ready to look

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:16 am

Hello Bananafish!

Lovely to be sitting down writing to you after this period of exploration and experience.

Firstly, to answer your question, there are no doubts. There is no Harry that is a self that is separate from what is experienced/known. Harry is fully one with what Harry experiences, and Harry is happy to be experiencing experience in that way!

The greatest sense of liberation is that of the gradual dissolution of Harry’s judgement of Harry. Having seen that life and thought and experience unfolds, that I’m not directing it (and that there’s no I that could), makes thoughts of self-judgement and self-recrimination over choices and decisions simply invalid. Formerly, they held so much power; the fullness of life experience was well-squished and limited under their weight. Now, while such thoughts still appear, their frequency has traceably diminished, and they’re always eventually recognized as the patterns that they are.

Words cannot express the lightness that remains as the potency of the presence of such negative self-assessment patterns continues to dissolve and the associated heaviness lifts.

How wild that after so long trying to be better, so many approaches taken, so many self-reproaches endured, so many efforts at self-improvement — how wondrous that in the end there’s no responsibility to be taken! If anything, seeing that Life is doing the living, who am I to question Life and its decisions? Surely it knows how to live better than I… ;)

There were initially brief moments of concern: “was it seen fully? is there something, anything in this process that i’m missing or that is incomplete?”
The initial response to these thoughts led to the following analogy: it’s like this process, and everything leading up to it, was putting together a very big puzzle, at very close range. There was the sense that the final piece had been put into place, but that there would now be a period of stepping back and taking in the whole picture, processing the fullness of the truth of ‘the image.’

I feel like that’s happening. A more recent response to the above concerns has been: ‘I’ve seen what I’ve seen. if there’s more to see, I’ll see it when i see it!’ Truly, there’s a sense that it’s all happening as it should be — or rather, as it is.

This sense hasn’t been ever-present, though. There are moments of varying duration and degree in which the program of identifaction is running. The analogy that arose, that has worked well as I went through the ebbs and flows of the past two weeks, is that of driving through a tunnel.

Life before seeing = driving in a tunnel (lost in thought, fixated attention, identification)
Life after seeing = driving in open air (thoughts are observed, attention is more relaxed, non-identification)

Another way to say it:
life before seeing = driving in a tunnel and not knowing that I was driving in a tunnel
life after seeing = sometimes still driving in a tunnel, but aware that it is a tunnel and there is open air at the end

That is, over the last two weeks, there have still been periods of identification and being caught up in thoughts. Eventually, however the awareness returns that those periods are temporary and illusory states of mind.

It’s great when it’s re-realized that it’s not ‘me’ that’s driving through the tunnel, and then snapping ‘myself’ out of it and coming out the other side back into open air. It’s just happening. There’s no responsibility to take for even that.

I’m curious as to the hows and whys of it — my guess is it has to do with energy patterns or something (my parents were visiting, which was interesting) — but now doesn’t feel like the right time for the diversion of hows and whys. What feels most valuable right now is to deepen the awareness of being, continuing to look…

Best :)

hjj

Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:19 pm

Beautiful ... your response made me speechless. :)


Although my concern is that I’ll have to ask to post similar responses,
I’d like to ask you if you’d like to try the final questions.


Do you feel you’re ready?


Warmest regards,


Bananafish

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:05 pm

Let’s find out!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:02 pm

Hi hjj. :)
Here are the questions. Enjoy!


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?

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:19 am

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
There are no separate things; there is one essence, one substance (awareness), of which all is comprised.

There is seeing. There is knowing.

It is presumed that there is a separate self that is doing the seeing or knowing. For there to be a ‘self’ that was doing the seeing or the knowing, this self would have to be outside of what it’s seeing and knowing. But as has been seen in this process, the focuser is the focusing. The painting is not separate from the seeing of it. Thus, ‘seeing’ or ‘knowing’ doesn’t require an external seer or knower — that it is happening is not a proof of a separate self doing it.

So the seer is the seeing, the knower is the knowing, and this is all happening within awareness, which is reality. Were the separate ’self’ to exist, it would make it a thing that is aware of something that it is not. Were it to exist and be separate, it would have to be separate, not only from what is being seen or known, but from awareness itself. It would need to be outside of awareness, to be aware that it is having awareness.

Putting all of this together: for there to be a separate self, aware of having awareness, it would have to be outside of the awareness it has, and thus, outside of reality — an impossibility.

So, no — no separate ’self,’ ‘me,’ or ‘I’… anywhere.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience.
Describe it fully as you see it now.
The separate self is an illusion generated by the mind. The mind, assuming that it is the source of awareness, also assumes that all seeming forms that it is aware of are separate and distinct from one another and itself. It then applies this assumption to itself, imagining that it, too, is therefore separate and distinct, a self. However, as awareness is aware of mind, mind must be contained within awareness, is part of it and not separate from or outside of it. Hence, the illusion.

