Looking for a guide

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Milky23
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Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:49 am

Looking for a guide

Postby Milky23 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:52 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I'm guessing it means LU is focused on objective investigative strategies to make the determination that a "self" is not findable.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm looking for someone to help me realize (1) how to conclude that there must be /no/ self as a result of the self being "unknowable" and (2) the dichotomy between "direct experience" and any other experience (read: how experience could be anything other than subjective).

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to be asked questions that will lead, to have these questions form a path, that sort of stuff. A type of conversation that is driven by my answers/conclusions to the questions or statements said by a guide.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Not much, I'm not really religious or spiritual.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
8

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Xain
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:31 pm
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Wed May 03, 2017 9:21 pm

Hi Milky23

Welcome to LU - My name is Xain and I am a guide here.
Do you have a preferred name I can call you in our conversation, or will Milky be ok?

I read your introductory post.
Interesting approach - You almost seem to be throwing down a gauntlet :-)
What exactly are you looking for here and why?
I'm guessing it means LU is focused on objective investigative strategies to make the determination that a "self" is not findable
In a way.
We use the words 'me', 'self', 'I' in every day conversation. These words exist as concepts and we assume the words point to a 'real' inherently existing thing. The guidance is to show that they don't. There is no inherent self.
I'm looking for someone to help me realize (1) how to conclude that there must be /no/ self as a result of the self being "unknowable" and (2) the dichotomy between "direct experience" and any other experience (read: how experience could be anything other than subjective).
I don't use the term 'Direct Experience' in my guidance, although I don't have a problem with it.
It is just a phrase used to examine the experience present to us right here and now with as little mental interpretation as possible.

You used the word 'conclude' . . . this might refer to a mental grasp of something. That's not what this is about. It is not about achieving a new understanding or being given a new belief to hold. It is a realisation.
RIGHT NOW there is no inherent self. The only thing to do is to realise that.

What I CAN say is that if you are a thinker, or if you are deeply attached to any views including science, religion, metaphysical stuff etc, then realising this will be almost impossible. You need to be ready to examine your beliefs and have them challenged.
If you are not prepared for that, you will not gain anything here (and it will just be a battle / argument).

As for subject/object as you mention it, this may call for further guidance beyond what we offer here. We only address the subject 'I'.
We do not deconstruct subject/object duality and experience does not change. However, through the guidance it will be clear that the subject 'I' has no inherent existence. The 'self' assumed to be at the centre of experience is illusory.
Once this realisation is grasped, I can give you further pointers and guidance to deconstruct things further.
A type of conversation that is driven by my answers/conclusions to the questions or statements said by a guide.
Sure - But you will be doing all the work. :-)
The guidance here is simply an extension of your own self-inquiry but 'guided' by a friendly person (i.e. me! ;-) ) who can get you to look in the right areas, and maybe give you a few hints and tips if you get stuck.
Not much, I'm not really religious or spiritual.
Good, because I don't use spiritual or religious words or pointing in my guidance.
Have you done any background study on 'no self' at all? Followed any teachers? What is your interest springing from?

What expectations do you have about the end result of realising 'no self' - What do you expect to happen or how do you believe things will change (or not)?
Do you have any concerns or fears.
Do you have any other pertinent questions to ask that you'd like to address at this early stage?

Looking forward to hearing from you
Xain ♥

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Milky23
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Milky23 » Thu May 04, 2017 10:34 pm

Ah, I was beginning to think no one would respond!
Do you have a preferred name I can call you in our conversation, or will Milky be ok?
Milky is fine.
Have you done any background study on 'no self' at all? Followed any teachers? What is your interest springing from?
I have read the FAQ and I know a little bit about Anatta. My interest is springing from, well, obviously it goes against a lot of what most of us go through life thinking.
What expectations do you have about the end result of realising 'no self' - What do you expect to happen or how do you believe things will change (or not)?
I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps the weight of the world will be lifted off my shoulders, perhaps I will shrug and say "meh", or perhaps my perspective on my goings on will alter.
Do you have any concerns or fears.
None that I can think of.
Do you have any other pertinent questions to ask that you'd like to address at this early stage?
Not at the moment.

