Jump in, the water is lovely...

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Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Nemo » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:33 pm

This is not religion.

It is not even spiritual. It is the truth, plain and simple.

It is important that concepts of truth are challenged constantly. Yours, mine, everyone's. Because all anyone can own are concepts of truth. Actual truth is not owned by anyone, and doesn't need you or I in order to exist. It exists not only regardless, but in spite of you and I.

The truth is, there is no you or me. There is no self. There is no smaller self, there is no higher Self. There is the universe unfolding. If you look closely, honestly, with integrity and a certain amount of dedication, it will be revealed that self, or sense of self, only resides in thoughts. Thoughts of a self do not point to a self, in the same way that thoughts of a unicorn do not point to an actual unicorn.

This is no dogma. I implore you not to take my word for it, this is not blind faith, please take a look for yourself. This is in fact crucial, and I can't express this enough, that you do not take anyone's word for it.

It's like this; if you've never seen fire, I can describe it to you, but it won't be the same as the direct experience of fire.

Look for a self. Investigate any and all evidence seemingly pointing to a self. What do you find?

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Rahaen » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:03 pm

Looking for a self, here's what I find. I'm closing my eyes. There's a field of awareness in which things appear. Thoughts, emotions, body sensations, sounds. Some of those things I can pinpoint, others, like thoughts, don't seem to have an exact location.

There's the thought and the feeling that the thoughts, emotions and body sensations are mine and the sounds aren't. But there's no practical difference between them from my point of view, they are all things that appear in the same field, the difference doesn't seem to be more than a label. I couldn't find a separation between what is mine and what isn't. It can't be distance, because for example a sound right next to my ear feels closer than the sensations in my foot, but it's still labeled as "not mine".

I can't find a reason for this other than the assumption (thought) that while I share this field of awareness with people, certain things can only be perceived from this (my?) point of view - like the aforementioned sensations in my foot.

I think of things, I play around with my imagination. I want to think of a triangle and it appears in that field. I want to think of an apple and that appears too. I'm not creating those things, those thoughts, something else is, probably the mind, I can see this clearly. But it does feel as if I give the order and the mind takes care of the details.

Why did I decide it was going to be a triangle and an apple? I couldn't say. Actually I didn't. I decided to think of things and the triangle and apple just came to me and then they were drawn in detail by the mind. Did I actually even decide to think of things? I don't know. It feels that way.

I cannot see this "I". It feels like a point, a position in this field of awareness, from which only the field can be perceived, but the point is incapable of seeing itself. Does it have a size? No, it doesn't. I couldn't describe it in any way, it doesn't seem to have a shape. The field of awareness doesn't seem incomplete so I have no idea, where there would be space for an I to exist. What makes it feel like an I though is the feeling (again - feeling) that it has some control over what appears in the field. And that it has a unique point of view on this field, as I mentioned before.

What scares me (or at least it creates quite a bit of resistance) is that I may find that there's nothing there to make a choice. If there's nothing to make a choice, doesn't this mean that life is predetermined, that fate is absolute, that there's no free will whether exercised by an I or something else? What would be the value of courage without free will? What would be the point in life, if it's pre-written? That wouldn't make any sense to me. I'm probably missing something here (haha).

Thank you for walking with me.

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Nemo » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:27 pm

Carl Sagan said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

This, the creation of the universe, was the one and only cause. Everything else from there is effect. It is the finely tuned conditions that have led up to this moment, started this dialogue, caused "you" to think of a triangle, or more importantly to look for a self.

This is what is there to make a choice, the very universe itself. This perfect set of circumstances. This only set of circumstances.

In a very real way, your point of reference is the only point of reference.
Can you find a center anywhere in this locale of existance?
Are internal and external mutually exclusive?
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Rahaen » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:08 am

Carl Sagan said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

This, the creation of the universe, was the one and only cause. Everything else from there is effect. It is the finely tuned conditions that have led up to this moment, started this dialogue, caused "you" to think of a triangle, or more importantly to look for a self.