This is how the illusion is perpetuated in my own experience. The focusing mechanism alights on an object, or a thought. In the assessment of the object, in the reception of a thought, an individuation happens (by thought). The object is individuated, differentiated from its surroundings, it is identified; the thought is similarly distinguished as being separate from other thoughts. This individuation process establishes a conceptual basis that there are separate things, objects or thoughts. This concept ends up extending past its utility as a means of processing and working with inputs and navigating environments, growing instead into a structural paradigm. All things are taken to be separate. All appearances are taken to be things that exist. The notion of the ‘self’ sprouts forth from this paradigm; this awareness must too, as all separate things, be a separate thing, one that must exist: the identified self.
3) How does it feel to see this?
It feels like we’re all in this together. And by we, I mean all seeming forms, things, objects, appearances — even thoughts. The sense of separation, from anything, is fractional compared to what it once was, and continuing to decrease. All is in the same “space.” There’s a blossoming sense of fraternity, kinship with all.
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue?
Before this dialogue began, there was an intellectual understanding of this. I’d read a fair bit of direct pointing dialogues, and I got enough from them to see the sense in them.

During the two week-period after Bananafish asked if there were any doubts, I went back to some of the dialogues, and other texts — in one case I retrieved a book (“I” — David Hawkins) from my giveaway pile — and I found the dialogues and words to no longer be describing states I aspired to acquire, I find them now to be articulating my present (great pun) experience. This feels invigorating, and reminds me of an interview in which it was lamented that writings of the true nature of ‘I’ would only make sense to those who didn’t need them. And so, paradoxically, further reading in this area feels ultimately unnecessary, but will be enjoyed. Pleasure now, not business!

There’s a change in the unfolding of life. Previous to this dialogue, life seemed almost drowned in thoughts of evaluation, judgement, assessment, comparison, consideration, and rumination. For the moment, I’ll call this phenomenon psychological static or resistance, and it was a plague. I experienced it as creating a drag on life. Thoughts of this sort certainly still arise, but there is now the option to observe them, allow them to appear without them turning into whirlpools of wondering. I’m just not as troubled by such thoughts, and while life may not be happening any faster or flowing any differently, my experience of it has a much greater quality of ease.

There have been great releases from the concern of ‘time,’ and locations seem to have less significance, space less meaning. Oh yes, meaning — I wanted to say that some time ago I learned the axiom that the construct of time is useful, as it gives meaning to our lives. As ’time’ is diminishing in value in my experience, the opposite seems to be happening. No longer gauging experience by how much time it’s taking, or how much time it’s taking from something else, or what else I could be doing with this time, the present moment is having more meaning. I think time is actually a de-meaning influence.
Please report from the past few days.
The few days after Bananafish’s “any doubts” query felt so still. The calm after the storm. That stillness slid away as parents, travel, visiting of friends provided familiar focus/energy patterns. Re-engaging with the dialogue has restored a more consistent ‘driving in the open air’ experience (see previous post). The tunnels are shorter again, and shrinking.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
The September 10th post was pivotal, particularly the dual observation that 1. thoughts appear and disappear, they are not ‘mine’, and 2. these thoughts insert themselves into experience so quickly that story was being generated and incorporated into experience almost before the truth of any thing could be seen. Was clear then that 1. everything i thought about thought was wrong, and 2. thoughts could quite easily be doing this sneaky trick with the story of ‘me.’

The task of focusing on a letter in a sentence, discovering that the focuser is not separate from the focusing was key, and set the stage for the later, vital realization that the painting is not separate from the seeing of it.
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control.
These are total illusions. Things happen. Thought comes in, plays its sneaky trick, inserting itself just after happenings, generating the ideas of these concepts, bestowing ownership of them to the ‘self.’ It happens so fast. If I’m not looking, I miss it, and can be fooled. The more I look, the easier it is to stay looking, and not caught up in a thought/story stream, within which thoughts have momentum and the above concepts thrive.
b) What makes things happen? How does it work?
I don’t know what makes things happen. I’m ok with not knowing! As far as how it works… it’s a mystery. Things just happen, man.
c) What are you responsible for?
The notion of responsibility breaks down when there’s no ‘I’ to be responsible. There’s no ‘me’ to take responsibility; even if there was, in direct experience actions cannot be traced back to individual choice (as fundamentally there's no individual), so how does ‘me’ make the claim that actions are ‘mine?’ This is all an unfolding of life within awareness. Can the wave of the ocean be responsible for its shape, how it crashes on the shore, and what sand it displaces when its very existence was the result of the motion of the ocean? The wave was following whatever momentum and animating force that was behind its creation in the first place. How could the wave direct itself, with any independent agency?
d) Give examples from experience.
My sense of personal responsibility changed permanently with the following:
It’s great when it’s re-realized that it’s not ‘me’ that’s driving through the tunnel, and then snapping ‘myself’ out of it and coming out the other side back into open air. It’s just happening. There’s no responsibility to take for even that.
6) Anything to add?
Life hasn’t changed. What’s changed is that I no longer need it to.