Thank you for your reply and I hope to hear from you soon.

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Xain
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Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Thu May 04, 2017 11:43 pm

Hi Milky

So right now the 'no self' realisation is just something you have an interest in simply because it's different to what the majority believe. Nothing more than that?
I have read the FAQ and I know a little bit about Anatta.
You have a background in Buddhism?
Perhaps you have an understanding of the ten fetters from the Pali canon?
Perhaps the weight of the world will be lifted off my shoulders, perhaps I will shrug and say "meh", or perhaps my perspective on my goings on will alter.
And you'd honestly be happy either way?

This investigation isn't a burning desire for you right now? (Not that it would be a show-stopper if it wasn't . . . but I'm not getting a lot from you as compared with what other people usually give as their reasoning for being here).

Xain ♥

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Milky23
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Milky23 » Fri May 05, 2017 8:54 pm

So right now the 'no self' realisation is just something you have an interest in simply because it's different to what the majority believe. Nothing more than that?
Majority view includes myself. It is very different to what I have lived believing, as well as all of the people around me.
You have a background in Buddhism?
Perhaps you have an understanding of the ten fetters from the Pali canon?
I don't have a terribly deep understanding of Buddhism, just bits and pieces here and there. I did not know about the ten fetters from the Pali Cannon, but I did just read the Wikipedia article about the four stages of enlightenment.
And you'd honestly be happy either way?
I am content either way.
This investigation isn't a burning desire for you right now?
I am highly interested, but I guess you are right in that I'm not showing much enthusiasm. I assure you I am interested, though!

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Xain
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Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Fri May 05, 2017 10:10 pm

Hi again Milky
I don't have a terribly deep understanding of Buddhism, just bits and pieces here and there. I did not know about the ten fetters from the Pali Cannon, but I did just read the Wikipedia article about the four stages of enlightenment.
it's just that you mentioned 'Anatta'. I'm happy to use the Buddhist terms and path or to completely leave it out and use a more modern approach. It's up to you.

You may have seen on the Wikipedia page:

> A Stream-enterer (Sotapanna) is free from:

1. Identity view
2. Attachment to rites and rituals
3. Doubt about the teachings


Well this is our territory.
Fetters 2 and 3 you can ignore for the moment, but I will say that if you break the first fetter (wrong identity view), then the next two break by themselves without further work.
I am highly interested, but I guess you are right in that I'm not showing much enthusiasm. I assure you I am interested, though!
Well I admire you being honest. Honesty is essential with this guidance - Honesty with me and yourself.
It's just that in my experience, the chance of realising what we are pointing to here is directly proportional to the amount of interest you have in realising it.

About expectations, you mentioned:
I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps the weight of the world will be lifted off my shoulders, perhaps I will shrug and say "meh", or perhaps my perspective on my goings on will alter.
Well the main goal of the guidance is to realise that there is no 'real I', no inherent self; That all along it has been an illusion caused by self-referencing thoughts and misperceptions . . . and get you to realise that so it is 100% clear.

Sure, you will probably have a new perspective on life.
Any other expectations you have about 'living life in a new way' or 'having weight lifted off me' must be put aside.
That not to say that life won't be better or more peaceful. It is just that these expectations are BY-PRODUCTS of the realisation, and what happens after cannot be estimated. Your own realisation will be completely unique.
This realisation is only one of many further realisations that could be possible, including further realisations that directly address mental suffering.

Experience does not change. You do not enter a 'new state'. You do not become 'special'.
All that will happen is that you will realise something. Something profound.

Do you have any more questions before launching?

Xain ♥

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Milky23
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Milky23 » Sat May 06, 2017 4:01 am

I'm happy to use the Buddhist terms and path or to completely leave it out and use a more modern approach. It's up to you.
I'm largely unfamiliar with specific Buddhist terms so a modern approach would be better.
Do you have any more questions before launching?
I do not, I believe I am ready to begin!

