Looking for a long time and quite confused.

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SomeOne
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Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby SomeOne » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:49 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
There is no one who e.g. "understands" anything. Instead, there is only a story told about a 'self', which is told in thoughts. The self in this story can achieve things, understand things, be afraid of things, own things, love things, hate things, etc... but it's all completely arbitrary. And, above all: not real. Not related to reality at all.

What are you looking for at LU?
I have known about LU for a long time, probably since it was first started, and before that, I had an account on "the ruthless arena". Back in those days, it already had a profound impact on me, and I haven't forgotten the profound message that "there is no self" since then. It literally changed my views on everything. Writing these last sentences, I had a funny realization: if what I wrote in the first paragraph is true, then all of this is wrong as well: there never was a 'me' that has 'known' about anything, or "hasn't forgotten" about anything. The idea that there is something to obtain "here" (at LU) is bonkers because there literally is nobody who could obtain anything. At this point, I have actually spent the last couple minutes walking through my room and thinking about this. After realizing that this is just the same as before (just a story), I investigated again and arrived at the same realization as before, but it somehow doesn't make sense. I was about to write "why do I have to go through the same realization as before again?", when I again realized that there is nobody that has to go through anything. This is somehow weird; it seems to take "conscious effort" to "defeat" these thoughts including an "I" every time they pop up, but that shouldn't be necessary (or possible, as there is nobody who can defeat them). But it somehow makes sense: there has never been an "I", but the story inside the mind is strong, and so it "lives up" again even though it has been recognized as being illusionary before. This somehow seems.. annoying, frustrating and frightening, kind of like "when will this be done? when can it be enjoyed?". This cycle has been happening for the last few days: like, really clear realization, followed by really much "caught-upness" in "the lie"/"the story of I". I could write much more about this, but I want to finish it here, so somebody can actually read it (again, same thing here, all of "I" and "somebody" don't exist, and the last sentence isn't "true" in that regard, but it seems to be conscious struggle each time to "realize" that).

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
At this point, to clear up what the heck is happening. Why does it take repeated realizations? "Where am I in this process?" (even though that doesn't really make sense; (see above)). Just to talk about this? As there isn't "anybody" who can "do anything" for "me". To be completely honest, it also feels like I am keeping this at a distance somehow, and that's why the realization always "leaves" again. Maybe I am expecting more from this than just "the truth"? (Writing that "I" again realized that "I" is just a story, and from that, that there never was an "I" realizing anything. lol.) But it still feels like something is missing, or there are still "bad feelings". Dunno, really.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Mainly The Ruthless Arena, Liberation Unleashed and Tolle. Of course, that's just a story about a "me".

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

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s-p-a-c-e
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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:57 am

Hey SomeOne,

You still around? :)

Best wishes,
John, some guide here.
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby SomeOne » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:27 pm

Hey John,

yes, still around. Thank you for your reply! I'm "busy" vacationing until monday, would it be ok to start then? Again, thanks for your time, it means a lot. The past ~week has been kind of crazy and confusing for me, nothing felt as clear as what I wrote in my first post. Really want to get to the bottom of this.

Thanks,
Felix

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:54 pm

yes, still around. Thank you for your reply! I'm "busy" vacationing until monday, would it be ok to start then? Again, thanks for your time, it means a lot. The past ~week has been kind of crazy and confusing for me, nothing felt as clear as what I wrote in my first post. Really want to get to the bottom of this.
Oh sure, enjoy your holiday. :)

Just let me know when you're back in town.

With best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby SomeOne » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:23 pm

Oh sure, enjoy your holiday. :)

Just let me know when you're back in town.

With best wishes,
John
Hey,

I'm back now. I'm pretty confused currently, because there are moments of clarity, but they slip away again. It feels like I'm chasing such moments for the "high", and trying to get something out of them. A pretty prominent idea recently has been "the illusion of free will" for me. It popped up a lot in my thoughts, and it really makes sense. But at the same time there are thoughts like "So? How does this help me with deciding what to do next?" whenever I try to look at situations that happened and see how there was no choice at any moment, only thoughts/emotions/whatever happened.

