Seeing Through the Self Illusion

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Florisness
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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Florisness » Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:44 am

Hi Griselda,
I think it's entirely possible I can be the experience of the body there. The perception of the far away object is within me, and the experience of the Self is also within me. Where's the conflict? If we were to get down to the neurological level, and if we had fine enough instruments, we could say that THIS is the electrical circuit processing the sight of the far away object, and THAT is the circuit indicating the sense of self. They can both be me.
Well, frankly I would say that you are the experience of the body, just as you are every other appearance there is for you. But when I say you are not the experience of the body, or the sense of self, I rather mean exclusively, not exclusive being the bodyappearance or sense of self. So instead of me trying to get you to see that you aren't the sense of self and such, let's try to go the other way, perhaps that's an easier way.
Please close your eyes and go to the experience you might call the space inside the head. Now perhaps you'll say that that space is you, or perhaps you'll think/feel it's more inside of you, now move your attention back and forth a bit between that space/location and to that which you may label as the sensations of the feet. Now, most people think more of themselves as being something inside the headspace, that would mean there would be a border somewhere between that headspace and outside that space, which would be the border of you. Now, please see/check (please don't stop with what now initially feels true for you) if you can find such a border. Could it be you are just as well the empty space 'in the feet', and what you may call the sensations in it, as you are that headspace?
Now, go to what you may call outside of the body, maybe use a sound that happens outside the body to bring yourself there more easily, and see if you can find (a suggestion) a border between the space most people may think of as inside the body and the space people often think of as outside of you, and see if there actually is/you can find such a border. I understand sensations and such may not happen in the space where the sound is, but I think you'll agree that those sensations don't actually make a real border. Could it be that border is imagined?
Maybe it helps you to loosen the notion of there being such separation is by taking that exact same experiment and applying it to a dream. I would say it's the exact same thing, and the distinction between dream and reality/this/waking life is imagined but you might think of them different and therefore might make it easier to loosen that notion up.
So thoughts of 'No Self' have had a much longer run in my case, perhaps 3 times as long, as the thoughts that indicate there is a Self. Why haven't these thoughts had the desired effect? That's why I find myself forced into the conclusion that 'Energy' of the contracted self is not created by thought. I can't prove it's not; I just can't find these thoughts.
Well, because a thought of no-self or you thinking that 'these people must probably be on to something' doesn't make you really get what they are talking about. Would you agree for me that if you look at an object, that you believe you are not that, that you see/think of yourself as separate from that and that you think of yourself as being the body or in the body? If you think of you, don't you see mindpictures of the body? Wouldn't you agree that you live as if you're that bodyappearance? Maybe you do your make-up and then say something like 'I look great today', or 'I think that other person (actually rather a bodyappearence and not another) doesn't look so good/isn't so pretty/is very pretty, etc?'.

LU guides love the Santa Claus analogy! It has always bothered me, because it's always been obvious to me that Santa Claus is a cultural construct, whereas there is no way I can see that my sense of Self is a construct.
I wouldn't say that the sense of self isn't as real as any other appearance, just that it comes about by memory/thoughts/beliefs. Like, if people would have always looked/related to you in a way that you are incredibly smart/ugly/whatever and you started feeling from a young age a lot of pride/shame/whatever because of that, wouldn't that shame or pride or whatever you would be feeling be a strong part of the identity/how you think and feel yourself to be and that you would live in accordance with that (identity)? And would you agree that identitypart would be something we could call a construct/not really what you are? Won't you agree that you may be able to find this dynamic happening in your life?
WHEREAS, on the other hand, if I ask everyone in the world if I am a Separate Self, 99% would say yes, because they also think that they are separate selves.
Yes. And here you say it yourself "because they THINK that they are separate selves".
But I don't find this to be true with the self. I can't find thoughts that someone told me that underlie this sense of Self (and I've tried REALLY HARD to find such thoughts!) From all the Nonduality literature I read, I suppose it MUST be so that someone did convince me of that, perhaps when I was 2 years old. So perhaps what 'hard cases' like me need, is a time machine to take us back to infancy, when there was no sense of self. They say that the newborn baby does not see itself as separate; it sees the mother's breast and even its own outstretched hand as part of a unified Whole. That's what I need.
Because it doesn't have to be so much spoken, but it's in the entire way of living. If people see a babybodyappearance (I'm using these words on purpose to loosen your mind around these things a bit) don't people relate to that appearance as if it's another being? Aren't those appearances pointed at and statements such as 'look at him, look at that cute little person/boy/whatever' come? Don't people see themselves as bodies, live as if they are bodies and such? If a body doesn't look pretty, don't people feel as if they are ugly or pretty, or whatever? Aren't bodies that appear older get labeled as older than bodies that appear young? Aren't some people that go to the gym feel really good about themselves because they see themselves as the muscled body, and think they are showing pictures of themselves when they post pictures on the internet? Isn't it so that people say you are weak or strong, when the body has or hasn't so much muscle? Isn't it so that even the word/label 'people' or 'human' already implies an identification with the body? Because the life, the being that you are gets identified with the bodyappearance, by which people think of the body being alive and living.

