Experiencing Truth

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Alex1student
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Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:35 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Thoughts are like sensations like sound, taste, sight, inside my head and call for attention. Self is a particular thought I mistook to represent all that I am, and is limiting.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for the truth. I want to experience and know the truth, instead of just reading about it and nodding my head, saying, "Hmmm, yes that makes sense. I agree with that." I'm looking for a way to see clearly.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to be directed by a generous soul. I guess I expect to be pointed in the right direction, but know I need to do the work myself. Having support and pressure to inquire from someone more experienced than myself seems like a good idea.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Have read multiple spiritual books, had a breakthrough 3 years ago and lived peacefully for a period of months after facing a fear and seeing it was a "paper tiger". Sunk back into depression over the years and sought to end suffering, or at least diminish it. I've had enough feeling there is a problem somewhere I can't solve. It's like an itch I can't scratch, but I'm on autopilot. Practiced meditation for a couple of months, and also practice "glimpses" as illustrated by Loch Kelly. I'm finding that intellectual, or a scientific approach has been registering more. The idea of enlightenment seems sort of blown out of proportion and finding this site has been a breath of literal, direct, fresh air.

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

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DanielP
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby DanielP » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:02 pm

Hi Alex1student,

My name is Daniel from Canada. Nice to meet you! :) If you are ok with that, I'm offering you guidance in this process.

First, please make sure you've read the disclaimer. http://liberationunleashed.com/register/disclaimer/

Also, here's a few quick guidelines: try to post daily/regularly or post to say you need a break if that's the case; also set aside any other spiritual practices, readings during our inquiry together.

If you could confirm you have seen the above and that you're ok with that - then we shall begin.

PS. What name should I use in our exchange? Alex?

All the best,
Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Alex1student
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:24 pm

If you could confirm you have seen the above and that you're ok with that - then we shall begin.
Hi Daniel! Thank you very much for offering to guide me. I very much appreciate it. I have read the guidelines and agree to them.
PS. What name should I use in our exchange? Alex?
Yes, Alex is fine. I also just want to let you know that I will be away on a 10 day retreat with no access to the internet starting tomorrow. I hope this doesn't deter you from continuing your guidance. I would love to continue with this (even though we haven't yet started) on March 27 when I return. Let me know if this is doable.

Thanks again for your guidance,
Alex

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DanielP
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby DanielP » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:31 pm

No problem Alex,

Let's wait for you to get back before we start this process ok?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Alex1student
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:33 pm

Great! Talk to you then.

-Alex

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Alex1student
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:00 pm

Hi Daniel,

Just letting you know that things went a different direction and I am back, willing to return to this inquiry. Ready and willing.

Best,
Alex

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DanielP
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby DanielP » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:57 pm

Hi Alex,

Sorry for the delay. I just noticed you were back already. So let's dive right in then...

When talking about your 'self', what are you talking about? What are you referring to?
How do you think, feel or experience this 'me', this 'self' or this 'I'?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Alex1student
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:48 am

Hi Alex,

Sorry for the delay. I just noticed you were back already. So let's dive right in then...
When talking about your 'self', what are you talking about? What are you referring to?
Myself is a collection of memories of how people interacted with me, and how I interacted with them. How I act around different people, how they act around me. The feeling of a center point, a comfortable place where "I" am relative to the rest of the world. Located behind my eyes somewhere in my head. A heavy sensation of burden, thoughts, values, beliefs, and a lack of control. Although, I can't show you self, I can't draw a picture of it, I can't prove it exists.
How do you think, feel or experience this 'me', this 'self' or this 'I'?
These are hard questions. :) Hmmmm, I feel self as negative beliefs about myself, and how that feels. A vague impression of my face from past memories of how it looked in the mirror. Although this impression is also warped since "I" see "myself" through a filter of current beliefs. Things happen to me, I feel something about what happens (emotion), and a belief pops up about that. This brings more emotions and thoughts about emotions. I feel no control over this.

