readyforfreedom

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Space
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readyforfreedom

Postby Space » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:11 pm

Hi, come in. Say hi. Let's work this out.

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readyforfreedom
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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby readyforfreedom » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:48 pm

OK, let’s do this. I’ve been meaning to join in earlier but have been quite busy at work. I am ready to dive in with 100% honesty and hope I can find the time to post frequently. Thanks for all the PMs! There’s clearly a devoted group here eager to help.

I’ll start here. Like many others on here, I think that I have a strong intellectual understanding of the fact that there is no separate me doing the things I think I am doing. I understand the logic, but do not see this directly. How do I see (or how is it seen)?

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby Space » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:43 pm

Hi. Welcome! Glad you finally made it. :)

Could you begin please by describing to me something you did today? Try to remember in detail, particularly the environment, including but not limited to any papers or tools or technology that were present.

Try to describe this scene in the same way that you would describe what is present in your field of experience right now.

Next, we will look for an entity that was objectively and fully present in both that experience and the current one. Hold off on that inquiry until our next interaction.

I'm glad to be working with you.

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby readyforfreedom » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:03 pm

Ok, interesting. Not at all what I was expecting your first question to be! Thanks for taking the time to help me out. Ok, I had a faulty CD-rom drive on my computer today, so I’ll describe what I did with that.

As I recall, I was asked to provide a document to someone and I knew I had the document on a CD. (Describing as if happening now). I stand to locate the CD among the several dozen CD cases on the shelf above my desk. I rifle through the various cases thinking how annoyed I am that I have to do this. I find the CD and sit and reach to open the CD drive by pressing the button on the drive door. Nothing happens. I feel annoyed. I try again and the drive does not open. I feel frustrated. I don’t even want to be doing this and now I have to deal with this problem. I try the button one more time and it is just stuck. I lean in and see a small hole and think that I can open it by sticking a paper clip in. I find a paper clip, bend it and poke it in the hole. Success! I feel happier now. I reach for the CD and notice a crack in it. I anticipate a future problem that I’ll have to deal with. I drop the CD in the drawer and close it, but now it doesn’t stay closed. Frustration again. I tell myself that I solved the first problem, so I’ll solve this one too. I gave it a few more tries, including fiddling with the hole that was so helpful to me before. Nothing. I did a little google research to come up with other ideas. Nothing was too helpful. The computer is a laptop on a dock, so I decide to shut down, take the laptop off the dock and look at the drive more closely. After some poking and prodding, the drive door finally stayed closed. I re-docked the laptop and re-booted. I anticipated some issues with the cracked CD, but I was able to open the CD folder with no problem. I reached for the mouse to click through the folders to find the document I needed. I attached the document to an email, typed out a response and then used the mouse to hit send and off the email went. End of story.

Hopefully this is the kind of detail you’re looking for here.

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby Space » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:34 pm

Okay great. Let's remove all action and emotion from this scene and just look at the raw sensate experience of a room, a cd drive, many cds, a desk, a computer, a paper clip, and anything else in the room, like air, etc.

Having an objective obviously complicates the raw experience of reality. Without an objective the room and everything in it just sits there.

Could you describe it to me again like a painting using only your memory?

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby Space » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:49 pm

For example, there were cds. There was a desk. There was a computer. There was a mouse. There was sunlight in the room. There was the hum of computers. There was the sound of thoughts. The air was warm.

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby readyforfreedom » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:02 am

Okay great. Let's remove all action and emotion from this scene and just look at the raw sensate experience of a room, a cd drive, many cds, a desk, a computer, a paper clip, and anything else in the room, like air, etc.

Having an objective obviously complicates the raw experience of reality. Without an objective the room and everything in it just sits there.

Could you describe it to me again like a painting using only your memory?
Ok. There was a room with a desk and shelves above it. On the shelves were many CD cases. In one of those cases was a CD with a crack in it. On the desk below the shelf was a computer. There was a monitor on a stand, below was a laptop in a dock. On the left side of the laptop was a CD drawer with a button and a small hole. At the desk was a body with arms and hands attached. There were many papers on the desk and some pens, pencils and a paper clip. Many files on the floor throughout the office. Cool air and the hum of the a/c. A glass door that was closed, creating a quiet space. The monitor of the computer had many bright colors. The mouse was on a platform next to a keyboard. There was a window to the left with blinds that were half closed. A clock with an iphone docked in it....