Wishing you well,
Floris

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Griselda
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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Griselda » Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:31 am

Please close your eyes and go to the experience you might call the space inside the head. Now perhaps you'll say that that space is you, or perhaps you'll think/feel it's more inside of you, now move your attention back and forth a bit between that space/location and to that which you may label as the sensations of the feet. Now, most people think more of themselves as being something inside the headspace, that would mean there would be a border somewhere between that headspace and outside that space, which would be the border of you. Now, please see/check (please don't stop with what now initially feels true for you) if you can find such a border. Could it be you are just as well the empty space 'in the feet', and what you may call the sensations in it, as you are that headspace?
Now, go to what you may call outside of the body, maybe use a sound that happens outside the body to bring yourself there more easily, and see if you can find (a suggestion) a border between the space most people may think of as inside the body and the space people often think of as outside of you, and see if there actually is/you can find such a border. I understand sensations and such may not happen in the space where the sound is, but I think you'll agree that those sensations don't actually make a real border. Could it be that border is imagined?
When I go back and forth between the feeling of Self in the center of the head, and the feeling in the feet, I find myself concluding "Of course I am in the head, because if you cut off my feet I would still be 'Me'". So there must be a border. So I work my way up my body in thought, asking "Is the border here at the knee? No. Is it here at the hip? No. Is it here at the stomach? No. Finally I come up to my neck and ask "Is the border here at the neck?" And I say yes. The way I reach that conclusion is by noticing that if you cut off my head, and somehow I was able to survive, I would still think I'm 'Me'. But if you then cut THROUGH my head, I would be dead. I can't imagine myself surviving if you sliced my head open. Therefore I say the border is at the neck.
As for the border between 'me' and the sound outside the body, when my eyes are closed I feel the skin is the border. I can feel the air flowing past my skin. When I hear sounds 'inside' my body, such as my stomach digesting, I can also feel the sensation that goes with the sound. But when I listen to sounds 'Outside' my body, there is not sensation.
The same is true with the dream. The dream seems artifical, the waking life seems real.
Would you agree for me that if you look at an object, that you believe you are not that, that you see/think of yourself as separate from that and that you think of yourself as being the body or in the body? If you think of you, don't you see mindpictures of the body? Wouldn't you agree that you live as if you're that bodyappearance?
I think we're on to something important here. You ask "don't you see mindpictures of the body?" No I don't. It's true that if I sit down and read that question over and over my brain will eventually oblige me and CREATE mindpictures of the body, but I don't NATURALLY see them. I suspect that may be the difference between people who see No Self and those who do not. If a person sees mindpictures of the body, of course they could see that the Self is just a thought form.

I wouldn't say that the sense of self isn't as real as any other appearance, just that it comes about by memory/thoughts/beliefs. Like, if people would have always looked/related to you in a way that you are incredibly smart/ugly/whatever and you started feeling from a young age a lot of pride/shame/whatever because of that, wouldn't that shame or pride or whatever you would be feeling be a strong part of the identity/how you think and feel yourself to be and that you would live in accordance with that (identity)? And would you agree that identitypart would be something we could call a construct/not really what you are? Won't you agree that you may be able to find this dynamic happening in your life?
Yes, I absolutely agree. I would even say that, having lived a long life, there were many times when people related to me as if I were all those things you mention: smart, ugly, and causing me to feel pride, shame, etc.
But those opinions were produced by outside PEOPLE, and I could easily see that they are not me. But the sense of Self, as far as I can tell, is organic, is part of the being. And even though some say that Society 'taught' us to be Separate, I suspect it's an inevitable part of growing up. After all, no one ever heard a parent say to a 2 year old: "Look, you need to stop feeling like you are One with all of Life, and you need to start feeling separate from everything else".

I wouldn't say that the sense of self isn't as real as any other appearance, just that it comes about by memory/thoughts/beliefs.
Can you tell me what memories, thoughts, or beliefs created your sense of self? Because I can't find any that created mine.
Because it doesn't have to be so much spoken, but it's in the entire way of living. If people see a babybodyappearance (I'm using these words on purpose to loosen your mind around these things a bit) don't people relate to that appearance as if it's another being? Aren't those appearances pointed at and statements such as 'look at him, look at that cute little person/boy/whatever' come? Don't people see themselves as bodies, live as if they are bodies and such? If a body doesn't look pretty, don't people feel as if they are ugly or pretty, or whatever? Aren't bodies that appear older get labeled as older than bodies that appear young? Aren't some people that go to the gym feel really good about themselves because they see themselves as the muscled body, and think they are showing pictures of themselves when they post pictures on the internet? Isn't it so that people say you are weak or strong, when the body has or hasn't so much muscle? Isn't it so that even the word/label 'people' or 'human' already implies an identification with the body? Because the life, the being that you are gets identified with the bodyappearance, by which people think of the body being alive and living.
Yes, I agree with all of this. And yes, the the being that I am gets identified with the bodyappearance-- but only because that's where all the evidence leads. To use your earlier example of the rope and snake, if I see a snake and it makes a rattling noise, waves its tongue at me, rears up and gets ready to strike me, I have to conclude it's really a snake. I can't be 100% sure, because it COULD be a robot imitation of a snake that some clever person built, but from the evidence I have I decide that it's a snake. Similarly, the evidence I have concerning human bodies is that they are alive and living.

