Take two!

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Bobf
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Take two!

Postby Bobf » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:47 pm

Dear Forum,

I worked with Maitrivajra as my guide (he was terrific, by the way) from March into June. "Progress" was made, but there is still work to be done. He suggested that I could benefit from a fresh perspective.

Although there is some sense that everything is "just happening" (without a self), there is not unequivocal seeing of this. I'd like to work with another guide to crash that gate.

Bob

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Re: Take two!

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:19 am

Hey Bob,

Since we seemed to have started the guiding process via email...we might as well continue here. I am posting what we wrote in the emails...so we can just follow on from it.
Although there is some sense that everything is "just happening" (without a self), there is not unequivocal seeing of this. I'd like to work with another guide to crash that gate.
If by "unequivocal seeing" you mean that you expect to have the seeing of there being no "I" that is doing 24/7 and seeing that life is just flowing 24/7...then that is an expectation. There has never been a person...so what would it feel like not to be a person? What it 'feels like' right now, is what it 'feels like' to not be a person. But thought doesn't know that, hence the 'expectation'.
I got the phrase "unequivocal seeing" from the LU website, where its listed as the outcome of LU inquiry. But I understand what you're saying - feelings that are arising now are already arising without a person.
I have a feeling that you have clearly seen, but what hasn't been seen clearly is an expectation. What do you think is missing? Sometimes you may be totally ingrained in being a person. Since there has never been a person then how could anything possibly be different to what IS appearing and already is? Seeing through the Illusion of “I” doesn't mean you will lose the “I” and with it the whole identity of “I”. The “I” doesn't exist, not even now as you are reading these lines.
My guide (and what I’ve read in the LU website and books) say that when you’ve Seen, you know for sure that you’ve Seen and that this is irreversible. The analogy is that once you know Santa Claus is real, you know it unequivocally. Not sure that that has happened here. Or maybe it has and I discount it later when doubts arise!
I think perhaps it is the latter, that when doubts appear there is an idea that seeing hasn't happened. Doubt and confusion will arise and subside...the key is to look to see if you can find anyone who is in doubt or confused. When you first saw there was no self....that is the seeing, it cannot be unseen, however looking constantly and consistently on a daily basis throughout everyday is a necessity until it becomes crystal clear as an inner knowing.
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
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Re: Take two!

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:23 am

Thanks Kay. I had been thinking that when people first “see”, they know with 100% certainty that they’ve seen. But maybe it doesn’t have to be so clearcut. Perhaps for some people, first there’s an inkling, then a clearer inkling, until finally its crystal clear. So my expectation of 100% certainty (in the moment) is just another expectation. Make sense? Although another way of looking at it is that I’ve already Seen unequivocally, but there’s resistance to admitting it! Hard to say…
When you look now, can you find a separate self anywhere? If you don't know how to look, then this could be part of the dilemma.
Sometimes there is a feeling that there is a separate self – a kind of focused tension which feels like a “center”. Thoughts arise that this is a self.

Sense of being
Now, I’d like to ask you to explore this SENSE of self thoroughly. Not by thinking about it, but by FEELING it. Take your time.

Keep the focus of attention on the sense of self and inquire…

Does the sense of self have a location?
Does the sense of self have a shape or a size?

Does the sense of self say or communicate anything?
If the answer is yes, how does the sense of self do this exactly?

Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?

What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation? Thought?


Can you please answer all the questions in blue text and use the quote function to highlight the question being answered :)

Love, Kay
xx
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Take two!

Postby Bobf » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:33 pm

Hi Kay,

I'm ready to get started. Here are my responses:
Does the sense of self have a location?
First, I should say that the sense of self comes and goes. For this exercise, I'll deliberately try to conjure it up, although its very amorphous. To answer your question, it appears to be located in the front part of the upper half of my body, extending from my face down to my stomach. I realize this sounds kind of silly!
Does the sense of self have a shape or a size?
Not really. Just kind of a blob in the region I described.
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything?
If the answer is yes, how does the sense of self do this exactly?
I'm not sure. For example, if I say "I feel sad", the feeling appears focused in this region.
Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?
Not really. Its experienced as a combination of feelings (e.g. sadness at the moment) and some tension.
What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation? Thought?
Just feelings and a kind of focused tension.

