strangechord, come in, let's make some music

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Nemo
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strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby Nemo » Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:12 am

What brings you here my friend?
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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strangechord
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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby strangechord » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:11 pm

Sorry for the delay, just noticed you pinged me!

I am here to wake up from the thought of me. It feels like I've gotten about as far as one can go in understanding this on an intellectual level. The past five days or so has been about getting very focused and intentional about living it experientially.

What appears to be in the way is the persistent belief that I exist as a point of view/the one having a perspective. I get that the body isn't me, that doing isn't done by me, etc. But is "I" that which sees everything through this perspective? So there is stuck-ness on the I being the experiencer.

Thank you for working with me, Nemo. I read your blog posts the other night and found them incredibly moving.

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby Nemo » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:41 am

Hello! Yes, I pinged you. Although plucked might be a better word, strangechord :)
Welcome here. And thanks for the blog feedback, I'm happy that it resonates.

So. You said - "is "I" that which sees everything through this perspective?"
Let's take a look. Is there someone or something inside looking out and through, or can you only find the perspective itself? Does seeing require a seer?

Say you're sitting in a small room at a computer (which you probably are right now). You can see the room, which is probably a couple meters in each direction, and all the stuff in the room. Maybe you can see a little way outside through the window. Now imagine you're standing at the top of a mountain. You can look out to the hills, valleys, trees, and out to sea. That perspective now encompasses many many miles instead of a few metres. So where is this point of reference, this centre of experience? Is it where the body is, or where the eyes are? Or is it somewhere between the closest point in seeing and the furthest point - somewhere between the body and the ocean? And what if you're driving in a car, and trees, rocks, buildings, phenomena are rushing past, popping in and out of experience?

Is this really one stuck perspective, or is it ever-moving and ever-changing, all-encompassing? Is there absolutely anything permanent and concrete about it? "Your" reference point isn't necessarily unique, or one separate from many, it's the only reference point. Any information given to you about other "reference points" or experiences is always second-hand. So while it may or may not be true, you can never know for sure because it's not verifiable through direct experience. This is the only knowable reality. Hence the only reality - the only thing you can honestly call "true".

So let's rewind. Let's take a look at direct experience and go back to that original question you asked.
"is "I" that which sees everything through this perspective?"
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby strangechord » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:48 pm

Hello! Yes, I pinged you. Although plucked might be a better word, strangechord :)
Welcome here. And thanks for the blog feedback, I'm happy that it resonates.

So. You said - "is "I" that which sees everything through this perspective?"
Let's take a look. Is there someone or something inside looking out and through, or can you only find the perspective itself? Does seeing require a seer?
No, I can see plainly that seeing doesn't require a seer. It's the thoughts that arise that I am the one seeing that are then believed that cause the distinction of seer.
Say you're sitting in a small room at a computer (which you probably are right now). You can see the room, which is probably a couple meters in each direction, and all the stuff in the room. Maybe you can see a little way outside through the window. Now imagine you're standing at the top of a mountain. You can look out to the hills, valleys, trees, and out to sea. That perspective now encompasses many many miles instead of a few metres. So where is this point of reference, this centre of experience? Is it where the body is, or where the eyes are? Or is it somewhere between the closest point in seeing and the furthest point - somewhere between the body and the ocean? And what if you're driving in a car, and trees, rocks, buildings, phenomena are rushing past, popping in and out of experience?
The point of reference is where the eyes are/where the body is. If driving in a car, the point of reference is the seeing of everything out the window popping in and out of view.
Is this really one stuck perspective, or is it ever-moving and ever-changing, all-encompassing? Is there absolutely anything permanent and concrete about it? "Your" reference point isn't necessarily unique, or one separate from many, it's the only reference point. Any information given to you about other "reference points" or experiences is always second-hand. So while it may or may not be true, you can never know for sure because it's not verifiable through direct experience. This is the only knowable reality. Hence the only reality - the only thing you can honestly call "true".
Not sure I understand the first few sentences. I feel like I'm getting something wrong or overlooking something! lol It does feel like there's one stuck perspective, from these eyes/this center, that is permanent and concrete, yet sees ever-moving and ever-changing phenomena outside of it.

I do get that the only thing verifiable is that which is directly experienced. I can't know how it is ever from someone else's perspective. In this sense, I understand that all there is is the reference point.[/quote]
So let's rewind. Let's take a look at direct experience and go back to that original question you asked.
"is "I" that which sees everything through this perspective?"
In asking that again, what comes in response is that there is just this perspective. It doesn't matter whether I call it "I" or not. To call it "I" is an unnecessary label. To call it "I" is just to believe a thought that persistently wants to be believed.

Let me ask you something, can there be a seeing-through the fallacy of "I" and still "I" thoughts can come up and beg to be believed (are really "sticky")? Because I think what's also in the way is a lot of beliefs and ideas about what liberation must be like and it limits openness to whatever shows up. I grew up in a meditation community where we kids learned all sorts of untrue notions about enlightenment from adults who were not awakened but were yearning for it. As an adult, I have spent years deconditioning most of those childhood notions, reading spiritual books and listening to talks (Adya, Tolle, Balsekar, etc), attending satsangs. A spiritual teacher I met a few weekends ago said that I was a "spiritual connoisseur" and that that was likely the last refuge. I feel intuitively that that's true because at this point I've accumulated so much knowledge and stuff in my head around awakening that it's likely in the way now. Anyway, felt compelled to give a little back story, whatever it's worth. :-)

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby Nemo » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:46 pm

Hey there strangechord.
Do you play the guitar or piano?

