Chris's thread

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:31 am

Hi Chris,

Great. Here is another exercise for you.

Imagine that you are holding a spoon. Imagine its shape, size, weight, temperature, color. Now keep it there, close your eyes, and feel the imaginary spoon.

Then, open your eyes:
Is there a spoon here, in real life?
So how did you see that there is no spoon?
What happened to the spoon?
Did it disappear or it never existed?


Now go and get a spoon from the kitchen and hold it in the same way that you imagined it.
Feel the spoon’s form, its size, its weight, its temperature. Close your eyes and feel the spoon for a while.
Now open your eyes ... is there a spoon here, in real life?
Is the visual thought of the spoon and the experience of the spoon the same?
How does imagining and experiencing differ?'


Please experiment with other objects throughout your day.
Let me know what you find.


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:19 pm

Hi Vivien

I tried it with a few objects, but here's the spoon one. I definitely see the difference between thoughts and experience anyway.
Imagine that you are holding a spoon. Imagine its shape, size, weight, temperature, color. Now keep it there, close your eyes, and feel the imaginary spoon.

Then, open your eyes:
Is there a spoon here, in real life?
No.
So how did you see that there is no spoon?
I looked at my hand and saw that there was no spoon there.
What happened to the spoon?
Nothing, it was never there.
Did it disappear or it never existed?
It never existed.
Now go and get a spoon from the kitchen and hold it in the same way that you imagined it.
Feel the spoon’s form, its size, its weight, its temperature. Close your eyes and feel the spoon for a while.
Now open your eyes ... is there a spoon here, in real life?
Yes.
Is the visual thought of the spoon and the experience of the spoon the same?
No, one is real, the other is imaginary.
How does imagining and experiencing differ?'
The imaginary spoon is fictional. Thoughts created a story about a spoon. The real spoon is there in reality. It is seen and felt. No thoughts or stories were necessary to create the experience of the real spoon.
I experience thoughts but not their contents, and that’s the key difference.

Chris

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:01 am

Hi Chris,
You did a nice investigation.
I experience thoughts but not their contents, and that’s the key difference.
Yes. And that’s the whole point of this investigation. To see what is there (what is left) when all thoughts about what is happening is ignored.

The whole illusion of the self is being created mainly by thoughts.
So what we are doing here is to compare our BELIEFS ( = THOUGHTS) about how things are to how things ACTUALLY ARE (EXPERIENTIALLY).

So we are comparing thoughts (assumptions, theories, imagination) to experience (reality).

Now, please take an object into your hands, you can start with a spoon, and later experiment with other objects.

In what ways the spoon can be experienced?
How do you know that the spoon is experienced and not imagined?
How do you know that the spoon is real?


Now take a book into your hands.

How is the book experienced?
How do you know that the box is real and exists?


Experiments with several different object throughout the day.

After, please tell me in your own words, what is the difference between experience and imagination?

And how do you know that a cup is real?
How do you know that the ‘tooth fairy’ isn’t real?

And what is the difference between imagination and thought?

If you want to prove if something really exists (and not just a fiction), like proving there is such thing as chair, what characteristics you have to look for? How would you prove that chairs exist?


These exercises might seem very simplistic, but that's the whole point. Please look very carefully regardless of the simplicity.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:04 am

Thanks Vivien
I’m working the next 2 days so will probably get back to you on Friday.
Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:07 am

