A friend of mine told me about your blog after her recent interaction with you.
If you would, please help me to stop struggling with I/ego/self. I get it… intellectually and have had periods of quiet/understanding/peace but… BUT the whole thing reverts to programming and pain and ugh… I get so frustrated and… well… you know how the stories go.
My name is Brian and I thank you in advance.
Hi, Brian. Thanks for reaching out.
What is "I" for you?
I am not sure. From reading the texts on non-duality (Gita, Krishnamurti, Nisargardatta, Maharshi etc) the “I” doesn’t exist. It is a fabrication built on experiences that are taken to be real and out of that… poof! I emerges with its likes and dislikes and its preferences and preoccupations. I get that on an intellectual level… but…
But for me the “I” still feels the hurt of parental criticism, the insecurity of unemployment/a job interview and anger/frustration/confusion when its kid does not excel in sport. “I” is angry often times as it is also envious and revengeful in thought. Reading “Truth is simple. Illusion is complicated.” on your blog I could relate to Em when she said it was sticky and all kinds of crap sticks to it. I feels unworthy. I is critical and judgmental. I doesn’t know what to do and I goes in circles.
I could go on and on… and it does.
After replying to your email I went to your blog and read your latest entry. Here in the US in the 90’s it was common to see these “hidden” pictures for sale in the mall. When you look at them you saw nothing but if you would look just right… an image would be seen. I would stare and stare while those around me would do the same and then they would go, “Oh, I see… how cool!” and I am like, “What, what!, I don’t see anything!” I thought it was a joke. Then one day I saw one but then moved my head and it was gone. That’s what this whole seeking/searching thing seems like to me at times.
If you want to see, you stop reading and look.
Hurt? What that? Emotion. Emotion is a wave in a consciousness. You - label that assigned AFTER the experience. Look.
Take that emotion and go behind it. What's there?
Yes, I’ve put the books away.
You are saying hurt feelings are emotions and emotions are just waves in consciousness. Additionally, I label these emotions (waves) AFTER the actual experience.
You want me to see what’s there behind the emotion.
Thinking… thinking… what’s there behind the emotion? There is nothing I can see behind, next to, under or over the emotion; the emotion is just there and I feel it.
More thinking… more asking myself what is behind it.
I guess I could also answer with… I am behind the emotion but I am frankly not sure. I feel circular again, because now I want to ask who the hell am I and I don’t know!
Or… behind the emotion is fear. Or is that just another emotion?
Ok, I am sending this off now but I will continue to think on this because I don’t think the responses I gave are what you are looking for.
Elena: Fear? Look up behind the fear. Bow to the amazing creation of consciousness - fear. Invite fear closer and peek behind.
Brian: Hi Elena,
I don’t see anything behind fear. It’s empty space. I can things I create on the surface of fear, lots and lots of things. But fear itself just seems to be there or it seems to come and go. Also, it seems far less personal now. I get a sense it is not personal at all unless I want to make it that way.
This is what comes back when looking behind fear.
Elena: Perfect. So see that it all impersonal phenomena. We just were conditioned from the early childhood to assign "I" to all that is happening - feelings, thoughts, body, etc.
there is no 'I" in the reality. "I' is just a label. Look.
Brian: I’ve been looking and all that was seen was a great big I. I here, I there, I seemingly everywhere.
This morning while I was sitting I was looking again and then the words came to mind, “look behind I”.
I am just telling you what came to mind or what I saw in my mind when I looked behind I.
I was standing there. Behind I was a very dark grey doorway with no door and beyond the doorway was empty space, rather like a picture of outer space.
For what it is worth, “things” have seemed less personal the last few days. My daughter threw a big rude insult the other day, one that would usually get me pretty agitated but for whatever reason this one, well I didn’t care so much. There was still a need to discuss being rude to people but as far as taking it personally I didn’t. Sometimes I think I am still waiting to get mad about it but there is nothing there.
As far as I goes… not sure what will happen there. It would be great to see this feeling rise or that thought rise without being attached to it.
Elena: You are doing great, Brian.
There is no "I". It's a thought. There are emotions, sensations, feeling, body - all exist. If "I" was real, why it is not real in the small baby that just opens it's eyes and look at the world around without any "I" though?
Look that I is not real, It's made up label, a thought. A thought so innocent, but so persistent, that all life springs from being separate entity. Keep looking deeper.
Brian: Looking continues but the I remains. I still sense emptiness behind the I but the I still stands proudly in the doorway. The I still seems very real.
I will continue to look deeper.
if I tell you to find santa in the room
what would you say to me?
Right, you will say that santa is an illusion, it does not exist in the reality. What are the components of santa that exist in the reality?
Thought of santa
Feeling of santa (maybe, heartwarming)
Sensation (maybe, fuzzy)
But there is no actual santa exist in the reality.
If I tell you to find self
You can find a thought of self
Feeling of self
All that is real and exist in the reality.
Can you find self? Doesn't it just same vague and illusive like santa? Yep, because it does not exist in the reality. It's a label, illusion, construct.
Brian: Why didn’t you just tell me I am Santa in the first place! (grin or is it Ho Ho Ho!)
