Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Deep Honesty of this Man Breaks the Illusion

Hello

Have been reading up about RT, whatever I read  looks interesting to me.  I have also done a few Vipassana Goenka retreats as you, that's why i thought it maybe better to get in touch with you as you would understand better where i am. 

My problem is i have been working with this no self / nondual (advaita) for quite some time now, When i look consciously for self I don't see any self, intellectually i have accepted that there is no self or any entity sitting inside my head experiencing this world.

As a brief sampler this is what i wrote in my diary yesterday
[What am I, or what it really mean when I say “I”?
I am a human being (living organism), I have this human body which has besides other organs a brain, the brain is the thinking machine, I don’t know most of the stuff about how it functions, but that’s ok, I drive a car without knowing how it works, will travel by air without knowing how the planes work. This brain seems to have some kind of systems made up with all kinds of logic hardwired, firmware and loads of software . . .      (DNA, culture, religion, upbringing, habits, nature, education, friends and what have you). ]

I do not know, even after this knowledge/realization i don't feel liberated or realized, where do i go from here?
------------------------------------------
Elena:
Hi, S.. Let's chat. While we chat try not to read about these things, its better if you really look and come up with the most truest answer you can find.

Here it goes from my side today. You do not believe me. You check everything I say, ok?


You wrote: I am a human being (living organism),

No, there is no you. Living organism - yes, exist, you - not

I have this human body which has besides other organs a brain, the brain is the thinking machine

You do not have a body. Body just is. Brain - yes, thinking- yes. You - no


I don’t know most of the stuff about how it functions, but that’s ok

that's right, it's ok

I drive a car without knowing how it works, will travel by air without knowing how the planes work.

you do not drive a car. there is just driving.

What do you feel if I say there is no you? What comes up?

---------------------------
Hello Elena

There is a buzzing sensation in the brain as I read what you have written.

I agree, that

There is no me who owns / drives or commands this body.

There is no me who does the thinking, the thinking happens . . .

But i am not able to get out of this sense of self for e.g. when you say driving happens if i agree it would be more of an intellectual agreement, no direct seeing / or realization there. i continue to feel that i am driving the car 

I will keep re-reading this emain for few times more focusing on it, will get back to you after that
Thanks & Regards


Elena: Good. Do not believe me. Check everything.

Look at anything in front of you and around you - anything that you can surely say is a part of the reality - it exist.  For example, your computer or a cup or a rug.  It exist. You don't need to try hard to see it. In fact, even if you close your eyes - it's there anyways.

now compare to the following:

Then take Spiderman. If you think about it you have thoughts, feelings. THey are real, right? But Spiderman is not. Spiderman does not exist. he is not part of the reality. Illusion.

Take self. what arises are toughs, feeling, sensation of the body - they are real. Self - not.  Illusion.

Look.

Hello Elena

I understand all that you say. I really do not believe in self in fact i believe there is no self, because whenever i have tried to see i never find this self / entity

Now when i look , i cannot see any self here. (for me look means, to focus apply my mind to the question)

But it is also true, that i behave do things as if self is there, so this sense of self is not over inside of me it is not dead/gone, it is still there, but when i focus the attention on this thing (i.e.look) its not there . . .. but when not thinking about this as a habit self happens

know it sounds very confusing, but i am being honest.

Thanks & Regards

Elena: what influences the belief?

S: many times, the past experience about this subject,  again and again have arrived to the same conclusion about there being No controlling entity, no doer, no observer, no little man in the head, nothing of that sort is there, this repeated experience creates this belief

Elena: so if you look and can't find you

what is typing?
what is believing?
what is thinking?

Be the most precise.

S: Even after looking very hard for it there is no I/Me to be found, then what is typing / thinking / believing or driving . . .

I am really stuck here,

In my day to day life, i behave as if I am doing all these and other activities, like getting angry or happy or feeling other emotions, work, travel everything that i do has a sense of feeler / doer behind it . . . . . . 

but when i look there is no feeler, there is no doer, no self entity . . .

both things can't be true . . . but that is my current experiance, I don't know how to proceed from here . . . 

Thanks
S.     

Elena: let's look further.

"both things can't be true" .


Yes, you are right. They can't.

"I don't know how to proceed."

You need to find out which one is true, and which one isn't.

When you look and can't find a self, look for what is there, anything exist at that time you look for self and can't find?

When you drive the car or type or walk, look for what is there.

