ready to look

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Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:38 pm

Good evening, hjj. :)


*the sensation continues, I feel nervous, there's the thought that I shouldn't let go of ownership of my stories and thoughts, if I didn't think them, then who did, and it's my job to take responsibility for them and to make better ones, happier ones, ones that are 'good', ones that a 'good boy' would have. tears now.*


Please gently observe that whole process, and keep writing about every sensation and thoughts that
arise anew.


After a life of being largely lauded for my thought, this is quite the shift! A welcome one, at that. Feels liberating to
just go with what's observed. Simple.


Breathtaking ... please go with it and see what is revealed.


I used to care so much about 'consciousness,' it was such a focus for me, a priority. Right now, it feels so amorphous, too un-real to be the subject of so much focus.


Yes. Is it more like an imaginary object or concept, such as love or justice?

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:59 pm

Please gently observe that whole process, and keep writing about every sensation and thoughts that
arise anew.
Whenever attention is brought back from thoughts to observation or looking at what is, sensation is present in the neck, head and face. Right now, it's felt in the back of the neck, the face. I was going to say that when the attention is brought back, sensation begins in those areas; perhaps its that sensation is always there, and it's only perceivable when space is created for it to be perceived. Right now though, it feels so prominent and strong (beginning in the top of the head now) that I'd have to say that I'd notice it if it were always there and that it is manifesting as a result of the shift in attention.

There continues to be an associated relaxation and sensation of openness or expansion in the chest. As I scan down the body, I the areas around the hips let go. The whole body feels at ease, and also energized. The sensation in the head and neck and face is tingly, and while I wouldn't call it pleasant, there is a kind of euphoria at how free I feel from thought, and a delight in being able to simply attend to this one task of looking at what is happening and reporting back.

It feels so liberating not to have to interpret it or figure out why any of it is happening, or even how. Just reporting. Makes me now wonder why I'd ever want to have to 'understand' something, anything, again. Especially as it can't be truly known. In the end, if I can't verify it with a sense, it's necessarily conjecture, fluid according to whatever thoughts arise in relation to the concept trying to be understood and however those thoughts are assembled into a theory in a given moment.

I grew up as a 'smart kid,' winning awards for academic achievement, placed in a 'gifted and talented' group, and my identity was inextricably linked with being right and having the right answers. There were trophies and plaques and medals and a case built to house them.

There have been moments in this process where I've wanted to get it right and give right answers, and while I feel that I've done well in answering truthfully and according to what I'm actually experiencing (rather than what I think I should I say), I've observed the response to your positive feedback. There's a sense of 'oh good, I'm doing it right, I'm saying the right things,' and a familiar relief that I recognize from a life spent seeking approval.

Typing comes to a dead stop now as it's clear that everything about that cultivated the sense of separation. Some 'self' trying to get something from other 'selves' -- with every award, that 'self' had more evidence of itself, another board with which to build itself up, distinguish itself from others, and present an appearance of worth and value, and with every failure, more agony as a hole was punched through it that anyone looking would be able to see through, see the empty inside of it, and then the desperate efforts to hide and not be seen, not be seen to be flawed, imperfect, fallible, and thus unloveable.

Realizing now how deeply I've needed the sense of self, how fiercely I've fought to develop it. It's been manufactured, this whole time, a costume, a shell to shield the truth of the 'real me' underneath. And so, what is the 'real me' underneath...

What is underneath the self I've constructed.

The agony of failure wasn't stemming from the self's inability to protect a real me underneath, it burst forth as the self itself sensed threat. Its, the identity's very existence, was about being right, and so being wrong and still being meant that it was NOT. So the panic was that there could be wrong, and living would still happen. There would not be actual death! It felt like death, but it was the self that felt the fatal threat.

What's true about the above? What can I know for certain?

I feel like I'm close, like I've swung very near to seeing clearly that this self was a total illusion, pendulum feels like it's swinging away again.

Coming back. The shell-self wasn't there to protect a real me. It wasn't there to keep people from seeing through it to the flawed, fallible human. It was there to sustain itself. I thought there was another self underneath, like maybe the inner child or something, but THAT's just another layer of the same thing, it's not an actual THING, it was just made up of other stuff from another time. Underneath that there's just awareness.


So now to consciousness. Awareness makes more sense to me now. Consciousness is too loaded a term, too linked to a sense of agency, something being 'conscious,' a 'conscious self.'
Is it more like an imaginary object or concept, such as love or justice?
So yes, to me, consciousness lands in the realm of being a concept. How do I quantify how conscious I am? How much consciousness I've accumulated? How conscious I am compared to someone else; that's something I thought was key, that I needed to engage with conscious people. That idea's totally made for more separation in my experience.

