I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

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joeynurture
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I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby joeynurture » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:40 am

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I suspect and sometimes see that the 'me' / 'self' concept that was conceived and built on top of being that is based on freely flowing life is false, and it's not something that is natural and given. It binds me and leads me astray and I would like to leave it behind.

What are you looking for at LU?
Most importantly a guide that walks me through this inquiry so I get a "tailored process" to my situation. Following along with others story was helpful in many ways, but I felt there should be followups for my specific experiences to really "get there", as I noticed I have follow-up questions and uncertainties at each step I take (e.g. about addiction, nature of desires and other concepts like this and how they relate to self and no self...). Thank you in advance, whoever will be my guide!

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
The Gateless Gatecrashers book helped "me" a great deal to start the process and progress towards understanding there is no self. I intellectually 'see' the point now, and if in certain moments I really look and try and notice what is going on, I can't find the self. I feel a tingling sensation and peace and easiness and ready to get into the flow of life. It' magical. I'm sure self is just a character, a mesh of experiences and inputs spitting out a manufactured result. That's quite clear - but - I have a couple of issues...while this 'seeing' should (?) be permanent in its effect, a lot of difficult moments can knock me back into some sort of 'general mode', so it's definitely not sticky. I see old modes of being, doing, thinking falling away, I might stay with these flows for a while, but then..I get..immobile, trapped, anxious, a me that is fearful/angry/demanding comes back and dominates my consciousness. I regress in many ways, old habits come back with full force, I get sad and discoureged. So I feel this 'seeing' that I sense in my gut and in my bones, is not complete. The other issue is that I can't seem to get back to "chop wood, carry water" in my day-to-day responsibilities, because my outlook on how I spend my time and earn money is changed, and now I feel lost on what should be the next step, I feel confused on my direction. This process might not be able to help with the second issue, so I'm not sure about that one.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
Vipassana meditation
A lot of reading and 'unguided looking' based on insights learned (eg. Alan Watts)
Research on scientific progress and understanding of consciousness, neurological mapping, multi-modality, no-self etc. (with no great results)
Reading Gateless Gatecrashers

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
8

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Vivien
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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:34 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?
On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
8
Why is 8? What are the remaining 2 points reserved for?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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joeynurture
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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby joeynurture » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:36 am

Hi Vivien!

Thank your for taking the time and be my guide in this process. I really appreciate it.
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?
Yes, I'm ready to commit to these conditions. I'll try to not 'create' answers just examine freely what is going on and type it.
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?
I'm looking for peace. My whole life I have been looking for something, out there, that makes me feel 'right'..this had many different forms of 'bad looking' for 'that thing': striving, looking for external validation, substances, being angry at myself, my past, people who were supposed to love me, expecting love and sex from others (with psychological tricks and nagging and being demanding, like a child), thinking that in the future there will be a point when everything will fall into place and I'll be whole and I just need to do x, y and z things to get there and other people or the universe just needs to do a, b, c things for me first. I spent a lot of time worrying and being anxious about the future, about my self-worth and where my life is going. This was/is an troubled existence, that paralyses the "sufferer", I function and I do things, and I earn a living and I love, but often I feel it's someone else's life and mine will start tomorrow. Sometimes I can and do feel lighter, especially nowadays. I'm looking for a way out of this for good, and I just want to be and I just want to do, I want to experience LIFE and live it, instead of this disoriented way which feels like i'm both stuck in the past and live in the future...or something like this. As an outcome, this lightness and ease that I feel sometimes/on some days that helps me leave this "something is not right" feeling would become permanent.
Do you have an image in mind how seeing through the self-illusion would be like or feel like?
One night this week I was walking home from my office and trying to just be in the moment and really look around me and try and see the rain, the streets, the leaves etc., like for the first time. In a moment I felt a rushing sensation and I started to laugh and I felt joy, and the "cosmic joke" concept popped into my head and I thought I got it. This lasted for a couple of minutes.
Also, when I was younger (I think first at 14-15 then a couple of times onwards) I had these moments when I looked into the bathroom mirror and without asking for it or inviting it I get strong chills in spine and looking into my eyes and seeing into my core (I had no concept of what is happening and I could not name it back then though) and feeling/saying "YOU EXIST" and I could not believe it and I felt weird and free and confused and it was some sort of a mystical experience. Looking back now I think these were moments when I did not see my 'true self' as I thought earlier, rather some sort of "it's just LIFE and there no YOU". Or that's what I hope I felt?
So these are the two moments/experiences I immediately thought of when I've read this question. And I think these are close to what I feel it would be like and the best I can explain for now.
I have to add one side note: "Do you have an image in mind" - maybe the phrasing of this question with these specific words was intentional and important, maybe not, but it can be interesting here that I have 'aphantasia', which mean my "mind's eye" is almost completely blind. I can't visualise things when my eye is closed, I don't dream in pictures/colors, etc. Just white spots on a black background. I've had this ever since I can remember. So when I answered this question I pull things from a 'conceptual memory' and imprinted experiences or feeling, but I cannot actually see or visualize these moments. It might not be relevant, but I'm trying to keep the honesty pledge :)
Why is 8? What are the remaining 2 points reserved for?
When I filled out this form my thought process was something like this:
"There is an 11 in the dropdown when you select, that's silly, it's a 10 scale"
"Hmm I think I'm ready to commit to see this fully, but it's scary..."
"Truly seeing there is no self might further change some things in my life that already feels a bit confusing e.g. how I spend my days, how I earn my money, who I truly want to spend my time with, the changes in these regards would accelerate"
This happened in a couple of seconds, I did not ponder this for long.
So in essence, I fear that things would change, and I would be more: confused, alone, might hurt others, etc. I think that what separates me from 10.

