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Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 12:20 am
by Ainonia
Apologies Vivien, the quotes seemed to have got a bit messed up in my last post, I think it all still makes sense though.

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 3:55 am
by Vivien
Hi Dave,
Thoughts certainly seem to be influenced by sensations, though at the same time they're also very separate from them. I am aware of sensations and I am aware of thoughts about those sensations, but I can't say for sure that there is an 'ability' to do so attributable to those sensations.
It's just an IDEA that sensation caused the thought. If you look very closely, you can see that all that can be said is there is a sensation, and then there is a thought ABOUT the sensation.

All causality is just ASSUMED in THINKING. Can you see this?

The sensation didn't directly influence the thought.
Yes, it doesn’t! It’s just imagined/thought to do the influencing.

A sensation is not an alive entity, that could do this or that. Can you see this?
But before that thought, another very brief and quite sneaky thought was observed about the idea of sensations and thoughts being linked. It seems a narrative was then formed between the sneaky thought and the memory of my childhaood accident.
So is this just SEEMS to be the case, or it this ACTUALLY what’s happening (that only thoughts/imagination is linking the thought to the sensation)?
V: But who/what is it exactly that thoughts distract?
D: The Dave character - i.e. a non existent entity.
But if the character is not an existent entity, then how is that possible?
How can nothing (literally nothing) be distracted by thoughts? Is this possible at all?

Or do you believe that there is SOMETHING that is being distracted by thought?
If yes, what would be that?


Do you see that your above reply is not coming from exploring experience, but from THINKING and speculating?
V: Who/what do thoughts have an effect on?
D: On the imaginary narrative associated with the non-existent Dave character.
Do you see that this is a thought speculation only?

Can thoughts have an effect on a non-existent thing? Can thoughts have an effect on nothing?


Dave, you have to look at the raw experience, and not just think this through.
Thinking won’t help. Thinking actually just reinforces the belief in a separate self.
That person doesn't exist. The thoughts are being directly observed by an innate sense of awareness, not a fictional character.
So the character is fictional, but the idea of another entity, called awareness, which has all sorts of abilities, like observing thoughts are not fictional?

How do you know that the awareness-entity is not fictional?
What is the experiential proof that there is an awareness-entity observing thoughts?

And what else does this awareness-entity can do?
Is this A-entity the thinker of thoughts?
Is this awareness-entity the doer of actions?
Is this entity the decider, the chooser and the controller?
Is this awareness-entity owns the body and moving the body?
Is this awareness-entity who is living life? Or whom life is happening to?

Is this awareness-entity the one that can be distracted by thoughts?
Is this A-entity the one that thoughts can have an effect on?


Please be very careful to examine all the possibilities above. But don’t think! Just look at what is actually going on.

Vivien

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 4:43 am
by Vivien
Hi Dave,

How things are going? Are you still with me?

Cheers,
Vivien

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 7:53 pm
by Ainonia
Hi Vivien,

Still with you! I've had a couple of very long days which saw me falling asleep earlier than usual, but hoping to get back to you later today.

