Who am I?

Welcome to the main forum. When you are ready to start a conversation, register and once your application is processed a guide will come to talk to you.
This is one-on-one style forum, one thread per green member.
User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6631
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:12 am

Hi Michael,
It if exists, it seems to be in my head, but I have no direct evidence that it does in fact exist
But isn’t saying that the mind seems to be in the head, just another idea?
There are just thoughts appearing, seemingly inside my head
This is how it SEEMS. But a SEEMING thing is not a real thing.
Just as a mirage seems to be a real oasis, but in reality there is nothing there.
I don't - thoughts just appear in awareness
Are you sure that you haven’t just replaced one image / concept with another one?

Sit down, close your eyes, and think of a car.

How does the visual thought of a car arrive? Is it your doing?
What do you do EXACTLY for an image of a car to appear?
How do you make that happen?

Is there a storage place somewhere hidden where all the visual thoughts of cars are stored, and you go there and you choose and pick which one do you want to think of?

If not, how does that particular car appear from all the possible cars that could have appeared? What do you do EXACTLY to make that happen?

Are you the chooser of the color?
What do you do EXACTLY to the car to be a certain color?
Do you make the color to happen?

And what about its size and brand? Is the size and the brand your doing?

Can you observe a mind, or an I, or a self creating the image of a car?


Please repeat this exercise several times a day. Also experiment with other objects, life imagining an apple, a flower, a cup, etc.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
Iznick
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:53 pm

Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:39 am

Hi
But isn’t saying that the mind seems to be in the head, just another idea?
Yes, maybe. I just meant that that's where thoughts appear. I can feel a cloud of sensations that I call "my body" and at one end of it are some sensations that I call "head", and my thoughts are located in the same place as those sensations
Are you sure that you haven’t just replaced one image / concept with another one?
If you mean that "awareness" is another concept, then yes, that's a good point. Really I just mean "I can notice thoughts appearing"
How does the visual thought of a car arrive? Is it your doing?
What do you do EXACTLY for an image of a car to appear?
How do you make that happen?
When it occurs to me to think of a car, I have a slight sensation of effort, or tension, or pressure, in my head, and then an image appears. I don't know if or how I make it happen - just that there's that slight sensation, and then it appears
Is there a storage place somewhere hidden where all the visual thoughts of cars are stored, and you go there and you choose and pick which one do you want to think of?
No, I cannot choose which car, or cup, or apple to think of. If there is any kind of storage place, it is not in my direct experience
If not, how does that particular car appear from all the possible cars that could have appeared? What do you do EXACTLY to make that happen?
I don't know. I notice that often the car, or cup, or apple, will be the one that is most familiar to me (e.g. my family car, the apple I last ate), but I am not doing anything to make that happen. I don't do anything to make it happen
And what about its size and brand? Is the size and the brand your doing?
No, it isn't
Can you observe a mind, or an I, or a self creating the image of a car?
No, but I do notice the sensation of tensing, or effort, when I form the intention to think of a car

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6631
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:00 am

Hi Michael,
Yes, maybe. I just meant that that's where thoughts appear. I can feel a cloud of sensations that I call "my body" and at one end of it are some sensations that I call "head", and my thoughts are located in the same place as those sensations
Are you sure about that thoughts are located in the head?
Is there any location where thoughts appear?
Or this location just imagined?
Is there a mental image showing the head to be the location of thoughts?
If you mean that "awareness" is another concept, then yes, that's a good point. Really I just mean "I can notice thoughts appearing"
Yes, that’s all we can say, everything else is just a speculation.
When it occurs to me to think of a car, I have a slight sensation of effort, or tension, or pressure, in my head, and then an image appears. I don't know if or how I make it happen - just that there's that slight sensation, and then it appears
And does the sensation (tension) make the thought appear?
Does it contribute for the appearance of a thought at all?
Or are these just two phenomena happening at the same time? Sensation + thought? And only another thought saying that the tension is the result of the effort of thinking?
No, but I do notice the sensation of tensing, or effort, when I form the intention to think of a car
Does the seeming effort provide any benefit or help in thinking?

Is there anything else to this effort than muscle tensions?

Does that muscle tension (called effort) making the thought to appear?
Or it’s totally unrelated?

when I form the intention to think of a car
And how do you form the intention to think of a car? Is this ‘intention-forming’ your doing?
Or the intention of thinking of a car also happens on its own, without any doing on your part?



Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
Iznick
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:53 pm

Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:33 am

Are you sure about that thoughts are located in the head?
Is there any location where thoughts appear?
Or this location just imagined?
Is there a mental image showing the head to be the location of thoughts?
So this is where I always get stuck in my investigations.

When I have my eyes open, there is just a wide-open visual field, with no head in sight, and my thoughts could be anywhere or everywhere. Although maybe they still feel like they are centred on the upper-centre part of the visual field, i.e. where the head would be.

But when I shut my eyes and there is no visual field, I can quite distinctly feel my head (this is party because I suffered whiplash-type injury a few years ago which left me with a lot of tingling and pulsing sensations on my scalp and forehead), and when I notice thoughts, my attention gets focussed very strongly in that area - just behind my eyes. And verbal thoughts seem to be located there. Having paid close attention since receiving your questions, I notice that in fact it feels like I'm hearing my verbal thoughts - I can hear them in the place where my ears are. And I can feel my throat tightening as I "speak" them. And it feels as though there is some dense area of "me-ness" located there, behind the eyes. My visual thoughts, though, I realise, maybe aren't located there - they could perhaps be anywhere. Although it's a bit hard to tell. But I cannot shake the distinct sense that my verbal thoughts are in my head.
And does the sensation (tension) make the thought appear?
Does it contribute for the appearance of a thought at all?
Or are these just two phenomena happening at the same time? Sensation + thought? And only another thought saying that the tension is the result of the effort of thinking?
All I can say is that the tension precedes and coincides with the thought. I've no idea if it's causing it.
Does the seeming effort provide any benefit or help in thinking?
I don't know. They always go together. But it's possible that the tension isn't necessary and I could let go of it.
Is there anything else to this effort than muscle tensions?
I wouldn't say it's muscle tension. More a strange feeling of mental tension. Other than that, there's maybe heightened focus of attention in that area (behind the eyes).
Does that muscle tension (called effort) making the thought to appear?
Or it’s totally unrelated?
No idea. All I can say is that they tend to occur together.
And how do you form the intention to think of a car? Is this ‘intention-forming’ your doing?
Or the intention of thinking of a car also happens on its own, without any doing on your part?
I think it happens on its own, although it's a bit hard to say, because I usually only notice it once it's happening, rather than noticing it arise.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6631
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:51 am

Hi Michael,
my attention gets focussed very strongly in that area - just behind my eyes. And verbal thoughts seem to be located there.
A SEEMING thing is not a real thing. Just a seeming one :)
Having paid close attention since receiving your questions, I notice that in fact it feels like I'm hearing my verbal thoughts - I can hear them in the place where my ears are. And I can feel my throat tightening as I "speak" them. And it feels as though there is some dense area of "me-ness" located there, behind the eyes.
Let’s see what happens here. There are certain sensations when there are thoughts. And that’s all. Literally, that’s all.
But the belief is that those sensations are MORE than just sensations.
That those are ‘me-ness’ located there.

So let’s look into this.

Just focus on these sensations of me-ness.
But drop the label ‘me-ness’.
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 sensation, as a sensation only?

Stay with this sensation for a whole day and just feel it without labelling it or calling it anything.

The thing is that with the rest of the questions, you didn’t really look at experience, you just wrote down your thoughts.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
Iznick
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:53 pm

Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:52 am

What do you discover about the sensation, as a sensation only?
I can't find any me-ness in the sensations - they're just sensations. So maybe the me-ness is just a thought?

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6631
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:09 am

Hi Michael,
I can't find any me-ness in the sensations - they're just sensations. So maybe the me-ness is just a thought?
So the sensation has no autonomy, right? It’s just a plain sensation, not an autonomous entity with volition.

Does the thought of ‘I’ or ‘me’ has autonomy?

What aspects of your experience strike you as self-like or me-like?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
Iznick
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:53 pm

Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:46 am

Does the thought of ‘I’ or ‘me’ has autonomy?
No. Not that I can notice
What aspects of your experience strike you as self-like or me-like?
All of my body sensations feel like they are "mine", but not like they are "me".

And my thoughts feel like they are "me", until I notice that I am thinking them, and then they feel like they are "mine".

My attention feels like "me".

And there is this sense of an area that is "me" that is located in my head, behind my eyes. When I focus in on that area, I can't find any particular thing that feels like "me", but the general sense remains. The visual sense feels like "me": with my eyes shut, it feels like "I" am looking at my closed eyelids

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6631
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:59 am

Hi Michael,

Thanks for sharing these. Now we have plenty of me-ness to work with :)
All of my body sensations feel like they are "mine", but not like they are "me".
Please focus on the FEELING of the bodily sensations being mine. Just FEEL this feeling.

