advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

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robbiemac
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advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby robbiemac » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:40 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
Under close scrutiny, the ego construct has no foundation. There is no separation.

On a personal level... since I learned of a 'self' as a kid, I spent year after year in the world of self-improvement. But more recently, I have begun to question this world of endless pursuit, my need to be successful and who I really.
What are you looking for at LU? I came across advaita vedanta a year or so ago. The pointings (no faith, no doctrine, just experiential verification) led me to believe in what I think might be solipsism. Frankly, I find this alarming! For me... there is no joy in this. I am hoping this solipsism might be a point on the route rather than my final destination. And this is what I am here to find out please.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
This would be the first time I would have spoken to anyone on the subject of 'realisation'. I am intrigued to find out what I might learn and how a conversation of this kind might help me along my own path.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
From a young age, I have always questioned the reality we're presumed to be a part of. However, these were difficult questions for anyone to address so I lost the curiosity and jumped onto the bandwagon of conformation. It is only since I began to meditate (at the suggestion of a friend) that I began to realise how uncomfortable I was sitting with my'self'. I figured this can't be healthy but backed off it for a bit and then realised I needed to tackle it. So, over a year ago, I pledged to meditate every day for 20-30 mins and once I settled into it I found that youthful curiosity reappearing. For the year I have devoured every book I can find in this space. I started with Spira, went to Tolle, then onto Adyashanti, looked at ACIM, read the Seth books, found Mooji, and so on. With the books and YouTube , I feel I have traveled at quite a pace!

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: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:35 am

Hi,

Welcome to Liberation Unleashed. My name is Vivien and I can assist you with 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?
The pointings (no faith, no doctrine, just experiential verification) led me to believe in what I think might be solipsism. Frankly, I find this alarming! For me... there is no joy in this. I am hoping this solipsism might be a point on the route rather than my final destination. And this is what I am here to find out please.
Could you please share a bit more about this? What's happened?

What is happening in you or in your life that you label as 'solipsism'?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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robbiemac
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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby robbiemac » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:08 pm

Hi Vivenne,

Great to meet you. I’m looking forward to working through this with you. Thank you.

‘Can we agree on these?’

Yes of course.

‘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?’

I hope it is okay that I answer all these collectively...

Until I was encouraged to be otherwise, I was always curious about who or what I/we are. And down the years, I have come to believe I have a more ‘active’ mind than most. So I would like to investigate the former and see if I can find some release from the latter. I hope this might bring clarity, freedom and peace. As for how this might happen... I suppose it would be through a change in perspective that would be substantiated by understanding and experience. And all this is inspired by a desire to live as ‘fully’ as is possible.

‘Could you please share a bit more about this? What’s happened? What is happening in you or in your life that you label as ‘solipsism’?’

I have had one or two moments during the last month in which I have seen/felt other members of my family (with their views/thoughts) in the same way I sometimes see my mind and body... as objects of or within my consciousness. It has felt eerily impersonal. And as I began to research this, I slipped further back and felt each of the actual states themselves to be objects in my own consciousness. In other words, the waking to be no more real than the dream. I was seeing all states as objects of consciousness and the entire contents of each state to be almost imagined and without existence outside of my consciousness and the state to which it relates.

Vivienne, I have tried to be succinct. I have taken in the words and views of so many ‘teachers’ over the past year or two. This has led to my having many thoughts (mostly incoherent) on where I am at and where ‘this path’ might lead. But I guess you’d tell me to forget about all this anyway! So... I will continue to answer the questions directly and succinctly and only elaborate if you ask me to do so.

Thank you for offering to help. I am super grateful.

RM

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robbiemac
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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby robbiemac » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:16 pm

And I’m sorry. I see I’ve misspelled your name! Sorry... 🙏

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Vivien
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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:34 am

Hi,

What name would you like me to call you?
Great to meet you. I’m looking forward to working through this with you. Thank you.
You are welcome :)

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 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.
And down the years, I have come to believe I have a more ‘active’ mind than most.
Maybe this is just a belief :) Everybody’s mind are quite active :) that’s the nature of thinking.
I hope this might bring clarity, freedom and peace.
Clarity, of course. But freedom and peace might or might not happen. And if they happen that would be just a byproduct.

