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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Mon May 15, 2017 6:40 pm

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
Yes. Exactly.
It is only through your own education / knowledge that you suggest this.
A carpenter who had no knowledge of science might say that the table was made Solid Walnut.
A physicist might say that the table was made of energy.
Somebody into particle physics would say that the table was made of 99.999999% empty space.
Could they all be right? Could they all be wrong?
Could they all be right DEPENDING on which model of the world that they were talking?
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.
Good.

Now there might be a perspective to sight. Like . . . the objects in the world appear to be observed from a specific place. This isn't anything to be concerned with right now (it's for future examination). But can we truly speak with certainty about 'what is seeing'?
Can we suggest anything other than an assumption we've been previously taught?
I'm going to keep on with the hand-desk exercise some more and report back.
Ok. Tell me what you can uncover.

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Mon May 15, 2017 11:21 pm

Ok. Tell me what you can uncover.
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'?
With this experiment, it seems like the table and my hand are just ... an interpretation of what's going on. Whether or not the interpretation is correct or useful, it's an interpretation that seems like a 'non essential' part of the sensation. Is this how you've been using the word 'inherent'? As in, neither the table, nor my hand are 'inherent' in the experience of what we're calling hand-on-table? I think this is an accurate characterisation of the touch experience once I narrow attention to it closely. With just touch, there's nothing recognisable as either a table or a hand; the table and hand only become recognised once the mental images (at least) are allowed into the scheme.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Tue May 16, 2017 10:25 am

With this experiment, it seems like the table and my hand are just ... an interpretation of what's going on.
Yes, good.
I see you've looked at both sides . . . not only 'a hand feeling' but 'a table being felt' - Yes, both are interpretations.
it's an interpretation that seems like a 'non-essential' part of the sensation. Is this how you've been using the word 'inherent'?
In a way.
When I suggest 'inherent', I mean 'completely independent' . . . self-evident. If something is self-evident, it requires no secondary interpretation for it's existence. And yet here, we see that both sides are imputed - Both sides are interpretations.
The main one for this inquiry being 'I am feeling' or 'This body is feeling'.

When you suggest 'non-essential', well I understand what you mean.
But would you agree that such interpretations would be essential for us to attempt to communicate?
I suggest this, as I don't want you to reject interpretations as being 'bad', or 'incorrect'.
It is enough to just recognise what they are. They are imputed.
A 'hand' is imputed to be doing the feeling'.
A 'table' is imputed to be being felt.
When we look for these two things we don't find them (hence the terms non-duality / Advaita 'Not two').
With just touch, there's nothing recognisable as either a table or a hand; the table and hand only become recognised once the mental images (at least) are allowed into the scheme.
Yes, and once the mental images are assumed to be what is really happening, you use your memory of what these items are 'hand' and 'table' and further use your memory for the suggestion 'one is feeling the other'.
But I'm running the risk of telling you what is going on, rather than getting you to tell me what appears to be happening.
Does what i am saying make sense?
Feel completely free to disagree or to tell me what is different in your own words about what appears to be true for you.

We've gone over seeing, hearing and feeling. Was an 'I' or a 'body' found to be responsible for these senses (other than in the contents of thoughts that appear suggesting these things)?

I usually leave the weaker senses of smell and taste out of the examination, but you can examine these in the same way yourself. Can a seperate 'smeller' or 'taster' be found which is separate to the current smell or taste appearing in experience?

If we add together all what we find using all the senses and call it 'the current experience', see what you make of the following inquiry.

1) Right now there is 'the current experience'. Using the senses, can anything else be found other than 'the current experience'?
2) Is there an 'I' or the body usually referred to as 'Jake' found to be doing the experiencing?
3) Can anything be found 'doing experiencing', or is there just 'an experience'?

I chatted about 'non-duality' and 'not two' . . . So . . .
Do you find two things - A body / A Jake experiencing as one thing, and an experience 'being experienced' as the other thing.
Or is there just 'an experience'?

What about the ideas 'I am experiencing' or 'This body is experiencing' . . . what do you make of these ideas?

