Clarity

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:19 am

Hi Jon,

Thanks for the exercise. I still have to find some time to get outside to try it. I’ll report back when I get the chance to do it.

Who, or better still, what, is 'doing the investigation'? Find that one.

Who or, what is experiencing the experience of inquiry?... Of being somehow 'separate' from experience?

There’s an assumption or thought story about a me here doing the investigation and experiencing it, but the separate entity is never noticed, never detected, never known.

Even the doing itself is a thought story about things getting done I think.

There’s nothing known to exist that is separate from experience.

The illusion is so strange.

Sight, sound, sensations, smell, taste, thoughts are very obviously known to exist. Easily, 100% confirmable and very clear. But the separate self isn’t.

It’s strange why the illusion persists when there really isn’t anything here to “believe” it.

The best I can come up with is attention getting caught up in the thought story, but attention is not a separate entity that believes things or controls anything.

I guess if there really was a separate entity, the experience wouldn’t be like this. Somehow, the illusion is taken to be real. But I don’t know by who or what or why.

Recently I’ve been noticing that the illusion seems to come back stronger sometimes after I’ve had a period of relatively successful (I think!) looking. When the illusion is strong, it seems like I can’t do “looking” as easily.


Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:20 pm

Hi Allen
. There’s an assumption or thought story about a me here doing the investigation and experiencing it, but the separate entity is never noticed, never detected, never known.

Even the doing itself is a thought story about things getting done I think.

There’s nothing known to exist that is separate from experience.

The illusion is so strange.

Sight, sound, sensations, smell, taste, thoughts are very obviously known to exist. Easily, 100% confirmable and very clear. But the separate self isn’t.

It’s strange why the illusion persists when there really isn’t anything here to “believe” it.

The best I can come up with is attention getting caught up in the thought story, but attention is not a separate entity that believes things or controls anything.

I guess if there really was a separate entity, the experience wouldn’t be like this. Somehow, the illusion is taken to be real. But I don’t know by who or what or why
This is all very good investigation. Well done. I think you have been reading other threads on the forum? That's OK and it has obviously helped you to look. Looking is the key. Not intellectualising. Not taking on new beliefs but challenging those already held.

Yes, do find the time for my suggested exercise.
. Recently I’ve been noticing that the illusion seems to come back stronger sometimes after I’ve had a period of relatively successful (I think!) looking. When the illusion is strong, it seems like I can’t do “looking” as easily.
In the end it isn't about a looker looking. It's simply 'seeing'. You may start to notice that seeing (the illusion, no self) happens as it happens. Where is the looker, looking, then?

What is 'seeing' no self?

What is doing the seeing?

Is it simply happening?

What is identified with thought-story?

Is the illusion or thought-story 'separate' or different from no self?


Great work Allen


:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:15 am

Hi Jon,

This is all very good investigation. Well done. I think you have been reading other threads on the forum? That's OK and it has obviously helped you to look.

Thanks for the encouragement. I actually haven't read any other threads on the forum since we had the discussion about the different inquiry styles. I appreciate how you guide me to look for myself. I've just been spending more time looking with your questions before replying.

I think some things that I’ve read previously are coming up in my experience or are starting to make sense.


Nature Exercise

This one was very cool. Wow.

Trees, dogs, insects, people, the breeze, the sky, the clouds, the smell of the outdoors, my thoughts about this exercise and no distance between a “me” and all of this experience.

Looking for the distance or line between “me” and the experience collapsed any sense of location. Without a “me” that usually seems to be located in the middle, there was just no point of reference for locating anything. Couldn’t tell where anything was, but everything was there. No separate me. There’s just this experience that’s “self-aware”.

Not quite sure how to relate this back to the whirlpools. I guess we’re all just part of one whole experience at different places, but I can’t even tell what location is any more.

In the end it isn't about a looker looking. It's simply 'seeing'. You may start to notice that seeing (the illusion, no self) happens as it happens. Where is the looker, looking, then?

The looker can never be found even though it's assumed there is one.

What is 'seeing' no self?
What is doing the seeing?

Nothing is seeing or doing the seeing. But thoughts will make it seem like there's a "me" doing something. Attention moves around, but nothing can be found that is in control of it.

Is it simply happening?

