Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

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Wolflarsen
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Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Sun May 24, 2020 11:35 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand that the self is an illusion and that we are pure awareness. There is only awareness. I understand that I have built up a "self" over my life so far and that in reality, this "self" is just a series of thoughts, feelings, perceptions and sensations appearing in infinite awareness.

What are you looking for at LU?
I feel a little overwhelmed in my "search" at the moment. I feel I have done a lot of consuming of non dual material and gained a lot, both in understanding and experientially through practise, but I'm feeling a little fatigued mentally and doubting my understanding at the moment. I would like some clarity and to simplify the teaching as much as possible so that i can feel a little more focused and sure of what i'm doing.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I don't know what to expect, but i hope to have some assistance with the areas I feel stuck on and maybe gain some clarity. I feel I have consumed a lot of material from different teachers that at times contradict each other and use different terminology that I feel has left me a little confused and overwhelmed. So it would be nice to have it simplified if possible.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have about 8 years meditation experience, starting out with Transcendental Meditation, while also experimenting with mindfulness based meditation, before delving into non dualism about 4 months ago. I have been aware of non dual teachings for a couple of years but only flirted with them on/off, but they always made the most sense to me intuitively, just for a long time seemed quite daunting.

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

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Sun May 24, 2020 4:22 pm

Hi,

We can walk together for a while, provided that you are ok with the setup here, which is:

-I ask you questions, you look into them and work with them as best you can.
-You commit to post every day or as close as possible.
-Be as direct as possible, as too much background, thoughting and multiple compound questions make this confusing.
-Be honest. What you are experiencing, your emotions, all good.
-What we are looking into is seeing...direct experience, not content of thoughts, past and what most consider therapy.
-You are healthy and balanced enough to do this work. Please read the following disclaimer and acknowledge for me...
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/disclaimer/

Please use the quote feature, so this is easy to follow and makes sense. Cut my question, then answer, like I did below for Q2.

1) Would you please tell me about what you expect from seeing no-self? What do you want from this? What is going to be different? What is missing now?

2) You said
I feel I have consumed a lot of material from different teachers that at times contradict each other and use different terminology that I feel has left me a little confused and overwhelmed. So it would be nice to have it simplified if possible.
.*****Can you explain a few examples of contradictory ideas, maybe a little on "all the information" you've been taking in?

Not all roads lead to Rome.

What should I call you? You can call me Cal.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Mon May 25, 2020 3:37 pm

Hi Cal, Thanks for agreeing to help guide me along. You can call me Sean.
Can you explain a few examples of contradictory ideas, maybe a little on "all the information" you've been taking in?
Yes, so I started out originally with a more modern traditional advaita approach. I really took to Rupert Spira's way of asking "Am I Aware?/Who or what is aware of being aware?" and just resting as awareness. I then discovered the likes of Tony Parsons and Richard Sylvester who both claim that self inquiry is ultimately pointless and that enlightenment will either happen or it wont and there is nothing one can do to get there. Then there is the Nisargadatta/Maharshi approach of "who am i?/I am", which also felt right to me, but the advice there is to relentlessly bore into the "I", which seems a lot more effortful and possible to do when sitting quietly, but not so much when I have to deal with day to day life. I've just found myself at a bit of a loss and unfocused, dividing my attention between different approaches. Does that help at all?

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Tue May 26, 2020 1:59 am

Hi Sean,
Tony Parsons and Richard Sylvester who both claim that self inquiry is ultimately pointless and that enlightenment will either happen or it wont and there is nothing one can do to get there.
I think this is crap and, the idea of "ultimately pointless" is irrelevant at this stage of the game. The organism "Sean" learned math, language...all kinds of skills. We are looking at the "me" that takes ownership.

The goal is for you to see no-self, and it won't hurt to trust your own direct experience over "teachers" and whatnot. Teachers should be able to point and direct towards methods that get results.

1) Your internal representation...5 senses plus thought....is to reality like maps are to reality. A topographical map gives some data, census documents give data, bank titles and ownership docs give data, street map gives data. None are the territory. Tell me about your inner representation....does it EQUAL reality? When, why, why not?

