Just this

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Lulu
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Just this

Postby Lulu » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:29 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I take this to mean that the 'self' is a mental construct which, when investigated, does not exist in actual experience. Seeing through the personal story and the I-thought in its many forms leaves "just this": Life itself, flowing as it is. This has been glimpsed occasionally, and increasingly lately after reading Ilona's books.

What are you looking for at LU?
Help and advice with the process from someone who has already achieved realisation that there is no separate self. I am looking to get to a point of clarity and a steady inner 'knowing'. I feel I may have gone as far as I can with inquiry on my own at this time, and would be very grateful for some assistance.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect questioning that will help provoke fresh looking and that will bring remaining assumptions and illusions out into the light. I have read several threads on the forum and in the Gateless Gatecrashers book. Judging by those conversations I expect and hope for pointers that may loosen any 'stuck' areas and help show where there is still circular thinking rather than a clear view of reality.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have had a fascination with the nature of thought, consciousness and existence since childhood and that has resulted in many years of reading and intellectualising (I realise this has no doubt led me away from the goal rather than towards it!) There is a strong feeling that it is finally time to stop procrastinating by reading the words of others and instead be diligent about directly investigating my own experience. I have read the guidelines and am happy to leave aside all teachers and texts in order to focus on the guiding.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?:
11

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Artst
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Re: Just this

Postby Artst » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:31 pm

Hi Lulu,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed :). Glad you made it here.

My name is Robyn, and I can be your guide if that's okay with you.
I am looking to get to a point of clarity and a steady inner 'knowing'.


Lulu, I will do my best to guide you to see that the “self” is no more real than Santa Claus. When you refer to a steady inner "knowing," you may be talking about an expectation that you will or should feel a certain way. The more you can let go of all expectations, the clearer the path here.
There is a strong feeling that it is finally time to stop procrastinating by reading the words of others and instead be diligent about directly investigating my own experience.
For some people, the process of direct looking is painless while for others, it takes a lot of courage. It's possible that whatever is behind your procrastination could come up during this process. Are you up for getting beyond that urge?

A couple of things before proceeding:
-Here's a link that shows how to use the quote function: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ[/
-Please try to keep up posting every day if you can for the sake of momentum; however things come up, of course, and that's okay, just let me know when you're unable to respond and I will do the same for you.
-Think of this as writing in a journal, feel free to be 100% honest and just write what's true for you. It's generally helpful to put aside teachings, books, and videos for the time being so you can be more available to focus on your own experience. That's where we'll look.

If you're okay with everything so far, we can start with your looking at what you expect in terms of how life will be once you have seen through the illusion of "I."

Warmly,

Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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Lulu
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Re: Just this

Postby Lulu » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:03 am

Hi Robyn!

Thank you so much for your reply. I would love you to guide me.
The more you can let go of all expectations, the clearer the path here.
Agreed. I will watch out for expectations and will put them aside when they pop up.

For some people, the process of direct looking is painless while for others, it takes a lot of courage. It's possible that whatever is behind your procrastination could come up during this process. Are you up for getting beyond that urge?
Yes! The idea of procrastination being a form of resistance showing up is a very helpful perspective and I'm keen to see beyond it.



In answer to your other points, thanks for the quote instructions.
I will definitely endeavour to post every day. I am in New Zealand and should usually be able to post in the evenings, although right now I am so keen to get underway that I am posting from work. :)
What timezone are you in, Robyn?

we can start with your looking at what you expect in terms of how life will be once you have seen through the illusion of "I."
I've spent a while typing different answers here but in fact, I don't know!
To be honest, and looking out for expectations as I said I would do above, there is some kind of expectation that without a 'self' for anything to impact on, life may feel lighter - less tangled up in thought-created suffering and anxiety. That anxious thoughts and sensations in the body, for example, will still happen if conditions are right for them but without the illusion of self these will have nowhere to 'stick' and will be seen as just arising - happening to no one.
This is no doubt among the expectations I need to let go of and I'm sure you will help me!

I do expect that life will continue on as it always has done, with all sorts of experiences and thoughts making up a big complex whole. Only the way it is seen might change.

Thank you again Robyn.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Lulu x

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Re: Just this

Postby Artst » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:49 pm

Hi, Lulu,

Thank you for your reply. Here we go!

Easiest part first ;-) I’m in the Central time zone. I live in Austin, Texas in the US.

As for the expectations you shared, that’s some very nice speculation. But, as you wrote, still can get in the way as expectations. "Putting them aside," as you expressed it, will allow you to really look at what there is to look for, rather than to aim for or assess your looking by some predetermined result.

You wrote on your registration questionnaire:
This has been glimpsed occasionally, and increasingly lately after reading Ilona's books.
Lulu, please tell me more about how you have had glimpses of no “I.”

What comes up when I say, “there is no I?”

Have fun! I look forward to your response.

Warmly,

Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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Lulu
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Re: Just this

Postby Lulu » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:18 pm

Hi Robyn!

