Time to head back home

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ray
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Time to head back home

Postby ray » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:55 pm

Hello Everyone,

I had an awakening experience some time ago, in 1983, as I lay on a beach in Goa. It was a
profound experience, but after a week I was in a mess, I thought I was going mad (in a sane
way). My mind was racing, trying to "solve the puzzle" and I had to somehow resolve to reduce the intensity of the experience.
In the intervening time my self has regained more control. I have seen in flashes and written some poetry and prose, which has kept the thread of this alive.
I stumbled on your site recently . I've now
read some of the Gateless Gatecrashers book. I'm amazed at what you guys are doing here and
feel compelled to take this step. It has prompted the thought that in 1983 my constructed self
was somehow still there, a duality of self and inner Prescence.

I have never meditated much, but I do think about stuff after waking in the morning. It's a
pleasant space before I get about my business in the World. It would be great to briefly explain my backstory first to give some context on where I am and have some light shed on what my experience.

I had this thought the other day. An analogy of the self.
At the fairground there is a childrens ride with cars or a train on a track. Children delight
in spinning the pretend steering wheel, believing that they are driving. Younger children
enjoy the ride, just going with the flow. Slightly older kids see through it. The steering
wheel is fake. It always was.
There may be a step missing in our kids development. Seems to me the kid with the illusion of
self in control grows up to run businesses, financial institutions, governments and armies,
with disastrous consequences. We mess up our own lives, the lives of others and this world.

This morning I recalled a UK comic strip, "The Numbskulls" in the Beezer and later the Beano.
The main character Edd Case has tiny peolple in his head controlling his brain, senses etc. The Wikipedia entry comments that it addresses the metaphysical questions that fascinate children and philosophers such as - where do thought come from and why we act as we do.

With a gentle smile and a feeling a bit nervous, I look forward to being guided to dispel the illusion of a separate self.

With love and thanks,

Ray.

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:07 am

Hi Ray,

John here, in the UK.

Ok, I admit, I was an avid Beezer reader. LOL :)

Happy to be you guide Ray, if you wish.

We have a couple of agreements to keep things on track:

1. Post daily, if only to say you're unable to. Helps keeps the momentum going.
2. Put aside any other spiritual practices for the duration of our inquiry. Keeps the focus.

If you're in agreement and wish me to be your guide, say the word, and we'll begin.

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby ray » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:26 am

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply and for offering to help.

Yes I'll post daily and let you know if there's any reason why I'll be away.

Can't say I do any other spiritual practises. Assume I can still sit in bed and ponder in the morning :-)

Will it be OK if I start with a review of my previous experience. My initial awakening came out of the blue in 1983. Prior to that I hadn't been involved in meditation or anything.

If that's ok I'll put some words together. It'll be the first time I've written this story out, so that in itself will probably be part of the unfolding. I'll also include a couple of (brief) examples of what has been written by/through me to give you the flavour of where I come from.

BTW I'm 56 now, living near London.

Thanks so much.

Ray

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:33 am

Hi Ray,

Yes, please do share your story.

With best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby ray » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:55 pm

Hi John,

At work at the moment. I thougt you sent me a private mesage last night. How do I access that?
I assume this conversation takes place in the one-on-one forum.
I'll get back to you later today...

Cheers,
Ray

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:13 pm

Hi Ray,
Hi John,

At work at the moment. I thougt you sent me a private mesage last night. How do I access that?
I assume this conversation takes place in the one-on-one forum.
I'll get back to you later today...

Cheers,
Ray
No, I haven't sent you a PM. They are accessed from the user control panel.

Yes, our conversation all takes place on the one-on-one forum.

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby ray » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:00 pm

Hi John,

Well here goes.