Ugh, this is a ramble. In all honesty I can't explain what me is. Me feels like running on autopilot. Knowing the choices that will be made based on avoiding past pain so as not to hurt the I. Why do I protect I, me? I feels very fragile. It's always afraid it might be found out, like it's an imposter. Wow, I just realized I have a constant fear of being seen as an imposter, that I'm fake. Serious insight into I actually being fake. So I'm not me? After this rant, I would say that I is a collection of thoughts, in the form of memories and beliefs, that call forward emotions that are felt in the body.





Regards

Daniel

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Alex1student
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:54 am

Whoops, I didn't remember to remove the other bits of the non-quoted message. I can't find a way to edit my post, so I guess that's that!

-Alex

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DanielP
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby DanielP » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:47 pm

Hi Alex,

Don’t worry about making mistakes with the quoting function…we can’t edit a posted message…
Myself is a collection of memories of how people interacted with me, and how I interacted with them. How I act around different people, how they act around me. The feeling of a center point, a comfortable place where "I" am relative to the rest of the world. Located behind my eyes somewhere in my head. A heavy sensation of burden, thoughts, values, beliefs, and a lack of control. Although, I can't show you self, I can't draw a picture of it, I can't prove it exists.
…’you’ are a collection of memories…
…’you’ are a center point…
…located somewhere behind your eyes…
…there is a heavy sensation of burden, thoughts, values, beliefs, and a lack of control…
…you can’t draw a picture of ‘I’…
…you can’t prove ‘I’ exist…
Fine, we’ll try to address all of these in the course of our exchange.
These are hard questions. :) Hmmmm, I feel self as negative beliefs about myself, and how that feels. A vague impression of my face from past memories of how it looked in the mirror. Although this impression is also warped since "I" see "myself" through a filter of current beliefs. Things happen to me, I feel something about what happens (emotion), and a belief pops up about that. This brings more emotions and thoughts about emotions. I feel no control over this.

Ugh, this is a ramble. In all honesty I can't explain what me is. Me feels like running on autopilot. Knowing the choices that will be made based on avoiding past pain so as not to hurt the I. Why do I protect I, me? I feels very fragile. It's always afraid it might be found out, like it's an imposter. Wow, I just realized I have a constant fear of being seen as an imposter, that I'm fake. Serious insight into I actually being fake. So I'm not me? After this rant, I would say that I is a collection of thoughts, in the form of memories and beliefs, that call forward emotions that are felt in the body.
…you feel self as negative beliefs about ‘yourself’… Isn’t there a contradiction here?, a self feeling negative about another self. Is there one or two self?
…you see your ‘yourself’ through a filter of current beliefs… Ok. Just for the moment, be open to the possibility that it is truly possible to SEE yourself without any filter.
…you feel you have no control over what happens to ‘you’, no control over the emotions life brings about…Yeah! Isn’t it great? If there’s no ‘you’, if there’s no one in charge, why the worry? where are the problems?
But…you can’t explain what ‘me’ is… It seems to be running on autopilot… Yeah, the feeling of it running on auto pilot is a good sign actually. It means the beliefs in the ‘I’ are somewhat weakened.
…you know choices will be made based on avoiding past pain… Then why do ‘you’ protect ‘yourself’? What if the only explanation is ‘life loves living…’
...you feel as an imposter… The ‘I’ is an imposter.

Great answers Alex, can you see that in this inquiry, we are looking for something very precise. Something that we’ve taken for granted since childhood. Now the thing is does it exist? Can it be found somewhere?
If you’re ok with that, we’ll look at this step by step. I tend to be quite methodic in my approach. Ok?