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Florisness
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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Florisness » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:37 pm

When I go back and forth between the feeling of Self in the center of the head, and the feeling in the feet, I find myself concluding "Of course I am in the head, because if you cut off my feet I would still be 'Me'". So there must be a border. So I work my way up my body in thought, asking "Is the border here at the knee? No. Is it here at the hip? No. Is it here at the stomach? No. Finally I come up to my neck and ask "Is the border here at the neck?" And I say yes. The way I reach that conclusion is by noticing that if you cut off my head, and somehow I was able to survive, I would still think I'm 'Me'. But if you then cut THROUGH my head, I would be dead. I can't imagine myself surviving if you sliced my head open. Therefore I say the border is at the neck.
As for the border between 'me' and the sound outside the body, when my eyes are closed I feel the skin is the border. I can feel the air flowing past my skin. When I hear sounds 'inside' my body, such as my stomach digesting, I can also feel the sensation that goes with the sound. But when I listen to sounds 'Outside' my body, there is not sensation.
The same is true with the dream. The dream seems artifical, the waking life seems real.
Ugh, you're going back to your logical thinking and belief system again (instead of attempting to describe/check with your actual experience). So.. what to do..
So why do you trust your thinking more than your experience? After all, your experience right now is the only thing you got/know. It's the only thing that anyone ever knows. A principle that science says is so important is being open and using observation, but they don't really observe things very well at all, rather thinking, thinking, thinking, thought more thought more thought, conclusion here, fancy sounding theories there, my uninvestigated assumptions over there. It's all made up, the whole present modern worldview, what life is, what they are, it's all made completely made up. Stories in stories, everybody, masses of people, lost in a grand self-created mindmaze made of stories, which creates a big, a grand, experiential illusion. The illusion of being a person, an individual, living in a physical world with others among objects. Living in a certain location, a certain time, and trying to get about. However, if experience could speak in human words that describe most accurately it, it would tell a very different story. And that story really being heard would result in very different thoughts and a very different experience. A much more wondrous and amazing one at least over here. Now, my question is: how do I get you to start listening to it?

If I were to for example think of the difference between what's called a dream and this, I would come up with that this experience seems more steady, more consistent, like it's taking off and at least a similar sort of situation where it ended, it feels clearer too. So I would be fine calling this a more steady and consistent dream. Even that is using memories, and what are memories but just what we could call thoughts that are just existing now? Now if you would stick to your experience, you wouldn't really label one as real and the other not real/artificial/etc, but that's what you're doing by coming from your assumptions and thinking. You didn't also look for a border, but assumed one because of some logical thinking you did which were based on your belief system.

"when I close my eyes I feel the skin is the border, I feel the air flowing past my skin". How is it known there is skin (or even air) there? If you would take your experience for what is going on, you wouldn't describe anything as skin there, you might use the word sensations or such instead, but not skin. You use the word skin because that's what you think is there, not because you found the word skin a good representation for your experience. And I would take your experience to be as what's going on, because well.. isn't it? What else is there for you? Aren't you making the rest up?


Just as a note: I rambled like I did, different than normal. That was partly done on purpose in an attempt to shift something.

I think we're on to something important here. You ask "don't you see mindpictures of the body?" No I don't. It's true that if I sit down and read that question over and over my brain will eventually oblige me and CREATE mindpictures of the body, but I don't NATURALLY see them. I suspect that may be the difference between people who see No Self and those who do not. If a person sees mindpictures of the body, of course they could see that the Self is just a thought form
Okay, so what do you see if you create an image of what you really feel is you? Not what you think is you (because perhaps than you'll create something fancy this time) but what you simply feel to be you. If you would let a slideshow pass of you, like a gallery, what pictures come up?

Yes, I absolutely agree. I would even say that, having lived a long life, there were many times when people related to me as if I were all those things you mention: smart, ugly, and causing me to feel pride, shame, etc.
But those opinions were produced by outside PEOPLE, and I could easily see that they are not me. But the sense of Self, as far as I can tell, is organic, is part of the being. And even though some say that Society 'taught' us to be Separate, I suspect it's an inevitable part of growing up. After all, no one ever heard a parent say to a 2 year old: "Look, you need to stop feeling like you are One with all of Life, and you need to start feeling separate from everything else".
Okay, you said you felt pride and shame, especially shame, didn't those feelings really make you feel like a (seperate) person cut off from 'everything'? When you feel joy, and see a tree, you might feel much less separation 'with it', yet when shame or so comes, perhaps not so much.
Yes, perhaps it's to a degree an inevitable part of growing up. But the parent is still in the same situation and thus calls the bodyappearance by a name, and gives things outside the bodyappearance different names and talks/speaks/relates/gives of energy like they are all separate things. This is conditioning the life/being to get identified with the body, and see other parts of its being/self/experience as consisting of separate other things/objects. It's a process of drawing an border in ones own being and calling one part myself and the other part oustide world/others/etc