Feeling of freedom 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.
As for how this might happen... I suppose it would be through a change in perspective that would be substantiated by understanding and experience
By experience, but not through understanding. Understanding is intellectual, and no amount of intellectual knowledge or understanding can help. This exploration is totally experiential. So you can freely put aside your intellect to pick it up later, since you won’t need it with this inquiry :) Actually, it’s in the way.

With nihilism, there are certain thoughts with accompanying emotions. Thoughts like: “what is the point of all this?” “if there is no me, then why live or exist at all?” or “what will be left of me? - nothing will be left of me”.

So would you say that you have similar thoughts with unpleasant emotions, like fear, or depressive mood?

If nihilism comes up, then it’s the self hasn’t been seen through fully. There might have been some glimpses and those glimpses are being interpreted through the belief in the self. Since only a self could wonder about pointlessness, meaninglessness, etc.

These concerns are all about ME. What seeing through the self MEANS TO ME.

When the self is really seen through, these concerns won’t make much sense anymore.
I hope this helps.
I have had one or two moments during the last month in which I have seen/felt other members of my family (with their views/thoughts) in the same way I sometimes see my mind and body... as objects of or within my consciousness. It has felt eerily impersonal. And as I began to research this, I slipped further back and felt each of the actual states themselves to be objects in my own consciousness. In other words, the waking to be no more real than the dream. I was seeing all states as objects of consciousness and the entire contents of each state to be almost imagined and without existence outside of my consciousness and the state to which it relates.
And this is what you call nihilism? Or is there more to it?

Our approach will be different than what you can learn from non-duality ‘circles’.
Our approach will be down to earth, and very experiential.
We won’t go to the direction of contemplating concepts and ideas.
All we ever going to do is to investigate our own immediate experience, how things actually are to see if our beliefs and assumptions about ourselves can stand up to the scrutiny of experience / reality.
I have taken in the words and views of so many ‘teachers’ over the past year or two. This has led to my having many thoughts (mostly incoherent) on where I am at and where ‘this path’ might lead. But I guess you’d tell me to forget about all this anyway!
Yes, definitely! :) This will be your own personal inquiry… and not just a thinking exercise about learned concepts and ideas :)

The thing is that it cannot be 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 from the separate self’s perspective. We can only imagine it 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.
And I’m sorry. I see I’ve misspelled your name! Sorry...
No problem, it happens quite often :)

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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robbiemac
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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby robbiemac » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:26 am

Hi Vivien,
What name would you like me to call you?
Robbie please.
Feeling of freedom 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
.

I feel that I’ve learned to recognize the transient nature of emotions etc. However, the one thing they all share in common seems to be this me that is seeing them. The same self we’re going to take a look at I suppose?!
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.
So can we say it is a seeing rather than a state?
By experience, but not through understanding. Understanding is intellectual, and no amount of intellectual knowledge or understanding can help. This exploration is totally experiential. So you can freely put aside your intellect to pick it up later, since you won’t need it with this inquiry :) Actually, it’s in the way.
I suspect this will be tough to set aside and I apologize for this in advance! I feel as though much of my journey to date has been a quest for understanding. To ‘see’ without first understanding feels back to front. Just thought you should know...
If nihilism comes up, then it’s the self hasn’t been seen through fully. There might have been some glimpses and those glimpses are being interpreted through the belief in the self. Since only a self could wonder about pointlessness, meaninglessness, etc.

These concerns are all about ME. What seeing through the self MEANS TO ME.

When the self is really seen through, these concerns won’t make much sense anymore.
I hope this helps.
Yes, thank you. I don’t fear the dissolution of self. Through exploration... I began to question the existence of anything outside of my consciousness. So I’d look at others and wonder whether they actually existed outside of my waking state in this/my consciousness. In the same way that a dream character does not appear outside the dream state in my/this consciousness. Is it possible that nothing that is seen in my waking state actually exists outside of this state. Am I making sense? Not that it actually matters since we’re binning all this anyway. But the idea did shock me!
The thing is that it cannot be 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 from the separate self’s perspective. We can only imagine it 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.
Right. How we can we imagine or understand the ‘seeing’ from the perspective of the separate self we will find to be illusory? And this is why it’s so important to drop all preconceived ideas and stop guessing at what might be. Have I understood this correctly?
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?
Got it. To some extent the break will be welcome!
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?
I’m wary of my incessant need for understanding. I’ll have to watch for it. But otherwise... I’m super excited to start!