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby Space » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:42 am

Cool. Now when you get a chance, take a look around outside and try to see it in the same way. There are trees. There is a road. The clouds are heavy. The wind just blew. A dog barked. The flowers are in their beds. You don't need to write this out to me, just reflect on how the room and the outdoors are different experiences.

But there is this single, seamless thing called reality or the world or life, yes? Although there are many different shapes it takes, although the door may be closed between the room and the outdoors, the door does not actually separate the outdoors from the room. It is just another object in reality that you pass by on the way to outdoors.

Now what do you feel when I say that there is actually only the play of this environment. That the personal life that has been superimposed and emphasized over the environment is just one way of interacting with it? The claim is: there is only the environment. There is only the world. You say you get this intellectually, so, Experientially, what sort of objections do you have to this? What doesn't make sense here? There is no YOUR LIFE. There is just the world. There is a room and there is an outdoors. There are objects sitting here and there that have been invested with meaning and that meaning determines how they're interacted with.

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby readyforfreedom » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:21 pm

just reflect on how the room and the outdoors are different experiences.
I had a nice walk to the train this morning in the rain. The room and outdoors are different experiences. A lot more activity going on outdoors, more dynamic, brighter, more alive. But, what seems to be in common is “me” in the center of it all. Both in the outdoor setting and in the room, there are things happening and they are known. I am the one that knows these things.

The claim is: there is only the environment. There is only the world. You say you get this intellectually, so, Experientially, what sort of objections do you have to this? What doesn't make sense here? There is no YOUR LIFE. There is just the world. There is a room and there is an outdoors. There are objects sitting here and there that have been invested with meaning and that meaning determines how they're interacted with.
I see in my second post above the tendency to superimpose my personal story onto the background of the reality that’s going on. This is interesting. It was an automatic response to your request that I describe something that happened. I understand that this is really just a habit, but what I don’t see is how to prevent this habit from arising. In my subsequent post, I was able to describe the same reality without emotions and actions. Ok, it is possible to do this, but there was an effort involved. I had to override the habit to superimpose, so to speak. So, there is just the world, just the environment in which things occur. My objection to this is that as this environment is observed (tree hear, dog barking there, etc). the observed perspective is unique. I sit here now and feel the fingers typing on the keyboard and see the letters appear on the computer screen. There is an intention to do this and it is known that it has occurred in this unique way. You do not know this uniqueness as I do. What I consider “I” or “me” is the one that uniquely knows this current experience. It is true that the meaning invested in the objects determine the interaction, but it feels as if “I” am the one that invested the meaning onto the objects. Of course, the meaning I think I’m investing onto them must come from prior conditioning, so in that sense it is automatic and not really done by a “me” sitting here, but I am the one the uniquely is able to know this. This is how I am seeing things now.

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby Space » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:28 pm

Its wonderful that you can see this habit to take a blank screen and fill it up with a story about yourself and your frustrations etc. Because this screen is also reality, we can say that you fill up reality with stories about yourself.

Try to see the screen as a blank slate. Nothing needs to be on it. This is a choice. Reality doesn't need a story imposed over it nor does it care if one is added.

The next question I have for you is very simple. How do you know reality is being observed? Is there anything you have ever seen that is watching things happen?

So part one: is it a thought, an assumption, that something is watching?

Part two: What have you ever seen that shows evidence of a separate observer?

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby readyforfreedom » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:32 pm

So part one: is it a thought, an assumption, that something is watching?
I’m really grappling with these questions. There is a tendency to just claim that it is obvious reality is observed because I see things, I hear things, I feel things, etc. Clearly this is circular logic and I need to dig deeper. In that sense, it is an assumption that something is watching. There is a tendency not to question this assumption. The more I try to dig deeper the stronger the resistance seems. But, there are memories of my life. I can recall certain things at will. (Or so it seems.) This implies that the event being recalled was observed at some point. In this sense, there are thoughts convincing me that something is watching. I recall a memory, there is a scene in my head and the central character is always me. Maybe a more accurate way of saying it is that there is always a central character in memories and the habit is to label the central character as me or I. I am now finding it annoying that this habit exists. I now think “I don’t want this habit to exist and control me” but I see no way to undo it and it is not at all obvious who the “I” is that wants to undo this. I’m assuming it is “me” but if it were really me then I would just stop this habit already.
Part two: What have you ever seen that shows evidence of a separate observer?
Again, the evidence is implied. I find my thoughts getting caught in circular reasoning when I try to honestly answer these questions. I keep coming back to the uniqueness point. There are things happening right now (seeing, hearing, feeling, etc.). There is a sense that a separate observer is somewhere behind my eyes and that the objects being seen, heard, felt, etc. are “over there”. Objects on my desk are seen and quickly thereafter, thoughts, memories, stories about those objects pop into existence. This object has a history. Memories support this claim. The memories are showing up somewhere behind the eyes. This gives the strong implication that the memories belong to the separate observer that appears to be behind the eyes as well. The body is in on this joke since it creates this apparent barrier between this stuff going on inside and the objects that are outside. I do not see a separate observer but it is as if everything that is going on is assuming there is one and behaving as if there is one.