This is what is there to make a choice, the very universe itself. This perfect set of circumstances. This only set of circumstances.
But there must be a wild card, no? I mean, really, if it's all predetermined...I just wanted to say "if it's all predetermined, there's really no point in it, is there?", but thinking about it, that would be assuming the universe had a goal like a grand experiment, figuring itself out or something. Actually there _can_ be meaning without a goal. I was dancing salsa with this woman yesterday and we totally clicked and I wasn't looking for a goal in that or saying "what's the point", that would be absurd. It was just fucking beautiful, that was all the meaning there was, just that.

But when the thought of challenges comes up in my mind, there's resistance to this idea, like - if the outcome of a challenge was predetermined, it isn't really a challenge, is it? The only meaning I can find in a challenge is embracing it and growing from it. But is it really growth, when the outcome is predetermined? There's this inner drive here to do things, to eat well, to work out, to learn things, to grow, basically, and it feels like it is all the patterns of self that interfere with it. But if everything is predetermined, then those patterns are also just effect, the seeing or not seeing of no-self is also just an effect. So what is there to do other than just let things play out? There's a part of me, a thought that says "screw this, just drop your search, it'll be fine, that's letting things play out". I don't want to do that and luckily it's a weak part, but are you saying that there isn't really a choice in the matter, that no-self will be seen or not seen and I or the universe or consciousness or whatever can't do anything about it? When writing this down and rereading it it doesn't sound that absurd, actually, but it's like my mind jumps in the way and goes "this doesn't make sense to me yet, I can't let you go further until it does" and I'm not sure if that's a bad thing.
In a very real way, your point of reference is the only point of reference.
Can you find a center anywhere in this locale of existance?
I can only find one point of reference, this point of view and I would call it center. I am only assuming that there are other points of reference, when looking at other people, I don't actually know what the universe looks from there, I don't think I actually can know other than paint a picture of it in my head.
Are internal and external mutually exclusive?
I'm not sure I understand the question right, are you asking if both can exist simultaneously? If so - yes, they can, there's stuff here that's labeled mine (thoughts, emotions) and stuff that's not (sights, sounds), but both exist in the same space without any visible division, just a different label. There's still the thought and a sense of "my space", though.

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Nemo » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:25 am

Everything is not predetermined - the eternal now, it's happening as we speak. Past and future don't exist, except for thoughts in this moment. There is no ultimate goal the universe is striving towards, and the only thing that can hold any meaning, is the process. There is no end result, only an ongoing, exquisite process. This is where truth lies.
It was just fucking beautiful, that was all the meaning there was, just that.
Exactly.
So what is there to do other than just let things play out? There's a part of me, a thought that says "screw this, just drop your search, it'll be fine, that's letting things play out".
Actually, this is an important realisation to have. This is exactly what will need to happen, at some point.
are you saying that there isn't really a choice in the matter, that no-self will be seen or not seen and I or the universe or consciousness or whatever can't do anything about it?
No, I am actually saying the opposite. There IS a choice in the matter, only the choice is made by environment and conditions - the universe - and not some fictional character. What would you rather be in control of the situation, to be making decisions? The universe, or an illusory self?

Why is seeing or not seeing no-self important?
Reality sees disharmony in itself. This disharmony is the result of things being distorted and experienced through a false perspective. This is why you are seeking, no? This is where the dance of life has played itself out to, to this point of examining existence, and you can either struggle against the tide, or "let things play out." Things will happen as they should anyway, only the path can be long and full of struggle and suffering, or be of ease and beauty and enjoyment - the path of least resistance.
I can only find one point of reference, this point of view and I would call it center. I am only assuming that there are other points of reference, when looking at other people, I don't actually know what the universe looks from there, I don't think I actually can know other than paint a picture of it in my head.
Wonderful, well said... anything that does not exist in immediate experience can only ever be conjecture.
As for this center, you will find upon close examination that it is really much like a mirage, it's seeming location is always fleeting, it's position always shifts around in view. But we can always come back to this if needed. Our focus right now is on examining existence of a self.

