Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:16 am

Hi Glenn,

No worries....yes, it must be a relief to you knowing that your mother is okay and will be back to herself today. I look forward to your post.

With love,
Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:39 am

Hi Kay

First of all, apologies once again for keeping you waiting for this reply. As I wrote last time, my mum’s been in the wars these last few days and I’ve been taking care of her (she’s 86). She’s absolutely fine now but it capped a week characterised by distractions and I’m sorry for the resultant disruption in my focus.

The minute we turned our attention to the nature of the body was possibly not the best time for me to start exercising for the first time in seven years—and with a hardcore personal trainer, no less! It's great but it really came as a shock physically, like someone throwing a firework into my bedroom. it shoved me so deep into conventional thinking about embodiment I couldn’t get out. In an attempt at counterbalance I tried way too hard to focus on the exercises you set, and thought regressed; magical silliness and outmoded ideas crept back in. Today, it's back to clarity.
Does the image itself suggest in any way that it is a ‘body’ at all?
No. Without thought it’s just colours and shapes. I am able to see that, albeit again quite briefly. It’s easier to see when looking downward from the face and head; it seems that much of the concept of self-embodiment is based on the image of the head. And though I know that they are just thoughts, nonetheless those thoughts of ‘that is my body’ are forceful. More work needed here.
There is an expectation here…what is it?
The expectation is of seeing ‘me’—‘my’ face, ‘my’ body in the conventional sense. There was also another expectation: half-expecting to see something other than what appears; like a kind of corny SF wireframe version of actual experience—that stupid ‘magic Christmas tree’ again. The first expectation is a concept derived from past experience stories and so is not real. The second is another concept, and a silly one at that, born out of distraction, second-guessing the question and forcing an answer. Both expectations are suggested by thought; they don’t point to anything real. And without thought, no concepts attach to the image in the mirror. The image is just AE of colour, and is inherent in coloursmellsoundsensationthought: THIS.
It’s not about dispelling conventional body concept thoughts…but just seeing them as thoughts arising. What is dispelling them exactly? Thoughts simply arise and subside, does the content of those thoughts actually exist?
No, it doesn’t, and that is clearly understood.
And what exactly wants to evade these thoughts?
Thought itself ‘wants to’ evade these other thoughts. By which I mean, ‘nobody’ or ‘no thing’ wants to evade these thoughts; there’s no one or no thing there, other than a thought arising about wanting to evade thoughts. There’s no thinker; just a thought.
How can they be evaded? Is what you are the author of thoughts….in other words can you choose which thoughts are going to appear? The only authoring of thought that happens, is that thought and you are one and the same thing, so there is no authoring of thought. See thought for what it is and not what it says.
Understood. I was / am very clear on this. Again, it was a distracted mind that worked through that prior post.
Where does thought end and you begin? Where does thought end and the knowing of it begin?
‘You’ (and / or ‘I’) exists solely in thought. As such, it doesn’t begin or end anywhere. And what appears to be the ‘reflective awareness’ part of thought is really no such thing; thought appears to monitor itself but those ‘monitoring’ thoughts are simply more / other thoughts. They’re all of a piece with thought, which is THIS, a quality of which is to apparently separate itself into discrete components.
Is there actual experience of ‘walking’ at all?

No, just sensations but, again, thoughts about walking intervene frequently.

And to what exactly does that matter? It may seem to matter to a Glennself…but are you the Glennself or are you that which is the knowing of the Glennself and everything that this seeming self thinks, says, does, speaks etc?
It doesn’t matter at all. And I am the knowing; the ineffable essence in which resides the Glennself construct.
And does this feeling actually know anything? Where is this feeling exactly? Where does it reside?
It doesn’t reside anywhere—it’s just a thought. It knows nothing, it resides nowhere; it doesn’t exist and is intrinsically without meaning.

Love and thanks

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:42 am

Sorry, I neglected to delete this passage from the post:
Does the image itself suggest in any way that it is a ‘body’ at all?
No. Without thought it’s just colours and shapes. I am able to see that, albeit again quite briefly. It’s easier to see when looking downward from the face and head; it seems that much of the concept of self-embodiment is based on the image of the head. And though I know that they are just thoughts, nonetheless those thoughts of ‘that is my body’ are forceful. More work needed here.
Please ignore it.

