What are we?

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pabl692
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What are we?

Post by pabl692 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:07 am

Hi everyone,

Still having trouble with the idea of what we really are. What makes us, 'us'.

A few months ago I went through a very dark patch. Life seemed utterly pointless if we don't exist. I was worried that we didn't have free will and how everything is just predetermined by someone or something else. Somehow, something snapped in me and I just started living my life, not really caring either way.

But the old anxieties are creeping back in.

I've grown very close to a friend recently. Someone who has helped me through dark times. They seem to be going through a dark time right now. And I am there for them. I told them that I love them unconditionally, and no matter what, they will always have a friend in me. I feel like this is who I am. I love people and their individuality. It's what makes the world go around for me.

However, I look at my friend, and I wonder, is she really pulling her own strings? Or is she just a product of random brain activity, like me?

Some of you may know that, when I posted here previously, I never believed in the soul. Now, I'm not so sure. In fact, I'd love to believe it. Is that what makes us individuals? Do we have an individual soul? Could I meet my loved ones again when we move on from this world?

The friend I speak of, she's the one who has made everything bearable lately. In fact, she is the reason I get out of bed in a morning. I love her company. I'd do anything for her. I'd do anything for anyone really.

I watched Sadhguru yesterday and he says we are all in control of our own destiny. I hope this is true.

Thank you for listening to me. I'm just very scared again.

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Re: What are we?

Post by pabl692 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:02 pm

I'd really appreciate someone to talk to. I feel like I am going down the slope again. I know I can be irritating, just a bit scared at the moment.

I've been posting on the Actualized Forums. Does anyone here post on there? All I get from them is that I don't exist and neither does anyone else. Everything is God.

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Re: What are we?

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:03 pm

All I get from them is that I don't exist and neither does anyone else. Everything is God.
This is a misunderstanding and misinterpretation. I recommend you stay away from such ideas as they will only cause you pain - and that's a good thing. It's painful to you simply because it conflicts with with a knowledge deep within you that knows better, that knows the larger truth. Emotional pain is an indicator that how we are viewing some idea or belief is out of alignment with a Greater Truth that we inherently know. Emotions exist to guide us on the path of understanding and clarity. Don't curse your pain, appreciate it. It is a gift from God to guide us in this human experience.

Pain is the result of resistance, and you know the old saw - follow the path (knowledge path) of least resistance. You have stated previously that posters who have responded to you have helped you find some peace through understanding. Follow the ideas of those posters and the insights they offer. Find your way to truth by following what feels better as a potential truth. By doing so you will build on your understanding until it becomes a guiding principle and a source of peace in your life.

Consider this: While it is true that All is God, or Source, or Divine, or Whatever, it doesn't mean that you don't exist, it means that you are God and you exist as an extension of God. God is real, God exists, so you exist because you are an element of God exploring this human experience. What I'm referring to is your self awareness as you, not your identifications. False beliefs about self will eventually drop away. Not self, only the false and limiting beliefs. You will still be you only free from misperceptions.

Does an acorn not exist because it has grown into an oak tree? The acorn was just a temporary condition that was intended for a much greater existence all along. Does your infant life experience not exist because you have grown into an adult? Of course it does, the infant exists in its intended transformed state of adulthood. Do you wish you were still an infant pooping in a diaper? Do you want to stay in a fearful limited identification? Or grow into the self aware Divine being you are destined to be?

Your self awareness is eternal. It is only your perception of self that will evolve and grow over time.

WW

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Re: What are we?

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:16 pm

Get a larger sense of reality and being. You'll be glad you did. Here's a great place to start:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bXvLGAKToA

Enjoy

WW

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Re: What are we?

Post by pabl692 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:43 pm

Thank you for that WW. I was actually hoping you'd reply to me. I know, previously, I might have come over argumentative, and I can only apologise for that. However, in a world or word salad, I do find I enjoy your posts and can get my head around them mostly.

Yes - it absolutely does conflict with me. It sent me into a spin. Back in April, I ended up having weeks off work, just sleeping all day every day, not eating, and basically just wanting someone to come through my door and shoot me. I started on anti depressants and they made everything ten times worse. I just don't want to go back there. Everything seems so pointless if we don't exist, as individuals. It is what makes my world go round!

I see what you are saying about being God. God experiencing Paul. But then Paul doesn't really exist.