Simplify things right down, and examine your direct experience. See if no-self is true, see if it applies to actual reality, to everyday experience. Try not to get caught up in intellectualising. Just keep it simple.
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Rahaen » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:07 am

Fuck. It's like...a cosmic prank, isn't it? 15 minutes ago I was laughing so hard, I had tears in my eyes. I took my wallet. It's a card holding thing, so lots of pages. Turned it around in my hands, touched it. Looked at the experience. There's the black artificial leather. I'm seeing it. The sensation of fingers touching the leather. Check. Started flipping the pages. No idea how I'm flipping them, the fingers seem to know what they're doing. Started flipping them backwards. Why? No idea. Just happened, didn't feel like I decided it. Memories coming up when looking at some cards, thoughts, some emotions. All of that's not me. But at least I'm watching the whole thing, right? Who's watching? "I'm watching". And the second that thought appeared I went "Who said that?" That's another thought. Who are these people talking? "It's just me." "WHO SAID THAT?!" Can't wipe the grin off my face as I'm writing this. Is this it? It's all just thoughts coming up. I'm not really there. I can't even say I'm not there, cause it's just another thought coming up like "I'm watching this." It's like...it's fucking obvious, but at the same time it doesn't make any sense, you can't get this logically. Thinking about how often I've read self help crap like "Learn to be present in the moment", it's like the biggest lie ever. "Lose yourself in the moment" How can you fucking lose yourself when you were never there in the first place and all there is IS the moment? Jesus. I can say I'm watching life happen, but that is a thought that's as much part of life as the actual watching, senses, brain and everything. So there IS just life, including the thought and the watching, how could it be separate? No I there. Either I'm damn good at deluding myself (that'd be fun - something that doesn't exist thinking it's deluding itself) or I'm done.

There's no fear now, when the thought of free will comes up. Truth is, I don't really know if there is free will that goes beyond cause and effect. It makes sense that there is, but I don't really know for sure. What I do know though is that if there is, I is not exercising it.

Funny thing is, there are some thoughts coming up now like "I have it now. I'm through. They'll blue my name and everyone will know I'm enlightened. I'm special." Like there's someone here who wants to be special. But...he's not really here. And I would've been ashamed of those thoughts some time ago, thinking "What the fuck are you doing, you are reaching for truth and enlightenment, this is about destroying your ego, not feeding it." Right now - well, the ego's there. No need to fight it. It just...is.

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Rahaen » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:15 am

P.S. And when I say ego, I don't mean that in the freudian sense of the word (as far as my limited knowledge of Freud goes), I am referring to the sense of being separate, special, better (and obviously existing).

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Nemo » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:16 am

Nice work Rahaen, big grins here too my friend.
But at least I'm watching the whole thing, right? Who's watching? "I'm watching". And the second that thought appeared I went "Who said that?" That's another thought. Who are these people talking? "It's just me." "WHO SAID THAT?!" Can't wipe the grin off my face as I'm writing this.
Awesome.
We tend to have this unexamined pre-conception that the act of watching requires a watcher.... does it?
Is this it? It's all just thoughts coming up. I'm not really there.
Fucking kick-ass. Ridiculously simple isn't it? Kinda anti-climactic even? :)
I can say I'm watching life happen, but that is a thought that's as much part of life as the actual watching, senses, brain and everything. So there IS just life, including the thought and the watching, how could it be separate? No I there. Either I'm damn good at deluding myself (that'd be fun - something that doesn't exist thinking it's deluding itself) or I'm done.
Seems to me like you're done here, but I'd like to ask just a couple more questions because it never hurts to be thorough.
Funny thing is, there are some thoughts coming up now like "I have it now. I'm through. They'll blue my name and everyone will know I'm enlightened. I'm special." Like there's someone here who wants to be special. But...he's not really here. And I would've been ashamed of those thoughts some time ago, thinking "What the fuck are you doing, you are reaching for truth and enlightenment, this is about destroying your ego, not feeding it." Right now - well, the ego's there. No need to fight it. It just...is.
Very cool. Yep, thoughts still come and go man, including ones that look ridiculous like these, but you can let them be - no need to fight them, as you said - because you know they are nothing more than thoughts. And now they lose their power because it is seen that the "I" they were attached to isn't really there. Thoughts about I still come and go, but they are merely thoughts. Nothing more.

