Seeing

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:56 am

Hi Rick,

Nice, I am in Bristol :)
But if I look directly at this 'split' it quite quickly becomes ephemeral and then there is no obvious boundary. Awareness seems to be 'in' the objects of perception as much as it seems to be in the looking. From that view, reality feels like it is buzzing with life. Indeed, that it IS life.
Yes, so does it make sense to talk about inner and outer?
Its almost like I normally feel like a 'centre point' in my internal visual field, where I imagine my self to be, looking out at the world. This morning, as I look into that sensation, that sensation too is 'made' out of awareness. I also notice as I look at it, there are sometimes images/words that come along with it, in support of the notion of Rick.
Great. Yes if awareness is like space, that one part can be seen to be not separate to the rest. This looking seems to show you that the words that come along with it, are what supports self. In other words, the self is found as a thought - yes?
I often 'see' like a source. Layers of perception are slowly stripped off, and I get to a core of energy/consciousnes that has a sense of 'me', or at least 'I'. I can see how some of the more surface levels of thought will mirror off this, and be like, 'yes, see, there we are!'. But there is also something about that core that is quite clearly not about thought.
It would be good to look at this deeper - what is this core specifically?
Does it have a shape or size?
Does it say or communicate anything, and if so, how?
Does it have any characteristics or attributes?
What is it made of?
What gives it or associates it with a sense of self?
What is that something in the core that is not about thought? Simply look at it, and try not to think about it.



Best wishes,

Nic

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:16 am

I went to university in Bristol :) Lovely place. One of my potential go-to's for the next hop/chapter.

Lot's of questions there, very helpful. I'm going to look at these today, but I had an experience this morning very connected to the first.
Yes, so does it make sense to talk about inner and outer?
I was lying in bed, listening to an audio book. I started to look at the boundary between 'me' and 'reality' and it really dissolved a number of times. Even the ongoing stream of thoughts became another part of this fabric, with no obvious listener. My body felt extremely strange, as if my limbs were all in the wrong places XD

How wonderful it is to have respite from that maddening cramped and localised sense of self, with all the burdens of past, present and future, somehow wrapped up into a never-ending story of the self!!

I'm keeping that particular exercise on my list, as it is yielding a lot of insights.

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:22 pm

Hi Rick,

Sounds great! I am glad that you are working with the pointings and really letting them shift your experience. What you experience with the body is like a premonition of a coming exercise we will be doing :)

I look forward to your responses to the latest questions,

Best wishes,

Nic

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:23 pm

In other words, the self is found as a thought - yes?
I think its an amorphous group of thoughts. Words, images, sounds, often occuring simulataneously, and generally strongly associated with being in a body. But yes, ultimately, it is just a thought. If I look at reality directly, I can see that the self is another phenomena emerging within it, but has no more stable form than anything else.
Does it have a shape or size?
The closer I look at it, the less it has a shape or size.
Does it say or communicate anything, and if so, how?
Sometimes I look at it, and it has this general sense of 'you need me'. This watching presence, underneath surface thoughts, whose primary motivation is to survive.
Does it have any characteristics or attributes?
It appears to have an 'inward looking' characteristic. Although I'm not sure if that is the feeling of my attention focused in on it. I guess the 'feeling' of being self-conscious, is the sense of being watched, even if the watcher is part of your own brain.
What is it made of?
I can't say it is made of anything other than sensation or thought.
What gives it or associates it with a sense of self?
At the moment, I am not sure it is anything other than the sense of attention. If attention is placed there, it can give rise to the feeling that attention is coming FROM there, but the same can be said of anything outside my body, so that clearly isn't true. Focusing DE on an object of perception other than than this self-object often makes the self-object disappear, so I think thats the most likely culprit. It can also feel like a kind of cockpit up there; that is where the body is being driven from.
What is that something in the core that is not about thought? Simply look at it, and try not to think about it.
Without thought, it is like a light/knowing without boundary, without form. Like a resounding 'I am', but its not even that, really. I could say it was 'everything', and it rings kind of true, but not ultimately true. I could say it was 'nothing', but the same applies.