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Re: Re: readyforfreedom

Postby Space » Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:16 am

I’m really grappling with these questions. There is a tendency to just claim that it is obvious reality is observed because I see things, I hear things, I feel things, etc. Clearly this is circular logic and I need to dig deeper.
Ah! But not too much deeper. Yes, things are seen. And reality is indeed observed. But what is observing it all? If you are inside your head, I think you would see the back of your eyeballs. Unless, as it might seem, some entity "you" is gazing through the eyes like a periscope, and listening through the ears and tasting through the mouth.

In that sense, it is an assumption that something is watching. There is a tendency not to question this assumption. The more I try to dig deeper the stronger the resistance seems.
Take a moment to look around again. You don't have to dig deep into this assumption. Just let the looking that is already happening try to observe its source, the "I." Observe the absence of an I. If a feeling arises, try to catch the thought that comes along with it. See if either the thought or the feeling are the ones looking. See if the thing that claims to look is actually what is looking. That is what we are after.

This might be a good time for me to ask you, what brought you here? What are you looking for and what do you expect will happen when you find it?
But, there are memories of my life. I can recall certain things at will. (Or so it seems.) This implies that the event being recalled was observed at some point.
Sure! Things are observed and stored in memory. That's pretty amazing. Bugs observe things. Lions observe things. But they probably don't have a sense of "I" behind their eyes. Observing and response just happens.
In this sense, there are thoughts convincing me that something is watching. I recall a memory, there is a scene in my head and the central character is always me. Maybe a more accurate way of saying it is that there is always a central character in memories and the habit is to label the central character as me or I. I am now finding it annoying that this habit exists. I now think “I don’t want this habit to exist and control me” but I see no way to undo it and it is not at all obvious who the “I” is that wants to undo this.
Good insight. The apparently singular "I" is actually divided against itself in many ways.

But more importantly, its okay that the thoughts are pretty convincing. If they weren't convincing, we wouldn't have to do this. So if you could just admire how convincing the thoughts are, but vow to move beyond their play, you'll be in good standing with them.
I’m assuming it is “me” but if it were really me then I would just stop this habit already.
Yeah. Its not you. Its like a ball rolling round a funnel. Have you seen those? The funnel is the mind, the ball is consciousness. Put into the funnel, the ball spins and spins and spins toward the hole in the center. (Or a quarter, like the ones at malls). We're trying to see that the ball has no choice, there's a pattern to the movement, it all circles around a single point, yet that point is an empty hole. We are going to drop through that hole here. Hehe.

Again, the evidence is implied. I find my thoughts getting caught in circular reasoning when I try to honestly answer these questions. I keep coming back to the uniqueness point.
Two people staring at a blank computer screen see the same screen. Asked to write something, each invents something unique. There is a unique story, but we want to see if there is a unique entity behind that story, inventing it. Or is it so that the inventor is reality itself, undivided, and so no where separate and detached?
There are things happening right now (seeing, hearing, feeling, etc.).
Sights. Sounds. Feelings. Yes. True.


There is a sense that a separate observer is somewhere behind my eyes and that the objects being seen, heard, felt, etc. are “over there”.

-Just a sense. You've never seen behind your eyes. So it is a sense. Yes. Very convincing. A feeling. But its a lie.
Objects on my desk are seen and quickly thereafter, thoughts, memories, stories about those objects pop into existence. This object has a history. Memories support this claim. The memories are showing up somewhere behind the eyes. This gives the strong implication that the memories belong to the separate observer that appears to be behind the eyes as well. The body is in on this joke since it creates this apparent barrier between this stuff going on inside and the objects that are outside. I do not see a separate observer but it is as if everything that is going on is assuming there is one and behaving as if there is one.
Haha! Good joke, imagination. Just as readily as a childs mind can imagine that her barbies are alive, with voices and personalities and agendas, the grown man's mind imagines up a self and gets absorbed into it like an imaginary game.

Be careful from now on. See if what you're writing supports this barbie doll world. No need to filter, just try to see if there is a real self. There is a body, but is there really a personality, or is it imagined into existence?

