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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Mon May 08, 2017 9:55 pm

Who or what was having this experience?
I don't know.
What do you mean 'in consciousness'?
I don't know.
You are referring to it like a container, that there are things that fit inside it because it does or does not have room.
Can you see that edges of this container? If not, how do you know that it is a container?
A) No. B) I don't know.
How could other people know of this container? Could they witness it with their senses to know it's real?
A) I don't think they could. B) I don't think so.
Ok, so there is a 'you' replicating a temporary experience?
I don't know.
At the moment, please regard me like a child who does not know what consciousness is, or where it is.
What you are saying makes no sense to me.
Okay. Never mind that, then.
So to get this right 'container of consciousness' is simply an idea that you have?
You wouldn't be able to prove to other people that this container really exists?
A) I think it might be. B) I don't think so.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Tue May 09, 2017 9:34 am

Hi Space

Forgive me for being a little bit brutal in the last message.
The thing is, I need to be strong with you so give me your honest responses of what you believe is TRUE for YOU and not responses simply from what you've been told is the right answer, or what you THINK is going on. This guidance is nothing at all to do with giving me what you've heard from non-dual teachers.
This is going down to real basics here.

We were talking about meditating and having an experience.
I asked.
Who or what was having this experience?

I don't know.
That is an honest answer.

But come on, level with me here . . . be completely honest.
If you had said 'I was meditating and I was having an experience' is it COMPLETELY CLEAR to you that that was just a story?
Or is 'I was meditating and I was having an experience' more true to what you honestly believe?
You are referring to it like a container, that there are things that fit inside it because it does or does not have room.
Can you see that edges of this container? If not, how do you know that it is a container?


A) No. B) I don't know.
Thank you again for your honest replies.
You see, I will often refer to experience like it was a container - I will ask 'What can you find IN the experience right now', as if experience was a THING that you look into to find something. But this is only words. It's just a description. It is not a literal container that can be found.

So from this point on, please, I want you to tell me what is true for you right now.
It's about breaking through beliefs to see that they're nothing more than that.
If you say 'Container of consciousness in my head' then I will ask you about it, and how it is known that such a thing is there.

Ok, if we take 'seeing' right now, what would you say is true for you. Let me offer you some sentences. You can agree, disagree, change them or whatever.

It appears like I am 'looking out' from my head'.
My eyes are seeing the world.
There are objects 'out there' and me 'here' witnessing them.


And feeling now.

This body is feeling.
I can feel tingling sensations in all of my limbs.
I can feel my back against the chair.
My feet are feeling the ground underneath them


And hearing.

This body is hearing. My ears are hearing.
There is a me 'here', hearing sounds 'out there'.


What do you make of those sentences?

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Tue May 09, 2017 12:55 pm

But come on, level with me here . . . be completely honest.
If you had said 'I was meditating and I was having an experience' is it COMPLETELY CLEAR to you that that was just a story?
Or is 'I was meditating and I was having an experience' more true to what you honestly believe?
Fair enough.
Ok, if we take 'seeing' right now, what would you say is true for you. Let me offer you some sentences. You can agree, disagree, change them or whatever.

It appears like I am 'looking out' from my head'.
My eyes are seeing the world.
There are objects 'out there' and me 'here' witnessing them.

And feeling now.

This body is feeling.
I can feel tingling sensations in all of my limbs.
I can feel my back against the chair.
My feet are feeling the ground underneath them

And hearing.

This body is hearing. My ears are hearing.
There is a me 'here', hearing sounds 'out there'.

What do you make of those sentences?
Keeping things simple, right now I'd say all of your sentences seem true. As in, when I read those sentences I'm ready to agree with them without even examining experience first.

If, however, I do stop for a second and look, I see what we spoke about before - regarding not being able to see what is doing the looking - and it seems like that should make a difference, but for whatever reason the sentences still seem true.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Tue May 09, 2017 1:11 pm

If, however, I do stop for a second and look, I see what we spoke about before - regarding not being able to see what is doing the looking - and it seems like that should make a difference, but for whatever reason the sentences still seem true.
Ok - Good.
Let's go into that then.