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:29 pm

I think its an amorphous group of thoughts. Words, images, sounds, often occuring simulataneously, and generally strongly associated with being in a body. But yes, ultimately, it is just a thought.
Getting there. So yes the self is a group of thoughts. Images and sounds; how do they imply or suggest selfhood?
If I look at reality directly, I can see that the self is another phenomena emerging within it, but has no more stable form than anything else.
Is it though? What makes it a phenomena and how does it emerge within reality - specifically?
Sometimes I look at it, and it has this general sense of 'you need me'. This watching presence, underneath surface thoughts, whose primary motivation is to survive.
There is presence, but can you find 'motivation to survive' in raw presence?
Without thought, it is like a light/knowing without boundary, without form.
Yes, this is the DE, just this. Anything else is an interpretation or thought about it, can you see that?

Lets just clear this up and then I have a feeling we can move onto looking at the body and sensation which might help :)

Best wishes,

Nic

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:13 pm

Sorry for the delay Nic, I've been a bit unwell and found myself binging on Netflix. Not a common behaviour...jeeps they make that stuff addictive..!
Images and sounds; how do they imply or suggest selfhood?
In raw experiencing, there can only be what is. That is-ness may indeed be a bunch of images/sounds that appear to be a self, but they are transient.
Is it though? What makes it a phenomena and how does it emerge within reality - specifically?
I think it emerges as reality just like everything else does. Unlike the more basic objects of my experience, the self is the only one who claims ownership or control over that experience. The ownership habitually feels real, at the centre, but when I look closer it is nothing more than an energy; a bunch of sensations/images/sounds. Indeed it is possible to have MANY sensations/images/sounds that appear to be the self, which also undermines its case for being...
There is presence, but can you find 'motivation to survive' in raw presence?
Initially I thought I could, but actually no. Even if there was some deep, primal arising of that force, it is something within presence, not something that has an inherent basis outside of that presence.
Yes, this is the DE, just this. Anything else is an interpretation or thought about it, can you see that?
Yes, I can, and there is a growing sense of freedom that I am realising has nothing to do with any of the long-held stories I have had about what life is, what I am, what meditation is or isn't, etc.

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:50 am

Re: does the self emerge from reality, part II:

I’m starting to doubt my previous answer. It isnt, in fact, clearly emerging from reality. If it was emerging, it would have a source. I cannot find a source. Like a snake eating its own tail, it folds into nothing.

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:57 am

Hi Rick,

No worries, I hope you are feeling better.
In raw experiencing, there can only be what is. That is-ness may indeed be a bunch of images/sounds that appear to be a self, but they are transient.
Absolutely. And in your DE what qualities do you find in that 'is-ness?'
the self is the only one who claims ownership or control over that experience.
How does the self do this?
Please do not answer this from intellect or memory, but rather look into it in experience :)
Yes, I can, and there is a growing sense of freedom that I am realising has nothing to do with any of the long-held stories I have had about what life is, what I am, what meditation is or isn't, etc.
Nice!
I’m starting to doubt my previous answer. It isnt, in fact, clearly emerging from reality. If it was emerging, it would have a source. I cannot find a source. Like a snake eating its own tail, it folds into nothing.
Exactly - there is no source. There is presence, and then there are thoughts about presence. It is that simple really!

Ok so I think we can move onto look into the body:

Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes.
Paying attention only to the pure sensations, without relying on thoughts or mental images:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have a weight or volume?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?

Is there an inside or an outside?
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?

What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?

Look very carefully, especially with the last question. Take your time, don’t rush. You can look several times during the day while doing other things (like washing hands, showering, having a short break from work, walking, etc) before replying.