Meanwhile, awareness just is; it is verifiable. There is awareness. Right now, awareness of my hands scratching my face, of construction sounds above, of my dog laying next to me, breathing. These things are all happening, and it's amazing to feel like no story is needed about any of it. It can all continue and it doesn't have to be any different than it is.
please go with it and see what is revealed.
There's a lightening in my chest, a fluttery feeling as I consider that I can just be with what I see (or taste, touch, etc.) Objections arise: is that negligent? will I be missing something? what about realizing my potential? making the most of my life? being a good person? what about being thoughtful and anticipating the needs of others? and if I'm not actively directing my life (via visioning or imagination or setting of intention), how will it go where I want it to go?

As I settle back into awareness, I seem not to be that worried about these things. And I think I'd trade them all for the lightness in my chest. If a 'right life' means feeling tense and projecting attention outside of the present, caught up in thought, then I'm ready to let go of that pursuit. Feels scary to do that. Feels like I could drift and be at the mercy of... of what, reality, I guess!!

That's what I'll explore today. Just being, and being just with what is observed.
Let's see where awareness and reality take me.

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:02 pm

postscript: feeling panicky in the chest as I sit here and really drop in the notion of letting go. The word/thought "control" blaring like a siren. Waves of tightening/sensation around my upper back/shoulders.

Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:55 pm

Meanwhile, awareness just is; it is verifiable. There is awareness. Right now, awareness of my hands scratching my face, of construction sounds above, of my dog laying next to me, breathing. These things are all happening, and it's amazing to feel like no story is needed about any of it. It can all continue and it doesn't have to be any different than it is.


Is awareness itself and its contents something separate?
If you were to put another name to what you call "awareness," what would it be?


feeling panicky in the chest as I sit here and really drop in the notion of letting go. The word/thought "control" blaring like a siren. Waves of tightening/sensation around my upper back/shoulders.


Is it too much for you to handle? In that case, please simply take a rest.
If not, please keep observing that sensation and report.

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:43 am

Hi Bananafish!

A rest has been necessitated by life stuff -- today was non-stop, as will the next two be. My work is such that there can be 12-16 hour days. It's probably perfect timing, as, while the sensations weren't more than I could handle, I was finding myself feeling isolated and low last night, and fatigued from trying to 'get this.' The break today felt good, and I'll be ready to get back to looking Sunday (though really, it feels like a ball is rolling a bit and the looking is not really stopping).

Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:11 pm

Hi hjj! I like the "rolling ball" analogy. :) Yes, please take your time. I'll
be waiting for your next post.

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:23 am

Is awareness itself and its contents something separate?
I've learned that they are the same. I say that as it still feels somewhat conceptual; I don't feel like I'm sitting in a place where I'm seeing everything as awareness. That being said, as I perceive awareness and its contents now, it feels more and more natural to see the contents as the same, to observe everything as a whole. I'm perceiving less of a sense of separation. I'm noticing this with people, they're feeling less like 'other' than they used to, more like 'all together.' I'm noticing it with things, like they feel like expressions of Life, even the supposedly inanimate. I've had moments of having to remind myself that things like roads or structures were made, as they feel more like plants or leaves, things that have just sprung forth from Source.

Thinking about this question last night, the analagy of a painting came to mind. A painting can contain a variety of images, objects, shapes, colours, dimensions, shades, characters, etc. As evocative, as expressive, as immersive as real as all of these things in the painting have the potential to seem, they are all made of the same stuff: paint.

While the analogy can only go so far -- in the case of the painting there is an outside observer looking at this scene distinct from themselves and there is a subject/object relationship -- I thought it was useful as an example of how reality can all be made of the same stuff and that stuff can then also be awareness, or consciousness (which, incidentally, seems today like a more natural label than it did last week). But where the analogy fails, with there being the presence of an observer, is about where I still find myself, that is, still with the sense of awareness being aware of reality rather than knowing awareness as reality.

[sidebar: the painting analogy is also interesting in the sense that story and interpretation come into play. There is a physical expression of paint on a canvas; story and supposed meaning is introduced by the observer. This is the phenomenon I observed in my living room last week, with story and supposed meaning being introduced by thought.]

