Hi. I'd love to have a conversation with someone. I've seen the videos on the website, and read a good amount of articles. I'd like to invite someone to help me probe around. : )
Lex: Hi Tracy, welcome here.
What do you mean by “probe around” ?
Tracy: Hi. I mean to help me see what's actually going on IN my head; What I'm really believing, etc.
Lex: You mean that you want to get insight in the beliefs that you have, but are not aware of, but nevertheless determine your behaviour?
Lex: The belief we are dealing with here, is the idea that you are a separate entity. That there is a self, soul, Tracy, that is the center of control and/or perception. How would it be to see that that belief is untrue?
Tracy: I can see intellectually there is no "me". That "me" is a collection of thoughts, memories, preferences, experiences, etc. What I have trouble with is there not being a "observer" either. But, more to your question, I've actually had an experience of "disappearing." It felt great. As if life was just happening, going right through me, not being filtered through the mind. But, I do wonder if this experience blocks me from seeing also, because it has given me an expectation.
By the way, thanks for taking me on. I appreciate your time.
Lex: You're very welcome. I can thank you as well for the opportunity to allow some more light into this world.
- that is a very keen observation. It happens a lot. A no-self experience can be a strong one and raise the expectation that after seeing that will be the “status quo”.But, I do wonder if this experience blocks me from seeing also, because it has given me an expectation.
Well, even if it is, after a while it will become the “normal” state.
Seeing is a lot more subtle than experiencing. It is just that: seeing the falseness of “I”. Like seeing that Santa Claus is a guy in disguise and not real. After the insight mostly some reprogramming takes place, but that doesn't need to be as spectacular as the no-self experience.
Do you have any more expectations about becoming “free of self”?
The more you can find the better, get them in the open.
If at any moment you feel uncomfortable about sharing here, we can change the mode of conversation to private messaging, forum or otherwise. Although the forum is public (the whole world can watch) and here we are among fellow seekers, gatecrashers, guides.
About “the observer”: Can you tell me where or how it can be found?
Tracy: As long as the posts are only seen by members, I should be fine right here.
I'll talk about the observer and then I'll get back to expectations...
I can't find an observer, but there are plenty of things I can't see that are there. Atoms, sound waves, most of the light spectrum is not perceptible to us.
Does an observer have to infer separateness? Could the observer just be awareness?
Lex: Why then call it “an observer”? There is undeniably awareness, but is it you? Or is “I am awareness” an idea?
Tracy: Good question, I see your point.
When I see something I haven't seen... Like what you just brought up, what should I do with that? Would this be a good place to stop so I can ponder that a bit? Or, is pondering, just thinking and not helpful?
Lex: I'd recommend to enjoy whatever experience it brings up.
And there is no hurry. Don't feel obliged to respond immediately.
Tracy: Ok thanks. I'd like to stop here and let this sink in a bit. I'll be back in a day or two. Thank you.
Lex: Let's say tomorrow, to not lose momentum. One tiny message is sufficient.
Tracy: Ok. See ya tomorrow.
Hi. I thought about it a bit, and can see that the term "observer" is just an attempt to individualize awareness. However, I have been doing some inquiry for several weeks, asking myself who I am. Of course, I don't find anything. I think the point of such inquiry is to find nothing there, but I can't help but wonder if it also can strengthen the thought of I AM. Asking WHO AM I, kind of implies that there is an I to be found?
I also want to comment a bit on expectations. I suppose there are a few, but I can see through the romanticized thoughts on what awakening may be....Some definitive, exciting experience. There is one that I cannot see through though, and that would be; THAT I STOP SEARCHING.
And, I want something to change. I want to be satisfied with what I have in this life.
-Asking WHO AM I, kind of implies that there is an I to be found?
I'll answer that question if you first tell me where you hid the dragon.
The expectation that the search stops is quite realistic. If there is found that there is nothing to be found, searching becomes pointless. Investigation might continue.
I don't get what you want to convey here. What is the “thought of I AM”?I can't help but wonder if it also can strengthen the thought of I AM.
I know thoughts containing “I”, thoughts about me, such as: “I should stop worrying so much” and the “sense of I”, which can also be described as feeling alive or being aware of existence.
Can you elaborate what you mean?
- great observation.I can see that the term "observer" is just an attempt to individualize awareness
That is a bit beyond the scope of LU, but my advice would be to start with acknowledging that you are not. That it is OK to be dissatisfied. Wasn't it dissatisfaction that brought on many interesting things? Maybe without it we wouldn't have this encounter either.I want to be satisfied with what I have in this life.
You have a sharp mind, so can you go beyond it into the uttermost simplicity and just look, observe if there is any “I”, “me”, “self” to be found? Just like a child. Look around. Look at objects, look at thoughts and feelings, look at bodily sensations.
Example: Look at a chair, do you see the chair?
Now look inward. Do you see a self?
Tracy: Hi. No, I do not see a self. I see emptiness with thoughts and feelings manifesting and disappearing. Vast, silent, what it might be like to float around in outer space.
- is that still an issue? (whatever it means)I can't help but wonder if it also can strengthen the thought of I AM.
Tracy: I don't think it's an issue. Like I said, does asking who I am imply an "I?" I'm probably just over thinking it...
Lex: Does asking where you hid the dragon, imply a dragon?
Tracy: No, but why would I ask?
Why would I ask who I am, if there is no I?
Again, this was just an inquiry I have been doing. I wondered about its usefulness.
- Why are you asking me?Why would I ask who I am, if there is no I?
Puppetji Speaks: "WHO AM I ? "
'The Truth according 2 Puppetji: Who am I....really?
The inquiry “Who (or what) am I?” is not the LU method. The LU method is looking and simply seeing that it is not there.
“Who AM I?" Inquiry implies that there is some "who" that exists. From the start of your inner inquiry, by formulating your questioning in this way you assume a basis, a default - there is "who" there, and I just need to find it.
