Clarity or an increased "sense of being" are specific states of consciousness, which may or may not be effects of the clear and direct seeing of the actual absence of self. The purpose of this conversation is to lead you to this clear and direct seeing, not to those states of consciousness. Do you see the difference? The reason I mention this, is because if you are specifically looking for these states, you may miss the point entirely, as it's so subtle and simple... ;-)
Hi Damon, ok. i understand what you are saying. I am going to trust in this and keep the focus that you're asking for. To explain firstly what presents itself as difficulty is that I feel i have come to a place (excuse the i's etc) where in seeing thoughts for what they really are, and in being less attached to them i seem to fall back into a state of consciousness, naturally, which is free from the gripping and tightness which is what used to characterise my waking experience. and this feels right..the more time spent in what feels unchanging and quiet seems itself to further loosen notions of the self which are not real or which are more dreamlike. it seems it has its own inertia and alot of things are falling away by themselves. in looking as you're asking there feels like there is resistance to something that on some deep intuitive level is taking care of itself and doesn't need activity. However I am very grateful to be having this conversation with you, very grateful indeed and will trust in this. :-)
Will i just know when that sense of identity has fully gone?
We're also not trying to get rid of this sense of identity. Not at all. What we're looking for is the deep, visceral, irreversible insight into the nature of identity, all identity.
Ok that sounds good, very good.
Is awareness ever actually experienced, or is it just an idea, an abstraction?
Does it actually exist?
No is the answer. If i look right now at what i am experience i don't seem to be able to experience anything other than whats in front of me, whether it is thoughts, objects that seem to be in the external world, and even subtle shades of feeling which appear to be located in some sense of space in or behind the body. It is but one continual stream of different perceptions. Awareness is just a concept i am using to point to a knowingness of something greater than what i have traditionally taken as myself, but on account of that, it passes too and i am back to, in this case typing only. It feels there is nothing more than that. up till now cultivating this has lead me to greater sense of peace than any of the other ideas i have invested in. I have hoped also that this idea too will be taken care of and fall away of itself.
What is experience? How many levels are there to experience?
Expereince is what is happening right now in this moment; seeing my hands and movement, hearing birds and a hum outside my window, seeing the different shades and forms on my computer screen, and it always seems to be something taking place in contrast to a background of some kind; noise against no noise, colour appearing against absence of colour. that in order for the appearance and experience of these things i have to be aware that there is a backdrop of nothingness in which these things occur. when i look like this, i notice this as a pause or a stopping which for a split second a fraction of time nothing is being experienced. or at least experience of what that is feels very intense and unclouded almost outside of time. Its this feeling, almost catching *myself* out where i feel there is room to "not experience" and what i have been feeling a inclination to explore.
Why can't you do anything anyway? Is that true?
If that is seen to be so, then how can you say you "just have to completely surrender to it"? What does that mean, how is that possible?
Because I feel i am just reacting to things as they come and present themselves, i don't feel really in control of my experience in the sense of being an author, or choosing, i deinitely feel that sense of doing is there but its not attached to the notion of I or collection of thoughts and ideas i use to tell my story. Even when i talk to people and ultimately use words and ideas they take charge of themselves and when they have stopped they stop. i don't feel like an agent, but more just an experience of them happening. This is something that only changed over the last few months. I read maharshi's be as you are and *decided* to surrender and see what happens, and almost instantly a sense of things taking their own shape took hold.
When i get a sense that i am owning things i see it almost before its passed out of my consciousness and see it for what it is and let it go. It means moving from a place of surrender than from a place of action, even if it is but an idea, in the trust that over time the notion that you could act anyway is seen as something that was erroneous all along and just in the way.... is this not a way to change false belief through the effect it has on my cognition and experience?
After our exchanges I can already feel my mind (i am using words like mind and i out of convention here) getting involved in distinctions and differences and sensing agaiin that there is some quest for which it must be mobilised : to find the right sense of experience or non-experience, the right realisation or to achievea certain expression of that experience and communicate it effectively to you.
Yes, of course there is. The mind (conventionally speaking indeed) responds to questions, and directive language.
Where exactly is the *problem* here?
There is no real problem now, lol. Not today right here. I felt resistance to it yesterday because i felt like i was engaging in a strategy again, when i know there is no strategy to be had, and i didn't want to give any more fuel to the idea that there could be another mind-generated way to get at the truth. I tried everything up to this point and realised that trying gets in the way of seeing. Maybe again i am confusing the state/insight thing you mentioned and i just have to trust.
+I do have the feeling that as soon as i explain myself, i may as well have not written anything because its already in the past and inaccurate...i feel trapped by how i've characterised things, that as soon as the words are written, they get in the way again. :-O