point the way

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jwhooper
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point the way

Postby jwhooper » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:04 pm

I have been at this off and on for 30 years. Intellectually I understand that there is no real self, that it is a story, like Santa Claus. That intellectual understanding is worthless. How do I feel the truth of it? How do I know it?

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Ingen
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Re: point the way

Postby Ingen » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:54 pm

Hi jwhooper, welcome!
What are your expectations? How should the truth feel?
Tell me a little bit about where you are at.

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jwhooper
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Re: point the way

Postby jwhooper » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:57 am

My expectation is to experience the truth of no-self, to regard my self as it is, a story, not something real that needs to be worried about and protected. The truth should feel just like knowing that a story is just a story. It should feel just like finding out there is no Tooth Fairy. Any illusions are over.

Where I'm at is that I have read a great deal of Zen, Krishnamurti, non-duality, and all kinds of other Buddhist stuff, contemplated it all, meditated quite a bit, worked with koans ... all that. Where I'm at is pure pragmatism at this point: I will do whatever works, whatever gives a result.

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Ingen
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Re: point the way

Postby Ingen » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:17 am

What will work is to put aside all theories, practices and expectations and take a good look at your direct experience. I'll ask some questions to keep you focused.

Ok, let's start.

How do you actually know there is no Tooth Fairy?
What is the difference between the Tooth Fairy and your self?

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jwhooper
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Re: point the way

Postby jwhooper » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:13 pm

I know there is no Tooth Fairy because first of all, I have never seen any evidence of a Tooth Fairy, secondly I have actually been the "Tooth Fairy" myself so the fabrication has been laid bare, and finally, no other sane adult believes there is a real Tooth Fairy.

The difference between the Tooth Fairy and myself is that I seem real, because I can decide to do something and then do it, and it really happens. Also, almost all other sane adults believe that my self is real. I have a drivers license. I can own property. I am taken seriously in the world. All of the feedback is that my self is real.

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Ingen
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Re: point the way

Postby Ingen » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:53 pm

Fine.
Imagine a child, Tina, totally immersed in the belief of a tooth fairy. Everybody around her thinks Tooth fairies are real. She doesn't have a chance to discover the truth. Every sane child believes there is a real Tooth fairy. As soon as Tina catches the Tooth fairy - her mother - in action, the belief disappears. The story is revealed as such. She can't believe in it anymore, even if she wanted to.

How much reality is there to the Tooth Fairy plot? There are bodies involved (parent and child) including thoughts, sensations and emotions. There is a real tooth, one pillow and some goodies, The rest is story.

Now let's investigate how much substance is there to self. You just have to catch "the self in action" (see the processes while they make up the illusion of self in real time). Then you'll know the truth.
almost all other sane adults believe that my self is real.
Like Tina in the above example.
I can decide to do something and then do it, and it really happens.
The concept of free will was dismantled ages ago by various philosophers ages ago and scientists nowadays. We'll take a closer look at that later. Just a little Schopenhauer quote here, which says approximately: "you can maybe do what you want, but you can't want what you want." Isn't that true?
I have a drivers license.
haha. I have a drivers licence, therefore I exist. Let's investigate: How much reality is there to this? Cars exist, bodies exist, driving abilities exist, drivers licenses exist.
Watch yourself at your everyday activities. Look at your thoughts while they happen. Watch yourself driving. (I know you have a driver's license:))

Therefore: Look! What is this "I" which you claim has a driver's license? How much substance is there to it?

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jwhooper
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Re: point the way

Postby jwhooper » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:15 pm

The concept of free will was dismantled ages ago by various philosophers ages ago and scientists nowadays. We'll take a closer look at that later. Just a little Schopenhauer quote here, which says approximately: "you can maybe do what you want, but you can't want what you want." Isn't that true?
Yes, that is true, if you mean I can't direct what I want in such a way as to say, "I want red to be my favorite color" when my favorite color is blue. I could decide intellectually and say that red is my new favorite color, but I would probably still like blue better. I can't want to burn my finger, or something like that.
Therefore: Look! What is this "I" which you claim has a driver's license? How much substance is there to it?
Intellectually I already see that there is no "I" that exists separately and independently. I already agree that "I" is a story. Tell me more about catching "the self in action" -- that is what I need.

