Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

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GJG
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Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby GJG » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:38 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I've had a few experiences during my life time in which 'I' seemed to have disappeared. My current understanding is mainly intellectual. There is no doubt in my mind all is One, and the 'me' I assume to be (self) is a construct of the mind. I just somehow know deep inside the separation I experience is an illusion.

What are you looking for at LU?
To go behond intellectual understanding and get back to experiencing life as it is. To me this is Thruth/Reality I am looking for all my life and vaguely remember from my early childhood. I've read lots of books but feel like reading more is basically pointless. Feeling like swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond while there's an endless ocean out there. Hoping LU can support me in my quest.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Getting the right questions to finally pop the bubble of 'me'. I have the feeling I'm stuck and it that it will be (very) difficult to get 'it' in my current approach. I seem not to be able to go behond my (mental) borders and believe LU guided conversations will help me with just doing that. Probabaly there are some expectations involved about getting something out of this for 'me'. Like being able to escape emotional pain. I expect the conversations may give me more insights in these expectations.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I've been reading books on Buddism, non-duality teachings, meta-physics, quantum physics. The reading interest has faded over the last decade as it became more clear to me books won't give me the understanding I'm looking for. I've visited a few (non-duality) teachers in Europe (Mooji) and India (Ramesh Balsekar). I practice self-inquiry based on the teachings of Ramana Maharshi (Who am I) on a daily base. On YouTube I watch non-duality related video's.

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

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Ilona
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby Ilona » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:02 pm

Hi GJG, Welcome to the forum! Glad you made it here.
We can have a chat and see where it takes you.

So what are those expectations?
What should change?
What you hope that is going to be different?

Write as fully and honestly as you can.

Much love

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GJG
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby GJG » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:14 pm

Dear Ilona, thank you very much for your reply!
My expectations are to be free of suffering, free from pain, sadness and misery. I remember as I child I somehow did not really want to be 'here' (this planet, this life). I didn't belong here. Had fantasies of being dropped here by aliens. Kind of felt like an alien too. At early age I had fantasies and daydreams about being invulnerable. I thought of my myself becoming invulnerable by being so hard even bullets would bounce of of me, or become so transparent I could not be hurt because everything (bullets) would go straight through me. I couldn't really decide for a long time but I guess at some point I decided to become the 'hard' type and as a young adult I joined military. During that time I found it was not 'me', still felt like an alien inside and the toughness was only a thin fragile shell. Not fitting the role I was playing. So yeah, I guess becoming invulnerable is something that's at the fundamentals of my expectations. Of course life has taught me pain and suffering. In a way I've tried to get rid of it by escaping into spirituality. Non-duality (Advaita Vedanta) offers my intellect a great way to escape because I am the Observer, right? And nothing can touch me, yeh, sure, dream on GJ. At one point I came across a book of J. Krishnamurti called: "The impossible question", the only thing I remember of the book is one single sentence that struck me hard: "The observer is the observed". I knew this was/is true but did not understand. Now I've kind of modeled and understand it must be true from the point of view of quantum physics, biology, etc. That has been my process so far. I think I know, kind of understand but do not appear to see it clear. Just a big mind bubble but nothing real. I am practicing the "is there really a me" and find zip. Which of course is the truth but I do not seem to experience this truth. Deep down inside there's still alittle voice saying: "that's all crap, of course there is a 'me', you are fooling yourself". So that's were I'm at now. In a big (mind) mess I do not seem to be able to get out of. So that again is an expectation, to get out of this mind mess, to finally experience life as it is, see the Truth. Nice words but more expectations. So what would change? Expectations: I will finally be free, nothing can hurt me anymore, I know the truth, ... and so many "I", "I", "I" ... more. It's driving 'me' crazy sometimes. Hope I've answered your questions for now.
Love,
Geert Jan

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Ilona
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby Ilona » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:18 am

Hi Geert,
Thank you for writing all this down.
My expectations are to be free of suffering, free from pain, sadness and misery.
This is what brought you here.
And it is not what you expect. Quite the opposite.
Freedom is not from sadness or misery. Freedom is to feel all sensations, without being in conflict with them. So sadness comes. Is it wrong to feel sadness? Is it something wrong with you to feel sadness? What if you allow sadness to be here and welcome it instead of pushing it away? You are free to feel this sadness and it is free to come and go. That’s freedom. It comes and goes anyway. You can try to push it away, get distracted and suppress it, feel fear about it, guilt, shame, or you can welcome it and wonder- what is this sensation? What does it want? Where is it coming from? Is it ok to feel it? What was it before it became sadness?

This process is about allowing all. Not becoming like a wall that has no sensations, no emotion, but becoming soft, dissolving protections, being intimate with life’s experiences.

Experiencing life as it is is meeting what is head on. It’s already here. It feels as it feels. It’s ok to feel what is here. Stop running, stop looking for happy ever after, it’s a dream. Nothing needs to be fixed. I want and I don’t want, this should be different- these thoughts are here for you to see — it’s resistance to what is. And even that is ok to feel.

The question here is: do you want the truth no matter what or do you want to experience only nice feelings?

