Muddy Waters

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Bassui
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Muddy Waters

Postby Bassui » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:06 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
The "self" is an illusion created by the ego-mind. It serves a purpose in the relative world in advancing the survival of the organism, but the price of that survival is suffering. Our true nature is pure awareness, which is veiled in order that subjectivity can be experienced.

What are you looking for at LU?
I have read countless books and have involved myself in many practices over many years. Recently I experienced a collapse in the ego-mind foundation and saw through the illusion. I saw my true nature. However, at this stage the waters are murky and I find myself often confused and full of thought as this new perspective tries to realign itself. Perhaps it is a pull of the ego, I do not know. I would like guidance in clarifying the residual questions that are arising.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Truth, even the brutal variety. Honesty. I would hope for a guide who can clarify my questions. I feel like the puzzle pieces of my knowing have been scattered and need to be put back together if that makes sense.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have studied Buddhism, practiced Zen, dabbled in Advaita and Neo-Advaita, and more recently got involved with the direct-path which is where I had my recent breakthrough.

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

Bananafish
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bananafish » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:22 am

Hi Bassui. :)


It looks like you've had some experiences of inquiring in the way
Bassui or Torei did? Please tell a bit more about your "seeing your true nature."


My name is Bananafish, one of the guides here.
I'd be more than glad to help you.


Could you ask the "residual questions that are arising"?

Depending on what they are, I could suggest inquiring into a specific
aspect of reality, so that you can make your understanding clearer.


Best wishes,

Bananafish

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Bassui
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bassui » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:10 am

Good morning, Bananafish (manga reference, perhaps?)

Thank you for taking the time to help me clear up some of the confusion I am having.

I was doing a lot of self-inquiry. Initially it was Ramana Maharshi's "Who am I?" line of inquiry but when I switched to "Where am I?" I began to know/understand the awareness within which all of these experiences and appearances are arising cannot be found because it cannot be separated, it was never apart from any of it. The wheels began to come off at that point.

I think because I have been so heavily interested in Philosophy, particularly Stoicism, there's almost been a reluctance to give in so to speak. I hope that makes sense. Almost like the ego is fighting to hold onto it's existence as the sole arbiter of all that is my life. One foot firmly planted in the relative world and one that keeps dipping its toes into the absolute.

Often I hear that we have no control. I am not sure what is meant by this. Whether I drink a cup of coffee or not is entirely in my control, no? Is free will a myth?

What about time/space? I've been told that these things do not exist, but in this relative world they clearly do.

I suppose that's a good starting point me for, lol.

Bananafish
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bananafish » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:59 am

Hi. :) Thanks for further telling about your experience!

I also feel the "where am I" question is a very useful one; I even extended it
to "when am I" and "how am I" questions for my own use in guiding!


Often I hear that we have no control. I am not sure what is meant by this. Whether I drink a cup of coffee or not is entirely in my control, no? Is free will a myth?

Nice question. :)


Control is an idea, and if you will, you can use that idea for your convenience of
everyday life; that's it. You can choose not to use it too.

The thing is that reality is as it is, regardless of whether people use the
idea of control or not. You might drink a cup or coffee or not. What needs more?
Does it need an explanation?


This is something that came from my experiential understanding ...
now, how do YOU see this yourself?

What about time/space? I've been told that these things do not exist, but in this relative world they clearly do.


Again, did you see this for yourself?
If you are willing to see this yourself, I could help you.


And this is the same for "control" concepts of time and space can be used safely,
as long as you are really using it, not being used by them.
To use them means that you are crystal clear about what they really are.


Warmly,


Bananafish

Bananafish
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bananafish » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:21 am

Oh, to add to the above, "free will" is a concept, too.
You can say you have free will or you can say you don't.

Reality doesn't change whether one thinks that there is free will or not.

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Bassui
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bassui » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:49 am

Bananafish,
Control is an idea, and if you will, you can use that idea for your convenience of
everyday life; that's it. You can choose not to use it too.

The thing is that reality is as it is, regardless of whether people use the
idea of control or not. You might drink a cup or coffee or not. What needs more?
Does it need an explanation?