Let's just take one sense at a time and see what can be established.
Just examine 'Seeing' for the moment.

Right now, we could say there is a visual experience.
In the experience of 'seeing', can anything be found that is performing a function we usually refer to as 'seeing'.

In fact, let's just say 'There is a visual experience' in seeing.
What else can you establish FROM THE EXPERIENCE ITSELF, (and I mean not referring to any scientific, non-dual or other types of ideas or beliefs).

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Tue May 09, 2017 2:52 pm

In the experience of 'seeing', can anything be found that is performing a function we usually refer to as 'seeing'.
No.
What else can you establish FROM THE EXPERIENCE ITSELF, (and I mean not referring to any scientific, non-dual or other types of ideas or beliefs).
The temptation is to say, because there is an experience, that you can establish that there is an experience-er. But is that relying on something other than the experience ITSELF? Does that corollary come from an assumption about 'experience' that isn't evidenced in the experience itself? (Ie, the assumption that there must be an experience-er if there is experience?) I'm worried that this might be a language trick, so does it make sense to replace the word 'experience' with 'phenomenon'. So, instead of a 'visual experience' there is a 'visual phenomenon'. I think this latter phrase captures perfectly well what is going on in 'seeing'. Is that okay?

So ... "What else can you establish FROM THE [phenomenon] ITSELF"?

If there is a cup in the visual phenomenon, perhaps it can be established that there is a visual phenomenon and a cup?

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Tue May 09, 2017 4:28 pm

The temptation is to say, because there is an experience, that you can establish that there is an experience-er. But is that relying on something other than the experience ITSELF?
Can one be found?

Incidentally, there may be distance in the sense of seeing - I mean, distance from the objects that are experienced and a 'place' where experience appears to be being performed. This can be addressed later on - It isn't something we address here (the subject/object distance). Please don't let this concern you at the moment. What we are addressing here is simply 'What is doing the seeing'.
So, instead of a 'visual experience' there is a 'visual phenomenon'. I think this latter phrase captures perfectly well what is going on in 'seeing'. Is that okay?
Yes, that makes sense to me - Good.
If there is a cup in the visual phenomenon, perhaps it can be established that there is a visual phenomenon and a cup?
Yes. Can IN THE EXPERIENCE a witnesser of the cup be found?

Let's go to thoughts for a second - The content of thoughts might suggest 'I am seeing' or 'Eyes are seeing' or even 'Brain is seeing'.
Are there eyes, or a brain, or an 'I' in the experience?

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Wed May 10, 2017 6:37 pm

Yes. Can IN THE EXPERIENCE a witnesser of the cup be found?
No. This is pretty obvious; in the visual phenomenon there is no witnesser of the phenomenon to be found.
Let's go to thoughts for a second - The content of thoughts might suggest 'I am seeing' or 'Eyes are seeing' or even 'Brain is seeing'.
Are there eyes, or a brain, or an 'I' in the experience?
If I look into a mirror, then there are eyes, at least, in experience. This body and this pair of eyes are seen. Of course, I can't see that the mirror-eyes are 'doing seeing', I can only infer this from the scientific knowledge about eyes that I happen to know.

Can I ask ... what does it matter if the experiencer cannot be found in experience, but can be inferred by reasoning? It appears to me that the whole enterprise of talking about 'consciousness' is based on the idea that ... there is something that it's like to be a person; whereas, there is not something that it's like to be a computer. Well ... if there is no experiencer or witnesser, then does it really make sense to talk about there being 'something that it's like to be a person'? What would it even mean for this to be true if there was no experiencer of 'what it is like'. Can there be something 'that it is like' with nothing there to experience 'what it is like'? That doesn't seem to make sense. It seems like an experiencer must be posited (in thought if it can't be found in experience) in order to prop up the idea that there's anything different between a person and a robot - at least in terms of consciousness vs non consciousness.

