Does Awareness say "I"?

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:45 am

Hi John,
Either the „worldly self“ or the „spiritual self“ were believed in automatically, doesn’t matter the direction of the coaching. I could see this in my clients as well as in myself…..
…..maybe you got an input for me on that topic too? Don’t want to go into thinking my way through it and instead look for the one who has these problems…. until now it still seems impossible…
Seeing through the self doesn’t mean that the illusion will never reassert itself again. As long as it’s seen for what it is it’s not a problem. My point of view is that I can help anybody only to the extent of my own seeing. If I cannot see something for myself, I’m unable to help, and I might even stir the conversation into a wrong direction (according to my own beliefs).
Yes - even if it means a lifetime of looking? The quality of my looking has already changed since we started our dialogue, but I’d say that I have been looking already for many years - not finding the self for 20+ years and still there seems the possibility that maybe someday there is a self to be found.
Actually while writing this, I realize that I had the impression of having found my self as „pure awareness“ already. That may be the problem.
So to answer your question: Yes, I’m definitely up for that!
Yes, exactly. The looking goes on since the self hasn’t seen through completely. It’s there as awareness. This search will
last until it gets utterly clear, factual on the gut level, that there is neither a self, nor an independent awareness.
As a thought that claims responsibility, but behind this thought, there is no entity. There is only the thought „I’ve done it“.
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.


Let’s start to investigate the body and sensations. The illusion of the self is not just simply coming from thoughts, but also from the belief that “I am the body” or “I have a body” or that this or that sensation is ‘me’ or the location of the ‘me’, or that this or that sensation is happening to ‘me’. So the thought label ‘this is me’ and the appearing sensations are welded together, creating a ‘sense of self’.

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.

Vivien

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JohnWoo
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby JohnWoo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:38 am

Hi Vivien!

There is a lot of deepening going on. The main thing that has been seen through now is that I can only trust my own seeing of truth.
I’m not able to trust any other paths or teachers and stopped trying to walk their „truths“ when my direct looking shows it otherwise.
That alone is such a relief! Thank you!

I read some more on Elenas blog and had to quit when I ran into the „I am a human being and we have to develop our humanhood after awakening“-idea.
This is utter bullshit in my experience - (as is „I am not a human being“ by the way, when just used as a belief and to escape what is.)
In my experience the label „I am human“ is tied to the core belief of „I am a body“ and this is seen through here very clearly.
The idea that you have to infuse your humanhood with awakening or bring awakening and humanhood together, that many spiritual teachers proclaim as „the next step after awakening“, is a huge joke.
Been there - done that. There is no „next“. Not falling for that…

I’ll do the exercises below either way, because I have committed to our inquiry, but that I am not a body nor a human being is crystal clear and there is no doubt.
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
Yes, it’s totally clear. If there is free will or not is not even a real question, because there is no one who could have this free will.
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?
With eyes closed none of this can be answered. When eyes open, it needs thoughts to compare one object to another and to determine weight, size and shape. In either case, there is no owner of them.
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
No, it’s just one single experience of being. It actually needs the thoughts „body“ or „chair“ to be able to even think of something as „boundary“.
Without these thoughts, there is just single experiencing.
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?
Same as above. „Inside“ and „outside“ are seen as labels that are on top of what is actually experienced. In actual experience, there is no inside or outside.
What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?
Again, this is perfectly clear. The word „body“ is the same as the word „I“ just used in daily language to be able to communicate, but they don’t refer to an actual thing or entity.

The AE of body is like presence, isness, beingness - another word for THIS.

There is only THIS that is THIS-ing :)

John

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:43 am

Hi John,
There is a lot of deepening going on. The main thing that has been seen through now is that I can only trust my own seeing of truth.
I’m not able to trust any other paths or teachers and stopped trying to walk their „truths“ when my direct looking shows it otherwise.
Yes, exactly. That’s why I repeated ask you to look and look, so you can see it for yourself.
I’ll do the exercises below either way, because I have committed to our inquiry, but that I am not a body nor a human being is crystal clear and there is no doubt.
We investigate the body not just to see that ‘I am not the body’, but also because sensations take a huge role in creating the illusion of the self. Not just as being the body, but it’s often perceived/believed that certain sensations are the location of what is aware. This usually unnoticed, and yet this is one of the supporting pillars of the self.
The AE of body is like presence, isness, beingness - another word for THIS.
There is NO AE of the body. None. But see it for yourself.

There are sensations labelled as ‘body’, but the sensations is the AE of sensation and not the AE of ‘body’.
There could be mental images of ‘body’, but the mental images are the AE of mental images, and NOT the AE of ‘body’.
There could be a visual image/colour labelled as ‘body’, but that is the AE of colour and not the AE of ‘body’.

