Saturday, 31 March 2012

Self Is Just A Thought That We Mistake As Self

This conversation was light and easy. Alfredo was very ready and it did not take long to clear the last obstacles to seeing. 


Ilona
Hi Alfredo. Have we met? I just don't recognise your name.
Much love.

Alfredo
Hi Ilona, we have not met yet, I haven't had the pleasure, I only know that you are the one who wrote," There is this thought, I...and once you see that I is just a thought and you see that thought itself does not think.....IT CLICKS!"
I love that, thank you, much love here for you

Ilona
Pleasure to meet you Alfred.
So did you cross that gateless gate?
Love.

Alfredo
Don't know?

Ilona
Ha, then the answer is no.

Alfredo
You are right!

Ilona
So do you exist?

Alfredo
Hahahaha....lol...no I don't

Ilona
 Cool. So what is self?

Alfredo
self does not exist!

Ilona
What is Alfredo?

Alfredo
That's a name "I answer to

Ilona
Can you see Alfredo as a character in a play?

Alfredo
Yes, except when the emotion is to strong

Ilona
What is feeling emotion?

Alfredo
It's just a felt sense in the body

Ilona
Sounds to me that you are awake.

Alfredo
Don't know what say. The day that I find LU, I ask for you, by name without Knowing anything, something knew you would be the one helping, thank you Ilona love your name

Ilona
It means light, so they say...
So how does it feel to be liberated?

Alfredo
Ilona means light, how appropriate  It feels the same or a little more quiet 

Ilona
What was it that made you look? What triggered seeing?

Alfredo
Sorry don't know what you are asking?

Ilona
Interesting. Hm. So have you seen through illusion or not? Honestly..

Alfredo
I know it's a movie a play, but I do get suck in, but not for very long honestly

Ilona
Is being sucked in not a part in the movie?
 Like if you watch a great film for moments you get sucked into it and everything else kind of melts away.
Is that what you mean?

Alfredo
It must be, a part in the movie, if it happen, it is. Yes believing, in thoughts that are arising even if you are watching a movie

Ilona
What is not on automatic?

Alfredo
Consciousness

Ilona
and what is in charge of consciousness?

Alfredo
nothing!

Alfredo
The truth is that, I don't know what's on automatic, and I don't know who is in charge of anything, sorry

Ilona
Can it be that everything is just happening without manager?

Alfredo
That's for sure!

Ilona
Aha. So does consciousness need an I to be conscious?

Alfredo
hahahaha... no consciousness doesn’t need an I to be conscious

Ilona
Hahahahaha. Funny that.
So what is the I?

Alfredo
The I is a thought

Ilona
What does it point to?

Alfredo
The I is pointing to the false sense of self

Ilona
The sense is real. But is it a self?
What is that sense if you look up closely?

Alfredo
The self does not exist; the sense must be a sensation

Ilona
Take a look. Close your eyes and feel the aliveness in the body, being (verb) amness. Is that self or self is a label stuck on that feeling?
Is there a line between here and there?

Alfredo
I can feel my body, being. There is no boundary no line

Ilona
So can self be felt? Can I be felt?
What is being felt?

Alfredo
No, self cannot be felt. I cannot be felt either. Sensations are being felt

Ilona
Cool. So what is real and what is imaginary?

Alfredo
What is is what's real, imaginary is everything else like thoughts ideas, imagination, feelings and separation

Ilona
Feelings? Feelings come as sensations in the body + labels.
Are they there if there are no labels?

Alfredo
Sensations are real. Labelling feelings energize the feelings

Ilona
Very good. Now look at the connection between thoughts and feelings how one influences another and tell me how loops of thought happen.

Alfredo
Thought happen, if believing happens, feelings arise, if label to feeling happen it energize the feeling loop of thought happen

Ilona
If believing happens- can you look deeper there, what is it that believes anything?
What are beliefs?

Alfredo
Good one, of course lol...hahaha...there must be an I to believe, thanks Ilona

Ilona
Hihihi. Yep... So mind creates that I as we keep repeating that sound and it assumes that this I is real. The fear protects it from being exposed and whoop- a trap- one gets into a tiny prison of me.
Without a me, what is here?

Alfredo
Beliefs are thou
sorry don't pay attention to this
Freedom !
LIBERATION!

Ilona
Yes, as patterns of habitual thought infused with emotions.
But is there a believer that is a question.

Alfredo
NO, no believer, no one here

Ilona
So what is it that wakes up?
Is there a gate?

Alfredo
No one wakes up!

Ilona
Hahahahaha

Alfredo
hahahahah..

Ilona
Was there ever a self?

Alfredo
no not ever

Ilona
:)))) sweet. How does it feel to see this?

Alfredo
great

Ilona
Let it settle in..

Alfredo
ok love you

Ilona
Love you too .
I'll ask you few questions tomorrow.

Alfredo
that will be wonderful thank you

Ilona
You are welcome!

....................


Alfredo
Hi Ilona, I love the talk we had yesterday, it was enlighten and fun, if you like to ask few more questions, I'm ready I love this, there is nothing more important than this, much love here for you

Ilona
Hi Alfredo, here are a few questions.
Please answer with no rush and in full.

1) Is there a 'me', 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.

3) How does it feel to see this?

4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.

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

Alfredo
1) There is no a "me" anywhere to be found of any shape or form, not ever!

2) The illusion of the separate self, is just a thought that we mistake as self, this separate self it's some thing that we get told, very early in life as a child, by the world around that we interact with like, school, parents, etc. It works when we take thoughts to be real.

3)The feeling is like a privilege, to know truth is the end of drama

4)OMG...ok...I'll give it a go,,,,my friend you are not your thoughts, thoughts happen without you volition
breathing happens you don't do breathing it happens, if not you would die in your sleep wouldn't you? Now what about digestion, you don't do it either it happens all on it's own, you can not make it happen it's impossible, it just happens on it's own. Same thing with the blood in your body, who is in charge of circulating blood do you? or is it something that happens on it's own accord?

I have another one for you, who is in charge of your heart, or your lungs, are you constantly in charge even when sleeping ? My friend you just scratch your nose and your leg, while talking to me, did you secretly give an order to scratch or it just happen, please take your time, to answer and be honest, because honesty is very important, if you really want to know what's true.

5) The thing that made me look, was when I read what you wrote, "There is this thought, I....and once you see that I is just a thought and you see that thought itself does not think It clicks!"

Ilona
Awesome, Alfredo. Sounds clear to me. Is there any doubt at all?

Alfredo
You are the one, that push me, with questions, that at the same time were teachings, but without telling me straight forward, you just let me find out for myself, thank you so much, you are simply the best, much love here for you

Ilona
That’s the only way how it works, you have to find out that for yourself. :))

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Innercall: There Is No Actual I.

Ilona:
Thank you for message. Please introduce yourself here and tell a bit of your story.
Looking forward to our conversation.
Much love.


Innercall:
Hi Ilona,
Thanks for guiding me.

My name is Maxime and I am a 32 years old man. I have started doing meditation about 5 years ago in an attempt to fill an emptiness that I was feeling for a long time. For a long time I longed for more in my life and meditation quickly convinced me that there was more to life than what I used to think. I didn't know what I was looking for, neither am-I now but one thing that increased was the longing for that thing, this urgency to merge with something more, this need that makes you cry while looking at the stars in the sky.
I experienced a kundalini awakening that changed the way I see life, and the perception of the energies inside my body.

It was followed by a period of severe depression that settled down over time. I had a couple of moments where I felt connected, where I could see everything happening to this consciousness without being involved but these didn't stay long. Over time I became very sensitive to any spiritual practise. Just a little of meditation or too much of spiritual reading made me feel depressed. In fact, everything increasing inner silence increases the energy and emotions felt inside and it is like the energy released from the energetic-emotional knots dissolving from the silence get stuck inside my body. Because of that, I decreased my practises of meditation to nearly zero since a couple of months. I came to realise that a part of me fears the dissolving of the self and that all this discomfort and resistance I feel when meditating might be caused by this fear.

I don't want any more to be divided between the desire to know the truth and the fear of finding out. I am willing to face that fear, to experience the unknown and live with the consequence.
Looking forward to our conversation too
Innercall

Ilona: 
Brilliant. Thank you for intro.
Before we can take a next step I invite you to examine your expectations as thoroughly as you can, so we can leave them here till later.

Make a list of what you expect seeing the truth is gonna be like, what it is not gonna be like and what you do not want it to be.

Get it all put of the system and put it on the screen.
:)

Sending love.

Innercall:
My expectations…
What I expect seeing the truth will be like or would like it to be:

-A relief
-The end of my suffering
-The reconciliation of the opposites in me
-The end of complexity, the beginning of simplicity
-Solving all my problems… eh eh
-The answer to my undefined longing.
-Fun, hilarious
-Bring energetic and emotional stability
-A part of me wants to be special or different because of it
-A moment of deep understanding clearly seen… like an Oh my god this is it!!!
-The end of thoughts that always haunt me
-Inner peace

What it is not gonna be like:

-Painful
-Sad
-An extreme experience with fireworks omniscience and omnipotence
Strange, I’ve got difficulties figuring out how it is not going to be…
What I don’t want it to be:
-Something temporary that will leave me
-The loss of will to continue on a spiritual quest. I am quite attached to this idea of having to DO something to see the truth about me and I perceive fear about having to s all this if I finally find the anwser.
-Disappointing
-A joke, not existing
-Being of no relevance to my experience of life.
-The loss of something precious and useful
-The loss of will to act in life

I think this is it...at least for now

Ilona:
That is a nice list!

Couple points:

The shift is very subtle. You may not even notice when it occurs, so if you expect a big aha moment, it may never happen. Sometimes it's only possible to see when shift happened few days later. So no angel choir, no sonic boom, no big insight. Relax about it.

Solving all your problems? Ha, good one. No, seeing truth does not solve problems. It's seeing that problems are all in the mind.

You mention that there is wanting to be special. It's actually the other side- what you get is -ordinary. :)
Loss of something precious and useful- how precious and useful is belief in I? That is the only thing that gets lost- the belief in magical separate entity me.

Other than that, we can leave the expectations for now and move forward.
Tell me precisely what comes up, thoughts, feelings, when you let the mind play with this:

There is no separate self at all in real life, no I, no me, no owner, controller, watcher, manager of life. None as in zero.

Much love.

Innercall:
There is a mixed feeling. On one side there is peace and relief and on the other there is a subtle fear and an interrogation. I can also feel a small contraction in the area of my throat and chest while reading it. There is an excitement, an opening to the unknown, the kind you get when you do something new the first time or visiting a new place on a trip.

