Hello, i am looking for help

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azabache88
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Hello, i am looking for help

Postby azabache88 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:17 pm

Hello
My name is Manuel and I am from Spain. Iam orry but my English is very bad.
I ve spent yers meditating, reading books, watching videos...but all my efforts have been in vain because nothing has change. I still feel myself as a separate individual, suffering frequent depressions, full of fears...etc
i dont know if anybody can help me out
Thank you and warm regards from Spain

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby Empty Mirror » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:06 am

Hi Azabache

My name is John. I'm in Australia.

I'll be your guide. Please tell me what you expect from this process. What do you expect the end result to be, and what do you expect the effects to be?

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azabache88
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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby azabache88 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:39 am

Hello, John
First of all, thank you very much for your help!!!

Answering your question, I have the impression that the ME is an illusion, at least for me is a burden. I read about the awakening of this dream called ME, and I want to get rid of all the implications that this false ME takes over: fear, living in the past and the future but now in the now, all the effort attached to maintain the me, all the effort and energy invested in making the life work better, the terrible fear of death, frequent depressions...I guess that a geat amount of these fears are rooted in the assumption of a ME, all the time alert and in a defensive attitude.
Perhaps this desire of enlightment is a desire of the me, the desperate search for happiness and fulfillment
This seeking took me to read lots of books: Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, David Carse, Jeff Foster..., meditation, meetings of Tony Parsons, besides an education as christian...
My experience is that the ME is a sticky thing, the more you want to get ride of, the stronger it becomes. So this seems to be a path with no exit. But I suspect there is a solution, something I am overlooking... Thats my hope, at least.

Well, John, I hope this information about me can help.

Thank You very much,
Manuel

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby Empty Mirror » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:45 am

Hi Manuel
Hello, John
First of all, thank you very much for your help!!!
I'm very happy to walk through this investigation with you, but if you have any difficulty understanding my replies please say so, because we have found a Spanish speaking guide who could take over from me if you are having any difficulty with English.

Please let me know if you would prefer a Spanish speaking guide, but for now I will give you a reply, and ask you some questions. When answering these questions it's very important that you look only at direct experiential evidence, and that you do not report any 'thought stories' about direct experience. Only report purely what is experienced.
Answering your question, I have the impression that the ME is an illusion, at least for me is a burden. I read about the awakening of this dream called ME, and I want to get rid of all the implications that this false ME takes over: fear, living in the past and the future but now in the now, all the effort attached to maintain the me, all the effort and energy invested in making the life work better, the terrible fear of death, frequent depressions...
It's important not to expect anything to change. It's true that the fear of death is seen to be an illogical fear, and it's true that it's seen that there is nobody there to "make life work better", when the "I" is seen through. But it's not logical to expect that emotions like anxiety or sadness will be felt, and it's not logical to expect that thoughts about the past and future will stop happening. Can you see that if there is no "I" now, then there never was an "I", but emotions like sadness or anxiety have been happening anyway?
I guess that a geat amount of these fears are rooted in the assumption of a ME, all the time alert and in a defensive attitude.
Yes, all fears are rooted in the "I" thought, and have become a sort of conditioned reaction of thought. So when the "I" is seen through, even though the conditioned thought reactions continue to happen, and fearful thoughts can still arise, it's clear that these are just thoughts. So fear does sometimes still arise because of conditioning, but it's seen that the fearful thoughts belong to nobody. Can you see the difference between having no fear, and seeing that fear has no 'centre' ?
Perhaps this desire of enlightment is a desire of the me, the desperate search for happiness and fulfillment
This seeking took me to read lots of books: Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, David Carse, Jeff Foster..., meditation, meetings of Tony Parsons, besides an education as christian...
I like your choice of authors. David Carse and Jeff Foster in particular :)
My experience is that the ME is a sticky thing, the more you want to get ride of, the stronger it becomes. So this seems to be a path with no exit. But I suspect there is a solution, something I am overlooking... Thats my hope, at least.
Probably the biggest thing that causes the sense of a "me" is the idea that there is a thinker of thoughts, and therefore a doer of doing.

If you look at thoughts, do you find that you are the thinker of them? Are you able to stop all thoughts whenever you like? Are you able to decide what the next thought will be? Are you able to decide not to ever have any unhappy thoughts? Close your eyes, take a look, and tell me where thoughts seem to come from - without using anything that you've been told about where thoughts come from. Imagine that you were never told any stories about how thoughts are produced.