Again, thanks for taking your time, it means a lot.

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:37 pm

Hi Felix,
I'm back now. I'm pretty confused currently, because there are moments of clarity, but they slip away again. It feels like I'm chasing such moments for the "high", and trying to get something out of them.

Ok, share with me a moment of clarity. If I was going to experience that, what would I be likely feeling, sensing?

If it feels like chasing such moments, what are you running away from?

Many thanks!
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby SomeOne » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:36 pm

I'll start with the second question, since that's what I was occupied with first:
If it feels like chasing such moments, what are you running away from?
I reacted really strongly to this; I think I spent at least 15-30 minutes kind of crying. Not the bad kind of crying, but rather the letting-go/transforming/relieving kind of crying. Funnily enough, by now most of those feelings and emotions are kind of gone again, and it feels kind of surreal what happened. Does that make sense? But I'll try to describe as much as I can:

It began with the thought that "my life" is what I am running away from. That included many things; a main point were interpersonal relationships. There has been much going on the past few weeks and days, including some drama, things I would have liked to go different, things I didn't like happening, and things I was really unsure what to do about. Actually now, I feel somewhat "indifferent" about all those events, but it's not really a good feeling, it feels like I lost something. It feels like the memories of those events have become unimportant, and like I don't care about them anymore, kind of empty. At the time, I imagined scenarios where things would get cleared up, and everything would have a "good" outcome. However, I also realized that I would have to make such things happen, and that I wouldn't, because actually doing it would be scary.

Next to interpersonal relationships I also thought about other past events. For example that I couldn't go back to times where I had a lot of fun, which I really treasure. I think I was also thinking about how many things could have been better, and why they instead turned out as they did. Like "I could have had more fun, I could have had more of this/that", etc. A main point was also my current job; I actually started it right after I finished university, which was ~1 year ago (I'm in my mid-twenties right now). From the beginning I actually wasn't sure whether I wanted to do it, and I still don't know. Here, I also mainly felt more "clear" about the whole situation, and again imaged scenarios where I would make a decision and everything would be "good".

Now, after this "phase" was over, I actually feel like I "lost" the clarity about everything I thought about during that time. It feels like if I could go back to those moments a couple of hours ago I would get it back again. This is actually very similar to the "moments of clarity" from before and your first question. During such moments it feels like everything is right and clear, I can imagine very positive outcomes, and it's also a "good" feeling. However, such moments/phases usually fade away when doubt comes up, something like "it's not going to happen". But there is one more thing I thought about, a main thing that also brought me back to this site now after multiple years: death.

Actually, at the beginning of this year, I lost my mother to an illness. In the months afterwards, at some point I developed a strong fear about death, and at one time walked around for multiple days with an intense, always present fear and despair. This was probably the worst I have felt in my life. Now, when I thought about death earlier, I also realized that no matter what I did, no matter how things ended/what happened, everybody would always die in the end, meaning that everything that happens is pointless anyways. All the "clarity" doesn't help anyways, because I'm going to die at some point. That's a pretty shit feeling. The idea of "no-self" seems so related/liberating in this context, which is (a part of) why I'm back here.

Anyways, regarding the first question:
Ok, share with me a moment of clarity. If I was going to experience that, what would I be likely feeling, sensing?
For me such moments usually arose e.g. when reading "gateless gatecrashers" and having a strong realization about "no self", like when I understood something or "looked" and realized something. It would be a good feeling, and thoughts would be like "Of course I don't exist, it makes sense", etc. My first post is a good example of such a moment actually, because that was written during one (triggered by the questions that I answered to create the initial post). During such moments death would also not be scary, for example, but I would also be pretty clear about the fact that "I" don't exist.