Dave

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 11:52 pm
by Ainonia
Hi Vivien,
Thoughts certainly seem to be influenced by sensations, though at the same time they're also very separate from them. I am aware of sensations and I am aware of thoughts about those sensations, but I can't say for sure that there is an 'ability' to do so attributable to those sensations.
It's just an IDEA that sensation caused the thought. If you look very closely, you can see that all that can be said is there is a sensation, and then there is a thought ABOUT the sensation.
Yes, I agree.
All causality is just ASSUMED in THINKING. Can you see this?
I can, yes.
A sensation is not an alive entity, that could do this or that. Can you see this?
Yes, definitely.
But before that thought, another very brief and quite sneaky thought was observed about the idea of sensations and thoughts being linked. It seems a narrative was then formed between the sneaky thought and the memory of my childhood accident.
So is this just SEEMS to be the case, or it this ACTUALLY what’s happening (that only thoughts/imagination is linking the thought to the sensation)?
Yes, what it felt like was that the connection between the sensation and the thought about it was just another thought.
V: But who/what is it exactly that thoughts distract?
D: The Dave character - i.e. a non existent entity.
But if the character is not an existent entity, then how is that possible?
I felt that something was being distracted, but couldn't quite explain what that something is. I know, however, that it is not the Dave character.
How can nothing (literally nothing) be distracted by thoughts? Is this possible at all?
Nothing couldn't be distracted by thoughts, yet I did experience something being distracted by thoughts
Or do you believe that there is SOMETHING that is being distracted by thought?
If yes, what would be that?
The sense of awareness through which phenomena and sensations are noticed and observed.
Do you see that your above reply is not coming from exploring experience, but from THINKING and speculating?
V: Who/what do thoughts have an effect on?
D: On the imaginary narrative associated with the non-existent Dave character.
Do you see that this is a thought speculation only?
Yes, I can see how this is so.
Can thoughts have an effect on a non-existent thing? Can thoughts have an effect on nothing?
No, they couldn't.
Dave, you have to look at the raw experience, and not just think this through.
Thinking won’t help. Thinking actually just reinforces the belief in a separate self.
That person doesn't exist. The thoughts are being directly observed by an innate sense of awareness, not a fictional character.
So the character is fictional, but the idea of another entity, called awareness, which has all sorts of abilities, like observing thoughts are not fictional?
I don't perceive this awareness as an entity, but rather the innate sense of knowing. What this 'knowing' really is, I cannot define. It simply is. But I have no sense of it being a separate entity. Maybe I can't explain what I have experienced of it well enough here, but it feels like the same sense of awareness that informs of the arising of a thought. Surely, if I am aware of a thought arising then there is such a thing as awareness and by noting the arising of a thought then I am experiencing awareness? Or is this just another thought? If so, it seems that thoughts are all there actually is.
How do you know that the awareness-entity is not fictional?
Again, I don't perceive the sense of awareness to be a separate entity in the same way that I don't perceive any of my five senses to be separate entities. It it just the sense of knowing that something is being experienced.
What is the experiential proof that there is an awareness-entity observing thoughts?
There isn't one. The 'innate sense of awareness' I mentioned above is not an entity. What I was trying to explain was awareness itself, the means by which we are aware of being alive. Though I can see how my descriptions of it sound like I am describing a separate entity, that hasn't been what I have actually experienced.
And what else does this awareness-entity can do?
Nothing, because it doesn't exist.
Is this A-entity the thinker of thoughts?
No, definitely not.
Is this awareness-entity the doer of actions?
Absolutely not.
Is this entity the decider, the chooser and the controller?
Again, no.
Is this awareness-entity owns the body and moving the body?
No, such a thing doesn't exist.
Is this awareness-entity who is living life? Or whom life is happening to?
No, but life is happening and there is an awareness of that. Whatever is experiencing it as a form of awareness is beyond my ability to express.
Is this awareness-entity the one that can be distracted by thoughts?
No, but the distraction of thoughts has been experienced.
Is this A-entity the one that thoughts can have an effect on?
As it doesn't exist, then no.
Please be very careful to examine all the possibilities above. But don’t think! Just look at what is actually going on.
Thanks Vivien, I've been trying hard with this one which is why, along with other time constraints and tiredness there has been a bit of delay with responding to it. I've been trying hard not to resort to thought in giving responses, and relying only on what has been experienced. But while experience can't be attributed to a separate awareness entity, I know, at the same time, that sensations and thoughts are being experienced. The error on my part may be in presenting the awareness of experience in terms that seem like it's being personified, but this isn't what I'm really experiencing or have intended to convey. A tough one!

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 4:18 am
by Vivien
Hi Dave,

I’ve collected some of your replies bellow.
Yes, what it felt like was that the connection between the sensation and the thought about it was just another thought.

I felt that something was being distracted, but couldn't quite explain what that something is. I know, however, that it is not the Dave character.

Nothing couldn't be distracted by thoughts, yet I did experience something being distracted by thoughts
You replied for these questions from memory and not from looking at each questions again in this very moment.

This inquiry is about repeated looking and looking and more looking. Never ever rely on a memory of a previous looking. Why? Because that’s thinking. You just can think about what happened before.

And you cannot get anywhere with thinking or recalling a memory, which is more thinking.

Looking is something that happens in this very moment.
Looking doesn’t happen in thinking or by recalling a memory.
Looking is about noticing what is there WITHOUT thoughts (when all thoughts ignored).
Looking is experiencing. It’s the opposite of thinking.

Also, you are contradicting yourself, which is also the sign of thinking and not looking at the immediate raw experience.
At first you wrote:
V: But who/what is it exactly that thoughts distract?
D: The Dave character - i.e. a non existent entity.
But when it was questioned, you came up with a new idea that it’s not the Dave-character that thoughts are distracting, but the ‘sense of awareness’.
V: Or do you believe that there is SOMETHING that is being distracted by thought?
If yes, what would be that?
D: The sense of awareness through which phenomena and sensations are noticed and observed.
But later, you’ve changed your mind again:
V: Is this awareness-entity the one that can be distracted by thoughts?
D: No, but the distraction of thoughts has been experienced.
Do you see that you are not investigating the immediate, raw experience, but rather you are trying to come up with all sorts of reasoning and ideas about who/what is being distracted by thoughts?

Thinking won’t help you.
Thinking is in the way of noticing what is actually happening.

You have to ignore all thoughts, and you have to investigate the raw experience BEFORE any thought interpretation.