Thank you again! I'm looking forward to the next step.

JN

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Vivien
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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:49 am

Hi,
Thank your for taking the time and be my guide in this process. I really appreciate it.
You are welcome :)

What name would you like me to call you?


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.
I want to experience LIFE and live it, instead of this disoriented way which feels like i'm both stuck in the past and live in the future...
And what if the one how wants to experience life and live it is not what it seems to be? What if life doesn’t happen to anyone? What if all there is is life, as it is, and there is nothing or nobody being separate from it, thus experiencing it and living it?
As an outcome, this lightness and ease that I feel sometimes/on some days that helps me leave this "something is not right" feeling would become permanent.
I hear you. But difficulties of life won’t go away just because of the self is seen through. Similarly, all the emotional wounds we carry won’t go away either. When there isn’t lightness and ease then it’s not just because there is a belief in a self. No. The lack of ease is because we carry emotional wounds, which is there regardless of believing in a self or not.

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.
I'm looking for peace.
I hear you, we all want peace. But 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.

Freedom is feeling all that is here to be felt without the need to run away from them.

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.
I have to add one side note: "Do you have an image in mind" - maybe the phrasing of this question with these specific words was intentional and important, maybe not, but it can be interesting here that I have 'aphantasia', which mean my "mind's eye" is almost completely blind.
This is very interesting, thank you for sharing this. Most people see all sort of internal pictures and movies what we tend to mistake with reality. So I have to keep in mind that you don’t see internal pictures, so I have to adjust my guiding according to that. If I forget it, please remind me again.
and feeling/saying "YOU EXIST"
Yes, you exist, but not in a way you THINK you do. And this is what we are going to investigate.
So in essence, I fear that things would change, and I would be more: confused, alone, might hurt others, etc.
But why would you be more confused? The whole point of this inquiry is to gain clarity of how things actually are.
And why would you be more alone? What makes you think that?
Just because you can see how things actually are, why would you with that seeing hurt others? What makes you think that?
"Truly seeing there is no self might further change some things in my life that already feels a bit confusing e.g. how I spend my days, how I earn my money, who I truly want to spend my time with, the changes in these regards would accelerate"
This might or might not happen. But if it does, probably you won’t have problems with it.

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.

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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joeynurture
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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby joeynurture » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:53 pm

Thanks Vivien for the thoughtful answers and questions!
What name would you like me to call you?
Joey would be good. It's a pseudonym - hope that's not a problem.

Regarding your other comments, a couple of different points came up that are somewhat mixed, so I'll just type as I expand on them in my head...

First, I think I confused my experiences and drives leading up to this point with "why I want to see through the illusion" so in my first answer I mixed my earlier "wants" with where I am now. At this point I don't expect any sudden changes or solutions from 'getting there' and your questions made me realize that. I understand right now that there is no complete peace/bliss/a changed person after this process and reaching these 'states' is not my drive here. So in this sense I don't project a future Joey who is different than me. It's more about getting to the truth, like I had a couple of layers of clothing on me from different conditioning and I want to go naked. I want to experience this beings life that is now "me". So after reading about the process I now understand it's more about noticing and understanding truly that you have clothes on instead of going naked, but I'm a bit confused about this part.
At this point I just somehow know and feel that this (there is no self) is the TRUTH and there no turning back, it's just natural to run the process of internalizing "I is just a label, there is no manager" like a mantra --- yet it feels a bit manufactured to go through exercises in my head to make myself belief. I see where this is going astray - my illusion cannot convince itself to believe it does not exist. So what now?