Thanks Vivien. Very kind of you to offer your time like this.

RM

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Vivien
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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:48 am

Hi Robbie,
So can we say it is a seeing rather than a state?
Yes, it’s a seeing and not a state.
I suspect this will be tough to set aside and I apologize for this in advance! I feel as though much of my journey to date has been a quest for understanding. To ‘see’ without first understanding feels back to front. Just thought you should know...
This is a human condition. We all strive for understanding. And yes, it’s like becoming a clear slate, like being a child again, who has no intellectual understanding how things are. Don't worry, I will relentlessly point out when you are just thinking and not investigating your experience. :)
Is it possible that nothing that is seen in my waking state actually exists outside of this state. Am I making sense? Not that it actually matters since we’re binning all this anyway. But the idea did shock me!
Yes, I understand, and yes, seeing this can be shocking. It was shocking to me too. But this is still about separation, so this is just a half-truth. And if someone sees this way too early in the road, then seeing this can be really frightening (since other beliefs are still intact and the seeing is being interpreted through those beliefs). There are many other beliefs that needs to be looked at to fall away, before going deeper. So our investigation will be quite down to earth; we are going to examine our human experience.
Right. How we can we imagine or understand the ‘seeing’ from the perspective of the separate self we will find to be illusory? And this is why it’s so important to drop all preconceived ideas and stop guessing at what might be. Have I understood this correctly?
Yes. And also, if you have an idea how it should be like, then you are going to search for that idea and you might miss the ‘real deal’, since you expect something else.
Thanks Vivien. Very kind of you to offer your time like this.
You are welcome :)

So let’s start it. From now on, please stay with the questions and pointers for a whole day, looking at them again and again and again. Even if when the reply seems to be pretty clear, look more.

We are going to start to investigate the phenomenon, called ‘Robbie’.

How do you know that you are ‘Robbie’?

Notice the feeling called 'feels like I am Robbie’.
Stay with this feeling, be with it like it's some new phenomenon for which you have no name.

What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby robbiemac » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:43 pm

Hi Vivien,

An interesting day to report on..! As all your questions point in a similar direction, I hope it’s okay for me to answer them with one note...

Initially, I couldn’t understand why I was finding this so challenging. Perhaps, I wanted to land on something. I was concentrating exclusively on the feeling of ‘feels like I am Robbie’ and I couldn’t land on anything. I couldn’t feel/find anything. It was quite disorienting. And then it dawned on me that this nothing might be where you’re guiding me to? It is almost meditative in nature. Actually, no. In mediation, I seem to shift identification from body/mind to a sort of being-awareness. And in the feeling of ‘feels like I am Robbie’, there’s nothing. I have been unable to find it. Not even awareness or beingness. Can this really be? Robbie the person, the glue that holds all the component pieces together, doesn’t actually have a discernible feeling that is distinct from these parts and yet representative of them. To whom do any of these component parts (body and mind) belong? A bit of me feels that I should conceptualise all this. Some of me is worried that when I do, I might lose this viewpoint. But most of me doesn’t feel the need to make conceptual sense of it, which is very strange indeed. It might be worth highlighting that it seems as if ‘awareness’ (which I had previously held as the deeper consciousness I was able to find when ‘present’) has kind of disappeared. It doesn’t seem to fit this new view. I guess I expected that this journey would keep heading in the same direction and thereby deepen awareness. An awareness that I so often take refuge in. Isn’t ‘I am’ supposed to be my essential being? The awareness in which everything exists? But where is it? In trying to find the ‘feeling of Robbie’ I can no longer find any identification, in mind, body or awareness.

How to conclude? In my experience, I don’t feel any ‘feels like I am Robbie’. Wow. Could Robbie be a presumption, a belief, a thought?

Vivien, is any of this making sense?! I am not sure what to make of it and although I have many questions that coming through, I do not want to look any further just yet. I am going to wait for your thoughts and instructions.

