Seekin truth

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RoseyC
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Seekin truth

Postby RoseyC » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:27 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
The self is an illusion. What I think of as my self does not exist. There is a collection of sensations and memories that I have taken as a self.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm looking for help to break through the illusion of a self. I understand intellectually that there is no self but I'm not able to live it. I'm hoping for guidance by someone who has done this before and can point to the path.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect a challenge to my current way of thinking. It seems I am afraid to make that leap, however much I want to. I am hoping a guide will ask me the questions I need to look at and perhaps have been avoiding while doing this on my own.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I've done yoga, pranayama, and meditation since about 1970. About 10 years ago my kundalini became active in a gentle positive way. After about 5 years I had a very dark period of anger and depression. It lasted about 6 months. Now I barely feel the kundalini at all. Any psychic type manifestations are gone. I am a heavy reader and always have been. Most recently the books of Jed McKenna have led me here. While I've read many other books about non-duality, they just did not click. Lately I've had glimpses of "no self" or the experience of being all one.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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WesleySPK
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby WesleySPK » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:29 pm

Hi Rosey,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed :). My name is Wesley and I'm a guide here.

Thank you for writing and sharing. If you agree, I can guide you.
I expect a challenge to my current way of thinking.
In fact this will be much easier than that. I will ask you questions designed for you to look at your direct experience - what is seen/heard/smelled/tasted/ and touched. It's as easy as if I asked you to locate your shoe, and you tell me where it is, what it's characteristics are. Except we're going to be looking at every nook and cranny of your experience for where I/me is.
It seems I am afraid to make that leap
Also lucky for you no leaps or jumping necessary :). The lack of there being a separate self is already the case, like dropping the belief of Santa Claus it's just a matter of looking until the belief in a separate me is dropped. The proof is all around and in front of your face, it will just take a little looking.

I understand you're a heavy reader and it sounds that you have plenty of meditation experience. I would recommend that for the duration of this inquiry you set aside all books, videos and meditation even. If you're absolutely bent on meditating, perhaps yoga or just simple sitting and breathing without any goal/aim. This is about looking at your own experience, and no book/video/teacher is going to help with this; on the contrary it will likely inhibit progress. Does this sound possible? Hopefully, you will only do this inquiry once and so it's not forever just for the time it takes for our dialogue to finish.

Also I would recommend posting daily if possible. If things come up we can just let each other know, but in this way you will build momentum in your inquiry.

If everything sounds good to you, let's start.

Is there any considerable fear or resistance surrounding the inquiry? It will be normal at some point for fear to arise, and in many cases this means you are looking at exactly the right place. Don't fret in that case and please feel free to write about it and share as we can take a look at any fear or emotions that may arise.

If there is no fear, than you can jump to this question:
There is a collection of sensations and memories that I have taken as a self.
-The I that's taken these on and identified them as 'self', where is it?
-If you take a moment right now and notice experience, is there an "i/me" in it, other than thoughts about one? Just a quick 5-10 second look.

Looking forward to your answers,
Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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RoseyC
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby RoseyC » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:42 pm

Hi Wesley,

Thank you for taking the time do do this. I’m grateful for the opportunity here.

I can set aside books and videos. I will also forgo meditating for the duration. I will let you know if I can’t post daily.

There has been some fear and resistance. I think I have worked thru most of the fear during the last few days: I can’t lose something that never existed. Although I wonder how my life will change. Will I be able to take care of the people who depend on me? What if I go insane, become homeless, etc. Ii’s embarrassing to write some of this. I do think the fear is just about gone, tho.
The I that's taken these on and identified them as 'self', where is it?
-If you take a moment right now and notice experience, is there an "i/me" in it, other than thoughts about one? Just a quick 5-10 second look.
I can’t find a self. The closest thing I can see is the mind and I am starting to get that the mind is only a product of the brain (perception), programming, and years of conditioning. Thoughts in the mind? Or thoughts about the mind? Thoughts seem to appear in the mind. Clearly, the mind is not self.

There is a body and sensations. There are sights and sounds. There are experiences. None of these are a self. So, no, I can’t find a self.

I sense something very still at times behind all that.

Looking forward to your reply,
Rose

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WesleySPK
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby WesleySPK » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:08 pm

Hi Rosey,

Would you like me to call you Rosey?

It's my pleasure!
There has been some fear and resistance. I think I have worked thru most of the fear during the last few days: I can’t lose something that never existed. Although I wonder how my life will change. Will I be able to take care of the people who depend on me? What if I go insane, become homeless, etc. Ii’s embarrassing to write some of this. I do think the fear is just about gone, tho.
That's a good question. How do you think your life may change? If you imagine it, what will change? What will stay the same?