I have been watching a lot of NDE testimonies recently. Some find that they go to another world, meet old relatives etc. One guy said he met a relative who he had never met on earth, and only found out who the person was some weeks after, when he received a photograph through the post. These NDEs seem to suggest to me that you remain 'you'. But then many on the Actualized forum (not sure if you are familiar with it), say that there is no 'you', just consciousness. After death, if anything happened at all, it would not remain a personal experience.

I will take a look at that video. Thank you.

Can I ask, do you believe in the soul? Or might I say, are you certain of the soul? And what of free will?

To be honest, if I could have a first person experience whereby I could know for sure that people are people, individuals, pulling their own strings, even souls in bodies, I would never have another sad day in my life. I love people, however they come. More simply, I want to be able to sit down with my friend, have a coffee together and listen and talk about their life. What they are doing. How I can help them. Life loses its romance and magic if we are just the product of random brain activity.

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Re: What are we?

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:27 pm

pabl692 wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:43 pm
I see what you are saying about being God. God experiencing Paul. But then Paul doesn't really exist.
That's not what I'm saying. To be more accurate, God is experiencing life 'as Paul'. Paul is an ego identification, not a separate identity, it's a perspective. But what is real, the origin of the sense of self, that which you are, that which is temporally pretending to be Paul, is the true I Am within the 'me' of Paul. There is no point in arguing for an 'identification' when there is an actual self that is far greater and more fun to live as. You'll still feel like you, just in different, more inclusive context.

Some examples to consider:

When you dream at night you have a sense of self that is considerably different from the awakened perspective. It still feels very much like 'self'; but when in the dream, you accept its conditions without reservations, even though it be in the most bazaar circumstances imaginable. When you awaken, you totally abandon the dreamscape in favor of the more realistic awakened present self. Both contexts felt like self, because they were - just unique conditions for which to have experience.

An actor playing a role temporarily 'identifies' as a character in a movie. The better they identify, the more convincing their act appears. But when the role is over, do they remain in the identity they created? Or do they return to their natural state of who they truly are? And by returning to their original state, do they lose their sense of self? Is it not the same self as before the role, during the role and after the role? Just a different context? And by returning to their true identity, do they lose the experience of the role they just played? Can they not remember what it was like to be the person they imagined for that role and retain any benefits they gained in the process? What exactly is lost?

But then many on the Actualized forum (not sure if you are familiar with it), say that there is no 'you', just consciousness. After death, if anything happened at all, it would not remain a personal experience.
I'm not familiar with the forum, but I am quite familiar with the 'no you' thought construct. There used to be a group called 'The Ruthless Truthers' that preached the same ideology. They were brutally aggressive, and went on a rampage of attacking sites like ours, until their leader imploded and turned on all his followers with a vengeance. A lot of the people who had become followers and adopted his 'no self' belief system suffered because of it. I don't recommend it at all.

For me 'no self' just doesn't hold much water. There is far too much evidence for a larger reality. By now hundreds of thousands of near death experiencer's and out of body experiencer's have offered ample evidence that our sense of self not only survives the death of the body, but is enhanced upon arrival to that greater existence.

I have found that far too many of those who adopt a 'no self' belief end up being very unhappy in life. Look what it's doing to you. As I mention earlier, following the guidance of your feelings and emotions will help you avoid painful problems in favor of more peace and joy in life. Not because it's not dealing with reality in life, but because it is. Those who explore and understand the beauty of the larger reality system, which includes a true and lasting sense of self, albeit unique to its level of expression, are far happier in life. It seems true, that the truth has set them free.

Here's the distinction worth considering:

1. "There is no you". You don't exist. You are just brain chemistry that will soon cease to exist. Nothing matters. We(?) are just accidents in a physical universe. (How's that feel?)

Or

2. You are not what you 'think' you are. Thinking creates identification, not self. Thinking changes with information, as does identification. Self transcends thinking and is present in all forms of identification. It transcends the physical form as is evidenced by countless NDE's and OBE's. Everything, every experience, matters in that it is fuel for the expansion of Consciousness and Being. Do you feel real? Do you not have a sense of self no matter what you believe? (Now compare how that feels.)

Follow the path of least resistance.

WW

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Re: What are we?

Post by pabl692 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Firstly, thank you for the reply. I honestly really appreciate it, I cannot tell you. That was a great post that really helped.