Okay, so. A couple questions.

When you say "I" or "me", what are you referring to?

How would you explain no-self to a child?
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Rahaen » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:42 pm

We tend to have this unexamined pre-conception that the act of watching requires a watcher.... does it?
I do have to admit this question raised the doubt a bit that's been there on and off since yesterday night. Did something really change? Did perception change? Definitely did, but is this it?
When I read your question I was sort of expecting the answer to just jump out of me like I've been pumped full of insight all of a sudden. Felt like I had to do some examination again though. Watching an experience IS that experience, anything else that can be said about it is just thought, conjecture - like the fact that there's an I, an experience and an act of watching. It can be useful too, like if I'm standing on the coast and I see a tsunami coming my way there'll be the thought of "There's a tsunami, if you don't get out of here you'll die." But all of that is the experience, the seeing of the tsunami, the thoughts that appear, the getting to higher ground reaction, etc. Any other properties of the tsunami that are not seen or experienced in this exact moment are useful conjecture (and part of the experience - as thought) - like the fact that it's deadly. The experiencer, the watcher is conjecture as well. Looking at something and going "I'm watching this." is an experience consisting of watching, the thought "I'm watching this." and the sound and feel of saying those words. And that's it.

In a way the sense that I am here hasn't gone away, I kind of just know that I'm not.
Fucking kick-ass. Ridiculously simple isn't it? Kinda anti-climactic even? :)
Well, my expectations weren't that high in the first place (I thought), but there's still a part of me that was like "Cool. Now where the hell are my superpowers?" :)

I had this need to be careful when writing "I", like "I have to see this, if I say that I do something it means I'm not seeing it.", but now it's just...language. Just doesn't mean what it used to, in a way, but that's no reason to bend over backwards to express myself ( :) ) differently, it's still useful.
Seems to me like you're done here, but I'd like to ask just a couple more questions because it never hurts to be thorough.
Yup, don't be too quick to buy this, there's still some doubt here that makes me look again from time to time, but every time I do I'm still not here. And as much as I'd love to I couldn't say that there's no tension here, it's just kind of...part of the experience, like the sense of I.

I was listening to some people do smalltalk in the corridor outside as I was waking up this morning and the listening felt different, more transparent. Like I could see the emptyness of most of it much more clearly, but also the few honest, real parts. Ha. There's my superpowers.
When you say "I" or "me", what are you referring to?
When I say I, I'm referring to this point of view/this body/mind, because people would think I'm nuts if I don't (and I'd probably go nuts trying to avoid saying it). That wouldn't be very useful. I really can't think of much more to add to that.

Just played around a bit with saying "This is my life." and "I'll be there." This is silly, but I'm laughing right now thinking of saying "I'll be there." to someone, it's like 10 jokes in four words :)) It's just thought really.
How would you explain no-self to a child?
I would give them some toy and go "This is mine, but you can play with it if you want. You like it? Now it's yours. Do you still like it? It's still the same toy, isn't it?"