Best wishes,
Bob

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Re: Take two!

Postby forgetmenot » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:24 pm

Hi Bob,
Does the sense of self have a location?
First, I should say that the sense of self comes and goes. For this exercise, I'll deliberately try to conjure it up, although its very amorphous. To answer your question, it appears to be located in the front part of the upper half of my body, extending from my face down to my stomach. I realize this sounds kind of silly!
To look at this…let’s look at something simple that we know as ‘our head’. Let’s examine the solidity of the head.

Press a finger down onto the top of the ‘head’.
Notice what is actually present.
Is it a head, or is it just a sensation labelled ‘pressure’ and a story ABOUT a head?

Do the same with a finger on each side of the head.
Is a head actually found, or are there just sensations again?
And is there anything between the pressure points, or is it just a thought that says there *must* be something between them?


Now, “deliberately conjure up” this sense of self again and I would like you to IGNORE ALL thoughts and images that appear saying what this sense of self is and what it feels like, and just tell me what the actual experience of it is. In other words what is it exactly? Is it a sensation, thought, smell, taste, colour/image, sound or a combination of some or all of these?
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything? If the answer is yes, how does the sense of self do this exactly?
I'm not sure. For example, if I say "I feel sad", the feeling appears focused in this region.
Yes, but “I feel sad” is the actual experience of a thought. Is the “the sense of self feeling” actually saying that? Can a “feeling” actually know anything? How is it known that the thought “I am sad” pertains to this feeling labelled ‘sense of self’?
Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?
Not really. Its experienced as a combination of feelings (e.g. sadness at the moment) and some tension.
So, let’s look at the feeling labelled ‘sadness’

The label ‘sadness’ is the actual experience (AE) of thought and not the AE of sadness
The sensation labelled ‘sadness’ is the AE of sensation and not the AE of sadness
The image labelled ‘me/body’ is the AE of colour and not the AE of sadness
The thoughts ABOUT sadness are the AE of thought and not the AE of sadness.

So, in actual experience what is actually appearing is label + sensation + colour + thoughts about sadness.
Can the actual experience of 'sadness' be found? …but there is no actual experience of sadness.

What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation? Thought?
Just feelings and a kind of focused tension.
So, looking at actual experience (AE) which are listed above (image/colour, sound, taste, smell, sensation)….what is the sense of self ‘made of’?

Just a reminder to answer all question in blue text please.

Love, Kay
xx
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Take two!

Postby Bobf » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:32 pm

Hi Kay,

By the way, when I paste your text into my reply, the blue color disappears on my ipad.
Press a finger down onto the top of the ‘head’.
Notice what is actually present.
Is it a head, or is it just a sensation labelled ‘pressure’ and a story ABOUT a head?
Its just a sensation labeled pressure and other sensations in that region (for example feelings that thought says are coming from my mouth cheeks. But its all just sensations - no head.
Do the same with a finger on each side of the head.
Is a head actually found, or are there just sensations again?
And is there anything between the pressure points, or is it just a thought that says there *must* be something between them?
Just sensations at the pressure points and other sensations that thought says are between the pressure points.
Now, “deliberately conjure up” this sense of self again and I would like you to IGNORE ALL thoughts and images that appear saying what this sense of self is and what it feels like, and just tell me what the actual experience of it is. In other words what is it exactly? Is it a sensation, thought, smell, taste, colour/image, sound or a combination of some or all of these?
Its a sensation of tension and either a sensation or a subtle thought that its localized within the head region.
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything? If the answer is yes, how does the sense of self do this exactly?

I'm not sure. For example, if I say "I feel sad", the feeling appears focused in this region.

