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"I" as object

I have been "looking" one way and another for at least 10 years. Started w/ Nisargadatta's "I Am That" and that got me doing just this. If this has been covered I would love to see John's response--

Seems to me that when I look and find "the sense of me" or "the sense of being me" or whatever you want to call it, that is still an object of attention. It is a very subtle sensation or feeling but an object none the less. "I" or "me" is forever that which is doing the looking so I can't actually "look at myself". Where do I go from here?

Thank you!

Dear GeoffreyLevens,

In my experience, if possible, it's better to keep things simple as much as possible. It is impossible for me to know at what moment in your life and in your search you are, but when in doubt, just find what you call me. What happens afterwards is not important and, in fact, it's beyond our conscious control. It's like looking into your own eyes, like touching your deepest core, your personal center, you. It is at the same time the subject and the object, if you want to talk about such distinctions, but they are irrelevant. It's just like tasting a sip of tea or tasting a cupcake. You have a taste, then it goes on its merry way. Rinse and repeat, when and if needed.

For a long time, I wondered what happens or should happen after I look at myself. My personal impression is that it varies. Sometimes it will feel really good. Some other times it feels like an almighty presence everywhere. Sometimes like an all pervading veil of life. Sometimes like falling in a huge void. Sometimes like going through a dark room, not being able to find any solid point. All these experiences are ultimately not important or, as John puts it, besides the point. Hope this is helpful to you.

GeoffreyLevens

I have been "looking" one way and another for at least 10 years. Started w ith Nisargadatta's "I Am That" and that got me doing just this. If this has been covered I would love to see John's response...

Dear Geoffrey,

John read your posting and talked about it at our Open House Meeting on May 21, 2014. He started reading it at the very beginning of the meeting.

You can listen to his response and download the complete recording of the meeting in our podcast.

Thanks to you both Carla and John!

dragosghitiu Not sure how I could make it much simpler. Just what I find. The "I sense" the "me" is there and I notice that it is really not not me after all since "I" and sensing or feeling it. Off now to listen to John. Thanks again.

Just listened to first part of podcast, the rest tomorrow. Thank you to John once again, as you always seem to do, very clear, cutting right through the clutter to the essence. Very much appreciated.

Hi!

I don't know your situation, since you've been involved in similar things for 10 years and don't know if this answers your question at all, but here's my experience with this problem. I hope it helps.

When I was starting out I had a similar problem. I was too analytical and approached this from a philosophical/spiritual perspective. It lead to theorizing and especially at first trying to fit the looking in with other theories. A big problem was how John in older texts used to say to look for yourself and nowadays it's all about feeling the "sense of me", and I was trying to fit them together. I was trying to judge if they were the same thing or different things, because as you say a sensation is an object not the subject which I understood myself to be after reading spiritual and philosophical theories (and probably still do). However, after some time I kinda realized that this is not about the theory but rather the looking itself (also it seemed that theorizing just didn't work). Just look for yourself. There's no confusion if you don't try to find the answer by theorizing. For example I'd go about "answering" your question to myself by feeling the "sense of me" and then seeing if it feels separate from me, and if so, what am I, can I find myself. Or if I think I'm the subject, then what is it in actuality? What is it like to be the subject? Can I turn my attention on the subject? What is the relationship with the "sense of me"? And even "how do I know I am the subject and can't look at myself?" (seeing if there is something to it or is it just an empty belief absorbed from reading spiritual teachings). All in a very experimental way, not theorizing about it. And if the same question arises again, instead of thinking about it just look again. However, remember that John has said that just one look is enough. So all this extra experimental looking may be pointless, but I find it interesting anyway.

Also if you think what this all is about is that John found an act which seems to work and is trying to get others to also do it. All of the theory is just speculation over it (what seems to be the case). This isn't science. So I don't think it's a good idea to take the theory too seriously. Just do the act and hope for the best.

To John:

A question popped into my head while writing this reply: Has the reason you're trying to separate this from spirituality something to do with that maybe self-inquiry (and other traditions) had the act of looking, but it's so heavily buried under theory that people get stuck theorizing instead of looking? Maybe they once were useful but no longer are? All talk and no action?

Hi!

I don't know your situation, since you've been involved in similar things for 10 years and don't know if this answers your question at all, but here's my experience with this problem. I hope it helps.

When I was starting out I had a similar problem. I was too analytical and approached this from a philosophical/spiritual perspective. It lead to theorizing and especially at first trying to fit the looking in with other theories. A big problem was how John in older texts used to say to look for yourself and nowadays it's all about feeling the "sense of me", and I was trying to fit them together. I was trying to judge if they were the same thing or different things, because as you say a sensation is an object not the subject which I understood myself to be after reading spiritual and philosophical theories (and probably still do). However, after some time I kinda realized that this is not about the theory but rather the looking itself (also it seemed that theorizing just didn't work). Just look for yourself. There's no confusion if you don't try to find the answer by theorizing. For example I'd go about "answering" your question to myself by feeling the "sense of me" and then seeing if it feels separate from me, and if so, what am I, can I find myself. Or if I think I'm the subject, then what is it in actuality? What is it like to be the subject? Can I turn my attention on the subject? What is the relationship with the "sense of me"? And even "how do I know I am the subject and can't look at myself?" (seeing if there is something to it or is it just an empty belief absorbed from reading spiritual teachings). All in a very experimental way, not theorizing about it. And if the same question arises again, instead of thinking about it just look again. However, remember that John has said that just one look is enough. So all this extra experimental looking may be pointless, but I find it interesting anyway.

Also if you think what this all is about is that John found an act which seems to work and is trying to get others to also do it. All of the theory is just speculation over it (what seems to be the case). This isn't science. So I don't think it's a good idea to take the theory too seriously. Just do the act and hope for the best. It either works or doesn't (for me it seems to work).

To John:

A question popped into my head while writing this reply: Has the reason you're trying to separate this from spirituality something to do with that maybe self-inquiry (and other traditions) had the act of looking, but it's so heavily buried under theory that people get stuck theorizing instead of looking? Maybe they once were useful but no longer are? All talk and no action? And by associating with spirituality all the theorizing which comes in the way gets transferred to this simple act of looking and maybe even prevent someone from doing it?

Kismie, I think that is exactly what I do and was attempting to describe. I don't try to figure anything out or think about it at the time, I just look, notice, look around, then sort of just rest in "being me" I guess you could call it.

By the way, I found another description of the act of looking which may be easier for you.

"Since 2011, RiverGanga Foundation, which is to say all of us, since nothing happens without your support, has taken on a breathtaking project: the worldwide propagation of the simple idea of inward looking at the experience of being me to enough people so that everyone has a chance to at least hear of it. " (bolding my own).

Kismie, really, I don't see how it could be any easier or simpler than what I have already heard and read from John.

Though the original question I posted was somewhat theoretical, the practice in no way is; it is just practical and easy to do.

Oops it seems my second comment came out too late (was supposed to be posted to the end of my first, not as a reply), maybe I should have used the edit-button:o.

I re-read the whole thread and came to the conclusion that I didn't get your first question. Could you open that a little more? And did you get any clarity on it? As I understand it now, it seems that you can easily do the looking and are asking "What now?" Is this correct?

By the way, have you been doing the looking the same way for a long time even before happening upon John and his work?

 

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