All there is

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Emanon
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All there is

Postby Emanon » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:18 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand that what I am referring to when I talk or think about I or me is kind of a fictional character. It is the identification with the life story, not a real entity. It is the thought/feeling of being separate from other beings and the world. It claims to "own" thoughts and feelings, To be in charge of its life, to have free will.

What are you looking for at LU?
Although I guess I have some understanding of the concept of no-self and I had glimpses in the past, the feeling of being a separate self is still very strong. I am looking for someone to look with me and possibly help me to see what I'm not seeing or to help me to un-see what is illusory.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to meet someone who walks with me for a while, points out stepping stones and pitfalls, preferably has a torch for the darker passages, encourages me to move on should I stumble or get confused. What I don't expect is another concept or belief system. And certainly not someone who does the walking for me or carries my bag.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I spare you the complete list of spiritual teachers I came across in the past almost 50 years. No name-dropping required here, I guess. But about two years ago a friend gave me the first book of Jed McKenna (Spiritual Enlightenment the damnedest thing) and the disclaimer knocked me off my feet. Since then I have read many books on Non-Duality, listened to YouTube videos of various speakers, some I found helpful others didn't resonate with me. The last one I came across is Tony Parsons - since then I stopped the (self-)inquiry.

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

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JonathanR
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Re: All there is

Postby JonathanR » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:54 pm

Hello Emanon

(Would you like me to use this name or another one)?

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Jin and I'd be happy to assist you in your inquiry.
. What I don't expect is another concept or belief system. And certainly not someone who does the walking for me or carries my bag.
Good! We will probably get on well because I'm not interested in these things either, just pointing to no self via a series of questions.

If you are happy to get going right now please let me know that you accept my offer and let me know any expectations or hopes that you have, however insignificant these may seem, of seeing no self?

You mention a strong feeling of being a separate self. Where is this 'self' ? Does it seem to be in residence sonewhere in the body? Does it seem to be to do with thinking?

Let me kbow ?

Love

Jon

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Emanon
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Re: All there is

Postby Emanon » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:41 pm

Hello Jon,

glad to meet you. I am happy to get going. Regarding the name I would like to keep it at Emanon if you don't mind

Yes, this feeling of being a separate self seems to reside in the body. Interestingly it is not always felt with the same intensity. I perceive it as kind of a contraction. The more contracted the stronger the feeling of me in the body. As if this is the center around which everything revolves. And then there are moments in which there is no feeling of a center at all.

It is not so strong in regards of thoughts. They seem to appear on a kind of inner screen, almost visible. But they are strangely connected, related to the feeling of of self, refer back to the I. So there are I-thoughts, that are observed.

Expectations and hopes? To see more clearly comes closest. It is not about understanding, I gave up that "hope" some time ago. On the contrary. I feel that as long as something (a thought, a concept) makes sense, satisfies the mind, it is not "it".

Oh boy, this is exciting. I am not sure if I make any sense.

But it's a start, I guess.

Thanks for being in this with me.

Love

Emanon

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JonathanR
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Re: All there is

Postby JonathanR » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:19 pm

Hi Emanon,
glad to meet you. I am happy to get going. Regarding the name I would like to keep it at Emanon if you don't mind
Nice to meet you too Emanon! Yes that's fine.
Yes, this feeling of being a separate self seems to reside in the body.
Thank you. This is very helpful. Its a very common perception that 'I am in my body' or 'I am my body'.

So let's investigate here first, with a simple exercise...

Conventionally it is said that 'I see', and it is assumed that it is 'me' that is the body that is doing the seeing.

So right here and now the words on this screen are seen. But what is it that is doing the seeing? Is it 'eyes' or the body that is 'me' that is doing the seeing? Is there an experience of 'eyes seeing' or is there just seeing happening? What's the direct experience like?

I have read all of your reply with interest and am not ignoring anything else you spoke about but let's just focus on this one thing for now.

Love

Jon

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Emanon
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Re: All there is

Postby Emanon » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:49 am

Hello Jon,

ok, let"s get started.
So right here and now the words on this screen are seen. But what is it that is doing the seeing? Is it 'eyes' or the body that is 'me' that is doing the seeing? Is there an experience of 'eyes seeing' or is there just seeing happening? What's the direct experience like?

