Eyes wide open

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Liam2
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Eyes wide open

Postby Liam2 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:55 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
My definition of no inherent self, as some people may say it, ghost in the machine, soul, underlying agent, means simply that. I understand seeing that there is no real inherent self as the recognition that life as "I" see it, has no agency, there is not a doer per say creating or manifesting what appears with direct intention personally.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking to undermine some of the structures of my thinking and feeling that keep me trapped in the experience of personal agency. I struggle with both, but perhaps more with the cleverness of thinking, I have relied on this aspect much for stablalizing an identity (I believe my thoughts too much) I struggle to see their nature well.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to be challenged, I expect that the person(? ) :) will be hopefully able to see where my blind spots are, through dialog, as we work through this process together. kill "Me" with kindness, patience and determination. Be skilled. I am not sure what I expect from this, I would like to see through this illusion of self in such a way that when things arise that are "sticky" so to speak, that there can be a seeing through quicker. It's a high bar maybe? and expectation of another.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been a serious seeker for I will say... 20 years, although it has really been going on in one form, or another, since a teenager, I am now in my 50's. I have spent time in Buddhist Monastic settings, taken retreats and workshops at retreat centers. I have been working with Scott Kiloby's enquiries, and just started investigating Douglas Harding's, Headless Way, Stayed at an yoga Ashram, Built a retreat cabin, and had a most wonderful teacher. A long journey....

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: Eyes wide open

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:52 am

Hi,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Vivien and I can assist you with 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?

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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Liam2
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Liam2 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:18 pm

Hello Vivian, Thank you so much for reaching out to me, I am grateful for the sense of kind generosity. I will write from my experience as I see it, what feels true, and to the best of my awareness with honesty. I will do my best to post daily, But at times might need time to deeply reflect or rest with what might be coming up due to questioning. I hope this is ok. you have my attention, so if the response isn't immediate its due to reflection or an issue that has arisen and that is all, I will be as informing as I can be if there is an issue or delay. I am not savvy on this style of posting, so not sure how to come back to it as needed. please be patient with my process. I just got notification and need a day to reflect on the first small set of questions

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Vivien
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:30 am

Hi Liam2,
Thank you so much for reaching out to me, I am grateful for the sense of kind generosity.
You are welcome :)

What name would you like me to call you?
But at times might need time to deeply reflect or rest with what might be coming up due to questioning. I hope this is ok.
Yes, of course.
I am not savvy on this style of posting, so not sure how to come back to it as needed.
It would be very useful if you could learn how 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 how to quote:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660
please be patient with my process.
I will be, don’t worry, I’m here to help :)
I just got notification and need a day to reflect on the first small set of questions
All right, I’m looking forward to your replies.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Liam2
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Liam2 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:34 pm

What name would you like me to call you?
Lynn
Could you please tell me what are you really looking for?

More acceptance of "what is, life like this", what ever is presenting, if that makes sense. More peace or contentment internally with my life as it is, as it has been, I feel regrets. Ideally, as sense of being connected to this existence, or perceived existence, this play of life. A relief of a deeper unrest with this, my life, myself. This "myself" can be quit honestly exhausting and has an element that is heavy, always in its own presence, sorry if this sounds to abstract.

( quote)How would your life change if you find that
I would like to think, have hope that my, this life, would make more sense and I would feel less internally conflicted. I think that somehow I would take more risks, ( I have my doubts about this, but carry some kind of hope) I think / hope I could be alone with myself better as I age , though it has improved somewhat for me. Feel more connected and simply a part of the process of life as it is experienced.
What are you hoping for to change?
My tendency to react to life's circumstances, including my own self judgements. My fear of dying and having a life unfinished. :(

[/quote]What do you hope that should happen?

