Inquiring To No One

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SofaNo1
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Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:03 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
No real, inherent 'self' - to me this means that our conception of being a person is a fiction that is created by the mind. Upon looking for the self one finds that it is neither the body or the mind, because both are objects in awareness. We have the illusion that our ego is in control of our thoughts and actions.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking to remove ignorance so that I can see myself and the world for what they really are. By ignorance, I mean that which covering up the truth of who I am. Right now I conceive of myself as a person in a story, possessing a mind and a body. What I am looking to uncover is what I already am, which is Awareness or the 'I-I'. I can understand these concepts on and intellectual level, but I am looking for direct experience.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect that I will be talking to someone who has already had the realization that the 'self' is a fiction, who can therefore help guide me in my process of inquiry into the self. I imagine that a dialog like this could potentially be more insightful than reading books

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I am familiar with the philosophy of Alan Watts, certain Buddhist teachers, and I am currently reading Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. I am new to practicing self-inquiry.

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

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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:04 am

Could someone please guide me? Thank you : )

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:28 pm

Hi SofaNo1,

Sounds like you're in a hurry. That can be good.

The thing is, when you posted again yesterday, that made it look like a guide had replied to your thread and it kind of moved you to the back of the line because now your posting date shows February 1, instead of your original January date. I think I waited 3 or 4 weeks for a guide, myself. These folks are volunteers. Most of us probably also work 40-hour a week jobs. I do. I'am guiding 3 people and a 4th who never replied to my first reply to him. He's probably disappeared. Normally, I only take 2, since I have a full life, but . . . you didn't know all this that I've just written and I thought *maybe* I could handle one more. There are about a dozen waiting at the Gate right now.

So . . . while I am going to insist that you post every day or at least every other day, it may be a challenge for me to do the same, but I'm going to try. On days that I don't reply, keep doing the last exercise or any exercise that we have done. Any one of these exercises can take you where you want to go.

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!

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.

What would you like me to call you? SofaNo1? Is that "so far no one" or couch #1? Interesting handle, either 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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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:29 am

Hi Stacy,

It’s funny that you say I am in a hurry. I was just reading about Bahiya from the Liberation Unleashed book. Apparently, he asked for Buddah’s teaching, but Buddah said it was not the right time. To which Bahiya replied:

“Life is uncertain, Venerable Sir. We never know when we are
going to die; please teach me the Dharma.”

After hearing the teaching he was enlightened, but moments later killed by a runaway cow.

I did not know that me posting again would move me to the back of the line. I saw other threads that had been posted after mine that were getting replies, so I was not sure if I was doing something wrong. In any case, I felt it wouldn’t hurt to ask -- life is short after all.

It sounds like there is quite an interest in these matters if so many are waiting at the Gate. And for you to offer this correspondence for free is of great service to many.

I understand about posting every day, or every other. That sounds fine.

I have read the disclaimer. I have read what Liberation Unleashed is not.
How will life change?
Life will not change. It will continue on as it has before.
How will you change?
I will not change because “I” does not exist.
What will be different?
The only difference will be that the “I” will be seen as a thought and not taken to be true.
It is the dropping of a false belief.
What is missing?
The only thing that is missing is seeing and understanding that this is true.

You can call me Duncan. Sofa No.1 as in couch -- it’s a song. I think there may be some connection to Ein Sof, the unmanifested. Sofa -- Ein Sof. In any case I like the song.

With much appreciation,

- Duncan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:14 am

Hi Duncan,

Happy to help! Okay. . . let's start here:

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 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 seeing this "no self" idea, it is 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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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:34 am

Stacy,

I am clear about Direct Experience.

- Duncan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:09 am

Excellent, Duncan.

So now...

What comes up when is read that there is no self, never has been & there never will be?

Loving,
~ 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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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:08 am

What comes up when is read that there is no self, never has been & there never will be?
There is sadness at the death of an identity. Then anger: What about all the “doing?” All the striving of this character? What was the point? This has all been a lie!

There is fear mixed with anticipation, like contemplating jumping off a cliff, or starting something that can’t be turned back. There is a feeling of freedom. There is a feeling of awe.

There is confusion, feeling like I don’t understand, or I’m not getting it. There is denial: It can’t be true! There is kind of a buzzing in the body.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:36 pm

Good morning, Duncan, and wow. That's the most complete answer I've seen to that question in a while.

The purpose of these first few questions is to discover any fears and expectations. Those are the only things that keep you from being fully in this moment where "no self" is seen. Let's continue.

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.


Actual or Direct Experience

Seeing
Hearing
Feeling (Sensation, not emotion)
Tasting
Smelling
Thought Arising (But not content of thought, which is made up)


Keep it simple and let me know if you have any questions.

Loving,
~ 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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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:05 pm

By the way, I looked up your song. Had no idea it was Zappa. There's a lot of his music I've never heard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKiogA4nXoI

is what I found.

Loving,
~ 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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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:18 am

Hi Stacy,
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.
Breakfast
Seeing a waffle and banana, simply = image/color
Hearing chewing, simply = sound
Feeling hunger, simply = sensation
Tasting waffle and banana, simply = taste
Thoughts about being hungry, simply = thought

Lunch
Seeing food on a plate, simply = image/color
Smelling the veggie burger, simply = smell
Tasting the pasta, simply = taste
Chewing the food, simply = sensation

Walking
Thoughts about the day, simply = thought
Feeling shoes on pavement, legs moving, simply = sensation
Hearing birds, cars, people, simply = sound
Seeing the ground move, objects, simply = image/color

Writing
Thinking about writing, simply = thought
Seeing computer screen, simply = image/color
Feeling fingers move on keys simply, = sensation
Hearing talking, simply = sound
Tasting cashew, simply = taste

Driving
Seeing cars, road simply, = image/color
Feeling foot on accelerator, simply = sensation
Hearing traffic noise, simply = sound
Thinking about what I will do later, simply = thought

All the best,

- Duncan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:34 pm

Good morning,

Perfect. Let's go a little farther.