Yes, but I think I only know this intellectually. Or at least thoughts are saying this!
I think I need more careful looking into how thinking/thoughts happen and how things are done. I'm not that clear on it, even though I can't find the thinker or doer.

What is identified with thought-story?

Nothing. It’s just here by itself. I think I just assumed there was a "me" identifying with it. I don't think I have looked at the thought-story closely enough.

Is the illusion or thought-story 'separate' or different from no self?

I thought it was before. That the illusion would collapse or I could somehow get away from it. But the illusion is not separate. The "truth" of the illusion is no self.

I've had a lot of resistance and expectations with regards to the illusion/thought-story and no self lately.

I realized I've been trying to push the illusion away or escape from it. Worrying that I'll keep getting caught in it and then trying to see things in another way to escape.

I somehow got the expectation that the illusion should disappear and I should get or move towards some kind of "pure" experience with zero sense of separation and no sense of me at all. (Which the exercise you suggested sort of gave me!)

I guess this is a hindrance. And where is the me that is worrying about all this and having the expectations anyways. It seems like I should just face the illusion and investigate it without fearing it.

Thanks!

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:44 pm

hello Allen,

I am sorry to have been out of touch. We went away on a short holiday and I didnt dream that there would be no wifi or charging for my mobile!

Even now I have about five minutes of wifi before I'll be disconnected. I was able only to glance at your post but it looks good. But I must simply apologise and say I'll write tomorrow as soon as I am home and able to do it.

Best wishes
Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:06 am

No worries, Jon. My post was only from yesterday. Enjoy your vacation!

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:57 pm

Hi Allen,

At last. I'm home and can read your post properly!
. I appreciate how you guide me to look for myself. I've just been spending more time looking with your questions before replying.
I'm really glad to hear this. Looking for yourself is exactly what's needed and you're doing it!
. I think some things that I’ve read previously are coming up in my experience or are starting to make sense.
That can happen.
Nature Exercise

This one was very cool. Wow.

Trees, dogs, insects, people, the breeze, the sky, the clouds, the smell of the outdoors, my thoughts about this exercise and no distance between a “me” and all of this experience.

Looking for the distance or line between “me” and the experience collapsed any sense of location. Without a “me” that usually seems to be located in the middle, there was just no point of reference for locating anything. Couldn’t tell where anything was, but everything was there. No separate me. There’s just this experience that’s “self-aware”.

Not quite sure how to relate this back to the whirlpools. I guess we’re all just part of one whole experience at different places, but I can’t even tell what location is any more.

Brilliant! Yes. Don't worry about the whirlpools metaphor. It could be confusing and it isn't important. What is much more important is noticing that it's impossible to tell what location is any more. Very cool.
. Is it simply happening?

Yes, but I think I only know this intellectually. Or at least thoughts are saying this!
I think I need more careful looking into how thinking/thoughts happen and how things are done. I'm not that clear on it, even though I can't find the thinker or doer.
It's good that you mention this. Very helpful.

Yes. Thoughts tend to say a lot of things. But it is very interesting how things are seen in the Nature Experiment. Not being able to find location and yet everything was (is) going on anyway.

It may not be that you need to work really hard to look at this, but just notice, quite easily, how things are going on, including awareness of everything that happens. Does 'someone' have to produce extra consciousness or awareness in order to notice what's happening right now already?
. somehow got the expectation that the illusion should disappear and I should get or move towards some kind of "pure" experience with zero sense of separation and no sense of me at all. (Which the exercise you suggested sort of gave me!)

I guess this is a hindrance. And where is the me that is worrying about all this and having the expectations anyways. It seems like I should just face the illusion and investigate it without fearing it.
Yes! That's right. But if it turns out that there is an obstructive amount of fear just let me know. We will be able to work at that, if it's necessary

Good luck! Your attitude is very definite and positive. Keep going!

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:13 am

Hi Jon,

Thanks for the encouragement!

I find it harder to do the nature exercise indoors for some reason. It’s harder to get the same experience. I find it a lot easier in wide open spaces outside.

It may not be that you need to work really hard to look at this, but just notice, quite easily, how things are going on, including awareness of everything that happens. Does 'someone' have to produce extra consciousness or awareness in order to notice what's happening right now already?

