Knocking at the gate.

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
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PHK
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Knocking at the gate.

Postby PHK » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:58 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That there is no truth in the statement "I've just had an idea." In reality an idea (thought) manifested, followed by another thought (I've just had as idea) but in reality a fictitious idea of a personal self is falsely claiming to be the originator of a thought form that manifested through the unfolding of life.

What are you looking for at LU?
Experiencing being the flow of life happens in the midst of activities such as painting, playing music, and aikido, but although in reality the flow of life is all there is, the thought of the false personal identity still colours life experience for most of the time. It is as if music, painting and aikido are "techniques" to experience the flow rather than the flow being default experience that I would like it to be.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Help and guidance in seeing once and for all that the personal self is an illusion so that experiencing being the flow of life can be permanent. Raising awareness of when the illusory self is scuppering the clear viewing of what is.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Seeking has been going on since my mid-20s and involved participation in a group for about 14months, attending some seminars. Since then the seeking has taken place via books on Ramana Mharshi along with books by Eckhart Tolle, Jed McKenna and others, and observation of what is truly happening during the unfolding of life.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
10

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gondwana
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby gondwana » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:26 am

Hello PHK,

Firstly, let me apologise for it taking a while for a guide to pick up your thread. We are very busy at the moment, but at least that is a good sign that many people are ready to challenge their belief in the separate self :)

Secondly, a warm welcome to the Liberation Unleashed forums, it sounds like you are ready to look! I will be most happy to guide you. Should I call you PHK, or is there some other name you would prefer to go by?

Before we get started, just a few important preliminaries.

Throughout our conversation I will ask you a series of questions. For each question, you will need to look in your OWN direct experience, and answer with 100% honesty. Please answer each question individually (using the quote function) and answer every question each time.

I point. You look. You tell me what you see, right there and then in the present moment. Rinse & repeat. Simple :)

The answer MUST come from your own direct experience, in the present moment (the NOW). That means: avoid thinking about it too much and analysing, avoid relying on memory of what happened some other time. Always LOOK in the now, the present moment. This also means avoid relying on the thoughts and memories of others, so please avoid reading books/blog posts/YouTube videos/etc related to seeking and the teachings of others, for the entire period of our conversation. This is very important.

Lastly please watch the below 30 second video and learn how to use the quote function. This is important for us to have a clear, structured dialogue centred on the question and answer format.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fAToDNh9hQ

Please make an effort to write here every day. This works best if we keep a constant focus on looking!

Does the above sound ok?
Tim
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PHK
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby PHK » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:47 am

Hello Tim

Great to hear from you. Thank you for offering to be my guide.
Should I call you PHK, or is there some other name you would prefer to go by?
Please call me Peter.
Lastly please watch the below 30 second video and learn how to use the quote function.
I have watched the video. Hope the function is being used correctly! :-)
Does the above sound ok?
Yes, everything you said is fine.


Peter

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gondwana
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Knocking at the gate.

Postby gondwana » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:16 am

Hi Peter.

You’re welcome!
I have watched the video. Hope the function is being used correctly! :-)
Perfectly!
Experiencing being the flow of life happens in the midst of activities such as painting, playing music, and aikido, but although in reality the flow of life is all there is, the thought of the false personal identity still colours life experience for most of the time. It is as if music, painting and aikido are "techniques" to experience the flow rather than the flow being default experience that I would like it to be.
Or could it be, that it is the other way round? That most of the time, we are stuck in a compulsive activity that OBSCURES the flow that is already default experience?

Music, aikido, etc allow us to step out of our usual compulsive activity that obscures it.

Ever seen one of those optical illusions, where the image seems so certainly to be one thing, but as you look really hard, it eventually “pops” and you see it was really a different image all along? A “figure/ground reversal”.

Image
Help and guidance in seeing once and for all that the personal self is an illusion so that experiencing being the flow of life can be permanent.
So rather, it is that upon seeing the separate self is an illusion, it “gets out of the way” so that simply being — the flow of life — what is already happening anyway, can now be seen as it occurs unobscured (because it IS already happening anyway).
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PHK
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby PHK » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:15 am

Hi Tim
Or could it be, that it is the other way round? That most of the time, we are stuck in a compulsive activity that OBSCURES the flow that is already default experience?
Yes, I see this, Tim. It cannot be any other way. There is only the Infinite Whole unfolding, from which there is nothing separate or the infinite wouldn't be infinite. My mind experiences everyday activities as isolated activities (activities in themselves) through focusing on them rather than the Infinite Whole of which they are a part - which is an incorrect form of thinking, of course, because there are no "parts" it's all one whole. So all I have to do is see EVERYTHING as the Infinite Whole unfolding - no matter what it is - and I will always experience Truth -unfolding Infinite Whole. But then of course there is no separate ME to do anything if all is ONE. So it is not ME that needs to see it, it is SEEING itself.

