Is that so?

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Stello
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Is that so?

Postby Stello » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:19 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand that the self is an illusion, thrived by thoughts and the belief that these thoughts are true. Hence there is an identification with the self (the person) and if there is a self then there is also an "other". If the self is an illusion, the other is probably an illusion, too.

What are you looking for at LU?
I think I could use some guidance that leads me to the non-illusionary truth, because I can't seem to get rid of the obsessive "search for truth" that I am dealing with. This search feels like an involuntary roller coaster ride with its ups and downs causing confusion and suffering to the little me that I, more or less, still think I am.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Frankly I don't know what I am expecting. It just feels right to ask for help finding truth and since I obviously didn't find it yet, I have no idea what it actually is that I am looking for. Although I probably expect to get at least a relief from the suffering due to my doubts regarding the reality of self and other.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
After nearly ten years of studying non-duality thru books and videos there were times when I thought "I almost had it" as well as times when I was convinced that "I will never get it". So I guess the overall experience is confusion.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?: 8

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forgetmenot
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Re: Is that so?

Postby forgetmenot » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:42 am

Hi Stello,

My name is Kay, and I am happy to assist you in exploring the illusion of the ‘separate self’. I can only point the way but you have to see it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides and not teachers. If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Also please read “Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

Just let me know if you are okay with me being your guide and that you have read the disclaimer and so on, and we can then start the exploration.

Cheers, Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Stello
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Re: Is that so?

Postby Stello » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:58 am

Hello Kay,
thank you so much for offering your guidance.
Just let me know if you are okay with me being your guide and that you have read the disclaimer and so on, and we can then start the exploration.
Yes, I am glad to have you as my guide.
And yes I have read all of it and I'm ready to go.

Sincerely yours
Stello (male nickname. Stands for Castello, which is also a nickname and you may pronounce it with an Italian accent:))

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forgetmenot
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Re: Is that so?

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:01 am

Hello Costello,

Thank you for expanding on your name, and I will endeavour to pronounce it with an Italian accent, as long as you pronounce mine with an Australian accent ;) :)

Some housekeeping guidelines:-
1. Post at least once a day or every second day. If you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.

2. There is no one judging answers given, so please be100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. ANSWER ONLY FROM ACTUAL EXPERIENCE (smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts). Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.

This exploration is based on questions and exercises. I will ask questions as a means of pointing, but the questions aren’t about finding something unknown. The questions refer to what is already actually known. And what is already known? Sound, smell, taste, thought, sensation and colour. So, questions are not answered through thinking/thoughts (theories) but by LOOKING. What is LOOKING?

‘LOOKING’ is just plain looking at what is here right now. It is moving from the conceptual to actual experience (AE). The term “Actual Experience” (AE) is used to refer to experience ‘right now,’ without the thought stories. So, actual experience (AE) is image/colour, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought, at face value. What thought says ie, the content of thought is NOT experience. This is evidenced by the fact that you cannot taste the word 'sweet'. So, when looking at actual experience (AE), you are looking at raw experience WITHOUT what thought says ABOUT the raw experience.

Could you please answer the 5 following questions. These questions are for both you and I to become aware of what expectations, if any, you have about this process and what the realisation of no separate self might look like.

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?
What would you like to achieve or obtain by this conversation?


Please answer the questions in blue text individually, and remember to highlight the question being answered by using the quote function.

Cheers, Kay
xx
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Stello
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Re: Is that so?

Postby Stello » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:12 am

Hello Kay,

since all the blue questions refer to my expectations, I assume that these are not to be answered from AE, but with the intellect, right?


How will life change?
Life is already this unpredictable thing, changing all the time, so I would think that this will still be the case.
How will you change?
I hope I won't be as anxious as I am now about the past and the future; meaning that when I think of unpleasant things that happened to me in the past, I can see them as not being a current reality and be able to let them go, instead of pondering on why it happened to me and whom to blame.
Also the compulsive need to anticipate future events and how to steer them into a desirable direction shall be dropped. The identification with those fantasies can be seen as false and fade away eventually.

