Older Venue

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pozablo
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Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:55 pm

AgencyFreeWill and SelfOther are still neck and neck out in front of the pack, even though both lost all credibility some years ago. EasterBunny and SantaClaus dropped out quickly after losing credibility, but PossibilityOfGod played a strong role in this game for years even after making no sense at all. That, frankly, makes it a bit frightening to think how long the current two front-runners could remain in first place. One very positive recent development is that, while it’s still hard to imagine it dropping out completely, DesireAversion is showing real signs of weakening. Still more good news is that Peace/Calm is becoming an ongoing presence, and while still capable of sudden quite energetic leaps forward BlameShame seems to be finally running out of steam. Same with SustainedAnger, while Irritation/Annoyance still gets attention not infrequently but briefly.

While that pesky Thinking just will not get out of it’s way, it still seems a real possibility that with an experienced coach EverythingIsDoingEveryhing could take over at last and, with UnconditionalLove, put an end to this long-standing noisy and sometimes painful competition. As this type of venue is impermanent and subject to closing with little or no warning, the “Trainer Wanted” sign is definitely out.

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Re: Older Venue

Postby nonaparry » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:55 am

Hi pozablo. Very witty introduction! Are you looking for a discussion of what you understand, or do you want to actually see there is no separate self in reality?

If the latter, I can help. If the former, you are in the wrong venue.

How we work here is I ask questions and you answer with complete honesty from your own experience. You agree to post here at least once every day, even if only to say you can't reply today.

If you agree to the above contract, please reply by telling me about your journey so far, how you came to be here at LU forum, and what you expect to get out of a conversation with a guide.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:09 pm

Discussion of understanding is alway seductive whether internal or with others. If something does not fit with logic/evidence, this brain’s just not wired to accept it. But getting from the logical understanding that these internal processes that feel like “me” or “I” are illusions to the actual experience, that’s where you come in, nonaparry .

I agree to answer every question with honesty from my own experience. I agree to respond within one day to every question or assignment from you, but live in central Mexico where internet can be down for a day or two without notice.

Journey so far.
Felt the Holy Spirit many times in a Southern Baptist youth, but when answers to logical questions made no sense that was left behind and a direct understanding of how deceptive “experience” can be remained. Age 17, on a bus to college, a beatnik girl (before hippies) suggested “Siddhartha”. Minored in Asian Philosophy, but drugs and “wanna fit in” driven hippie-ism kept things confused for a very long time. Preoccupation with how “I” appear in the minds of others still dominates non-intentional thoughts that require a great deal of energy to resist engagement. Probably 95% of thoughts are in the form telling/explaining something to someone else.

Zen background, but believe it’s effectiveness is hampered by it’s tight binding with tradition. Tried Ramana Maharishi’s “Who’s thinking this thought?”, but then arises “Who wants to know?” and gets nowhere but circular. Regular Mindfulness meditation always makes life better, but sustaining a practice requires a self-discipline that generally is lacking.

“Retired” (?) clinical psychologist with specialty in empirical treatment of anxiety. Found that when anxiety is explained in terms of how the mind/body actually works, people find it coherent, non-blaming, and congruent with their experience. This leads to more motivation, action, and progress than any approach I tried in the earlier years. This empirical approach also leads me to difficulty with language such as “ego wants to..” or “the job of fear is”.

For years it has been clear that free will and independent causation absolutely contradict logic/evidence, and that every phenomenon, including conscious experience of self/other, is simply a confluence of influences with no independent existence. A week or so ago really realized that, at age 66, it could be now or never. Googled illusion self and discovered LU. How exciting/amazing to see so many people getting it. Looks like the most important thing on the internet, and it seems being in a position to contribute could possibly one of life’s most satisfying experiences. I am hoping you can help me get from knowing that mirage is just a mirage to actually experiencing it as such and even helping others to do so.