In Direct Pointing we are focusing on not finding
In “Who AM I?" Inquiry we are focusing on finding
Complete Humanity: Direct Pointing vs “Who AM I?” Inquiry. Simplified.
“Who am I?” works through the “neti-neti” principle: I am not this, I am not that, not the body, not the thoughts, not the feelings, not the sense of existence, not awareness etc, until nothing is left.
A more direct way is to simply see it is not there.
The famous word “I” does not point to anything substantial or even subtle.
Tracy: This is EXACTLY it!
“Who AM I?" Inquiry implies that there is some "who" that exists. From the start of your inner inquiry, by formulating your questioning in this way you assume a basis, a default - there is "who" there, and I just need to find it."
That's why I brought it up, thanks. I'll stop.
Lex: As Puppetji says: “It is a trick question”
So is it clear?
Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
Tracy: No and no.
There was only ever awareness.
Lex: How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Tracy: I've already seen there was only ever awareness. For example; I was "me" before I was "me". Meaning; before I was named, had an experience of anything...I was just as much me as I am now....Even more. Everything since has only blinded me to the fact.
You're probably going to say; "Why are you saying YOU ARE awareness? Why not just AWARENESS?" ; )
- I've been looking at that sentence for a while now, but no understanding of what this means arises. I have really no idea what you mean. Can be a matter of different use of language, different communication style. Could you rephrase it?before I was named, had an experience of anything...I was just as much me as I am now....Even more.
Tracy: Sure. The moment I was born, before my parents gave me the name "Tracy", before I had any experiences, I was me. Just as much as I am now. I could only be awareness, because that's all I had coming here.
Newborn babies are are only awareness, right? There is no story, for a few moments, not even a name.
Lex: Can you explain to me the difference between: “I am observer” and “I am awareness”?
Tracy: Ha ha, no. But, isn't the "I" just necessary for communication? How else do we talk about it?
But, you are right. Maybe I still want there to be an I to find, even though I know it's impossible? I can see there is no "I" in a traditional sense, but maybe I'm just wanting to trade it in for another sense of I.
Lex: What is wrong with your current sense of I ?
Does it hurt?
Tracy: Yes. It hurts! I think I see the no I intellectually, but as for my daily life, I am feeling still bound to all the memories and experiences of "Tracy."
I react out of "Tracy."
Isn't she who I am trying to be liberated from?
Lex: That is because you ARE Tracy.
“I” is the same as Tracy.
So YOU can never be liberated from Tracy. Sorry.
Tracy: Then what is liberation?
Lex: Just from the idea that “YOU” or “Tracy” are real. And you succeeded in strongly giving me the impression that you had seen that.
Liberation is becoming free from the idea of being a separate entity.
Tracy: I have seen Tracy as thoughts and experiences, but am still maintaining am I somewhere?
Lex: Apparently. So who are you?
Lex: There might be some thought or confusion somewhere that is not clear. I guess it is still in the direction of identifying with a witness.
“I am awareness” ?
Tracy: I don't have any reply to that. I suppose that's what it is. I don't know what it is. I feel as if I have no where to go.
Lex: Please read this, it might clarify:
Liberation Unleashed - Article - Direct Experience
Tracy: I'm feeling like my mind has hit a wall.
I'm actually feeling fear.
Lex: Ah. That's not uncommon. Where is that fear located?
Tracy: It feels like a tightness in the chest.
Lex: Can you feel the breathing happening at the same time?
Tracy: Well, I'm still breathing if that's what you mean.
Breathing is harder...Feel panicky.
Lex: So do the breathing out slowly.
Lex: This fear, is it a contracting or flowing energy?
Tracy: I'd say contracting.
Lex: Can you pinpoint its borders in your body? Can you “draw a line” around it?
Tracy: It feels like a knot in me. I want to get rid of it, but I'm afraid too.
It feels like a ball. Like the size of a small melon.
Lex: So now the original fear has become a knot and the new fear is the fear of what happens when the knot, which was the old fear, disappears?
Tracy: Yes, like maybe a part of me will leave with the fear.
Lex: So let's keep it simple, give that knot of fear a little hug and ask it what it wants.
To keep me from disappearing.
I feel like I need to go cry.
Lex: Is there anything that can disappear? In reality? In any way? Will you die if the knot dissolves?
Ok. Just feel.
Tracy: I don't think I'll die. But, I don't know what's after that. I am afraid of it. And afraid I won't like it and can't get back.
Lex: What a great gate you create.
Tracy: Is this the gate?
Lex: There is no gate.
And this is it.
It is a mind-made contraption, just like the “I”
And there is no mind either.
Guess you just need a little faith now to let go.
Tracy: The fear is dissipating.
Lex: Does it leave a story behind?
Tracy: I saw there was no me and I got really sad. I think I may have just retreated from it instead of feel it.
Lex: Seeing is the main thing. “There is no me” can't actually be felt.
Only like the absence of a painting that used to hang on the wall and is now gone.
The tears will come back some other time if they need to.
Tracy: I wish I would have just signed off and cried it out. Instead, I'm feeling the the ego is making excuses for it.
They are coming back...I'm going to go.
- can you see that this is just an I-creating thought? From habit.I think I may have just retreated from it instead of feel it.
See you later.
Tracy: Ok, I feel a little better. That kinda sucked! I felt like my best friend died. Tracy died, or never was, and I was mourning her.
Lex: How is the afterlife?
Tracy: It's raw. Disoriented.
Lex: So what's changed?
Tracy: Other than what I saw, and the disorientation in feeling, nothing.
Where the fear was, there is a throbbing.
Lex: So the energy got moving.
Tracy: You could say that.
Lex: Is this feeling of disorientation influencing anything in an undesirable way?
Or is it just there?
But feeling like it needs to be processed. Like I don't know what it is, or what's happened.
And the knot I felt seems like it's still there, but much smaller. Instead of a melon, it's a tennis ball.
Lex: Well, something obviously has shifted and perspective is somewhat different now. Apart from this feeling of disorientation, can you describe what changed? How it feels?