If there is no self, no watcher or controller then what? What is seeing? What is thinking? How comes all these perceptions exists? If there is no separated self how comes that there are perceptions that are limited to this body. Doesn't that makes a separate self, constitutes the me?



In a way when I think about there being no separate self, no me, no controller, I end up with an internal question like "then who or what am I ?" and then there is only nothing...a silence...but a silence that smiles in a kind of way.

In a way it feels right and true in a subtle and profound way and at the same time it feels like an unsolved enigma that needs to be solved on the level of the conceptual mind.

Love.

Ilona:
Yes, it feels like an enigma until it doesn't.

I is a thought.

I am points to a feeling. That is this feeling of aliveness, sensations, movement, being.
That feeling has been assumed for a me, that is in charge.

There is control and will, and focus, all these experiences are being experienced, but not by I.
As I is nothing else but a thought.

Where do thoughts come from?


Innercall:
They come from a space in the head. I feel they come from an impulse that is indistinct at first but gets clearer to become an articulated thought. As I look at it, a thought seems to manifest in the head from another thought or in reaction to an experience.


Ilona:
Where in the head? Can you pin point the location?

Can you control thoughts?

Can you choose which thoughts you want to think or stop thinking for 10 minutes?

Is there a thinker?

Answer when ready.

Innercall:


Where in the head? Can you pin point the location?


There is no precise spot in the head; I could say it is mostly in the front part of the head but it is blurry with no clear frontier. Also, when it is thought in words it seems to be located as a subtle impulse in the area of the throat and mouth like the one used to talk but only more subtle. I guess I could say I can’t pinpoint a precise location.

Can you control thoughts?


I have taken a look at it and I just can’t control thoughts that are happening. Even if I try, I can always be surprised by what they happen to be. It seems to me that I can orient thoughts toward a general direction or an aim, like writing this message. But again, this aim or goal is a thought and did I really controlled that thought that set all the other thoughts in motion?... no. I just can’t control any thought, they just happen to be. They look linked together by something tough.

Can you choose which thoughts you want to think or stop thinking for 10 minutes?


Definitely not. Precisely when I look at it, I cannot impose any thought. Even when I want to, when I say ”I choose to think about….” the thought that appears is a complete surprise and once I am thinking something and I try to keep thinking it or thinking something related, I still get a new thought that I didn’t choose. Wow…


Is there a thinker?


When I read this, I hear that thought “is there a thinker?” in my mind and then I get…nothing. I don’t know… there are thoughts and they are perceived. I can’t find a solid, definite thinker... I find there are thoughts, they are perceived but I can’t find what make the thoughts. All the thoughts are different and unpredictable but the perception of thoughts is more constant. I feel like there is no thinker but there is a perceiver and it feels like me.

Ilona:
Good work.

Perceiver? Is there a gap between Perceiver of thoughts, thoughts and thinking, or is it one process that we call thinking?

Test it with a sound. Just s everything for 2 minutes and listen intently to all sounds that are present. Is there a heater of sounds separate from hearing and heard?
Where does hearing happen? Listen to the distant sounds, where is the hearer then?
With closed eyes check if there is a line between here and there. Can it be defined?

Innercall:
Test it with a sound. Just s everything for 2 minutes and listen intently to all sounds that are present. Is there a heater of sounds separate from hearing and heard?

No; hearing and heard are at the same time all by themselves. When attention changes from one sound to the other, very quickly there is the memory of that new sound that plays back in mind and there is a related thought appearing that can be a judgement or recognition. That thought (memory of the sound with a tint of recognition) can be mistaken for a perceiving of the sound but the sound was already heard. So there is a gap but it is between the hearing and the thought that manifests because of it. I just can’t hear without thoughts about the hearing happening. Or rather I could say that there is no conscious hearing without thoughts appearing.


Where does hearing happen?


I can locate the sound. It can be on my left, on my right, near or far. I think I identify the place of hearing with the middle of all the sounds heard but I can’t pinpoint precisely more than that it is related to the ears.
Listen to the distant sounds, where is the hearer then?

I don’t know where the hearer is but a distant sound is recognised as distant and a sound on the left is recognised on the left. The hearing of the sound is analysed in a way that locates the sound relatively to the position of my head. It then seems that the hearer is in the head or in the ears.

With closed eyes check if there is a line between here and there. Can it be defined?


A line can be defined between the sound and the position from which it is heard but not precisely. If the origin of the sound is moving, then I can sense the line between the sound and me changing direction.
Is there a gap between Perceiver of thoughts, thoughts and thinking, or is it one process that we call thinking?

It seems to me that there is no gap and it can be called the process of thinking. A little like mentioned for hearing, gaps do seem to be there but it is a gap between a thought and a new thought that is a judgement or recognition of this first thought that can be taken as a perceiving.


Ilona:
Very good my friend.
So thoughts are coming from nowhere and to no one, there is no Perceiver of sound, what is going on here, what do you see? Is there a doer of actions?

Innercall:
A part of me is fighting against this idea. It seems something is lacking in the equation. I feel very uncomfortable as I write this as if I am about to find out something very disappointing.

Ok so thinking is happening and hearing is happening and when I look at it closely, I can’t find to whom it is happening, it just happens, but only when I look very carefully and closely. I can’t attach the thinking or hearing to something specific. Something is missing.

Is there a doer of actions?

When I ask myself this question, a part of me is responding Yes with a sensation in the body around the upper chest and lower throat. When I look at it closely, every action starts from a thought. Right now, I take some time and wait for an action to happen. There are automatic actions that happen that I didn’t decide like clinging my eyes: no control, it just happens. All the voluntary actions start from a thought that is a complete surprise to me on which I had no control so impulse for action just happens. Then there seems to be a control on whether or not I act upon the thought…. Ok, I realised that for the last 15 minutes, nearly every action was done in the same mode as my eyes clinging, it just happened.

There were also actions that came from a thought that I seem to have decided to do. For example, I decide to do an action….nothing… then there is this thought: “touch the glass”… then it will stay and repeat itself… that’s the moment where I get the sense of controlling the action by deciding to touch the glass or not.
So is there a doer of actions? I don’t know. I have difficulties finding it. Most of the time actions seem to happen and I must admit it is quite confusing.

Ilona:
What is that I that is referred to in your posts?
What is looking closely?
Is there a subject in action?

Like I breathe, I walk, I snore, I eat, I think, I do?

What is being noticed? What is already obvious?
What is that I that is referred to in your posts?

Innercall;
It is an unclear sense of centre. That is that which connects all the parts together, that links the body sensations, the hearing, the thinking, the writing. It is the memory of the experiences linked together.
What is looking closely?

I can’t find it. It is just a focus on a specific area of experience (thinking or hearing for example) that is happening because of a thought about it. Like for the thinking and the hearing, there is the process of looking closely or focusing that just happens. There is no difference between looking closely, the looked at experience, and the looker. There is the judgement, feeling, thought process that follows the looking that seems to do the looking, but it is a reaction to the looking that already happened.

Is there a subject in action? Like I breathe, I walk, I snore, I eat, I think, I do?

Action is happening from a specific body. That body is always there and because it is always there, it seems like it is me and it seems it is the subject in action.

When breathing happens, it happens without a subject. The thought of I breath can come after. It is a kind of confirmation or reconstruction of my existence that is done by integrating and connecting the breathing to the whole package of memories and thoughts. It is the same with the other actions.

So there is no subject during an action, it just seems so after.

What is being noticed? What is already obvious?

There is a big intermingled knot of memories, thoughts, emotions and sensations that is always actualised and fed by all the experiences. Each new experience is integrated within that net and this moment of integration is a thought or judgement that confirms the I. That big knot of thoughts and memories is like a super-thought that is both subtle and complex that cannot be seen clearly because it contains too much superimposed information. Still, even if it is noticed, that knot still somehow feels like me. Mostly, the feelings, uncomfortable feelings, located in certain area of the body feel like me.

It is obvious that doing, thinking and hearing are happening by themselves without a subject. It is obvious that something is false in the whole portrait because there is a clash between the absence of subject and the feeling that there is a me.




Ilona:
OK, now look at the knot of memories and thoughts. Is there an actual knot anywhere to be found?

Focus on the feeling that is labelled knot.

Is it an I? A me?

Notice another thing- thoughts pass by not in knots, but in trains. One thought comes after another, but only one thought comes to awareness at a time, if it's speedy and lots - it may get labelled as knot, but examine it deeper and wrote what you find.

And- there is no centre.

There never was a centre. All there is is experience happening now + experience of thinking about it.

If you had to point to a centre, where would your finger point to?

If there was a centre, wouldn't it be clear and obvious?

It's unclear, because mind is trying to recreate something that it imagines and believes as real based on memories.

Check if it's true. Ask the centre to reveal itself, literally. See what happens.

Sending love.


 Innercall:
OK, now look at the knot of memories and thoughts. Is there an actual knot anywhere to be found?

No there isn’t, it is more a kind of feeling.

Focus on the feeling that is labelled knot. Is it an I? A me?

No, it doesn’t feel like a me.

Notice another thing- thoughts pass by not in knots, but in trains. One thought comes after another, but only one thought comes to awareness at a time, if it's speedy and lots - it may get labelled as knot, but examine it deeper and wrote what you find.

That looks right. Thoughts appear and disappear very quickly. Most of the thoughts don’t have time to become precise and are replaced by others while they are still only very subtle, not articulated thoughts. It is not clear but it seems that a lot of thoughts in the train are “I thoughts” or “me thoughts”, linking the previous thought or the experience to the thought. For example, I just add this itch sensation on a part of my skin, so there is this sensation then it is followed by a thought that is “it itches me”.

If you had to point to a centre, where would your finger point to?

It would point near the heart, just a little on the right side of the middle of the chest.

If there was a centre, wouldn't it be clear and obvious?

I must admit it isn’t clear and obvious.

Check if it's true. Ask the centre to reveal itself, literally. See what happens.

When I ask this question, an energetic sensation build up in the chest, a kind of tension attracts everything inside the body, mostly on the right side, to a spot inside the upper right part of the chest that becomes a little painful. This is accompanied with uncomfortable feelings, a kind of fear and sadness. Then, after a while it causes an uncontrollable shiver or shaking that releases that build-up of energy. This exercise leaves me with a mild feeling of depression and tiredness.

Sending love.
Thank you

Ilona:
Let's go a bit further here.
If you go back to that feeling in the chest, and observe it even closer.

