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Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:27 am
by AndrewS
Hi Vivien,

I hope you are well. Apologies for the long silence. The questions came at a time when I was feeling overwhelmed by work, and the questions also seemed overwhelming. I've kept asking them over the past few months, but I never felt like I could get through all of them in one sitting. Anyway, I realized a week or so ago that the last question, which I kept skipping over was the one I wasn't really looking at.

If you're willing and have the time, I'd like to continue. If not, I understand.
What is it EXACTLY that stepped back from thinking?
Attention, awareness are labels, but they just point to nothing.
What performed the act of stepping back?
The shifting of the awareness.
and an awareness of the surrounding emptiness.
How is ‘emptiness’ experienced?
As a thought? Color? Sound? Sensation? Smell? Taste? Imagination?
As space, like the space outside in which objects exist is the same inside. It doesn't have a flavor.
In those moments the self doesn’t intrude. But that doesn’t last.

How does a ‘intruding self’ manifest?
It's just attention shifting to thoughts and the "thinker". There is still a belief in a "thinker", a "controller".
Is the self an entity which could come and go?
Yes, as an idea or a belief of being in control of what is happening.
What does this ‘intruding self’ look like?
Thoughts, memories, predictions about the future, labeling of current experience with a character of "Andrewness". Habitual thinking patterns.
I’m sorry I don’t understand “there is literally nothing that could believe in thoughts”
What believes in thoughts?
What is it exactly that you don’t understand in the comment “there is literally nothing that could believe in thoughts”? Exactly which part?
I wasn't sure if you meant Nothing CAN believe in thoughts. Or if thoughts cannot be believed in by anything. (Probably a side effect of being an English teacher.)
Is there a belief that there is a believer of thought? That there is something there who performs the act of believing?
Is there a believer of thoughts?
My first thought was "Oh, I know the answer to this. Of course there's no believer." and I would skip over that question again and again. But I realized I'm so full of beliefs about so many things, that there must be a "believer" - though I'm not sure if that is the right word. But there is definitely a belief in a thinker or a controller of actions.

Thank you,

Andrew

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:44 am
by Vivien
Hi Andrew,

It’s been a while.

Before diving deep into the investigation, could you please tell me that on the scale of 1-10 how committed are you to this inquiry?
But there is definitely a belief in a thinker or a controller of actions.
Let’s start here.

What do you do exactly in order to think?
How do you make (or birth) a thought into existence?


Don't think about the answer, rather investigate what is happening here in now in this very moment as thoughts arise.
V: What is it exactly that you don’t understand in the comment “there is literally nothing that could believe in thoughts”? Exactly which part?
A: I wasn't sure if you meant Nothing CAN believe in thoughts. Or if thoughts cannot be believed in by anything. (Probably a side effect of being an English teacher.)
I meant a believer. Someone or something that could perform the act of believing.

So to rephrase it:
There is literally no believer who/what could believe in thoughts.
Thoughts are there, but there is no believer.

Vivien

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:37 pm
by AndrewS
Hi Vivien,

Thank you.
Before diving deep into the investigation, could you please tell me that on the scale of 1-10 how committed are you to this inquiry?
10 absolutely.
What do you do exactly in order to think?
Thoughts just come, depending on what is happening.
How do you make (or birth) a thought into existence?
They just come. I have no control.

~Andrew

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:27 am
by Vivien
Hi Andrew,

It's great that you are committed :)
Thoughts just come, depending on what is happening.
They just come. I have no control.
But you said that you believe in a thinker, which is supposed to be you, right?
So what about this thinker?

Either thoughts are happening on their own, or they are thought by someone. Which one?

Please notice thoughts throughout your day as often as possible.

Is there any thought, any at all, that doesn’t happen on its own, automatically, without anyone or anything doing it?

Is this totally clear without any doubt that there is no control over thoughts? None at all?


Vivien

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:00 am
by AndrewS
Hi Vivien,
you said that you believe in a thinker, which is supposed to be you, right?
So what about this thinker?

Either thoughts are happening on their own, or they are thought by someone. Which one?
It’s clear they are happening on to their own. The feeling is that they are happening on their own to someone.
Is there any thought, any at all, that doesn’t happen on its own, automatically, without anyone or anything doing it?
I can’t find any. They all connect back to some trigger.
Is this totally clear without any doubt that there is no control over thoughts? None at all?
Yes, but weirdly, despite seeing thought’s triggers. Something says, “but there is still something here.” Something responsible for allowing thought the space to be even if there is no control.

