It seems close but yet so far

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CuriousBeing
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby CuriousBeing » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:37 pm

I'll do just that. Thank you, Ron.

I'll be with them for a bit.

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Ronaldo
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby Ronaldo » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:39 pm

Hi Simon,
How is it going? How have you been?
Please elaborate, let's see if I can help you see this.. assuming you're still passionate about it.

Best
Ron
The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it. ~Walt Whitman
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real ~Niels Bohr

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CuriousBeing
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby CuriousBeing » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:12 am

Hey Ron,

Shall I look at our previous posts and answer?

I'm doing okay and I've actually since started Sam Harris' Waking Up course which seems to ask the same questions more or less. Finding it helpful and it's clear that thoughts are simply arising and being seen. My fingers are typing on the keyboard and a sensation of vibration is felt. Not sure where to proceed from here but the course is helping.

Thanks for checking in and yes I'm still as passionate about the search. Definitely one of the most important things.

How have you been?

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Ronaldo
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby Ronaldo » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:21 pm

Hi Simon,
I'm well, thank you 😌.
Try answering these questions, say it like it is and try to elaborate, that may help me see where you're stuck.

Share in your own words what the illusion of separate self is and how it shows up in experience.

Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control.

What makes things happen? How does it work?
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.


Thanks
Ron
The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it. ~Walt Whitman
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real ~Niels Bohr

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CuriousBeing
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby CuriousBeing » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:55 pm

Thanks for once again taking the time, Ron :)
Share in your own words what the illusion of separate self is and how it shows up in experience.
The illusion is that there is a "me". Somebody who is living life and choosing what to do and when. Things happen in this life and they are assigned to "me" and are taken personally. If "I" have a car then "I" feel hurt when it is damaged or insulted because it is mistaken to be a part of "me". In experience, unless I am being mindful and watching the thoughts it feels as though it is happening to "me" because I get caught up in the story but with mindfulness I see that there is only sight, sound, sensation, smells, tastes and thoughts. Nobody here other than what is. Experience itself being experienced.
Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control.
They are all false. They exist in the mind. Typing is happening and sensations are felt and fingers move onto the keys but there is no doer, only thoughts which claim the doing. When I look for a doer there is nothing but experience. It can appear that there is someone here but when looked at there is nobody. Choice doesn't exist. There is only cause and effect. Everything in life led up to this moment of the choice being taken place and the decision was made but no decider.
What makes things happen? How does it work?
I'm not sure I fully understand what is meant by things. If experience then it simply happens. Nobody is doing, life just happening.
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
Driving on the way home there is sight and things coming closer, the world moving closer. Everything coming into this space and then leaving. Just like sounds, sensations and feelings. All this is seen yet when a very strong mood comes there is attachment and a story comes up. Seeing this as just sensation and thoughts helps but sometimes it's very strong and hard to stick with just seeing. It's very uncomfortable in those times but when it is seen clearly for a while it subsides. Thoughts are common and easily grab my attention but when seen are let go. But this is all active effort, it feels frustrating and very hard to see the truth.

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Ronaldo
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby Ronaldo » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:47 am

The illusion is that there is a "me". Somebody who is living life and choosing what to do and when. Things happen in this life and they are assigned to "me" and are taken personally. If "I" have a car then "I" feel hurt when it is damaged or insulted because it is mistaken to be a part of "me". In experience, unless I am being mindful and watching the thoughts it feels as though it is happening to "me" because I get caught up in the story but with mindfulness I see that there is only sight, sound, sensation, smells, tastes and thoughts. Nobody here other than what is. Experience itself being experienced.
Great! It's very common to be feeling like a self most of your day, the question is if you can look and at anytime and see this taking place? And it looks like you can. How you go from here onward either deepen your insight and increases the ratio of seeing the story vs. being immersed in it, or it's slowly forgotten and the story takes over again.
Is there still doubt about the self being real or fiction?


Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control.
They are all false. They exist in the mind. Typing is happening and sensations are felt and fingers move onto the keys but there is no doer, only thoughts which claim the doing. When I look for a doer there is nothing but experience. It can appear that there is someone here but when looked at there is nobody. Choice doesn't exist. There is only cause and effect. Everything in life led up to this moment of the choice being taken place and the decision was made but no decider.
Yes, let's look a bit more into the assumption of cause and effect.
There are really two categories if you like, with and without thought:
thought -> action (I should go now, body goes)
thought -> sensation or sensation -> thought (emotions)

action -> action (touch hot surface, reflex)
wind blowing -> leafs moving

The first category is the more interesting one for this investigation, does thought provoke action?
It's rather subtle to investigate so let's look at some examples, can you find a few such through your day and list them here? Look carefully at the relation between the provoking thought and the assumed action. Also notice what happens if you try to repeat it.

If experience then it simply happens. Nobody is doing, life just happening.
Exactly

Driving on the way home there is sight and things coming closer, the world moving closer. Everything coming into this space and then leaving. Just like sounds, sensations and feelings.
Things are moving closer to where or what?
There is an assumption here that you are an entity inside the body and the center of sensations, but can this be actually found in experience?
We've looked at this before!
Close your eyes and focus on a sound like the refrigerator -
can it be known that the sound is "outside" of you?
Can you find an entity that hears the sound?
Where do you know of the sound? Like within a 3 cm area?


Same with thoughts - can you find a location where thoughts appear?

Sight is a bit more challenging, but can also be done.
Look at an object, let your gaze relax and the tagging drop (do it many times).
Where is that object perceived? The eyes? The brain? Please look harder.

