Off the cliff to be finally finally free

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benno
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Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:43 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
the realization that there is no "I" that is the author of my life, that body/mind is just a very complex organism that responds following its own genetics and conditioning and "outer" influences. All such body/mind organisms flow seamlessly with other, less complex organisms and other forms of energy, as part of all that is.

What are you looking for at LU?
I feel I am close to realization of no self. I have seem to have lost the ability to feel fear quite some time ago.
A year ago, a shift seems to have happened, since then, when I look at my body, seeing my hand does not feel any different from seeing somebody else's hand. I dont feel I "sit" inside my head, rather behind, seeing equally my visible body parts and outer world, no difference in quality between "me" and "world" is felt.
I spend often big portions of time in what I could call discontinuity of self-referencing, for example I have a conversion, walk away, and on my way I just see my feet moving over the ground, hear sounds , no story-making happens, until the next event triggers a story (a call for example). Often I hear myself talking, effortlessly, it just happens, no "me" is doing the talking, I dont even know what I will say or do next.
There was a moment 2 weeks ago when I was in emotional pain. Suddenly I recognized that, the Benno character simply had to have this pain right here, right now, and that everything was fine as it was, nothing could or should to be different as it was, neither the pain, nor the sound of the birds in the trees. The pain was still there, but I was in peace, no suffering. This experience lasted a few hours before I lost this clarity again. Since then, it is kind of with me, but never again in this clarity. Many events can trigger identification with "Benno", anger and frustration.
I feel I have not fallen yet over this famous cliff of seeing no self without any doubt. So I am looking for kind of a final push :)

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
clarifying where I stand, and help me to jump off that famous cliff.
I have always worked on my own, had no teacher or guru, resonated with this or that, watched videos, read books.
Nisargadatta and the direct path are what has resonated with me in the last months.
When I read "gateless gatecrashers", I felt that this style of guiding is compatible with where I stand, and could really help me.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
2 times 10 days Vipassana (Goenka), maybe a 600 hours of Vipassana mediation in one intense year (3 years ago)
I have stopped to meditate formally 2 years ago, but seek to deepen and explore no-self states and do self inquiry every single day.
I had a period of trauma healing (energy work) during the last months, no self states have deepened since then, it is like my traumas have much less grip on me. I feel I could be ready for the next step.
Finding lasting truth and peace is all I ever want for the rest of my life. I feel it is what I always wanted, without being able to express it.
It is all that really matters for me.

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: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:37 am

Hi benno,

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

This is going to be 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?

Thank you for your detailed introduction.

Could you please tell me what are you really looking for? How would your life change if you find that?
What are you hoping for to change?
What do you hope that should happen?
Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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benno
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:29 am

Hi Vivien,
thank you for offering your guidance!
I didnt expect to get an answer so quickly, and am excited to start the conversion!
Yes I agree to post daily, and to write from my own experience.

what I am really looking for?
I think foremost I want to be free. Free from being caught in the prison of emotional reactions of the Benno character. Free of the suffering that resistance brings, day after day. Free of the stories of the Benno character that throw me up and down, back and forth. I am totally fed up with all of this. I can see that suffering from identification happens, and doesnt need to happen. I can see (most of the time) that all my suffering is connected to being identified with a self. Yet it happens over and over again.
Lately I have really good experiences (almost daily, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours). I might react emotionally (I have a family with 2 kids, 11 and 2 years old, both with their challenges), but only shortly, then I kind of fall back behind the stories, mind gets still, and I just experience sounds, colours, movements, touches while I do something that does not trigger emotions.
The sense of being Benno seems not to be continuous anymore. It feels so natural when that happens, so effortless. There might be negative experiences (pain, exhaustion), but there is no resistance, or only very shortly.
But it seems to be just a state, not permanent.
I had such periods before. But then I watched myself hopelessly being gripped by reactions, and feeling in prison again for weeks, seeing quite clearly and in desperation what was happening, but unable to "step back" from being caught.
I suspect that a permanent seeing of "all happens by itself, there is no self authoring my life" would prevent this from happening.
I had a long talk with a teacher last year, she said: yes, you have the (noself) experiences, but not the wisdom.
I feel this is true. There is no deep insight that helps me not being trapped so deeply again and again.
So I hope I have answered your questions:
"How would your life change if you find that?"t
"What are you hoping for to change?"
"What do you hope that should happen?"
As for your last question "Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?":
Yes, a bit like the experience I described (I suddenly KNEW that having this pain was totally what had to be in this moment, that it could not be any different, and that I was not the one having the pain, there was the Benno character, and I was not that character), but deeper, and permanently available.
I whenever I turn my attention inwards, I only find emptiness and stillness, no "me". I can do this so easily, but no deep insight seems to be springing from this seeing.

