Seeking no self

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BobS
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Seeking no self

Postby BobS » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:09 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I understand intellectually that the self, as we normally view it, cannot exist. And teachers throughout the years have invented various methods for seeing this. But our programming, reinforced by family and society, is powerful, and makes the realization seemingly difficult.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm looking for a guide who is experienced in helping people through the gateless gate. Someone who knows which pointers to use in which situation. Someone who is patient and can help someone who is very sincere about seeing No Self, but needs some guidance.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect that someone will see where my 'stuck points' are, and my blockages, and can help me resolve them. For my part I will give it all I have, and answer questions from direct looking and not from thought. I will stick with it for as long as it takes.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been a meditator for years, and have participated in yoga and Vipassana retreats. I have explored Gurdjieff's self-enquiry, Krishnamurti,
Alan Watts, Rupert Spira, and many others. I have had some unique and valuable experiences, but have not had the final sight of No Self.

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

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warissem
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby warissem » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:13 pm

Hi Bobs

As I read your answers to the preliminary questions, I understand that you have a large background in the inquiry to see the illusion of the self. You understand this but you need to see the truth of it. It is of good help for you to engage to answer from direct experience and not from what you already know. Come to this inquiry with a new born mind, an open mind. Put all your beliefs aside and Look for your own, you need to come with your own answers coming from the source, first hand answers and using your own words.

There are some rules to be followed during the session :

- be 100% honest when giving the answers to the questions
- be engaged in your inquiry till the end of the process.
- check in the forum once a day.

Now, I give to you something to begin with :
Right now, you think that you are a seeker, in reality, awareness is expressing itself as the seeking experience. What is coming up when you read this?

Warissem

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BobS
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby BobS » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:38 pm

Warissem,

Thanks for this. What comes up when I read what you wrote is "Ah, I've heard this so many times before. But my belief in a separate self is not something mental; it's deeply rooted in the body. It's not a belief I can just drop, or see through, or I would have done it years ago."

Bob

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warissem
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby warissem » Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:20 pm

Hi Bobs
“My belief in a separate self is not something mental; it’s deeply rooted in the body”
Let’s be clear about this : a belief, as you know is all about thoughts. “It is deeply rooted in the body” is another thought. Is there resistance to let go the belief in a separate self, to drop it or see through it right now ? That is what you are here in this forum, aren’t you?

Exercice :
1) Look at the table and describe it : the form, the shape, the colors, the texture, the smell, ...
2) Look at the thought "my body" and describe this thought "my body" as you did for the table
3) Look at the thought "I", "me" and write back what you see in direct experience.

NB : give your answers from direct experience : what is seen, heard, smelt, tasted, touched (sensations). A thought is “something” which is not known through the five senses. Just look at what is knowing the thoughts and write back what comes up.

Warissem

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BobS
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby BobS » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:26 am

Hi Warissem,

For your first question: "Is there resistance to let go the belief in a separate self, to drop it or see through right now?' No, I really want to drop it. I have no resistance to seeing its nonexistence.

Exercise:

The table: it's a hard surface, shaped like a desk, with grainy texture and brown color, a few feet high, with slight mahogany smell.

"My body" is a thought which is based on sensations. I can feel my hands and feet and see the whole body when my eyes are open. It is flesh-colored, heavy, able to sense the breeze and hardness of the chair underneath it.

The thought "I" or "me" is a felt sense behind my eyes. Is that a 'feeling', the same way when I feel the wood of the table? No, but it is there all the time.

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warissem
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby warissem » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:19 pm

Hi Bobs
For your first question: "Is there resistance to let go the belief in a separate self, to drop it or see through right now?' No, I really want to drop it. I have no resistance to seeing its nonexistence.
Good.

You have described the table and the body from direct experience (what is known through the five senses) : good job.
The thought "I" or "me" is a felt sense behind my eyes. Is that a 'feeling', the same way when I feel the wood of the table? No, but it is there all the time.
Is it really a felt sense behind your eyes ? What you come up with, is another thought about the thought I or me. You said it is there all the time. Is "I" here all the time outside of thought? Are you driving the show from behind your eyes? LOOK.

"When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?"

