I am therefore I think.

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:28 pm

Hi Tim,

Hope you are well.

I'm back. Funeral is all done and dusted and things are back to normal(ish).

I've been skimming through Ilona's book again and am feeling more positive that I just need a good push to get through the gate as it were. A few stand-out quotes that grabbed me:

• It's thoughts all the way down...
• Thoughts can't think
• Who is the narrator speaking to?
• what is the container of memories.

Those got me thinking and I could almost feel a eureka moment just out of reach...so....close....arrghh.....

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gondwana
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby gondwana » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:06 pm

Sorry for the delay! Was not checking messages for a while and didn't see the new post.

I hope everything is feeling ok at the moment. I'm very glad you are ready to continue! We should be close indeed :)

To pick up those points:
• Thoughts can't think
Sit quietly. Watch a thought come and go.
Can a thought DO anything? Can it think?
Simply LOOK and see! Do not ponder (i.e. think about it)
• Who is the narrator speaking to?
Again, sit quietly, and LOOK and see.
Who is the narrator talking to?
Are there TWO of you in there, hmm???
• what is the container of memories.
What are memories, other than thoughts about the past?
Where do thoughts occur/come-and-go? In which container?
LOOK!
Does that "container" have any personality or identity, if you turn thought off?
• It's thoughts all the way down...
Thoughts get us nowhere, because they can never provide real actual experience.

The experience of seeing "no self" is an actual experience - a direct experience - real direct experience. Like seeing, hearing, touch sensation etc. None of those things can be found within thought. The experience of "no self" can never be found within thought because it is a direct experience.

This is why we drop or ignore all thought has to say about the matter. Just look for the direct experience where I point!
It could not be simpler :D

...

The above are ALL experiments to try. Direct experiential moments are everything. This cannot ever be pondered successfully...
GO LOOK!
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:03 pm

Can a thought DO anything? Can it think?
No, they just appear and then vanish. Sometimes things happen as a result of the thought, but the thought itself does nothing.
A lot of my thoughts are just images, with no words/description.


Who is the narrator talking to?
The narrator seems to be just a stream of thoughts responding to stimuli. It's involuntary and isn't so much having a 'conversation' as just labelling things/sensations. Sometimes it is telling a story about feelings or about other thoughts or memories. I don't see the narrator as an entity but it feels vaguely like I'm 'listening' to it.

Where do thoughts occur/come-and-go? In which container?
They are just 'here'. They don't reside anywhere. There is no container. There is an 'awareness' in which perception of thought is happening. In which perception of everything is happening actually. I wouldn't call that a container though as there's a subtle implication that a container has an outside, whereas 'awareness' has no boundaries, it just is.
Does that "container" have any personality or identity, if you turn thought off?
Hmmm... interesting. I have a 'personality' defined by the way I react to stuff and my emotional state.. and I don't think thoughts are needed for that; it's a learned response. The 'awareness' in which thoughts are being perceived has no personality though as it is un-definable. (se above).
This is why we drop or ignore all thought has to say about the matter. Just look for the direct experience where I point!
It could not be simpler :D
Well, that's easy for you to say! I keep looking... as I said before, I totally have got this intellectually, but the direct experience is proving to be frustratingly elusive...

Many thanks!

onwards....

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gondwana
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby gondwana » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:07 am

No, they just appear and then vanish. Sometimes things happen as a result of the thought
How do things happen, exactly?
Is there any sense of agency?
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:45 am

How do things happen, exactly?
Well, for example, A thought arises that says "I'd better check my emails", so I check my emails... or, "I wonder if it's raining still?", so I look out of the window.
There seems to be a definite cause & effect thing going on. I will think about things or about doing something, then I'll do it.
Is there any sense of agency?
I guess if I drill down far enough then the thoughts seem to be arising in response to either sensing things (see something/hear something/feel something etc.) or to other thoughts. There's no evidence of a 'person' making the thoughts happen, they just do, but usually in response to something.

As an example, I'm typing this reply purely because I received an email saying you had posted a reply in the forum and I thought I'd see what it was, so the process of browsing/navigating/reading happened. It didn't just happen automatically though. I made a definite decision to finish part of a job before looking, so I'd have a bit more time. So abstract thinking was involved after the initial trigger.