Love.

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GJG
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby GJG » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:17 am

Thanks Ilona I keep on reading your reply. You’ve asked a number of questions and I’m soaking them in now. I will take time to sit down with them more.

There is a part of this ‘allowing of life to happen’ that has been confusing me for many years. It’s about ‘allowing’ of thoughts. This is sometimes so nicely described as ‘thoughts are just like clouds just passing by in the clear sky of consciousness which you are’ (or something like that). Thoughts seem to have some special kind of power. Especially so when it concerns strong emotional feelings. What happens is there’s a thought, a (strong) emotional response which I notice inside the body. Then there are more thoughts about these feelings and I start feeling very condensed, very physical, disconnected and small. I guess this again is just happening and ‘should’ be seen as something that doesn’t have to be fixed but I find that very hard. In the end it is true these thoughts and feelings will fade again but as they occur they can completely take ‘me’.

To answer your question on wanting truth no matter what. I’ve been searching for truth for many years now and thought about ‘really wanting it’ before. Someone even asked me this question a while ago. Is what I want maybe just a nice and comfortable ‘spiritual’ life? A way of being special too? I’m getting so very tired of this search Ilona, I feel lost. Without finding ‘the truth’ this life seems to be a wasted one... So my answer is a full YES.

Love,
GJ

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Ilona
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby Ilona » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:55 am

Wonderful. A full yes.
Here is a video, see what happens when you ask the question.

https://youtu.be/vVfvRetanr0

Describe your experience.

Love.

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GJG
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby GJG » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:08 am

That's a really good video Ilona! It describes exactly my state of affairs. And yes, it is true, there is only silence there, which I know already of course. With the latter being what my mind has to say about it as you so clearly explain in the video. I'll sit down with it for a while and write down what I notice, will let you know.
Love,
GJ

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Ilona
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby Ilona » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:42 am

Great, so what is the answer that you get?
Is there a separate self, as a manager of the universe?

What manages the universe?


Love.

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GJG
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby GJG » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:47 pm

I don't know if there's a separate self or not. I cannot find a controlling entity, a me doing all sorts of things. When I ask myself 'is there an I' I notice some spaciousness/openess sometimes, but also physical sensations which seem to try to tell me I am the body. Also feelings of anxiety are coming up with distracting thoughts. There's also an expectation running about something should happen, something should change, so 'I' know I finally found the truth. This is probably also based on what I've read and seen in video's. People who passed through the 'gateless gate' seem to notice something is changing, even quit dramatically. I realize the expectation is holding me back but it is quit persistent.
Love,
GJ

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GJG
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby GJG » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:06 am

I've found your 'Deep Looking' video and blog. Really helpful. Dialog with strong emotional (physical) responses. They've kind of scared me before and so there was a movement to get away from them. The whole energy around them becomes lighter when I allow them to be there. Even talk to them.

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Muktibaba
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby Muktibaba » Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:41 am

Loved your. video, Ilona. Thx! Especially the pointing out how all is connected, that each palm tree is swaying in same air/breeze; none has its separate air/breeze. Also love idea of allowing the doing, not being the doer: so freeing. G3G, m new to this forum just as you. May this Journey bring us Emptiness, joy, & ease!❤️Mahalakshmi Muktibaba

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Ilona
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby Ilona » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:18 am

Thank you for reply.
When I ask myself 'is there an I' I notice some spaciousness/openess sometimes, but also physical sensations which seem to try to tell me I am the body.
Let’s look at this closer. You say physical sensations. What is that?
Close eyes as notice, there are sensations that we call “body”
Notice, there is sensation of left foot, top of the head, shoulders. These sensations, they are seen, you are aware of them. And how big is the body, what colour and shape is the body? Are sensations in the body or body is an umbrella name for the sensations? Is the body perceiving or body is perceived?

With eyes open, there is a visual experience. Is body seen the same way as the background? What makes it physical? Are you inside the skin bag or skin is seen?

The shift that happens is a shift in perception, not in actuality, it’s a change how actuality is seen. So don’t wait for a Big Bang, or lights in the eyes. Nothing is going to change. Only a belief drops. A belief, that you are the body, you are the thinker, you are the doer. You are separate from life. All these beliefs are colouring perception. But looking at what is happening here now, they don’t hold. See fo yourself.

What is separate from what exactly? Are you a soup sensations or the sensations are seen? Are you making anything happening or seeing all the happening?

What are you doing in order to be?

Love.

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GJG
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby GJG » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:29 am

Whow ... The body, or the mental image of a body, one of the last strongholds of my mind, but there is nothing to hold on to, is there ... Thanks
Love, GJ

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Ilona
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby Ilona » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:04 pm

The mental image of the body, yes! And all the story about the body... neither is you!
What is here that needs to hold on?

Or that can hold on?

Love.

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Muktibaba
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Re: Swimming circles in my own little (intellectual) pond

Postby Muktibaba » Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:12 am

ImageThanks again. Good discussions here. Like idea of just shift in outlook not in actuality - no Big Bang, just easeful ah ha. Hoping to turn light bright enough to see the snake is really only a rope.


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