Seeking I guess, always seeking.

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:06 am

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that any defense of self that may get in the way is something I intend to fight against and I hope you can help me with that, if that's possible.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:00 pm

Hi Liam
. 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.
No Liam, you haven't seemed argumentative. But you do seem very sure that there's a 'you'.

Forgive me for the lull but I haven't anything to ask you right now. I will post again soon.

Thank you

Jon

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:37 am

Hi Liam,

How odd. When I replied last night there, was no sign of your most recent post but this morning it's here. My reply was to your earlier, longer post.
. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that any defense of self that may get in the way is something I intend to fight against and I hope you can help me with that, if that's possible.
OK. Thank you.

This inquiry into self / no self is a subtle thing. It's possible to miss the insight through an expectation of some marked difference in experience. Because that is how we are used to measuring things.

And its not even that some changes in the details of everyday experience will not occur.They might. But it cannot be predicted how no self will be experienced and it is perfectly possible to imagine 'nothing happened:,' nothing changed'. 'There's still a self'... and there will very probably be the appearance, the illusion, of a separate 'me' for quite some time.

It can come and go, There can be times of what seem like complete immersion in the belief in separate selfhood. But the thing is that it begins to be seen that those times really are in the nature of a daydream that ends of its own accord with a 'waking up' each time (sometimes with a grin).

There is no self. At least, no fixed ego-style self that 'exists' and is 'me'. There may or may not be a cosmic self, but that's not the same thing as the 'poor little me' 'person' that seems to be 'behind eyes' and seems to 'suffer'. So it's actually important not to try to fight something as if it's a real enemy.

I would suggest that your defense of self is a natural protective reflex. Did I say this before? The defense is actually to do with love. Its natural. Something loved appears to be threatened so there's a defense mounted.

Please take a few minutes to thank this loyal, protective impulse. Thank it for its love and loyalty and let it know that everything is OK. That nobody can be harmed by this inquiry. There never was anyone who could be 'harmed'. Even if it is imagined that a self really exists how could this be harmed simply through contemplating a few questions.? It's safe to relax.

How does that feel?

All best

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:28 pm

HI Jon.

I think your right with expectations getting in the way, I think I'm expecting to see something special or brand new that surprises me. It's got me looking for something that isn't there. Then I don't see this 'special thing' and default to old ideas about self. I don't wanna just fall into the habit of repeating what someone else is saying about no self without conviction.
Please take a few minutes to thank this loyal, protective impulse.
Feels a little calming to do this.

I don't have too much to say today I apologise. Mostly just sitting with this stuff.

Thanks

Liam

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:50 am

Hi Liam
. I think I'm expecting to see something special or brand new that surprises me. It's got me looking for something that isn't there. Then I don't see this 'special thing' and default to old ideas about self.
Good to notice this. Its, very relevant.
. I don't wanna just fall into the habit of repeating what someone else is saying about no self without conviction.
Good. Quite so. It's part of my job to watch out for this, so I appreciate that you're allready determined to not do this.
. Feels a little calming to do this.

I don't have too much to say today I apologise. Mostly just sitting with this stuff
That's, fine. Take whatever time it needs and no need to apologise. But it sounds good that it felt calming to thank the protective instinct. Maybe try doing it again once or twice and see if then, with that reassurance, it might be possible to continue looking into 'self'?

Let me know if there's a somewhat more relaxed feeling?

Jon ♡

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:43 pm

Hi Liam,

How are you getting on?

:-)

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:09 pm

Hi Jon.

Good to hear from you again,

I've been regularly attempting to pay more attention to the gap between thoughts and have found it to make for a relatively relaxing type of meditation. For me at least there seems to be a very fine line between noticing these gaps and trying to force stop thought, the latter being an exhauting and futile thing to do. Then sometimes while doing this I'll have moments that can be a little hard to describe. It's a sort of sense of awareness that feels more free flowing, a bit like being in the "zone" like when I'm extremely engrossed in something. Which is more than I can say about my past experience with meditation.