Okay, so firstly, this point of reference stuff.
Sorry that you didn't understand what I was getting at, some things can be seen clear enough but sometimes difficult to express! Also keep in mind that everything said here is not truth itself, only potential pointers to the truth.

Let's try a different line of attack here.

Think of "experience", or "life" as like the ocean. A wave can appear in it (much like "strangechord", as an expression of life appearing in the void), but the wave can't really said to be a point of reference per se, it's always moving and changing and never consists of the same water particles. It contains the ocean itself. And if it is separated from the rest of the ocean, it can no longer be called either a wave or ocean. Does that make sense?

You said -
I understand that all there is is the reference point.
If a point of reference is all that is, can it still be called a reference point? Is the ocean a point of reference in the ocean?
the point of reference is the seeing of everything out the window popping in and out of view.
You also said -
I can see plainly that seeing doesn't require a seer.
So, there is no seer, but there is seeing, which appears to start at the eyes and move outwards from there, yeah?
But how can you be certain that this "seeing" doesn't actually start from the furthest point in the visual field and move in towards the eyes? Perhaps neither of these scenarios are true? Seeing requires both the eyes to see and the thing seen. Take the seen away and there is no sight. Take the sight away and there is nothing to see. So sight and what is seen are not really two separate things, but instead crucial for the existence of each other, but more importantly of this one thing known as seeing. Nonduality - "not two".

Here's another way to look at this point of reference thing. (I hope I'm not confusing you too much, but we're jamming, yeah? Point of reference actually confused me a whole lot and seemed to be my last piece of the puzzle too when I was examining self, and I still have a whole lot of fun exploring it. So please bear with me! It's an important thing to look at so I am actually quite exited to be discussing it, I'm really glad you brought it up. Also, I think the fact that you've been confused by it means you have been looking closely and honesty at this and are serious about it. A great sign.)

Okay, so anyway. Consider this.
What ever is verifiable in experience, can be said to be true. Anything that is not in direct, verifiable experience may or may not be true, but it can never really be more than just conjecture, hearsay. You can never know for sure if it's true or not. It's something that needs to be thrown out in scientific study, in courts of law, and also here, in examining reality. Not necessarily ignored, just discounted, ultimately. How could hearsay be accepted over direct knowing? Why would you take someone else's word for it if you could find out directly?

I feel like I'm in ramble mode a bit. Please stay with me :)
People tell you what their experiences are like, stories about their lives, what things are like from "over there". However, they will only ever exist as stories. And stories are great, they're fun and interesting and exciting, and even real, a real part of experience, but only as stories in "your" experience. So maybe these stories are describing other real reference points, and maybe they're just part of a dream. And you'll probably never know for sure either, but either way it doesn't even matter. All that exists is the one reference point which contains stories about other reference points. Which bring us back to - 'If a point of reference is all that is, can it still be called a reference point?'
And when death comes, when this reference point ceases to exist, does the world and everything in it continue along? (One thing I also used to trip myself over a lot were paradoxes, but they make sense now, because ala Schrodinger's cat, it seems two opposite things can be true at the same time. (Except when directly looked at!))
Yes, possibly life still goes on, maybe even probably. Also - No. In fact most likely not. Gone, nothing, nada. Experience melts away back into the void and the whole world with it. Existing stops, existence with it.

Whew! I'm really enjoying this here. And hoping that I'm not being too self-indulgent, and most importantly that you're getting something from this :)
I can see plainly that seeing doesn't require a seer. It's the thoughts that arise that I am the one seeing that are then believed that cause the distinction of seer.
And -
In asking that again, what comes in response is that there is just this perspective. It doesn't matter whether I call it "I" or not. To call it "I" is an unnecessary label. To call it "I" is just to believe a thought that persistently wants to be believed.
Really nice stuff my friend. Beautiful. I think it was Alan Watts who spoke about how much of our language (particularly concerning personal pronouns) is unnecessary, or at least misleading and badly constructed, and that it's entirely conceivable for a new language to be developed to correct these linguistic problems. So, fingers crossed for that one! But until then, unfortunately, we still need this language to communicate, so using terms like I, me, my is fine, if there is an awareness of what they are really pointing to.

Let me ask you something, can there be a seeing-through the fallacy of "I" and still "I" thoughts can come up and beg to be believed (are really "sticky")?
Yes, of course. Seeing through "I" doesn't actually destroy it, right? It's seeing it never actually existed. So what ever was there beforehand can definitely continue to come up after. But once no-self is seen, it can never be unseen. Sometimes sense of self can still come up quite strongly.

But sense of self isn't the same thing as belief in self.

I feel intuitively that that's true because at this point I've accumulated so much knowledge and stuff in my head around awakening that it's likely in the way now.
Yes, certainly, it can seem like the more you've learned, the more there is to unlearn. But it's not as big an obstacle as it seems. Knowledge isn't so bad and you don't need to be completely rid of it. You just need to be able to set it aside for long enough to do an honest enquiry. It's like hearsay. It doesn't have to be banished, just let go of, so real knowing can happen. See that knowledge isn't you or yours, that there's no need to identify with it, and detaching comes easy. And knowledge isn't something you can set your watch by either. Something can be true or known one moment, and not the next. Or, both true and not true at the same time, like Schrodinger's cat.