All right.
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:07 pm

Hi Vivien

I did the exercise with lots of different objects. I came up with the same answers each time but it was helpful to reinforce what I found.
In what ways the spoon can be experienced?
It can be seen, felt and heard if I bang it on the table. It doesn’t smell or taste of anything.
How do you know that the spoon is experienced and not imagined?
Because I can see it and feel it (and hear it in some circumstances). If I could not experience it with any of my senses, then I could only imagine it.
How do you know that the spoon is real?
Because I experience it with my senses.
Now take a book into your hands.
How is the book experienced?
I see it; feel its texture and weight; hear it when I flick its pages; it even has a smell.
How do you know that the book is real and exists?
Because I perceive it with my senses.
After, please tell me in your own words, what is the difference between experience and imagination?
Reality is what I experience with my senses. Imagination is only experienced as thoughts.
And how do you know that a cup is real?
Because I can see and touch it. And drink from it.
How do you know that the ‘tooth fairy’ isn’t real?
Because I can’t physically interact with it; it doesn’t impact any of my senses. It only exists as a thought.
And what is the difference between imagination and thought?
Imagination is the content of thoughts. Thoughts are real and experienced, but their contents are not; they are only imagined.
If you want to prove if something really exists (and not just a fiction), like proving there is such thing as chair, what
characteristics you have to look for? How would you prove that chairs exist?
If I can see it with my eyes, touch it and sit in it, then it’s real. If it were just an imagined chair, I couldn’t do any of these things.

I've been noticing a difference today. Earlier I saw quite clearly that the thoughts that create the character Chris aren't describing anything real and that I mistakenly identify with this character. I still kind of see it but it's not as strong now.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:19 am

Hi Chris,

You did a nice investigation. Here is another exercise for you:

Have a piece of fruit handy, or something that you like to eat.

1. For the first couple of minutes imagine you are eating the fruit…..feel the sensations of chewing, the taste, the texture, the fragrance, hear the crunching sound that the chewing makes. Really enjoy the imaginary piece of fruit as much as you can.

2. Then for the next couple of minutes actually bite the fruit and see the difference. Experience the fruit with curiosity and dive into the sensations of chewing, swallowing, the sounds and the taste. Really enjoy the experience of actually eating the piece of fruit.

3. Then for another minute or so describe the taste and smell in as much detail as possible. Write about it here.

After you have done this, tell me what you noticed when you compared these three:
1. Imaginary fruit
2. Real fruit
3. Description (thought interpretation)?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:53 pm

Hi Vivien
After you have done this, tell me what you noticed when you compared these three:
1. Imaginary fruit
I have to work quite hard trying to think of what eating an orange is like. I’m having to use words like ‘crunchy’ to remind myself what it’s like.
2. Real fruit
No effort required. The taste, texture and smell just appear on their own. The real thing is a much richer experience. It seems much more ‘alive’.
3. Description (thought interpretation)?
It is slightly sour; crunchy and slightly fuzzy texture; tangy smell. The juice fills my mouth as I bite into it.

Description is just like Imagination. Neither come close to the real thing. I feel like description and imagination are the same thing. Both point to the experience of eating an orange but neither can substitute for it. Neither can ever be the same as the actual experience of eating an orange.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:16 am

Hi Chris,
Description is just like Imagination. Neither come close to the real thing. I feel like description and imagination are the same thing. Both point to the experience of eating an orange but neither can substitute for it. Neither can ever be the same as the actual experience of eating an orange.
Exactly. So when you look for the self, a description of it is not it. It’s not the self itself.

Here are some simple exercises for you. I would like to ask you to actually do the exercises, and not just think through them. Although they are very simple exercises, but exactly because of the simplicity it’s often overlooked. So please actually do them.

Here is an experiment for you. You will need a chair.

Choose a spot where there is some space both to your left and right.
Put the chair to your right.
Now turn slightly to your left, where there is some empty space.
Not turn back to your right, and investigate the chair thoroughly. Touch it, feel the fabric or the material it’s made of, look at its size, shape, color, texture.

Now turn back to your left to the empty space and try to imagine that there is the same chair you observed on your right. If it helps close your eyes. Imagine its fabric, size, color, shape, texture. Make it as vivid as you can. So you have two chairs, one on your right, and an imagined copy of it on your left.

Now open your eyes, and sit on that imagined chair of your left. Literally sit on it.
Can you do that? Why not?

Now turn to your right, and sit on the chair.
Can you do that? Why?

While sitting on the chair, investigate these:

Can the thought ‘sweet’ be tasted?
Can the thought ‘warm’ be felt?
Can the thought ‘fragrant scent’ be smelled?
Can the thought ‘beautiful sunset’ be seen?
Can the thought of ‘loud noise’ be heard?


