Johnspayde, welcome here.

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jonspayde
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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby jonspayde » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:53 am

Hmmmm....it's true that when I consider everything as experience, it changes things. I think it is the same thing as remaining in the present moment--since past and future are clearly only thoughts. And yes, doership really is a thought also, an idea, not an immediate experience.

Doership is a mental construct...I don't think I could have an immediate experience of doership. I could only observe things happening and create the idea of doership to make them make sense. Which is what I was doing...("doing")

Hmmmmm...that really makes sense to me and corresponds with my experience if I look closely.

But isn't "everything happening by itself" also a mere idea?

It is astonishing how quickly thought turns experience into a story--of what caused it, where it is going, what it means. I see why you had me look around the room and watch how perception immediately became a story in my head.

And at every moment of perception/experience, I refer what I am seeing to some story or structure: Jon as entity, Jon as doer, bodymind as sponsor of the reality of Jon...these stories seem important when I consider them, and they are for ordinary life...but they can't possibly be reality itself because they are thoughts, ideas. Experience IS different, feels more real, and also inarticulate, pre-language. Of course it is, how could it not be? But the moment the mind produces an idea about experience, in language or not, well, it is just an idea.

I never noticed this idea-factory in operation before. I always let the idea form and then operated from there, as if the idea were a solid reality. An idea that is repeated and repeated (like "Jon") becomes quite precious and seemingly firm.

I feel a shift here...at least a small one...the distinction between experience and the story about experience is perfectly clear, like a diamond.

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Ilona
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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:38 am

Hahaha! Idea factory has been seen for what it is- an ongoing idea generator/ story teller :)

Great!

So is there an I that is in charge of life?
Was there ever?
Truth realized will set you free.
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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby jonspayde » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:08 pm

Nope. There couldn't be. The "I" doesn't even show up until it appears as an idea.

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:31 pm

sweet, now how would you answer these questions? please be 100% honest.

1) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.


2) How does it feel to see this?


3) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.


4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

much love
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com
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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby jonspayde » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:44 pm

1) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.
I'm not sure I can confidently call it an illusion yet--all I can really claim is that selfhood is an idea, and that I am beginning to grasp that ideas are of a very different order from whatever lies beneath them--call it "reality." I also grasp that ideas fill more of my mental space--all of it, really--than I realized. I guess I am not ready to call all ideas illusions. Perhaps there are accurate ideas, given to us by God for our guidance, I don't know. Selfhood might be a useful, true idea--but it doesn't seem like it can be a direct experience. It seems by nature to be only the result of idea-formation.

2) How does it feel to see as far as I can currently see? Fascinating. I feel no fear at all, but great curiosity about where this might lead. I begin to experience the idea of self AS an idea, and I immediately sense the difference between this self-idea and direct perception. How can I describe it? Direct perception is of particulars in and of the world; it doesn't have "time" or "space" for the selfhood-idea. The world feels both richer and more mysterious and unreachable because I intuit that no idea can grasp it fully, and the self-idea will diminish it by relating it to this idea-of-Jon. I should add that this feeling of clarity comes and goes; the me-idea takes over again very easily.

3) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.

All I can say so far is as above. The me-idea, as idea rather than "reality," feels insistent, rather heavy, a bit of a burden. And when it is seen I suspect it does become more insistent and heavier, to try to reassert itself. If it is an illusion, it is one that keeps returning again and again to a few themes, a few feelings (anxiety, inadequacy). When I can see the crack of light, the wedge, between it and what lies beneath it (reality? Non-idea?) it (the me-idea) goes a bit stale. And it no longer feel like the truth, or the whole truth anyway.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

Definitely your suggestion that I contrast direct perception with the idea of me or the doer. When I tried it I felt the absence of idea for just a second. I felt the gap between perception and the story about the perception. I quickly got that my whole "identity" was a story. Maybe a necessary story, but a story.

These perceptions feel very faint and frail right now; I easily lose them. I get that you can't "unsee" this--but habit is so strong.

Hug,

J

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:41 am

Good one John. I see you are stepping through and although not so sure yet that this is it. This IS IT!
Ideas are not illusions. Illusion is that there is someone having them ideas.

What is that I that you refer to in your writing? Where does it point to? Can it have ideas? Can it awaken?

Keep digging. Getting hot now.

Much love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com
Youtube https://youtube.com/c/ilonaciunaite

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby jonspayde » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:30 pm

Ilona, sitting here at my desk, I realized that there is no way that "I" can be anything other than an idea. And an idea can't have ideas. As hard as I try to tell myself that there is some entity beneath the idea of "I" that is the "real" I, what is actually going on is that another idea is simply being generated.

At this point I feel like I still want to reach that "real" I and cannot get there no matter how hard I try. I want to get to it not so much because I fear abandoning the "real I" as because I am so familiar with, so used to, the I-idea underlying everything in my world. It HAS to be real because it feels so real--that is what is in my head. ("my" head)

But the more I entertain the proposition that (at the very least) I can never see, know, contact, or truly observe this supposed "real I," the more I feel that this is the truth.