Can you tell me what memories, thoughts, or beliefs created your sense of self? Because I can't find any that created mine.
Perhaps you can't find them as always as thoughts, but rather what your thought are 'standing' on. I could talk about what stories create an identity here, but it's just as easy to make it apply to you too. Like: with what name do you identify? Do you identify as a woman, a human, a person, as a mother, with your work, with the word I? Don't you believe you perceive things, that you live in time and space, don't you believe you think thoughts and do the actions 'of the body'? Aren't there stories of what you were or did in a past? Aren't there stories about others and how they should or shouldn't behave? You won't make me believe there aren't many of such stories.

And yes, the the being that I am gets identified with the bodyappearance-- but only because that's where all the evidence leads. .....Similarly, the evidence I have concerning human bodies is that they are alive and living.
What you think of as evidence here, is not evidence. You might think of it as evidence, because of your belief system and the way you think, you may logically think 'well it has to be this way'. Like I said, if you would take your experience as what's so, or even if you think more careful, you wouldn't think like you do now. I would say, this laptopappearance here, is just as much my own being as this bodyappearance. The bodyappearance here is just as much living and alive as the laptopappearance. Nothing is alive, nothing is living, seems rather more accurately here to call it all life, and when not creating so many stories there isn't an I and something else here, rather all of what's experienced here can be called I/self/being/THIS/life/experiencing/consciousness/etc, doesn't matter. Be aware of the stories that are running, because you're making it all up.

Wishing you well,
Floris

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Griselda
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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Griselda » Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:37 pm

So why do you trust your thinking more than your experience?
I don't. What you call thinking, I call experience. I feel a Self. I feel a border. It's not a thought.
If you would take your experience for what is going on, you wouldn't describe anything as skin there, you might use the word sensations or such instead, but not skin.
How could I use any words at all? How is the word 'sensations' any more experience than the word 'skin'?
Okay, so what do you see if you create an image of what you really feel is you? Not what you think is you (because perhaps than you'll create something fancy this time) but what you simply feel to be you. If you would let a slideshow pass of you, like a gallery, what pictures come up?
I can see in my slideshow a very faint image of me from the side, then another from the front, then one of my face.
Okay, you said you felt pride and shame, especially shame, didn't those feelings really make you feel like a (seperate) person cut off from 'everything'? When you feel joy, and see a tree, you might feel much less separation 'with it', yet when shame or so comes, perhaps not so much.
To test this, I went outside and looked at a tree until I felt a sense of joy, a sense of shared aliveness. But I didn't feel the sense of separation dissipate, so I would say that whether it's shame or joy doesn't matter. The sense of a separate me still exists.
I could talk about what stories create an identity here, but it's just as easy to make it apply to you too. Like: with what name do you identify? Do you identify as a woman, a human, a person, as a mother, with your work, with the word I? Don't you believe you perceive things, that you live in time and space, don't you believe you think thoughts and do the actions 'of the body'? Aren't there stories of what you were or did in a past? Aren't there stories about others and how they should or shouldn't behave? You won't make me believe there aren't many of such stories.
Yes, I have lots of stories like that.
Like I said, if you would take your experience as what's so, or even if you think more careful, you wouldn't think like you do now.
I don't think it's possible for me to think more carefully. I experimented with this for many hours over three days. If you're right and I'm wrong, I don't believe it's because you think more carefully; I think it's because you have a talent for this
which I lack.

I would say, this laptopappearance here, is just as much my own being as this bodyappearance. The bodyappearance here is just as much living and alive as the laptopappearance. Nothing is alive, nothing is living, seems rather more accurately here to call it all life, and when not creating so many stories there isn't an I and something else here, rather all of what's experienced here can be called I/self/being/THIS/life/experiencing/consciousness/etc, doesn't matter.
That apparently is what you find. It's not what I find. You may be a more expert observer than me.

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Florisness
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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Florisness » Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:37 am

I don't. What you call thinking, I call experience. I feel a Self. I feel a border. It's not a thought.
Well, I would say you feel something which you label self and you feel something which you call a border. What you feel is your experience, but the way you label those feelings of course isn't (Although of course, asides from the fact that the labeling itself is also experience). In the case where you say I feel a border, I think I may know what you mean, however if I would describe my experience of that, I would label/describe it different. I think what you are referring too is that you're experiencing sensations/feelings in a certain space of your experience, and find the sensations/feelings not continuing beyond/after/outside the range of those sensations. You then interpret it as being a border, although you can find that in the above description I described the experience too but didn't use that word. I think the word border is okayish, but there are all sorts of associations with that word means. Do you think the way I describe it is a valid way too? Also because, let's say the sensations/feelings extended beyond where they do now, so you would experience sensations/feelings everywhere, so there wouldn't be a transition felt between the sensations that are actually present now and the space where the sensations would be added. Would you in that case be saying there was a border, or perhaps you would then interpret it as saying something like 'my being is everywhere'? I would suggest that is already the case, but would suggest you don't interpret it that way because you don't currently feel (sensations) everywhere. But you might imagine that someone who had always felt sensations everywhere, not a space in which they would be more present than in another part of experiencing, they wouldn't have a notion of there being a border anywhere, right?

