Anyone ready to start?

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Kiwi
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Anyone ready to start?

Postby Kiwi » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:01 am

If you're ready, tell me a little about yourself.
Let's go! :)
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Kiwi
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby Kiwi » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:28 am

Bump. If you'd prefer, send a PM to Kiwi and I'll start a topic with your name on it
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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shoonya
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby shoonya » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:53 pm

Hi..

Not sure what to write here. I have gone through some threads of others. Looks interesting. Probably, I am seeking more clarity in my thoughts. The question which bothers me a lot is - what is the purpose of life ? Sometimes I get depressed, as I fail to see any meaning in this world at all. I am more self-centered and compassion for others does not come to me easily (almost zero). Enough to start ??

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Kiwi
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby Kiwi » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:29 pm

Hi Shonaya

What you have witten is certainly enough to make a start! Congratulations on taking the first step – which is always the hardest to take! As you’ve probably worked out, the process is one of self-inquiry where I pose questions that ask you to look within, investigate and report back your findings. I probe into areas where there is confusion or lack of clarity and so we make progress! To be effective, three things are required of you: 100% honesty, a willingness to leave all of your long-established beliefs behind you as you enquire, and a degree of courage. It’s not always easy to dismantle the known and comfortable, but the inquiry will get nowhere if you’re not prepared to do that. OK with you?

In terms of expectations, this inquiry will reveal to you the Truth of who you are. To see that Truth, we have to first eliminate what is un-true about you. You are not undertaking a spiritual inquiry, nor one with the objective of making you happier or better or more blissful. It’s an inquiry into what is True (with a capital “T”, that means the Absolute Truth, not a relative truth that you might believe in) about who you are. Once that Truth is experienced, everything else will take care of itself – one way or the other!

Before we start, I want to acknowledge something that you wrote. You touched on the meaning of life and a depression at not being able to discern any meaning. I want to just briefly assure you that there is a purpose, it’s just that the “I" you currently believe yourself to be, can’t see what that is. The process of self inquiry will, eventually, reveal that purpose to you.

For now, however, I want you to look around you and tell me what is real and how you determine the “reality” of something.Remember that there's no "right" or "wrong" thing to write. Simply write what you notice. That will be just fine

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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shoonya
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby shoonya » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:21 am

To be effective, three things are required of you: 100% honesty, a willingness to leave all of your long-established beliefs behind you as you enquire, and a degree of courage. It’s not always easy to dismantle the known and comfortable, but the inquiry will get nowhere if you’re not prepared to do that. OK with you?
Yes, Ok with me.
For now, however, I want you to look around you and tell me what is real and how you determine the “reality” of something.
Right now, I am sitting on my bed. There are four walls around me and other things like table, chair etc. They all look real to me. I can see, touch and feel them. They must be real then. I can also hear birds chirping from outside. I hear and see them playing around when I am outside. They must be real too then.

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Kiwi
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby Kiwi » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:10 am

Hi Shoonya (spelt your name wrong before - apologies)
Right now, I am sitting on my bed. There are four walls around me and other things like table, chair etc. They all look real to me. I can see, touch and feel them. They must be real then. I can also hear birds chirping from outside. I hear and see them playing around when I am outside. They must be real too then.
Excellent, excellent answer. What is real is that which can be directly experienced by the senses. If you can see, smell, hear, taste or touch something, then it is real. Every day you have a myriad of experiences that are all based on reality.

But every day, you also experience things that appear to be real but which are not able to be seen, tasted, heard, touched or smelt. Can you thing of any experiences that you've recently had that were based on stuff (technical term!!) that was "not real"?

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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shoonya
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby shoonya » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:34 am

Hi Mike,
Sorry, I forgot to show my gratitude to you for doing this with me. Thank You!
But every day, you also experience things that appear to be real but which are not able to be seen, tasted, heard, touched or smelt. Can you thing of any experiences that you've recently had that were based on stuff (technical term!!) that was "not real"?
Hmmm... .I experience hunger, anger, jealousy etc. with some sensations in body, mainly in stomach or chest region. Though I can't see, taste or touch these emotions and body sensations, I know they are real because I am experiencing them. They are inside me.

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shoonya
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby shoonya » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:43 am

oh and my thoughts....some jumps up from no-where, some are logical, and some I don't understand. They simply come to my mind. Good, bad, ugly all of them..Since I am experiencing them, they must be real too.

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Kiwi
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby Kiwi » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:52 pm

Hi Shoonya

It is an absolute pleasure to be working with you. I have combined your last two posts into one and responded below.