Is it a real centre or is it a sensation in the body, raw feeling + label 'center'.

Look behind that feeling. What is there?

Innercall:
When I look at it, it is a feeling that responds to the label “center”. But that feeling is not precise it moves and changes in intensity.

Behind this sensation is a screaming and afraid sense of self that yells “I exist!!!” , “you’ve got the right to exist!!!” . It really isn’t clear and constant but it is the image that comes to mind when asking what is behind this sensation.

Ilona:
OK, yes, there is s feeling of existing, aliveness, amness, whatever you call it, but is it I? or is I just a label that we use as we learn that with language.

bring that fear up, that screaming 'i have right to exist', what is it that is saying that?

keep looking behind that feeling. is there a feeler?

Innercall:
The feeling of existing is here and can be perceived. ‘I’ looks to be the thought that manifests from this perception. Yes, it is a label. When I think ‘I’, it brings that feeling of existing.

bring that fear up, that screaming 'i have right to exist', what is it that is saying that?

No one is screaming. It is only a thought that happens, like any other thought.

keep looking behind that feeling. is there a feeler?

I can’t find it. There is only the feeling that is mistaken for the feeler but there is no separation. There is the process of feeling but no feeler behind that feeling. There can be thoughts about the feeling tough.

Seeing this reveals a sensation that is larger in the centre of the body from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen. The same way, there is no feeler when I look at it but that realisation has to be checked again and again as that feeling is identified with me again and again. A part of me doesn't believe it.

Ilona:
Good work.

So feeler can not be found, thinker can not be found,

Then what is real? What is happening and what any of THIS has to do with the I thought?

Is there a self in any form or shape in reality?

Innercall:
The process of feeling is real, the process of thinking is real, and the aliveness feeling is real. All experiences happen and are then very quickly labelled with the I thought to become labelled as my experiences. It feels like when a perception (object of sense or thought) appears then appears the I thought associated with the aliveness feeling. From these two succeeding thoughts appears a thought stating that the object is mine or not mine or me or not me. For example I look at the phone on the table, immediately I get this thought “my phone” combined with the feeling of existing. Or there can be a body sensation and it is followed with the thought “I feel that”. All this is not really clear. I feel blind when looking for the I thought.

Is there a self in any form or shape in reality?

I can’t find a definite self, there are many experiences labelled self. Still there is a sense of separation.

The clarity of seeing the non-existence of the doer, feeler and thinker was difficult to maintain while interacting during the day. It can be recalled as a thought becoming a kind of new belief, but really looking needs an effort.

Ilona:
If it can be seen that there is no doer and no thinker, then what is it that is trying?

If everything is effortlessly happening, then what is it that puts effort?

And what is it that is trying to maintain clarity?

Can you look deeper at these questions.

Innercall:

I don’t know what is trying but it seems to be motivated by some kind of fear of failing to see the truth, a need for validation. It is the same impulse and motivation that brings me to my computer to write this and that motivates me to do meditation. It is a raw desire. The consequences of this desire are the actions, some of which are the trying and the effort.

So what is trying, what puts the effort? It feels like this is done by me, that there is an I at the origin of that effort. But no, I can’t find specifically what is trying. I only get a sensation of urgency in the body, a strong desire find out. That desire causes effort and the trying to maintain clarity in an attempt to feed the desire. There is wanting but there is no object to that wanting. AAgh!! There is such an internal struggle right now…

Ilona:
Oh yes, the inner struggle is the motivation to resolve this confusion.

The mind is seeking clarity and is looking at what is causing the struggle.

Tell me, can I wake up?

Innercall:
Conceptually no. I can’t be the one that wakes-up and realises that I never existed. Then if it is not I, who’s sleeping that can wake-up?

And I can see there is this feeling of I wanting to wake-up, of I looking for the absence of I and that causes an unsolvable problem in the mind.

Ilona:
good stuff. so look at the mind as a labelling machine. it labels everything that is focused on. look around the room slowly. notice how mind immediately starts telling stories and name things.

when we learn the language mind learns to label actions:

i walk
i talk
i type,
i breathe,
i digest,
i sleep, etc.

if you change these labels to

walking
talking
typing,
breathing... etc, what happens?

is there an actual I that does the actions or is it just a word, that is serving as subject in the label? is there a subject in doing?

watch breathing, is there an i that breathes?
is there an i that wakes up in the morning?
is there an i that goes to sleep?
is there an i in any doing?

what is that i? what is it pointing to? can that i ever wake up? If not, what is waking up?

take a good look and answer when ready..

much love.

Innercall:
You are right, mind labels everything seen or perceived.

if you change these labels to 
walking
talking
typing, 
breathing... etc, what happens?

There is a relaxing. When I change the way of labelling like changing from I see to seeing, very subtly a feeling of tension/separation changes to a sense of lightness/wholeness. Two becomes one in that instant.

is there an actual I that does the actions or is it just a word, that is serving as subject in the label? is there a subject in doing?

No there is no actual I. When an action is performed, there is the label ‘I am doing the action’ that appears in mind. There is no subject in doing. The subject is in between the doings, an added thought to the doing.

watch breathing, is there an i that breathes?


No, there is only the label “I breath” associated to the breathing sensation.


is there an i that wakes up in the morning?

It seems so, there is the label “I live” that is associated with all the memories that comes back when waking up, combined with all the labels made by the mind from all the sensory experiences happening when waking up. Have to take a deeper look at that.

is there an i that goes to sleep?

Getting asleep is a moment when the I disappear and labels s, so it seems there is no I that goes to sleep.

is there an i in any doing?

No, there isn’t but there is the label “I am doing” generated by the mind when actions are happening.


what is that i? what is it pointing to?

That I is a thought. Alone it is a label associated to a sensation in the body, the feeling of existing. That thought is joined with the objects of perceptions in “I do this”, “I see this”. This creates a thought that links the feeling of existing with the object in a subject-object relationship. It creates a irreconcilability between the I thought associated with perception of the aliveness feeling and the perception or action happening. Both of these thoughts are at the same level, they are perceptions, and the mind is trying to impose a relationship between the two.

can that i ever wake up?

No, it is only a concept, a label created by the mind.

If not, what is waking up?

Feeling the same struggle now… All that my mind is yelling is “Nothing!!!”
Another answer coming is “The space where all this happens…”
I feel on the edge of a fog wall, blind and not knowing how to go through.

Ilona:
Hahaha, you are no longer blind.

I can see that you are crossing nicely and what is left is to get your mind register what happened.

How does it feel to be liberated?

Innercall:
Not much really… still I cannot deny such really… still I cannot deny that something changed, something subtle.

There is a kind of fear that it might not be true, that some of what was written here was only coming from ideas I had from past readings… but still, I read back some of the messages we exchanged and I could see and feel how the perceptions I had changed.

Some kind of feeling of achievement is felt and that looks wrong… no one achieved anything but there is still a subtle feeling of pride about it that separates me from the others.

The labelling still happens, I saw someone passing near the window and there was the labelling “I see that person”…. Anxiety is appearing because there is the belief that no separation at all should be perceived.

In fact, nearly everything is the same, I feel some uncomfortable feelings (anxiety that happens sometime) but at the same time there is something else, a subtle lightness. There is also a new perspective with which the life can be experienced. In the past hour or so, during activity, there was spontaneous laughing and also feeling like crying…

I guess this is not the end of it, there is probably integration required.

Much gratitude to you Ilona for guiding me up to that point.

Ilona:
Oh yes, looks that you through. But, let it settle. Relax, take break, just rest from this. We will speak tomorrow.

The subtle lightness, yeah, it's gentle and real. And nothing changes, true. All is as it's always been. :) labelling included.

I'll ask you a few more questions tomorrow. Till then, dear friend.

Much love.

Innercall:
OK I'll relax.
Much love Ilona

Ilona:
how is it going today? are you ready for the final questions?

much love.

Innercall:
I am doing fine and yes, I am ready for the final questions.

Ilona:
Great to hear. So here are the questions.

Please answer in full.
1) Is there a 'me', 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.
3) How does it feel to see this?
4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.
5) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

Sending lots of love.


Innercall:
1) Is there a 'me', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

No there isn’t any me at all. There are only thoughts, actions and perceptions happening but there is no subject. All there ever was was things happening… but there never was a real me, only thoughts of me. There is nowhere where it can be found and it can’t be associated with something tangible.


2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.

Self/me/I is a label created by the mind for the feeling of existing and various other memories and feelings but it is really only a thought, a word. We are used to think in the way we are taught to speak in a subject –object kind of way where the I is linked to the object whether it is an action or a perception. The illusion of separate self is created by the use of the self/I/me thought, that is in itself only a thought for the perceptions of living/memories/feelings, to put it in relation with the objects of perceptions. That creates a sense of separation between the self/me/I concept and the object of perception. That creates a sense that one set of perception labelled “me” is the subject of other perceptions but really these are both perceptions without any subject.

That illusion starts when you learn to speak and think in a subject-object kind of way.

3) How does it feel to see this?

It feels quite simple in fact. There is a subtle sense of lightness. An inner struggle has settled down. There is also a kind of feeling of freedom but it’s strange how that doesn’t change anything really. Everything is still happening, but now there is space for it to happen.

4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion?

I would ask that person if they feel there is a self that is doing, feeling, thinking. Then I would tell that person that the illusion is that belief of “you” actually doing, feeling, and thinking anything. I would then ask that person to really look at their thoughts and see if they can control any thought. Is there a controller of thought, is there a thinker? If you look carefully you will realise there is nothing, no “you”, controlling or thinking, there is only thinking happening. There is only the habit of thinking that there is a you that is thinking, doing, hearing, etc. Actually everything is happening now out of nothing.

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

Part of the seeing was done, I saw that there was no subject in actions, thoughts and perceptions but there was still a feeling of me. That created a buildup of tension inside, a struggle for the mind to find how that was possible. Looking at the thinking as a labelling of reality and changing from the formulation “I see this” to “seeing this” revealed the relation of the I-thought with every other thought and how that relation was false. Also, I think that out of that struggle came the realisation that there was nothing that could wake-up, the dog sped chasing is tail.

Ilona:
Your answers are clear, my friend.
I'm delighted to welcome you home- to the natural living. :))
I'd like to invite you to unleashed. Are you on Facebook?

Is there any doubt at all?
Love!