With tremendous respect and gratitude,
Pablo

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Re: Older Venue

Postby nonaparry » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:31 pm

Hi Pablo,
But getting from the logical understanding that these internal processes that feel like “me” or “I” are illusions to the actual experience, that’s where you come in, nonaparry
Nope. You can't get there (to seeing through the illusion of self) from here (logical understanding). If you could, you would be there already.
live in central Mexico where internet can be down for a day or two without notice.
Good to know!! So if I don't hear from you for a day or two, I will assume the internet is down.
Preoccupation with how “I” appear in the minds of others still dominates non-intentional thoughts that require a great deal of energy to resist engagement.
No need to resist engagement. Frankly, the stuff that comes up comes up so it can be processed. Denial doesn't process anything; it merely postpones the processing.
Let's take a good look at that "I" that you believe is reflected in the minds of others, and also at your attempts to control how others perceive you.
This empirical approach also leads me to difficulty with language such as “ego wants to..” or “the job of fear is”
Fair enough. And to see through the illusion of self you will find it necessary to bypass thinking about your experience and go straight for what exactly is being experienced in the present moment. We call this experience-without-the-thoughts-about-it 'Direct Experience'.
For years it has been clear that free will and independent causation absolutely contradict logic/evidence, and that every phenomenon, including conscious experience of self/other, is simply a confluence of influences with no independent existence.
Good. And that is merely a mental understanding and so will fluctuate with your story of the present moment. What is different about actually SEEing that there is no separate self in reality is that once seen it cannot be unseen.
Looks like the most important thing on the internet, and it seems being in a position to contribute could possibly one of life’s most satisfying experiences.
I cannot say that the direct experience of the illusion of self is exactly "satisfying". I don't believe I've ever come across that word being used to describe it.
What would "satisfaction" entail?
I am hoping you can help me get from knowing that mirage is just a mirage to actually experiencing it as such and even helping others to do so.
I can't get you there, Pablo. Only you can.
There are no words to adequately describe how to see, no maps of how to get there; all I can do is Point to where you should look.
This is not a mental exercise; all the thinking you can ever do will never get you there.
I will give you clue, because I was also a Thinker. Just before I saw it, I suddenly realised that my guide was telling me to LOOK, not to Think. When I looked, I saw it.
What is Looking? It is focusing on your Direct Experience. Seeing with the eyes, hearing with the ears, feeling with the skin, smelling with the nose, tasting with the tongue. Sensation, before it is judged and labeled, is direct experience.

And I need to point out that long-time desert travelers still see mirages; they just know when they see one that despite its appearance it is false.


We begin: What comes up, especially emotions and sensations, when I state There is no separate self at all in reality; no manager, no observer, no witness. There is no entity "me" to which life happens or which has control over "your" experience. There is only life happening, moving freely, without a general manager that is "you". 

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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pozablo
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Re: Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:21 am

to see through the illusion of self you will find it necessary to bypass thinking about your experience and go straight for what exactly is being experienced in the present moment. We call this experience-without-the-thoughts-about-it 'Direct Experience'. ….What is Looking? It is focusing on your Direct Experience. Seeing with the eyes, hearing with the ears, feeling with the skin, smelling with the nose, tasting with the tongue. Sensation, before it is judged and labeled, is direct experience.
Yes, that is something I seek guidance to experience.
----
the stuff that comes up comes up so it can be processed.

That language is a bit problematic for me.
Denial doesn't process anything; it merely postpones the processing.
--there’s no denial, it’s just noise happening…over and over. And believe me, unless I misunderstand your use of the term, it has been processed.
--------
What would "satisfaction" entail?
Appreciation that some suffering has been relieved, or that some well being has been promoted.
Perhaps, though, unlike the enjoyment of seeing something good happen to someone without my participation, “satisfaction” requires an implicit sense of “I did that” and therefore comes only from illusion.
----
What comes up, especially emotions and sensations, when I state There is no separate self at all in reality; no manager, no observer, no witness. There is no entity "me" to which life happens or which has control over "your" experience. There is only life happening, moving freely, without a general manager that is "you".
That’s an easy one. What comes up is “yes, that is what I’ve been trying to say in my last two posts”, along with a feeling of mild disappointment and frustration.

Thank you for your help, and for encouraging and accepting complete honesty.

Cheers,
Pablo

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Re: Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:54 am

Just re-read my first two posts, and my intellectual understanding of no-self/emptiness was not clearly conveyed.
Frustration and disappointment now replaced by embarrassment. All of which imply the agency I intellectually know to be mirage. An amusing step forward. Thanks.