Again, HUGE THANKS for taking the time to make this journey with me. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

RM

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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:27 am

Hi Robbie,
I guess I expected that this journey would keep heading in the same direction and thereby deepen awareness. An awareness that I so often take refuge in. Isn’t ‘I am’ supposed to be my essential being? The awareness in which everything exists? But where is it? In trying to find the ‘feeling of Robbie’ I can no longer find any identification, in mind, body or awareness.
Let’s see what happens here. You know the current non-dual concepts well, and you had some glimpses accordingly (meaning what is seen has been interpreted according to those ideas).

And now, you’ve been expected to find validations of those ideas. But this inquiry is not about awareness. At the end, you might discover that there is awareness, or might not. We are not aiming to find and abide as awareness.

Rather, we are investigating what is here now, and what it is you call ‘me’, in the simplest, everyday way.
What we're interested in is what you are calling ‘self or me’ and identifying AS – with a name ‘Robbie’.
In my experience, I don’t feel any ‘feels like I am Robbie’. Wow. Could Robbie be a presumption, a belief, a thought?
This is a very good questions.

You have an everyday you that you take yourself to be, right?
If so, tell me about the everyday you.

Is it a story or a narrative, or does it have a physical location?

Vivien, is any of this making sense?! I am not sure what to make of it and although I have many questions that coming through, I do not want to look any further just yet. I am going to wait for your thoughts and instructions.
Please be careful not to run with thoughts and questions. Those are all conceptual. Rather just pause, and notice what is here.

What is it exactly that you call ‘me’ (in everyday life)?

Again, HUGE THANKS for taking the time to make this journey with me.
You are most welcome :)

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby robbiemac » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:34 am

Hi Vivien,
You have an everyday you that you take yourself to be, right?
If so, tell me about the everyday you.

Is it a story or a narrative, or does it have a physical location?
In my everyday life I’ve arrived at at point derived by a mesh of previous aspects and events made up of: nature, nurture, accomplishments, failures, choices, circumstances etc. I have a family, my work and my other interests. As I suggest, I can refer to my past to see where I am (and I do this is a fair bit) and I plan for a future that takes care of my family, work and interests.

My past is a narrative in the present. But it’s real. It’s taken place. I can refer to it and others can validate it. Likewise, I can narrate upon my present (and thought does this right?) but the events are experientially real and verifiable.

I, the body, have been present throughout. The body may be changing all the time but it is mine (looks very similar day in day out) and it is the common physical principle present throughout ‘Robbie’s life’, past and present.

Expanding a bit more... the ‘me’ in everyday life is my body, my character/personality, my thoughts and my past. All these are exclusive to my ‘everyday Robbie’ and who I have always felt myself to be. Oh and I feel that all these answers come from my head, in which my past is recalled, my personality is ‘held’, my thoughts appear, my reactions are a sparked and my planning takes place.

🙏🙏🙏

RM

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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:43 am

Hi Robbie,
. Oh and I feel that all these answers come from my head,
Yes, your replies are quite intellectual.
But that’s OK for now, since we are going to check if these ideas are actually in line with experience.
In my everyday life I’ve arrived at at point derived by a mesh of previous aspects and events made up of: nature, nurture, accomplishments, failures, choices, circumstances etc.
this is thinking
I, the body, have been present throughout.
So are you saying that you = body?
The body may be changing all the time but it is mine
Now you say that the body is MINE, but just a half sentence ago, you said “I, the body”. So which one is true?
I am the body?
or
I have a body?
(looks very similar day in day out) and it is the common physical principle present throughout ‘Robbie’s life’, past and present.
Yes, the body is there. But being the common physical principle present throughout Robbie’s life” is seriously questionable :)

If the body is present throughout Robbie’s life, then it cannot be Robbie, it cannot be you.
Either you are the body or you have a body. Or maybe none of these are true.
the ‘me’ in everyday life is my body
How could the me be the body, if it’s MY body? Can you see the impossibility of it?
my character/personality
If the character and the personality is mine, then how can it be ME?
my thoughts
If thoughts are mine, then how can it be me?

We often say ‘MY body’ – so what is it that owns the body?
And how do you know that the body is owned?
What is it that claims ‘MY body’?

