Stuck in the mud

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DianeSt
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby DianeSt » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:45 pm

Hi Perry
What is not moving?
Or to put it another way: your expectation is that a 'true realisation' will shift something - what is it that would shift?
Yes you are right I do have an expectation, that the realisation would end my suffering. This would be the shift. Yet I know that that is not the point of what we are doing.
can you identify 'stuckness' (if that is an appropriate word) in direct experience? Can you identify what, experientially, makes it up?

When I am looking at my direct experience quite often there is a blankness, a nothingness in my head. So this is the 'stuckness'. I think the stuckness is a feeling and a thought that I am not doing it right or I can't do it. I decided to sit with the stuckness for a while... Its the 'me' again what makes up the 'me'. But it is not a 'me' because it is a feeling a thought not a 'me'!
To put it yet another way - how can you tell, in direct experience, that there has been no 'moving'.
I can't tell in direct experience that there has been 'no moving' because 'no moving' is a thought and a feeling which I mistake for 'me' and there is no 'me' orchestrating this.

Thank you for sticking with me in all this.

Best wishes
Stavarha

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perrym
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby perrym » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:46 pm

Hi Diane,
Yes you are right I do have an expectation, that the realisation would end my suffering. This would be the shift. Yet I know that that is not the point of what we are doing.

Long term, sure, the end of suffering is quite possible (at least the kind we needlessly generate for ourselves), and yes, this enquiry could be the start of that journey, so it is really the point of what we are doing.

However, that is almost certainly not going to happen in one shift - seeing through the illusion of self is really the beginning of the process, not the end.

It might be useful at some point to look at what are more realistic expectations, but for now, it may be enough just to acknowledge what expectations you have had, and to carry on without getting snagged up with them.
When I am looking at my direct experience quite often there is a blankness, a nothingness in my head. So this is the 'stuckness'.

OK, so that's the experience - in the context of what we are doing in this enquiry, it is absolutely fine, because there is no 'right' or 'wrong' experience. If it crops up again, even blankness can be noted and investigated.

-----

Stepping back a bit and looking at the progress of our dialogue so far, I feel at this point that you are pretty clear about what constitutes direct experience, and you've had several different experiences where you have discovered no 'I' where you used to assume that there was.

I get the impression that, on a certain level, you know that you won't find 'I' anywhere in direct experience, but that this has not made much difference to the kinds of thoughts and feelings that arise during day-to-day life.

Is that a fair summary of where we are up to?

Assuming so, I think you are in a position to do some 'self guiding', where you take some heavily 'I' laden thought that has just arisen, and which seems credible at the time, and enquire into it yourself.

For example:
I think the stuckness is a feeling and a thought that I am not doing it right or I can't do it.

With a thought like this you can ask:
  • what is the 'I' that is not doing it right?
  • where is the 'I' that cannot do it?
In other words, when you look at the direct experience that the thought seems to refer to does the thought actually correspond to direct experience?

Can you investigate one or more 'I' thoughts that crop up during your day in this way and report back?

Best wishes,

Perry

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DianeSt
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby DianeSt » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:38 pm

Hi Perry
...but for now, it may be enough just to acknowledge what expectations you have had, and to carry on without getting snagged up with them.
Yes I agree and will try not to get snagged up by expectations.
I get the impression that, on a certain level, you know that you won't find 'I' anywhere in direct experience, but that this has not made much difference to the kinds of thoughts and feelings that arise during day-to-day life.
Yes this is a fair summary of where we are up to.
'I don't know why I can't see through the illusion of self?

What is the 'I' that is not seeing. I am seeing the computer screen. I have given the computer screen a label. There is no 'I' there is just seeing. Thoughts interrupt seeing but these are just thoughts. Thoughts don't interrupt 'seeing' because you are still seeing. You can't make them happen so there is no 'I' there either. So the illusion of self is a thought -a shift. What is your direct experience? More thoughts. You can't think you way out of this! Thoughts aren't an 'I'.
Why is this so hard?
Thats a good question. The 'I' that isn't anywhere to be found cannot do it. So who can? No one can. Why is this so hard? Because thats just how it is.

