Halfway there?

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awakeningbk
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Re: Halfway there?

Postby awakeningbk » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:36 pm

Can you see that you believe that “I am the body” – otherwise you couldn’t say “where I was sitting” - , but what you are actually talking about is the body, and not a self?
Hi Vivien - yes, that was what was happening. Thank you.
Is there an actual ME, a long-lasting independent entity INSIDE the body, or INSIDE the head?
Or there is only the body with a head, but without a ME inside, looking out through the eyes?
When sitting, is there a me sitting, or the body is sitting?
When walking, is there a me walking, or the body is walking?
Pretty unequivocal - when sitting, the body is sitting. When walking, the body is walking. When digesting, the body is digesting. When thinking, thoughts are occurring.
No me looking out through the eyes like windows, no. There is perception from a vantage point of course, but no entity peering out into the world from behind my eyes. Just seeing.

There IS still the sense of looking through a set point, which was causing some confusion. But no one there pulling a lever and causing the action of seeing.

So yesterday and the day before, I really tried to look, and couldn’t find anything at all. ‘I’, I mean. Ha.

But anyway, yes: no separate self, nothing independent inside the body or head, nothing at all. There has been a really subtle shift the past two days - seeing everyone walking around, my dog, the trees, the leaves, etc, things just doing their thing? Everything moving and being. That has been the sense the past two days - sometimes though, that sense dissolves when the mind spins away on a tangent or story. Additionally, there has not been the feeling of being totally part of everything in the way anticipated. More just observing life doing it's thing? Don't know if that means something is missing?

The “I” thought still pops up A LOT, but looking at it for a bit helps it dissolve, and also - there hasn’t been a real testing of it yet either. Haven’t had something really emotional happen, or hard, or exciting, and there’s wondering what will happen once something negative occurs. There’s suspicion there that “I” will get sucked into a soap opera like narrative of “awakeningbk”. Frankly, this feels almost impossible to avoid sometimes with the mind doing it’s thing.
And additionally - it’s all so subtle that there is a lack of positivity that the seeing is complete. I still have a real urge to say “I/me/mine” all the time, and frankly have had to fight it writing this paragraph - but at the same time, I’ve seen pretty unequivocally that the story of “me” is just that - a story. Lots of thoughts and imaginary sandcastles, and I still get lost in them sometimes, but there seems to be a new lens through which to try and dissolve them, too... To clearly see that they don’t exist. It really is like looking over your shoulder and looking at the furniture behind you, rather than trying to construct it in one’s mind without looking.
At the same time, I’ve felt very relaxed the past two days since. My partner and I have a lot to stress about technically, but I’m able to exist pretty peacefully.

Vivien - is this it? Am I missing something? It feels like there can’t really be anything else, and everything else is just mind-expectations and really ingrained habits. I can say with certainty this: there is a body, there is a mind buzzing away, there is basic awareness, there are emotions and feelings, but as for an enduring separate being occupying the mind or pulling the levers orchestrating the whole shebang? Nothing. Breathing happens, thinking happens, typing happens, but I can’t find anything pressing a button causing it all to occur. It just is, it just happens.

But is it complete? There is a lot of uncertainty. Living and bumping around and seeing - will the sandcastle suck me back in? Even if this ridiculous sandcastle of “awakeningbk" doesn’t exist at all?

As always, thank you for your help, your time, and your willingness to work with “me”.

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Vivien
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Re: Halfway there?

Postby Vivien » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:51 am

Hi awakeningbk,

You did an excellent investigation :)
Additionally, there has not been the feeling of being totally part of everything in the way anticipated.
Yes, this common. We come here with all sorts of expectations, but we often discover that you are expectations are not how things actually are. And that’s all right.
The “I” thought still pops up A LOT, but looking at it for a bit helps it dissolve
Does the I-thought need to be dissolved? Or is it enough to see that you are not the I-thought?
Haven’t had something really emotional happen, or hard, or exciting, and there’s wondering what will happen once something negative occurs. There’s suspicion there that “I” will get sucked into a soap opera like narrative of “awakeningbk”. Frankly, this feels almost impossible to avoid sometimes with the mind doing it’s thing.
Yes. This is likely what is going to happen when an emotion is being triggered.