To me that indicates that things are happening because of thoughts that happened because of things happening :-)

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:18 pm

A little update to the above...

I realised there's way too much thinking going on. So for the past few days I've just been 'watching'... To see what comes up before I try and think about it. (probably watching is the wrong word... being present may be better)

Anyhoo, I realisation struck me while out the other day, just briefly:

There's not an awareness of stuff. There's just awareness. Nothing else.

For a few minutes there was only awareness being aware. There was no concept of things to be aware of, be they objects or feelings etc.. Hard to explain but I think you understand. There wasn't really even 'awareness' as a concept. it was very cool.

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:50 pm

It's gone very quiet in here......

So I wrote this down yesterday:
"There's no 'outside' of experiencing, just experiencing happening. There isn't a separate entity in here 'doing' experiencing. You can't 'step back' from awareness to see who's being aware"

So I can see that very obviously there's no 'person' here watching what's going on, it all happens much too fast for that. What is known is known immediately, without thoughts appearing to process it. The idea of a me in here seems ridiculous. There is a body, there are sensations and thoughts pop up, but they don't belong to anyone. They have already happened before anyone can take possession of them.

It's nice to sit and watch 'what is happening'. Although it's not a big wow thing. More of a damp squib than a big bang. Probably because it's taken so long for me to see this.

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:40 pm

Hey Tim,

I hope you're OK? What with the extreme temperatures and bush fires going on down there?

Just checkin' in!

Cheers
R

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:53 pm

I’m worried I’ve been put on the ‘back-burner’ for not progressing fast enough. I do feel closer than ever before but just can’t shake that niggle that it’s all revolving around me. NB not ‘a me’ just a separate being.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Jadzia
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby Jadzia » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:49 am

Hi,

it seems that Gondwana didn't see your post and right now isn't guiding.
If you like, we two can clear the last cobwebs together if there still are any.

How is your life right now? What did change from the time of starting here, if any?

Love,
Jadzia

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:56 pm

If you like, we two can clear the last cobwebs together if there still are any.
Yes please, that would be great. Tim seems to be taking a break. I just hope he's OK.
How is your life right now? What did change from the time of starting here, if any?
There is certainly some good progress since the very start and my life is somewhat 'calmer' now in that I can avoid too much frustration with events/thoughts by applying techniques I have learned here. For example asking 'where is this thought coming from', 'who is getting frustrated' etc and of course finding no answer.

The thing is; I do feel very close to a breakthrough. The last hurdle for me is the thing about 'seeing' that nobody is home as opposed to intellectually 'getting it'. I am a person who thinks a lot and it's difficult for me to switch it off. So every time I try to do one of the exercises I get a mental stream of thoughts narrating whatever is happening and this is very frustrating. I understand that these thoughts are not Direct Experience, but that doesn't stop them popping up.

I don't know if there is some expectation of a change here. I guess to some extent there is based on the descriptions of just about everyone who has succeeded in getting through. I'd like to think that there would be an end to the background noise of frustrating thoughts of ego/guilt/failure. More of a peaceful outlook and an acceptance of how things are. That kind of thing.

I am not expecting some great revelation or peak experience. I know that can't happen as it assumes there is someone here to experience it! I just can't seem to break the connection with the idea of an owner of my thoughts/feelings etc. When I look in the mirror I know I am seeing myself.... Frustration kicks in again.

Sorry for the ramble but I felt I should get it off my chest as we haven't spoken before.

Many thanks for your help,
Roger.

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Jadzia
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby Jadzia » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:44 am

Sorry, I didn't get a notification.
For example asking 'where is this thought coming from', 'who is getting frustrated' etc and of course finding no answer.
As you found these are valid questions, but they sometimes aren't enough.
I understand that these thoughts are not Direct Experience, but that doesn't stop them popping up.
Ok, lets have a look.
The term “Direct Experience” (DE) is used to refer to experience ‘right now,’ without the thought stories. So, direct experience (DE) is image/colour, sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought, at face value, like noticing it: Hey, here is a thought. What thought says ie, the content of thought is NOT experience. This is evidenced by the fact that you cannot taste the word 'sweet'. So, when looking at direct experience (DE), you are looking at raw experience WITHOUT what thought says ABOUT the raw experience.
So thoughts are DE, their content isn't - this is an important differentiation.