What will be different?
There will be no doubt about what I really am.
What is missing?
Nothing, I hope. (In terms of "I will be complete and not be missing anything.")
What would you like to achieve or obtain by this conversation?
I would like to see the truth for myself and embrace it for good.

Questions seemed to be very similar and I am not sure whether I "got them right."
Looking forward to your response.

Bye for now
Stello

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forgetmenot
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Re: Is that so?

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:07 am

Hey Stello,
since all the blue questions refer to my expectations, I assume that these are not to be answered from AE, but with the intellect, right?
You got it! :)
How will life change?
Life is already this unpredictable thing, changing all the time, so I would think that this will still be the case.
Yes, there has never been a separate self, so life itself just keeps on lifing!
How will you change?
I hope I won't be as anxious as I am now about the past and the future; meaning that when I think of unpleasant things that happened to me in the past, I can see them as not being a current reality and be able to let them go, instead of pondering on why it happened to me and whom to blame.
There is no past, present or future.
When seeming thoughts and images about past events appear, when are they actually appearing?

Also, at any time throughout this exploration fear, resistance, frustration, anger, confusion, doubt, anxiety etc appear...please let me know so that we can look at these 'emotions' together.
Also the compulsive need to anticipate future events and how to steer them into a desirable direction shall be dropped. The identification with those fantasies can be seen as false and fade away eventually.
There is no one/ no thing that is steering life in a desirable or undesirable direction. Life is not happening to anyone/anything either! There is no one/no thing that is responsible for what happens in/as life. Many thoughts appear that give the illusion that there are choices and that there is a you making decisions about those choices, and a you that has free will, and a you who has control over life…but this is just fantasy!
What will be different?
There will be no doubt about what I really am.
LU is not about finding what you are but LOOKING to see what you are not! It is about ‘unlearning’ what you think you are and in this exploration the discovery of what you are may or may not happen…but this exploration is about seeing through the idea of being a separate individual. Once you have seen through the illusory self, you can then start another thread in the ‘Further Investigation’ forum.
What is missing?
Nothing, I hope. (In terms of "I will be complete and not be missing anything.")
There has never been anything missing ever and there has never been a time when THIS has not been complete!
What would you like to achieve or obtain by this conversation?
I would like to see the truth for myself and embrace it for good.
Well…let’s embark on the exploration, shall we! :)
Questions seemed to be very similar and I am not sure whether I "got them right."
Looking forward to your response.
There are no right or wrong answers. Just answer questions honestly. I would like from here on in that LOOKING happens and answers come from actual experience and not from thinking.

So, let’s start to have a look at what actual experience is.

Image

Have a look at an apple. When ‘looking at an apple’, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."
What is known for sure? Colour is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?
And actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something…because that is only just more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, colour, smell, taste, sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in actual experience.

This is what is meant by ‘looking in actual experience ‘. What you know for sure, and, is always here.

Remember to answer all questions in blue text.

Love, Kay
xx
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Stello
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Re: Is that so?

Postby Stello » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:57 am

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
No there is no apple. There's colour and (in relation to surroundings) shape. There is a thought "apple",
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
...but apple can't be found in actual experience.

Little confusion appears: "is the guiding-process really that simple?"

Regards,
Stello

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forgetmenot
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Re: Is that so?

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:03 am

Hi Stello,
No there is no apple. There's colour and (in relation to surroundings) shape. There is a thought "apple",
There is no shape either as shapes are nothing but a particular pattern of colour.
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
...but apple can't be found in actual experience.
Yes, there is no actual experience of apple, just colour + label + thoughts ABOUT an apple.
Little confusion appears: "is the guiding-process really that simple?"
I have no idea what your understanding is about any of this, Stello, so yes, in the beginning it is a simple as this.

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label each experience simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell,
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation.
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought.

Just break down all experiences into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go.

Love, Kay
xx
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Stello
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Re: Is that so?

