Good morning, Vince.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
2) Describe how the illusion of an independent, self came into being by giving examples from actual experience.
Then give some experiential examples of how life changed for you after seeing through this illusion.
When my dad said that if I do not learn a trade, I will be living from paycheck to paycheck. My mom told me after I told her at age 10 that I wanted to be a priest, she said, "You don't know what you want. You are too young." In the 1st example, this tells the child that he is separate from all good & needs to fear lack in order to be motivated for receiving supply. He has to struggle to survive since he is separated from all in all. There is practical wisdom in teaching a child after finding his natural bent how to support a living & it can be done in a healthier manner. The 2nd example tells the child that he is separate from all the wisdom due to his age & that he needs someone else to tell him what he should become.
I saw through these illusions when I realized that the universe is not against me, only the false concepts fed to me propagated more false concepts & the results of the beliefs enforced them. The 2nd example came under the light of truth when I realized that all my false programming, maybe well intentioned, was forcing me to rely on an o.s. source for wisdom. Even what I thought was i.s. wisdom, I found that it was twisted. I learned to differentiate strong belief conceptual reasoning from wisdom.
3) How does it feel to see this?
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Relieved. The difference is what I thought was real & was not brought disappointment initially for it was my foundation for security. Then, I saw through the disappointment for what it was & not held to it, that I truly was not a prisoner. I saw that I had much to gain by riding on trust alone. Finally, I gave up the suffering created by wrong belief. It was easy once I saw through it. No mantras, prayers, hours of meditation, fighting thoughts, etc., just being.
4) Can you remember any specific inquiry that resulted in an epiphany? ..a before and after seeing the actuality of the Self. Was there a point when you ‘got it’?
Here is the before the actual seeing on 9/29/22:
G: So, what is there to hold on to? Truth? What is that? Can it be verified? Direct experience is the verifier, I thought. Now, I question that for it could be a story, too. Geez, I am running out of room here.
V: Yes, there's nowhere to escape.
Can anything be verified other than with stories?
You are nearing the point where falling is the only option. That takes trust.
Trust that you will survive the fall.
Trust that you don't need to hang on to anything.
Trust that what has sustained life so far will continue to do this. ..and the recognition that what you thought was doing it was an illusion.
G: Yes, unfortunately. I feel that I am standing on empty ground.
V: That's not unfortunate. It's fortunate. Empty ground is a good place to let go and free fall.
At this point, anything is possible. You know nothing and have returned to the time in childhood when you were discovering how the world works. Wide eyes and open mind.
Here is the point that I got it on 9/30/22:
V: The risk is fear of the unknown.
If we have an expectation that out of the unknown will come bad stuff, then that fear arises. When I consider that in trying to control life i was corrupting the flow and that through years of this happening i still managed to survive (and thrive), i now have no trust issues with the unknown.
G: As I recollect, striving to survive was not peaceful, going against the flow.
V: When it is recognized that nothing can be known and that stories happen and get responded to, what is left to do but watch (and wonder)
G: Ok. I am ready. Let's go.
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work?
Give examples from your own recent experiences to how these things happen and how they work.
My decision started w. a struggle as you read in this dialogue. I saw that my decision was at a point of nothing to lose & my previous methods were not working to well. Things happen much o.s. my influence and some on my own. I control very little in this game. The best thing I can control is my response. That is a psychology approach that never worked before but when realization comes from knowledge & wisdom, responding happens on its own because of unfoldment. That was mainly on my last 2 emails. The biggest influence came when you explained about standing on nothing but trust. I put that together w. the story from Kenneth E Hagin. It made great sense. Plus, I felt that I was not any better by holding on only to give myself a sense of security. I was worse off in the clinging in fear.
b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
I am responsible for doing & thinking good about all. I am to observe any criticisms when things appear disagreeable. Then, I am to act accordingly as the situation directs. No o.s. deity to rely on, just flow & adjust. I did that this morning when my partner had a meltdown over our new Siberian Husky's 1st night here. She was ready to throw all away even though much $ was spent, & years of waiting/healing were happening since the last pet died. I did not fear or fall into to the tank. I did not get angry of the fact that more time will be required of me to train, clean, & care for this high-energy dog. I just took mim for a walk & moved on w. the morning. This is a 1st for me. Then, another incident was directly after that at breakfast. Her burnt out state & verbiage usually would depress me, lose my appetite, & make me lethargic in my tasks for the rest of the morning. My mood was steady. Why? Can I change what has flowered in front of me? Certainly not.
6) Anything to add?
No. If I did, I would be repeating myself.
It is a big relief not being driven by fear or need of security. My sleep is improving.
How'd I do, boss?
Great love & laughs,