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:47 pm

When you suggest 'non-essential', well I understand what you mean.
But would you agree that such interpretations would be essential for us to attempt to communicate?
I suggest this, as I don't want you to reject interpretations as being 'bad', or 'incorrect'.
It is enough to just recognise what they are. They are imputed.
A 'hand' is imputed to be doing the feeling'.
A 'table' is imputed to be being felt.
When we look for these two things we don't find them (hence the terms non-duality / Advaita 'Not two').
Yes, I definitely agree that the interpretations are useful for getting on with life. These interpretations are very useful, maybe even necessary for successful communication. I don't really feel like any of this is encroaching on what's 'true' or 'real'. There's an interesting fact of experience - that 'table' and 'hand' aren't recognisable as such going only on touch sensation - and this doesn't tempt me to say that the table or the hand don't exist, since table and hand are only labels anyway, and anyone who isn't entertaining some sort of Platonic Forms view of the world understands that the words we use are just sloppy designators which refer to no intrinsic 'table-ness' or 'hand-ness'. The table has no soul which bestows intrinsic character, or whatever. To deny that the table exists (such that it is understood to exist in everyday life) in light of the touch experiment would seem like an abuse of semantics, or wilful disregard of what 'exists' means in everyday language.

But still, noticing that in pure touch sensation there is no recognition of a table or a hand is something new to me.
Yes, and once the mental images are assumed to be what is really happening, you use your memory of what these items are 'hand' and 'table' and further use your memory for the suggestion 'one is feeling the other'.
But I'm running the risk of telling you what is going on, rather than getting you to tell me what appears to be happening.
Does what i am saying make sense?
Feel completely free to disagree or to tell me what is different in your own words about what appears to be true for you.
That seems quite reasonable. But I think I'd have to look some more at the process of recognising 'table', 'hand' etc to try and see when recognition occurs. You suggest memory plays a role, and surely it does to some extent (at least in the process of labelling with language, since obviously you have to remember the words!).

When sitting with the body, the feeling of my legs and the sight of my legs seem to coalesce and create the experience of 'having legs, here'. There's a sense in which the feeling of the legs and the sight of the legs 'match up' - like, the feeling is there where I see them - but when the feeling of the legs is focused on as a separate sensation, the feeling doesn't appear to be anywhere in particular. I think I don't really know how to make sense of 'feeling happening in particular place' without some sort of visual aid, be it mental images or corporeal ones. How this process works, exactly, I don't know. It's not like the visual aid alters the feeling sensation, because it doesn't; the feeling sensation is the same, so 'feeling like the legs are there in particular' maybe isn't a matter of feeling, exclusively, but some sort of model ... feeling+.
We've gone over seeing, hearing and feeling. Was an 'I' or a 'body' found to be responsible for these senses (other than in the contents of thoughts that appear suggesting these things)?

I usually leave the weaker senses of smell and taste out of the examination, but you can examine these in the same way yourself. Can a seperate 'smeller' or 'taster' be found which is separate to the current smell or taste appearing in experience?

If we add together all what we find using all the senses and call it 'the current experience', see what you make of the following inquiry.

1) Right now there is 'the current experience'. Using the senses, can anything else be found other than 'the current experience'?
2) Is there an 'I' or the body usually referred to as 'Jake' found to be doing the experiencing?
3) Can anything be found 'doing experiencing', or is there just 'an experience'?

I chatted about 'non-duality' and 'not two' . . . So . . .
Do you find two things - A body / A Jake experiencing as one thing, and an experience 'being experienced' as the other thing.
Or is there just 'an experience'?