Can the thought of drinking water make your thirst away?

Can the thought of ‘walking on a beach’ make your feet wet and sandy?
WHY not?

So what is the difference between real and imagined?

What is the difference between a chair and the THOUGHT OF a chair?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:31 pm

Hi Vivien
Now open your eyes, and sit on that imagined chair of your left. Literally sit on it.
Can you do that? Why not?
No, because it is not real. It is only imagined.
Now turn to your right, and sit on the chair.
Can you do that? Why?
Yes because it really exists and is not just imagined. It is something I perceive with my senses so it must physically exist.
Can the thought ‘sweet’ be tasted?
No.
Can the thought ‘warm’ be felt?
No, it can only be thought.
Can the thought ‘fragrant scent’ be smelled?
No, I can’t smell thoughts.
Can the thought ‘beautiful sunset’ be seen?
Not with my eyes. The image flashes up as a thought but I don’t see it the way I see the keyboard I’m typing with.
Can the thought of ‘loud noise’ be heard?
No, it’s only a thought.
Can the thought of drinking water make your thirst away?
No.
Can the thought of ‘walking on a beach’ make your feet wet and sandy?
No.
WHY not?
Because while the thought is occurring, its contents are not real. I am not walking on the beach in reality, only in my thoughts. There are no physical consequences to the thought of walking on the beach.
So what is the difference between real and imagined?
Real is what I experience with my senses. Imagination is made of thoughts and cannot be physically interacted with.
What is the difference between a chair and the THOUGHT OF a chair?
A chair is real (I experience it with my senses) so I can sit in it. An imaginary chair exists only as a thought, so I can’t physically interact with it.
So thoughts have no impact on the senses. They are separate from the senses. Their contents are not real so they cannot be interacted with in the way physical objects- the stuff of sensory experience- can be interacted with.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:19 am

Hi Chris,

You did a nice investigation.

Please show me ANY thought that is real (contains experience). ANY. Can you?

Please don’t just automatically reply back that “of course I can’t”, but rather actually make an effort to find any thought that is ‘real’ (which contains experience). Do anything you can to find a ‘real’ thoughts. Really try.

Is there any other option than EXPERIENCE (touching/feeling, hearing, smelling, tasting, smelling) and IMAGINATION (thoughts)?
Is there a third option?


Please look at the repeatedly many times during the day. Make sure that there is no any shred of doubt when you reply.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi Vivien
Please show me ANY thought that is real (contains experience). ANY. Can you?
No, all thought content is imaginary. No thoughts are experienced with the senses.

If I’m thinking of an image or sound, it bears a similarity to something I have experienced before. But there is still a clear difference between, say, imagining someone’s voice and actually hearing it. The real thing has more ‘life’ (if that makes any sense), it is more visceral.
Is there any other option than EXPERIENCE (touching/feeling, hearing, smelling, tasting, smelling) and IMAGINATION (thoughts)?
No, thought and experience are really all there is, all I know.
Is there a third option?
No, there is nothing I am aware of that isn’t seen, heard, felt, smelled, tasted or thought.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:22 am

Hi Chris,
If I’m thinking of an image or sound, it bears a similarity to something I have experienced before.
OK, let’s look into this. Here you are talking about memory, which is based on the notion of time.

What is memory exactly? – please don’t go to thought explanations, but just let a memory be there, and look at it…
What is the memory ‘made of’?
WHEN does the memory appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?


Then, look at a thought about the future.
What is the future thought ‘made of’?
WHEN does the future thought appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?


Then let’s compare a thought about the past and a thought about the future.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about the past and future?
If there is a difference, how is that difference known exactly?


