Clarity

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:46 am

Hi Allen
. Is it possible to prevent thoughts from appearing, including the thought 'I'?

It's impossible. I can't prevent the thought 'I'. I just end up thinking about it if I try.
notice this throughout the day a few times, see if this is happening a lot? Thoughts that reference "I"

So this 'me' thought cannot be prevented from appearing, as you've found. Take a look to see if it just appears by its, self (so to speak) or if there's a 'you' somewhere, behind the scenes, 'thinking it up each time?

All you need to do is notice whether such thoughts just seem to turn up or whether it's possible to find a thinker of thoughts?

Thank you

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:16 pm

Hi Jon,

notice this throughout the day a few times, see if this is happening a lot? Thoughts that reference "I"

Thoughts that reference "I" appear quite frequently.

So this 'me' thought cannot be prevented from appearing, as you've found. Take a look to see if it just appears by its, self (so to speak) or if there's a 'you' somewhere, behind the scenes, 'thinking it up each time?

The "me" or "I" thoughts just appear. I can't find the location of a thinker in my body or anywhere else.

However, it definitely feels like I'm thinking the "I" thoughts when I'm not looking for the thinker.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:20 am

Hi Allen
. The "me" or "I" thoughts just appear. I can't find the location of a thinker in my body or anywhere else.
Yes it does seem genuinely impossible to find a 'thinker' if we look directly for one. And yet the routine assumption, conventionally, is not only that there is one but that its 'me' that 'thinks'..
However, it definitely feels like I'm thinking the "I" thoughts when I'm not looking for the thinker.
Right. Well, that can be how it seems. It can feel like this although if you take a look at this 'feeling' you might be surprised.

Sometimes thoughts masquerade as feelings. In other words there can be a mental story that is about 'feeling'.

Other times energetic sensations in or around the body can seem lend a 'proof' to a thought hat 'I exist', whilst actually these are just sensations plus a thought.

What do you find?

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:46 pm

Hi Jon,

However, it definitely feels like I'm thinking the "I" thoughts when I'm not looking for the thinker.
Right. Well, that can be how it seems. It can feel like this although if you take a look at this 'feeling' you might be surprised.

Sometimes thoughts masquerade as feelings. In other words there can be a mental story that is about 'feeling'.

Yes. It's like my thoughts are trying to convince themselves that they're thinking or there's a "me" thinking freely. I have thoughts that "I'm" able to think freely and that the proof is that "I" can think of anything "I" want randomly.

However I can kind of see how this is all just thought. All this analyzing, trying to find proof, or experimenting with thinking is all contained within thought.

But I'm also able to do this guided inquiry and reply to your questions. So I'm not sure who or what is doing it. There's no thinker, but thoughts are a part of it because there are thoughts about what to type or how to reply to your questions. The thoughts will tell me that "I'm" replying to you.

I also have thoughts that "I'm in control" and that I have internal "will" power, so there's a "me" inside. A demonstration or proof of this would be moving my body around at will. However, there doesn't seem to be any thoughts before I move my body. It's not like I think of what to do and then use my body to do it. I can't perceive of any thoughts before the movements. Maybe there are certain brain signals that are too fast to perceive? Maybe I'm analyzing too much and confusing myself here.

Other times energetic sensations in or around the body can seem lend a 'proof' to a thought hat 'I exist', whilst actually these are just sensations plus a thought.

Yes, there's a lot of different sensations. Particularly sensations in my head, face, throat, chest, stomach that make it feel like I'm in there (my body). My thoughts come to the conclusion that since I can feel some inside sensations that I must be inside the body. That the body or these sensations must be me or part of me.

I can see how these sensations and thoughts make up the feeling of being inside my body or existing or being "me". It's all sensations and thoughts. I'm not even sure if there's anything else besides these two things.

Thanks!

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:26 pm

Hi Allen
. I have thoughts that "I'm" able to think freely and that the proof is that "I" can think of anything "I" want randomly.
Great to notice that.! Yes. It's interesting to see thoughts 'saying' this kind of thing. Harder to find the 'self' that is supposed to 'think' them though.
. However, there doesn't seem to be any thoughts before I move my body. It's not like I think of what to do and then use my body to do it. I can't perceive of any thoughts before the movements. Maybe there are certain brain signals that are too fast to perceive? Maybe I'm analyzing too much and confusing myself here.
No you're not Allen. You're on the way to seeing what's actually happening, or, just as, true, what's not happening! It can seem a little confusing to start to see some of this because its so much at variance with what we are told, from childhood onwards.

A good exercise right now would be this...:

Place both your hands palm down on a table in front of you.

In a minute one of these hands must be raised into the air whilst the other must stay where it is.

The thing to notice, if possible, is the moment that a choice is made between hands. Look out for the choice-point, the exact moment of choosing.

Is it possible to find the chooser at that moment?

Is it possible to see the choice being made or created, prior to the movement of one of the hands upwards.?

Best wishes

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:16 pm

Hi Jon,

Is it possible to find the chooser at that moment?

No, I can't find a chooser.

