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JonathanR
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby JonathanR » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:38 pm

Hi James
. I still believe I can prevent and create thoughts in this immediate moment thru having the presence of mind to control my conscious.

OK. I want you to take a little time to further explore this process of thoughts being created or prevented. It will involve noticing how they appear (or don't appear) at the exact moment of it happening.

See if it is possible to catch a self in the act of creating or preventing them?

If there is a thinker of thoughts it should be possible to observe that thinker creating or stopping thoughts from appearing?

If there's a creator of thoughts, oughtn't it be possible for that creator to only create pleasant thoughts and not create unpleasant ones?
. I wouldn’t say seeing is only happening from my direct experience. I would say I am conscious of what is being seen.
Consciousness. Yes! There's that. The experience of seeing is real enough. But what is it that is doing the noticing? Is there an entity 'there' 'doing' seeing?

A bit like the 'thinker'. Thoughts do appear, including the thought 'I think'. It's important to actually track down an entity, if possible.
. Instead I’m grasping it and harnessing it cause it gives me a sense of existence and hope.
James, many people experience fear or anxiety as they engage in looking for a self, as if someone, 'me' will get destroyed or negated if discovered to not be real. If there's any fear or apprehension about this inquiry we can almost certainly deal with it. But if fear goes unacknowledged it can lead to a resistance to continue looking. I'm not suggesting that you're nervous, by the way, but if you feel anything like this just let me know and, as I say, we can do a lot to reduce it.

All best

Jon

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Normanjb90
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby Normanjb90 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:01 pm

Hi Jon,
See if it is possible to catch a self in the act of creating or preventing them?
I can catch myself in the act more often preventing thoughts than actually creating them. My average common thought process goes: negative thought comes, I become negative, then I catch myself and say “hey I don’t want to identify with that negativity”, then I create a positive thought.
If there is a thinker of thoughts it should be possible to observe that thinker creating or stopping thoughts from appearing?
Yes, I’d say so. The thinker in me is very analytical and critical. Very anxious and worrisome. One you who wants to be positive but can’t seem to find full stride. Always having to prevent the negative thoughts by creating positive ones. The positive ones don’t come naturally, they only come by creation.
If there's a creator of thoughts, oughtn't it be possible for that creator to only create pleasant thoughts and not create unpleasant ones?
I would think so, but it seems like I create far more negative thoughts than positive ones. And my negative thoughts are created subconsciously, my positive thoughts are created consciously. It’s very rare that I subconsciously create a positive thought. I have to be present and tap into positivity in order to create a positive thought. Negative thoughts just come on the train at all times. I don’t even have to think about it. They just arrive as they please.
But what is it that is doing the noticing? Is there an entity 'there' 'doing' seeing?

I believe the entity is one I’ve described before. The entity is an identity I created. Or actually I’m not even sure I am who created it. Maybe more so my perceptions of my circumstances and experiences shaped the entity. The entity of a kid who wants to be a successful man but can’t manage to find success because he is too limited in his belief and negative in his mind. That’s what I believe to be the entity behind the conscious, seeing, and thinking.
many people experience fear or anxiety as they engage in looking for a self, as if someone, 'me' will get destroyed or negated if discovered to not be real.
I am actually hear to discover this entity not to be real. I’m excited for that discovery. I’m not anxious or fearful about it because I’m tired of being an entity that’s in fact anxious and fearful.

Thank you,

James

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JonathanR
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby JonathanR » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:33 pm

Hi James
. I am actually hear to discover this entity not to be real. I’m excited for that discovery. I’m not anxious or fearful about it because I’m tired of being an entity that’s in fact anxious and fearful.
How do you know that you are one? Seriously.

How do you know for sure that it's not a case of mistaken identity, anxiety and fear about a character that is no more real than Santa or the Tooth Fairy?

Looking at all that you have written so far I'm struck by moments where you've been very definite about there being no self and other times where you've been definite about 'being a self'. Have you noticed this too?

About this crunch-like situation that you've mentioned several times, of feeling that someone has to shape up, and all the tension and conflict of thoughts, and feelings about that ; I'm wondering what it is you really want?

Is it to have no self in order to sidestep the issue?

Is it to shut the mind up so that no more thoughts about this have to be experienced?


Thank you

Jon

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Normanjb90
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby Normanjb90 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:44 am

Hi Jon,

Sorry for late response. I never got an email notification of your message. Thankfully I logged in to check.
How do you know that you are one? Seriously.