Again, if you are having any difficulty understanding my English, please let me know, and I'll ask a Spanish person to take over.

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby Empty Mirror » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:52 am

Hi manuel

An important correction to my post above:

When I said "But it's not logical to expect that emotions like anxiety or sadness will be felt", I meant to say: "But it's not logical to expect that emotions like anxiety or sadness will NOT be felt".

In other words, all emotions that are felt have been happening without an "I" all along. So you should not be expecting emotions to only be "positive" ones after the "I" idea is seen through. But you can expect to understand the impersonal nature of emotions, and you can learn to appreciate ALL emotions as deep and rich expressions of 'beingness'.

Emotions don't happen to somebody. They are just life expressing its richness.

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azabache88
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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby azabache88 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:38 pm

Hi, John
Thank you very much for your help
First,I can understand you very well. The difficculty comes when I have to express myself in English, nevertheless, I d like to keep on working with you.
I was observing the thoughts. i cant do anything in order to stop the thoughts. Thoughts invade my head with or without my permission, sometimes they are more obvious and other times more subtle. I am not capable of chooseing happy thoughts instead of sad thoughts, but in a certain way, I have the impression that I can do something in order to improve my positive thoughts and fight against negative ones, and I am the one who chooses to a certain point, to allow first ones and fight against s econd ones. When I was following your advice of watching the thoughts, I had the feeling that I was more in the effort to be aware of thoughts than in the proper thoughts. In other words, "I" was the one choosing to be aware. On the one hand it was Me and in the other hand there were the thoughts.
When I try to solve a problem I have the impression of what kind of thoughts I have to put together in order to find a solution. in that case the sense of ME is stronger than if I am not doing a deliberate effort in a certain direction.
To put it in a simpler way, sometimes I have the sensation of thoughts coming in a wild way, on their own, and sometimes I have the sensation of guiding or foceing the thoughts in a particular direction, so one way or other I assume there is a ME in control, although there are thoughts that the ME cant handle or control.
I think that is the root of the feeling of ME.
Despite that feeling, I admit the possibility of that ME being an illusion made up by the brain. Thats the reason of the seeking.
i keep on observing the thoughts and I will write yu again.
Thank you, John

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby Empty Mirror » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:12 am

Hi, John
Thank you very much for your help
First,I can understand you very well. The difficculty comes when I have to express myself in English, nevertheless, I d like to keep on working with you.
That's great, because I'm not having difficulty understanding you. If you have something that you feel unable to say in English, just type it in Spanish and I'll get a translation from a Spanish guide.
I was observing the thoughts. i cant do anything in order to stop the thoughts.
So if you can't stop them, then what is making them happen? Don't use any thought stories, or anything that you've been told, to answer this question. Answer only from direct experience.

When I say answer only from direct experience I mean that you're not allowed to use thought stories. There is a good reason for this. The reason is because by doing so you might discover that you are not the thinker of thoughts, and if that is true then obviously thought can not be trusted in a search for the truth.

Just so that you clearly understand what I mean, here is an example:

Sit in a chair and close your eyes. Now describe to yourself what you KNOW in the moment, and only what you know. That means look ONLY at true and direct experience, and not any thought stories about the experience.
Do you experience sitting in a chair?
Do you experience sitting?
Do you experience having a body?

An incorrect answer would be. I feel my butt on the chair and hear the sound of birds in the back yard, because you've added the story of a person's butt on a chair, and the story of birds in the back yard, and you haven't even mentioned the running comentary of thought that is also going on all the time.

You have to ignore the thought stories and describe ONLY direct experience.

If you do, you will find that direct experience does not tell you that you are sitting in a chair. Direct experience would be that you would feel pressure on your butt, but without thought (including memory thoughts) telling any story, all you can say is that there is sensation which is interpreted by thought to be coming from your butt. So in actual fact, from direct experiential evidence, and without using thought stories, you can not say that you are sitting on a chair, and you can not even say that you have a butt.

So the correct answer would be that there is just sensation that feels like pressure but can't be located, there's blackness, there are chirping sounds appearing in this blackness, and there are thoughts appearing out of nowhere that are telling a story about the direct experience, and then fading away into nowhere again.

Do you see the major difference between the two versions? One is looking at the thought story about what is being experienced, and the other is just looking at direct experience.

It's this direct experience that you need to stay focused on during this investigation.

What we're getting to here is NOT some kind of intellectual idea or psychological trick. We're talking about REALLY discovering that there REALLY AND TRULY is no "personal I".