Tracy: A slight feeling of watching myself and hearing myself from a distance.
Lex: As if you are the observer.
Would you like to continue or prefer to take a break and marinate a while in this state?
Tracy: Maybe, I don't know. It's like my son it talking to me, but I'm watching it on tv. He's not talking to ME. Does that make sense?
Yes, maybe more tomorrow?
Lex: I see/sense/recognise the state you're in. Hope you can enjoy it while it lasts.
Tomorrow. We're obviously in different time zones. (Here it is near midnight). Tomorrow I'll be very busy, but I'll try to keep an eye on this conversation.
Tracy: Hi Lex. I think I need a few days to process. After yesterday, I'm having thoughts that I may not want this. Lots of stuff is coming to the surface, I need to look at.
What do you mean with “this”. What exactly don't you want?After yesterday, I'm having thoughts that I may not want this.
I'm available, also to look at “stuff” together if you want. Up to you.
No obligations. No need to finish this process either.
Get back in touch if you want and whenever you want.
Tracy: Thank you, Lex. Yesterday was pretty big. Lots of stuff is bubbling to the surface that I need to look at. If I stopped communicating with you right here, you have done a lot for me. Let me see what happens over the next few days or weeks. If nothing else, I'll let you know what comes of it. Thanks again.
Hi Lex. I have been doing lots of thinking...Here is where I am. I had a pretty intense experience during our session. I saw that Tracy wasn't real and I mourned her. I realized that I loved her and didn't want to be without her. Of course, all The "I-ness" in these statements shows me that only a portion of Tracy dropped off. There was still a "me" watching all this happen, feeling all this.
Can/ does the self drop all at once, or can it peel away? That seems to be the experience I had. Anyway, I had been stuck at seeing/being an observer. Here's what I see about that: If "I" observe the observer, can the observer of the observer, observe? This can just repeat infinitely. Endless observers observing. That doesn't make any sense. Maybe this is a peep of light...
Lex: Good that you did a lot of thinking, it seems that that was the natural course. It won't lead to anything, though. It's function is just to sooth the process a bit, which seemed necessary to take the sharp edges off your intense experience.
The whole observer of observer of observer (etc. ad inf.) is just one thought. And so is “the self”. In reality there is no such thing (as you saw and are digesting now).
The instrument we are using is not thinking. It could be named the “discerning faculty” or simply: “looking”.
Thinking is confusing also because the self is so embedded in language. If I say: “Just look and you will see there is no self”, then you can ask: “But who then sees there is no self?” Then I can only answer: “nobody”, “What is this 'nobody' ?” etc. endless discussion, but when you simply look there is no doer AND no observer. The observer is a thought-construct. And you've seen that already clearly, only the mind, fueled by fear creates thoughts around that.
- The correct answer to that is: Neither, because there is no such thing. Yet there are all kinds of false beliefs around a supposed person/self-image and all kind of thoughts arising containing the word or sense “I”.Can/ does the self drop all at once, or can it peel away?
(I should..., I shouldn't..., Why do I ...)
That's a life-long habit and it normally won't go away at once, but as these thoughts (and many other thoughts) are seen as useless and all about an imaginary person, they will probably diminish in the long run.
In reality nothing is lost. What is or is being lost are false beliefs about a Tracy-construct, which are only in the way of living fully. Nothing to mourn about. Life goes on and is most likely able to flow more unrestricted and free.
No question, please just continue to describe what is going on.
Tracy: I was reading a thread here between Nick and Paul. Here's what came to me... There really only is one Life. One Spirit, whatever you want to call it. Life/spirit cannot be cut up into pieces. There is just Life living it's Life.
Lex: “There is just Life living it's Life.”
A multiple choice question for you:
Is this being
1. understood (intellectually)
2. seen (as being true)
Or a combination of the above?
Tracy: Hi Lex. I'd say all three to some degree. There are glimpses of two things: Life seeming to go right through me... No filtering, no resistance. And, a shrinking of distance between myself and an object I might be looking at...it's as if we are one thing.
Lex: Wow, that's quite a shift indeed.
When we say: “I see this tree”, the actual experience is just “tree”. The tree and the perception of the tree are not different and the “I” is actually not there.
I can imagine that this has to settle and this new (maybe also old) perspective needs some getting used to.
When you say “ Life seeming to go right through me” - is it a matter of speaking, or is there a “me” where life goes through?
Tracy: More a matter of speaking. As if the ME was what was there resisting what IS. So when I say life is "going right through me," it's that there is no me resisting.
Lex: Is there still turmoil going on? Is there faith in the process, trust that everything will settle eventually? What is happening now? Any positive or negative side-effects?
There are LU “aftercare” groups to which you will be added once our process/dialogue here is finished. As you read some threads, you'll probably know that the rounding up consist of a number of questions, of which you already answered the first. (No me, never was)
Are you ready to round up our dialogue by answering these final questions?
Tracy: Is "having seen" enough? I think you mentioned reprogramming. Like I said, I have had, am having glimpses. I suppose this is something that grows in our awareness over time?
Lex: Sorry, your response was drowned in a mountain of notifications.
Yes, having seen, really seen, not just intellectually understood, is all “you” can do. After seeing, there is no-one there to do any reprogramming. It will take place or not. An inclination to meditate or investigate can appear or disappear. The flow runs the show.
Is there still any seeking going on?
Tracy: There are still "I" thoughts, but then there is a thought it's not real. I have noticed the mind is quieter.
Lex: If the thoughts containing “I” are clearly seen as unreal and there is no doubt that there is no self other than as an idea/thought, this dialogue has served its purpose. Which doesn't mean that it is the end of the story. The question was: Has seeking come to a stop?
Is anything unclear?
Or are there still expectations?
Tracy: Has seeking stopped? Hmmm. I cannot say it has. I feel like even though I know there is no I...My brain still works as though there is...It's conditioned. I've been seeking for many, many years. Can a brain just stop doing something It's done for so long? As far as the other questions: It seems like the answer would be the same as above for both!
