Ready to Go

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AndrewS
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Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:13 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
That the "self" "me" "I" "ego" is a construct, made up of ideas about the world and its place in it. It is constantly reinforcing itself however it can, by claiming emotions and happenings as its own (or not). I expect that somebody from LU who has already been liberated will help point me to the illusory parts that are not being noticed.

What are you looking for at LU?
Liberation essentially. But to be specific: assistance in recognizing and seeing through any illusions that are sustaining the idea of a self. I'm at a point where this has come across my path and I'd like to follow it and see where it leads. Although things may be unfurling of their own accord and I maybe don't need to "do" anything, I still feel the need to "do" some thing. From what I've read this method seems to have results relatively quickly and that appeals.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
A guide who will point me to look at what I need to look at and will help keep me on track if I drift toward distraction or in the wrong direction. Ruthless compassion in pointing to the truth. I am not sure what I'm missing, so clarity essentially.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
First came across Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy in my late teens. Was very involved with that for 5 or 6 years. Moved to Japan, in my mid-twenties and found myself in something of a "spiritual" abyss. Married, got work, family. Around 40, I came across the Wim Hof Method, and ideas/beliefs about the world and myself began to fall away. Also, began practicing TIPI to deal with unconscious fears. Was drawn to Nisargadatta's "I Am That" and Tolle's "The Power of Now" around the same time. Have been slowly working through those over the last two years. More recently, I have come across Tony Parsons and his talks.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:26 am

Hi,

My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self' and other related topics.

At LU we are described as guides - not teachers - as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises and questions. Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been. This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate.

This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
Disclaimer:-
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:
https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/

“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.
http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done, it will save time in the long run.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.
To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration (for example, what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change). Could you please answer the following questions:

How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer ALL questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions INDIVIDUALLY, remembering to use the Quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:22 pm

Hi Vivien,
I have read/agree to all the above and am more than happy to have you as my guide. Thank you.

To answer your questions:
How will Life change?
I’m not sure to be honest. I’m not expecting any particularly radical outward changes. Everything I’ve read or listened to seems to indicate that’s not on the cards. So, I’ve been fairly disillusioned in that respect. I fully expect to continue living my day-to-day life in much the same way I am now. Part of me is curious I guess to see how life will change or what will unfold, if anything. But I don’t have any clear expectations that I can think of.
How will you change?
I’m not sure. It seems there is a change in awareness (or something) in regards to separateness. In so far as the “you” / “me” / “self” is concerned I guess it will cease to be, so the death of “you”. I’ve heard that there is a freeing of energy that was previously being used by the “self”. I work a lot, so the idea of extra energy is quite appealing.
What will be different?
I imagine, the investment in thought and emotion and story-telling will cease. That there would be more stillness and openness. I would perhaps be less wrapped up in my own interests and more present for my family. But as above, I don’t really have any fixed ideas and am open to whatever would happen.
What is missing?
My first response is “I don’t know”, nothing really. But, I asked myself on the way to work tonight and “love” sprang up. Just now “peace”, “emptiness”, “silence”. But it seems more like word association than anything deep. I really just get a foggy blankness when I ask that question.

I hope that’s clear enough to work with.
Thank you for your time,
~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:55 am

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for getting through these questions about expectations. It’s important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations results in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation. Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises ‘in the body’. Is there any resistance to any of it?
I’m not expecting any particularly radical outward changes. Everything I’ve read or listened to seems to indicate that’s not on the cards. So, I’ve been fairly disillusioned in that respect. I fully expect to continue living my day-to-day life in much the same way I am now.
Good that you are already disillusioned :) Yes, life itself won’t change. Only the perception of life could change.
In so far as the “you” / “me” / “self” is concerned I guess it will cease to be, so the death of “you”.
There is nothing that could die or cease to exist.
There is ALREADY no self, so there is nothing that could die.
Just because the self is seen through, nothing will die, since there has never been a self there in the first place.
There is no self that could be annihilated or killed.