I appreciate you sharing even if it's embarrassing, I think many of us have had thoughts and worries such as those when diving into something like this. In reality, I think it's more realistic to say life will go on just as it has except you will no longer be believing in every 'I/me' thought.

I/me is like Santa Claus, it only ever existed as a thought. We can use it in language and it makes it almost seem as if it's real - and indeed we have nearly the duration of our life time of conditioning being put into this illusion. But it is a belief, a thought. It's just a matter of looking in your direct experience, in enough places, until you give up and say "a thought of me is just a thought, not a me".
I can’t find a self. The closest thing I can see is the mind and I am starting to get that the mind is only a product of the brain (perception), programming, and years of conditioning. Thoughts in the mind? Or thoughts about the mind? Thoughts seem to appear in the mind. Clearly, the mind is not self.
-You say you 'see' the mind, are you sure you see it?
-Where is the mind? In the brain? Outside of it?
-Where in the mind do thoughts appear? The left side? Center?
There is a body and sensations. There are sights and sounds. There are experiences. None of these are a self. So, no, I can’t find a self.
Good news, let's not call off the expedition yet though :)

Have a good day/evening,
Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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RoseyC
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby RoseyC » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:20 am

These are great questions!
That's a good question. How do you think your life may change? If you imagine it, what will change? What will stay the same?
I think what might change is the influence of emotions on whether or not I feel ok. At times it feels like one extreme to the other. I may be less likely to get caught up in drama - my own and others’. The external circumstances will still be here. My reaction to events might change. Less attachment. Less assuming responsibility for things that are not my responsibility alone. There are times I care too much and do too much. (“Is it a relationship or an addiction?” is what I ask myself.) I don’t know if this will change or not. If it does, and I become less attached it might be healthier for me. It might leave some other people wondering. I guess that can be handled in a gentle way.
-You say you 'see' the mind, are you sure you see it?
-Where is the mind? In the brain? Outside of it?
-Where in the mind do thoughts appear? The left side? Center?
This is good. Where is the mind? How can I answer that? What is the mind! This idea, the mind, is where I hit a wall. I always assumed that the mind was kind of like part of the soul interacting through the brain. Starting to realize there is no individual soul - at least on an intellectual level I get it.

So what exactly is the mind? It’s a running dialogue that never shuts up! If I sleep and dream, is that the mind functioning? Or is it the brain doing what it’s supposed to do? Probably the brain. If I have surgery and go under anesthesia, the the dialog shuts off while the brain continues to keep me alive. All I can say for sure is the mind is a word we use, much like “self”, to communicate. Then I want to say maybe the mind is an aspect of consciousness. That leads to another series of questions about defining and locating consciousness. However, when unconscious, as in surgery, the mind and consciousness disappear. So the mind is nothing. It is a thought, an idea. Consciousness is probably just another word for thoughts. I am “conscious” of something means I observe that with my brain.

Thoughts appear. They do not appear in the mind because the mind is just another thought. Do thoughts appear in the brain? If so, where? I can’t locate a thought even though it seems like they are inside my head. Does the brain only process the thoughts? (I should know this. I majored in psych lol.) Or does the brain perceive thoughts? No, doesn’t sound right. Where the heck do they come from? The thoughts are relevant at the time they appear. They automatically appear at the time needed. Turn left, put the soap in the washing machine, answer a question, etc. So where do they come from? What are they?

Thoughts are language. (I just had that thought.) OK. So language is something we use as a tool for communication. So thoughts are internalized language. Essentially we’re communicating with our own brains. Whew!

Looking forward to your reply.
Thank you for the great questions. This really helped.
You can call me Rose.

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WesleySPK
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby WesleySPK » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:03 am

Hi Rosey,

Busy day here I will write tomorrow

-Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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WesleySPK
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby WesleySPK » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:23 pm

Good Evening Rosie,

Thanks for your patience.
(“Is it a relationship or an addiction?
I can relate :)

Emotions can be effected in different ways after seeing through the illusion of I/me. However I would not expect to feel total relief from emotional problems, or total equilibrium. That there is a 'me' who feels emotions, to whom they happen to, who can control them, etc etc is one thing; that they are there and are overwhelming at times is another. When it's seen there's no little entity controlling things, emotions may or may not ease up or even change. In this way, I suggest to be open to whatever may happen.
This is good. Where is the mind? How can I answer that? What is the mind! This idea, the mind, is where I hit a wall. I always assumed that the mind was kind of like part of the soul interacting through the brain. Starting to realize there is no individual soul - at least on an intellectual level I get it.
Where do they interact? How does the interaction happen, what does it look like? (the mind and soul).
All I can say for sure is the mind is a word we use, much like “self”, to communicate. Then I want to say maybe the mind is an aspect of consciousness. That leads to another series of questions about defining and locating consciousness.
What is consciousness? As if I am a 6 year, can you explain to me how I (a 6 year old) can discover it?
I can’t locate a thought even though it seems like they are inside my head
What causes it to seem that thoughts are inside the head?