The other thing is:
Do you expect thoughts to stop, to disappear, to vanish?
They won't. There isn't actually a need for them to do so. There is nothing wrong with thoughts.

So where is the problem then?
Taking their content for face value.
I'd like to think that there would be an end to the background noise of frustrating thoughts of ego/guilt/failure.
Nope, not for quite some time.
What you refer to is the story of Roger, told by thoughts.
What is the difference between the story of Roger and the story of Goldilocks, or Obi Ben Kanobi?

Mull all this over and share what you find.

Love,
Jadzia

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:52 pm

Hi Jadzia,
Sorry, I didn't get a notification.
I wonder if this is why Tim didn't respond for large time gaps? Because he didn't receive notifications...
So thoughts are DE, their content isn't - this is an important differentiation.
This is interesting and not something I'd thought about (by that I mean 'cogitated' about:-)).
I can't seem to see a difference between a thought as a labelled thing and its content. For me the content and the thought are the same thing. There is just an internal monologue, not really an awareness of it. It's just 'there'. To say there's an awareness of thoughts would imply someone here to be aware of them outside of the thought, which there isn't. Words are appearing, that's it.
I guess this is the point. There's nothing other than the appearance of stuff and nothing/nobody prior to that to actually become aware of it... Ha! 'I' am not aware of thoughts/feelings/sights/sounds etc etc... They are all there is!
Crikey! It's so obvious! I think we have a breakthrough!
Do you expect thoughts to stop, to disappear, to vanish?
They won't. There isn't actually a need for them to do so. There is nothing wrong with thoughts.
Nope, I don't expect them to stop, just to loose their 'potency' a little perhaps. Actually, who cares... they come, they go..Whoosh!
What you refer to is the story of Roger, told by thoughts.
Oh yeah! It's not even that good a story! I think Stephen King needs to get involved!! :-)

Thanks Jadzia, This has really helped! I will run with it for a few days and see what occurs.

R

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Jadzia
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby Jadzia » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:45 pm

I wonder if this is why Tim didn't respond for large time gaps? Because he didn't receive notifications...
Probably, this site has its glitches and then we guide, we take breaks...
This is interesting and not something I'd thought about (by that I mean 'cogitated' about:-)).
I can't seem to see a difference between a thought as a labelled thing and its content.
This differentiations are there and not there. They point the light to something and that is good. The content of thought being empty helps to see that story hasn't the meaningfulness it seems to have....
Nope, I don't expect them to stop, just to loose their 'potency' a little perhaps. Actually, who cares... they come, they go..Whoosh!
They come and they go and yes, they stick less.
Can you say for sure that you/self aren't the thinker of thoughts?
Oh yeah! It's not even that good a story! I think Stephen King needs to get involved!! :-)
Woot? King? You like a story to have high risk, yes???? lol
Is there good and bad?

Sounds good what you wrote, you are getting there.
Share whatever you find.

Love
Jadzia

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rojharris
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Re: I am therefore I think.

Postby rojharris » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:16 pm

Hi Jadzia,
Can you say for sure that you/self aren't the thinker of thoughts?
Yes, it's clear there is no thinker of thoughts. If there were, they'd be having thoughts too and thoughts don't think. It's hard to explain but I can't find anything/anyone prior to the thought that could be 'having' it. Thoughts appear, sounds appear, sights appear etc. There's nobody 'doing' this stuff. The idea that there is a person 'having' these sensations is just another thought/concept overlaid after the fact. It's not real. As you say, it's just a story.
Is there good and bad?
The King comment was a joke of course. I have no desire for high risk! Nope, there is no good and bad. These are just more concepts made up by thought to label other concepts... This is not to say that certain actions shouldn't be avoided, just that the idea of right or wrong is purely conceptual.

In fact if I try and drill down through all the concepts after concepts to find what's real, there's nothing... No 'me', no 'awareness', no 'consciousness' no nothing. Just an indescribable happening of er... 'life' I guess. It's very cool (concept).. It amazes me that people take it all so seriously!

Cheers,
Roger


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