Again sorry its taken a while to get back to you - I've been looking and working at it:)
But I have a belief that something can. When I look now its the body and the emotional state and the future that I believe can be threatened.
Emotional state can be threatened? Are you sure?
looking now - emotional state is a phrase - two words used to describe a state - like anger/happiness/regret/boredom/contentment for example. The state itself cant be threatened. It can change. I think my mistake is in thinking there is an I who can influence states (like fear or the lack of it).
What is the experience of ‘emotional state’? Is there such thing?
Just different emotions - that are associated with different sensations.
Or all there is are sensations + thoughts stories floating around ABOUT an imagined character called me?
yes looking now I can see that the states/emotions just change according to what is happening and to what beliefs are held.
I'll look again now:
right now there are sensations sounds thoughts emotions and what I can see. Thoughts yes about Mike, about a future that yes I can only see in thoughts and a past that is also only in thoughts. I can see this. There is the thought that I, Mike is making some effort to think and type. It is just there. Along with various other thoughts in the story of Mike about the future.
And how could be the future threatened?
Do you believe that there is such thing as future?
When I look - like right now I can find no future apart from the future in thoughts. It is always now. I have a memory of talking to my neighbour a few minutes ago. I could say this happened in the past but I don't really know what that means. Everyone else re-enforces the idea that there is a past and a future. I have memories/thoughts of things happening in the past, and that one thing seemed to follow another (for example I remember going to the supermarket, buying some food then eating it in that order).
But I can never find the past or future anywhere except in these thoughts.
So I can't find the future anywhere, but my everyday life seems to be run by time. I have to get to work for a certain time, if I realize my parking ticket is going to run out in a few minutes I rush back so I won't get a fine for running over my allotted time.
But right now no I can't see any future or past.
Look closely. There is no such thing as future. Future is totally a man-made artificial concept without any roots in reality.
Future is nothing else than a thought story happening NOW. Can you see this?
A thought came up - in a few minutes I have to go pick up my daughter from school. I am looking now for that future - I can picture it happening as a thought. But I also know that it is always now - or this. Its never anything but what is happening and thoughts (about a future and past). But yes the future and the past are never experienced (except as thoughts).
I can't see time. My mind cant understand it. If it is manmade why do we have to believe in it?
but yes there is still a belief that the body is mine
We often say ‘MY body’ – so what is it that owns the body?
as far as I can see the belief that the body belongs to a me comes from fear. Because here there is a belief in a separate I that somehow inhabits a physical body that is very vulnerable to harm. That belief in a separate I with a body that can be harmed makes the mind/thoughts focus in on possible threats to the body and how they can be prevented.
I can see this happening with me.
I look for the me that owns the body...
and find thoughts- the internal voice speaking as I write these words - this voice is not aware. There is a belief that the voice is me/mine but it cannot be me because when it stops I am still here. So the voice that is talking now can't own the body. Aside from that there are sensations around the area of my face and head. The sensations change with different emotions and thoughts - I can feel them take on different expressions. There is also a belief that they are somehow me.
But looking now I can see that these sensations are not aware (and surely I am aware?). There is no way that the sensations can own anything.
Aside from that I can't find anything that owns the body, but there is a belief that I am inside the body looking out and that the body is a bit like my house that needs to be protected.
The view from here is ( as far as I can tell) centered on this body - I mean right now I can see objects in the room around me. Looking down I can see my body - arms legs torso. I can't find a separate I here but what is sensed seems to eb received here.
And how do you know that the body is owned?
Why do I believe there is an I who owns this body? Because everything that is sensed is (as far as I can tell) received here and because I keep forgetting that actions the body takes are automatic. So for example I see myself rushing to get a parking space and believe I am making the effort and that if this effort is mien then the body must be as well.
I will look more at actions of the body...
What is it that claims ‘MY body’?
I can't find anything. Its just the internal voice, the sensations neither of which are aware or any kind of entity that could claim anything. But there feels like there is some me here still...
What is is that is trying? What is is that is fearful?
I don't know - the thoughts/beliefs which triggers fear just happen.
Right now if I look for who is trying: I am clenching my hand - trying to do it as hard as I can. I can feel the tension. I can see the hand clenched. I am aware of thoughts that came up suggesting doing this. Now as I write this there are feelings of tension/contraction coming and going and more thoughts. Who is doing this trying? Yes at this moment I can see thoughts about trying coming up (to see what I want to see), and muscular tension happening on and off. Thoughts saying I am doing this well or not well. Thoughts saying I am getting somewhere or not.
I can't find who is trying. Actually now the more I look at what I believe is me - sensations/expressions in the face , the internal voice the more the idea weakens.
What is it that is fearful - I think this is a really useful question. There is still fear that Mike/I won't be able to look after his daughter for example or not care for her or that his life will fall into chaos if he/I see that there is no separate I in control. And a fear of disappearing still.
But lookign now to see who has these fears...
There is the body that can be seen - hands typing, arms, torso - none of these are fearful - they are not aware. There are sensations - in the body - legs, abdomen shoulders - they are not aware of anything - they cannot be afraid of anything.
Then there are sensations in the head and face. They tighten and losen and change with different emotions but are not afraid - how can a physical sensation be afraid.
Then there are thoughts and emotions.
First the emotions themselves - fear. I am not sure exactly what it is. There is a thought about something bad happening - an image or mental movie then fear comes. As far as I can tell it starts as a thought then becomes physical.
But I can't find who is fearful.
You have clothes, right? But what is owning them?
I usually say I own this shirt or those trousers.
What is that makes the clothes “mine”?