What about the ideas 'I am experiencing' or 'This body is experiencing' . . . what do you make of these ideas?
I'm going to consider this. I think I want to go over the previous exercises again before I attempt a comment on the synthesis. I'll report back.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Wed May 17, 2017 11:32 am

and this doesn't tempt me to say that the table or the hand don't exist
I agree.
But specifically, what do you mean by the term 'exist' in this sentence?
We need to define this term exactly.
Does Santa Claus exist?
Does Santa Claus exist as an inherently real person?
Does Santa Claus exist as a fictional character?
That seems quite reasonable. But I think I'd have to look some more at the process of recognising 'table', 'hand' etc to try and see when recognition occurs.
Yes, and my comments were just speculation (that the labelling / cognition of objects comes from memory).
It can be a useful pointer. Nothing more than that.
When sitting with the body, the feeling of my legs and the sight of my legs seem to coalesce and create the experience of 'having legs, here'. There's a sense in which the feeling of the legs and the sight of the legs 'match up'
Yes. It is possible with contemplation to reach a point where 'the sensation is the sensation' and 'the visual image is the visual image'. But this is a slightly deeper inquiry going further than is needed for simply realising 'no self'.
The suggestion that they match up is via additional assumptions. Perhaps you could realise this also?
If not, it's OK at this stage.

If you look at the hand, are there 'eyes' looking at the hand? Or just an image of a hand?
If you go to feeling associated with the hand, do you find a hand feeling an outside world? Or just a sensation?

Right now we are simply going for the realisation that there is no inherent self ('I' or 'Body' or 'Any seperate thing') that is responsible for experiencing an outside world. All there is, is 'the current experience'.
If this is not clear, then mention where the sticking point is and we can examine it.
I'm going to consider this. I think I want to go over the previous exercises again before I attempt a comment on the synthesis. I'll report back.
Sure thing.

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Thu May 18, 2017 1:00 am

I agree.
But specifically, what do you mean by the term 'exist' in this sentence?
We need to define this term exactly.
Does Santa Claus exist?
Does Santa Claus exist as an inherently real person?
Does Santa Claus exist as a fictional character?
Santa Claus doesn't exist.
Santa Claus doesn't exist as an inherently real person.
But Santa Claus does exist as a fictional character. The same way that Harry Potter refers to a character, etc. (In whatever sense a character can be said to exist - I suppose you could say the story of that character exists.)

I can sense that there's probably more here that could be said but am wary of getting too theoretical.
The suggestion that they match up is via additional assumptions. Perhaps you could realise this also?
If not, it's OK at this stage.
I'm not getting that at this stage. Though the 'matching up' is mysterious in that I don't know with which sense I sense the match. (And this leads me to have to consider that the match is a thought.)
If you look at the hand, are there 'eyes' looking at the hand? Or just an image of a hand?
If you go to feeling associated with the hand, do you find a hand feeling an outside world? Or just a sensation?
With feeling, yes, there is just sensation, but I'm not at a stage where I can readily agree this is true with 'seeing' yet. 'Just seeing' without thinking about the objects (and the boundaries between them, etc) is very hard to do. I think this might be a barrier?

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Thu May 18, 2017 8:50 am

Santa Claus doesn't exist as an inherently real person.
But Santa Claus does exist as a fictional character. The same way that Harry Potter refers to a character, etc. (In whatever sense a character can be said to exist - I suppose you could say the story of that character exists.)
You got it in one! :-)
So when you say 'exist', you need to make sure in what context you are using that term.
'Just seeing' without thinking about the objects (and the boundaries between them, etc) is very hard to do. I think this might be a barrier?
This is MUCH further than we need to go here.
Also, when we refer to 'thinking' in regards to the objects in experience, it's not-so-much that we have an individual thought (voice in the head) appear when we see each object. But the objects are recognised. So it's more 'the cognition' of objects, rather than 'thoughts'.
But that's all blah-blah stuff to examined later on - Let's focus on 'I', 'the self' :-)

(With the proviso of what I mentioned about 'perspective').
Is there a separate self here right now 'seeing'? (DOING that function)
A body? A Jake?

What about each other individual senses?
What about them all together?

Let's move now to 'choice' and 'control'.
A simple exercise for you to do.

As you sit there, choose one of the hands - Either left or right - It doesn't matter which.
Once you have chosen a hand, raise that hand in the air.

Do this exercise as many times as you wish to and each time inquire:
1) In choosing the hand, what was FOUND that made the choice?
2) In raising the hand in the air, what was FOUND that made that happen? (Causing the muscles to contract, and the arm and hand move up).

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:05 pm

Let's move now to 'choice' and 'control'.
A simple exercise for you to do.