Instead of seeing without an "I", I feel more like it's me reminding me there is no I. Although, like I mentioned, I do get glimpses of seeing without an I. I know what that looks like/is. I just am not operating out of that consistently.
Also, would you consider meditating, "seeking?"
Lol. I'm seeing that I've been worrying about having "I" thoughts. That if I'm having them, I haven't really seen there is no self. It occurred to me not to worry about the thoughts that say there is an I...They aren't real. They have no basis.
I was thinking I wasn't supposed to be having "I" thoughts. I guess that was an expectation.
Sorry, not to overwhelm you, but this stuff is coming to the surface so I want to to know as much as I can tell you. I don't envy you having to sift through all this and make sense of it! Thanks again. I suppose I had an expectation that thoughts would stop or greatly diminish. I have been to some places of perfect silence in meditation. I suppose I expected that Liberation would be always that.
Lex: Great, and please don't hold back, even if you think it's nonsense or irrelevant.
Meditating is not seeking, some people stop meditating after seeing, others, who never did before, start. Meditation after seeing mostly happens spontaneously and without goal, just because it is enjoyable.
- Good that that expectation is acknowledged. Can you see that expectations are in the way, but also point the way?I had an expectation that thoughts would stop or greatly diminish.
When I-thoughts appear, are they believed in?
It depends. Some are easily dismissed. Others, I need to remind myself aren't real. And still others, I see a me wanting to hold onto them. When that happens, I remind myself they aren't real, there is no "I" but it doesn't seem to have much effect, they are very strong.Are they believed in?
As far as seeking goes...I don't know how to answer that. Dropping the thought of "I" didn't take "I" thoughts away. I'm feeling like there is a lot of work to do in dismantling many tightly held beliefs. Would this be seeking? I also am working to be present...But, it's work. I don't know if you would call it seeking, but for me, there is not a sense of being "done," more, just beginning to unwind the tentacles of "I."
- really? Is it a “me” ?I see a me wanting to hold onto them.
What is actually happening here? What makes the belief stick?
Can you give examples of beliefs that persist?
The seeking stops where the seeing starts. “Work” is something else. Seeing is a start. The new perspective needs to settle and that can be experienced as “work”. Take the poison out of recurring I-thoughts.
Resistance is futile. The mind-machinery will continue to run the old program for a while. Kind of deprivation symptoms.
Can you pinpoint what has changed from before we started this dialogue?
Tracy: Hi. You asked: "I see a me wanting to hold onto them.” - really? Is it a “me”
What is actually happening here? What makes the belief stick?
Can you give examples of beliefs that persist?
Maybe it isn't a "me", but I notice there are some thoughts I don't know if I want to give up...I like them, feel like I need them. Attachments to my kids, etc.
What's changed? A growing non-identification with thoughts. Less resistance to what IS. An openness to what's ahead....Even, an excited anticipation!
Lex: Those look like definite symptoms of “seeing” to me.
So you are attached to your attachments? You worry that you will no longer worry about your children? (just joking)I like them, feel like I need them. Attachments to my kids, etc.
It would be unnatural not to be attached to your children, wouldn't it?
Since this process has your love (for your children and in general) grown, diminished or stayed the same?
Tracy: My love has not changed. I can see that as time goes by, I will grow to trust and eventually relinquish all attachments.
To trust life, that is. What it gives, what it takes. I was never in control anyway.
- Still sounds subtly like an expectation. It could happen. Or not.I will grow to trust and eventually relinquish all attachments.
Is there anything that can be attached anyway?
What exactly are attachments?
Tracy: I would think attachments are "I" thoughts. These are the closely held and fiercely protected thoughts, because they make up the very identity of the "I". So the way I see it, it "I" go, they go.
And, maybe they will always be there, in the back round, but they don't have to be believed.
I can't see how not believing them wouldn't weaken them. If "I" isn't there what can "attachments" attach to? No, I don't think this is mere expectation...It must happen.
Lex: Wel “I” already ain't there. And you've seen that. “I” is just a thought.
I-thoughts appear, attachment as a feeling and/or thought appears.
Nice to have direct contact for a change. btw.
Tracy: Yes, they just shouldn't be believed.
Lex: “shouldn't” is a forbidden tense in LU!
Tracy: I didn't see that in the pinned post...Sorry!
Lex: Belief sometimes still happens. Getting entangled in thinking and worries can still happen.
Tracy: If I wasn't such a black and white thinker, I'd never have questioned enough to arrive here in the first place!
But this is where the work of it comes into play?
Lex: Nicely said: “The work comes into play”
Tracy: Ok good. I was thinking I was stuck between seeing and what work needs to be done...Not knowing how they are different. I think it's clearing up.
Lex: The goal here is just clear insight in the absence of a separate I-dentity.
Tracy: How would you define what the work is?
Lex: What happens afterwards is completely up to life.
Tracy: Just being open-hearted towards the moment? What about thought?
Lex: The work is different for every life-form. If there are many thoughts and ideas left, I can recommend The Work by Byron Katie.
Tracy: I've read it.
Lex: I mean actually doing it.
Tracy: I guess I'm just interesting in knowing just what's going on in the brain...Am I relearning based upon no I?
Lex: There is a post-gate facebook group dedicated to “clean up” old (thought)patterns that you can join after confirmation.
Tracy: I think I'm ready.
Since that is where my attention seems to be.
- do you mean neurological or psychological?knowing just what's going on in the brain
I'm sure the brain is busy rewiring itself.
And, that is healing.
Lex: Well in fact that is not within the scope of LU, but I'm in a group called “Advaita and the brain”. Unfortunately it's in dutch, but some articles are in English.
Tracy: Ah, right up my ally.
Lex: Hm. Maybe the brain is healing the quickest when “you” don't bother with it.
Tracy: I can see that. It's smarter than "me".
- I'll put the final questions, once you KNOW you're ready.I think I'm ready.
Tracy: I don't know what I don't know. I guess we'll see!