Naturally, I have a few questions. Please bear with me.

Could you break down what you mean by Paul is an ego identification, not a separate identity?

I know what you mean about dreams. I dream extremely vividly, every single night for years now. To the point where I wake up exhausted. Sometimes if I look into a light straight after waking up, I can see my eyes vibrating. I could read a newspaper in my dream, wake up and tell you what I have read. It is that clear haha. But yes, we do seem to just accept it.

I do find the 'no you' thing very scary. Some people might find it liberating, but it seems very zero sum to me.

Perhaps you should take a look at the Actualized Forum. Also, the leader of the site, Leo Gura, has a very popular YouTube channel. Take a look and see what you think. I, however, find him very neurotic. I think he's going a bit mad. He's openly admitted he doesn't care about people anymore. He says death is the single most wonderful thing anyone can ever experience. Oh and that you can be happy if you entire family gets tortured etc. I'm not suggesting that you need to take a look, I suspect you are perfectly comfortable with your beliefs/way of life and won't learn much there haha. But for curiosities sake, you might find it interesting.

Oh and he's also a huge promoter of using psychedelics. What are your thoughts on those? I've just got no interest in taking drugs.

I think something that gives me great anxiety is where thoughts come from. Do we create our thoughts? Seemingly, they just appear out of nowhere. That worries me. Like there is no 'doer' creating the thoughts. You can't think a thought before you have thought it. But then I think, you have to be able to think somehow, right? And if we were not supposed to have a thinking mind, we wouldn't have one.

Do you think those testimonies about people meeting passed family members again in NDEs hold water? That would suggest that people retain some of their form.

I watch Sadhguru sometimes. To be honest, he never answers a question straight. But I kind of like him. He seems more human than a lot of gurus. He says we are in control. We have free will. I hope he is right.

There was more I was going to ask... but I can't quite remember haha. Thanks again.

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Re: What are we?

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:16 am

pabl692 wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:07 pm
Could you break down what you mean by Paul is an ego identification, not a separate identity?
Allow me the use of an analogy. Do you remember the movie Forest Gump? One of the all time classics. So here's a question to consider: Who was Tom Hanks to Forest Gump? What was the nature of Forest Gumps' true self? If Tom Hanks somehow got so immersed in the role of Forest Gump that he forgot his true identity, would there be any real concern for Forest Gump's sense of self simply because his role would be over as the credits rolled? Or would he just say 'oh wow, I'm still me, I just no longer think I'm someone else, someone I'm not. It was just a role I played.

Consider also that the role Hanks played was a limited one with built in restrictions. His true sense of self, the one he felt even while playing Gump, continued even after the Gump character severed its purpose. Even so, he still carries the memories and experiences of the character he became to play the role so well.
Perhaps you should take a look at the Actualized Forum.
I'll probably take a pass on that. I spent a lot of time at the Ruthless Truth forum to keep an eye on what they were planning as they were actively attacking us. As long as those at Actualized keep to their own business, I'll leave them to their own free will - the free will that they don't believe they have. I'm not here to fix anyone, only to help as best I can where it is requested. Curiously though, if you think he's going mad, and he brings you down, why do you attend? There are so many options for consciousness expanding explorations. Find things that serve you and enhance your life experience. Avoid those the contract it.
Oh and he's also a huge promoter of using psychedelics. What are your thoughts on those? I've just got no interest in taking drugs.
Stronger, deep diving psychedelics, like psilocybin, LSD, and ayahuasca, can lead to consciousness expanding experiences. But I do not recommend using them for recreation. Use only with spiritual purpose and with someone who knows how to use them with purpose. Branching out on you own, unguided, is a recipe for trouble. Recreational use is inherently dangerous and can lead to unpleasant consequences.

Marijuana can be useful and enjoyed in the right mindset to explore consciousness possibilities. It may also be enjoyed recreationally when used in moderation. Like anything, it can be abused causing detrimental experiences. This is not a recommendation for use, only an opinion on potential value and harm. People with significant life concerns are better off avoiding them entirely unless with a knowledgeable therapist.
I think something that gives me great anxiety is where thoughts come from. Do we create our thoughts? Seemingly, they just appear out of nowhere. That worries me. Like there is no 'doer' creating the thoughts.
My take is that they don't just appear out of nowhere. They do however, arise spontaneously. We've all spent a lifetime taking in all manor of thoughts and ideas. Our subconscious store these thoughts, ideas and experiences as subconscious memories. So what arises spontaneously does so out of the vast storehouse of memories we have all collected over a lifetime.