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Re: Older Venue

Postby nonaparry » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:57 am

Hi Pablo,
the stuff that comes up comes up so it can be processed.
That language is a bit problematic for me.
--there’s no denial, it’s just noise happening…over and over. And believe me, unless I misunderstand your use of the term, it has been processed.
Then put it in different language that is not problematic for you.
You wrote
Preoccupation with how “I” appear in the minds of others still dominates non-intentional thoughts that require a great deal of energy to resist engagement.
If how "I" appears to others has been adequately dealt with, would there be preoccupation with it or need to resist? Since you mention it, it is apparently still problematic.

I am not a psychotherapist and will undoubtedly not use your sense of "correct" psychotherapeutic language. Perhaps you can use this inability of mine to help you consider how labels in language help build up an identity. For example, an insistence on using the terms "substrate" and "pigment" may contribute to my identity as a painter, but it won't aid conversation with a non-painter. Perhaps you can allow me a bit of latitude as I attempt to point to something for which there simply are no words.

In this instance, I was using "denial" as "a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided". I read the requirement of "a great deal of energy to resist engagement" as a description of such avoidance. If I got that wrong, you are welcome to rephrase it.
What would "satisfaction" entail?
Appreciation that some suffering has been relieved, or that some well being has been promoted.
Perhaps, though, unlike the enjoyment of seeing something good happen to someone without my participation, “satisfaction” requires an implicit sense of “I did that” and therefore comes only from illusion.
It is possible that some suffering may be relieved by seeing there is no self in reality to suffer. Most people, however, find that a lifetime of conditioned thinking and behaviour does not drop away and must be investigated in order to find peace. Cognitive therapy does a nice job with it after the "I" has been seen through.
The sense of "I did that" will have been seen as illusory, and may add to the amusement of the situation, but not to a feeling of accomplishment.
What comes up, especially emotions and sensations, when I state There is no separate self at all in reality; no manager, no observer, no witness. There is no entity "me" to which life happens or which has control over "your" experience. There is only life happening, moving freely, without a general manager that is "you".
That’s an easy one. What comes up is “yes, that is what I’ve been trying to say in my last two posts”, along with a feeling of mild disappointment and frustration.
You said you had an intellectual understanding of this. I am looking for your emotional and sensory experiences when you read the statement. What emotions are there? What physical reactions are there?
my intellectual understanding of no-self/emptiness was not clearly conveyed.
Frustration and disappointment now replaced by embarrassment. All of which imply the agency I intellectually know to be mirage.
It is not necessary to convey your intellectual understanding here; what is far more difficult is what is actually required: to put your intellect on hold while we explore the realm of Direct Experience. In your direct experience (sensation, before it is judged and labeled), is there an agency "self"? If so, where is it?

With your participation, we will attempt to track it down. If self exists as a separate entity, we should be able to find it.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:10 pm

Then put it in different language that is not problematic for you…..If how "I" appears to others has been adequately dealt with, would there be preoccupation with it or need to resist? Since you mention it, it is apparently still problematic.
Yes, it is problematic just as thoughts/feelings such as “s/he should not have done that”, which is recurrent (though lessening in frequency and duration) noise. If every thing that comes up needs to be processed, rather than dismissed as coming from illusion, wouldn’t processing be a full-time job? Maybe you can clarify.
I read the requirement of "a great deal of energy to resist engagement" as a description of such avoidance.
Ah, yes, that certainly did read that way didn’t it. I meant that in the sense that sometimes in a movie we get so sucked in that we forget that it’s just a movie, not real. When we remember, or are reminded, we can disengage and see it as just a movie. That, at least it seems to me, takes at least some energy.

-------------
It is possible that some suffering may be relieved by seeing there is no self in reality to suffer. Most people, however, find that a lifetime of conditioned thinking and behaviour does not drop away and must be investigated in order to find peace.
Yes, that makes sense. My impression had been, though, that once no-self is clearly clearly seen, that kind of thinking would always be witnessed as simply a movie and have little or no influence. Wrong again?