So exciting to hear from you this morning! I’m very very grateful for your help.

Re: expectations. You are so right about measuring against a predetermined result.
I am already noticing the tendency to judge experiences on the basis of “is this it”? “Am I there yet”? But of course the idea of “what it should be like” is just a story. And the thoughts “I’m not there yet” or “this is not it” are also just stories. All just mind tricks.

Please tell me more about how you have had glimpses of no “I.”
Okay! Here goes with an attempt to describe a few examples …

1. Reading one of Ilona’s books and trying the experiment of visualising the kitchen in great detail - then walking in to the actual kitchen and seeing the absolutely clear difference between thought and reality.
So simple and so incredibly obvious, but until I finally stopped reading and thinking … and instead really looked … I had not truly seen the difference between thought and reality, perhaps since I was a child. Seems so silly to say! It made me laugh!!
Suddenly facing reality ‘direct’ like this, the sense of a ‘me’ just dropped away and when the thought popped up “is there a self here?” it was seen that there was no “Lulu” and no place for one or need for one at all. The idea of a layer of fiction being introduced to reality seemed completely absurd and pointless.

2. Walking through the city, busy with people and cars and lights etc, and experiencing seeing, hearing, breathing and passing thoughts all as being “made of the same stuff” … one complete experience with no separate person seeing, hearing, breathing or thinking. Everything kind of collapsing into “just This”.
At that time, the thought arose “is this me?” and there was a big empty silence and a smile. The idea of a “me” made no sense at all. There was nothing there. How could there be everything - plus me? Oneness - plus something else! So funny.

3. Looking in the bathroom mirror. Seeing the familiar face and some parts of the body and seeing that the concept of separation can be viewed quite literally. The only thing making the appearance of the body “separate” was the thought that this colour is a face and this colour is the wall behind. In fact, both of those appearances - and everything else too - are part of the seamless whole. This led to a detachment from thoughts of a self connected to a body, which, in general, is continuing now - or at least is noticed as illusion if those thoughts return.

4. I was sitting at the hairdresser’s when this happened: Just staring into space, appreciating the colours and movement, hearing the chatter and people busy all around me. Feeling a strong sense of simple awareness - and then a thought arose, with words I had read on this forum earlier that day: “What makes awareness personal?”
Wow. Nothing does!! A big sense of expansion and a realisation that awareness is ever-present and has nothing to do with ideas of a separate self.
Only a thought says “this awareness is my ‘real’ self”, or “this body sensation in the head and heart area, plus the sense of awareness adds up to a ‘me’”. All just thought-stories!

What comes up when I say, “there is no I?”
A feeling of Yes! A thought “this is true”. Relief, relaxation, a big breath out!


Thank you, Robyn, for the opportunity to put all of this out there.
There's a great sense of enjoyment and adventure here! :)

much love
Lulu

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Re: Just this

Postby Artst » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:02 pm

Hi, Lulu,

Your excitement reminds me of when I was being guided. :-) Enjoy!
But of course the idea of “what it should be like” is just a story.
Perfect.
Suddenly facing reality ‘direct’ like this, the sense of a ‘me’ just dropped away and when the thought popped up “is there a self here?” it was seen that there was no “Lulu” and no place for one or need for one at all. The idea of a layer of fiction being introduced to reality seemed completely absurd and pointless.
Ok, good…What was it like when the sense of “me” dropped away? What were you left with? There was the seeing and then the thought, “no place for one or need for one?”
There was nothing there.
Lulu, where did you look and discover “nothing there?”
Only a thought says “this awareness is my ‘real’ self”, or “this body sensation in the head and heart area, plus the sense of awareness adds up to a ‘me’”. All just thought-stories!
Beautiful!
A feeling of Yes! A thought “this is true”. Relief, relaxation, a big breath out!
Lovely.

So, Lulu, is there an “I?”

Love,
Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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Lulu
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Re: Just this

Postby Lulu » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:11 am

Hi Robyn,
What was it like when the sense of “me” dropped away? What were you left with? There was the seeing and then the thought, “no place for one or need for one?
Well, what it was like was ... very ordinary. Maybe just with extra sharpness or clarity and a sense of spaciousness. But in general, nothing changed except for discarding that added layer of imagination which had sort of made life 'fuzzy' and confusing and complicated.
What was left was - as I have seen it described on this forum - sightsoundsensationsmelltastethought. In other words, raw experience in its various forms was apparent, and nothing extra.

