Thread for JackSprat

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Ilona
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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby Ilona » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:41 am

How is it going? Do you have insights to share?
Love.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:58 pm

Wow! I was just compiling the questions you have asked so far to go through and write answers again. Serendipitous... or are there coincidences...?

Thank you for keeping at this with me.

So, in no particular order, I'm going to paste a question you have asked me and have another go at each, looking. My vision is still altered and has been since I told you about it. Depth perception and fascination with seeing. It's remarkable. Not all the time, but almost all the time I am in nature. Anyway - not the point of this, but I find it interesting.
In experience right here, right now, look and see, is there a separate self? What is here? What is real? What does not change?
I can't find one looking. Here, there is a body, some clothing, seeing of that... thinking about the color of the shirt seen. "banana" is labeled from the corner of my eye. Annoyance comes up because it feels off topic. Looking around. Typing. Head turning... wondering if there is a self here somewhere happens. Hearing phone ringing. Conversation about scheduling. Didn't require any "thinking" in the classic sense - answers given. I didn't have to consult with anyone of the "I" variety. It all just happened. None of it had an "I" thought unless I was looking for "I." Clearly these activities and thoughts are not those that generate 'I" thoughts.
Is fear done by a self? Is annoyance a proof of a separate self? Are thoughts about a self = an entity?
No... as in - I don't make me scared. That sentence is tough, but what I mean is that I don't create the fear. Fear happens as a result of something other than me as observer occurring, which creates a fear response in the body or mind. Usually the body, and the mind interprets the sensations as fear/scared. Then a sort of cascade happens with more physical response and more mental response. Just a ping pong kind of thing. There's no manager there. If there was, then I suppose one could just say "stop the fear" or at least "stop the physical items that feel like fear." The mind can create fear sometimes, of course, but that occurs again as a result of some stimulus... a thought, for example. Annoyance is the same. I wish it were controllable, but it isn't. Aggravation just happens, again, as a result of some stimulus. If it were possible to say "no more aggravation" then one could assume there is a controller, but doing that just makes more aggravation. Thoughts about a self are what create a lot of these difficulties. Now... this part I have heard, but I have also experienced it...one's view that a self exists in relationship to what is occurring can be the factor which causes the aggravation. If one doesn't identify as having an unchanging self, then the stimulus doesn't create annoyance because it's kind of irrelevant what another person does... in a sense.
What is in the way of peace now?
Too much identification with thoughts that tell me there is a self - that I am an entity with a rigid sense of things, an opinion, and a stake in the game.
Where is the i that reads this? where is the reader right now?
There is a narrative voice in my head reading this aloud. I know that's just part of my mind voicing itself, and I do recognize the words before the mind actually says them - despite how it seems. Reading is done before my mind takes credit for it verbally. The reader feels in my head based on this.
Is I an entity that is doing breathing, sitting, blinking, moving?
What is here without any pretending?
No, body breathes, sits, blinks... moves. Moving is interesting because the brain takes credit with a thought about it. So I just shifted in my chair. Since I happened to be focused on this in that moment, I realize that the body moved because the previous position was causing discomfort in my upper back - so the brain and body worked together to shift. Then my mind seemed to take credit for the decision, but since I was tuned into the very thing - it was obvious the body/brain worked together to move simply as a result of discomfort beforehand. I'm not pretending anything - I'm looking at what's happening. Stuff is happening - the blinking, breathing, thinking, etc. Of course, the thinking is pretty quiet as I ask "what is here?" I just see... feel... move. Rather - just seeing, feeling, moving. There isn't an I in that sentence or even that thought.
Where is the line between doing and happening?
Not possible to determine from looking. It seems to be simultaneous. Or rather... that the actual happening is the doing, and then there is the thought about the happening and doing. The thought itself is a result of the happening and/or doing, and isn't sort of conjured up by the manager - it just happens. It would be lovely if it happened less.
I does not exist. How does that land in the body? I as a separate self, outside of life, with control and power over what is happening, does not exist. I as an entity, that is managing a little part of life does not exist.
That lands totally fine. Just... I don't know.. passes right through. I as an entity that manages life does not exist. Fine with that - however - it recoil quickly because the mind drops into "then what is there?" meaning control-wise.
There is sense of being. There is aliveness. Does that sense need a name? Is that sense in need of identity?
Do you need to spend someone or something in order to be?
No, the sense doesn't seem to need a name or even really be invested at all, per se. it's just there... as the view I have of all that's going on. One doesn't need to sense someone/something as an "I" to be. Being just is.
Was there ever a separate self in charge?
I certainly thought so, yes. I don't understand how things are done if one isn't in any way controlling them. I've had crazy senses of automaticity and true "simply happening" moments without any sense of controller anywhere... yet, something is still driving the boat. Or things are still driving the boat. During those times, I still got in the truck and drove to get my daughter from school, etc. etc. Except there was absolutely zero sense of anyone doing anything. It was all happening like I was a video game entity being played by someone. My hand would move and I would notice I was starting the vehicle and be fascinated that it was happening without any "me" in any way shape or form. It was more like God, or whatever one wants to call it, was using a Nintendo paddle on me. It was a bit eerie.
"I" am not in charge. This body isn't in charge, either. Something seems to be - some kind of behind-the-scenes power.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby Ilona » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:50 am

