Thread for Mark

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perrym
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby perrym » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:35 am

Hi again,
There is some way that I expect to ‘see’ non-self as an extra experience added on to ordinary experience
very nicely put!

yet, of course, it isn't like that ... this is a bit of an aside, but according to the suttas, when someone asked the Buddha whether an arahant was aware of being enlightened, he replied along these lines: "no, they are not constantly aware of it, it is just that if they stop and reflect on it, they observe 'the asavas have been destroyed'"

in general, any expectation that 'experience should be like this after seeing through the illusion' is likely to be wrong. If you drop the expectation, then you'll also drop the doubt that arises from it.

I'm not saying that nothing changes - but there is no constant element to experience post gate - how could there be? There is no constant element to experience full stop!

The question is: when you investigate, is it now clear, in experience, that 'self' is just "a label pointing to nothing"?

Is this something obvious, impossible to doubt? Or have you been persuaded by deduction, but could change your mind again?

When you write
the answer was clear – “there is no self so there is no doubter just doubting”. A big smile happened. Its not this or that its just this or that is not happening to anyone. The doubt is just happening.
there is a hint of 'deduction' in "there is no self SO ..."

yet at other times you've chased down 'self' and found nothing but thought

bottom line question: do you consider you've seen through the illusion of self?

best wishes,

Perry

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Mark Hewitson
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby Mark Hewitson » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:56 pm

Hi Perry,

Thanks yet again for your time and patience.

Is this heart and head? I ask myself. I come to write and I’m trying to ‘answer’ the question. When going about the day and I look or reflect on no self etc. the response comes that, ‘no there is no self’. How can I put this into thoughts and words, I don’t know. This isn’t happening in the head, it’s not as a result of reason that the response comes. It’s not thought, though it may formulate in thought. So don’t think it could be deduction. The phrase you picked up on, “there is no self so there is no doubter just doubting”, in the last post, I feel sure was just a phrase, a way of expressing something. But it didn’t happen like that. It happened in an instant, like a causal chain but hardly entered thought at all.

Experience. Yes I guess since your last reply I’ve been wondering what it means to experience something. But no it wasn’t a thinking process, far from it. I would say more like a ‘seeing’, with an emotional component.
…is it now clear, in experience, that 'self' is just "a label pointing to nothing"?
If I try to answer this with my head I get nowhere. Just thoughts, so clumsy. If I ask my heart, or lets say experience, I always come back to the same non-conceptual response - NO there there is no self anywhere in experience. I’ve done this so many times now and I always come back to the same thing (though if we we’re being nitpicky, its never quite the same), “there is no self”, it comes as a non-conceptual response, not in words like I’ve put it here. I can’t even say where in my experience this happens. It usually leads to some sort of letting go in the heart and body.

So is there a problem? Its like I don’t want to admit it, don’t want to finally let go. I want to delay it, I want to keep looking. Like wanting some unequivocal certainty, there all the time. And yet…

Is this head and heart, I wonder.

x Mark

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Mark Hewitson
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby Mark Hewitson » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:44 pm

Hi,

So . Woke up this morning and it dawned on me that of course that is it. If I look into my experience and see there is no self etc., then what more is there. Felt a bit stupid not seeing this. It seems much clearer now. I am still left with a feeling that I wan’t to keep looking just to make sure. So perhaps there is still some doubt and expectation.
This has been a strange process and feel I am learning alsorts of things about 'me' that I wasn't aware of before.

Mark

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perrym
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby perrym » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:30 pm

Hi Mark,
what more is there
ha, quite, what indeed?

not that it is the end of the whole process - in many ways, it is the start of a new chapter - but once you know, well, you know!

It's a bit late now, I should be able to write a bit more tomorrow

Perry

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perrym
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby perrym » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:55 pm

Hi Mark,
I wan’t to keep looking just to make sure. So perhaps there is still some doubt and expectation.
perhaps there is still doubt ... and perhaps it is simply that the novelty of the discovery has not yet worn off?

it is an interesting time - habits built up under the illusion of self are still active (what people sometimes call 'selfing') yet their basis has been removed ... how strange is that?! the natural response is to go back again and again to review this new knowledge and feel the contrast with what has always been assumed before. When a tooth falls out, the gap in the mouth is curiously fascinating for a while, isn't it?

.... but I am putting words into your mouth!

I hope you get a chance to let me know how you are before I vanish for a week's holiday,

best wishes,

Perry

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Mark Hewitson
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby Mark Hewitson » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:14 am

Hi Perry,

Yes its a little like I can’t quite believe it so I have to go back and check. I also seem to enjoy seeing it, though enjoy is a weak word for what it feels like. I had a lot of fun yesterday and the day before – seeing that thought was only thought seemed to be very funny. I lay down to go to sleep two nights ago - this is a time (when daily activity finally stops) that ‘the looking’ seems to really like. Anyway, I saw thought as just thought and started laughing. When this died down I saw thought as just thought again and started laughing again. There was a cumulative effect to this and I was soon cracking up with laughter.

x Mark

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perrym
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby perrym » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:00 pm

Hi,

:-)

:-)

:-)

:-)

priceless!

I'm off for a week's holiday, maybe when I'm back you might like to tackle the final questions?

No hurry, just enjoy it all if you prefer :-)

cheers,

Perry
_______________________________________________________________________

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

6) Anything to add?

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Mark Hewitson
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby Mark Hewitson » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:20 pm

Hi Perry,

Hope you had a good holiday. I'm off on sort of retreat for a week and am going to take the questions with me.
Will post some replies when I get back.

