Page 2 of 5

Re: Seeing

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:06 pm
by seriousrick
thoughts about brains and visual cortexes and eyes
Hahaha...I love this. Yes, I used to be a psychologist, so this will almost definitely happen XD

Thank you for your continued guidance; I will do this a good number of times and report back :)

Re: Seeing

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:18 pm
by seriousrick
thoughts about brains and visual cortexes and eyes
Hahaha...I love this. Yes, I used to be a psychologist, so this will almost definitely happen XD

Thank you for your continued guidance; I will do this a good number of times and report back :)

Re: Seeing

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:06 pm
by Skygazer74
😁 great. Yes this enquiry is largely about distinguishing between what we think we experience and what we actually experience. I expect having been a psychologist will lend a certain flavour to it too!

Re: Seeing

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:07 pm
by seriousrick
Seeing - usually there is a sense of separation between seer and seen. When looking at what is seen:
I want you to try to find that separation. Where does the seer become the seen, is there a boundary?
Can you actually find a separate witness? Can you find an inherent see-er? Can you find the eyes in DE?
This exercise is helping me to see how much I think about awareness when I try to bring it into my day. What I end up having is the mental experience of awareness, or frustration at the disparity between a past opening and the current apparent closing.

When I just look at that, and try to find the boundary between thought and seeing the thought, they merge into one. A few times it has flipped entirely, so that awareness feels like it is coming 'out' of the objects I am looking it. The seer is in everything, and in nothing at all.

What a grand show I have been making of all this. I am witnessing progressively more subtle layers of identity. At times its noticed that things are very quiet, with the senses arising and falling within this vast space. But actually, when I look for seen/seer, I notice that - in a very sneaky way - I am positioning 'myself' 'behind' the eyes, or behind the awareness. Like a centre. But that too, that is seen. There is the attention of the mind, which is pointed, directional. And there is the seeing in which that attention moves.
Once this feels clear, let me know if there is a self anywhere to be found in the experience of seeing.
On some level, it feels like there is a sense of self. But when watched very closely, it is a sequence of moments that have no inherent connection from one moment to the next. If I allow thinking to take the foreground, it is those thoughts that give rise to the sense of continuity. It's like the 'self' is more like a verb than a noun. An active process that requires a kind of participation in. It ebbs and flows as I watch it; many years of identification, like a habit.

It struck me earlier that maybe I don't have to do anything at all. If direct experience is here, right here, then all the looking and enquiring can continue, but it continues in the present moment. 'Trying' again is an experience that only comes together with the identification of one moment to the next, with the future thought of it arriving somewhere. Even as I write this, I can see the mind complaining, remembering all its past efforts. Like a sunk cost, there is an attachment to how much energy has been dropped into the search. The seeking somehow validates the search that has come before, but actually they are just memories. Arising now. The mind cannot grab onto direct experience; it is by nature untouchable.

I feel quite a lot of compassion for this 'Rick'. No wonder he has struggled so hard, for so many years, to find the answers. Real truth can't be found in something that has no ground though, can it?

Re: Seeing

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:28 pm
by Skygazer74
Hi Rick,

I should really read your answer in the morning when I feel fresher, as I'm just home from a very long shift.
when I look for seen/seer, I notice that - in a very sneaky way - I am positioning 'myself' 'behind' the eyes, or behind the awareness. Like a centre.
Yes this is where most people sense the self, as the visual field is so strong, and the sense that there is an I looking out at it, but this split between inner and outer is not real, or to be found in DE!
If I allow thinking to take the foreground, it is those thoughts that give rise to the sense of continuity. It's like the 'self' is more like a verb than a noun. An active process that requires a kind of participation in. It ebbs and flows as I watch it; many years of identification, like a habit.
That's right, and it is only found in thought. Nowhere in DE will you find a self. There is just this habit of assuming it exists which is so ingrained it is taken for granted.
Real truth can't be found in something that has no ground though
I see what you mean, but in DE, can you find 'no ground' or even 'real truth?'


Everything you wrote sounds good, and it feels like progress is happening, although I wasn't meaning to look at thought but rather the visual field, so apologies if I wasn't clear about that - so it would be good to do the same questions, simply with what is seen. So with the visual field can you find where the split lies between seer and seen? Where is the self in the visual experience?

It also would be good to do this with sound:

Find somewhere quiet to sit. Rest for a moment and listen to the sounds in the room where you are, or sounds from outside. Whatever it is, I'll just refer to it as 'what can be heard'.

1) In 'hearing' can anything be found other than 'what can be heard'?
2) Can what is doing the hearing be found? Or is there only 'what can be heard'?
3) An 'I'? a 'body'? a 'person'? a brain? a pair of ears? Can these be found doing the hearing? Or is there just 'what can be heard'?
What do you find?