-----------
what is far more difficult is what is actually required: to put your intellect on hold while we explore the realm of Direct Experience.
Yes, the intellectual understanding may be an interference here.
You said you had an intellectual understanding of this. I am looking for your emotional and sensory experiences when you read the statement.What emotions are there? What physical reactions are there?
None, really, except a sense of urgency to go deeper than statements of the already known intellectually. I know there is no agency or self, just as I know that color and sound are neurological phenomena and do not exist in the “outside” world. Direct experience of that is a different story. That’s why I am, with gratitude, here with you!!

------------
In your direct experience (sensation, before it is judged and labeled), is there an agency "self"? If so, where is it?
Your question deserves some devout consideration before responding. Today will be quite distracting, and I may not even have access to a computer. Tomorrow will be an all day drive in the car, which will provide plenty of time for introspection. I will respond tomorrow night at the latest, and if the internet is up will send it along to you.

Grazi,
P.

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Re: Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:22 pm

With a fairly brief introspection, thoughts and feelings just arise, come and go, with no sense of self. Effort, now that’s a different story. Effort feels like self-generated.
More later.
The remark in the previous post “Wrong again?” is now seen as coming from a bit of..of..annoyance? Yuck!
P.

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Re: Older Venue

Postby nonaparry » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:20 pm

Hi Pablo,
Your reply had me smile.
If every thing that comes up needs to be processed, rather than dismissed as coming from illusion, wouldn’t processing be a full-time job?
Yes! And for me, it's the obvious thing to do! I am a student of Byron Katie's The Work which is a tool for inquiring into, or processing, thoughts and emotions. I spent 58 years of my life trying to swallow my emotions and so-called "negative" thoughts. Not only didn't it work to create peace and equanimity, but I got fat eating to keep the feelings stuffed down. The freedom that I experience now that every emotion, every thought, is allowed to live its life is something I would not trade for anything. It only took me 58 years to discover I would not die from allowing my feelings. And interestingly (to me), by allowing all my feelings to come up to be processed, a lot of feelings seem to be "pre-processed", as in, Oh, I remember you, welcome back! and that may be all the "processing" that is apparently required for that one. :-)
This is probably SO not psychotherapeutic, but I must say it works. AND The Work looks a lot like Cognitive Therapy, only on steroids!
I meant that in the sense that sometimes in a movie we get so sucked in that we forget that it’s just a movie, not real. When we remember, or are reminded, we can disengage and see it as just a movie. That, at least it seems to me, takes at least some energy.
Ah, got it! Interestingly, once the self is seen as illusory, Life is more easily seen for the movie that it is. Not 100% of the time, usually; but once the illusion has been physically experienced, it only takes a moment to recall it. No effort that I can find.
My impression had been, though, that once no-self is clearly clearly seen, that kind of thinking would always be witnessed as simply a movie and have little or no influence. Wrong again?
Wrong again if you do mean always.
The thing is, with no self to stick to, sticky thoughts and beliefs kind of float around; they can be grasped at or not. I like to think of these thoughts and beliefs as "mind-weather"; like clouds in a blue sky, they appear and float away. Usually I see clearly that Life is impersonal, a movie; occasionally I have a relapse into "my experience in this moment should be different from what it is". Since this argues with reality, it is clearly insane. It also produces emotions that notify me that I am believing something that needs to be inquired into. We usually refer to these as "negative", but I find them highly useful.
the intellectual understanding may be an interference here.
This qualifies as Understatement of the Year. It WILL interfere unless you are willing to forego flights of intellect and stick with direct experience.
You said you had an intellectual understanding of this. I am looking for your emotional and sensory experiences when you read the statement. What emotions are there? What physical reactions are there?
None, really, except a sense of urgency to go deeper than statements of the already known intellectually. I know there is no agency or self, just as I know that color and sound are neurological phenomena and do not exist in the “outside” world.
Okay. What is this sense of urgency? Is it a thought or a sensation? What does it feel like? What emotional and physical responses do you experience as a result of this sense of urgency?
I know there is no agency or self, just as I know that color and sound are neurological phenomena and do not exist in the “outside” world. Direct experience of that is a different story.
Indeed. And to get to Direct Experience of it, you will have to step away from Thinking About everything and begin to use your senses. How do you know there is no agency or self outside of thinking about it? Outside of logic?