Yes, but “I feel sad” is the actual experience of a thought. Is the “the sense of self feeling” actually saying that? Can a “feeling” actually know anything? How is it known that the thought “I am sad” pertains to this feeling labelled ‘sense of self’?
You're right. There is just the sense of self and the simultaneous sense of sadness. No evidence that the sadness pertains to the self feeling.
Does the sense of self have any characteristics or attributes?
Not really. Its experienced as a combination of feelings (e.g. sadness at the moment) and some tension.
So, let’s look at the feeling labelled ‘sadness’

The label ‘sadness’ is the actual experience (AE) of thought and not the AE of sadness
The sensation labelled ‘sadness’ is the AE of sensation and not the AE of sadness
The image labelled ‘me/body’ is the AE of colour and not the AE of sadness
The thoughts ABOUT sadness are the AE of thought and not the AE of sadness.

So, in actual experience what is actually appearing is label + sensation + colour + thoughts about sadness.
Can the actual experience of 'sadness' be found? …but there is no actual experience of sadness.
Yes. Just as there is a sensation that gets labeled "self", there is a different kind of sensation that gets labeled "sadness".
What is the sense of self ‘made of’? An image? Sound? Taste? Smell? Sensation? Thought?
Just feelings and a kind of focused tension.

So, looking at actual experience (AE) which are listed above (image/colour, sound, taste, smell, sensation)….what is the sense of self ‘made of’?
Sensation that appears localized. Although the localization may be some kind of subtle thought that arises with the sensation.

Hope you've enjoyed your weekend!
Bob

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Re: Take two!

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:34 am

Hi Bob,
By the way, when I paste your text into my reply, the blue color disappears on my ipad.
That’s okay…I use blue text to highlight what I want answered…it’s not necessary for it to carry over into the copy and paste :)
Press a finger down onto the top of the ‘head’.
Notice what is actually present.
Is it a head, or is it just a sensation labelled ‘pressure’ and a story ABOUT a head?
Its just a sensation labeled pressure and other sensations in that region (for example feelings that thought says are coming from my mouth cheeks. But its all just sensations - no head.

Yes…there is no actual experience of a head….just sensation which thought labels as ‘pressure’.
And since there is no head…how do you know that sensations have a ‘region’?
Do the same with a finger on each side of the head.
Is a head actually found, or are there just sensations again?
And is there anything between the pressure points, or is it just a thought that says there *must* be something between them?
Just sensations at the pressure points and other sensations that thought says are between the pressure points.

And without the label ‘pressure points’ is there a ‘between’ of anything?
Now, “deliberately conjure up” this sense of self again and I would like you to IGNORE ALL thoughts and images that appear saying what this sense of self is and what it feels like, and just tell me what the actual experience of it is. In other words what is it exactly? Is it a sensation, thought, smell, taste, colour/image, sound or a combination of some or all of these?
Its a sensation of tension and either a sensation or a subtle thought that its localized within the head region.

It is generally believed that thoughts are coming from the head somewhere around the forehead. When we try to trace back the origin of a thought, it is often believed that it's coming from the forehead, because the attention automatically goes to the sensation of the forehead. Investigate this carefully as often as you can throughout the day.

What is the forehead in the actual experience?
A sensation + a mental image (of a forehead), right?

So, can a thought come from a sensation?
Can a thought come from a mental image?

Have a very deep look here... the forehead is one of the 'residence' of the SENSE of self. Or rather say, the sensation that is labelled as forehead is believed to be one of the location of the sense of self.

Furthermore, it's also believed that both the 'visual sight' and 'mental images' are coming from the eyes, because when it's investigated the attention automatically goes to the sensation 'of the eyes', and at the same time the image 'of the eyes' appear with it.

So another SENSE of self is linked to the sensation 'of the eyes'.

What are the eyes in the actual experience?
A sensation + a mental image, right?

Can sight come from a sensation?
Can sight come from an image (of the eyes)?

Can a 'mental image' come from a sensation?
Can a 'mental image' come from another mental image (of the eyes)?