As you sit there, choose one of the hands - Either left or right - It doesn't matter which.
Once you have chosen a hand, raise that hand in the air.

Do this exercise as many times as you wish to and each time inquire:
1) In choosing the hand, what was FOUND that made the choice?
2) In raising the hand in the air, what was FOUND that made that happen? (Causing the muscles to contract, and the arm and hand move up).
1) Nothing is found making that choice.
2) The muscles contract seemingly spontaneously. I can't find anything that causes it.

Even though, in one sense, this action is clearly voluntary (and therefore distinguishable from a movement that is involuntary - being shoved, etc) I can't find the genesis of the action or any 'elan vital' which facilitates the movement. I can't find a moving essence which moves the skeleton or whatever - I can't feel any 'energy' or electricity or force vivifying the muscles; voluntary movements happen as if uncaused by physical stuff at all. The movements just happen with a sort of easeful-ness which separates them from involuntary actions somehow. How voluntary movements feel different from involuntary ones is a mystery to me, but somehow there is a habit of differentiating.
(With the proviso of what I mentioned about 'perspective').
Is there a separate self here right now 'seeing'? (DOING that function)
A body? A Jake?
If I put together all my experience right now, and try to answer, 'what is doing seeing?', the only answer is ... 'something'. I can't tell what. I can approximate where that seer must be (the head), due to the perspective which you say to put aside, but even though it is approximated to be there it can't be found there. All that's found in the approximate location are feelings of density, tingling, etc. The transparent sound of the inner monologue also appears there. But in that approximate location no witnesser is actually found. I know I'm talking about perspective again and you said not to, but it seems to me that, in my case at least, my notion of a seer is very closely tied to that location where the seeing appears to be done from, and the reason that I think the seer is there is because the images are from that perspective. I hope I don't frustrate you with this. At least, I can tell that this approximate location is not yielding the 'seer'.
What about each other individual senses?
What about them all together?
I have to go but I'll respond further when I get back.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Thu May 18, 2017 11:38 pm

1) Nothing is found making that choice.
So was a choice being made? I let me be clear, I mean a REAL choice . . . not an assumed choice.
Even though, in one sense, this action is clearly voluntary
Voluntary? For whom?
The movements just happen with a sort of easeful-ness which separates them from involuntary actions somehow.
What exactly is the difference between a voluntary and an involuntary action?
What is the difference IN EXPERIENCE, between a voluntary and an involuntary action?
How does what you mention affect or relate to this guidance?
in my case at least, my notion of a seer is very closely tied to that location where the seeing appears to be done from
Sure - Like I mentioned. There is a perspective from a particular point.
But what is at this location?
Can the perceiver be perceived?

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Sat May 20, 2017 4:05 am

Typing this from my phone, because for some reason my laptop won't connect to the internet! Will write out a full response to you when it's back up tomorrow (hopefully) because writing on this is laborious. Fyi my timezone is gmt but I sleep during the day so if I often post in the middle of the night that's why.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Sat May 20, 2017 8:54 am

Thanks for letting me know, Jake.
Write back when you can.

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Sun May 21, 2017 3:07 am

Hi once again, Xain!
So was a choice being made? I let me be clear, I mean a REAL choice . . . not an assumed choice.
No choice is being made by a chooser. At least, the chooser I suppose myself to be doesn't actually choose.
Voluntary? For whom?
Not a genuine free chooser. I see actually that the actions described as 'voluntary' are perhaps described thus with a misnomer. Whatever we mean of an action when we say its 'voluntary', we can't mean that it's truly voluntary, because that would entail some kind of free will which I agree doesn't exist.
What exactly is the difference between a voluntary and an involuntary action?
What is the difference IN EXPERIENCE, between a voluntary and an involuntary action?
This, I don't know how to answer. The only thing I can say for sure is that when an action is involuntary, the action is regarded somehow differently in thoughts compared to an action which is voluntary. An involuntary action might be followed by a thought such as "what just happened?" or "oops", etc. Whereas voluntary action might have "good", "just right" "okay", or more frequently in the case of a voluntary action, no sub-vocalised thought at all.
How does what you mention affect or relate to this guidance?
What specifically?
Sure - Like I mentioned. There is a perspective from a particular point.
But what is at this location?
Can the perceiver be perceived?
At this location there is just tingling sensations, pressure sensations, things like that. None of that seems to be a perceiver, no.

