Guide Request

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:28 am

Hi Tom,
Thus the I searching for itself.
In order for this to be true, there has to be a REAL, LIVING I, a real self, which is thinking, controlling attention and everything else, doing, choosing, feeling, etc.

But is this so? Is there a controller?

When you walk, what is controlling the body to move?
When you was your teeth and have a shower, what is controlling the movements?
When you type the answers, what is controlling the fingers?

And what is controlling thoughts?
Is there a controller deciding what to think next?

About the entity, I've never really known what that term meant, so not sure about that one.
An entity is what you believe yourself to be. An independent person / self / I / agency, that exists on its own, who is thinking, feeling, doing, controlling, choosing, deciding, moving the body, living life.
So is there one here now in this very moment?
Another thing that struck me during the day. This looking process feels like doing. But it appears it is actually just happening too, like all the other activities I went through in the exercise two days ago. Which confronts me with the possibility that I am not doing the looking at all. Not sure what to do with that insight though, other than to keep looking.
Is this something you clearly see, that looking is also just happening, or is this a logical conclusion?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:05 pm

Hi Vivien,
But is this so? Is there a controller?
When I look, I don't find a controller.
When you walk, what is controlling the body to move?
When you was your teeth and have a shower, what is controlling the movements?
When you type the answers, what is controlling the fingers?
When I move, it is happening - and without a controller.
When I brush my teeth, type, eat, smile, frown, look around, it is happening - and without a controller.
And what is controlling thoughts?
No matter how hard I try to look, thoughts come and go beyond without anything controlling them. I sometimes notice a belief that I made that thought happen. Which I see is a thought too, that comes and goes.
Is there a controller deciding what to think next?
I cannot find a controller that decides what to think next. There can be sensations for example, and then suddenly thoughts appear.
An entity is what you believe yourself to be. An independent person / self / I / agency, that exists on its own, who is thinking, feeling, doing, controlling, choosing, deciding, moving the body, living life. So is there one here now in this very moment?
I cannot find an entity that is thinking
I cannot find an entity that is feeling
I cannot find an entity that is doing
I cannot find an entity that is controlling
I cannot find an entity that is choosing
I cannot find an entity that is deciding
I cannot find an entity that is moving the body
I cannot find an entity that is living life

The two that really struck me on this list was the choosing and deciding. This has come up repeatedly in the past two days. For example in my work, when I am challenged to make a decision. And in my thoughts, when I see myself asking who is deciding. And if that even exists. After looking a lot on it today, I see that the deciding and choosing is also something that is happening. That there is no doing in it.
T: This looking process feels like doing. But it appears it is actually just happening too, like all the other activities I went through in the exercise two days ago. Which confronts me with the possibility that I am not doing the looking at all. Not sure what to do with that insight though, other than to keep looking.
V: Is this something you clearly see, that looking is also just happening, or is this a logical conclusion?
When I first stated it, it was still a fresh thought that had suddenly come up. I had not yet looked at it. Today I have a lot though, and I see it too. That the looking is also happening.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:37 am

Hi Tom,

You did a nice investigation.
The two that really struck me on this list was the choosing and deciding. This has come up repeatedly in the past two days. For example in my work, when I am challenged to make a decision. And in my thoughts, when I see myself asking who is deciding. And if that even exists. After looking a lot on it today, I see that the deciding and choosing is also something that is happening. That there is no doing in it.
Let’s look at this a bit more closely, since seeing this with utter clarity is essential.

Here is an exercise for you.

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 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 self/me or anything that is doing the choosing?

Is there a me/I controlling and moving the hand?
Is there a ‘I’ controlling which hand to raise?
Is there a controller? Where?

How is the decision made?
Is the decision is made by an I/self?
Is there a decision maker? Where?

Repeat this many times before replying.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:22 pm

Hi Vivien,

It feels very clear now.
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
I could not find anything that is choosing which hand to raise.
Can you find a self/me or anything that is doing the choosing?
I could not find a self/me doing the choosing.

