Guide Request

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Guide Request

Postby restart » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:21 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand intellectually that the grand illusion is that I believe I am an individual self, separate from others and the world around me. I know though that intellectually is not realisation, and would like to know this from the inside as my structural & enduring perspective.

What are you looking for at LU?
I am looking for truth. And guidance in realising it. Over the last two years I've been shown in countless ways that my life is not what I think it is and that I am not who I think I am. It now feels like all the pieces of my life and my self are lying out in front of me, waiting for me, but I am trying too hard to force them all together. Or like I am at the edge of a cliff, but afraid to jump off it. I feel exhausted by my journey. Tired of being driven by fear. I want to stop seeking and just live my life. To fully surrender and let myself fall of the cliff.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect to be challenged to the core of my being. To engage in direct conversation that prods me to look at what I refuse to look at, to admit what I don't want to admit, and to face what I don't want to face. I expect to look deep inside and outside and realise the truth of myself.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I began opening up to myself about 10 years ago after an illness. I realised I actually didn't know much about myself at all, besides intellectual concepts. I then began a journey through various practices, especially meditation which included daily practice and intense retreats. I read psychology, philosophy and spiritual books voraciously and took a wide variety of psychedelics for introspective purposes. Around 1.5 years ago I was blown open by a psychedelic experience, after which I became obsessed with reading non-duality. I also had three visits to a non-dual teacher, who introduced me to Jed McKenna. With those sessions plus Jed, I gradually gave up my meditation, psychedelics and spiritual reading. And began to experience myself things more clearly and to begin to experience the abundance of life. Although everything on the surface looks great, I feel like I am missing a major piece. Like I am not feeling whole, even though it seems wholeness is right there in front me, calling out. And I'm the midst of deep despair about it.

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: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:04 am

Hi,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Vivien and I'd be happy to assist you in your inquiry.

This is going to be 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. We can have a conversation and see where it takes you.

The purpose of which would be for there to be a realisation, more than just intellectually, that there never was and never will be a separate self, as, such. All our efforts will focus on that.

I will tend to ask many questions. That's my job here. These, will be pointers towards no self. It will be for you to examine your experience to find out what's true or not.

I would like to ask you to write only from your experience as you see it, what feels true, with whole honesty.
And also post daily.
If you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
Can we agree on these?

Could you please tell me what are you really looking for? How would your life change if you find that?
What are you hoping for to change?
What do you hope that should happen?
Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:50 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thank you kindly for your offer to assist me!
I agree to your proposal, and will do so from the best of my abilities.

Could you please tell me what are you really looking for? How would your life change if you find that?
The first word that comes to mind is freedom. This is what I am looking for in my calm moments. Freedom from the pressure I put myself under, the desire to please, the fear of change & uncertainty, the unrelenting desire to try to force things together. What I think would change: I would find more ease in life and be able to act through simple spontaneity.

Although I have been finding that more and more over the last year or so, every time I think I am almost 'there', it doesn't last more than a few days. Something else bigger and scarier rears its head and I feel like I'm back to where I started, quaking in fear. Sometimes finding myself overwhelmed & exhausted with what feels like a great battle, with no hope in sight. In these weaker moments, for example when I feel a lot of work stress, experience deep existential fears, or when my health condition acts up, then my thoughts go darker. Then I am looking for escape, from the situation, the pressure, the tension in my belly. I just want an end to what I am at that moment. And I see my mind grasping at 'enlightenment' and spirituality for that.

What are you hoping for to change?
I am hoping to find more joy in being what I am and in just doing what I'm doing in the moment. To find more clarity in that, and to know deep inside that even if things don't go the way I expect, it'll still ultimately be ok. To take life from what often feels like a struggle for survival into something to experience. Basically to stop taking life so damn seriously.

What do you hope that should happen?
I want to see the truth and to be able to operate from that perspective as my default mode. Again, that's in my calm moments. In my difficult moments, I just want to escape from what's there.

Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?
When I read this I had a mental image of me smiling and gliding through space while all sorts of arrows and assorted objects come at me. I deftly maneuver around most of them, and when the occasional one hits me I dust myself off and continue with a smile. It feels good, clear and straightforward.

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:30 am

Hi restart,

What name do you want me to call you?