And what if the one how wants to experience life and live it is not what it seems to be? What if life doesn’t happen to anyone? What if all there is is life, as it is, and there is nothing or nobody being separate from it, thus experiencing it and living it?
The life doesn't happen to anyone part for me brings up emptiness, goalless beings, just floating, without frame or presence. Thus it's frightening. If it does not happen to anyone, how "noone" with a body knows it exists? If I'm just a character, what exactly are all the things that come up intellectually in my mind, what processes generate them? How do I know what is 'natural' and comes from life's flow and what is the self "talking"?
I'm not sure if it's a usual thing in this process, but I really thought I kind of got the whole point before, but now there is a lot more confusion stirring than there was two days ago :) Yes there is still this strong, pulsing feeling in the body, this conviction that the path is right.
I hear you. But difficulties of life won’t go away just because of the self is seen through. Similarly, all the emotional wounds we carry won’t go away either. When there isn’t lightness and ease then it’s not just because there is a belief in a self. No. The lack of ease is because we carry emotional wounds, which is there regardless of believing in a self or not.

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.
Thank you. This is very valuable perspective for some things I could not understand before. There was no expectation that my wounds will be healed (and I'm working on that with separate tools, techniques and inquiry), but the accessibility is a very important point and now I understand that the ease is not just dependent on seeing through the illusion. But, to answer your question later, here is a point where I feel resistance. Based on my experiences where I momentarily "seen through" this I did feel different, and easier. So I'm not saying I expect seeing that there is no self will "free me up". Yet I suspect that it will help me not focus on the manufactured/fake worries (past experiences that focused on ME resurfacing, what happened to ME, who thinks what about ME) and needs (give that to ME, I AM entitled for that, the future ME really wants that, etc.), which creates better conditions for a life lived with more focus on the now, and the actual flow or emotions/presence/body. It will not be a "game", as in something I'm a player in and it has conditions and a framework and I have contestants and I have to win things, but I can step down from the board and just create a new territory..and that sounds like a much more natural and free existence. Does this make sense? Am I wrong in any of this? Is it an expectation? Does this need 'dropping' for progression? If yes, how do I do that?
The falling away of conditioning can last at the end of the organism.
Can you please clarify this or elaborate on this? I have some guesses, but I am not exactly sure what you mean. Thank you!

I hear you, we all want peace. But 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.
Yes, I think this is what I tried to referred to partially in the previous section. I have a lot of emotions tied down into a character, and that affects a lot of my day-to-day moments, my decisions, my worries etc. I want to let go of that (not erased, but acknowledged) and allow of freely flowing experiences. I also understand that this does not mean blocking out the bad, and that's not possible.

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.
I understand this now and it's clear.
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.
This is again where it gets tricky for me. As by this definition I have already 'got it'. Because I truly feel that I've seen this illusion of self and examined what is behind it. Yet in my day-to-day behaviour there are instances where AFTER something happened (e.g. I got extremely embarrassed and anxious after a public speaking scenario that lasted for hours, or an argument that goes on for long and results in not speaking with someone), I clearly see how that moment was affected very heavily by this manufactured character I used to call Me, so for let's say 2 hours I was just completely in the flow, dominated by the voice of a hurt, needy, anxious character that has a dozen attributes I know is built up by years of conditioning and..I don't understand..who is it? why my mind came up with this framing for these events? Then if I acknowledge and remind myself that Self does not exist, I feel more distant from these influences, and I feel more free from this conditioned state and I feel calm. So if there is no slipping in and out of this state, how can this non-existing self can "come back" with such force? So it's hard for me to believe you can't "swim in it" and go with it and explore it more, but rather it's a 0 or 1 and if someone gets to 1 there is no going back. So to go back to the start of this paragraph, I'm either at very much zero and I just thought I'm seeing through the illusion (sometimes), or I'm clearly at 1, just don't understand it yet. Let's assume I'm at 1 now. How do I know that's true?
But why would you be more confused? The whole point of this inquiry is to gain clarity of how things actually are.
And why would you be more alone? What makes you think that?
Just because you can see how things actually are, why would you with that seeing hurt others? What makes you think that?
I think the basis of this is past experiences, e.g. when I had turning points in my life those came with heavy changes, changes that are hard and come with pain for me and others. I have very strong "pain avoidance" by nature, at least it seems like that's the case. There is also a strong assumption that after seeing through the illusion I somehow be "more myself", and that would be more raw, and spontaneous, and selfish (I understand that's a contradiction, but selfish in a societal judgement meaning). So I assume that seeing the truth would bring out the things where the ME is lying now and it would be a painful transition to the next phase of my life. But I also understand (yet a bit sceptical), that seeing that the self does not exist won't bring all these changes, or simply we don't know, and I won't be a "changed person".
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.