First, if I tell you:
All you know (and all you’ve ever known and will ever know) is the ‘current’ experience, the ‘present moment’ experience, do you agree? disagree? do you have any questions, comments?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Alex1student
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:50 pm

Great answers Alex, can you see that in this inquiry, we are looking for something very precise. Something that we’ve taken for granted since childhood. Now the thing is does it exist? Can it be found somewhere?
If you’re ok with that, we’ll look at this step by step. I tend to be quite methodic in my approach. Ok?
This sounds fantastic Daniel. Your comments above are very insightful. A methodic approach sounds like the best approach. Lets leave nowhere for 'me' to hide.
First, if I tell you:
All you know (and all you’ve ever known and will ever know) is the ‘current’ experience, the ‘present moment’ experience, do you agree? disagree? do you have any questions, comments?
I agree with this. This makes a lot of sense. It seems like there is a past (thoughts and memories), a future (stories about a better or worse time ahead of now, which are also thoughts), the present (moment by moment snapshots of life), and the NOW, living life as it is with no comments, and not going to thought or the mind for confirmation of what is happening.

An interesting question is why I spend so much of my current experience living in thoughts about the past or future, or thoughts about the present. Why is letting life be as it is so difficult? If I had to give a percent of my time spent in the NOW in a day it would be around 5 percent or less. These are the best moments though.

One comment...I can see how disagreeing with life as it currently is, and wanting it to be a different way, can be seen as insane. It's like wishing it would stop raining. I won't be happy until it stops raining. Well, if it doesn't stop raining for a week straight, am I resigning to being unhappy for an entire week? IF you can't change something, the only logical answer is to let it be. I understand this intellectually, but I find myself arguing with things all the time, especially at work. Perhaps seeing there is no "I" makes life less personal.

Anyways, thanks much for the help Daniel. This is exciting.

Thanks,
Alex

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DanielP
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby DanielP » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:12 am

Hi Alex,
Lets leave nowhere for 'me' to hide.
Good idea.
...if I tell you : All you know is the ‘current’ experience...
I agree with this. This makes a lot of sense. It seems like there is a past (thoughts and memories), a future (stories about a better or worse time ahead of now, which are also thoughts), the present (moment by moment snapshots of life), and the NOW, living life as it is with no comments, and not going to thought or the mind for confirmation of what is happening.
You seem to make a difference between the present and the now, I'm not sure I understand? Could you expand?
An interesting question is why I spend so much of my current experience living in thoughts about the past or future, or thoughts about the present. Why is letting life be as it is so difficult? If I had to give a percent of my time spent in the NOW in a day it would be around 5 percent or less. These are the best moments though.
This might be because you nourish an IDEA of what the present IS or how it SHOULD BE. Here's another take : whatever's being experienced right now, is IT?
One comment...I can see how disagreeing with life as it currently is, and wanting it to be a different way, can be seen as insane. It's like wishing it would stop raining...I understand this intellectually, but I find myself arguing with things all the time...
Then try to stop arguing with the fact that you are arguing. Drop the second layer. If arguing is what's present, so be it.
Perhaps seeing there is no "I" makes life less personal.
It does. Seeing there is no 'I' doesn't change your experience but your relationship to it. You just don't take it personal anymore.

Here's a little experiment related to our discussion:

One of the ways the separate self makes itself felt, is through our interpretation of the experience of the senses. It feels as if 'I' am the one 'doing' the seeing, the hearing etc. We'll start with the sense of sight.

Seeing experiment

Please answer only from the experience of seeing. Not from what you know or think you know. Not from how you think perception should be. But answer only from ‘what is seen’. We are looking at the direct experience of seeing.

Close your eyes, so that you now witness an undefined 'blackness' or maybe a red/orange glow if you are staring at a bright light. ‘Go to' the experience that we call 'seeing' and answer these questions from what you can find.

