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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:43 am

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for the clarifications as always. I do look, but generally don’t find much, which is when the mind kicks in I guess.

Anyway,
So while we are playing, you are trying to explain to me that how you know that the cup in your hands is real.

So what do you tell me (to your five-year old friend)? How do you know that the cup in your hand is real?
I can see it, and feel it, and I can put real stuff in it, like sand, and when I bang it, it makes a sound.

And how do you know that a ghost is not real?
I can’t see it, or feel it, or hear it, or smell it.
If the question and resulting answer seems too simplistic, good. It's leading us where we need to go.
Good!

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:50 am

Hi Andrew,
A: I can see it, and feel it, and I can put real stuff in it, like sand, and when I bang it, it makes a sound.
V: And how do you know that a ghost is not real?
A: I can’t see it, or feel it, or hear it, or smell it.
So the cup is real because it’s can be experienced, and the ghost is not real, because it cannot be experienced, right?

Look at thoughts. Remember a cup in front of you is real, tangible. It "exists" in a way that can be examined with the senses. Anyway, the cup can be pointed to and verified.

Why doesn't that happen with thought?

Why can’t you touch a thought?
Why can’t you smell a thought?
Why can’t you feel a thought?
Why can’t you smell a thought?

Why can’t you point your finger to a thought?


Can you see that there are ONLY TWO options:
Either EXPERIENCING something by touching, smelling, tasting, hearing, etc
or
IMAGINING = THINKING
Is this totally clear?

Please really-really examine these questions. Be very thorough. Don’t rush through this, since this is the BASIS of everything we are looking at here.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:43 am

HI Vivien,

Thank you. I had/have some residual ideas from earlier study regarding thoughts/thinking.
So the cup is real because it’s can be experienced, and the ghost is not real, because it cannot be experienced, right?
Right.
Look at thoughts. Remember a cup in front of you is real, tangible. It "exists" in a way that can be examined with the senses. Anyway, the cup can be pointed to and verified.

Why doesn't that happen with thought?
Because I can't get my fingers inside my head. Actually, I get that it's not experiencable with the five senses, but there is some faculty or sense that experiences thoughts/ideas/imagining. I guess that's the brain. Is the brain a "sense" organ? Also, thoughts appear to trigger physical reactions in the body and vice versa, so unlike the ghost which is imagined and unreal and would never be perceivable outside of the mind. Oh, OK this is kind of falling apart.

Are any thoughts valid? Of value? Do any of them have a purpose or effect outside of brain space?
Why can’t you touch a thought?
Why can’t you smell a thought?
Why can’t you feel a thought?

Why can’t you point your finger to a thought?
I want to say something pithy like, "Because I can't reach it. In the same way I can't reach the sun or moon, and touch and smell them. But I can perceive them." I'm kind of struggling with this one. Part of me wants to believe that thoughts have some reality beyond the confines of my head. This was a part of Steiner's teachings which I took on pretty young. It's been rattling around inside my head for a long time, that living thought exists, and our brains serve up dead thoughts for our observation.
Can you see that there are ONLY TWO options:
Either EXPERIENCING something by touching, smelling, tasting, hearing, etc
or
IMAGINING = THINKING
Is this totally clear?
Yes. That's clear. With some internal resistance, but clear.

Thank you. I'll keep observing the resistance.

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:53 am

Hi Andrew,
Because I can't get my fingers inside my head. Actually, I get that it's not experiencable with the five senses, but there is some faculty or sense that experiences thoughts/ideas/imagining. I guess that's the brain. Is the brain a "sense" organ? Also, thoughts appear to trigger physical reactions in the body and vice versa, so unlike the ghost which is imagined and unreal and would never be perceivable outside of the mind. Oh, OK this is kind of falling apart.
This is a thought speculation. You are making it way too complicated.
Are any thoughts valid? Of value? Do any of them have a purpose or effect outside of brain space?
This is a philosophical question.

First, you have a belief that thoughts are INSIDE the head. But what does experience show?

Sit down, and close your eyes. Just observe the coming and going of thoughts, and then investigate:

What is the experience of thoughts being INSIDE of the head?

Can thoughts be OBSERVED BEING INSIDE of the head? Or is this just a story believed?

Is there a LOCATION where thoughts appear?
I want to say something pithy like, "Because I can't reach it. In the same way I can't reach the sun or moon, and touch and smell them. But I can perceive them." I'm kind of struggling with this one. Part of me wants to believe that thoughts have some reality beyond the confines of my head. This was a part of Steiner's teachings which I took on pretty young. It's been rattling around inside my head for a long time, that living thought exists, and our brains serve up dead thoughts for our observation.
You are speculating and philosophizing. You are trying to figure this out intellectually.

But you will never ever be able to see through the self with intellectual speculation.
Since THOUGHTS are the ‘creators’ of the self illusion. You cannot use the same tool that is creating the illusion in the first place.


