Who is the seeker?

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anatta2112
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Who is the seeker?

Postby anatta2112 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:29 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the self is a construct generated by the subconscious mind. What we conventionally call "self" ultimately stems from thoughts and assumptions about who and what we are. Accompanying this is a strong energetic contraction (felt in the body) which leads to a felt sense of ‘me’ being a limited ‘separate’ entity (subject) in a world of objects.

What are you looking for at LU?
Liberation from the painful limitations of personal selfhood and all its attendant woes, I would like a guide to help with this ‘falling away’ of self process. Thousands of words could be written here about ‘who’ is seeking ‘what’ and 'why.' But the less conceptual baggage there is for the apparent seeker writing this to get hold the better. So to summarise, I believe that seeing through our 'mentally constructed,' apparent 'separate identities' and the subsequent realise from all associated limited and painful physical contractions is simply a natural stage in the process of human evolution, and that Non-dual reality awaits us all regardless of 'who' thinks 'what' about 'whatever.'

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
The process has stated in my mind and body, the self is unraveling itself as it were, it’s falling apart and it’s largely amazing! The liberating potential of anattā can be seen and clearly at times. However there is some trepidation and reluctance which is felt as an energy deep within the body and brain. Lately I have been practicing the Dzogchen technique of just sitting and simply being without judgment, I see and understand clearly how thoughts when energised and identified with draw me into a pseudo reality of endless mental suffering potential (samsara) So as I said it feels like the process is irreversibly underway, I think I’m largely through the anxiety stages (mine lasted for years) and conceptual deaths, but it somehow feel is like there is more dying to do.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I’ve been a seeker most of my life (I am 44 now) mostly within the Buddhist tradition and I’ve followed all the irregular and regular patterns, ie; strong conceptual (intellectual) practice and doctrinal study followed by periods of (self inquiry) and meditation. All of which seamed to bring about a gradual personal transformation. Then I came across Tony Parsons, adyashanti and Jackson Peterson, plus other perhaps less well known communicators of the direct Non-dual/anattā message. And whilst exposing myself to this material it was seen and understood (perhaps only conceptually) that anattā/non duality/non self etc. is the truth.

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

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Vivien
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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby Vivien » Mon May 04, 2020 5:46 am

Hi,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Vivien and I'd be happy to assist you in your inquiry.

This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have. We can have a conversation and see where it takes you.
The purpose of which would be for there to be a realisation, more than just intellectually, that there never was and never will be a separate self, as, such. All our efforts will focus on that.

I will tend to ask many questions. That's my job here. These, will be pointers towards no self. It will be for you to examine your experience to find out what's true or not.

I would like to ask you to write only from your experience as you see it, what feels true, with whole honesty.
And also post daily.
If you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
Can we agree on these?

Tell me, what are you really looking for. How would your life change if you find that?
What are you hoping for?
What do you want to happen?
What is incomplete right now?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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anatta2112
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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby anatta2112 » Tue May 05, 2020 12:15 am

Hello Vivien, many thanks for the reply, and a big thank you for taking the time to do this with me. 🙏🏼😊 I agree to your terms and I will try my very best to reply to you daily, but if for any reason I can’t, I will as you suggest let you know.

Regarding your questions.
What are you really looking for?
Answer: Liberation from mental suffering. I have seen, that all of my (mental) suffering arises because of a deeply held belief that there is a separate autonomous self operating within. A self that has an identity, an preferred agenda and personal story. I have also seen that this construct is part of an elaborate self perpetuating illusion that cannot be found outside of my own thoughts. It seams as though the legitimacy of the self is rather like that of a circular argument. Thoughts of self 'perpetuate' or 'generate' feelings of substance (emotional energy) and emotional energy in turn validates thoughts of self. And the only thing keeping this cycle going (samsara) is the unconscious assumption that it is all real. When the 'empty' groundless nature of this assumption is glimpsed, intuited or seen, fear and anger (the selfs protective mechanisms) are usually triggered to prevent further examination and its dissolution. And in most cases we are blind sighted by these emotions.
Although I have seen this quite clearly both intellectually and deeply into the subconscious, and I’m quite comfortable with the experience of fear in the body the karmic mind is still present and occasionally becomes dominant. I feel energetically 'blocked.'