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:27 am

Hi Glenn,
Does the image itself suggest in any way that it is a ‘body’ at all?
No. Without thought it’s just colours and shapes. I am able to see that, albeit again quite briefly. It’s easier to see when looking downward from the face and head; it seems that much of the concept of self-embodiment is based on the image of the head. And though I know that they are just thoughts, nonetheless those thoughts of ‘that is my body’ are forceful. More work needed here.
Please ignore it.
Haha….before I saw this, I was going to say, and will say…can you just let the unfolding happen without thinking there is a you who needs to ‘work at it”? A lot of this exploration is about understanding and not actually having the penny dropping moment. Let the understanding filter throughout the system and the penny dropping moment happens when it happens. This could be several months later, or more, or could be tomorrow. ‘Efforting’ is happening…but from my experience, efforting only brings frustration and doesn’t bring about a clear insight, if anything it seems to push it further away. This exploration is about having the penny dropping moment that there is no separate self as we think it to be. The rest is just further understanding on how the idea of the separate self seems to ‘recreate’ itself over and over. These understandings will filter through eventually and the insights will come…just not in the time frame you want them to.
It’s not about dispelling conventional body concept thoughts…but just seeing them as thoughts arising. What is dispelling them exactly? Thoughts simply arise and subside, does the content of those thoughts actually exist?
No, it doesn’t, and that is clearly understood.
That’s good. It’s as simple as looking at the thought ‘water’. Does the thought contain actual water? No. Therefore the content of thought is a story. Just like the thought ‘fish’ does not contain an actual fish and the thought ‘fear’ does not contain any actual fear.
And what exactly wants to evade these thoughts?
Thought itself ‘wants to’ evade these other thoughts. By which I mean, ‘nobody’ or ‘no thing’ wants to evade these thoughts; there’s no one or no thing there, other than a thought arising about wanting to evade thoughts. There’s no thinker; just a thought.
There is also perhaps a sensation that goes with the thought of evading thoughts. It’s to notice this as well. But without thought, how is it known that the sensation and thought of evading thoughts go hand in hand? It’s to acknowledge both thoughts and sensations but not to link them as one causing the other.
Where does thought end and you begin? Where does thought end and the knowing of it begin?
‘You’ (and / or ‘I’) exists solely in thought. As such, it doesn’t begin or end anywhere. And what appears to be the ‘reflective awareness’ part of thought is really no such thing; thought appears to monitor itself but those ‘monitoring’ thoughts are simply more / other thoughts. They’re all of a piece with thought, which is THIS, a quality of which is to apparently separate itself into discrete components.
There is erroneous thinking happening here. There is a YOU who is aware of thoughts. If there is not a YOU who is aware of thoughts...then what is it exactly that is aware of them? Are you not the knowing of them? Are you not the knowing of all phenomena that appears, of all stories that appear, of everything that appears? And if you put aside the idea that you, as this knowing; you that is aware of these appearances are contained in a body…then does not every ‘thing’ you are aware of not appear in your awareness, even the body itself"? Can it appear anywhere else but in/as your awareness?
And does this feeling actually know anything? Where is this feeling exactly? Where does it reside?
It doesn’t reside anywhere—it’s just a thought. It knows nothing, it resides nowhere; it doesn’t exist and is intrinsically without meaning.
Exactly. There is an expectation that becoming aware of no separate self as it is thought to be will happen tomorrow, or the next day or next week or never. When you LOOK now…can you find a separate self as you think yourself to be, or do you find an ‘empty space’, which you are, and are aware of, in which every ‘thing’ appears?

Love, Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:48 pm

Hi Kay
can you just let the unfolding happen without thinking there is a you who needs to ‘work at it”? A lot of this exploration is about understanding and not actually having the penny dropping moment. Let the understanding filter throughout the system and the penny dropping moment happens when it happens.
I truly do understand and appreciate that and have done so for many weeks now, with the exception of last week when, for reasons previously described elsewhere, I slid off the track for a few days and slipped briefly back into mundane thinking.

But other than for that brief blip, I now find that existence has taken on a gentle, almost weightless character in which I’m attuned to the rolling wave of life, and bobbing along on and with it and in it and of it; for want of a better term, ‘just letting it happen’ (I know there’s not actually any ‘letting it happen’). The efforting that occurred last time around was a brief and frustrating exception to the norm.

When thoughts containing tension or concern arise now, they quickly fade away and are superseded swiftly by the knowing that there is no ‘I’ and no meaning to thoughts that may arise to surround the empty space where ‘I was’. There’s no sense of an occupant at the centre of thought or being, there’s just an undefined space, like a hole or a tunnel that leads bottomlessly into infinity.

There is dispersal of fear, a consistency of happiness and the feeling of the heart opening like a lock gate on a canal. When I walk down the street I often catch myself smiling at the illusion of form and colour that 'makes up' the observable world.

