direct experience over intellectual understanding

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:15 am

Hi Kelly,

Thank you for your honesty. The thing is that I’ve done everything I could to help you, but this is something you have to do, I cannot do it for you. So what I suggest now will test your commitment :) I suggest you to go back to the beginning of the thread, and read through ALL my previous replies to you. You can ignore yours. And not just read them, but look again with every single questions. This won’t be a small endeavour, since we are on page 20. But you might find some treasures there.

Let me know if you are willing to do this.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:23 am

Hi Vivien,

I’m so sorry to be dragging you on so long! I can’t even express how much I appreciate all your guidance and pointing. I have such a fear of you saying this- that there’s nothing more that can be done... but I know I have to ultimately see this on my own.

I’ve actually went back multiple times and tried to start reading through our posts but I burnt out because I kept getting really frustrated and annoyed with reading my responses- so that’s a good point to just read yours. It will definitely take a while, as it’s really busy now with the holidays, but I definitely want to do it. I will be in touch soon, maybe with questions... hopefully with a greater degree of seeing...

Thank you and wishing you a beautiful holiday!!!

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:47 am

Hi Kelly,
I will be in touch soon, maybe with questions... hopefully with a greater degree of seeing...
Let me know if something comes up.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:08 pm

Hi Vivien,

It took quite a while but I read through and sat with all of your past replies. It reignited my driving passion to see this, as I could glimpse the truth in a lot of your comments, but as I got deeper into the conversation I started to feel the same muddledness and confusion that I’ve been feeling. It’s almost as if I don’t know exactly what to look at because we’ve looked at this from so many angles, so I don’t know what aspect to stay focused on.

While I was reading through the pages I made a list of the comments and points that stood to me the most. One of the central points is that I struggle to see the difference between the container of thoughts as phenomenon and the content of thoughts as imagination. I keep trying to look at this over and over again but whenever I consider whether a thought is pointing to direct experience or whether it’s a thought about thoughts, I then feel totally lost in the thought game again- pondering how it all is. The majority of time the thought stories are all that is known and I can’t seen to force the looking to happen as often as I need to be doing it.

At one point you had said, “All clarity came when I was checking if thoughts are in line with experience”. But how do you really check? Because all checking happens after the thoughts are had- it’s a reflection.

And with the section where we brought up the question like whether a ghost is real. If I see and hear a ghost- wouldn’t that be it’s reality? Or maybe there’s questioning of whether it could be real if I’m not sure that I saw and heard it or imagined it. I’m just trying to say that it’s feels like such an incredibly fine line between thought and direct experience sometimes. The mistaking of thoughts for reality is so incredibly automated and almost constant- but to see under it or through them just feels so so difficult unless i reflect and think about things- which is just more thought story. If I just try to look at current sensations, sounds, etc, then the whole “point” of what I’m trying to find or look at just dissolves. So it always feels like two extremes- questioning the self and running around in thought speculation or experience just happening and having absolutely no concern or remembrance for what we’re doing here.

I want to see this so so badly. Is there one single way that I can try to stay hyper focused? To either question thoughts, ignore thoughts and stay with directed experience, or look for the self. They all feel like different avenues.

Thank you Vivien, I am so appreciative.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:04 am

Hi Kelly,

You finished too quickly. I expected at least a month or two to go through every question thoroughly. So I’m not sure how deep you looked.
At one point you had said, “All clarity came when I was checking if thoughts are in line with experience”. But how do you really check? Because all checking happens after the thoughts are had- it’s a reflection.
You are making things much more complicated then how they are.

Of course you have to use thoughts to compare what has been seen in experience and thought beliefs. That’s not a problem.
But what we are checking what is ACTUALLY THERE in EXPERIENCE when ALL THOUGHTS are IGNORED.
To see WHAT IS LEFT when all thoughts are completely ignored.
If I see and hear a ghost- wouldn’t that be it’s reality?
But HOW do you know that what you see and hear is a ghost and not an imagination? HOW?

If a schizophrenic heard or saw something, would that be real?

If a person hallucinated that the devil was walking next to him and he was having a conversation with the devil, would that be actually true?

The person with schizophrenia would believe so, but would the content of hallucination (conversation with the devil) be actually happening?

Or all that would be happening just a hallucination?


You know, the line of what is hallucination and what is imagination is quite thin. Actually, the self is a hallucination as some scientists point it out.

Probably the major difference between hallucination and imagination is that if I imagine a conversation with the devil, then I KNOW that it’s an imagination only and not a reality. But if I hallucinate a conversation, then I’m utterly convinced that it’s happening, that the devil is real, we have a real, actual conversation.

It’s the same with the self. When the self is not seen through, there is a belief that it’s real, it’s actually there. What we do here is to wake up from this hallucination of believing in the existence of a self/me to see that all there is just an imagination. The imagination won’t stop, but it will be known to be what it is. Just a fiction. And not a real thing as with hallucination believed to be.

