Looking for a guide.

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kdvoren
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Looking for a guide.

Postby kdvoren » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:00 am

I'm brand new at this. I hope I'm doing it right. I want to be free. I assume that will be my experience if I let my experience go, and let it be the experience. I'm frightened to let the self go. I think it's who I am. I'm afraid I won't exist if I'm nobody. (I guess that's true). I'm tired of my life going around in circles. I want to get to the bottom of it. I think I'm ready.

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Empty Mirror » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:19 am

Hi kdvorian

My name is John, and I'll be your guide if you like.

Please tell me how you came to be on this website, and what you're expecting from this process.

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kdvoren
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby kdvoren » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:40 am

Hi John.
Thanks for answering me. I didn't even know someone had answered. My control panel showed 0 new messages, and yet I found yours.
Now i forget what you asked me. Sorry. I'm excited to get started. And I'm not usually excited. I do have high expectations. I hope THIS IS IT. I want to be free. I will be as serious as possible, because I am serious, and I think I finally want this more than anything else.

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Empty Mirror » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:37 pm

Hi kdvorian

I'm glad to walk you through this investigation.
I do have high expectations. I hope THIS IS IT. I want to be free.
Ok, what do you expect this freedom to be? What is it that you expect to be free from? What do you expect "IT" to be?
I will be as serious as possible, because I am serious, and I think I finally want this more than anything else.
I'm glad that you're serious because it's important that you do your very best to answer all questions as fully and honestly as possible.

I look forward to your reply :)

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kdvoren
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby kdvoren » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:47 pm

Hi John. I pressed "quick reply". I hope this works. My name is Ken, by the way. Perhaps I should change my user name.
I want to be free from incessant thoughts. I want to be free from anxiety. I worry a lot. I want to be free of my need to control everything. I want to be more in the flow and accept what comes.
My expectations of IT have changed over time. I used to want everything to be perfect, be easy, be without stress. I thought IT was a constant blissful state. Now I'm seeing that as unrealistic, and a denial of my human self. I'm wanting some balance between my body/mind and a more conscious, aware self.
You're probably going to ask for more precision about that. I will feel challenged by the inquiry.
I know it's a good idea to do this daily, but I am leaving town Friday morning, and won't be able to continue our dialogue till next Tuesday.
I look forward to your reply.
Thanks!
Ken

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kdvoren
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby kdvoren » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:22 pm

hi John. Are you still there? I'm not sure I'm getting my messages across.
Thanks
Ken

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kdvoren
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby kdvoren » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:24 pm

I sent messages under "reply" at the top and "QUICK REPLY" at the bottom I don't know which works.

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Empty Mirror » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:28 am

Hi Ken

Sorry about the slow reply. I also went away for a long weekend and was unable to get to a computer yesterday. I'm in Australia, so we have a time difference as well. I will have some questions waiting for you wnet you get back.

Enjoy your weekend :)

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kdvoren
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby kdvoren » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:07 am

Not back yet, but got internet access momentarily. Good to hear from you. Hope you're doing well in Australia. Do you live in the U.S.? I guess it hardly matters. I like your user name. Reminds me of a book I liked, "The Sacred Mirror", about non-dual psychotherapy. What greater gift can we give another than being an empty mirror for them, so we don't put our stuff on them, and they get to see themselves clearly.
I look forward to continuing our dialogue. Thanks John.

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Empty Mirror » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:34 am

hi Ken
I want to be free from incessant thoughts.
Can you see that this is an unrealistic expectation because if there always has been, so if there is no personal I now, then there never has been a personal I, but there is a constant stream of thought all of the time, so how could that change?

However it is possible to discover that you are not the thinker of thoughts, and that can free you from their 'grip'.
I want to be free from anxiety. I worry a lot.
Again, this is not a realistic expectation for much the same reason as above. Anxiety happens, but it is possible to see that anxiety is purely a thought production, so anxiety can happen, but it has no 'sting'.
I want to be free of my need to control everything. I want to be more in the flow and accept what comes.
This is an entirely realistic expectation. It is entirely possible to discover that you have never been in control of anything EVER, so it becomes quite clear that you have absolutely no choice but to "accept what comes". It becomes simple to accept the idea that there is a desire to change and to accept a desire being unfulfilled.
My expectations of IT have changed over time. I used to want everything to be perfect, be easy, be without stress. I thought IT was a constant blissful state. Now I'm seeing that as unrealistic, and a denial of my human self.
Well you do not have a "human self", but it is unrealistic because there has never been a 'personal I', and there has always been 'stress', and things haven't always been 'easy'. However it is possible to see that "stress" and "easy" are just ideas that have no effect on you.
I'm wanting some balance between my body/mind and a more conscious, aware self.
Well here you are assuming that you have a mind and that you have a body. So let's begin with the enquiry.

Firstly I'll just try to explain what we're trying to do here, and where we're going with this process.