I would like to ask you to learn to use the quotation function, so our conversation will be easier to read later for both of us.
So here is the link to a video again how to quote:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

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 result 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.
The first word that comes to mind is freedom. This is what I am looking for in my calm moments. Freedom from the pressure I put myself under, the desire to please, the fear of change & uncertainty, the unrelenting desire to try to force things together. What I think would change: I would find more ease in life and be able to act through simple spontaneity.
What I can see form your post is that you want to feel better. This is normal, this is what we all want. We want to feel good, and not feel unpleasant emotions.

But seeing no self is not about changing how we feel. It’s rather about seeing that the one who feels this or that, is simply not there.

Happiness or peace is a state, 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 seeing that emotions don’t belong to anything. They are free floating without being tied to or anchored to anything.

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.
Then I am looking for escape, from the situation, the pressure, the tension in my belly. I just want an end to what I am at that moment. And I see my mind grasping at 'enlightenment' and spirituality for that.
So this is the only reason that you want to do this inquiry? Or you really want to see the ‘truth’, the reality of things? How things actually are, and not how we imagined it to be?

Since this inquiry won’t make your problems go away. Unfortunately, it also won’t cure all the emotional wounds inside.
When there is suffering, it’s not just because there is a belief in a self. Suffering happens when certain stimuli poke or touch our ‘wounds inside’. Those wounds are not a person/self. The self is just an added on narrative.

And the personality stays almost completely intact when the self is seen through. All the conditionings from childhood, all the traumas, all the gathered emotional pains won’t dissolve in an instant just because the self is seen through. These most likely will stay, however, they are much more accessible and easier to work with after seeing through the illusion. This is just the first step, just the beginning, and not the end. The falling away of conditioning can last at the end of the organism.
When I read this I had a mental image of me smiling and gliding through space while all sorts of arrows and assorted objects come at me. I deftly maneuver around most of them, and when the occasional one hits me I dust myself off and continue with a smile. It feels good, clear and straightforward.
OK. So this is how you imagine it to be. But the thing is that it cannot know in advance how it will be. Why? Because all expectations come on behalf of a separate self, who is always in a search for peace, happiness, lack of fear and suffering. We simply cannot imagine it, since we cannot step outside form the separate self’s perspective. We can only imagine within the dream of me. The illusionary me is simply unable to imagine how it would be if it were discovered to be just a fictional character, and not a reality. It can only imagine what it wants for itself.

Please ponder on my comments to see your expectations from a different perspective. Because what I can say for sure, it won’t be how you imagine it to be. Since it cannot be known in advance. It’s never how one imagines it to be.

So it would be the best, if you could drop all your expectations, and just to be a clean slate.

Please, put all the books and videos aside, we are going to be focusing on what you see, rather than what you have learned. Can we agree on this?

Before starting, please read my above comments carefully 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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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:15 pm

What name do you want me to call you?
You can call me Tom, thank you.
What I can see form your post is that you want to feel better. This is normal, this is what we all want. We want to feel good, and not feel unpleasant emotions.
You are right. Thank you for pointing that out. This is a hard point for me to internalise, as over the course of my seeking I've felt an overall trend in feeling better. Even though I have read before that it is not about feeling better, my mind nonetheless notices that I do. And wants more of that. It seems to a process of continually forgetting, reminding, forgetting, reminding,...
Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
I feel like I grasp this on the surface, but it also feels hard to internalise.
So this is the only reason that you want to do this inquiry? Or you really want to see the ‘truth’, the reality of things? How things actually are, and not how we imagined it to be?
This is absolutely not the only reason I want to do this inquiry. My desire to escape usually only comes when I am very stressed, and I am aware it is irrational. But it is there nonetheless. In these moments I see my mind grasping for a way out including 'spiritual' exercises (e.g. maybe I should meditate, or do another psychedelic retreat, etc.). It is in my more typical, everyday moments that I more genuinely want to see the truth.
All the conditionings from childhood, all the traumas, all the gathered emotional pains won’t dissolve in an instant just because the self is seen through. These most likely will stay, however, they are much more accessible and easier to work with after seeing through the illusion. This is just the first step, just the beginning, and not the end. The falling away of conditioning can last at the end of the organism.
This seems like an important insight for me and provides a lot of clarity. It is also very reassuring: the process feels simpler now.
Please, put all the books and videos aside, we are going to be focusing on what you see, rather than what you have learned. Can we agree on this?
I will do my very best. Over the last year I've given up on reading the books and watching the videos. I still feel the pull sometimes for some non-dual literature, and I still sometimes notice my mind bringing up concepts or quotes I've read. Sometimes they reassure me, providing me a kind of a guilty pleasure, and sometimes they annoy me, like they're getting in my way.
Before starting, please read my above comments carefully 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?
On first reading, I felt an initial anxiety. That was followed by excitement and a kind of enthusiasm. The only part about expectations I did not understand was:
Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.
Would you mind explaining or rephrasing that? It sounds important, and actually probably quite simple, but I don't understand what it means.
Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
I feel very ready to start. I also feel really grateful for this. Thank you very much for your offer and also for agreeing to take the time. This is quite special.