NB : you need to learn how to use the quote function

Warissem

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BobS
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby BobS » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:46 am

Is it really a felt sense behind your eyes ? What you come up with, is another thought about the thought I or me. You said it is there all the time. Is "I" here all the time outside of thought? Are you driving the show from behind your eyes? LOOK.

"When you say "I", what does that refer to in direct experience? Please describe in detail – does it have a shape? A size? A quality?"
Hi Warissem,

Is it really a felt sense behind the eyes? Yes. Is it there all the time outside of thought? Yes, during waking time and dream sleep, but not during deep sleep. And it MAY BE just a thought, but it's very real to me. I partially drive the show from behind the eyes. There are things I don't control and things I do. The 'I' has no shape or size, but it has the quality of location.

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warissem
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby warissem » Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:35 pm

Hi Bobs
Is it really a felt sense behind the eyes? Yes. Is it there all the time outside of thought? Yes, during waking time and dream sleep, but not during deep sleep. And it MAY BE just a thought, but it's very real to me. I partially drive the show from behind the eyes. There are things I don't control and things I do. The 'I' has no shape or size, but it has the quality of location.

When you have eyes open, there are (1)appearances : sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations. There are (2) emotions and feelings which are a compound of sensations and thoughts : pleasure, pain, joy, sadness, fear, anger, … There are (3) thoughts and images. There is a (4) knowing principle, awareness, consciousness, presence or whatever it is called. Now where do you place this “felt sense” : is it an appearance ? if so describe it for us. Is it an emotion? if so you can describe the sensations felt in the body. If it is not an appearance nor an emotion nor a feeling then it is a thought or this knowing principle. What do you conclude about this?

You said that you drive the show from behind the eyes. I understand that Bobs is operating strings from behind the eyes. That’s an image of you, isn’t it? Is there really a you or Bobs behind the eyes, LOOK with your eyes open and say what you find.

About you controlling some things and don’t controlling others, let’s find first what is this “I”. You said that “I” has no shape or size, but it has the quality of location. Recognize that something subtle cannot have a location. Why ? Because having a location means to be contained in a form. Look at the air : it fills all the forms but has no location. The form has a location but the air has no location, when the form is broken the air is still here. What comes up when I say there is no you to control things ?

Warissem

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BobS
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby BobS » Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:42 am

When you have eyes open, there are (1)appearances : sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations. There are (2) emotions and feelings which are a compound of sensations and thoughts : pleasure, pain, joy, sadness, fear, anger, … There are (3) thoughts and images. There is a (4) knowing principle, awareness, consciousness, presence or whatever it is called. Now where do you place this “felt sense” : is it an appearance ? if so describe it for us. Is it an emotion? if so you can describe the sensations felt in the body. If it is not an appearance nor an emotion nor a feeling then it is a thought or this knowing principle. What do you conclude about this?
I like your phrase "knowing principle". That is a good description. The I feels like a knowing principle. If you like, you can convince me that it's a thought. But it still feels like me. It's still there all the time.
This morning, I forgot a phone appointment I had with someone, and I immediately felt guilt and shame. There was a real sense that 'I' had let someone down, that I had failed. I looked carefully to see if it was 'just' a thought, and it was. But that didn't change the fact that I felt like a real self who had disappointed someone.

You said that you drive the show from behind the eyes. I understand that Bobs is operating strings from behind the eyes. That’s an image of you, isn’t it? Is there really a you or Bobs behind the eyes, LOOK with your eyes open and say what you find.
Yes, there really is a Bob behind the eyes. It's crazy I know, it's not logical, but it feels real to me.

About you controlling some things and don’t controlling others, let’s find first what is this “I”. You said that “I” has no shape or size, but it has the quality of location. Recognize that something subtle cannot have a location. Why ? Because having a location means to be contained in a form. Look at the air : it fills all the forms but has no location. The form has a location but the air has no location, when the form is broken the air is still here. What comes up when I say there is no you to control things
What comes up when you say there is no you to control things is, I immediately test your claim. I say to myself, "Let's see if I can put my finger on the desk." So I do. And that proves to me that I have control over my finger. And that there is an 'I' who did it. As far as what you say about the air having no location and all that, to me that is all mental logic. Yes, you can probably prove to me that for this reason and that reason the 'I' doesn't exist. You could get me to agree. But then, someone enters this room and says "Bob, "I hate you!' or "I love you" and immediately I feel happy or sad, like a ME. Your logic, while it may be correct, is forgotten. I'm a self.