Once again I wish I had more to say, life has been keeping me busy recently but not too much to say on the self inquiry front.

Thanks for reading.

Liam

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:01 pm

Hi Liam,

It's good that you have been finding time to look or 'rest' in the 'gap' between thoughts. And particularly, identifying a difference between the cycle of attempting to force thoughts to stop and this hard-to-describe space between thoughts.

Please notice this whenever you'd like to.

Never mind about forcing things. (Could that even be avoided from time to time?). It doesn't matter a jot. But if resting in this between-thoughts happens sometimes you"re free to take an interest in it and even play with it a little.

Either I will write in a coupke of days or you write to me?

Jon ♡

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:52 am

Hi Jon, sorry I read your post shortly after you put it up and got distracted and forgot to reply.

Feel free to just check up on me if you don't here from me for a few days.

Thanks.

Liam.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:56 pm

Hi Liam,

Do you feel inclined to go on with your inquiry now?

Let me know if you feel ready for more questions to do with looking for 'self'?

If you do feel ready, could you let me know if you have been finding a 'me' in the relaxing between thoughts?

And you could turn some attention towards sensations, seeing, hearing, smell, tast, touch. Just notice the immediate, direct experience of any of these as you go about things.

To do this it will be necessary to notice what's happening at any given moment. Not in memory or recollection. For instance right now I'm typing. There is immediate experience of screen light, also, right now, of aircraft noise and damp cold and feel of pressure where hands rest against table. These are all occurring right now. Rather like noticing the 'gap' or space between thoughts it seens only possible for these sensations to be experienced as they happen?

Do you notice that thinking about sensations afterwords or imagining them before they happen is not the same as the direct experience of them?

As you do some of this, see if it is possible to observe a 'me' that is either doing the noticing or causing the sensations themselves to appear?

Jon ♡

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:08 pm

Hi Jon.

I'm happy to continue of course, even if the pace is slower. I've started a new job this week and it's bringing with it a lot of stress.
If you do feel ready, could you let me know if you have been finding a 'me' in the relaxing between thoughts?
It seems thoughts always seem to stem from an idea of me. When I 'look' at these gaps in between thought there's no 'me' in them, but at the same time it doesn't really feel as though there's anything I can really talk or think about, there's just whatever was in experience at the moment. Then after thoughts continue and they bring with them the idea of self. The act of thinking always seems to imply a self. Could it be possible for there to be thought that isn't always centered around a self?
Do you notice that thinking about sensations afterwords or imagining them before they happen is not the same as the direct experience of them?
Yes I have no issues with this, they clearly are not the same.
As you do some of this, see if it is possible to observe a 'me' that is either doing the noticing or causing the sensations themselves to appear?
I don't see or feel as though there is a me making sensations appear, but I can't say the same about noticing. I'm stuck on there and need some more time with it perhaps. This is frustrating, I don't want to take us around in circles. I'm not even confident in saying why I am so convinced of self. I have a blind spot I can't find perhaps.

Apologies, thanks for reading.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:55 am

Hi Liam,

Don't apologise. It's great to be working with you :-)
. I don't see or feel as though there is a me making sensations appear, but I can't say the same about noticing. I'm stuck on there and need some more time with it perhaps. This is frustrating, I don't want to take us around in circles. I'm not even confident in saying why I am so convinced of self. I have a blind spot I can't find perhaps.
Very interesting. Let's focus on this.

I agree, I can't find a self making sensations appear either. At least, whatever it is that, via thoughts, appears to be 'me' is not causing sensations to happen. They just seem to be happening.

But I can see why you're not so sure about the noticing. It's really fascinatg to look at what is doing the noticing at any given moment.

The usual notion is that seeing and hearing and other senses are being 'done by me' but again, I don't find a 'doer' of those, as such. No little guy sitting somewhere in a control room watching TV screens marked 'eyes' and 'ears', 'smell' 'taste' and 'touch'. No little guy pressing buttons or pulling levers to make these all happen. Sensations just seem to be happening. As wind blows or sun shines. But there is the quality of noticing going on, isn't there.