This last paragraph is just theorizing, I understand. But I wanted to type it out to keep a log of my thoughts.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Wed May 10, 2017 9:11 pm

If I look into a mirror, then there are eyes, at least, in experience. This body and this pair of eyes are seen. Of course, I can't see that the mirror-eyes are 'doing seeing', I can only infer this from the scientific knowledge about eyes that I happen to know.
Yes, exactly. It is inferred.
Can I ask ... what does it matter if the experiencer cannot be found in experience, but can be inferred by reasoning?
Because the current belief is that there is an inherent experiencer here right now that does not depend on mental reasoning for it's existence.
Yet one cannot be found!
It appears to me that the whole enterprise of talking about 'consciousness' is based on the idea that ... there is something that it's like to be a person; whereas, there is not something that it's like to be a computer. Well ... if there is no experiencer or witnesser, then does it really make sense to talk about there being 'something that it's like to be a person'? What would it even mean for this to be true if there was no experiencer of 'what it is like'. Can there be something 'that it is like' with nothing there to experience 'what it is like'? That doesn't seem to make sense. It seems like an experiencer must be posited (in thought if it can't be found in experience) in order to prop up the idea that there's anything different between a person and a robot - at least in terms of consciousness vs non consciousness.
Your reasoning is excellent, but I really don't like the term 'consciousness' as it is always confusing and can mean different things to different people (I know at least three different meanings for it!)
If for a moment we assume 'consciousness' is personal, or relates to objects / animals / people etc, the necessary goal in this guidance would be to find the 'I' that is conscious, or perhaps even 'is conscious of other things which are not assumed to be conscious'.

Let's proceed on now to 'hearing' - Approach this in the same way - Just focus only on this one sense for the moment.

Rest for a moment and listen to the sounds in the room where you are, or sounds from outside.
Whatever it is, I'll just refer to it as 'what can be heard'.

1) In 'hearing' can anything be found other than 'what can be heard'?
2) Can what is doing the witnessing be found? Or is there only 'what can be heard'?
3) An 'I'? A 'Body'? A 'Person'? A Brain? A pair of Ears? Can these be found doing the hearing? Or is there just 'what can be heard'?

What about an 'I' that is conscious of what is heard?

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Thu May 11, 2017 3:44 pm

Because the current belief is that there is an inherent experiencer here right now that does not depend on mental reasoning for it's existence.
Do you mean, "the current belief is that there is an inherent experiencer here right now that does not depend on mental reasoning for it's existence."? Or, "the current belief is that there is an inherent experiencer here right now that does not depend on mental reasoning for our awareness of it." ?
1) In 'hearing' can anything be found other than 'what can be heard'?
2) Can what is doing the witnessing be found? Or is there only 'what can be heard'?
3) An 'I'? A 'Body'? A 'Person'? A Brain? A pair of Ears? Can these be found doing the hearing? Or is there just 'what can be heard'?
1) No
2) Only 'what can be heard'.
3) A body can be heard, insofar as I can hear the pulsing of blood about my ears, etc, but no witnesser can be heard. I can't hear this body doing hearing; there's just 'what is heard', and the body is a part of that. Unless 'hearing the body doing hearing' is just the same as 'hearing'. In which case, the witnesser would be just the [body] collection of atoms ... which doesn't seem to be the kind of witnesser that's in question in this exercise.
What about an 'I' that is conscious of what is heard?
Insofar as this 'I' would have to be separate from what is heard, then obviously not, because all there is to hearing is 'what is heard' - so, nothing separate from 'what is heard' can be found in hearing. This separate thing could only be inferred by virtue of there being any hearing phenomena in the first place. Based on the assumption that for there to be any phenomena, there would have to be a witnesser of the phenomena. (A theorietical aside: This seems to be based on the further notion that raw data - such as vibrations in the air - become 'phenomena' when witnessed, and if they are left un-witnessed they remain raw data, such as in a computer with a microphone attached. So 'phenomena are just 'witnessed data'. The alternative is that 'phenomena' and 'data' remain separate things, and that data give rise to phenomena. This alternative account, however, makes it unclear why a witnesser is required for phenomena to exist; so on this account, the inference from phenomena to a witnesser is questionable.)

Insofar as the 'I' could be a part of 'what is heard', then the 'I' is no longer separate from the experience, and no longer 'having' the experience. I don't think this is what's in question in this exercise...