Take the time. Find out. Is this really what is happening? Please respond to me when you've taken the time to look into both instances - when you can't find
self, and when you think that self is operating - find out what is there present, exists, besides the self.

S:  
there is my body, the keyboard, the water bottle, the computer, the screen, thoughts about typing, action of typing, sound coming from window, birds, road traffic, looking at stuff to be done, more thoughts, thinking, 
basically 2 types of thoughts, one that seem to be rising on there own, others that seem to be done or guided purposefully (as in thinking about work or taking decisions)  

lots of stuff, but no self or separate entity  

typing now, the body is here, the keyboard and screen is here, action of typing is taking place, thoughts more thoughts . . .


Elena:
Look for the "sense of self" what it is? A thought, maybe bodily sensation or feeling - look for it and break it down, divide and dissect what it is really . . .


S: This sense of self is at its strongest when the thought is about needs and desires, for example when thinking about work and money or lack of it, this ‘sense of I’ is at its strongest.
What is that wants to strive for making money? Isn’t it “I have to make more money” the need for working and earning is real but somehow this very sense of “I” is getting strongly associated/embedded with the basic need of earning a livelihood, then comes fear and anxiety about not being able to do it, this following cascade of thoughts reinforce the sense of “I”, these thoughts do not help in solving the problem, in fact they hurt the chance, they just are hindrances.
 a realization . . . the thoughts and emotions that built up this sense of “I” are hurting the chance of success at work. Work will go much better, if “I” gets out of the way :)
While doing this process a strong buzzing is felt inside the head and also experiencing mild vibrations on the crown of the head
It may be better for me to now just focus on “this sense of I” and watch for it, how and where all it keeps coming up, I will try and continue to do so. . .


Elena:
Please do not look at all what I write intellectually. It doesn't make sense. It's like a koan. You need to look and you will see.

the only what matters is seeing things as they are, not the story around it. So when you looked, what you saw was thoughts, then you went into intellectual faculties and thoughts started to coagulate in the stories. Intellect has nothing to do with LOOKING

Just to make sure we are looking here

And what you saw were thoughts, sensations, feeling, right?

thoughts do exist

sensations do exist

feelings do exist

you don't

look

you is not part of the reality

thoughts. sensations, feelings are part of the reality

you are not



S: yes i can say from my experience "There is no no breather, breathing just happening"
but honestly i cannot say that about driving, i understand what we are getting at here, but my default mode of living today does not feel like driving happens on its own, there is a sense of doing

In this context, i will like you to clarify for me,  what exactly do we mean by seeing?

does this seeing involve thinking about it or some felt sense or something .. .


Elena: what is sense of doing?

look at it. what it is.  Dissect it. What is sense of I, sense of doing? This sense that make you feel there is you who lives, who drives and so on.

Look what it is really
Keep looking at it

What if it's just a thought

Explore it.

/*Breaking Point*/

S: I am exhausted and frustrated about not getting this; I am just not getting it. I know I made some progress, cleared something but I just desperately want to get it done with.   I really don’t know what do I do? if it was about climbing 20 mountains, I would gladly do that.
Anyway, I plan to keep at it,
Yes this sense of being is made up of thoughts and feelings (body sensations), more over it seems to be a strong habit of living, doing things from a stand point with an assumption of this “I” being the truth. This "I" is no where to be seen, now how to see clearly something that is not there in the first place, how to make it my permanent state of being.




Elena:

I am exhausted and frustrated about not getting this; I am just not getting it.

this is very good, intensity is good. the fact that you frustrated is great. it's not you frustrated. there is no you. it's just frustration - dissonance between old belief structure and the truth

I know I made some progress,

there is no you to make progress. there is no progress

 

cleared something but I just desperately want to get it done with.  

this intensity is great. it will carry this endeavor. But there is no you to get it done

I really don’t know what do I do?

You has nothing to do here, that's right. Because it does not exist.

 

if it was about climbing 20 mountains, I would gladly do that.


Oh, yes, thats what hard-core spiritual seekers do - they  have this idea that it's so hard, needs lifetimes to climb. And they climbing. But who is climbing is the self itself, making itself more "special", "more spiritual", "more hard-core" self.
Anyway, I plan to keep at it,

you should. We will make it, no worries.

