How does one still live without self?

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iknownothing
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How does one still live without self?

Postby iknownothing » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:09 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
There is nothing dividing you from God/Universe/Universal energy. There is no "self" as we see ourselves, it's just programming that we've been given over our lifetime (and past lives). There is just God. We as humans are all God. My dog is God, there is no good or bad, duality doesn't exist. It's just unified energy.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm really struggling with the "how" - how do I make choices from a place of no self? If there's no meaning, no understanding, really nothing related to me, how do I "exist"? I'm still here, still having to wake up and feed my dog, go to work, I still chose to not blow all of my money at a casino and take on a bunch of debt or rob a bank, why? If there are no good or bad decisions, I really do have a choice then? What compels me not to make other choices? I don't even think I ultimately have a choice. Ultimately, God chooses. Ultimately, choice itself is an illusion. And then what? I'm lost and confused.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I have a background in philosophy and have read lots of psychology/spirituality books. My mental capacity to talk through all of this and develop an awareness is robust. Yet applying it, really taking in the ACIM text and grasping it into my system has become akin to an infant attempting to stand for the first time - I keep falling over, failing around, I have no idea what I'm suppose to do, why I'm doing it, or what the outcome even looks like. I read the text, I can see what it's getting at but generalizing it into my life is a work in progress. I'm hoping to find a practitioner who also thinks way too much and yet has still managed to find a way to stop thinking, to stop meaning making.

A lot of that is trying to answer the question, what happens when there is no "I"? How do I make choices? What compels me to be responsible? Fulfill my life's obligations? If I'm just God or even nothing, if there is no me, then what?

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Lots and lots of reading, traditional Western psychotherapy, Christian-oriented prayer/meditation, Artist's Way, A Course in Miracles. I align very closely with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. I pray regularly and will occasionally meditate but much prefer prayer. I have relationships with Angels and believe that energy is found in everything. I seek to further develop my relationship with God.

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

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Anastacia42
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:22 pm

Hi.

I am considering offering to be your guide, but I'm not sure whether it will work for you. I, too, was A Course in Miracles student for 25 years. Since then I have totally dropped the God concept. Sam Harris is an author I resonate with quite a bit. He wrote a book called Free Willl that might help with some of your choice questions.

God/no god really doesn't matter in our Direct Pointing here. We see no angels in Direct Experience.

There is only seeing. hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling & thought arising, (but NOT the content of thought. That is made up.) This is not philosophy. No thinking is required. In fact, it gets in the way.

Are you moved to let me guide you, knowing all of this?

If not, there are many other guides here.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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iknownothing
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby iknownothing » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:00 pm

Hi Stacy - Thank you for your reply and your information. This concept resonates:
"There is only seeing. hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling & thought arising, (but NOT the content of thought. That is made up.) This is not philosophy. No thinking is required. In fact, it gets in the way."

But the "who" is seeing, hearing, feeling, etc. for me is God. I am God, there is no separate God. That's about how far I've gotten now. Still trying to work out the "who I pray to" which is God, but God is me. And I'm still stuck on prayer being thoughts/feelings and therefore not of meaning. I'm on Lesson 21 of ACIM right now and I feel like every lesson something shifts more.

Anyways, ACIM is my core text right now and it feels right. I'm not sure if working within that text is still a fit for you.

Humbly,
iknownothing

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iknownothing
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby iknownothing » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:19 pm

I looked at what I wrote over again and realized that even the concept of I or God, or whatever, can also be summed up by nothing more than synapses firing and chemicals? So maybe none of that really matters anyway.

I don't know anything. ACIM has been most helpful thus far in helping me accept and open to not knowing anything. God is kinda my jam but I'm open to seeing that God is nothing more then a creation of sensations.

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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:05 am

Hi,

I understand. I didn't do ACIM for 25 years for nothing.

We can try & see how this goes. If you'd like to do that...


If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now and just confirm to me that you have read it. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Also please read “Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU. Here is the link.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

Some housekeeping guidelines:

1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please.

2. There is no one judging answers given, so please be100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration.

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done, it will save time in the long run!

Please use the Quote function to show what you are replying to.

Instructions & a video are at the top of The Gate forum.

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration. In your own words (not from actual experience, but just honest answers), could you please answer the 4 following questions:

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing
?

Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer all questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions individually, remembering to use the quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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iknownothing
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby iknownothing » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:05 pm

If you haven't already read the disclaimer, please read it now and just confirm to me that you have read it. Here is the link.
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/
Also please read “Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU. Here is the link.

Thank you, yes, I would like to see how this goes. I have read the disclaimer and the FAQ section that you linked to.
How will life change?

I don't think life will change. Life is just how it is.
How will you change?

My perspective and view will change - I will see life differently.
What will be different?

Everything and nothing? Life will continue playing out however it will play out but how I see those events will change. Rather then applying my stories and meanings, I'll grow in accepting that life is not mine. Life just is.
What is missing?

Nothing, everything I have is what I am to have, ergo, nothing is missing.

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Anastacia42
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:53 pm

Hi,

Very good. By the way, what would you like me to call you?

Next question:

What comes up when is read that there is no self, never has been, never will be. That this "self" is just a made-up story, a fiction?

Thanks!
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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iknownothing
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby iknownothing » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:36 pm

I just realized I got a reply but no email, I’m sorry for not writing sooner! I will reply more later today.