Does the sense of self say or communicate anything? If the answer is yes, how does the sense of self do this exactly?
I'm not sure. For example, if I say "I feel sad", the feeling appears focused in this region.

Since there is no head…would there be a ‘rest of the body’? And just because a sensation appears, does it know anything about a sense of self or sadness? How is it known that the sensation is a ‘sense of self’ and/or ‘sadness’, because a thought said so?
So, in actual experience what is actually appearing is label + sensation + colour + thoughts about sadness.
Can the actual experience of 'sadness' be found? …but there is no actual experience of sadness.
Yes. Just as there is a sensation that gets labeled "self", there is a different kind of sensation that gets labeled "sadness".
As you have said…the ‘sense of self’ is a sensation that thought labels as “focussed attention” and further says appears “around the head area”…so it is AE of sensation.

Now look closely at the ‘sadness. Look at this carefully and let me know what you find. Is ‘sadness’ an actual sensation or is this “feeling” just an idea appearing about ‘sadness’?
So, looking at actual experience (AE) which are listed above (image/colour, sound, taste, smell, sensation)….what is the sense of self ‘made of’?
Sensation that appears localized. Although the localization may be some kind of subtle thought that arises with the sensation.
Could be? I would like you to LOOK and be certain. It is the LOOKING and the seeing with certainty that brings clarity. Let me know what you find.

Love, Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Take two!

Postby Bobf » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:40 pm

Hi Kay,
Press a finger down onto the top of the ‘head’.
Notice what is actually present.
Is it a head, or is it just a sensation labelled ‘pressure’ and a story ABOUT a head?
Its just a sensation labeled pressure and other sensations in that region (for example feelings that thought says are coming from my mouth cheeks. But its all just sensations - no head.
Yes…there is no actual experience of a head….just sensation which thought labels as ‘pressure’.
And since there is no head…how do you know that sensations have a ‘region’?
There is a general sense of location. For example, if I focus on sensations in my "head" and then focus on sensations in my feet, there is the sense that head sensations are higher in space than foot sensations. But maybe that's just a subtle thought.
Do the same with a finger on each side of the head.
Is a head actually found, or are there just sensations again?
And is there anything between the pressure points, or is it just a thought that says there *must* be something between them?
Just sensations at the pressure points and other sensations that thought says are between the pressure points.
And without the label ‘pressure points’ is there a ‘between’ of anything?
Similar to above. If a focus on the pressure points (and drop the label), then I move the finger to my "nose", there is a sense that the nose sensation is between the sides of the head sensations. Not trying to be difficult, but I have trouble with this localization stuff. But its clear that from AE, there is not head, just various sensations.

Now, “deliberately conjure up” this sense of self again and I would like you to IGNORE ALL thoughts and images that appear saying what this sense of self is and what it feels like, and just tell me what the actual experience of it is. In other words what is it exactly? Is it a sensation, thought, smell, taste, colour/image, sound or a combination of some or all of these?
Its a sensation of tension and either a sensation or a subtle thought that its localized within the head region.
It is generally believed that thoughts are coming from the head somewhere around the forehead. When we try to trace back the origin of a thought, it is often believed that it's coming from the forehead, because the attention automatically goes to the sensation of the forehead. Investigate this carefully as often as you can throughout the day.

What is the forehead in the actual experience?
A sensation + a mental image (of a forehead), right?

So, can a thought come from a sensation?
Can a thought come from a mental image?
No, a thought can't come from a sensation or from a mental image. For me, the sense of self (when its conjured up, its often not there) isn't in the forehead, its somewhere in the center of the head region. That region is also where, if I close my eyes, thoughts tend to appear. But I see that sensations and images can't produce thoughts.
Have a very deep look here... the forehead is one of the 'residence' of the SENSE of self. Or rather say, the sensation that is labelled as forehead is believed to be one of the location of the sense of self.

Furthermore, it's also believed that both the 'visual sight' and 'mental images' are coming from the eyes, because when it's investigated the attention automatically goes to the sensation 'of the eyes', and at the same time the image 'of the eyes' appear with it.