This is something that came from my experiential understanding ...
now, how do YOU see this yourself?
When I ask myself if the idea of control really needs an explanation, as you suggested, the answer is no. I reckon there doesn't need to be an answer. Life carries on regardless. Yet the pull from the ego-mind for a satisfactory answer to ALL questions still remains. Am I okay not having an answer for the endless questions that arise? I don't know.

Is this what they call surrendering?


Again, did you see this for yourself?
If you are willing to see this yourself, I could help you.
I experience the passing of time. I understand that there is only now but there was a now 15 years ago and I can recollect it. Is it suggested that time is also just a concept, and that it serves a useful purpose in this relative existence but ultimately does not exist?

Bananafish
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bananafish » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:45 am

Hi again. :)


If any kind of concept is calling for your attention,
it may well mean that you have intellectually understood that but
not viscerally. Otherwise, there won't be such questions first of all.

Of course, I'm not telling that to you as some sort of noble truth, but
that has at least been my experience.



So, it would be good to inquire until it becomes a gut kind of
understanding and there's no question at all. That's being true or honest
to yourself, not "surrendering" and pretending to forget that.



For me, it seems that you are asking for explanation, but
would MY explanation serve your want for satisfaction?

Wouldn't it be far better to have the answer yourself?


I can help you in your own inquiry by offering you
suggestions of what to do (or not to do), but I can't give you an answer.

Is this clear?


Warm regards,


Bananafish

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Bassui
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bassui » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:26 am

I gotcha.

Maybe I need some more time to let the dust settle here.

Thanks for your time!

Bananafish
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bananafish » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:38 am

No problem!


Well, the time is now for the remainders to settle.
It's not time that settles them, but one's willingness to clear them now
and one's honesty to admit that one still has remainders to work on. :)


By the way, are you interested in becoming a LU guide?
Or, interested in checking if you are clear about some crucial aspects of the inquiry
here?


If so, I could pose you the questions to see if it is crystal clear that
one has seen through the illusion of separate self.

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Bassui
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bassui » Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:27 am

By the way, are you interested in becoming a LU guide?
Or, interested in checking if you are clear about some crucial aspects of the inquiry
here?
Both.
Definitely interested in checking how clear my understanding is. Ask away!

Bananafish
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bananafish » Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:52 am

Ok. :) Take your time, and have fun!


1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it ufully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Can you talk about decision, intention, free will, choice and control? What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

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Bassui
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bassui » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:59 pm

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

There is, ultimately, no separate entity of "self", or "me". A separate entity would, by default, demand a counterpart of which none exists. There is only awareness.


2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it ufully as you see it now.

In order for infinite consciousness to experience itself it must veil it's own existence by becoming a finite mind, by which it can perceive appearances in the world. That is the mind we are "born" into, run by an ego. This ego is extraordinarily useful in the relative world, and it does its job of advancing the organism's survival remarkably well (breathing, creating red blood cells, managing electric signals in the brain, etc). The price we pay for this is the creation of the "I" and a subsequent separation from all that is not "I". This leads to seeking in order to make ourselves whole, and suffering when we cannot or do not see our true nature.

I see the separate self as a character in a play that I wrote but have hidden from myself to not spoil the ending. The most intimate character I will ever know, but one that I am not, for there is no separation between the "me" in the play and the rest of the characters, or the dirt on the ground, or the air in the room, or the tea in their cups. All are appearances, arising and falling in awareness of which I am. Temporary, spontaneous, and inseparable.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

At first, liberating. As the ego-mind is seen through and I more and more see from the perspective of the absolute it feels like a tooth ache. The sun on my face. A hangover from too much craft beer. Thrilling. Boring. It feels like nothing at all.
Bananafish said something that actually really stuck with me. Something along the lines of "do you need an answer"? I have come to know that seeking like this is activity of the ego-mind. It's made my journey lighter already.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
A Zen master I got drunk with scoffed at me when I asked if it was okay that a Zen Buddhist get drunk. Aren't intoxicants frowned upon? He howled, 'Your first mistake is thinking that there is a separation between you and that beer." That's what really made me start looking. The more I looked, the less I found. Until I realized that what I had been looking for was right here all along. My face before my parents were born. The gateless gate.