This is not some quick process, but a journey of a lifetime, an orientation to see life in a different angle, each day is an opportunity to discover a little more.

Also, when certain emotions and reactions are triggered, the feeling of autonomous self can easily come back. Since the combination of the story and the felt sensations and emotions are creating the familiar ‘sense of me’, who is hurt, angry, sad, disappointed, afraid, anxious, etc.

These patters hardly dissolve on their own, these needs further investigation.
I still have a real urge to say “I/me/mine” all the time, and frankly have had to fight it writing this paragraph
So are the thoughts of I/me/mine are the problem? Are they problematic by themselves?
Or just if there is a belief that I am those thoughts?

Do you expect that these words should stop appearing?

Vivien - is this it? Am I missing something? It feels like there can’t really be anything else, and everything else is just mind-expectations and really ingrained habits.
You did a really nice investigation and you saw how things are. But usually one (or a few) seeing is not enough in order for doubt to go away. This needs to be seen many-many times for gradually become a visceral conviction.

So now, we are going to look at this from a bit different angle.

Now let’s look at the phenomenon, called ‘awakeningbk’ (please replace this word with your real name).

How do you know that you are ‘awakeningbk’?

Notice the feeling called 'feels like I am awakeningbk’.
Stay with this feeling, be with it like it's some new phenomenon for which you have no name.

What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?
As always, thank you for your help, your time, and your willingness to work with “me”.
You are welcome :)

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Halfway there?

Postby awakeningbk » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:46 am

Does the I-thought need to be dissolved? Or is it enough to see that you are not the I-thought?
Honestly? To see it again is a lot of effort. “I" have to sit with it, have to come back to this moment, breathe, let awareness exist and observe the thoughts. Ask - who is thinking? What is thinking? Or do these thoughts just appear? Pay attention. Remember to observe how effortless the actions I take daily are, how I can’t find an operator. The whole process is necessary for dissolution, and still there is skepticism that arises - like an undercurrent.

Weirdly, I realize pictures of “my" body come up all the time in thought, and there is the reflexive application of the label “me”, like an old tedious habit. I see my body doing things, existing - whatever is happening at that moment, or what I hope to be doing at a different time. Something that helped with comprehension was reframing those visuals in my mind as “picturing the body”… But nonetheless, when I see these pictures (for example, I can see an image of myself typing this in my minds eye, weirdly enough), there is an immediate reaction of: “this is me”.
But where is the I? It’s not there, it never has been. That has been seen, and seen again and again the past couple days. But still, this habit persists.

Should I not write this all out? I want to be respectful of your time. For some reason, letting you know these things feels relevant, but if it's too much or if it’s just more thought-masturbation (for lack of a better term ha) then I apologize.
So are the thoughts of I/me/mine are the problem? Are they problematic by themselves?
Or just if there is a belief that I am those thoughts?
The thoughts are not problematic by themselves, no. Annoyance comes as a result of them, but annoyance is just another thing I guess - not good or bad, though unpleasant. No doubt you could read that in the reply above.

The only real problem is when there is a belief that “I am those thoughts” - but only because that’s completely counter to reality. Feeling like I have a new understanding of how suffering functions - of course life hurts, I’ve been trying to identify with something as ephemeral as smoke. Like saying I’m a waterfall or something, or a process - trying to make something fixed that is just a flowing thing. How can I be my thoughts? I know it’s absurd.
Do you expect that these words should stop appearing?
No - I don’t suppose I expect it. I wish they would, but wish is different from expect. And I wish I could stop wishing they would stop appearing. Ha.
How do you know that you are ‘awakeningbk’?
How do I know that I am awakeningbk. Hm.
From what I can tell, I am an awareness fixed in a point in space - a body in space, with thoughts, sensations, and emotions. That point of awareness has experienced things in the past, which thoughts have attached to seemingly at random, making a jumbled mass of associations that has come to be known as “awakeningbk”.
There are patterns of past behavior that in particular have become associated with the concept of “awakeningbk” - the content of thoughts tends to be concerned with defining and redefining “awakeningbk” based on cycles of previous actions, like frequent reading causing “awakeningbk” to be labeled a “reader”, or previous creative activity causing “awakeningbk” to be labeled as “creative”, or even this inquiry to label “awakeningbk” as “spiritual” (or truth-seeking, or wise - or whatever).
Adding to this confusion, there is a confusion as to how "likes" and "dislikes" are associated with "awakeningbk". "I" like to be creative and read, and do not like swimming in cold water or doing math. These genuine likes/dislikes, preferences, have come to define "awakeningbk" as well.