Good work, thank you!
That lands totally fine. Just... I don't know.. passes right through. I as an entity that manages life does not exist. Fine with that - however - it recoil quickly because the mind drops into "then what is there?" meaning control-wise.
Good question, what is here?
How do you see controlling? What are you in control right now?

Here is an exercise for you http://markedeternal.blogspot.com/2012/05/labels.html
Soo how language itself creates an illusion of an entity. Do this exercise here or on paper and tell me, is I the controller or part of description of what is already free flowing?

Another thing, look how everything is happening in nature. Is there a behind the scenes power that makes seeds grow into trees, birds sing, rain, animals Behaving as they do? Is there a puppet master that pulls the strings and commands what each life form has to do on moment by moment basis? Or moves clouds and makes rain?
Is there power that is exclusively for humans? Or these humans are also part of nature?

Explore this and write to me soon.

Love.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:23 pm

Soo how language itself creates an illusion of an entity. Do this exercise here or on paper and tell me, is I the controller or part of description of what is already free flowing?
I did it sitting in my office looking around. I went through without I and with. I noted that "seeing the painting" as opposed to "I am looking at the painting" creates less friction in the heart. There is a tightening when one says "I am looking at the painting," whereas simply stating "seeing the painting" had no real tightening. At least less.. if any tightening.
Is there power that is exclusively for humans? Or these humans are also part of nature?
Oh certainly not! I was raised in a Christian based community and never could tolerate the idea of "subdue the Earth" and that it's all provided here for "us." We're just another animal on the planet with a higher cognitive ability (as far as we know).

I do not believe there is one who makes rain, or dictates where clouds go or don't. It rains as a result of whatever interaction of all the factors coming together at whatever time it occurs. There's doubtful a schedule, but there is a rythm, seemingly. There is no power that is exclusively for humans. I don't know if there is a power that governs everything, but I have little faith that, should there be, it would be anything akin to what religion describes (like a bearded man, for example). More likely, it is life governing itself in some way. Not as an entity, but simply as... one thing leads to another, leads to another, leads to another.

There is still some fear of lacking a self. I feel it now as I describe the above. The feeling came up as a sort of grief and melancholy that there's nothing. Sadness.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:27 pm

Yes, sadness comes up as I read what I wrote. A kind of melancholy in the heart is felt.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby Ilona » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:39 am

Thank you.
Now let’s meet that sadness, it’s ok to feel it. Follow it. Feel it. Yes to it.
Nothing real is lost. Nothing other than a fantasy is dropped.

And what does that mean that lived is governing itself? Expand in this. Is there free will independent of all the factors that come together and rhythms of nature?

Love.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:40 pm

And what does that mean that lived is governing itself? Expand in this. Is there free will independent of all the factors that come together and rhythms of nature?
Well it means that it's all a "natural course." Whatever the laws of nature may be (probably not what we think they are) interact to create whatever is in any given moment. So if I try looking at it, in the spirit of this work instead of intellectualizing it...There's no governor. That's just a phrase. A means of describing the fact that... heat sucks up moisture from the ocean, the wind pulls up dust from a desert landscape, the moisture and dust mingle in a cloud, they pass over, the moisture accumulates and becomes too heavy to remain combined with the dust, so it falls in drops to the ground. It soaks in. The grass turns it into greenery. The cow eats the greenery. The cow poops on the greenery, which in turn eats the poop (as do worms and bugs). The cow dies. Bugs and worms eat the cow. The soil grows more greenery.

It's completely endless shy of complete annihilation, and that's only the tiniest fraction of a speck of a description of the process.

The moisture, heat, dust, cloud, rain, grass, cow, worm... they have no free will. It's likely not even something within their realm of... existence, really. Humans - this human - appears to have free will. However, the process that constitutes this human is really no different than that which constitutes the cloud. Humans appear to make choices. Those are based simply on habit, as far as I can tell. I've noticed some regular choices in life that are simply unskillful and stopped doing them. Is that free will or simply not acting mindlessly? Choices may be the wrong term, actually. Reactions and responses may be more appropriate.

This is where looking gets hard. A cloud, seemingly, cannot stop itself dropping acid rain. A human can, analogously, stop doing things that are harmful with wisdom about the results of their actions, and seeing more clearly the habits that inflict harm. Is this a choice? I can't tell, I guess.

