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Existence?

Hello,

Brand new here and brand new to looking in this form. I have a question. In 'The Fear of Life' John suggests: "Notice the fact that you are aware of your own existence, in a way that you are certain of nothing else in the world..."

When I look at my existence I see that it is finite and will end. It will change. So that cannot be me. I have seen elsewhere caution against metaphysical speculation, but am I looking for some existence that will always be there, before this mind-body was born and will continue after it is deceased?

With thanks,

Emma ~

Dear Emma,

Just do the looking, and all the rest will be taken care of. In time, you will come to see your eternal nature. Your fear will go and you will trust yourself and life. Just keep looking at what it feels like to be YOU--you know what you feel like, even though your mind may not grasp what that means. This is ok. What you see around you always changes, but you do not. Just do the looking when it occurs to you, and you will see for yourself. You may not notice anything happening at all right away, but in time, you will see how the fearful apparatus is disappearing, and you will find that are engaging in your life more and more, and learning to love it. And the really good news is that is all takes care of itself. The looking takes care of itself, the recovery from the fear of life takes care of itself, the learning to trust life takes care of itself, and the knowing that you are eternal takes care of itself. Indeed, you really need do nothing but make that first effort to look at YOU. All is well!

In love,

Jenny

Your body and mind will not continue. That is the good news. What you are looking for is what is noticing that. That is what you want to look at. Have a nice day.

Fred

Welcome Emma.

I've been looking at myself for about four years. I'll see if I can be of help. If we think of existence as a noun, it IS very confusing because it drags along all you have ever heard about existence. Try thinking of it as a verb, as in "How am I certain I exist?" As in: If I said to you, You do not exist; and you would say, Yes, I do! Also, try saying to yourself, "I'm here, right?" and notice that sense of you that is always present no matter what's going on in the mind, body or world. I'm here and change is happening continuously in my mind, body and world and I notice it. But this sense of being here is the same as it has always been, the same as when I was three years old. I find Looking at Myself works regardless of understanding or belief. It seems to bypass all that. As for before birth or after death, I just don't know. Really, the only thing I know is that I'm here. And that is totally miraculous.

About life getting harder with the looking: Looking back I find that my life certainly got stirred up. For example, I became aware of a substrate of fear I had been denying. Over time I have become aware that no matter what I do, even Look at Myself, life seems to have its own wave rhythm. I may get a wave of disturbance followed by a wave of peace followed by a wave of disturbance, etc. With continued looking, I have realized that these waves are not me so I let them be.

LeraJane

What you are looking for is not a revelation or new belief. When you say you see that your existence will end, this is an interpretation or conclusion you have drawn. That's fine, but who is interpreting or concluding? We are so habituated to interpreting and concluding that it's difficult to rest in the looking. I've given up any expectation of finding, and it's easier now for me to rest in the looking. Sometimes, but not all the time, I get what I perceive to be the naked apperception of who or what I am. Even that apperception boils down to an interpretation or conclusion, so I don't make anything out of it, except for maybe a little "aha." Then I go about attending to whatever my attention is attracted to and come back to the looking when it occurs to me. I think the only way you will find the "existence that will always be there" is to know that it can only be known in the present moment. That realization will go, but it's always available to be known and realized again and again in the present moment. If you know that's where it is to be seen, you will trust your senses and have a little "aha" reflection of your own. The inquiry is the perfect vehicle for carrying you on the road of looking. Trimpi

Hello.

Apologies for my lack of prompt reply but I was having some technical difficulties... I appreciate all the thoughtful replies. I am about to dive into the podcasts and will report back on how I have worked on your suggestions and with the podcasts.

What really strikes me, and encourages me that there is true substance to this work, is the consistency of the reports from those who have practised looking. Fred, I appreciate the succinct response, it was very helpful. Lerajane and Jenny, thank you for your suggestions. Trimpi, thank you for your encouragement. I feel very welcome here.

I think that my mind is trying to find a ledge to hold on to (an experience, direct instructions, predictable result) and there is none. After practising a week or so, this weekend I noticed for the first time, briefly that, 'there was nothing wrong' and noticed too that that was in stark contrast to the constant vigilance and busy-ness that is generated by the mind as a protection (against what?).

So, back to it then. smily Thanks for your help.

Emma

Looking vs. Seeing

Wow, these forums and the thoughts shared here continue to amaze me. Trimpi, your words really echo with me, this in particular:

"I've given up any expectation of finding, and it's easier now for me to rest in the looking."

Recently, I've been drawing a distinction in my own mind between looking and what I sometimes feel in myself as the restless anxiety of needing to SEE. It's almost like the needing to see gets in the way of the looking for me at times and your words are yet another reminder that "the looking does the work" as I've heard John say so many times. And yet, it's hearing it for the three hundred and first time with fresh ears that sometimes does the trick...

Thank you all for being here.

Ansley

Looking again

Hi Emma and all,

I've been away from the Forum for a little while, and it's so good to come back into the fold, and feel the warmth of all of you here.

Emma, I love your question--the way you are questioning this experience of life. And all of the answers to you are so fulfilling to read... It's so good to know that we are little by little clearing away obstacles to our presence--just by looking.

John is so right, the words are a long time coming to express what this medicine of looking does in a life. For me, when I first began looking in October 2011, I looked like it was embers I was fanning all the time. I fanned the flame of the looking with a ferocious intensity. Then over time, I began to notice I wasn't trying very hard to look during a day, and I'd turn on the burner and fan again; then I'd notice a few days had gone by, and I hadn't looked and everything was OK, and then I'd notice it was just a glance now and then, the way I notice something go by in the car.

This recovery is continuing. It is miraculous and I am more in love with my life than ever before--and that's really funny, b/c nothing has really changed. Well, nothing on the outside has changed. All that's changed is that I am now and then (for a fraction of a second) filled with a very familiar, well-known feeling of Me.

And during this time I've had a lot of experiences, a lot of ups and downs, but I always have the sense of this "story of me" as just "what is" as John puts it. It's just what is, but it's not Me.

Yeah, Emma, as others have said, I've "downloaded" John from my iPod and computer screen into my mind. And even when i listen over and over to the same recordings... I hear new things I haven't heard before... Layers of the onion as they say.

Wishing you and all the very best,

Dawn

tryingtolook

Wow, these forums and the thoughts shared here continue to amaze me. Trimpi, your words really echo with me, this in particular:

"I've given up any expectation of finding, and it's easier now for me to rest in the looking."

Recently, I've been drawing a distinction in my own mind between looking and what I sometimes feel in myself as the restless anxiety of needing to SEE. It's almost like the needing to see gets in the way of the looking for me at times and your words are yet another reminder that "the looking does the work" as I've heard John say so many times. And yet, it's hearing it for the three hundred and first time with fresh ears that sometimes does the trick...

Thank you all for being here.

Ansley

Isn't it great? Trimpi

 

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