But it’s all very flimsy, quite ridiculous when looked at - this is what “awakeningbk” has been based on all along? Yet the pull remains incredibly strong. Even today, actions of healthfulness seem to follow a thought-association with “awakeningbk” being “a healthy person”. I’m still training for a 10k and eat healthy - still see that image of “my" healthy body in thought. Pride follows (and embarrassment follows from admitting that).

Despite this - from what I can tell - “awakeningbk” is just awareness in a set point, and nothing else of Real substance. A body as the vehicle, the mind humming away, with simple, impartial, empty awareness at the heart. Everything else seems like garbage in the way.
Notice the feeling called 'feels like I am awakeningbk’.
Stay with this feeling, be with it like it's some new phenomenon for which you have no name.

What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?
There is a feeling of inhabiting the body fully. There is a feeling of possession of the body, and possession of the mind (despite lack of control), like it’s “mine” - that there is something doing the possessing (what?? How?? Why??). There is also a deep feeling of comfort, predictability, of “right-ness” or “yes-ness”.

Thoughts arise too - there are also the images of the body that arise, doing things associated with “awakeningbk”.

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Vivien
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Re: Halfway there?

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:26 am

Hi awakeningbk,

You did a nice investigation :)
But nonetheless, when I see these pictures (for example, I can see an image of myself typing this in my minds eye, weirdly enough), there is an immediate reaction of: “this is me”.
Let’s dive a bit deeper here.
What makes the mental image of the body doing things into a ‘me’, into awakeningbt?

Please be careful not just reply from memory, but check it in the moment when there is a mental image of the body there.
But where is the I? It’s not there, it never has been. That has been seen, and seen again and again the past couple days. But still, this habit persists.
Yes, and this will continue to happen for some time.
Should I not write this all out? I want to be respectful of your time. For some reason, letting you know these things feels relevant, but if it's too much or if it’s just more thought-masturbation (for lack of a better term ha) then I apologize.
No, this was useful. With these kind of descriptions, I can have a better understanding where you are at the moment.
Annoyance comes as a result of them, but annoyance is just another thing I guess - not good or bad, though unpleasant.
Is annoyance awakeningbt ‘itself’?
Are you the one who is annoyed, or you are aware of annoyance happening?
The only real problem is when there is a belief that “I am those thoughts” - but only because that’s completely counter to reality. Feeling like I have a new understanding of how suffering functions - of course life hurts, I’ve been trying to identify with something as ephemeral as smoke. Like saying I’m a waterfall or something, or a process - trying to make something fixed that is just a flowing thing. How can I be my thoughts? I know it’s absurd.
Exactly! Excellent observations.
V: Do you expect that these words should stop appearing?
A: No - I don’t suppose I expect it. I wish they would, but wish is different from expect. And I wish I could stop wishing they would stop appearing. Ha.
Are you wishing for the words of I/me/my to stop appearing, or you are just aware of thoughts about wishing it?
Adding to this confusion, there is a confusion as to how "likes" and "dislikes" are associated with "awakeningbk". "I" like to be creative and read, and do not like swimming in cold water or doing math. These genuine likes/dislikes, preferences, have come to define "awakeningbk" as well.
OK. So you wrote a description of awakeningbt.

But, are likes and dislikes are ‘awakeningbt itself?
There are patterns of past behavior that in particular have become associated with the concept of “awakeningbk”
Are the patterns and behaviours ‘awakeningbt itself’?