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benno
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:50 am

I would like to add:
I wrote "I think foremost I want to be free." I feel that is not entirely correct.
PEACE is my deepest wish, and becoming free is what I hope will bring permanent peace.
Thank you so much for looking at my world, and looking forward to your answer !

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Vivien
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:01 pm

Hi Benno,

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

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 think foremost I want to be free. Free from being caught in the prison of emotional reactions of the Benno character.
Oh, so there are two of you?

1. The Benno character
2. The one that is caught in the prison of the emotional reactions of Benno?

Do you think that there is another you, OUTSIDE of the Benno character?
Free of the suffering that resistance brings, day after day.
When there is suffering it is not just because there is a belief in a self. But also because there are wounds ‘inside’ and when they are poked by certain stimuli then a conditioned emotional response is triggered.

But just because the self is seen through, these wounds won’t disappear. And the personality stays almost completely intact when the self is seen through. All the conditionings from childhood, all the traumas, all the gathered emotional pains won’t dissolve in an instant just because the self is seen through. These most likely will stay, however, they are much more accessible and easier to work with after seeing through the illusion. This is just the first step, just the beginning, and not the end. The falling away of conditioning can last at the end of the organism.
Free of the suffering that resistance brings, day after day.
Resistance also won’t disappear in the instant when the self is seen through. Resistance is a complex reaction, which needs lots of further looking later.
Free of the stories of the Benno character
What if freedom is not to get rid of the stories of the Benno character, but rather to FEEL every emotions freely, and not trying to push them away? What if freedom is to feel freely whatever is happening?
Free of the stories of the Benno character that throw me up and down, back and forth.
Here you are talking again as if there were two of you.

You might have discovered that you are not Benno, but you still believe that there is another you outside of this story of you. But what if there isn’t?
What if the one who is so fed up, is the SAME illusory self?
Isn’t being fed up is also part of the story of Benno?
I can see (most of the time) that all my suffering is connected to being identified with a self.
So you think that there is a ‘real you’ who is outside of the story, and identifying with the self?
What if there is no one outside? Literally no one?
Lately I have really good experiences (almost daily, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours). I might react emotionally (I have a family with 2 kids, 11 and 2 years old, both with their challenges), but only shortly, then I kind of fall back behind the stories, mind gets still, and I just experience sounds, colours, movements, touches while I do something that does not trigger emotions.
Consider this… what if this is just a skill to avoid feeling the emotions?

This is quite common. This is spiritual bypassing. You developed a way to escape the story and the accompanying emotions. But freedom doesn’t come from escaping. Freedom is allowing whatever is happening here, even if it’s unpleasant.
There might be negative experiences (pain, exhaustion), but there is no resistance, or only very shortly.
But it seems to be just a state, not permanent.
Exactly, this is just a state. But seeing no self is NOT a state.

So it might be seen that the Benno is just a fictional character, but the belief in the self isn’t fully seen through. Just the identification moved from the character to another character who is supposedly outside of the story, and really wants to get rid of the story.
but unable to "step back" from being caught.
You see? This is what I’m pointing at.

There is a belief that there is someone who could step back from being caught in the story of Benno.
I wrote "I think foremost I want to be free." I feel that is not entirely correct.
PEACE is my deepest wish, and becoming free is what I hope will bring permanent peace.
Peace is a state, 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.

Please ponder on these questions 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.

Is there resistance to any part of my comments?

Please, put all the books and videos aside, we are going to be focusing on what you see, rather than what you have learned. Can we agree on this?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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benno
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:41 pm