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:02 am

Hi Tom,
V: Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.
T: Would you mind explaining or rephrasing that? It sounds important, and actually probably quite simple, but I don't understand what it means.
Let’s say you believe that when the self is seen through, then there will be no more unpleasant emotions, and even if they arise, somehow you will be untouched by them.

So if you have this belief, then you compare this with what you can see as the result of this inquiry. So even if you can see that there is no self anywhere, you won’t accept it, since you hold the belief that seeing no self means not feeling any unpleasant emotions anymore, but since they still arise, you would conclude, this NOT IT. So you will miss the obvious, what is in front of you, that simply there is no self, because you expecting to always feel good.
I feel very ready to start. I also feel really grateful for this. Thank you very much for your offer and also for agreeing to take the time. This is quite special.
You are most welcome :)

As you go about your everyday life, how does the self/I/me show up?

Don’t go to the story about the me, rather look at the me itself.
What is it like? What is it made of? Does it have a shape or a color? How big it is? And where is its exact location?

What does the word I actually point to? If you take a finger (literally) and land it on I, where does it land?


Can you see, smell, hear, taste, touch the I? Try it, with each sense.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:09 am

Hi Tom,

Are you still with me? Do you wish to continue or should I pick up another person waiting to be guided?

Please give me some feedback.

Thank you,
Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:16 am

Hi Vivien,

Oh! I sent you a reply back on the 2nd, and wondered why you hadn't replied.
Since I saw on the facebook page there was a problem with the website, I thought to wait.
I guess you didn't get my reply, so I will reflect and send a new one.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:50 am

Hi Tom,

Yes, there are some technical issues with the site. If you don't hear from me in 24 hours, then please check the forum directly, since I almost always reply in 24 hours, usually sooner.

I got a post from you wrote on 2nd, and I replied back. Please scroll back and check if this is the post you are referring to. Also please read my reply to it.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:07 pm

Hi Vivien,

My latest message is unfortunately not in my list, so I will respond again to the last questions I have from you (you may actually have received it July 3, given our time zone differences).
As you go about your everyday life, how does the self/I/me show up?
It is always shifting, and seems to move between my various senses & my thoughts. So sometimes it is in a touch, a smell, a taste. And it is also often a thought.
What is it like? What is it made of? Does it have a shape or a color? How big it is? And where is its exact location?
The I seems to be located where my sense organs are. So for example the I of touch is felt on my skin, the I of sight is seen at a certain distance from me (and from my eyes), and the I of hearing is from a certain direction (and in my ears). The I of thought seems to be inside my head. These different I's feel like they are different sizes based on their intensity. So if it's more intense, it feels bigger and grabs my attention more. I can't say it has a particular shape or colour; it's more like it's a burst of sensation or energy in a particular location and of particular intensity.
What does the word I actually point to? If you take a finger (literally) and land it on I, where does it land?
Instinctually, my finger points to my chest when I refer to I. In my daily experience though it often like the I is in my head, behind my eyes. And if I watch more closely, it moves to the various locations of my sense organs (skin, nose, etc.)
Can you see, smell, hear, taste, touch the I? Try it, with each sense.
Yes, I sense the I as described in my second answer. Each sense seems to feel a different quality of the I.

Kind regards,

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:57 am

Hi Tom,
It is always shifting, and seems to move between my various senses & my thoughts. So sometimes it is in a touch, a smell, a taste. And it is also often a thought.
Don’t you find it very strange that what you believe yourself to be is a shifting phenomenon, and not something actual, something solid? Isn’t this suspicious?
The I seems to be located where my sense organs are.
Note that you said “I seems..” – a seeming thing is never a real thing.

Be careful with expressions with ‘SEEMS’. A SEEMING thing is NOT an actual thing.