It seems completely impossible, but as soon as it's clear, then it's completely obvious that there never was a personal "I". So stick with direct evidence and stay with the enquiry.

This is NOT a load of silly psychological trickery, it's something that has been realised throughout the ages and across all cultures, and it has very profound and amazing ramifications. It's also been realised by many completely on their own, and without ever having this pointed out to them, so it's not some sort of hypnosis.

We're looking to see whether there really is a thinker of thoughts.

It seems completely impossible that all of this thinking and doing can go on without anybody doing it, but it's not impossible at all. In dreams there is loads of apparent thinking and doing, but upon awakening it's completely clear that there was nobody really thinking and doing anything. It was all just a manifestation of consciousness.

Do you see that there is no particular logic that says that thoughts have to be thought by a thinker? The ONLY reason that you think it's logical is because thought says that it's logical.

Why does there HAVE to be a thinker? Why can't thought just appear in awareness without a thinker directing those thoughts? Can you answer those questions without relying on a thought story? Can answer it without relying on a thought story about it that was relayed to you by "another"?

Here's another question:
Do you have any direct experiential evidence that there is any awareness other than yours? Bear in mind that dream characters can appear to have their own awareness but upon awakening it's clear that none of them did. From direct experience, is there ever awareness anywhere but where you are?
Thoughts invade my head with or without my permission, sometimes they are more obvious and other times more subtle.
First of all the "invade my head" part is a "thought story". So what you really mean is that thoughts pop up without your permission, and that one of the thoughts is that some thoughts are obvious and some thoughts are subtle :-)
I am not capable of chooseing happy thoughts instead of sad thoughts, but in a certain way, I have the impression that I can do something in order to improve my positive thoughts and fight against negative ones, and I am the one who chooses to a certain point, to allow first ones and fight against s econd ones.
Ok, let's look at this. If you are not the thinker of some thoughts how can you be the thinker of other thoughts? Are there two thinkers? Don't use thought stories like "mind" and "subconscious" to answer the question because even the scientists will admit that those two words are just pure thought stories.
When I was following your advice of watching the thoughts, I had the feeling that I was more in the effort to be aware of thoughts than in the proper thoughts. In other words, "I" was the one choosing to be aware. On the one hand it was Me and in the other hand there were the thoughts.
Do you choose to be aware? Don't you find that awareness is just "always on"?

I think what you mean is that it seemed like someone had made a choice to be aware of thoughts but let's take a closer look at the direct experiential evidence.

There was the thought "I will try to be aware of thought", then thoughts popped up, and there was the thought, "there seems to be a me that is watching these thoughts". Yes, there is awareness of thought, but it is only thought that said "there seems to be a me". Aside from the thought that says this, did you find a "me" in the direct experiencing?

Could it not be possible that there is just "this" (a universe of people, planets, thoughts, and sensations) appearing in awareness?

And here's another question for you: Can you separate a thought from the awareness of it? If so where is the separation. Remember that direct evidence is all that you can use to answer the question.

And another question: Can you separate an image or a sound from the awareness of it?

[quote=""azabache88"]
When I try to solve a problem I have the impression of what kind of thoughts I have to put together in order to find a solution. in that case the sense of ME is stronger than if I am not doing a deliberate effort in a certain direction.[/quote]

In other words you are saying that when there is a lot of thought there is a much stronger sense of me. This is not surprising, because thought has made a foundation for itself with the concept of an "I".

[quote=""azabache88"]
To put it in a simpler way, sometimes I have the sensation of thoughts coming in a wild way, on their own, and sometimes I have the sensation of guiding or foceing the thoughts in a particular direction, [/quote]

What exactly is this thing that you call a sensation. Take another look and see whether or not that 'sensation' (which I say is not a 'sensation') is actually just a based purely on thought stories.

[quote=""azabache88"]
so one way or other I assume there is a ME in control, although there are thoughts that the ME cant handle or control.
I think that is the root of the feeling of ME. [/quote]

That is a GREAT observation Manuel!!! :-)

In fact the idea that you can control thoughts is the ONLY thing that makes you believe that there is a ME. But take a good look at the evidence again. Just close your eyes and see whether you are the one deciding what thought will come next. See whether you REALLY have control.

Do you see that it's not possible for there to be two thinkers? Do you see that if there are any thoughts that you can't control, and if you are unable to stop thoughts at will, then you can not POSSIBLY be the thinker of thoughts?

