Seeking I guess, always seeking.

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:33 pm

Hi Jon
Is there one there?

If you suspected that there was someone standing in the room, immediately behind you, but you weren't sure about it, what would you do?
Obviously I would immediately look, not knowing would drive me crazy until I looked to confirm. My attitude to "self" is a little different, when I look I can't confirm one way or the other. I'm just left in a sort of limbo and tend to just default to the usual perspective of "I" am here. With the person in the room analogy if there is no one there I can see an empty space of where a person could be, but with a self I don't see a "self" or an empty space where a self should be. That's probably why I can't take that as confirmation of anything. Seeing the empty space is how I know I've looked.

Thanks

Liam

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:29 pm

Hello Liam
. with a self I don't see a "self" or an empty space where a self should be.
Perhaps it's the wrong question then? . Perhaps it would be more interesting to notice who or what is not seeing?

Look back inwards, as it were, Is it possible to catch whatever it is? Is something there that does this? An entity of some sort that experiences the experience of not noticing a self?

I can't quite make sense of this sentence. Is this to say I am the experience as opposed to the experiencer, that if experience is not seperate from what is experienced and this leaves no room for an experiencer. Then because there's no room for an experiencer that means I could be described as the experience itself, or nothing at all. Perhaps it would make more sens to say that the Liam with all the thoughts and feeling that are associated with I/Liam are just another part of this experience with no more "me" in then that any other part of experience. That "I" am no more Liam than I am the feel of the keyboard, the colour of the screen. This all makes sense really, thoughI still feel as though i am making choices. This really if the sticking point as you say. Speaking of...
Place both hands palm down on a table. One hand must be raised in the air whilst the other must stay where it is on the table. That must happen.

Notice if a choice between hands is made.

Look for the exact moment of choice, the 'choice-point'. See if a choice made by a you can be noticed?
I am having trouble interpreting my results here. There's plenty of moments where I think "ok here it is, I'll lift my left" but then maybe I don't or I'll lift the other hand just for the sake of doing something other than the thought. The thought wasn't the decision really, just a thought. I only really feel like a decision has been made after a hand has been raised where I look back at the event and feel as though the decision must have happened somewhere between no movement and movement. Every time I lift it I feel as though I just missed it and I should try again. After many attempts I don't feel like I've ever spotted a moment of decision. There's just this sense of "my hand is raising so I must be deciding this" but I can't find the decision itself.
I'm sorry Liam. I realise that I did not respond to this later part of your last post.

We could look more at choice, free will, and decisions.

Over the next couple of days please look at how things happen. Not as past or future events. Pick on anything that is going on now, or any moment that could be described as 'right now'. Try walking across the room or down the street and see if there's a decider deciding how all that should happen? , Controlling leg movements. Or does that all happen automatically?

Go and make a cup of tea and halfway through this check to see if all the movements involved required someone taking choices and making decisions about water levels, switches, cups, teabags, and any other details?

Let me know how that goes?

Thanks

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:00 pm

Hi Jon

I've been hesitant to write any of this. The more we do this the more confused I feel.
Look back inwards, as it were, Is it possible to catch whatever it is? Is something there that does this? An entity of some sort that experiences the experience of not noticing a self?
It's always so easy to just say "I do, I can't spot a self". Which itself sounds like a very paradoxical statement. I don't see any entity that doesn't see an entity. There's the experience looking and not finding. That's all. I'm feeling a little confused. Trying to describe it just leads to weird confusing double speak which leads me to feeling like I'm mis-interpreting something.
Try walking across the room or down the street and see if there's a decider deciding how all that should happen? , Controlling leg movements. Or does that all happen automatically?
More confusion here, normally no there isn't a decider in situations like this. "I know" how to walk so it just is done. At least that's how I think it's usually done. Problem is because I'm looking for a decider intentionally I find myself intentionally going over thoughts related to decisions. I'm saying "I could walk faster, or more slowly, or stop and start when I decide, see I stopped, I did that".

I just sort of get stuck there with that. It's like I can't bring attention to something without it feeling like I'm controlling it.

Am I supposed to be able to do so, it's as if the feeling ownership is stuck to attention and follows it everywhere. I try to really see what this feeling is itself and don't find anything I can definitely describe as evidence of a "doer".