Please look at these questions carefully.
But it’s all very flimsy, quite ridiculous when looked at - this is what “awakeningbk” has been based on all along? Yet the pull remains incredibly strong. Even today, actions of healthfulness seem to follow a thought-association with “awakeningbk” being “a healthy person”. I’m still training for a 10k and eat healthy - still see that image of “my" healthy body in thought. Pride follows (and embarrassment follows from admitting that).
Yes. So the narrative of awakeningbt goes on, and the associative reactions and emotions arise. But that’s all right.

The question is whether these reactions and emotions are actual signs or proofs for the existence of a real, independent entity with volition, called ‘awakeningbt’?
Or these are just habitual patterns that just play out without belonging to a real person?
Despite this - from what I can tell - “awakeningbk” is just awareness in a set point
Are you sure that ‘awareness’ is awakeningbk?

‘Something’ is aware, ‘something’ knows what is going on.

But how do you know that this aware-ing or knowing is awakeningbt’?
What makes aware-ing / knowing / being / am-ing into an independent person (with volition), called ‘awakeningbt’?

There is a feeling of possession of the body, and possession of the mind (despite lack of control), like it’s “mine”
Focus on the FEELING of possession of the body. Stay with this feeling, be with it like it's some new phenomenon for which you have no name.

What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?


Now repeat this, but now with the feeling of possession of the mind.
What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?

I know, I asked a lot of questions this time. I couldn’t help it :)

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Halfway there?

Postby awakeningbk » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:28 am

Hi Vivien,

No worries on asking lots of questions! This is great!

Do you mind if I have one more night though? I’m about halfway through and I’m trying to be thorough.

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Re: Halfway there?

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:45 am

No problem, just be thorough :)

Have a nice day,
Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Halfway there?

Postby awakeningbk » Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:27 am

What makes the mental image of the body doing things into a ‘me’, into awakeningbt?
It seems to be just thought, arising on its own doing it
Is annoyance awakeningbt ‘itself’?
Are you the one who is annoyed, or you are aware of annoyance happening?
As far as I can tell - there is just annoyance. It’s like I become annoyance - but there is no autonomous being choosing annoyance.

I was given a good chance to answer this question in real time actually. I was trying to answer it while waiting for the bus, and I looked up and saw the bus was pulling into the stop. I stood up to get on, and instead of stopping it just zoomed away.

Immediately - all was annoyance/surprise/frustration. Completely encompassing all awareness and causing physical manifestations like raised heart rate, upset expression of face/body, etc. There seems to just be the experience of annoyance.
Are you wishing for the words of I/me/my to stop appearing, or you are just aware of thoughts about wishing it?
Well - there’s nothing there to be doing the wishing (I sat with this again and watched - the wishing thoughts and longing feelings just arise). I’m aware of the wishing thoughts and emotions arising - they are happening.

But - hey - I know that’s the right answer after looking again. But believing still follows those wishing thoughts an awful lot :)
But, are likes and dislikes are ‘awakeningbt itself?
I know the “right” answer here - it’s no, likes and dislikes are not awakeningbk itself. They sometimes change and die with the body.

But strong attachment thoughts and feelings arise out of these things - it’s unlikely that “I” will enjoy swimming in freezing cold water, or no longer enjoy being creative. There’s a strong urge to say “this is awakeningbk, these parameters” - even though there is no independent entity at play - there is the belief that there isn’t choice in these likes and dislikes, but rather there is a sense of just holding onto those fixed things, volition or not, to define “awakeningbk” in some meaningful way.
It seems like this is just grasping for something solid, but there still is a feeling of “yes-ness” behind my answer. Is it just the desire for comfort and familiarity? “I” want to say: ‘ok yes, awakeningbk is not a separate autonomous being, but still can be defined as a point in space that has general arising preferences for xyz”. These preferences are uncontrollable it seems - like sexual orientation or what have you. Is this inaccurate, or seeing incompletely?
Are the patterns and behaviours ‘awakeningbt itself’?
No - patterns and behaviors are not fixed entities, not lasting things.

Well... something kicks back when I say behaviors. “I” as a process or moving amalgamation of traits, tends to want to be nice in social interactions. Thus the thought “awakeningbk is nice”.
Something is hiding there. I know it’s wrong but it’s hard to see or uncover.