Innercall:

I would be lying if I said there wasn’t any doubt. During and after writing the previous message there was the fear that it may all be wrong, that I may lose it. There was some kind of anxiety during the day and that anxiety created thoughts saying that I couldn’t be liberated if I still felt that. So there were alternate states between doubt and relaxing in the knowing of truth. Doubt and anxiety is quite common for that mind and I don’t suppose it should change that quickly. Nevertheless, there is space for all this to happen. There were many occasions of remembering or seeing the absence of self during the day accompanied with laughter or smile. Habits are probably not changed in that a short time.

I am on Facebook and I would be glad to join unleashed. I’ll ask to join just now.

I am grateful to you my friend for opening my eyes. I probably haven’t realised the depth of this gift.
Thank you, Thanks Life!!!


Ilona:
Doubt is a friend, not something unwanted. It is through doubt that doors open and fresh new seeing is possible. So I'd say test everything. Is it true- is the best question to ask in every situation of habitual thought.

There is time for deconstruction of old belief system. My only advice is hold on to
nothing, let whatever is falling off fall..

Lots of love.

Innercall:
Thanks Ilona, I’ll do just that

Love

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Dacre: LOOK Directly At It.

Ilona: 
Hi Dacre, thank you for a very nice message. Please introduce yourself here a little and let's start digging. 

What do you expect from this conversation?
What do you imagine seeing the truth is going to be like?

Make a list of all that you are hoping for and do so without holding back, with 100% honesty. 

Looking forward to your answer. 
Much love.

Dacre:
Hi Ilona, I have been seeking for almost 30 years. Started with Buddhism, meditation retreats, etc, then over the years much involvement in New Age, healing, motivational seminars, and with numerous often very clear spiritual teachers. Strangely, I seemed to gain a lot from everything I have done only to lose it months, weeks, days, sometimes only hours later. None of it amounted to anything is my feeling now. Wasted money, wasted life. 

From this conversation I expect the truth, whatever that is. I expect that the eternal, infernal seeking and endless longing will come to an end. 

I imagine that "seeing the truth" may be a non-event, but it will mean that life will be living itself, beautifully, spontaneously, with all its ups and downs, but without the interference of an I who imagines that it controls everything and needs to control everything and with all the exhaustive burdens, guilt, and heavy responsibility that goes with that. 

I have suffered with anxiety and depression almost my entire life. While I don't expect this lifelong habit to change overnight necessarily, I do hope that seeing the "me" for what it is will remove the shame and self-blame associated with these states, to allow life to flow, open up and sort itself out naturally. 

Ilona:
"It will mean that life will be living itself, beautifully, spontaneously, with all its ups and downs, but without the interference of an I."

That is already the case. Life is life-ing and no I is interfering with that. 

Let's get you seeing that. 

Tell me, where do the thoughts come from? Can you control them; can you stop thinking at will? 
Just take a good look and write what comes up.

Dacre:
Yes, that is already the case, but the content of the mind is filled in part with thoughts about how I am in partial control and have a role to play. Intellectually I know this is not the case, and even direct looking seems not to support it but the feeling nevertheless persists. 

"Where do thoughts come from?" They arise from nothing, from nowhere. Or kind of like some space around the head area. I cannot control them or I would certainly have better ones than I usually do. On the other hand the mind seems to be able to be programmed to some degree. Is there an I entity doing this? No. Again just thoughts arising..

I definitely cannot stop thinking at will, though thoughts will quieten on their own when left alone to just be, eg. with meditation, etc.

Ilona:
Content of the mind is just thoughts. Do thoughts have to be true? Thoughts can be about real or about unreal. 

But they are never the real. So if you don't take that content seriously, is there a problem with anything? 

Life is already full. Including that feeling of control. Is there anything personal about that feeling? If you look closer, can you catch it when it's felt? 

Control appear to be coming of me. But see if it's true. Is there a controller?

Dacre:
Yeah, there is nothing in the mind but thoughts, feelings, imagination. Some thoughts seem to be truer pointers than others. But even thoughts about real things aren't actually real. The thought 'tree' is never the tree itself..

"If you don't take that content seriously, is there a problem with anything?" No, there isn't. I was going to say, what about real "problems" in life that you have to take seriously? The content of thoughts seems to matter then. But they don't really do they? Great sadness or grief or anger can happen on its own. It doesn't need an ongoing thought commentary to translate everything that happens. Life can live itself through the body and mind through its natural intelligence with or without the content of thought. Anger isn't a problem unless you 'think' it is. 

The feeling of "control" can be a part of life. And no there is nothing personal about that feeling. There can't be. It appears to come from 'me', but me is just another thought arising, as is the feeling/thought of control. 

And yet there is still a subtle feeling of a controller here. So I will have to look at the whole mechanism a while longer and then get back to you.

Ilona:
Great! You are getting close. 

Yes, life goes on including thoughts about life and those thoughts are only commentary, not the driving force of life. 

So now look closer at language and how it's working. 

Every noun points to some object, real or imaginary.
Every verb points to action
Put them both together and we get a sentence that is a label for movement, action, doing. 

I walk, you read, fingers type, batman flies and table stands. 

Is there I in walking?

Is there you in reading?

Is it fingers typing? 

Does table do standing? 


Play with this a bit and tell me, what is the word I pointing to? 

Is there a doer in the doing? 

Is there a thinker in thinking? 


Sending love.

Dacre:
Hi Ilona,

"I walk, you read, fingers type, batman flies and table stands.

Is there I in walking?

Is there you in reading?

Is it fingers typing? 

Does table do standing?"


There is no "I" in walking, no "you" in reading, the fingers don't 'do' typing, and the table doesn't do standing. This, as you say, is all a function of how language operates. It deludes the mind into thinking that there is a subject and object, a separate person who is initiating the action. But this is merely a description in words. All of the above actions are simply happening. Then there is an interpretation after the fact that "I" did it or whatever. It can be subtle and insidious, but ultimately it's all words or thoughts. And words or thoughts are not the reality that they are pointing to. 

'I am sitting'. I can see that the I in this sentence is completely superfluous, unnecessary. What we label sitting is just happening, or is. Yet words aren't a problem when you don't take them for reality, but simply as tools to be used as needed. 

"What is the word I pointing to?" 

Perhaps I can say that the word I is pointing to the action or state of the body/mind, eg. I am sitting, provides information on what is happening. On the other hand, the word I is not really pointing to anything, as the I is a fiction, a word that is part of a story, not a real, actual thing. 

"Is there a doer in the doing?" Again, it's only language that says there's a doer, you can't find one in reality. There is simply the doing. There doesn't have to be a doer. Things happen or don't happen. No doer, except in language, in words, in interpretation. Not in reality. 

"Is there a thinker in thinking?" No. There can't be if thoughts just come out of nowhere, out of thin air. Any initiator of thoughts in any case would just be another thought, with no thinker behind that either. 

It seems like thoughts just arise on their own, probably due to genetics, habits and environmental conditioning. They just appear, just are, like a bird sings or dog barks. But we think they're ours and suffering and seeking of some kind inevitably ensues. So yeah, in a literal sense, I'd say the word I points to nothing in reality. There's no actual I or me or mine, just life happening spontaneously. And lots of stories!

Ilona:
Awesome! 

How does it feel to see this?

Dacre:
"How does it feel to see this?"

I don't really feel anything that much. Everything I've written down I have known for many years. Although I think it might be the first time I've actually written it down. There has been a lot of depression here for a long time and it still persists. 

As for the seeing through the illusion of a 'me' or 'I'. In my twenties I saw several psychiatrists with the central problem that I did not have a "self", there was simply nothing there. Nobody at home. This was diagnosed as Depersonalisation Disorder (probably erroneously). There is a feeling here that all our descriptions of life and reality are conceptual, almost kind of arbitrary and made up, but what we are and what life is is non-conceptual. Just is. All explanations are bullshit. Which certainly doesn't mean they're not worthwhile! Or that stories aren't fun and entertaining. All action-reaction. Neurons firing in the brain. "I" am their product not their cause. Everything on automatic. One Universal whole. No separation. No separation from life. We ARE life. 

So I suppose I mean to say that deep down life is 'good', in a non-value judgement kind of way. How does it feel? There is sometimes being carried away by the story, other times clarity. Sometimes sky high elation, but mostly depression. Life expressing itself! 

Thank you Ilona. Your pointers are very, very clear and help me concentrate and clarify things. I feel better because of it. No doubt about it.

Ilona:
This is cool, you can open up, all those years you have been seeing it. Wow. 
Depression? How is it feeling these days? 
What is the main feeling there? Can you identify it? What is behind those feelings? 

:)

Dacre:
Hi Ilona, I am going to have to log off in a minute but will think about the depression over the next day or so, what's the core feeling or reason behind it and so on. I do know it's confusing and there are many reasons I can think of. But will get back to you..

Ilona:
Cool, spend some time with it. But don't over think it, don't look for the reason as that is mental stuff, rather look feelings themselves as a mechanism and what is behind all that. Employ curiosity for how it works rather than what is the content of depression. 

I’m here any time you are ready to continue. 

Much love.

Dacre:
To be honest, I'm not quite sure what you were getting at in your last post, but here is what I've discovered.

Every time there is a thought of the future, it triggers depression: things will stay the same, I cannot or don't want to change. No job, no money, no assets, no relationships, no qualifications, addictions, poor physical and mental health, etc., etc. I don't want to die destitute and alone. The core feeling behind all the other feelings is fear, fear of change, fear of people in general. I can't really get in touch with it much but I just sort of know that this is it. The fear is derived from very early childhood abuse and being attacked, etc. So just deep conditioning that has stayed in the body and mind. 

Sometimes I find it all a bit funny because what is the future anyway, a completely made up thing. There is no future (or past), except in the mind now. And it's always now! And focusing on an imaginary 'me' on a timeline into an imaginary future is also a bit of runaway fiction ultimately. Now's generally ok, and now is all there ever is. So sometimes there is this Seeing and there is not a problem with any depression or anything else. At other times there is getting caught up in the story because it's so frightening and I still have to live a practical life. Food, shelter, the basics. For me, this isn't happening. I am having to rely on others, so the depression (with meaninglessness and apathy), is triggered. At other times life is fine just as it is. 

I don't know what the solution to any of this is. Does it need a solution? Or just observation of the mechanism. If the unreal is seen as unreal, mind stuff, then can it be a problem?

Ilona:
You stopped at a very interesting question... Can unreal be a problem? 

If you know that all thoughts are about real or unreal, but never THE real, do they have to be taken so seriously? 

Yes it's always now. Would that worried voice be missed, if it wasn't here? That one that looks into the future, worried about 'me'. So when you see that me is not, there is nothing to worry about in the future. 