Bananafish
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:11 pm

Hi! Thanks for the beautiful responses ... :)
A couple of points I'd like to make sure:


Putting all of this together: for there to be a separate self, aware of having awareness, it would have to be outside of the awareness it has, and thus, outside of reality — an impossibility.

So, no — no separate ’self,’ ‘me,’ or ‘I’… anywhere.


Could you tell a bit more about the above, using examples from your daily life?


The mind, assuming that it is the source of awareness, also assumes that all seeming forms that it is aware of are separate and distinct from one another and itself. It then applies this assumption to itself, imagining that it, too, is therefore separate and distinct, a self.



Is there a kind of entity called "mind" that does something?
Can you point to it now? Did you find one?


However, as awareness is aware of mind, mind must be contained within awareness, is part of it and not separate from or outside of it. Hence, the illusion.


Again, is there a kind of entity called "awareness" that is being aware?
Can you point to it now? Did you find one?



Enjoy your further inquiry!


Bananafish

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hjj
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Re: ready to look

Postby hjj » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:29 am

HI Bananafish — There are things that are known, that are either seen, touched, felt, tasted, or smelled. These sensory inputs can be tracked, and listed. For example, in the last minute:

breathing
swallowing
sound of plane
tingling sensation in face
right foot ‘falling asleep’
sound of dog breathing
itch in left shoulder
scratch right cheek with right hand
licking of lips
yawning

Some of these are movements of the body; those were seen and felt to have happened. These are examples of what is observable, inarguable, in that it is possible to speak directly to the experience of them.

Sound was heard.
Sensation was felt.
Berry was tasted.

What is known is the hearing, the feeling, the tasting, etc. In the instant of hearing the sound of the footstep on the floor above, there’s no separation from the hearing and the steps. Listening to them, all that there is is the sound itself. It’s not even that it’s the experience of hearing the sound, the sound IS the experience. It’s as instant, as immediate a thing as can be. The sound IS, and thus is heard, and thus is.

Does there have to be a self that’s doing the hearing, the seeing, the feeling? Perhaps. Couldn’t it be so that the perception of these sensory inputs is proof of a perceiver? Who is doing the perceiving?

Well, it seems truthful to say that I am. After all, I’m reporting to you now that I’ve just heard a child yelling outside. So then the question is, what is the ‘I’ that heard it? Is it a separate self? Is it ‘Harry’?

A child yelled. Is the hearing of the sound separate from the sound itself? Scientifically, there’s an explanation for that separation. Experientially however, It’s one thing, no separation between sound and its hearing.

Let’s move for a moment to the latter two follow-up questions re: mind and awareness: There is no specific ‘mind’ doing anything. I’ve seen how thoughts arise unbidden and disappear of their own accord. After thought appears, the system? construct? program? other thoughts? label it as having been thought by the self. But no self is observed thinking the thoughts. They appear, and are identified as being mine — huh, just noticed that the word ‘mine’ is awfully close to the word ‘mind.’ That I credited an illusory ‘mind’ with generating the illusion of self is kind of comical.

So what creates the illusion of ‘self’ then? Just identification, the application of an “I” to action, thought, experience. What does this identification? Thought. Thought does this.

So if no self is thinking the thoughts, we’re back to the question of perception, and who is perceiving the thoughts. For me to know them, it has to be true that ‘I’ am perceiving them. So, then back to this question, what is this ‘I?’ Is it a separate self?

The only thing that suggests it is a separate self is the thought that ‘I’ saw, ‘I’ heard, the thought that says that ‘I’ perceived. Before a thought arises and comments on what has happened, adds to it with this ‘I,’ all that is known, all that can be said for certain is that sound heard, thought appeared.

And so we flow naturally to the subject of awareness… With this goofiness (“awareness is aware of mind”), I contradicted what I shared with such clarity earlier on, when I wrote:
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.
There is no separate entity that is ‘awareness.’ All things are within what can be called awareness. It is a label, like consciousness, applied to all that is known.

I defer to my earlier ‘awareness’ of the nature of awareness.

Bananafish
Posts: 1976
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Location: Japan
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Re: ready to look

Postby Bananafish » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:05 pm

Hi hjj. :)
I’ll ask my fellow guides to have have a look at our thread.

Please wait for a while.

Bananafish.


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