But, yes; it's clear that in hearing there is only 'what is heard'. Nothing separate from 'what is heard' can be found in 'what is heard', obviously.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Thu May 11, 2017 11:14 pm

Or, "the current belief is that there is an inherent experiencer here right now that does not depend on mental reasoning for our awareness of it." ?
Forgive me for answering the question with another question but . . . well . . . this is your guidance.
What is this 'our' you are referring to in 'our awareness of it'?
In which case, the witnesser would be just the [body] collection of atoms
With which sense do you find 'atoms'?
Or is this referring to beliefs / the content of thoughts?
Have you found atoms seeing or hearing so far?
and if they are left un-witnessed they remain raw data
What experience do you have of unwitnessed sounds?
Or is this referring to beliefs / the content of thoughts?

How would you go about proving the existence of an unwitnessed sound?
Makes it unclear why a witnesser is required for phenomena to exist
How do you know the phenomena exist then?

At this point, I will offer you this simple exercise for the sense of 'feeling'. See what you make of it.

Please close your eyes for this exercise, as the 'seeing' sense is very powerful and may take you away from answering only from the feeling sense alone.

Place a hand on a desk or table (flat surface) - Close your eyes.
Now 'go to' the sensation which we would normally refer to as 'hand on desk' and answer from what you can FIND.

1) How many things do you find? I mean, are there two things (and hand and a desk) or is there one thing - A sensation.
2) Do you notice 'one thing feeling another thing'? Or is there just 'a sensation'?
3) Do you find an 'I', a body, a hand 'feeling' . . . or is there just 'a sensation'?

Note: You may start to generate mental images of the body and unwittingly link the imagined images with the feelings. If this is the case, try to stop yourself from generating the images, relax and simply focus on the feelings sense alone.

Xain ♥

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Sun May 14, 2017 2:09 pm

Hi Space6006

It has been three days now without any response from you. It was part of the agreement that you would reply every day or tell me if this was not possible beforehand.
I am asssuming at this point that you do not wish to continue with the guidance.
There are a lot of people waiting for a guide right now, so I must now devote my time to them. I can only guide so many people at once.

I wish you all the best for the future.
Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Sun May 14, 2017 3:33 pm

Hi, Xain.

Is it too late? I want to continue the guidance, but I wasn't taking the commitment seriously. I realise now that that was a selfish decision and I'm sorry. No excuses. If you'll guide me further I'll take the commitment 100% seriously.

Regarding the most recent experiment:
Place a hand on a desk or table (flat surface) - Close your eyes.
Now 'go to' the sensation which we would normally refer to as 'hand on desk' and answer from what you can FIND.

1) How many things do you find? I mean, are there two things (and hand and a desk) or is there one thing - A sensation.
2) Do you notice 'one thing feeling another thing'? Or is there just 'a sensation'?
3) Do you find an 'I', a body, a hand 'feeling' . . . or is there just 'a sensation'?

Note: You may start to generate mental images of the body and unwittingly link the imagined images with the feelings. If this is the case, try to stop yourself from generating the images, relax and simply focus on the feelings sense alone.
I'm finding it extremely difficult to separate the touch sensations from the mental images that appear. The mental image of my hand and the table, of each separate finger, the approximate location in space of the whole hand and the presumed table ... its almost as if I cant feel the hand or table at all without some kind of mental image also. Whenever I direct my attention to the sensation, the images appear automatically, and if I try to refocus away from the images back to the sensation of touch, it's like I'm focusing on how I'm not focusing on the images. Should I just keep trying to narrow my focus to the touch sensation? Sometimes there's a strange feeling of ... dislocation, like a weird feeling like my hand is somehow separate from my body ... or at least not where it usually is - it's a vague 'floaty' feeling, but it's hard to characterize.