So another SENSE of self is linked to the sensation 'of the eyes'.

What are the eyes in the actual experience?
A sensation + a mental image, right?

Can sight come from a sensation?
Can sight come from an image (of the eyes)?

Can a 'mental image' come from a sensation?
Can a 'mental image' come from another mental image (of the eyes)?
No, neither sights nor mental images can come from a sensation or another mental image.
Does the sense of self say or communicate anything? If the answer is yes, how does the sense of self do this exactly?
I'm not sure. For example, if I say "I feel sad", the feeling appears focused in this region.
Since there is no head…would there be a ‘rest of the body’? And just because a sensation appears, does it know anything about a sense of self or sadness? How is it known that the sensation is a ‘sense of self’ and/or ‘sadness’, because a thought said so?

So, in actual experience what is actually appearing is label + sensation + colour + thoughts about sadness.
Can the actual experience of 'sadness' be found? …but there is no actual experience of sadness.
Yes. Just as there is a sensation that gets labeled "self", there is a different kind of sensation that gets labeled "sadness". As you have said…the ‘sense of self’ is a sensation that thought labels as “focussed attention” and further says appears “around the head area”…so it is AE of sensation.
Now look closely at the ‘sadness. Look at this carefully and let me know what you find. Is ‘sadness’ an actual sensation or is this “feeling” just an idea appearing about ‘sadness’?
Sadness is just a sensation. Its accompanied by an idea that this sensation = sadness.
So, looking at actual experience (AE) which are listed above (image/colour, sound, taste, smell, sensation)….what is the sense of self ‘made of’?

Sensation that appears localized. Although the localization may be some kind of subtle thought that arises with the sensation.

Could be? I would like you to LOOK and be certain. It is the LOOKING and the seeing with certainty that brings clarity. Let me know what you find.
I seem to get a different answer each time I look, which varies with how I look. If I conjure up a "self", sometimes it seems to be floating in the head region, sometimes its more diffuse. In each case, what's conjured up in AE is a mental image and a sensation (slight tension). Its frustrating because its impossible because its all so changeable.

Best wishes,
Bob

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Re: Take two!

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:27 am

Hi Bob,

I think we need to go back and have a look at the nature of thought, because this is what you are not seeing clearly.

Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

Look carefully when doing this exercise and do it several times if necessary. Please answer each question individually.

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
Where are they coming from and going to? Can you predict your next thought?
Can you push away any thought?
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts? Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
Can you choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to control any thoughts? Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?


Love, Kay
xx
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Take two!

Postby Bobf » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:57 pm

Hi Kay,

Before I go through my answers below, let me explain the difficulty I encounter in answering these questions. If I just sit, its clear that thoughts arise spontaneously - "I" don't do anything to make them arise. But if I say to myself - "Bob- think of a unicorn" - I can certainly do that. When I do this, there is a kind of focusing - a slight physical tensing - followed by a focusing of the field of attention and the appearance of a unicorn. This "feels" as if "I" am willing the unicorn to appear. I realize that this could be interpreted as follows: (1) the thought arises that I should think of a unicorn; (2) tensing and narrowing of the field of attention arise spontaneously; (3) the image of a unicorn appears. In other words, there is no "I" controlling anything - its all arising spontaneously. But it sometimes feels as if there is an I controlling things.

Now my answers:
I think we need to go back and have a look at the nature of thought, because this is what you are not seeing clearly.
Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.
Look carefully when doing this exercise and do it several times if necessary. Please answer each question individually.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No.
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
This is related to what I said above. It feels like "I" can will different thoughts to appear. But of course, this can be viewed as an illusion: a thought arises that I should think of something specific, then a thought arises of that thing.
Where are they coming from and going to? Can you predict your next thought?
They just arise (from nowhere) and disappear into nowhere. Can't predict my next thought.
Can you push away any thought?
If the thought arises that I should distract myself from, for example, unpleasant thoughts, this can be followed by pleasant thoughts for a brief period of time.
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts? Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
Can you choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to control any thoughts? Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
The answers to all these questions are the same as to the previous questions.
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
Thoughts arise in a pretty chaotic fashion. Some thoughts that arise aren't related to the previous thoughts. Others appeared to be triggered by the previous thought. For example, the image of a food I like (pizza) arose, followed by the image of a different food that I like (sushi).