If you have an ‘apple’ or any other piece of fruit or even a piece of cheese or chocolate will do….go get it and then place it in front of you on the table.

Now LOOK carefully.

1. The image of the ‘apple’ is the actual experience of colour and NOT the AE of an apple. The shape referred to as ‘apple’ is just different shades and patterns of colour. Ignore ALL thoughts and ‘mental’ images that appear of and about the ‘apple’ and just focus on the colour.

Does the colour itself suggest in any way that it knows anything about an ‘apple’? Or is it just simply AE of colour?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that the colour appearing is that of an ‘apple’?


2. Now, pick up the ‘apple’ and close the eyes. Ignore ALL thoughts and ‘mental’ images that appear of and about the ‘apple’ and of ‘hands’ and just focus on the sensation.

Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is an apple, and that it knows anything about an ‘apple’? Or is it just simply AE of sensation?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that it is the sensation has anything to do with an ‘apple’?


3. Now, take a bite of the ‘apple’. Ignore ALL thoughts and ‘mental’ images that appear of and about the ‘apple’ and just focus on the taste.

Does taste itself suggest in any way that it knows anything about an apple? Or is there just simply AE of taste?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that it is the taste of an ‘apple’?


4. Now, have a smell of the ‘apple’. Ignore ALL thoughts and ‘mental’ images that appear of and about the ‘apple’ and just focus on the smell.

Does smell itself suggest in any way that it knows anything about an apple? Or is there just simple AE of smell?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that it is the smell of an ‘apple’?


5. Now, listen to the sound of the ‘crunch of an apple’. Ignore ALL thoughts and ‘mental’ images that appear of and about the ‘apple’ and just focus on the sound.

Does the sound itself suggest in any way that it knows anything about an apple? Or is there just simple AE of sound?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that it is the sound is that of an ‘apple’?


6. So now look at the label ‘apple and the thought “I am looking at, and eating an apple”.

Does the label itself or the thought itself know anything about an ‘apple’? Or are they just simply AE of label/thought?

The label ‘apple’ is the AE of thought and not the AE of an apple

The image labelled ‘apple’ is AE of colour and not the AE of an apple

The smell labelled ‘apple’ is AE of smell and not the AE of an apple

The taste labelled ‘apple’ is AE of taste and not the AE of an apple

The sound labelled ‘crunchy apple’ is AE of sound and not the AE of an apple

The sensation labelled as ‘hard, round apple’ is the AE of sensation and not the AE of an apple

Thought overlays actual experience with concepts. An example being the AE of colour is being labelled as an 'apple'.

So is there really actual experience of an ‘apple’, or what is actually appearing, what the actual experience is, is colour, sensation, taste, smell, sound, which thought then labels and describes as an 'apple'?

In other words, is an apple actually known or only thoughts about an apple are known?
~ 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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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:26 pm

Good morning,
Does the colour itself suggest in any way that it knows anything about an ‘apple’? Or is it just simply AE of colour?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that the colour appearing is that of an ‘apple’?
No. The color is just simply AE of color.
It cannot be known. ‘Apple’ is a shortcut that the mind makes when it sees this pattern.
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is an apple, and that it knows anything about an ‘apple’? Or is it just simply AE of sensation?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that it is the sensation has anything to do with an ‘apple’?
No. The sensation is simply AE of sensation.
It cannot be known. Only the mind comes in later and says “all these patterns match, this is probably an apple.”
Does taste itself suggest in any way that it knows anything about an apple? Or is there just simply AE of taste?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that it is the taste of an ‘apple’?
No. There is just simply AE of taste.
It cannot be known. Only by comparison and this is with the mind.
Does smell itself suggest in any way that it knows anything about an apple? Or is there just simple AE of smell?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that it is the smell of an ‘apple’?
No. It is the AE of smell.
It cannot be known. Only through association with the past is it said that this is ‘apple’ and that is with the mind.
Does the sound itself suggest in any way that it knows anything about an apple? Or is there just simple AE of sound?

Without thought, without any preconceived ideas, how is it known that it is the sound is that of an ‘apple’?
No. It is the AE of sound.
It cannot be known.
Does the label itself or the thought itself know anything about an ‘apple’? Or are they just simply AE of label/thought?
No. It is simply the AE of label/thought.
So is there really actual experience of an ‘apple’, or what is actually appearing, what the actual experience is, is colour, sensation, taste, smell, sound, which thought then labels and describes as an 'apple'?
No. There is color, sensation, taste, smell, sound, which thought labels apple.
In other words, is an apple actually known or only thoughts about an apple are known?
Only thoughts about the apple are known.

This exercise reminds me of Plato’s allegory of the cave. In the story, the prisoners can only perceive the shadows projected on the wall, and take that to be the only reality. The point being that we are like the prisoners, in that we can only perceive through our senses.

We cannot know the reality itself, it can only be known to use through sense impressions. We make “sense” of these impressions with the mind to construct a model of reality.

- Duncan

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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:30 pm

Zappa stuff:

Oh yes! Zappa is great. There are usually two types of people: those that know his name and maybe a song or two (usually the funny or offensive ones) and then there are the fans. His catalog is vast, so there’s a lot to discover if you get hooked : )

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:22 pm

Zappa... I liked a lot of what got airplay, but others I know went into more of it
~ 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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