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Sun May 14, 2017 4:07 pm

Acknowledging that continued guidance is at your discretion, and that you might not engage with this, I'll answer the last questions you posted.
Forgive me for answering the question with another question but . . . well . . . this is your guidance.
What is this 'our' you are referring to in 'our awareness of it'?
I guess the 'our' would be 'people'. It's true my understanding of epistemology is based in the assumption that there's something like a 'self'. Empiricism starts to look a little shaky once you question the idea that there's any such thing as an observer ... how can knowledge be gained through experience if there's no experiencer to gain the knowledge? At the very least the semantics need a shake-up.
With which sense do you find 'atoms'?
Or is this referring to beliefs / the content of thoughts?
Have you found atoms seeing or hearing so far?
I find atoms with vision, I suppose. I don't recognise them as atoms, but when I'm looking at a table I'm looking at lots of atoms, aren't I?
What experience do you have of unwitnessed sounds?
Or is this referring to beliefs / the content of thoughts?

How would you go about proving the existence of an unwitnessed sound?
No experience of unwitnessed sounds. Of course. Proving their existence would seem fruitless, also. I'm tempted to say simply recording some sound which occurred when nobody was around to hear it would do the job, but obviously somebody would have to listen to the recording to verify that anything happened, at which point the sound is now 'witnesed'. Using an empirical model of 'proof' like this seems to always rely on 'witnessing' as the ultimate test.
How do you know the phenomena exist then?
Yes, if there is no 'witnesser' then the semantics (at least) of empiricism need to be reevaluated.The whole thing is based on the idea that witnessing of [whatever] is the only real test of existence.
Place a hand on a desk or table (flat surface) - Close your eyes.
Now 'go to' the sensation which we would normally refer to as 'hand on desk' and answer from what you can FIND.

1) How many things do you find? I mean, are there two things (and hand and a desk) or is there one thing - A sensation.
2) Do you notice 'one thing feeling another thing'? Or is there just 'a sensation'?
3) Do you find an 'I', a body, a hand 'feeling' . . . or is there just 'a sensation'?

Note: You may start to generate mental images of the body and unwittingly link the imagined images with the feelings. If this is the case, try to stop yourself from generating the images, relax and simply focus on the feelings sense alone.
Even with the aforementioned difficulty, I think I can say the following:

1) Without the mental images to make sense of the sensation, there is only a vague sensation. No hand and no table. These two things are only understood when the images are there to make sense of what is felt. It feels very unintuitive to say this, but it's true that when the image of the hand is there, the sensation seems to be obviously a sensation of a hand, but if I continually refocus my attention to just the sensation and not the images that accompany it, the sensation alone is formless and too vauge to parse into 'objects'.

2) Not without the images. The sensation is too formless to parse into two different 'things' without images.

3) Just a sensation.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Sun May 14, 2017 9:35 pm

Ok, we can continue. It is important to maintain a momentum in the guidance.

You are clearly very intelligent and approach a lot of this from a scientific background and understanding. That's fine.
I'm happy to continue this way, but you must be open to examining the very basis of your own understanding of these things.
This is not to suggest that Science is inaccurate or wrong in any way. But it is a model. It is a model of how the world is, and how it works.
We take this model to be absolutely accurate and correct, and from within the model itself . . . it IS accurate and correct.
But what we DON'T realise is . . . that it is just a model . . . we cling to it in such a way as we believe it is absolutely correct! We believe 'It's not JUST a model, it is REALLY TRUE'.

What you need to do is to consider these points for yourself continually:

'What am I assuming here?'.
'What can I really confirm from my current experience?'
'What is determined from my current experience, and what is 'added' by my own mental faculties but which is NOT verified by my experience?'


I'm finding it extremely difficult to separate the touch sensations from the mental images that appear.
I understand, and that is common. It's a conditioning we have that we 'glue' the two things together (the mental image and the feeling sensation) and say that the one maps on to the other. It is good for you to notice this happening.
Should I just keep trying to narrow my focus to the touch sensation? Sometimes there's a strange feeling of ... dislocation, like a weird feeling like my hand is somehow separate from my body ... or at least not where it usually is - it's a vague 'floaty' feeling, but it's hard to characterize.
This is good BUT we are not trying to change anything or to have something alter. We are just looking at what is happening, that is all.
Can you get to a place whereby it is clear that what we would normally refer to as 'hand on desk' . . . when you examine it, there is just a sensation. Just the one apparent 'thing', rather than two things . . . one 'doing' feeling, and the other 'being felt'.