Hi Vivian,
first of all, thank you very much for taking your time to answer in such detail.
I will answer your last question first:
Is there resistance to any part of my comments?
when I saw you are questioning a lot of what I wrote, I felt immediate excitement.
I was glad when I noted this, I don't feel I am clinging to what I wrote or to the underlying beliefs.
It may be difficult to get rid of some of them, but I feel there is no "spiritual pride", just curiosity where our conversation may lead.
But just because the self is seen through, these wounds won’t disappear. And the personality stays almost completely intact when the self is seen through. All the conditionings from childhood, all the traumas, all the gathered emotional pains won’t dissolve in an instant just because the self is seen through.
I totally expect the fictional character to continue, so here is no problem. I often seem kind of watch Benno´s movie from the outside, and know that the movie wont stop by knowing there is no one there acting. I expect however some degree of relaxation, similar to what I feel now when continuity of self is interrupted.
There is a belief that there is someone who could step back from being caught in the story of Benno.
Yes, I am clearly not speaking from the viewpoint of nonduality.
Your questioning of this viewpoint from "outside the story of Benno" (which you rightfully repeat many times) makes me aware where I "spiritually" come from. Let me explain. At this point, I have adapted a type of teaching that goes about like this (description maybe not very accurate):

1) in order to get "near to the cliff", cultivate an observer position, from where you do self inquiry, observe your inner workings
2) this observer will become more and more "transparent", suffering will be less along the way
3) at some point, self realization may happen, and later the observer position will dissolve by itself; the seeing "I am all" will remain - non duality

So what I have been doing is cultivating "pulling back" into observer mode.
It has helped me a lot in terms of reducing suffering, and feeling more free, losing fear, relax.
I am currently very much in this position of observing the "movie of Benno".
When I write "caught in the story", I mean I lose my observer stance and struggle to get back there.
It felt like progress, but at the same time, your guiding is about direct pointing, not cultivating an observer.
Your questioning makes me aware how deep in duality, how "indirect" my current inquiry is.
It is about observing/recognizing the inner working of "me" (Benno character), not about trying to see no self directly.
Yes describing this sounds like there are 2 Bennos :)
So it might be seen that the Benno is just a fictional character, but the belief in the self isn’t fully seen through. Just the identification moved from the character to another character who is supposedly outside of the story, and really wants to get rid of the story
yes the observer cannot be somebody else than the same illusory self.
Yes, I agree totally. I see the fiction of Benno's story easily, but remain in the notion that I am a separate self.
How can I go directly at this belief?

I would like to add something. In some way I feel have been "there" already and in a sense "know" how it feels.
I had a several years long episode of DPDR (de-realization, de-personalization) when I was 20 (40 years ago).
It came after LSD abuse following a huge trauma. I lost my sense of self for a long time, as I recognized only short time ago. At the time I thought I had gone scizophrenic.
There was just watching a movie of Benno, not being the doer or decider of anything that happened.
My organism reacted with bottomless fear, 24/7 (reminds me of what Susan Segal wrote). It was an undescribable nightmare.
Other than fear, I had the feeling of abiding in absolute truth, living in total clarity, but totally emotionless apart from this. When my sense of self gradually came back, I was relieved that fear went away, but had the feeling of a great loss, returning in the foggyness and unconsciousness of normal life.
I can remember still the total alienation of that state, the loss of everything that I thought was me.
I sometimes think this background plays a role in my spiritual seeking, thats why I mention it.
I am confident that fear wouldn't come up this time.

Do people you guide often report fear after seeing no-self?
Thanks so much for guiding me!

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benno
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:54 pm

One more remark:
Consider this… what if this is just a skill to avoid feeling the emotions?
This is quite common. This is spiritual bypassing. You developed a way to escape the story and the accompanying emotions. But freedom doesn’t come from escaping. Freedom is allowing whatever is happening here, even if it’s unpleasant.
I think the experience I describe is not spiritual bypassing (which I certainly have been attracted to in the past)
For example, let's assume I get angry over my step son's behaviour. When I am caught in "me", anger can be long lasting and I sometimes tend to chew on it and make my reaction much worse than the original event. That's what I mean by "prison of emotional reactions". Cascades of old reactions.
When I am in "no self mode", the reaction (anger) is felt also, but only shortly, and there is no need to insist and insist. I can easily let go and feel joy again.
Also, pain, be it physical or emotional, is felt clearly, but does not trigger negative thoughts (or at least much less).
I would say I don't escape the story, take events more for what they are, without getting entangled, without cascades of stories getting kicked off by the event. It feels natural and not like supression.

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Vivien
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:32 am

Hi Benno,
1) in order to get "near to the cliff", cultivate an observer position, from where you do self inquiry, observe your inner workings
2) this observer will become more and more "transparent", suffering will be less along the way
3) at some point, self realization may happen, and later the observer position will dissolve by itself; the seeing "I am all" will remain - non duality

So what I have been doing is cultivating "pulling back" into observer mode.
Thank you for sharing this. I have a better understanding where you are at the moment.