I'm trying to be as honest here as possible!

Best wishes,
Bob

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Re: Take two!

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:59 pm

Before I go through my answers below, let me explain the difficulty I encounter in answering these questions. If I just sit, its clear that thoughts arise spontaneously - "I" don't do anything to make them arise. But if I say to myself - "Bob- think of a unicorn" - I can certainly do that. When I do this, there is a kind of focusing - a slight physical tensing - followed by a focusing of the field of attention and the appearance of a unicorn. This "feels" as if "I" am willing the unicorn to appear. I realize that this could be interpreted as follows: (1) the thought arises that I should think of a unicorn; (2) tensing and narrowing of the field of attention arise spontaneously; (3) the image of a unicorn appears. In other words, there is no "I" controlling anything - its all arising spontaneously. But it sometimes feels as if there is an I controlling things.

So give me a step by step description on how you thought to think "Bob- think of a unicorn".
How did you put creating a specific thought into motion to think ""Bob- think of a unicorn"?
Where did you have to go to retrieve that thought? Where was that thought stored?
What processes did you have to put in place to begin the retrieval of that thought so as to be able to bring it into awareness, so that you became aware of the thought "Bob- think of a unicorn" ?
Describe, in detail, the process by which you create a thought, or make a choice. You have been doing it all your life apparently - so you must know exactly how you do it. So how do you do it? How do you create a thought? How do you think?



There is nothing here in actual experience that is separate from experience. Just this. Always now.

If you want to test this, simply do this little experiment that won't even take much of your time. All you need is 20 minutes, a pen and paper.

First write what you are experiencing right now using words “I” and “me”. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just plain description of here now.

Like this-
I am laying in bed. I am hearing the rain, I am typing these words, I am thinking

Do it for 10 minutes. Watch the body; are there any sensations of tightening or relaxing?

Then for next 10 minutes write without words “I” and “me”. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs:

Typing, breathing, blinking, hearing rain, writing, thinking

Again watch what is happening in the body.

Now compare the two ways to label experience- is one truer than the other? If so, which one? What is here without labels? Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?

Love, Kay
xx
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Take two!

Postby Bobf » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:15 pm

Hi Kay!
Before I go through my answers below, let me explain the difficulty I encounter in answering these questions. If I just sit, its clear that thoughts arise spontaneously - "I" don't do anything to make them arise. But if I say to myself - "Bob- think of a unicorn" - I can certainly do that. When I do this, there is a kind of focusing - a slight physical tensing - followed by a focusing of the field of attention and the appearance of a unicorn. This "feels" as if "I" am willing the unicorn to appear. I realize that this could be interpreted as follows: (1) the thought arises that I should think of a unicorn; (2) tensing and narrowing of the field of attention arise spontaneously; (3) the image of a unicorn appears. In other words, there is no "I" controlling anything - its all arising spontaneously. But it sometimes feels as if there is an I controlling things.

So give me a step by step description on how you thought to think "Bob- think of a unicorn".
How did you put creating a specific thought into motion to think ""Bob- think of a unicorn"?
Where did you have to go to retrieve that thought? Where was that thought stored?
What processes did you have to put in place to begin the retrieval of that thought so as to be able to bring it into awareness, so that you became aware of the thought "Bob- think of a unicorn" ?
Describe, in detail, the process by which you create a thought, or make a choice. You have been doing it all your life apparently - so you must know exactly how you do it. So how do you do it? How do you create a thought? How do you think?
1.After reading the questions in your previous post, the thought arose that I should see if I can create a thought or control my thoughts.
2. The thought arose that I should think of what thought I want to try to create.
3. In the process of having thought #2, a vague image of a unicorn arose.
4. The thought arose that "I" should try to picture a unicorn".
5. In the midst of thinking #4, there was a sensation of tensing in the head region and a narrowing of the field of attention.
6. The image of a unicorn arose.