The only thing that changes is the RECOGNITION that there has never been a self there.
But nothing else will change.

The sense of self will still arise. The illusion of the self will still be there.
So nothing will be lost, only a belief in the self will fall away.
I’ve heard that there is a freeing of energy that was previously being used by the “self”. I work a lot, so the idea of extra energy is quite appealing.
This might or might not happen. Probably not. Everyone experiences it differently, so don’t count on this.
I imagine, the investment in thought and emotion and story-telling will cease.
Not necessarily. The chances are high that it won’t.
There is ALREADY no self, and story-telling still happening.

Just because the self is seen through, it doesn’t mean that the self-referencing thoughts will stop. They won’t.
Relation to emotions could change, but probably not at the beginning. Seeing through the self is just the first step, just the beginning, not the end.

Also, personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
My first response is “I don’t know”, nothing really. But, I asked myself on the way to work tonight and “love” sprang up. Just now “peace”, “emptiness”, “silence”. But it seems more like word association than anything deep. I really just get a foggy blankness when I ask that question.
Love, peace, silence are just states, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Seeing through the separate individual is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about encompassing all emotions, accepting WHATEVER is arising in this moment (even the so called negative emotions).

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case. Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity (self) is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
Also, began practicing TIPI to deal with unconscious fears. Was drawn to Nisargadatta's "I Am That" and Tolle's "The Power of Now" around the same time. Have been slowly working through those over the last two years. More recently, I have come across Tony Parsons and his talks.
For the time our investigation, I would like to ask you to stop reading/listening any teachers, and rather spend your time looking. Also, I would like to ask you to put aside all learned knowledge. You have to see this experientially and not relying on others’ experiences. Can we agree on these?

Before starting, please read my above comments a few more times and tell me what comes up by reading the comments about the expectations.
Is there any resistance to any of it?

Do you feel ready to start the investigation?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:12 pm

‪Hi Vivien,‬

‪Thanks for your reply. I felt a tingling throughout my body the first read what you wrote. ‬

Is there any resistance to any of it?

‪No, no resistance. More, of an “Ahhh...”‬

For the time of our investigation, I would like to ask you to stop reading/listening to any teachers, and rather spend your time looking. Also, I would like to ask you to put aside all learned knowledge.


‪I have no problem ignoring other teachings or ideas and past knowledge. ‬

Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity (self) is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual.


‪I appreciated what you wrote regarding expectations and expecting something in some way from the process. It made me understand it’s just like realizing Santas not real. No big deal really, nothing changes, life goes on. There’s something quite exciting about that for some reason. ‬

‪I feel more than ready to start the investigation, please.‬

Thank you,

Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:47 pm

Hi Andrew,

All right, let’s start it :)

Please contemplate the following:

What the ‘I’ is for you?

What is the experience of being you?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:42 am

Yay! Let’s go!

What the ‘I’ is for you?

It’s a word I use to refer to myself in the sense of having awareness/consciousness in my body. In the broadest sense the body, but more specifically the sense of “I”ness that seems to be centered around the head. It’s a bit indescribable. There’s a sense that “I” is unique to this body

What is the experience of being you?

‪A generally nice one. A kind of “flavor” made up of this body, it’s preferences and experiences, memories, habits, beliefs. One that I call myself.‬

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:52 am

Hi Andrew,
more specifically the sense of “I”ness that seems to be centered around the head. It’s a bit indescribable. There’s a sense that “I” is unique to this body
All right. Please spend a whole day on in the sense of I that is centered around the head.

Find its exact location. Pin it down.

Where is it exactly?
How big it is?
Does it have a shape?
What is it made of?


Look very thoroughly. Look again and again many-many times before replying.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:21 pm

Hi Vivien,
Please spend a whole day on in the sense of I that is centered around the head.