Am I just trying to draw a circle around it the same way I do around a concept like “government” - referring to many moving parts? Is it a problem to do so?
The question is whether these reactions and emotions are actual signs or proofs for the existence of a real, independent entity with volition, called ‘awakeningbt’?
Or these are just habitual patterns that just play out without belonging to a real person?
No! Nope not at all, these are patterns that play out without belonging to an independent entity with volition. They just occur.
Are you sure that ‘awareness’ is awakeningbk?
No - awareness is everyone, from what I can tell! Can “I” be awareness, and everyone else as well? That’s sure how it seems..

Or just - as stated - awareness is happening. It is not a source of volition or is an independent thing.
But how do you know that this aware-ing or knowing is awakeningbt’?
What makes aware-ing / knowing / being / am-ing into an independent person (with volition), called ‘awakeningbt’?
It can’t, from what I can tell - it’s way bigger than that, It’s not just my flimsy experience, if others have a similar experience of the world too. Either that, or it’s all a simulation, but I don’t think so :)

This is a hard question to answer, did I understand you correctly?
What do you discover about the feeling, as a feeling only?
I know this is not the right answer, but it’s what my experience is so far... What I feel is a sense of the limitation of my skin, to be frank.

The Feeling here, of being in the body (more accurate than possession - there is not so much that feeling of ownership as much as constraints) is like an awareness of the sensations that enter everywhere from the tips of my toes to the top of my head, to the in and out motion of my lungs.

It’s very physical and simple - ‘these are the limitations for inputs of sensations you can feel.’ The boundaries between, or gates, through which physical sensations can occur. Does that make sense? It sounds overly intellectualized, but it’s hard to put to words a different way.

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Re: Halfway there?

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:33 am

Hi awakeningbk,
There seems to just be the experience of annoyance.
Yes.
But - hey - I know that’s the right answer after looking again. But believing still follows those wishing thoughts an awful lot :)
Than look again and again.

What makes those thoughts so enticing?
Because awakeningbk could gain some pleasant experiences and at the same time avoiding unpleasant ones, if the thoughts of I/me/my wouldn’t appear anymore?

But strong attachment thoughts and feelings arise out of these things - it’s unlikely that “I” will enjoy swimming in freezing cold water, or no longer enjoy being creative. There’s a strong urge to say “this is awakeningbk, these parameters” - even though there is no independent entity at play - there is the belief that there isn’t choice in these likes and dislikes, but rather there is a sense of just holding onto those fixed things, volition or not, to define “awakeningbk” in some meaningful way.
Yes. So it’s not about whether there are likes or dislikes, but rather that likes or dislikes belong to an independent entity with volition.

Likes and dislikes there. Of course.
But aren’t likes and dislikes just perceptions?
And what about awakeingbk, isn’t this person also just a perception?

It seems like this is just grasping for something solid, but there still is a feeling of “yes-ness” behind my answer. Is it just the desire for comfort and familiarity? “I” want to say: ‘ok yes, awakeningbk is not a separate autonomous being, but still can be defined as a point in space that has general arising preferences for xyz”.
Are you sure that awakeningbk can be defined as a point in space?
Where is its location?

Is there anything else to awakeningbk then the idea of it?

These preferences are uncontrollable it seems - like sexual orientation or what have you.
OK, so there are preferences. We are not denying that.
The question is if these preferences are you?
Or you just aware of these preferences as perceptions or views?

Am I just trying to draw a circle around it the same way I do around a concept like “government” - referring to many moving parts? Is it a problem to do so?
OK. So there are some real elements to this self/me.
Like there is the body, postures of the body, facial expression, tone of voice, accent, gestures, etc. There are thought, sensations, feelings, emotions, traits, characteristics, patterns, likes and dislikes, familiar feelings and behaviours.
So these are there.

But are any of these an independent entity with doership and free will?
Or the self is just a personalized construct or idea OVERLAYING those aspects?