Also, within that, the 'various forms' were distinguishable only by thought too.
As another example of that, while lying with eyes closed in Savasana after yoga, the play of sounds through (or as) consciousness was happening. Sounds were arising, persisting for a time and then dissolving or disappearing. Suddenly a pain in the stomach arose and it was noticed that this had the exact same action: It arose, persisted and then dissolved. The thought came "sensation is no different to sound. It's all just an appearance" ... Life-Itself (experience) was arising as sound, or arising as sensation. It's thought that assigns the label 'sound', 'feeling' etc. and thereby divides or 'chops up' experience.
Lulu, where did you look and discover “nothing there?”
Hmmm. I suppose the best way to say it is that the looking was "right here" - in actual experience. There doesn't seem to be anywhere else to look, in reality.
So, Lulu, is there an “I?”
Reading this question this morning, a lot of words welled up and I wrote them down in a rush just before I was heading out the door to work.
Here's what came up:

There is no real "I" outside of thought.
"I" is shorthand or code (label) for this body/mind - for Life from this unique perspective. It's initially necessary to navigate and communicate in the world, but the mistake is that we take it as an actual 'thing'.
As we go through life we try to build up the "I" - to make it real and satisfying ... maybe because we know that it is in fact fragile and insubstantial.
We buy it "things", we add stuff to it - accumulating knowledge, opinions, experiences, achievements - all to bulk it up or prop it up.
We also avoid any experience that would undermine the "I", hurt it, reveal its fragility, threaten its existence.
We are always trying to make it feel "right" and comfortable. But it can't ever feel "right". It's not a real thing! It is by its nature insecure because it doesn't exist!
Without the thought of "I", the personality/character continues operating.
It is seen in action. Words are spoken, thoughts come, some thoughts are acted upon, others are seen and yet not acted upon. Why/why not?? It's a mystery. The whole thing unfolds.
Right now, there's even a kind of 'fondness' for the character. This too is a thought - it might say "aww look, Lulu is saying this thing, believing that thing ... "
The character is seen as a fiction, but it too is part of the whole. Not separate, not "I", but part of the expression of Life.


I'm tempted to edit the above to make sure it's clear but instead I'm going to leave it exactly as it flowed out this morning
... and I'll look forward to hearing back from you, Robyn. :)

thanks and love, Lulu x

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Re: Just this

Postby Artst » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:21 am

Hi, Lulu,

Thank you for your message. My apologies –– I have had a very busy day and find myself too tired to write back more tonight.
Tomorrow is kind of crazy too, but I'll do my best to get back to you.

With love,
Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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Lulu
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Re: Just this

Postby Lulu » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:10 am

Dear Robyn,
No apology needed!
I really appreciate the time you are already generously giving.
All is well here and I'm enjoying exploring so please just write in due course when timing is better for you.

X
Lulu

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Re: Just this

Postby Artst » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:09 am

Hi, Lulu,

Thank you for your gracious message.

I'm going to jump right in.
There is no real "I" outside of thought.
Is I real inside the thought? Was there ever a real I? Does thought make something real?
Without the thought of "I", the personality/character continues operating.
What you mean is not clear to me. Can you tell me exactly what you mean by personality/character?
Is there a character without thoughts about one?
Is there a character without a story?
Is there a story without the main character?
Is there a true story?

Does the label I (or Lulu) refer to anything real?

That's a lot of questions! I look forward to your answers!

Love,
Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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Lulu
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Re: Just this

Postby Lulu » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:49 pm

Hi Robyn

GREAT questions, thank you.
Is I real inside the thought? Was there ever a real I? Does thought make something real?
No to all of these.
When I re-read what I had posted I saw that 'there is no real i outside thought' was not a good way to express it.

There is no real I inside of thought. Only thoughts (content) 'about' the illusion of I.
There was never a real I.
Thought can not make something real!

second set of responses coming soon ...

X

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Re: Just this

Postby Artst » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:08 pm

Hi, Lulu,

GREAT!

I eagerly await the rest.

Love,
Robyn
Bring Art to Life

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Lulu
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Re: Just this

Postby Lulu » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:13 pm

part 2:
Can you tell me exactly what you mean by personality/character?
I'll try this one last ...
Is there a character without thoughts about one?
No. The character is not colour, sound, sensation, taste or smell - so it exists only in thought.
The character is a just a concept (thought). There is no character without thought.
Is there a character without a story?
No. The character exists only in the thought-story.
Is there a story without the main character?
A story could be about 'things' and not say anything about the main character - but perhaps the main character (I illusion) is still involved as thoughts refer back to there being an illusory I at the centre: 'that car is going too fast' = 'illusory I thinks the car is going too fast'. Unsure about this. Just mulling things over here ...
Is there a true story?
No. stories are all just thoughts and although some aspects of those thoughts may point to elements that are 'real' (e.g a real sensation or object'), the content of the thoughts are not true.

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Lulu
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Re: Just this

Postby Lulu » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:21 pm

Oh hi Robyn!!
Will work a bit more on the answer to 'what I mean by personality/ character'.
My mind is spinning on this and it has opened up some amazing stuff!
I think there was a little bit of identification hiding there!! I am (haha, the body is) literally getting goosebumps as I type about it.

Will reply to that and the last question in your post during the course of the day.

Love and thanks.
Lulu
X

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Re: Just this

Postby Artst » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:02 am

Good job, Lulu.
I can understand the spinning head!
I look forward to more...
Love,
Robyn
Bring Art to Life


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