I’m just trying to say that it’s feels like such an incredibly fine line between thought and direct experience sometimes.
No, the line between thought and experience is very clear. It seems to be a fine line if the focus is on the thought and not experience.
I want to see this so so badly. Is there one single way that I can try to stay hyper focused? To either question thoughts, ignore thoughts and stay with directed experience, or look for the self. They all feel like different avenues.
First, really ponder (yes, this time you can ponder intellectually :) about what I wrote above about the difference between imagination and hallucination.

Then, any of the pointers I gave you before could lead to seeing through the illusion. Any of them. I cannot give you anything new. I could just repeat myself.

But if you want to stick to just one (which is a good idea btw) then every time when it feels like that I am thinking, I am deciding, I am feeling this or that, I am doing this or that, STOP, and look for the ONE that is thinking, deciding, choosing, feeling, doing. That’s all. That’s simple. Do this as many time as possible during the day.

When you dress up in morning, look for the one who is choosing which clothing to take on. Look for the one that is moving the arms. Look for the one that is washing its teeth. Look when washing your hands, when you go up a staircase, when you do dishes, when you decide to turn left or write, when you decide what to eat, etc.

Look in your everyday life, that’s the key.
I’ve given you hundreds of pointers.
You wouldn’t benefit from more.
It’s not about getting the right pointer, it’s about looking.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:52 pm

Hi Vivien,
K: If I see and hear a ghost- wouldn’t that be it’s reality?
V: But HOW do you know that what you see and hear is a ghost and not an imagination? HOW?
That’s the thing, if I literally saw an image and heard a sound than it would be real to me. Thoughts might try to say otherwise based on a non-belief in ghosts but that wouldn’t negate the experience.
If a schizophrenic heard or saw something, would that be real?
To them it would be very real!
If a person hallucinated that the devil was walking next to him and he was having a conversation with the devil, would that be actually true?

The person with schizophrenia would believe so, but would the content of hallucination (conversation with the devil) be actually happening?

Or all that would be happening just a hallucination?
But who is there to deem what is considered real or a hallucination? There is no way to force a schizophrenic to see that his experiences are hallucinations. I could try to convince him that they’re just “made up”, but that would just be a change in belief.

This feels similar to the search to see that the self is an illusion. I look and look and constantly see that there is no “doer” behind all experience, but this doesn’t shift the “self” that Kelly is in the world. There’s still the appearance of making decisions and reacting to situations and having emotions- the appearance of being the doer, thinker, feeler, etc. So like when a situation arises where I have to make an important decision, I clearly see that there is no “decision maker” at the root of it, but thoughts appear that weigh the options and brood over it, display frustration, etc. So even though the root of the self isn’t there, the self goes on like it always does. So I just don’t see anything that can change as a result! I think I do see it, it’s just that nothing has changed so I’m still waiting for some kind of revelation. But it simply just is how it is.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:06 am

Hi Kelly,

You’ve just made an intellectual argument on your beliefs explaining why this is not possible. That’s all right if you believe that. But then you are making your situation very hard. Honestly, there isn’t anything else I could say.

Either you put aside all your intellectual beliefs and actually LOOK, or this is it.
I did everything I could to help you, from now on, it’s utterly up to you.

I’ve given you all the tools, now it’s up to you to accept the tools and questions all your beliefs, including how you responded to the hallucination example.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:23 am

Hi Vivien,

You had said to consider the hallucination/imagination topic intellectually so that’s what I did. Apart from that, I was trying to say that I see no-self, it’s just not an astounding discovery because it’s always been that way and nothing has changed. Does there have to be an extravagant realization to accompany it? I look as much as I possibly can into all facets of my day to day life and continually just find experience and no behind the scenes doer or thinker or feeler. I’ve tried my hardest to put aside intellectual beliefs- I’ve dropped so so many and I just don’t know what more there is to do. I can’t see how to think differently about this or how to look “deeper”. I’ve been fearful all along to lose your assistance but perhaps this is it for me. I see what you’ve been pointing to in so many ways, it just never came with any fireworks. It just is what it is. If that’s not “seeing” then I’m not sure what else to do or say. Thank you so so much for all your help these last few months. I am so incredibly appreciative for the time you dedicated.

