my name is sebastian. i have been following john sherman for some time now, from the netherlands. i saw him on youtube, and am reading "look at yourself".
i took a look at myself, as described by john. first thing that i noticed is that this is more authentic than a lot of advaitic self-inquiry, where i subconsciously look for an 'absence' of self, or i look for a spaciousness. when i took this fresh new look at me as a person, as I sitting here, there was a tremendous feeling of individuality with the whole personae thing going on. can anyone give me any feedback on this experience?
second, and this still occurs, is when i feel into the feeling of being me, and recollect memories from the past, simple memories of me as a child sitting in front of the tv, what has always been the same is being felt especially in the heart. again, any feedback on this experience?
another question. i have followed the 'headless way' of douglas harding for a long time, i find some similarities with john & carla's work. does anyone have experience with the headless seeing, and can one make a comparisson there?
with this comes my last sharing of experience for now; i feel a dread that this what is being offered in the end will again disappoint me. another path, another promise. i feel dreadful about the idea of throwing myself on these tracks, devote myself to this for some years, and then realize i have been missing out on life altogether, while my deepest wish is just to be fulfilled, not only for myself but also as a father to my 10 month old son.
i would be very grateful if someone could comment on this.
all the best,
from the netherlands,
looking, doubts, questions, parenting
I could relate to your post. I started "looking" about 4 years ago, and it's only been in the last 2 weeks that I can tell you without a doubt that it will rid you of the fear of life. And even now, this is only the beginning of the unraveling. My only comment on your first question is the same as someone else's: everyone's experience is different - I wouldn't make too much of any feelings that come up from having looked at yourself. They're all after the moment of looking, so they don't make any difference, although I guess it's good if it makes you inspired to have renewed energy to keep looking at yourself.
The second question - I was just at the retreat, and I heard (including from myself) 3 or 4 different reports about where in the body people observe the target of looking. For me, sometimes it feels like it's in my head, and sometimes it feels like it's more in my torso, so, see above re: it's a feeling that's passed.
Douglas Harding - I liked his point of view because it was original and just based on his observation, and the fact that you can't see your own eyes or head is just obvious once he points it out. But his suggestions didn't have any effect on me; they seemed kind of gimmicky compared to the practical advice to look at yourself. All I can tell you is that for some reason I stuck to the looking instead of getting out toilet paper rolls to look through, and it works.
Ditto what Paul said about the fact that you're at least aiming towards sanity consciously, which makes you already a better parent. I have been parenting almost the whole time I've been on this (*&(^% spiritual path. I'm counting on the looking to finish its work and make me infinitely patient and wise with my wild children (LOL). But seriously, i can tell you that the approach outlined in www.handinhandparenting.org goes along really well with this work or practice, because it's simple and at its essence, it only involves one thing - listening. It gives me practical ways as a parent to give my children space to be themselves without getting any cultural crap aka societal baggage/neuroses.
If by any chance you ever hear or see the retreat from this year, you will find out that I replied to you because I want you to know you're not alone: I'm the one crying about how stupidly long this quest is taking and how I cannot bank on any practice saving me anymore after doing this for so long. That is still true, but honestly, the next day, I could see that neither my skepticism, longing, hope, hopelessness, impatience or desperation were ever going to affect me. I'm just here. And because I'm incapable of latching on to little triumphs like that after being burned before, I just keep looking at the one thing I know is here, myself.
I wish you well! Love, Jamie