Consider, if memories just appeared out of nowhere, why don't you have spontaneous thoughts of planting rice in the wetlands of Asia? Many Asians do. And why don't you have spontaneous thoughts about engineering rocket motors? Some rocket scientists do? The thoughts that arise do so out of our personal experiences and interests. Granted they may seem a bit foreign when the subconscious mind creates unfamiliar combinations into seemingly new thoughts. But the groundwork for those thoughts are already there giving the subconscious plenty to work with.

All that said, I think we can also pick up thoughts floating around our environment. We can pick up thoughts of those close to us, or intense thoughts of others, and mass consciousness thoughts strong enough to be perceived subconsciously. But these are not 'out of nowhere'. Our minds are receivers and can often tune into thoughts from external sources. This is not evidence of 'no doer'. It is evidence of inherent human abilities that we all possess. Consciousness after all, is not confined inside our skulls and brains.

So the point is, we create most all of those spontaneous thoughts that arise, but we generally do so subconsciously. We can also create thoughts intentionally. You did a lot of it when you wrote your post. We all do on a regular basis. So there are at least two aspects of mind that create thoughts. The conscious mind, and the subconscious mind - plus an inherent receiving ability. Consider also this empowering thought: the conscious mind has the responsibility to give the subconscious quality material to work and create with. It will work however, with whatever it's given. Therein lies and import matter of what we intentionally think about.
Do you think those testimonies about people meeting passed family members again in NDEs hold water? That would suggest that people retain some of their form.
I do indeed. My own father came to me the day after he died in a dream vision and gave me a message to tell the rest of our family. The curious thing, is that my sister in law, told me a nearly identical story about a message she got from her father to tell his family the day after he died. That was twenty years later and she had no knowledge of my story. Even more, I've read that the message we received was a common one from the deceased to their loved ones through some more attuned family member.

It was quite interesting as the vision I saw of my father was one of a younger man, younger than I ever knew him. He was 45 when I was born and 77 when he died, but he looked more like early to mid thirties in my vision. This too is common in NDE'rs and the like to see young and youthful versions of their spiritual loved ones even though they often died in their later years.

WW

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Re: What are we?

Post by pabl692 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:04 pm

Thanks again for that. It really does help. It's nice to have somewhere to ask questions and get answers in plain English, too.

Firstly, I love Forrest Gump. Cry like a baby every single time. I see what you mean about Hanks playing the character. And he retains his sense of being Tom Hanks whilst in character. But if Paul is a character, then why does it seem that that character might live on after physical death? If your true Self is something else than what you think you are.

To be honest, there are some decent people at Actualized, following their own paths. And who am I to judge anyone? Whatever works for them. It is a large community, thousands of posters, it's really thriving in fairness. It just seems every time I ask a question, or I post asking for a little help, I get a lot of word salad and actually, a lot of ego. And contradiction after contradiction. And if you call them out on contradictions, you just get attacked. Leo - the leader, if you will - seriously thinks he has uncovered all the mysteries of existence and the universe. He openly states he doesn't care about others. It was always my understanding that a large part of spirituality was about fostering compassion for others. Odd.

I honestly have no desire to pursue psychedelics. I like a couple of glasses of wine. That is far as my dabble with substances goes.

I am very interested in the origin of thoughts. Yes, like you say, thoughts do seemingly arise spontaneously (I can never spell that right). It's like earlier today, I took a snooze at my parent's house. As I was drifting off, I had many thoughts, one after the other. My mind played out many different scenarios, places, scenes etc. Where on earth does it come from? I panicked a bit. And I could help but think that it must just be brain activity going a bit crazy. But there are things there I have never seen before. In fact, we talk quite often at work about how crazy dreams are. Things and places you have never experienced. Is it just imagination? Who is imagining?

I am starting to open up more to the possibility that consciousness might not be a product confined to our brains, like you say. I'm an open minded chap. You know, given the scale of it all, it hard to compute and understand sometimes. I guess I am just in that mode where I seem to questioning absolutely everything about my existence at the moment and it is very tiring. It is scary, too. Why do I like a certain colour? If it is just because my brain is wired that way, then that isn't really 'me' choosing to like something. Why do I like a certain food? Or is this just part of the human experience, as in, we are experiencing what it is like to have factors out of our control and what it is like to be under the influence of a body with millions of years of evolutionary programming? I don't know.

