Seeking I guess, always seeking.

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Oneironaut
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Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:52 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I can only really repeat what i have read on the subject, I can't talk from experience. My experience has always been that my self is this heavy hidden weight. I can never seem to look directly at it, instead it hides behind my current experience, yet I'm so sure it's there, it's become inreasingly frustrating over time spent seeking.

What are you looking for at LU?
Some understanding, less confusion. I began seeking a few years ago with a meditation practice and as time went on my curiousity was replaced with doubt and frustration. I'm not sure what I'm looking for, I can't imagine what I'll find when I get there. I think at this point I'm just looking to be free of the feeling that there's something I need to find. I may have been looking for a few years with words like enlightenment in my mind but I've spent my whole life feelling like I don't "get it". I didn't know what it was that I didn't get and so feel as though it must be this "self" illusion that I have come to learn about.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
Guidance simply, I can't guide myself, and I've become tired of the studying and the seeking. I've been dancing with cycles like "Maybe this next book will do it!" or "if I spend every day for a year with this mediation technique it'll be worth it"

Even now the thought that this here now is just another game, my latest in a long line of trying to reach something. I can go back and forth with doubt and enthsiasm and have no one to really keep me on track. I hope a guide can help me focus on what i should be focusing on, and direct me away from dead ends. I can't trust my own insights, I feel as though I can lie to myself without having any idea I'm doing so.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I began about 5 years ago with "Power of Now" I remember reading it and enjoying the concepts and ideas, but felt I was unable to live them, so I spent over two years practicing breath focused meditation. With the idea that if I could develop my concentration enough I would have some sort of insight that would change the way I saw the world and lead to some sense of ease of wisdom that would make life no longer feel like a confusing chore. Over time with this practice I became tired of the goal, why am I spending all this time sitting around with the idea that in some imaginary future it'll all be worth, that something will happen, that I'll find something. I battled with this doubt while continuing to practice for many months before I decided to leave formal practice behind. I continued to read books on the subject and hang around forums or listen to some inspirational youtube video on the subject, looking for a new way to look and found mention of this site on Reddit.

Here I go again I guess.

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

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:21 pm

Hello Oneirinaut.

Thank you for your introduction. Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Jon and I'd be happy to guide you, if you like?
. . I'm not sure what I'm looking for, I can't imagine what I'll find when I get there. I think at this point I'm just looking to be free of the feeling that there's something I need to find.
This is interesting. In many ways this is exactly what LU is here for, so you're in the right place.

If you'd like to accept my offer please let me know? We would simply have a conversation here, like a chat as between friends. I would tend to ask questions and it would be for you to look at these to find out what's what. Our efforts would focus on one thing, seeing, or noticing that there is no separate self.

How does that sound?

Please post once per day and I will endeavour to do the same.

Looking forward to working with you.

All best

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:47 pm

Hi, Jonathan, sorry a little late on the reply.

I'm happy to hear from you and happily accept your offer.

Thanks.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:30 pm

Hi Oneirinaut,

Is this name ok or would you like me to use another?

I was very struck by your tone of frustration and even fatigue at continually searching for something.

Oddly enough this can be addressed rather successfully by seeing that there is no separate or unchanging self.

When I say 'there is no self, never was, never will be, ' how does that land?

What is your current understanding of what 'you' are?

Regards

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:07 pm

Hi, you can call me Liam.

"When I say 'there is no self, never was, never will be, ' how does that land?"

It sounds quite fantastical, and very far away. When I ask this question of myself and look, I see my experience, thoughts and sensations. There's a strong certainty that all this is being experienced by "me". This "me" being what I see as self.

For example how could a sound be heard if there wasn't self to be on the receiving end, to "do" the hearing as it were.

Self also seems to be a key component of intentions. To want something must have a want-er. "I" want. Typing this it sounds a little nonsensical, sorry if that's the case. It just feels as though this is what is the "evidence" of self is for me.