So what has happened, is that you tried to disidentify with the character by identifying with a witness.

But, both of them still an identification. And as long as there is identification, the self is still believed in. So by identifying with the witness, you made the life more pleasant for the character. :) And that’s all right, but it’s still some form of self-improvement.
When I write "caught in the story", I mean I lose my observer stance and struggle to get back there.
Yes, exactly. Since you believe that you MADE that identification with the witness to happen. It was your doing. And now YOU are struggling to get back to that state.

So there is not just a belief in a self/I, but also that I’m making things happen. I have control over things, and I can do this and that.
I would like to add something. In some way I feel have been "there" already and in a sense "know" how it feels.
I had a several years long episode of DPDR (de-realization, de-personalization) when I was 20 (40 years ago).
It came after LSD abuse following a huge trauma. I lost my sense of self for a long time, as I recognized only short time ago. At the time I thought I had gone scizophrenic.
There was just watching a movie of Benno, not being the doer or decider of anything that happened.
My organism reacted with bottomless fear, 24/7 (reminds me of what Susan Segal wrote). It was an undescribable nightmare.
Here the self still wasn’t seen through. Rather there was just a full identification with the watcher/observer, instead of the character. Hence the fear. Since only a self can fear. If there is a fear you can be make sure that in that moment a separate self is believed in.
Do people you guide often report fear after seeing no-self?
Fear is usually before seeing through the self, due to negative expectations. It’s very rare after. If there is a big fear after, then it’s really questionable if the self is seen through.

I’m not suggesting that fear completely disappears after seeing no self, it can come up. But not as fear form seeing no self, but rather just usual fears which stem from emotinal problems, from the ‘internal wounds’. Like fear of what others think of me, fear of embarrassment, etc.
Other than fear, I had the feeling of abiding in absolute truth, living in total clarity, but totally emotionless apart from this.
Yet, still there was somebody or someone or something that was abiding in truth.
There was an abider. So the belief in the self was still there. Just as the abider, and not the character.
But it’s still the same self. The same illusion.

Are you willing to step through this identification?

Are you willing to investigate if there is indeed someone or something witness, to see that the witness itself is just an illusion?

Are you willing to really find out the truth? Or this witness is too precious to look through?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Vivien
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:42 am

I think the experience I describe is not spiritual bypassing (which I certainly have been attracted to in the past)
You might not think that way, but I still think that it’s a bypass to escape from emotions.
I’m even more convinced, after I read this:
I had a several years long episode of DPDR (de-realization, de-personalization) when I was 20 (40 years ago).
It came after LSD abuse following a huge trauma. I lost my sense of self for a long time, as I recognized only short time ago.
This was definitely an unconscious escape from feeling the emotions of the trauma and dealing with it.
Have you dealt with this traumatic experience?
Have you worked it through with the help of a therapist or something similar?


Because if you haven’t, then the trauma is still there buried inside, and there is a chance of this de-personalization episode to happen again if the self is seen through.

Seeing through the self is NOT a de-personalization. De-personalization is a survival coping mechanism of the human psyche. It happens, when something unbearable happened, and the self cannot cope with that. So the only strategy is to escape form that terror is to dis-identify from the character the trauma happened to, thus escape the unbearable suffering. This happens unconsciously.

So if you haven’t dealt with the trauma, there is a quite high chance that the trauma will re-surface in a full force when the self is seen through. And that could be really hard. In these cases, it is strongly suggested NOT to do the inquiry until the trauma is not dealt with. Since it can cause more harm than good.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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benno
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:11 am

Hi Vivien,
what you write makes a lot of sense to me.
I am deeply grateful that you help me with your experience, and feel we touch very important points.
Have you dealt with this traumatic experience?
Have you worked it through with the help of a therapist or something similar?
Yes I have - there were panic attacks and fears when I first had my sense of self weakened through meditation, which made me wonder if I should continue on the spiritual path, but this is gone since over a year.
I may not have the time to write in more detail today (I hope I will and look forward to sharing my view)
Thank you again, our contact feels very valuable to me!