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.
I understand what you asking me to do, but to me this feels incredibly difficult. To just drop everything in my head about this and start seeing things fresh. I've tried to sum up in my head:
"Knowing how it will be is not possible, because it's the You that is trying to predict to see through the You. Therefore You cannot imagine how things are going to be after. Drop all expectations"
I am going to work on this until your next message. But as I'm reading this and reading it again I have a strong sensation in my body, like small explosions going out from my gut all over my nervous system. It's like I'm ready to expand. I can't explain it better. And the more I concentrate on BEING, the more I feel it. I can't separate this repeated phenomenon from this process. Shall I?
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?
Yes, I'll stop reading and watching spiritual and other materials that touch on the concepts we discuss and will focus on my experiences only.
Do you feel ready to start the investigation?
The first thing that popped in to my mind: didn't we already start? :)

So my answer is: Yes, I feel ready.

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Vivien
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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:10 am

Hi Joey,
It's more about getting to the truth, like I had a couple of layers of clothing on me from different conditioning and I want to go naked. I want to experience this beings life that is now "me". So after reading about the process I now understand it's more about noticing and understanding truly that you have clothes on instead of going naked, but I'm a bit confused about this part.
This being naked or having cloths on are a good analogy of what we are going to do here. Even under cloths we are always naked :) so the sense of “I am” or “I exist” is always here, but we are attached all sort of things to it, like the body, feelings, thoughts, and all sort of beliefs we are identifying ourselves to be. So instead of being able to see our naked existence, we believe that we are the cloths that we put on. So we take ourselves to be what we are not.
At this point I just somehow know and feel that this (there is no self) is the TRUTH and there no turning back, it's just natural to run the process of internalizing "I is just a label, there is no manager" like a mantra --- yet it feels a bit manufactured to go through exercises in my head to make myself belief. I see where this is going astray - my illusion cannot convince itself to believe it does not exist. So what now?
Exactly. You cannot convince yourself to be ‘naked’ and not being your clothing. No matter how much you repeat this to yourself (as a mantra) it won’t change your misconceptions about yourself. The only thing that can change it is to actually discover in experience that you are not your clothing.
The life doesn't happen to anyone part for me brings up emptiness, goalless beings, just floating, without frame or presence. Thus it's frightening. If it does not happen to anyone, how "noone" with a body knows it exists? If I'm just a character, what exactly are all the things that come up intellectually in my mind, what processes generate them? How do I know what is 'natural' and comes from life's flow and what is the self "talking"?
These are just stories and assumptions based on the idea that I am my clothing (I am a separate self).
It's not that you don’t exist at all, rather you are not what you believe or think yourself to be. But you are. Just not as your clothing.
Does this need 'dropping' for progression? If yes, how do I do that?
ALL expectations are in a way. Why? If you have an expectation you are going to search for the thing or the experience you expect. Thus the simplicity of the here and now experience can be missed, since you are after something else.
Because I truly feel that I've seen this illusion of self and examined what is behind it. Yet in my day-to-day behaviour there are instances where AFTER something happened (e.g. I got extremely embarrassed and anxious after a public speaking scenario that lasted for hours, or an argument that goes on for long and results in not speaking with someone), I clearly see how that moment was affected very heavily by this manufactured character I used to call Me, so for let's say 2 hours I was just completely in the flow, dominated by the voice of a hurt, needy, anxious character that has a dozen attributes I know is built up by years of conditioning and..I don't understand..who is it? why my mind came up with this framing for these events?
Yes, exactly this is how this goes. And even AFTER the self is seen through. Why? It’s because of all the emotional baggage we carry. Those emotional pains carry a sense of self with them. So when they are triggered, the me feels to be more real again. This is the conditionings I talked about.
V: The falling away of conditioning can last at the end of the organism.
J: Can you please clarify this or elaborate on this? I have some guesses, but I am not exactly sure what you mean. Thank you!
Your above example is one of the many conditionings you carry around. And these won’t vanish when the self is seen through… these needs to be addressed later. And we’ve got so many, that it can take years, or sometimes a lifetime to fall away.
So it's hard for me to believe you can't "swim in it" and go with it and explore it more, but rather it's a 0 or 1 and if someone gets to 1 there is no going back.
You see, this is already a belief or an expectation that after the self is seen through, it will never ever be taken for real any more. This is true in the long run, but not at the beginning. In the beginning there are lots of flip-flopping. Every time there is a trigger, there is a flopping back and the seeming self is there again. However, when you stop and investigate you can see that there is nothing there at the core.
I think the basis of this is past experiences, e.g. when I had turning points in my life those came with heavy changes, changes that are hard and come with pain for me and others. I have very strong "pain avoidance" by nature, at least it seems like that's the case. There is also a strong assumption that after seeing through the illusion I somehow be "more myself", and that would be more raw, and spontaneous, and selfish (I understand that's a contradiction, but selfish in a societal judgement meaning). So I assume that seeing the truth would bring out the things where the ME is lying now and it would be a painful transition to the next phase of my life. But I also understand (yet a bit sceptical), that seeing that the self does not exist won't bring all these changes, or simply we don't know, and I won't be a "changed person".
I’m going to be honest with you. This is just a story that you tell yourself to frighten yourself. Just drop it. And how? Just notice when this story appears, and just let them go. If it comes again, notice it again, and let it go on its own accord. Noticing it to be only a thought is what helps for it to go. It’s the same with all expectation.
I understand what you asking me to do, but to me this feels incredibly difficult. To just drop everything in my head about this and start seeing things fresh. I've tried to sum up in my head:
"Knowing how it will be is not possible, because it's the You that is trying to predict to see through the You. Therefore You cannot imagine how things are going to be after. Drop all expectations"
I am going to work on this until your next message.
You are trying to talk yourself into seeing it. But this won’t help. You cannot talk yourself into this. Since that’s just more thoughts. Reality is underneath all thoughts. You have to see what is underneath all these stories. That’s the way to go.
The first thing that popped in to my mind: didn't we already start? :)
Not really, we just had an everyday conversation so far. But now we are going to start it :)