How do you know for sure that it's not a case of mistaken identity, anxiety and fear about a character that is no more real than Santa or the Tooth Fairy?
I’m trying to figure out who I am since I’ve mistaken my identity. I know the anxious character identified as me isn’t real. Once I stop identifying with the character of anxiety, can I identify with a character of peace, or does that defeat the whole purpose? Should I not identify with anything?
Have you noticed this too?
Yes I definitely have. I was thinking the same thing.
Is it to have no self in order to sidestep the issue?

Is it to shut the mind up so that no more thoughts about this have to be experienced?
How would having no self sidestep the issue? Is this because if I have no self, then I have no desires and I’ll be at peace with allowing life to just happen as it may?

So far shutting the mind up seems the most probable to me. But I’m up for suggestions.

Thank you,

James

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JonathanR
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby JonathanR » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:15 am

Hi James

I didn't notice any delay in you replying. Actually it took me all day to reply to you, due to various events. That may have been why you didn't receive an email?

Don't worry about this. Although it's great to keep the ball rolling as we have been doing I also advise you to feel free to take exactly the necessary time to investigate things properly. That means not feeling that you must rush to answer. Always feel free to tell me that you need more time to look. A risk in feeling rushed is answering from learned or acquired knowledge, rather than from actual experience, In the moment.
. So far shutting the mind up seems the most probable to me. But I’m up for suggestions
But... this is what you said a couple of days ago:
. Negative thoughts just come on the train at all times. I don’t even have to think about it. They just arrive as they please.
This is why I asked you whether it is possible to prevent thoughts from appearing.

Who, or what, would do the preventing? Find out by taking a look.
. How would having no self sidestep the issue? Is this because if I have no self, then I have no desires and I’ll be at peace with allowing life to just happen as it may?
people sometimes adopt a new belief that 'I do not exist' a confused idea that 'nothing can touch me because I'm not here'. There's confusion in this. This inquiry is not about attaining a state of 'no self' (There is no such state).

There is no self. Never has been, never will be, but life IS happening.

How does what I'm saying fall?


All best,

Jon

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Normanjb90
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby Normanjb90 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:17 pm

Hey Jon,
Who, or what, would do the preventing? Find out by taking a look
I would do the preventing by making a conscious decision to change my train of thought in that moment I notice thoughts coming that I do not like. Where are they coming from? I’d say from years of programming that has shaped my subconscious to think negative things without me consciously being aware.

The only thing I know how to do is try to program my subconscious to be positive by speaking affirmations and feeling positive. Who is the “I” here? Someone who does not want to be stagnant or hindered by their childhood mishaps. Someone who wants to rise above the circumstances.
This inquiry is not about attaining a state of 'no self' (There is no such state).
Understood. You can’t attain a state of no self, because in order to so, a self would have to exist in the first place. You cant have nothing of something that is non-existent.
How does what I'm saying fall?
This actually brings peace. I’ve been trying to attain a state that doesn’t exist. Thus, developing a new “self”...which is an “I” that has no “self”...but this is also impossible to attain just like truly having a “self” is. Instead I should sit back and understand life is happening.

The question I have is, where do I go from here. Do I just settle here? Do I not strive for anything. Do I just flow thru life with no aspirations or motivations. Do I literally forget everything from the past and not consider it in anyway?

I’m grasping the concept of life is happening, but how do I respond and react to this notion in everyday life?

I want to be a successful forex day trader/investor and make $300k a year. Will life allow this to just happen if it’s supposed to, I have no real control here?

Thank you, James

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JonathanR
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby JonathanR » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:36 am

Hi James
. I want to be a successful forex day trader/investor and make $300k a year. Will life allow this to just happen if it’s supposed to, I have no real control here?
You will have to find out the answer to this.
. The question I have is, where do I go from here. Do I just settle here? Do I not strive for anything. Do I just flow thru life with no aspirations or motivations. Do I literally forget everything from the past and not consider it in anyway?
We haven't started yet James. There is some serious exploration to be done. The fact that you say that you do actually find a 'self' and state that there's no self at the same time, is a sign of confusion. It's a contradiction. How can this be both at the same time?