You have clothes, right? But what is owning them?
What is that makes the clothes “mine”?
What is that claims the clothes to be “MY clothes”?
Does the seeming ‘voice in the head’, the commentator, owns the clothes?
Do thoughts own the clothes?
Does the thought ‘mine’ owns the clothes?
Does word/thought Robbie owns the clothes?
Does the label on clothes own the clothes?

Does the label ‘my’ owns the body?
Does the label/word/thought Robbie owns the body?


Be very careful that you don’t think about the answer. Your intellect is not needed :) Rather, just notice what is here and now.

And please reply to each question separately. These are all pointers for you to look and it’s very easy to miss some if you don’t reply to them one-by-one.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby robbiemac » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:08 pm

Hi Vivienne,

This kept me busy!
Now you say that the body is MINE, but just a half sentence ago, you said “I, the body”. So which one is true?
I am the body?
or
I have a body?
I feel that I am more than my body but I believe my existence depends upon the body. I guess this is why I am confused about whether I have a body or I am the body.
If the body is present throughout Robbie’s life, then it cannot be Robbie, it cannot be you.
I agree, I agree! But Robbie’s existence depends on an alive body doesn’t it?
Or maybe none of these are true.


Now this caught my attention big time!! I have never considered the possibility. You noticed that I was unaware of whether I am my body or I have a body. Until a couple of years ago, I had never considered I was anything other than my body and my brain or what I should say is... I had never considered I was anything other than this body and this brain. Oh wow... language can make this confusing. I have always referred to my body and my brain but I have always felt that I am this body and this brain. Then I started learning that I might not be this body or these thoughts. This seemed to be supported through meditation. But meditation only. So I believe that I am not this body or these thoughts but it is difficult to really feel it. They are part of my daily experience. I am sorry Vivien... I am going around in circles. The idea that I might not be a body or have a body seems crazy but seems totally worthy of further exploration for some reason. Remember when you asked me to really feel ‘feels like I am Robbie’ and I just couldn’t land on it anywhere? I am now wondering if there somehow the idea that I am not a body, I do not have a body and I cannot find the feeling of being Robbie is linked...
How could the me be the body, if it’s MY body? Can you see the impossibility of it?


Yup I get this. In this sense I am referring to me as the body. But the question remains... what sort of a relationship do I have with the body. It is me, mine or possibly neither.
If the character and the personality is mine, then how can it be me?
Yes I see this too. In this sense I am referring to me as character and personality.
If thoughts are mine, then how can it be me?
Yes again... thoughts are me. Gosh the list is getting long isn’t it?! So... I am body, character and thoughts. And the I? Well, it feels like I is the sum total of the component parts with the essential emphasis on the body upon which I relies for its existence. But are these feelings or beliefs? I’m not sure. One the one hand, I am all of them. On the other hand, I’m more than them and therefore none of them. I can’t shake the idea that I don’t exist without a body. So I have to be the body. Okay, I get that this a belief but nonetheless a concept I believe so strongly that it seems true of my experience too.

I know you’ll be fed up with me analysing everything here. Sometimes, I’m finding it difficult to feel my way to an answer. Sorry.
We often say ‘MY body’ - so what is it that owns the body?
Instinctively, whatever it is that we call I.
And how do we know that the body is owned?
We don’t. It just appears. Feels like we’re entitled to think we own it.
What is it that claims my body?
The body’s consistent presence makes whatever perceives it believe that it must own it. Okay... conceptually I cannot be the body. But I cannot feel it. I keep reverting to the idea of... no body = no Robbie. I cannot exist without it.
You have clothes, right? But what is owning them?
You refer to what rather than who. Robbie. I so want to call this consciousness but it isn’t investigative enough, feels like a cop out and it’s the sort of nondual speak I am trying to avoid.
What is it that makes the clothes “mine”?
My presumed ‘right’ to them.
What is it that claims the clothes to be MY clothes?
I own them. So, a right.
Does the seeming ‘voice in the head’, the commentator, own the clothes?
The voice says yes. Reason says obviously no.
Does the thought ‘mine’ own the clothes?
The thought does. Reason says obviously no.
Does the word/thought Robbie own the clothes?
Goodness... I’m spinning. The word/thought Robbie does but no!
Does the label on clothes own the clothes?
No. It represents the maker.
Does the label ‘my’ own the body?
No. It represents the body.
Does the label/word/thought Robbie own the body?
No.

