Hi Vivien, thank you this is great.
I am going to try hard this morning to really argue out every single one of my counter-points that seems to be holding me from seeing this clearly. Been frustrated lately. The body remains a barrier, and I think it’s because I don’t have a full understanding of what you mean.
Yes, but do you actually see this? Or rather this is just an intellectual understanding?
Can you find any body parts that is aware?
Or the body is being aware-d? All of it? All parts of it?
It itself is not aware, so to speak, but there seems to be awareness OF it.
Ok. Then tell me where is the exact location of awareness inside the body. Tell me the exact location.
Oh this is a great question... It’s quite literally the whole of it, fingers to toes, and that awareness does extend outside to everything around, roving with the positioning of the eyes, the ears.. Hm. BUT there is no sensational awareness (hand on desk) in the same way with external things, like the lamp across the room. I don’t *expect* there to be, I’m just observing what I’m experiencing.
Are sensations LINKED to the body? Or body = sensations?
Saying that sensations are linked to the body is equal to saying that there are sensations + body. As if body would be something else than sensations. As if there were a body, and inside that body there are sensations.
Can you see that body is just a concept, a label on sensations?
But - I know you’re going to say this is conceptual, just an idea, but there is a physical body that is more than just sensations - it is doing digesting, and breathing, it has muscles that move (that make it feel empty), it has nerve endings that cause the sensations - I can’t ignore these facts and dismiss them as conceptual? Sensations are a component of an organism that functions and moves through the world, but they are not *all* the body is, even in experience, in which we experience sounds, we live, we are sick and get better because of a functioning immune system. These things are true?? I really struggle with the notion of calling it conceptual to acknowledge these truths.
On the other hand, I agree that bundling these processes and putting a label on them as “awakeningbk” IS a concept - *that* I see. Awakeningbk breathes, is a collection of these processes - similar to the term “government” (where is “government”? Is it the legislative branch? Is it the judicial branch? Is it the judges, the lawyers, the buildings themselves? The books referencing “law”?) the body is conceptual in *that* way, yes - but it is not pure sensation in full truth.
My *experience* of the body is as sensation - that I can see.
Are you saying that in order to be aware of sensations, awareness has to be inside the body? Why would that be? Is sensation something else than the body? Is body something else than sensations?
No - but the “vantage” of sensations is from the point of the body - the eyes yes, but also the hearing, smell, and yes whether you’re standing in the shower or laying in bed. I know you’ve tried to address this a couple times, but I just can’t seem to see past it - sensations occur dependent upon *where the body is located*. There is a child within 20 feet of my window yelling, and my experience of sound reflects that. My eyes rove the room and show I am sitting on a chair, and I have the sensation of the body sitting in the chair?
Body = sensations
So if awareness were inside the body, then it would mean the awareness is inside sensations.
So find the exact sensation that contains awareness. Where is it?
Fundamentally, I think I am struggling with “body = sensations” - as I went on about above, I don’t believe the body is just sensations. From an experiential standpoint, sure, but awareness is not within the sensations itself - the senses are not aware. Rather, sensations occur within the body, and awareness occurs as a result. We have nerve endings and receptors that create these sensations, and a brain that interprets them - a whole functioning orchestra.
I just can’t get beyond labeling this process as conceptual, when in truth it is real??
No. Actually the vantage point are the eyes. It’s more specific than the body. It’s the eyes.
But it’s not, from what I can see? In the same way there is a vantage point with the eyes, there is a vantage point with sound, with smelling, with physical sensation - with quite literally all of the senses, there is a vantage point contingent on location - I cannot see how this is conceptual?
A dog barks from 50 feet away and it is not so loud, but a dog barks right next to me and it is very loud. The eyes rove and see different things, food is cooking in the kitchen - if the body is in the kitchen it can smell more strongly, if the body is on the sidewalk it cannot smell at all. The body is in bed and feels accompanying sensations (singular ones, with label such as “bed”), different ones than if the body was in a hot shower (with a mental label “hot water”) - despite the labels, the actual sensations are so different?
Is there a distance between any sensation and the awareness of knowing that sensation?
Any distance at all? Or it’s completely devoid of distance, since the sensation is already the knowing of it?
Are there two things there? Sensation + the awareness of it? Or these are just two ways of describing the SAME and ONLY happening?
No - there is no distance between the sensation, and the knowing of it. None whatsoever. The sensation is already the knowing of it (lovely phrase on your part to capture the essence).
There are not two things there - just two ways of describing the same and only happening. That’s very interesting! This is an interesting thing, you’re right.
Now, open your eyes, and look at an object, like a table.
Is there any distance between the table and the knowing if it?
I am not talking about the distance between the body and the table, but rather the table and the awareness of it?
..No - there is no distance whatsoever between the table and the awareness of it. The seeing is the awareness, in a weird way.
Or be even more specific.
Just notice the wholeness of the visual information. Don’t focus on any object, just notice the colors and shapes that are present.
Is there any distance between the visuals and the awareness of it?
Or these are just two different ways of describing the same happening?
Wait - yes! There is no distance at all. Wait.
Sensations and awareness are just the same thing??? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm I really need to sit with this..