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Ingen
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Re: point the way

Postby Ingen » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:28 pm

Intellectually I already see that there is no "I" that exists separately and independently. I already agree that "I" is a story. Tell me more about catching "the self in action" -- that is what I need.
You tell me – how do you experience a self that is more than a story, precisely? Emphasis on experience.

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jwhooper
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Re: point the way

Postby jwhooper » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:50 pm

It's like a reflex, a habit, mostly along the lines of emotion. I feel fear. What is afraid? Me. I feel love. What loves? Me. If I want to come to a site to unlearn self, *I* go there and type this. If it isn't me, how does it happen, and why? What else makes me feel and do things? What else has goals, likes, and dislikes? All of these things imply *me*.

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Ingen
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Re: point the way

Postby Ingen » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:25 pm

It's like a reflex, a habit, mostly along the lines of emotion.
this is quite right. But then you say:
What is afraid? Me.


This is not getting you anywhere. If you want to "catch the self in action ", you have to be much more precise. You have to really look *while* fear arises.
How do you experience fear? (Or whatever is happening now). NOW, in your immediate experience. What is feeling the fear, what is feeling the happiness? Can you find something? I bet you don't. Or is fear just arising in your experience, until something else is showing up?
What has goals, likes, and dislikes?
Investigate that. How do you experience goals, likes and dislikes? Not theoretically, experientially. As thoughts and sensations? Where do they come from? Is there something which *has* goals? Or are there social standards, impulses to comply, etc.?
All of these things imply *me*
No, they don't.

Be thorough. You have to invest more energy to do this. Make it top priority for now! What do you find?

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jwhooper
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Re: point the way

Postby jwhooper » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:48 pm

How do you experience fear? (Or whatever is happening now). NOW, in your immediate experience. What is feeling the fear, what is feeling the happiness? Can you find something? I bet you don't. Or is fear just arising in your experience, until something else is showing up?
Fear is a sensation in my stomach, a tightening.
How do you experience goals, likes and dislikes? Not theoretically, experientially. As thoughts and sensations? Where do they come from? Is there something which *has* goals? Or are there social standards, impulses to comply, etc.?
The sensation of fear comes, and then I think of how to make it go away, and that becomes a goal. I tell myself to relax, not to worry, etc...
Be thorough. You have to invest more energy to do this. Make it top priority for now! What do you find?
I only find sensations, and everything else is thought. The sensations are real, but the thoughts are just networks of concepts and assumptions. I can see how I could just feel the sensations without a me. The self isn't required. When I touch a hot stove I will pull my hand away automatically. The self seems to be trying to serve the same purpose -- to protect. I feel a sensation, it is labeled fear, and then *I* strategize to make it go away.

It's confusing. I'll keep looking at it.

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Ingen
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Re: point the way

Postby Ingen » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:33 pm

That's the way! :)
I feel a sensation, it is labeled fear, and then *I* strategize to make it go away.
Strategic thoughts appear?

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jwhooper
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Re: point the way

Postby jwhooper » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:39 pm

Strategic thoughts appear?
There is the sensation, the labeling as fear, the desire to get rid of it, and then all kinds of associated stored knowledge arises -- suppress it, ignore it, meditate, face it, take a pill.

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Ingen
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Re: point the way

Postby Ingen » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:43 pm

There is the sensation, the labeling as fear, the desire to get rid of it, and then all kinds of associated stored knowledge arises -- suppress it, ignore it, meditate, face it, take a pill.
Can you find someone or something all these things appear to? Watch closely. There are a lot of underlying beliefs in what you write, like: Fear is bad, fear has to be dealt with, fear belongs to someone. Be aware of those, also.

How many of these thoughts are originally yours?

On another note: There is litereally nothing to be afraid of. Nothing is going to change when you see the illusion as an illusion. It is not some dramatic ego-death, it is only a shift in perspective.

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jwhooper
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Re: point the way

Postby jwhooper » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:27 pm

Can you find someone or something all these things appear to? Watch closely.
I wouldn't say these things appear *to* anyone or anything. They just appear.
How many of these thoughts are originally yours?
None of them are original.

The whole process is starting to look rather mechanical.


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