I did notice that one of three things happened while doing the exercise:
1. A hand raised up without any explanation or thought (only experience & sensations).
2. A hand raised up, and then a thought came taking the credit for the hand that was chosen, or explaining how it happened.
3. A thought came claiming to know which hand was going to come up. Then one of the hands went up.
Is there a me/I controlling and moving the hand?
I could not find a me/I controlling and moving the hand.
Is there a ‘I’ controlling which hand to raise?
I could not find an I controlling which hand to raise.
Is there a controller? Where?
I could not find a controller. I looked around using all my senses, especially in my body.
How is the decision made?
I do not know how the decision between hands is made.
Is the decision is made by an I/self?
What I do know: so far I could not find an I/self that makes the decision.
Is there a decision maker? Where?
I could not find a decision maker, having looked throughout my experience.

Especially after doing these exercises today, I've noticed looking becoming easier and more intuitive. It also comes more naturally to look during my everyday activities.

I've also noticed an extra strong fear & bodily tension throughout the day today. Also some paranoia and a feeling of dread, as if I'm about to make the biggest mistake of my life and am going to look really stupid. I also alternate a desire to stop, or to at least to know when to stop, with a desire to go as fast as possible through this process. I mostly see that these are thoughts though.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:10 am

Hi Tom,

You did a nice investigation.
I've also noticed an extra strong fear & bodily tension throughout the day today. Also some paranoia and a feeling of dread, as if I'm about to make the biggest mistake of my life and am going to look really stupid. I also alternate a desire to stop, or to at least to know when to stop, with a desire to go as fast as possible through this process. I mostly see that these are thoughts though.
Thank you for mentioning this. Every fear or resistance is important, since they can prevent you from going further.

So let’s have a closer look at this fear. It is here to protect. Can you see that? It’s here to keep something safe from something.

Can you look behind the fear and see what is there that needs this protection?
And protection from what exactly?
Does that protection help?
What is it that is being resisted or not wanted?
Is the fear and the dread is needed?
What do you get from this protection?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:16 pm

Hi Vivien,

This has been a very eye-opening day, thank you.
Can you look behind the fear and see what is there that needs this protection?
If I ignore my thoughts and only focus on asking the question + looking at my experience, then I see there is nothing behind the fear except sensations and fantasies. I don't see any reason why either of these need protection.
And protection from what exactly?
Again when I ask this question to my experience, I don't find anything to protect against except fantasies.
Does that protection help?
This protection doesn't seem to do anything useful. I don't see any reason to have it as the fantasies are not real and do not hurt me. And in my moments without the fantasies (just experience) I still operate fine and safely.
What is it that is being resisted or not wanted?
The resistance I see is only to the fantasies.
Is the fear and the dread is needed?
The fear and dread is not needed, because none of the fantasies were real. It seems to be protection against nothing.
What do you get from this protection?
The only thing I get from this protection is a sense of self, responsibility, I, etc.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:53 am

Hi Tom,

I’m glad you’ve found it helpful :)

If you feel ready to continue then here is another exercise for you.

Please put some chocolate (or something you think you shouldn’t eat or drink) in front of you. Look at it. Inspect it closely. Smell its delicious fragrance. And pay attention to emerging desire to eat it.

When the desire is there, pay close attention to the thought process.
See how thoughts list pros and cons why you should or shouldn’t eat the chocolate.
These opposing thoughts might even try to argue or convince each other what to decide.

What is it that is considering these options?
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? – look very carefully


Now, make a decision, but whatever you decide, don’t eat the chocolate (yet). Rather just pay very close attention when the decision is made. Particularly pay attention to thoughts, as the decision is made.

Let’s say a thought appear: “I decided not to eat the chocolate”
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
How exactly the decision is made?