In answer to your questions above, the thoughts just appeared and hadn't been stored anywhere. I didn't consciously have to put any processes into place - everything just arose spontaneously. Each thought/image or sensation triggered the next thought/image or sensation.

So I see that everything above can be viewed as simply arising without the need for invoking an "I". So rather than seeing this process as "me" creating or controlling my thoughts, its all just happening.
There is nothing here in actual experience that is separate from experience. Just this. Always now.

If you want to test this, simply do this little experiment that won't even take much of your time. All you need is 20 minutes, a pen and paper.

First write what you are experiencing right now using words “I” and “me”. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just plain description of here now.

Like this-
I am laying in bed. I am hearing the rain, I am typing these words, I am thinking

Do it for 10 minutes. Watch the body; are there any sensations of tightening or relaxing?

Then for next 10 minutes write without words “I” and “me”. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs:

Typing, breathing, blinking, hearing rain, writing, thinking

Again watch what is happening in the body.

Now compare the two ways to label experience- is one truer than the other? If so, which one? What is here without labels? Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
Listing experiences without using "I" or "me" feels much truer and closer to the AEs. When I made the list using "I", I didn't feel much of anything - it felt computer-like. When I made the list without the "I", interesting things started happening. I felt more like I was feeling the experiences, and I began to relax and unwind (I'm at work and am pretty wound up).

Bob

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forgetmenot
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Re: Take two!

Postby forgetmenot » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:54 pm

Hey Bob!
In answer to your questions above, the thoughts just appeared and hadn't been stored anywhere. I didn't consciously have to put any processes into place - everything just arose spontaneously. Each thought/image or sensation triggered the next thought/image or sensation.
So I see that everything above can be viewed as simply arising without the need for invoking an "I". So rather than seeing this process as "me" creating or controlling my thoughts, its all just happening.


Nice, Bob…nice! Thoughts are just arising and subsiding like waves in the ocean.

Close your eyes and bring to ‘mind’ a thought that seemingly creates a good level of stress/anxiety/fear. Then become aware of the sensation labelled either stress/anxiety/fear in the body. Now replace the stressful thought with just ‘blahblahblah’.
Did the sensation disappear as soon as you replaced the thought with ‘blahblahblah’? Let me know what noticed.


Find a TV team sport on TV or a Youtube clip that lasts for at least 5 minutes. The following link is to a game of soccer, but if you prefer another sport…please feel free to find one to do this exercise with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTPxORAlT0Y

1. Watch one minute with the sound turned OFF, watching ‘people’ messing about with a round thing on a field, up and down, up and down. Let it sink in, the whole experience.

2. Once the first minute is completed, now watch another whole minute with the commentary turned ON.

Notice the differences. Notice how the commentator (aka thought) offers lots of know-how, even advice, seems to feel as though they can influence somehow what is going on, as though one outcome is much preferred to the opposite outcome, the commentary may seem to heighten any supporter feelings which are there, and call for an identification with one team or other, and with the importance of the game itself.

3. Now turn the volume OFF AGAIN and just watch the action with NO audible commentary, the shapes moving around on the screen etc. Again notice all the differences in what is appearing as experience.

4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know thought is talking about, and just notice it as sound.

Let me know what you notice when you turn the sound on and off, and without thought, what is actually appearing/happening etc?
Is the commentary on the football game a necessity for the play to happen?
And in the same way: Is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?


Listing experiences without using "I" or "me" feels much truer and closer to the AEs. When I made the list using "I", I didn't feel much of anything - it felt computer-like. When I made the list without the "I", interesting things started happening. I felt more like I was feeling the experiences, and I began to relax and unwind (I'm at work and am pretty wound up).
Let’s say you are at work and you are getting anxious because you aren’t able to meet a deadline. But that is only thought that says that, isn’t it? LOOK again.