In these two posts you have identified all of the inputs to “an experience” We have experiences as a result of sensory or thought input. Through no other avenues can our day-to-day experiences happen. In looking at these inputs to experience. Input through the senses is easy to consider because happen directly. For example, to feel something we simply touch it with our hands and notice what we notice – a direct experience. In the case of thought, however, the process is not direct.

As you write, thoughts …simply come to my mind. Good, bad, ugly all of them. This is absolutely correct. Thoughts just come, from where, who knows. However, your next sentence says “Since I am experiencing them, they must be real too” and this is NOT correct. Let me explain why

A thought is an input. I can’t see a thought, nor smell, taste, touch or hear a thought . A thought therefore fails the test of “realness” although there is no doubt that thought happens. (the mind chatter that you can hear is verbalising the thought, which must precede any mind chatter, so the mind chatter is the output of thought). But the non-real thought can result in a sensory reaction (or output) in the body that is real because it is felt.

So: something is real if it can be directly seen, touched, heard, tasted or smelt

If something cannot be directly experienced through the senses, then it is illusionary (or not-real).”Illusion” doesn't mean something doesn't exist, it just means we have misunderstood what it is in actuality – or to put it another way, Illusion merely means that something we perceive isn't what we think it is.

In the words you wrote “Since I am experiencing them, they must be real too” the sensory output is real, but the thoughts that preceded them are illusionary. The thoughts existed, but they are not real

Got it?

As an exercise, to reinforce this important point, go outside and experience walking around. Notice what is real in the experiences you have while walking around, and notice what is illusionary. What sorts of things are illusionary?
==========
Now to address some of the other points you specifically raised
Hmmm... .I experience hunger, anger, jealousy etc. with some sensations in body, mainly in stomach or chest region. Though I can't see, taste or touch these emotions and body sensations, I know they are real because I am experiencing them.
As above, sensations are certainly felt in the body. In that sense, the sensations are real. But what causes the sensations to manifest in that manner? I mean, does a sensation in the body simply “appear” or does something happen first, causing them to be felt?.

What about the emotions of anger or jealousy? Do they follow the same pattern as hunger
They are inside me.
Does that mean that “you” are your body? In pondering this one consider whether the “me” you talk of is real?
=============
In a number of sentences so far, you've also used the word "I" That word points to something. What? Is it pointing to anything real?
=============
oh and my thoughts....some jumps up from no-where, some are logical, and some I don't understand.
Great, you’ve noticed that thoughts simply arise – from where who knows?
=============
Let’s examine thought a bit deeper
Can a thought think?
Do you create the thoughts you have?
What is the role of thought?

Looking forward to your reply

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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shoonya
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby shoonya » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:31 am

Hi Mike:
A thought is an input. I can’t see a thought, nor smell, taste, touch or hear a thought . A thought therefore fails the test of “realness” although there is no doubt that thought happens. (the mind chatter that you can hear is verbalising the thought, which must precede any mind chatter, so the mind chatter is the output of thought). But the non-real thought can result in a sensory reaction (or output) in the body that is real because it is felt. So: something is real if it can be directly seen, touched, heard, tasted or smelt
Ok, I understand the 'definition' now. Suppose, I am walking in a jungle and suddenly a thought of tiger coming in front of me arises. This is illusion, right? Now if really a tiger comes in front of me, a thought arises to run or attack or do whatever to save my life. Do you call this thought of running or saving life as illusory? In both the cases thoughts are there.
As an exercise, to reinforce this important point, go outside and experience walking around. Notice what is real in the experiences you have while walking around, and notice what is illusionary. What sorts of things are illusionary?
I went for walking on the street. Everything was real, trees, houses, the road (verifiable by senses). After a while, I was lost in thoughts and forgot about the surrounding, though still walking.
I mean, does a sensation in the body simply “appear” or does something happen first, causing them to be felt?. What about the emotions of anger or jealousy? Do they follow the same pattern as hunger
Sensation in the body is followed by a thought, like in anger or jealousy. I suppose, hunger is more of bodily need. It's reverse in the case of hunger, first you feel the hunger and then a thought rises that you have to eat.
Does that mean that “you” are your body? In pondering this one consider whether the “me” you talk of is real?
I am this body, my thoughts and actions I do.
In a number of sentences so far, you've also used the word "I" That word points to something. What? Is it pointing to anything real?
"I" refers to my body and my thoughts and actions I do. Probably, my thoughts are not real but actions are real (thoughts give rise to action). My body is real as it is verifiable.
Let’s examine thought a bit deeper
Can a thought think? Do you create the thoughts you have? What is the role of thought?
No thought cannot think. Sometimes I do create the thoughts (e.g. day dreaming). Sometimes no, it's not in my control. Role of thought....it helps in organizing life, to know safe and unsafe situations etc. It also makes us suffer (e.g. thought of leaving loved ones). Other times they are useless (e.g. imagining things which are not true).

