Final steps?

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Moon
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Re: Final steps?

Postby Moon » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:49 pm

Hi Vivien,

I sat with the resistance this afternoon and asked your questions.
What do you want to protect me from?
The answer: if you proceed along this path, or down the rabbit hole, you'll become too vulnerable and people won't take you seriously anymore. You will not be able to relate to other people. Your relationships will be threatened.
What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?
The answer: You'll become like a child. It might feel nice, but you'll be gullible. And you won't get any work done. You won't be interested in earning money, which might limit your children's opportunities. You'll be self-obsessed and lazy and lose touch with people that are important to you. Your children, your partner. They'll still be busy with daily life and you'll be high as a kite. You won't be able or motivated to help your children in the outside world, because you won't care about the outside world. Your relationship will suffer. You might lose your sex drive, or feel that your partner is too caught up in his thinking mind. You might not like him anymore, then what??
Observe what visual thoughts and stories come up ‘justifying’ its right to resists.
The thinking mind/resistance is trying to protect me from turning into somebody that no one can relate to, especially my teenage kids. Who knows what I'll be like once I see through the illusion of the self? Even my sister who is a spiritual seeker thinks I'm taking it a bit far, trying to see through the 'self'.
Oh dear, I don't want my partner or kids to think I'm weird. People have always found me strange, it's a recurring theme in my life. But while I'm writing this down, I'm already starting to wonder if it's really that bad if my kids find me a bit strange. I'm pretty sure I'm completely incapable of being mean to them. The main point the resistance is trying to make is 'don't become a space cadet nobody can relate to'. Gee thanks!
If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and visual thoughts what is BEHIND the resistance?
There's nothing behind the resistance, but space. It stands between me and a whole lot of space. Space for what, I don't know. I think it's nice, but where I am now, I feel a bit nervous about passing the resistance. It might shout 'I told you so' if things go wrong.

I can't believe I'm having these thoughts, but I am. I've heard people say 'you have to be willing to lose everything if you want to be liberated', which has made me believe that I'll probably lose important relationships. And I don't want to. It's that simple. Why do people say that Vivien? Well, you don't have to answer that. I'm sure you've heard statements like that as well. I have lost a lot of relationships along this journey, but they weren't healthy. But what can I do about this fear of losing relationships that I don't want to lose? It must be based on an illusion, but which one?

Something to do with the 'self' I suppose :)

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Vivien
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Re: Final steps?

Postby Vivien » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:25 am

Hi Ref,

Thank you that you openly shared your fears.
You'll become like a child. It might feel nice, but you'll be gullible.
Dear Ref, I can assure you, you won’t become like a gullible child.
What make you think that this is what is going to happen?
And you won't get any work done. You won't be interested in earning money, which might limit your children's opportunities.
What makes you think this?
You'll be self-obsessed
How could you become self-obsessed, when the whole point of this investigation is to see that there is no self at all?

Actually, quite the opposite could happen. Not in one swoop, but gradually the obsessions about ‘myself’ lessens, since it will be seen that there is no self at all.
and lazy and lose touch with people that are important to you. Your children, your partner.
And why would you become lazy? And why would you lose touch with your children and your partner?

The thing is that almost all humans are very self-obsessed. Since as long as we believe that there is a self somewhere inside the body, we are all obsessed with ourselves. So we are not really connecting with others, because we are the center of our universe, and we almost always just thinking about ourselves. Even when thinking and caring about others, we are actually consciously or unconsciously are measuring what that relationship means to ME and brings to ME. Everything is about ourselves. When the self is seen through, the connection and care to others usually deepens. Quite the opposite happens than what you are afraid of.
They'll still be busy with daily life and you'll be high as a kite.
This is a big and unrealistic expectation. Many seekers believe that seeing through the self is something completely different state than what they are usually having. But it’s not at all.

It’s not a state at all, so you won’t be ‘high as a kite’ :)

It’s just a simple recognition that the self is just an illusion. That’s all.
No different state than what you are having now.
Just a deep knowing that the Ref is just an illusion.

