Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

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sbr0911
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby sbr0911 » Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:33 am

The question is not whether you can be deceived, but whether there is a real, inherently existing apple before the label "apple" is applied by the mind. Suppose you see the color and shape of an apple but you've never seen an apple before. Is it an apple to you, or is it just color and shape? Suppose you taste the apple but you've never tasted an apple before. Are you tasting an "apple" or is that just a thought?
If I have never seen an apple before I am just seeing the shape and color. If I have never tasted an apple before I am experiencing the taste without labeling it as the taste of an apple. There is no label present of an apple to associate a taste or a thought to.

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AwayKen127
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby AwayKen127 » Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:47 am

If I have never seen an apple before I am just seeing the shape and color. If I have never tasted an apple before I am experiencing the taste without labeling it as the taste of an apple. There is no label present of an apple to associate a taste or a thought to.
Right.

Stream Exercise

Imagine for a moment a scene, one of a little mountain stream which is tumbling down a hillside gully, not far from its source. It has been raining and so the level is quite high. Consider in your mind's eye, if you can, how it flows to the right over a little rock (where, had the level been lower, it would probably have gone around the rock), then the flow goes to the left over a tree bow, and then slows a little in a broader place, before splashing over a small cascade into a pool, and so on down the mountain side. Does it choose any of its directions? Is it even really a separate entity different from the water deposited in it, the rocks, the depressions in the ground etc? Is it even the same entity moment by moment, or more the product of weather conditions and water, like an ever-changing pattern?

1. Can you find anywhere where Amit autonomously intervenes into life, choosing something that is not the product of all the elements; that is not a part of the overall flow?

2. Now please consider a regular decision made eg; what to wear in the morning, or what to eat for lunch, and describe to me what happens. There are environmental factors, there are colour preferences (but where did those come from - any autonomous intervention there perhaps?), practical issues (such as what is available), available time for preparation, purpose (eg; need to fill up for the day) etc. Where in there is an autonomous entity intervening in the flow of life? Can you find someone somewhere?

3. Can anything be found for which Amit is responsible – if so responsible to what and for what?
With or without the thought that a thought is a thought, there is only sensation.
SEE that it is impossible for a thought to refer to anything other than a thought.

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sbr0911
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby sbr0911 » Sat Nov 19, 2022 9:01 am

1. Can you find anywhere where Amit autonomously intervenes into life, choosing something that is not the product of all the elements; that is not a part of the overall flow?
Amit does not autonomously make decisions that are NOT based on past conditioning Everything just happens or arises.
Thought it does seem makes things happen.
2. Now please consider a regular decision made eg; what to wear in the morning, or what to eat for lunch, and describe to me what happens. There are environmental factors, there are colour preferences (but where did those come from - any autonomous intervention there perhaps?), practical issues (such as what is available), available time for preparation, purpose (eg; need to fill up for the day) etc. Where in there is an autonomous entity intervening in the flow of life? Can you find someone somewhere?

I am really not sure. It just seems that thoughts come up. As far what to wear thoughts come up based on what might look good, might be comfortable depending on the weather conditions. As far as filling up the day it seems that there are certain obligations/responsibilities that need to be addressed and thoughts/planning come up around those. But i am not sure if there is any autonomous intervening in the flow of life. I cannot find someone somewhere, but it seems like it arises within ME and all that is part of my life. It seems it all arises from my mind/brain.
3. Can anything be found for which Amit is responsible – if so responsible to what and for what?

It seems like there lots of things/tasks that that Amit is responsible for. Many of these responsibilities have time based deadlines. These responsibilities are to the people and obligations in the life of Amit. This life is based on the past history and roles (father, husband, tax payer) that have come about during the life of Amit.

I am feel like am trying to answer these questions from direct experience best I can, but the analyzing mind is also here trying to figure things out.

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AwayKen127
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby AwayKen127 » Sun Nov 20, 2022 3:18 am

Hi Amit,
I've been very busy all day. I'll respond tomorrow. Sorry for the delay!
Jeff
With or without the thought that a thought is a thought, there is only sensation.
SEE that it is impossible for a thought to refer to anything other than a thought.

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sbr0911
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby sbr0911 » Sun Nov 20, 2022 5:20 am

Hi Amit,
I've been very busy all day. I'll respond tomorrow. Sorry for the delay!
Jeff
No problem at all. Hope your weekend is going well. I may not always be able to reply right away either.