You have to completely step outside of this speculative thought realm.
And you have to look at experience directly.
V: Can you see that there are ONLY TWO options:
Either EXPERIENCING something by touching, smelling, tasting, hearing, etc
or
IMAGINING = THINKING
Is this totally clear?
A: Yes. That's clear. With some internal resistance, but clear.
If this were really clear for you experientially and not just intellectually, you wouldn’t have written all those speculative thought stories above.

When experience is looked at directly, the answer is very simple.
It’s so simple that even an 8-year old child can see it.

We are going to come back to this soon.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:01 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for your patience.
First, you have a belief that thoughts are INSIDE the head. But what does experience show?

Sit down, and close your eyes. Just observe the coming and going of thoughts, and then investigate:

What is the experience of thoughts being INSIDE of the head?
Mostly words. Like a dialogue. They drift into view in response to other stimulus.
Can thoughts be OBSERVED BEING INSIDE of the head? Or is this just a story believed?
That’s where they appear to be perceived, but there’s nothing to them. They are like ghosts. There is no substance to them. I try to pin them down and they just evaporate.
Is there a LOCATION where thoughts appear?
Well the words that I take to be thoughts seem to arise in the region between my ears. Which makes sense (because I perceive them as words).

Thank you. 🙏🏼

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:52 am

Hi Andrew,

You didn’t look at experience at all. You just wrote down your THOUGHTS about it.
V: What is the experience of thoughts being INSIDE of the head?
A: Mostly words. Like a dialogue. They drift into view in response to other stimulus.
Please tell me in your own words, what is it that we are looking for with the question ‘what is the experience of X’?

What is experience in your own words?

V: Can thoughts be OBSERVED BEING INSIDE of the head? Or is this just a story believed?
A: That’s where they appear to be perceived, but there’s nothing to them. They are like ghosts. There is no substance to them. I try to pin them down and they just evaporate.
If thoughts cannot be seen, felt, touched, experienced at all, then HOW do you know that thoughts appear in the head?

Is this a learned intellectual knowledge, or an actual experience?
V: Is there a LOCATION where thoughts appear?
A: Well the words that I take to be thoughts seem to arise in the region between my ears. Which makes sense (because I perceive them as words).
This is not coming from looking. This is a learned, intellectual answer.

Dear Andrew, you are not looking at experience at all. You are just writing down your beliefs what you learned throughout your life.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:03 am

Hi Vivien,
Please tell me in your own words, what is it that we are looking for with the question ‘what is the experience of X’?
What is the feeling/sensation of X?
What is experience in your own words?
An event. Something that happens. Something in which there is an interaction between two or more things.
V: Can thoughts be OBSERVED BEING INSIDE of the head? Or is this just a story believed?
A: That’s where they appear to be perceived, but there’s nothing to them. They are like ghosts. There is no substance to them. I try to pin them down and they just evaporate.
V: If thoughts cannot be seen, felt, touched, experienced at all, then HOW do you know that thoughts appear in the head?
I hear words in my head. I hear someone opening and closing the car door. I remember a song with the same sound. I hear the words of the song in my head. I see the music video somewhere. Ok I’m not 100% sure that’s inside my head.
But words, like the ones I’m writing now are outside too? Like I’m being dictated too. I’m not sure that’s what I’m experiencing. I don’t see very clearly in my head space. I mostly feel tension.
Is this a learned intellectual knowledge, or an actual experience?
It felt like an experience yesterday, there would be a sensation in my body or a sound and a thought appeared to arise in my head. When I tried to “touch” them they just kind of fell away and another would come along. Whether it’s being experienced in the head or outside, or whether it’s real or some fantasy I’m making up I don’t know. I’m constantly feeling stuff in my body throughout this process however and if that’s what you’re asking me to write about then I will do that.
Dear Andrew, you are not looking at experience at all. You are just writing down your beliefs what you learned throughout your life.
Well, if I am. They are fairly deep and unconscious, so thank you for helping me see them.

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:20 am

Hi Andrew,

OK, you have to clear on what is experience first. Without this, seeing through the self would be quite hard, if not impossible.
V: Please tell me in your own words, what is it that we are looking for with the question ‘what is the experience of X’?
A: What is the feeling/sensation of X?
Experience is not just a feeling/sensation, but ALL the 5 senses.
V: What is experience in your own words?
A: An event. Something that happens. Something in which there is an interaction between two or more things.
No. This is still intellectual.

Experience is what can be known through the 5 senses.

Experience is:

- hearing
- seeing
- smelling
- tasting
- feeling/touching

A cup can be experienced, since it can be seen, touched, heard (when knocked), smelled, even tasted (when licked). Can you see this?


Can you see that the cup is experienced, since it can be seen, heard, touched, smelled, tasted?

Can you see that the cup is REAL since it can be experienced with the 5 senses (seen, heard, touched, etc)?


Before replying, please make sure that it’s 100% clear, and no doubt is left. This is essential to go further.