The NDEs are very interesting. You seem like quite an erudite and reasonable guy, so I can take what you say seriously. What did your father say? And to you, is there no doubt about what you witnessed?
My ex girlfriend told me that her grandfather hovered above her one night as she lied in bed. She swore blind that is what happened, and I could tell she was seriously. Also, a dear friend of my family (educated, level headed, probably a bit of a skeptic) once told me and father about a man being stood at the end of his bed one night when he woke up. And about how he got a lift on the back of a motorcycle late one night from a guy dressed like he'd come straight from the 1930s. As he got off the bike and turned round to thank the man, he'd vanished. Completely vanished. Also, another friend the family, an old miner now in his 80s, told us of how his friend's boy used to sit up at night talking to a boy at the end of his bed. Turns out a boy had died in that house many years previously.

These worries always hit me hardest when I seem to be in a better place in my life. In April I came close to dying and I wanted to, truly. But then I have had the most wonderful summer with my friends and made some terrific memories. I have grown even closer to a girl friend of mine, and I feel as though I have developed romantic feelings for her. She's been going through an horrific time, and she's pretty much been abandoned by those close to her. So I have been helping her. I told her that I love her unconditionally (in a friendly way haha). And it's been lovely to see a girl who naturally shines really brightly pick herself back up again and start laughing once more. Obviously, my mind just attacks her. "She isn't real, just a bag of neurons". Heartbreaking really.

Sorry for the essay. And thank you once again for taking the time to write back.

Paul.

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Re: What are we?

Post by Webwanderer » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:05 am

pabl692 wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:04 pm
But if Paul is a character, then why does it seem that that character might live on after physical death?
It seems that way because it is that way. For simplicity let's call Paul's True Self - PAUL. So Paul is not a separate aspect of PAUL. Paul is an extension of PAUL designed for the purpose of PAUL learning some very valuable lessons in a unique environment that will help PAUL/Paul grow into even more expansive and beautiful beings. Life in PAUL's world however, is very easy for PAUL - in some ways too easy. So the Paul part of PAUL helps PAUL by living in a world of contrasts and challenges that PAUL's higher realms cannot provide.

Anyway, in this arrangement, PAUL loves Paul very much indeed and knows his value. You might say, as stated in a well known scripture, that PAUL unconditionally loves his neighbor Paul as himself - because he is.

There is no separation between PAUL and Paul except in Paul's belief structure. There never has been. Their connection to each other is just unclear to Paul. Only because Paul believes there is separation is it experienced as such. So when Paul eventually wakes up, he will not lose himself, rather he will regain his inherent larger context as PAUL.

Just as when you awaken from a dream you do not lose your dream-self, you only regain a larger context that is inclusive of the dream - and often that dream is very valuable. Consider, how long would you fight to stay asleep in a dream if you knew there was a clear and wonderful you to wake up into? A you that has much more freedom and wisdom and understanding and capabilities?

Now, there are many levels of experience in a multidimensional universe. When Paul croaks, to the degree he still believes in Paul, he will move into a dimensional experience that is familiar to him including the identification as Paul. He will still experience himself as Paul. Paul is free to hang onto that identity as long as he chooses. Many like Paul do just that. The return to PAUL is strictly voluntary and the path is through PAUL's unconditional Divine Love. There are countless worlds beyond this physical one designed just for that purpose. Paul will even help create his world by his attention to it.

Eventually however, Paul will likely seek the truth of his own larger nature through a natural desire to explore and know truth, and will wake up to what has been Self all along. He will eventually remember that he has always been PAUL. He will realize that PAUL is, and always has been, Paul in a unique and exploratory form.