Keep talking. You are getting it. :)

Dacre:
What do you mean that all thoughts are about real or unreal but never THE real? I'll just clarify to make sure I understand you properly. Real is like chair or sky. Real things. Unreal is like Santa Claus or Batman, unreal, fictional things. But ALL are thoughts. Not things, not real, words and thoughts making up stories. Stories about me or you or them or us...

If this is what you mean then no, they don't have to be taken seriously. No thoughts have to be taken seriously. No thoughts have to dictate reality and cause psychological suffering. "Can the unreal be a problem?" No! 

Future, past, me, them...it's the 'thoughts' of them that cause the horrible sensations in the body and the awful suffering in the mind. Not Reality itself. And even if they are taken seriously out of habit. THAT doesn't have to be taken seriously, but seen instead as thought story. Not the REAL. 

My mind is non-stop commentary. Absolutely non-stop! Even as I am writing this. But it is not really real in the same way that just Being here is real, the room is real, typing, etc. Life lifeing, I think you say. So the worried voice would not be missed, the me would not be missed. It would be such relief without them! Without these concepts the default position is Now. As it ever was. Now with all its feelings, thoughts, sensations but not taken seriously, that is, formulated into a story of my life and the need to fix it. My life is a story, it arises, it's there, but it is fiction. The me is an idea given to me in childhood which I believed all my life. But it is not real is it? A concept is a concept. Not reality. Freedom from suffering is seeing and living that. Such thoughts also have no actual substance and don't even exist if you don't believe them. What is real will exist whether believed in or not. 'I' is not like that. So "I" am not here now and was never here. Except as a believed in concept. Maybe not even that.. Just an occasional idea in the mind. 

The end of it I suppose, is that "me" is not even here. Only living..

Ilona:
The end of is when it's seen that there never was an I to start with. 

Now look up into the past, like a childhood memory and see if there is an I in there, then go few year into the future and see if the future me is there. 

Keep talking. You are getting through nicely. 
Is there a gate?

Dacre:
A childhood memory: falling over as a child and breaking arm, strange sensations of numbness and pain signals to/from brain, thoughts arising to get help, driving to hospital, thoughts/complaints about pain, general anaesthetic, morphine, weird sensations, happiness to leave hospital. Talking. No I involved in any of this just sensation and a reaction to it. No I needed to make it all happen. Stories of 'I' did this or that came later but not at the time of intense or strange sensations and circumstances. 

"go few years into the future and see if the future me is there". From my experience the me is always in the future. The future is usually some story about me or what I will do or not do. But it's all happening in the present. Very ephemeral and changeable. It's a story that arises automatically. I don't make it happen. So there is no I that is doing anything now. And as it is always now. Then also there is no I in the future. Also the I in thought is not real, but a thought. 

"Is there a gate?" If there is no actual I except as a thought, then passing through the "gate" is just seeing this. But since this was ALWAYS the case, then there is no gate. It's just seeing the truth of what is and what always was. There's no enlightenment, nothing tangible to find. Only something to lose, an imagined I who thought it was in control, but was only ever a thought. And as a thought it has no actual power. It can appear to have power if believed in but in reality it is harmless, powerless, just a word or idea. It doesn't matter if it is there or not. 

It's recently become clearer that I have spent years trying to figure this out mentally. When ultimately it's a non-problem. If I can see there is no REAL I here and never was, then WHO can understand and WHAT? Thought can never get it. Thought churns over and over trying to 'get it'. But if it's not in thought then the answer can't be there. There's nothing to get, And nowhere to go. Only here. Thought doesn't like this at all but its truth. And truth isn't about mental knowledge.

Ilona:
Is there a you in any shape or form in reality?

How does it feel to see this?

Dacre:
"is there a you in any shape or form in reality?"

There is no me in any shape or form in reality. There can be a thought I in a story told about "me". But the thought I doesn't refer to anything at all. It's just a thought. It refers to nothing. One bit of story referring to another bit. No I at all in reality. 

"How does it feel to see this?" 

I feel sort of lighter. Also like there is just one reality or feeling of spaciousness, and no I apart from it.

Ilona:
That's so delightful to hear. 

:) I see you are through, let's get you answer a few last questions.
How would you explain, describe this illusion to somebody interested, but not familiar with it? 

What was that last thing that made you look and see?

Dacre:
At a very young age we are told that our body and thoughts are ours. We are given a name and identity. And are led to believe that this identity is in control and is responsible for everything we do. It is an identity solely in thought but it can lead to thought based stories of great tragedy or delight. But LOOK directly at it. The "I" is a thought only, it does not refer to anything in reality. It does not exist in reality. Only as a thought. And you can't control your thoughts ultimately, they just appear out of nowhere with no author. You can see this just by observation or even better, with the help of someone who has seen through the illusion. The answer to the great yearning of life for fulfilment and satisfaction is not in the mind. It is right here and now, and in seeing through the false apparent reality of the controller me. Without that, life flows more easily, freely, and is free of psychological suffering, through apparent good times or bad. In essence, "you" are not a problem and never were, there is nothing wrong with you. The you that you think you are, you're not. What you are is nameless. You could call it life itself, or existence or presence or awareness, or nothing. You are already free. It is just a matter of seeing through the thought illusion that makes you think you are in bondage. The bondage is not real. Just a story. You are not a story. 

"What was the last thing that made you look and see?"

It was kind of a matter of already knowing it but still trying to use the mind to figure it out and just stopping that. Another thing was reading another post just recently on this site about how the I is no more real than the tooth fairy or Santa. The I was in the same league as them. Not real. Also just sitting down and looking directly for myself, at thoughts, at the space or nothing they arise in, at reality as it actually is.

Ilona:
Perfect. 

Let it settle.. We will speak tomorrow. 
I'm so happy for you. 

Much love.

Dacre:

How is life feeling today?
Is there any doubt at all? 

Love!

Dacre:
Ilona, there is no doubt at all about this, it's clear, which feels good. But the background mood here is low or flat, and the physical body feels heavy and a bit unwell, which is all normal for me. 

I will be away from the computer for two days so I want to leave it a little while longer and then check in again on Friday. 

....................Few days later..................

Hi Ilona, I have been very busy and not so much sleep the last couple of days, the usual light depression and physical illness. But there are differences. I notice less of a boundary between the body/mind and the environment I'm in. A subtle feeling that I am the awareness or space outside of me too, which gives a feeling of solidity and security (and love?).. This is in stark contrast to the diffuseness and fear and confusion that this situation engendered 20 years ago or so. A kind of full presence rather than a void or absence. Someone else might use these concepts differently but I hope I'm getting across what I mean. 

More observations: 

Much less thinking (ie. worrying), about the future. 

Basically the same mild depression, anxiety and fatigue, which fluctuates, as it has done for 30 years. The mind is as noisy as ever, like a radio on all the time, sometimes in the foreground, sometimes in the background. The I story is going on as usual, but the difference is that it is as if floating in the air in and around the body, like it has nothing or little to do with me but just goes on from decades of habit and conditioning, like stuck in a loop..

I've also realised that if I just look at the bad feelings that arise WITHOUT the story, the 'I' story, then they dissolve. With the believed in story they go on for hours or days.. but without the story, that is, seeing the story as a story, just thoughts, not real, then the feelings and sensations in the body hang around for a much shorter time. So there is more freedom in that...more ease, more space, more peace.

So everything is the same except for these subtle differences. They are subtle but distinct. I get the feeling they have a life of their own, and will deepen or expand over time....... to reveal the actual timelessness that is already here and now, you could say... which is kind of intuited but not really directly seen yet.

I feel like there is more of a relaxing into Being, and some insights... If the story is not real then we are never REALLY caught up in it. We are free, but dreaming we're not. The story is wafer thin when looked at directly but unobserved appears so full and important. We seem to get lost but never really leave our true 'home'. 

Here, it's a bit like the self is still believed in, but in a very detached way. There is a play-acting of seriousness going on rather than an actual real life tragedy. The whole world drama is like a vast movement and field of intertwining energies. One movement appearing as many, happening on its own. 

'My' life is happening on its own. Things just are as they are without needing to label everything in the mind. "I" can't do a thing about it anyway, except maybe look at reality, SEE clearly, as is happening...

For example, it's not "my" depression, just a label for thoughts and sensations arising in a body and mind. Nothing is 'wrong' ultimately with 'me' or my life. 

This afternoon I was walking along a suburban footpath looking at the shops and the clouds and the sky and the people, and there was a feeling of the possibility of the joy of just Being, of just simply existing, of existence itself. 

The mind still occasionally wants to try to figure this out. But I cannot understand this. I is a piece of content in the context of all This. I am, if anything, what the mind and body arise in, timeless, spaceless, aware, alive, uncaused happiness or peace. Or name it whatever you want, the naming or concepts don't matter at all. They're irrelevant. 

Finally, I have to say that there is less interest in the mind stories generally and in the seeking of happiness there. Being or spirit or peace already is here, what I am. It's pretty foggy at times but I think the clouds are slowly clearing.. In any case, when it's seen that the stories and the me aren't real, it doesn't matter what is here and what is not. No I (for real), no problem.

..................

Just saw clearly how thoughts, feelings, stories (appearances, fictions), can't affect REALITY, here, now. At all. Nice.


Ilona:
Welcome home, dacre. 
Isn't that most amazing, we never have left. And yet it feel so good to return. 
Your description is very clear. Loved reading it. And I resonate with how you see. 

Nice story :)

Are you on Facebook? If so, friend me and I'll invite you to fb unleashed. You can also use the new section on this forum :)

Looking forward to meet you :) its was a pleasure to work with you. Thank you.

Dacre:
Thank you so much Ilona, for your wonderfully clear pointers and questions, and your lovely nature. What a great service you provide. Short and to the point. So simple! I enjoyed it.

I don't think I am on Facebook but will join and friend you.. Looking forward to it. Thank you once again..

Friday, 9 March 2012

Destination Earth: Story Park

This story as every other story is telling itself. It's a story about stories.

Being a human is kind of like visiting amusement park of stories for life.

Humans love stories, it's a great source of entertainment. Look at movie industry, books, news... everyone loves a good story. And there is this story of our own life being told. How fascinating.

We, as humans, spend every minute thinking. Thoughts come as images and sound like never ending commentary that is telling what is going on. There is so much going on! The past - the present- the future all is happening right now. And so many associations, so many emotions are stirred up. It's madness. And there are different voices too, good and bad, wise and stupid and they talk to each other and pretend to be him or her replaying events and creating scenarios.