Can an INHERENT HEARER be found? Would anything that is suggested as the hearer, be anything other than a concept/idea/thought?

Re: Seeing

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:46 pm
by seriousrick
I will combine your suggestions with what I was doing already. This is great!!

Re: Seeing

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:17 am
by seriousrick
Throughout my work day, I am trying to pause every 15 minutes or so and witness the seeing, hearing or feeling field of experience, look for the boundary, and enquire as to the location/presence of a self. One thing I am finding is it takes me more than a few minutes to really settle into the practice. I have this habit of thinking about awareness, or expecting it to feel a certain way. Essentially, the ego/mind tries to hijack the experience, own it, be in control.

Re: Seeing

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:16 pm
by Skygazer74
Hi Rick,

That sounds good, however I would appreciate it if you could also do the exercises given and answer the questions in blue. They are carefully designed to take you into seeing.
I have this habit of thinking about awareness, or expecting it to feel a certain way. Essentially, the ego/mind tries to hijack the experience, own it, be in control.
Yes - distinguishing between awareness, and thinking about awareness is an important breakthrough so if you are doing that that is good! We will come on to control a little later, so try to just keep it simple and follow the guidance and we will get there :)

Best wishes,

Nic

Re: Seeing

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:26 pm
by seriousrick
...but in DE, can you find 'no ground' or even 'real truth?'
I often notice my mind grasping after truth, almost as if it could be held and kept, delivering me from whatever experience I want to escape. But if I look from DE, there is no concept of ground or not ground. Sometimes this is alarming, sometimes it is freeing. As for truth, in DE there is only what is; truth seems like a relative concept, something added 'after the fact'
Where is the self in the visual experience?
The self appears to be present when I am looking, but with labels attached. My default mode is not to be witnessing my DE, but relating to it. Internalising it. If I do that, there appears to be a 'me' that is seeing. But if I watch that, especially if I just look at the shapes/colours in that which can be seen, I cannot find a self that is not some instance of 'relating'. Again it seems like an addition; within every sensory moment, there is this open field of awareness that contains within it the freedom of everything. I notice that it is more readily available if I 'zone out' on something; moving the eyes tends to snap the sense of self back into focus. The act of moving the eyes around comes along with the sense of doership, although if I let that go, the doership cannot be found either.

I think I am literally addicted to thinking 'I' have to do all this.
1) In 'hearing' can anything be found other than 'what can be heard'?
2) Can what is doing the hearing be found? Or is there only 'what can be heard'?
3) An 'I'? a 'body'? a 'person'? a brain? a pair of ears? Can these be found doing the hearing? Or is there just 'what can be heard'?
What do you find?
When effort is applied to hearing, the effort itself gives rise to a hearer. But its a bit like pushing something along; it can only be felt when there is pushing. It is the pushing that creates that experience, even. Without pushing/trying, just hearing, then there is just that. Sometimes even the concept of hearing disappears, and I am stunned at the magic of the experience continually arising and falling away, apparently simultaneously.
Can an INHERENT HEARER be found? Would anything that is suggested as the hearer, be anything other than a concept/idea/thought?
No, it is not inherent. It is fabricated. Bolted on, in my very own DIY-kit universe. I am unsure if it is an active creation, or a passive habit, or if there is even a meaningful difference between those two within DE. I am finding the contrast of DE to thinking to be quite radical, but radically useful.

Re: Seeing

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:14 pm
by Skygazer74
Hi Rick,

Great, so many of your observations are right on the button.
As for truth, in DE there is only what is; truth seems like a relative concept, something added 'after the fact'


Exactly. The self is the same as this.
If I do that, there appears to be a 'me' that is seeing. But if I watch that, especially if I just look at the shapes/colours in that which can be seen, I cannot find a self that is not some instance of 'relating'. Again it seems like an addition; within every sensory moment, there is this open field of awareness that contains within it the freedom of everything.
Right. In this open field of awareness, is freedom. it is as simple as that, and awakening seems to be a case of simply abiding in that more and more.
Sometimes even the concept of hearing disappears, and I am stunned at the magic of the experience continually arising and falling away, apparently simultaneously.
Beautiful - and is this any different with visual experience? Can you find the same wonder in all the senses? Sensations rising and passing, movement in the visual field, phenomena rolling on, free to be as they are..
No, it is not inherent. It is fabricated. Bolted on, in my very own DIY-kit universe. I am unsure if it is an active creation, or a passive habit, or if there is even a meaningful difference between those two within DE. I am finding the contrast of DE to thinking to be quite radical, but radically useful.
It is both, like an ingrained assumption or habit that is kept alive through constantly creating it through thought. Ultimately, thought is no different to DE and a part of the whole but for now the distinction is crucial, and definitely feels radical.