In Vipassana it's all very simple, very logical and very linear - like all the instructions before every sit what exactly to do. It's not going to work like this. Don't look at me as an instructor with set of instructions. This is a flow. This is pointing, but the finger is not an instruction. So release the notion to understand what's going on. Just drop it. And just flow wherever my question will take you. Do not calculate like in a chess - oh, this is where she is going with this... blah, blah. Drop it.



This is the point where I had chills, seriously. This man came back with such honesty, I almost cried.


Hello Elena

I don't know if this is helpful, but i am questioning some of my beliefs about enlightenment, I just let my mind flow and wrote down these fantasies. 

For me what it means by enlightenment?
  • It means freedom from all that I consider as bad in me.
  • It means I will not have to do any more work.
  • Everything will work out to my advantage from that point onward.
  • It means a master self-improvement project.
  • It will be final & everlasting solution for all my life problems.
  • It means I will be looked upon with reverence.
  • It means I am some one very special, and it’s better if only I get it.
  • It will lose some value if along with me everyone else also gets it.
  • It is a kind of master self-improvement project.

  • hmm in short it means exchanging my defective / broken self with this Super-Self :(  


Even as i write these ideas sound very stupid, but somewhere down i have been holding them secretly.I can see the uselessness about living a life from a perspective of a self, maybe these ideas are also action as a block. I need to question myself about my ideas of enlightenment. 


Elena: this was really honest, and you saw where that self is hiding, yes, in your "spiritual advancement and benefits" fantasies:)


enlightenment is nothing more then seeing that self is an illusion. No angels, no magic wand erasing all the troubles, no people around see a halo around your head and respect you and all that, as you rightly pointed.

It is so simple, when you really look and see that you are not there, just life living on it's own accord, you will laugh.

they call it "cosmic joke"  - like every man should just look honestly, living
behind all the assumptions, simply look at the reality, and be able to see the truth. Why you think it's not happening with all? Because self is playing this game, hiding in any way it can. Like yours, I am sure so many spiritual seekers could just say the same, if only look honestly.

So look, who is driving life?

what's really going on when you say "I"?

"I" is a label that points to nothing, is it true?

Do not answer from the belief, LOOK.




S: I looked around in the room to see what I see, what is real, i saw many real things, then i looked at myself in the mirror, and a thought came to me this is real, my body is real.



i realized then yes the body is real, but the statement that my body is real, is a lie.

yes



where is this my that claims the body, there is only this body it is real, but where is that part which the thoughts carry as My Bod



Body yes . . . . My ???????? don't know the answer to this . . . will continue  . . . 


Body is real, yes.It exist. Mine - just a label. Look if it's true. Find you. Find if you is real, if it exist or it's just a label we wear so long that we forgot it's not there. Look.






Thanks for your help and patience. I am trying to be on it for as much as i can. 

When i got up today and was brushing my teeth, i tried to check this out, initially there was a sense of doing, the thought/mind statement was I am brushing, but as i focused more on it no i is in place, it seems that this "I thought" is a part of every thought itself.

I know there is no batman and i do not live my life as if there is a batman here. But even thought I know there is no self here at all. the problem is, even after not being able to find the self anywhere ever, these thoughts that assume self keep arising and i keep getting identified with them.  

This process is definitely helping me, there are few things that have shifted for me, one I am no longer expecting a big bang event for the realization and have also got over the silly grandeur about life after the realization. I guess I will be ok with the ordinariness of life. :) 

I would love to live life the way you guys describe it. it sucks to be trapped in this illusion of self, just want to experience being in the flow of it. anyway all these is just assumptions on my part, for now ...
Regards


A strong sense of I has come up for me

it is the I that controls or directs the attention, i am honestly not able to say that attention just happens, it feels that it is being directed (cause & effect), like i think to myself i will raise my hand and i do it, i.e. raise my hand.

Elena:


When i got up today and was brushing my teeth, i tried to check this out, initially there was a sense of doing, the thought/mind statement was I am brushing, but as i focused more on it no i is in place, it seems that this "I thought" is a part of every thought itself.

Yes



I know there is no batman and i do not live my life as if there is a batman here. But even thought I know there is no self here at all. the problem is, even after not being able to find the self anywhere ever, these thoughts that assume self keep arising

that is the case for any living human being
 

and i keep getting identified with them.  

Just look more and see the lie



This process is definitely helping me, 


Sorry, mate, this process just is. It's can't help you. there is no you. Look closer.
 

there are few things that have shifted for me,

same 



am no longer expecting a big bang event for the realization

good. 


and have also got over the silly grandeur about life after the realization.

good 



I guess I will be ok with the ordinariness of life. :) 


you have no choice




I would love to live life the way you guys describe it.