Is it possible to see the choice being made or created, prior to the movement of one of the hands upwards.?

I can't see the choice being made or created. The only thing I can see is that a choice was made.

I think this type of "choosing" is what is normally attributed to going with your "gut", "instinct", "inspiration", "feeling", etc. And not overthinking the decision. We just believe this. That it must have been us that made the choice, because who else could it be.

From actual experience I can only perceive that a choice was made. Can't really tell how it was made. My thoughts assume it was made by me, but too fast for me to perceive anything. There's some internal tension in my body the moment the choice is made, but that's all I can really perceive, the tension and the fact that a choice was made.

Thanks!

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:12 pm

Hello Allen
. There's some internal tension in my body the moment the choice is made, but that's all I can really perceive, the tension and the fact that a choice was made.
Good work. I can tell that you really tried this because this is exactly my experience too. A bit of amorphous tension and then one hand goes up! No chooser found 'choosing', as such, yet a choice is somehow made. Quite interesting.

Was this result a surprise to you Allen?

Best wishes

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:52 pm

Hi Jon,

Good work. I can tell that you really tried this because this is exactly my experience too. A bit of amorphous tension and then one hand goes up! No chooser found 'choosing', as such, yet a choice is somehow made. Quite interesting.

Was this result a surprise to you Allen?

The result wasn't a surprise because I had read some inquiries and part of the Gateless Gate Crashers book prior to beginning this inquiry with you. I know there isn't supposed to be a "chooser", "doer", "seer", etc. Does this hinder the inquiry?

I still try my best to do the exercise in order to really experience it. I really tried to find a chooser.

I'm now curious about how choices are made. My mind and thoughts jump to the conclusion that there must be some kind of intelligence at work that I'm not aware of. There must be some kind of intelligence that allowed me to sit down, do the exercise and look for the chooser if even if there's no "me" inside. Or maybe my thoughts are just trying to tell me a story.

I had an insight today that my thoughts are making up stories about things and experiences that are happening. I had read about this before and understood it intellectually but today it hit me for a split second.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:43 pm

Hello Allen
. The result wasn't a surprise because I had read some inquiries and part of the Gateless Gate Crashers book prior to beginning this inquiry with you. I know there isn't supposed to be a "chooser", "doer", "seer", etc. Does this hinder the inquiry?
Aha! That is why I asked. Because you went on to really take a look it's probably OK. But it's very much down to you to do this each time. Knowing the answers intellectually is definitely not enough.
. I still try my best to do the exercise in order to really experience it. I really tried to find a chooser.
Well done.
. I'm now curious about how choices are made. My mind and thoughts jump to the conclusion that there must be some kind of intelligence at work that I'm not aware of. There must be some kind of intelligence that allowed me to sit down, do the exercise and look for the chooser if even if there's no "me" inside. Or maybe my thoughts are just trying to tell me a story.
Yes. Thoughts do speculate a lot. Again, well done for noticing how thoughts do seem to jump to conclusions. Who knows the answer or if there even is one? But I agree it's mysterious and fascinating.
. had an insight today that my thoughts are making up stories about things and experiences that are happening. I had read about this before and understood it intellectually but today it hit me for a split second.
Yes.that's Interesting. Its good to notice this.

See if it's possible to notice this tendency over the next day and let me know how you get on.?Remember it takes looking, noticing, rather than thinking about this.

All best

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:59 pm

Hi Jon,

. had an insight today that my thoughts are making up stories about things and experiences that are happening. I had read about this before and understood it intellectually but today it hit me for a split second.
Yes.that's Interesting. Its good to notice this.

See if it's possible to notice this tendency over the next day and let me know how you get on.?Remember it takes looking, noticing, rather than thinking about this.

When I'm doing something it seems like my thoughts are kind of imagining me as the doer. But this is very subtle to me because it isn't a verbal thought. I think I barely notice it. It's difficult to see. I'm not really used to being aware of this type of thought.

Also when I try to notice my thoughts, they kind of stop. I think this may be because I'm having the thought of a "me" noticing thoughts. So this is the current thought that is present. A lot of the time it's tricky for me to recognize thoughts.

And when I'm not trying to notice thoughts, I tend to get lost in them.

Sometimes I also have thoughts about a particular action and then the action takes place after the thoughts. It's like the actions follow the thoughts which makes it convincing that there is some kind of doer, or that my thoughts are in charge. Like my thoughts can make plans and then the actions will follow the plan.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:13 am

Hi Allen

. When I'm doing something it seems like my thoughts are kind of imagining me as the doer. But this is very subtle to me because it isn't a verbal thought. I think I barely notice it. It's difficult to see. I'm not really used to being aware of this type of thought.
No worries. I asked you to notice thoughts because of what you had said about them 'making up stories'. But I understand. If you wait, a bit like a cat watching a mouse hole thoughts probably will go quiet. I meant that you'd done a good job so far of noticing how thoughts tell stories and that it's good to be aware of that tendency. .
. Sometimes I also have thoughts about a particular action and then the action takes place after the thoughts. It's like the actions follow the thoughts which makes it convincing that there is some kind of doer, or that my thoughts are in charge. Like my thoughts can make plans and then the actions will follow the plan.
Well, there are thoughts that 'say' that this is what's happening.