But, and there is a big BUT here, just because Ref is seen to be an illusion, Ref won’t disappear.
Ref won’t stop appearing.
The illusion of Ref will still continue to live her life, connecting with her family, going to work, etc.
This won’t change.
The only difference that this will be recognized as an illusion. But the illusion will go on.
You won't be able or motivated to help your children in the outside world, because you won't care about the outside world.
But what makes you think that?
You might lose your sex drive,
This definitely won’t happen. If anything, the experience of sex could become more enjoyable.
or feel that your partner is too caught up in his thinking mind. You might not like him anymore, then what??
Do you expect that after seeing through the self there will be no more ‘being lost’ in thought?
Because if you expect this, you will be disappointed.

You won’t be as different form your husband as you imagine.
It seems that you expect way too big changes to happen then what actually will happen.
Even my sister who is a spiritual seeker thinks I'm taking it a bit far, trying to see through the 'self'.
OK. So her fears and thoughts are influencing you. That’s all.
Oh dear, I don't want my partner or kids to think I'm weird. People have always found me strange, it's a recurring theme in my life.
OK, so this fear comes up because it’s a conditioned belief or perception about yourself that others might find you weird. It has nothing to do with seeing through the self, but with your conditioned perceptions of yourself. And this pattern is being projected onto seeing through the self.
The main point the resistance is trying to make is 'don't become a space cadet nobody can relate to'. Gee thanks!
But how do you get this idea from? What makes you think that this is what could happen?
I can't believe I'm having these thoughts, but I am. I've heard people say 'you have to be willing to lose everything if you want to be liberated', which has made me believe that I'll probably lose important relationships.
OK, I get you. But this is a ‘faulty’ misinterpretation of what this phrase is about.

This phrase is not about losing things in the outside world, like job, or interest in job, or relationships with others, or becoming lazy.

It’s about losing your BELIEFS about yourself. Like losing the belief that ‘ I am weird’.
Is about losing the belief that there is a real self in the body being in charge.
With this process, BELIEFS will be lost, gradually, over time. Nothing else.
But what can I do about this fear of losing relationships that I don't want to lose? It must be based on an illusion, but which one?
This fear is based on your FALSE assumptions and beliefs about how seeing through the self would be like.

Based on what you heard about this topic probably form many people, you developed a fantasy picture how this might be, and now you are afraid of your own creation.

But the problem is that you are not seeing is that you are not afraid of reality (how it actually will be), but you are afraid of your fearful fantasies only.

So now I’m telling you that nothing what you wrote is how it’s actually is.
You imagine it to be something very BIG, HUGE CHANGE.
But it won’t be.
And probably other people won’t even notice anything about you, unless you start talking about it.

There is nothing to be afraid of.
Something to do with the 'self' I suppose :)
Yes :) It’s all about ME. That I can lose this or that… It’s all about ME.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Moon
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Re: Final steps?

Postby Moon » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:03 pm

Hi Vivien,

Wow, your responses are pure gold to me. I can see now that the 'thing' you're giving me is clarity. I'm working my way through the fog created by my self/me and you're trying to shine a light. I really appreciate it, I'm very grateful that you take time for this. I could've rationalized my fears, but it wouldn't have helped, certainly not the way your responses did. Seeing it in black and white really made it clear that it's my own fantasy about being liberated that is now my biggest hindrance. How funny!

Back to the question before resistance tried to grab the steering wheel:
Point with your finger (literally) to the ‘thing’ or me/self which could abide.
In the beginning I'm tempted, time and time again, to point at the body, especially when I have my eyes closed. But I notice that that's just because at that moment there are sensations happening in the body. As soon as I hear a sound elsewhere, I feel like pointing there, in the direction the sound came from. When I'm startled by a sound, 'I' am completely gone for a second. When I have my eyes open it feels more true to wave my arm through the air around me. "I' am all around me, in the space around my body. It doesn't actually feel like the 'truth', but it's an attempt to feel if it's true.
Where do you point at?
When I literally try to point with my index finger, I notice that I keep having to point at different things. Now it becomes clear that awareness of the moment is constantly changing. What I'm aware of changes and the location of my awareness changes. At some point I decided to point at my head, because I (used to?) believe I was there. It's an interesting thing to do, because I especially feel that I am NOT in my head when I make myself point at the head.