How would your life change if you find that?
Answer: Honestly, apart from the obvious energetic reconnection and expansion into what is, I have no idea.

What are you hoping for?
Answer: Personally? Nothing. I don’t really think like that.

What do you want to happen?
Nothing other than the things I said above.

What is incomplete right now?
I don’t feel incomplete necessarily or particularly troubled conceptually, I’m relatively at ease most of the time. There does however seam to be, what I can only describe as a deep seated (unconscious) resistance to the letting go of self 'completely,' which is experienced as (heavy) blocked energy felt in the body.

I have tried to be as honest as possible here although I realise my capacity for self deception is potentially limitless. Thanks again. Best wishes. xx

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Vivien
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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby Vivien » Tue May 05, 2020 5:06 am

Hi anatta2112,

What name do you want me to call you?

I would like to ask you to learn to use the quotation function, so our conversation will be easier to read later for both of us.

So here is the link to a video again how to quote:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660
many thanks for the reply, and a big thank you for taking the time to do this with me.
You are very welcome :)

Thank you for getting through these questions about expectations. It’s important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now.

Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations result in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation. Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.
I have seen, that all of my (mental) suffering arises because of a deeply held belief that there is a separate autonomous self operating within. A self that has an identity, an preferred agenda and personal story. I have also seen that this construct is part of an elaborate self perpetuating illusion that cannot be found outside of my own thoughts. It seams as though the legitimacy of the self is rather like that of a circular argument. Thoughts of self 'perpetuate' or 'generate' feelings of substance (emotional energy) and emotional energy in turn validates thoughts of self. And the only thing keeping this cycle going (samsara) is the unconscious assumption that it is all real.
It's very good that you already can see this.
Answer: Liberation from mental suffering.
And what if there is no you, no self that could be liberated from mental suffering? What if there is literally nothing there that could or could not be free of suffering? What if suffering doesn’t happen to anyone or anything?

Seeing through the self is not about being free of suffering, it’s not about not having half of emotions (the unpleasant ones). It’s about seeing that no matter what emotion appears, pleasant or unpleasant, it doesn’t happen to anyone or anything. It’s literally not anchored to anything at all. And the freedom lies in it, and not from trying to get rid of it. Only a self wants to get rid of it and not feel any unpleasant emotions/sensation anymore.

And what can be seen as the result of this inquiry is that the one that wants to be free from suffering is simply not there, it’s missing from the picture altogether.

Happiness, peace, suffering, anger, sadness are all states, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Seeing through the separate individual is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about seeing that emotions don’t belong to anything. They are free floating without being tied to or anchored to anything.

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case. Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity (self) is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.

Also, physiological problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
Liberation from the painful limitations of personal selfhood and all its attendant woes
And what if there is nothing that could be liberated from the ‘painful limitations of personal selfhood’?
What if being liberated from it is part of the story about the illusionary self/me?
, I would like a guide to help with this ‘falling away’ of self process.
And what if the appearance self won’t fall away, but it just will be seen as an illusion?

This is a very common expectation, but a quite unrealistic one.

The appearance of self won’t stop, but it can be seen for what it is, just an illusion.
Why would the illusion stop?
The self is ALREADY not there, whether it’s seen or not. So why would the illusion go away when it’s seen to be only an illusion?
Only the fictional me-character wants the illusion to stop.
It’s like Batman wanting to be liberated from Batman, and be free from the Batman-illusion. :)
I think I’m largely through the anxiety stages (mine lasted for years) and conceptual deaths, but it somehow feel is like there is more dying to do.
This is another common assumption, that the self dies as the result of this process. I also used to believe this.

And when it's believed that the self could die, it can definitely generate anxiety.

There is nothing that could die or cease to exist.
There is no self that could die.
Just because the self is seen through, nothing will die, since there has never been a self there in the first place.
There is no self that could be annihilated or killed.