It’s very physical and simple - ‘these are the limitations for inputs of sensations you can feel.’ The boundaries between, or gates, through which physical sensations can occur. Does that make sense? It sounds overly intellectualized,
This part is purely conceptual. This is coming from thinking. So let’s put it aside.
What I feel is a sense of the limitation of my skin, to be frank.
The skin could be a limitation only, if you were an entity locked inside the body. But is this so?
The Feeling here, of being in the body (more accurate than possession - there is not so much that feeling of ownership as much as constraints) is like an awareness of the sensations that enter everywhere from the tips of my toes to the top of my head, to the in and out motion of my lungs.
OK, so there is the awareness of sensations from head to toe. Yes. We are not denying that.

But are those sensations (any of them) an autonomous entity with volition?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Halfway there?

Postby awakeningbk » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:52 am

What makes those thoughts so enticing?
Because awakeningbk could gain some pleasant experiences and at the same time avoiding unpleasant ones, if the thoughts of I/me/my wouldn’t appear anymore?
Yes - that’s exactly what’s happening! It’s just about a wanting for pleasure and an avoidance of pain.
But aren’t likes and dislikes just perceptions?
And what about awakeingbk, isn’t this person also just a perception?
That’s perfect. Yes - likes and dislikes are just perception, just like awakeningbk is. Thank you Vivien, I appreciate this.
Are you sure that awakeningbk can be defined as a point in space?
Where is its location?
Is there anything else to awakeningbk then the idea of it?
It’s very physical and simple - ‘these are the limitations for inputs of sensations you can feel.’ The boundaries between, or gates, through which physical sensations can occur. Does that make sense? It sounds overly intellectualized,
This part is purely conceptual. This is coming from thinking. So let’s put it aside.
I am not sure, I am open to seeing otherwise.. But Vivien, I promise I am trying so hard to see this, but it doesn’t feel conceptual to my experience? Maybe I am not looking the proper way?

To the question of whether “I” am a point in space: there is the persistent problem of perception only occurring in one location, within the limitations of “my” skin. I am sitting at a table right now, the feeling of wood beneath skin. My partner is in bed - he has the feeling of a comforter beneath his skin - I do not. We have totally different experiences based on the limitations of our sensations, seemingly limited to differing points in space? This feels very real - I cannot feel the sheets or comforter beneath my skin the same way I couldn’t “think” my way into tasting sweetness on my tongue. To me, this feels like proof of being different points in space, due to limitations of our perceptions/sensations/etc? I am sitting here, feeling this very real thing, and no matter how hard I try I cannot feel what my partner is feeling.

Vivien, I’m sorry if it seems I am being stubborn, or too theoretical - I’m really not intending to, it’s just a hard thing for me to see past! Espectially in light of the question as to whether “I” am a point in space or not.

In terms of a volitional being separate from the universe, capable of forging it’s own destiny and deciding everything? No, it’s more similar to plankton floating in the sea, from what I can tell..
The question is if these preferences are you?
Or you just aware of these preferences as perceptions or views?
These preferences cannot be “me” - they don’t refer to something permanent, with volition - they are liquid and changing, like everything.
But are any of these an independent entity with doership and free will?
Or the self is just a personalized construct or idea OVERLAYING those aspects?
Overlays!!! They are overlays! Just made up personal constructs! Ohhh this is hard to say and feel fully, but I know it’s the truth.
But are those sensations (any of them) an autonomous entity with volition?
No! No they are not - they just happen!

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Re: Halfway there?

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:39 am

Hi awakeningbk,

I’ve got your message through the admins. Thank you.
But Vivien, I promise I am trying so hard to see this, but it doesn’t feel conceptual to my experience? Maybe I am not looking the proper way?
You don’t have to apologize, I know you are honestly think that it’s not conceptual. Do you know why it’s conceptual? Because the thought that others feel or experience different things are coming from thinking.

So you take your own experience (let’s say the current sensations), conceptualize it (meaning put it into words: “I feel the wood under my skin”), and then you project this onto other bodies, with the thought that they are also having their own experience, and their experience must be different than mine.