Every time a sentence starts with “it seems” or “it feels like” or “as if” is the sure sign that what will follow is just an analogy or metaphor, just the content of a thought, and not an actual bodily sensation. It’s not coming from looking at experience directly, rather from thought speculation.
Can you see this?
The I of thought seems to be inside my head.
This is how it SEEMS like. But a seeming thing is not a real thing.
Just as a mirage of an oasis in a desert, is not actual, real oasis, it just SEEMS that way.
These different I's feel like they are different sizes based on their intensity.
Do you see that you say ‘feel like’?

And different I-s? Do you believe and experience yourself to be as many Toms?

As you go about your everyday life, is this how you experience yourself, as several Toms at each sense organs?

Do you see how easily we can fall for thought interpretations, and take them for reality?


Yes, there are difference sense perceptions, like seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching/feeling.
Yes, these are happening.

But what makes touching into a person, into an individual, called Tom?
Instinctually, my finger points to my chest when I refer to I. In my daily experience though it often like the I is in my head, behind my eyes.
So this is how the self/me shows up in everyday life. This how it ACTUALLY APPEAR.
Instinctually, my finger points to my chest when I refer to I. In my daily experience though it often like the I is in my head, behind my eyes.
But this is coming from thinking, and labelling sense perceptions into a me.

Seeing is just a seeing.
Touching is just touching.
Hearing is just hearing.

Put your attention to the sensations of the hands.
Is there an actual thinking and experiencing person INSIDE the sensations?
Or there are only sensations happening?


Now, touch something, and FEEL the sensation that are there.

Can you find an actual person, entity called Tom in the touching?
Or there is only toughing happening?

Yes, I sense the I as described in my second answer. Each sense seems to feel a different quality of the I.
Dear Tom, this is coming from thinking, and interpretation.

Is it clear that the I or self is a person, an individual, who is living life, thinking thoughts, performing actions, makes decisions, experiencing THROUGH the 5 senses, through the body?

So what makes a sense into an I? What makes hearing into a thinking, living person, called Tom?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:17 am

Hi Vivien,

The website was down for me again yesterday, but I'm still here.
Thanks though for the replies & questions as it again it was very revealing.
Don’t you find it very strange that what you believe yourself to be is a shifting phenomenon, and not something actual, something solid? Isn’t this suspicious?
At first the mismatch between my belief and my experience did not feel strange. My mind also came up with justifications: for example, “my body does the sensing and is always there. Therefore I am my body.”
I see though this must be a belief then too, as all there is to my body is a sensation.

So the mismatch now feels annoying, and there is a strong desire to get to the bottom of it. Although at the same time it also feels comfortable, as if: "it's always been that ways, and I've been fine, so why is this an issue."
Do you see that you say ‘feel like’?
I now see that “Feels like” here is a weasel word for an idea I have of something that I don’t actually experience.
And different I-s? Do you believe and experience yourself to be as many Toms?
I can only give an answer to that by going back again to an “I feel” statement. So that I have a feeling that there is one unchanging Tom, a coherent whole with continuity. Which I now see is just a belief, without experiential proof.
As you go about your everyday life, is this how you experience yourself, as several Toms at each sense organs?
My first instinct was "no of course not", and then going to the general feeling of my body "this is my coherent experience of Tom!". A moment of reflection shows that again this coherence is not my experience, so it must just be a belief.
Do you see how easily we can fall for thought interpretations, and take them for reality?
It now feels frustrating and irritating. I can see the mismatch when I look it. And then it just continues. I want to take this information further, but don't know how.
Put your attention to the sensations of the hands.
Is there an actual thinking and experiencing person INSIDE the sensations?
Or there are only sensations happening?
There is an image in my mind of a person inside the sensations. If I take a closer and more honest look though, I realise there are only sensations. So that image is a belief again.

I see my mind trying to look in between the sensations: Maybe there’s something solid in between each sensation, or in between the thought or a sensation. Something to hang on to and identify as the person. That again takes me to just sensation.

I also notice when I feel calmest, especially in moments when my thoughts are coming slower and I rest in bodily sensations. Then I tell myself that the pleasant background sensation of my body is me. And I feel satisfied, without much desire to challenge myself or go further.
Can you find an actual person, entity called Tom in the touching?
Or there is only toughing happening?
I can only find the touching, but I cannot find an actual person or entity called Tom in the touching. As much as my mind is convinced he must be there somewhere.
Is it clear that the I or self is a person, an individual, who is living life, thinking thoughts, performing actions, makes decisions, experiencing THROUGH the 5 senses, through the body?
So what makes a sense into an I? What makes hearing into a thinking, living person, called Tom?
It must then be my mind that makes a sense into the self.