You’re right Jon. Looking/noticing is easy. Either something is there or it’s not. Simple! I just got caught up in intellectualizing and thoughts complicating things. No one has to produce extra consciousness or awareness to notice things that are happening. Things that are happening are known by themselves. Everything that exists is known by itself.

Yes! That's right. But if it turns out that there is an obstructive amount of fear just let me know. We will be able to work at that, if it's necessary

Thanks. Yeah, there was some fear of the illusion of “me”. It seems like a solid me is really there. But upon further investigation of course nothing solid is ever found. Just some sensations, imaginations and thoughts. Even thoughts are not really “real”. An imaginary me, thinking imaginary things.

It’s like a mirage. Not really there. I guess that’s why it’s called an illusion...duh..haha...It’s not real. Don’t know why I didn’t really look at it this way before.

So is the plan basically to continue trying and failing to find the separate “me” until some type of realization sets in?

Some Intellectualizing

I had a bit of an experience last week that I initially dismissed as just a bunch of intellectualizing. But somehow, now I feel like I want to run it by you just in case. If it’s not important, just let me know.

I was thinking about the investigation and my experience and how everything that exists is known without a separate self or knower. And it is also known that this knowing is happening. In other words awareness being aware of itself. I had learned about this concept before I began the inquiry here and how everything can be kind of reduced to this. Everything that exists is just this “awareness being aware of itself” in different forms but not separate.

Now I was able to see and experience this concept. I started to feel grateful about everything that existed, even negative things and suffering as it is all just existence. It felt great to exist. To just be. And to not be separate from anything. To feel fulfilled. Without having to do anything. I felt very accepting of everything. Grateful for existence.

I sat there enjoying this for a while. But afterwards I dismissed it as intellectualizing and just some good feeling thoughts. Should I not think too much about this?

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:27 am

Hi Allen
. I find it harder to do the nature exercise indoors for some reason. It’s harder to get the same experience. I find it a lot easier in wide open spaces outside.
Having recently returned from a trip to the Lake District in England I completely agree. Wide open natural spaces, or maybe even dense natural environments too, such as jungle are wonderful places to try this. And it isn't too much an exercise, once it's seen, as simply noticing no separation. But yes, trying it indoors may not work so well. Have you noticed how many of our social interactions and daily routines tend to involve thinking or speaking in terms of 'separation'?
. It’s like a mirage. Not really there. I guess that’s why it’s called an illusion...duh..haha...It’s not real. Don’t know why I didn’t really look at it this way before
Never too late 😊.
. So is the plan basically to continue trying and failing to find the separate “me” until some type of realization sets in?
This is usually how it works. But don't hold your breath for some magical realisation. You're doing fine as it is. 'Realisation' is a word. The quest for one of these can become some sort of holy grail and then actually stand in the way of the very simple but beautiful noticings or awareness that you have been describing. But you yourself are actually leading your own inquiry and there's still some things to look at that you have bought up...
. . I started to feel grateful about everything that existed, even negative things and suffering as it is all just existence. It felt great to exist. To just be. And to not be separate from anything. To feel fulfilled. Without having to do anything. I felt very accepting of everything. Grateful for existence.

I sat there enjoying this for a while. But afterwards I dismissed it as intellectualizing and just some good feeling thoughts. Should I not think too much about this?
There's no need to avoid thoughts.( 'Who' would do that anyway? 😂).

But what you describe doesn't sound just intellectual at all? Maybe there's been a habit of intellectualising and maybe this will continue to feature, but seeing is seeing. If it's seen for what it is (a kind of narration or ongoing story) then fine.
. It felt great to exist. To just be. And to not be separate from anything. To feel fulfilled. Without having to do anything. I felt very accepting of everything. Grateful for existence.
This in particular is wonderful and natural. Maybe intellect can't make this happen and can't prevent it from happening either?

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:35 am

Hi Jon,
. It felt great to exist. To just be. And to not be separate from anything. To feel fulfilled. Without having to do anything. I felt very accepting of everything. Grateful for existence.
This in particular is wonderful and natural. Maybe intellect can't make this happen and can't prevent it from happening either?

Awesome.

I’ve been continuing to look at thought. I guess everything outside of the noticing of real experience is thought in some form. There’s so much going on there.

One area that is hard to see clearly sometimes is the separation between thoughts and sensations. Thought supposedly claims/labels sensations as feelings. But it’s almost like it happens at the same time. Or that thoughts can influence sensations/feelings to appear. (maybe only thought telling me this) Any tips for looking at this?


Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:32 am

Hi Allen
. I’ve been continuing to look at thought. I guess everything outside of the noticing of real experience is thought in some form. There’s so much going on there.
Yes. Do you mean in terms of actual experience which is going on moment to moment or in terms of thoughts (either about the experience, or just, about anything else)?
. One area that is hard to see clearly sometimes is the separation between thoughts and sensations. Thought supposedly claims/labels sensations as feelings. But it’s almost like it happens at the same time. Or that thoughts can influence sensations/feelings to appear. (maybe only thought telling me this) Any tips for looking at this?
Well, you already are looking, otherwise you couldn't report in this sort of detail. This area simply needs a little focus and inquisitiveness, to see what's actually going on. You're right, thought can really lie or create a story that gets believed.

Yes thought commentary can appear, almost instantaneously so that it can seem that they are making something happen.

Just noticecwhat happens if you go looking for car keys or a dogs lead, or get a coat on before leaving the house. Thought will typically suggestthat 'I am doing such and such' (and in that create an illusion of an entity. Notice if there's annoyance at some stage (maybe not finding the keys?). Who or what 'experiences the experience'?

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:20 am

Hi Jon,

Yes. Do you mean in terms of actual experience which is going on moment to moment or in terms of thoughts (either about the experience, or just, about anything else)?

I meant just any kind of thought that is going on.

Who or what 'experiences the experience'?

There's the idea of a me in a body experiencing experience. But it never checks out upon investigation. No live "me" in sight, sound, sensations, taste, smell, thought is present.

Its seems like attention is on thought a lot, that's why the story seems so real, because it's in focus all the time.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:01 am

Hi Allen

Apologies for being slow replying.
. One area that is hard to see clearly sometimes is the separation between thoughts and sensations. Thought supposedly claims/labels sensations as feelings. But it’s almost like it happens at the same time. Or that thoughts can influence sensations/feelings to appear. (maybe only thought telling me this) Any tips for looking at this?
Lets address this.

Certain thoughts do seem to be followed shortly by certain sensations. But that doesn't mean that the thoughts influence the sensations to appear. The birds sing shortly before dawn every day, but does the singing influence the sun to rise?

Whether thoughts influence sensations/feelings to appear or not is irrelevant to this enquiry. Mind is looking for answers to a how or why question - a common compulsion to need a reason for everything that happens.


Give up 'thinking about' for the moment and
instead look *at* what's here, now.

Is it noticed that things just happen? Whatever shows up shows up?

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:48 pm

Hi Jon,

Give up 'thinking about' for the moment and
instead look *at* what's here, now.

Is it noticed that things just happen? Whatever shows up shows up?

Yes, I can notice that things just happen and that things are just here. There's nothing I can do to stop what's here right now.

Recently, there's been some frustration or impatience about "getting to the end of this". The end of the inquiry. I try to find the one who is being impatient or trying to achieve something.

Thanks!

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:23 am

Hi Allen
. Yes, I can notice that things just happen and that things are just here. There's nothing I can do to stop what's here right now
What notices? Is there a thing doing that noticing?
. Recently, there's been some frustration or impatience about "getting to the end of this". The end of the inquiry. I try to find the one who is being impatient or trying to achieve something.
Two things here.

Yes, Where is the entity that is impatient?

Also, it would be interesting to find what this impatience and impulse to achieve an end of inquiry is about?

Intellectualising about 'why its happening' is likely to really not help, but it may be possible to be aware of the thought/feeling and to ask it what the rush is? Give some time for any answer to appear and if one does, thank the feeling very much for answering.

Well done for keeping going.

Love

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:28 am

Hi Jon,

. Yes, I can notice that things just happen and that things are just here. There's nothing I can do to stop what's here right now
What notices? Is there a thing doing that noticing?

Nothing notices. What's here is just known. It just exists. The knowing is part of what's here.

Intellectualising about 'why its happening' is likely to really not help, but it may be possible to be aware of the thought/feeling and to ask it what the rush is? Give some time for any answer to appear and if one does, thank the feeling very much for answering.

Haven't really gotten an answer to what the rush is all about. Will keep trying and looking!


Thanks,

Allen


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