Colour and sound are interesting; they are inseparable from the senses that appear to experience them. There is no colour without sight, yet there is no see-er; no sound without hearing, yet there is no hear-er.
Check it for yourself. In perceiving colour, can you locate an agent of perception? In perceiving sound? In physical reality, can you find separation between colour and sight or sound and hearing?
In your direct experience (sensation, before it is judged and labeled), is there an agency "self"? If so, where is it?
Your question deserves some devout consideration before responding.
Fair enough. And in future I suggest you answer as much from your immediate experience as possible. The problem, as I see it, with devout consideration, is that too much thinking can be involved. Try to answer in terms of sensation, sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Notice the difference between thought and physical experience.

I look forward to your reply, whenever it arrives.
love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Re: Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:44 am

Hi Nona,

Thank you so much for taking the time to work with me, and to respond so quickly and thoughtfully to all.

The 9 hour drive turned into 13 often challenging hours, and lots of time to look at this “self” thing. So interesting that in all these at least 45 years of considering this stuff, it has never been suggested or occurred to me to just look at the damn thing. Fascinating, often very uncomfortable experience. Though most of the time was verbal thoughts of explaining the experience to you, there was still some time of actually experiencing! Seems like this looking at it process may take a lot more time, but here are a couple initial impressions.
1) Just looking at the feeling of “me/I” was difficult to get into, but when finally able it had a distinct feeling which varied according to external and internal circumstances but still had sameness. When just looked at, the experience was that it would be this distinct ‘thing’, but that fairly quickly that thing faded and there was just the observer, which then became another incarnation of the same thing. Observing that, the same process happened. The observer became the thing, with the same feeling of thingness, which was observed and then wwsshh the observer became another yet same thing. On and on. Have you ever seen those short plastic tubes that have some kind of gel in them, and are almost some kind of outside/inside form, so that when you squeeze it, wwsshh it turns inside out, and you have the same thing only different. Felt kind of like that.
2] In one point in the process of trying to find the me/I to look at, I asked “OK, so what is it that feels separate from everything else’. That was the painful part, as it felt like everything inside this skin was separate from the rest of the universe. A very unpleasant feeling of separateness, isolation. Like in the movie “2001 A Space Odyssey” where the astronaut is locked outside of the ship, all alone and isolated in deep space.
And interestingly (to me), by allowing all my feelings to come up to be processed, a lot of feelings seem to be "pre-processed", as in, Oh, I remember you, welcome back! and that may be all the "processing" that is apparently required for that one. :-)
This is probably SO not psychotherapeutic, but I must say it works.
Funny, but helping people to “allow” feelings is a very big, and very effective, part of the way I do therapy!
The thing is, with no self to stick to, sticky thoughts and beliefs kind of float around; they can be grasped at or not. I like to think of these thoughts and beliefs as "mind-weather"; like clouds in a blue sky, they appear and float away. Usually I see clearly that Life is impersonal, a movie; occasionally I have a relapse into "my experience in this moment should be different from what it is". Since this argues with reality, it is clearly insane.
Very nicely explained, thank you. Sticky, exactly.
It [intellectualizing] WILL interfere unless you are willing to forego flights of intellect and stick with direct experience.
I absolutely agree. The intellectualizing is almost like a Tourette’s with me, though. Takes lots of effort Not To.
Okay. What is this sense of urgency [to go deeper than statements of the known]? Is it a thought or a sensation? What does it feel like? What emotional and physical responses do you experience as a result of this sense of urgency?
That’s going to be a separate area of consideration. Will do.
How do you know there is no agency or self outside of thinking about it? Outside of logic?
That’s the goal here, right coach? To be able to answer that question?
Try to answer in terms of sensation, sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Notice the difference between thought and physical experience.
You got it. More to follow.

Good night for now.
Thanks again,
P.