Are you saying that intellectually you kind of know that there's supposed to be no self but in practice there is one? Certainly there can seem to be a 'me'. But that's just it. It's an illusion. And an illusion can't 'do' anything.

in your inquiry here, in everyone's inquiry, it's absolutely critical to proceed on the basis of taking a look at or within your own immediate experience, to find out, for real, whether certain things are true or not. We have to be strict, because the mind is very very clever at coming up with ideas and answers of its own that are discovered to be false. Many people find it very difficult to do the necessary work of these inquiries because, literally they stay in the dimension of believing whatever the head 'knows' about everything.

We should move to the next practical exercise. And be prepared to approach it as if you were a child without preconceptions about how everything works.

Are you ready?


All best
Jon

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Normanjb90
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby Normanjb90 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:43 pm

Hi Jon,
It's a contradiction. How can this be both at the same time?
It definitely is a contradiction. The the definitely is a sign of confusion.
Are you saying that intellectually you kind of know that there's supposed to be no self but in practice there is one?
Yes that’s what I’m saying, but I get that it’s all an illusion. Once that I suppose I’m entertaining. But I’m ready to stop entertaining myself with this illusion.
Are you ready?
I’m Ready!

Thanks,

James

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JonathanR
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby JonathanR » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:49 pm

Hi James
. It definitely is a contradiction. The the definitely is a sign of confusion.
OK. Good that we agree.
. but I get that it’s all an illusion. Once that I suppose I’m entertaining. But I’m ready to stop entertaining myself with this illusion
What if there's no 'you' that "entertains it's self"?

What if the illusion just happens, is experienced, but not by 'a person', 'me'? Just experienced.?


Now the exercise... Its important for this and any other exercise I suggest, for you to notice the direct experience, what it's actually like in the immediate moment , rather than thinking about it and coming up with ideas about how it's happening Is that clear?

OK, here goes. Sit comfortably somewhere where you wont be disturbed and just start to notice whatever is heard right now. Don't make a strenuous effort to do this. Just notice whatever is heard, from quiet sounds through to louder ones.

Now, what is this experience like?

In the hearing is there an experience of 'me hearing'?

Is there an experience of 'ears hearing'?

Is the experience simply happening?

In this hearing is there just hearing?

Jon

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Normanjb90
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby Normanjb90 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:35 pm

Now, what is this experience like?

In the hearing is there an experience of 'me hearing'?

Is there an experience of 'ears hearing'?

Is the experience simply happening?

In this hearing is there just hearing?
My mind was ping-ponging thoughts around. “self”...”no self”...”self”...”no self”

“What’s my girlfriend doing right now?” “Shhh just listen”

Back n forth commentary playing out in my head. Then I kind of zoned out and maybe almost fell asleep. That’s when my phone vibrated. And it clicked. The vibration was just heard. For a brief second all that was experienced was hearing. Hearing alone had just happened. Then my mind came to and the thought in my head was “my phone just vibrated, I wonder who just texted me”

Now how I’m supposed to just stay “zoned out” to the point where I’m just experiencing life and not attaching my thoughts to it is a mystery to me hahaha also it’s scary cause I feel like when I focus on just experiencing, it’s as if I’m fading away into an unknown dimension of nothingness.

So a few posts ago where I said I’m not scared, I take that back...I AM SCARED...terrified actually. Meditation has always brought fear out of me. I’m scared to sit alone in silence which is why I don’t meditate.

Thank you,

James

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JonathanR
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby JonathanR » Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:00 pm

Hi James
. So a few posts ago where I said I’m not scared, I take that back...I AM SCARED...terrified actually. Meditation has always brought fear out of me. I’m scared to sit alone in silence which is why I don’t meditate.
In fact this is not a bad sign at all. Fear often appears shortly before a breakthrough of some sort. Thanks for being so upfront and honest. It's very helpful.

Well, meditation it's self, at least, large amounts of meditation are not necessary for this inquiry. But the moments of focus that you experienced are very valuble because they reveal quite a lot, as you've discovered.
. That’s when my phone vibrated. And it clicked. The vibration was just heard. For a brief second all that was experienced was hearing. Hearing alone had just happened. Then my mind came to and the thought in my head was “my phone just vibrated, I wonder who just texted me”
I'll address the element of fear later on but notice what happened here. For a moment it was clear that in the hearing there was simply hearing. Great.... But then thoughts started up. "my phone just vibrated".

Is it clear that the direct experience of hearing is one thing and the thoughts ABOUT hearing are another? That the thoughts themselves do not do the hearing but are a kind of commentary? A narration? Something extra that is added on to the hearing?