Now switch between sound and looking at an object...
Are the sounds and sights known in different places?
Is there a place at all?


I'd like you to spend the time and look at these before I address more of your answers.

Best,
Ron
The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it. ~Walt Whitman
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real ~Niels Bohr

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CuriousBeing
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby CuriousBeing » Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:30 pm

Is there still doubt about the self being real or fiction?
The self is just a story. It doesn't exist but attention gets captured by thought and the illusion remains.

can it be known that the sound is "outside" of you?
Sound is happening and is heard.
Can you find an entity that hears the sound?
No but thoughts come up saying that I am hearing.
Where do you know of the sound? Like within a 3 cm area?
There is no bound to it.
Same with thoughts - can you find a location where thoughts appear?
They appear. It's the same place sounds are heard.
Where is that object perceived? The eyes? The brain?
In the same place as sounds and thoughts.

Are the sounds and sights known in different places?
Is there a place at all?
It's space. It's all happening here.

I'll sit with these again tomorrow as intense sadness is experienced tonight and although I can just be with the sensations and ignore the thoughts it feels very hard to maintain it. I yearn to be rid of the self which is causing all this suffering.

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Ronaldo
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby Ronaldo » Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:43 pm

Dear Simon
intense sadness is experienced tonight and although I can just be with the sensations and ignore the thoughts it feels very hard to maintain it. I yearn to be rid of the self which is causing all this suffering.
Is this sadness a result of the inquiry?
Here are the two of you again, the real you who wants to get rid of the false self you...
There is no two of you, there is none of you - look right at this, it's just thoughts that tell a story nowhere, to nobody.
And it is just and simply the way it had always been, nothing to fear, nothing to miss, the story is here but there is no you here.
The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it. ~Walt Whitman
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real ~Niels Bohr

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CuriousBeing
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby CuriousBeing » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:02 pm

Is this sadness a result of the inquiry?
It's not related to the inquiry. Not sure what causes the sensations but they're intense but they go away on their own.

I look to find the thinker and nothing is found just emptiness but there must be something. I am here. I am seeing. There is something seeing. Sight is seen and sounds are heard. I look and only see the perceptions we mentioned but the sense of I is strong. I look for it and it's not here. Nothing happens when I look. Frustration is strong.

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Ronaldo
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby Ronaldo » Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:01 am

I'd like to ask you to answer each and all questions I give you, not just select some, I'm making them colored so that you can easily identify them, and I ask them for a purpose. I also need to see that you're actually looking and not just answering from what you've already done before, so show me that you are actually spending time looking and not replying the first thought that comes up, it feels like you're mostly just thinking about answers and pardon me if I'm wrong.

I look to find the thinker and nothing is found just emptiness but there must be something. I am here. I am seeing. There is something seeing. Sight is seen and sounds are heard. I look and only see the perceptions we mentioned but the sense of I is strong. I look for it and it's not here. Nothing happens when I look. Frustration is strong.
This is the same argument to say there is a god, somebody must have created this! It cannot be just random events, are you religious? If you aren't than why not? If you are, so you're able to believe or accept something without knowing about it, without proof right?
We're not here to derive a philosophy or argue about religion, we're here to find only what we can be certain of, the rest is imagination, and if you firmly continue to adopt thoughts and not experience, vaya con dios amigo, nothing I can say will change this, only doing the work of looking will. You need to bite the apple to know the taste, I can't describe it for you and make you know what it tastes like.

Arguing that there has to be something when it's never found can go for a while. How long can one look and not find but continue to argue that it needs to be there? A child may say that the gifts under the tree cannot have just appeared there, Santa came down the chimney and placed them there, that's what he was told by his parents and he believes it, did you believed it? In the same way you were told since birth that you are Simon inside a body. Now you keep that belief that there is a person in a body who knows and senses and sees, well find it! It's closer than close isn't it? Is there any space or any separation between the image and the knowing of it? The thought and the knowing of the thought? Does a thought needs interpretation before it's known?
If there anything that does all the knowing and is under some sort of control?
Do you do anything at all that doesn't just appear, just happen, just is?

Go back, do all the thought and control exercise and find a shred of control, of you as the manager of life.
Find a single thought that you can create.
Find a single time where you can know the next thought, 2+2? No you don't even know that until it pops up!
You know nothing, you control nothing, there is just this which includes the concept of a body, the thoughts and that story.

So what keeps you so attached to the story of Simon running life?
What is so unpleasant about seeing that it's just a story?
Would you like me to show you how the idea of a body in a world makes no sense at all from a scientific perspective? I don't think this will make any difference.

p.s. all questions in this post were rhetorical.
The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it. ~Walt Whitman
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real ~Niels Bohr

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Ronaldo
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Re: It seems close but yet so far

Postby Ronaldo » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:24 pm

There is an alternative or parallel path to the absolute no self. Some argue that while there is no personal self that runs life (that part is very much in agreement), there is a knower or an awareness behind the knowing. To me, this is a subtle belief in self and duality, but as long as you see that there is nothing personal going on, that there is only ever just perception of the senses and thought (experience), that's perfectly fine, you are that awareness.

So try that - are you aware, right now?

Is there something that knows?

Is that something personal? a Simon? Or is Simon just a tag on a body?
Does Simon own the thoughts, the sights, the smells?
Does Simon control the body, the thoughts? the weather?

Let me know how that rings, does that seem to fit your experience better?
Regards
Ron
The truth is simple. If it was complicated, everyone would understand it. ~Walt Whitman
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real ~Niels Bohr


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