If you don’t shift your focus from thinking to noticing experience, then you will just go in rounds and rounds, thinking and thinking, and only coming up with all sorts of ideas and speculations without actually seeing what is going on in reality.

The ‘truth’ / realty is in front of you. You are just not looking there. Since you are busy with thinking and not experiencing.
I don't perceive this awareness as an entity, but rather the innate sense of knowing. What this 'knowing' really is, I cannot define. It simply is. But I have no sense of it being a separate entity.
You might THINK that the awareness you are talking about is not separate, but actually you are repeatedly talking about separation.

Separation = subject-object relation
That there is a subject, which knows the object.
The subject (awareness / I / me / self) which knows or aware of the object (thought, sensation, etc.).
If there is ‘aware of’ something, then there is a separation.
Since there is a subject which is aware of the object.

Non-separation is about seeing that there is no subject-object relationship.
There are no two ‘thing’ happening, one being aware of the other.
There is only WHAT IS.
There is nothing other than WHAT IS.
There is nothing which could stand apart and know or be aware of what is.

As soon as there is an apparent knowing, there is the illusion of the subject being created, which is apart from what is being known.
It’s not possible to be aware of something without being different than what is known.

This seeming knower (regardless of it being called as awareness, or I, or me, consciousness, or whatever) IS the self-illusion itself.

Sit for a few minutes… thoughts come and go….

Is there a thought + awareness?
Are there two things there?

HOW do you know that there is anything that is knowing or being aware of a thought?
Where does the information of there being a subject (awareness) that knows that there is a thought present?
What is giving this information?

Is there ‘something’ that knows the presence of a thought?
If you say yes, where is it? Where? Point with your finger (literally) to where the subject/knower/awareness/noticer is. Where does your finger point to?


Vivien

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 11:53 pm
by Ainonia
Hi Vivien,

Thanks for pointing out some very helpful pieces of advice in your last response. It's much appreciated, and all has been taken on board. Yes, there was a certain amount of remembering going on with some of my last answers, though I tried to dip into looking, too, but I guess the looking were below standard.
Sit for a few minutes… thoughts come and go….

Is there a thought + awareness?
No, there are only thoughts. Having looked again tonight, what I called 'awareness' before was seen to be separate thoughts relating to the concept of awareness, or thoughts about the flow of thoughts.
Are there two things there?
No, there are just thoughts.
HOW do you know that there is anything that is knowing or being aware of a thought?
I couldn't find a way to directly experience the 'thing' that could be aware of thought.
Where does the information of there being a subject (awareness) that knows that there is a thought present?
During looking, the information about the concept of awareness was present in the form of thoughts.
What is giving this information?
Only thoughts.
Is there ‘something’ that knows the presence of a thought?
There is no 'something' that is aware of the presence of a thought. When thoughts arose while looking, an attempt was made to locate such a thing, but nothing but thoughts could be found.

Dave

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 2:29 am
by Vivien
Hi Dave,
Thanks for pointing out some very helpful pieces of advice in your last response.
I’m glad it was helpful :)
No, there are only thoughts. Having looked again tonight, what I called 'awareness' before was seen to be separate thoughts relating to the concept of awareness, or thoughts about the flow of thoughts.
OK. Let’s look even deeper. The notion of awareness can be sometimes quite sticky, so you have to look until you have zero doubt about this topic.
There is no 'something' that is aware of the presence of a thought. When thoughts arose while looking, an attempt was made to locate such a thing, but nothing but thoughts could be found.
Great! So let’s look again. Investigate these questions throughout your day, no matter what you do, stop for a moment and inquiry, even if the reply seems to be clear, please look more.

Is there an independent awareness/witnessing waiting in the background for things to appear in?

Is there an awareness which is something special, apart from the five senses?

Is awareness something independent of and prior to sense perception?


Vivien

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:53 pm
by Ainonia
Hi Vivien,
Great! So let’s look again. Investigate these questions throughout your day, no matter what you do, stop for a moment and inquiry, even if the reply seems to be clear, please look more.

Is there an independent awareness/witnessing waiting in the background for things to appear in?
No. This couldn't be perceived at all. I was aware only of thoughts appearing and physical sensations.
Is there an awareness which is something special, apart from the five senses?
No. But one thing that could pass for this was the perception of thoughts coming and going, which, although not a separate sense of awareness as previously thought, is not one of the five senses either.
Is awareness something independent of and prior to sense perception?
No awareness could be experienced before senses were perceived, and there was no experience of it being something independent of the perception of sensations (and thoughts) either.

Dave

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:06 am
by Vivien
Hi Dave,

Do you have any doubts whether awareness as a background of all phenomena is nothing else than a concept, an idea?

Have you noticed that there is an almost constant steam of thoughts, labelling and narrating what is going on?
Have you noticed that this narration is mostly in first-person pronouns (I/me/my/mine)?
That almost everything is being interpreted in relation to ME?