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gondwana
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby gondwana » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:05 am

Good! And this is ultimately the view we want to arrive at, experientially. But an intellectual understanding is not enough.
from which there is nothing separate or the infinite wouldn't be infinite
Exactly :D

Now, our focus here is to see directly through the illusion of the separate self, specifically. Let's get some basic groundwork in place so this can be seen clearly.

Let us start off with a nice easy exercise, but which lays some very important groundwork. Humour me!

Try this for real, and report back what you find:

Sit at home with eyes closed. In your mind, imagine going to the kitchen and getting a piece of fruit (be sure to choose something you already have in stock as we will need if after).

Try to fully imagine actually going there, picking it up, the look of it, the colour, texture, smell, reflections of light. Then imagine biting into the fruit, tasting it, the texture, sweetness, sharpness, all the qualities. Imagine every aspect, make it as real as possible! This is an example of using thought.

Now open your eyes, and actually go to the kitchen. Take the piece of fruit out for real, and look at it, examine the colour, texture, smell, reflections of light. Now actually bite into the fruit and taste it, experience the texture, the sweetness, sharpness, etc. This is an example of actual experience (AE).

How does actual experience compare to thought?
Which feels more real?
Was thought able to fully capture all the detail and richness of the experience?
Can thought actually ever be as complete as AE?

Please answer each question individually, and answer all questions.
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PHK
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby PHK » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:56 pm

How does actual experience compare to thought?

The thought is like a muted version of the actual experience. Like the difference between looking at a full colour image of an apple as opposed to one where the image is transitioning from black and white to colour. The colours are visible out of the greyness but are flat and muted. This analogy applies to tasting and touching as well as seeing.
Which feels more real?
The actual experience feels much more real than the imagined version, of course, with the touching, tasting and seeing actually happening.
Was thought able to fully capture all the detail and richness of the experience?
No. Although I have eaten an apple before and was able to call up memories of doing so, the memory was sketchy, less detailed and much less vivid.
Can thought actually ever be as complete as AE?
No it can't. It's a poor excuse for actual experience.

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gondwana
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby gondwana » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:58 am

Great, some very clear looking happened there :)

So it was seen how
>> actual experience <<
is completely different to
>> thoughts about actual experience <<

Thoughts may be very convincing sometimes, but that can NEVER make them real. Remember this.

Thoughts can basically do only one of two things:
— Thoughts about actual experience
— Thoughts about other thoughts
Neither of these are of course real, in the sense of actual experience itself.

For the next exercise, bring up the thought of “me” / “I”. Take a long, careful look and report back a list of all the things that come up when you think “I”?

For each thing on the list, try to identify whether it is a thought about other thoughts, or a thought of some actual experience in the present moment.

Let me know what you find!
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PHK
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby PHK » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:28 pm

For the next exercise, bring up the thought of “me” / “I”. Take a long, careful look and report back a list of all the things that come up when you think “I”?
Initially, when I look inside, what the words I/Me represent right now is a kind of centralising thing around which everything happens. Ideas collect around it and cling to it and experience is experienced relative to, and through this identity - the prism of I/Me.
I see that the beliefs and ideas are separate from the central identity, thought they hang on it, in the same way that coats hang on a coat hook. There might be several coats but the coat hook is different from the coats - it's the thing they hang together on, as ideas and beliefs hang on the centralising identity of I/Me.
For each thing on the list, try to identify whether it is a thought about other thoughts, or a thought of some actual experience in the present moment
When I look deep in to find the coat hook it isn't there, so the thoughts must be thoughts about the thought of an identity. Although there is an experience too, but looking at it closely it's an experience of a kind of "mental tension" that can then manifest as muscular tension, giving the illusion of something solid and real, which is not real. The mental/muscular tension may be real, but that isn't anymore an I/Me identity anymore than is my flexed bicep. So the I/Me is an idea/thought concept that appears to get real as other thoughts/ideas are attached to it, in the same way that a story seems more real/plausible when details are added to it.