When I point at my head a second time to 'check' if I 'secretly' believe that I'm there, it feels more real, like I might be in the head after all. I zoomed in on 'the third eye', at least where I think that is. When I tried to zoom in on the head to pinpoint 'my exact location', I couldn't find it. It actually felt a bit spooky, in a funny way. What I mean: I/me/my awareness is so clearly somewhere, but I can't find its location.

I repeated this last step a few times. Now it becomes clear that if you think you've found the location of the self, the thing to do is, to zoom in further and further. Then you come to a point where you just see that 'you' are not there.

I'm suspecting that I'm confused about the difference between self and awareness. I might be mistaking awareness for a 'self'. I get the feeling I might be on to something here... because if awareness is constantly changing, then what does that say about the self..? Especially if I can't find the location of the self...now I'm laughing out loud. I don't feel like I 'get it' yet, but I'm completely puzzled, which is probably progress. I hope :)

Over to you Vivien!

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Vivien
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Re: Final steps?

Postby Vivien » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:37 am

Hi Ref,
Wow, your responses are pure gold to me. I can see now that the 'thing' you're giving me is clarity. I'm working my way through the fog created by my self/me and you're trying to shine a light. I really appreciate it, I'm very grateful that you take time for this. I could've rationalized my fears, but it wouldn't have helped, certainly not the way your responses did. Seeing it in black and white really made it clear that it's my own fantasy about being liberated that is now my biggest hindrance. How funny!
I’m glad that you’ve found my comments helpful. If fear or resistance starts to show up again, just come back to those comments and read them again and again.
It's an interesting thing to do, because I especially feel that I am NOT in my head when I make myself point at the head.
When I point at my head a second time to 'check' if I 'secretly' believe that I'm there, it feels more real, like I might be in the head after all. I zoomed in on 'the third eye', at least where I think that is. When I tried to zoom in on the head to pinpoint 'my exact location', I couldn't find it. It actually felt a bit spooky, in a funny way.
You did a nice looking.
I repeated this last step a few times. Now it becomes clear that if you think you've found the location of the self, the thing to do is, to zoom in further and further. Then you come to a point where you just see that 'you' are not there.
Yes! And please do this again and again, hundreds of times. It’s the constant and repeated looking and looking and more looking that brings about the realization.
Now it becomes clear that awareness of the moment is constantly changing. What I'm aware of changes and the location of my awareness changes.
What I mean: I/me/my awareness is so clearly somewhere, but I can't find its location.
Now, please search for the I/me which owns awareness.

Where is the owner?
What does awareness belong to?

I'm suspecting that I'm confused about the difference between self and awareness. I might be mistaking awareness for a 'self'.
What if there is no difference between self and awareness? Let’s find it out.

How is this ‘awareness’ is perceived exactly?
As a thought? A sensation? An imagination? Or else?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Moon
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Re: Final steps?

Postby Moon » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:07 pm

Hi Vivien,

This is what I came up with today.
Now, please search for the I/me which owns awareness.
First I started wondering if it was a valid question. Then I started wondering if any of these questions were valid. I mean, if you can't come up with a 'good enough' answer to the question about the location of the self, does that then mean that there is no self? Then I wondered about what makes an apple an apple. Sorry to drift off a bit here, bear with me. It would still be difficult to pinpoint what makes an apple, but it's still an apple. Then I realized that this is what is meant in Buddhist scriptures, about there not being an inherent self, in anything. Wow, that's the first time I had a personal understanding of that teaching. I mean, there's nothing in an apple that can't be found in something else. HOWEVER, it is an apple, because of the unique combination of aspects. And even though there's not one single aspect to any apple that is unique, THIS apple is definitely not THAT apple. It's the unique coming together of factors that make an apple an apple and that apple that apple.
I'm sorry to bore you, but this is really making me realize something about my 'self'. There is no single unique aspect to me, but the combination of aspects is unique. That's what makes me believe in a 'self'.
Where is the owner?
Well in daily life it definitely feels like 'my awareness', but as soon as you sit down with this question you realize one thing: you/'I' have no control over awareness. None whatsoever. That means that it's not mine. It's just there. What's happening in 'this awareness' is unique, but it cannot be owned, because it's constantly changing. It's like trying to own a drop in the ocean or a piece of air. It exists, but no one can own it. You can witness it. You're the unique witness to that bit of awareness. But nothing perceived in that awareness is you or yours.