Tom

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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:11 am

Hi Tom,

Yes, the website still not working perfectly.
I now see that “Feels like” here is a weasel word for an idea I have of something that I don’t actually experience.
Exactly.
I see though this must be a belief then too, as all there is to my body is a sensation.
Yes, great looking. The body is nothing else than a thought label on sensations.
My mind also came up with justifications: for example, “my body does the sensing and is always there. Therefore I am my body.”
Thoughts tell all sorts of things, but it doesn’t mean that those are actual facts of reality.
So you have to check if they are actually true in experience.
My mind also came up with justifications:
Let’s look into this.

Do you believe that there is such thing as a mind?

Where is it in experience?
What is this mind like in the moment you perceive it?

Where is its location? How big it is? What shape it has? Texture? Color? Does it have a smell?

How do you know that there is such thing as a mind? Is there any experiential proof for its existence?

Are thoughts actually come from a mind? Can you literally see thoughts emerging from a mind?

Or mind is just another unquestioned assumption, taken for granted?

So that I have a feeling that there is one unchanging Tom, a coherent whole with continuity. Which I now see is just a belief, without experiential proof.
OK, that’s good. But it’s still just an intellectual understanding. We have to go a step further.
You have to literally be able to see if this is actually the case. And see it not just once, but hundreds if not thousands of times.
My first instinct was "no of course not", and then going to the general feeling of my body "this is my coherent experience of Tom!". A moment of reflection shows that again this coherence is not my experience, so it must just be a belief.
What you call as first instinct, is not actually an instinct. Rather it’s the belief you have.
Your thoughts are just saying what you believe in.
But it’s not enough to intellectually conclude that it’s just a belief.
You have to be able to see this experientially.
There is an image in my mind of a person inside the sensations. If I take a closer and more honest look though, I realise there are only sensations. So that image is a belief again.
OK, let’s see what is happening here.

There are sensations + a visual thought showing an image.

But can that image actually depict a person inside sensations? How does the sensation part show up in that image?
Does that image actually show sensation?

Is it possible to visualize unseeable sensations? Or its just shows the image of the body or certain body parts?

And how does the person show up in that image? So there is the image of the body, and how does the person is depicted? As a little man inside the head? Or in the hands? Or in the chest?

Do you see that all of these are nothing else than just imagination, just fantasies?


Image
V: Is it clear that the I or self is a person, an individual, who is living life, thinking thoughts, performing actions, makes decisions, experiencing THROUGH the 5 senses, through the body?
So what makes a sense into an I? What makes hearing into a thinking, living person, called Tom?
T: It must then be my mind that makes a sense into the self.
Tom, you are guessing, not looking. Speculating and guessing will get you nowhere.
Also, please be careful with bulk-replying. Some important pointers can be easily lost if you bulk reply. Just as with the above questions.

You’ve missed the first one.
From your replies I’m not totally sure if you know what we believe to be a self/me, that’s why I asked that question.

Please look at this very carefully.

Is it clear that the I or self is a person, an individual, who is living life, thinking thoughts, performing actions, makes decisions, experiencing THROUGH the 5 senses?
So what makes a sense into an I? What makes hearing into a thinking, living person, called Tom?
T: It must then be my mind that makes a sense into the self.
So there is a living, aware thinking mind, who is making hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting into a thinking, living person, called Tom? Is this so? Or is this just another speculation?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Guide Request

Postby restart » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:56 pm

Hi Vivien,
Do you believe that there is such thing as a mind?
Yes.
Where is it in experience?
When I first answered this question, I wrote "The only thing I can find in my experience is the belief that I have a mind". Now I am rereading my answer, and I'm not sure about that any more. I don't seem to experience a belief. Although I experience thoughts, which appear to contain beliefs. I am even now uncertain about this too though (see my response two questions below).
What is this mind like in the moment you perceive it?
Besides this thought of the mind, I experience sensations, some of which I label as related to the mind. For example I sense the feeling of my head, which I then label as my mind.