There are explanations for things, and then there is what's actually happening in this very moment. Try to focus on what's actually happening, what you see/hear/smell/taste/touch.

Let me know how it goes :)
Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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WesleySPK
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby WesleySPK » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:24 pm

Sorry I mispelled your name in my last post, *Rosey*
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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RoseyC
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby RoseyC » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:37 am

Hi Wesley,

I hope these answers make sense.
Where do they interact? How does the interaction happen, what does it look like? (the mind and soul).
The soul is something I learned about as a child in church. It was said to be a spirit, specific to each person, that survived after death. I now don’t think there is a soul like that. So I don’t know whether or not any part of our memory survives us. I’m just coming to these realizations of no self, no individual soul. I’m feeling more comfortable with it all. At first it was sad and a little frightening. Now it just is.
What is consciousness? As if I am a 6 year, can you explain to me how I (a 6 year old) can discover it?
Well I would say that it is the entire list of beliefs that a person has. Like things you just know and believe that make your personality. It includes things we never question that may or may not be actually true. It is one of those words that really has no meaning. It’s used a lot but does anyone really have a good idea what it is aside from a buzzword in the new age community.

Consciousness is not awareness. Consciousness is active - thoughts, beliefs, biases - while awareness is still. Consciousness does not exist outside the brain. Awareness just exists.
What causes it to seem that thoughts are inside the head?
Two reasons: the brain is in the head, and thoughts are in words.

Looking forward to your reply,
Rose

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WesleySPK
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby WesleySPK » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:12 am

Hi Rosey,
The soul is something I learned about as a child in church. It was said to be a spirit, specific to each person, that survived after death. I now don’t think there is a soul like that. So I don’t know whether or not any part of our memory survives us. I’m just coming to these realizations of no self, no individual soul. I’m feeling more comfortable with it all. At first it was sad and a little frightening. Now it just is.
Yes it can seem frightening at first, nothing to fear ;). Can you see a soul? Can you hear a soul? Touch one? Smell one?

If not through the senses, how does one experience "soul"?
Well I would say that it is the entire list of beliefs that a person has. Like things you just know and believe that make your personality. It includes things we never question that may or may not be actually true. It is one of those words that really has no meaning. It’s used a lot but does anyone really have a good idea what it is aside from a buzzword in the new age community.
Okay, so consciousness = beliefs? And what is 'true' or 'truth'? How does something become 'true' or 'untrue'?
Consciousness does not exist outside the brain. Awareness just exists.
It exists where than? Where does 'awareness' exist? What does it mean for something 'to exist'?
Two reasons: the brain is in the head, and thoughts are in words.
So thoughts happen in the brain then? But can you experience directly right now a thought happening in the brain? Or do you just hear a thought, or see an image of sorts?

Notice what is in your direct experience, through the senses here and now, and what is added by thought. It may take a little focus at first to really see what's assumed/coming from thought and what's coming from your senses but keep at it.

Hug,
Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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RoseyC
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby RoseyC » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:20 am

Hi Wesley,
Can you see a soul? Can you hear a soul? Touch one? Smell one?
No. None of the above.
If not through the senses, how does one experience “soul"?
I have never experienced soul.
Okay, so consciousness = beliefs? And what is 'true' or 'truth'? How does something become 'true' or 'untrue'?
I’ve been thinking more about this. In one sense yes as it is used by some religions/philosophies. In another meaning consciousness is what we perceive. My consciousness right now is what I see, hear, feel, smell, and taste at this moment. I think this is what you are asking about.

Not much, if anything is true besides I am, we are.
It exists where than? Where does 'awareness' exist? What does it mean for something 'to exist'?
Awareness is everywhere. To exist means that it is in awareness. There is one awareness. It is aware of everything. To exist means to be part of that awareness.
So thoughts happen in the brain then? But can you experience directly right now a thought happening in the brain? Or do you just hear a thought, or see an image of sorts?
I don’t know where thoughts come from. I hear or see them in the brain as far as I can tell. I hear actual words or see a scenario.
Notice what is in your direct experience, through the senses here and now, and what is added by thought. It may take a little focus at first to really see what's assumed/coming from thought and what's coming from your senses but keep at it.
In my direct experience are sensations that are registered with the senses. Shapes and colors, pressure on the skin, smells, sounds, and tastes. The things added by thoughts are things like names of objects and colors, judgements about good or bad as in smells and sounds/music, “dirt” on the “carpet” etc.