What about a higher Being? I have no idea, but when I simply sit in awareness it doesn't feel like a possibility that anyone/anything could own it. So, 'where is the owner' is not a valid question, but the FACT that it's not a valid question makes it endlessly interesting, because it's such a strong assumption in daily life/on an unconscious level.

It is something for me to realize and remember; it's not 'my awareness', it's 'this awareness'. And 'this awareness' has unique content, but it's not mine, it's just there. And when I say unique, I mean a unique combination of aspects in this awareness. But no aspect itself is unique, none of it. I'm beginning to understand what my lifelong mistake is based on.
How is this ‘awareness’ is perceived exactly?
As a thought? A sensation? An imagination? Or else?
1. It can't be a sensation, because it's perceived through any of the five different sensations and they come and go.
2. It's not a thought, because thoughts come and go within your awareness.
3. It's not your imagination, because you have some control over that and also, like thoughts they come and go, while awareness remains.

Awareness is before all these things, and after. I don't know how it's perceived. It's more like a field in which perception happens. Another way to say it, is: it's possible to know any of the above (perceptions, thoughts and imagination) and if you can KNOW it, you can't BE it. I can't explain it further than that, that's the bottom line. For now :) I feel like I haven't really answered this one, but I don't know what I'm missing. Sometimes people talk about being aware of awareness, but I'm not sure about that one. Perhaps they mean, you're aware of things AND you know that you're aware. But that feels like one thing to me, not two.

Back to you!

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Vivien
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Re: Final steps?

Postby Vivien » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:13 am

Hi Ref,
Most of your reply is intellectualization. You didn’t look at experience, but rather you wrote down your thoughts about it. You have gathered lots of intellectual knowledge about awareness from others, took those on as beliefs, and now you shared those as your own. You might not see that this is what is happening, but I’m here to point out this for you.

What we are doing here is not theorizing, analysing, thinking, comparing, pondering wondering, philosophizing. All of these are utterly pointless and useless. Actually, intellectualization is in the way of seeing. It’s like a brick wall. It’s prevent to see what is behind the wall of thoughts.
Can you see this?


You started your post with this:
First I started wondering if it was a valid question. Then I started wondering if any of these questions were valid.
So you immediately started with THINKING, and thus you through away the TOOL which would have helped you to see through your intellectual beliefs. You completely cut yourself off.
So, 'where is the owner' is not a valid question, but the FACT that it's not a valid question
With this logical thinking, you are cutting yourself off from the possibility to see through the self.

“Where is the owner?” is a very valid question. If you didn’t through this question out of window with intellectualization, then this question would have helped you to look into the direction (to look at experience), where you will actually could SEE the answer.
It is something for me to realize and remember; it's not 'my awareness', it's 'this awareness'. And 'this awareness' has unique content, but it's not mine, it's just there. And when I say unique, I mean a unique combination of aspects in this awareness. But no aspect itself is unique, none of it. I'm beginning to understand what my lifelong mistake is based on.
This is intellectualizing, logical thinking only. You cannot get anywhere with thinking.

The main cause for the illusion of the self is ‘thinking’. If you want to see through the illusion of the self, you cannot use the same tool which is creating the illusion in the first place.