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Anastacia42
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:02 pm

Hi

Thank you. Go to the top of this page & click the wrench. Make sure you are subscribed to this thread. If you ARE it will say, "unsubscribe topic."

Looking forward to your replies.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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iknownothing
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby iknownothing » Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:59 pm

You can call me Catherine :-)

Now to answer your question (and it didn't look like I was subscribed but now I am, thank you for the tip)
What comes up when is read that there is no self, never has been, never will be. That this "self" is just a made-up story, a fiction?
That all the pain and suffering I've had in my life serves no purpose. The loss, grief, anger, frustration, they aren't propelling me to some higher awareness or purpose, or giving me "new clarity". There is no self experiencing these emotions and therefore no self to be changed by them. The emotions just are, they lack meaning and insight. And then there's this sense of real loss: who am I if I'm not really here? I feel that there is something beyond the "me" who experiences. And then it goes back to the: well if you aren't here, never were, what's the point in carrying on? what's the point of continuing to suffer and feel all these yucky emotions? Make painfully hard decisions? If there's nothing else, if this just is, there's no "self" to improve well then fuck, I give up.

Then I ask myself the question, the need to improve my "self", why has that been a barometer of purpose? What if I am exactly how I am suppose to be right now, that I have everything I need and I don't need a self to improve or even to exist. That the stories even of all just are that - stories to which I react needlessly too. Which feels freeing. And then I get hit with, well how do you make decisions? Hard decisions - like life changing decisions when there's no self to improve, no higher purpose, there's no right or wrong way to decide, like how am I suppose to choose when I know there's actually no choice.

I feel like I'm caught between these two worlds - one that feels this deep sense of space and another one that finds every possible way to pull me back into the stories.

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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:21 pm

Hi Catherine,

Yes, that's what most of us were experiencing before we could actually SEE what is. It is also true, as you have probably heard, that once seen, this cannot be unseen. Everything changes. ACIM mentions "light episodes" somewhere. I may use ACIM quotes to help you relate, although that is not what is taught here.

Thank you for a good descriptive answer.
I feel like I'm caught between these two worlds - one that feels this deep sense of space and another one that finds every possible way to pull me back into the stories.
Exactly. This is one good description of duality. It's a push-me pull-you game that is nothing but stressful.

So this is a guideline about how to LOOK, as opposed to think about each exercise from here on:

Colored Socks

There is a big difference between knowing that there is nothing to give up and seeing that there is nothing to give up.

Here is an example to illustrate the difference:

If I ask you what color socks you are wearing right now you have two ways to come up with an answer:

• You can have a think about it, you can think back to this morning and try to remember putting your socks on, and you can probably tell me what color you think they are.

• Alternatively, you can take a quick look at your socks and tell me what color they actually are!

Hopefully you would agree that you can only be 100% certain by looking.

For the purpose of our dialogue together, it is going to be very important that you are clear about this difference. Knowing is about knowledge which is all in the mind and we are not interested in that. We are only interested in looking at and seeing what is actually going on in your present moment to moment experience. We are only interested in your direct experience in the moment.

Please let me know if you are clear about this or if you would like any further clarification.


Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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iknownothing
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby iknownothing » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:42 pm

Hi Stacy,

I believe I follow... so in the exercise from before:

What comes up when is read that there is no self, never has been, never will be. That this "self" is just a made-up story, a fiction?

The "seeing" is observing my feelings in the present moment of reading that quote and processing it?

Seeing the thoughts and stories, feeling the emotions of grief, sadness, anger, frustration?

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Anastacia42
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:23 am

Hi,

You're partly right. We can only SEE in the present moment. But emotions are only Sensation plus content of thought.

Let's keep going with the exercises. Each builds on the previous one.


Direct Experience - Labeling Daily Activities

Here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply color/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/color
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all Actual/Direct Experience) and report back In a few lists exactly like the one above.

Name only Actual Experience.

Actual Experience is

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (sensation, not emotion)
Tasting
Touching
Thought arising (but not the content of thought.)


Much love,
~ Stacy
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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iknownothing
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:05 am

Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby iknownothing » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:14 pm

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all Actual/Direct Experience) and report back In a few lists exactly like the one above.
Actual Experience is

Hearing = hear grunts, snorts, weird noises
Seeing = look down, see my dog lying on the floor
Touching = reach down and put my hand on him
Feeling (sensation, not emotion) = feel his body tense
Thought arising (but not the content of thought.) = thoughts come up

Seeing = see ice cream pop in freezer
Touching = grab ice cream pop out of freezer
Hearing = sound of wrapper opening
Feeling (sensation, not emotion) = mouth is moist, feel the crack of the chocolate as a bite into it
Tasting = taste sweet and salty
Thought arising (but not the content of thought.) = lots of thoughts

Hearing = door bell rings
Seeing = see stranger at door
Touching = touch the door lock and open it
Feeling (sensation, not emotion) = discomfort, chest tightens
Thought arising (but not the content of thought.) = lots of thoughts

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Anastacia42
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Re: How does one still live without self?

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:57 pm

Hi,

Thank you. Very close.

Do you see how reversing the order changes the meaning? Hearing is not defined by the things you listed. Seeing is not defined by your dog, for example.

Please re-do the exercise in the order of the example.
Thought arising (but not the content of thought.) = lots of thoughts
This one particular doesn't have any meaning. You need to name the thoughts and see if they are simply thought arising, please.

Try to give this your full attention and be very present with it. We are learning to look at things in a totally different way.


Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris


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