Postby Stello » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:15 am

Hello Kay,
Just break down all experiences into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go.
so I've been doing the exercise throughout the day and I honestly don't know what to report about it. I agree with you that those are all actual experiences. Except the labeling process itself: Thinking "that experience is sensation!" is not an actual experience. It kind of makes the AE stop.
I'll keep doing the exercise, since it seems to help being in the "now".
If anything new arises I will report.

Kind regards,
Stello

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Re: Is that so?

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:48 am

Hey Stello,
Except the labeling process itself: Thinking "that experience is sensation!" is not an actual experience.
I don't understand what you are saying here...so can you explain it to me please.
Also in your introduction you wrote: "This search feels like an involuntary roller coaster ride with its ups and downs causing confusion and suffering to the little me that I, more or less, still think I am.
What exactly is this "little me"?
Although I probably expect to get at least a relief from the suffering due to my doubts regarding the reality of self and other.
Can you tell me more about this.

Love, Kay
xx
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Stello
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Re: Is that so?

Postby Stello » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:19 am

Hey Kay,
I don't understand what you are saying here...so can you explain it to me please.
The given task was to label the experiences, right?
Label each experience simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.
Well, when I hear sound, there's only that (experiencing sound). The moment I start putting a label on that, there's not only the experience of sound, but also thinking/estimating and building the sentence: "That experience is simply sound!" And maybe something like: "Yes, this is the correct label for that experience."
So the labeling process kind of drives me away from actual experience (just that, without thought).
Okay the AE doesn't really stop. It just becomes something that happens in the background.

What exactly is this "little me"?
The "little me" is this limited entity called Stello that thinks it is separate from everything else and has the agenda to perpetuate this distinction in order to avoid pain and pursue pleasure.
Can you tell me more about this.
So intellectually I think I understand the concept of non-duality. No that's not right. Let me put it this way: Intellectually I think I understand the concept of "duality" and there is the subtle suspicion that this(duality) cannot be the whole truth (this statement is probably based on the self-inquiry I've been practicing for a couple years.)
The wanting to see through the "little me"-illusion and the fact that I can't seem to get there causes pain/suffering, even though I understand that the "little me" will never get there.
..and now I am out of words. How can I want something that potentially will eliminate the "I" that wants it.
I find this confusion very painful.

Does that count as an explanation?

Kind regards,
Stello

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Re: Is that so?

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:11 pm

Hi Stello,
Label each experience simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.
Well, when I hear sound, there's only that (experiencing sound). The moment I start putting a label on that, there's not only the experience of sound, but also thinking/estimating and building the sentence: "That experience is simply sound!" And maybe something like: "Yes, this is the correct label for that experience."
So the labeling process kind of drives me away from actual experience (just that, without thought).
Okay the AE doesn't really stop. It just becomes something that happens in the background.
Okay, so then what is appearing is sound + thought. The face value of thought is actual experience, and actual experience is everything, except the "content" of thought, because thought does not contain any experience.

Whether thought is in the so called forefront or background, is of no never mind, it is actual experience and is of no higher or lesser value than sound ,colour, sensation, taste or smell. It is an appearance in/as THIS. We will have a look a thought first up.
Although I probably expect to get at least a relief from the suffering due to my doubts regarding the reality of self and other.
Can you tell me more about this.
The wanting to see through the "little me"-illusion and the fact that I can't seem to get there causes pain/suffering, even though I understand that the "little me" will never get there.
..and now I am out of words. How can I want something that potentially will eliminate the "I" that wants it.
I find this confusion very painful.
How can you eliminate something that doesn’t exist? This exploration is not about eliminating anything, it’s about seeing that the separate self has never existed and is nothing but a thought story that overlays experience itself.

Let’s look at the idea of ‘suffering’

The label “suffering” is the actual experience (AE) of thought and is not the AE of suffering.
The sensation labelled “suffering” is the AE of sensation and not the AE of suffering
The image/colour labelled “me/body” is the AE of colour and not the AE of a person suffering.

So, in actual experience can “suffering” be found at all? Or all that is actually appearing is label + sensation + colour + thoughts ABOUT suffering?