Maybe I need more time, but that's what I have for now thanks.

Liam.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:35 pm

Liam

There's nothing that you are doing that is wrong. But sometimes considerable confusion can crop up before things become much clearer. The mind can work overtime.
. It's always so easy to just say "I do, I can't spot a self". Which itself sounds like a very paradoxical statement
Well it's good not to just pretend what you don't really feel.

But there, again, is it actually like this? Is there an obvious experience of a 'me' when 'not spotting a self'? If you're saying there is then examine those moments in which it seems that no self is found.

You say theres the experience of looking and not finding? OK, so we can work with that.

On the one hand there is the not finding. So far so good? All might be well if it weren't for the idea that something experiences this looking and not finding. It is my impression that so far you have not looked directly at whatever it is that seems to do the looking. Am I correct?

Look there. It's that lurky place, a bit like a foggy swamp, where there seems to be an entity, even though its never been seen, heard, or otherwise sensed, except as an idea that 'its there'.

It is necessary to go further than before. To turn a little attention on whatever it is that sees, hears, thinks but mostly on whatever it is that insists on its 'existence'.

All best

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:35 pm

Hi Jon
On the one hand there is the not finding. So far so good? All might be well if it weren't for the idea that something experiences this looking and not finding. It is my impression that so far you have not looked directly at whatever it is that seems to do the looking. Am I correct?
I believe you are, I don't seem to understand how to look at this. When I attempt to do so my attention just lands on sight, or the feeling of my head since that sort of feels like "my" position. I can then notice that that's just physical sensations, but then I don't know where else to look. It's true it feels as though something is experiencing all this looking but I have no idea how to look at this something. "I" am always behind the act of looking, "I" am never the thing being looked at.

Is it even possible to look at this thing directly, it doesn't appear to be from my attempts so far. As if attention just doesn't bend that way.

Thanks

Liam

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:20 pm

Hi Liam
. Is it even possible to look at this thing directly, it doesn't appear to be from my attempts so far. As if attention just doesn't bend that way
I understand.

Well, this is in the nature of the inquiry. Its necessary to look but what are we expecting to find?
. It's true it feels as though something is experiencing all this looking but I have no idea how to look at this something. "I" am always behind the act of looking, "I" am never the thing being looked at.
In speaking of 'looking' it's really all about noticing.

Would you say that integral to seeing, (color or whatever) or hearing, or other sensing is noticing?

But does 'someone', 'me', do the noticing?

It's an often unquestioned view, enshrined within language that there is a 'me' self doing the noticing, seeing, hearing, thinking and so on.

Would you say that whatever else, it is true that noticing does happen?

I'll be interested in what you have to say.

Here's something to try... Notice that whatever thought is happening fades or disappears before long to be replaced by another, related or unrelated thought.

See if it's possible to notice a little gap between the end of one thought and just before the next one appears.

All best

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:21 pm

Hi, Jon.

I'm still here just had a stressful couple of days and haven't been able to give much time to this, just wanted to let you know.

Thanks

Liam

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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 pm

Ok Liam

Thank you for the message. Hope things calm down again soon.

Jon

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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:40 pm

Hi, Jon, I'll try get back on track here. I've been busy but still glancing at and pondering what you've written here and there.
Well, this is in the nature of the inquiry. Its necessary to look but what are we expecting to find?
When I'm "looking" I'm expecting to find something new, some new perspective or understanding or something different in experience but as I don't know what it'll look like it's hard to direct my efforts. Perhaps some piece of evidence that would make me go "hey! there really is no self, cool!" but I don't know what that evidence would look like. Attention just sort of scans around whatever senses and thoughts come up waiting for something.