This leads me to something I haven’t understood so far. If I understand correctly, you focus on the 5 senses as the foundation of our experience. Where do thoughts fit into this? It feels like I experience thoughts, although not through the 5 senses (to me, the most similar sense to thought is sight, but it still seems different). I am trying to find a distinction between sensations and thoughts, but am not sure what that is.
Where is its location? How big it is? What shape it has? Texture? Color? Does it have a smell?
I see myself going to my head, looking for it there. I see an image of a brain. I also feel the area under my skull, and the mind therefore feels approximately the size of that space. I cannot feel a texture or colour, but I have an image of it as greyish-pink & spaghetti-like. It does not have a smell.
How do you know that there is such thing as a mind? Is there any experiential proof for its existence?
I only experience sensations like the feeling of my skull, or I see the pointing of my finger to my head, or I have mental images. I do not have any other experiental proof that there is a thing like a mind.
Are thoughts actually come from a mind? Can you literally see thoughts emerging from a mind?
I cannot literally see thoughts emerging from a mind. I nonetheless still find this a very hard one to look for, even when I really slow down and look close. I have a very strong impression that thoughts appear between my ears, in a kind of internal visual space.
Or mind is just another unquestioned assumption, taken for granted?
I cannot find proof for the mind beyond my sensations and thoughts.
But can that image actually depict a person inside sensations?
It is a mental image of a person, and nothing more. And I do not see the sensations in that image.
How does the sensation part show up in that image?
It shows up in that image either as my body, or as a kind of buzzing glow around my body.
Does that image actually show sensation?
No, I do not see any sensation in the image. It is only a picture of my body.
Is it possible to visualize unseeable sensations? Or its just shows the image of the body or certain body parts?
I tried to see a smell, a sound, a touch and a taste, but I could not. It is either an image of body parts, or a kind of visual impression (e.g. sound waves, wafting smells, etc.).
And how does the person show up in that image?
It shows up as a person with my form.
So there is the image of the body, and how does the person is depicted?
The image only shows part of the form, as if that form is partially attached to the one viewing it. It is not possible to see the entire form, no matter how hard I try.
As a little man inside the head? Or in the hands? Or in the chest?
When it is a strong mental image only (without any noticeable sensation), it appears as described in the previous answer. There is also a version that is a kind of image + sensation, in which I have a sensation in my chest or head along with a faint mental image that there is something looking out from there.
Do you see that all of these are nothing else than just imagination, just fantasies?
I see the individual imaginations. I don't think I can go further than this, as then I would be speculating again.
From your replies I’m not totally sure if you know what we believe to be a self/me, that’s why I asked that question. Please look at this very carefully. Is it clear that the I or self is a person, an individual, who is living life, thinking thoughts, performing actions, makes decisions, experiencing THROUGH the 5 senses?
You are right. I could not grasp that question, so the only way I could answer it was through speculation. I can try to answer by telling you what I do see:

I see that I experience 5 senses. I also experience thoughts, which appears to be a different sort of thing than any of the five senses. I am yet unable to experience the ‘me’, the ‘Tom’, the ‘body’, except as one of these thought-images or a sensation.
So there is a living, aware thinking mind, who is making hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting into a thinking, living person, called Tom? Is this so? Or is this just another speculation?
I am still stuck on the question of what makes a sense into an I. I can only answer that by stating my experience of sensations & thoughts, or by speculating. What am I missing then?

Tom

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Vivien
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Re: Guide Request

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:36 am

Hi Tom,
I am still stuck on the question of what makes a sense into an I. I can only answer that by stating my experience of sensations & thoughts, or by speculating. What am I missing then?
What you are missing is that you don’t see clearly the difference between thoughts (imagination) and experience (reality).
So we are going to focus on this for a while.

Do you drink coffee or tea? Next time when you drink it, please investigate what is the difference between thinking about coffee and experiencing the coffee.

Is it possible to look at the coffee without thinking “this is a coffee, and I’m going to drink it”? Is it possible to EXPERIENCE it only by looking at it and SEEING it without thinking about it?

And when you take a sip, is it possible to just FEEL the warmth of it, without analysing and thinking why it’s warm, and how long will it stay warm?

And is it possible just to experience the TASTE of it, without analysing it, or thinking how bitter it is, or whether it needs some sweetener or not?

Is it possible to EXPERIENCE the SMELL of the coffee, without thinking “this smell reminds me of his or that”?


I would like to ask you to really try this out in reality, and not just think it through. In other words, not just think about it.

But of course, thoughts about it might happen! But that’s all right. You just ignore the thoughts, and you turn your attention to experiencing.

This difference is the basis of our investigation.

You cannot experience (see, feel, taste, smell) the coffee by thinking. You literally have to experience it.

Do you see clearly the difference between thinking and experiencing?


Please experiment with other things as well. Like having dinner, or washing your hands, or looking at a plant.
Let me know what you find.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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