Funnily enough, elements of the body/mirror exercise I tripped up are increasingly manifest in everyday life without me even thinking about them or--indeed--efforting. I’ve become aware a number of times while moving around the house or in the street that seeing is taking place without evidence of a body. The old assumptions of something / someone looking outward at something else or that a body moving through space don’t assert themselves as they did. For example, tonight as I walked home from the station there was seeing of forms given geometry and dimension by colour; AE of seeing, no body or internal observer involved. Wry thoughts arose about the non-possibility of these forms--trees, posted handbills on lampposts, paving stones--having had a ‘previous’ existence :-)
This could be several months later, or more, or could be tomorrow. ‘Efforting’ is happening…but from my experience, efforting only brings frustration and doesn’t bring about a clear insight, if anything it seems to push it further away.
As I've written, that was my experience too. Kay, it really was just a short-lived back step. I’m not drumming my fingers on the table waiting for the circus to pull into town, I promise.
This exploration is about having the penny dropping moment that there is no separate self as we think it to be. The rest is just further understanding on how the idea of the separate self seems to ‘recreate’ itself over and over. These understandings will filter through eventually and the insights will come…just not in the time frame you want them to.
With the illusion of a separate self penetrated, I trust that the leaves may fall as and when they do. I won’t try to pull them from the tree and force some kind of outcome. a) I don't have any desire to; b) It absolutely wouldn't work.

I totally understand the counter-productiveness of second-guessing and trying to force things. I did that a bit with the body / mirror exercise but I knew even as that was happening that I was efforting. My thoughts were drifting off into other unrelated areas at the the time. I lapsed into trying to control that process (you'd think I'd than that by now -- and you'd be right). By trying to force a resolution to what should have been a very unfussy exercise I just got increasingly bogged down and frustrated. But I think you've probably got that by now.
There is also perhaps a sensation that goes with the thought of evading thoughts. It’s to notice this as well. But without thought, how is it known that the sensation and thought of evading thoughts go hand in hand? It’s to acknowledge both thoughts and sensations but not to link them as one causing the other.
Understood. Thank you.
There is erroneous thinking happening here. There is a YOU who is aware of thoughts. If there is not a YOU who is aware of thoughts...then what is it exactly that is aware of them? Are you not the knowing of them? Are you not the knowing of all phenomena that appears, of all stories that appear, of everything that appears? And if you put aside the idea that you, as this knowing; you that is aware of these appearances are contained in a body…then does not every ‘thing’ you are aware of not appear in your awareness, even the body itself"? Can it appear anywhere else but in/as your awareness?
I expressed very clumsily (and wrongly) what I was reaching for. Thank you for the correction and the pointer. I mentioned ‘reflective awareness’ but I could / should have just said ‘awareness’, which, as you point out, is the ‘you’ (actually ‘me’) we’re discussing.

It’s easier to explain if I talk not about waking life but about awareness as in a sleeping dream, in which no one would ever suggest that ‘my’ conventional physical human body made of flesh and blood is present, or any other physically tangible object. And yet, there ‘I’ appear to be in this dream, either as a participant or observer or both. In the dream it may be that ‘I’ see ‘my body’ as if viewed from an outside, ‘third person’ perspective, or maybe ‘I’ am seeing objects other than my body from a ‘first person’ perspective.

Regardless of what the reality within the sleeping dream suggests, all these phenomena are in fact manifest in / by awareness—there is no actual body, there are no actual objects. There is only awareness, only knowing, so ‘I’ can only be that. This describes the reality of a sleeping dream, and also describes the reality of waking life.
When you LOOK now…can you find a separate self as you think yourself to be, or do you find an ‘empty space’, which you are, and are aware of, in which every ‘thing’ appears?
There’s just an empty space—and every time that comes to mind I literally can't stop grinning like an idiot :-)

Love

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:50 pm

Typo: "...elements of the body/mirror exercise I tripped up on..."

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:53 pm

Typo 2: "...(you'd think I'd know better than that by now --...

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:14 am

Hi Glenn,

Okay...moving onto the idea of time. There is an assumption that time is linear and that it started (if started at all) somewhere very far in the past and advances to the distant future. The present moment (now) is considered to be a very small fragment of time, or an event that is moving forward on this linear time, coming from the past and advancing to the future.

But is there an experience that the ’now’ is moving along the line of time?
Any experience of one ‘moment’ giving way to the next?
Any actual experience of one event following another?

How fast is the ‘present moment’ actually moving?

Just look at 'this moment', can you find a point where it began?
Can you find a point where it will end?

How long does the ‘now’ last?

Where does the ‘now’ start, and where does it end?

When does the ‘now’ exactly become the 'past'?

What is the ‘past’ in actual experience?

So is there actual experience of ‘time’ or thoughts about ‘time’?