Thank you,

Andrew

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:55 am
by Vivien
Hi Andrew,
Yes, but weirdly, despite seeing thought’s triggers.
Do you expect when it’s seen that thoughts are happening on their own, they won’t trigger any emotions anymore?

Trigger happens not just simply because there believed to be a self there, but because there are psychological wounds inside, and every time those wound are touched, they hurt.

So this inquiry won’t make triggers go away. There might be some that lessen, but they definitely won’t be erased. Lots of further looking is needed after seeing no self, in order to unlearn these patterns.

What about selfing thoughts? Are selfing thoughts are done (thought) by Andrew, or they are also just happening?

Is there an actual person outside of the selfing story about Andrew?

Is Andrew a real person, or is he just an idea, a concept?

Something says, “but there is still something here.”
“Something says…” – what is saying that? The selfing thoughts about Andrew?

Vivien

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:58 am
by AndrewS
Hi Vivien,
Do you expect when it’s seen that thoughts are happening on their own, they won’t trigger any emotions anymore?
No, I don’t expect that. By “trigger” I meant the things in the environment that trigger thoughts: sounds, sights, smells, other thoughts, etc. Rather than thoughts triggering emotions. Though that happens too.
What about selfing thoughts? Are selfing thoughts are done (thought) by Andrew, or they are also just happening?
I'm having a bit of a weird time with "selfing" thoughts. Could you give me an example? I worked on the assumption they were "me" "mine" "my ..." "I". Which all just point to tensions and feelings, nothing that would be a true self. But, it seems like "selfing" is a bit more subtle than that.
Is there an actual person outside of the selfing story about Andrew?
There's a body outside of the story.
Is Andrew a real person, or is he just an idea, a concept?
Just a label for ideas connected with this body.
Something says, “but there is still something here.”
“Something says…” – what is saying that? The selfing thoughts about Andrew?
It's pointing to tension in the chest region. It's funny it seems to be any sensation will do for "selfing" to say "here we are!"

Thank you,

~Andrew

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:31 am
by Vivien
Hi Andrew,
No, I don’t expect that. By “trigger” I meant the things in the environment that trigger thoughts: sounds, sights, smells, other thoughts, etc. Rather than thoughts triggering emotions. Though that happens too.
And is that a problem?

Are things in the environment like a sound, actually triggering (literally) a thought? Or rather a sound happens, and then it’s followed by a thought interpretation ABOUT the sound?

Do you see that thoughts are almost constantly labelling, interpreting, judging, categorizing everything that is happening?

I'm having a bit of a weird time with "selfing" thoughts. Could you give me an example? I worked on the assumption they were "me" "mine" "my ..." "I". Which all just point to tensions and feelings, nothing that would be a true self. But, it seems like "selfing" is a bit more subtle than that.
Selfing thought is any thought that is about me. All thoughts with I/me/mine/my. Anything that is about me, or related to me, or judged what it does to me, how it feels to me, what consequences that has it on me.

Let me give the question again.

What about selfing thoughts? Are selfing thoughts are done (thought) by Andrew, or they are also just happening?
V: Is there an actual person outside of the selfing story about Andrew?
A: There's a body outside of the story.
And is the body a person? A person who thinks, feels, sees, smells, hears, decides, judges, etc?

Or maybe there is a person INSIDE the body? Where?
Is there a central controller or commander somewhere inside, who/what thinks, feels, sees, smells, hears, decides, judges, etc?

Is there a center where all sensory information (sound, sensation, taste, smell, color, thought) are received and processed?

V: Is Andrew a real person, or is he just an idea, a concept?
A: Just a label for ideas connected with this body.
But is the body = Andrew, the person who does thinking, hearing, smelling, deciding, ect?
V: “Something says…” – what is saying that? The selfing thoughts about Andrew?
A: It's pointing to tension in the chest region. It's funny it seems to be any sensation will do for "selfing" to say "here we are!
And the tension, which is a sensation, in the chest actually SAYING that ‘it’s me’?
Or only thoughts labelling, interpreting the tension in the chest as a me?

Do you see what I’m pointing at? That thoughts are constantly labelling, interpreting things based on the assumption that there is a me? And everything revolves around me, and everything is about it, or somehow related to me?


These are the selfing thoughts.
Are these labelling/judging/interpreting thoughts are done by Andrew?
Or they just happening effortlessly, without a doer?

