In need of a guide

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Warren.
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In need of a guide

Postby Warren. » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:51 am

I have read Gateless Gatecrashers, as well as a number of guiding conversations on the forum. I hope someone can help me. I am desperate to put the illusion of self behind me once and for all, to put an end to the endless misery and suffering that is caused by identification with the "I" thought. I have been searching for many years and the search has intensified in recent years. I found this website a little more than one month ago and after reading many of the guided conversations, I searched for an individual self. I could not find one and I felt an intense and overwhelming sense of relief from the "I" thought, from identification with a separate self. However, the identification with the concept of self has become quite strong again. I know that it is an illusion, but now it seems to be little more than an intellectual construct, devoid of experience. I am not sure where I am (it seems ridiculous to express in terms of an "I"), what to do, and where to go from here. I hope that someone can help me move forward to where the experience of "no self" becomes an abiding reality.

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zenkitties
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Re: In need of a guide

Postby zenkitties » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:58 pm

Warren, I can definitely see where you may be. I was in this place and it sounds to me that you may be between dark nights of the soul. a higher "self" has tried to take over where that old self use to be.

I need to make sure this is where you're at though so can you tell me a little bit about what the you is and if there is one anywhere in experiencing.

Secondly, If you were to describe it to someone that didn't know about this false sense of I, how would you explain it to them?
so many kitties! so many zen!
http://liberatedself.wordpress.com/

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Warren.
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Re: In need of a guide

Postby Warren. » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:55 am

zenkitties, thank you very much for your assistance. I am not exactly sure what to make of what my experience has been. As I said, I searched for a self, an entity that is experiencing/directing life and was unable to find one anywhere in any form. This produced a profound sense of peace, a quieting of the mind, and a feeling of happiness and connectedness. Since that day, there has been identification with the "I" thoughts, getting lost in the story again. But, the underlying realization that "me" is just a story always seems to be there, even if it takes a back seat to the story for a period of time. There has been a great deal of focus on the implications of this realization, even sometimes in dreams. Even during particularly lucid dreams, there is a realization that the story is not real, that "myself" in the story is a fabrication. I often wake up with my first conscious thought, or even words, being there is no "I", it is not real and it never was.
You asked "what is the you?" Well, the "I", "me, "self" (whenever I have been or still am identifying with this fabrication) is nothing more than an egoic sense of self. It is a set of beliefs that I came to accept through parental and societal conditioning, to tell me who I am. The majority of "me" is made up of the belief that thoughts, the compelling story of me from the rambling narrative of my mind, constitutes an entity that is the central character of my existence. "Me" is the contrived entity that falsely believes that it controls "my life" and is arrogant enough to believe that it has a great deal of influence upon the rest of the "universe" as it pertains to "me". The "me" believes that everything that happens is being experienced and that there is a separation between me (that which is within the body or mind) and that which is without. "I" know, and believe that it has been recognized (I am aware of the logical disconnect between "I" knowing and believing anything if the direct experience of "no self" is being claimed), that there is no distinct experiencer of life, there is only experience, hearing, seeing, thoughts, etc. There is only life living or experiencing itself, no subject and object.

How would I explain the false sense of I to to someone? Hmmm, I have already had a couple of conversations about this issue with others. I think there are many ways to approach it, to point towards it. I would ask them to think how they think about themselves, what they believe about themselves. I would show them that what they believe is not what they really are, it is simply the result of conditioning. They are not a set of beliefs, the story that they have accepted about themselves. I would ask them to examine whether or not they think, or whether thoughts pass through awareness. I would ask them if their body needs a controller, or can it control itself (reflexes, breathing, instincts, hunger, etc). I would ask them to examine whether suffering in life is caused by what actually happens in life, or does it almost exclusively come from what is thought and felt about what happens in life, thoughts and feelings feed upon each other (and an egoic mind) to create intolerable suffering. I would ask them to examine themselves (mind, head, heart, body, etc.) to try to find the separate entity that, at one and the same time, is in control of, and a victim of, life!

In spite of what what was just described, "I" still become trapped in the old story of "me". It seems to happen less often as the days pass and it seems to be recognized (remembered that it is just a story) a little sooner. There was not any specific expectation when this process was started. I guess "I" hoped to find the relief of egoic suffering, and while it has definitely lessened, it is still experienced at times to varying degrees.

Thanks again... Warren.

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zenkitties
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Re: In need of a guide

Postby zenkitties » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:33 pm

Thank you Warren for that, I see where that is. It seems to me that you've seen what we are pointing at but you might be falling into one of the seeing no-self pitfalls that I've even fallen into. It is a common misconception is that the story will no longer go on.