I feel... well I am not even sure what I feel or think actually. Shredded is a word that comes to mind. You should know that I have considered these answers for a couple of hours. I have edited them a few times. My viewpoint is in flux. Crazy times. Of course, I want to make progress. But from where to where? None of it is known. Extraordinary experience!

Thanks so much Vivien.

RM

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Vivien
Posts: 7056
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:30 am

Hi Robbie,

The thing is that your answers are intellectual. Meaning that your replies are coming from thinking, and not from looking what is here now in experience.

I know this can be difficult at the beginning, but you have to let go off thinking and trying to figure this out intellectually. That simply doesn’t work. Actually it’s in the way of noticing of what is.

It’s very simple.
But if you go to thinking, it becomes very complicated and conceptual, and several steps away from reality.
I agree, I agree! But Robbie’s existence depends on an alive body doesn’t it?
No, it doesn’t. this is a purely intellectual question and the answer could be only intellectual too. The thing is that you will never be able to figure this out by thinking.

You have to leave the realm of intellect, and just stay with what is here now, BEFORE or UNDER any thoughts.

This one-on-one guiding is very different from a teaching, or from reading any book.
I’m not going to teach you anything, except how to investigate your own experience.
My questions and pointers are not for giving more ideas, or help you to come to your own conclusion. Not at all.
My questions are to help you to see what is here now in this very moment, as it is, WITHOUT ideas, or REGARDLESS of ideas.

So this process can be quite humbling for the intellect :)
You don’t need it.

You have to become like an eight-year old child, who don’t know how these things are.
To become open to not-knowing.
You have to get to the position of not-knowing. Otherwise, you will search for your ideas, and not what is here.
Without not-knowing, I am at the position of already knowing how it is, and I just want validation for it.

But the truth is that we hardly know anything.
And that’s all right. There is a freedom in that.

We are going to start to investigate thoughts. Seeing thoughts clearly is essential part of the inquiry.

It is very important that you never think or ponder on the questions. Rather you actually have to look what you can see in your immediate experience before any thought interpretation.

Please always be thorough with looking. Look repeatedly several times before replying.

What do you do exactly in order to think?
How do you make (or birth) thoughts into existence?


Please be careful not to think about these questions, but actually sit and NOTICE how you think, how you do it exactly. So don’t go to theories, speculations, philosophy, or any learned information. Just notice what is happening here now in the immediacy of your own experience.

Please spend a whole day investigating these questions. Look again and again and again. Even if the answer seems to be clear, look more.

This investigation is about persistent repetition. Looking at the same thing again and again in experience, what brings about the realization.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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robbiemac
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:36 pm

Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby robbiemac » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:34 am

Hi Vivien,

I felt a message of this nature coming.
This investigation is about persistent repetition. Looking at the same thing again and again in experience, what brings about the realization.


This investigation seems to result in me thinking. Just happens this way for me. ‘Looking at the same thing again and again’ has me thinking about it. How to look repeatedly without engaging thought? I’m trying! I’m not rushing my replies. I’m sitting with them for hours. I’m struggling to answer as an eight year old kid and then look at ‘the same thing again and again’. To me, they feel like conflicting instructions. I’m sure they’re not. Just seem that way to me.

I’ll answer the next questions as the eight year old kid, instinctively. Then I’ll keep looking to see if there is any change and reply again later.
What do you do exactly in order to think?
Instinctively... I don’t know. Seemingly nothing. Just happens.
How do you make (or birth) thoughts into existence?
Instinctively... Nothing. They just come.

Now, I’ll spend some hours exploring this further. If you have any further pointers on how to investigate/explore without thought, please let me know.

Appreciating your patience... 🙏🙏🙏

RM

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Vivien
Posts: 7056
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: advaita vedanta lead me to solipsism - please help!

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:40 am

Hi Robbie,

OK, let’s go a step back further. Here is an exercise how to look at thoughts.

This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 5-10 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.

2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.
3. Then wait for the next thought to come.
4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.
5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:
Looking how they come and go, and
Observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

Let me know how it goes.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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