What happens when you don’t call it anything, just simply feel it? What happens to the feeling when you don’t give it any name?

Does this feeling have a location?

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


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
Iznick
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:53 pm

Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:46 am

What happens when you don’t call it anything, just simply feel it? What happens to the feeling when you don’t give it any name?

Does this feeling have a location?

What do you discover about this feeling, as a feeling only?
I can't find any feeling of "mineness" in the sensations themselves.

It's more of an idea, or a mental label. Much as "pain" turns out to be a mental label when I pay close attention to the physical sensations of pain.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6631
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:08 am

Hi Michael,
I can't find any feeling of "mineness" in the sensations themselves.

It's more of an idea, or a mental label. Much as "pain" turns out to be a mental label when I pay close attention to the physical sensations of pain.
Yes. You did a nice investigation.

When this regular sensation is just that, an ordinary sensation, with no name, nothing other than what it is (sensation), what happens to the idea of Michael then?

Where does it go with no sensation to land on?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
Iznick
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:53 pm

Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:48 am

When this regular sensation is just that, an ordinary sensation, with no name, nothing other than what it is (sensation), what happens to the idea of Michael then?

Where does it go with no sensation to land on?
When I just attend to body sensations, there is much less of a sense of "me" than when I focus on thoughts and find my attention concentrated in my head, behind my eyes. BUT I still feel a sense of "me" and "mine" when feeling body sensations, albeit a milder one.

In general, the more I get focussed on body sensations when meditating, the less I feel like a self. But when I notice that, or try to, I am thinking again, and that reactivates a stronger sense of "me".

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6631
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:51 am

Hi Michael,

It’s important to mention that we are not trying to eradicate the ‘sense of me’. We are not even try to make it weaker. Not at all.

We are ever investigating if this ‘sense of me’ is an actual sense of a me / self, or is it just a mislabelled sensation.

So my question wasn’t about what happens to this sense of me, rather what happens to Michael, to the person if you stop labelling this everyday sensation as a ‘sense of me’, and just simply call it for what it actually is, just a sensation.

We are not trying to get rid of this ‘sense of me’.
We are investigating if it’s actually a sense of a me, if there is actually a me being sensed/felt there.

Or all of there is to this ‘sense of me’ is just a fictional story about a plain sensation, with an idea that this sensation is MORE than a sensation. We are investigating if this seeming ‘sense of me’, which is just a plain sensation, is an actual person who lives inside the body, thinking thoughts, making the body move, deciding, choosing, feeling… OR.. it’s just a plain sensation.

So is this so? Is the sensation you label ‘sense of me’ an actual person who thinks, feels, decides and moves the body?
Is that sensation = Michael?


If that ‘sense of me’ is an actual, real self, a real Michael, then this ‘sense of self’ can think.

So speak directly to this ‘sense of me’ and ask it to think about what it is going to do tomorrow.
Can this plain sensation that you mislabel as ‘sense of me’ actually think and plan what to do tomorrow?

Now ask this ‘sense of me’ to lift your left arm. What happens?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

User avatar
Iznick
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:53 pm

Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:06 am

Ah, right, I misunderstood you - I thought you were asking me to feel the body sensations without labelling them.
So is this so? Is the sensation you label ‘sense of me’ an actual person who thinks, feels, decides and moves the body?
Is that sensation = Michael?
No, it's just a sensation, and when I focus on it, I can see that. It doesn't actually do anything.
Can this plain sensation that you mislabel as ‘sense of me’ actually think and plan what to do tomorrow?
No. If I ask myself, "What shall I do tomorrow?" then I do get an answer, but the "sense of me" doesn't generate it.
Now ask this ‘sense of me’ to lift your left arm. What happens?
My arm might move, but it does that by itself - the "sense of me" doesn't do anything.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 6631
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:02 am

Hi Michael,

Previously you wrote:
And my thoughts feel like they are "me", until I notice that I am thinking them, and then they feel like they are "mine".
Are you the thinker of thoughts?

How do you think a thought?
How do you make it happen?

When you say thoughts are mine, then where is this me that owns thoughts?

Is the owner is the mislabelled sensation called ‘sense of self’?

Where is the owner?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


Return to “THE GATE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests