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I wanted to add one final post in case it is helpful to anyone else. I read quite a bit through the archives and other conversations in the guiding area in an effort to take in as much as I could while you were guiding me through the process.. So for anyone else doing the same thing I hope this is in some way helpful.
Is there a Self?
In Direct Experience:
That which does not exist neither appears nor disappears; Ilona.
Seeing there is no Self, no ‘I’ in direct experience was pretty quick and painless and triggered when Ilona asked the question: If being is labelled I, does that make the I -the be-er? I then saw, to be someone you must ‘be’ first. So the sensation of Self in Direct Experience is the direct result of labelling ‘being’ as ‘I’. An act of owner-ship.
By viewing ‘being’ as ‘I’, the sensation of being the do-er, the be-er: the sensation ‘I’ comes into being! So now we have the appearance of a separate ‘being’. It then became clear. Without ‘being’ there can be no ‘I’. If I am to define myself as anything at all it can only be ‘being’. The sensation ‘being’ is ‘I’.
The paradox: ‘I don’t exist’ – suddenly makes sense. ‘I’ is the sensation of being, but there is no ‘I’, no-one. It is a little awkward to describe. I see, I am being, you are being, everyone is being, everything is being, every word & thought is being and all being is the same being.
I mistakenly thought at this point; that was it, and went on to say thanks to Ilona. It was very pleasing, and not really surprising, to find I had a lot further to go. Actually I had a good laugh at my own expense that time. The belief, ‘I am’ was clearly nowhere to be found in direct experience, but what belief is ever found in direct experience. What about the Self which exists in its own absence? To the mind an object is an object whether or not it is present in direct experience.
Where is space? What about the Self that doesn’t exist?;
A few days ago when reading through the archives I read one by ‘Space’. One particular thing jumped out at me though at the time I could have no idea where it would lead. ‘Space is a metaphor, you cannot point to it.’ The idea hung about the place until it became obvious to me, there is no Self in Direct Experience.
So what is Space? Since it is no-where, it is not there. So there is no Space. The second part to this enigma came from reading a comment from Robert Wolfe (I am liberally paraphrasing). Everything in existence is relative, up down, left right, me you, and so on. But the absolute is unrelated, is infinity, and cannot be described. He went on to use the phrase ‘not even one’ as a way of pointing to it.
It then occurred to me, take Space as a metaphor for the Absolute. Space is not there, it is not absent, it would have to exist to be absent and it is no-where, it cannot exist. So Space could be viewed as the Absolute.
Where is Space? – It cannot be anywhere. Therefore, Space does not exist.
Then I began to see, everywhere I look there is space, without it there couldn’t be ‘things’. My fingers aren’t separated by Space, they are defined by it. Everything is defined by space.
Take Space out of the equation and what is left? – Not even one thing, not even one thought, not even one Self can exist without the Absolute/Space.
What is Space? The illusion of separation, that which has no relationship to anything. Is devoid of everything, of thought, of Self, of being, of existence and yet without it, there is no existence, and yet it is not.
And surprise, surprise, there was obviously not a Self which doesn’t exist in there!
I still couldn’t see for myself – was there or was there not a Self?
Absence of proof is not the proof of absence;
In absolute and total frustration, I decided to constantly remind myself whenever I caught myself ‘thinking’, it was just a thought – no exceptions. It wasn’t difficult so much as I experienced a ‘natural’ resistance rooted in self-preservation, I.e. Fear. I began to realise this particular fear shows up as ‘boredom’, a very sneaky kind of subtle fear.
An intuitive leap occurred in this process. Just the constant reminding myself ‘it is just a thought’. ‘I’ am just a thought. ‘You’ are just a thought. ‘The sun’ is just a thought. The boredom didn’t go, but the repetitiveness of the answers got to the point I didn’t need to remind myself ‘it is just a thought’.
At some level is saw ‘all thought is about thought’, am I thinking?, is the thought happening?, Is there a thinker?, The Sky is blue because the sea is blue; All thoughts about thoughts.
Who am I? – is a thought about a thought. Thoughts reveal themselves to always be about other thoughts, which attract further thoughts of the same nature in an endless cycle.
At this point, the belief ‘I am’ ceased to be and the next Self thought beginning ‘I’ got no further than that word and revealed itself to be ‘a thought about a thought’.
When I found there to be no Self in Direct Experience, Space & Thought the belief ‘I am’ simply ceased to be. Since that point there is no belief or attachment to the expression ‘I am’ any longer, after all it’s an expression, a thought.
The seeking ceased to be. Now I find with residual seeking, it can still draw me in, but once the Self comes into it, it’s simply seen to be a thought.
In the end I found seeing was never an issue, it was always the fear of seeing. The sense of self-preservation which I constantly encountered.
Reference to Robert Wolfe:
Living non-duality; The free edition (pdf)
http://cloud2.snappages.com/ed35bc00239 … 130427.pdf
With endless appreciation for Ilona & all at Liberation Unleashed.