How could I use any words at all? How is the word 'sensations' any more experience than the word 'skin'?
Yes, words are just words (and thereby also literally experience) referring to another experience and not the thing it refers too. However, some words, like the word/label such as sensation, might be more used when really trying to find a word to match the experience we are observing. For example, when hearing 4 different things, and I'll use conventional language to describe those sounds now: someones voice, the sound of an airplane, music, and an undefinable sound. But can't we also just label those things as all sounds? Perhaps this is a nice thing to try, if you can hear someones voice, and close your eyes and go to the experience, you may find there are thoughts present of like a person that voice belongs to, etc. But can you also just see it as a sound, not coming from anywhere, not belonging to anything, just a sound floating in space? And yes, sound is also just a label, but it may help strip some conventional concepts off from the experience, because we attach less stuff to that word.

I can see in my slideshow a very faint image of me from the side, then another from the front, then one of my face.
Good! Yes, and actually this is what I meant by seeing pictures of the body (although you may think of that as being you). So would you agree that this is because you are attaching the sense of you/being to the bodyappearance?

To test this, I went outside and looked at a tree until I felt a sense of joy, a sense of shared aliveness. But I didn't feel the sense of separation dissipate, so I would say that whether it's shame or joy doesn't matter. The sense of a separate me still exists.
Okay, nice to see you checked this. I must say though that words I chose 'you can might feel more connected to the tree' can be a bit misleading, because they assume a you and a tree, that could then be connected. I said this because, and I'll use another way of saying the same thing, perhaps this description is more meaningfull to you. If you feel shame or fear, would you agree that this is a very contraction energy? If you would physically express this energy, perhaps you would find yourself physically shrinking, like the arms would come closer to the body, the head would come closer to the body, etc. Whereas the energy/feeling we call joy, love, or such would be very expending, yes? Perhaps to physically express it you would find the chest to raise, the arms perhaps move to the side of the body in a relaxing/expending notion. So if you would even have a thought or belief such as 'I am a pilot', perhaps that would be more of a contracting energy to you than the thought 'love' or 'I am love', right? So I would suggest the following, the self, which you called a contracting energy ARE all those energies or thoughts of shame/lack/guilt/fear/disappointment etc. (that are contracting energies), it's all these thoughts/perspectives/energies that combine to what you may refer as the sense of self. What do you think? Am curious how you'll respond to that. Even if you did the exercise and felt joy, there where still many stuff in your system that are contracting, and therefore the sense of separation of course was still there, yet if nothing was left but joy, that would be a very different matter.

I don't think it's possible for me to think more carefully. I experimented with this for many hours over three days. If you're right and I'm wrong, I don't believe it's because you think more carefully; I think it's because you have a talent for this which I lack.
yesterday I saw a post which a guide posted on a Facebook group, of a conversation between a client who just had the recognition (not a big fan of this word) and a guide, and another guide responded that the client was very good at answering from this experience, so which the guide said 'well, actually we had quite some difficulty with this, but after things become more clear he suddenly became very good at this'. I would say that once you start seeing how deceptive our language/common ways of seeing are, that you would naturally start making stronger distinctions between what you experience and what is added unto the experience.

That apparently is what you find. It's not what I find. You may be a more expert observer than me.
Or perhaps, our observation is fairly similar, but I may more vigorously look for words -and not going to memory/the mind for an answer- that I find resonating with the observed experience.

Wishing you well,
Floris

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Griselda
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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Griselda » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:45 am

Do you think the way I describe it is a valid way too? Also because, let's say the sensations/feelings extended beyond where they do now, so you would experience sensations/feelings everywhere, so there wouldn't be a transition felt between the sensations that are actually present now and the space where the sensations would be added. Would you in that case be saying there was a border, or perhaps you would then interpret it as saying something like 'my being is everywhere'? I would suggest that is already the case, but would suggest you don't interpret it that way because you don't currently feel (sensations) everywhere. But you might imagine that someone who had always felt sensations everywhere, not a space in which they would be more present than in another part of experiencing, they wouldn't have a notion of there being a border anywhere, right?
Yes, I have no problem with any of that.

Perhaps this is a nice thing to try, if you can hear someones voice, and close your eyes and go to the experience, you may find there are thoughts present of like a person that voice belongs to, etc. But can you also just see it as a sound, not coming from anywhere, not belonging to anything, just a sound floating in space? And yes, sound is also just a label, but it may help strip some conventional concepts off from the experience, because we attach less stuff to that word.
I think this exercise can introduce us to the 'hard border', so to speak, between people like LU Guides, awakened beings, Ramana Maharshi, the Buddha, etc, and the rest of Humanity. Because when you ask me "can I see it as a sound, not coming from anywhere, not belonging to anything, just a sound floating in space?" I must answer No. I don't WANT to answer no, I want to be able to strip concepts from the experience, and hear it as pure sound with no labels attached. Because that's what cool Nondual people are able to do! But I swore that I would be true to my experience when doing the exercises you suggest, and though I've now done this with 15 different people, I still hear them only as human voices. Which suggests to me that maybe when my sense of Separation developed at 18 months or two years or whenever it was, the amalgamation of thought with experience was so strong, that it can never be seen through. I may have to live several lifetimes to see it.