What thought points to as a person at work getting anxious is in fact, the AE of sensation + thoughts about a person becoming anxious. Can you see this?


Love, Kay
xx
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Bobf
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Re: Take two!

Postby Bobf » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:10 pm

Hello!
Close your eyes and bring to ‘mind’ a thought that seemingly creates a good level of stress/anxiety/fear. Then become aware of the sensation labelled either stress/anxiety/fear in the body. Now replace the stressful thought with just ‘blahblahblah’.
Did the sensation disappear as soon as you replaced the thought with ‘blahblahblah’? Let me know what noticed.
I had trouble doing this exercise, since I couldn't come up with a thought that generates a lot of stress/anxiety. I tried it with a thought that generated mild anxiety. After feeling the anxiety in my body, I replaced the thought with "blahblah". The feeling in my body (which was pretty weak and on and off to begin with), decreased a bit.

Find a TV team sport on TV or a Youtube clip that lasts for at least 5 minutes. The following link is to a game of soccer, but if you prefer another sport…please feel free to find one to do this exercise with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTPxORAlT0Y

1. Watch one minute with the sound turned OFF, watching ‘people’ messing about with a round thing on a field, up and down, up and down. Let it sink in, the whole experience.

2. Once the first minute is completed, now watch another whole minute with the commentary turned ON.

Notice the differences. Notice how the commentator (aka thought) offers lots of know-how, even advice, seems to feel as though they can influence somehow what is going on, as though one outcome is much preferred to the opposite outcome, the commentary may seem to heighten any supporter feelings which are there, and call for an identification with one team or other, and with the importance of the game itself.

3. Now turn the volume OFF AGAIN and just watch the action with NO audible commentary, the shapes moving around on the screen etc. Again notice all the differences in what is appearing as experience.

4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know thought is talking about, and just notice it as sound.

Let me know what you notice when you turn the sound on and off, and without thought, what is actually appearing/happening etc?
Is the commentary on the football game a necessity for the play to happen?
And in the same way: Is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?
This was interesting and reminded me of yesterday's exercise (writing a list of what I was experiencing, with or without "I").

With the sound off, watching the game was kind of relaxing - observing the flow of movements, expressions on players' faces etc. With the sound on, I immediately became tenser, because I was trying to understand what the announcer was saying, and was less focused on the actual appearances on the screen. The commentary certainly isn't necessary for the game to happen and similarly, the internal narration isn't necessary for the game of life to proceed.

Listing experiences without using "I" or "me" feels much truer and closer to the AEs. When I made the list using "I", I didn't feel much of anything - it felt computer-like. When I made the list without the "I", interesting things started happening. I felt more like I was feeling the experiences, and I began to relax and unwind (I'm at work and am pretty wound up).
Let’s say you are at work and you are getting anxious because you aren’t able to meet a deadline. But that is only thought that says that, isn’t it? LOOK again.

What thought points to as a person at work getting anxious is in fact, the AE of sensation + thoughts about a person becoming anxious. Can you see this?

Yes.

Let me add a bit more about where I'm at today. This morning, I felt like I was finally on the verge of letting go of the self belief. It seemed like if I can just get past this idea that there is an "I" who can control thoughts, that would be key to completely letting go of that belief. So I did some intense inquiry about whether I can control thoughts. In doing so, it seemed like there was no such I, and that I'm almost ready to drop this idea. The following kinds of thoughts are my resistance to finally and unequivocally letting go:

"When I observe my thoughts, its pretty clear that they occur spontaneously without a controller. And when "I" try to create thoughts, its pretty clear that that isn't really what's happening - ideas and feelings are just arising. On the other hand, there is still (sometimes) a feeling of a 'Bob" going through life. That feeling is accompanied by the convincing thought that this Bob is a real entity".

I hope this makes sense. Talk to you tomorrow!
"Bob"






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Re: Take two!

Postby Bobf » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:12 pm

just noticed I screwed up in using the quote function towards the end of that message. Hopefully, you can understand it anyway... Bob


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