Kay
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:14 am

Hi Kay

Thank you as always for your previous post, it was great to receive it. I’ve read back over some of our correspondence on this thread since I got it, and I’m kind-of speechless at the paradigm shift that’s taken place since we began this adventure in – blimey – May, already. I had an inkling of that when I ran the very first ‘cup’ exercise past an earnestly interested friend a couple of weeks ago. To me, what I learned from that exercise it seems basic and fundamental now. Watching her furrow her brow as deeply as I’d initially done brought home to me of how strange it seemed then, and the full extent of the progress that’s been achieved. Without your guidance it absolutely couldn’t have happened, and I don’t have words enough to thank you for that.

So--even though I know you’re well and happy I'm sending you wishes of peace and happiness today anyway because, frankly, one can never have too much of these things. And now, on to the subject of time:
…is there an experience that the ’now’ is moving along the line of time?
No. Much like the experience of sensation we discussed a little while ago (when I was aware of sensation ‘not between’ my back and my bed), thinking about time this way engenders a ‘clutching at shadows’ feeling, which is a result of customary assumptions butting up against actual experience. Certainly there are thoughts about linear time and demarcations of time, but they’re concepts. There’s no experience of time advancing or regressing down a fixed track.
Any experience of one ‘moment’ giving way to the next?
No. There is no sense of a moment preceding or following another, or indeed time passing in any denomination at all. Hours, months, weeks, minutes etc are conceptual denominations – labels – created to describe or somehow contain time in units.

If it can be said that what is happening now is a ‘moment’, then perhaps ultimately it’s instantaneous or perhaps it is eternal—or perhaps it’s both; ‘instant’ and ‘eternal’ are just labels anyway, and those demarcations aren’t tangible or useful—they’re just concepts about a time as a linear and / or divisible thing. As with supposed locations in space, locations (i.e. moments) in time can only be contextualised in relation to other locations in time. With ‘past’ and ‘future’ extant only as thought stories, it follows that there are no such locations, thus there can be no actual relationship between the present, past and future. That only exists in thought. The only thing that is real is the present—always.
Any actual experience of one event following another?
No. There’s only an event as it’s happening. But it seems like events happen in sequence because of the existence of past experience stories in thought. For example, it seems like I just talked to my mother before I walked upstairs—but those aren’t events, they’re thoughts containing stories about events. They don’t exist in physical reality, so it can’t be said that the events they describe are actually in the process of preceding what is happening now. For them to do that would require everything that ever has or ever will happen on the physical plane to take place simultaneously, and there’s no evidence that it is.
How fast is the ‘present moment’ actually moving?
It isn’t moving. Time functions like space (I'll sidestep discussion of ‘spacetime’ and THIS for the moment and talk about space and time as two separate things for convenience’s sake) – it’s dynamic but it’s not coming from somewhere and going somewhere else; it’s just ‘there’ – it’s just happening. And, just as locations in space are purely conceptual, so are locations in time, meaning that the ‘present moment’ can’t move at any rate at all because there’s nowhere for it to move to or from.
Just look at 'this moment', can you find a point where it began?
No.
Can you find a point where it will end?
No.
How long does the ‘now’ last?
See above for my observations on this.
Where does the ‘now’ start, and where does it end?
It has neither beginning nor end. It’s constant. Like thought it comes from nowhere and goes nowhere.
When does the ‘now’ exactly become the 'past'?
It doesn’t—it’s always now. If it was the past, it wouldn’t be now! When stories about ‘previous’ events arise in the mind, that is the manifestation of the concept of ‘the past’.
What is the ‘past’ in actual experience?
AE of thought. Thought stories of past experience. There is no actual, tangible ‘past’.
So is there actual experience of ‘time’ or thoughts about ‘time’?
Thoughts about time.

Love and thanks

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:11 am

Hello Glenn,
Thank you as always for your previous post, it was great to receive it. I’ve read back over some of our correspondence on this thread since I got it, and I’m kind-of speechless at the paradigm shift that’s taken place since we began this adventure in – blimey – May, already. I had an inkling of that when I ran the very first ‘cup’ exercise past an earnestly interested friend a couple of weeks ago. To me, what I learned from that exercise it seems basic and fundamental now. Watching her furrow her brow as deeply as I’d initially done brought home to me of how strange it seemed then, and the full extent of the progress that’s been achieved. Without your guidance it absolutely couldn’t have happened, and I don’t have words enough to thank you for that.
How lovely it is to read this. You have such a generous heart. All of this is you….you did the work of looking and going beyond the frustration and sticking with it. Your desire to see through the story of being a limited self that resides in a body, and is born and dies, is what brought you here.…I simply pointed. We waltzed together nicely :)
So--even though I know you’re well and happy I'm sending you wishes of peace and happiness today anyway because, frankly, one can never have too much of these things. And now, on to the subject of time:
Thank you :) You are already and always have been peace and happiness...just not the conceptualised ideas of peace and happiness. What you are is inherently peace and happiness ie peaceful and content.