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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:40 pm

my take on trauma:
Have you dealt with this traumatic experience?
Have you worked it through with the help of a therapist or something similar?
yes I was hit by ugly incidents as a child, (the last one being finding my father dead, he had shot himself in the head), and was heavily traumatized.
I somehow survived, but did not touch anything connected to traumas for decades. I was too afraid to look at it.
This changed after Vipassana retreats, a ground (re)appeared suddenly, where I felt safe und whole.
Finally, during the last 12 months, I kind of stumbled over 2 different therapists. I was like a miracle, decade long blockages were softened, and at least a big part of them seem to have dissolved.
Since a few weeks, I don't awake anymore having to fight immediately negativity and deep despair which was just my normality for decades.
Of course I don't know what is left, and if another chunk of trauma will come up and needs to be looked after.
But it feels like I can take a next step now. The sense of self was clearly weakened after this last healing, it just happened. Maybe no need to be in emergency, fight, control mode anymore? something seems to have loosened.

DPDR and fear:
You might not think that way, but I still think that it’s a bypass to escape from emotions.
I’m even more convinced, after I read this (..about DPDR)
You are certainly right, what happened was an unconscious self protection, and not at all seeing through the self.
in my DPDR period, the loss of the sense of self was connected to bottomless fear.
There was no insight at all: at the time I had a strictly scientific viewpoint, completely rejected religion and spirituality.
Only when I, almost 40 years later, after meditating a long time, felt my sense of self fading, and found emptiness everywhere I looked, the fear returned immediately. It was a heavy panic attack, that only went away when the sense of self came back within an hour or so.
Fear had already happened before, when, as a result of my practice, I look at my hand and didnt feel it was "mine", or that the face I saw in the mirror was "me". I was deeply scared of this.
I felt immediately that it was the same fear as in DPDR. I wondered if I ever would be able to go further on that path.
This has changed completely. A bit more than a year ago I suddenly noticed, that projected situations that had triggered fear and panic in the past (even a few weeks ago), just didnt trigger fear anymore.
For example an eye surgery I will need, or thinking of the decay of my body, desease, dying. When I feel into these possible situation, there is only emptiness. I still have stress reactions when in a dangerous situation (a car racing towards me), but do not count this as fear.
And since fear has fallen away, experiencing a fading sense of self feels like coming home, coming to rest, no fear coming up anymore.
Of course trying to get there by effort feels different, there is frustration and desire to get something, not like a sinking back.
So I don't think fear will come up again, but who knows?
In the beginning, after my first awakening, when I first was able to get behind the mind chatter, there was clearly spiritual bypassing. I had, after decades, found ground under my feet. My life, my understanding of existence, changed completely. I felt I could leave behind all my traumas without touching them, by cultivating a different viewpoint. I now know thisdoes not work, not when I want to be free, and while I still might fall into this trap sometimes, I feel there is something very authentic going on (when this sinking back happens), not a learnt trick to avoid real life. There is an almost magnetic draw.

Sense of self vs Seeing through the self:
from my (certainly limited) viewpoint, the sense of self is kind of elastic. Before seeing through, what I experience is it comes and goes, fades and gets dominant again. Simultaneously, the seeing of what is in every given moment, seeing events as events without making it part of a story, also is elastic; the more dominant the sense of self, the less events can be seen for what they are.
What about after seeing through? will it be still bouncing back all the time?

I know that I still write and see from a mostly dualistic viewpoint.
But the sense of self has clearly become more transparent and faded lately.
Yesterday I have read your blog, about observer being part of all too. When I pondered on this, the "landing place of self" seemed to get smaller and smaller. Very interesting and promising. Thank you very much for help, it feels as if understanding is moving somewhat.
I know I didn't answer all of your questions, but will leave it a that for now.

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benno
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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:35 am

Are you willing to step through this identification?

Are you willing to investigate if there is indeed someone or something witness, to see that the witness itself is just an illusion?

Are you willing to really find out the truth? Or this witness is too precious to look through?
YES to all of these questions, not a single doubt! I have started to listen into and look at the witness, feel its presence.
Looking forward to your guidance:)

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Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:02 am

Hi Benno,

Thank you for sharing.

So far, we just had a normal conversation. But now we actually start doing the inquiry.

So from now on, please take all of my questions as pointer, and look at them and reply to them one-by-one. They something to think about, but something to investigate in experience.
YES to all of these questions, not a single doubt! I have started to listen into and look at the witness, feel its presence.
We don’t go that route. That’s a dead-end.

We are going to start to investigate thoughts. Seeing thoughts clearly is essential part of the inquiry.

It is very important that you never think or ponder on the questions. Rather you actually have to look what you can see in your immediate experience before any thought interpretation.

Please always be thorough with looking. Look repeatedly several times before replying.