Another way I can describe it is that self is always behind everything. If I'm thinking about something self is in the thought, then if I choose to look at the thoughts, to make the thoughts the focus of the moment. Then self shifts from thought to observer of thought.

I try to imagine what that would be like to not have a self, but it seems kind of impossible. That thinking and planning and just simply doing anything at all requires a self. That a person without a self would be some sort of vegetable. Unable to make decisions or have agency of any kind. Which strangley enough actually sounds kind of nice, no agency means no responsibility, what a care free life that would be.

I would say that's my understanding of what I am. The thing that holds this being together makes the individual. Who has the thoughts, hears the sounds, makes the decisions, feels the feelings. Etc. The doer of me.

Hope this makes any sense to you. I'm not sure it does and I wrote it.

Thanks for reading.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:15 am

Hi Liam,

What you wrote makes sense is as far as the reasoning goes. It can certainly seem as though there's a self or 'me' at a centre of things.

You've reasoned very firmly that there is a self.

Would you be interested to investigate this further? This could result in seeing that there has never been a separate self. Not just intellectually? How would you feel about this possibility? Do you want to find out?

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:21 pm

Hi, yes I'm very interested in investigating further.

As much as it feels like there's a self I don't seem to be able to definitively prove or disprove it to myself.

I want to know for sure.

Liam.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:27 pm

Hi Liam

Great! Then we can work together to find out for sure.
. When I ask this question of myself and look, I see my experience, thoughts and sensations. There's a strong certainty that all this is being experienced by "me". This "me" being what I see as self.
Notice that I've quoted something you said. ?Please use the 'quote' function whenever you'd like to quote something. It's a very helpful device in these inquiries.

Ok. I am now going to ask you to try an exercise. These exercises must be done for real and not just imagined. It's very easy to assume that the answer is already known. At LU we investigate what actually goes on, regardless of any preconceptions.

Right here and now the words on this screen are seen. Conventionally it is assumed that it is 'eyes' or 'the body' (and assumed that its 'me') that is doing the seeing.

Look right now at the experience of seeing. Is there an experience of 'eyes seeing'. Or of a 'me' seeing? Is that what it's like? Does it seem that seeing is just happening?

Let me know?

Thanks

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:19 pm

Thank you, hopefully I use the quote feature correctly, I'm not used to using forums.
These exercises must be done for real and not just imagined. It's very easy to assume that the answer is already known.
I feel as though it's hard to truly look without any previous assumptions filtering the interpretation, that I may fool myself, and may have to rely on you to help me remain honest. Lying to myself is a skill I've noticed in action from time to time, usually in aid of avoiding pain. So I'm not entirely confident in my perspective. I'll do my best to try avoid assumption.
Look right now at the experience of seeing. Is there an experience of 'eyes seeing'. Or of a 'me' seeing? Is that what it's like? Does it seem that seeing is just happening?
There's seeing, when I look there is the seen, of that much I feel certain. The words on this screen are for certain. I couldn't claim otherwise, and I don't find anything in sight itself that points to a see-er. The only thing I'm willing to say with certainty is that there is sight.
Is there an experience of 'eyes seeing'
My only experience of eyes appears to be the physical sensation of eyes. It's not in the experience of seeing.
Or of a 'me' seeing?
I can't see a 'me' in sight itself, the 'me' as always feels just out of view as always, like a unique sense of it's own but not one I can directly pay attention to. Sight just sort of happens, all the time, regardless of any intention to see the or not to see.

Looking forward to further instruction.

Liam.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:45 am

Hi Liam

Full marks for using the quote function so well first time.
. I feel as though it's hard to truly look without any previous assumptions filtering the interpretation, that I may fool myself, and may have to rely on you to help me remain honest.
Don't worry. That is my job actually. You have the will to be honest and it's my job to help you to look at what needs to be seen.
. The only thing I'm willing to say with certainty is that there is sight.
Ok good.
. Sight just sort of happens, all the time, regardless of any intention to see the or not to see.
Again good.
. the 'me' as always feels just out of view as always, like a unique sense of it's own but not one I can directly pay attention to.
I understand. Now, at this point I'd like you to repeat the exercise and notice a couple of things

1) Notice the seeing it's self (as you mentioned the seeing that just happens all the time). Notice how it is, just happening.