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Nemo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:41 pm

Doing some great work here Rahaen :)
Did something really change? Did perception change? Definitely did, but is this it?
Were you expecting something else? You mentioned your expectations weren't high in the first place, which is definitely very helpful in this. Yes, the only thing that really changes immediately, in direct relation to this insight, is perception. We are not going about actually changing anything else, we're simply having a look at what's real.
In a way the sense that I am here hasn't gone away, I kind of just know that I'm not.
Yeah. Since nothing changes, there is no reason for whatever exists before the realisation to disappear afterwards. Sense of self included.
I had this need to be careful when writing "I", like "I have to see this, if I say that I do something it means I'm not seeing it.", but now it's just...language. Just doesn't mean what it used to, in a way, but that's no reason to bend over backwards to express myself ( :) ) differently, it's still useful.
Great! It can be a fun experiment to try and write without using personal pronouns, (sometimes I even try or suggest swapping all the I's, me's or names in a passage with a word like "reality" or "life") but really, there is no need to trip yourself up on linguistics. Fact is, we're speaking about nonduality with a dualistic language, and we have no other choice in the matter.

You mentioned there's still some doubt there. Tell me more about it, and we can examine it until it disappears.
I would give them some toy and go "This is mine, but you can play with it if you want. You like it? Now it's yours. Do you still like it? It's still the same toy, isn't it?"
Nice start, but very brief. Can you elaborate? Imagine I'm either a child, or just someone who has never heard about any of this stuff before. Can you give me a simple, yet detailed explanation?
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Rahaen » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:09 pm

You mentioned there's still some doubt there. Tell me more about it, and we can examine it until it disappears.
I was getting a bit stuck on the "watching without a watcher" thing, I was still feeling there can't really be watching without a watcher. In a way, I felt that while I wasn't doing the thinking or acting or feeling, I was the one who perceived it and I was able to direct consciousness/attention to different thoughts and feelings and thus have an effect on life. I tried to convince myself that there doesn't have to be a watcher and it made logical sense to a point, but I don't think I had really gotten it.

This morning I realized that the process of watching something means that this something is perceived in the mind triggering visual images, thoughts, emotions, and all that is highlighted by consciousness.

Yesterday I was thinking - how can something be watched without somewhere to register, I mean perception means that something registers somewhere else?
Well it does - it registers in the mind and is highlighted by consciousness. So it could be said in a way that consciousness and the mind are the watcher, but that would imply that they are separate from the thing being watched, which is impossible as it has a direct and tangible effect on them. And the physical processes necessary for watching to occur have a direct and tangible effect on the thing being watched. But I digress.

The whole concept of watching as typically understood is a very abstract one and I think has no basis in reality at all - an experience can't be watched as the watching is part of the experience or rather it IS the experience. It can't be had as that's the same thing. It can't be experienced. It can just be.

And the most important part - consciousness doesn't need me. None of it does. It seems that consciousness is, in a way, the aspect of life, of experience, that goes the deepest. I read something (I think on your blog) along the lines of "The witness is the last stand of the ego." I think it's true and this is why. Once you see that consciousness is just consciousness and not at all the thing that the story of "You" points to, you realize you've looked everywhere and you didn't find this person. The story of you was pointing to an assumption.

And it's all still here. The desires, the fears, the thoughts, even the person or self. The only thing that seems to be missing is the assumption that it's more than a mental construct.

And the single experience that exists now, constantly flowing and changing, life, is the interplay of everything there is - body, consciousness, mind, thoughts, memories, mental constructs like self, emotions, etc. and it makes sense in a way to say "I am all of that" but at the same time there's no single part of this that the idea of I points to, no single part of this that's at the center of the I-story, so it is also true to say "I am none of that." and since "that" is all there is - "I am not."
Nice start, but very brief. Can you elaborate? Imagine I'm either a child, or just someone who has never heard about any of this stuff before. Can you give me a simple, yet detailed explanation?
When you said "child" I felt restricted in the words I could use and figured maybe it doesn't take much for someone who is not yet as burdened by the concepts we've been masturbating with in our heads for years. It's a good question, though, how would you explain this to a child?