Good! Yes, and actually this is what I meant by seeing pictures of the body (although you may think of that as being you). So would you agree that this is because you are attaching the sense of you/being to the bodyappearance?
I suppose that could be, although I only came up with the images because you asked me to. When I wake up in the morning and first feel my sense of Self there are no visual images. The bodyappearance doesn't seem to be important or necessary for the sense of self.


So if you would even have a thought or belief such as 'I am a pilot', perhaps that would be more of a contracting energy to you than the thought 'love' or 'I am love', right? So I would suggest the following, the self, which you called a contracting energy ARE all those energies or thoughts of shame/lack/guilt/fear/disappointment etc. (that are contracting energies), it's all these thoughts/perspectives/energies that combine to what you may refer as the sense of self. What do you think? Am curious how you'll respond to that. Even if you did the exercise and felt joy, there where still many stuff in your system that are contracting, and therefore the sense of separation of course was still there, yet if nothing was left but joy, that would be a very different matter.

It doesn't appear to me that there are more NEGATIVE emotions, like shame, lack, guilt, feat, disappointment, associated with the sense of Self that positive emotions. The Self is always 'selfish', that it, it always thinks it operates separately in an environment which is not itself, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is felt less when there is joy. If you and I were fighting each other in a boxing match, and if I won after 12 difficult rounds, I would be very joyous and happy. And the sense of Self would be very strong, as in "Look how wonderful I am! I defeated the great Floris!" My ego would be puffed up so much no one would be able to stand me.

yesterday I saw a post which a guide posted on a Facebook group, of a conversation between a client who just had the recognition (not a big fan of this word) and a guide, and another guide responded that the client was very good at answering from this experience, so which the guide said 'well, actually we had quite some difficulty with this, but after things become more clear he suddenly became very good at this'. I would say that once you start seeing how deceptive our language/common ways of seeing are, that you would naturally start making stronger distinctions between what you experience and what is added unto the experience.

I'm certainly in favor of that! I want to become 'very good at this', like the client you mention.

Or perhaps, our observation is fairly similar, but I may more vigorously look for words -and not going to memory/the mind for an answer- that I find resonating with the observed experience.

You may be right, but if so I wonder why I have never read an account of someone who had the 'recognition' -(there's that word again)-- who said "For years I could not see that the Self doesn't exist, but then I looked more vigorously for words, and then Voila! Something just popped."

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Florisness » Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:01 pm

Yes, I have no problem with any of that.
Okay.. So a border, is it there? I'm not trying to push you to the answer 'no', just wanting to see your response on it now.
I think this exercise can introduce us to the 'hard border', so to speak, between people like LU Guides, awakened beings, Ramana Maharshi, the Buddha, etc, and the rest of Humanity.
That made me laugh a bit. I would be more in favor of reducing the idea of a hard border, but yes I would agree that there is something to that. Didn't the Buddha say something like 'in seeing just the seen, in feeling just the felt, in hearing just the heard..". But I would still suggest to not create an idea of a hard border existing, because perhaps then you'll just set yourself up to experience it more like that.
Which suggests to me that maybe when my sense of Separation developed at 18 months or two years or whenever it was, the amalgamation of thought with experience was so strong, that it can never be seen through. I may have to live several lifetimes to see it.
Oh no. I would say in this 'work' if you experience difficulty, it's often not or perhaps never so because something is hard and you should try harder or whatever, but that you might be looking/thinking about it in a way that makes it seem/feel hard. So let's try to make it easier. But no worries, we have already been making some headway, we just have to keep chipping away.
Because when you ask me "can I see it as a sound, not coming from anywhere, not belonging to anything, just a sound floating in space?" I must answer No. I don't WANT to answer no, I want to be able to strip concepts from the experience, and hear it as pure sound with no labels attached. Because that's what cool Nondual people are able to do! But I swore that I would be true to my experience when doing the exercises you suggest, and though I've now done this with 15 different people, I still hear them only as human voices.
Okay. Did you think I asked you if you could strip away all the concepts from the experience or such? In that case, perhaps I could have used slightly better language. Here is a new attempt: Can you recognise that actually the sound is just sortof floating 'there'. Maybe there is a belief or a thought that the sound is coming from somewhere and/or being caused by something, but it that your experience? By that I mean, when you're listening to the sound, can you find an experience of the sound coming from somewhere, or being caused by something? Perhaps in everyday life you associate or attribute such sounds with the visual experience/what is seen. So I'll try to make it easy, no need to draw conclusions or know things you don't know: Perhaps you can notice like 'yes, if I'm honest I don't actually know the sound comes from anywhere. I don't actually know the sound is a human voice. I don't actually know the sound is coming from somewhere'. Is that true, that you don't actually know that? Maybe you really have been taught to think so, but is it true that's actually not known? Do you actually even really know, what on earth it is that which you may call a sound or a voice or such? Perhaps you can stay in the energy for a second of recognizing that you don't actually know the sound is coming from anywhere. Maybe the sound isn't coming from anywhere, not caused by anything. Maybe that's all just story.. Possible? No need for conclusions, sticking with 'I don't know' is fine/great.