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby Space » Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:34 am

If everyone you work with decided one day that you were the king... and everyone started to address you as 'sire,' you would know that you are not what they say you are. You would know that they were either joking or deluded. That's how it is with the character called self. You can play king, but you know it's a game.

So, after responding to the first post please take ten minutes or so and just think about this. Are you the character that has been made up and acted out? Is there a me behind the eyeballs? Why do we say the self is illusory?

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Re: Re: readyforfreedom

Postby readyforfreedom » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:48 pm

Take a moment to look around again. You don't have to dig deep into this assumption. Just let the looking that is already happening try to observe its source, the "I." Observe the absence of an I. If a feeling arises, try to catch the thought that comes along with it. See if either the thought or the feeling are the ones looking. See if the thing that claims to look is actually what is looking. That is what we are after.
As I look around, there is no I that can be seen. Thoughts arise and the thoughts say that maybe I just haven't found the I yet. I'm not looking in the right place. Just because I haven't seen it yet doesn't mean it does not exist. The I is splitting again. There seem to be many little "I"s that all are convinced they are the one true I. But each of these little I's are thoughts that can be seen come and go. Who is seeing them come and go. There are layers and layers like an onion. There is an assumption that there is a central core to the onion, that the layers just stop at some point. I have not yet seen this stopping point though.
This might be a good time for me to ask you, what brought you here? What are you looking for and what do you expect will happen when you find it?
What brought me here is a sense that there is something not quite right with how life seems to be working. I am looking for freedom from this sense. I am looking for everything to make sense. Having investigated this type of thing through reading, meditation, etc. I tend to believe that the self is an illusion and that illusion can be seen through. Now, with effort, I can closely look and be somewhat convinced that this thing called I really is an illusion. I expect that there will be a shift after which no effort to see the illusion will be required. I expect that this effortlessness will come with a sense of relief and general well being.
But more importantly, its okay that the thoughts are pretty convincing. If they weren't convincing, we wouldn't have to do this. So if you could just admire how convincing the thoughts are, but vow to move beyond their play, you'll be in good standing with them.
Good point. The conviction that the thoughts are convincing is just another thought. An amazing process.
Yeah. Its not you. Its like a ball rolling round a funnel. Have you seen those? The funnel is the mind, the ball is consciousness. Put into the funnel, the ball spins and spins and spins toward the hole in the center. (Or a quarter, like the ones at malls). We're trying to see that the ball has no choice, there's a pattern to the movement, it all circles around a single point, yet that point is an empty hole. We are going to drop through that hole here. Hehe.
What happens when the ball drops down the hole? No choice, yes, the thoughts are occurring on their own. Goal for the day is to observe the pattern and play of the movement. Convincing, yes, but that's part of the play.
Be careful from now on. See if what you're writing supports this barbie doll world. No need to filter, just try to see if there is a real self. There is a body, but is there really a personality, or is it imagined into existence?
I just read what I typed above. Everything I type supports this fantasy world. The structure of language almost forces you to believe the fantasy. There is a body typing these words now. It appears that I am deciding what to type to convey a certain message that seems to be in my head, but it is happening so fast that I can't really say that I know the words that will come out before they come out. The words appear on the screen, the fingers typed the words, the mind overlays on top of it and takes credit for the words that have come out. The words reflect thoughts that are labeled as mine. It really is fascinating. I had no idea I would type this sentence when I started the paragraph, yet I am completely convinced that I came up with each of these words. There's the conviction again. It is like the last piece of the puzzle that solidifies this whole game into a separate I. This is fascinating.

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Re: readyforfreedom

Postby readyforfreedom » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:28 pm

If everyone you work with decided one day that you were the king... and everyone started to address you as 'sire,' you would know that you are not what they say you are. You would know that they were either joking or deluded. That's how it is with the character called self. You can play king, but you know it's a game.

So, after responding to the first post please take ten minutes or so and just think about this. Are you the character that has been made up and acted out? Is there a me behind the eyeballs? Why do we say the self is illusory?
With effort, I can see that the character is being made up, implied by thoughts, sensations, etc. It seems that I am the one putting in the effort and seeing this. If I see the character, the character must not be me. The illusion is that this process is not usually seen. It is glossed over and a self is assumed. It is still being assumed now because there is the thought that I am the one seeing this happening. It is the sense of effort that is still being clung to here. The sense of effort exists and the habit to label this as "my" effort still exists. I have an expectation that this habit will go away if I properly see through the illusion.


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