All the best,

Mark

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perrym
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby perrym » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:46 pm

Have a great retreat [sort of?!]

cheers,

Perry

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Mark Hewitson
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby Mark Hewitson » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:11 pm

Hi Perry,

Back now. Yes ‘sort of retreat’ in that I was at a retreat centre but not on a retreat.

So, the six questions.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

No, there is no ‘self’ or ‘I’ in any shape or form. ‘I’ is just an illusion, a mistaken ‘notion’ about experience. There is just experience happening without an ‘I’. There never has been an ‘I’. Its not something that exists anywhere in anyone, in ‘me’ or even in anything.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

For some reason, habit in the deepest sense I guess, the ‘mind’ seems to attach to experience, to try to own experience. It sees a thought or feels a feeling and moves to own it. From this it seems to build a picture of a separate entity and refer experience to/through this illusory entity. This process is re-enforced by language and maybe even created by language. But looking into my experience I see that this is not true. There is no self at the back of experience. Behind all experience is a feeling/sense of emptiness. I have seen the mind trying to own experience and the absurdity of its trying to do this. Experience is not owned. There is no one or no thing to own it. There is just experience, whatever that is.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

How does it feel to see this? Different at different times. Sometimes amazing and strange, sometimes obvious as if, “duh, of course”. Sometimes ‘big’ sometimes hum-drum. It varies because of course experience varies. The difference from before – I’m still not sure. Something feels different. Perhaps I could say that there is some gap that seems to have opened up in my experience. It seems easier to see my conditioning, there is less attachment to it. In other ways everything is just the same!

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

It was more like an accumulation of ‘realisations’. But a major part has been seeing that thought is really only thought, not special and NOT ME. This seems to be very funny when I see it. That thought is just thought, thought is not ‘I’, thought is not ‘mine’. I think this is where the illusion of self was mainly residing – as it were. What a trap! The idea that thinking, a voice in the head, made a self. Seems ridiculous now.


5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

Contrary to popular belief, even amongst spiritual practitioners and myself until recently, NO!
Through looking I saw that ‘I’ does not decide. There is an illusion of this but looking it is clear; I don’t choose what to think, I have no idea what the next thought will be. ‘I’ doesn’t decide to get up in the morning, it just happens at some point. The illusory self thinks it does things, decides things, is in control but in reality the ‘voice. In the head, the ‘narrator’, is just an afterthought that appears in the conscious mind after the ‘decision’ (read unfathomable culmination of conditions – at least I can’t fathom them) comes about. It is perhaps obvious with things like breathing. I don’t breath, but the same was true when I tried to choose a book from the bookshelf. There is no control over this process. Feelings, observations, thoughts etc. but no ‘I’ controlling this. It just happened, and a book was chosen. The same went for movement. ‘I’ doesn’t decide to move. If the ‘seeming self’ (and I’m not even sure what that is/was now), gives an instruction e.g. open the eyes, nothing happens but at some point the eyes open. Presumably when the conditions are right for that to happen. Amazing!!

6) Anything to add?

Why didn’t I see this before? Its so obvious, so close, and yet not perhaps. It is still going on, I still find myself ‘realising’ this. It seems that I keep seeing it from new angles. The latest was in a dream where I was falling into some dog shit! I woke up in the dream to realize that hey it doesn’t matter, this is not happening to a self. There are many other examples.

So pleased that I came across LU. Much gratitude to you Perry for so skillfully guiding me through this process. More gratitude to everyone involved with LU.

I will post this now as I’m about to go away, again, tomorrow.

Much love for now,

Mark

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perrym
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby perrym » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:47 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for that, a lovely read!

Let's get in touch again when you're back,

Perry

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perrym
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby perrym » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:29 pm

Hi Mark,

Some other guides have looked over our conversation, and nobody has any more questions of clarifications. I've not 'pressed the button' to 'turn you blue' quite yet, because as soon as that happens, the thread goes read-only ... I thought we could just make sure there are no other loose ends before parting?

Best wishes,

Perry

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Mark Hewitson
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby Mark Hewitson » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:20 pm

Hi Perry,

Yes, back now.

Have been thinking about loose ends. There is nothing I can think of at the moment except perhaps ‘what comes next?’ I don’t feel concerned about this, just interested, but I feel it is unfolding anyway.

Further ‘realisations’ have come, although in a sense it seems like the same thing but just seeing it in a different way – hard to put into words. Perhaps its more like a sinking in. I ‘sense’ that there is more to come, much more, even.

I feel very grateful to you for all the time and energy you have given to help with this and so much appreciated your skilful and kindly guiding. I wouldn’t have been able to do this process without you.

I feel sad to be stopping the thread but hope you will be able to turn some more of your valuable attention to others now.

I have also been recommending LU to friends who have now joined the site. I’m looking forward to hearing how they progress with it.

I would also like to say many thanks to Ilona and Elena for setting up LU and to everyone involved with running it. Such a positive idea!

With much love to you,

:-) :-) :-)

Mark

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perrym
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Re: Thread for Mark

Postby perrym » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:12 am

Hi Mark,

Thanks for that!
‘what comes next?’
Fortunately there are plenty of opportunities to share what comes next, and compare notes with other 'gaters' ....I'll be in touch about some of the 'aftercare' options (as will an LU admin),

I expect I'll catch you again online or maybe even offline some time soon!

very best wishes,

Perry


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