Sit for a while, and just notice how thoughts come and go.

Is there anything you do for thoughts to come and go, or they happen totally on their own?

Are you thinking thoughts (making them to come), or you are just aware of them when they are ALREADY present?


Please spend a whole day investigating this again and again before you reply.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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joeynurture
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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby joeynurture » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:26 pm

Thank you for your answers and responses on my thoughts and questions. These concepts are much more clear now. Especially the flip-flopping part, what happens when the self is seen through (conditioning don’t go away immediately) and why dropping all expectations are necessary.

To answer your questions:
Thoughts come and go naturally, and there is no “originator” I can explain or point to who conjures them or thinks them. I don’t think it’s ME but I don’t think it’s a character either. They are just coming from deep down, an unknown place. At first when I examine if I can control them I get the impression I can - for example, “I want to think about my father” and then some thoughts about him appear “on command” - yet it becomes very evident on next thought that I had no control over what I wanted think about, that “for example” was not under my control. It just came out of nowhere. It’s confusing to think about where exactly it came from - deep desires, imprints, todos, needs, all the things that are layered on the “naked mind” (?) spark them? I don’t know. But it’s clear that something is pushes them forward from Zero and it’s no Joey that governs them. It’s all a bit frightening if I keep thinking about it and go deeper. Loss of identity. Loss of control. But it’s all been like this before, now I just start to see it more clearly, that that’s the way it works.

Specifically bad/negative thoughts (e.g. I’m not good friend enough, not a good brother enough, not a good son enough) creep in very fast and unexpectedly and strongly and in those instances now I’m confused - where they come from? it’s not ME as in - the true being, it must be coming from somewhere, but that somewhere or someone is not very nice to me and rather malevolent…so where do these “conditioned”, “hurt" thoughts come from?

So yeah, I’m mostly just aware that the thoughts are just present and I have no control over them. The thought flow sometimes “melds together” in my mind if I don’t consciously look at them and note: “Oh yeah this thought came up on its own out of nowhere, without having any control over it”, and if I don’t do that it has the power to take over a bit and become “default thinking” , something like “me talking” and my presence becomes one with the thoughts and they wash me over until I notice what is happening, again (sometimes it takes an hour or two). Is that the manufactured self taking over? Or is that the non-duality manifesting? I’m getting confused again.
Yet when there is constant attention on thoughts , distance is created from them. I understand that I cannot control my thoughts and I think I also understand there is no entity in me that controls these separately, but here I get a bit less confident (do I really understand that? or I'm just convincing myself that I do?).