A question is, is this noticingness being done or controlled by thinking?

Or, are thoughts happening (somehow) and getting noticed?

And finally, who or what is doing the noticing? There's only one way to discover this and that is to take a look..

What do you find?

Jon ♡

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:43 pm

Hi Liam

I'm wondering if you have had time to take a look at the last few, questions? How are you getting on?

All best

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:36 am

Hi Jon, I'm so sorry, I usually recieve an email whenever you reply but did not this time for whatever reason.

Anyways.
At least, whatever it is that, via thoughts, appears to be 'me' is not causing sensations to happen. They just seem to be happening.
I like this wording, more and more it feels as though I'm getting a grasp on the idea of me and seeing it as such, even though it's still very convincing. It all seems to be based on drawing a line in experience, and saying everything on one side is 'me' and everything on the other isn't. So I have been asking myself what exactly is the difference between things that aren't me and things that are. The body seems to be a key point in it. I'm sure most people would declare someone mad for saying that they are anything outside the body. On the inside though the idea of me is weirdly selective, I am the mover of my hands but not the movement itself, nor the feeling of movement, nor the visual of the movement nor sounds produced by it.

By what criteria is this line being drawn and is it even necessary? What purpose does it serve? Anything that gets labelled me becomes something that needs to be operated. That is to say "I control me". Which doesn't make too much sense as a statement, to control something is to be seperate from it. That seems to be tjhe purpose of "me", a way to control life. There's comfort in the idea of control. There's also comfort in the idea of there being no need for control at all, if there's no seperate entity.

This whole "me" idea feels like a very ineffeficient way for my mind to frame everything. So much extra thought and energy revolves around this idea that could be better spent on, well anything at all really. It's like I'm maintaining it out of habit. As if at some point growing up someone handed me this idea of me and I never questioned it.

I've rambled again. Writing my thoughts down seems to lead to it.
A question is, is this noticingness being done or controlled by thinking?
Noticing and thought appear to influence each other, I can think about something I've noticed and notice a thought. They don't have what could be called direct control over each other though. There's no choice in thought to notice or not notice something. Not sure how could there be, or how a thought could control whether or not something is noticed, thought is more like a spectator and narrator.
who or what is doing the noticing?
I know I'm not doing it. It's just happening. There's a sort of urge to say it was me though, like thought is really eager to take responsibility for it. Habit again I guess.

That's all I have for today, I'll check the site more often in case emails don't come through again.

Thanks for reading.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:08 am

Hi Liam
. Hi Jon, I'm so sorry, I usually recieve an email whenever you reply but did not this time for whatever reason.
Don't worry. It's good to hear from you and find out how it's going.
. I like this wording, more and more it feels as though I'm getting a grasp on the idea of me and seeing it as such, even though it's still very convincing. It all seems to be based on drawing a line in experience, and saying everything on one side is 'me' and everything on the other isn't
Good work!
. So I have been asking myself what exactly is the difference between things that aren't me and things that are. The body seems to be a key point in it. I'm sure most people would declare someone mad for saying that they are anything outside the body. On the inside though the idea of me is weirdly selective, I am the mover of my hands but not the movement itself, nor the feeling of movement, nor the visual of the movement nor sounds produced by it.
Excellent. I wouldn't declare anyone mad for saying that what lies outside the body is as much them as what lies, within.

It is, a very useful exercise to go for a, walk in nature, to investigate this very matter. It's important that it should be nature or perhaps a park with trees, and grass would do. Find somewhere where everything is alive, sky, weather, sun, wind, rain, grass, trees, maybe sea, river, people, animals, insects.

Notice also everything going on both around you and any 'inner' body sensations, emotions or thoughts.

Now, look for a line or edge in experience behind which lies 'you' and beyond which lies 'everything else'. Can such an edge be found?

How does it feel to see this?



All best

Jon


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