Vivien

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:21 am
by AndrewS
Hi Vivien,
No, I don’t expect that. By “trigger” I meant the things in the environment that trigger thoughts: sounds, sights, smells, other thoughts, etc. Rather than thoughts triggering emotions. Though that happens too.
And is that a problem?
No. No problem.
Are things in the environment like a sound, actually triggering (literally) a thought? Or rather a sound happens, and then it’s followed by a thought interpretation ABOUT the sound?
Yes, like that and very quickly followed by a thought.
Do you see that thoughts are almost constantly labelling, interpreting, judging, categorizing everything that is happening?
Yes. Constantly.
What about selfing thoughts? Are selfing thoughts are done (thought) by Andrew, or they are also just happening?
Just happening like the other thoughts. I caught it the other day quite clearly for a moment.
V: Is there an actual person outside of the selfing story about Andrew?

A: There's a body outside of the story.

And is the body a person? A person who thinks, feels, sees, smells, hears, decides, judges, etc?
I don't know. Does a body need a self to be a person? The body experiences all of those.
Or maybe there is a person INSIDE the body? Where? Is there a central controller or commander somewhere inside, who/what thinks, feels, sees, smells, hears, decides, judges, etc?
No controller.
Is there a center where all sensory information (sound, sensation, taste, smell, color, thought) are received and processed?
It doesn't feel like it, but my mind goes, the head (brain) and there is a lot of sensation in that area, eyes, mouth, nose, ears.
V: Is Andrew a real person, or is he just an idea, a concept?
A: Just a label for ideas connected with this body.
But is the body = Andrew, the person who does thinking, hearing, smelling, deciding, etc?
I don't know. I don't "get" this at this moment. Maybe we need to focus here. All my answers seem to come from thinking.
V: “Something says…” – what is saying that? The selfing thoughts about Andrew?
Yes. All they ever point to is tension/sensations in the body.
A: It's pointing to tension in the chest region. It's funny it seems to be any sensation will do for "selfing" to say "here we are!
And the tension, which is a sensation, in the chest actually SAYING that ‘it’s me’?
Or only thoughts labelling, interpreting the tension in the chest as a me?
Just labelling. This, this, this. But never a real me.
Do you see what I’m pointing at? That thoughts are constantly labelling, interpreting things based on the assumption that there is a me? And everything revolves around me, and everything is about it, or somehow related to me?
Yes. That's it.
These are the selfing thoughts.
Are these labelling/judging/interpreting thoughts are done by Andrew?
Or they just happening effortlessly, without a doer?
They just happen. Memories/feelings play a role, which makes them self-enforcing and referential.

Thank you for the explanation of selfing thoughts,

Andrew

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:56 am
by Vivien
Hi Andrew,
All my answers seem to come from thinking.
If you write from thinking, then you give the false impression that you can see something while you can’t.

You have to be totally honest with your replies. You cannot just write something from thinking.
If you don’t tell me with each comment that it’s just coming from logic, then how would I be able to help you?
Do you see how important this is?


It’s very important that with every question I will give you, you really look, and never just think about it.

Also, please always write what you can actually SEE in experience, and not what you understand intellectually. If you cannot see something clearly, please indicate that, otherwise you would give a false impression that you can see something, while you can’t. And by seeing, I mean not just seen one or twice, not just seen yesterday or a week ago and now you have a memory of that seeing, but rather what you can see here, now, in this very moment.

If you saw something yesterday, but you don’t see it now, then in this moment that seeing is not a seeing, rather it’s a belief based on a previous seeing, and not a live experience now.

So can we agree that you try to clearly communicate what is clearly seen now, and what is just an intellectual understanding in this moment based on a memory or a logical conclusion?
V: Is Andrew a real person, or is he just an idea, a concept?
A: Just a label for ideas connected with this body.
V: But is the body = Andrew, the person who does thinking, hearing, smelling, deciding, etc?
A: I don't know. I don't "get" this at this moment. Maybe we need to focus here.
If you say that “I don’t know” then it means that you are just THINKING.

What does it mean when I say ‘you have to look at experience directly, what is here now, and not just think about it’? Could you please give an example what is the difference between looking at the raw experience vs. thinking about it?

What is the difference between experience and imagination?