Lex: Well I'm waiting for the moment that you know what you don't know.
That you can say with 100% certainty: There is no separate I and there never was.
Tracy: Well, the knowing is/has always been there. It's only been obscured.
Lex: By what, exactly?
Tracy: No separate I. It's impossible.
Obscured by thoughts that there was a separate I.
Lex: Can we assess that these thoughts are no longer believed in?
In other words: Is it a conclusion (it can't be) or is the absence of any self/center clearly seen?
Tracy: I think so, because we can see the thoughts for what they are.
Lex: And what are they (the thoughts) ?
Tracy: I don't know what they are, other to say; images, chatter, etc. all arranged in a certain way.
Junk that floats around.
Lex: Sometimes a useful piece that can be recycled.
Is it a conclusion (it can't be) or is the absence of any self/center clearly seen?
Tracy: They are there, but there is no need to build an identity out of them.
Honestly, I'd have to say both. I've seen, but it also makes sense.
Lex: Both is fine. The seeing is more simple and more profound. Does that resonate?
Tracy: Ok, good. I thought you were going to send me to the back of the class!
Lex: In this business you start at the highest grade and end in kinder garten.
Tracy: Knowing nothing. What is cannot be grasped but by being there.
*HERE. ; P
Lex: Any more expectations, shoulds, shouldn'ts, dissatisfactions to solve?
Tracy: I'm excited to get into the work part, maybe there is an anticipation. I don't want to set myself up though, thinking I'm going to "get" something. I can see that's just a thought, but the feeling of it is there.
Be right back...
Lex: If you enjoy to unravel old patterns and hidden beliefs you'll find plenty of allies within LU community.
Tracy: That's exactly it.
Lex: My method (in I-less language: what appears to happen here) is that emotions, thoughts,moods and other old patterns are recognised at the spot when they appear (and they do!) and seen for what they are. In general they come with more force (especially emotions), but are gone quickly too.
Tracy: Wow. Ive noticed that! Stronger emotions. I thought something was wrong!
Why is that?
Then the condemning thoughts come after; "you think you're SOOoo spiritual, look at you!"
Lex: I guess the main function of this pseudo-identity is to keep us well-behaving (=manipulatable).
Yes, I recognise that thought. For me the greatest liberation was from the idea/sense that I was better/worse/more/less than others.
Tracy: If there is no separate self, no one can be better than another.
So, it's there, we just don't identify with it?
Lex: No I, no other.
Identification is another thought.
Tracy: Fighting it will only feed it.
Lex: “What you resist, persist” is a good rule of thumb.
I see that. Subtly, it's a separate self, but how do we look at it?Identification is another thought.
In other words: I create another self when I Iook and say "I'm not that," but how do we see the I?
Lex: What I guess is needed now is some faith (in life) that seeing this will establish itself and weed out all unnecessary BS.
Lex: I remember that in the beginning I kept very much focused on direct experience instead of thinking. Just watching how the body moved when it was doing the dishes or how the environment passed by while cycling, and all kind of interesting sensations that popped up and couldn't be named, located or catagorised.
Tracy: Same here. Whatever I'm doing I just remind myself to be here.
Lex: And do you enjoy that? Or is it a duty?
Tracy: No, I love that.
Lex: Great, eh?
Tracy: Yesterday, I was cutting up strawberries and reminded myself to be here. I could have cried at how sacred the moment seemed.
Lex: And sometimes not so great.
Tracy: Can you explain that a little? I've not had any not great experiences when I'm here...Yet. Maybe I'm attributing being here as everything is always good here?
But, maybe the swirl of emotions and stuff is stronger. If I'm here, I can take it in stride.
Lex: When “old stuff” strikes violently it is not so great. Then it's “work”. When you are joyfully cutting up strawberries, life is easy. When you are in the place of the strawberry it is harder.
Final questions? (Some you already answered, hope you don't bother to answer again)
Tracy: Gotcha. I'm ready to wrap up for today. The final round soon?
Tracy: No, I'm good.
Do you do the confirmation?
Lex: final round = final questions.
Within the next couple days?
Lex: I'll put them and you answer them in your own pace. As it comes.
Tracy: Sounds good. Thanks, Lex! Have a great rest of your day... : )
- Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
- 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.
- How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
- What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
- Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
- Anything to add?
No.1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
This illusion seems to start the moment we arrive on earth. We are given an individual name, we are told we are separate: "You are Tracy, that is Daddy." Experiences happen, preferences arise, memories form, we feel so alone. We label all of this "me".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.
Now I see this as false. Just thoughts, labels, memories and experiences that happened..How can they be a self? There is no person in that.
It feels...Odd. Odd that I believed it, had NO IDEA. And, angry maybe, that I feel like I was serving a tyrant and imposter my whole life. Relieved. Excited.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.
Intellectually, I thought it made sense, but I didn't really know what I was getting into. During one of our dialogues, I saw something. I thought I'd just be losing the ego...I really had no idea that was Tracy. I thought it was a part of Tracy, not her... The bad part maybe. But then, I saw her...ALL of her. And it couldn't be me if I could see her.4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
This one is harder. I've never believed in freewill. Clearly, we can't do what we want, can't turn the Sun blue. Beyond that, I make choices I don't want to make all the time...Out of habit, so I know I can't even do simple things that ARE possible! Decisions are just mostly choosing between a limited set of choices and picking the one best, etc., etc.5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
These are mostly just intellectual answers, but to look from a different angle: I know I can only choose what is given as choices. I can't dictate that. And, probably, many choices I made weren't even me making them anyway. They were all based on the past experiences.
Without self, I can make a clear decision, or better yet, let the decision just happen, trusting life (inside and outside) to guide me through. What am I responsible for? Keeping one eye on my heart and another on the mind.
Here is the example you asked for: I walked up on a girl who was talking badly about me. She turned and saw that I'd heard the whole thing and began to back-peddle (talk her way out of it). I took an internal step back, cleared my mind and dealt with her very directly, firmly and kindly. And, not for one second during, nor one since have I felt any ill will toward the girl. That's the difference, because in the mind, the self, I'd be pissed, hurt and screaming.