I've said a lot of stuff about direct experience, and examining it to find out what's true.
This is what it all boils down to - can a self, or any irrefutable evidence of a self, be found in any way shape or form?
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby strangechord » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:27 pm

Hey there strangechord.
Do you play the guitar or piano?
No, neither. I sing, though. And I love music so much - pretty wide musical taste. Everything from old school goth to ambient to indie folk.
Okay, so firstly, this point of reference stuff.
Sorry that you didn't understand what I was getting at, some things can be seen clear enough but sometimes difficult to express! Also keep in mind that everything said here is not truth itself, only potential pointers to the truth.

Let's try a different line of attack here.

Think of "experience", or "life" as like the ocean. A wave can appear in it (much like "strangechord", as an expression of life appearing in the void), but the wave can't really said to be a point of reference per se, it's always moving and changing and never consists of the same water particles. It contains the ocean itself. And if it is separated from the rest of the ocean, it can no longer be called either a wave or ocean. Does that make sense?
Yes, that makes sense. I've listened to Jeff Foster talk a lot about the wave/ocean analogy and it makes perfect sense.
You said -
I understand that all there is is the reference point.
If a point of reference is all that is, can it still be called a reference point? Is the ocean a point of reference in the ocean?
Touche! Yes, when this is "tried on" (all there is is reference point), it is seen that there is also no reference point. This body, these eyes see things differently and see different things, however, from another person's eyes. It is this different seeing that has always been called "I" or referred to as the "I"'s reference point.
So, there is no seer, but there is seeing, which appears to start at the eyes and move outwards from there, yeah?
But how can you be certain that this "seeing" doesn't actually start from the furthest point in the visual field and move in towards the eyes? Perhaps neither of these scenarios are true? Seeing requires both the eyes to see and the thing seen. Take the seen away and there is no sight. Take the sight away and there is nothing to see. So sight and what is seen are not really two separate things, but instead crucial for the existence of each other, but more importantly of this one thing known as seeing. Nonduality - "not two".
Yes, that is clear, that both are crucial for the existence of each other, for seeing.
Let me ask you something, can there be a seeing-through the fallacy of "I" and still "I" thoughts can come up and beg to be believed (are really "sticky")?
Yes, of course. Seeing through "I" doesn't actually destroy it, right? It's seeing it never actually existed. So what ever was there beforehand can definitely continue to come up after. But once no-self is seen, it can never be unseen. Sometimes sense of self can still come up quite strongly.
This gives some freedom, that it's not about destroying the ego (just another word for sense of self), but seeing through it.

Here's where I'm hung up, though. No-self has been seen, many times, but has not abided. The "me" comes up again at some point and is believed again to some extent. So isn't that the same as saying no-self is unseen again? I have a strong desire for ABIDING seeing, for permanent liberation from seeking. I am waiting for some "click" whereafter there is no seeking or uncertainty anymore. I keep having the thought, "Has there been awakening or not?" and am not 100% sure of the answer. But then I think, probably not, or there wouldn't still be all this seeking energy.
I've said a lot of stuff about direct experience, and examining it to find out what's true.
This is what it all boils down to - can a self, or any irrefutable evidence of a self, be found in any way shape or form?
A self cannot be found. Only thoughts about a self, based in time, based in story. Those thoughts don't have nearly the hooking power they used to, not even close. But they're not gone completely. They don't need to go away completely because they only have hooking power when believed. They are not believed or taken to be true that often anymore.

But if that is seen and understood - why no "click" still??

There is the intuitive feeling that the big block is some expectation of what awakening will be like. Also, that it's based in the future sometime.

It's all very exhausting - this seeking, this yearning. You know, I don't feel any fear really (like most people do at the gate?), but there's an awful lot of frustration and desperation. When welcomed and met, these emotions melt away. But it keeps arising.

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby strangechord » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:09 pm

Ok, so after I typed that to you, I did some inquiry writing on the computer. Here's what I wrote:


"What is this doubt?

This doubt is a fear of uncertainty.

Question: Who is uncertain? Who has doubt?

Reveals: It’s just thoughts.

Because I have images/ideas about what awakening looks/feels like, I keep seeking just for that and discount everything that isn’t that. The mind thinks it knows what it’s after and will feel certain once it’s found. But who says the mind’s ideas about awakening are accurate? The mind is relying upon second hand knowledge from others and past direct experiences to inform itself what to look for.

What if all of those ideas/images are relaxed?

There’s the persistent thought whenever I do inquiry or presence meditation: “Is it about to click?” Almost as if the mind believes it can will awakening to occur, to POP. Everything is done with an “in order to” pop.

What if there is no POP, no click? Ever? What would that feel like?

There’s a fear of just bumbling along through the rest of life, being resigned to a blah life and feeling this yearning, this seeking all the while in the background. There’s a fear that the seeking would never stop and I would just be miserable and hopeless. It feels like hope for awakening holds everything together right now. That without the possibility of awakening, I would just want to die. There wouldn’t be any point to anything. There’s fear of living in this limbo the rest of my life.