This is very tricky. Life governs itself. All life. I am life. So are you. So is this computer and our manner of communication, in fact. Life is. Life governs itself. This human is governed by the process of life. The process of life is impersonal. Wolves eat lambs. Birds eat bugs. Humans hurt one another. Is hurt simply a label on an action engaged in by the process of life? Like when my wife cries about the wolf eating the lamb and how unfair it is.... well... that's just the laws of nature governing itself. The wolf is hungry and must eat - the lamb is there; it is eaten. My wife cries. I feel sorry for the lamb, but happy for the wolf. Should the wolf starve to death, my wife would cry for the wolf. I would feel sorry for the wolf, and happy for the lamb. Why? Is it not ultimately the same?

My thought process skitters away from looking at what this means to be human, and be governed by life... as life itself. I am life itself governing itself. Wolves have no identity, nor trees, nor bats, birds, bees, blades of grass, or oxen. Why would humans have identity, in truth?

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby Ilona » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:25 am

Nice, yes, good description.
This is where looking gets hard. A cloud, seemingly, cannot stop itself dropping acid rain. A human can, analogously, stop doing things that are harmful with wisdom about the results of their actions, and seeing more clearly the habits that inflict harm. Is this a choice? I can't tell, I guess.
Good question. If you are aware of a harmful pattern the pattern has a window to drop. What is required here is full awareness and wisdom as you say. Can you consciously continuously inflict harm on yourself? Only unconsciously. So becoming conscious is what frees patterns.
And if you look at all patterns as solutions to something deeper, finding those deeper problems and meeting them will get the solutions drop. (For example if overeating is a solution for emotional Pain, once the pain is met, the overeating is no longer required)

Is it a choice to drop what is no longer serving? Or it drops like old leaves from a tree?

Explore this in your experience. What do you notice?

Love.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:24 pm

This is very interesting.

I started heeding the Buddha's advice about the eightfold path roughly a year and a half ago. It was because I had bad habits that led to a lot of difficulty for me and those around me. So... right action and speech have been important since. I've spent a lot of time engaged with it.
Can you consciously continuously inflict harm on yourself?
It would appear not, at least not me as a being. The more I have seen of certain patterns, the less willing I am to engage with them. They do very much still crop up, though now thinking about it, perhaps some of them less so. Some are gone. So, no. Yet, I know of many people who do. I'm guessing they must essentially be unconscious, though that term is difficult to use. As you say... becoming conscious is what frees patterns. At least being locked into patterns, since one sees them and is unlikely to consciously continue harming themselves. Alright. I'm with you.
Is it a choice to drop what is no longer serving? Or it drops like old leaves from a tree?
This is a harder distinction. I have experienced it as both. I saw that I am not the center of the universe and saw that I don't have to carry the weight of the world (seems dramatic, but it felt this way) one time, and immediately all sorts of things changed. Essentially, all grudges ceased immediately, and I gained some compassion for those for whom I had any deep grudges. There are probably more, but I'm not seeing them yet. Anyway - that was definitely leaves from the trees dropping. No control - saw a thing - away dropped an entire canopy of leaves.

That said, it's much more work lately, seemingly. The old thought patterns (not about grudges) come bubbling up, as thoughts do. I ignore them, mostly. Sometimes they come up in dreams with a vengeance, or take me away mentally, and I have to work to drop them. It seems like work. Following along with them wouldn't serve, but I have to work not to. That's what I'm saying. So I see two things at play in my current experience.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby Ilona » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:43 am

Thank you for sharing.
One thing that comes up reading your reply is where you say that you ignore patterns and thoughts. That’s a form of denial or escape. Meet them instead, that way they can go to rest. Otherwise they will keep banging from inside. The feeling that comes with those thoughts and patterns comes to be allowed and felt fully..

What else do you notice? Are you still searching for something? If so, what? What would satisfy fully?
Love.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:53 pm

Ignore may not be the best turn of phrase. They are thought patterns. I see them arise from whatever cause (mostly out of nowhere, though potentially related to a poor coping mechanism with aversion) and don't give in to them. That may be a better way to put it. I don't entertain them as they are and "live them." I simply see them, disagree with the content, and try to move past them. I'm not sure how else to deal with them head on when the content isn't something I want to buy in to.

Maybe I just answered my own question. See what brought the thought pattern - the cause prior. Feel that. hm.

I don't know. I don't think I'm still searching. I think I'm sorting. Pushing things around.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:57 pm

What would satisfy fully?
I suppose that's the premise, right? The answer is nothing. Nothing experienced satisfies fully, which is one of the most fundamental things the Buddha pointed to. Anicca, dukkha, anatta.