2) You said "overwhelmed, stuck and need some clarity" ...where are you with no-self, where do you think that fits in to the overall journey?

3) When you see this, what will be different/better? What is currently wrong or missing? What do you expect to happen to you once you see?

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Tue May 26, 2020 1:52 pm

1) Your internal representation...5 senses plus thought....is to reality like maps are to reality. A topographical map gives some data, census documents give data, bank titles and ownership docs give data, street map gives data. None are the territory. Tell me about your inner representation....does it EQUAL reality? When, why, why not?
To me it doesn't equal reality, when I'm unconsciously doing things and getting caught up in my thoughts it FEELS that is what's real but increasingly as I look for the witnessing "I", I know that the true reality is something else, the awareness that is aware of thought, feeling, perceptions, sensations. It remains while they all come and go. I can tap into it, but it doesn't remain. I have to tell myself and correct myself all the time.
2) You said "overwhelmed, stuck and need some clarity" ...where are you with no-self, where do you think that fits in to the overall journey?
I feel like I catch glimpses of no self but they are weak and fleeting, thought pulls me back.I think it's an integral part of the journey, the most important really. I've experiment with the headless way and found it useful but it never really sticks. Is this what you meant by where i think it fits in?
3) When you see this, what will be different/better? What is currently wrong or missing? What do you expect to happen to you once you see?
I feel my attachment to my separate self has caused me a lot of grief over the years, had me chasing things because I felt I should chase them while always knowing there was more to life. I have been aware of the idea that there was something else "within me" in for a long time, even as a kid I used to question time and the present moment, long before i was aware of non duality. So there has always be a restlessness there, knowing there was something more. I don't expect a great deal to change, I just hope it unveils what i feel like ive always known but could never put words to. Sorry if that all sounds a bit pretentious.

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Tue May 26, 2020 4:11 pm

Let's start by ironing out some words
I know that the true reality is something else, the awareness that is aware of thought, feeling, perceptions, sensations. It remains while they all come and go. I can tap into it, but it doesn't remain.
1) Exercise: Sit quietly, ask the question internally "Who is the "knower" of knowledge? and Who possesses this knowledge?" Let me know what you get back. You should sit with this for a while, not just ask once and up you go. I want you to be thorough and drill all the way through.

2) What do you mean you can tap into it? What happens in that experience?
but it doesn't remain...... I've experiment with the headless way and found it useful but it never really sticks. Is this what you meant by where i think it fits in?
Somewhat. If you are saying that you have directly seen that you have no-self, that is one thing. If you are saying that you can enter a thoughtless state but that it is fleeting instead of abiding, that is another thing. If you are stating that you "believe" that self doesn't exist conceptually but haven't had that direct experience, that could be mixed in as well.

Tell me where you think you are. We want to move away from "felt all my life" and get to concrete direct experience.

Example: You are trying to turn on a lamp, and you reach under the shade and are turning the little thing, keep on turning, no light, turn it half a turn, then backwards...no light. You look down at the cord and see it's not plugged into the wall.

The moment you "see" the cord you "know" (not feel, think, suppose) it's not plugged in. There is nothing conceptual about this. Thought comes along later and says "Look at that" , then "I knew something was up".

2) Experiment: Sit on chair or sofa, feet flatly on the floor. Close your eyes. Feel your feet on the floor. Does it take thought or belief or me or headless way to know your feet are on the floor?

.
I just hope it unveils what i feel like ive always known but could never put words to.
3) What have you always known?

I'm familiar with Harding. For now, let's drop all the other stuff: reading, teachers, unless it is necessary for direct experience.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Tue May 26, 2020 8:20 pm

