Inquiring To No One

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:31 pm

Yes. exactly like Plato's Allegory & every other allegory & metaphor with which we attempt to explain what is wordless. Your mental understanding is accurate.

To SEE one must LOOK.

Fruit Exercise

Have a piece of fruit handy, or something that you like to eat.

For the first couple of minutes imagine you are eating the fruit…..feel the sensations of chewing, the taste, the texture, the fragrance, hear the crunching sound that the chewing makes. Really enjoy the imaginary piece of fruit as much as you can.

Then for the next couple of minutes actually bite the fruit and see the difference.

Experience the fruit with curiosity and dive into the sensations of chewing, swallowing, the sounds and the taste. Really enjoy the experience of actually eating the piece of fruit.

Then for another minute or so describe the taste and smell in as much detail as possible.

Write about it here. What was the experience like?

After you have done this, tell me what you noticed when you compared these three experiences:

1. Imaginary fruit

2. Real fruit

3. Description


Have fun!

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 Feb 05, 2020 11:14 pm

It’s my impression that he didn’t get a lot of airplay relative to the amount of people that attended the concerts… but I don’t really know (I wasn’t there). I would have loved to see him live, but he was already retired from the road before I was born (I’m 29). I have seen his son, Dweezil, perform and I think he does a great job of keeping his father’s material alive.

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SofaNo1
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:24 pm

Write about it here. What was the experience like?
Taste and Smell
Citrus-y, sweet, slightly acidic, fragrant, fresh, tangy, slightly sour, slightly floral

This was an interesting exercise. Overall, I noticed how much “effort” it took to construct the imaginary fruit as compared to how “effortless” it was to experience the real fruit. The first time I tried this exercise was with imaging a spoon, and I remember how amazed I was when I picked up the real spoon and felt how cold, heavy, and solid it actually was!
After you have done this, tell me what you noticed when you compared these three experiences:

1. Imaginary fruit
When imagining the fruit, it was fairly easy to “see” and “feel” it in the “mind’s eye.” It was much more difficult --almost impossible-- to imagine the smell and taste. In the end, all these “images” felt “empty” compared to actually experiencing the fruit.
2. Real fruit
Experiencing the real fruit, I noticed how I forgot to add in a few details when I had been imagining. For instance, the pulpy texture after the initial bite, and some of the sounds. The taste and smell were immediate, instantly recognizable, and more difficult to describe than I had expected.
3. Description
I found describing the taste and smell very difficult. I resisted trying to say anything too obvious (e.g., it tasted like an orange). After I described a few basics like sweet, sour, etc. I felt it was very hard to put more words to it, and any attempt to would be “reaching” with language. For instance, I wanted to say it smelled/tasted “bright,” but there was nothing in the smell/taste to indicate that. Only an extrapolation from the bright color of the fruit. The words here also felt “empty” as compared to AE.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:06 am

Good, Duncan, yes.

It IS a strain to label, describe & imagine. That's true.

Obviously, the analogy is that actually SEEING no separate self is as different from description & imagination as eating an actual apple is from describing & imagining. When that happens, you will know it. It will be unmistakable.


Here's another exercise to play with.

Observing Thoughts

Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts.

Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?

Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?

Can you predict your next thought?

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?

Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?

Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?

Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?



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 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:07 am

Where are they coming from and going to?
I do not know
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No
Can you predict your next thought?
No
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
No
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
No
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
No
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
No
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
There is no organized sequence. It is another thought that says that.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:55 am

Hi Duncan,

Alright, yes. Your answers are correct. Remember Colored Socks?

Are you spending time LOOKING?

Or are you answering from thought? It's very different.

Let me ask, is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

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 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:44 am

Remember Colored Socks?
Yes
Are you spending time LOOKING?

Or are you answering from thought? It's very different.
I am spending more time looking. There is fear coming up around the no-self concept. Feeling like I would forget how to live without a self.
Let me ask, is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
When I am sitting and observing, I notice the thoughts rolling by without me having to do anything, but I still have a belief in self and volition. I can accept, when sitting passively and observing, that thoughts will appear without me doing anything. On the other hand, it is harder for me to accept that I can’t somehow still steer the ship. That is, to act and create with intention.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:38 pm

Hi Duncan,

You're doing great. I am glad you shared this, because fear and expectations are the only thing keeping you from seeing reality as it is - i.e. there is no separate self. (There is Awareness, just not separate self.)
There is fear coming up around the no-self concept. Feeling like I would forget how to live without a self.
I hear you. The funny thing is. There is *already* no self. You've been functioning fine all along - just with a made up story of some thing called a "separate self."
t is harder for me to accept that I can’t somehow still steer the ship. That is, to act and create with intention.
Perfect. That leads us right into another type of exercise. We will come back to some more exercises on self, but right now, let's look at decision, choice, control & free will, shall we?


Palm Flipping Exercise

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.

2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.

Watch like a hawk.

Don't go to thoughts – examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:-

How is the movement controlled?

Does a thought control it?

Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?

How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.

Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?

Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or
down?


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 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:52 am

I am going to take some more time to do this exercise and collect my thoughts.

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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby SofaNo1 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:04 pm

Hi Stacy,
How is the movement controlled?
I can’t say exactly how the movement is controlled. It feels like I “will” the hand to move and it does, but the “will” doesn’t seem to precede the movement. It’s like “will-ing” the action and “doing” the action are the same thing.
Does a thought control it?
No, I wouldn’t say that a thought controls it. It seems like there is a distinction between my “thoughts” and my “will.” For example, I can think to myself “Okay turn the hand over now,” but no matter how much I “think” this in my head, the hand won’t actually turn over until I “will” it to do so.
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
I can’t point to a controller, but it feels like I am doing it. It feels like I have the choice to either move the hand now or not move it. But even typing that, I can see the objection that this “choice” is a thought coming in later and taking credit for the action.
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
All I can say is that it feels like the decision is made “instantly.”
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
I want to say that I chose which hand. But “looking” shows that the hand was already chosen. It felt like the “default option.” There wasn’t much thought to choosing it, it just felt right.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
I can’t find or point to a separate individual that is choosing. I am feeling a lot of resistance to the thought “I am not controlling the hand,” yet I can’t find much evidence in AE that says how I might be doing so.

All the best,

Duncan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:41 pm

Good morning, Duncan,

Yes. I hear the resistance story. I see you know what's actually going on.
But even typing that, I can see the objection that this “choice” is a thought coming in later and taking credit for the action.
Remember, there has been no choice and no self all along. There is nothing to lose.

Relax into these exercises, even as you LOOK & watch line a hawk.


Stream Exercise

Imagine for a moment a scene, one of a little mountain stream which is tumbling down a hillside gully, not far from its source. It has been raining and so the level is quite high.

Consider in your mind's eye, if you can, how it flows to the right over a little rock (where, had the level been lower, it would probably have gone around the rock), then the flow goes to the left over a tree bow, and then slows a little in a broader place, before splashing over a small cascade into a pool, and so on down the mountain side.

Does it choose any of its directions? Is it even really a separate entity different from the water deposited in it, the rocks, the depressions in the ground etc?

Is it even the same entity moment by moment, or more the product of weather conditions and water, like an ever-changing pattern?

1. Can you find anywhere where 'Duncan' autonomously intervenes into life, choosing something that is not the product of all the elements; that is not a part of the overall flow?

2. Now please consider a regular decision made eg; what to wear in the morning, or what to eat for lunch, and describe to me what happens. There are environmental factors, there are colour preferences (but where did those come from - any autonomous intervention there perhaps?), practical issues (such as what is available), available time for preparation, purpose (eg; need to fill up for the day, or to look hip and cool for that person!) etc.

Where in there is an autonomous entity intervening in the flow of life? Can you find someone somewhere?

3. Can anything be found for which 'Duncan' is responsible – if so responsible to what and for what?


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 Feb 11, 2020 10:15 pm

Does it choose any of its directions? Is it even really a separate entity different from the water deposited in it, the rocks, the depressions in the ground etc?
No, it does not choose directions. No, it is not a separate entity. It is a label that we use to refer to all the component pieces coming together in a certain way. Take away any of the pieces and it ceases to be.
Is it even the same entity moment by moment, or more the product of weather conditions and water, like an ever-changing pattern?
Not the same moment by moment. It is a product of conditions, an ever-changing pattern.
1. Can you find anywhere where 'Duncan' autonomously intervenes into life, choosing something that is not the product of all the elements; that is not a part of the overall flow?
I’m not sure that I can find where Duncan intervenes into life.

For example, how did I come to Liberation Unleashed? I signed up because I was interested in this topic, and I thought there might be truth to it. I was interested because I read “The Book” by Alan Watts when I was younger. Why did I find “The Book” interesting enough to finish and retain the message for many years? Perhaps it is in the genes I got from my parents, etc.

Could we even conceive of something that is not the product of all the elements that came before? What would that look like? It seems like the only way to test the “choice” vs “no choice” hypothesis would be to go back in time and observe myself to see if any of my “choices” changed.
2. Now please consider a regular decision made eg; what to wear in the morning, or what to eat for lunch, and describe to me what happens. There are environmental factors, there are colour preferences (but where did those come from - any autonomous intervention there perhaps?), practical issues (such as what is available), available time for preparation, purpose (eg; need to fill up for the day, or to look hip and cool for that person!) etc.
What I chose to wear this morning: I chose green pants, because it is part of my typical outfit for work, yet has a color I like. I chose a gray shirt with a collar because it is comfortable, but also appropriate for business wear. I chose a flannel because it can get cold at work. I chose to wear boots because it is cold outside and those are the warmest shoes I have. So the choices here would be based on, as you said, environment, color preferences, and utility.