All the best to you,
Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:58 pm

Hi Vivien,

I hope you will still see this post! Once I wrote you that last message, it kind of “let me off the hook” of being a student, or having to prove something to you or “myself”. All along I’ve kind of known that was what was holding me back from seeing things simply, as I was trying so desperately to get it and know it. So after I wrote that last note to you, I kind of let things go. And then yesterday, I was putting my son down to nap and laying in bed with him. Thoughts keep appearing at lightening speed about how I had to get up because I had so much to do and how lazy and irresponsible I was being. But I continued to lay there because I was tired. There was just a total disconnect between thought content and direct experience. Thoughts of incredible guilt were appearing but then also the thought of- who is there to feel guilty? There was no one to be affected by the thoughts and to be “made to feel guilty”, there were just the thoughts talking about feeling guilty. Once they were gone, what was there to hold on to? Who was there to hold onto these feelings? Nothing and no one! Just a continuation of the flow of experience - images, sensations, sounds, appearance of thoughts, etc.

So again, no fireworks, but a just a bit more ease now. Thoughts have been appearing saying “I’m getting it!”, but now I see those are just empty and fleeting too. All these references to the self are made in thought and there’s no substance to it whatsoever. No matter what the story is, all that EVER appears are sensations, images, smells, tastes, sounds and thoughts. “Things” like emotions, or any verb about doing anything are all just conceptual. Even to say there is the appearance of sights or sounds is not really right because it slyly implies a process of appearing- which doesn’t happen in experience! What is, is what is. Ah, it really is so simple in essence!

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:40 am

Hi Kelly,
So again, no fireworks, but a just a bit more ease now. Thoughts have been appearing saying “I’m getting it!”, but now I see those are just empty and fleeting too. All these references to the self are made in thought and there’s no substance to it whatsoever. No matter what the story is, all that EVER appears are sensations, images, smells, tastes, sounds and thoughts. “Things” like emotions, or any verb about doing anything are all just conceptual. Even to say there is the appearance of sights or sounds is not really right because it slyly implies a process of appearing- which doesn’t happen in experience! What is, is what is. Ah, it really is so simple in essence!
Yes, it’s very simple :) you did an excellent looking. I suggest to wait a few days to see what happens. Try to look again and again as often as possible.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:34 pm

Hi Vivien,

I’m so excited to write to you... there’s suddenly so much to say!! The looking and seeing is happening SO much for often now. A thought will arise like, “I’m feeling so sad about that”, and then another thought arises like, “wait, look, there’s nothing behind that. Feeling sad was a thought and now it’s nowhere to be found in experience. Maybe there’s some felt heaviness but that’s just a sensation”... and then the whole flow just moves right along! It’s like the Taoist saying how the Way is like a bird flying in the sense that it leaves no footprints or tracks behind it... I’m really starting to see that!! And yet there’s no “me” to see it, just thoughts appearing that have this altered perspective. It’s so beautiful but in the most absolutely mundane “non-spiritual”, meaningless way! It’s the meaninglessness of it all that feels so freeing- there’s no one to ‘make it all into something’, there’s just the simplicity of what is. Not moment to moment or living in the now or any of that, just this isness. Ahh!

There’s no real way to even grasp how this slight shift happened- I can now see how caught up I was in the thought content. But the thing is that there was no one caught up in the thought content, there were just a whole lot of thoughts about being lost in emotions, etc, and now instead for the most part, there are other thoughts that appear right after the “lost in emotion” thoughts that can “see through” the illusion of that. But that too is just part of the flow, so ultimately nothing has changed, it’s so strange to try to grasp!

Even the beauty in nature is so much more obvious now. There used to be so many thoughts that would talk about trying to grasp the vastness of the ocean, or of space, as if I wanted a piece of the expansiveness for myself, or to understand it in some way. And now that’s so totally irrelevant! There’s nothing more to it’s beauty than the image, sounds, smells, etc. Theres seeing how it’s always been so blatantly obvious but so hidden under that heavy veil of thought concepts.

Vivien, “I” could go on and on! Plus my gratitude for you has been overflowing, I could cry. I’ve been realizing how soooooooo much spiritual teaching is so heavily clad with concepts- it’s like trying to be the finger pointing to the moon while wearing incredibly distracting flashy sparkly jewelry lol. But now I see how your pointing has been the clearest pointing I’ve ever come across. Stripping away the alluring flowery concepts and getting as close to direct experience as you possibly can with language. There are no words for my love and appreciation for you! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Looking will continue now! It’s like a lifestyle perspective change and I see how the more looking happens, the “deeper” this becomes. I can’t say everything is crystal clear, but there is absolutely no denying the lack of a self-entity in experience. The individual of Kelly continues on with her same preferences and ways of being but more and more there’s seeing that she’s just an integral part of the whole flow, like weather patterns :)

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:05 am

Hi Kelly,
And yet there’s no “me” to see it, just thoughts appearing that have this altered perspective. It’s so beautiful but in the most absolutely mundane “non-spiritual”, meaningless way! It’s the meaninglessness of it all that feels so freeing- there’s no one to ‘make it all into something’, there’s just the simplicity of what is. Not moment to moment or living in the now or any of that, just this isness. Ahh!
Beautiful :)
There’s no real way to even grasp how this slight shift happened- I can now see how caught up I was in the thought content.
So can you say with 100% certainty that there has been a shift from intellectual understanding to an experiential one?
Vivien, “I” could go on and on! Plus my gratitude for you has been overflowing, I could cry.
You are most welcome dear Kelly :)

How does it FEEL to see that the self is imaginary?