I suppose that could be, although I only came up with the images because you asked me to. When I wake up in the morning and first feel my sense of Self there are no visual images. The bodyappearance doesn't seem to be important or necessary for the sense of self.
Maybe. If you turn your head and look around the room, while staying closely aware of your thoughts, can you find that at times an image of a you looking/looking head/etc comes up? Perhaps the idea of going to look itself brings up this thought. Now maybe you can get a sense, or a sort of okayness with the idea, that there isn't actually anything that's actually looking/seeing, but that rather the experience -which we could call the seeing, the hearing, etc, or with other words the seen, the heard, etc- is sort of just there, and that the idea of there being a seer, a witnesser, a you observing, eyes observing, a head observing, is an unnecessary addition to what is actually/already present/experienced here.

If you and I were fighting each other in a boxing match, and if I won after 12 difficult rounds, I would be very joyous and happy. And the sense of Self would be very strong, as in "Look how wonderful I am! I defeated the great Floris!" My ego would be puffed up so much no one would be able to stand me.
Ha, funny. Although that vibration of that would be a bit different from the vibration of joy I meant.

My ego would be puffed up so much no one would be able to stand me.
Can you find this thing you call ego somewhere? :-)
You may be right, but if so I wonder why I have never read an account of someone who had the 'recognition' -(there's that word again)-- who said "For years I could not see that the Self doesn't exist, but then I looked more vigorously for words, and then Voila! Something just popped."
Yes, maybe I've could have used a bit more accurate language there.

Wishing you well,
Floris

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Florisness » Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:55 pm

Hi Griselda,

How are you doing? Still wanting to continue? If you prefer another guide, I know one who might be a great match for you.

Wishing you well,
Floris

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Griselda » Fri Sep 24, 2021 6:54 am

Okay.. So a border, is it there? I'm not trying to push you to the answer 'no', just wanting to see your response on it now.
No, I can't find a border.
Perhaps you can stay in the energy for a second of recognizing that you don't actually know the sound is coming from anywhere. Maybe the sound isn't coming from anywhere, not caused by anything. Maybe that's all just story.. Possible? No need for conclusions, sticking with 'I don't know' is fine/great.
Hmmm.... maybe I'm just too stuck in a materialistic world view. Because if I see a person speaking, and I know that of the millions of times I've seen someone speaking in my life it ALWAYS turned out, according to all my sense perceptions, and the testimony of all other people, that the words are coming from that person, then I would have to say my experience is that the words are coming from that person.
Is it true that I don't actually know the sound is coming from anywhere? Well I SUPPOSE I could be being hypnotized by someone to believe falsely that the words come from a person. And I SUPPOSE it's possible, as some say, that our world is actually a Simulation, or a vast Matrix-type illusion, but that is just speculation and unreal to me. I'm sorry to say, the world I experience is Real. Maybe it's not real and I'm just lost in illusion. But my experience is real to me, and not created by thought.

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Florisness » Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:52 am

No, I can't find a border.
Well, for me this is a great answer reported from your experience, instead of what you may have thought might be going on. Just to crack your mind a little: could we then say it's borderless? That's what borderless means yes? Without borders?
Hmmm.... maybe I'm just too stuck in a materialistic world view.
Hmmm.... a little stuckness yes, or rather: choosing those thoughts as your 'operating thoughts'. But no worries. :-)

What does it mean to you, when you say, 'this is my experience'? Would you agree that whatever is your experience, is what you're observing/noticing right now? For example, if you are looking at this message, you might not have an experience of what you may call the sensations in your foot, and therefore I would say this is not your experience. What you're experiencing I call what is seen, heard, felt, thought, etc in your now-moment.
Because if I see a person speaking, and I know that of the millions of times I've seen someone speaking in my life it ALWAYS turned out, according to all my sense perceptions, and the testimony of all other people, that the words are coming from that person, then I would have to say my experience is that the words are coming from that person.
Okay so let's say that you're seeing someone and he/she is talking. So if we just for clarity, break experience up in seeing, hearing, etc. then what is really experienced there?

I'm going to break up your sentence 'the words are coming from that person' into three parts:
1. the words
2. are coming from
3. that person.