Find its exact location. Pin it down.
OK!
Where is it exactly?
It seems to shift somewhere in the middle of the head towards the forehead mainly. Though early on there was a sensation of it having roots down in the chest region. But it changes place every time I look at it.
How big it is?
The size seems to change, sometimes it’s smaller and more precise. Others it’s kind of diffuse and spread throughout the head. Sometimes the sense of I in the head has a corresponding sensation somewhere else in the body.
Does it have a shape?
Not a specific one that I’ve been able to locate. Sometimes it feels like a line, others a slice between the left and right hemispheres. At the moment a kind of general fuzzy spaciousness in the head.
What is it made of?
The image of bubbles sprang to mind when I first asked that question. But my closest experiential description would be tension or “pain” (I don’t mean that in a bad way). It felt like each time the sense of I was looked for, there was a tension somewhere that released under observation. Kind of like layers of an onion. Though I’m not sure how many have been peeled, or remain.

’ll keep looking for the exact location until I hear from you again.

Thank you.

Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:24 am

Hi Andrew,
V: What is it made of?
A: The image of bubbles sprang to mind when I first asked that question. But my closest experiential description would be tension or “pain” (I don’t mean that in a bad way). It felt like each time the sense of I was looked for, there was a tension somewhere that released under observation.
So, is it correct to say that the ‘sense of self’ is a sensation?

Is that sensation Andrew/me/I?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:38 am

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for the questions.
So, is it correct to say that the ‘sense of self’ is a sensation?
Well, any of the words I use to refer to the self point me to a sensation. Though being sensations they are separate from the awareness that I observe them with and would consider my actual self.
Is that sensation Andrew/me/I?
So, no the sensations are not the awareness I would consider my being, but any of those labels seems to point me to a sensation rather than that awareness.

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:39 pm

Hi Andrew,
Well, any of the words I use to refer to the self point me to a sensation. Though being sensations they are separate from the awareness that I observe them with and would consider my actual self.
Just look at the trick of thoughts here.

Imagine that you are a child…

If I asked you as a child, point your finger to yourself, where would you point to?

As a child, would you talk about awareness?
As a child, would you have any idea about the concept of awareness?


Sometimes people talk about being Awareness when they're still looking for the self to "be something". But all that's happening there is that they're trying to gain a bigger, better self. Or a more spiritual self.

This is the opposite. This is about seeing that there is no separate self at all. There is just life, living. Everything is happening with no one in control, no one at the helm, and no possible way to be spirit or soul or awareness.
So, no the sensations are not the awareness I would consider my being, but any of those labels seems to point me to a sensation rather than that awareness.
So the words ‘me/I’ is automatically pointing to sensations (of the body), but you learned the concept of awareness and you are trying to override the automatic underlying identification with the body (sensation) by the intellectual reasoning that I am not the body (sensation) but rather awareness.

But look what is happening here. Your comments say that there is an I, and the questions is what this I is being identified as. Identified as the body, or identified as the notion of awareness.

But WHERE is this ‘I’ that could identify as this or that?


Look at each questions very thoroughly. Don't just think about the answer, but actively look for the 'I'. Don't rush.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:41 am