Is seeking still going on?

Is there any doubt? Or can you say with a big fat YES that it’s clear the I, as a separate self is an illusion?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:05 pm

Hi Vivien,
So can you say with 100% certainty that there has been a shift from intellectual understanding to an experiential one?
So the interesting thing is that thoughts are still “playing their game” and stating other ways to look at things- I think a big reason is because I’m exposed to a lot of consciousness-oriented/spiritual philosophies on that day to day since I work for people in that field. But there are a lot more occurrences of “looking” once those thoughts appear, to see that they are speculation and not direct experience. So, as you’ve said all along, there’s still lots of getting lost in the story but once looking happens it’s immediately seen. There’s just some worry that the thought to look won’t appear again, so I feel like I need to continue to continue to be “focused” on this in order for it to strengthen and deepen more- it’s almost like the looking needs to become a conditioned de-conditioning! There’s also a really strong desire here to want to help others like you’ve helped me, but I want to feel really grounded in this first, if that makes sense.
How does it FEEL to see that the self is imaginary?
Well it’s not a state so it’s not this overarching feeling, but when feelings do arise, there’s much more fluidity and a lightness to them because it’s seen that no one is there to own them or hold onto them. And no more trying to link “stored” emotions to the body, which is quite a relief! The pains that thoughts claim as chronic have lost the fuel of the story, so a pain is just pain, or really just simply sensation.
Is seeking still going on?
There are still thoughts arising that are “trying to see things from different angles” but there has been a much more rapid response of seeing that is all in the realm of the created thought world, so to say. There is a deep knowing now that any desire to understand experience in any other way is just another game, amongst so many. So it’s definitely not seeking anymore, just more of an openness, and a desire to share this. But also not a feeling like “I’ve arrived” or anything since there is no one to have done so!
Is there any doubt? Or can you say with a big fat YES that it’s clear the I, as a separate self is an illusion?
It’s 100% clear that the “I” as a separate entity does not exist. But even though it’s an illusion it’s still constantly appearing, and its how we relate to each other and to the world on a conventional level. But at the same time it’s seen that it’s all one big movement.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:57 am

Hi Kelly,
There’s just some worry that the thought to look won’t appear again, so I feel like I need to continue to continue to be “focused” on this
So do you believe that a thought is needed in order to look?
That looking is requiring a thought to happen?
That looking cannot happen without a thought saying “let’s look”?


Could you please describe the exact moment when the shift happened from intellectual understanding to a deep experiential one?

And how did the shift itself felt?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:21 am

Hi Vivien,

After I had written to you this morning, there was this strange gradual feeling of slipping more and more as the day went on. As if I had to “hold on” to the insight in some way- there was so much fear of losing sight of it. And then tonight I was struggling to see things clearly and it was so frightening. It was clearly a case of thoughts running rampant and the “I” trying to claim this as something to know and own. The knowing that these were all just thoughts appearing wasn’t very present whatsoever in the last few hours so there’s been so much identification with this story of losing sight of things. I feel so stupid for claiming these insights and then feeling like it’s sand slipping through my fingers. Things were just SO clear and obvious these last few days! I guess that’s why you said to wait a while and see what happens. But it didn’t feel like a state or an intellectual knowing, there was just so much more automatic looking, and today there’s been such a struggle to look. Let me relate it to your questions below...
So do you believe that a thought is needed in order to look?
That looking is requiring a thought to happen?
That looking cannot happen without a thought saying “let’s look”?
Yes, looking and seeing happens when a thought arises saying “look and see what is actually happening in direct experience”. If the thought doesn’t arise than theres experience and the heavy veil of identification with the thought story going on and on.
Could you please describe the exact moment when the shift happened from intellectual understanding to a deep experiential one?
The moment I had described to you of when I was laying in my sons bed putting him down to nap and thoughts were yelling about feeling guilty for being lazy, and then my body just continuing to lay there- that was a moment of seeing the major disconnect from thoughts and sensations, and there not being a me to embody a feeling of guilt.
And how did the shift itself felt?
There was just a bit more lightness and less stickiness of emotions and reactions but it was a gradual movement from that point, like a moving more into a much greater amount of experiential seeing of what is. But then I think thoughts started to encroach, trying to make it into something. It had seemed like I could never again lose sight of this but then today there was so much fear, and a gradual losing sight. I’m sorry for jumping the gun Viven, I had felt so sure there was clear seeing of this...

Kelly


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