Vivien

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:57 pm
by AndrewS
Hi Vivien,
All my answers seem to come from thinking.
If you write from thinking, then you give the false impression that you can see something while you can’t.
That was in reference to a specific question. Not every question. I should have been clearer, sorry.
You have to be totally honest with your replies. You cannot just write something from thinking.
If you don’t tell me with each comment that it’s just coming from logic, then how would I be able to help you?
Do you see how important this is?
Absolutely, which is why I said that. I couldn’t answer that question from seeing and didn’t want to spend days trying to do so.
It’s very important that with every question I will give you, you really look, and never just think about it.
I understand that and I do. I just didn’t know how to look with that question.
Also, please always write what you can actually SEE in experience, and not what you understand intellectually. If you cannot see something clearly, please indicate that, otherwise you would give a false impression that you can see something, while you can’t. And by seeing, I mean not just seen one or twice, not just seen yesterday or a week ago and now you have a memory of that seeing, but rather what you can see here, now, in this very moment.
OK. I usually do my seeing away from the computer.
If you saw something yesterday, but you don’t see it now, then in this moment that seeing is not a seeing, rather it’s a belief based on a previous seeing, and not a live experience now.
OK.
So can we agree that you try to clearly communicate what is clearly seen now, and what is just an intellectual understanding in this moment based on a memory or a logical conclusion?
OK. And if I’m not clear on a question, I will ask for clarification.
V: Is Andrew a real person, or is he just an idea, a concept?
A: Just a label for ideas connected with this body.
V: But is the body = Andrew, the person who does thinking, hearing, smelling, deciding, etc?
A: I don't know. I don't "get" this at this moment. Maybe we need to focus here.
If you say that “I don’t know” then it means that you are just THINKING.
Exactly. And I know thinking is not the goal. So maybe, “I don’t see” is better? I can see what a body is, but I can’t see what a person is, it just strikes me as an idea which sends me off into thinking. How is “person” defined? Is a person a body? Of course. No body, no person. A body hears and feels. But does a body think, decide? I can’t see that. It’s all just a jumble of ideas and logic. I can’t see what a person is because I don’t know what person means. I don’t know what I’m looking for in that question. So I guess, I should have just asked for clarification.
What does it mean when I say ‘you have to look at experience directly, what is here now, and not just think about it’? Could you please give an example what is the difference between looking at the raw experience vs. thinking about it?
There is the sound running water, cars passing, faint snoring, an ambulance siren, rain, heat from my feet on the floor. Twinges in the back and neck. A faint headache. Footsteps on the stairs. These are all being experienced at the moment.
Writing seems to be thinking about them in a way. But to be explicit, the footsteps are my sons and he always goes downstairs after he thinks I’m asleep, and my wife snores when she’s tired, and the rain has been going for three days now and is supposed to continue for a week, and I probably should adjust my posture to remove the twinge.
What is the difference between experience and imagination?
Direct experience is simply what’s happening now, imagination is going with the mind’s story telling about what’s happening or might happen or has happened.

Thank you,

Andrew

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:27 am
by Vivien
Hi Andrew,
Direct experience is simply what’s happening now, imagination is going with the mind’s story telling about what’s happening or might happen or has happened.
Yes.

All words are symbols. All symbols are conceptual. They are not reality.
Reality is what actually is, regardless of the absence or the presence of any symbol / word.
Is this clear that reality is what is still exists after we stopped thinking about it?
How is “person” defined? Is a person a body? Of course. No body, no person. A body hears and feels. But does a body think, decide? I can’t see that.
The body is a body, not a person. The person should be INSIDE the body, looking out through the eyes, like two windows.

Isn’t this how it feels for you? That you are INSIDE the body, and looking out the eyes, like two windows?
A body hears and feels.
Saying that the body hears and feels is a learned intellectual knowledge. But is this in correspondence with experience? Let’s investigate this.

Close your eyes, and focus on the sensations of the hands. FEEL them.
And as you FEEL the hands, look for the feeler.

Can you find another location where the hands are felt from?

What is feeling the sensations of the hands? The sensations of the chest? Or the sensations of the throat? Or the sensations of the head?

You say that the body feels. But can you find this feeler-body, apart from the sensations?


Vivien

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:41 am
by AndrewS
Hi Vivien,
All words are symbols. All symbols are conceptual. They are not reality.
Reality is what actually is, regardless of the absence or the presence of any symbol / word.
Is this clear that reality is what is still exists after we stopped thinking about it?
Yes.
The body is a body, not a person. The person should be INSIDE the body, looking out through the eyes, like two windows.