I would suggest what's experienced in/as the visual field, is a body/person (or rather bodyappearance) with a moving mouth. In the domain of the heard/hearing there are sounds, or you can call those the voice or the words, but sound is less conceptual. Those are experienced. So we have number 1 and 3.. now, where's number 2?? Hmm.. that's odd isn't it. Is number 2 experienced? Then where? Can you describe me that experience? Of course, I know you can't. Is it correct that you're not getting number 2 from your experience, but rather from your belief system/conditioning?
I'm sorry to say, the world I experience is Real. Maybe it's not real and I'm just lost in illusion. But my experience is real to me, and not created by thought.
What you experience/your experience is real, but that doesn't mean you aren't free to add/superimpose a lot of thoughts/ideas of what you think is happening onto THIS.

Wishing you well,
Floris

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Griselda » Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:27 am

Just to crack your mind a little: could we then say it's borderless? That's what borderless means yes? Without borders?
Yes, agreed.
What does it mean to you, when you say, 'this is my experience'? Would you agree that whatever is your experience, is what you're observing/noticing right now? For example, if you are looking at this message, you might not have an experience of what you may call the sensations in your foot, and therefore I would say this is not your experience. What you're experiencing I call what is seen, heard, felt, thought, etc in your now-moment.
OK, I can agree with that.
I would suggest what's experienced in/as the visual field, is a body/person (or rather bodyappearance) with a moving mouth. In the domain of the heard/hearing there are sounds, or you can call those the voice or the words, but sound is less conceptual. Those are experienced. So we have number 1 and 3.. now, where's number 2?? Hmm.. that's odd isn't it. Is number 2 experienced? Then where? Can you describe me that experience? Of course, I know you can't. Is it correct that you're not getting number 2 from your experience, but rather from your belief system/conditioning?
Yes, I can agree with that too.
What you experience/your experience is real, but that doesn't mean you aren't free to add/superimpose a lot of thoughts/ideas of what you think is happening onto THIS.
Also agreed. Wow, this is the first time I agreed with everything you said!

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Florisness » Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:01 am

Hello,
Also agreed. Wow, this is the first time I agreed with everything you said!
Haha, yes! Well, let's see how the next wave goes :-)

So you agree that certain appearances/visual experience are experienced, a voice but the connection is not experienced, but assumed. Now.. how about when 'you' talk? What do you find then? In that case, talking will be experienced (i.e. sounds or 'sounding'), a certain (strong) sense of personhood/meness/identity might be felt, maybe even some thoughts about a one that is supposed to do the talking, but what about a something/someone that is actually (doing the) talking?
Perhaps you find that, just as in the last case, that one, this thing that most people think they are, isn't really experienced, but assumed as well?

Floris

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Griselda » Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:47 pm

So you agree that certain appearances/visual experience are experienced, a voice but the connection is not experienced, but assumed. Now.. how about when 'you' talk? What do you find then? In that case, talking will be experienced (i.e. sounds or 'sounding'), a certain (strong) sense of personhood/meness/identity might be felt, maybe even some thoughts about a one that is supposed to do the talking, but what about a something/someone that is actually (doing the) talking?
Perhaps you find that, just as in the last case, that one, this thing that most people think they are, isn't really experienced, but assumed as well?
Boy, that's a tough one. My first attempts result in "Of course I'm experienced! I'm sounding loudly in the center of the head! How could anyone say I'm assumed and not experienced???"
I will have to keep trying this and go deeper with it.

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Florisness » Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:23 pm

Hi Griselda,
Boy, that's a tough one. My first attempts result in "Of course I'm experienced! I'm sounding loudly in the center of the head! How could anyone say I'm assumed and not experienced???"
I will have to keep trying this and go deeper with it.
Ha. Well, you are experienced. Everywhere you look, you are seeing your own face, your own being. But you're identifying pretty much exclusively with the thinking and bodyappearance, and that combines into the idea of being a person and your experience is contracting due to that thinking.

I asked it before, but will do it again as I didn't see a response. If you want, I could also connect you with another guide. I know one who may be well suited for you. I'm also willing to continue, but have a bit trouble working around this thought that you have of being that contraction in/as the headspace. What do you think?

Love,
Floris

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Re: Seeing Through the Self Illusion

Postby Griselda » Sun Oct 03, 2021 6:39 pm

Ha. Well, you are experienced. Everywhere you look, you are seeing your own face, your own being. But you're identifying pretty much exclusively with the thinking and bodyappearance, and that combines into the idea of being a person and your experience is contracting due to that thinking.
I don't know what this means. I suspect it MUST be true, but I don't yet see it as true. But it has a powerful resonance. I will keep trying to feel into it.
I asked it before, but will do it again as I didn't see a response. If you want, I could also connect you with another guide. I know one who may be well suited for you. I'm also willing to continue, but have a bit trouble working around this thought that you have of being that contraction in/as the headspace. What do you think?
I will say that you have been the most patient guide I have ever known. I'm very grateful for how long you have put up with me. It's hard for me to believe that another guide could be as patient and as insightful. My belief is that it is not your lack of skill, but my stupidity which is keeping me from seeing that I identify with thinking and the bodyappearance.
However, you are the expert, and I must trust your judgement. If you think it's worthwhile for us to continue, you have my promise that I will try my hardest to follow instructions. But if you know that another guide is better, then I will trust you on that. (There's even a greedy part of me which says "why not both?")

Best,

Griselda


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