There is no self to be found in experience, as all experience changes - anatta/anicca.

Looking at experience, there is the sense of self that comes from thoughts and sensations. The brain interprets sensations and outputs as "me doing" as opposed to "touch - hot - move quickly - safe" which is absolute basic cause and effect. No self there to be had, just a bunch of experiences.

What experiences, though? An experience experiences. Self is an experience, not a thing.

An experience is still not a self, as experience changes - example, the experience of experiencing ceases in death (maybe...? we don't know.) - anatta/anicca. The thought/sensation of self is simply an experience (thought or sensation), but isn't actually a thing. All the rest are basic responses to stuff, which have always been interpreted as "self" from... habit since youth? Over-labeling? Misunderstanding the signals? Probably a conglomeration of all those.

I don't know what else to look at, Ilona.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby Ilona » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:17 am

I invite you to look deeper and see what is that would give full satisfaction.
What experiences, though? An experience experiences.
Nice theory. Is colour experiencing itself? Is sound experiencing itself?
Or is there something else here that is not changing and always present?
Look at your hand, are you seeing colour or is colour seeing you? Is hand seeing itself?
Is sensation called the foot experiencing itself?

Look underneath all concepts, in actuality.
Connect that to the sense of being, aliveness, awareness or whatever you want to call it. Explore and write.

Love.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:27 pm

I find this frustrating. Maybe that's a good thing for this.
Is colour experiencing itself?
Color is an experience in itself. It doesn't experience itself...well I don't think so. I suppose I don't really know if red is aware of redness. I find this difficult to contemplate. I don't think a color can experience itself.
Is sound experiencing itself?
This is the same, of course. Sound is experienced. It is an experience that is experienced by... other things. That's what doesn't make sense to me. I'm only a series of experiences all occurring. Touch, sight, smell...they all occur to me and other things also experiencing them. I assume birds and dogs, but I can only say that I know other humans do because we can compare notes. Yes - that sound sounded. I heard that, too. The sound itself is the experience. It must not experience itself.
Or is there something else here that is not changing and always present?
I can't say, honestly. When I look, it feels as though "I am" unchanging in my perspective, but it isn't true. Thoughts change, how I view things change, I physically change... but I witness those changes. How? I don't understand that part. It isn't only the vision that witnesses it - the vision itself changes over time and has. I am aware of the changes of the vision, though it seems like that is the seat of me-ness because it's up in the head. I am aware of the changes of the physical being and mental changes in time. Perspective changes. What is it that is aware of the always changing nature of experience? Me... but who the f*ck is that? Or what? Or even where? It's not where it has always seemed to be, because those are the very things that change, and I am aware that it happens. So it's not in my head... or associated with sight, or even the felt sense of the body. So where the hell is it? Where's me? Not the name and associate history - but the me that sees it.
Look at your hand, are you seeing colour or is colour seeing you? Is hand seeing itself?
No, color is not seeing me. To my knowledge and direct experience, color is not seeing me. I see color, but with vision that changes. Vision isn't reliable or permanent, but I experience both the good vision, closed eyes, poor vision, etc. When I look at the hand, I see a hand sort of "out there." From a sensation perspective, it feels as though the hand feels itself, though. it doesn't really feel like I am feeling it back here in the control tower, like it used to. It's more "out there" in the hand itself. The sense doesn't feel quite as though it belongs to me - but I still have no idea where "I" am. Again, I don't mean the narration since birth with a name and a personality and all that. I mean ME... the thing seeing the hand, feeling the sensation of hand out there in front of me.
Is sensation called the foot experiencing itself?
It sort of seems that way. Well... the sensation of foot is just there. It doesn't feel like "mine." I do witness the sensation of something, which is what I associate with foot. It not longer feels quite so "mine" as it used to, though. It's difficult to describe, but it's simply that there is knowledge of a sensation out there - I call it foot. So who has this knowledge of the sensation? I don't know. I am aware of the sensation. I am aware of the sight, sounds, smells, typing, seeing, walking, angering, annoyance, relaxation...I am aware of it all, even if I'm not tuned into it directly. I'm aware of it. It doesn't feel closer, feels more like I'm going in circles.

I'm aware of these things, and yet the things themselves aren't mine or personal, really. The foot just feels like sensations "out there." Vision feels more personal, and thoughts moreso. I'm aware of these differences - and yet the thing that is aware is very hard to define or locate - I say hard because some people obviously do it. I'm feeling like it's quite impossible at the moment - but I'm aware of that feeling. So annoying.
I invite you to look deeper and see what is that would give full satisfaction.
Being able to point back at that thing that is aware and recognize it instead of just chasing this thing all over hell and back.

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Re: Thread for JackSprat

Postby JackSprat » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:56 pm

"I am" is a thought. Knowing about I am, is a thought.


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