Now I have really written a lot, I'm not even sure whether all of this is even relevant. But I'll just leave it here. Thank you for asking and listening to all of that.

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:23 am

Hey Felix,
If it feels like chasing such moments, what are you running away from?
I reacted really strongly to this; I think I spent at least 15-30 minutes kind of crying. Not the bad kind of crying, but rather the letting-go/transforming/relieving kind of crying. Funnily enough, by now most of those feelings and emotions are kind of gone again, and it feels kind of surreal what happened. Does that make sense?

That's a good release. Excellent.
It began with the thought that "my life" is what I am running away from. That included many things; a main point were interpersonal relationships. There has been much going on the past few weeks and days, including some drama, things I would have liked to go different, things I didn't like happening, and things I was really unsure what to do about. Actually now, I feel somewhat "indifferent" about all those events, but it's not really a good feeling, it feels like I lost something.

It feels like the memories of those events have become unimportant, and like I don't care about them anymore, kind of empty. At the time, I imagined scenarios where things would get cleared up, and everything would have a "good" outcome. However, I also realized that I would have to make such things happen, and that I wouldn't, because actually doing it would be scary.

That's a great description of a very common experience.

Next to interpersonal relationships I also thought about other past events. For example that I couldn't go back to times where I had a lot of fun, which I really treasure. I think I was also thinking about how many things could have been better, and why they instead turned out as they did. Like "I could have had more fun, I could have had more of this/that", etc. A main point was also my current job; I actually started it right after I finished university, which was ~1 year ago (I'm in my mid-twenties right now). From the beginning I actually wasn't sure whether I wanted to do it, and I still don't know. Here, I also mainly felt more "clear" about the whole situation, and again imaged scenarios where I would make a decision and everything would be "good".

It's a bit like this: we discover ourselves through the medium of life. Struggle is built-in, it reflects the struggle to know ourselves. So, relax, struggle is good. You're on a good track.

Now, after this "phase" was over, I actually feel like I "lost" the clarity about everything I thought about during that time. It feels like if I could go back to those moments a couple of hours ago I would get it back again.

Good to notice clarity come and clarity go.

This is actually very similar to the "moments of clarity" from before and your first question. During such moments it feels like everything is right and clear, I can imagine very positive outcomes, and it's also a "good" feeling. However, such moments/phases usually fade away when doubt comes up, something like "it's not going to happen".

Sure, yeah. We want it to work out, to be good and right and positive. At the same time, we feel like it won't work out, we have doubts about ourselves. Like two counter forces, they cancel each other out, and we end up doing fuck all - potentially :) - but again, working with inner conflict is the track of honest self-inquiry.
But there is one more thing I thought about, a main thing that also brought me back to this site now after multiple years: death.

Actually, at the beginning of this year, I lost my mother to an illness. In the months afterwards, at some point I developed a strong fear about death, and at one time walked around for multiple days with an intense, always present fear and despair. This was probably the worst I have felt in my life. Now, when I thought about death earlier, I also realized that no matter what I did, no matter how things ended/what happened, everybody would always die in the end, meaning that everything that happens is pointless anyways. All the "clarity" doesn't help anyways, because I'm going to die at some point. That's a pretty shit feeling. The idea of "no-self" seems so related/liberating in this context, which is (a part of) why I'm back here.

Well, the fact of death can be used in all sorts of positive ways, and tempting as it is to explore, I'm keen for us to focus on our inquiry.

Anyways, regarding the first question:
Ok, share with me a moment of clarity. If I was going to experience that, what would I be likely feeling, sensing?
For me such moments usually arose e.g. when reading "gateless gatecrashers" and having a strong realization about "no self", like when I understood something or "looked" and realized something. It would be a good feeling, and thoughts would be like "Of course I don't exist, it makes sense", etc. My first post is a good example of such a moment actually, because that was written during one (triggered by the questions that I answered to create the initial post). During such moments death would also not be scary, for example, but I would also be pretty clear about the fact that "I" don't exist.

