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Using the Just One Look Method
Hi, I feel like I'm kind of a member of this 'community'. I admit I haven't given any money besides buying a book and maybe giving $10 once. Anyway, I am presently recovering from an interesting friday night. I spent it with a group of great people. Artists, physicians, hipsters etc. Everyone is creative interesting and smart. I did what I knew I shouldn't do too much of. Lots of weed was being passed around and I got too high. (It's legal where I live) At first I was elated to discover that I could maintain the kind of openness, the internal freedom that comes with looking at yourself. Later I got swamped by thought processes and this spiraled into a fixation on a particular identification that was vulnerable, afraid of being exposed, afraid of being seen by others really. I really became quite unhappy under this pressure. the feeling was of being hopelessly inferior. In fact, even on the level of personal attributes, skill, accomplishments, social status, physically, appearance, intelligence etc. I'm really not hopelessly inferior. And in terms of me just being me, well there's no room for comparison anyway. but that became my experience for the last part of the night and it weighted me down the next day, and i'm just getting my bearings again today. what I find worth commenting about here is what I can tell about seeing myself by noticing the difference as it becomes again haltingly possible for me. first of all, apprehending an immediate sense of 'me' does somehow make use of a visual faculty. It is a kind of seeing much more than a sensing or feeling. But this seeing seems to be a more expansive process that takes all the rest of experience up into it and makes it function as one. Integrates it. The static bodily tensions give way as the seeing takes in the bodily sense. The emotional fixations that separate me from other people shake loose and I can relate to others genuinely. I can see/feel where others are coming from and what they need. the established pattern of my life has been to see how others could threaten me and to defend against this. In the act of seeing myself, I can sometimes see how others are threatened and can act to welcome them, to accept them.
I'm not sure if this seeing is the same thing as others are pursuing here. I'm not even sure if it's what the Shermans are talking about, but I think so...
This seeing is just a seeing of the basic me. and this basic me doesn't have any specific characteristics, but is more like the potential for expression. that's the best way to describe what it is I find when I look at myself. A living potential of expression. but to look for any such thing is a red herring in my experience. The looking is a distinctly visual self apprehension that doesn't disclose an visual object "me" but well, it seems like the looking reveals that the self is this act of looking. that sounds like spiritual claptrap, but in my experience it is very concrete. In the looking I find that the looking is the essence of me. Maybe that's not how John and Carla have found things to be. (I'm assuming they must share the same sensibility on these issues!) So how about it? from the perspective of anyone out there... is the thing going on with me "the looking" or not. It's the only thing I can possibly do though, so if it's not the same thing, well, I guess that's just too bad. But, well, I am hoping that this forum, this community so to speak, is up to the same thing I've found by pursuing 'the looking'.
Please let me know what you think.
... is the thing going on with me "the looking" or not.
It seems to me Brezz, that what you are calling 'seeing' is in fact the looking, and the changes you report, including their intermittence, are due to the effect of the looking.
Maybe that's not how John and Carla have found things to be.
I wouldn't worry much about the seeming differences between the way you understand it and the way Carla and I - or anyone else understand it - it'll all come out in the wash.
... This seeing is just a seeing ...
You might some interest in reflecting on your insistence on the passivity of 'seeing' instead of the action of looking.
it seems like the looking reveals that the self is this act of looking. that sounds like spiritual claptrap...
The idea that 'the self' is the act of looking might be spiritual claptrap, but the notion that the looking is the essence of 'me' is not so much. There has been some longstanding philosophical speculation to that effect. But spiritual claptrap or not, I predict that it will not be long before you lose interest in such matters in the face of the sheer force with which life is experienced in a mind free of fear.
Please keep in touch Brezz, you are a member of this community, and you will do much better working here than on you own.
Thanks John. A thoughtful response!
I will stay in touch.
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