I quizzed you on the phrase 'Our awareness of it'.
I guess the 'our' would be 'people'.
And this points directly to the guidance here. You have started with an assumption that there is a person here right now, with a faculty of awareness and extending that belief out, you believe that there are other people 'out there' that also have that faculty like I do 'here'.
You need to find the separate self (the real 'I') with awareness.
I find atoms with vision, I suppose. I don't recognise them as atoms, but when I'm looking at a table I'm looking at lots of atoms, aren't I?
(Look at what I put in blue at the top, and then have a go at answering these).
You are looking atoms - Are you really? Can you count them? Could you describe one of them as it appears to you right now?
There is a 'you' made of atoms doing the looking - Is there really? Can you find this 'looker made of atoms' in the visual sense right now?

Or perhaps another way of the same question to you - Can the perceiver of sight be perceived by sight?
No experience of unwitnessed sounds. Of course.
It's a bit 'further on' than the current guidance, but some of the other paths get you to examine your assumption that 'there are sounds waiting to be heard', or 'sights waiting to be seen'. Are these things anything other than assumptions generated by our own mental faculties.
Yes, if there is no 'witnesser' then the semantics (at least) of empiricism need to be reevaluated.The whole thing is based on the idea that witnessing of [whatever] is the only real test of existence.
It is enough for this guidance.

But just a slight adjustment. It is not really 'there is no witnesser' as such. It is that there is no INHERENT witnesser.
It is that any witnesser that is suggested to be doing the witnessing cannot be found, and therefore . . . it is realised that the witnesser is only ever an assumption . . . in exactly the same way as saying Gravity makes an apple fall from a tree. We don't FIND gravity. We ASSUME it. We MAKE IT UP ourselves as an answer to the question.
1) Without the mental images to make sense of the sensation, there is only a vague sensation.
That's where we were leading.
So what is 'I am feeling the desk' or 'This body is feeling the desk' . . . IF, in the purest examination, the only thing that can be said is that there is 'only vague sensation'?
The sensation is too formless to parse into two different 'things' without images
YES YES YES!

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Mon May 15, 2017 3:31 am

What you need to do is to consider these points for yourself continually:

'What am I assuming here?'.
'What can I really confirm from my current experience?'
'What is determined from my current experience, and what is 'added' by my own mental faculties but which is NOT verified by my experience?'
Okay. I'll keep these Blue Questions in a note to myself.
This is good BUT we are not trying to change anything or to have something alter. We are just looking at what is happening, that is all.
Can you get to a place whereby it is clear that what we would normally refer to as 'hand on desk' . . . when you examine it, there is just a sensation. Just the one apparent 'thing', rather than two things . . . one 'doing' feeling, and the other 'being felt'.
Yes, it just takes some time with the exercise. After a few minutes it gets easier to keep the attention on the touch sensation specifically.
(Look at what I put in blue at the top, and then have a go at answering these).
You are looking atoms - Are you really? Can you count them? Could you describe one of them as it appears to you right now?
There is a 'you' made of atoms doing the looking - Is there really? Can you find this 'looker made of atoms' in the visual sense right now?

Or perhaps another way of the same question to you - Can the perceiver of sight be perceived by sight?
In light of Blue Question 2, specifically, as a matter of current experience, atoms aren't a part of the picture. I mean, if I had never taken science class at school, and only had my experience to go on, I wouldn't guess that a table was made of atoms. I can't confirm that the table is made of atoms by looking at it right now. Or touching it, or anything else.

As a matter of current experience, the body is not obviously made of atoms, nor is it obviously generating perceptions or obviously witnessing perceptions, either. I might be able to assume that this body is responsible for perceptions being generated, or responsible for perceptions feeling like they're being witnessed, but that assumption is based on things I've been told, not things I can get from my current experience. 'A looker made of atoms' is not what my body looks like to me.
That's where we were leading.
So what is 'I am feeling the desk' or 'This body is feeling the desk' . . . IF, in the purest examination, the only thing that can be said is that there is 'only vague sensation'?
I'm going to keep on with the hand-desk exercise some more and report back.


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