I came from a C of E background, went to church and read the Bible (yep all of it!) in my
teenage years. Pretty much stopped church going before further education and work and became
more distant from my childhood religion. In my early days I had no experience of meditation,
buddhism or any spiritual literature other than "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and
"Johnathan Livingston Seagull". I've always thought one should respect others for their
sincerely held beliefs

In 1982 when I was 26 I had been working for 4 years in the offshore oil survey industry, which
had taken me to the Seychelles, and many places round South and West Africa. After that it was
mostly the Norh Sea. It was 1 or 2 months at work and then a month's leave. Great! Well the
leave was great but the work was pretty hard with 12 hour shifts.
I'd saved up money and decided to take a long break. My Girlfried of the time didn't understand
why, but we parted amicably. My intention was to travel, seriously wind down and see where
my life took me next. I wouldn't say I was a seeker as such, but it was probably there in the
background.

Mostly my life had shaped up by taking a path of low resistance and going with the flow.
I'd been thinking about going to S. America, but a Norwegian friend from work was heading off
to Goa with some friens so I said OK, I'll meet you there.
I had 2 months chilling in Goa, spending time on the beach, visiting local sights, full moon
parties etc., with old friends and new friends and aqaintances. It got to the point where all
the postcards had been written and there was nothing that really had to be done. I was ready
to continue my travels around India and Sri Lanka.

One morning I had a letter from one of my
best friends back home. She was really happy having completed her studies and started working
as a solicitor.
I went to the beach where I layed down in the sun and took some magic
mushrooms. With my eyes closed I hadn't realized how quite my mind had become. I had an
image in my mind of some spheres bouncing round in a box, like Brownian Motion. I guess this
was a letting go of thought. It was all quite in my mind. Then, seeming to come to the
surface from layers below layers were some words and then an image. The words were similar to
this

* There is a man searching, looking near to home and far away, in mountains and in valleys, in
Temples and Churches. Then one day he stops "to look", he stops "to search" *
Then there was an image with no words. A simple image of a mountain with a man in the left
foreground. Without words it was the seeker, the sought and the act of seeking. All three
were one, within me, the only thought/feeling, filling the screen of my mind. There was no
experiencer of this, only the experience. My life pivots about this point. It was beyond
words. I had no idea that such an experience, such depth of feeling, was possible.
After this there was a cascade of thoughts/feelings.

Then later another image, representing
the self. This was visualized in the shape of a disc (like a cheescake). There was the cutout
of a smaller disc at the back of it with a "net" at the interface between the 2 discs. The net
separating them was not real, it was just the shape of a net marking the boundary between the
two. My focus as I visualized this was on this boundary. Within the net was all I withheld,
my guilt, pride, past hurt, feelings I don't express, things I fear to face, etc., etc. All
that defined my limited sense of self. Seeing the boundary exposes the limited sense of self
for what it is, something only defined by a net of energy. It was clear that what I had seen
applied to everyone, not just to me.

There followed more thoughts of how this expresses itself in the world, and the distress and
pain that results.

I now saw and understood in a new profound way. This was a mushroom trip, but the experience
was the real deal. Trying to describe it doesn't do it justice. It's like describing the
taste of strawberries. Words can never give you the experience of eating strawberries.
I then experienced the world in a diferent way. What had hit me was enlightenment, if it
needed a label. Over the next few days I had the following experiences, not in meditation ,
but just as part of my "normal" life.

I had an amazing rapport with people. I could see the light of consciousness in them even
though they weren't all that conscious.

It was like I was in 2 parts. The part within my skin and the part outside my skin. Reflecting
the world and reflected in the world.
There was the subtle essence thing ( no words, not an
object or a feeling or an interaction or a process, but embracing all these, and as much
feeling as any of the others). I could just about apprehend it with an (inner) sideways
glance. It was, as it were, at the core of all things and elaborated to be all things and all
interactions between all things. It was in me and in the world.

Everything was perfect. Perfectly what it was, the only way it could be.

It felt like there was a new pattern or construct inside my head. There was a feeling of
slight tension from the back of my head extending down the top third of my spine.

There was also the sense of a light. If I glanced upwards it was just outside my visual field.
It seemed to be a connection with "my" pure consciousness, as it were, in some distant star.