Although I am sure that you are aware of what ‘memory’ is now…we might as well do the following exercise as part of the ‘time’ exploration.

Past and memory go hand-in-hand as almost everybody believes that a memory thought is referring to something that has happened; that a memory thought is a different thought than a non-memory thought.

Please don’t go to thought explanation, but just let a memory be there, and look at it.

What is memory exactly?
What is the memory ‘made of’?

What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?

WHEN does the memory actually appear?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?

Then, look at a thought about the future.
What is the future thought ‘made of’?

WHEN does the future thought appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?

Then let’s compare a thought about the past and a thought about the future.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future?
If there is a difference, how is that difference known exactly?


Look at what is actually going on and not what thoughts say… but what actually is.

Love, Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:40 am

Hi Kay

Thank you so much for your kind words. I think we’ve both made a pretty concerted effort myself, so let’s split the Prosecco 50/50 😊

As ever, I send love from autumnal England. There’s no avoiding the march of time here now—the days are shrinking and the warmth and yellow light of late summer have vanished under the tail-end of a passing hurricane. Ten days of driving rain. I’m writing this to you from my bed, with a stinking cold.

I got grumpy about having a sore throat. Then I stepped back and had a proper look at ‘I am grumpy’. It was of course totally insubstantial so I got on with doing other stuff and everything's fine now.😉
What is memory exactly?
AE of thought. Specifically, the contents of thoughts in the form of stories and images that apparently represent experiences that took place at a notional earlier point in equally notional linear time: ‘the past’. Knowledge is derived from memory.
What is the memory ‘made of’?
Thought stories about events or images around which cluster other thoughts about linear time that point to the central thought and serve to apparently locate it in the context of a notional past.
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
A general thought isn’t ‘time stamped’; which is to say, it isn’t supplemented by other thoughts that locate it within the context of linear time. A memory thought is buttressed by other thoughts about a notional past. A general thought about, say, a glass of water has no time component—but a memory thought about ‘a glass of water I drank yesterday’ does.
WHEN does the memory actually appear?
Now, just as all of reality always does.
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?
Because of the layered quality of thought. A thought in isolation has no ‘time stamp’; it’s just a thought that points to a thing. For example, a thought containing the image of a green slide in a children’s playground is just a thought-image of a green slide. But subsidiary thoughts about time may arise around this central thought and suggest that it is located on a timeline at a location behind the centre point (present), which establishes it in thought as a memory. If there were no subsidiary thoughts about the concept of time, the image of the slide would seem timeless.

We don’t employ that kind of analysis in everyday life. We experience the above described phenomenon of thought placing events behind the centre point of the timeline as an emotion; as ‘recognition’. Literally, ‘re-cognition’—’thinking again’.
Then, look at a thought about the future. What is the future thought ‘made of’?
The same stuff that past thought is made of: images in a thought story supported by supplementary thoughts about linear time. In this case, supplementary thoughts that place the central thought at a location forward from the centre point (i.e. ‘the present’) on a linear timeline rather than behind it.

Future thoughts are derived from stories of ‘past experience’, just as past thoughts are. For instance, a future thought may be: “My plane leaves Heathrow at 10am tomorrow”, which derives from knowledge of booking the flight, the existence of the airport, etc. Even future thoughts that we commonly refer to as ‘original’ or ‘imaginative’ are no different to any other kind of thought, in that they are also synthesised from knowledge, no matter how new or original they may seem.
WHEN does the future thought appear?
Now.
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?
The former isn’t surrounded by accompanying thoughts of linear time and the latter is.
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?
It isn’t known in the mundane sense; there’s no knower to know it. But there is knowing. Though a future thought contains knowledge derived from ‘past experience’, it does not engender recognition of past events; the thought (feeling) ‘I have seen / done this before’ doesn’t enter the picture.

Thought conceptualises time as a line with three sections, and events as taking place along one or another of those sections. If recognition doesn’t arise around a thought about an event that event does not register as a memory, therefore it must be taking place in the present or future. And if it’s not seen to be taking place in the present, thought will position it in front of the centre point on our notional timeline, 'in the future'. We experience this positioning ahead on the timeline emotionally, as ‘expectation’.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future?
Past thoughts include a component of recognition, future thoughts include a component of expectation. Otherwise, in isolation they are fundamentally the same—words and images occurring in the present moment with no qualities beyond themselves.
If there is a difference, how is that difference known exactly?
See above.

Love and thanks

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:04 am

Hello Glenn,

You are heading into autumn and we are rushing towards summer.

Well, we have come to the end of our exploration! It has been such a wonderful journey with you to the gateless gate, I have loved every step of the way. Just a few more questions to ensure that I have covered everything and that my pointing has been clear, would you be so kind as to answer the following questions with some detail please, and answer what's true for you rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Also please provide examples where asked.