Under direct experience I understand sense perceptions and body sensations with the least possible interference of thoughts (labels, concepts etc). So the first thing I have to do is set aside what I believe to know about how seeing works.

After staring at the screen for quite a while I have to admit I can not find what is doing the seeing. There is seeing happening no doubt but I can not locate it. Seeing and what is seen seem to be indistinguishable.

The eyes. There is a bodily sensation (slight burning) of the eyes, so there is awareness of them, but it is not obvious that they are doing the seeing. It feels somehow unrelated to the body. Definitely not inside.
But when the eyes are closed there is no seeing happening. On the other hand when I think of dreaming, there is apparently seeing with eyes closed. So, seeing seems to be independent of eyes and even objects like in a dream. ? ? ?

What is seen? Colours. If I focus on the reply section it is mainly white with small black areas. In order to read these grey areas have to be recognized as letters, words, language. But that's not what I see. So here thoughts kick in. And with thoughts the feeling of I. I am reading.

This is what comes up right now. I will keep looking of course. If there is more I'll write again.

I have read all of your reply with interest and am not ignoring anything else you spoke about but let's just focus on this one thing for now.

That's absolutely fine. I trust that whatever needs to be looked at will be looked at.

Have a great Sunday

Love
Emanon

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JonathanR
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Re: All there is

Postby JonathanR » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:47 am

Hello Emanon,
. Under direct experience I understand sense perceptions and body sensations with the least possible interference of thoughts (labels, concepts etc). So the first thing I have to do is set aside what I believe to know about how seeing works.
Yes, that's a good working approach. Though I'm sure you notice that some thoughts do come and go?
. After staring at the screen for quite a while I have to admit I can not find what is doing the seeing.
That's interesting.
. It feels somehow unrelated to the body. Definitely not inside.
Again, interesting.
. But when the eyes are closed there is no seeing happening.
Hmm, how about seeing ... of darkness?
. So here thoughts kick in. And with thoughts the feeling of I. I am reading.
I keep saying it but this is interesting. Its good to notice this.

Here is another little exercise, this time with hearing: Sit comfortably where you will not be disturbed for a while
Notice any sounds happening right now. These could be quiet sounds such as breathing or slightly louder, such as an electrical hum somewhere, or louder still, such as people talking, birdsong or traffic. Close your eyes if it helps.

Whatever is heard notice that. Now, is there something or 'someone' doing the hearing ? Notice the experience.

With a somewhat distant sound, where is the experience of hearing happening?

Is there the experience of 'a body' or a 'me' doing hearing?

Love

Jon

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Emanon
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Re: All there is

Postby Emanon » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:02 am

Hello Jon,

thank you for your swift reply.

Yes, that's a good working approach. Though I'm sure you notice that some thoughts do come and go?

Yes, of course.
Hmm, how about seeing ... of darkness?

Yes, point taken :-)

Here is another little exercise, this time with hearing
I have been observing hearing/sounds a lot and under various conditions since your last post. It felt like watching it somehow from "outside". It seems as if sounds are appearing in kind of an open space. I couldn't find any limits (borders) to it. The body was rather inside this space. The quality of this space was attentiveness, as if there was listening even when there was no sound.
Similar to 'seeing of darkness' (see above) there was listening to silence. I noticed there is a difference between listening (kind of being open and ready) and hearing (actually perceiving a sound).
Notice any sounds happening right now. These could be quiet sounds such as breathing or slightly louder, such as an electrical hum somewhere, or louder still, such as people talking, birdsong or traffic. Close your eyes if it helps.
Sounds that are apparently generated by the body, like breathing, coughing, singing feel closer to the body because they usually appear together with body sensations. But when I try to focus entirely on the sound I can not really locate it.
There is one particular sound that is always there - a very high-pitched hissing. I first noticed it as a child and it has never left me since. It has not become louder, and usually I am not aware of it but it's always there.

And similar to the experience of seeing I observed there is hearing happening in a more general sense, without distinguishing the quality of the sound and thereby its apparent source. So obviously hearing can happen without the mind/thoughts being involved.
With a somewhat distant sound, where is the experience of hearing happening?
Can't say. Somewhere in this open, empty space of listening that even seems to permeate the body itself.

Is there the experience of 'a body' or a 'me' doing hearing?
No, the experience of 'a body' in the form of sensing is in my experience absolutely unconnected to the hearing happening.