Now, act according to the decision. (Either eat or don’t eat the chocolate.)
What is it that performed the chosen action?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:34 pm

Hi Vivien,

It took a bit to get the sequence of questioning down, but once I did this was a very straightforward while also powerful exercise. I also found it useful to apply to other desires that came up during my day (besides the chocolate).
What is it that is considering these options?
I could not find anything that considered the two options. Only sensations or thoughts about the choices.
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? – look very carefully
This was a bit trickier at first. As I found myself automatically resting in sensations, without noticing any thoughts. I had to force myself to start thinking of pros and cons, which was an effort that felt unnatural. Once I did that I could see that the thoughts appeared on their own, without anything that listed them.

I think part of the reason for the difficulty in coming up with pros / cons was because my thoughts seem to have slowed or stabilised over the course of this looking process. Also I think the stakes of eating chocolate weren't high enough to generate the doubt or indecision necessary for an internal debate. It was the same when I applied the exercise to other decisions that felt similarly insignificant e.g. deciding on tea, turning left or right, etc.

So the exercise only felt natural and effective when I tried applying it to so-called 'major' decisions that do cause me a lot of doubt in my life and stimulate pro/con lists (most of which relate to my work). When using it with 'simple' decisions like what to eat, it only worked if I forced the thinking. I'm not sure if all this is important to share, but I thought it was worth mentioning just in case.
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
I also could not find anything that made the thought about the decision appear. It just popped up. Once in a while another thought came up that tried to claim the decision.
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
I cannot find the thing that made the decision; only the thought about the decision.
How exactly the decision is made?
I could not say exactly how the decision is made. It came, and it went.
What is it that performed the chosen action?
Same again. The chosen action was performed. All there was, was the action of eating or not eating of chocolate.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:45 am

Hi Tom,

You did a nice investigation.

We are constantly making all sorts of small decisions, probably several decisions in every minute.

What we are investigating here whether those decisions (any of them) are ever done by a me, or decider, or every single decision, small or big, are just happening on its own, without a central controller called ‘me’.

Investigate these throughout the day:

Is there any thought chosen? Or happens effortlessly?

Who/what is there to choose or not to choose?

Is there a central controller somewhere hidden from sight?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:08 pm

Hi Vivien,

I enjoyed this exercise, especially the first pointer, as it opened up a lot to me.
Is there any thought chosen? Or happens effortlessly?
I could not find any thought chosen (except for thoughts that tried to convince me of this :). The thoughts just happened effortlessly. This taught me even more clearly that thoughts don't need to be fought.

I found it relatively to catch the end of a thought. However I found it very difficult, maybe even impossible, to catch a thought at its beginning.
Who/what is there to choose or not to choose?
I also couldn't find anything or anyone that chose or didn't choose a thought.

Here I found that when I used 'who', there was more pull to it. Which meant I saw a bit more clearly with 'what'.
Is there a central controller somewhere hidden from sight?
This search was also fruitless: I did not find a central controller hidden from sight.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:23 am

Hi Tom,
This taught me even more clearly that thoughts don't need to be fought.
The exercise taught YOU?
Where is this ME, you are talking about?


Thoughts don’t need to be fought? So there is a someone, there is a Tom who could decide whether to fight or not fight a thought?


Investigate this in your daily life:

When thoughts about fighting or not fighting comes up, is that thought (which contains the word ‘fight’) is made to appear by someone?

Is there an actual ME / self behind the thought consideration whether to fight a thought or not?
Or these are just more thoughts happening on their own?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:08 pm

Hi Vivien,
The exercise taught YOU?
Where is this ME, you are talking about?
Thoughts don’t need to be fought? So there is a someone, there is a Tom who could decide whether to fight or not fight a thought?
Good point, and confronting. Thank you for that.
When thoughts about fighting or not fighting comes up, is that thought (which contains the word ‘fight’) is made to appear by someone?
Today felt like an exhausting, never-ending war without any rules.
The thoughts containing the word fight were not made to appear by someone.
Is there an actual ME / self behind the thought consideration whether to fight a thought or not?
There was no actual me or self behind the thought about whether to fight. Just another thought.
Or these are just more thoughts happening on their own?
These thoughts happened on their own.