What are the consequences of continuing to entertain this proposition, feeling its truth? Hard to describe. A feeling of floating slightly. A sense of observing this self-idea being created rather than taking it for reality. A feeling of the nearness but unreachability of "reality." A sense that "reality" is also an idea.

Mild confusion, but not intense or scary confusion.

I also begin to understand what I have read in advaita writings--that all these ideas are just ideas, but somehow the witness to them--consciousness of them--is not a mere idea. But the moment I call this "my" consciousness, it becomes an idea.

Love,

J

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:10 pm

Yep, so close now.
One step away.
There is no real I, no higher self, no lower self, no big me, no little me other than stories about it.
We have been sold these ideas for years and for quite big money too. But you can keep looking till you die and never find that real me.

All there is- is this.
Now you just turn the attention to what is real. And see what is already obvious.

Is there an I in this picture? Was there ever?
Truth realized will set you free.
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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby jonspayde » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:02 pm

No, there never was. It was an idea that formed. It still forms. Uncanny to feel "myself" inhabiting this idea, but I am also feeling its breakup into an openness.

It's not dramatic as an experience, but it is new and fresh.

Before I began my dialogue with you I was worried about my fate as a religious person--someone who believes in God and is grateful to God. But you said--comfortingly--that only what was false would go away, not anything that is true.

What would become of my soul, I wondered, and that soul's relationship to God? And then I remembered something. I wrote this book about Christian belief several years ago, and two Catholic priests I talked to, one very liberal, one very conservative, said the same thing: "You cannot think about God. You can only be in God's presence." Translation: no idea about God can be true; you can only find God in this place where ideas are seen to be ideas, this place of presence, the present moment. The soul is also an idea--a beautiful one, just like "God." The reality, the absolute truth, can only be pointed at, or experienced in the moment, not captured for thought.

So I begin to feel that to truly love God is exactly to see where our ideas about ourselves and God end--and God, or reality, begins. It means that all such ideas as "God" and "soul" become relative things, just like "Jon" is relative (existing as idea but not as a reality). I become speechless and thoughtless in this place--and that is as it should be.

Hug

J

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:57 pm

yes. all relative, just words, ideas, stories. that which is can not be affected by belief. be it god, soul or anything else.
you may enjoy reading this thread :) http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=531

sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com
Youtube https://youtube.com/c/ilonaciunaite

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby jonspayde » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:43 am

Thanks, Ilona--I am slowly getting used to this perspective--very slowly. It still takes me some mental effort. I tell myself: "This feeling of Jon-as-real is just an idea. Just an idea. Remember that ideas are only ideas."

I don't feel particularly liberated, but I feel that I am dealing with the truth. The identification of Jon with reality is very strong. But you are right, the little worm of this truth is in there and I can't unthink it.

Unlike Lee, I have not felt oppressed by the idea of God. The idea of God in many ways rescued me from alcoholism and misery. But I am beginning to see that the ideas I had of God and soul, which I have been reluctant to let go, could maybe go without hurting the reality of God, which is unspeakable, unthinkable. That maybe I don't need to love God as Jon, that what used to think it was Jon can just be God's love. And "play" Jon in the world.

For years I have read, and thought I believed, that any idea of God is too small. Now I am beginning to live this; it is unfamiliar and a little disconcerting, but who knows? It may be the truth I need to crack my head open.

Love and gratitude,

J

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:14 am

Dear Jon. :)

Tell me please how do you feel jon? Where? With what senses? What makes Jon real?
Digg a bit here. ..

Does Jon exist in any shape or form in reality or can it be found only in thoughts about jon? Which means- same place as batman. And unicorns. And magic fairy dust.

Let me know what you find.
Sending love.
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com
Youtube https://youtube.com/c/ilonaciunaite

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby jonspayde » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:20 am

Over many years I have come to identify proprioception--the feeling of being in a body--with "jon," and that habit is still there. My breathing, sense of warmth of my body, sense of touch--I've organized it all as Jon for a long time. And there is just the mental habit--"Jon" seems to lie behind my thinking, doing, feeling, as a kind of ghost presence, hovering.

So any sense of detachment from "Jon" is still a mental effort. I have to remind myself. It is still a process of thinking. I know very well that "Jon" is as fictional as Batman or a literary character. Jon can absolutely only be found in thought about Jon! But that is not a regular experience for me yet. Of course in moments of self-forgetfulness I do have the experience of "no Jon"--absorption in work, sometimes meditation, etc.

Still, it is a big deal to get this even intellectually--I was far from it.

The world itself begins to feel to me like a pattern of thoughts, names, stories...imposed upon what I see and also upon the feeling of simple existence. "Jon" is just one of those thoughts, names, stories--but that ghost happens to haunt this one body.

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:56 am

Look at the feeling of being (verb), aliveness, awaring of sensations. Look right there and see if it's personal, is it still here if it's not labelled 'Jon'. What happens to the feeling if you label it batman? Does it change? Has that feeling got any indications of age, shape of body, what is it's location?
Truth realized will set you free.
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Youtube https://youtube.com/c/ilonaciunaite

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Re: Johnspayde, welcome here.

Postby Ilona » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:50 pm

How is it going Jon?
Truth realized will set you free.
http://ilonaciunaite.com
Youtube https://youtube.com/c/ilonaciunaite


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