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Re: Older Venue

Postby nonaparry » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:16 am

Hi Pablo,

That was a loooong drive! And did you notice whether there was an "I" in the car with you? Perhaps driving? Or did driving just happen with Pablo along for the ride?
all these at least 45 years of considering this stuff, it has never been suggested or occurred to me to just look at the damn thing.
That's the weird thing about this. It's so simple, and it's right in front of your face. Those of us who live in a mental world have much the hardest time letting go of the idea that there is something more to be understood. There isn't. You understand it all; now you just need to shift focus from thinking to directly experiencing.
Though most of the time was verbal thoughts of explaining the experience to you, there was still some time of actually experiencing!
Hooray!! Please describe some of your direct experience.
the feeling of “me/I” was difficult to get into, but when finally able it had a distinct feeling which varied according to external and internal circumstances but still had sameness.
It would have a sameness. Consider that the thinking that invents a "me/I" has defined it as unchanging; and perception, according to neuroscience, is a function which "massages" the data we receive from sensation even before we apprehend it. Of course there is going to be a sameness. But is the "distinct feeling" an entity? Or is it just sensation?
When just looked at, the experience was that it would be this distinct ‘thing’, but that fairly quickly that thing faded and there was just the observer, which then became another incarnation of the same thing. Observing that, the same process happened. The observer became the thing, with the same feeling of thingness, which was observed and then wwsshh the observer became another yet same thing. On and on.
Good! "Observed" and "observer" are the same experience! It's only thinking/mind that separates them! Same with sound and hearing, or seen and vision—they are not separate in direct experience. You can check this.
Listen to something—music, birdsong, traffic—and check whether in your direct experience there is a sound that is actually separate from your hearing it. As you listen, does a Hear-er show up to experience the sound? Or is the sound simply experienced as part of Life life-ing?
In one point in the process of trying to find the me/I to look at, I asked “OK, so what is it that feels separate from everything else’. That was the painful part, as it felt like everything inside this skin was separate from the rest of the universe. A very unpleasant feeling of separateness, isolation. Like in the movie “2001 A Space Odyssey” where the astronaut is locked outside of the ship, all alone and isolated in deep space.
The belief in separation is the painful part. Really. Let's do a couple of experiments.
First, close your eyes, and without referring to a memory of how tall you are, how big around, what the distance is from your neck to your ankles, check if through direct experience alone you can know your age, your height, your size and shape. Can you find a distinct boundary between your skin and your clothes without looking or remembering? Without reference to sight or to memory, is there in your direct experience an in-here that is inside the skin which is completely separate from an out-there which is outside the skin?

Interestingly, our perception of our sensations is coloured by memory and by sight. We imagine we know the boundaries and placement of our bodies based on our memory of where we last saw it, and on present sight of it. Yet we can be fooled!
Do you know the rubber hand experiment? Or are you familiar with V.S. Ramachandran's mirrored box remedy for phantom-limb pain? Both of these demonstrate that vision overrides other sensations, convincing mind that what is "seen" is apparently the case.

The next experiment is this. Write what you are experiencing now using words I and me. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just a plain description of what's happening here and now.
Like this—
I am sitting in a chair. I am hearing rain. I am typing these words.
Do this for 10 minutes. Be aware of the body; what physical sensations are there?
Then for next 10 minutes write what is being experienced now without the words I and me. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs:
Waiting for the next thought, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing rain.
Again be aware of sensations.

Now compare these two ways to label experience—does one way feel more separate than the other? If so, which one?