About the fear, I suggest you attempt this exercise again and see how it goes? . If fear turns up see if you can take a little peek behind it to see what the fear is about?

If the fear is very intense stop the exercise, and instead acknowledge the fear. Actually thank it for turning up and for attempting to be so loyal and protective Thank it very much and tell it that it can relax, becsuse nobody will get hurt At all. No harm can happen, so that it is safe to relax.

See how these things go and let me know?

All best

:Jon

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Normanjb90
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby Normanjb90 » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:01 pm

Hello Jon,
In fact this is not a bad sign at all. Fear often appears shortly before a breakthrough of some sort. Thanks for being so upfront and honest. It's very helpful.
You’re welcome. Thank you for helping me realize that I am fearful and terrified.
Is it clear that the direct experience of hearing is one thing and the thoughts ABOUT hearing are another? That the thoughts themselves do not do the hearing but are a kind of commentary? A narration? Something extra that is added on to the hearing?
Yes this is very clear.
About the fear, I suggest you attempt this exercise again and see how it goes? . If fear turns up see if you can take a little peek behind it to see what the fear is about?
Quite honestly I can’t even bring myself to practice the exercise because the fear is too intense to exercise. And I know what’s behind it on the surface. The fear of losing love. The fear I’ll stay in that moment of no commentary, so much so that I’ll fade away and lose my girlfriend. I think I have a very limited mindset on love due to some childhood events (but I understand this is a form of commentary in itself as well)
Actually thank it for turning up and for attempting to be so loyal and protective Thank it very much and tell it that it can relax, becsuse nobody will get hurt At all. No harm can happen, so that it is safe to relax.

See how these things go and let me know?
This is a great perspective. I can see where the fear has been trying to protect me my whole life. But me listening to fear has done more harm than good.

Thank you

James

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JonathanR
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby JonathanR » Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:37 am

Hi James,

Sorry for my the delay in replying.( Very busy time here) .
. Quite honestly I can’t even bring myself to practice the exercise because the fear is too intense to exercise. And I know what’s behind it on the surface. The fear of losing love. The fear I’ll stay in that moment of no commentary, so much so that I’ll fade away and lose my girlfriend
It's not at all unusual for even strong fear to appear. The mind comes up with reasons to be afraid.

Does this seem likely to you? Has it been possible to stay in that moment of no commentary much of the time in the past?

Does it seem likely that there would be a sudden change whereby this would happen? That people just fade away?
. This is a great perspective. I can see where the fear has been trying to protect me my whole life. But me listening to fear has done more harm than good.
Yes. I know what you mean. Listening and believing various fears can be inhibiting. Some fears seem justified, even a good idea, for example the fear of being hit by moving traffic might rear up if we were to suddenly run into a busy road. But there's no danger of moving traffic here. Some fears seem to be about being afraid of the idea of something, rather that about the likelihood that what is feared will actually happen.

I wonder how you are getting on? You may find that the fear, now seen, can gradually relax.

We are in no rush here. Sometimes it can take some time for these fears to calm down.

All best

Jon

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Normanjb90
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby Normanjb90 » Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:37 pm

Hi Jon,

No worries about the delay. I appreciate your time and insight as always.
Does this seem likely to you? Has it been possible to stay in that moment of no commentary much of the time in the past?

Does it seem likely that there would be a sudden change whereby this would happen? That people just fade away?
Yes it is likely that the fears suddenly appear from my mind fishing for reasons to be fearful.

I noticed that I’m fearful to be fearless because I’ve structured my life to protect me, from my place of living to the relationships I have. If I get rid of my fear, what happens to those around me who “protect” me? I want to believe that they’re in my life genuinely.

But they may just be in my life from hidden agenda to calm my fear. I don’t want to believe I’m that selfish with ulterior motives but that seems to be the case.
I wonder how you are getting on? You may find that the fear, now seen, can gradually relax.

We are in no rush here. Sometimes it can take some time for these fears to calm down.
Your analogy on fear with traffic makes perfect sense. I’m actually doing better now that I’ve acknowledge the fear and came face to face with it, thanking it for its presence.

But now I believe it’s time fear and I part ways slowly but surely. I’m going to practice letting hearing be experienced today with the exercise. I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks,

James

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JonathanR
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Re: New to the Forum

Postby JonathanR » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:14 pm

Hi James.

That's great! Good initiative.

I don't want to add anything at the moment. See how you get on with the hearing and let me know? We can take it from there

Jon


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