There’s so much fear. There’s fear of hopelessness. There’s not fear of annihilation of self, there’s fear of never seeing through the self. Of being stranded, hopeless, in limbo, in exile with this deep never-ending seeking."


After I wrote that, there were some tears and fear emotion. I closed my eyes and welcomed that and took a look. Suddenly, a voice out of nowhere said, "What do you know is true?" And there was a resting-in-awareness. Resting in that I am, I exist. That is the only thing known to be true.

There was then a few minutes spent absorbed in that, with eyes closed. All the while, a lightness, almost spacey feeling in the body and head. I then wrote:


"The mind throws up doubt. Doubt is just mental noise. Every so often there’s a grasping – a wanting to hold onto what’s here. Then there is a relaxing of that and a recognition that what is always here can never be lost, just not seen.

There is looking: Is there an “I” who has woken up? There’s no I, or rather, I is just seen as a thought that can be believed or not. It is just not automatically believed. There’s only identification with “I” if it is preferred.

Fear and doubt and grasping arise occasionally. There is still “getting lost in thoughts” that happens. There’s even a little judgment about that that arises. These are all such habits! Same old, same old! Laughing and crying with this at the same time. Same old habit, patterns, it really is just conditioning. They are automatic, these habits. Emily gets lost in thoughts and then judges herself for it. Habit.

Fear that this will not be abiding arises. That too is habit. Wanting reassurance arises. Pet that thought on its head and love it. Recognize that that thought doesn’t need to be believed or taken seriously. There is just this."


Had a call with my husband (I am in my office at work during all this!) and there was listening to him with total love, acceptance and no strong opinions or desire to control. Very effortless. A coworker came into my office go over something work-related and there was a slight stunned-ness looking at him, a sense that I had never seen him before. Nothing major, just subtle.

So, every so often there is the wondering if this will be abiding. And then the recognition that that is just a habit thought. An echo of an echo of an echo thought, still reverberating around my head. Who knows what this is. Who knows what will be going on here tomorrow.

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby Nemo » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:24 am

Strangechord.

Emily.

Gahhhhhhhhh!!!!!
Your story resonates so much here it's astounding.
You write with such clear, fresh honesty. I feel as though I am gulping lungfuls of pure cold oxygen.
No, neither. I sing, though. And I love music so much - pretty wide musical taste. Everything from old school goth to ambient to indie folk.
Me too :) I sing a little and play piano/guitar. Have fun mucking around with electronic sounds too. And very wide musical taste. Music is my religion, for sure.

You seem to have responded to your own (brilliant) first post with your second one, which is wonderful, so we can go from there if you're good with that.
I love, love, love how you approach your inquiry.
Because I have images/ideas about what awakening looks/feels like, I keep seeking just for that and discount everything that isn’t that. The mind thinks it knows what it’s after and will feel certain once it’s found. But who says the mind’s ideas about awakening are accurate? The mind is relying upon second hand knowledge from others and past direct experiences to inform itself what to look for.

What if all of those ideas/images are relaxed?
Nothing to add to that. Simply perfect.
There’s the persistent thought whenever I do inquiry or presence meditation: “Is it about to click?” Almost as if the mind believes it can will awakening to occur, to POP. Everything is done with an “in order to” pop.
You know, there is no need to try and even stop the mind from waiting for a pop. Just watch it with a playful curiosity, allow it to play itself out and dissolve. Which is exactly what you seem to be doing. Such a joy to watch!
Just as a side note in this - waiting for something to happen in the future, and projecting in a future, will always remain in the future. There is no waiting required for what is happening right now - which is where "it" is already happening. Future (and past) exist only as thoughts in this moment.
What if there is no POP, no click? Ever? What would that feel like?
This made me grin like a goofy idiot. Aaaaahhhhh!!! :D
There’s a fear of just bumbling along through the rest of life, being resigned to a blah life and feeling this yearning, this seeking all the while in the background. There’s a fear that the seeking would never stop and I would just be miserable and hopeless. It feels like hope for awakening holds everything together right now. That without the possibility of awakening, I would just want to die. There wouldn’t be any point to anything. There’s fear of living in this limbo the rest of my life.

There’s so much fear. There’s fear of hopelessness. There’s not fear of annihilation of self, there’s fear of never seeing through the self. Of being stranded, hopeless, in limbo, in exile with this deep never-ending seeking."

After I wrote that, there were some tears and fear emotion.
This made me tear up too!! I feel you. I am so with you in this, every step of the way.
There is looking: Is there an “I” who has woken up? There’s no I, or rather, I is just seen as a thought that can be believed or not. It is just not automatically believed. There’s only identification with “I” if it is preferred.
I know this analogy has been flogged to death but it's a good one. You stopped believing in Santa as a kid, right? Can you really, honestly, choose to believe in him again? Or just entertain thoughts, fantasies, "what ifs"?
Why did you stop believing in Santa in the first place? Because you realised your parents had been putting presents under the tree the whole time. It was all a big charade. Maybe there is some bearded guy actually living in the North Pole wearing a red suit, who knows? It's possible. Even so, he still couldn't be the Santa you once believed in, the one who climbed down your chimney each year. That Santa didn't just disappear one day, ready to return when you choose to believe again. He never existed.