Best wishes
Diane

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perrym
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby perrym » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:41 am

Hello again Diane,
I don't know why I can't see through the illusion of self

This is sort of beautiful, isn't it .... How can "I" see that there is really no "I"?

"Seeing through the illusion of self" is not something that can possibly be experienced as something "I am doing" - so what sort of knowing/seeing could it be?

You ask yourself:
What is the 'I' that is not seeing

Very good question!

You reported some other thoughts that arose in considering this, but it doesn't look like you quite managed to answer this question for yourself, though perhaps you came quite close... (Or did you? I wasn't sure from what you wrote, it's not always obvious what is a 'quoted thought' that you are reporting as having happened, and what is you writing directly to me, without quotation marks, as it were)

If "I" really isn't "anywhere to be found" then what "illusion of self" remains? Is it any more than habitual thoughts?
Why is this so hard?

You may be working hard to focus on the investigation, but I wouldn't use the word "hard" to describe what we are trying to do, in the sense that solving complex equations or digging a ditch is hard ... it is more like noticing something that was in plain sight but had been overlooked - stay with it long enough, and you'll notice.

Best wishes,

Perry

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DianeSt
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby DianeSt » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:39 pm

Hi Perry

Sorry, I will make it clearer if I am asking myself a question or answering my own question.
I don't know why I can't see through the illusion of self
This is sort of beautiful, isn't it .... How can "I" see that there is really no "I"?
When I read this it really made me laugh. 'I' was a thought and a 'doing' again!

You asked me:
What is the 'I' that is not seeing

I don't think I answered this. The 'I' is a habit of thought that I have for all my life, believed to be true. Also there was a belief that there was an 'I' that was 'doing' and experiencing things.
If "I" really isn't "anywhere to be found" then what "illusion of self" remains? Is it any more than habitual thoughts?
The illusion of self that remains must be a lifetime of habitual thoughts that I am still mistaking for a 'me-ness' and a belief that I have to have a 'me' to experience things. So when looking I believe a thought to be 'me'.

Question: "Are there still feelings of 'me-ness' that are not 'I' or 'me' but something, a familiarity that I recognise? And does that remain after the illusion drops?" Answer: I am not sure if the familiarity is a thought or not. And I can't answer the second point until after the illusion drops.

Best wishes
Diane

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perrym
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby perrym » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:09 pm

Hi Diane,

I'm a bit confused as to the significance for you of
feelings of 'me-ness'

What direct experience is this 'me-ness' made up of right now?

Does anything about this 'me-ness' convince convince you that there must be some controlling entity "I" that owns and directs experience?

Right now, do you believe that there is any separate core to experience that could be called 'my self'?

best wishes

Perry

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DianeSt
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby DianeSt » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:33 pm

Hi Perry
What direct experience is this 'me-ness' made up of right now?
The 'me-ness' in direct experience right now is: the awareness of looking at the computer screen, feeling my fingers type. Noticing my thoughts arising, noticing sounds overhead, noticing an uncomfortable tinging in my stomach and a burning in my knees. This collection is the 'me-ness' that I am trying to describe.
Does anything about this 'me-ness' convince you that there must be some controlling entity "I" that owns and directs experience?
I don't think the 'me-ness' is the controlling entity 'I' but that there is awareness of happenings e.g. seeing, hearing etc that happens to 'me'.
Right now, do you believe that there is any separate core to experience that could be called 'my self'?
This is difficult to answer because I know that my direct experience has shown me that hearing is just hearing. Thoughts just arise, seeing is just seeing. Yet there is still this issue with the 'me'. An awareness of it all that feels like a 'me' as its going on.

Best wishes
Diane

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perrym
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby perrym » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:12 pm

Hi Diane,
This collection is the 'me-ness' that I am trying to describe

OK, interesting. What you describe seems to be - everything! The totality of experience, the fact that there is 'something rather than nothing'. Is that what you mean? Experience as a whole, rather than some particular quality or aspect of experience?