Best wishes,

Nic

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:30 pm

And in your DE what qualities do you find in that 'is-ness?'
I do find that generally my mind is very, very busy thinking about all this stuff. Sometimes I can let that happen, but more often than not I am grasping at experience. But from DE, is-ness has no quality other than itself. Quality is a mental phenomenon, a priori.
How does the self do this? (how does the self claim control/ownership of experience)
I was initially going to describe how it feels, but as I look directly at that, I see something quite stark; there is no control. Its not even that control is an illusion - from DE there IS NO CONTROL. Controlling and not controlling are pure nonsense. Its just a bunch of almost entirely arbitrary thoughts..!
Can it be known how tall the body is?
By seeing all ideas of height, in DE there is no notion of height. Using sensation alone, there is no way to reference height! It makes no sense!! The sensation does not have a bottom, or top, inside or outside. It is tempting to say it is depthless, but its truer to say it has neither depth nor no depth.
Does the body have a weight or volume?
There is a subtle notion of weight and volume, but this notion is not available in pure sensation. What is there to compare volume against? Each sensation can be both infinity large, or infinitely small. It is without volume, or weight! The mind says “this sensation is weight”. The sensation says “ “. Words fail.
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
I almost can’t believe it, but beyond thought the body has no shape or form. Often there is the sensations, ‘grouped’ together by an image or ghost-like 3D idea of the body. But the body does not ‘know’ this, anymore than it ‘knows’ anything. The mind claims to know, but this claim cannot withstand DE.

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
There is no boundary anywhere, let alone my shorts or chair. There are no seams that can be experienced in DE, they can be conceived to conceive is to already work within boundary; the conception is without boundary. That almost makes no sense.
Is there an inside or an outside?
No, inside nor outside can be perceived in pure sensation!
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?
Oh my god, that is hilarious. Even the objects of perception with eyes open do not have an ‘outside’ in themselves.
What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
Awareness!
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?
Awareness!!!

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:26 pm

Serious looking there Rick! Sounds like a shift is happening? Great work looking into the body. We may yet need to return to the body but your enquiry seems to run at it's own pace and suddenly go in new directions!
I was initially going to describe how it feels, but as I look directly at that, I see something quite stark; there is no control. Its not even that control is an illusion - from DE there IS NO CONTROL. Controlling and not controlling are pure nonsense. Its just a bunch of almost entirely arbitrary thoughts..!
Amazing that - I wonder if I can offer you this exercise, just to cement this insight:

1. Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
2. When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.

Don't go to thoughts, examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:-

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?


Best wishes,

Nic

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:38 pm

Yes, a shift is happening during direct looking, especially since realising I cannot feel thoughts. At all.
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
At first, there seemed to be a chooser. I zoomed in closer to each moment before, during and after the movement, from DE alone. From DE, I can witness thoughts related to the moving of the hand, but no thinker. Occasionally it appears the hand moves ‘all by itself’.

Then it got REALLY weird. There was choice, but no chooser. Without a chooser, there was not really choice, either. I had this experience where there was simply movement, an apparently random movement of hands, some very very vague sense of ‘choice being made’ but the absolute lack of any of this happening in direct experience.

I then did this exercise, but with the movement of thought or attention alone. It is possible to see the attention moving AS A THING ONLY CONTAINED WITHIN ITSELF. Like it is seen, but it isn’t actually REAL.

Its like this Rick continues to exist in some way, in the sense that there is change. But within direct knowing, all of its possible movements/thoughts are ONE thing. So there is no SPACE for this ‘self’ to direct the show. It is not independent. There is not one part of it that is independent. “I and the Father are One”. I thought I understood that before, but I didn’t realise it could entirely undermine the identity.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
It appears the individual is only maintained by the idea of itself. In DE, there is this awareness that trumps claim of this identity. I have to admit, the word ‘individual’ is more sticky for me than the previous exercise. The very word seems to conjure something into existence.

But wait. From DE, how can something be ‘conjured into existence’? That would depend on the thoughts somehow connecting to each other, but from DE it is clear they do not connect. There is no actual connection, each subsequent thought also contains within it what appears to be the link to the previous thought. It is entirely constructed. Zooming in further reveals that many thoughts may be occurring at once, and the identity is one of them, or a bunch of them. But the SENSE is actually CREATED by this bunch of thoughts!!!

Its all completely NON-SENSE!! XD
What is it that is controlling the hand?
I moved my fingers slowly. What is controlling? I cannot find it in DE. Which leads me to the only possible conclusion - it is moving BY ITSELF!

Like a bloody horror movie!! Except that its funny!!