What does the word ‘presence’ point to in AE? Is an image/colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What does the word ‘isness’ point to in AE? Is an image/colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What does the word ‘beingness’ point to in AE? Is an image/colour, sound, smell, taste, sensation or thought?

Can you see that there is no AE of ‘body’?


Here is a little exercise. With eyes closed, put one of the hands on a desk or a table. Pay attention only to the pure sensation.

Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any way that the hand is doing the touching?
Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any way that there is a hand (subject) that touching the table (object), or is there only touching?
When all mental images and thoughts are ignored is there a ‘hand’ or a ‘table’ at all, or is there only touching (pure sensation)?

Can an ‘INHERENT FEELER’ be found?
Would anything that is suggested as the ‘feeler’, be anything other than a concept/idea/thought?


-
Let’s see if there is a connection between a visual image and sensations.

Here is an exercise that helps to see how the illusion of the body is ‘created’, so to speak. Normally we believe that sensation is coming from sight (colour), meaning the object seen. In this example, the object being the ‘hand’ (colour labelled as ‘hand’).


1. Close the eyes and hold up one hand. Pay attention only to the felt sensations ‘of the hand’.
2. Open the eyes, and now observe the hand by looking only.
3. While looking at the hand, pay attention to the felt sensations.

Repeat 1 to 3 as many times as needed and investigate…

Normally we believe that the sensation is coming from the sight, the ‘object’ seen (hand).
But if you look, is there any link between the sensation and the sight? In other words, is the sensation ‘coming from’ the sight (labelled as hand) or only thoughts and mental constructs link them?

Can you see that both the ‘visual sight’ and the sensation appear simultaneously but ‘separately’, meaning that none of them is coming from the other or contained by the other?

So they just appear equally, ‘beside’ each other without any hierarchy or link between them?


So you can repeat this with all of the body parts below, one-by-one.
- feet
- legs
- arms
- belly
- chest
- head (looking into the mirror)

What do you find?


Vivien

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JohnWoo
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby JohnWoo » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:53 pm

Hi Vivien!

There is a huge annoyance/resistance coming up right now. It’s commented with „No, not that exercise again! I have done this already thousands of times!“. This also came up with most of your other exercises, but I did them anyway, knowing that this is just thought or resistance.
Now it is there and enhanced by my current life situation, where I’m also asked to do and be with topics, that I thought I was long over with.

It’s funny to watch - a huge dramady evolving over the past days. There are decisions to be made, but no decider to be found. There are resistances but no one to be found who is resisting. „I am over it“ and „That again?“ are seen as thoughts and labels. Still all of that is here appearing and I can see the tendency of this John-figure who wants to drop everything and retreat to a cave in the Himalayas to rest in silence.

In other words, there is an action movie going on and somewhere the „watcher“ of the movie would prefer to see a peaceful and silent movie instead. I’m looking more closely into this „watcher“ now - again…
I know that there is no one but only thoughts that comment on the situation with „please leave me all alone with this shit“.

So your questions and exercises are perfectly fitting into this general situation of annoyance, but I want to take my time for them and actually do them instead of discarding it right away as „done this already“. I just want to take my time and look into what is actually appearing right now and use this as an opportunity to look deeper.

I’ll write you again once this has cleared up.

John

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:28 am

Hi John,
Thank you for your honesty, I really appreciate it.
It’s funny to watch - a huge dramady evolving over the past days. There are decisions to be made, but no decider to be found. There are resistances but no one to be found who is resisting. „I am over it“ and „That again?“ are seen as thoughts and labels. Still all of that is here appearing and I can see the tendency of this John-figure who wants to drop everything and retreat to a cave in the Himalayas to rest in silence.
Nice :) So you’re saying that when this resistance come up, you’re actually looking for the one who is supposedly having the resistance? If so, then that’s very good. Just keep doing that.

But you can also look for the resistance itself.
What is the AE of resistance?
So your questions and exercises are perfectly fitting into this general situation of annoyance, but I want to take my time for them and actually do them instead of discarding it right away as „done this already“. I just want to take my time and look into what is actually appearing right now and use this as an opportunity to look deeper.
Yes, that’s very important to look again and again. Looking something repeatedly can never be too much :)

Look, I don’t know where you’re at. And I cannot take your word for it, I have to ask those questions. But if they are clear, then we will move on to the next topic quickly. Just as what happened with decision. I suspected that you’ve already seen through it, but suspecting it is not enough. We have to be thorough. But I won’t torture you with more questions when something is clearly seen through.

I’m looking forward to your replies.

Vivien

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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby JohnWoo » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:32 pm

Hi Vivien!