Does it feel like something is shifting? It sounds like it. If I was to ask you now, what or where is the self, what would be your response? Where do you feel it lies? We will look at control and agency next, but it helps to just reflect on it. Is it also clear that in sensory experience there is no self?


Best wishes,

Nic

Re: Seeing

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:09 am
by seriousrick
Beautiful - and is this any different with visual experience? Can you find the same wonder in all the senses?
Sometimes, yes. Its almost like the seen and awareness become one thing. Like a living reality, looking back at 'me'. Although, then that sense of looking or being looked at starts to dance and play with itself, hiding, showing, hiding, showing...
Does it feel like something is shifting?
When my mind is quiet, I am growing in confidence that I can just experience things as they are. I still have mindstorms, if fear gets activated I find it difficult to stay in DE. It is easier if I deliberately witness the fearful thoughts, and when those fade, I drop into the body and let the sensations be there. Sometimes the falling away of self is felt like freedom, other times it is percieved more like a scary thing. To be nobody in a world of somebodies...against the backdrop of so many past memories consumed by the self, and so many mind movements into the future as a self...this gets challenged. Sometimes it is disorientating.
If I was to ask you now, what or where is the self, what would be your response? Where do you feel it lies?
If you ask me immediately like that, my go to sensation is behind the eyes. If I look at that, the DE of it starts to become ephemeral; it is not clear exactly what was previously so solidly identified with. Without this deliberate effort, I find the feeling of identity snaps back into focus.
Is it also clear that in sensory experience there is no self?
As above, although there was another observation worth noting. If I sit quietly with experience, lets say the breath, the sense of a concrete self starts to fade. If I then breathe deliberately, identity comes more forward again. If I repeat that a few times, the deliberateness of it starts to become less clear - like series of movements connected together by an imaginary thread. I feel like this gives me additional understanding in why, generally speaking, it is only in meditation or moments of stillness that the self ever starts to fall away. Action itself it tightly bound by the sense of a doer.

Re: Seeing

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:29 am
by Skygazer74
Its almost like the seen and awareness become one thing. Like a living reality, looking back at 'me'.
Ok so can you find where the split is - between 'me' and reality?
my go to sensation is behind the eyes. If I look at that, the DE of it starts to become ephemeral
So just look at that sensation, or sense of there being something behind the eyes that is somehow a witness or a self. The above question is also important, but when you look at that area specifically, what is that sensation? Exactly what can be found in DE? Is there anything in that area, and in DE that can be said to be 'me?'


We will move on to the sense of the doer soon, I just want you to feel really clear about DE and sensory experience first. Since it is so live for you though - Can you choose the very content of the next thought? Can you choose willingly the next thought that will arise?

Re: Seeing

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:19 pm
by seriousrick
Thank you so much for your ongoing help, Nic. I will go throw myself into these and see what I find. That's what Sunday's are for...right?! :)

Re: Seeing

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:43 pm
by Skygazer74
No problem. And yes, Sunday is perfect for relaxing into awareness. Are you in the UK? If so its lovely at the moment to sit in the garden or park and just look at the sun on the trees etc

Happy looking!

Re: Seeing

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:26 am
by seriousrick
Ok so can you find where the split is - between 'me' and reality?
I see this split automatically, everywhere, in different ways. But if I look directly at this 'split' it quite quickly becomes ephemeral and then there is no obvious boundary. Awareness seems to be 'in' the objects of perception as much as it seems to be in the looking. From that view, reality feels like it is buzzing with life. Indeed, that it IS life.
So just look at that sensation, or sense of there being something behind the eyes that is somehow a witness or a self. The above question is also important, but when you look at that area specifically, what is that sensation?
Its changeable, depending on my mood state. In this moment, I feel quite light, after a good nights sleep and some very deep meditations yesterday evening. Its almost like I normally feel like a 'centre point' in my internal visual field, where I imagine my self to be, looking out at the world. This morning, as I look into that sensation, that sensation too is 'made' out of awareness. I also notice as I look at it, there are sometimes images/words that come along with it, in support of the notion of Rick.
Exactly what can be found in DE? Is there anything in that area, and in DE that can be said to be 'me?'
As I look at this sensation, emphasising DE, I often 'see' like a source. Layers of perception are slowly stripped off, and I get to a core of energy/consciousnes that has a sense of 'me', or at least 'I'. I can see how some of the more surface levels of thought will mirror off this, and be like, 'yes, see, there we are!'. But there is also something about that core that is quite clearly not about thought.
Can you choose the very content of the next thought? Can you choose willingly the next thought that will arise?
One thing that surprised me was that, to be honest, the most reliable thing I can do it put my focus in a certain direction. I could remember worksheets from my previous career, and go through them in logical fashion, but the ACTUAL thought at each stage was not really that predictable, and often came with a bunch of associations (or completely random thoughts) that I did not ask for! XD

I am indeed in the UK, living in Dorset at the moment.