But...that means this whole time, all the thoughts were just happening. The whole goddamn drama was just going on, but there was no actor?! But the ENTIRE plot of the play was absolutely dependent on there being an actor! Oh my god-ness. That means there has literally been no single event in the history of my life that hasnt, at its very core, been a very profound JOKE.

And the more “serious” that moment was, the more the universe laughed!!!
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
The implications of this are apparently never-ending. I sat breathing, but no one was controlling the breath. Even if ‘I’ deliberately changed the depth or pace. Even as little experiences of ‘controlling’ arrived and left, it was very clear these were happening purely in the organism, the happening, not as a controller.

Almost all the friction of my life has been about this controller. Now I think about it, thats the whole damn thing! No wonder I have been getting so damn frustrated - if there is no controller, reality being controllable makes absolutely no sense. All the evidence of my life reveals this anyway; the sense of control has been denied at almost every turn, only to begin again in the next moment.

This is astonishing. I can’t believe that I’m allowed to let go of the steering wheel and let the car drive itself. That it is going to do that whether I let go or not. Let the driver think he is driving even, the whole time sitting in the back knowing he isn’t even really there? That he is just a dream?!?!

The craziest thing about that ridiculous combination of words is that it is completely obvious.
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
Basically no. Nada. Zilch. There is a bunch of movements in the nervous system, some even feel like intention, but that is complete horseshit.
How is the decision made?
I am realising now I have been making a fundamental error. In the extreme effort of looking, that looking itself is mistaken for identity; combined with thinking and feeling to make the thought or felt seem connected to the identity.

The same goes with decisions. There is no final decider. The is cause and effect perhaps. I suppose there must be, otherwise science couldn’t predict anything. But why should that matter? Reality simply is, and science can describe it. It cant, by itself, BE reality. There is only one reality!

“Thou shalt have no false idols before me.”

No shit dude!!!

Before I sat down to do this stuff, I felt really quite depressed at the silliness of my mind. That doesn’t even make sense in this moment. Depression is entirely dependent on someone to be depressed. The body is still a little heavy in some ways, and yet, the light of knowing is there, within and beyond all experience.

I can only thank you again for sticking with all this.

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:35 pm

Hi Rick,

This was a joy to read and I laughed out loud at one bit! Sounds like a profound realisation So good work! I feel inclined to let it integrate a little, and see what happens.

If I was to ask you now; is there a self of any kind anywhere in your experience, what would you say? Is there any way you are clinging to the idea?

Best wishes,

Nic

PS my laptop has packed it in, or hopefully the charger so I’m less able to guide until I’ve fixed it or got anew charger but I’ll try :)

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:11 pm

I definitely am clinging to it as I go about my daily activities. Sometimes with a kind of furiosity. It's an addiction, there's just no doubt in my mind that is its nature, at least in the relative sense.

I will look at this throughout the day and get back to you. Good luck with the charger! I will try to keep my responses brief until then.

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seriousrick
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Re: Seeing

Postby seriousrick » Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:11 am

I wrote this yesterday on the beach
Residual Self
There is a habitual sense of responsibility that the mind must be used to understand the world. I even caught myself feeling responsible for perception itself, before I realised that the dog was moving entirely as part of such-ness. Silly, but true.
As I looked across the bay, the wind blew gently, making fabrics sway. In that movement, there was no self. All of a sudden, all the people were seen as inherently empty of self. That sentence sounds dry, barren even. But the experience was so impossibly full, a quiet stream of joy and rich possibility flowed through every atom, whether it be possessed inside a body or not.

All was well, and had always been well, and will always be well.

Most of all, I was surprised that seeing the absence of self in others, as it is normally presumed to be there, did not reduce their worth in anyway. It seemed to be compassion itself manifest in form, everything arising exactly as it should. Everything was beyond validation, inherently good and inherently beautiful.

Apparently, selfing takes up space. To presume that this consciousness, or the body of any other, contains a self leaves only less room for reality, God, is-ness, call it what you will. It strikes me as peculiar that by liberating others from who we perceive them to be, letting them hold to no definition at all, they float effortlessly into each moment new. This is Life itself.