Sit for about 15 minutes… thoughts come and go….

What do you do in order to think?
Is thinking your doing?
Do you make thoughts appear? How?

Can you trace a thought back to where it came?
In the same way, can you follow a thought to its destination?
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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benno
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:41 pm

Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby benno » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:14 am

I have been with your questions many times during the day.
Maybe there was too much trying (looking for results) involved, the inquiry itself was about "me wanting to see", I rarely registered a clear finding.

I went for a walk with my partner yesterday.
In the beginning, movement, sounds, visual events, thoughts, talking (mine and hers), were perceived mostly as "just happening".
Neither the seeing of parts of my body, nor the hearing of my voice, nor coming up of thoughts, felt as if they were mine or initiated by me.
Thoughts appeared, I reacted by saying something.
Then, something she said provoked resistance in me. Immediately, the thoughts had kind of an emotional charge, and lost their characteristic of "just happening", "not being mine".
Suddenly there were "my thoughts". There was now a Me that wanted something, or didn't want something
I felt kind of a contraction that made me feel uneasy.
Today I registered similar findings (ironically when I didn't think of our inquiry)

Summary:
I can clearly see thoughts as just happening - until there is an emotional charge.

I look inward, and find only emptiness; sounds, vision, body sensations, thoughts, appear and go away.
No ME to be found, totally obvious. There is no self in sight. I can dive into that beingness, flow with it. Wonderful.

Then an emotional reaction happens. Thoughts are now loaded with "I". I dont want this to happen. I want that to happen. There is a lot of self felt now.

What do you do in order to think?
nothing in direct experience.
Is thinking your doing?
as long as there is no "emotional charge", it does not feel they are my doing
Do you make thoughts appear? How?
no, not in direct experience. they are felt to simply appear, neutral, random. But when they are part of an emotional reaction, it feels like its my thoughts, me thinking them, making them appear. Probably I am no able to look at my direct experience when in an emotional reaction, otherwise I might find the same ;)
Can you trace a thought back to where it came?
no, not in direct experience. Only as an interpretation, thinking process (caused by this or that)
In the same way, can you follow a thought to its destination?
what would the destination of a thought be? A thought is felt to appear, and go away
Can you tell where thoughts come from and go to, without using any imagination or speculation?
I find no addition to what I answered to the last two questions.

I would like to repeat this inquiry tomorrow. I feel the "resolution" of my looking was not very good. I was looking too directly probably. Do you have additional hints?
unsure if I am looking in the right direction...

thank you :)

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Vivien
Posts: 7037
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Off the cliff to be finally finally free

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:03 am

Hi Benno,
I would like to repeat this inquiry tomorrow. I feel the "resolution" of my looking was not very good. I was looking too directly probably. Do you have additional hints?
unsure if I am looking in the right direction...
What makes you thing that your looking was too direct? This type of inquiry called direct pointing. So it’s all about directness. It cannot be too direct :)
Then, something she said provoked resistance in me. Immediately, the thoughts had kind of an emotional charge, and lost their characteristic of "just happening", "not being mine".
Suddenly there were "my thoughts". There was now a Me that wanted something, or didn't want something
I felt kind of a contraction that made me feel uneasy.
Let’s look into this.

Please sit for a while, and bring up the memory of this walk with your partner. Bring up the memory what she said that proved resistance. Let the feeling of resistance arise, notice the bodily sensations that comes with it.

The point is to feel the resistance while doing this inquiry to trigger the ‘sense of me’.
Suddenly there were "my thoughts".
So it the moment as you feel the resistance and remember the conversation with her…

What makes thoughts into ‘my’ thoughts?
Where is the I that owns these thoughts?

Literally search for the I, which these thoughts belong TO. Where is it? Where is the owner of thoughts?
There was now a Me that wanted something, or didn't want something
As this wanter me arise, look at it.

Where is the one that wants?
Where is the one that resists?

I felt kind of a contraction that made me feel uneasy.
OK. So the contraction is there as a bodily sensation.

But what is it that FEELS it?
What does this contracted sensation happens TO?

What FEELS the uneasiness?
Where is the FEELER?

Probably I am no able to look at my direct experience when in an emotional reaction, otherwise I might find the same ;)
So even when there is no ownership of thoughts, there is still a ME that says “MY direct experience”, and I HAVE an emotional reaction.

So what is it exactly that is looking at direct experience?
Where is the one inquiring?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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