Thank you for your understanding.
But you can also look for the resistance itself. What is the AE of resistance?
That's my point - I don't see this as the same. I know for sure, that I can't be found in any perception. Years of looking into objects of perception - from the gross to subtle - have made it clear that there is no "I" to be found anywhere.
(and with "objects" I don't mean only seemingly "physical" things, but ANY object of perception, feeling, thought etc - so in every AE there is no I to be found)

When you ask me to look into sensory perceptions of any kind and deconstruct them - break them down into other words that look like a refinement, but are only other words in the end - it feels like a total waste of time.
I'm playing along with this guidance but in the end, the lingering impression is still that it is "I, Awareness" that does all this looking.

To answer your questions in your previous post: Yes, it's clear that there is no inherent feeler in any feeling.
It's clear, that there is no AE of body, but the appearance of perceptions that are labeled "body" is not the issue at all.
I know, that I can't be found there and it doesn't matter if it is simply labeled "body" or pages of other descriptions that are AEs - as I said, I don't even believe that I am a body or a human being. I still believe to be Awareness though - at least this could be said to be my "default" location...

When annoyance and resistance appear, they sometimes cloud the screen, but they will disappear - that I know also when they seem to be heavy and I'm not able to see clearly. It's like smog - it comes and it goes.
I stopped looking into the clouds and the smog, because there is no point in doing so. It's a passing sensation.
I may act accordingly - like I did with you yesterday - and say that it will take some time for them to pass, but there is no need to change them. Yes, John may want to escape and swear, but it is clear, that I am not the John character either. So no problem here.

I appreciate your thoroughness. You are playing your part well - and I have to tell you too, that my focus at the moment is not to continue to look into any sensation but look for the watcher, the witness, the subtle I as awareness.

While writing this and continue looking, I realized, that it may be good to just continue looking for labels that I has identified with - like beingness, spaciousness, formlessness, silence etc.. They are very real, but maybe I identified so strongly with them over the years, that "I" really have built my nest there and would defend them as the only right descriptions of what I am... Maybe all there is left to do now, is to drop the identification with these qualities of Awareness... and then drop the identification with the dropper and the "beyond awareness" too - this has been the tricky one: I am awareness is then replaced by "I am beyond awareness" - ad infinitum LOL

I don't know how I guided myself to this place now, but it feels like being back on track.... :))

John

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:36 am

Hi John,
I still believe to be Awareness though - at least this could be said to be my "default" location...
All right John, let’s jump into investigating awareness :)

You mentioned that you read some of my posts about awareness in someone else’s thread. That’s all right. I might give you some similar or maybe the same questions or descriptions, and I would like to ask you to read those and do the exercises as if you had never seen those before. Can we agree on this?

So, in order to say that I am awareness, first, we have to know for sure if: awareness as such exists at all.
Then, if an independently existing stand-alone awareness could be found, then that would mean that only awareness had been found but not a me.
Saying that that awareness is the ‘me’, is just a leap of faith or an assumption. Somehow we would have to make sure, that awareness is the me. But before that, first we have to be able to find awareness itself. Without any doubt, without any object.
And even then, if an independent awareness could be found, that would only mean, that there is an independent awareness, nothing else, everything else would just a speculation.

Labelling that awareness/knower as ‘I’ is just labelling. But the ‘I’ label wouldn’t magically transform that supposed awareness/knower into a self. It’s all just imagination. Can you see this?
While writing this and continue looking, I realized, that it may be good to just continue looking for labels that I has identified with - like beingness, spaciousness, formlessness, silence etc..
What is the AE of beingness?

What is the AE of spaciousness?

What is the AE of formlessness?

What is the AE of silence?


It’s very important that you really look at actual experience, and not the conceptual overlay, thought explanation about it.

Remember, actual experience (AE) is: sounds, smells, taste, colour/image, sensation, and seeing the appearance of a thought. But what the thought about is not AE.

Vivien

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:00 am

Hi John,

How things are going? I haven't heard from you in three days. Are you still with me?

Have a nice day,
Vivien

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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby JohnWoo » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:21 pm

Hi Vivien!

Am I still with you? Actually I don't know... there seems to be no center anymore...

I tried to answer your questions about the AE of the qualities I previously labeled as qualities of awareness.
It was impossible to do for several reasons. First, all words stopped making sense, then there was the realization that how you define AE is totally focused on bodily senses and these qualities can't be described inside this framework. Then there was the seeing, that all this is beyond the point, because beingness/spaciousness/formlessness are as real (or unreal) as writing these lines on a computer - with or without AE - the real question is who is having them? There suddenly was no one who is being, spacious or formless. With that the meaning of awareness dropped away and with that the questions around that.
While writing this, I don't even know what awareness is nor is there someone being aware - just writing happening and no filter for what is written here to make any sense in any framework...
Even the constant looking and the imagined looker are not there. Somehow seeking and looking for anything stopped.
I don't even know why I have written to you in the first place LOL

Somehow it seems as if beingness/spaciousness/formlessness were labeled as "higher" or "closer" to Truth, but now they seem to be experiences as any other experience - their value as a signpost that means anything (like "being there" or "being enlightened") has vanished. They are not closer to truth than anything else. Actually I don't know what this truth is anyway - all there seems to be is apparent writing on a computer and this is all that can be said at the moment.