There is no hurry. Paul can remain Paul as long as he cares to. It's a free choice. One of the most valuable things that Paul can do is learn the truth through his own curiosity and efforts. Whether it's clear to you or not, you are exploring through that very evolutionary curiosity even now.
It's like earlier today, I took a snooze at my parent's house. As I was drifting off, I had many thoughts, one after the other. My mind played out many different scenarios, places, scenes etc. Where on earth does it come from? I panicked a bit. And I could help but think that it must just be brain activity going a bit crazy.
When we go into that hypnagogic state the mind does tend to unleash a bunch of random thoughts. Most arise from current events in our thinking, but some come so jumbled and disorganized they seem foreign. It's no big deal. That state however, is a good place to practice consciousness discipline. If we can intentionally tame that state, if offers a pristine opportunity for insight and creativity.
The NDEs are very interesting. You seem like quite an erudite and reasonable guy, so I can take what you say seriously. What did your father say? And to you, is there no doubt about what you witnessed?
He said to me "I just wanted to let you know that I'm okay. Tell everyone I'm okay." Now here's the interesting part: In my dream vision his/my extended family were having a kind of wake in consideration of him dying. The phone rings and someone says to me "It's for you". I answer it and in my dream mind's eye, I see my father sitting up in a hospital bed greatly recovered from his long illness from emphysema. He looks young and near full health.

The dream was like no other I've ever had. This was in 1981 and it remains the clearest dream I've ever had and I remember it clearly to this day. My sister in law told me back in 2007 that she had a dream the night after her father died where the phone rang, and when she answered it, it was her father calling to tell her he was okay. He died after a long illness at the age of 85 or so. She did not know at the time about my own experience. I've since learned that this is not uncommon.

WW

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Re: What are we?

Post by pabl692 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:43 pm

Thank you for that WW. I read it this morning after waking up and it actually helped me get myself out of bed. I feel like I am going through that stage of wanting to sleep constantly. Also, as summer seems to draw to an end, I'm getting a little anxious about winter coming. The dark nights always seem to hang a cloud over me.

What you say about there being two Pauls, I can understand to an extent.

I have always said I am happy being Paul. I don't have much in life, but at the same time I have everything. If that makes sense? Material riches don't really appeal to me. I'm happy just as I am. All I guess I would like is to have a partner at some point. Whether this happens or not, who knows. It isn't the end of the world. Having fun times with friends and family, helping others feel good about themselves, that's what keeps me ticking. Life can throw what it wants at me in terms of hardships, I don't care. If it is out of my control, I can't do anything. But if I am control of my own life, I'll always bounce back or find a silver lining somewhere.

So many questions, but I don't want to feel like I am taking up too much of anyone's time or hijacking the board selfishly.

So my friend, Rebecca, is she Rebecca? She exists on some level, right? Does she have free will?
I read a lot about free will. And those who say we don't have it make the argument about how everything is impulsive and as a result of influences. But I do think, well, we have to be able to think and operate somehow?

Though, when you say we create our thoughts, doesn't that go against Eckhart's teaching that we are not our thoughts?

Food for thought (haha). Thank you again and I hope you are well.

Paul

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Re: What are we?

Post by Webwanderer » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:03 pm

pabl692 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:43 pm
What you say about there being two Pauls, I can understand to an extent.
I'm not saying there are two Pauls. You are. How many Pauls are there if a naked Paul puts on some fireman clothes and goes to work as an fireman? Are there two? One without identifying clothing, and another with? There is one PAUL who is wearing a thought suit called Paul.
So my friend, Rebecca, is she Rebecca? She exists on some level, right? Does she have free will?
Of course she has free will. We all do, limited only by belief systems both personal and collective. But within the context of those beliefs, she can choose right, left, up, down and a whole lot more. Each leads to different life experiences and ever more choices. Making those choices as it relates to our experience is the fuel of evolution in consciousness. Each has its own lessons to teach.
Though, when you say we create our thoughts, doesn't that go against Eckhart's teaching that we are not our thoughts?
Read your own question. Does Tolle say we don't create our own thoughts? I don't recall hearing that. Or does he say we are not the thoughts we create? Of that I agree. I don't see a conflict.

Consider this: There is no independent self in the thoughts we create. Self resides in the consciousness that created those thoughts. There is no self in the thought of Paul, there is however, self in the thinker thinking that Paul is. That doesn't mean that Paul's thinking is accurate. Paul is free to think some really curious things - and like the rest of us, often does. PAUL's love of Paul however, will not change. Simply because PAUL is Paul.

WW

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Re: What are we?

Post by pabl692 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:54 pm

Thanks for that.

So is the ego like the fireman's suit?

Well, I hope she is real. I really do. Not just a weird chemical reaction, where everything is automated or impulsive. I love the idea of a 'doer'. But how can we prove it, really? I don't know.

Tolle, from what I recall, say we are not our thoughts. I would have to check again what he says exactly.