I hope I can see life as a flow, so to speak. To appreciate life more fully, recognize beauty more often, hopefully more open and accepting emotionally and intellectually. I would like to hope that I don't have to be efforting so much, reminding myself that I am apart of this play of life. I don't think I say this in a dreamy context, as in, all bliss and light, I think that died some time ago...
Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?
I might see myself as less concerned, (lets hope, not really see a self!, but rather just notice a particular energy..)
Capable of being more present for others. I would like to see myself walking through life with more ease, again more peace and acceptance, hopefully more depth, understanding and perhaps more in touch/aware of what the role of this existence is...again sorry if not clear, I am better when in person in dialog..

Much gratitude,
Lynn

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Vivien
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:04 am

Hi Lynn,

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.
More acceptance of "what is, life like this", what ever is presenting, if that makes sense. More peace or contentment internally with my life as it is, as it has been, I feel regrets. Ideally, as sense of being connected to this existence, or perceived existence, this play of life. A relief of a deeper unrest with this, my life, myself. This "myself" can be quit honestly exhausting and has an element that is heavy, always in its own presence, sorry if this sounds to abstract.
I hear you. But the thing is that when there is suffering, or regret or any unpleasant emotion, it’s not just because there is a belief in a self. Suffering happens when certain stimuli poke or touch our ‘wounds inside’. Those wounds are not a person/self. The self is just an added on narrative.

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.
Ideally, as sense of being connected to this existence
And what if the feeling of connection comes not from being connected with existence, but rather from the discovery that there is no me / self that could be separate from existence in the first place?
What if there is no you who could connect to existence? Rather there is only existence?
I would like to think, have hope that my, this life, would make more sense and I would feel less internally conflicted. I think that somehow I would take more risks, ( I have my doubts about this, but carry some kind of hope) I think / hope I could be alone with myself better as I age , though it has improved somewhat for me. Feel more connected and simply a part of the process of life as it is experienced.
All right. So you are hoping not just to see through the self illusion, but also being able to deal with your emotional states better or differently. These are two distinct things. Let’s just focus on the first part first (seeing that there is no separate self), and later we can work on the emotions if that’s interests you.
My tendency to react to life's circumstances, including my own self judgements. My fear of dying and having a life unfinished. :(
It’s not just your tendency to react to circumstances, but it’s everybody’s tendency. This is part of human nature. This reaction won’t go away just simply because the self is seen through, although it can lessen, but you can work on it after the realization.
I would like to hope that I don't have to be efforting so much, reminding myself that I am apart of this play of life.
The one that thinks that it’s apart from life, is the illusionary self. There is nothing being apart from life, and this can be realized by this inquiry.

And also the one who is afraid of dying is also the same fictional character. But when the self is seen through it doesn’t automatically follow that the fear of death will be gone. It might happen or not. But if it doesn’t happen automatically, it can be looked at and investigated.

The thing is that it cannot know in advance how it will be. Why? Because all expectations come on behalf of a separate self, who is always in a search for peace, happiness, lack of fear and suffering. We simply cannot imagine it, since we cannot step outside from the separate self’s perspective. We can only imagine it within the dream of me. The illusionary me is simply unable to imagine how it would be if it were discovered to be just a fictional character and not a reality. It can only imagine what it wants for itself.

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

So it would be the best, if you could drop all your expectations, and just to be a clean slate.

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?

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

Do you feel ready to start the investigation?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Liam2
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Liam2 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:21 pm

Hello Vivian, Just a few clarifications please before we begin... :)

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.
This makes absolute sense...Yes!
But the thing is that when there is suffering, or regret or any unpleasant emotion, it’s not just because there is a belief in a self. Suffering happens when certain stimuli poke or touch our ‘wounds inside’. Those wounds are not a person/self. The self is just an added on narrative.
the personality stays almost completely intact when the self is seen through

I am not exactly clear on this "wounds inside" and definition of personalities, are these conditioned energies? that are interpreted? as a person I assume? I just want to make sure I am understanding clearly to the best of my ability at this point.
What if there is no you who could connect to existence? Rather there is only existence?
Yes, love this, makes sense ...
Let’s just focus on the first part first (seeing that there is no separate self), and later we can work on the emotions if that’s interests you.
Yes, absolutely