I went tot he shop and bought them and wear them so I say they are mine and other people treat them as mine.
What is that claims the clothes to be “MY clothes”?
the thought comes up these are my clothes. I can't find the I who says it. Its just a thought that comes up because of the belief in a separate me, Mike acting independently and possessing or being in a body that needs protection - and needs clothes.
I can see fear linked to this because of the belief in the separate Mike.
Does the seeming ‘voice in the head’, the commentator, owns the clothes?
No for sure not - it/he doesn't own clothes and is not aware. I realize that when Iook but then who is realizing that there the internal voice is not aware?
Do thoughts own the clothes?
no impossibe - they are not aware of anything. They are not entities that could own anything.
Does the thought ‘mine’ owns the clothes?
no same reason.
Does word/thought Mike owns the clothes?
No the thought Mike does not own clothes.
and how do you know that the body is owned?
when i look at the body(or maybe i should say when the body is looked at) a feelign /thought comes up this is mine. looking now at my/the hand the palm looks smooth, the skin strong - a good feeling comes up (but there is fear below it that it may will not stay healthy.)
Turning the hand over and looking at the other side I notice (it is noticed?) that right now the back of the hand looks relatively unblemished but a memory comes up of it looking older (the day before/at some earlier time in memory). And a memory of the different emotions seeing that triggered (worry re aging etc).
Do the emotion thoughts arise because there is a belief that the hand belongs to a separate Mike who lives in and is part of this body?
It comes back to the belief of a me in the body controlling it and needing it to survive.
still looking at this...
Please make sure that you don’t think about the answers.
Thinking is in a way of SEEING how things actually are.
Just NOTICE what is here that is owning the body.
ok doing this and will continue now - noticing what is here owning the body...
emotional states there is a strong desire to avoid certain emotions
What does emotions happen TO?
I don't know. I seem to still be convinced that I am in the body and of the body and that the emotions happen to me in the body despite the fact that I can't find any separate sentient me or have any idea what it/I would look like. And how could I see me. Looking now I can feel sensations of tightness in the jaw and temples and sense/see this belief/fear that I have to hold on.
Is there a REAL Mike who FEELS emotions?
if I say that that reality (as far as i know) what can be sensed and that thought is imagination. Then all that can be sensed is the body and what is happening now around me. Thoughts and emotions are here but none of them add up to a real/separate Mike. I have no idea what a real separate Mike would be.
Or there are only emotions floating around without being anchored to anyone, without happening to anything or anyone?
there are sensations labelled as me and a belief in a separate me existing somewhere
But what is your proof for this separate self existing somewhere?
Have you EVER encountered a separate self? EVER?
reading this now I realize I will never find any separate self. What on earth could it look like? I already know what I can see, hear, touch and what I think (in pictures/words) and what emotions I feel. Yes I know that there are layers adn layers of thoughts and beliefs which aren't always seen - but I cannot believe them some separate me will emerge from this. Also I can't understand how a separate me - I could look at a separate me.
What about whatever receives all of this - is that me/us/I? Not a separate me or anything but awareness of everything? (I know we looked at this before but just examining it again).
But that would mean that there would have to be a me of some kind looking at awareness?
I know awareness is just a word. How can it be something? There isn't anything there? Just a process of seeing?
Or you only ever THINK ABOUT a separate self?
Yes yes that is it. I only think about me, Mike - all the time in every thought and action. Protecting me, my body my family and my future.
I have never seen it.
How could I.
Just notice.. this separate self is just a ghost. It simply doesn’t exist!
Do you have problems to find your hands? No? If there were a separate self it would be the easiest thing in the world to find it.
The reason that you cannot find it is simply because it has NEVER existed.
A non-existent entity cannot be found. And it will never be found. Ever.
Just as no matter how much you think about the Tooth Fairy, no matter how much you imagine her, you will never ever be able to find her. Why? Because she has never existed. She is just a fictional character told to children. Just as the separate self is a fictional character told by adults.
ok thank you Vivien - this is sinking in. I know you have explained this many times - the more I truly look the better I see it.
Looking I don't see any past or any now. Its just what is sensed ad thoughts about an imagined past and future and ? an imagined now (because even saying now implies a past and a future ?)
Future and past are never ever sensed. Since ONLY sensations can be sensed / felt.
yes got it.
Future and past will only ever be THOUGHT OF.
All there is to the future and the past are the thought stories ABOUT them. Nothing else.
yes right now I can see that - whenever I look. But in day to day life I behave as if the future exists and plan for it etc or rush to start work on time. So in reality yes all i see is this - what can be sensed and thoughts coming up about future/past/me etc. but this mind/body whatever it is behaves as if time does exist in reality.
For example if a burgular broke into our house and threatened me with a gun and then maybe shot me I would think that was a bad situation - but of course this is all imagination. That is not happening. So in that sense I am scaring myslef again with thoughts...
Yes, you are scarring yourself with thoughts! It’s your doing.
I am NEVER upset for the reason I think.
I am upset because I see something that is not there.
And what is that is not there? Fantasies, imaginations.
It’s impossible that reality could scare me.
Reality can only ever bring peace.
If there is no peace than that is a sure sign that you are entertaining an internal fictional movie which has nothing to do with the here and now experience.
ok thank you for this
But some situations are bad for the body for example or bad for Mike's situation
Mike has no situation! Why? Mike is not there. Mike has never been anything else than a thought idea.
There is no difference between Mike and Batman. Both of them are just fictional characters in a story.
ok looking at this again today.
Thanks again Vivien - I really appreciate your patience and help :)