Here I Am

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littlesatchl
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Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Sat May 27, 2017 2:54 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That we've been taught/conditioned since birth using words, labels and concepts that there is an 'I' and we grow up believing it, but it's kind of like the story of Santa Clause, it's just something we've believed for so long we take it for granted and never question it. From what I understand, LU helps you see through the story of 'I'.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for a way to look into the heart of the matter. What is really going on here? I've often wondered when I look at a tree, is it really a tree I see, or just the word for it, and if the same was true with "me". I think I kind of get that it's all a web of words, but I've never found a way to get beyond that, or understand just exactly what that means or to really REALLY see that web. I would like to experience life directly, with no "Me" filter in between.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Hard questions? I don't really know. Hopefully, there will be questions that will be asked that will require me to look deeper and harder than I have been up to this point in my life, that will be more relevant than the ones I stumble across out of sheer curiosity.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Raised Catholic as a child, but parents were not devout, rarely went to church, but was always curious. Read Carlos Castaneda, Carl Jung, Krishnamurti, Herman Hesse, to name a few, also looked into mysticism, Buddhism, Wicca, native American studies, Shamanism, dropped some acid in the mid 70's, smoked pot, listened to and played alot of music, spent as much time as possible out in nature, camping, playing as a child, just always felt something was there but couldn't quite put my finger on it.

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

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Canfora
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Re: Here I Am

Postby Canfora » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:55 am

Hi littlesatchl and welcome to the LU forum. My name is Sandra and I can be your guide, if that's okay with you. Our main goal will be to check what is here now, to notice if a real self can be found. So, when you use the words I or me what are you talking about? If you had to point to this thing that is supposed to be an I, a you, to what would you point? Don't think about this question. Notice what is present here in your immediate experience and try finding a self. Is it possible to point to such a thing? Can you find a real self? Share how this goes.

Looking forward to our conversation,
S

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littlesatchl
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Re: Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:55 pm

Hi littlesatchl and welcome to the LU forum. My name is Sandra and I can be your guide, if that's okay with you.
Hi Sandra! It's more than okay with me, thank you for responding!
Our main goal will be to check what is here now, to notice if a real self can be found. So, when you use the words I or me what are you talking about? If you had to point to this thing that is supposed to be an I, a you, to what would you point? Don't think about this question. Notice what is present here in your immediate experience and try finding a self. Is it possible to point to such a thing? Can you find a real self? Share how this goes.


I am stumped already! You ask what is this thing that is an I, and if I had to point to it, at what would I point, but then you say "Don't think about this question." How can I find it or explain it if I don't think about it? Otherwise, I suppose all I could do is just point to my body. Or am 'I' just my thoughts and without thinking about 'me' does it cease to exist? That last sentence frightens me a tiny bit.

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littlesatchl
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Re: Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:03 am

But without thinking about it, I am just a hungry growling belly right now. And I can point to that!

No, I am thinking about it now.

This I or self is in my head, in my thoughts, I've always had it and never questioned it, and it seems to have just always been there operating as naturally and automatically as breathing. But it includes this body.

I don't know. I'm all confused now, hehehe.

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Canfora
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Re: Here I Am

Postby Canfora » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:57 pm

Hi littlesatchl !

Thank you for your reply.

Confused is good. A little scared is good also. It means you are stepping into new territory.
You ask what is this thing that is an I, and if I had to point to it, at what would I point, but then you say "Don't think about this question." How can I find it or explain it if I don't think about it?
Well, this is not about explaining or understanding, it's more about noticing what is here and describing what is here.

If you point to what surrounds you, you can match concepts with objects: you can point to the screen and say screen. There is no doubt you are seeing a screen and, if you stop thinking about the screen, the screen will still be there.

Then we have concepts that point to things we know aren't real: Santa Claus, the Equator, University. You can think all you want about these apparent "things" but you know you will not find the thing they refer to.

How about words like I, me, my - is it possible to find what they refer to if you look?


If a separate self, a permanent, solid, findable, entity exists here, it can be found, with the same ease with which a cup is found, or a cat, or a computer. If a self is real, it has to be more than a useful concept that we use to communicate.

or

If it can't be found, then is as unreal as Santa Claus, the Equator, a University.

Would you agree?

You mentioned the body. Do you think the body is a self or has a self inside it? If yes, why?

Take care,
S

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littlesatchl
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Re: Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:48 am

If a separate self, a permanent, solid, findable, entity exists here, it can be found, with the same ease with which a cup is found, or a cat, or a computer. If a self is real, it has to be more than a useful concept that we use to communicate.

or

If it can't be found, then is as unreal as Santa Claus, the Equator, a University.

Would you agree?

Is that really all that it is? Just a useful concept that we use to communicate? I am going to have to ponder on this a bit more.
You mentioned the body. Do you think the body is a self or has a self inside it? If yes, why?

I kind of always thought of my body and its thoughts as 'me'. Thought of it as 'my' body. I own it, or at least inhabit it. My 'I' is inside my head which is part of my body. Why? The two go together, the one has always contained the other.