2) is it possible to notice the moment that an idea, thought or feeling of 'me' appears?

When thoughts do appear, are they part of the immediate experience of seeing or are they something else, something extra that is added on to the seeing?

Well done Liam,

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:18 pm

Hi Jon.

Apologies for it being an extra day since replying, just trying not to rush anything as I've been distracted with other stuff and want to give this proper attention when I can.
Notice the seeing it's self (as you mentioned the seeing that just happens all the time). Notice how it is, just happening
I've been taking every opportunity that comes up to look at seeing. It has always been happening it seems, I can't think of a time when it hasn't been happening. My attention can be elsewhere, for example lost in thought or listening to something but sight still appears to continue in it's own even then. As such I can't think of an example of sight not happening ever. Even eyes closed the sight of the back of eyelids is constant.
is it possible to notice the moment that an idea, thought or feeling of 'me' appears?
I've been trying to spot such a moment. I feel very uncertain about whether I've succeeded or not. I'm fairly sure this moment arrives immediately after looking for it. It's hard to be aware of it before then since I'm not looking for it, so I'm not sure if it appeared at that moment of looking, or was already there and simply found in that moment. Writing this I wonder if there's a difference, is the moment I'm aware of a thought and the moment it happens one in the same?
When thoughts do appear, are they part of the immediate experience of seeing or are they something else, something extra that is added on to the seeing?
Thoughts appear all the time, much like sight, but separate from it. It talks about what is seen then when interest is lost it returns to talking to itself about something that may be unrelated. Or perhaps it uses what was seen as a springboard for some new thought train. I can't find any evidence that thought is connected to or a part of sight in anyway.

That's my best attempt. Look forward to hearing from you.

Liam.

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:33 pm

Hi Liam
. Apologies for it being an extra day since replying, just trying not to rush anything as I've been distracted with other stuff and want to give this proper attention when I can.
Thanks. I appreciate that. No, You're right to give it proper attention.
. As such I can't think of an example of sight not happening ever. Even eyes closed the sight of the back of eyelids is constant.
Yes that's true isn't it?
. It's hard to be aware of it before then since I'm not looking for it, so I'm not sure if it appeared at that moment of looking, or was already there and simply found in that moment. Writing this I wonder if there's a difference, is the moment I'm aware of a thought and the moment it happens one in the same?
That's an interesting question. Perhaps mine was too open-ended, open to speculation. But perhaps you're right. It certainly seems that the moment of awareness of an appearing thought is indistinguishable from its actual appearing.
. Thoughts appear all the time, much like sight, but separate from it. It talks about what is seen then when interest is lost it returns to talking to itself about something that may be unrelated. Or perhaps it uses what was seen as a springboard for some new thought train. I can't find any evidence that thought is connected to or a part of sight in anyway.
That's a great description of the way thought seems to behave, or talk or 'say' things.

Are thoughts always ABOUT something, some idea of other, commentary or narration of events?

Is it possible to create a thought. Try 'thinking' a thought.

Is it possible to prevent thoughts from appearing? Try this too and tell me how it goes?

All best

Jon

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JonathanR
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby JonathanR » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:35 pm

Liam,

I forgot to mention that I may not be able to reply to you until Monday. If I can I will but I'm away from home and possibly without WiFi too.

All best

Jon

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:04 am

Hi Jon, that's fine give me plenty of time to ponder your questions.

Liam.

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Oneironaut
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Re: Seeking I guess, always seeking.

Postby Oneironaut » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:36 pm

Hi, Jon, been preoccupied myself over the weekend so haven't had the chance to sit down and answer your last questions fully. I should do tomorrow just letting you know I'm still here.

Liam


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