The thing is that it cannot know in advance how it will be. Why? Because all expectations come on behalf of a separate self, who is always in a search for peace, happiness, lack of fear and suffering. We simply cannot imagine it, since we cannot step outside from the separate self’s perspective. We can only imagine it within the dream of me. The illusionary me is simply unable to imagine how it would be if it were discovered to be just a fictional character and not a reality. It can only imagine what it wants for itself.
I really like this, as of lately I have come to explore this theme or idea that as humans we are caught in a type of scheme and cannot see outside of this because we are "inside" somehow, like a fish in water who can't see the water. This is a common theme, but somehow it has "dropped" in clearer for me as of late.
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?
Yes, I agree..
Is there any resistance to any of it?
No, I detect no resistance but rather, a sense of trust in seeing your words and clarification from my dialog. I have asked for clarification on terms and on an idea only for ease in process.
Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
Yes, I feel ready to start.

With Gratitude,
Janet

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Vivien
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:45 am

Hi Lynn,
I am not exactly clear on this "wounds inside" and definition of personalities, are these conditioned energies? that are interpreted? as a person I assume? I just want to make sure I am understanding clearly to the best of my ability at this point.
The word personality meant in the psychological way, all the characteristics, behaviours, traits, likes and dislikes that makes you you. And by ‘wound inside’ I mean all the emotional pains and hurts you’ve experienced in your life, especially in childhood, which shaped how you feel, behave and react to others, and how you interpret their intentions, actions, etc.

But it’s not important to understand this. What I was trying to say is that when the self is seen through, it doesn’t mean that others’ words or actions cannot hurt anymore. It doesn’t mean that the regrets of the pasts, resentments, feeling hurt, etc., will automatically go away. Most of it will stay, since these are not solely dependent on the belief in a self. These have much deeper roots, most of them stemming from childhood. So these topics can be looked at later, for them to gradually dissolve.
Yes, I feel ready to start.
All right, let’s start it.

As you go about your everyday life, how does the self/I/me show up?
Don’t go to the story about the me, rather look at the me itself.

What is it like? What is it made of? Does it have a shape or a color? How big it is? And where is its exact location?

What does the word I actually point to? If you take a finger (literally) and land it on I, where does it land?

Can you see, smell, hear, taste, touch the I? Try it, with each sense.


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Liam2
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Liam2 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:13 pm

Hello Vivian,
Just letting you know I am with these questions for a few days as I want to make sure I explore them, not think my way through them. I will contact shortly In no more than a few days.

Kindly, Janet

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Vivien
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:15 am

All right, thank you for letting me know.

Have a nice day :)
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Liam2
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Liam2 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:28 pm

Hello Vivian,
Can you see, smell, hear, taste, touch the I? Try it, with each sense.
No, there is no finding an I in a smell, sound, taste, or touch, there appears only these alone when I draw attention to them.
What does the word I actually point to? If you take a finger (literally) and land it on I, where does it land?
Flesh!, body parts. there appears no ability to actually land on an I.
What is it like? What is it made of? Does it have a shape or a color? How big it is? And where is its exact location?
This is more abstract for me, it has a feeling sense of being inside the location of the body, and if I think a description, I can assign a color, shape, size and or location. But truly upon resting with this, it can change, and has no constant existence. Its a description of a felt sense.
As you go about your everyday life, how does the self/I/me show up?
This question is why I needed more time, How does this I appear? well, it seems that it is most evident when there is resistance, or attraction to something, or a familiar conditioning of some sort, I was really hesitant on this one, and honestly, felt like the Buddhist did have this one right. Why was I surprised? ..But kinda was :)

I want to be careful to notice my way through these questions, my rational thinking mind has been my go to over the years though that has shifted in more recent times, I just want to be careful from where my exploration is coming from. I also notice the frustration of language even answering such questions, as "I" is utilized most frequently and feels normal. I never get a break form this idea. Yet I don't wish to start rearraigning language as I am hoping there can be clear seeing through while still working in the real world so to speak.

