice be made with no thinker, chooser and no knowledge of thoughts before they appear? Clearly there is no free will, only the illusion of such.

Cause and effect is another such concept. A simple example is "feel the hands" - this is a thought that was supposedly made and now sensations are felt, but experience is just that the knowing of a thought and the knowing of a sensation occurring. There is no way to observe one event as cause of the other, only the thought whose contents tells that story.

Everything is constantly changing. Sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, colors arise, fall vibrate, move, thoughts arise and fall.
There is no doer, no chooser, no effort, no intention, no cause. There is seamless flow, movement and there are thoughts that contain stories about things getting done, how it works and why.

b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
There is no "I", there is no entity here that could assume volition or responsibility. There was never a ME seeking for answers outside thoughts, and there is no ME that is responsible for anything, wants or can do anything.

6) Anything to add?
A great big thank you and a great big virtual hug.

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Vivien
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Re: what is all this

Postby Vivien » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:39 am

Hi Ron,

Thank you for your responses. I am going to get other guides to have a look at the thread to ensure that I have covered everything and that my pointing has been clear. This may take a few days. Sometimes, not always, the other guides may have further questions which I will bring to you.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Vivien
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Re: what is all this

Postby Vivien » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:53 am

Hi Ron,

There are no further questions for you. Congratulations for seeing through the self and for your persistent looking. It has been a pleasure to explore the concept of the separate self with you. Thank you for being open and willing to look.

Keep an eye out for an email notification notifying you of a PM (private message) from the forum inviting you to join our aftercare groups on Facebook. If you don't receive an email notification, you can access your PM's from the forum once you have logged in. The PM also details other resources available to you. Your username has been change from green to blue which indicates that you have had the realisation of there being no separate self.

You can contact me at any time if you have any questions via private message here on the forum, or via Facebook if you decide to join our groups there.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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putamen
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Re: what is all this

Postby putamen » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:59 am

Thank you so much for guiding me Vivien!
Definitely not stopping here, I'm sure I will see you around.
Best regards
Ron


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