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Kiwi
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby Kiwi » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:48 pm

Hi Shoonya
Thank you for your responses. I meant to emphasise in my first post to you that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers, there are only answers that reveal a hunger to find the truth. OK?

That said, lets get to your responses
Ok, I understand the 'definition' now. Suppose, I am walking in a jungle and suddenly a thought of tiger coming in front of me arises. This is illusion, right?
Correct
Now if really a tiger comes in front of me, a thought arises to run or attack or do whatever to save my life.
Only if you had already formed a belief that tigers were dangerous and needed to be avoided. If you had never seen a tiger before and it strolled calmly towards you, why would you run? You would have had no experience of a tiger before so why would the thought “run” arise?. Its your beliefs that both cause you to run and to think that there is a life to save.

If on the other had, people had told you before you saw the tiger that they were savage ferocious animals and you had read accounts that they were indeed to be avoided, you would have formed a belief that “I must run from any tiger” A belief is simply a thought pattern that has been habituated (formed over time). A belief conditions our response to experiences we have and primarily is concerned with keeping us safe
Do you call this thought of running or saving life as illusory? In both the cases thoughts are there.
Thought is always illusionary. The thought “I must save life” is just a thought – it is not real How can it be, it is a pattern of energy? Can’t touch see, smell, hear or taste a thought! The action (like running or lifesaving) was prompted by the thought. Thought is always illusionary, but we think so much that it seems real, as we rarely stop and de-couple the illusionary (thought) from the action (which will probably be a real experience).
I went for walking on the street. Everything was real, trees, houses, the road (verifiable by senses). After a while, I was lost in thoughts and forgot about the surrounding, though still walking.
When you noticed without thought, you were in the present, directly aware of the things you encountered. When you were lost in thought you were no longer aware of the realness of things. The mind had taken over and you had entered a world of illusion - you were day dreaming. Why? The mind does not find the present very exciting – its always wanting to look to the past or the future. In that day dream, you continued to walk. Life continued without thought
Sensation in the body is followed by a thought, like in anger or jealousy.
The body is comprised of organs. At times those organs cause sensations (for example, if the tummy rumbles, indicating that it is empty, that is a direct sensation (caused by the organ without any intervention of thought) that we become aware of. Once we are aware, thought kicks in “I’m hungry”

However, in the case of an emotion (such as anger or jealousy) no body organ is directly involved in the awareness of anger or jealousy before the thought “I’m angry” enters awareness. Once the thought is apparent, the tightening of the stomach (if that’s “your signal” for anger) occurs.
I suppose, hunger is more of bodily need. It's reverse in the case of hunger, first you feel the hunger and then a thought rises that you have to eat.
the sensation of hunger is felt, the thought “must get food” is noticed, action to satisfy the thought is taken. Thought precedes the action
but actions are real (thoughts give rise to actions
I agree with this 100% if the actions are directly experienced
I am this body, my thoughts and actions I do. .... "I" refers to my body"
Your “I am this body” is a belief that you have developed from birth and which you now accept as fact. But is it a belief. I want you to explore the following few paragraphs very deeply. Look.

If you are your body, where does the “I” live in the body? In the heart, spleen, colon, the left arm or big toe? Have a close look and see if you can discover the location of the “I” If you locate it somewhere does that make it real, or a belief and illusionary? If you lost 25% of your body mass (say an arm or leg), would your sense of “I”-ness be diminished by 25%? If you need glasses to support your eyes, or take medicine to correct a body imbalance, does that indicate that you have a weak “I”? A person with an artificial organ must have a very depleted “I-ness”. True?

So, is your statement that “I am this body? a belief and an illusion, or real?
and my thoughts
If you are your thoughts, what happens when you sleep, or under anesthetic? No thoughts then! Does a person who under stress can’t “think straight” and gets "lost in thought" have a weakened “I”? Are you your thoughts in reality, or is that an illusion, an untrue belief?

If you are your thoughts, where is your "thought processing unit" located and what is it called?
and actions I do...
Are you really? Can you honestly say, for example that “I” am (the act of) walking? Would a superior athlete who can perform actions with great skill have a superior sense of his “I-ness” If that same athlete had an action-limiting illness, would his “I-ness” be diminished? I accept that actions happen – but are you your actions?
Probably, my thoughts are not real
Probably???? Are thoughts real or not? Off the fence – have a look and give me a “yes, they are real” or “no, they’re illusionary” Don’t intellectualize it - look
My body is real as it is verifiable.
There is a body. It is real.
But is the body who you are? (see my comments above)
No thought cannot think. Sometimes I do create the thoughts (e.g. day dreaming). Sometimes no, it's not in my control.
Agree that thoughts can’t think.
Can you really generate a thought? What part of “you” is responsible for thought-generation? What part of you commands the “thought generator” to create a thought? Look - do you create your own thoughts
Can you ever control your thoughts? What part of yourself could control thoughts – your big toe, brain, heart?
Role of thought....it helps in organizing life, to know safe and unsafe situations etc. It also makes us suffer (e.g. thought of leaving loved ones). Other times they are useless (e.g. imagining things which are not true).
In short, to control or distract us, or as you rightly say, to make us suffer.