Sounds like a cute way out doesn't it - hey, I don't exist. Well, that solves a whole heap of shit. :D

But, that is really over-thinking it. It's not that I don't exist, which I can prove by asking you to poke yourself on the chest with a finger. :) Not too hard.

The 'I' here is what you might call 'me'. The everyday sense of being Felix.
You know Felix. :) Him. Do you have a handle on being Felix?

There's two aspects to Felix: the face you present to others, and the face you present to yourself.
Reflect on that a while, and share what shows up.

Now I have really written a lot, I'm not even sure whether all of this is even relevant. But I'll just leave it here. Thank you for asking and listening to all of that.

With kind thanks,
John


Its a pleasure, thank you for sharing so honestly.
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby SomeOne » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:57 pm

Hey John,

first of all, thank your for your comments/explanations, they were very helpful and insightful. I was also still dealing with the "aftermath" from my last post today, but a good night of sleep has me feeling much calmer and better today (instead of feeling that I "lost" something like I did yesterday). It's funny :)

Okay, first question:
The 'I' here is what you might call 'me'. The everyday sense of being Felix.
You know Felix. :) Him. Do you have a handle on being Felix?
I spent some time with this. In the beginning, nothing really came to my mind. Then I noticed what might be called "the everyday sense of being Felix", which was just a feeling that's kind of always there. But yeah, I would say I have a handle on being Felix. After that, however, I think I looked inside for a bit to see if there was more I could come up with, and noticed a certain "emptiness". And while the thought "there is this emptiness surrounding me" was forming in my mind, it slowed down about halfway through, because there was the "realization" that there was no "me" that was being surrounded, just this emptiness (that's actually what went on, just reporting). I then spent like another 15-30 minutes just thinking about a lot of stuff like after the last question. I'm not sure what all the things were that I thought about, because that "phase" is also already over again, but there were more thoughts exploring the idea that there was no "me" but only this emptiness, thoughts like "is this it?", a lot more imagining and thinking about stuff that is currently relevant for me (basically the same stuff as before). Some more events I thought about that I would have liked to go different, but without the releasing/letting go part from before, so they kind of just stayed.

Maybe that was a bit off-topic and didn't really answer the question, if so, just tell me, and I'll try looking again. But yeah, I would say I have a good handle on being Felix.
There's two aspects to Felix: the face you present to others, and the face you present to yourself.
Reflect on that a while, and share what shows up.
To be honest, it feels like not much came up yet, but I was also kind of busy and other stuff happened, so I'll just give a very preliminary answer. Again, if you want me to look more, just tell me, and I'll come back once I've done that. So, I tried to watch out for the two faces you talked about, and I only kind of noticed them. I noticed that I behaved different around others and alone, at least. Additionally, there is kind of an "outside", that's what others see, and an "inside", that's more like thoughts and so on, which are more there for "myself". Writing that I had a funny realization, like "what is this 'myself' the thoughts are for?". Also the outside and the inside aren't separate, but kind of interact, and both can influence the other. It feels like there's more to explore here, so I'll keep exploring, but there is another thing that came up today that I wanted to ask/was wondering about (day is pretty much over here, and I wanted to write a post today no matter what).

Basically, I was wondering what a thought like "I am worrying" actually means. Because, "worry" is kind of just a label for something that has happened, but not a thing in and of itself. It labels emotions/other thoughts, but it's just a label. So it doesn't really mean anything.

There was more "interpersonal drama" today, and I noticed that when thoughts like "I am angry" or "I am xyz" came up, this realization that there isn't that much truth to those thoughts would also come up and kind of "dissolve" them, and instead make me look at the emotions/feelings directly, which made them look much less frightful. But there are also thoughts that are definitely true, or at least serve a real purpose, like thoughts about math or something like "there is another car in front of that car" or "there is a tree over there". What's up with that? What's actually true about a thought like "I am worrying"? Am I looking in the wrong direction here?