"I" is actually a label, not an entity. Not an experiencer, not a thinker, not a doer, not a hearer of rain. I is a word used for convenience in communication in every language on Earth (except two). That we come to believe it refers to some separate self is due to socialisation and to never questioning it.
Language, unquestioned, is what isolates us, not our direct experience.
Funny, but helping people to “allow” feelings is a very big, and very effective, part of the way I do therapy!
That's great! And do you allow all your feelings? Or do you do what so many of us mental types do, and push them aside because we already know what is true without reference to feelings, sensations, direct experience?
It [intellectualizing] WILL interfere unless you are willing to forego flights of intellect and stick with direct experience.
I absolutely agree. The intellectualizing is almost like a Tourette’s with me, though. Takes lots of effort Not To.
It only takes effort not to because intellectualizing has become habitual, not because it's somehow ingrained. Thank heaven for neuroplasticity which allows for re-mapping of neural pathways! An old habit can be superseded by a new, more effective, one.
You may ask what makes direct experience more effective than intellectualization? Two things, at least: first it takes us out of our Story about what is happening and gets us in touch with what is actually happening; and second it is a peaceful quiet "place" which is always available merely by shifting focus away from thinking and to sensation. It really is a peace which passeth understanding, understanding being stuck in thought.
How do you know there is no agency or self outside of thinking about it? Outside of logic?
That’s the goal here, right coach? To be able to answer that question?
Nope! There is no goal here. I just point to the fact that there is no actual entity self/I/me, and if you genuinely search for one everywhere in your direct experience, you will SEE that it is an illusion created by language and supported by nearly everyone around you.
I cannot give this experience to you; you will have to SEE it for yourself.
You will be better served if instead of sidestepping this question, you actually attempt to answer it. This will assist us in seeing more clearly where the confusion lies. I say confusion because it is a fact of life that there is no separate self that is in control of your experience; therefore, whenever you believe it, you are confused.

Looking forward to what is to follow.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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pozablo
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Re: Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:23 pm

Wow, Nona, that was a quick and generous reply on your part! Here's something I just wrote before reading it, so will go ahead and post this then consider and respond to your post.
===

There’s this feeling of “me” that is kind of like an axis that runs from the top of the head down maybe to the chest, parallel to and just to the right side of centerline.
At the same time, there’s this running verbal telling about it to you, which is the normal way my thoughts ru, as if telling whatever is the current topic of thought to someone else. At this moment that’s more on the left side of the brain, up front. It goes on nearly all the time, and feels like another ‘me’, the one that takes part in the imagined self/other of whoever (although often noboy specific) it is being addressed to. Like there’s this whole other world that exists in all our minds, the world fo who “I” am and the world of “others”. A manner of defining who we are to ourselves and others. Theory of mind stuff. Sometimes that’s just the way I work things out, like, some people “think out loud” by putting something in spoken words as if explaining to others. But mostly, it seems, it’s impression management. That’s been lessening, due to more conscious effort to be disengaged from it over the last couple weeks, but it also is like a Tourette’s. Even when consciously aware that it’s just an imagined self relating to a fantasy of the self/other existing in the minds of others. Initially working more to be disengaged from it I thought “but I’ll be kind of abandoning others, with whom I’ve been relating as if we are separate selves,and who themselves think of and relate to us as separate selves”. But, in practice, the relating is so much deeper and more authentic when the theory of mind stuff is on hold.
Writing this, the feling of me is more intense up in the head, kind of behind the right eye. Like the others, it has a bit of volume but is greater in the width/height dimension than depth. Watching it, though, then it becomes something observed, like a very mild headache, and “me” is the observer. Now there’s sort of a non-verbal self-satisfied me on the left side. Now “I’m” in the center, watching both sides. Watching this, it becomes like a physical sensation, and “I’ am the felt obesrver kind of behind it. Watching that, “me” shifts again to another perspective.
The feeling/experience of the “me” that exerts effort is a different one, more subtle, but there, and bears watching.
Now, asking the dreaded question “what’s separate from everything else (the rest of the universe), it doesn’t’ feel so bad. More like this shape that goes from an area behind the mid forehead, out to both eyes, then tapers down to another area upper chest. Upon observation, of course, it becomes just a sensation and the observer becomes the “I”---and then the object of observation.

Just an update. Will spend some time today on the sense of “urgency”. Will see if it’s more than just another desire. Like “need to get to La Paz and back so can get home earlier” when the trip is so much more pleasant (and driving is safer) when it is remembered there’s really no need to hurry.

Affectionately,
P.

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nonaparry
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Re: Older Venue

Postby nonaparry » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:27 pm

Dearest Pablo,
Even when consciously aware that it’s just an imagined self relating to a fantasy of the self/other existing in the minds of others.
This is why you must stop intellectualizing, thinking about it, and shift to Direct Experience. I promise you will never SEE it by thinking about it. Not ever. Because conventional Reality is not in thought; it is in sensory experience.
There’s this feeling of “me”
I've been waiting to deal with this, but it seems you are going to continue clinging to the feeling of me as an actual entity me. I'm assuming you have not yet read my words about the rubber hand experiment and the mirrored box experiment.