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Xain
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Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Sat May 06, 2017 9:45 am

Good - Ok.

Just a few ground rules before we begin.

> Be completely honest with me, and yourself.
> Most of the guidance I will ask you what you can FIND, not what you THINK might be going on.
If you find yourself analysing or thinking what the correct answer is, you are not answering from what you can find.
If you find yourself answering with what some non-dual teacher or scientist has told you is the correct answer, you are not answering from what you can find (you are just regurgitating beliefs).
> The more determined you are to see this through, the more likely you are to achieve it.
> Put aside all non-dual beliefs, spiritual, religious, scientific and medical knowledge. Approach this whole thing as simply as possible from basic principles, and answer personally from what appears true for you in the immediate moment.
> Please try to reply at least once per day - This maintains a momentum in the guiding which is important. If you know you won't be able to reply for a few days, just let me know beforehand - It's ok.


Let's begin by getting established what we are referring to when talk about 'I' or 'myself'.

As mentioned in the last reply (and I won't harp on about this) but the guidance isn't about fancy non-dual beliefs or spiritual stuff - This is very much 'grass roots' level - A really simple basic level of who or what you believe you are.

For example, do you truly believe that right now you are a person looking at a screen and reading words off it?
As simple as that. No fancy stuff. Does that ring true for you?

Perhaps 'I' refers to the body - The body is doing the seeing . . . the body is hearing sounds around it . . . the body is feeling the chair or seat that it is sat in. The body performs the sensing of the outside world.
Perhaps 'I' refers to a controller over the body. 'I move my arms', 'I move my hands when typing'.
Perhaps 'I' chooses and decides - 'I chose to begin guidance at LU', 'I will be deciding what to type in a reply to you'.
Perhaps 'I' thinks and experiences those thoughts - 'I am thinking what to say', 'I had an idea yesterday', 'Right now I am seeing an object in my imagination'.

Those are a few pointers which I believe most people would agree with. Maybe they ring true for you?
What do you think? Feel free to elaborate on any aspect if you need to.

Xain ♥

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Milky23
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Milky23 » Sun May 07, 2017 2:31 am

Most of the guidance I will ask you what you can FIND, not what you THINK might be going on.
If you find yourself analysing or thinking what the correct answer is, you are not answering from what you can find.
This then was my original question. What's the difference between finding and thinking?
Let's begin by getting established what we are referring to when talk about 'I' or 'myself'.
Is it's definition as a pronoun not sufficient?
For example, do you truly believe that right now you are a person looking at a screen and reading words off it?
As simple as that. No fancy stuff. Does that ring true for you?
Yes; I fall under the definition of a person and my laptop fits the definition of a screen.
What do you think? Feel free to elaborate on any aspect if you need to.
I think I am missing the difference between thinking and finding. How can you find but not think? At what point does it stop being finding and start to become thinking?

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Xain
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Location: Everywhere and Nowhere

Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Xain » Sun May 07, 2017 8:29 am

Is it's definition as a pronoun not sufficient?
No, but it's a perfect sufficient reply to show me your current level of interest in the guidance.
I think I am missing the difference between thinking and finding. How can you find but not think? At what point does it stop being finding and start to become thinking?
In front of you is an object on the ground, but it is covered over by a black piece of material.
You've been told that there is a snake under the material, so that's what you currently believe.
How do you establish your belief to be a fact?

Xain ♥

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Milky23
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Re: Looking for a guide

Postby Milky23 » Sun May 07, 2017 9:53 am

No
Why isn't it sufficient? The pronoun just means the doer or the "x"-er.
In front of you is an object on the ground, but it is covered over by a black piece of material.
You've been told that there is a snake under the material, so that's what you currently believe.
How do you establish your belief to be a fact?
Well I would investigate.
So presumptions are "thinking" and observation is "finding?"


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