1) Exercise: Sit quietly, ask the question internally "Who is the "knower" of knowledge? and Who possesses this knowledge?" Let me know what you get back. You should sit with this for a while, not just ask once and up you go. I want you to be thorough and drill all the way through.
I get back that the “knower" of knowledge is a "deeper me” than the surface me that is thinking about my day to day. It feels like an internal, underlying experience that is clear and undisturbed and solid.
2) What do you mean you can tap into it? What happens in that experience?
By tap into it i mean that I can relax my attention on external objects/thoughts and change my focus to be that which is aware of those things. But it takes sustained effort to stay in that place, not extremely intense effort, but effort none the less.
2) “If you are saying that you can enter a thoughtless state but that it is fleeting instead of abiding, that is another thing. If you are stating that you "believe" that self doesn't exist conceptually but haven't had that direct experience,”
I feel I can very briefly enter a thoughtless state but by the time I realise it i’m immediately out of it, it may be literally a couple of seconds, then thought slips back in. At the same time I don’t know for sure it’s a thoughtless state and not just a lapse in focus. I sometimes think because I understand the self doest exist conceptually that i’m unconsciously willing a thoughtless state or convincing myself of it.
2) Experiment: Sit on chair or sofa, feet flatly on the floor. Close your eyes. Feel your feet on the floor. Does it take thought or belief or me or headless way to know your feet are on the floor?
No I just know that my feet are on the floor. There’s no thought process or belief or anything else. I just know it directly.
3) What have you always known?
I think that I had a sense of there being something else besides my day to day thinking mind, a sense of awareness that was below the surface.

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Wed May 27, 2020 12:00 am

Hi,
I get back that the “knower" of knowledge is a "deeper me” than the surface me that is thinking about my day to day. It feels like an internal, underlying experience that is clear and undisturbed and solid.
1)You got back a thought that told you this?

1.5) Are you getting the feeling that you exist?
By tap into it i mean that I can relax my attention on external objects/thoughts and change my focus to be that which is aware of those things.
2) Can you look at an object without thought for a bit?

3) Are you saying that when you change your focus you are awareness?

.
I sometimes think because I understand the self doest exist conceptually that i’m unconsciously willing a thoughtless state or convincing myself of it.
See, more pesky thoughts. That is a silly thought attempting to hold on for dear life. What is interesting is what happens to this elusive, deeper, subconscious subterranean self in the gaps where there is no thought?

Keep in mind that you are not going to "thought" this through, no matter how good you are at thoughting and piling up words.

4) Is it possible to pile up words and thoughts and internal representations in such a way that the subject cannot be found in real life? Give me a few examples of this.

5) Exercise: Over the next day, pay attention when you are watching tv or reading or both is even better. You are reading, watching, then notice how often you become aware that Sean is here, watching or reading. How long before you are lost in the activity again and then have to have another thought to remind yourself you are there. How long you can be doing this without the thought of "Sean here DOING this"?

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Wed May 27, 2020 8:50 am

4) Is it possible to pile up words and thoughts and internal representations in such a way that the subject cannot be found in real life? Give me a few examples of this.
Sorry mate would you be able to explain that question a little? don't think I quite understand. Thanks.

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Wed May 27, 2020 3:44 pm

Is it possible to pile up words and thoughts and internal representations in such a way that the subject cannot be found in real life? Give me a few examples of this.

Yes, I'm trying to understand how much you understand the difference between the conceptual world and reality.

Purple elephant can be imagined but not found.
The color red when you see a flower cannot be verified to be the same in someone else's experience.
1+2= 7 are some symbols that can't be arranged this way but don't work out to be real.
All of the words that you use to describe all of your problems are little characters, lines and squiggles, that point to ideas and concepts that may not exist at all.

Most people put way too much trust in words.

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Wed May 27, 2020 4:31 pm

Hey Cal, Thanks for clearing that up.
1)You got back a thought that told you this?
Not a thought initially, I guess that is the description of some kind of non verbal recognition I had, then put to words.
1.5) Are you getting the feeling that you exist?

In a way, yes. That there is something existing maybe, not necessarily "Sean", but something that's difficult to describe.
2) Can you look at an object without thought for a bit?
I feel I can briefly, like a defocusing into a more clear, bright state, but I'm not sure I ever feel fully unaware of "Sean" at the same time. It's kind of like there are still very subtle thoughts but I'm not acknowledging them.
3) Are you saying that when you change your focus you are awareness?
That's what it feels like to me, but again, I don't want to tell you I'm experiencing something and then for you to get the impression that I'm experiencing that thing when i'm not. So I don't want to say for definite. But yes, it feels like i'm awareness to me. Thoughts fade and there seems to be a subtle shift in perception.