- can you give examples of choices you did make?many choices I made weren't even me making them anyway.
- There are apparently two entities here, one that makes choices and another one that has objections. You both call them “I”. What are these entities or what is behind them?I make choices I don't want to make all the time
- Can you choose to believe in free will?I've never believed in free will
- Is there any other option? Can you prevent the decision from happening?Without self, I can make a clear decision, or better yet, let the decision just happen
- I'm proud of you.I took an internal step back, cleared my mind and dealt with her very directly, firmly and kindly.
-in the mind, the self, I'd be pissed, hurt and screaming.
We sometimes have a different way of using language, so just to be sure I have to check if I understand you right:
What is the mind? What is the self?
Tracy: Hi Lex.
What I meant was that choices were being made that I was not even aware of a thought process behind them. That doesn't mean to say I was making the other choices, just that sometimes I'm more aware of the process than others.- can you give examples of choices you did make?many choices I made weren't even me making them anyway.
I don't mean there are two entities, just that things are happening that "I" wouldn't choose. Does that make sense?- There are apparently two entities here, one that makes choices and another one that has objections. You both call them “I”. What are these entities or what is behind them?I make choices I don't want to make all the time
This was a reference to the past. Can I choose? No, it's just a thought.- Can you choose to believe in free will?I've never believed in free will
I can't dictate the final outcome, but following the dictates of the mind ultimately isn't productive. It would be what is happening though. I have questions about this.- Is there any other option? Can you prevent the decision from happening?Without self, I can make a clear decision, or better yet, let the decision just happen
-I don't mean there are two entities, just that things are happening that "I" wouldn't choose. Does that make sense?
It doesn't, but I think I get your drift. Tell me if this is correct:
Your actions are not congruent with the ideas about how you are or should be.
There is an action, afterwards comes a regret or judgement that the action was wrong.
Tracy: You said "old stuff strikes violently..." How do you deal with this? There is no choice being made between letting that stuff control you versus refusing to get involved with it?
We aren't choosing between the moment and the mind? What is the work, then?
Yes. It's as if I'm doing things that makes no sense.Your actions are not congruent with the ideas about how you are or should be.
I don't. It happens. There mostly is less or no resistance so it happens more fiercely than before and lasts shorter. Here is nobody to interfere, yet I am also not a powerless victim, if that feeling comes up it is recognised as another experience rising. Without believing in these self-thoughts and self-feelings all just becomes simpler.‘You said "old stuff strikes violently..." How do you deal with this?’
- No.There is no choice being made between letting that stuff control you versus refusing to get involved with it?
Was this automatic for you? Or was it something you had to learn and get better at?There mostly is less or no resistance so it happens more fiercely than before and lasts shorter
Lex: If I were in your place in this incident with this girl, I have no idea what I would do. I might stay calm or I might get offended and get aggressive or start to cry. In my life all these options play out now and then. I recently got very offended and angry because of nothing and was very surprised about that at the same time.
The only thing that rarely happen is that these experiences are followed by judgements, shouldn't's, regrets etc. And if they are they don't “stick”.
Tracy: So, you just watch?
In all of this, you are just watching "Lex?"
Lex: No, not even that. It just happens. But don't take me as a role model.
Tracy: Do you have any other questions for me, things that need clarifying?
Do you find that even among people involved with LU, there are many different kinds of experiences people have?But don't take me as a role model.
- and what is Tracy ?I thought it was a part of Tracy, not her... The bad part maybe. But then, I saw her...ALL of her.
Tracy: I saw Tracy didn't exist..At ALL. And, it was unexpected. I didn't know that's what "liberation" was. Tracy is is what happens when the mind wants to make sense of itself.
It takes all the data it's collected and says "that's me."
Lex: And what is “the mind”?
Tracy: I have no idea.
Lex: Anything to add/ask?
Tracy: Not at this moment.
Lex: Where is your mind?
Can't find this cartoon, I'm looking for. It goes as follows.
Monk asks: “Master, my mind is restless”
Master: “Show me your mind and I'll calm it for you”
Monk: “When I look for it I can't find it”
Master: “See? I calmed it for you”
Tracy: Can't find it. I guess it's the brain and the information it has just being processed.
It seems like it's there, but when you look for it, it cannot be found.
Lex: Shall we leave it for today?
Tracy: Sure. Thanks.
Lex: Hi Tracy (if you're still there )
Here are some questions from other guides that followed our dialogue:
- You said that you saw that Tracy is not real. Is there is an observer for the fact that "Tracy" is not real?
- Do you really feel we are done with this investigation, or is there something you are still seeking?
Tracy: Hi. I've been sick for the past couple days. Ill comment on the questions tomorrow, if I feel better.
Lex: Take it easy, and good luck recovering.
Tracy: Here is what I've seen about the observer: I look at a lamp. I notice a separation between "me" and "It"...Where is this gap? I look. It's not my eyeballs, they are one with the lamp. The gap is behind them, in the mind. And, I look to see what this gap is...And I see that it's time. The time is the mind processing the lamp, labeling it...Thought.
Is it wrong/false to say "I am awareness?"
Lex: Is it true?
Tracy: I don't know. I know I am, and I know there is awareness.
Lex: There is existence. To deny or doubt that proves it unmistakably. Without awareness doubt wouldn't be possible to manifest.
So tell me about the “I” in “I am” or in “I know I am”.
What is that? Is it real?
Tracy: I can't tell you anything about I. It's just a label given to this existence/awareness, from this vantage point.
Lex: Which vantage point is that?
Maybe it is helpful to read the following article, which is actually meant for “after the gate”, but a sneak preview might put things in perspective:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/752 ... 0gate..txt
Tracy: I read the article. I think I see what you mean, but I'm not sure. Let me read it a few more times and take a day or two to see what comes up... Thanks Lex!