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AwayKen127
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby AwayKen127 » Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:54 pm

Thought it does seem makes things happen.
What does this "seeming" consist of? Can you find it in direct experience? If not, what is it?
As far what to wear thoughts come up based on what might look good, might be comfortable depending on the weather conditions.
Do the thoughts have the power to cause an action or to cause other thoughts? Here's an exercise to look at this:

Palm Flipping Exercise

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down. 
2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on. 

Watch like a hawk. 

Don't go to thoughts – examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:-

How is the movement controlled? 
Does a thought control it? 
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately. 
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
But i am not sure if there is any autonomous intervening in the flow of life. I cannot find someone somewhere, but it seems like it arises within ME and all that is part of my life. It seems it all arises from my mind/brain.
Notice that certain entities are assumed to exist: Me, my life, mind/brain. Before any thought (label) arises, can you see "me, my life, or mind/brain"? Or just shapes and colors? Before any thought arises, can you feel "me, my life, or mind/brain" or just sensations? Look again and tell me what "seeming" consists of in direct experience.
It seems like there lots of things/tasks that that Amit is responsible for. Many of these responsibilities have time based deadlines. These responsibilities are to the people and obligations in the life of Amit. This life is based on the past history and roles (father, husband, tax payer) that have come about during the life of Amit.
Can you see, hear, feel, smell, taste, or touch the things "Amit is responsible for"? Do responsibilities have a shape or color? Does personal history or roles have a shape or color?

We are cultivating Beginner's Mind, as a little baby might experience, before any language or thought. Here's a little story: A mother and her daughter are chatting. The daughter asks, "Imagine you're on the savannah and a lion is charging at you. There is nowhere to hide. You have no weapons. What are you going to do?" The mother replies, "Stop imagining the lion."
With or without the thought that a thought is a thought, there is only sensation.
SEE that it is impossible for a thought to refer to anything other than a thought.

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sbr0911
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby sbr0911 » Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:55 am

What does this "seeming" consist of? Can you find it in direct experience? If not, what is it?
I do not think there is any direct experience of "thought it does seem makes things happen".
Do the thoughts have the power to cause an action or to cause other thoughts? Here's an exercise to look at this:
No the action or thought just happens.
1.) How is the movement controlled?
Movement just happens after reading the instructions is processed by my mind/brain.
2.) Does a thought control it?
Thought does not control exactly what takes place, Especially once the flipping back and forth exists.

3.) Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
No - I don't think so.

4.) How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
There is no decision made at to what specifically happens. To me it seems the first flip takes place after thought from reading instructions. It takes some time between the first read the instructions and the hand first flipped over. On subsequent flips of the hand there is no decision point. And the action to stop flipping just happens.
5.) Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise? I don't know.
It just happened.
6.) Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
No

Notice that certain entities are assumed to exist: Me, my life, mind/brain. Before any thought (label) arises, can you see "me, my life, or mind/brain"? Or just shapes and colors? Before any thought arises, can you feel "me, my life, or mind/brain" or just sensations? Look again and tell me what "seeming" consists of in direct experience.
I think can how there would only be direct experience of sensations before there ws anything labeled as me, my mind/brain. I guess there is a direct experience through awareness without the label of me. That being said I guess there is an assumption that the direct experience is related to ME.
Can you see, hear, feel, smell, taste, or touch the things "Amit is responsible for"? Do responsibilities have a shape or color? Does personal history or roles have a shape or color?
NO
We are cultivating Beginner's Mind, as a little baby might experience, before any language or thought. Here's a little story: A mother and her daughter are chatting. The daughter asks, "Imagine you're on the savannah and a lion is charging at you. There is nowhere to hide. You have no weapons. What are you going to do?" The mother replies, "Stop imagining the lion."
Interesting. I am a little confused. How can the daughter and mother be chatting if there is no language or thought? I do see how since all of this is in the imagination the lion can be emanated from the situation.

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AwayKen127
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby AwayKen127 » Tue Nov 22, 2022 6:47 am

Hi Amit,

Sometimes I'm sure you will find my questions very picky and possibly silly. But there is a point. There are many subtle beliefs that are there just because they were never examined closely.
What does this "seeming" consist of? Can you find it in direct experience? If not, what is it?
I do not think there is any direct experience of "thought it does seem makes things happen".
If there's no direct experience, how are you aware of it?
Movement just happens after reading the instructions is processed by my mind/brain.
I can't disagree that this is how we understand it, but we're interested in the direct experience. How could you rewrite this without the interpretation?
Interesting. I am a little confused. How can the daughter and mother be chatting if there is no language or thought? I do see how since all of this is in the imagination the lion can be emanated from the situation.
It's just a parable, not to be taken literally. The point is that hypotheticals are counterfactual. What happens, happens. Yet we spend all our time inventing hypothetical situations and reacting to them as if they were real.