As you've seen, it still goes on and sometimes even getting swept back into the story, however knowing that there is no-thing actually there running the story, just the story going on, on its own. Also might want to take a look at, that even the thing saying that you are getting swept into the story is just.... well... another story haha.
"Me" is the contrived entity that falsely believes that it controls "my life" and is arrogant enough to believe that it has a great deal of influence upon the rest of the "universe" as it pertains to "me". The "me" believes that everything that happens is being experienced and that there is a separation between me (that which is within the body or mind) and that which is without.
Interesting how it seems to do this, it feels some sense of "higher" power with the no-self realization (the false sense of self does). Just comes back to there not being anything there to have a higher power and that too is a story. Every thought generated from this is empty, there is no reality in it. The inquiry that happens here when those kinds of things come up are, "where is the higher you?" with it nowhere to be found. Along the same lines of any kind of concotion of words that cannot point to the thing they are trying to describe. For instance a chair, "do you see a chair in the word chair?" The answer is always going to be no.

A thought, is a thought, is a thought. It all seems to just come from nothing (or from completely empty space for lack of a better set of words)
In spite of what what was just described, "I" still become trapped in the old story of "me". It seems to happen less often as the days pass and it seems to be recognized (remembered that it is just a story) a little sooner.
Yes. this happens, as everything begins to re-orchestrate once it is seen that there is no you. It does it on its own with no ownership over it. There is truly no control or ownership in any of this.

No-self realization is the first step of the process among some other ones, but its the most crucial step. Sometimes all falls away with some individuals, and sometimes not at all. Both ways are sufficient, as it will eventually work itself out.

What i've been seeing more and more is that even the mind is not a container, there is no mind, just a vast open space in which thoughts phase in and out of experiencing. Then turning it around and seeing this is another thought, and is just as empty as the next one.
so many kitties! so many zen!
http://liberatedself.wordpress.com/

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Warren.
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Re: In need of a guide

Postby Warren. » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:51 pm

zenkitties,

The emptying process has continued and deepened, the experience of no-self has brought about a deepening realization. It is amazing that it was not seen before, that "I" never existed at all. There are no words to describe the sense of liberation, and no individual person to experience it. Life is sweet and gentle when it is really seen as it is and not colored and tainted by beliefs.

Full of gratitude for life itself, what an incredible shift! "I" am so grateful for the pointing provided by all those who generously give of their time to help others (not that there are any "others" in reality) to see the truth.

Warren.

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zenkitties
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Re: In need of a guide

Postby zenkitties » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:55 pm

Hey Warren,

Much gratitude goes to you. If you could just answer these final questions below to make sure I know that seeing is in fact happening so that we can get the moderators to change your color and give you the opportunity to help guide or move on where it is felt you can move on to!

1) Is there a 'me', 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.

3) How does it feel to see this?

4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.

5) What was the last bit that tipped you over, that triggered the 'seeing' ?
so many kitties! so many zen!
http://liberatedself.wordpress.com/

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Warren.
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Re: In need of a guide

Postby Warren. » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:06 pm

1) There is no "me" living life, there are only thoughts, sensations, feelings, but there is no "me" that owns the experience, there never was.
2)The illusion of separate self begins as a young child, from environmental conditioning and from the way in which ideas are exchanged. A label and ownership is put on experience, and a story of "ourselves" is begun. We develop an egoic sense of a separate self that is not normally questioned in our society.
3)It feels light and joyful, a burden lifted. It is so much easier to just be part of life itself, rather than feelilng like we have to live, direct, control, label everything that occurs. The experience was like a deep and satisfying exhale...not sure how else to describe it.
4)I would describe the illusion as the cause of their suffering, the reason that they feel incomplete, lonely, disconnected, always searching. I would describe the illusion as the most subtle, convincing and pervasive affliction of mankind, that is almost universally accepted. However, the illusion can be evaporated by simply looking and seeing the truth in one's own experience.
5)The thing that triggered the experience was simply observing what was within experience. Is there a "me" that is actively thinking, moving my hand, hearing sounds, experiencing sensations. It was obvious that no separate self was required in any of it. Life, awareness, being are; no me is involved in any of it.

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zenkitties
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Re: In need of a guide

Postby zenkitties » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:12 pm

Hey Warren,

You have been confirmed to see what we are pointing at buddy. I will be adding you to a list that we have of blues and well as having a moderator change your color. We are on facebook if you would like to join the group, you always have the option here:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/200033776715393/

If you would like to join the Unleashed community let me know and find me on facebook here where we can become buddies and I will invite you into the group. If you do not, that is your choice, and either way no obligation is necessary.

http://www.facebook.com/barefootphilosopher

Thanks again for coming back and getting confirmed. May your travels help to deepen the wonderful journey into awakening.
so many kitties! so many zen!
http://liberatedself.wordpress.com/


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