- neither am I.I think I see what you mean, but I'm not sure.
I stumbled upon this and had an intuition that it might clarify something to you. To also show you that seeing the absence of you is not the end of the story.
Me and two other guides are still not sure about the clarity of your seeing. It seems there still lingers some concept/idea about a perceiving “I”. Is there a center of perception? Some point from where the perceiving or experiencing is happening? Or is there only experience? Look!
And now look very carefully at the looking too: is there an observer? Is there anyone, anything looking? Or is there just looking?
Is there anyone existing, or is there just existence?
Is there anyone being aware, any vantage point? Or is there just awareness?
And IF there is anything/anyone/vantage point/center, please tell me what it is or where it is located.
Tracy: I'm only aware of what is here. I'm not aware of what you are doing at this moment on the other side of the world. Is that not a vantage point? Does that point to an I? I can find no place within where awareness begins, but there is only seeing from these eyes at the same time.
Lex: I am also not aware of what you are doing at your side of the ocean and I don't get alerts from facebook about this post, so I'm late responding, sorry.
- that is a very keen observation. Here it is seen that a gap is constructed between the observed and the observer. You say “by the mind”, but that is just another label to some mysterious process, isn't it? It just happens..And I see that it's time. The time is the mind processing the lamp, labeling it...Thought.
So if I may resume:
an observer / an I-dea
Is that how the idea/sense of an observer arises ?
- Can you see that that is a concept? I'm not saying that it is not true, but for sure it is not an absolute truth. And it is certainly not your direct experience. So from this idea easily a center is created that is not there in direct experience.there is only seeing from these eyes at the same time
In direct experience are there eyes that see, or is there just seeing?
In direct experience is there a vantage point, a center of perception?
Can “distance” be experienced?
Is there a fear: “What if the seeking stops completely? What then? Will there be an emptiness.?” - or something alike?
Tracy: Lol, hi Lex. I'm still looking. A vantage point? I don't know. It's like a place where sensory data converges... But like I said, I'm still looking.
As far as the fear...Maybe. I can see now that I can choose to drop any belief I want....True or not. The ability to drop a belief doesn't make it untrue. I could say "Milk is poison, I'll not drink it ever again." And the belief is gone....But milk is not poison. I don't know if I can rely on my ability to drop beliefs any more than I can rely on beliefs themselves.
And, I will say that "looking" seems harder. It's like I can get to what you want me to look at.
Lex: can or can't ?
Is milk good for you? It can be highly beneficial or highly detrimental. Learn the truth of whether milk is good for you.
- which place is that?It's like a place where sensory data converges
Can you point me out where that happens?
- where does this believe come from? Where do the decisions to keep or drop a belief come from? Do you know that? Can you see that?I can see now that I can choose to drop any belief I want..
A belief is inherently true. If you belief X, then you belief also that X is true. Can you really belief in something and at the same time consider that belief not true?to drop any belief I want....True or not.
I'd like to see an example of that.
Tracy: I'm saying that belief is no indicator of truth. Ie religion.
So conversely, nor is dropping belief.
When I look within, there is an expanse, chatter, images, feeling popping in and out randomly. Labeling happening. Sounds. There is no "center", but it's all happening in my head/brain. Just energy swirling around. I haven't had much time to myself lately to look, meditate, process and I can feel the difference. Much more resistance, restlessness, doubt. I'm getting frustrated not knowing what I'm supposed to be seeing when I look. What is hiding.
I can see intellectually, there us no observer. I can even look for it and not find it, but still, I can feel something there not letting me by. Like a wall.
Is consciousness purely a brain function? Is there nothing else out there? I've believed we are all one. A great Consciousness/Life that lives us. But, if this is just brain function, how are we connected? The connectedness would have to transcend us wouldn't it?
A brain just creates it's own consciousness. That seems to mean separate consciouses, maybe not selves, but separate still.
There's nothing in here to find. I've been over the landscape again and again...It's always the same. Whatever is happening is just happening. I sure as hell don't know how. Just like life is happening out there, without ME, whatever happens in here is just happening without "me".
Here is more...I'm so sorry, Lex! It's just bubbling up and I want you to know what's happening!
Here is what I'm seeing concerning "I": WHO IS SCREWING THIS UP? Life just living seems like it would be perfect...Not an asshole, like I am sometimes. If there is no me, who is responsible for my actions? Would I just not care about making mistakes? Let myself get fat because that's just what life is doing (and, I will get fat if I don't constantly work at it.) There is a certain swimming upstream against what seems to want to happen. What IS that? Is life at conflict with itself? I really hope I'm making some sense. Sorry!
Maybe I can say it a different way: I can see how self can't accept what is and we miss out on so much because self always has an idea of what perfect is and life just isn't like that. But, don't some things need to be fought?
Lex: I see you're roaming in the field of thoughts, mind, philosophies. There is no solution. No right way to think. There are descriptions, prescriptions, beliefs, ethics and they all have their function, but all these are outside the scope of this process.
To cope with all these thoughts and beliefs, we can dismantle them one by one (there is an aftercare group for that) or we can immediately see thoughts and beliefs for what they are. And it is important to distinguish the thought from its content. How? By just looking at the thought the moment it passes by instead of believing its content.
Use the observing / discerning faculty, which is not the mind. It is the “inner eye”, between quotes because it is neither inner nor an eye combined with “sense of truth” or “inner knowing”.
English language doesn't have proper pointers for this, so I hope my description is clear enough.
It is simple: If I say “I have an elephant in my attic ”, you know immediately that that is highly unlikely, there is no need for thinking or applying logic. When we start debating at some point you might even start to believe it, though. That is how thinking/believing can obscure the obvious: Of course I have no elephant in my attic, because I don't possess an attic and there is no me either.
There is a huge difference to seeing there is no self and applying that as a belief system. And there is a danger. As soon as the mind takes it as a philosophy, it starts to play with the concept of no-self, which is the best way to cover the plain seeing. Then it starts to produce attitudes and behaviors from the “new point of view” like: “Let myself get fat because that's just what life is doing”
What is behind all these thoughts? No doubt you have seen the absence of you as controller or center of observation. Some dissatisfaction lingers on. What is that?