Isn’t this how it feels for you? That you are INSIDE the body, and looking out the eyes, like two windows?
Yes, it does.
A: A body hears and feels.
Saying that the body hears and feels is a learned intellectual knowledge. But is this in correspondence with experience? Let’s investigate this.

Close your eyes, and focus on the sensations of the hands. FEEL them.
And as you FEEL the hands, look for the feeler.

Can you find another location where the hands are felt from?
No.
What is feeling the sensations of the hands? The sensations of the chest? Or the sensations of the throat? Or the sensations of the head?
The experience is they're being felt where they're being felt.
You say that the body feels. But can you find this feeler-body, apart from the sensations?
I can see the body. If I knock my hand on the table. I can feel the sensation where the hand meets table. The body feels, but I can't find a feeler-body as a separate entity.

Thank you,

Andrew

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:41 am
by Vivien
Hi Andrew,
The experience is they're being felt where they're being felt.
No. You might not see it, but you are unconsciously attached to the idea that in order for a sensation to happen, there has to be a feeler, a subject who is feeling the sensation.

When you look, you cannot find the feeler, but since you believe that there must be a subject, a feeler, you are making a convoluted explanation that the sensation is felt where they are felt.

But a sensation is NOT felt.
Since in order to feel a sensation, there has to be a feeler.
It cannot be felt without a subject (feeler) doing the feeling.

Look very closely… do you see that there is no feeler at all, there is only sensations appearing? And they appear to no one? They are known by no one?

There are just sensations happening on their own, without a feeler?
I can see the body. If I knock my hand on the table. I can feel the sensation where the hand meets table. The body feels, but I can't find a feeler-body as a separate entity.
No, the body doesn’t feel. This is just an unquestioned assumption accepted to be truth. But it is not.
In order to the body to feel, the body has to be the feeler.
But the body is just a feeling/sensation.
All there is to the body sensations + colors. Nothing else.
The body shows up AS an experience, the body is NOT the experiencer.

Check this out…

Isn’t the whole body from head to toe IS an experience?

Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes.
Paying attention only to the pure sensations, without relying on verbal or visual thoughts:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have a weight or volume?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?

Is there an inside or an outside?
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?

What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?


Look very carefully. Take your time, don’t rush. You can look several times during the day while doing other things (like washing hands, showering, having a short break from work, walking, etc) before replying.
I can see the body.
What is seeing the body?
Is there an I, a seer, that is seeing the body?
Or there is only the body? Without a seer?


Vivien

Re: Ready to Go

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:01 am
by AndrewS
Hi Vivien,
V: When you look, you cannot find the feeler, but since you believe that there must be a subject, a feeler, you are making a convoluted explanation that the sensation is felt where they are felt.

But a sensation is NOT felt.
Since in order to feel a sensation, there has to be a feeler.
It cannot be felt without a subject (feeler) doing the feeling.

Look very closely… do you see that there is no feeler at all, there is only sensations appearing? And they appear to no one? They are known by no one?
I've been trying for a week to see this clearly, and I kind of do. But there is some belief around feeling being "mine", so there must be someone here.
There are just sensations happening on their own, without a feeler?
I can see that.
I can see the body. If I knock my hand on the table. I can feel the sensation where the hand meets table. The body feels, but I can't find a feeler-body as a separate entity.
No, the body doesn’t feel. This is just an unquestioned assumption accepted to be truth. But it is not.
In order for the body to feel, the body has to be the feeler.
But the body is just a feeling/sensation.
All there is to the body sensations + colors. Nothing else.
The body shows up AS an experience, the body is NOT the experiencer.
Wow. That feels big.
Isn’t the whole body from head to toe IS an experience?
Yes.
Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes.
Paying attention only to the pure sensations, without relying on verbal or visual thoughts:
OK. It's nearly impossible for me to go for more than a minute or two without thoughts jumping all over everything. But I'll write what I see.
Can it be known how tall the body is?
No.
Does the body have a weight or volume?
Not in direct experience.
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
No. Just sensations.
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Just a sensation.
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
Just a feeling.
Is there an inside or an outside?
There are different qualities of sensations/feelings.
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
The space within the boundary where body sensation is strongest. The space here.
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?
The space outside the boundary where body sensation is strongest. The space out there.
What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
The feelings/sensations contained within a particular space.
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?
Lots and lots of feelings.
I can see the body.
What is seeing the body?
Nothing is seeing the body.
Is there an I, a seer, that is seeing the body?
No, just space.
Or there is only the body? Without a seer?
Just a body doing it's thing.

Thank you,

Andrew