[quote=""azabache88"]
Despite that feeling, I admit the possibility of that ME being an illusion made up by the brain. Thats the reason of the seeking. [/quote]

Well I say that it's only a thought story that thought sare "made up in the brain". I say that the brain REACTS to thought, it does not create thought - but even that is just a thought story. I have no direct experiential evidence that the brain reacts to thought. In actual fact, it seems that thoughts and actions appear simultaneously, and that thought tells a story that the actions are caused by the thoughts.

What is your experience based on direct evidence?

[quote=""azabache88"]
i keep on observing the thoughts and I will write yu again.
Thank you, John[/quote]

It's my pleasure Manuel, I'm glad to go through this process with you :)

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azabache88
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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby azabache88 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:00 pm

Hi John:
i ve done the experiment you suggested. Yes, I can see that when I close my eyes while I am sitting there are sensations here (sounds, feelings) happening in a black space and I can see the difference between that pure sensations and the memory, the thoughts that tanslate these feelings into a story: I feel warm in the body, my left arm is itching, etc while i am having a sensation there is a proyected image of my body as if I were watching myself from outside, then it comes a union of the sensation with the mental image. So when thoughts, memories, imagination and feelings are attached one to each other, there is a sensation of "I am feeling this or that"
But also it is true that there can be the sensation of pain in this body, but there cannot be that sensation if pain is happening in other bodies, so there is a sensation of being limited by a body
I didnt read all your message but I did the exercise and I wanted to tell you my impresions.
I' ll write you again to tell you more things
Bye John

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby azabache88 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:25 pm

Hi again, John,

I thought a lot of times that the process of thinking can only function in the world of me, the world of the known, and it cant get rid of the Me. I believe that thinking cant lead me to liberation. Something else must happen to go out of this circle of Me.
You asked me
Do you have any direct experiential evidence that there is any awareness other than yours? Bear in mind that dream characters can appear to have their own awareness but upon awakening it's clear that none of them did. From direct experience, is there ever awareness anywhere but where you are?
This is a difficult question, I only can experience my awareness but I guess that other people experience awareness too
About thoughts, I have the feeling that the sense of Me is more than a thought, it is deeper than a thought, though i cant explain what is. Perhaps is the story of me made up by memories, habits, etc

I'll keep investigating...

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby Empty Mirror » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:40 pm

I'll wait for further feedback before I reply Manuel, but I can tell you that so far you are not reporting direct experience.Most of what you are reporting is pure thought stories.

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby Empty Mirror » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:05 pm

Hi Manuel

Can I ask you to answer each question in order, and only from direct evidence, all in one reply please.

It makes it easier to respond and to keep take the enquiry along a specific line.

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby azabache88 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:08 pm

Hi, John

I was thinking about what you said. I find it difficult to respond only by direct experience, I guess what I experience is contaminated by thoughts and memories.

What I can say is that when I close my eyes there are noises , feelings in the body, though the limits between inside and outside seem to be kind of blurred though I still have the feeling that there is a certain boundaries between me and not me. Its difficult to put aside the image of my body like watched from outside, I find difficult to put aside ideas, however, based on my experience I cant locate the Me, It is a kind of ghost or shadow I cant grasp.
I dont know what else to write because I feel there is a wall and I cant break it. I feel more pressure in my head, I dont know if it is due to an effort of thinking too much instead of experience,
I dont know, John, i am going for a walk to relax a bit and clear my mind
This question of the me is now in the foreground and I feel like hititing or banging against the strong walls of a prison.
I think it is possible There is no me, i cant find a me.
As far as awareness is concern, is awareness possible without a me. Is it possible i am confusing awareness with Me? I think I dont know what awareness is. It is some ind of space in which there is a noticing of thoughts, sounds, images
I dont know, John, I am confused

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby Empty Mirror » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:07 am