However - certain things were attributed to this Santa fallacy. Presents, half-eaten cookie, empty glass of milk. The joy of being a kid waking up on christmas morning. The nostalgia and reliving of that joy. But these things didn't disappear along with the Santa belief, these things were always real. They existed without Santa the whole time. It's just been a case of misidentification.
It's the same with self.

I said this before but I think it's quite an important distinction.
Sense of self isn't the same thing as belief in self.
Fear and doubt and grasping arise occasionally. There is still “getting lost in thoughts” that happens. There’s even a little judgment about that that arises. These are all such habits! Same old, same old! Laughing and crying with this at the same time. Same old habit, patterns, it really is just conditioning. They are automatic, these habits. Emily gets lost in thoughts and then judges herself for it. Habit.
Crap, I've been laughing and crying along with you! Thank you so much for sharing all this Emily. Really.
I don't get very emotional over this stuff too often. I think I usually have a somewhat methodical, scientific feel to my approach a lot of the time. Thanks for reminding me of the humanity... tenderness... fragility.

Habits are patterns that have built up over a life time, as you said. Quite often there are a lot built up around belief in self. Seeing no-self doesn't make them disappear, but they don't have to be there forever. Self is like their fuel, and when the source is gone they are able to just run their course and fade away without the continuous reinforcing there to maintain them. Burning away karma. Don't force it, just observe, be open, and allow things to unfold as they should.
Fear that this will not be abiding arises. That too is habit.
Yeah, things are going to happen the way they are meant to no matter what your expectations. Trust. You're not in control, life is steering this ship. And whatever happens, it will always be the right and real and true thing.
It cannot be otherwise.
Wanting reassurance arises. Pet that thought on its head and love it. Recognize that that thought doesn’t need to be believed or taken seriously. There is just this."
*heart melts*
A coworker came into my office go over something work-related and there was a slight stunned-ness looking at him, a sense that I had never seen him before. Nothing major, just subtle.
Awesome! Why do you think this happened?
So, every so often there is the wondering if this will be abiding. And then the recognition that that is just a habit thought. An echo of an echo of an echo thought, still reverberating around my head. Who knows what this is. Who knows what will be going on here tomorrow.
Yep. Yep. Yep. Thought. Wondering if it will be abiding, or thinking it is not abiding, just thought.
Reality - truth - what is real, can never not be abiding. No matter what.

You mentioned you have seen no-self several times.
Would you be willing to try and put these aside and do it fresh, as if for the first time?
Let's go back to this statement:
The mind is relying upon second hand knowledge from others and past direct experiences to inform itself what to look for.
Instead of only doing internal inquiry with the mind, strip it right back and see how no-self might apply, make sense, or not make sense in simple every-day reality. Instead of just mind, use/look at body, senses, environment, observation, honesty. How does self or no-self relate?
Look in every place that self could possibly hide. Illuminate every corner. Take as much time as is needed to explore this.
Then come back and lay down some free-flow :)
Describe as much as you can about I/me/self. What, where, why, how, who.
Really looking forward to it.
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby strangechord » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:48 am

Thank you so much for working with me, Nemo. I am so glad to hear there's resonance! So much delight reading your reply...

It's funny... There has been an attachment around a story of needing to be special my whole life, of wanting to be more memorable, more interesting, more deep than other people. Your replies to my last post stirred that story and thoughts arose around "see, look how special I am". They were caught immediately - recognized as old, habitual story thoughts and kinda made me chuckle. There is a tendency of mind here to have "spiritual superiority" thoughts and want to believe them and make it part of identity. Vigilance is absolutely important here. Not judgment for those thoughts (which would just be further personalization it seems), but vigilance that they don't hook into belief. To be vigilant is to be awake.

After I wrote that last post to you and after an amazing lunchtime in the outdoors and around people, I spent the afternoon at the office feeling very tired and like there was a "coming down", a fading of the certainty and exhilaration I felt earlier. Still, though, the aperture, so to speak, stayed somewhat more open than usual. I didn't have as much of a disappointed, frustrated, hopeless feeling as I have in the past that "oh, this wasn't abiding!". Instead, there was a gentle recognition that nothing was lost, that any obscuration was all in the mind. There was the knowing that thoughts of separation and frustration did not have to be believed.

There's still the lingering question, how is there certainty that the gate has been crossed? I heard Adya once say that the sure sign that awakening has occurred is that seeking has ceased - there is no more seeker to be found. I can't tell if seeking has ceased... I think I'm too tired tonight and kind of worn out. It's about 9pm here right now.

I love your question at the end of your post about self/no-self in daily life. I will definitely answer it in the morning. Thank you again, you are wonderful. There is so much gratitude here that you understand what I have written and the particular inquiries here.

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby strangechord » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:45 am

Hi, Nemo! What an internal roller coaster today! Huge awakening this morning just like yesterday morning and then a "coming down" and de-intensifying in the afternoon with huge tiredness and some dizziness present. Is this common? It feels like a definite process is going on here this past week. The states go up and down, but there is an underlying assuredness that all is well and there is nothing that can be lost, even after blissful states have passed. It's starting to seem that rather than one certain click, there is a two steps forward, one step back kinda feel to all this. Does that all make sense?

Wanted to share something I wrote this morning (after I wrote this, I had to take a bathroom break because the urge to laugh and cry simultaneously over how hilarious and wonderful it all is was overwhelming!):

"If the 'I' identity is only found in thoughts and thoughts just appear spontaneously, there really is no 'I' at all outside being a thought about ownership that is believed. What is owned, willed and claimed is simply a spontaneous appearance.