And so stories rule the mind.

Of course mind has other functions as practical mind and mathematical, logical and philosophical. Whatever. Everything is being taken over by stories. As that is what human thinks he is- the sum of all parts, me.

It's ok when story about me is good. It happens that for short quiet time story is peaceful and exciting and blissfull and great. But for a normal human the stories are about "not being good enough" or "not enough", or about what is wrong and needs to be fixed. It's a constant find and fix a problem, if you can not find one, create one game..

"I am not good enough" - is a typical story, the main story about human suffering.

I am not good enough... It's a sad story about guilt.

It's really a joke.  Because that story is only a pattern of thinking of habitual thought. Do you ever stop and take a look if that thought is true? No, of course not, it's so ingrained, that doesn't even cross the mind to ever do that. Well, you should.

So once you start looking at this really closely, something pops up into view. : ... There is no I... I is not a story teller. Neither it is a commentator. What a shocker and it's really funny, a bit disappointing, perhaps - and here you have another story started in a head..

It's never ending. It's an amusement park... No Get of The Ride button.

Anyway,  so you see that there is nothing behind words I/ me, words that points at nothing else, other than direction of what the story is about. ( it's about me or about you, or Batman.. )

Story is telling itself and it's how it always was. And when you take a look at that story, it reveals itself, what and how it's happening.  It's inevitable.  It's part of story too.

See, every story has beginning middle and the end. And they are all playing out. Like programs, like spring- summer- autumn thing, there are steps and seasons.. Whatever story is playing out the structure is the same. No skipping parts.

So if I look deeply I see that there is this epic story about life of me: from birth to now, later to death, the story of biography, that tells which school i went and what were my classmates names, and who i liked and didn't. Then i went there and met these people, yesterday I saw a clown. Yeah, that kind of neutral, innocent narration of events. Labelling of actions. The primary story of events that happen.

This story would be great, if not the sad commentators, that always remind of not good enough. Their comments only create tension in the body and craziness in the head. The commentary is just like a radio only there is no choice of channels. You wish it was, then your life would be great: all positive, fun, peaceful and lovely. But you got only one channel and it's telling same stories over and over again. Boring...

Imagine if you had only one TV channel and never ever switched it of. After a while there is nothing interesting going on, all same old. and the adverts drives you crazy and you try to ignore, deny what is going on or talk back at it, but you have no clue, that TV can be switched off. It can. So can this commentator in your local radio "my head".

Thing is, there is much more going on then just this one radio station. There is life happening with or without story, with or without mad judge in the head. But since you are so absorbed in 'my' story, you miss what is right in front of your nose: There is no owner of the story. It simply is telling itself.
And here comes that special thought 'me'. It's like a bug in computer program, I call it I virus, maybe it would be better to call it my-virus.

So this Me is believed to be most precious most guarded thought, from which all thinking and doing happens.  But thought can not think and it can not do anything other than appear and disappear away, it's a unit of information. Me is a thought, a thought pointing to thoughts and images about and me. No real me to be found, no wonder why...

Picture this thought 'me' like a label on little box which contains all that is connected to the story of me. The big golden letters are the label on that box, nothing else. A tag.

Can you see that  humans spend their entire lives trying to improve and protect that 'me'?

And funny thing is it is not realy your me that you want to fix and protect, but the STORY about me.  This me is just some character on the radio assumed for real separate Me. Yeah. No wonder why life sucks. It's so much work to try to control what happens to me and what other characters think of me while commentator is carried away talking. Take a look for yourself. Comments can not be stopped at will. If i was the commentator, I could stop telling the story same way I can stop talking aloud- I shut up. Now try to shut the judge up. Good luck. Ha.

The sure way to see what is happening is by looking closer at the mechanics of story with curiosity. Here is this great question: is it true? Employ it often. Is it true that I am not good enough? Is it true that there is no I to be good enough? Is it true?

Test it.

Is it true that story goes on by itself and is followed by a commentary that is constantly judging whatever is going on and mostly not in a good way?

Is it true, that life goes on with or without story? The story is part of life, but it's a reflection of beliefs about life.

Is it true that there is no 'me'?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Belief in an I-Entity Creates Separation

Paola:
Hello from Italy Ilona, I would like your help. I believe I still didn't see through the illusion properly, I think I had some 'states ' but also I kind of forced myself into believing.I feel quite frustrated now. Please Ilona help me, I want to get out of this and I want to do it with you. I don't want to fool myself anymore. Love, Paola


Ilona:
Hello from England
Hm, interesting, so you think you tricked yourself into believing rather than seeing it. I'd say you saw it, but mind using all the tricks to fool you in going back the way it was. It keeps going back to the I trying to find it, but it's not there, so doubt comes up and confusion starts. It's pretty normal at this stage.

Tell me with whole honesty, can you believe again that there is a separate entity behind word me that is in charge of your life?

Don't try to please anyone here, just say as it is.
Much love.

Paola:
Ilona , thank you for getting back to me.
This is where I seem to be:
I don't think that I am in charge of my life, but I do feel that this life that is happening ( I don't do life, sure) is also happening to me. I feel the separation.
After a couple of days in which there was this light feeling and more spaciousness, or so I believed, something happened and a strong emotion arose, fear of losing a close person, jealousy etc, and it didn't feel like 'there is fear or sadness', it felt like I was sad, I was jealous.This is my honesty. In my mind, because of a silly attitude, I felt like I had to show Bill that I was" getting it", that I was good.....and intellectually there is not even the shadow of a doubt that there is no me. you have no idea how frustrated I feel, last two nights I couldn't sleep more than a few hours. Sometimes It feels like I am almost there, but I have noticed that I am forcing the experience. Hugs from Toscany xxx

Paola:
I don't believe that there is a me entity behind the word me, but this is not enough, is still in the mind.

Ilona:
What are your expectations? Do you think that something needs to happen? What would make it enough?

Paola:
My expectation is to really see / feel that there is no self, that there is not an entity that needs to deal with life in some way. To end this feeling of searching for something, for fulfilment.just more peace and natural ok ness . There is this seeking energy .....nothing big or nothing in particular needs to happen....may be a little uncaused joy? less striving?

Paola:
Also I would add less anxiety in general which has always been my big problem that from time o time became serious depression that needed to be treated with drugs. I guess than when is really seen that there is no self there is really less sticking to fears and anxiety ....no one is giving this emotions energy, they are free to go

Ilona:
Hi dear.

What you are going through now is settling in period. Some say it lasts around 2 months. It may be very intense at times and feels like everything is slipping away. The key is to let go. Don't try to hold on anything. The more you resist the harder it gets. There is no meaning in life other than what meaning you give it to, so let go of that too. And hope. And all the rest. Just watch the feelings and let the fire do it's thing. Remember always, everything is unfolding in a perfect way.
One of best tools that I can suggest is writing. Write whatever comes up, see it outside your system, throw it out. All that repressed crap needs to go, do let it go.

After a while it will get lighter and lighter. And lighter. But for now your job is to face it, allow whatever comes up come up and release the shit. It's not pleasant, but it works. How long it will take is up to how much you resist and how much was repressed.

It's like purging time. Burning time, clean up operation. I know it sounds crazy, but as soon as you feel shit coming up say - wow, yumm, I have an opportunity to release this. Ok. Come up, let's see what's behind. I can deal with this and so on. Rather than try to avoid, welcome the suffering. It can not take it. It will go.

Sending love.

Paola:
Thank you Ilona, for your time and dedication.I already thought I was facing things. I am not trying to avoid all the nasty feelings and the general 'shit' , actually in the last year I use to practice 'rest as awareness' without trying to change the experience according to the teaching of Candice o'denver Balanced View. . I write from time to time but I will do it more often.I just feel alone, separated.I was just disappointed that I didn't see through illusion , I really believed I could do it. I just want to tell you that probabably in my dialogue with Bill at a certain point things became a bit different , we exchanged a lot of PM and I felt it was becoming a bit too intimate, different from what I expected, and Bill also agree with this, He put a lot of energy and dedication in our dialogue , but he become a bit captivated and something didn't go right towards the end.Bill also recognise this. I would like so much to do the inquire again. Starting from 0 again with total honesty and focus and no other stories in the middle of it.Can you go through it with me once again? whenever you have time and in the way you prefer. But if you don't feel like I will understand. Sending love to you.

Ilona:
Ok, we can go through it. Step by step. I thank you for coming out with honesty.
For tonight just rest. We start tomorrow. We can talk on fb rather than forum and I will let you know what time is best for me, you let me know when it's good for you and we will have a proper chat.
Sweet dreams, my friend.


Paola:
Thank you so much Ilona. Really. I have some family reunion' tomorrow but the chat with you is a priority for me. I think for me it would be better either in the morning before 11 am (England time) or in the afternoon after 3pm (England time). If this doesn't work for you, I am also completely available on Monday from 2pm on. Thank you dear Ilona. Sleep well, love.


Ilona:
Cool. I think 3 is good, will still be having people in the morning.

Hmm family reunion is a powerfull catalyst as you get to see lots of conditioning playing out. Keep your eyes open. And trust your intuition.
This is actually very interesting and consider all what comes up as a gift.

Much love!

Paola:
Good morning Ilona!Yes it is interesting. The attitude towards my family changed completely in the last years, there is just much more love. Eyes open. Speak to you at 3, I will have about 1 hour, need to stay with people visiting..... But then Monday afternoon I ll be much freer. Love and gratitude!

Paola:
Hello Ilona, I am here when you are ready, xxx
Here when you are ready, xxx
I have just noticed that the poper chat on fb doesn't work on this I-pad, we can chat directly here on private message or through Skype ( paolalondon44)

Ilona:
Hey paola. We can chat here .
Cool. So tell me, what is the I that you are referring to?


Paola:
It looks more than a thought, it is dense, a kind of claud

Ilona:
More than a thought? How?

Paola:
It is almost a physical contraction of energy or space, I know it sounds absurd but this is how it feels,

Ilona:
Look at that contraction right now, is it there?

Paola:
It is felt, or may be it is only assumed...
There is this unity moving through space and time


Ilona:
Feeling is real.
The label 'me' is assumption. Not real.

Paola:
I haven't been able to isolate the I like a thought

Ilona:
There is no I. That is why.


Ilona:
Look now at the feeling of being (verb) aliveness, awaring of senses.
This is real.
Notice that sense.

Paola:
Ilona I don't see your message straight away but only after some seconds is it fine?

Ilona:
Yes, it's ok.
Do you have fb messenger app on your iPad?