These are all the things that came up since reading your questions and spending time looking at my thoughts come and go.

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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:41 am

Hi Joey,
Thoughts come and go naturally, and there is no “originator” I can explain or point to who conjures them or thinks them. I don’t think it’s ME but I don’t think it’s a character either. They are just coming from deep down, an unknown place. At first when I examine if I can control them I get the impression I can - for example, “I want to think about my father” and then some thoughts about him appear “on command” - yet it becomes very evident on next thought that I had no control over what I wanted think about, that “for example” was not under my control. It just came out of nowhere.
Nice looking.
It’s confusing to think about where exactly it came from - deep desires, imprints, todos, needs, all the things that are layered on the “naked mind” (?) spark them? I don’t know.
This is just a speculation, which appears as thoughts too.

Just notice, if you are thinking these thoughts about trying to explain how, or they also just happen?
t’s all a bit frightening if I keep thinking about it and go deeper. Loss of identity. Loss of control. But it’s all been like this before, now I just start to see it more clearly, that that’s the way it works.
Yes, this is how it’s always been.

But what is it exactly here now that could lose identify?
And what could lose control?

What is it in this very moment that needs an identity?
What is it in this very moment that wants to have control?

Specifically bad/negative thoughts (e.g. I’m not good friend enough, not a good brother enough, not a good son enough) creep in very fast and unexpectedly and strongly and in those instances now I’m confused - where they come from? it’s not ME as in - the true being, it must be coming from somewhere, but that somewhere or someone is not very nice to me and rather malevolent…so where do these “conditioned”, “hurt" thoughts come from?
Just notice that it’s also just a speculation. Including the ‘malevolent’ part.

How do you know that these thoughts come from anywhere? Isn’t just another thought suggest a source, a source that cannot be found in reality?

Are you thinking these thoughts of ‘malevolent’? Or it’s also just happens on its own?

and if I don’t do that it has the power to take over a bit and become “default thinking”
So you have control over thoughts? Are you sure?
Is there any control over thoughts? Any at all? Or all of them just happens automatically, without someone or something making them happen?
my presence becomes one with the thoughts
MY presence? What is it that has presence? What owns presence?
Where is the thing here now that HAS a presence?
Is that the manufactured self taking over? Or is that the non-duality manifesting? I’m getting confused again.
The thing is that you are relying on speculation more than on investigating your immediate experience. This is not something that can be think through. Seeing how things are cannot come from thinking, only from looking at experience here now.

There is nowhere else to look, but here now.
The real answer never comes from a thought.

I understand that I cannot control my thoughts and I think I also understand there is no entity in me that controls these separately, but here I get a bit less confident (do I really understand that? or I'm just convincing myself that I do?).
Seeing that there is no control over thoughts is not coming from intellectual understanding. Rather it’s coming from literally seeing in experience that thoughts just come and go with zero control over them.

There is a big difference between intellectual understanding and experiential recognition of being it a fact.

Please investigate each questions very thoroughly. Don’t just think about the answers, but rather check your immediate experience here now. Please reply to all questions 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: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby joeynurture » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:04 pm

It’s confusing to think about where exactly it came from - deep desires, imprints, todos, needs, all the things that are layered on the “naked mind” (?) spark them? I don’t know.
This is just a speculation, which appears as thoughts too.

Just notice, if you are thinking these thoughts about trying to explain how, or they also just happen?
They (also) just happen and I don’t know where they come from. Earlier I would have said that I consciously conjure them, but now I’m not so sure. This is a really good question. One can get into some sort of a loop in mind…they just happen, but where do they come from? and where did THAT thought come from? You could do that forever. That also scares me and a rush of anxiety comes. There is still a strong need present to understand where they come from, but now there is clarity that I have no control over them and this need and the thoughts this need generates. So I understand having that need and turning it into a question is also not controlled by ‘Me’.
t’s all a bit frightening if I keep thinking about it and go deeper. Loss of identity. Loss of control. But it’s all been like this before, now I just start to see it more clearly, that that’s the way it works.
Yes, this is how it’s always been.

But what is it exactly here now that could lose identify?
And what could lose control?

What is it in this very moment that needs an identity?
What is it in this very moment that wants to have control?