So, that's where I'm at right now. As well, feeling more freedom of expression in my communication with others. Feeling less self-conscious about what I say and how I'm saying it. Feeling much less concerned about the maintenance and management of a 'self'.' Experiencing more overall flow in the moment to moment. Consternation and upset is less impactful, and it passes faster.
If you were to put another name to what you call "awareness," what would it be?
As mentioned above, consciousness is feeling more natural -- and actually feels more accurate than awareness in this moment. It carries (for me) more of a suggestion of a living, expressing force than the word awareness; I like the recognition that this force is the one expressing itself as Life, as well as being aware of itself doing so. And so, if I were to offer even another label in addition to awareness or consciousness, I'm happy to offer Life Force. George Bernard Shaw had it right ;)

Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:29 pm

But where the analogy fails, with there being the presence of an observer, is about where I still find myself, that is, still with the sense of awareness being aware of reality rather than knowing awareness as reality.


Can you elaborate?
If you know awareness as reality, who is the one that knows?


Please look at the display before you, and tell about the above from
the observation of the experience of looking at the display.


Peace,


Bananafish

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:12 pm

Hi Bananafish! I'm going to address your second task first.
Please look at the display before you, and tell about the above from
the observation of the experience of looking at the display.
Looking at the display before me, what do I observe about this experience?

There is looking. There is seeing the display. There is looking through the eyes, the visible hint of a nose confirming that the visual information is being received by the eyes of the body. Focusing on looking at the display and the observation of that experience is leading to a simplified experience. There is a clarity about what the display actually is, a screen, presenting information, and hardly any awareness of any story that I recall normally goes along with looking at this display (it’s old, it needs replacing, there are too many icons on the desktop). There’s no opinion or attitude about what the screen is displaying, there’s just the awareness that it’s doing so.

There is a return of the buzzy, tingly sensation that has been largely absent in my time away from this conversation. It’s at the top and back of the head, and the back of the neck, and a little bit in the cheeks and hands.

There’s now that same relaxing/opening sensation in the chest.

I was about to censor myself from writing the following: ‘the display feels alive, and i feel subtly connected to it.’

I’m not sure if I’m fully clear on your task, but if I connect this to the experience of a painting, it would be the same in that there’s a painting, and there’s the seeing of a painting. By seeing the painting, it can be verified that the painting is.
Can you elaborate?
If you know awareness as reality, who is the one that knows?
I think I thought that, with a painting, there has to be a looker, and thus that looker would represent a self, while with the display that is ‘reality’, awareness is aware of reality — but that would make awareness separate from reality…

awareness is not separate from reality

awareness is reality

there is only awareness, there can only be awareness

there can’t be something outside of awareness

so awareness is all that is, and all that is is awareness, all of reality is awareness.

now the second part, who is the one that knows this?

awareness knows this! there is no one that knows this, that can know this, because that would place that one outside of awareness, wouldn’t it? it would make this one something that could look at awareness — what or who could do that??

there is no thing or one that can be outside of it all, that can know anything about awareness… only awareness can be aware, by virtue of being aware, that makes ‘me’ simply that, awareness. There can’t be an ‘I’ outside of awareness, looking at it… so, I am that.

Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:16 pm

Good evening, hjj. :)

There is looking through the eyes, the visible hint of a nose confirming that the visual information is being received by the eyes of the body.


How do you experience "looking through the eyes?"
In the present moment, without relying on thoughts or images, how do you perceive
the "eyes?"


I was about to censor myself from writing the following: ‘the display feels alive, and i feel subtly connected to it.’


Please keep focusing on that feeling, and write what you found out.


there’s a painting, and there’s the seeing of a painting. By seeing the painting, it can be verified that the painting is.


Is the painting itself any different / separate from the seeing of a painting?


awareness knows this! there is no one that knows this, that can know this, because that would place that one outside of awareness, wouldn’t it? it would make this one something that could look at awareness — what or who could do that??

there is no thing or one that can be outside of it all, that can know anything about awareness… only awareness can be aware, by virtue of being aware, that makes ‘me’ simply that, awareness. There can’t be an ‘I’ outside of awareness, looking at it… so, I am that.


Hmm ... you're starting to sound like a non-duality guy ... (just kidding).
Can you give one example of that from your daily life?



Best wishes,

Bananafish

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:05 am

How do you experience "looking through the eyes?"
In the present moment, without relying on thoughts or images, how do you perceive
the "eyes?"
It’s an immersive experience, more than I would have thought. I’m so ‘in’ what’s being seen that it’s not clear where it ends and I begin. As my head turns, reality is filled in so seamlessly and fully and immediately, that I’m not able to properly perceive the position of myself within it, which is not what I assumed. It’s almost disorienting

Thought there’s a physical positioning of my perspective in relation to the nose and the body, it somehow also feels non-localized. When I look in the mirror, it’s not clear that I’m actually seeing through the eyes that I see in the mirror. I don’t understand that in this moment. The image of the body that I see, which I’ve always identified with as being me, feels depersonalized.