Cheers,
Jeff
With or without the thought that a thought is a thought, there is only sensation.
SEE that it is impossible for a thought to refer to anything other than a thought.

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sbr0911
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby sbr0911 » Thu Nov 24, 2022 2:20 am

If there's no direct experience, how are you aware of it?
Through consciousness/awareness
I can't disagree that this is how we understand it, but we're interested in the direct experience. How could you rewrite this without the interpretation?
See symbols on the screen (know them as letters/words) and then movement begins to place in hands.
It's just a parable, not to be taken literally. The point is that hypotheticals are counterfactual. What happens, happens. Yet we spend all our time inventing hypothetical situations and reacting to them as if they were real.
Understood

Sorry it took me longer to reply. It is a holiday in Thanksgiving here in the U.S. tomorrow. I have family visiting through the weekend, so I may not be able to reply over the next few days. I will try to reply though.

Jeff- I was wondering what part of the world you are in if you don't mind sharing. I live in California.

Thanks and all the best. I really appreciate your guiding me though this process.
Amit

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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby AwayKen127 » Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:17 am

Hi Amit,

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I'll understand if you can't respond until your family has gone. I'll be having an American Thanksgiving here in Victoria, Canada, too! An expat friend invited me and other expats from the U.S., of which I am one. I lived in Pasadena, California 1989-92. Where in California do you live?

Let me know when you're ready to continue. Until then, since you'll be around people, I have a suggestion. If you have time, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdwBPPfuo50
When you're in the presence of others, try being headless!

All the best,
Jeff
With or without the thought that a thought is a thought, there is only sensation.
SEE that it is impossible for a thought to refer to anything other than a thought.

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sbr0911
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby sbr0911 » Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:05 pm

sent you a private message. I will watch the video. Thanks.

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sbr0911
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby sbr0911 » Mon Nov 28, 2022 11:33 pm

Hope you are well. Did you see my responses on 11/24/22.

Also i I watched the video. I had actually come across the The Headless Way website a few weeks ago and tried some of the exercises. I has also come across and tried the Pointing Exercise on an Eckhart Tolle audio program called Resist Nothing. The fact that you cannot see your head makes sense to me. But overall I find most of the exercises and what he says confusing. When he mentions I am You at around 14:50 I have no idea what he means by that. It is also confusing to me around 25:30 when he talked about distance and how far away something is. I did not understand what he meant when something “shrinks to a point” or that we don’t know how big something is.

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AwayKen127
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby AwayKen127 » Tue Nov 29, 2022 1:56 am

Hi Amit,
How was Thanksgiving? Did you notice anything different in your interactions with friends and family?

I saw your email and didn't reply. Sorry if I left you hanging. I'll respond separately by email.
But overall I find most of the exercises and what he says confusing.
Different strokes. But it does give us the opportunity to talk about anything that isn't clear.
When he mentions I am You at around 14:50 I have no idea what he means by that.
Thanks for the time stamp. Faces and objects appearing in the visual field are labeled as "out there". There is a belief that these are separate from "you". But those are thoughts. In direct experience, before any thought, there is no distinction between any "thing" and any other "thing". Experience is undivided and undifferentiated. Only thoughts seem to say otherwise. But have you ever seen a thought? Have you ever heard a thought? These are really important questions, so let's drill down on it. Later, I may give you some pertinent exercises.
It is also confusing to me around 25:30 when he talked about distance and how far away something is. I did not understand what he meant when something “shrinks to a point” or that we don’t know how big something is.
When we estimate distances or sizes, we are using memory, context, comparison to other objects, and visual cues--in other words, thoughts! There's a great Peanuts cartoon which I couldn't find on a Google search. In it, Charlie Brown is flying a kite, which appears very small. Another character wanders by, looks up, and says, "Anybody who can fly a kite that high is okay in my book." The character continues on. In the next frame, Charlie Brown is alone. He reels in the kite, which in his hands is seen to be the size of a postage stamp.

As we inquire further, you will see that the world (including, of course, the self) is constructed in the mind. Maybe you know this already, but you will see it and it will be obvious and undeniable.

All my best,
Jeff
With or without the thought that a thought is a thought, there is only sensation.
SEE that it is impossible for a thought to refer to anything other than a thought.

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sbr0911
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby sbr0911 » Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:44 am

How was Thanksgiving? Did you notice anything different in your interactions with friends and family?
I had a good Thanksgiving with family and friends. I just tried to be mindful in my interactions with others and my observations. I gave up alcohol a few months ago, so it is a bit of an adjustment being in social situations where most people are drinking.