How do you mean there is no independent self in the thoughts we create? If we create them, I don't see how they are not ours. Paul really does think some curious things. Perhaps too curious :lol:

I guess you might say that you are sure because you have had experience that you don't doubt beyond any reason. I haven't had that experience so it is hard not to be skeptical. But I hope it is true. We exist, here and after. I mean, wow.

I remember that when I really looked into NDEs, a lot of individuals said that they met God or Jesus. Doesn't this validate Christianity?

Also, regarding meditation. I've tried it. I can't sit in the lotus position. I like to do it laying down, but I really don't know what I am supposed to be doing. I try and focus on the breathe. But which bit? Any help on techniques from anyone here would be grateful. What do people find the benefits of meditation to be?

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Re: What are we?

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:33 am

pabl692 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:54 pm
Also, regarding meditation. I've tried it. I can't sit in the lotus position. I like to do it laying down, but I really don't know what I am supposed to be doing. I try and focus on the breathe. But which bit? Any help on techniques from anyone here would be grateful. What do people find the benefits of meditation to be?
I recommend you look into Adyashanti's 'True Meditation'.

WW

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Re: What are we?

Post by kiki » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:23 am

There are many approaches to meditation, but in my opinion whatever you find simplest/easiest is the best for you to begin with. You can always try something else if you don't find one effective in settling the mind's activity if you've been practicing something for a while, but whatever you choose stick with it for a while to give it a chance. Once you get a knack for one kind of meditation you can build a library of approaches that you can play with that you can cycle through depending on what you are drawn to at any given moment. It may be that if you discard one approach as ineffective you could find it works later on when you return to it.

If you use the breath as a point of focus for meditation that is what is called "mindfulness meditation". There are many youtube videos on this kind of meditation - Jon Kabat-Zinn is a great mindfulness teacher that you can check out, two others are Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein all on youtube. Choose whatever posture you find comfortable, relax, close the eyes and pay attention to where you notice the breath the most: Is it at the nostrils, at the belly, in the chest? Then pay attention to the full cycle of each breath without trying the manipulate the duration of each breath. Allow the breath to find its own rhythm - throughout each meditation you will likely notice that its rhythm changes all by itself. It could get longer or shorter or very subtle; whatever it is is perfectly OK.

The full cycle would include the in-breath, any pause that may appear before the out-breath initiates, the out-breath, any pause that is noticed before the next in-breath initiates and so on - watch it all the way in and all the way out. Additionally, notice there is a sensation of the breath moving in and out - usually slightly cooler on the in-breath and warmer on the out-breath. Notice any sound the breath may be making.

Whenever you notice something causing you to stray from your focus (such as a thought, a sensation, an emotion) - just mentally note its appearance with a simple label like "thought", "sensation" or whatever and then return attention to the breath once more - these interruptions natural and part of the process, so it's wise not to judge their appearance in any way when they occur. Continue this way for 10 or 15 minutes, or shorter if that seems too long for you to start with - you can always extend your session as you get more comfortable with the process.

Adyashanti's "true meditaion" is very very simple - simply allow everything to be as it is. No manipulation of any kind. It's simple in its approach, but it may be challenging, especially for beginners because we have been conditioned to focus attention in the mind, where our ego-identity is entrenched, where we believe we exist as an individual that is constantly trying to gain/lose/achieve something through some sort of "doing" - labeling, judging, comparing. If you notice this tendency for mind to ask, "What should I be doing?" just answer: Allow everything to be as it is. Be totally open and accepting of whatever happens. It's like being "naked" and innocent to what is by allowing all the sensory doorways to open and then accepting what flows through them. Notice how attention effortlessly moves from one thing to another - let it all happen without interference. This will bring you into a state of presence, where thoughts/ideas/sensations are observed to come and go all by themselves.

This observation of the coming and going of objects of every kind is a function of consciousness, the fundamental and essential You. That consciousness is silent, still, aware "knowingness", inherently peaceful and always present. The conscious awareness of this is what is being cultivated so that it becomes so familiar one organically grows into abidance in it/as it at all times. Adya has youtube guided meditations that you can listen to that lead you into it quite effectively and allow you to get the hang of things. The beauty of this style of meditation is that it transfers easily into activity. Here is one of his youtube videos that addresses the question of who you are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU1Agfd_nQw
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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