Shoonya

Rather than give you more questions, I’d like you to consider my original questions, your answers and my comments on your answers. Many of your answers show are very helpful to your progress but need an additional bit of focus. At times, your answers contradict each other slightly. At other times, your answers are a bit “intellectual” and I need to see that you’re directly experienced what you’re writing.

I find the best way is to write an answer down and then critique it from every angle. Are the words what I believe, or what I’ve experienced? If it’s a belief, its not based on experience. Look deeper. Rewrite, re-critique. Eventually you will craft an answer that is as true as your direct looking can create. OK? To get Truth, we have to first dismantle all of the thought and belief-generated untruths that we’ve accumulated over many, many years. This takes courage.

Looking forward to your next post!

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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Kiwi
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby Kiwi » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:35 am

Hi Shoonya

Are you still there?

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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shoonya
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby shoonya » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:54 am

Hi Mark, extremely sorry for this delayed reply. Can we continue now?
If you are your body, where does the “I” live in the body? In the heart, spleen, colon, the left arm or big toe? Have a close look and see if you can discover the location of the “I” If you locate it somewhere does that make it real, or a belief and illusionary? If you lost 25% of your body mass (say an arm or leg), would your sense of “I”-ness be diminished by 25%? If you need glasses to support your eyes, or take medicine to correct a body imbalance, does that indicate that you have a weak “I”? A person with an artificial organ must have a very depleted “I-ness”. True? So, is your statement that “I am this body? a belief and an illusion, or real?
Ok I am stuck here. Why is it necessary to locate "I" in the body ? The whole body is "I". If I am understanding correct, are you saying to locate the sense (thought) of I ? to locate where the thought of I is raising from ? I am gonna be honest here, if you are trying to say that body is not "I"' then I am not experiencing it. How do I dive deep to realize it ?

Still, to answer you questions the sense of I does not deplete with loss of body mass. It will be there as it is.
Agree that thoughts can’t think.
Can you really generate a thought? What part of “you” is responsible for thought-generation? What part of you commands the “thought generator” to create a thought? Look - do you create your own thoughts
Can you ever control your thoughts? What part of yourself could control thoughts – your big toe, brain, heart?
Generation of thought....looking closely it comes from memory. For e.g if I have to "generate" a thought about a big mansion then everything which pops up would be from books, pictures, movies, past visits etc. As such I won't be able to generate a "original thought". It will be borrowed. Right?

Nope, I can't control thoughts. But by practice one can reduce the occurrence (e.g., negative thoughts). This is from experience :)
I find the best way is to write an answer down and then critique it from every angle. Are the words what I believe, or what I’ve experienced? If it’s a belief, its not based on experience. Look deeper. Rewrite, re-critique. Eventually you will craft an answer that is as true as your direct looking can create. OK? To get Truth, we have to first dismantle all of the thought and belief-generated untruths that we’ve accumulated over many, many years. This takes courage.
Can we go with only one and simple question? and build questions as we go? As of now, I feel there are too many questions to answer :)

Thank You
Shoonya

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Kiwi
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby Kiwi » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:16 am

Hi Shoonya

Thanks for the reply.
In my first post, I wrote this:
This inquiry will reveal to you the Truth of who you are ...
and central to that is investigating what the word “I” refers to. We use the word “I” so many times each day that we believe that the “I” is real. In my second post I suggested that for something to be real, we had to directly experience it with our senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell or taste) and you clearly understood that point.

When you use the word “I” in the words you write, is that word referring to something that is real or something that is an illusion?

Mike
"...there's a system that searches for the Truth, and it's a process of challenging everything." - Richard Rose

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shoonya
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Re: Anyone ready to start?

Postby shoonya » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:40 am

Hi Mike.
When you use the word “I” in the words you write, is that word referring to something that is real or something that is an illusion?
...."I" refers to the mental image of mine. The mental image (collection of thoughts ..I like this, I hate this etc.) can't be touched, smelled or tasted. But it can be felt. Then it must be real . For e.g., I feel happy to be with people whom I like. Therefore "I" is real.


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