The only thing that changes is the RECOGNITION that there has never been a self there, it’s always just an imaginary character.
But nothing else will change.
The sense of self will still arise. The illusion of the self will still be there.
So nothing will be lost, only a belief in the self will fall away, but not the illusion itself.


Although I have seen this quite clearly both intellectually and deeply into the subconscious, and I’m quite comfortable with the experience of fear in the body the karmic mind is still present and occasionally becomes dominant. I feel energetically 'blocked.'
How does this ‘feeling of being energetically blocked’ is actually felt?
What if ‘feeling energetically being blocked’ is just part of the thought story of me?
Can you be open to the possibility that ‘energetic blockade’ is might not what you think it is?
There does however seam to be, what I can only describe as a deep seated (unconscious) resistance to the letting go of self 'completely,' which is experienced as (heavy) blocked energy felt in the body.
OK. You are mixing experience with thought interpretation. It is normal, we all do this. But with this investigation you will be able to see what is actually happening and what is just a thought-story about what is happening. To see what is actually real, and what is just imagined and thus believed to be real.
I have tried to be as honest as possible here although I realise my capacity for self deception is potentially limitless.
I really like your openness :) this will help you a lot.
Answer: Honestly, apart from the obvious energetic reconnection and expansion into what is, I have no idea.
When the illusion is seen to be only an illusion the desire of ‘wanting an energetic reconnection and expansion into what is’ becomes meaningless… since it will be seen that there is nothing that is currently unconnected and could be reconnected into what is… the ‘thing’ that could reconnect doesn’t exist, it’s just an illusion.

Please ponder on these questions and comments to see your expectations from a different perspective. Because what I can say for sure, it won’t be how you imagine it to be. Since it cannot be known in advance. It’s never how one imagines it to be.

So it would be the best, if you could drop all your expectations, and just to be a clean slate.
When the 'empty' groundless nature of this assumption is glimpsed, intuited or seen, fear and anger (the selfs protective mechanisms) are usually triggered to prevent further examination and its dissolution.
Is this fear currently present?
If so, we might have to look into it.
If it’s currently not strong, we can put it aside and look at it only when it comes up more strongly.

For the time our investigation, I would like to ask you to stop reading/listening any teachers, and rather spend your time looking. Also, I would like to ask you to put aside all learned knowledge. You have to see this experientially and not relying on others’ experiences. Can we agree on these?

Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?

Do you feel ready to start the investigation?

And what name do you want me to call you?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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anatta2112
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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby anatta2112 » Tue May 05, 2020 7:57 pm

Hello Vivien. My name is Jon. Agreed. I feel that what you say is true and I have no fundamental disagreement with any of it. Is there any chance we can we trim this down? There’re dozens of questions being asked here simultaneously and it will be hard for me to keep this up on a daily basis.

I agree with your terms and that there is ultimately no-self to be found in experience.
How does this ‘feeling of being energetically blocked’ actually feel?
It is a subconscious energy that appears to be separate from the whole in the me story.
What if ‘feeling energetically being blocked’ is just part of the thought story of me?
I have no doubt that it is!
Can you be open to the possibility that ‘energetic blockade’ is might not what you think it is?
Yes, in the me story, it’s there, it’s moving and morphing and that’s fine. Its not such a big deal I was really just trying to think of things to write in your boxes. Same with my so called expectations, I don’t really have any, apart from in the me story there still exists the idea of liberation from the self. But again I’m not so preoccupied with this anymore, after years of practice I now have a strong sense that seeking is unnecessary so this impulse is starting to relax.

For the time our investigation, I would like to ask you to stop reading/listening any teachers, and rather spend your time looking. Also, I would like to ask you to put aside all learned knowledge. You have to see this experientially and not relying on others’ experiences. Can we agree on these?
Yes that’s fine.
Before starting, please read my above comments carefully a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?
Some resistance yes. Some of what you say is conceptually inconsistent. But I take your point about the danger of having expectations and clinging to cherished imaginings of what liberation might or might not be.