Loss of identity - I have a being, whatever we call it, a character, but that has relations in the world, even if it’s made up, it “exists” at least in other people’s mind and within a framework of system, for a community, for a government etc. That being can disappear or change dramatically, and that would have profound effect on people who rely on that being. It is possible to imagine a future where there is no interconnection and reliance with an external system and in that imagined scenario there is no fear from loss of identity and control. So it is possible.

Loss of control - There has been a strong understanding about this topic in me for a long time that no one has control over what is happening. I know this consciously, intellectually, but there might be no real belief, there might be no real trust in that insight. So…I’m not sure. Illusion of control by this character of Joey would be lost?

What is it in this very moment that needs an identity? What is it in this very moment that wants to have control?

What needs identity and control..The being who wants to be loved, accepted, supported and thinks that others need a Character to love so that become a reality. This being needs some sort of control over the Character, the surroundings, the ‘rules of the game’ to make these needs fulfilled. Lack of identity and lack of control for this character is emptiness combined with fear and pain.
And now the next moment I looked into these questions again and I feel emptiness and deep, deep sadness. I need to take a break before I move onto the next questions. The body feels like “expanding” again.
Specifically bad/negative thoughts (e.g. I’m not good friend enough, not a good brother enough, not a good son enough) creep in very fast and unexpectedly and strongly and in those instances now I’m confused - where they come from? it’s not ME as in - the true being, it must be coming from somewhere, but that somewhere or someone is not very nice to me and rather malevolent…so where do these “conditioned”, “hurt" thoughts come from?
Just notice that it’s also just a speculation. Including the ‘malevolent’ part.

How do you know that these thoughts come from anywhere? Isn’t just another thought suggest a source, a source that cannot be found in reality?

Are you thinking these thoughts of ‘malevolent’? Or it’s also just happens on its own?

I understand it is speculation now and an intellectual inquiry that is not helpful in this process. It is really hard to comprehend and resist the “they come from somewhere” notion. I don’t know they come from somewhere, but it’s hard to accept that possibly there is no source. There must be an explanation. Where does the strong need to explain this come from? No idea. Do I have to accept that the source is unknown, or maybe there is no source? The zero, spark points of thoughts are…not based in reality?

The malevolent judgement thought is also something that I thought I conjured up yesterday. It was MY judgement in that moment, at least felt like it. There was a strong need to explain away how all this can happen and why pain and confusion is happening. So I rationalized and tried to find a “clever explanation”. I thought I controlled that process. I felt some ‘badness’ that required explanation. It’s hard to say it happened on its own. If I focus my attention on a problem, it feels like thoughts will attack that problem, which is somewhat directed. I don’t force them, yet I can’t help but feel I affected them. I can now think I want to think about ducks flying and I hear some quacking and can state ducks like water and all this stuff. I had no control over this decision? If we accept that, we would need to accept there is no free will, right? Now I want to think about puppies. So all this information about puppies flow in my head, was that not in my control to come up with that direction of thoughts? If not, then it all needed to be predetermined by an unknown force, is it not? I know this is intellectual, yet I cannot separate these notions from the question of … “can you control them?” If I don’t try to understand this and just accept “it just the way it is” that feels unnatural to me. Maybe I’m going in circles here..sorry about that.
And you see, here is the weird thing. This apology, the thought and need for it - where did that come from? In that instance I feel I had zero control over that. And for this reason a “natural” explanation for me is that there are two modes: a “conscious, somewhat directed thinking” and an “uncontrollable, default mode” - in the latter I truly see there is no 'thinker'. That is what my current experience is telling me.
and if I don’t do that it has the power to take over a bit and become “default thinking”
So you have control over thoughts? Are you sure?
Is there any control over thoughts? Any at all? Or all of them just happens automatically, without someone or something making them happen?

I touched on this in my last answer. In most cases there is a strong feeling that there I have no control over them. Yet in some specific cases I feel I do have some control. As I’m typing this I’m torn between wanting to think that I don’t and the belief that I do. Hard to shake it. Now I look down on my hands typing and try to command myself STOP ALL THOUGHTS. And it works to some extent. There is just emptiness for a couple of seconds. So isn't that a possibility that I do have some control over them?
Also, when I specifically LOOK at thoughts and label them, and observe consistently, I feel “I” am in control, at least my awareness is focused on what is happening and there is not a ‘mindless’ mode. In some case like this I feel that I understand what is happening and I’m not in “auto pilot mode” and I can 'nudge' my thoughts.
my presence becomes one with the thoughts
MY presence? What is it that has presence? What owns presence?
Where is the thing here now that HAS a presence?