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Xain
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Re: Hello

Postby Xain » Sun May 21, 2017 10:12 am

Good stuff, Jake.
I see actually that the actions described as 'voluntary' are perhaps described thus with a misnomer. Whatever we mean of an action when we say its 'voluntary', we can't mean that it's truly voluntary, because that would entail some kind of free will which I agree doesn't exist.
Yes. If we use the term 'free-will' then that has to apply to a 'thing'. So we point to something and say 'That thing there has free-will'.
If we realise that there is no real self . . . that the self is an illusion created by the thinking process itself, then 'free-will' has nothing to apply to.

But notice though . . . we can still talk about 'choice' and 'free-will' . . . it is just we realise those are just labels; And that these labels don't apply to anything inherently real.
This, I don't know how to answer. The only thing I can say for sure is that when an action is involuntary, the action is regarded somehow differently in thoughts compared to an action which is voluntary.
Then you knew how to answer :-)
Exactly - The difference is in thought. A thought comes up about choice or a thought comes up about lack of choice.

Choosing for the Heart to beat / Or choosing to digest food . . . content of thoughts suggest there is no choice or free-will for a self in these things.
Raising the hand / Choosing what to type in a message . . . content of thoughts suggest there IS choice and free-will for a self in these things.

Just let this sink in for a moment. Is this the only difference? Just the IDEAS that we have about what we THINK is really going on?

Let's go to thoughts now (as in 'voice in the head). Imagination can be addressed in the same way (as in 'mentally created pictures').
This is the same style of exercise as all the rest.

1) Think a thought or imagine an object - Anything will do.
2) In thinking the thought or imagining the object, can a separate witness to these things be found in the experience of having the thought?
Is there a separate thinker that can be found? Is there a separate imaginer that can be found?
3) Is there choice or control in the thinking / imagining process? There may be an IDEA that there is, but can a separate controller or chooser be found in the experience itself?

You are doing very well. With the things you've discovered so far, perhaps some of these questions might be more straight-forward to answer.

Xain ♥

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Mon May 22, 2017 2:48 pm

Thank you for the encouragement! Going to do the next exercises now.

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Space6006
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Re: Hello

Postby Space6006 » Mon May 22, 2017 8:44 pm

Let's go to thoughts now (as in 'voice in the head). Imagination can be addressed in the same way (as in 'mentally created pictures').
This is the same style of exercise as all the rest.

1) Think a thought or imagine an object - Anything will do.
2) In thinking the thought or imagining the object, can a separate witness to these things be found in the experience of having the thought?
Is there a separate thinker that can be found? Is there a separate imaginer that can be found?
3) Is there choice or control in the thinking / imagining process? There may be an IDEA that there is, but can a separate controller or chooser be found in the experience itself?

You are doing very well. With the things you've discovered so far, perhaps some of these questions might be more straight-forward to answer.
With thoughts like this, the situation seems experientially very similar to the previous exercises. Imagining an image is basically the same as the seeing exercise, and having subvocalised thoughts is basically the hearing exercise.

2) Having linguistic thoughts in the head is just like a hearing experience, and all that there is to the experience is "what is heard". Having a mental image, all there is is "what is seen" - though one thing that strikes me is that the 'where' of that seeing is less clear than looking out at the world, and it's not clear where the images are appearing when they're imaginary. Unlike the table which is appearing in front of me, an imagined image seems to appear nowhere in particular.

A thinker/witness/imaginer of the thoughts ... it doesn't appear in the thoughts in question; ex. in the subvocalised phrase "I'm hungry" or the mental image of the Eiffel tower). It's true that there's an occurrence of the word 'I' in the phrase "I'm hungry" but that's the only trace of the witnesser that I can see here - there's no actual experience of the 'I' itself in that phrase, only an experience of the word.

3) The thoughts that occur or the images that occur just occur as if unchosen.


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