Hi Manuel
I was thinking about what you said. I find it difficult to respond only by direct experience, I guess what I experience is contaminated by thoughts and memories.
That's correct, it is very difficult to respond from pure direct experience because thought has formed a 'centre' around which it then forms further concepts. But there is awareness of all of these thoughts that pop up and form patterns and form concepts. Does that awareness rely on thought at all. When you're asked whether you are aware of this sentence, do you see that awareness was there before the question was even read? Do you see that awareness does not rely on thought for its existence?
What I can say is that when I close my eyes there are noises , feelings in the body, though the limits between inside and outside seem to be kind of blurred though I still have the feeling that there is a certain boundaries between me and not me.
There was a lot of thought story added to that report Manuel. You say "feelings in the body", but when you close your eyes, and don't use thought to make up any stories about sensations, you discover that without the thought story ("that sensation is in the body") there is just sensation, and it can't be located without thought giving it a location. Sensations, body images, and thoughts appear simultaneously in awareness, and thought tells a story about these sensations and images. Just for now, forget about the thought stories. Without ANY of those thought stories, can you find a boundary between inside and outside?
Its difficult to put aside the image of my body like watched from outside, I find difficult to put aside ideas, however, based on my experience I cant locate the Me, It is a kind of ghost or shadow I cant grasp.
Right, and that's because it's an idea only. It's an idea that has developed in thoughts but you are not the thinker of thoughts. I asked you a couple of questions at the end of my earlier (long) post about whether you were the thinker of thoughts. Have you investigated them yet?
I dont know what else to write because I feel there is a wall and I cant break it. I feel more pressure in my head, I dont know if it is due to an effort of thinking too much instead of experience,
I dont know, John, i am going for a walk to relax a bit and clear my mind
I understand that it can be a confusing process. When thought runs into its own dead-ends there is a sense of hitting a wall.
This question of the me is now in the foreground and I feel like hititing or banging against the strong walls of a prison.
I think it is possible There is no me, i cant find a me.
This is because there is no "me" to be found. "Me" and "I" are just concepts constructed by thought. It's very important that you investigate whether you are the thinker of those thoughts.
As far as awareness is concern, is awareness possible without a me.
It most certainly is. There has never been anything that was a real "me", there has only been a thought construct that thought has labelled "me". Awareness has never needed a "me". Awareness happens without any effort or "me" involved.
Is it possible i am confusing awareness with Me? I think I dont know what awareness is. It is some ind of space in which there is a noticing of thoughts, sounds, images
I dont know, John, I am confused
It can seem like a spaciousness and a sort of infinite emptiness, yes. And it seems as if a universe of thoughts, sensations, emotions, people and planets appears in this empty, aware "space", but there is no way to separate any of the emotions, sensations, planets, or people, from the awareness of them (from the space in which they appear). Just like you can't separate a thought from the awareness of it. So really there isn't awareness and the stuff that awareness is aware of, there is just "this" (all of it) and the awareness of it is a seamless part of "this".

Do you see that without thought stories (which are really just thoughts and concepts strung together and compounded), there is no need for an "I" in "this"? Can you see that there is NEVER a direct experience of an "I"?

Please report back with answers to the above questions, and answers to the questions about being the thinker of thoughts. Take your time, there is no pressure. You're doing very well so far :)

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby azabache88 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:21 pm

Hi, John,

About the inside and outside. The sense of Me exists, it is related to the limits of my body. On the other hand, I dont perceive myself into my body. I dont know what is happening into my arm, but now there is pain i my arm. I can see that without the story there is only pain, but it is difficult to get ride of the story, it is difficult not to locate the pain and stay only with the pure pain
I can see that from my perceptiompn now, specially if I close my eyes, the bundaries between inside and outside are difffcult to establish. I say it is difficult because i dont feel I am vanished into the whole, there is a sense of me somewhere, sort of centre or sense of HERE
I can see there is no direct experience of a me. And I believe that Me is a concept, a thought but that is not clearly seen. I dont know if it is kind of faith, or another thought with no more relevance than any other thought. And you talk about direct experience.
Talking about awareness, I see that awareness is awareness of something (colours, things, emotions sounds...), but I have a doubt, now I am aware of writing, but other times, for instance, If I am watching a good movie, There is watching a movie, but I am not necessarily aware of the fact that I am watching a movie, ther is only the movie. i dont know if this is nonsense or irrelevant. My question is: when I am conciously aware of a thought, isnt there a separation between something thatis aware and the thought or the sound? You say that awareness and the thought are inseparable, but I think I perceive some separation because sometImes I am aware of a thoght and other times thoughts are happening but i am not fully aware of them. i am kind of distracted??
Idont know if this is too intellectual and is leading me nowhere.
I dont forget the question if there is a thinker of thoughts. I believe that thoughts happen, but I think it is a second hand knowledge. i cant see it by myself.

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Re: Hello, i am looking for help

Postby azabache88 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:22 pm

Thank you very much, John, for yourhelp ad your patience. I really apreciate it!!!


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