Please spend a lot of time with EACH question… Look very carefully… Look at what is actually going on and not what thoughts say… but what actually is.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:42 pm

Hi Vivien
What is memory exactly? – please don’t go to thought explanations, but just let a memory be there, and look at it…
There’s the replaying of things that I experienced in the past; and there’s factual memories- like the colour of the sky.
What is the memory ‘made of’?
It is made of thoughts. Memories are essentially thoughts, the contents of which were once perceived in reality via the senses. So memories are made of real experiences.
WHEN does the memory appear?
Only after its contents actually occurred.
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
Memories are about things that have already happened (in reality) or knowledge I’ve gained in the past. General thoughts are about anything in any time.
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?
Because it is something that I once perceived with my senses- I experienced it in reality.
Then, look at a thought about the future.
What is the future thought ‘made of’?
It’s also made of thoughts- of things like plans, expectations, locations, time of day, that sort of thing. It is made by a creative process as it cannot rely on actual happenings in the past, on memories.
WHEN does the future thought appear?
Before its contents occur.
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?
A future thought is about something that I expect might happen. A general thought can be about anything.
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?
I know that it can only happen in the future because I haven’t experienced the thoughts’ contents in realty yet.
Then let’s compare a thought about the past and a thought about the future.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about the past and future?
Past thoughts are about things that have already been experienced. Future thoughts are about things that are yet to be experienced, if they ever will be.
If there is a difference, how is that difference known exactly?
If I have already experienced the contents of the thought, then I know it’s a memory. If the thought is about something I expect I might experience, then I know it’s about the future.

I'm working next 2 days, so probably won't get back to you before Friday, but I'll try!

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:46 am

Hi Chris,
It is made of thoughts. Memories are essentially thoughts, the contents of which were once perceived in reality via the senses. So memories are made of real experiences.
But how do you know that the contents of the memory once were perceived by the senses?
Other than thoughts saying so, how do you know all about this?

V: WHEN does the memory appear?
C: Only after its contents actually occurred.
You missed the pointer here.

Isn’t a memory-thought appear HERE-NOW?
Or does it appear IN the past?
Isn’t it a PRESENT thought?
V: What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
C: Memories are about things that have already happened (in reality) or knowledge I’ve gained in the past. General thoughts are about anything in any time.
This is a belief. These questions about memory was to question the everyday belief that there is any difference between a ‘memory thought’ and a ‘general thought’.

Just notice that you are making a difference based on the content.

Aren’t both of them just thoughts?
Aren’t both of the memory and the general thoughts are just plain thoughts, and only the contents differ?

How do you know that one is about a memory but the other isn’t?
Where do you get this information?
Isn’t the difference just another thought content?

And aren’t both the memory and general thoughts appearing NOW?
Aren’t both of them just PRESENTLY appearing thoughts?

Can you see that there is NO difference between them at all?
Both are just thoughts, here now?

The SEEMING difference come only from the contents, but nothing else?
V: How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?
C: Because it is something that I once perceived with my senses- I experienced it in reality.
But HOW do you know this? How do you know that the memory thoughts were once perceived?

Dear Chris, you are missing the point. I gave you this exercise to help you see that our general perception of time and memory is just a man-made construct, just a conceptualization and it’s not in line with reality.

Just notice that there is no proof whatsoever that the thought that supposedly about a memory is actually a memory of something that has happened in the past.
V: WHEN does the future thought appear?
C: Before its contents occur.
So you believe that there is a thought about the future, so that happens first, and then the content of those thoughts becomes real, and happen after? Can you see that this is an imagination?

When I ask when does the thought about the future appear, I mean it literally.
The thought about the future happen NOW, isn’t it?

The thought about the future doesn’t happen in the future. It’s impossible.
Any thought can only ever happen NOW.

Everything that ever happens, happens NOW. Can you see this?
A future thought is about something that I expect might happen. A general thought can be about anything.
Do you see that you are analysing the content and not looking at the thoughts themselves?

Can you see that there is ZERO difference between a general and a future thought?
They are both just plain thoughts happening NOW?

V: How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?
C: I know that it can only happen in the future because I haven’t experienced the thoughts’ contents in realty yet.
What I’m pointing to with this question is something radical.

What if past and future is just another illusion?
What if time is just a man-made invention, just a concept, but not reality?
What if time only ever exists as a thought, but as a real thing?
If I have already experienced the contents of the thought, then I know it’s a memory.
But how could you ever know that you experienced the content of thoughts in a past? Without another thought suggesting so, could you ever know this?

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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