So in reality there are feelings and sensations. These come and go; sometimes like a light breeze and sometimes with the force of a hurricane. But behind them is nothing but still air. I am that still air. The illusion of I is to think you are lifted by a warm summer breeze or pounded by a cold winter blast. Without the illusion there are still summer breezes and winter blasts but there has always been and always will be still air.
The confusion was in the feelings of and sensations of… I. Those are rather persistent, changing and very real and an easy mistake to be made. It also explains why I couldn’t really be found when looked for… just the feelings of and sensations of I were found.
Merry Christmas Elena!
Elena: Ho ho ho! Marry Christmas!:))
It was awesome!
Is there you in any shape or form in the reality?
Brian: No, the thought of “I/you/me” is shapeless and formless. It can appear to have form or shape, as a beam of light through a window will illuminate smoke from a cigarette and seem to give it form but when you run your hand through it there is nothing there. In reality, phenomena (thoughts, feelings or a Santa!) can illuminate and seemingly give form and shape to what we think of (thought of in some cases) I/you/me but like the smoke it is an illusion.
Elena, my dear a memory has just arisen.
In High School I had a teacher by the name of Mrs. J.G. I was warned by most kids who had her before… “be careful, she is a tough one!” And other types of worrisome warnings. The class was literature. While she was demanding and strict, “Sit straight in your chair!” it took only a few weeks for me to begin to realize there was something very special about her. She cared and it showed. Looking back now I can see what she was doing, she was gently trying to wake sleeping souls. One book we read was “Waiting for Godot”. I still remember how she particularly liked that book. That’s the memory that just came to mind while typing. In her class we would take turns reading a loud and then as a group lead by her we would discuss it. I too began to have an appreciation for this work and for her. Just for fun, I went over and read a few quotes from the book just now; how appropriate they are to our conversation. After reading them again now, I really see how special she and those like her, like you Elena, are.
The following quote is from: Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
“But that is not the question. Why are we here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come."
I saw her obituary in the local paper in the late 1990’s and I remember feeling sad and regretful when that I never stopped by to thank her and tell her how much I appreciated her.
Now… I now I just did!
Time for Santa to make his rounds!
Elena: Oh, Brian thank you for the amazing story. This play is so intricate, it make me appreciate every little detail, thing as an amazing creation, amazing.
Do you mind dear friend if I ask you couple of questions which you should answer clear and precise, looking at you immediate experience?
You are saying there is no you, was there any you before?
What change now?
Is anybody living life?
Thank you and hugs!
Brian: Who is asking? (ha ha ha) I bet you get that a lot.
Was there a me before? You mean before I saw me was just an illusion that never was? I’m not sure… ha ha ha! Oh, it’s all so stupid yet funny.
What’s changed? It’s not personal. Last night’s sleep was interrupted by many recognitions of previous thoughts of me, me, me in various situations and just how silly/obvious, words are hard to find here, it all was. The searching… it’s like water asking, “Am it wet?” Humour asking, “Am I funny?” I think the next big thing will be self help books for rivers. It will have chapters on “Healing your inner stream” and “Learning to go with the flow” and “Is the ocean really your destiny?” ha ha ha.
Also, the conditioning and the habits of old seem much clearer and much weaker. I get the sense they will begin to fall away. I feel lighter. Words work on the surface but are rather useless deep down. The bumper sticker “Shit Happens” has taken on a much deeper meaning… ha ha ha.
I heard once that you and I are really just God’s way to experience his creation. Consciousness’s way of seeing its self and experiencing creation. Beautiful.
Is anybody living life? Hmmm, let me ask my dog and get back to you on that one. He has proven pretty reliable on these sorts of things… ha ha ha. He said, “No” but the cat just laughed at the question. ha ha ha.
You and I had been working together for just about a week. I would read your email response in the morning and then sit with it and… look or whatever it is you would like to call it. There was some progress I can see now, I didn’t see it then. I first saw feelings and sensations for what they were but the I remained firmly entrenched. Then yesterday I sat before reading your email. It was an emotion filled sitting. I saw the younger me, the hurt me, the seeking, efforting me. I could say to myself, it’s okay and I am sorry they hurt you they were wrong to do that, you have done great job dealing with it all and I will be that big brother you always wanted, the caring supporting parent you wanted, I will help you and it was genuine and tears rolled the body shook. I then said or the thought arose (however you want to say it) “I want to come home, I want to come home now.” The timer sounded and then the cat started rubbing his face on my hand. Okay, the cat is here now I said to myself and spent a few minutes with him. I then got up, turned off the timer and saw your email on my phone and read it.
I’m Santa! Ho ho ho!
Usually I give your words some time to float around and sink in but this time there was no need, I went right to the computer and you know the response.
So how did “it” happen? That’s right! Ha ha ha.
Gladly accepting your thank you and hugs!
Elena: That's right that's right.
I am glad I was able to help
But but but
I need clear answers to confirm you seen the real deal
Once seen - never unseen
I need to know that for sure, otherwise I will continue to ask you
Do you exist?
Ever was you there?
Brian: No and no. Was there a me before? You mean before I saw ME was just an illusion THAT NEVER WAS