Is that not what it means to look? If I lost my phone I would just put my attention into areas where I think I might find it and await the result, found? good. Not found? Look elsewhere. This approach does not seem to be providing any results so far in the search for self as I continue to find neither something I can call a self of a lack of self. As such I get stuck at the await results part of the process. Then I think maybe I could somehow "look" in a different manner. That it's the way I'm looking that isn't working. I know of no other way to "look" however. After this my "looking" attempt usually ends, I decide "I don't get it" and go about my day, and repeat the process all over again some other time, like 2am when I really should be sleeping.
Would you say that integral to seeing, (color or whatever) or hearing, or other sensing is noticing?
You're right in that noticing is something that needs to happen. I'm trying to think of what would happen if there was no noticing. It doesn't really make sense. If an experience isn't noticed, then it didn't happen. After all there's no way I could describe anything I didn't notice.
But does 'someone', 'me', do the noticing?
The noticing just seems to happen, I don't make it happen and don't get a choice in the matter. I need to know what something is before it happens in order to choose it and at that point it's too late, the noticing has already happened. If someone asked me if I noticed this car I would say yes but I clearly didn't and understand that I had nothing to do with the noticing.
Here's something to try... Notice that whatever thought is happening fades or disappears before long to be replaced by another, related or unrelated thought.

See if it's possible to notice a little gap between the end of one thought and just before the next one appears.
I find it tough to describe what you would call a "gap". Thoughts are heard as imagined sound in my head in a voice similar to mine. So I would say there's gaps all the time, in between words and sentences much like language normally is. Then sometimes attention goes elswhere and at some point may come back to hear some more thoughts. There are gaps in between particular thought trains I guess if that's what your referring too, as in I'll think about something, then the thought is spent and there's a moment before a new thought begins, however short. I think perhaps that's what you meant, let me know.

There's always another thought though, always without fail. This led me to an amusing idea. Imagine if "I" was responsible for every one of these thoughts, that "I" had to be there to set off each and every new thought. I'd never have time for anything else!

This has been an enjoyable one.

Thanks, Liam.

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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:32 pm

. There are gaps in between particular thought trains I guess if that's what your referring too, as in I'll think about something, then the thought is spent and there's a moment before a new thought begins, however short. I think perhaps that's what you meant, let me know.
Yes that's right. It's worth taking a little interest in that space or moment. See if its possible to notice it for a little longer, or allow it to become a slightly longer pause.
. There's always another thought though, always without fail. This led me to an amusing idea. Imagine if "I" was responsible for every one of these thoughts, that "I" had to be there to set off each and every new thought. I'd never have time for anything else!

This has been an enjoyable one.
Great! Well that's right. It's very amusing. That would have to be the case? How could it be otherwise?

'You' would be very busy inventing thoughts to think. And to do that you'd have to be creating those, either 'choosing' or 'deciding' what to think. And that would need 'you' to know what those thoughts were going to be.

So what is creating thoughts?

All the best

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:28 pm

Hi, Jon
See if its possible to notice it for a little longer, or allow it to become a slightly longer pause.
I don't appear to be very good at this. Seems that space can extend a little maybe, but a thought always slips back in. The act of doing so also brings with it a feeling of strain. Perhaps I'm going about it wrong, or maybe strain is just the expected result of "self" trying to wedge itself into thought like that. It does kinda look like that's what's happening when I attempt to do so.
So what is creating thoughts?
Thoughts just seem to happen so it's hard to say what's creating them, or even that anything is creating them at all. There's no creator in my experience, just the thoughts themselves. Thoughts are always about something, and in reaction to something experienced. Sometimes in reaction to previous thoughts. They are more like a piece in the larger process of "Liam-ing" than some thing that is being made by something.

Thanks for reading.

Liam

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:40 am

Hi Liam
. I don't appear to be very good at this. Seems that space can extend a little maybe, but a thought always slips back in. The act of doing so also brings with it a feeling of strain. Perhaps I'm going about it wrong, or maybe strain is just the expected result of "self" trying to wedge itself into thought like that. It does kinda look like that's what's happening when I attempt to do so.
Yes, I see. Its OK. It doesnt always work, especially where such thinking makes it seem as though 'someone' is making a huge effort., or straining, as you say.

. Thoughts just seem to happen so it's hard to say what's creating them, or even that anything is creating them at all.


A very good point and observation.
There's no creator in my experience, just the thoughts themselves. Thoughts are always about something, and in reaction to something experienced. Sometimes in reaction to previous thoughts. They are more like a piece in the larger process of "Liam-ing" than some thing that is being made by something.
Again, good points.

Describe, or say something more about this larger process of Liam-ing, please?

I can't help noticing how much you insist on an absolute ontological, factual existence and reality of "your self".