In this context the presence is the being. My body. The freely flowing energy. The oneness. I know these are just words reflecting different concepts. I don’t think I own that presence, but something must exist (at least physically?) they types all this right now. If I don’t observe my thoughts and deliberately pay attention to them, these thoughts come out naturally, and I feel like they are coming from THAT BEING naturally, and I don’t know if that’s a character, or just life manifesting. If I start observing it I feel I have some control, if I don’t, I feel it’s coming out of nowhere. Does this make sense?
Is that the manufactured self taking over? Or is that the non-duality manifesting? I’m getting confused again.
The thing is that you are relying on speculation more than on investigating your immediate experience. This is not something that can be think through. Seeing how things are cannot come from thinking, only from looking at experience here now.

There is nowhere else to look, but here now.
The real answer never comes from a thought.

Thank you for this part, and overall for your thoughtful guidance and questions. I feel gratitude for your volunteered time.

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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby joeynurture » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:08 pm

Since I would like to follow your instructions as they are intended, but I'm not sure about this, can you please clarify when you say

"Please reply to all questions one by one."

Does this mean I should observe myself about each and every question separately and type out answers as they come and then move on to the next question? eg.

"So you have control over thoughts? Are you sure?
Is there any control over thoughts? Any at all?"

This might be 'four steps' going down this one path of trying to observe control and I kind of lumped them together and maybe pondered them in 'two steps' max. So maybe I was missing some 'depth'...?

Thank you.

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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby Vivien » Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:48 am

Hi Joey,
Since I would like to follow your instructions as they are intended, but I'm not sure about this, can you please clarify when you say

"Please reply to all questions one by one."

Does this mean I should observe myself about each and every question separately and type out answers as they come and then move on to the next question? eg.
The way you replied was OK. The reason why I asked to look at each questions carefully and reply to them one by one, since these are ALL pointers for you where you look.
This might be 'four steps' going down this one path of trying to observe control and I kind of lumped them together and maybe pondered them in 'two steps' max. So maybe I was missing some 'depth'...?
Yes, you missed the depth, but not because of the way you replied to the questions. Rather because most of your reply is coming from thinking and not investigating experience as it is, UNDERNEATH thoughts.

Thinking is a total dead-end. Why? Because the illusion itself is created by thoughts. You cannot find reality IN thoughts. Reality is underneath all thinking. Reality is what is left, what remains when you stop thinking about it.

And since you have this strong inclination of thinking it through and making logical conclusions, I’m not going to reply to everything you wrote, and will cut down the number of questions I’m going to give you.
One can get into some sort of a loop in mind…they just happen, but where do they come from? and where did THAT thought come from? You could do that forever. That also scares me and a rush of anxiety comes. There is still a strong need present to understand where they come from, but now there is clarity that I have no control over them and this need and the thoughts this need generates. So I understand having that need and turning it into a question is also not controlled by ‘Me’.
But this understanding is intellectual. Which is unfortunately not enough.

You have to be able to SEE it in the moment when these thoughts appear, otherwise it will stay on the intellectual level.

There is a big difference between understanding something intellectually, and actually seeing it in experience to be the fact of reality.

What we are doing here is to question your thoughts. If thoughts are actually telling the truth, or they are just made-up stories floating around in loops.
There is still a strong need present to understand where they come from
Is there an I here that actually NEED to understand where thoughts come from? Or only thoughts pretend that there is a I somewhere who has this need?

Don’t go to thinking… let’s thoughts go just for a few minutes.

Rather look here now… is there an I in this very moment with a strong need to know? Or there are only thoughts ABOUT an I, but without an actual I in reality?

Remember, looking can happen only here-now in the present experience.
Thinking is not looking.
Thoughts just another objects appearing here and now.
Reality is not in thoughts.
Reality is what remains when all thoughts are ignored.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby Vivien » Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:57 am

Hi Joey,

Your comments inspired me to write a blog post about seeking for answers.

Here it is, enjoy:
https://fadingveiling.com/2020/10/01/se ... r-answers/

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby joeynurture » Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:40 pm

Hello Vivien,

Thank you for you comments, again. I’ve read them and the blog post once, but I want to do that again a couple of times and try to create space/time for myself to follow the insights and explore and See (instead of intellectual work). I cannot do that today so I will need a couple of days probably before my next post.

JN

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Vivien
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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby Vivien » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:39 am

All right, thank you for letting me know.

Have a nice day,
Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Vivien
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Re: I'm starting to sense what is not there, but I don't think I'm fully there

Postby Vivien » Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:54 am

Hi Joey,

How things are going? Are you still with me?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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