Just as a side note, I’m not saying that this is not probably how it is. We are not trying to deny whether others experiences or not. But, it’s important to notice that we can only ever know our own experience. I can never ever know, truly know if others’ have their own version of experience. It’s fair to assume, and yes, and I go with that, but ultimately, the thing is that I just simply cannot know. I can only assume and believe, but I cannot know it directly. I can only know my own experience, and only assume that others have their own version of experience.

So the thought of there being other experiences (other than what is here now and I know of), is not my experience, but my thought. This assumption is coming from thinking only.

But, even this reply is conceptual, we are just conveying ideas here. The thing is that you are not trusting (or not trusting enough) your own experience.

Just as a side note: I do one-on-one skype sessions, and if you are interested, we can look into this together. I’m sending you some details in a private message, so you can decide if you want to try it out. So please watch out for a private message.
To the question of whether “I” am a point in space: there is the persistent problem of perception only occurring in one location, within the limitations of “my” skin.
So what you are talking here is the body. Yes, the body is there, and perception happens from the perspective of the body.

But what if you are not the body?
What if the body is just another ‘thing’ in experience?
Isn’t the body itself show up AS an experience and not as an experiencer?
I am sitting at a table right now, the feeling of wood beneath skin.
What if you are not feeling a wood beneath the skin?
What if skin and wood are just mental labels on the experience of sensations?
My partner is in bed - he has the feeling of a comforter beneath his skin - I do not.
Yes, you do not know. You ASSUME that he feels the comforter beneath his skin.

But you not just assume that he feels what is beneath his skin, but you also assume that you feel what is beneath your skin.

But what if there are not two distinct sensations for the skin and whatever is beneath it?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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awakeningbk
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Re: Halfway there?

Postby awakeningbk » Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:49 am

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for your message, and yes I see what you’re saying about the conceptual aspect. That makes so much sense, and really appreciate you breaking that all down! “Derived from thinking = conceptual” - I know this is another concept sort of, but it’s really helping in my day to day.

“The thing is you’re not trusting (or not trusting enough) your experience.” I can see that - this is about immediate experience, what is.
But what if you are not the body?
What if the body is just another ‘thing’ in experience?
Isn’t the body itself show up AS an experience and not as an experiencer?
Ah! this is so helpful, thank you! I realized, sitting here trying to pay attention closely, how subtle this process of ownership is... I could be wrong, but it seems like there’s a layer of subtlety here that was being missed. I didn’t recognize the ownership process that happens so lightening fast!

It is hard to live in - experiencing the body as that, and not as something owned. I think I do not 100% understand the depth to which I need to experience or see this - there is skepticism - is it necessary to live this concept fully to actually grasp it? To succeed in divorcing the concept of “my body” from the sensations of the table?

Or is that possible at all?

Also - who is the body? It all makes sense - there is just experience, sensation, thought, etc, but autonomy and separateness has been shown to be a myth.
What if you are not feeling wood beneath the skin? What if skin and wood are just mental labels on the experience of sensations?
But what if there are not two distinct sensations for the skin and whatever is beneath it?
Jesus - it really is all just thought, isn’t it? Literally all of it, expect the immediate perceptions? I have a hard time “living” and “seeing” what you sent, experiencing the idea that it is not ‘wood’ but a simple sensation with a mental label, but this is the perfect finger point at the fact that it really is all labeled and “owned” so efficiently, everywhere.

The limitations of the body still feel very real - and that’s been acknowledged: the body is real, the experiences it has are real. But the ownership seems to be the problem. Owned by what?? This thinking process is so strange, that it does this, erects these sandcastles and stories.

No - there is nothing autonomous at play here - just patterns playing out. I say that, I see it,

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Vivien
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Re: Halfway there?

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:27 am

Hi awakeningbk,
It is hard to live in - experiencing the body as that, and not as something owned. I think I do not 100% understand the depth to which I need to experience or see this - there is skepticism - is it necessary to live this concept fully to actually grasp it? To succeed in divorcing the concept of “my body” from the sensations of the table?