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. What makes things happen? How does it work? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.

b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.

6) Anything to add?


Love, Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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SterlingM
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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:01 pm

Hi Kay

Just letting you know, I haven't run away. My concluding reply to you should be considered and conclusive, but I've had a virus since the middle of last week that's pretty much knocked me flat, and I just haven't been clear-headed enough to complete it yet. I'm so sorry for the delay, but I promise it will be with you within the next day or so.

Glenn

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SterlingM
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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:15 pm

Hi Kay

Sorry this has taken so long to reach you. The stinking cold of my last post was actually more of a horrible lurgy-thing and knocked me out for a few days.
Well, we have come to the end of our exploration! It has been such a wonderful journey with you to the gateless gate, I have loved every step of the way.
Kay, so have I. Absolutely. It’s bittersweet that we’re done here!
Just a few more questions to ensure that I have covered everything and that my pointing has been clear, would you be so kind as to answer the following questions with some detail please, and answer what's true for you rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Also please provide examples where asked.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?
No, there’s no separate self nor has there ever been one.
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.
It’s a thought construct. At its centre is the ego self, the ‘I’ thought, which is surrounded by a supporting structure of other thoughts that serve to create a boundaried story about a person: ‘Me’. But although they’re just thoughts that aren’t tangible or real, they coalesce into a compelling illusion that almost always remains unidentified and unchallenged—unless the desire for truth persists so strongly that the illusion is properly interrogated, as we’ve done here.

Among the qualities of this thought structure are beliefs about linear time and three-dimensional space. With the belief in time comes ‘memories’ and within those memories are stories about successes, failures, inhibitions, morals, the behaviour of others and countless other concepts that cluster around the central ‘I’ thought and come to define the Self as it’s commonly understood.

The belief in three-dimensional space supports an illusion of personal (and other) physicality as a unique, self-contained phenomenon rather than a thought construct derived from actual experience.

Language also plays a major role in sustaining the illusion; words are manifestations of concepts, among which are concepts of time and space, and they can regress infinitely into associations that collectively construct such a complex, detailed case for the existence of reality as it is conventionally understood that it makes it hard to deny.

How did it work from my own experience? There’s a long book there, but I’ll just summarise some of the dominant problematic aspects.

For me, the journey from believing in / ‘being’ a separate self to where I am now was complex and circuitous. Like everyone, I had been fully immersed in the illusion from early life onward, and the wholesale acceptance of it everywhere served to perpetuate it—because, why question something literally everyone takes for granted. But various factors came into play as I entered adulthood that made it hard for me to fulfil what are, more-or-less, universal goals—certainly in the West, anyway: forming a ‘sense of self’ and establishing myself (individuating) as a unique, independent individual.

For many years I was often deeply troubled as I sought fruitlessly to achieve these goals, and all the time it was because, ironically, I was unwittingly at the mercy of the very ego structure I sought to find, define and become. The labels stuck to the ego thought said: I am worthless, I am scared, I am a failure, I am brilliant etc etc. These labels, today understood to be nothing more than thoughts with no intrinsic value, I believed were Me. They crippled me with expectation and held me firmly in illusions of the past. I would often feel as though my actions were being governed by an unseen third party, who was always just out of sight. It was like being constantly shouted down by a man who wasn’t there—which is, in fact, what it really was.

The way I see the separate self now is…well, I don’t really see it, because it’s not there! What I see / sense—is an empty space; a hole. It has no substance or defining qualities beyond itself, although looking at it often gives rise to other thoughts (feelings) of possibility / potential. What I know about ontology you could fit on the back of a postage stamp, but it’s enough to be aware that one of the basic ontological tests is to question the nature of holes. Basically, they do and don’t exist—which seems appropriate and is just fine with me.

Aside from seeing just space where ‘I’ might once have been, I see the surrounding structure—personal attributes, fears, hopes, memories etc—as individual printed pages in an old manuscript, that can be turned over and read / examined objectively and at leisure. Rather than the writing on those pages seeming to be instructions that must be obeyed, I see them for what they are: thought stories, and the ‘manuscript’ as a handy visual metaphor. Reference to these stories is not required to constitute a human being; life is happening anyway, is happening now and will happen without them. The present is what is, and it’s free and clear of imagined stories from an imagined past.

Thoughts / hopes / doubts / fears still arise like they did when the ‘I’ thought was still held to be a true separate self, but without the force, impact, power or believability they seemed to have before. It continues to become more natural with each day to look at these thoughts and see them for what they are—just thoughts—and not feel defined or limited by them or in thrall to them.