And as I look out at the things in the visual field, it becomes obvious that the self is in no-thing in particular, and the Self is in everything. That is all there is, and it has always been this way.
By somehow taking away, it leaves a vacuum, and life abhors a vacuum; before the vacuum can manifest the illusion is filled with the Real, the only thing that Is.

The sacred life-taking talisman is king, throwing all into the wind, so that it stays beyond life and death, right and wrong, this or that.
The portal to this way of looking is mainly in the senses; those most quickly lead to direct experience, which in turn is accompanied by a quite radical quietening of the mind and sometimes a falling away of the self. I am having very active dreams, about consciousness awakening against forces that try to prevent it! They are quite lucid.

In terms of hanging on, its just a habitual sense of responsibility. Responsibility for thinking, responsibility for actions, for relationships, even for perception ("am I seeing the truth? If not, what am I missing again and how can I find it?")

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Skygazer74
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Re: Seeing

Postby Skygazer74 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:03 pm

There is a habitual sense of responsibility that the mind must be used to understand the world. I even caught myself feeling responsible for perception itself, before I realised that the dog was moving entirely as part of such-ness. Silly, but true.
Yes, I love the word suchness, it helps to cut through conceptualisation even if it may be a concept itself. Another way of saying it might be that life is living itself.
As I looked across the bay, the wind blew gently, making fabrics sway. In that movement, there was no self. All of a sudden, all the people were seen as inherently empty of self. That sentence sounds dry, barren even. But the experience was so impossibly full, a quiet stream of joy and rich possibility flowed through every atom, whether it be possessed inside a body or not.
Beautiful - I wouldn't worry too much about other people in this too much. There is this kind of paradox that beings are both empty and yet unique and miraculous and full of potential and beauty. As they are not separate from us, love and compassion merely permeate the field, as it were.

Have you heard of the image of the Buddha having a vision of beings as being like a field of lotuses, some still in the mud, some rising through the water and some flowering and reaching for the sun? I love what you said about the experience!

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It seemed to be compassion itself manifest in form, everything arising exactly as it should. Everything was beyond validation, inherently good and inherently beautiful.
Exactly. Compassion is the response!
Apparently, selfing takes up space. To presume that this consciousness, or the body of any other, contains a self leaves only less room for reality, God, is-ness, call it what you will. It strikes me as peculiar that by liberating others from who we perceive them to be, letting them hold to no definition at all, they float effortlessly into each moment new. This is Life itself.
I found this too - as if grace is free to flow, or bodhicitta, or whatever you call it! The reduction of effort, control, and needing circumstances or beings to be other that they are is such a relief. Have you noticed a reduction in thoughts? All of this reminds me of when the drilling suddenly stops after building work has been going on all day next door!

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And as I look out at the things in the visual field, it becomes obvious that the self is in no-thing in particular, and the Self is in everything. That is all there is, and it has always been this way. By somehow taking away, it leaves a vacuum, and life abhors a vacuum; before the vacuum can manifest the illusion is filled with the Real, the only thing that Is.
Yes - although careful that you don't create a new self that is everything or nothing!! There is life, there is awareness, there is love, all free to be as it is without any of our concepts and structures.
In terms of hanging on, its just a habitual sense of responsibility. Responsibility for thinking, responsibility for actions, for relationships, even for perception ("am I seeing the truth? If not, what am I missing again and how can I find it?")
Who is responsible? And to whom?

We looked for the one who is in charge, and could not find it. I suggest applying that same looking to responsibility or anxiety that arises, until it is cleared up for you.

In my experience, after the gate, ethics and kindness simply flow unobstructed.
There may be habits of thought which take a while to unfurl, and stuff that comes up for healing - or there may not!
A lifetime of habits and neural pathways often need to be released as they come up for your attention.

After a lifetime of seeking - there may be residual traces of anxiety driving seeking, or it may be something else we need to look at? This is why I feel like a few days integration might be useful?

Best wishes, and really well done!

Nic

Anyway this was a joy to read, so beautiful. Let's let it settle and sit with it for a while. Let me know what comes up for you, if there are any more doubts or if any traces of selfhood manifest.


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