So experience is being narrated in form of thoughts on behalf of a self/me.

But is there an actual self behind the first-person pronouns?
Or there is just the narration on behalf of an imaginary self, that doesn’t exist in reality?


So the thought story appears in a first-person narrative.

But is there an actual narrator behind these thoughts?

Vivien

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:13 pm
by Ainonia
Hi Vivien,
Do you have any doubts whether awareness as a background of all phenomena is nothing else than a concept, an idea?
I no longer have any doubts about this.
Have you noticed that there is an almost constant steam of thoughts, labelling and narrating what is going on?
Yes, definitely!
Have you noticed that this narration is mostly in first-person pronouns (I/me/my/mine)?
That almost everything is being interpreted in relation to ME?
Yes, I've noticed that.
So experience is being narrated in form of thoughts on behalf of a self/me.

But is there an actual self behind the first-person pronouns?
Or there is just the narration on behalf of an imaginary self, that doesn’t exist in reality?
I haven't been able to detect the existence of any actual self, just thoughts. During daily life, I've come to notice the truth of this more regularly when a stream of thoughts about something has been broken by the realisation that those thoughts aren't 'me,' they're just thoughts.
So the thought story appears in a first-person narrative.

But is there an actual narrator behind these thoughts?
There isn't. All that can actually be detected is a stream of disparate thoughts.

Dave

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 4:15 am
by Vivien
Hi Dave,
During daily life, I've come to notice the truth of this more regularly when a stream of thoughts about something has been broken by the realisation that those thoughts aren't 'me,' they're just thoughts.
Great :)
But if thoughts, aren’t you, then what are you?
Is there someone a 'you' or an 'I', an individual, at all to be anything?


Look at the display before you.

Is someone doing seeing, or is someone there experiencing seeing, or is seeing just happening?

Or is it really that seeing just happens... and everything else is a thought interpretation about who, how, where, when and why?


Vivien

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:37 pm
by Ainonia
Hi Vivien,
But if thoughts, aren’t you, then what are you?
Is there someone a 'you' or an 'I', an individual, at all to be anything?
This is tricky to answer without resorting to preconceived thoughts and ideas, but I'll try my best to answer it purely through looking.

What am I?

I don't know, but there is a perception of sensations and thought. The existence of a physical body can be verified by looking at it. That's all though, there's no other answer to be found through looking.

Is there an 'I?'

From looking, no, there is not. All that can be perceived are ideas about selfhood, but nothing to point to an ctual existeing entity.
Look at the display before you.

Is someone doing seeing, or is someone there experiencing seeing, or is seeing just happening?
Seeing is just happening. There is no other control behind it and no other entity aware of the act of seeing.
Or is it really that seeing just happens... and everything else is a thought interpretation about who, how, where, when and why?
Yes, this explains it well. Seeing is happening and all the things being seen are being subjected to the interpretation of thoughts about what is being seen.

Dave

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 1:24 am
by Vivien
Hi Dave,
I don't know, but there is a perception of sensations and thought. That's all though, there's no other answer to be found through looking.
OK.

So thoughts are.
Sensations are.
Body is.

But is there an I claiming to be the body? Or thoughts and sensations?
Is there someone identifying as body and thoughts and sensation?

The existence of a physical body can be verified by looking at it.
With eyes open, what is being perceived we call colour. There are different colours and shapes.
The body is a label on certain colors. Can you see this?

Image
Some colors are labelled as me, and some colors are labelled as not me.

But is there someone identifying and saying that the colors labelled ‘body’ is ME?

Now closed your eyes, and tell me, how is the body experienced? What is the experience of the body?


Vivien

Re: Feel like I'm close but need a push

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 11:57 pm
by Ainonia
Hi Vivien,
But is there an I claiming to be the body? Or thoughts and sensations?
No, these things just are. There is nothing trying to claim any of these things, they simply exist as they are.
Is there someone identifying as body and thoughts and sensation?
No entity comes forward to identify itself with these things. It has been noticed in everyday life that the terms 'I' or 'my' have been used in connection to them, but no 'self' has ever been found or experienced.
The existence of a physical body can be verified by looking at it.
With eyes open, what is being perceived we call colour. There are different colours and shapes.
The body is a label on certain colors. Can you see this?
Yes, I can see this.
But is there someone identifying and saying that the colors labelled ‘body’ is ME?
No, there is no experience of this happening.
Now closed your eyes, and tell me, how is the body experienced? What is the experience of the body?
It is experienced entirely through the sense of touch, whether it be the weight of my body being felt in my seat, the awareness of my lips being closed together, or the swell of my chest as I breathe. The experience of the body itself cannot be pit into words. It is being experienced but is not experiencing anything.

Dave.