When does the illusion start? If I answer that question in post-enquiry, ‘Selfless’ terms, then there’s no past and thus no actual start of any illusion; there are just thought stories about childhood events. But if I answer it in terms of linear time, I’d guess that the illusion begins if not from the moment of birth then certainly in early infancy, when a baby is first able to function away from its mother—who has until then been its whole existence, its whole reality—and so perceive himself as ‘separate’ from her / that. I can’t imagine it starting earlier; I don’t believe a newborn has a cognitive grasp on anything beyond immediate needs for warmth and sustenance.
3) How does it feel to see this?
Surprisingly normal. Early in the enquiry I was disabused of the notion that a mothership was going to land in my back-garden bearing magic-bestowing news about the Amazing Illusion of Self. It didn’t, but the reality is hardly a disappointment. It feels normal because it *is* normal; any feeling of strangeness that may surround it arises not from the newly-seen nature of reality itself but from the fact that it is a totally different paradigm from what was formerly held to be true. It feels normal because, once seen, the evidence straightforwardly bears it out.

But at times it also feels lightweight and joyful, carefree, spacious and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s ordinary but, at the same time, extraordinary. It’s wonderful. It’s a load off, it’s freeing, it’s loving--it’s real, it’s alive with infinite possibility and interest. Sometimes it makes me laugh, other times my eyes edge with tears when I stop to think about it—these are non-verbal reactions to something ineffable, I can’t say specifically why they happen. But this all takes place within an overarching space of calm and peace; there is nothing overwrought or hysterical about it. It just feels right.

I have noticed that I no longer worry—about anything, really, at least not for more than a few minutes. Thought interprets actual experience as our everyday reality, and thought is insubstantial and evanescent. There’s no past, no future—they’re just thoughts, so what’s to worry about? Which isn’t to say that ambivalence or nihilism has taken hold; absolutely not, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s acceptance, not acquiescence, knowing that all is as it is and that ‘I’ am knowing, a quality of the endless, singular dynamic that is THIS. As I was assured from the start: nothing has changed. Everything’s as it was, it’s just how it’s seen to be that’s different.
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
Before I started this dialogue I was still burdened by feelings of loss, regret and insecurity. I felt that I had squandered my potential and my opportunities, and that fate had to some extent treated me unfairly. I felt that my good times had all been had and I would just fade away quietly somewhere. I’d been attempting to move away from the past without success. Also, because I’d made an earlier, incomplete attempt at the Liberation Unleashed process, I felt ‘half-cooked’, ‘wishy-washy’ and tantalised. I was in limbo.

Now, I feel liberated by the fact that there is no past. I actually delight in it. I see existence through fresh eyes, fascinated by it as actual experience, and by me and others as manifestations of it. I’ve been variously ill, tired, happy and irritated over the last few days but, as has been the case for some time now, there’s been an automatic ‘instant oversight’ popping up to review the intellectual / emotional landscape and ‘empty out’ these stories of their apparent meaning and make sure they don’t loiter or clog up the river.

There was an instance when I was concerned about what my next job might be—then I brushed away the thought, because it was about the future and neither it nor the future were real, and there was no choice about what might happen in an imagined future anyway. Just keep living—that’s all that is required. An open mind and heart flow freely through the energetic dynamic that presents itself to itself as a noisy, smelly, tactile, colourful, multi-dimensional dream.

There’s so much more I could write about every aspect of these questions. These answers are far from definitive but – thankfully, you may say - I can’t go on forever. 😊
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
I’d been frustrated that I couldn’t get past thinking about the various ‘parts’ of AE as just that: interdependent though separate parts. I was really straining at the leash that day to figure out how such fundamentally different phenomena could be interdependent. Then I went to wash my face in the bathroom and it just clicked.

I’d been struggling to reconcile how these apparently totally different phenomena could communicate / connect with each other: sound, sensation, smell, colour, thought. In dualistic terms, they simply couldn’t—they were completely incongruent, they just didn't fit together. Then it hit me that they ‘connected’ precisely because they weren’t separate parts of something larger; they were literally the same thing, and it was only the interpretive quality of experience / thought that made it seem otherwise.

That revelation arrived all at once in a single hit. Once the interpretive aspect of thought / experience was uncovered, everything else fell immediately into place. Sorry for the clichés, but I remember it felt like the tumblers in a combination lock falling into place or three lemons going ‘click click click’ on a slot machine. It wasn’t so much that it ‘made me look’—more that it laid itself out in front of me like a new shirt on a bedspread. I just knew it was true.