You have to completely abandon thoughts, and just look at the raw experience itself.
1. It can't be a sensation, because it's perceived through any of the five different sensations and they come and go.
2. It's not a thought, because thoughts come and go within your awareness.
3. It's not your imagination, because you have some control over that and also, like thoughts they come and go, while awareness remains.
This is just pure logical thinking. You cannot get anywhere with thinking.
Awareness is before all these things, and after. I don't know how it's perceived.
If awareness is not perceived at all, then HOW do you know that it’s ‘before all things, and after’?
Isn’t this just a conceptual imagination?
It's more like a field in which perception happens.
But HOW do you know this? HOW do you know that awareness is a field in which perception happens?
Isn’t this just a learned conceptual knowledge?

In order for this statement to be true, first you have to be able to find this ‘field’, clearly be able to describe it, and just then, you can check if perception is really happening in it.

And by the way, what is perception in reality? Another concept?

Take a cup or any object into your hands.
And investigate if the cup can be experience in any other way then with the 5 senses. Can you?

Can anything be experience in any other way than with the 5 senses?

Look carefully. Don’t just think, but really try to experience outside the 5 senses. Can this be done?

Sometimes people talk about being aware of awareness, but I'm not sure about that one. Perhaps they mean, you're aware of things AND you know that you're aware. But that feels like one thing to me, not two.
You see, you gathered information from others, and now you are trying to replicate those learned concepts.

Awareness is a very popular concept in spiritual circles nowadays, but what if it’s nothing more than just a concept?
Can you entertain the possibility that awareness is might not what you believe it to be?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Moon
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Re: Final steps?

Postby Moon » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:42 pm

Hi Vivien,

I seem to have hit the brick wall. I think what you're trying to do is give me the proverbial 'slap' in the face, to wake me up, but it's not working. I want it to work, but it's not.
Take a cup or any object into your hands. And investigate if the cup can be experience in any other way then with the 5 senses. Can you?
I tried the exercise with the cup, well actually it was a spoon and later with a pen, but I'm not interested in it. I know it can only be perceived through the 5 senses. But that doesn't mean that awareness can only come to you through the 5 senses.
But HOW do you know this? HOW do you know that awareness is a field in which perception happens? Isn’t this just a learned conceptual knowledge?
This question was in response to me saying that awareness is like 'a field'. You suggested that it's learned knowledge, but to me it isn't. I've done a lot of retreats and meditation days. Silent ones (not hipster/yoga/tantra whatever). Just sitting in silence, silence, silence, for days and days. I think I've sat in silence for thousands of hours since the beginning of this journey. From those hours and days in silence I know that perceptions and thoughts arise in a field (at least that's how I explain it) and after they've arisen, they fade back into silence. This I've witnessed many times, with sounds, smells, pain, emotions, thought streams, longing for the bell, etc. It's not 'learned conceptual knowledge' when I speak about perceptions arising in a field of awareness. I have listened to many teachers, read lots of books, yes, but I do that to find other people speaking and writing about the things I know from the time I spent in silence. It's confirmation I'm looking for when I read books and listen to talks, not information.
I came to Liberation Unleashed because I still suffer at the hands of the 'thinking mind' a lot and I guess the main thought from which all other thoughts come, is the thought about there being a 'self'. And I loved some of your questions and responses, but the feeling I've been getting over the past few days is that this approach feels unnatural in some ways. What I mean is: a lot happens every day: experiences, emotions, thoughts; raising teenagers is complex. And to answer the questions you sent me, or to do the exercises, I had to put 'real life' on hold and it's starting to feel contrived. I got angry at my daughter this morning, followed by feelings of guilt. I think it's much more natural and interesting to dive into that then to look at an object and wonder about the five senses. I mean, to wonder about where the anger came from, what its message is, that type of inquiry.

Perhaps this (direct) approach isn't suitable for this stage in life..?

I really loved your responses to my Resistance a few days ago. That really opened my eyes. And also the pointing at my self with my finger. You have helped me a few steps further on this path, which I am really grateful for.

But for now... this is goodbye! Thanks for trying to help me (which you did).
All the best to you Vivien XOXO

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Vivien
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Re: Final steps?

Postby Vivien » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:37 pm

Hi Ref,

This background could seem very real, but actually it’s the bases of the illusion of the self.

I appreciate your honesty. Thank you.

All the best,
Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/


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