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warissem
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby warissem » Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:40 pm

Hi Bobs
I like your phrase "knowing principle". That is a good description. The I feels like a knowing principle. If you like, you can convince me that it's a thought. But it still feels like me. It's still there all the time.
This morning, I forgot a phone appointment I had with someone, and I immediately felt guilt and shame. There was a real sense that 'I' had let someone down, that I had failed. I looked carefully to see if it was 'just' a thought, and it was. But that didn't change the fact that I felt like a real self who had disappointed someone.
Yes there is this knowing principle but it is not you. Then there is no one to convince, you have to see it for yourself.
You said “It feels like me” : the me is a thought superimposed on this. This knowing principle is here all the time and its presence does not depend on the name you put on it.

Yes, there really is a Bob behind the eyes. It's crazy I know, it's not logical, but it feels real to me.
You know that it is foolish to say you are camping behind your eyes but you don’t let go the belief. Only sensations are behind your eyes. Are you a sensation ?

What comes up when you say there is no you to control things is, I immediately test your claim. I say to myself, "Let's see if I can put my finger on the desk." So I do. And that proves to me that I have control over my finger. And that there is an 'I' who did it. As far as what you say about the air having no location and all that, to me that is all mental logic. Yes, you can probably prove to me that for this reason and that reason the 'I' doesn't exist. You could get me to agree. But then, someone enters this room and says "Bob, "I hate you!' or "I love you" and immediately I feel happy or sad, like a ME. Your logic, while it may be correct, is forgotten. I'm a self
You said “there is an 'I' who did it” : really, can “I” do something ? or it is your finger which touches the table, can you see that there is no you moving the finger? There is only a functioning of a body : the animal have the same functioning. About the air, it is not a logical construction, you can make the experience by filling bottles with air and break them.
No, no I won’t try to convince you to something or that “I” does not exist. You come in the forum to SEE that there is no you in the first place. The knowing principle or awareness does not need a you. Look and see it for yourself. Let go your beliefs and look with a fresh mind, a new born mind.

About someone entering in the room : the reaction is normal but it is no you reacting, there is happiness or sadness but there is no you to be happy or sad.

This is an exercise to do :

Examples : I am walking vs There is walking or walking is happening
I hear vs hearing is happening

Observe your experiences during some time ( 10' or plus) and write them on using "I" and without using "I". Write back your impressions.

Warissem

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BobS
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby BobS » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:32 am

Examples : I am walking vs There is walking or walking is happening
I hear vs hearing is happening

Observe your experiences during some time ( 10' or plus) and write them on using "I" and without using "I". Write back your impressions.
When I think "I am walking" I sense the world going by, with observation centered in my head. When I say 'walking is happening" there are moments of forgetfulness of the I, but in a few seconds it's back there again.

I hear vs. hearing is happening: When I say I hear there is a more direct connection to myself. When I say Hearing is happening the connection is more subtle, and hard to find but it is still there.

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warissem
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby warissem » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:57 am

Hi Bobs
When I think "I am walking" I sense the world going by, with observation centered in my head. When I say 'walking is happening" there are moments of forgetfulness of the I, but in a few seconds it's back there again.

I hear vs. hearing is happening: When I say I hear there is a more direct connection to myself. When I say Hearing is happening the connection is more subtle, and hard to find but it is still there.

I do my best to help you go through this illusion of a separate self and you don't make the effort to Look for yourself. You are not even doing the exercises I gave to you. You are sitting comfortably and imagine yourself walking or hearing or whatever and give answers. No, no, it does work like that. There are two ways : even you continue the process, stop cheating to yourself and be honest and make the effort necessary or decide to stop this thread.

You have not gone through the exercise, you just imagine it. You said : “when I think “I am walking””. It is of no help for you if you don’t make the effort to do the exercises and LOOK really. It is not an imagination ongoing. It is a direct experience process. I want you to LOOK really at what is “you” in direct experience with the five senses.

If you are ready to continue these are two exercises :

The exercise is to be done in the field : you go for a walk and ask the question : is there I walking ? or is “walking” happening ? when you hear a bird singing, a voice or music, ask a question : is hearing happening without me ? or does it need me to happen ? and so on for the other senses.

Another exercise : give a description of all what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch (sensations) during the next ten minutes.