Here is a thought exercise. Sit for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

- Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
- Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
- Where are they coming from and going to?
- Can you predict your next thought?
- Can you push away any thought?
- Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
- Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
- Can you choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
- Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
- Is it possible to control any thoughts?
- Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
- It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?


Look carefully when doing this exercise and do it several times if necessary. Please answer each question individually.

Love, Kay
xx
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Stello
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Re: Is that so?

Postby Stello » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:12 pm

Hello Kay,
So, in actual experience can “suffering” be found at all? Or all that is actually appearing is label + sensation + colour + thoughts ABOUT suffering?
No. No suffering to be found. It actually is label + sensation + colour + thoughts about suffering!
I have never looked at this that way. Thanks Kay.
- Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No.
- Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No.
- Where are they coming from and going to?
The thoughts are coming out of nowhere and I suppose that is where they are going to when they leave. Although this is just a conclusion, since I have no experience as to where they're coming from and where they are going to. There is just their appearance and then they disappear.
- Can you predict your next thought?
No, not at all.
- Can you push away any thought?
Well, I can try to think of something else. But no I cannot push away a thought.
- Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
No.
- Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
No.
- Can you choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No.
- Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
No.
- Is it possible to control any thoughts?
Also No.
- Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
No.
- It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
I can't recognize a sequence or pattern. Sometimes thoughts seem to be triggered by other experiences like images, sounds and sensations. And then there might be a certain momentum that pushes thoughts towards a logical direction(one thought follows another thought) but still I have no control over them.

Thank you,
Stello

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Re: Is that so?

Postby forgetmenot » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:17 am

Hey Stello!
So, in actual experience can “suffering” be found at all? Or all that is actually appearing is label + sensation + colour + thoughts ABOUT suffering?
No. No suffering to be found. It actually is label + sensation + colour + thoughts about suffering!
I have never looked at this that way. Thanks Kay.
Great! So can a ‘me’ be found in label+sensation+colour+thought? Or is there only thoughts about a ‘me’?

Where are they coming from and going to?
The thoughts are coming out of nowhere and I suppose that is where they are going to when they leave. Although this is just a conclusion, since I have no experience as to where they're coming from and where they are going to. There is just their appearance and then they disappear.
So, now let’s take it one step further. Are there many thoughtS or just thought?
How is it known that there are many thoughtS and that thoughtS are different?

Can you push away any thought?
Well, I can try to think of something else. But no I cannot push away a thought.
And isn’t “I can try to think of something else” just another appearing thought?
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
I can't recognize a sequence or pattern. Sometimes thoughts seem to be triggered by other experiences like images, sounds and sensations. And then there might be a certain momentum that pushes thoughts towards a logical direction(one thought follows another thought) but still I have no control over them.
How is it known that “thoughts seem to be triggered by other experiences”? Because a thought says so?

For something to be triggered by something else if the belief in cause and effect, time and object/subject split. All of these are concepts. We will look at these later on.

Love, Kay
xx
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Stello
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Re: Is that so?

Postby Stello » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:23 am

Hello Kay,

So can a ‘me’ be found in label+sensation+colour+thought? Or is there only thoughts about a ‘me’?
There's only thoughts about 'me'.
So, now let’s take it one step further. Are there many thoughtS or just thought?
I was actually asking myself that very question when I was answering a previous question about stopping a thought. I was thinking about what the definition of a thought is: a single word, a whole sentence or even more? So since I can have thoughts about different things, I say: Many thoughts are there.
How is it known that there are many thoughtS and that thoughtS are different?
Well, I think of bananas and then I think of Love and then I think about me. That makes 3 different thoughts, right? Okay. They are all thought, just the content is different. So maybe there actually is "only thought" ?!
I don't know how to answer this question just from AE.
And isn’t “I can try to think of something else” just another appearing thought?
Yes it is just another appearing thought.
How is it known that “thoughts seem to be triggered by other experiences”? Because a thought says so?
Yes. Everything I know seems to be known just because a thought says so.

Best regards,
Stello


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