5) Exercise: Over the next day, pay attention when you are watching tv or reading or both is even better. You are reading, watching, then notice how often you become aware that Sean is here, watching or reading. How long before you are lost in the activity again and then have to have another thought to remind yourself you are there. How long you can be doing this without the thought of "Sean here DOING this"?
I would say on a good day I am aware of “Sean is watching or reading” every few minutes, because I’m trying to “be aware” constantly if I can. It may last for a few minutes at a time before I realise i'm lost in activity again but I then look for who is aware once more. It’s kind of a back and forth all day long. Except on certain days when I may find it more difficult to concentrate for whatever reason. But as I said, I’m generally always trying to recognise when i’m unconscious and then try to adjust and be conscious again. I really do have a mind that constantly asks “Am i doing it right?” so it tends to pull me away a lot. Narrating the process almost.
Yes, I'm trying to understand how much you understand the difference between the conceptual world and reality.

Purple elephant can be imagined but not found.
The color red when you see a flower cannot be verified to be the same in someone else's experience.
1+2= 7 are some symbols that can't be arranged this way but don't work out to be real.
All of the words that you use to describe all of your problems are little characters, lines and squiggles, that point to ideas and concepts that may not exist at all.

Most people put way too much trust in words.
I understand all your examples. Are you saying that reality isn't the labels and meanings that we attach to them?

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Thu May 28, 2020 9:58 am

HI Cal, I woke up at 5am this morning with the realisation that Sean is just a concept, a story. Everything good and bad that happened to Sean were done by a created character, a set of beliefs handed to him and labels stuck on him, but none of it is actually real. It's imagined. I don't feel "enlightened" or a particuar sense of oneness or anything but I do feel that something just clicked that I had only heard about before now, as in a false ego etc, but I actually feel like I now get exactly what that was referring to.I created a "Sean"and i've been "seaning" my whole life. I'm not sure if this is as relevant as I think it is, but it's something i havent felt before.

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Thu May 28, 2020 3:30 pm

Hi Sean,

This seems to be a good development.

When you say "I" created Sean, what does "I" mean?

Where is the "I/Me/Self/Sean"?

What do these words point to or reference?

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Wolflarsen
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby Wolflarsen » Thu May 28, 2020 3:49 pm

Hey Cal,
When you say "I" created Sean, what does "I" mean?

Where is the "I/Me/Self/Sean"?

What do these words point to or reference?
I guess a better way to phrase it would be, there was a Sean created, as opposed to I created a Sean. Because when I look for "I', I can't find anything substantial, just an awareness of things, that isn't anywhere, just here, now. The "I/me/self/Sean" would usually reference the human being Sean, with his history and life experience, but that doesn't seem to hold any weight right now.

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SeeEye
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Re: Feeling stuck and looking for some assistance.

Postby SeeEye » Fri May 29, 2020 6:28 am

Review your own experience, stay with that. You might find it helpful to keep notes on what "works" for you....review the evidence and thought process so to speak.

So Sean is just a story. Stay with that.

Obviously "Sean" is your name...picture a nametag on your shirt that says "Sean"....even better if you have ever had that experience where you had a name tag and forgot to take it off.

What does that name tag reference of point to?

Not the body. You think of the organism, but is Sean the little toe toenail? No.

You have a train of thoughts....watch them closely.

Something like...."Well, of course you have a self!" "Don't be an idiot" "Remember that time you fell off your bike?" "You had this big problem last week, that was affecting Sean!" "Who do you think is talking in your head right now?" "Who do you think was helping you ruminate about this conversation you were anticipating all night long".....

If you watch closely...you will see that there is a story about Sean, but the story references things in other thoughts...like the phone game. "I heard Betty fell down" "Oh, did you see Betty fall down?" "What did Jim have to say about Betty?" Like a mystery novel, Betty is (presupposed) and the audience assumes by inference there is a (Betty Character) but then you find that it was made up as part of the plot.

If I ask you to look for the purple unicorn, you can create that in thought. There are real people who believe in Bigfoot, little kids believe in Santa. Some people believe in aliens. It's fun and amusing. Can't be found in reality.

Let me know where you are.

Peace!


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