Or perhaps really...
that there is awareness of happenings [...] An awareness of it all that feels like a 'me' as its going on

so perhaps you'd say it is 'awareness' that you consider 'me-ness'?

Let's look at awareness a bit ... it is quite fascinating!

For a start, is there any separation between awareness and experience (ie between 'awareness' and what 'awareness' is 'aware of')? For example, in vision, is there any separation between awareness and colour?

Best wishes

Perry

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DianeSt
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby DianeSt » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:58 pm

Hi Perry
so perhaps you'd say it is 'awareness' that you consider 'me-ness'?
Yes its an awareness of whats going on that I consider 'me-ness'.
is there any separation between awareness and experience (ie between 'awareness' and what 'awareness' is 'aware of')? For example, in vision, is there any separation between awareness and colour?
I am looking at a bright red pair of scissors in a pot. There is no separation between the awareness of the colour and the colour, but there is also a presence of 'me' who is looking. But there is also a separation in that my eyes also see surrounding objects. So while I look at the scissors, I can't help notice other surrounding objects with an awareness of me involved in this.

Best wishes
Diane

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perrym
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby perrym » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:12 pm

Hi Diane,
There is no separation between the awareness of the colour and the colour

OK
there is also a presence of 'me' who is looking.

this is the nub of it ... is there?

is this directly experienced, or assumed?

what is this 'presence' - is it something other than thoughts (like memories) and feelings?

what we are looking at now is quite subtle, it might take a bit of patience to really see what is going on - take it gently!

best wishes,

Perry

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DianeSt
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby DianeSt » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:16 pm

Hi Perry
what is this 'presence' - is it something other than thoughts (like memories) and feelings?
I sat with my eyes closed for a while and then opened them and looked at an object. I did this several times and my direct experience each time was full of thoughts as I looked at an object. I think the 'presence' is thoughts, lots of thoughts. I let them just be and closed my eyes again. My direct experience was again thoughts and tingling in my legs.
I will stop for a while and post again later, so as to take it gently as you suggest.

Best wishes
Diane

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perrym
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby perrym » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:37 pm

Hi Diane,

Great work so far .... I look forward to reading more!

Perry

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DianeSt
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby DianeSt » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:49 pm

Hi Perry

I am looking at the square blocks of colour on my socks. I like the shapes. There are thoughts describing an experience but it is not the experience I am looking at. I don’t follow them. I close my eyes, there is a buzzing sound in a space where I though thoughts lived in my head area. It’s quite loud. Although my legs are on cushions I can't define their shape just a heavy feeling and some tingling and warmth. More thoughts. I look at a log which has long dents at one end getting smaller and then longer. I like the pattern. The noise outside I recognize as wind, a soft whistle.

More thoughts, not very helpful ones about “am I getting anywhere”? They are not helpful just expectations again.

Best wishes
Diane b

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perrym
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby perrym » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:10 pm

Hi Diane,

A very clear, beautifully simple description of your direct experience there, thank you!

So in the light of this, what (if anything) is the
presence of 'me' who is looking
?


I know this is essentially the same question we have been on for a few days now - that is quite intentional because this is rather an important area....

A few days ago you wrote that
I think the 'presence' is thoughts, lots of thoughts.

That seemed to me to be a really interesting and important observation, but you still seemed a bit unsure about it... are you any clearer now?

Another way to approach the same thing: is there really a split between experience and the 'me' (presence) having the experience?

Best wishes,

Perry

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DianeSt
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Re: Stuck in the mud

Postby DianeSt » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:46 am

Hi Perry
I think the 'presence' is thoughts, lots of thoughts.

... but you still seemed a bit unsure about it... are you any clearer now?
Yes I am still unsure and its hard to get to the route of it. I am sure that I mistook lots of thoughts as ‘presence’. As I sit typing this I feel a split between experience and the ‘me’ (presence) having the experience. I am still not sure if it is the ‘having the experience’ that feels like ‘me’. Even when I check this out it seems the ‘awareness of doing’ is the ‘me’.

I feel rather despondent.

Best wishes
Diane


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