It can't happen until you see that you do not exist. and life just is.
 

it sucks to be trapped in this illusion of self,

agree
 

just want to experience being in the flow of it.

you did not release expectations. it holding you from seing the truth.
 

anyway all these is just assumptions on my part, for now ...

drop, drop assumptions. you loosing focus on them. 100% on looking, build up the intensity. Something holding you back. Look what holding you back. Ask. Listen.

What is holding you back? What?
What holding you back?

Ask yourself in desperation. Become very quite. Just sit. The answer will come. Trust what will come. Tell me. We will look at it.


I do write a lot, it helps me to sort out loads of confusion and contradictory thinking
but most of it is using pen/paper i prefer it that way, flows better than typing for me. 

Very good. Write, make sure you cut through bullshit relentlessly. Do not spare any little corner. 



I intend to keep at it till i get out, want to be really do it, want to be free . . . of this self caused sufferings . . . 

I will stay with you until you done, regardless how long it takes. And one never knows. Just trust the flow.


Hello Elena

Need to start with a big Thank You, me thinks, we got it or should we say lost it . . .
my guess, what finally triggered it was an instruction about my meditation sits, I was told to "just observe the thoughts but there was no need to or obey the contents of the thoughts, they are just thoughts arising and not commands to be obeyed" . . . reading this, whatever you all have been trying to say fell in place.

The 'I' thought still will keep arising, but there is no need or compulsion to believe in it or buy their story anymore . . . for me no big shifts or big bangs or anything, just this realization, the I thought arises, just like all other thoughts, giving it energy by engaging in it is what makes it important.

This is a big realization, but don't know about enlightenment, actually does not matter either way. At the least this illusion of self/i/me/mine is seen, If this is all that is to enlightenment, then so be it, if there is something more, then at least this is done.  

Once again a Big Thanks for your efforts (i know there is no you, but still :))

If you need to post our email interaction anywhere publicly, please remove my real name, you may use any other alias of your choosing.

PS: If you feel this is a false alarm or anything of that sort do let me know. It will take a day or 2 for my home PC to get fixed, so will not be able to write back for a day or 2.

Thanks 


Elena: Hey, friend! Yes, that's it. Even it does not feel grand, you will see with time how it will all unfold. It will. Life will be lived just like before, but you will notice that everything will become less sticky, so to speak, not much weight. See, when we go with Vipassana and prune, prune and prune sankaras, the root is still in place. The root is identification with separate structure - self. So who was doing and striving and seeking is the self itself. Even "self" is Life itself too until Life does not need to "pattern" as the self anymore. I hope you understand what I wrote. But it doesn't matter. All is available for you. Years watching impermanence - anicca brought you to direct seeing to see anatta. Now what? You know - just go chop wood, carry water, as they say about enlightenment:) Please keep in touch! Would love to be your friend. Your honesty was outstanding. Hugs. Elena

Hello Elena

Once again thanks for sticking by me.

For me today the I thoughts keep arising, but somehow deep inside there is also a knowing about there being no real self, and so less sticking/identifying with these thoughts. Once seen cannot be unseen, but these old habit patterns of doubts keep raising their ugly head. 

How does one work on deepening this state, or does it work out on it own. What it takes to make this as our default mode of operation? I was planning to start meditating again and see how it goes. What is your view on it.

Elena: Hi!
you can try whatever you inspired. You will see, in the beginning will be more trying and doing, so to speak, because habits still there, and habit of meditating toward achieving something better, is still there. Just keep it all open, and watch habits, including "spiritual". It will all subside! I thought I too, will go to Vipassana retreat after, but happens that I didn't. And vipassana just fell off. Its crazy! I was sitting EVERY day for 8 years 1-2 hours a day, now I don't meditate at all. I still can't believe it, seriously. Let it just all unfold in its own time. Any time something comes up - like persistent habit, emotions - invite closer, look behind whats there. Ask silently. Listen. All is available to you, just ask and listen.

Much love. Elena

Hi again
I will keep an open mind about it and see how it goes. :)
Few minutes back tried to get a feel of the observer, nothing came up, just a blank.


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Born in June 2011 out of inspiration to share how to end life long spiritual search, drop the observer, and return back to naturalness we are.

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