THIS is bliss. We are here to enjoy. All there is is this. Laughing – it’s hilarious that there was ever believed to be any control! It is so wonderful that there is no control – 'I' have no control over anything!

There’s no fear of not abiding, because there’s just this. This is always here. The fear of not abiding is just believing thoughts about the I having any control over anything."

Anyway, I want to answer your question from before:
Instead of only doing internal inquiry with the mind, strip it right back and see how no-self might apply, make sense, or not make sense in simple every-day reality. Instead of just mind, use/look at body, senses, environment, observation, honesty. How does self or no-self relate?
Look in every place that self could possibly hide. Illuminate every corner. Take as much time as is needed to explore this.
Then come back and lay down some free-flow :)
Describe as much as you can about I/me/self. What, where, why, how, who.
With no-self, there's no urge to try and control anything. Everything just kinda flows. There is a deep peace and assuredness that everything that occurs and is experienced is apt and fine. There is the recognition that any attempt to control or get bent out of shape about anything is pointless and just adds instant suffering. Life is going to unfold as it unfolds whether the overlay of control is added or not. And life is far more enjoyable and effortless without it.

There was a bit of an internal struggle all afternoon that I should still feel all sorts of bliss and delight if this was indeed IT. But let's take a look at that... An hour or so ago, there was a familiar irritability/anger at having to do some work task that previously hadn't been bothering me all day, and in fact at times, had totally delighted me because there was so much delight with everything. I saw that both the anger and the delight were just states and that states come and go spontaneously, just like thoughts, and that there is no control over their coming and going. Freedom. Relief. When that strange little anger arose earlier, I acknowledged it and though there was the thought that this irrational anger was odd, I welcomed it anyway. It barely lasted any time at all - a few minutes at most.

This tiredness and a bit of dizziness/spaciness in the head and eyes keeps coming every afternoon. This body probably just needs more sleep this week!

There's no longer such an intense need for certainty as there was even yesterday. So much seeking energy has gone. Is there still seeking? It's not so much seeking, but a feeling that this burgeoning awakening is fragile and needs to be tended... the best analogy I can think of is that the fire has been started and now needs to be stoked and tended so that the blaze can burn ever brighter and hotter. Hmm, now that I write that, I see that that's assuming the fire could go out if not tended to, which implies that this seeing can be lost again. *sigh* I don't know. Feeling really tired.

It was interesting being at work today while all of this was going on. There are huge, productive bursts of getting stuff done with no stories running in commentary. No old stories of self-pity over the boringness of the work, no stories of resentment toward coworkers, no stories of feeling the need to irritatedly check in and control my husband from afar as he takes care of our toddler at home. Just clean doing of the work and it was delightful! The body/mind knew how to do the work that had to get done and just did it.

Bits of experience over lunch at a restaurant of loving every person I saw. Just heart melting love. Seeing them as no-self, as having no control over anything and just loving them in their humanness. Feeling really at ease with people - little bits of self-conscious will pop up here and there, but there is much more confidence in interacting with others. People that normally kinda intimidated me (like my boss), there's been ease and friendliness and almost no fear. There's so much more patience than before with my husband. With the recognition that he is not my long-running stories about him, there is just love and patience.

There's still a pining for an all-is-one, world breaking down in a crazy, ecstatic way kind of experience that will bring finality, certainty, etc. But isn't it probably perfect that that is not what's occurring? It allows me to see that that kind of experience is what the mind wants.

I'll leave it at that for now - that was just a riff. Looking forward to YOUR response!

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby Nemo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:49 am