Warissem

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warissem
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby warissem » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:05 pm

Hi Bobs

You have not answered to questions given in my previous post and they are :

You know that it is foolish to say you are camping behind your eyes but you don’t let go the belief. Only sensations are behind your eyes. Are you a sensation ?


You said “there is an 'I' who did it” : really, can “I” do something ? or it is your finger which touches the table, can you see that there is no you moving the finger? There is only a functioning of a body : the animal have the same functioning. About the air, it is not a logical construction, you can make the experience by filling bottles with air and break them.

Important Rule :

Read the questions and be with them during a day before giving the answers
The answers must come from direct experience
Use the question for each of my question and answer to each question separately.
You need to have faith in what is going on here.

Warissem

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warissem
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby warissem » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:06 pm

Use the quote function for each question

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BobS
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Re: Seeking no self

Postby BobS » Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:36 pm

Hi Warissem,

I see I was not complete in answering your questions, and that left you the wrong impression. You say
You are sitting comfortably and imagine yourself walking or hearing or whatever and give answers.
No, I wasn't sitting. You assumed that. I was walking-- half the day, just for this exercise. Even though you suggested 10 minutes, I didn't feel complete with my answer after 10 minutes-- and after an hour--- and after 2 hours-- so I just kept walking until 5:45 pm. I actually canceled an appointment to keep walking.
You know that it is foolish to say you are camping behind your eyes but you don’t let go the belief. Only sensations are behind your eyes. Are you a sensation ?
I have a tough time with this one. You say the 'I' is a belief. It feels as real as anything to me. I look- and look, and look, and it is still there. I don't know why you say only sensations are behind the eyes. How do you know? If it is true, then yes, the I is a sensation. Just like love, or anger. They are only sensations. Maybe we have inadequate language to express them. But they are real, just as 'I' is real.
You said “there is an 'I' who did it” : really, can “I” do something ? or it is your finger which touches the table, can you see that there is no you moving the finger?
I sat for a few minutes to watch this. I noticed that there was an itch in my eye and a finger moved up to scratch it. There was no planning, or a thought "well, it looks like the eye is itching so I'd better send a finger up there to scratch it." So in that act there was no I. But then I thought "I wonder if I can willfully move my finger." So I did. And THAT act was directed by an I.
The exercise is to be done in the field : you go for a walk and ask the question : is there I walking ? or is “walking” happening ? when you hear a bird singing, a voice or music, ask a question : is hearing happening without me ? or does it need me to happen ? and so on for the other senses.
Once again, I devoted quite a while to this. I was not happy with my answers after 10, or 30 minutes. Is there 'I' walking? For the first few minutes, yes. And the I was constantly complaining "Why do I have to do this? I don't want to do this. There are better things I could be doing." I was noticing birds chirping in the background, and insects moving, but there was still an I in the foreground. Then at one point there was some pretty music coming out of a house. I went into a pleasant daydream, and forgot where I was. A few minutes later the sense of I returned, and with it its burden of complaining and problems. I asked of each sense: is it going on without me? During the daydreaming time the sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell were going on without what I call me. After that it was the 'me' that was noticing them.
A few times during my walk I stopped and talked with neighbors and friends. In conversation I was watching the I. It was active during each encounter.
Another exercise : give a description of all what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch (sensations) during the next ten minutes.
I am seated on a wooden chair. I feel the hard wood under my body. I have a slightly sweet taste in my mouth from the tea I drank a few minutes ago. I notice that the temperature is rather pleasant. I feel these fingers lightly touching the keyboard. I can hear cars outside. Very far away someone is playing the piano, it sounds beautiful. I notice a smudge of dust or something in the lens of my glasses. I feel my back itching; then I feel it being relieved as my hand goes back to scratch it. I feel the hard floor underneath my feet. A very heavy truck just went by, making a lot of noise. I can smell the faint scent of jasmine blossoms outside. Now a gardener somewhere is using a leaf blower, quite loudly. I feel my right foot move up to caress a cold spot on my left thigh. The left thigh feels good from the touch, and the right foot also feels good from the coldness of the skin of the thigh. I notice the hum of the electric wires outside. Hmmm... someone in the neighborhood is making fresh coffee; I can smell it. My nose has a slight itch and I scratch it.


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