Regarding my expectations, you said "that seeing through the self is not about being free of suffering," however liberation or freedom from mental suffering (which perhaps needs some explanation) in the sense that I am using it here, refers to freedom from all the mind made forms of suffering that arise in dependance on aversion and attachment. Tendencies which in turn arise in (and only in) dependence on the delusional belief that there is a self that can avert and attach too things. So to be clear, when I say "freedom from mental suffering" I am referring to this type of secondary suffering, or in other words suffering that is an entirely self generated (karmic) feature of the self construct and ‘conceptually created.’ My experience shows that secondary suffering can be differentiated from primary suffering and that it can be reduced, abated and avoided. Primary suffering which is of course inevitable and often unavoidable, ranges from unpleasant physical/mental sensations, physical pain, memory based traumas, physiological/psychological traumas/reactions etc. So its this secondary suffering that ceases once the selfing process ceases.
Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
Sure let’s do it.

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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby Vivien » Wed May 06, 2020 4:20 am

Hi Jon,
Is there any chance we can we trim this down? There’re dozens of questions being asked here simultaneously and it will be hard for me to keep this up on a daily basis.
These questions weren’t inquiry questions, we haven’t started yet. I just replied to your expectations. So don’t worry, I won’t give you that many questions later.
Regarding my expectations, you said "that seeing through the self is not about being free of suffering," however liberation or freedom from mental suffering (which perhaps needs some explanation) in the sense that I am using it here, refers to freedom from all the mind made forms of suffering that arise in dependance on aversion and attachment.
Aversion and attachment won’t fall away automatically just because the self-illusion is seen through. That would require lots of further looking. Seeing through the self is not the end, far from it, it’s just the beginning, just the first step. And there are many things that could be looked into later. That’s why I’m saying that the seeming suffering won’t stop. However, it can be seen that suffering doesn’t belong to anything, and actually suffering itself is an illusion. But it doesn’t mean that the illusion will stop appearing, but it can be seen for what it is.

I’m addressing these only, because if you think that seeing through the self-illusion means a stop in seeming suffering with no more attachement and aversion, than you can be very disappointed. And you can even miss the simplicity of what has been seen, if you measure it up to an expectation. As I said, this is just the first step, just the beginning. Falling away of conditionings can last at the end of the organism.
Sure let’s do it.
All right, let’s start it.

This investigation will be very simple. You won’t need your intellect to figure out anything.

We are only ever looking for experiential facts of reality, but not intellectual knowledge about reality.

We are going to strip away as much intellectualization as possible. We are going down to bare bones. To the simplest simplicity.

Intellectual understanding is what moves the needle the wrong way on the dial. We're going to move it back to the simplest position possible.

You have to look at each questions with the eyes of a little child, who has no intellectual knowledge about how things work.

I will at times ask things repeatedly, or in very simple language. If that happens, trust the process as it's meant to stop the intellectualizing an allow exploration of the experiential.

This is very simple. I cannot emphasize the simplicity enough, actually. Have you heard phrases like, "It's right here" or "It's so simple"? It's a good idea to take that very literally.

Imagine that you are holding a spoon. Imagine its shape, size, weight, temperature, color. Now keep it there, close your eyes, and feel the imaginary spoon.

Then, open your eyes:

Is there a spoon here, in real life?
So how did you see that there is no spoon?
What happened to the spoon?
Did it disappear or it never existed?


Now go and get a spoon from the kitchen and hold it in the same way that you imagined it.
Feel the spoon’s form, its size, its weight, its temperature. Close your eyes and feel the spoon for a while.

Now open your eyes ... is there a spoon here, in real life?
Are a visual thought of the spoon and the experience of the spoon the same?
How does imagining and experiencing differ?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby anatta2112 » Thu May 07, 2020 12:42 am

Hi Vivien.
Aversion and attachment won’t fall away automatically just because the self-illusion is seen through.
To be honest I have no real interest in any supposed no-self insight that changes nothing and the insight you’re describing sounds to me like its a ‘psychological’ rather than ‘transcendental’ one, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, but to call it “liberation” is misleading. I have seen that the selfing tendency is causal to ALL forms of mental suffering, in fact we could say that “the self IS suffering” there is in reality no distinction. So when the illusion of self ceases so too does the illusion of suffering and when the illusion of self arrises so too does the illusion of suffering. They are one and the same. It’s not possible to fully realise the truth of no-self and to still experience mental suffering. It is possible however if that insight is merely psychological. All conscious explorations into the subconscious mind no matter how profound and liberating they may seem, are taking place within the conditioned space of a personal localised self construct, and whilst these experiences are a genuine and important step on the path to leading to liberation, they will not in themselves bring about any significant or lasting changes, they may lead to a much more subtle, refined and pleasurable selfing experience but the root ignorance that causes the self to arise will still be intact and the potential for regression will remain. Everything you have said so far in your communication is consistent with this level of insight.