Do the following experiment, please.
Close your eyes and imagine you are holding a very large watermelon in your hands. Imagine it so vividly, that you feel its weight, shape, temperature, the texture of its skin; smell its scent, hear the hollow sound a ripe melon makes when you knock on it.
Hold it there, sensing it vividly. Got it?
Now open your eyes.
What happened to the melon? What about the feeling of holding a watermelon that was so believable?
This is how me is believed, too.

Most of us were taught as children to say "me" when the body associated with our name is pointed to. We were taught to look in a mirror and claim the reflection is "me". We were taught that I, me, self is the entity that is the body and then told that an entity "soul" lives on forever after the body dies. Because these myths are supported unquestioningly by the society around us, they go unquestioned by us, too, and we find ourselves as adults convinced that the feeling of me, the illusion of me, the dual language of a me and the thoughts of a me actually comprise an entity.
They don't.

The illusion of me is very convincing. But it can not stand examination. Once it is seen how it's created, it ceases to have power.

love
Nona
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains—however improbable—must be the truth." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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pozablo
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Re: Older Venue

Postby pozablo » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:22 am

Gracious Nona,

I forgot to say that often the experience of me/I I now seems to be just implied, like it’s not part of the experience but is implied by the experience. Like for those cultures where the rising of the sun implied the certainty of a god who was making it rise. Or, in another way, like the Kanizsa triangle, not there but seems to be there only because of context https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kanizsa_triangle.svg .
did you notice whether there was an "I" in the car with you? Perhaps driving? Or did driving just happen with Pablo along for the ride?

A very noisy, sometimes depressogenic Pablo was along for the ride, sometimes so overbearing as to feel as if driving, but never observed to be actually in the driver’s seat.
is the "distinct feeling" an entity? Or is it just sensation?
Under observation, it quickly becomes a sensation. And, as noted elsewhere, the observer becomes the “thing” being observed.
"Observed" and "observer" are the same experience! It's only thinking/mind that separates them!
Whoa. Guess that can’t be observed, because that would require an observer! Sounds enlightening :). Perhaps that can be experience without observation. Just experience, not something experienced.
in your direct experience there is a sound that is actually separate from your hearing it.
No, but there does seem to generally be some kind of an immediate automatic non-verbal reflection on the sound, which overlays and obscures the experience.
check if through direct experience alone you can know your age, your height, your size and shape. Can you find a distinct boundary between your skin and your clothes without looking or remembering? Without reference to sight or to memory, is there in your direct experience an in-here that is inside the skin which is completely separate from an out-there which is outside the skin?
Initial answer is yes,there does seem to be, but this question deserves some time.
Do you know the rubber hand experiment? Or.. mirrored box remedy for phantom-limb pain?
Great to remember that in this context.
Write what you are experiencing now using words I and me. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just a plain description of what's happening here and now….Now compare these two ways to label experience—does one way feel more separate than the other? If so, which one?
Another one that will take some time and consideration.
Tonite may not work, but tomorrow there will be space to devote to this.
"I" is actually a label, not an entity. Not an experiencer, not a thinker, not a doer, not a hearer of rain. I is a word used for convenience in communication in every language on Earth (except two). That we come to believe it refers to some separate self is due to socialisation and to never questioning it.
Language, unquestioned, is what isolates us, not our direct experience.
That is becoming increasingly clear through your exercises.
It only takes effort not to because intellectualizing has become habitual, not because it's somehow ingrained.
Makes sense. Timely reminder!
You will be better served if instead of sidestepping this question [“How do you know there is no agency or self outside of thinking about it? Outside of logic?”] you actually attempt to answer it. This will assist us in seeing more clearly where the confusion lies. I say confusion because it is a fact of life that there is no separate self that is in control of your experience; therefore, whenever you believe it, you are confused.
OK. Maybe I should take some time observing/considering/experiencing through the questions/exercises you have suggested before we go on to further ones. You have provided lots of good stuff that I want to give serious time and energy to.
This coming Tuesday thru mid-day Thursday I may be totally out of internet access.

Most appreciatively,
p.


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