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Canfora
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Re: Here I Am

Postby Canfora » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:22 am

You seem surprised with the idea that a separate you, a thing that is an entity may not exist. Isn't a suspicion that this may be true that brought you to this forum?
I kind of always thought of my body and its thoughts as 'me'. Thought of it as 'my' body. I own it, or at least inhabit it. My 'I' is inside my head which is part of my body. Why? The two go together, the one has always contained the other.
That's the normal, conventional way to define what you are - a person inside a body, thinking thoughts. But can this person be found? Imagine that you can do a body scan - we know how a body is inside, that it's a mix of flesh, bones, muscles - do you think in the middle of the body it's possible to find a little self pulling the levers like this?
Image

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littlesatchl
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Re: Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:27 pm

LOL, Sandra :-D

Yes, that picture pretty well sums up what I was picturing was going on in my head, I reckon. Now it seems so silly to have thought that way, hehehe.
You seem surprised with the idea that a separate you, a thing that is an entity may not exist. Isn't a suspicion that this may be true that brought you to this forum?
Oh, for sure! It definitely is. And "I", too, have been surprised by my reaction. Perhaps the "I" is afraid to lose it's place as the center of the universe in my head.

It's one thing to grasp a concept intellectually, but then to stare it dead in the face and start feeling it for real can be a little daunting. But it's okay, I really want to get to the heart of this matter; let us persevere...

So, clearly, there is no little person to be found in my head. So, no: I cannot point to an actual "I" or "me" or "my". So what is it that goes around being aware all day, cognizing all this stuff? How do you even have a conversation without using "I"? And why don't "I" feel any different, like nothing has changed, even though I can see this? My "I" won't leave! lol

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Canfora
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Re: Here I Am

Postby Canfora » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:08 am

Hi littlesatchl and thank you for your answer :)

Don't worry about how to communicate about this. Just use normal language. We don't need to invent something new, the main goal is to see what is going on as it is, instead of how it is thinked to be.
And why don't "I" feel any different, like nothing has changed, even though I can see this? My "I" won't leave!
How do you know your I won't leave? Does this mean there are two I's, the one that is writing this reply and thinking about this and the I that won't leave? What can you find in your immediate experience that makes you say this? What is this I made of?

If you can't find this I, then how can it leave? When an illusion pops up - a rainbow, a mirage, thoughts about a pink elephant - it appears because the conditions for it to appear are in place. What are you doing that is making the illusion of a permanent, separate I appear? What makes you believe in the existence of such a thing?

Looking forward to your reply,
S

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littlesatchl
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Re: Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:59 pm

If you can't find this I, then how can it leave?

That makes sense.
When an illusion pops up - a rainbow, a mirage, thoughts about a pink elephant - it appears because the conditions for it to appear are in place. What are you doing that is making the illusion of a permanent, separate I appear? What makes you believe in the existence of such a thing?

I was trying to conversate about it. Perhaps language makes it appear. I don't know that I "believe" in it, but maybe it's a habit that's hard to break?

I don't know.

Stumped again. Not sure where to go from here.

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Canfora
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Re: Here I Am

Postby Canfora » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:30 pm

I don't know.

Stumped again. Not sure where to go from here.
How do you know if something is real? You know something is here if it can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, heard, yes?

Thinking can be about an I and its story but is this I more than a story? Is it possible to see, touch, tast, smell, hear an I - if you look to what is here, surrounding you? Is it possible to find a entity inside the body or outside the body?

What happens if you try to point to an I, or see an I, or hear an I? Can you experience a you the same way you can experience a pen, a cup, a smell? Have a look. Everything that is here now is in plain sight. Can you find a you? Are thoughts about you a real you? Is the body you? Is a sensation you? Is the sense of being a-live you? Can you find anything else that may be a you? Look (using the eyes, the senses) to what seems to be a you and check if you have found a real you. And, if needed, look to the next appearence that seems to be a you and do the same. Let me know if - after peeling all the present appearences - you've found a real you.

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littlesatchl
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Re: Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:23 pm

What happens if you try to point to an I, or see an I, or hear an I? Can you experience a you the same way you can experience a pen, a cup, a smell? Have a look. Everything that is here now is in plain sight. Can you find a you? Are thoughts about you a real you? Is the body you? Is a sensation you? Is the sense of being a-live you? Can you find anything else that may be a you? Look (using the eyes, the senses) to what seems to be a you and check if you have found a real you. And, if needed, look to the next appearence that seems to be a you and do the same. Let me know if - after peeling all the present appearences - you've found a real you.

I have not found a real me. Just an awareness.

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Canfora
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Re: Here I Am

Postby Canfora » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:53 am

If you look for a self and can't find one, what does this unfindability mean?
How does it feel to see this?

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littlesatchl
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Re: Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:14 am

If you look for a self and can't find one, what does this unfindability mean?

That there's no 'real' self.

How does it feel to see this?

At first I didn't feel anything at all, really. It just is what it is. But over the last couple of days, I find myself feeling quite sad and getting all misty-eyed off and on throughout the day. I feel kind of like someone has taken away my favorite toy.

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littlesatchl
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Re: Here I Am

Postby littlesatchl » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:49 am

After a little more thought: I'm asking myself 'who's toy?' Was 'my I' appearing again? Oh, the linguistics of this are killing me :-)

So when I ask myself the above, I get 'stumped' again. I keep using that word/phrase. What happens when I get stumped is that my brain just seems to stop focusing on thinking, and becomes engaged instead with my immediate surroundings.

Does any of this make any sense?

But still, I was outside looking at everything around me a couple of days ago, trying to stay with what was directly in front of me and for just a second there, it seemed like everything was just color, sound and movement. And the thought crossed my mind of what was touched on a few days ago about the "I" just being a social convention that enables us to communicate with each other, and I remember how sad that made me.

Pardon me for getting conceptual, but I have this feeling like everything is becoming EMPTY now. Does that make any sense? And it both frightens me and makes me sad.

And then I ask myself who is it that's getting sad and frightened. I feel like I'm going around in circles, like a dog chasing it's tail.

Is this "normal"?


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