Hi Vivien,

Thank you for the questions.
A: Well, any of the words I use to refer to the self point me to a sensation. Though being sensations they are separate from the awareness that I observe them with and would consider my actual self.
V:Just look at the trick of thoughts here.
I'm really struggling to see the trick with this one.
Imagine that you are a child…
If I asked you as a child, point your finger to yourself, where would you point to?
My first thought was my chest. Though I'm not honestly sure.
As a child, would you talk about awareness?
No.
As a child, would you have any idea about the concept of awareness?
No. But in the same way that respiration and digestion happen and a child has no concept of them. I imagine that awareness would happen whether I'm aware of the concept or it or not.
Sometimes people talk about being Awareness when they're still looking for the self to "be something". But all that's happening there is that they're trying to gain a bigger, better self. Or a more spiritual self.
This brought up some stuff around, "Oh hey guys look at what I've got," which is silly, and I guess an expectation of achieving something.
This is the opposite. This is about seeing that there is no separate self at all. There is just life, living. Everything is happening with no one in control, no one at the helm, and no possible way to be spirit or soul or awareness.
So, when "I" look or "looking happens" and there is the observation of a sensation. What is that sense of "awareness" that observes the sensation? I don't really consider it to be something better or spiritual, it's just a sense of very diffuse awareness.
A: So, no the sensations are not the awareness I would consider my being, but any of those labels seems to point me to a sensation rather than that awareness.
V: So the words ‘me/I’ is automatically pointing to sensations (of the body), but you learned the concept of awareness and you are trying to override the automatic underlying identification with the body (sensation) by the intellectual reasoning that I am not the body (sensation) but rather awareness.
It's not so much an intellectual reasoning, as the awareness that I am "aware"/"looking at"/"observing" the sensation in my body. So I guess an intellectual way to describe what I mean is that I can see a table and I know I'm not the table, and in the same manner I can see these sensations and conclude I'm not the sensations: I'm the awareness that observes/looks. Is that an illusion? It's a very big diffuse one if it is, and I really have no idea how to pin it down.
But look what is happening here. Your comments say that there is an I, and the question is what this I is being identified as. Identified as the body, or identified as the notion of awareness.
The awareness seems to be more of a sensation than an idea. But of the two, yes I'd say I identify with it more than the sensations which are passing, whereas the awareness seems to be more or less unchanging/consistent, as far as I can tell.
But WHERE is this ‘I’ that could identify as this or that?
I really struggled with question and had some moments of frustration. I don't know. I can't find anything, except sensations that seem to be moving down into my chest and stomach region. I'll keep going with this one. I'm wondering if it's what I term awareness, but as I said it's very diffuse and hard to pin down.

Thanks for your time Vivien. I really appreciate this.

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:48 am

Hi Andrew,
So I guess an intellectual way to describe what I mean is that I can see a table and I know I'm not the table, and in the same manner I can see these sensations and conclude I'm not the sensations: I'm the awareness that observes/looks. Is that an illusion?
Definitely!

This SEEMING appearance of an independent, stand-alone awareness is the BASES of the ILLUSION and the belief in the separate self.

The observer/looker itself is an illusion.

Here are some common words used for the same illusion of the self:

awareness = consciousness = witness = experiencer = perceiver = knower = looker = noticer = watcher = feeler = seer = self = universal Self = true Self = I = me = myself = emptiness = nothingness = my real nature = field = field of experiencing = space = knowing space… and more

These are just the different words pointing to the same illusion of the self.
It's a very big diffuse one if it is, and I really have no idea how to pin it down.
The awareness seems to be more of a sensation than an idea. But of the two, yes I'd say I identify with it more than the sensations which are passing, whereas the awareness seems to be more or less unchanging/consistent, as far as I can tell.
All right. Let’s find this awareness you believed yourself to be.

If there is an ACTUAL awareness, and not just the concept of it, then it should be super easy and simple to find it.
Especially, you are saying that this awareness is unchanging and constant, so it should be very easy to find it just in seconds. Simple, quick and easy.

So, let me know WHERE you have found this awareness.

And please also mention how long did it take find this unchanging, constant awareness? A second? Two? Maybe 10 seconds?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:09 am

Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:19 pm

Hi Vivien,

Awareness busting... did not expect that.
So, let me know WHERE you have found this awareness.
OK, so the sense of awareness is centered around my head. It's a kind of diffuse sensation that seems to surround the head/brain. Maybe the eyes have a large role to play in the location. The last few times I've tried to feel the edges of the awareness, a tingling sensation has spread throughout the whole body. So I guess it's not as unchanging/centered as I thought.
And please also mention how long did it take find this unchanging, constant awareness? A second? Two? Maybe 10 seconds?
No time at all really, it always seems to be there, when the eyes are open, it's looking. When they are closed it centers around the head. "I" / "Me" / "Andrew" all create different sensations in this basic awareness and the body. It seems fairly passive when nothing is happening.

I'm going to explore the edges more, that seems to lead to an all body reaction.

Thank you.

~Andrew


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