That's it so far. Will keep looking.

Love

Emanon

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JonathanR
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Re: All there is

Postby JonathanR » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:26 pm

Hi Emanon,

Great work on the hearing. Well done!
. I noticed there is a difference between listening (kind of being open and ready) and hearing (actually perceiving a sound).
Is there?

Is it possible to find an edge or line between these two?

Conventionally it is said that there is a 'hearer' and that which is heard and, in fact, also the perception or 'hearing'.

Examine hearing now and see if there is a separate hearer, hearing that which is heard?

You could try a similar experiment with seeing. Are there separate things, 'a seer', 'seeing' and 'the seen' or ...what?
Try it with something like a simple coloured object, such as a white cup.

love

Jon

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Emanon
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Re: All there is

Postby Emanon » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:00 am

Hi Jon,

Is it possible to find an edge or line between these two?

No, it was clear to me yesterday it isn't today when I looked fresh. Can we just drop it?

Examine hearing now and see if there is a separate hearer, hearing that which is heard?

I can not find a hearer. Nobody is doing the hearing. It just happens. I have no control over it, can not stop or start it. Apparently there is hearing even in sleep. How would I wake up from a sound otherwise? Like the thunder last night.

I can not distinguish between hearing and what is heard. It's apparently inseparable. Therefore I can not define what is heard. I can not find an object, even to say sound seems to be too much. But there definitely is hearing happening.

You could try a similar experiment with seeing. Are there separate things, 'a seer', 'seeing' and 'the seen' or ...what?
Try it with something like a simple coloured object, such as a white cup.

With the seeing it is a little more difficult, I find. The conditioning (thoughts giving the answers) is somewhat stronger. But ultimately it is a similar experience as hearing. Nobody is doing the seeing. There seems to be more 'control' like closing the eyes, turning the head - but then, who is doing that? The seeing itself is just happening. And again I can not find a separate object (leaving aside the suggestions of thought). Seeing and what is seen seem to be completely 'merged' (under the assumption they could ever be experienced as separate).

That's weird: There seems to be seeing/hearing happening without a subject and an object.

Love

Emanon

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JonathanR
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Re: All there is

Postby JonathanR » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:19 pm

Hi Emanon,
No, it was clear to me yesterday it isn't today when I looked fresh. Can we just drop it?
Yes.
I can not find a hearer. Nobody is doing the hearing. It just happens. I have no control over it, can not stop or start it. Apparently there is hearing even in sleep. How would I wake up from a sound otherwise? Like the thunder last night.

I can not distinguish between hearing and what is heard. It's apparently inseparable. Therefore I can not define what is heard. I can not find an object, even to say sound seems to be too much. But there definitely is hearing happening.
Great. This is quite interesting, isn't it?
With the seeing it is a little more difficult, I find. The conditioning (thoughts giving the answers) is somewhat stronger. But ultimately it is a similar experience as hearing. Nobody is doing the seeing. There seems to be more 'control' like closing the eyes, turning the head - but then, who is doing that? The seeing itself is just happening. And again I can not find a separate object (leaving aside the suggestions of thought). Seeing and what is seen seem to be completely 'merged' (under the assumption they could ever be experienced as separate).
Yes again. Well done.

And are 'you' making any of this experience happen?

It's good that you're differentiating between real sense experience and what thoughts might 'say' about this.
That's weird: There seems to be seeing/hearing happening without a subject and an object.
It does seem so.

You may like to try each of the remaining senses of smell, taste and touch? Try placing a hand palm down on a table. Close your eyes and feel the sensation/s around the area of contact between 'hand' and 'table'.

Is that also just happening?

Is there a 'me', 'feeling the sensation'?

Is 'a body' or 'a hand' doing the feeling?


You're doing well. Maybe we will turn some attention to thought next.

Jon

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Emanon
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Re: All there is

Postby Emanon » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:17 am

Hi Jon,

And are 'you' making any of this experience happen?

No, experiences just happen.
You may like to try each of the remaining senses of smell, taste and touch? Try placing a hand palm down on a table. Close your eyes and feel the sensation/s around the area of contact between 'hand' and 'table'.

Is that also just happening?

Touch (and taste) appear to be a bit more complex than smell because there are body sensations happening simultaneously with the sense perceptions.