Liberation in spiritual terms really means one thing: Liberation from suffering, what else could liberation mean? You’re right about the seeker and expectations getting in the way of experience and if the ego gets hold of the so called liberation project this can cause much distraction. You’re also right to see the limitations of the conceptual mind and of the intellect, experience and thoughts about experience are not the same thing and it’s good to ponder the significance of this. However averting and attaching to conditioned processes will continue as long as some sort of personalised sense of self occurs in the mind and the body (this can be subtle) and as long as this is happening new cycles of self referantial mental suffering will always arise. This condition is not liberation.
That would require lots of further looking. Seeing through the self is not the end, far from it, it’s just the beginning, just the first step.
This statement is telling. After this supposed no-self realisation, exactly who is left to look further? and who is left to take more steps?
And there are many things that could be looked into later.
Similarly, after no self is realised, who would be looking into things later? And what things? conditioned mental states/personal psychological/emotional histories etc? These dualistic self and other constructs would no longer exist in a true state of no self.

Thanks for your replies so far and I wish you success in the future. But I no longer feel the need to continue with this communication.

Very best wishes Jon.X

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Vivien
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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby Vivien » Thu May 07, 2020 1:13 am

Hi Jon,

In Buddhist terms, this inquiry is about stream entry, which is about the first 3 fetters. Seeming suffering arises until all the fetters have fallen away. Desire and aversion are the 4th and the 5th fetters. That's why further looking is needed.

And even before the first fetter has fallen away, there is no self, and yet looking is happening. The self has never ever been there.
Thanks for your replies so far and I wish you success in the future. But I no longer feel the need to continue with this communication.
That's all right.

All the best,
Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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anatta2112
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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby anatta2112 » Thu May 07, 2020 8:37 pm

Hi Vivien, I don’t really expect a reply to this. There will be no more emails from me and it’s not my intention to debate with you, however.
IIn Buddhist terms, this inquiry is about stream entry, which is about the first 3 fetters. Seeming suffering arises until all the fetters have fallen away. Desire and aversion are the 4th and the 5th fetters. That's why further looking is needed.
OK fine, but why call this liberation when it’s clearly not? At best this a dualistic psychological inquiry into the relative truth of no-self, which as you freely admit does not usually bring about an end to the self construct. I’m sure your intentions are honourable and that this has some psychological value, but on the other hand the lack of conceptual coherency here will no doubt confuse a lot of people too.
And even before the first fetter has fallen away, there is no self, and yet looking is happening. The self has never ever been there.
Looking is happening? This sounds as though you’re just replacing the concept of ‘I’ with the concept of ‘not I.’ You seam to be saying “that before your inquiry ‘a self’ is looking for liberation and after your inquiry ‘no self’ is looking for liberation” but ‘looking’ IS the activity of the self, what else could it be?
Ask the question: Who or what is looking? When it is clearly seen and understood that ‘no-one’ exists to ‘look,’ the idea of looking becomes just another irrelevant dualistic concept. No-self means no experiencer and no experiencer means looking cannot ever happen. The idea that we can look is an illusion created by the me. No one looks, no one can go further and no one becomes liberated.
How can ‘no-one’ look into their own experience, this idea is purely dualistic and thoughts of “more things to look into” simply belong to a self lost in the me dream.

Best wishes Jon.

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Vivien
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Re: Who is the seeker?

Postby Vivien » Thu May 07, 2020 11:54 pm

Dear Jon,

You are completely misunderstanding this inquiry and the concept of looking. But that's all right. You don't have to do this inquiry.

I wish you all the best,
Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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