Until next time,
Have a great night/day!
Rose

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WesleySPK
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby WesleySPK » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:02 am

Hi Rosey,

Or do you prefer Rose? Thanks for your answers.
Not much, if anything is true besides I am, we are.
Being aware, as in a verb is very evident. But can you find an "I" in your experience right now, that is aware?
I hear or see them in the brain as far as I can tell
Take about 30 seconds, close your eyes and listen to thoughts. Where are they happening? Are they actually happening in the brain as a part of your experience, or do thoughts suggest they are in the brain?

For example: try this with sounds. Close your eyes and listen to sounds. Where do the sounds happen? Within listening, within those sounds do they actually have a location, or is the location added by thoughts?

Here's an exercise that may help you see the difference between raw sensory information, and what thought "adds" or "fills in the gaps". Cover an object out of your sight with your hand. Presumably you cannot hear/see/taste/touch this object (find something that doesn't make noise or smell perhaps). So, how is it known that the object is still there behind your hand? Does this come from your senses, or does thought 'fill in the gaps' with memory/logical assumptions?

Wishing you a lovely day as well,
Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei

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RoseyC
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby RoseyC » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:59 am

I will write tomorrow, Wesley.

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RoseyC
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby RoseyC » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:20 pm

Hi again,

These are interesting experiments. Simple and powerful. I think I'm getting it.
Being aware, as in a verb is very evident. But can you find an "I" in your experience right now, that is aware?
No, there is no “I” that is aware. Awareness is.
Take about 30 seconds, close your eyes and listen to thoughts. Where are they happening? Are they actually happening in the brain as a part of your experience, or do thoughts suggest they are in the brain?
It doesn’t seem like thoughts happen in the brain, however, the brain seems to pick them up - like an antenna maybe. On the other hand, can thoughts exist without the brain processing them? Or do they just float around?
For example: try this with sounds. Close your eyes and listen to sounds. Where do the sounds happen? Within listening, within those sounds do they actually have a location, or is the location added by thoughts?
There is a whirring sound (a fan running). The sound is just a sound. My thoughts tell me where the sound comes from. Without thoughts, it would just be a sound with an unknown location.
Here's an exercise that may help you see the difference between raw sensory information, and what thought "adds" or "fills in the gaps". Cover an object out of your sight with your hand. Presumably you cannot hear/see/taste/touch this object (find something that doesn't make noise or smell perhaps). So, how is it known that the object is still there behind your hand? Does this come from your senses, or does thought 'fill in the gaps' with memory/logical assumptions?
There is a man sitting across the room. If I put my hand in front of him I must rely on thoughts, memory, and assumptions to tell me that he is still there.

So what you are getting at is that pure sensory data exists and all the rest is a story we tell ourselves based on our conditioning and learning?

Looking forward to your reply,
Rose (Rosey is fine!)

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WesleySPK
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Re: Seekin truth

Postby WesleySPK » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:42 pm

Hi Rosey,

Glad you're finding the exercises useful!
Awareness is.
Is awareness a thing? Do you feel yourself to be awareness?
It doesn’t seem like thoughts happen in the brain, however, the brain seems to pick them up - like an antenna maybe. On the other hand, can thoughts exist without the brain processing them? Or do they just float around?
If the brain picks them up, where does it pick them up? Without thoughts, how is 'brain' experienced right now?
There is a whirring sound (a fan running). The sound is just a sound. My thoughts tell me where the sound comes from. Without thoughts, it would just be a sound with an unknown location.
Bingo! Without thoughts. Here and there throughout your day, perhaps you can play with this and just see what is from your senses and what is from thoughts. Try and differentiate these two.
There is a man sitting across the room. If I put my hand in front of him I must rely on thoughts, memory, and assumptions to tell me that he is still there.

So what you are getting at is that pure sensory data exists and all the rest is a story we tell ourselves based on our conditioning and learning?
Well seen! Well, why don't you try to answer this - Is thought content real? Is there any single thing that exists in thoughts that is as real as what can be perceived through the senses?

For example try this: close your eyes and as vividly possible imagine a cup of water. What does it look like? Is the water cold? Will it be refreshing when you drink it, will it quench your thirst? What will it feel like when the water touches your lips and goes down your throat? Now open your eyes, and if possible go take a drink of water from a cup.

Hug,
Wesley
"See with your eyes, hear with your ears, nothing is hidden."-Zen Master Tenkei


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