Inquiring To No One

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:05 am

Thank you.

Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.



Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:59 pm

Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.
The illusion of a separate self is the idea that there is an ‘I’ entity that exists and controls the mind and body. This idea is taken to be true and forms one’s personal identity. This probably starts around childhood when one is acquiring language and interacting with others. We are taught that we are the person that we see in the mirror, and that we are responsible for ourselves. There is a feeling of ownership and causation of our thoughts and actions — but these ‘feelings’ are really just thoughts coming in and taking ownership after the fact. In reality, thoughts simply arise without an ‘I’ doing the thinking, just as vision simply happens without a ‘me’ having to ‘do’ seeing. Upon close inspection, there is nowhere for this ‘I’ to reside once one sees that it is not the body, sensations, or thoughts. Looking for the subject is turning attention back upon itself and:

1) Seeing that nothing is there
2) Realizing that there never was or will be anything there (no matter how many times one checks)
3) Accepting that nothing COULD be there

All the best,

Duncan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:14 am

Hi Duncan,

All true.

I realize I asked this earlier & you said, "peaceful." Here, could you say a little more, please?

How does it feel to see this (no separate self) ? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:08 pm

How does it feel to see this (no separate self)? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
It feels like the end of seeking, the end of questions perhaps. When I started the dialog there was an expectation of needing to ‘do’ something (with thought) to ‘get’ somewhere in order to see the truth. That seems to have dropped away. The initial fear about seeing no-self is gone upon realizing that nothing is lost. By the same token, this is seeing that nothing lasts; there is nothing to cling to.

I feel more comfortable in my own skin. Less craving, or needing things to be other than they are. Of course, there can still be unpleasant thoughts or feelings, but those don’t seem to stick around as long. A look back at the no-face seems to be all that is needed.

I think I was wanting it to be more than just this simple truth. That expectation was probably fueled by all the teachings, writings, religions, etc. — words like ‘enlightenment’. But at the same time I’m not disappointed. I feel like seeing this is the beginning of the journey; coming back to it again and again — deepening and living from it — is the path.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:50 pm

Yes, to all of that, Duncan. It sounds like you are seeing and may be through the Gateless Gate.

I've given you the first 3 "Final Questions" in these last 3 posts. These questions help confirm your seeing & help us to know whether anything needs clarification.

Here are the last ones:

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?


5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

(Please be sure you have answered every piece of this one. Often people skip or summarize. We're looking for more than that.)


6) Anything to add?


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:44 pm

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?
I think it was investigating the sense of self combined with pointing and looking for where I thought ‘I’ should be. Realizing that there is nothing that could even be called a ‘sense of self’, and admitting I had been mistaken (like the car keys example) was critical.

But I think it was ultimately looking back to where my face should be that triggered the looking. It’s weird. It’s almost like seeing that everything is flat or 2-dimensional and trying to point back to that ‘special’ space where you should be — but it’s not there. I always thought I WAS that separateness (the part that is experiencing), but this is seeing that there is nothing separate (from reality).
5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
Decision, intention, free will, choice and control are all thoughts that arise after the fact that say ‘I made a decision’, ‘I intend to’ etc. All these misunderstandings happen when one imagines an ‘I’ in the mind as being separate from the brain.

Take free will for example. One would only imagine that one’s will is ‘free’ if it is not directly caused by something —i.e. the decision had already been made. In reality though, everything has a cause. Likewise, thoughts must also have a cause. The brain doesn’t make decisions, it simply processes information, and sometime after we become aware of this ‘decision’ as being ‘ours’.

As an experiment, I can ask myself to think of a country. I chose France. But how did I choose France and not some other country? I have no idea. I can create a story that France was relevant to me, but that still doesn’t explain why something else wasn’t relevant instead.

I am not responsible for anything in a proximate sense, because I didn’t choose my parents, how I was raised, where I grew up, or any other aspect of the environment that would shape my personality and decision making. I am not responsible for anything in an ultimate sense, because ‘I’ is just a thought.
6) Anything to add?
Nothing to add, just something to take away (that’s supposed to be a joke) ; )

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:48 pm

Good joke!

Let me ask about one piece, "cause."
One would only imagine that one’s will is ‘free’ if it is not directly caused by something —i.e. the decision had already been made. In reality though, everything has a cause. Likewise, thoughts must also have a cause. The brain doesn’t make decisions, it simply processes information, and sometime after we become aware of this ‘decision’ as being ‘ours’.
What is this "cause?" Please tell me how it operates? Who or what causes anything?


Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:20 am

What is this "cause?" Please tell me how it operates? Who or what causes anything?
Hmm, "cause" may not have been the best word to use there. What I mean by "cause" is that everything is determined by the events that proceeded it. There is nothing that operates outside of the laws of cause and effect (physics), nothing outside of the 'flow'.

When I say thoughts have a cause, I mean they are determined by processes in the brain. All this can be traced back to the origin of the universe (big bang, initial conditions). Free will as a concept doesn't work because for the will to be 'free' that would mean that it wouldn't be determined.

Even in the event that there are elements of the universe (such as quantum mechanics) that are random (not fully deterministic), that still doesn't get us any closer to being able to "make choices". Certainly, one would not say one made a 'choice' if the outcome was determined at random.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:12 am

Ah! I see. Thank you.

There's no free will, right, but well, below is an exercise that may suggest something about the idea of determinism & cause and effect.

What is the Actual Experience of "determinism?"

What is the Actual Experience of "cause?"

Of "effect? "


This time exercise may help clarify these.


Time Exercise

There is a general assumption that there is linear time that started (if started at all) somewhere very far in the past and advances to the distant future. The present moment (now) is considered to be a very small fragment of time, or an event that is moving forward on a linear line, coming from the past and advancing to the future.

But is there an experience of the ’now’ moving along the line of time?

Any experience of one ‘moment’ giving way to the next?
Is there any actual or direct experience of one event following another?

How fast is the ‘present moment’ actually moving?
Just look at 'this moment', can you find a point where it began?

How long does the ‘now’ last?

Where does the ‘now’ start, and where does it end?

When does the ‘now’ exactly become the 'past'?

What is the ‘past’ in actual experience?

So is there actual experience of ‘time’ or thoughts about ‘time’?



Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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SofaNo1
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Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:01 am

Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:03 pm

Hey Stacy, I am travelling and will get to this exercise when I have time.

Thanks,

Duncan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:57 pm

Thanks for letting me know.

Try to keep your momentum a bit. Practice looking In everyday situations.

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Anastacia42
Posts: 1967
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:25 am

Still traveling? We were possibly nearly finished.

Thanks,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris


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