This exercise also automatically transferred over to other beliefs or expectations. For example, that there is a Tom that decides that fewer thoughts are better, that certain thoughts are acceptable in this process, etc.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:57 am

Hi Tom,
V: The exercise taught YOU?
Where is this ME, you are talking about?
Thoughts don’t need to be fought? So there is a someone, there is a Tom who could decide whether to fight or not fight a thought?
T: Good point, and confronting. Thank you for that.
These questions are not just simply about confronting. Confrontation can happen only in thinking. Confrontation is an intellectual thing.

These questions are pointers for you where to look. So have you looked with them?

Whether you looked or not, please look at them again. Really look. Please don’t just skip my questions. These are all important pointers to DEEPLY INVESTIGATE in your immediate raw experience.

The exercise taught YOU?
Where is this ME, you are talking about?
Thoughts don’t need to be fought? So there is a someone, there is a Tom who could decide whether to fight or not fight a thought?

There was no actual me or self behind the thought about whether to fight. Just another thought.
Can you actually see this experientially, or rather this is just an intellectual understanding?
This exercise also automatically transferred over to other beliefs or expectations. For example, that there is a Tom that decides that fewer thoughts are better, that certain thoughts are acceptable in this process, etc.
So where is this Tom, who supposedly could decide that fewer thoughts are better?
Where is Tom? Show him to me.
How is Tom perceived? By which of the 5 senses?


Are you 100% sure that you can clearly see experientially that there is no thinker of thoughts?

Because if it’s clear, then it also should be clear that there is literally nothing or no one deciding at all.

Where does the decider live or resides? In the head?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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restart
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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:25 pm

Hi Vivien,
The exercise taught YOU?
It was not possible to find anyone being taught or learning.
Where is this ME, you are talking about?
The me was not to be found: only sensations and thoughts.
Thoughts don’t need to be fought?
Looking at experience, there was no evidence that thoughts don't need to be fought.
So there is a someone, there is a Tom who could decide whether to fight or not fight a thought?
It was not possible to find a Tom who could decide whether to fight a thought or not.
T: There was no actual me or self behind the thought about whether to fight. Just another thought.
V: Can you actually see this experientially, or rather this is just an intellectual understanding?
This was an intellectual understanding.

What can be said for certain: experientially it was not possible to find an actual me or self behind the thought about whether to fight.
So where is this Tom, who supposedly could decide that fewer thoughts are better?
It was not possible to find the Tom who supposedly could decide that fewer thoughts are better.
Where is Tom? Show him to me.
It was only possible to find sensations, and thoughts about Tom. It was not possible to show where he is.
How is Tom perceived?
Tom could not be perceived. The only reference to him was in thoughts that were about him.
By which of the 5 senses?
Touching, seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting showed sensations that were happening, but did not show Tom.
Are you 100% sure that you can clearly see experientially that there is no thinker of thoughts?
The most that can be said is that when looking, it was possible to see experientially that there is no thinker of thoughts. Just the changing sensations and thoughts.

This is not clear all the time though (especially when not looking), so not 100%.
Where does the decider live or resides?
It was not possible to find where the decider lives or resides.
In the head?
The decider could not be found in the head, or anywhere else in the body.

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:05 am

Hi Tom,

Why your replies are in past tense? Are you replying from memory?

With looking, you always have to look afresh and never rely on memory of previous looking. Why? Because if you rely on the memory of a previous looking in a form of a thought: “I know there is no self” without actually looking afresh for a self, then in that moment the no-self is just a belief. So every time it seems like or feels like as if there were a self, but you just remind yourself with the thought “there is no self”, then you just covering up one belief (the seemingly perceived self) with another belief (there is no self).

It’s the constant and repeated looking and looking and looking and more looking that brings about the realization.

So every time I ask a question, you always have to look afresh, to see it again and again what is being pointed it. Can we agree on this?

So please go back to the questions and look with them AFRESH.


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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