Thank you.

John

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:24 am

Hi John,
the real question is who is having them? There suddenly was no one who is being, spacious or formless. With that the meaning of awareness dropped away and with that the questions around that.
This is great! :)
While writing this, I don't even know what awareness is nor is there someone being aware - just writing happening and no filter for what is written here to make any sense in any framework...
Even the constant looking and the imagined looker are not there. Somehow seeking and looking for anything stopped.
Very good.

Would care to answer some final questions so we can close this thread then?

Can you answer the following questions with some detail please, and answer what's true for you rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Also please provide examples where asked.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience.
Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this?
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?

5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.

b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.

6) Anything to add?


Vivien

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JohnWoo
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby JohnWoo » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:23 pm

Hi Vivien!
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
No, there are only the words but they don't refer to an actual thing. This has always been like this.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience.
Describe it fully as you see it now.
The illusion of a separate self happens the moment it is believed to represent an actual thing. With that, space and time appear too and a story of how it came into being. This is all a story though - in actuality, there is no one identifying with an I.
I itself is the story of identification.
3) How does it feel to see this?
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
There is a certain relief or relaxation. There was lots of energy flowing into the effort of maintaining or staying in awareness.
This energy has now freed up. Other than that, it hasn't changed the seeming appearances. They appear to no one - not even a screen or awareness. It's just what is, but not for (or against, or on) anyone.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
This is difficult to pin down. What certainly seemed to be helpul is to step away from being "other-realised" (and looking to get where they seem to be at) to real looking. This also stopped the hidden tendency to look for a "no-self" as an entity and seeing that it is fiction too.
Instead of discussing and justifying words and what they mean, the direct looking for the one that seemed to be the experiencer was another step. All these words do not describe it well...
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
They all happen like before, but without the belief in a decider, chooser or controller. There is no change whatsoever in the way decisions or choice happens. In other words: it doesn't need a decider to decide, a chooser to choose etc.. These functionings never needed someone to do them. There never was someone doing them anyway, so how and why should there be a difference now? Also responsibility is reduced to a pure social function in a way.
On Saturday I had the responsibility to join my 13-year old son in the church for his sacrament of confirmation. This has no meaning at all and is just a social game that is going on, and I had to go to church at 8 in the morning. There was a lot of swearing going on about how stupid it is to get up that early to visit a totally useless event, but in all this time there was no I to be found that was doing, being responsible, swearing or deciding. It all just happened. Another daily life story without anyone doing it or deeper meaning.

Even now writing this is totally effortless, because there is nothing to justify, put into the right light or express in any deeper spiritual way - all qualities that were used as filters before in a very subtle way. All that has dropped away...
6) Anything to add?
No, not for now. There is gratitude for you taking the time to ask the questions with such thoroughness.
Thank you, Vivien!

John

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:57 pm

Hi John,
There is gratitude for you taking the time to ask the questions with such thoroughness.
You are welcome :)

Thank you for your responses. I am going to get other guides to have a look at the thread to ensure that I have covered everything and that my pointing has been clear. This may take a day or so. Sometimes, not always, the other guides may have further questions which I will bring to you.

If there are no further questions, I will let you know and you will then be invited to the LU FB groups.

Vivien

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:42 am

Hi John,

There are no further questions for you. Keep an eye out for an email notification notifying you of a PM (private message) from the forum inviting you to join our aftercare groups on Facebook. If you don't receive an email notification, you can access your PM's from the forum once you have logged in. The PM also details other resources available to you. Your username will change from green to blue which indicates that you have had the realisation of there being no separate self. Also, this thread will be moved to the Archive section of the forum.

You can contact me at any time if you have any questions etc, via the forums PM system, or via Facebook if you decide to join our groups there.

Vivien

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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby JohnWoo » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:11 am

Hi Vivien!

Indeed there are no further questions for me, but maybe a "me" will sometime have questions again *haha*
I haven't looked into Facebook for over a year now, basically because it is full of stories about imaginary people and somehow boring - anyway, thank you for your offer to contact you if something comes up!

John

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Vivien
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Re: Does Awareness say "I"?

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:22 am

Hi John,

Yes, you can contact me anytime if something comes up. Just send me a private message here in the forum.

Vivien


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