We're trying to help you to discover that what you think of as subjectivity is deeply profound in nature. The experience of the colour red is not the same as the word red. The experience of love is not the same as the word love. And every single experience is accompanied by a stream of words and "thought commentary".

This thought commentary creates a sort of "veil of ideas" over direct experience, and at the same time tells a story that all experiences are 'centred' in a location. Thought tells a story of a 'mind'. There is no such thing as 'mind' and there is no such thing as "subconscious", even cognitive scientists will admit that 'mind' and 'subconscious' are nothing but concepts. Thought even tells stories about subjectivity, and gives it a "location", but thoughts CAN NOT BE TRUSTED.

These thoughts that create the "veil", and that tell a story about an "I" are NOT your thoughts. They only say that they are yours. We will go through the exercise of testing whether you're the thinker of thoughts, but for now you have to trust me, and do your very best to report ONLY direct experience, with as little thought story as possible.

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 reporting only thoughts that can be confirmed by direct experience.

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

Now let's get onto a few more questions.

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.

Remember that we are looking for DIRECT experience, not a "thought story".

And remember that if you are NOT the thinker of thoughts then thoughts can not be relied upon for the truth, and they also can not be stopped. For that reason there needs to be some intelligent discernment between which thoughts can be confirmed as truth by direct experiential evidence, and which ones are telling stories that can not be verified by such direct experiential evidence.

I've asked you a lot of questions here. Please take your time and try to answer all of them as honestly and accurately as possible.

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kdvoren
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby kdvoren » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:00 pm

Hi John.
Thanks for your reply.
Before I respond to the content, I have some technical questions.
How do I quote you in my response, the way you quoted me.
Is it true that lengthy responses might get lost? I read that somewhere.
If I send a reply, and then want to add more, can I reply again, even though it's to my own reply?
Thanks!
Ken

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Empty Mirror
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:34 am

Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Empty Mirror » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:01 pm

Hi Ken

Just press the quote button. You will see how the program structures the quoting function. You will see that you can also 'nest' quotes (i.e. have quotes within quotes).

As for long posts, if you're using Google chrome you should have no problem. I use Google chrome as a browser and I've never lost any text.

But no problem if you want to break your reply into a couple of posts either.

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Empty Mirror
Posts: 176
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Empty Mirror » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:06 am

Hi Ken

It may help you to watch this video before answering.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BM8aQTrHOo

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kdvoren
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Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby kdvoren » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:58 pm

Hi John.
I understand the difference between direct experience and the stories that veil them.
I don't think I'm the thinker, because I have no control over thoughts.
I have no idea where thoughts come from, and when I investigate, they seem to come from nowhere. The truthful answer is, I don't know.
I'm confused about the exercise about the hand. (From Enlightenment Quotes) Even though the hand moves by itself, it doesn't move all the time, and moves only upon "command". There seems to be some will or volition that decides to move the hand
What do you mean that subjectivity is deeply profound in nature?
Thanks
Ken

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Empty Mirror
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Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:34 am

Re: Looking for a guide.

Postby Empty Mirror » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:03 am

Hi Ken

Sorry about the slow reply. I can usually manage to reply on weekends but this weekend was another hectic one because it was my daughter's 21st birthday party.
I understand the difference between direct experience and the stories that veil them.
I don't think I'm the thinker, because I have no control over thoughts.
I have no idea where thoughts come from, and when I investigate, they seem to come from nowhere. The truthful answer is, I don't know.
This is a very important observation. Have you considered the ramifications of this? If you are not the thinker of thoughts then you can't be the doer of doing either, so how could you change anything that is happening?

It's very important to continue to refer back and check whether you have any control of thoughts if you are not clear on this.
I'm confused about the exercise about the hand. (From Enlightenment Quotes) Even though the hand moves by itself, it doesn't move all the time, and moves only upon "command".
But do you see that if you are not the thinker of thoughts then the thought to move the hand was just a thought that followed upon the thought about the exercise? The command happens, but if there is no thinker of thoughts then how can there be a doer of doing?
There seems to be some will or volition that decides to move the hand
Yes there does SEEM to be volition, but that is only because of the belief in the idea that there is a thinker of thoughts.

Sit down and try to experiment with the idea of free will. Try to prove free will to yourself, but bare in mind that you are already pretty clear about not being the thinker of thoughts. Check to see whether there is free will, or whether a thought just appears in response to the idea of doing the exercise. For example you may sit down and think about doing the exercise, and a thought may pop up which says "Do I have the free will to move my hand?" and in response another thought may pop up which says "I will choose to move my hand", and the hand may move.

When you have done the exercise please tell me whether any "free will" happens without thought being there first. Then keep checking whether you are the thinker of those thoughts, and if you can find any direct experiential evidence of being the director of thoughts please let me know.
What do you mean that subjectivity is deeply profound in nature?
I don't want to put the cart before the horse and give you the answers that you will see for yourself. I just wanted to encourage you to consider the nature of subjectivity a little closer for now.


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