1) Describe ‘what is seen’ in simple terms.
2) In 'seeing' is there anything else to be found other than 'what is seen' (what you just described)?
3) Can anything be found that is performing a function or an action called 'seeing'?
4) Can you ‘not see’ ‘what is seen’? In other words, can you ‘not see’ ‘what you described in 1)?
5) Can a pair of eyes, a body, a brain, an 'I', a person called Alex be found that is doing 'seeing'?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Alex1student
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:53 pm

You seem to make a difference between the present and the now, I'm not sure I understand? Could you expand?
I'm perhaps wrong here. I'm not sure I could explain what I mean in any other terms.I was saying that we can also cut up the present moment into second by second snapshots, or minute by minute snap shots. But, being fully present we no longer review and analyze these moments, even though they occur in the present. Basically present moments can be seen as much more recent lapses into past and future thinking. To me this is another trap of thought. When we are in the now, or fully present, we are not analyzing even current moments. This is probably not a necessary distinction and it is easier to refer to past, future, and present.


1) Describe ‘what is seen’ in simple terms.
Light red/orange haze. Specs of darker, black spots/strands that float in the redness and continue moving a little after I shift my eyes to the left or right. Bright shapes slowly dissipate against the red background directly after closing eyes. Afterimages of what was seen before closing eyes.
2) In 'seeing' is there anything else to be found other than 'what is seen' (what you just described)?
No. There is nothing I feel I am missing, or that should be there that isn't.
3) Can anything be found that is performing a function or an action called 'seeing'?
Honestly, no. There is just seeing. There is so little to see that it is easy for images from thought to distract awareness from seeing. I saw daydreams a few times while trying to do this throughout the day.
4) Can you ‘not see’ ‘what is seen’? In other words, can you ‘not see’ ‘what you described in 1)?
Absolutely not. Reading this question and trying to answer it was strange. I can't "turn off" seeing, or hearing, or tasting, or feeling, or thinking. It is always happening. Seeing insides of eyelids is still seeing. There is no off switch. I can move awareness to hearing more than seeing, or feeling more than seeing, but there is still seeing, and everything else.
5) Can a pair of eyes, a body, a brain, an 'I', a person called Alex be found that is doing 'seeing'?
No. There is just seeing. Then thoughts about what has been seen to help me describe (label) and write down for you what has been seen. I can not find eyes, a body, a brain, or an Alex that is doing seeing. Just seeing.

When describing this experience, there is suddenly a thing being seen (the colors and shapes) and a presence looking out to find what is there. Two things. A subject looking at an object. While seeing, there is only seeing.

Best,
Alex

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DanielP
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby DanielP » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:12 am

Hi Alex,
I'm perhaps wrong here. I'm not sure I could explain what I mean in any other terms.I was saying that we can also cut up the present moment into second by second snapshots, or minute by minute snap shots. But, being fully present we no longer review and analyze these moments, even though they occur in the present. Basically present moments can be seen as much more recent lapses into past and future thinking. To me this is another trap of thought. When we are in the now, or fully present, we are not analyzing even current moments. This is probably not a necessary distinction and it is easier to refer to past, future, and present.
It’s clearer for me now. There is no right or wrong answer here. When you describe your experience using words you’ll inevitably end up being either a source of confusion or clarification for the listener. The word is not the thing :)
1) Describe ‘what is seen’ in simple terms.
Light red/orange haze. Specs of darker, black spots…
Great. The precision of the description is not that important here. The point is mainly to acknowledge that ‘something’ is seen. This ‘something’ is what I refer to as ‘what is seen’.
2) In 'seeing' is there anything else to be found other than 'what is seen' (what you just described)?
No…
You’re right, in the experience of seeing, there is nothing but ‘what is seen’.
3) Can anything be found that is performing a function or an action called 'seeing'?
Honestly, no. There is just seeing…
Just seeing…
4) Can you ‘not see’ ‘what is seen’? In other words, can you ‘not see’ ‘what you described in 1)?
Absolutely not. Reading this question and trying to answer it was strange. I can't "turn off" seeing, or hearing, or tasting, or feeling, or thinking. It is always happening. Seeing insides of eyelids is still seeing. There is no off switch.
Yep, no turn off switch to seeing.
I can move awareness to hearing more than seeing, or feeling more than seeing, but there is still seeing, and everything else.
This passage implies the question of choice wich we will tackle later on :)
5) Can a pair of eyes, a body, a brain, an 'I', a person called Alex be found that is doing 'seeing'?
No. There is just seeing. Then thoughts about what has been seen to help me describe (label) and write down for you what has been seen. I can not find eyes, a body, a brain, or an Alex that is doing seeing. Just seeing.
Again, just seeing…
When describing this experience, there is suddenly a thing being seen (the colors and shapes) and a presence looking out to find what is there. Two things. A subject looking at an object. While seeing, there is only seeing.
This is interresting! Here you’re suggesting that words or thoughts are responsible for the separation or the feeling of being separate (separate self). Maybe this is the case? Maybe not? We’ll see as we move on…