It wasn't all good though. Looking back, I think my old self-in-separation was still part of
the mix as the trip subsided. There was a tightness in the back of my jaw.

Less than a week after the experience I was chewing over thoughts such as "I can let go into
this experience. Why not push it to see how deep it goes?", and "is my fundamental nature
good? If not I could be in real danger here. I was OK before, but this is unknown territory"
I had no frame of reference to "understand" this new way of being. I started to try to make
sense of and solve the puzzle it presented. It seemed to speak of the God within us all. I
had feelings of power. My friends obviously noticed how different I'd become. I had feelings
of paranoia. My mind was racing. I had to pull myself back from the brink.

Anyway, a week after the beach experience I thought the bomb was going to drop, so I slept
under my bed with it pushed against the wall. When I woke things were a bit calmer in my head.

The initial awakening experience I labeled "asserting my self" and to reduce it I also
"asserted myself".
There's a lot more I could write but you've got the gist of it.

About 1 week on from that I was on a much more even keel and continued my travels around India
and Sri Lanka. I had a wondrous time. I avoided going to an Ashram or similar. It may have
helped to ground the experience, but I realized how susceptible I was to believing new stuff.

Got back to the UK later in 1983. I couldn't really explain my experience to anyone. Even
when I tried my outer self would grab hold of it and start talking bollocks.
What began as "knowing" has been absorbed now more as knowledge. Now I can view it from a distance, more
dispassionately.
In the intervening years I occasionally connect with those deep inner feelings and produce some
poetry or prose. I guess it helps to tie me back to that awakening.
Here's a section of a poem from 1998

Break the bonds of ego,
That small self that strives,
Find the one within,
unhidden, yet it hides,
from your shuttered eyes.
Know you cannot evade
that which nags you still,
Life is all you have,
dare you live in bliss?
For it is your self, all it cannot do.
But the Life that lives dwells inside of you.
Open up your life.
Live and be free, in love.

Sorry this post is so long. I'd welcome any comments and if you can shed any light on it before you start asking me questions about here and now.

Thanks for listening.

Ray.

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:30 pm

Hi Ray
I'd welcome any comments and if you can shed any light on it before you start asking me questions about here and now.
That was some trip. :) Thank you for sharing it.

If you've been around the spiritual scene awhile, you will have heard many such stories of experiences. I have no interpretations or comments to offer with regard to your experiences. These were experiences you called forth at a point in time. Clearly, those experiences had implications for how you saw yourself and the world, basically loosened the ability to perceive the world in different ways, to know that the world isn't as it appears and neither are you.

Where are you now with respect to those experiences?

Is there a sense of wanting to go back there? To find that essence?

Perhaps you could explore your intent and then look at the intent behind that...and share what is shown.

With warmest regards,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby ray » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:46 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply.
I've not really been around the spiritual scene. I have a few friends with interest in this area and have done some background reading over the years. e.g. Gurdjieff, Carlos Casteneda,Tao te Ching, Bhagavad Gita, Tolle, Kahil Gibran. Also I've done some Yoga and Tai Chi in the past. Reading Tolle's books a few years ago made quite an impact - my self was struggling less and I experienced the world in a brighter, clearer way for a while.
Where are you now with respect to those experiences?
Well all the "special effects" have subsided long, long ago. The experience on the beach comes back to mind regularly. I remember what it was like, but don't re-experience what it was like. (Rather like describing the taste of strawberries).
Is there a sense of wanting to go back there? To find that essence?
Yes, but I want to experience that nature in a clear, grounded and non-fantastic way. The essence is always within. There is the clear cognition that all that separates me from that type of experience is what I "do". There is nothing I need to do. Back then it was in inner silence that the experience came forth. It is always there.


My intent. Hmmm. Here and now I feel it is getting ready to happen with me. My intent is to get real and clear. To see. Behind that the *desire* to cause no more damage and pain. To operate from a position of deep clarity , calm and joy.