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gondwana
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby gondwana » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:59 am

When I look deep in to find the coat hook it isn't there, so the thoughts must be thoughts about the thought of an identity.
Indeed, a collection of thoughts about the thought "I"!
Although there is an experience too, but looking at it closely it's an experience of a kind of "mental tension" that can then manifest as muscular tension, giving the illusion of something solid and real, which is not real. The mental/muscular tension may be real, but that isn't anymore an I/Me identity anymore than is my flexed bicep.
Yes this was clearly seen. So the physical sensation, it is actually just impersonal right? It's just a sensation, nothing personal at all. No "I"/"Me" identity in there!
So the I/Me is an idea/thought concept that appears to get real as other thoughts/ideas are attached to it, in the same way that a story seems more real/plausible when details are added to it.
Yes.

So, to check back, is "I" / "me" any more than just a collection of thoughts?
Look now, in the present moment and check until you have seen clearly!
Is it anything more than just a ball of thoughts?

And you already saw, with the fruit experiment with the apple - are thoughts real?
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PHK
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby PHK » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:38 pm

So, to check back, is "I" / "me" any more than just a collection of thoughts?
Look now, in the present moment and check until you have seen clearly!
Is it anything more than just a ball of thoughts?
The I/Me cannot be anything other than just a collection of thoughts - a tangled knot of them. There is no physical organ like a liver or a kidney in which it is located. The ball of thoughts seem to create the illusion of reality by sticking together or to something else - like the body for instance. I notice that when I get into the present moment and experience being unlimited consciouness - the body being an object witnessed IN consciousness but not the Location of consciousness - the sense of I/Me as a separate identity dissipates leaving a universal sense of just being.

Over the last couple of weeks I've found myself laughing at the cosmic joke - a non-existent me trying to get rid of a non-exisent ego - particularly when I'm out walking my dog. In these moments there is a lightness of being and an experience of oneness. These moments are wonderful but are as of yet still fleeting. When the Santa myth was busted I never again believed in him. And no matter how convincingly a child might talk of Santa I'm not going to be suckered into the story. So why do I get drawn back into the illusion of the self if logic says it can only be thought/illusion? It's like going to a movie and losing yourself in the plot. You know it's not real but when the hero is about to walk into the room and you know the bad guy is hiding behind the door with a knife in his hand you still get tense. Until the lady next to you crunches on her popcorn and snaps you out of it.

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PHK
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby PHK » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:05 am

Since the last post a shift has occurred. During the reading of the enlightenment quotes on the LU website the part was read about awareness aware-nessing, on its own, without anyone doing it. A cloud which had been blocking seeing was removed. In the searching that had taken place over the years it had been understood that "I" am not my, body, thoughts, sensations etc. Many books point this out, but then go on to say "You are awareness." And there was a trap. From that it was felt that "I" was aware-nessing, which was a subtle way of giving solidity to the illusion of the "I". Yesterday it was seen that there is no "I" awaring - awareness is awarenessing on its own. "You" are not awareness - there is no "You."

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gondwana
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby gondwana » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:33 am

Beautiful :). Everything you said is on point.

But especially the part about awareness. This can be a common trap, often with some other traditions such as Advaita Vedanta. For that reason, we never point to awareness here until we have pointed to the non-existence of the separate self, and only once that has been seen clearly.

You seem to be clear now!

What about control, free will, etc? How do things happen? What is in control?

Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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PHK
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby PHK » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:16 am

What about control, free will, etc? How do things happen? What is in control?
There's no control, or free will. This has been seen for some time. A couple of years ago a friend was asking me about an event in the story of "me" and he said, "How did you do that? You must have had to make the right decisions." The answer given was that decisions (which are just thoughts) were taken, but "I" had no part in them. Why did "I" decide one thing or another? Why did other people make different decisions? Why did "I" chose to do anything in life? My brother, brought up in the same household went a different route in his life. What made him decide on a different course when faced with a similar situation?

Of course, after the "apparent decision"has been taken the mind churns out thoughts to build a "logical" case for the decision and the thought "I've made a decision," pops up. But that's all it is - a thought.

For someone or something to be in control of things they or it would have to be separate from the thing they or it wanted to exert control over. And that means the the universe would no longer be infinite - it would end where the so called "controller" began. All is the universe and so all (of life) is unfolding, without cause, and so things happened as part of that unfolding and for no other reason.

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gondwana
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Re: Knocking at the gate.

Postby gondwana » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:32 am

What a great explanation of free will!

I will post the final questions now, we use these to wrap up a thread and sample the experience once seeing has happened.

This is for the other guides to peer review so please answer as fully as possible, quoting recent examples of experiences to illustrate how things are now seen.

Here are the questions:

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.
b) What makes things happen? How does it work?
c) What are you responsible for?
d) Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.


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