Paola:
Every time I need to check if the message is arrived. Sure the sense of Aliveness is real
No idea it's the first time I use it...


Ilona:
Is that sense personal? Is it here if there are no thoughts?
Ok, download fb messenger of you can if not, we talk as now. A bit of delay is fine.

Paola:
This is the point I don't see where the thoughts stop and the feelings begin, it seems jut one unit


Ilona:
It's not one unit.
Thought is sensed as thought. Wait for next thought to arive. Can you spot it as thought?

Paola:
Let's continue like this, I'll download for tomorrow if we continue

Ilona:
Feeling is thoughtless. It's a sensation in the body.
Thought labels feeling.

Paola:
But feelings and thoughts seem both to belong to this body and this body seem to belong to a me

Ilona:
Seems. Yes. It's assumption. What is 100% true? Feelings are felt in the body, true?

Paola:
When a feeling is felt is felt by a me it is nit just felt

Ilona:
What is feeling now that is here?

Paola:
Yes in the body
Kind of rentlessness in the body, and agitation in the troath


Ilona:
Is it there if you don't think about it?

Paola:
I am not sure probably if I don't think about I it I don't even realise that it is there

Ilona:
Feel it. Sense it. Watch it. Where is it in the body?

Paola:
What the feelings?
I sense something in the head and troath

Ilona:
What happens when attention goes there?

Paola:
Seems they are aliveness, energy,

Ilona:
Yes, it's energy. What mind does it automatically labels it and i claims the ownership of feeling, Can you see that?

Paola:
Yes the mind says: this is my feeling, this is me having this feeling but the label that claims ownership is so immediate that it is very difficult to isolate it like a label

Ilona:
All words are labels. No exeption. Words are pointers. Do you get that?

Paola:
Yes I do pointers for everything

Ilona:
Can you see that thoughts are only pointing and describing, they are never things themselves?
What does thought I point to?

Paola:
Yes they describe all aspect of experience
I points to a body, a mind, feelings and data in general perceived from a brain,


Ilona:
Does it? Is there a body if it's not labelled I? Does body need an I? How about baby, does it have an I?

Paola:
Yes, there is a body even if it is not labelled I, body doesn't really need an I. Baby does not have an I, she looks like pure perception but her brain is not totally developed...what if I is a function of te brain?

Ilona:
Have a look. Does I have a function?

Paola:
It seems like every cells if my body says I
Of my body

Ilona:
Check again. Ask if it's true. Is it cells that say I or the mind?

Paola:
Mmhh the function for the sake of communication, to communicate the needs and preferences, to communicate experience

Ilona:
Language thing. Yes.

Ilona:
It is helpfull to communicate when speaking to someone else, so it's clear what we are talking about.
Is there any other function other than that?

Paola:
But what is then this power to know, this capacity to experience, this capacity to narrate experience

Ilona:
Does any of that require an I?
Des cat need an I to explore environment?


Paola:
I am not completely sure what you mean, I as a label is probably not required but this does not make a difference in the felt sense of i
But cat are not self aware probably

Ilona:
They are aware, for sure, and more than human as they are not lost in thought.


Anyway. Sense of I. Where in the body is it?

Paola:
There is pure wonderful instinct in them
It looks in the head behind the eyes


Ilona:
Is it I or is it some kind of feeling + label I?

Paola:
Feeling and label are so glued together that it is perceived like one but yes it is feeling and this feeling is assumed for I

Ilona:
For the rest of the day watch how mind labels everything. It's it's job and it happens on automatic.

Paola:
Yes I will pay attention to this mechanism. Thank you Ilona, I find it very good to speak with yoy
You
It feels good to be honest

Ilona:
We'll speak soon. Tomorrow. Today your task to notice that thought and feeling is not the same.
Feeling is before though and thought labels feeling. Also thought is charged with memory and triggers feeling. Play with that.
Cool about honesty.


Paola:
Ok sure, tomorrow I ll be available from 2 pm anythime

Ilona:
Sweet. Enjoy the rest of family fun :))
Xx

Paola:
Lots of gratitude. Enjoy your day too xxxxxxxx
And my cat says hello to you miaooooo

Ilona:
I am. Xxxxx thank you.

Paola:
Good morning Ilona ,
Can you let me know what time is best for you today?
xoxo

Ilona:
Hi Paola.  I'm here today and we can chat throughout the day.

So what was that you have noticed yesterday, give me a full report.

Paola:
hi Ilona,
first of all I notice constantly the mind or better to say the thoughts saying, "do I still feel like an I?," " is the I gone'?" " how should it feel?", Trevor said this, Ilona said that, Ciaran wrote this in his blos,Bill said this, endlessly trying to guess how it should feel.
There is definitely a feeling of being (energy in the body)+ a costant chattering on the mind trying to find out if I still feel like I

Also when the attention is focused on object there is an immediate label on them : chair, door, sky,glasses....the funny (well not so funny for me) thing is that 'I' constantly check if I am behaving like someone who has seen through the illusion. It seems I am stuck when I say to myself : what is the I? what it refers to? can it be the sum of this body+ this mind+ feeling experienced by this body-mind, experiences experienced through this body mind ( life expeiences)= I, Paola. Also a chair is a label for something pieces of wood put together in a certain way = char.Hope I make sense in this probably non-sense.I discvered that my brin is more logical and rational than I tought. in this moment: feelings of cold in the hands labelled " feelings of cold in the hands".

Ilona:
Do I still feel like an I? Stop right here. What is the first I?
Can I be gone if it never existed?
Can word I disappear from language once the illusion had been seen through?


Paola:
the first I is the usual sense of 'me' , the sense of someone who is experiences the world (life), the set of habits, preferences, usual emotons, etc, this body here, this face here...
no the I cannot go if it never existed in reality but the illusion of who I take myself to be can go or can be clearly seen without any doubts.
No of course the word I remains.
It is almost like if I cannot know reality without labels. Does the world exist if it is not described? How can I see a chair without the label chair? I go blank here...

Paola:
I meant with 'do I still feel like I?" do I still feel like I am this body, this face, this habits, thiese experiences etc ect


Ilona:
There is feeling of aliveness that has been labelled me and assumed for an entity 'me'. Feeling of aliveness is here with or without the label. Is it true?
Look at the things around you, do touched some of them, see if the sensations are real with or without labels.

Paola:
yes, I am with you. Aliveness in the body is here regarless the label we apply to it. Even though a mental image of this aliveness is created by the mind instantaneously like for example now I feel a kind of energy in the legs and even without watching at them, this energy is accompanied by a mental images of the legs ...and again sensation are real without doubts, for example now with my eyes closed I am touching the blanket on the bed and the description (mental images) of blanket and hands is so glued at the sensation that I will be never able to sense it without immediately automatically applied the mental images. Pure feelings or sensation without labels or mental images are almost impossible to isolate.Conclusion= Sensation are real without labels but the mind immediately ,in syncronicity labels them. Can you be aware of a sensation without mental images or label?

Ilona:
Close your eyes, hear sounds. Focus on breathing. Just relax for a bit and pay attention to sounds. Notice that there are many different sounds coming from many directions and see that there is awareness of them even if mind does not label them. You can shift focus to the legs, but sounds are still here, in the background. That is direct experience of sounds. No matter what mind is doing at the moment, sounds are still here, isn't it?

Paola:
ok yes. there is a direct experience of sounds. Tell you something: I have a tinnitus in my left ear. A few years ago when I heard it for the first time I was almost going crazy, it never stops, nothing you can do (it's like a whistle or better like some electricity noise). I became so anxious I thought my life has finished. It wasn't  then I did a special therapy with a little machine in my ear that simulates this noise after a few months my brain gave up, now even though the noise is constant, literally cannot stop, it is heard only when there are thpughts about it. I see now that many sounds are labelled but nevertheless the sound is perceived....sometimes noises wake you up in the morning but the mind labels them only after they woke you up.

Ilona:
Yes. So you see that there is experience first, then the labelling Right? How about smell. Find something that you can smell now and just indulge in the experience for 30 second. See if you can describe the smell for 30 s after that to yourself. Notice that experience and description is not the same.

Paola:
I took a face cream and I noticed that I couldn't describe it in any specific way rather than the general face cream, but the experience is not the decription. I can say 'intense', 'good' ' bad' but the experience of smelling is not describable really. yes Experience first even is only for some nano seconds, it is first.

Paola:
also when thee is some hunger, the experience is first and immediately after his appearance is described. It is most difficult with visual things though, what is the experience of pureseeing wihtout labels?

Ilona:
So look at the I thought again. Can I be found in reality? Can you take your finger and point to where I is?

Paola:
'I' as an entity it is not found, there is not a little man/woman inside the head. I never thought the I was an entity that can be isolated or seen . I always assumed that I was the totality of atoms, cells, brain that composed me. But see Ilona is here where I seem to be stuck, I am not able to perceive the I-thought. Or to isolate it. It is more like a boundle of everything... example the seeing, ok there is seeing. no one is doing it, the perception of sight exists, what, who is the preceiver? why there is the sensation that there is a perceiver? life is perceived. I can say eyes perceive objects. Stuck because I don't see the diffrence between a body+ feelings+perceptions+experiences and I. You say feelings are rea ok, thoughts ar real ok, body is real ok , world is real ok and the I is not real... I can say I is not real as an entity separated from all this but it remain all a bit mental. Sorry for the shortcomings....

Ilona:
Good good. What is I real as?

Paola:
don't understand the question well....

Ilona:
You say I is not real as entity. What is it real as? What is the form of I?

Paola:
I guess i, it is the perception of my mental and phisical activity , perception of body, perception of others,perception of thoughts, I is the perception of the world

Ilona:
No. I is just a word. Does perception need an I? Check it.

Paola:
perceptions need a brain. brain needs an organism to sustain it. organism needs an environment to sustain it. all is interrelated. but the brain is just a brain or my brain? ( this brain here seems to have had different perceptions throughout its life than my mother's one)and it seems to have formed a sense of individuality...is the I just an illusion of the brain? brain simulates an I.

Ilona:
When was brain given to you? How do you own it? Does brain need an owner to be able to function?

Paola:
right sure I see. brain is just a brain, no ownership. the point is that at certain moment in life, it is said 2 or 3 years is the brain itself that inact this simulation, like if the brain 'create. a mechanism of perception which wasn't there before... How can the brain see its own simulation as a simulation. Can the brain see that I is just its own simulation, that there are only perceptions and no real perceiver other than a brain.

Ilona:
Yes, no I I between perceiving and brain. It's an illusion.