The conclusions I’ve arrived at seem so utterly straightforward and matter-of-fact to me now and so thoroughly accepted that I have to remind myself that it’s really only a matter of weeks since I was grappling with arcane propositions and apparent conundrums that I struggled to understand. To say that the direct pointing method is deceptively simple is the understatement of the century. It’s so brilliant and clever and effective and it shunts a potentially intrusive and unhelpful ego self to one side so the webbed feet can paddle under the surface unimpeded and the work can get on with itself.
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
All of those descriptions are misleading: for there to be decision, intention, free will, choice etc there has to be a decider, an intender, an owner of a will. There is no such thing; that would be a separate self, and there isn’t one.

Choice, control: these are labels bestowed by thought upon thoughts about the self. Thoughts are neutral; they have no agency and can’t make decisions or effect control. In truth, things ‘just happen’ and thought interprets them in linear time as a flow of events; cause and effect, not decision and resolution. An analogy I used for this during the enquiry was that of a cloud ‘telling’ a raindrop to make a flower grow. The raindrop doesn’t decide to land on the flower. It just falls from the cloud to the earth and the flower grows.

An example from today. I was working at my desk. My mouth got dry. Without thought I reached for the water jug on my desk, poured a glass of water and drank it. No conscious decision was made, no control enacted—a need spontaneously arose and was spontaneously met.

I’m also reminded of the interaction between attendees on a meditation retreat I attended. Silence and non-interaction was observed for ten days while many of us shared the same living spaces and facilities. Without words or other communication we all automatically flowed around each other like water in these spaces, no one making decisions or controlling anything, but instinctively co-operating and taking the path of least resistance to achieve whatever had to be achieved. Life does what it needs to do; nature is expedient.
b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
That’s a question requiring a two-tiered answer. The first tier is that the concept of responsibility is inherent in the concept of a separate self and dependent on the concepts of decision, choice, ownership and morality, all of which are just thoughts, so purely on that basis “I” am not responsible for anything.

But, because THIS manifests as the paradoxical thing we call everyday existence, the second tier answer is that I’m responsible for taking care of myself, other beings and the world at large. Why? Because it just comes naturally. Sure, there are beliefs and values around it in thought, but the impulse just asserts itself regardless.

Of course, both me and these apparently separate things are all qualities of the universal whole, whether one regards them holistically, or separately as mum, dad and next door’s cat. Whatever may be apparent does not change the fact of what actually is. So, I think it’s fine to say that, just as it was before I saw through the illusion of self, I’m responsible for sharing love, help, fun, support and truth as and when I can.

Recent examples? I helped my elderly mother with her chores. I listened at length to the boyfriend woes of a female friend and soundboarded for her so she could get some clarity. I was patient with an insecure person at work. Any number of things.

With regard specifically to this work we’ve done here, I’m responsible for sharing information about this process and these insights with people who are interested, but emphatically not for proselytising about it. Unless people are predisposed to hearing about iconoclastic information like this, I think it’s likely they could dismiss it as nonsense or bewildering arcana, and that would be a dreadful shame. I’m blessed to know curious and open-minded people though, so let’s see. I'm responsible for remembering that even though it's clear to me now, it's challenging and complicated-seeming to start with. A dear friend of mine is in fact already interested in finding more. She and I have already had a few conversations, and perhaps there's an opportunity for me to try to formalise an approach for passing on what I’ve seen.
6) Anything to add?
This has turned out to be an unimaginably important breakthrough, and I am fascinated to see how it will deepen and develop as more of the old habits and assumptions fall away over time.

Kay, for your tireless, exacting, focused guiding through this process I am, I simply cannot thank you enough. Time is illusory but it’s also the most valuable commodity we have here in the mundane realm; you gave your time and energy unstintingly for almost half a year to someone you’ve never met or spoken to, literally a world away, and that is extraordinary largesse and immeasurably touching. I’m so happy this has been fruitful—for us both.

For intermittent slackness and waywardness along the way, I apologise unreservedly and, although I felt like a naughty, dopey kid on more than one occasion, thank you for introducing the ‘Zen stick’ when it was needed 😊 I knew always it was purposeful and compassionate, even if it did sting a bit sometimes. And when it did sting, it made me realise: if I’m feeling hurt by it, then that’s the ‘I’ thought getting hurt, which means there’s still work to do. It got done.

Bless you Kay. Please feel free to keep in touch if you would like to.

As always:

Love and thanks

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:11 am

Hello Glenn,

Such beautiful words expressing so beautifully your realisation....thank you. The words, 'thank you' don't express the feelings...but no other words arise, other than a deep felt thank you for sharing these words.

I am going to invite other guides to have a look at your thread to ensure that everything has been covered and to ensure my pointing is clear. For this reason they may (or may not) have a question or two for you. I will let you know when I know. What happens after that is that you will receive an invite to the LU FB groups. But more about that after the other guides have had a read.

I will be sending you a PM via the forum...so keep an eye out for an email notifying you of the PM.

Talk to you soon.

With love,
Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/


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