Or is that possible at all?
We are not trying to change how experience shows up, or trying to have a different experience than what is normally happening. Rather, we are investigating how things actually are, here now. But we are not trying to make the appearances go away. We just noticing how things are.
Jesus - it really is all just thought, isn’t it? Literally all of it, expect the immediate perceptions?
Yes. :)

There are only two options:
- Experience (color, sound, smell, taste, sensation)
- Thought with is nothing else then the imagined version of experience, like an imagined sound as verbal thoughts, imagined colors as mental images. Also we can image smells, tastes and sensations.
Can you see this?
I have a hard time “living” and “seeing” what you sent, experiencing the idea that it is not ‘wood’ but a simple sensation with a mental label, but this is the perfect finger point at the fact that it really is all labeled and “owned” so efficiently, everywhere.
Let’s start to investigate the body and sensations. The illusion of the self is not just simply coming from thoughts, but also from the belief that “I am the body” or “I have a body” or that this or that sensation is ‘me’ or the location of the ‘me’, or that this or that sensation is happening to ‘me’. So the thought label ‘this is me’ and the appearing sensations are welded together, creating the seeming ‘sense of self’.

Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes.
Paying attention only to the pure sensations, without relying on verbal or visual thoughts:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have a weight or volume?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?

Is there an inside or an outside?
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?

What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?


Look very carefully, especially with the last question. Take your time, don’t rush. You can look several times during the day while doing other things (like washing hands, showering, having a short break from work, walking, etc) before replying.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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awakeningbk
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Re: Halfway there?

Postby awakeningbk » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:43 am

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have weight or volume?
In the actual experience, does the body have shape or form?
Sitting now, and looking, and without verbal or visual cues - no, it cannot be known how tall the body is..
The body feels surprisingly weightless or empty, without other cues.
I cannot feel a shape or form independently, sitting here. All I can feel are the point where there is sensation - the clothing on my skin, the seat, my hands on my knees... Everything else feels surprisingly empty.
Running my hands on my legs and arms - there is a boundary of skin, but that too seems to show up as just sensation.
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
From what I can tell - there seems to just be a simple sensation showing up - moving my foot back and forth on the carpet, just a sensation.

The boundary seems to be just that - the point at which sensation begins.

Is there an inside or an outside?
If there is an inside - the inside of what, exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what, exactly?
From pure sensation - I do not feel necessarily an inside or outside - just borders of sensation? Just areas where sensation begins?

I tried to really sit with this all day, and this is what I could find..
What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?
Borders of sensation? Sorry to be repeating myself so much - that’s sure what it seems like!

Thank you Vivien!

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Vivien
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Re: Halfway there?

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:21 am

Hi awakeningbk,
Sitting now, and looking, and without verbal or visual cues - no, it cannot be known how tall the body is..
The body feels surprisingly weightless or empty, without other cues.
I cannot feel a shape or form independently, sitting here.
Nice looking.
All I can feel are the point where there is sensation - the clothing on my skin, the seat, my hands on my knees...
Are you saying that there are two sensations there? One for the skin, and another sensation for the clothing?
Are there actually two sensations there, or only one?
And only thoughts and mental images provide the narration that this single sensation is the ‘clothing touching the skin’?

Can you actually find skin in experience? Or all you ever find is a sensation?
The boundary seems to be just that - the point at which sensation begins.
Let’s dive a bit deeper here.

Focus on the sensation that you call ‘skin’.
Can you find an actual, real boundary, where the sensation ends?
Or this boundary coming only from thinking and imagining (visualizing the skin)?
From pure sensation - I do not feel necessarily an inside or outside - just borders of sensation? Just areas where sensation begins?
Are you sure that there are borders to sensations?
Are you sure that there is a place where a sensation begins?
Do sensations have an actual beginning and ending?

Or all beginning and ending is just a conceptual overlay on the raw experience of boundary-less, borderless, formless, shapeless sensation?
Borders of sensation? Sorry to be repeating myself so much - that’s sure what it seems like!
Yes, it might SEEM that way. But a SEEMING thing is not a real thing.
So we are investigating how it is actually.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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awakeningbk
Posts: 61
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Re: Halfway there?

Postby awakeningbk » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:15 am

Hi Vivien,

I think I have a better grasp, but it is ok if I take one more day to reply? Feel like some of my answers might have come more from thinking, and I want to look a bit more


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