Again, thank you very much.
Felix

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:10 pm

If we sit and look for emptiness, we find emptiness, or at least, some experience we end up calling 'emptiness'. To look inside to find 'me' tends not to be very successful :) because what would you look for? So then we go, 'I can't find a me' - on the basis that we looked for something that we don't know what it looks like. Hell, we don't even known it exists. So, that whole game is a bit silly. :D Like looking for a Gerenuk, with no clue what it looks like.

You say the everyday sense of Felix is something recognised.

Over the day, notice that familiar sensation, feeling, as it comes and goes and shifts.

What did you discover?

Many thanks!
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby SomeOne » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:40 pm

Hey John,
You say the everyday sense of Felix is something recognised.

Over the day, notice that familiar sensation, feeling, as it comes and goes and shifts.

What did you discover?
Here's what I discovered:

That familiar sensation seems to be (to a big part at least) the feeling of my body. Like arms, legs, head, facial expression. But it also includes the sensation of movements etc. And it seems to be changing by itself, like movement happens but there is no premeditated reason or anything. During the day, I realized a few times that I had been caught up in my thoughts, and didn't feel that sensation during that time. But that realization also seemed to immediately shift my focus back to this feeling of my body. Also, when my focus on this sensation grew stronger a few times, I would feel a kind of intense feeling of pain/sadness, which felt like it was originating from my stomach. A couple of those times it actually seemed like the feeling released itself a little bit, but it's still there, and it doesn't feel like much has changed.

Just now it felt like this sense of familiarity/feeling of the body wasn't such a bad place to be in, and it felt like a kind of "grounding" place. At the same time there seems to be the same feeling of pain/unease as before, that seems to be pulling "me" away from it. It also feels like a coming and going of this feeling.

Many Thanks,
Felix

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby SomeOne » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:58 pm

One more thing: I also noticed how moods shifted throughout the day, also seemingly without a real reason. At some point I would just notice that the sense of "Felix" had changed from one mood to another. At one point, when I noticed that I was in a good mood, I noticed a small pain which was seemingly angry about that, and it seemed that that was because there was no control over when I would feel good or bad.

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:19 pm

Good work Felix. Sometimes there's a melancholy felt in the stomach, a kind of painful sadness at the strong desire for change, yet feeling like its not possible, or will never occur - and the common reaction is one of sadness. In general, it's a recognition that something needs to change, a call to action.

In the same way you explored the sense of Felix in the body, explore the area in and around the head. Check out, where does it feel that Felix has some place?

What do you find?

Many thanks!
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby SomeOne » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:37 am

When I started doing this, I immediately felt a sense of relief. That is gone now when I check there again, or it is at least much less strong, but it seems like it doesn't mean much. If you ask where it feels that Felix has some place, it would be the whole face; eyes, mouth, especially facial expression.

When I took another look into the sensation in and around my head today, for a short moment the sensation was really strong, and when a thought came up it kind of just hung there, as there was a clear distinction between the feeling and the thought. It also feels like there isn't much more than this sensation of "being Felix", like there is nothing else there. Same as with the body, it also seems to simply change by itself, and I simply notice whatever its current state is.

Many Thanks,
Felix

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Re: Looking for a long time and quite confused.

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:02 am

When I started doing this, I immediately felt a sense of relief. That is gone now when I check there again, or it is at least much less strong, but it seems like it doesn't mean much. If you ask where it feels that Felix has some place, it would be the whole face; eyes, mouth, especially facial expression.

Good work. Well, persona means 'mask', so that says it all.

Let's do some self-observation. For the coming day, when it comes to you to notice, in various situations, alone, with others, have a quick check on the face - the tensions, the sensations, perhaps the feelings.

Notice, no need to categorise, or record; just observe intently.

Share any discoveries.

Many thanks!
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne
https://johnchristophercoaching.wordpress.com/


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