Don’t just think about it
. But actually take a cup into your hand, and try experience it with the five senses.
Look at it, smell it, taste it (lick it), touch it, knock to the table so you can hear it.
Make sure that the cup is REAL since it’s experiences with the 5 senses.

Vivien


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:04 am

Hi Vivien,
A cup can be experienced, since it can be seen, touched, heard (when knocked), smelled, even tasted (when licked). Can you see this?
Nice timing. I had just entered a coffee shop. So I had a cup at hand to taste, smell, knock on the table, look at, and touch. OK I get that EXPERIENCE explicitly means something that can be EXPERIENCED with with the five senses. So when that word is used that is the meaning I will apply.
Can you see that the cup is experienced, since it can be seen, heard, touched, smelled, tasted?
Yes.
Can you see that the cup is REAL since it can be experienced with the 5 senses (seen, heard, touched, etc)?
Yes. What is experienced with the senses is real. That’s all.

Thank you.

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:24 am

Hi Andrew,

Imagine that you are holding a spoon. Imagine its shape, size, weight, temperature, color. Now keep it there, close your eyes, and feel the imaginary spoon.

Then, open your eyes:

Is there a spoon here, in real life?
So how did you see that there is no spoon?
What happened to the spoon?
Did it disappear or it never existed?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:06 pm

Hi Vivien,
Imagine that you are holding a spoon. Imagine its shape, size, weight, temperature, color. Now keep it there, close your eyes, and feel the imaginary spoon.

Then, open your eyes:

Is there a spoon here, in real life?
No.
So how did you see that there is no spoon?
There never was a spoon. I couldn’t actually experience its shape, size, weight, temperature, color outside of imagination (which wasn’t anywhere near an actual spoon experience) with any of my senses.
What happened to the spoon?
Nothing happened. It never existed.
Did it disappear or it never existed?
It never existed outside of imagination.

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:11 am

Hi Andrew,
There never was a spoon. I couldn’t actually experience its shape, size, weight, temperature, color outside of imagination (which wasn’t anywhere near an actual spoon experience) with any of my senses.
Yes, exactly. Let’s look at this a bit more, just to make sure that it’s totally clear.

Can the thought ‘sweet’ be tasted?
Can the thought ‘warm’ be felt?
Can the thought ‘fragrant scent’ be smelled?
Can the thought ‘beautiful sunset’ be seen?
Can the thought of ‘loud noise’ be heard?
Can you sit on the thought of a chair?
Can the thought of ‘walking on a beach’ make your feet wet and sandy?

If you say no, then why not?


This might seem very simple and clear, and yet, this simplicity is often overlooked.

Can anything be experienced other than with the 5 senses? Is there any other option?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:47 am

Hi Vivien,
Can the thought ‘sweet’ be tasted?
Can the thought ‘warm’ be felt?
Can the thought ‘fragrant scent’ be smelled?
Can the thought ‘beautiful sunset’ be seen?
Can the thought of ‘loud noise’ be heard?
Can you sit on the thought of a chair?
Can the thought of ‘walking on a beach’ make your feet wet and sandy?
No, none if the above can be experienced.
If you say no, then why not?
They are all thoughts/imaginings. They aren’t experiences. And they can’t be experienced with the senses.
This might seem very simple and clear, and yet, this simplicity is often overlooked.
Simple is good. I like simple.
Can anything be experienced other than with the 5 senses? Is there any other option?
There’s some resistance here. I keep circling back to thoughts. I understand they are not real, but I don’t get how there can be awareness of them. And if there is awareness of them, is there some extra sense that perceives them or do the five senses experience thoughts? Or are they just gibberish made up by the mind in response to what is happening around it?

Sorry to keep coming back to this. I want to see through this “thought” thing, it seems to be my biggest resistance at the moment.

Maybe this can’t be “intellectually” understood, if that’s so, do I just let it go and focus on the reality of the senses?

Thank you,

~Andrew

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:55 am

Hi Andrew,
There’s some resistance here. I keep circling back to thoughts. I understand they are not real, but I don’t get how there can be awareness of them. And if there is awareness of them, is there some extra sense that perceives them or do the five senses experience thoughts? Or are they just gibberish made up by the mind in response to what is happening around it?
You are trying to find this out intellectually. This won’t help.

Please close your eyes, and imagine an apple. Make it as vivid as you can.

When you imagine the apple, is there an experience of an apple, or there is just the knowing of the presence of an imagination?

Just because the presence of a thought about an apple is known, does it make the content of thought (apple) into real/experiencable thing?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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AndrewS
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Re: Ready to Go

Postby AndrewS » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:37 am

Hi Vivien,

Thank you.
When you imagine the apple, is there an experience of an apple, or there is just the knowing of the presence of an imagination?
Just knowledge of an imagination.
Just because the presence of a thought about an apple is known, does it make the content of thought (apple) into real/experiencable thing?
No, it certainly doesn’t. It’s not experienceable. It’s not real.

Thank you. There’s a feeling of “ahhhh”. But as you say no intellectual understanding.

~Andrew


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