I did not get a chance to watch the video until after Thanksgiving.
I saw your email and didn't reply. Sorry if I left you hanging. I'll respond separately by email.
No worries.
Thanks for the time stamp. Faces and objects appearing in the visual field are labeled as "out there". There is a belief that these are separate from "you". But those are thoughts. In direct experience, before any thought, there is no distinction between any "thing" and any other "thing". Experience is undivided and undifferentiated. Only thoughts seem to say otherwise. But have you ever seen a thought? Have you ever heard a thought? These are really important questions, so let's drill down on it. Later, I may give you some pertinent exercises.
No - I have never seen a thought or heard a thought. They are perceptions in and of the mind. I almost want to say I hear thoughts when I hear words. But I think thoughts come after words in the mind. Words and letters are just visual symbols without learning what they mean through thoughts,

Once the I had the ability to think most forms were given labels/names/attributes ad judgments began to arise through thoughts in the mind. That would have been when I was a young child. It’s hard for me to conceptualize what things were like before I could have and process thoughts. Seeing everything I see as separate objects seems so natural and real. It is also reinforced by the fact that I know I can touch objects in my field of vision to verify they are in fact real and separate from me.
When we estimate distances or sizes, we are using memory, context, comparison to other objects, and visual cues--in other words, thoughts!
I think this makes sense. If I didn’t have memories and knowledge about distances I would not be able to conceptualize distance. My estimating distances is based on things I learned to measure (inches, feet, yards, ect.) through thoughts memories, and comparison.
As we inquire further, you will see that the world (including, of course, the self) is constructed in the mind. Maybe you know this already, but you will see it and it will be obvious and undeniable.
Thank you very much. I look forward to continuing on this journey. I have read, so much about liberation and enlightenment, but it it so hard for me to get out of my mind and experience life without thought based on knowledge, judgments, and opinions. It seems like there has been so much learned in the mind it is very difficult to have direct experience without thinking.

Have a great week!

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AwayKen127
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Re: Guidance - Understanding the Mind-Made Self

Postby AwayKen127 » Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:19 am

I had a good Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Glad to hear it, Amit.
No - I have never seen a thought or heard a thought. They are perceptions in and of the mind. I almost want to say I hear thoughts when I hear words. But I think thoughts come after words in the mind. Words and letters are just visual symbols without learning what they mean through thoughts,
This is a really profound insight and I've not heard it expressed this way before, so I'm going to use it in future guiding! More importantly, it bodes well for our investigation. Suppose you heard a Mandarin speaker (I'm assuming you don't know the language) say something and afterwards you remembered the sound of the words. Compare and contrast that scenario with a scenario in which English words are remembered or imagined. What is similar and what is different in experience?
It’s hard for me to conceptualize what things were like before I could have and process thoughts.
Well, you're in luck, because we're not trying to conceptualize what things were like before you could have and process thoughts. Instead, all you have to do is notice what is right in front of your eyes. You never stopped seeing things as they are. But there are a lot of thoughts now. One by one, you'll see that they're all nonsense. Whether they arise or not doesn't matter at all.
Seeing everything I see as separate objects seems so natural and real. It is also reinforced by the fact that I know I can touch objects in my field of vision to verify they are in fact real and separate from me.
I'm going to label each concept in this sentence with a question mark: It is also reinforced? by the fact? that I? know? I? can touch? objects? in my field of vision? to verify? they are in fact real? and separate? from me?
Now let's go through this. Can a belief (in separate objects) be reinforced by facts in direct experience? Can you see something called reinforcement? Or is that a thought? Are there "facts" in direct experience? What do they look like? Or is the existence of facts a thought? Is there a subject ("I") in direct experience? What does it look like? Or is it a thought? Can "knowledge" be seen in direct experience? What does it look like? Or is it a thought? Is "touching" a sensation in direct experience, or is there just sensation? Are "objects" seen in direct experience, or only shapes and colors? Can you see a "field of vision"? What does it look like? Or is there only seeing? Is "verification" something you can see, or is it a thought? Is "reality" something you actually see as such, or is there only the seen? Is discreetness seen? What does it look like? Or are there only shapes and colors, with thoughts saying there are discreet objects?
It seems like there has been so much learned in the mind it is very difficult to have direct experience without thinking.
Thinking is never a problem. I have lots of thoughts. None of them are "mine" and none of them mean anything. Life is simple and flows freely without resistance.
With or without the thought that a thought is a thought, there is only sensation.
SEE that it is impossible for a thought to refer to anything other than a thought.


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