Most of the choices are straightforward and in my best interest, but I’m not sure where something like “color preference” came from. I’m not sure I could say that I “chose” to like the color green. Choice sort of infers that I like all colors equally and chose which one to like from among them. In reality, it seems that I simply like the color green (for reasons that are inscrutable to me).
Where in there is an autonomous entity intervening in the flow of life? Can you find someone somewhere?
I’m not sure where or if I can find an autonomous entity. Nonetheless, a feeling (or thought perhaps) of autonomy remains (I can flip my hand over whenever I want; therefore I am autonomous!).
3. Can anything be found for which 'Duncan' is responsible – if so responsible to what and for what?
Duncan is responsible to himself for his actions. Actions that were all (perhaps) predetermined --making him, ultimately NOT responsible for anything. I feel like I am in a logical pretzel here.

Still understanding, but not yet “seeing.”

All the best,

Duncan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:34 am

Hi Duncan,
Duncan is responsible to himself for his actions. Actions that were all (perhaps) predetermined --making him, ultimately NOT responsible for anything. I feel like I am in a logical pretzel here.
Why would LOOKING put you into a "logical pretzel?" Only thinking can do that and we are not interested in what thought says here. It's all made up, right?

Content of thought is not Actual or Direct Experience, is it? Only Thought Arising. Awareness is aware of Thought Arising.

Teach me how to do this thing called "choosing." Tell me, step-by-step how to "choose." Or is it just content of thought making up stories that choice happened?


In fact, Libet, in 1986 recorded the brain signal that indicated a choice had been made. Sometime later, the person was aware of it. This experiment has been replicated for the past 34 years. Here is one article about it:

https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

Sam Harris wrote a whole book on this called, "Free Will." It's a great book. Sam is a nontheist who is Awake. His training is in neuroscience.

https://www.amazon.com/Free-Will-Deckle ... 61&sr=8-1

So, tell me again about all these "decisions" and "choices" that some "you" made? Is this AE?

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 Feb 14, 2020 12:08 am

Why would LOOKING put you into a "logical pretzel?" Only thinking can do that and we are not interested in what thought says here. It's all made up, right?
Yes, I agree. We are not interested in the content of thought. I’ll try to convey what was happening for me with that question. I think I could give the “correct” answer to all these questions, because I have read the book, etc. But I don’t want to do that, because then I am answering from intellect rather than experience. So I feel I have to give you some indication of what I am not seeing, where I am getting stuck.

To answer the question: Nothing can be found for which Duncan is responsible. However, I didn’t want to answer the question that way because then that would give you the impression that I was “Seeing.” Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be?
Content of thought is not Actual or Direct Experience, is it? Only Thought Arising. Awareness is aware of Thought Arising.
No. Content of thought is not real, not a part of AE.
Teach me how to do this thing called "choosing." Tell me, step-by-step how to "choose." Or is it just content of thought making up stories that choice happened?
How would I explain choosing… Choosing typically means:

There are one or more possible outcomes
Imagine a scenario of how it it would turn out if either option was chosen
Pick the option that leads to the most desirable outcome

If the choice is about something more arbitrary, such as whether to press a button to the left or to the right, then that definition becomes less clear because neither is desired. In that situation, I wouldn’t really know how to explain choosing, that is, I wouldn’t be able to say where the “choice” came from.

In the end, yes this is just the content of thought making up stories that choice happened. There is still a sense that “choice” happens and that may or may not go away even after “Seeing.”

There have been some updates to the Libet study. If you are interested there is a talk called “Free will and mind-reading”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXXaIgfiFXs) by John-Dylan Haynes (who is mentioned in the article you linked) on YouTube. But in general no, neuroscience is not confirming the intuition that most people have regarding free will.

I am aware of Sam and some of his works. I may look into that book. But yes, in general I understand that the mind is the brain operating completely within the deterministic laws of physics. No magical substance granting us free will, nothing separate and apart from life that is controlling it.

Only Awareness. I suppose that is the Mystery that remains, even after the "self" is seen for what it is?

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Anastacia42
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Re: Inquiring To No One

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:28 am

Hi Duncan,

Yes, I know what you mean. I realize you pretty much know all the answers and I appreciate you being real about what you're seeing and what you're not seeing. It is usually pretty clear when someone is seeing versus when they're not.

Yes, don't complicate it. Just relax, look, do the exercise & report what is found.

Where is the AE in your explanation of choosing? Or have you posted a long string of content of thought?

In the end, yes this is just the content of thought making up stories that choice happened. There is still a sense that “choice” happens and that may or may not go away even after “Seeing.”
When you relax & look - and relaxation is essential - you allow stories to drop & what is left is seeing.

The "sense of choice" does go away. Sometimes for short periods and sometimes for days, weeks and months.

I'll look at the link you sent in a little while or tomorrow.

I highly recommend Sam Harris's book on "Free Will," as well as his book, "Waking Up." We want you to mostly focus on your exercises, and Sam Harris is in alignment with what we are doing here.
Only Awareness. I suppose that is the Mystery that remains, even after the "self" is seen for what it is?
Yes, if anything, it deepens.

I suggest you do this same exercise some more. Relax into it & see what happens.


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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