Paola:
it's totally made up by brain. When a strong emotion is felt, there is no I feeling it then. for example sadness for the loss of someone, where the suffering comes from?

Ilona:
Suffering comes from conflicting beliefs the root of which is belief that there is I.


Paola:
yes I can see that this belief can add a lot of suffering based on 'why this happened to me, poor me, the victim'. Nevertheless the disapearance of a dear one, the death, generates suffering anyway. A romantic partner leaves you, generates suffering, with or without the belief of an I suffering.Meanwhile mind says ' see you understand very well that there is no I, it's just not possible, nowhere to be found'

Ilona:
There is no I. Is it true? Yes or no?

Paola:
There is no I, it' s just a projection, an idea, a thought.Now I understand that the brain simulates the existence of I/ me, but it is not a real entity,

Ilona:
Good, now look at paola. What is paola?

Paola:
Paola is a label. We use language to label for the sake of communication. Strange to say that Paola it is just a label
When I think Ilona I think of your image. Same with others names

Ilona:
Ok, can you look at paola as a character in her story. What drives the story? How does it evolve? Is there a director, actress, writer, manager?

Paola:
This word Paola also evokes a story in the mind
Must go for dinner ....

Paola:
The story just happens, no one drives it. No director, no actress, no writer, no manager, the story appears to happen in the mind, it is told by memories (thoughts), and Paola looks a character. This questions make 'me' feels a bit agitated, may be there is not much clarity. Trying to work it out but cannot grasp a definitive answer.

Ilona:
keep digging. story is not told by memories. story is about memories. and story is about character paola, only there is no actress. no control over the role. all it just happening. it's a story that is told by the thoughts and believed to be real. what else comes up. if there is a feeling of aggitation, it is a good sign that you are going to the right direction. keep following it.

Paola:
Story is about memories and the character Paola is part of these memories.Main character.if story is not real it means that past is not real, memories are not real,past is just a story told by thoughts, mind.what is real then? Only what is happening now? Only the present experience.? Just tears now watching my old mother, once strong and full of energy, going to bed. Lot of love and sadness because tomorrow I will leave knowing that she will not be healthier or stronger. Tenderness for her. Love is real and it Is painful now. There is a feeling of not-knowing. I will keep digging. Good night Ilona, I would like to have your clarity and your generosity.


Ilona:
You are getting this. Spot on. Only this is real. The rest is stories. It's when we belief that stories are solid and fixed is that create suffering. Nothing is fixed. All is movement. Flow. And there is nothing outside of flow.
Love is real. Tenderness kindness, sadness- these are what is experienced. The story about feelings is just story told in the mind. It's when we stop taking the story seriously and focus attention on what is right now the spaciousness appears. The beauty is perceived.

Good night sweet Paola.


Paola:
Good morning Ilona, I can see how the story exists only in thoughts and it is not solid, fixed.in fact where is it right now? What you wrote about the flow resonates, feeling a kind of spaciousness and relaxation. If I don't think about my eyes and my face there is only looking, sights. Last night some fear arose in the body, fear of disappearing .I will be travelling today and will have the possibility to write again only tonight. Italy is blessed with sun today. Much love.


Paola:
Hello Ilona, I am back home finally, I have been reading Gateless Crasher all day, very good, I am addicted now. Feeling a bit space out, my brain is working a lot. Always fearing to intellectualize.Are you still with me?

Ilona:
How was your trip?
Rest today, brain is doing its thing, don't fear intellectualising, let it run free. It's an internal process and it's a lot to take. We'll speak tomorrow.
Much love.

Paola:
The trip was nice, good to spend some time with my old parents, enter their world. I really want them to be well. Rest is a good idea. Thank you so much. We'll speak tomorrow. Sending love


Paola:
Hello Ilona, I am seeing how it's all mind stuff. The reality looks much simpler than all the chattering...but this is reality too, nothing get excluded, no? I mean the chattering in the 'mind' exists.The I is just made up, it's like an habitual pattern. Your very quoted sentence' thought doesn't think' it is still a bit confusing for me. Here it is why: mind it is not an entity, mind and thoughts are the same ok? when we say 'mind activity' it seems that there must be a verb....a thought it is the same than thinking - there is not a thought and a thinking, they are the same, -the only thing that is not in the equation is the thinker !so a thought thinks, a leg walks, a smile smiles, an eye sees. It is the content of the thought that doesn't think. The I is a content...am I going to far? Does a thought exists divided from thinking?
And in the end it is brain activity.
I red again our conversation, I am afraid to admit that I feel relieved  I can really see all this mind stuff. Not fear at all, the only one is that one to fool myself again but it doesn't looks like. I never had such a desire to recognise the truth like now. Back to work now.
Love. P


Ilona:
Great to hear from you.
What is mind? It's just a label. There is no mind. All there is is stream of thoughts that come one after the other. Like a train. Mind is nothing but label for thoughts happening. Thinking process is neurons firing and thoughts appearing.
So check again. Thought comes up and disappears. Can a thought think?

Paola:
Yes, mind is a label for the train of thoughts, this is clear.Thought comes up and disappears, this is clear too. Uncontrollable. Thought is just a thought, doesn't have a real power in a way, no, thought cannot think. Thank you for the clarification of the thinking process.
The thought and its content are the same thing?. Thought happens, I- thought happens, but there is not a substantiality, it doesn't refer to anything real...you cannot even pin it down and say ah..this is the I-thought! when one is sleeping there is no ' I- thought'. so this is another proof that the I is not real. 'I' is no more than a thought. A big thought that, constantly appears out of nothing...and this is how the character is 'built'? and this is how one gets to live life a lost in thoughts?
I had a good day. Feeling a bit lighter.
Sending love

Paola:
...I mean lost in thoughts about a character, a story.

Ilona:
story is part of what is. and it's gonna keep going. the difference here is seeing that it's not real.


Paola:
Sure, it's gonna keep going,story is not real because I is not real, but experiences are real. What do you mean exactly by 'story'? I went to Italy and came back yesterday is not a story...is something happened, isn't it?

Ilona:
everything that is in the mind is story. only what is experienced right now, right here, this moment is direct experience. all the rest is story. ­ ­

Paola:
Very good clarification. Very useful. Now the experience is that the I is a thought.. Thanks for being direct and coincise.

Ilona:
You are welcome.
let this settle in. do not over think it. just relax. mind is reorganising itself.  notice that there is no noticer, but noticing happening...

Paola:
everything that is in the mind is story. This moment is very fleeting, it is really a flow. Yes Ilona, I will let this settle in and relax, noticing happening..

Ilona:
beautiful ♥­ ­

Paola:
Good morning Ilona ,

I feel like a veil has lifted , actually is still lifting, in fact I cannot say that there was a precise moment of revelation, more like a process that it is still going on. There is definitely less compulsive behaviour and it is more natural to relax. Finally clear to notice how thoughts apply a label to everything , sensation, feelings. The sense of 'self' is more transparent. Talking with you and Bill, reading the forum, your blog and Gateless Gatecrasher has been and still is very good. I have seen more in the last month that in the previous 5 years of non dual readings and satsangs. I don't need to deny the story, I just know that it is a story. I don't need to deny the 'I', I just see that it is a word and it is used for communication, a label, mistakenly taken as an entity in and of itself. There is sense of being, aliveness, spaciousness, difficult to use words to describe it, but the feeling is simple and soothing.
All my love.

Ilona:
That is beautiful. Thank you. I'm so delighted that the veil is lifting. Yes, it's a process, it's not just one moment, but all that is happening. And it will keep revealing more and more.
:)) I sense from your letter that you are relaxing.
Good news.

Ilona:
Can you go through these questions

1) Is there a 'me', 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.

3) How does it feel to see this?

4) How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.

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

So I see where you are.
Love!

Paola:
Yes Ilona I can and will get back you you later or tomorrow morning. Much love

Paola:
1)Is there a 'me', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

No me/I/self in any shape or form, and never was. There was the belief in a'me', the 'me' was kind of taken for granted because was never questioned, was never seen for what it really is: a word, a thought that is automatically applied to experience. It was never seen that the 'I' was made up by thoughts.

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works.

The illusion consists in the fact that the I is assumed to be an entity, an autonomous separate entity that goes through life. Like if it resides inside the body and it has control over what is happening.
I don't know exactly when it starts, but probably at a very young age, at a certain point instead of there is only what's happening, a story about 'me' starts, the I-thought appears.
The child starts to take herself like an I-entity when she begins to realise that people around her and society in general are pointing at her and treating her like a separate entity, the trick of the language adds a lot in the creation of apparent separation. In the language there is always subject+verb+object.
The belief in an I-entity create a separation, because of that life appears to be something one must always deal with. 'What is' is never enough because the belief in a separate I always induces a sense of lacking and therefore striving to obtain what is apparently lacking .Life is not seen already full.

3)How does it feel to see this?

Well, there is relief, there is no longer that sense of urgency or lack, the thoughts continue to arise about everything, but they are not taken so damn seriously, in fact they are much easily realised (by themselves).
I see that I can relax in the moment. Especially when walking I am in awe sometimes, all around is so full, so much beautiful than before. It looks like my perception has embellished.
There never was a feeling of loneliness in these last days. I guess there will be more to see in time but for now this is how it feels.

4)How would you describe it to somebody who has never heard about this illusion.

I would probably ask him to be open minded for a moment first. Like for example, let's pretend that we don't know anything and let's observe together what is happening. Let's start first with what is real, what is perceivable by senses...Let's see now what is the 'I', where is it? What does it mean my/mine etc. I would probably show him the video by Marcus du Sautoy on free will. (It also depends very much on how open the person is).


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

The chat with you was very intense for me and it made me see a lot, especially to really see how thoughts label experience almost immediately, and the I label was attaching to almost every experience. I finally had a clear vision about thoughts separate from feelings, and how stories are made up by thoughts. Also I didn't want to give up, really felt it was 'vital' to know the truth about it.



Ilona:
I can see that you are speaking from your own experience and that seeing has happened. I'm so glad :))) delighted.
I will take some time to readjust and rebalance. But what has been seen can not be unseen. So life will be same, but feeling about it will be different. Old patterns will start dropping.

Can I put our conversation on my blog? With or without your name. It will be helpful for others. What do you think?

Lots of love!


Paola:
Dear Ilona, I love your blog, it is really very helpful and you can put our conversation with my name.I am totally grateful and feel very lucky to have met you. I will continue to read your blog and the forum. BTW I like Alan Watts too a lot.
Sending love