Hey there strangechord :)
What an internal roller coaster today! Huge awakening this morning just like yesterday morning and then a "coming down" and de-intensifying in the afternoon with huge tiredness and some dizziness present. Is this common?
Yeah there are often reports of that sort of thing. There can be significant energetic effects on mind, body, emotion - understandably! There is no standard process though, each experience is totally unique, and each one valid.
The states go up and down, but there is an underlying assuredness that all is well and there is nothing that can be lost, even after blissful states have passed.
Ah, wonderful! Perceptual shift is happening... paradigms are falling away.
It's starting to seem that rather than one certain click, there is a two steps forward, one step back kinda feel to all this. Does that all make sense?
Most definitely. My own click, or moment of realisation, seemed to sort of stretch out over 2-3 weeks. I just pictured trying to snap your fingers once over a span of 2 weeks...haha! Anyway, it didn't actually feel like a click. More like pieces falling away.
I can't even be completely certain that all the pieces could all ever truly be gone, even when it seems like they are. Even if things feel done, or are in fact done, I am really, really happy and relieved about the fact that I am unable to subscribe to the belief that I am, or could ever be. Seeking feels done, but things are still being learned and unlearned as I fall deeper down the rabbit hole each day. And it seems highly unlikely there's a bottom to hit. Once there is surrender to the falling there is no need to actively try and "fall" anymore.
If the 'I' identity is only found in thoughts and thoughts just appear spontaneously, there really is no 'I' at all outside being a thought about ownership that is believed. What is owned, willed and claimed is simply a spontaneous appearance.
Brilliant!
THIS is bliss. We are here to enjoy. All there is is this. Laughing – it’s hilarious that there was ever believed to be any control! It is so wonderful that there is no control – 'I' have no control over anything!
There's a Zen saying, "All that's left is laughter." (Actually, if you search for that in youtube you'll find a really great example from Jeff Foster.) A sense of humour is vital :)
There’s no fear of not abiding, because there’s just this. This is always here. The fear of not abiding is just believing thoughts about the I having any control over anything.
Yup. You're on Fire! So perfectly simple isn't it?
"True nature" or Truth is the simplest thing there is. Only it gets lost under piles of crap that gets heaped on to it - and confusion happens. All we're doing is letting stuff go, dropping it, clearing the way. Wiping the sleep from the eyes.
With no-self, there's no urge to try and control anything. Everything just kinda flows. There is a deep peace and assuredness that everything that occurs and is experienced is apt and fine. There is the recognition that any attempt to control or get bent out of shape about anything is pointless and just adds instant suffering. Life is going to unfold as it unfolds whether the overlay of control is added or not. And life is far more enjoyable and effortless without it(...)
Absolute poetry.
the best analogy I can think of is that the fire has been started and now needs to be stoked and tended so that the blaze can burn ever brighter and hotter. Hmm, now that I write that, I see that that's assuming the fire could go out if not tended to, which implies that this seeing can be lost again. *sigh* I don't know. Feeling really tired.
Who or what is responsible for stoking the fire? Who is really in control here, an illusory "I", or the fire itself? These words were used - Assuming. Implies. Is this describing what is happening in reality right now, or is it just thoughts projected into the future? What is happening right now, that isn't just a thought?
The body/mind knew how to do the work that had to get done and just did it.
Has this always been the case? What is the main difference between before seeing this, and now?
There's still a pining for an all-is-one, world breaking down in a crazy, ecstatic way kind of experience that will bring finality, certainty, etc. But isn't it probably perfect that that is not what's occurring? It allows me to see that that kind of experience is what the mind wants.
Wow, it is so thrilling to see expectations and beliefs just melt away like this. A marvellous inquiry into the simple reality of self in every day life too. Interactions are a great place to look.
You are looking right at this.
Hold your gaze steady and give me some really simple descriptions. What are you referring to when you say "I"?
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby strangechord » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:08 pm

Good morning, Nemo.

What a roller coaster these past few days! Yesterday morning was pure seeing, no-self, lots of clarity and peace. Then, wham! After lunch there arose huge fear around non-abiding, around being sucked back into the "I" belief and having to go back to seeking snd feeling more hopeless than before. Huge fear and panic. I sought out help on the LU Facebook group and ultimately, Ilona and I messages back and forth through it. I was at my desk at work, so every so often I had to take a bathroom break and cry. Lol. It was just so present snd consuming, the fear and then sadness. After my chat with Ilona and welcoming and sitting with the emotions, there was a lot of weariness and tiredness. Ended up sleeping almost 12 hours last night.

The past few morning, the "I" comes roaring back. My dreams last night were intense with I identificstion and This morning, I lay awake in bed for a while totally feeling back in I identification and yet seeing that I was, if that makes sense. I kept reminding myself all about no-self, no control, everything happening spontaneously, etc to try to shake off the I belief and return to okayness and no-self. Then I would see all this effort in the mind and let it all go and rest in presence. Back and forth, back and forth for a while.

So this is my experience, that this is a process and two steps forward, one step back. It seems the I belief appears very strongly in the morning and that it takes great intent, vigilance and effort to let it go again. There's just so much wobbliness and clumsiness about this whole thing!

Now there's a question: What would happen if I didn't "effort" in the morning? Would the letting go happen at Somme point during the day spontaneously? I see that i've been operating under the assumption that this has to be done each morning. Any guidance here?

What is different from, say, a week ago, is that no-self is really seen and how that shows up in daily life is a letting go of 95% of the controlling behavior I used to do of myself and others. The impulse to control or judge someone will arise suddenly, familiarly, and it's countered with an immediate awareness that it's not true. An small example: my husband used the last of the sugar in the bowl on his coffee and told me to refill the bowl with the big bag of sugar if I wanted some for my coffee. Immediately and reactively, I wanted to say, "why can't you do it?!" and there was the judgment/old story of him being lazy. Very quickly, it was seen that there was no "him" to be lazy, that that was just a story and that also that was happening was that I needed to fillnthe sugar bowl. So I said nothing snd it was fine. This sort of seeing is happening regularly.

There's less attachment around things needing to look and feel a certain way. Most seeking energy had gone, although there is still some energy around wanting to know how to more gracefully navigate all of this, so I'm listening to a lot of "post-awakening" talks by Adya, Scott Kiloby, etc. I have a phone session with Scott Kiloby scheduled for next weekend.

All this "stoking" is thoughts projected into future, like you hinted. What's happening is that the mind is going nuts and throwing up allsorts of frenzied thought activity. When all of this mental activity Is let be and attention is returned to present awareness, there is no problem.

Will there come a time when I am unable to subscribe to the belief in "I"?

To answer your final question, what I am referring to when I say "I" is what's going on with this mind-body organism. It's a language shortcut. Although if I'm totally honest, there is still the sense of I in the mind.