Today I’ll invite to continue with the seeing experiment but now including open eyes…Don't worry if there is some repetition, this is intentional.

Here it is :

Seeing experiment part 2
Look to the right, 'what is seen' is what I call : the image on the right.
Look to the left, 'what is seen' is : the image on the left.
Look to the front and close your eyes, 'what is seen' is what I call : the image with closed eyes.

Please note:
As you already know, despite the fact the eyes are closed, "something" is seen. In your words, a kind of light red/orange haze, specs of darker, black spots etc…

Now here's what happens:
The image on the right is seen.
The image on the left is seen.
The image with eyes closed is seen.

Questions:
Can you 'not see' the image on the right? the image on the left? the image with eyes closed?
You’ve already discover that SEEING doesn’t leave, that it is always present. Is it still the case here? Can you choose not to see 'what is seen'?

Now, when looking to the left, where's is the experience of the image on the right? Is it not ‘dead’? When looking to the left, what is the ONLY ‘living’ experience?

Also, check if there is a SEER? Can you find 'something' that 'does' the seeing? Something that does the action of seeing?

Finally, can you see SEEING?

Regards

Daniel
Le but est seulement d'être - Just to be is the goal

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Alex1student
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Re: Experiencing Truth

Postby Alex1student » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:05 am

Can you 'not see' the image on the right? the image on the left? the image with eyes closed?
No. Whichever direction I am looking, that is what is seen. There is a strange sensation (after looking to the right for 30 or more seconds and then looking to the left) of the right image vaguely behind my head. After doing this a few times this doesn't seem real though. What is real is what I am currently seeing. Even though the right side is still technically there, it is not being seen. I know it is still there if I turn my head, but If I am just seeing, and being honest (like you request) there is only seeing at that moment the left side image (not what I saw a second ago on the right).
You’ve already discover that SEEING doesn’t leave, that it is always present. Is it still the case here? Can you choose not to see 'what is seen'?
Yes, this is still true. This experiment was interesting. Looking at the sensation it brings in particular. The mind has trouble moving to the next "what is seen". Even though I am seeing left, the right image I was just staring at for a period of time "feels" like it's right there behind me. It technically is, but this sensation feels sort of fake, especially compared to the reality of what is currently being seen. Strange, but oddly calming. So no, I cannot choose to "not see" what is seen.
Now, when looking to the left, where's is the experience of the image on the right? Is it not ‘dead’? When looking to the left, what is the ONLY ‘living’ experience?
Yes, this is exactly it! When looking to the left, the right side is 'dead'. It is still there, but the memory of what was just seen is not real experience. The real experience is what is currently seen. This is so simple. Lovely.
Also, check if there is a SEER? Can you find 'something' that 'does' the seeing? Something that does the action of seeing?
No. I had not thought about this until having arrived at this question. I can't recall there being a seer, or anyone doing seeing. Head turned, seeing, head turned, seeing, eyes closed, seeing.
Finally, can you see SEEING?
No! There is just seeing. The experience of seeing. I am trying very hard to 'see' seeing but am coming up short. Besides some silly vision of what 'seeing' seeing might look like, no, I don't think it's possible to 'see' seeing.

I was somewhat confused when first starting this exercise, but the simplicity of it is becoming clear. Looking for yourself is very powerful. =)

Thanks for continuing to point me in the right direction Daniel.

-Alex


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