5) Can you talk about decision, intention, free will, choice and control? What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

I have struggled with this question a lot. Especially free will as it is so ingrained in our cultural identity in the west. Sam Harris wrote a great book appropriately titled "Free Will" that I tend to agree with. Free will is a myth in the relative world. We are no more in control of our next thought than how tall we are. If we cannot control our thoughts, which arise spontaneously in consciousness, how could we expect to make a decision on them?

Ultimately, however, these things don't matter. Life will happen exactly as it happens whether free will, intentions, choices and control are part of the experience or not. And more often than not these questions are a trap for the ego. It makes it seem like it has some control over the story when in fact it's just as temporary, spontaneous, and inseparable as the rest of it - all just appearances and concepts rising and falling.

6) Anything to add?
Just my favorite quote that made so much sense after seeing my true nature.
"Before enlightenment, chop wood, bring water. After enlightenment, chop wood, bring water." So simply I missed it!

Bananafish
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bananafish » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:24 pm

Hi. :)

I'd like to ask a couple of questions.



What is "the perspective of the absolute"?


Also, could you use an example from your daily life, say, taking a shower,
and tell in what way taking a shower relates to what you wrote ...
"there is only awareness"?


Then, could you tell what it is that is writing a response to this post?



Could you refrain from using the word "awareness" to describe all the above?


Warm regards,


Bananafish

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Bassui
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bassui » Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:51 pm

What is "the perspective of the absolute"?
In our relative world we stand apart from all that we see as a separate self: the relative perspective, which is essential to function in the physical world.

The perspective from the absolute means viewing ourselves as all that there is, or can be. There is no "me" out there functioning in the world apart from what the human organism is aware of. Identifying ourselves as that which is aware, understanding there is no separation between what is aware and what it is aware of.

This is a critical concept to come to understand. Many seekers do not realize the difference between the absolute and the relative, so when teachers start communicating about one's true nature it becomes a garbled mess if one doesn't understand from which perspective the teacher is teaching. Once I came to understand this difference it was much easier to wrap my head around the essence of non-duality.
Also, could you use an example from your daily life, say, taking a shower,
and tell in what way taking a shower relates to what you wrote ...
"there is only awareness"?
Last night I took a bath with my wife and son. Sunday's are ice-cream-in-the-bath days, zeitaku as the Japanese call it. The hot water surrounding our bodies, steam filling the room, ice cream melting in the container, laughter bouncing off the walls, and all of the other appearances that "make up" this particular experience arise naturally, without effort, without anyone doing anything. The are perfect in all of their unfiltered nature. It is simply life happening just as it happens.
Contrast this with the story that is created from these experiences by the ego-mind, the separate self. This water could be a litter warmer, that steam is really making me sweat, I wish the ice cream didn't melt that fast, if this bathroom was just a bit smaller the echo wouldn't be so loud, and so forth and so on for all eternity. Identification with the thought stream, with the "I" story that all of these things are happening to is our critical error. Behind all of these appearances and stories lies your true nature, experiencing the beauty of life unfiltered. It is in every moment, not just the shower. Look for it and you will find it! You cannot miss it!
Then, could you tell what it is that is writing a response to this post?
Universal consciousness, the source of all actions. There is nothing separate from that, which I am and this post is and you are. No doer doing anything. Life springs forth from that.

To be a little more clear and using language as a concession: There is a human here, Bassui, who is reading and responding to this post. Drinking coffee and listening to the birds outside. Perhaps he will do some yoga next, or maybe catch up on some reading. He, all he writes, and all of his apparent choices are a mere projection of thoughts and actions that arise in awareness, which is his true nature. And yours.

Bananafish
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Re: Muddy Waters

Postby Bananafish » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:06 pm

Thanks! :)

Could we continue this for a little bit?



When you are writing a reply, is it absolute or relative?


If I asked you to show "universal consciousness" to me,
what would you do?


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