I wonder if there is something more to this 'self' of yours. How far does it extend in terms of space? Where are it's borders? Is it separate from other things or people? Take a look.

Do you feel defiant, or protective of it?

All best

Jon

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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:52 pm

Hi Jon
Describe, or say something more about this larger process of Liam-ing, please?
It's just a way to describe this "person" I appear to be. Thoughts and feelings are constantly appearing and then there's reactions to those thoughts and feelings which just seems to lead to more. This constant process seems to be what makes the Liam. A lot of the time it's what I would usually be referring to with terms like "my personality" or simply "me". I'm not so sure now.

Historically the idea has been that thoughts and actions are something that's being done, which implies a do-er, Liam Liam-ing. It's all muddled right now though, I've probably contradicted myself at some point. I'll break it down into pieces.

1. Somethings are "me", intentions are always seen as something I do, right now in this moment I am maintaining the intention to type, if I don't maintain said intention the typing stops.
2. Somethings come from "me", the movement of my hands across the keyboard isn't me, the thoughts about typing aren't me, I am not controlling every movement of muscle or every thought, but the intention for it to happen is what leads to it. The barrier to this is the body, intention has no direct influence over what takes place beyond the body.
3. Somethings happen to and are experienced by "me", this includes (1) and (2) but also feelings, physical and emotional and anything that's found in the senses.

Liam-ing is (1) and (2) That's Liam. (3) Happens to Liam, Liam reacts. More stuff happens, repeat forever.
I can't help noticing how much you insist on an absolute ontological, factual existence and reality of "your self".

I wonder if there is something more to this 'self' of yours. How far does it extend in terms of space? Where are it's borders? Is it separate from other things or people? Take a look.
It's behind the eyes. That's where I percieve everything to ber happening to, i guess that's just based on the literal "view" of everything. The world around me is a seperate space filled with other "selves" and all these selves are having to deal with all the stuff that happens to and because of these "selves". I can never know any other self, nor could they mine. All I or anyone else can do is build an idea of someone else. That idea can't touch the truth. You are nothing more than my idea of you, how could you be.
Do you feel defiant, or protective of it?
Both. I defend my position and ideas, I defend my past and my personality. I defend my feelings. If I don't then there is suffering. I don't like this state of affairs, but don't get a choice in the matter. I can choose to obey or to suffer, I'm more like a slave in this position.

Describing it like this makes me sound like I'm in two pieces. The thoughts and feelings that appear and "my" reaction to them. They both get labeled self. They both kind of are. I'm not making sense dispite trying hard to do so. It's that there's this feeling of seperateness that seems to come from experience. I am a thought or feeling up until "I" am aware of it, then it's no longer me. There's a line being drawn in front of stuff and so that "me" can be put down on "this" side. This is all just concept and ideas, I'm getting back into that sort of vague territory where I can't do anything but talk in metaphors, so I'll just stop.

Thanks

Liam

i had to look up the word ontological.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:11 pm

Hi Liam,

Thanks for your answers. The detail helps a lot.
. Both. I defend my position and ideas, I defend my past and my personality. I defend my feelings.
Regardless of everything else that you said, your statement here makes me wonder if you are interested in seeing that there has never been a 'self'?

If you are busy defending a position and beliefs that's fine, except that whilst this defence goes on its very hard to see how it could leave any room for useful or genuine inquiry?

I completely understand the desire not to take on new beliefs indiscriminately. Well done. That's important, but it's another thing to engage with self-inquiry whilst being determined to defend a fixed position. Do you see why I say this?

What do you think?


Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:48 pm

Hi Jon
I completely understand the desire not to take on new beliefs indiscriminately. Well done. That's important, but it's another thing to engage with self-inquiry whilst being determined to defend a fixed position. Do you see why I say this?
I understand, I don't see it as an impediment. I don't come here with the intent to argue against you, all I've been trying to do is being as honest and clear as I can. You ask if this self is defended and I simply gave examples of when there is felt need to defend, do you not put your hand up when something is thrown at you? I wasn't saying that I am specifically defending against what we do here.

Have I come off this way? I only intend to be honest when I speak of self, I can't say I believe something if I don't, that would be a true waste of time.

Liam


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