The showing up question is cool, and fascinating, as I wish the clarity to notice consistently was more fine tuned.
there is a feeling of "wow", when it is noticed that I show up so to speak under such conditions. So where am I when I am not showing up? lol..

Thank you :)
Janet

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Vivien
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:22 am

Hi Janet,
This is more abstract for me, it has a feeling sense of being inside the location of the body, and if I think a description, I can assign a color, shape, size and or location. But truly upon resting with this, it can change, and has no constant existence. Its a description of a felt sense.
Yes. So there is an identification of bodily sensations, believed to be me.
I also notice the frustration of language even answering such questions, as "I" is utilized most frequently and feels normal. I never get a break form this idea. Yet I don't wish to start rearraigning language as I am hoping there can be clear seeing through while still working in the real world so to speak.
Please don’t try to avoid using the words of I/my/my/mine. Always write what feels to be right in your experience. And if it feels that “I am doing this or that” then use the word ‘I’. It’s important, because I give the next sets of questions according your comments, and if you comment as if you’ve seen something but you have only intellectual understanding and you just left out these words, then my questions will be inappropriate and not useful.
The showing up question is cool, and fascinating, as I wish the clarity to notice consistently was more fine tuned.
there is a feeling of "wow", when it is noticed that I show up so to speak under such conditions. So where am I when I am not showing up? lol..
Good question :)
I want to be careful to notice my way through these questions, my rational thinking mind has been my go to over the years though that has shifted in more recent times, I just want to be careful from where my exploration is coming from.
Yes, this is important. Actually, it’s essential.
So let’s start investigating thoughts. Spend a whole day investigating, again and again.

What do you do exactly in order to think?
How do you make (or birth) thoughts into existence?


Please be careful not to think about these questions, but actually sit and NOTICE how you think, how you do it exactly. So don’t go to theories, speculations, philosophy, or any learned information. Just notice what is happening here now in the immediacy of your own experience.

Please spend a whole day investigating these questions. Look again and again and again. Even if the answer seems to be clear, look more.

This investigation is about persistent repetition. Looking at the same thing again and again in experience, what brings about the realization.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Liam2
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Liam2 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:46 am

Thank You ,

I will rest with the next questions and yes will just answer as it feels using "I" ; whatever is just honestly happening for me.
As with the last questions, I would like a couple of days to make sure I have spent some time to be with these. I will respond
shortly.

Thank you,
Janet

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Vivien
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Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:00 am

All right. Have a nice day :)
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Liam2
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Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:42 pm

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Liam2 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:14 am

Hello Vivian,

Exploring the thinking process is an area that is challenging for me. I suspect I give to much credit to thoughts and struggle to "see" the process of thought in itself. The use of logic and the thought process has been a strong pattern to kept this "self" protected, and my ability to see through it, feels challenging, though there is a deep determination.
Here goes what I have discovered..
What do you do exactly in order to think?
This answer surprised me, It appears I do nothing, as a matter of fact I just seemed to relax into a place of stillness, quietude, as though waiting for something to appear. Nothing doing, lovely and effortless.

How do you make (or birth) thoughts into existence?
This was more complex for me, on one hand, I noticed that when something appeared or occurred, sensation/feeling, thought might arise, so this felt cause and effect like, with little or no agency. However, if thoughts continued on some similar theme, I began to loose this sense of thoughts just appearing and began to doubt where these secondary theme thoughts where arising from as they felt like they had continuity, this made me feel like perhaps I had some control over this. I began to ask myself just because there is the appearance of continuity or cause and effect, does this necessarily mean that There is a "me" doing it? Or is it just some type of conditioning or reflex of the organism? I could not find the same clarity I did for the first question although from a logical point of view one might think I should have, but I didn't. This is truly what is coming forward for me.

Kindly,
Janet


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