It is very common for actions to happen and then for thoughts about 'me' to appear claiming doership, after the event. This is where there is an idea of a 'past' in which a 'self' did things, or made things happen.

But notice this. Even 'past' no longer exists, does not exist right now. Its the same with the idea of a 'self' in a 'future'. The 'futute' never arrives because when anything happens it always happens in the now. Is it clear that only Now is ever actually happening?

Thank you

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:52 am

Hi Jon,

But notice this. Even 'past' no longer exists, does not exist right now. Its the same with the idea of a 'self' in a 'future'. The 'futute' never arrives because when anything happens it always happens in the now. Is it clear that only Now is ever actually happening?

This is clear. The past and the future only exist in thoughts, and thoughts are always happening in the now. It will never be the future. It's always now.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:47 am

Hi Allen

Given what you've said about thinking about 'doing an action' and then that action taking place and this makes it seem as though there is an 'I' that plans and 'does' things, let's investigate this.

It's not as if there is no planning. Thoughts are often busy in this way. Does this seem true?

It's not as if actions are not performed. Not as if jobs do not get done.?

So who, or what, is doing the planning?

Is it a real 'me'?

Where do the plans take place?
What 'does' the plans?


Another way of coming at this is to investigate directly.

If you drive or cycle or walk to get from A to B, notice what happens. I will use an example of driving and you can adapt it if necessary. Next time you have to get somewhere, look a few times during the journey, from start to finish, to see if a planner planned it?

Is there a plan to pick up car keys or are these simply picked up? (Did an 'I' 'do' that or was it automatic?)

What if car keys can't be found? Does an 'I' go searching around the house or is there just a searching that happens?

Does an 'I' open the car door? Does car door get opened without thought about it?

Various things happen, checking mirrors, starting car, wiggling gear stick, pressure on throttle and so on. Is there a 'doer' constantly 'doing' these things? Investigate to find out.

See how this goes and let me know?

Best wishes

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:56 pm

Hi Jon,

It's not as if there is no planning. Thoughts are often busy in this way. Does this seem true?

Sure. I find thoughts are often busy planning or trying to solve problems.

It's not as if actions are not performed. Not as if jobs do not get done.?

Sorry Jon, not sure what you meant here. Did you mean if actions are not performed jobs will not get done?

So who, or what, is doing the planning?

Is it a real 'me'?

The planning seems to come up in the thoughts, but a planner can't be found whenever I look. The planning thoughts can keep appearing, but no planner is present.

Where do the plans take place?
What 'does' the plans?

I guess the plans are only taking place in thought. No one does the plans. I can't find a doer when actions are happening or my body is moving around.

Next time you have to get somewhere, look a few times during the journey, from start to finish, to see if a planner planned it?

The "plan" comes up in thoughts, but there's no thinker or planner that can be found. It seems more like an "idea" to do something than a "plan" to me now, because all the individual actions that happen to complete the objective are so intricate and clearly not all planned out. An idea appears, a decision is made to act on it and then all the actions happen.

There's no doer that can be found. All actions seem to happen on their own without me having to do anything. I'm starting to be able to see this experience now. My body doing tasks like putting on my shoes and tying shoe laces without a doer. Like it's automatic or happening by itself. A kind of strange experience. But also fun!

I think it seems like there's someone who planned and did a task like going from one place to another because the thoughts first appear, then the actions follow up and seem to correspond with the thoughts even though no thinker/planner and doer can be found. Seems like thoughts, actions, and sensations working together even though there's no one there.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:22 am

Hi Allen
. It's not as if actions are not performed. Not as if jobs do not get done.?

Sorry Jon, not sure what you meant here. Did you mean if actions are not performed jobs will not get done?
No. It was in context and was in the context of the other things I was saying before and after it. I was pointing that somehow actions happen. Somehow jobs get done. But it's how things happen that needs to be seen.
. I guess the plans are only taking place in thought. No one does the plans. I can't find a doer when actions are happening or my body is moving around.
This is what I'm pointing to. Remember the 'hand going up in the air' investigation?
. It seems more like an "idea" to do something than a "plan" to me now, because all the individual actions that happen to complete the objective are so intricate and clearly not all planned out.
That's interesting. Maybe there's an idea about doing something, making something happen, and other ideas about 'I' (will or did) do (and so on and so forth)?
. My body doing tasks like putting on my shoes and tying shoe laces without a doer. Like it's automatic or happening by itself. A kind of strange experience. But also fun!
Excellent! Ha. Yes. It is fascinating.
. I think it seems like there's someone who planned and did a task like going from one place to another because the thoughts first appear, then the actions follow up and seem to correspond with the thoughts even though no thinker/planner and doer can be found.
Great Allen. Keep looking into this area of how things happen. 'Intention' and 'free will' are also interesting to investigate. 'Descisions' too.

:-)

Jon


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