What did you expect seeing the absence of self bringing more than seeing the absence of self?
Here are two exercises for you, one for the seeing and one for the hearing:
1. Put your attention on the color of objects instead of their form.
2. While speaking (yes, in conversation with others) listen to the sound of your voice and feel how it resonates in your body.
Let me know what happens.
Tracy: Hi Lex. I guess I thought that the seeing of no-self, would be permanent. That self would not get in the way of seeing anymore. I'd operate out of the awareness of that, instead of the illusion of self. I THOUGHT that self, would disappear.
Or at least, be in the background.
Lex: Well, you saw Tracy is an illusion. As an experience, that is transient, as an insight it is permanent. Santa Claus is a disguised guy. You know that, but still from some habits from childhood you can feel the awe and even fear of this impressive figure.
So once seen, the habit of falling in the trap of believing in a separate self has to be broken again and again, by seeing again and again. Awakening is possible only in this moment.
The question is: Did you merely have a no-self experience or is it totally clear that the bloody thing doesn't exist? Have another look.
What exactly is there to disappear?I THOUGHT that self, would disappear.
Tracy: I guess I thought the notion of self would disappear.
The self "program" if you will, is still running. It only doesn't when I pay very close attention...And that's work. Lol.
Lex: So what is this “self program” and what does it do?
Tracy: Runs it's mouth. Gets in the way of what is.
- and where does this come from?Runs it's mouth. Gets in the way of what is.
I mean that thought?
Tracy: Lol. I don't know.
Tracy: That doesn't make it stop though.
Lex: Can you know where any thought comes from?
- there is another one. I will now provoke the next:That doesn't make it stop though.
Does it have to stop? If so, why?
Tracy: It's just so prevalent, so loud, so annoying. It keeps me from what is.
Lex: No, it doesn't
This is exactly what is. Annoyance, judgements, resistance.
Tracy: It's totally obnoxious. How can I enjoy what is, with that screaming in my face?
Lex: So there is a desire to enjoy and a chain of thoughts + resistance + the idea that these thoughts prevent enjoyment?
And is there an “I” in all this? (Sorry I am no psychotherapist, my focus is just to point to the absence of self).
Tracy: A desire for peace too.
No, I don't think there is an I.
Lex: Do the exercises (focus on color, listening to the sound of your voice) and if thoughts happen just let them happen. Just continue.
Tracy: Will do. Thanks, Lex.
Lex: There is some dissatisfaction I sense. It is not uncommon that “old shit” emerges during this process. I'd recommend not to touch it, so neither suppress it or give it too much attention. Just let it come out naturally as shit is supposed to.
I will be quite occupied until Monday.
Tracy: That's perfect, Lex. I'll have time to employ the exercises without feeling rushed to get back to you.
Hi Lex. I know you are busy, so get back when you can...No hurry.
I can see that I can never know myself. Just as I cannot turn around and see myself. There is a mechanism that looks, but the illusion is that what's looking is separate from what's being looked at. I can never "observe" myself, because the observing would imply that I could be a separate, unbiased observer.
It's the same with the "outside" world. I can never escape reality to observe it and know it's nature. I'm in it.
After I saw all this I still felt a separation from the outside world. I figured I'd look to see where this division between "inside" and "outside" was. It wasn't my body..I can look and see my hand in the "outside" world. I kept looking inside for the division between "in" and "out." Of course, I couldn't find one. I looked in, I looked out, and what I saw was the same thing... Space, with objects appearing, who's origin is unknown to me. That's all I got for now.
- Is this feeling there all the time or does it just pop up occasionally?After I saw all this I still felt a separation from the outside world.
Does this feeling prove there actually is a separation?
The moment you state: “I'm in it.”, you create a separation from it (reality).I can never escape reality to observe it and know it's nature. I'm in it.
Are you IN it? Or ARE you it? Or neither?
Tracy: Hi Lex. I suppose there is a feeling of separation... But I know it's not true. As for "I'm in it..." It's the same thing... No inside or outside exists. Both questions are essentially the same and have the same answer.
- You suppose. Is there or is there not? Is it always there? This “knowing” is it an intellectual conclusion (it has to be like that) or plain direct insight? Is it “seen to be true”, despite of this feeling?I suppose there is a feeling of separation... But I know it's not true.
Tracy: Yes, there is a feeling of separation, but I know it's not true. It's more than an intellectual conclusion, because I know what those feel like... Very frustrating because you always know there is something you aren't seeing, like a wall. This doesn't feel like that. This is a knowing on a much deeper level.
Lex: So how about the issue of choice? What is choice? Is there a chooser? How are choices being made?
And beliefs. What are beliefs? Is there anything absolutely true?
You say: “I can choose my beliefs”, what exactly do you mean by that? What are you describing?
Tracy: Hi. It seems like choices are made even before I'm aware of them. I can think I'm thinking about something...But the answer just comes, no credit can really be taken.
As far as beliefs go... These can be adopted or discarded. The beliefs that are adopted must resonate somewhere, that's why they get adopted...But, how? I don't know.
Lex: “I don't know” is a great answer.
Are there any doubts, expectations or ideas left that we should investigate? It looks to me like you passed the investi-gate.
Tracy: I feel great Lex. I got what I came for.
Lex, if we're all done, I want to say goodbye proper.
Hey Lex, you mentioned some after care groups? I'd be interested in those. Are they on Facebook? : )
Lex:Hi, Tracy, sorry to have kept this thread pending for some time.
Some other guides saw it and one asked:
“, I would like her to give an example of control from DE - she said earlier in the conversation "I will get fat if I don't constantly work at it." Could she explain about how this control works?”
Tracy:It only feels like control.... Or failure! I guess whatever desire is greater (for a forbidden food, or to be fit) is what happens.