Anyway, here's how I would explain this to someone who's never heard of it before. When you look at your direct experience at this moment, all the stuff that comes in through your senses and add to that all the internal, mental stuff like thoughts and emotions - that covers all that you can perceive.

That's obviously not you, that's what you perceive. And a lot of that internal stuff is very strongly connected to the person you think you are. There's values, character traits, expressions you use, memories, desires, dreams, fears, etc. And when you say "This is who I am" what you mean is "This is what defines me", because you do realize that you're not any of those memories or dreams or all of that and that what they basically do is they paint the image of you, of your person.

But have you ever checked if the person in that image actually exists? The obvious answer is "Of course it exists, that's me." That's an assumption. It seems pretty fucking obvious, of course, but that doesn't make it any less of an assumption. There was a time when it was pretty fucking obvious that the earth was at the center of the universe, until someone dared question that and turned out to be right. The guy was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. You would take no such risk in questioning your assumption. If it's true it will stand the test of anything you might throw at it. But if it's wrong that would have pretty far-reaching consequences. The only thing you have to lose if it's wrong is a belief, an assumption.

To even consider this seriously without brushing it aside as new-age-spiritual-crap (like which, I admit, it can easily sound), you need an open mind, courage and a strong desire for truth, which, I would assume, you think of yourself as having.

What lies behind the answer is mental freedom, plain and simple. You can even look at this economically - there's nothing of value to lose (unless you honestly value the unquestioned assumptions you hold) and there may be a lot to gain.
Do you care?

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Nemo » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:37 pm

Great work Rahaen, really well done my friend. Your appear to be crystal clear with Anatta/no-self and treading water beautifully. Assuming you have no other doubts with this, I'll ask some of the other reds here to read over and confirm as well.

You may, however, still have debris to clean up, which we have a different section for in this forum: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/viewforum.php?f=6
And also a group for on facebook for doing this work - really great discussions and support happening: https://www.facebook.com/groups/200033776715393/

And, of course, you can always contact me with any questions, anytime :)
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Rahaen » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:05 pm

Thank you so much Nemo. You gave me exactly the push I needed to fall off the edge, so to speak. You ought to get a special "liberated-in-under-10-posts" badge or something :)) Seriously, I totally feel like hugging you right now. In a manly, non-homoerotic way, of course. Assuming you're actually a guy and I didn't just make a fool of myself haha :)) Either way - consider yourself hugged. :)

As for the doubts - I'd say they are of a different kind now. When I said I had doubts before, it was like "There's doubts and looking at this honestly, something's definitely not clicking here." And now they are more like faint echoes, like remains from something, along the lines of "Fuck, did this really just happen?" and the answer is just obvious.

Funny thing is, there's some sense of pride there, like the person that was fighting so hard not to be seen through as an illusion now realized "Ok, didn't work out. Fuck it, let's just jump on the next bandwagon." It's like my personal comedy show really :) Might even miss him if he happens to go away one of these days.

Thanks for the links, I'll join the group once I've been confirmed. There's a ton of questions here and things going through my head that I want to share. And I want to learn more about how to help others see this and how to bring it up and have people consider it instead of giving me concerned looks and trying to save me from the dangerous cult I've supposedly joined :)

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Nemo » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:00 pm

Wonderful Rahaen, the gratitude is mutual. Certainly I'll take that hug :) I am actually female but shhh, don't tell anyone, 'Nemo' is latin for no-one and I like the mystery and anonymity, hehe.

Judging by the clarity of your writing, I think you would make an excellent guide if you feel moved to help. Once you are blued I'll send you a link to the pdf of our guidebook.
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: Jump in, the water is lovely...

Postby Rahaen » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:44 pm

I am actually female
So much for that. Let me say in my defense that I've read Jules Verne. :)
Judging by the clarity of your writing, I think you would make an excellent guide if you feel moved to help. Once you are blued I'll send you a link to the pdf of our guidebook.
I'd love to, thank you.


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