That being said, I ‘know’ that the eyes of the body that I’m seeing in the mirror are related to my visual perception, as I have experienced how the large pupils of these eyes have affected my vision (due to contacts and then laser surgery).

In the present moment, the eyes aren’t perceived, They aren’t an ingredient of what is seen. I’m not aware of them — though if there was an irritant in them I’d be very aware.
Please keep focusing on that feeling, and write what you found out.
Holding a bottle of shaving cream, and it looks and feels more real than before. I realize that I’m rarely ever looking at things, really looking at them and seeing whatever they really are. This bottle of shaving cream has a presence. So does the bedspread I’m sitting on. I never pay real attention to these things, so it’s never noticed. But bringing my focus to these two things in this way is also changing how they feel and what I receive from them. I feel like I can feel some kind of essence of the bedspread now, underneath me, where I’m sitting on it. The tissue I’m now holding in my hand has such complexity to it. As I sit in this awareness of these objects, these things, there’s a settling and opening sensation in my chest.

These three things all feel significant in this moment. They feel related to me. I feel an appreciation of their presence, I almost feel like I feel their appreciation of me, but it’s almost like a sense of kinship. I’m feeling excited about the possibility of really being with all the things in my experience, and not dismissing them as mere things.

more anon…

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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:17 pm

In the present moment, the eyes aren’t perceived, They aren’t an ingredient of what is seen. I’m not aware of them — though if there was an irritant in them I’d be very aware.

Is that "if" reality, or something imagined?

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:23 pm

In the present moment, the eyes aren’t perceived, They aren’t an ingredient of what is seen. I’m not aware of them — though if there was an irritant in them I’d be very aware.

Is that "if" reality, or something imagined?
100% imagined.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:49 am

Is the painting itself any different / separate from the seeing of a painting?
Sat with this for awhile.

The painting itself is one with the seeing of the painting. It is not separate from the seeing of it.

It feels delightful to recognize this! Enjoying the realization that everything seen is thus connected to/not separate from the seer.

Saying it again: this bracelet is not separate from the seeing of it. Thinking about reconstructing whatever the opposing perspective is, but I'm not even sure how I'd put that into words. Perhaps it's the idea that this bracelet can exist independent of the seeing of it, but I can't and don't know that. I guess it's just an assumption, or a deduction.

As I think about how this bracelet got to me, I have the idea that it was existing somewhere between my brother sending it to me and me receiving it, but yes, I am imagining that, it's not verifiable by me in real terms.
awareness knows this! there is no one that knows this, that can know this, because that would place that one outside of awareness, wouldn’t it? it would make this one something that could look at awareness — what or who could do that??

there is no thing or one that can be outside of it all, that can know anything about awareness… only awareness can be aware, by virtue of being aware, that makes ‘me’ simply that, awareness. There can’t be an ‘I’ outside of awareness, looking at it… so, I am that.


Hmm ... you're starting to sound like a non-duality guy ... (just kidding).
Can you give one example of that from your daily life?
Trying to figure out what you're asking here... I confess that I'm not clear on what you mean by 'that' in "Can you give me one example of that from your daily life?"

If 'that' means 'me being awareness' or 'no thing outside of awareness,' then maybe the following works as an answer:

I can't know anything outside of my daily life. I only truly know, only can know what is in my experience. I can't be outside my experience, looking at it. Everything I see must necessarily make it, and the act of seeing it, part of my experience. There's no way to get outside of that. I'm not sure that even thought can do that; after all, all thoughts that appear in my experience become part of my experience. I can't know anything I don't know; I only know what is known in experience.

The same would apply for awareness/consciousness.

Sorry, Bananafish! Not sure if that's what you were asking for...

Thanks, hope you have a happy weekend :)

ps. feels liberating re-reading that last paragraph -- all I need to know, I know, because that's all i can know! tried for so long to know everything, and especially to figure out what I needed to know to be happy/good/right/loved. the assumption (or at least suspicion) was that what was in my experience would inevitably be inadequate.

Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:33 pm

Yes ... the knowing, right now, here in this moment, that's everything.
Beautifully expressed in your post, hjj. :)



Still any doubts?


Regards,


Bananafish


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