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby Nemo » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:28 am

Hello strangechord!
Apologies for the delay my dear, I hope things are going well.
Great post. Roller-coasters are wonderful aren't they? :)

It might seem, at the moment, like no-self is something you need to keep reminding yourself about. And if you feel inclined to do so, and it's helping, cool, do it. Although no-self is something that cannot be forgotten or unseen, I completely relate to and understand the initial urge to deepen awareness of it in this manner. It's a bit like discovering a new muscle you never knew existed, and now you want to flex and strengthen it, yeah? Speaking from my experience it's something that does becomes more "abiding" over time. (Also, don't worry too much about what might or will happen.)
This is something that helped me: try to get a feel for the space around and in between thoughts. It's where self was previously considered to be, that's now known to be empty. The void. Expand into it, get a feel for it. And remember, reality is reality, and doesn't need constant awareness of it of it to remain that way. So if there isn't a constant awareness moment to moment, it doesn't matter. No need to worry or strain. Be gentle with yourself, with experience. Truth can never be absent from direct experience. Okay?
Now there's a question: What would happen if I didn't "effort" in the morning? Would the letting go happen at Somme point during the day spontaneously? I see that i've been operating under the assumption that this has to be done each morning. Any guidance here?
Well, the above all goes for that as well. But maybe if you can also try this: Don't.
See if you can make a conscious effort not to "effort" :) see what happens. Try this as an experiment and report back with your findings; give me your answers to the above questions. I am actually quite excited and curious to find out what you come up with!
All this "stoking" is thoughts projected into future, like you hinted. What's happening is that the mind is going nuts and throwing up allsorts of frenzied thought activity. When all of this mental activity Is let be and attention is returned to present awareness, there is no problem.

Will there come a time when I am unable to subscribe to the belief in "I"?
Heheh - is that another thought projected into the future?
I cannot answer that for you I'm afraid. Why do you ask? Would it matter?
Are you subscribing to that belief right now?
To answer your final question, what I am referring to when I say "I" is what's going on with this mind-body organism. It's a language shortcut. Although if I'm totally honest, there is still the sense of I in the mind.
Yes, wonderful. Can you explore this a little more, elaborate?
Where did self come from to start with, and what is it's purpose, it's function?
Mind still has a sense of I, you said. So, these identification thoughts exist. Mind thinks it is a thought. Is this true? Can a thought think? Is "the sense of I in the mind" really you?
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby strangechord » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:23 pm

Hi Nemo,

Much of the previous post's anxiety has left. At the end of last week, there was clear seeing of no-self and it was accompanied by a feeling of lightness in the head and body, deep peace and fulfillment with every moment, and some bubbling-up bliss occasionally. Friday a lot of emotion and mental anxiety started coming up and it didn't really stop all weekend. At times, there was heavy identification with thought and "I" and suffering over having "lost" being awake.

Yesterday (Sunday), I read two chapters from Adyashanti's "The End of Your World" about the whole "I got it, I lost it" thought phenomenon and that helped greatly. There was a recognition that last week marked the end of believing I was a separate self, the end of seeking to find who I really was, and the end of belief in self-improvement as the road to happiness. However, this is definitely the beginning of a different life. A life lived with the recognition of my true nature, but also full of the question of how to live from this rather than the old, conditioned, separate, ego-filled sense of self. Hope that makes sense.

So I don't know how to "label" what's happened here over the last week or so. Am I liberated? In a sense, yes. But I can't say I am living from that all the time. In light of the clear seeing that who I thought I was is just a thought, there is certainly a new recognition of all the myriad thoughts throughout the day that are "unawake". And that's where the focus is now; in seeing all of that and the willingness to be honest and open about all of the ways identification still shows up.

There's no more mental effort to will myself back to the state I was in last week. There is the pausing through the day, though, to rest in awareness and consciously let go of following thoughts. The less allegiance to the mind, the more at peace!! Today was pretty effortless, just living life and noticing little identification thoughts happen here and there. No bliss or giggles or anything, but I see now that to be attached to that is to set myself up for anxiety when it's not there.

When I wrote that there's still the sense of "I" in the mind... Let's see... there is only "I" when "I" is thought of. Otherwise, it is not there. There is seeing that it is only a construct of the mind.

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Re: strangechord, come in, let's make some music

Postby Nemo » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:17 am

Hello!

Wonderful! So happy to hear it. Music to my ears.
Am I liberated? In a sense, yes. But I can't say I am living from that all the time.
It's okay, it actually IS what is being lived all the time, it can't be any other way. You're just concerned because you're not looking directly at it all the time. The sun doesn't have to be looked at directly all the time for light and warmth to be present and evident. Trust in the truth :)
Let's see... there is only "I" when "I" is thought of. Otherwise, it is not there. There is seeing that it is only a construct of the mind.
Amazing, isn't it?

You don't seem to have any more doubts about seeing this, and that's really great.
A good way to have this really deepen, and sink in, is to look at this quite closely for just a few minutes and really examine it thoroughly. Then you can really be certain there is no more doubt. There's an old saying, "know thine enemy". Self isn't really the enemy, but you get the gist.
So if you can give me one last long rant, that would be really great, the hard work can be over. Just focus solely on looking at and talking about the nature of self. Let's go back to those questions:
Where did self come from to start with?
What is it's purpose, it's function?
Do you exist in any way, shape, or form?
"Having the answer isn't enough. You have to do the math." - Jed McKenna
http://nemonavigator.blogspot.com/


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