Warmest regards,
Ray

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:53 pm

Hi Ray,
Yes, but I want to experience that nature in a clear, grounded and non-fantastic way. The essence is always within. There is the clear cognition that all that separates me from that type of experience is what I "do". There is nothing I need to do. Back then it was in inner silence that the experience came forth. It is always there.

My intent. Hmmm. Here and now I feel it is getting ready to happen with me. My intent is to get real and clear. To see. Behind that the *desire* to cause no more damage and pain. To operate from a position of deep clarity , calm and joy.
It is being called forth and coming your way. I feel it too. :)

So, Ray...sit with this and give your most open and honest response - feel free to add anything that comes up whilst pondering this:

On a scale 0f 1-100 with 0 being " 'self' is a complete fiction and not me" and 100 being " 'self' is real and it IS me", where would you be right now on that scale?

Best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby ray » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:29 am

Hi John,

Nice question.
I've slept on it and pondered about it this morning.

As I said to my wife "It's really a tiny change, a little shift. A way of seeing"
" Oh, a different perspective" She said.
"No!" I replied.
"Why do you say that?" was her response.
"Because its 'your' word, not 'mine" I said. (Tee hee)

So not quite there yet. LOL

I could say (it could be said) that in any situation the self is either 100% or 0%. Or he is apprehended immediately after he responds, giving space for a self-less response.

My litmus test for this is how I react to that aggressive bastard on the road (without judging them of course ;-) ).
Do I speed up ever-so -slightly as he (it's usually a he) zooms past after tailgating me, or do I do nothing , or even slow down to make it easy for him.
This lesson is there in lots of life situations. I'll take a walk today and see how it's settling.

It's like looking for the final piece for a jigsaw puzzle so that the whole picture makes sense. Then you realize there weren't many pieces, and finally that maybe there was no puzzle in the first place.

My cat doesn't have any problem with this. ( But then nobody ever really owns a cat. They wouldn't put up with that). She's just a cat doing cat stuff.
She does have a turn in her though. She was a stray and probably went through some bad experiences. She can change in an instant form cute purring pussy cat into a tiny tiger.

Percentage. Dunno, lets say 25 and falling.
Take care out there,

Ray.

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:32 pm

Hi Ray,

Thank you.
Percentage. Dunno, lets say 25 and falling.
Our focus here is only on one thing, or no-thing. :) To see through the fiction of the separate "self" which is believed to be who we are.

Being at 25-ish on the scale :) , right here, right now, what is the most important question you could ask yourself about this?

With best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby ray » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:56 pm

That question is,
Who am I?

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby s-p-a-c-e » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:59 pm

Hi Ray,
That question is,
Who am I?
Ok, let's ask it.

Who are you?

With best wishes,
John
"The more he looked inside, the more Piglet wasn't there." - A.A.Milne

Author, The Faun's Apprentice - see on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fauns-Apprenti ... B01AR2B63U

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Re: Time to head back home

Postby ray » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:47 pm

Hi John,
Ok, let's ask it.

Who are you?
Laughing out loud here.

I am (part of) the field of awareness. Consciousness looking at itself.


I guess you want more words than that.
I was on my walk earlier.
Whilst walking my thinking was this...
Looking at nature it doesn't make sense to say "I am looking at nature", because I am part of nature. So it makes more sense to say "I am part of nature looking at nature", or "This is nature looking at nature". This was thought not felt.
I stood still and tried to do what I'd done years before; letting my sense of self subside so that seeing becomes more like feeling and being. I couldn't let go enough to to enter that state.

Your "what's the most important question to ask yourself" post was picked it up and replied to on my phone while out walking.
When I replied I (swore at you) and asked myself the question "who am I?"
Looking at nature I knew that I already knew the answer. I thought the words "I am consciousness looking at itself" before "I" felt them. "I" subsided and felt myself as part of the scene. The world took on an aspect of clarity as I saw without a sense of self
I was laughing out loud, mingled with a few tears.

Having been here before I wait to see if this will stick. But there's a simple feeling inside that feels fixed.

I do think you've been rather lazy in asking so few questions though :))

Best wishes to you,

Ray


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