Smelling is also just happening. Similar to hearing it feels like a "constantly open channel". Nobody is doing it. Smelling and what is smelled can not be separated.

In the touch experiment the hand was lowered very slowly onto the table. Before touching happened there was a tingling sensation which then merged with the perception of touch (temperature, texture) until only one experience was there. There was no border between the touching and the touched.

Is there a 'me', 'feeling the sensation'?

There was no me felt. Just the sensation happening.

Is 'a body' or 'a hand' doing the feeling?

There was no hand doing the touching and no table being touched - just the experience of touch.

Tasting feels like a combination of touch, taste and smell. But no me is doing the tasting either.

You're doing well. Maybe we will turn some attention to thought next.

Thanks. Yes, that sounds great.

Love

Emanon

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JonathanR
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Re: All there is

Postby JonathanR » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:34 am

Hi,

OK, let's look at thoughts now.

Doing the investigation with hearing once again, or seeing, if you prefer, you'll probably notice thoughts appearing? They may appear for a while and then fade? They could be ABOUT almost anything.

Do you notice that the ideas that appear as thoughts are not the same as direct sense experience? That they are something extra that is added on to the immediate experience?

Is it possible to create a thought? Try creating a thought now.

Is it possible to prevent thoughts from appearing? Try preventing a thought from appearing.

love

Jon

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Emanon
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Re: All there is

Postby Emanon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:50 am

Hi Jon,

Doing the investigation with hearing once again, or seeing, if you prefer, you'll probably notice thoughts appearing? They may appear for a while and then fade? They could be ABOUT almost anything.
Yes, with a sense perception, like hearing a sound, almost instantly thoughts appear. "This is a bird, a brainfever, haven't heard it in a while, must be in the rain tree ..." And then they fade and are replaced by others. "Shoot, I wanted to phone ..." Yes, they can be about anything. Really weird at times. And they can mimic a dialog or even a whole marketplace. There is almost constant thought activity.
Do you notice that the ideas that appear as thoughts are not the same as direct sense experience? That they are something extra that is added on to the immediate experience?
Yes, the sense experience and the ideas that appear as thoughts are absolutely not the same. Thoughts may label the experience (brainfever bird), add a story (haven't heard it in a while ...), add an interpretation, concept etc to it, may point to it but never ARE it.

Is it possible to create a thought? Try creating a thought now.

Absolutely not. I am not able to create a thought. When I try it: "I want to think about the movie I watched last night." That's just another thought not created by me either. It just appeared. No can do.

Is it possible to prevent thoughts from appearing? Try preventing a thought from appearing.


Unfortunately not. Thoughts can neither be created nor stopped. There is no escape. And in my experience they can be extremely obstinate. The intensity can vary, and there can be intervals (shorter or longer) but I have no control whatsoever.

Therefore I find the common expression "I think ..." misleading. It sounds as if this is something I do. I don't. Thinking is just happening. No ownership at all. This became very clear a few months ago when I read the Gatecrashers and some posts on the Gate. And it came as quite a shock. With the collaps of the belief that I am in charge of thinking, these are my thoughts, I can shape and direct them any way I want ... the foundation of the concept of me and the world was gone and it felt like falling. And it still does to some extent. Concepts and beliefs keep crumbling. This is sometimes funny, sometimes confusing, sometimes scary.

Love

Martin

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JonathanR
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Re: All there is

Postby JonathanR » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:32 pm

The foundation of the concept of me and the world was gone and it felt like falling. And it still does to some extent. Concepts and beliefs keep crumbling. This is sometimes funny, sometimes confusing, sometimes scary.

Thank you for your answers which are great to read. Seems you have been doing some important work! 'Funny confusing and scary' can all happen once beliefs are seen for what they are and begin to crumble. When did this falling start to happen?

So, can you say with a big fat 'yes' that the illusion of 'self' is seen? From reading your intro its possible that you have doubts or questions that you'd like to investigate? If so I'm more than happy for us to talk them through here.

Love

Jon

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Emanon
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Re: All there is

Postby Emanon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:27 am

Hi Jon,

I'm on my way to Rishikesh. Writing on my mobile. Will stay a bit more than two weeks. Will answer your questions as soon as there is a quiet moment - and internet connection.

I definitely would like to continue. Two topics that immediately arise are body and emotions.

Thanks for the helpful questions and comments so far. Looking forward to continue.

Love


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