fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

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Luchana
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby Luchana » Sat Jan 28, 2023 8:46 am

Hi Douglas,
for example I saw a news story about the war in Ukraine the other day, so some images and speech from the news story appeared in my mind. Often it's just random images, speech and other memories and ideas that appear in my mind, with or without an emotional aspect. They don't appear to be directly related to me. But perhaps I tend to have more random disconnected thoughts then the average person.
Right. For some reason this story pulled the attention, whose attention is that?
"I am interested in that" (for one or another reason)
"I am concern about that" (for one or another reason)
"I am the one looking, reading about that and it is constantly referring to me. "
"How this is related to me."
It is so common, inevitable in a way.
And yes all thoughts are related to me. And there is no exception.


I'm more curious when you say " I tend to have more random thoughts"
What do you mean by that?
Are you producing those thoughts?
How exactly?
Pause for a minute and pay very close attention of how thoughts are coming and going and tell me

What are you doing for these thoughts to appear and dissaper?

Sending love,
Luchana

ps. No worries about the meeting - you can send me you email and I will add you in the mailing list if you want?
If you wonder what it’s like living nonduality in everyday life?
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jon8888
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby jon8888 » Sun Jan 29, 2023 11:50 pm

Right. For some reason this story pulled the attention, whose attention is that?
I'm not sure. I've already realized that there is no one controlling the attention, so that would imply that the attention doesn't belong to anyone.
"I am interested in that" (for one or another reason)
"I am concern about that" (for one or another reason)
"I am the one looking, reading about that and it is constantly referring to me. "
"How this is related to me."
It is so common, inevitable in a way.
And yes all thoughts are related to me. And there is no exception.
I don't totally understand this. If a thought includes "I" or "me" in it, I can see how that thought relates to "me". But sometimes thoughts don't really have that much significance. It just seems more like noisy static like you would hear on the radio. For example, I just had a image appear in my mind of a cartoon character waving his arms up and down. I have no idea why it appeared and I'm not especially interested in it either. I do admit that the majority of thoughts seem to refer to the self.
I'm more curious when you say " I tend to have more random thoughts"
What do you mean by that?

I usually have thousands of seemly random images and ideas flashing by in my mind every day. There are often replays of conversation I've had, replays of scenes from movies, music playing on a loop, etc. Often there are multiple types of mental stimuli occurring simultaneously (there might be unrelated images, music and internal monologue all happening at once). I've asked friends if they experience the same, and it appears that most of them do not. I think there must be variation between people in the amount and types of thoughts that they have.
Are you producing those thoughts?
How exactly?
Pause for a minute and pay very close attention of how thoughts are coming and going and tell me
It's clear that I am not producing the thoughts. They seem somewhat related to whatever the attention is focused on, but there is no one controlling the attention. The thoughts just seem to appear from nowhere and then fade away or are immediately followed by more thoughts. If there is attention on them, they might stay around for longer but eventually go away. I still use the phrases "my thoughts" and "I am thinking" because that's just how the English language is normally used. I guess I could say "thoughts are being thinked" or "thoughts are appearing to no one" to be more accurate but that sounds a bit awkward. I do know that a lot of Advaita followers try to avoid using personal pronouns but it seems like a lot of unnecessary effort.
What are you doing for these thoughts to appear and dissaper?
Nothing. They are happening on their own.

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Luchana
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby Luchana » Mon Jan 30, 2023 9:26 am

Hi Douglass,
I'm not sure. I've already realized that there is no one controlling the attention, so that would imply that the attention doesn't belong to anyone.
Nice.
What is someone's then?

I usually have thousands of seemly random images and ideas flashing by in my mind every day. There are often replays of conversation I've had, replays of scenes from movies, music playing on a loop, etc. Often there are multiple types of mental stimuli occurring simultaneously (there might be unrelated images, music and internal monologue all happening at once). I've asked friends if they experience the same, and it appears that most of them do not. I think there must be variation between people in the amount and types of thoughts that they have.
yea, I see. it is common to experience thoughts like that. But there is something else here. There is a subtle conviction that these are all happening to me and from there - an identification with all of that A total believe in thoughts , as if the thoughts know something..

Butt let's see something very simple:

What is the difference between a thought and a content of it?
What is real what is imaginary?

Le's make something else and see if that can help:

Close your eyes and imagine that you are holding a spoon.
Imagine the spoons form, its size, its weight, its temperature. Look and feel at ​the imaginary spoon for a while.

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 did it never exist?

There will a second part after your reply.


Sending love,
Luchana
If you wonder what it’s like living nonduality in everyday life?
https://awakeningawakened.com/2022/10/2 ... onduality/

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jon8888
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby jon8888 » Mon Jan 30, 2023 6:16 pm

What is someone's then?
I don't really believe there is a "someone" but there is a sense of there being someone inside of a body, located behind the eyes, and also a sense that the thoughts are inside of the head somewhere, although I know these are both illusions.
yea, I see. it is common to experience thoughts like that. But there is something else here. There is a subtle conviction that these are all happening to me and from there - an identification with all of that A total believe in thoughts , as if the thoughts know something..
This is interesting. I had the sense that I wasn't fully believing my thoughts but perhaps I'm not realizing something.
What is the difference between a thought and a content of it?
I'm not sure if there is a difference. Perhaps attention can go to the sensations created by the thought vs. the meaning of the thought. For example if I think the thought "red ball" I can focus on the (imaginary) sound of my voice or visualize a red ball which would point to the "content" of the thought. Of course when I try to understand the "content" of the thought, it's really just another thought that appears. So it seems that the "content" is not actually part of the thought.
What is real what is imaginary?
If we are just going by raw perception, then anything that is perceived could be considered real. Normally I consider something to be real if most other people also agree that it is real and it fits with my model of reality. But even then, I need to assume that these other people are real, and that my model of reality is correct. So actually there is no way to definitively say what is real.
is there a spoon here, in real life?
no
So how did you see that there is no spoon?
real things don't depend on what my mind is imagining at a certain moment. A real spoon would still be there even if I am not thinking about it.
What happened to the spoon?
it stopped appearing in my mind
Did it disappear or did it never exist?
It existed in the mind only

Best,
Jon

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Luchana
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby Luchana » Tue Jan 31, 2023 10:29 am

Hi,

Just to ask - what name you prefer to call you, because I've notice you are using these two - Jon/Douglass..?

I don't really believe there is a "someone" but there is a sense of there being someone inside of a body, located behind the eyes, and also a sense that the thoughts are inside of the head somewhere, although I know these are both illusions.
All right.
Can you pay close attention to that sensation inside the body and try to localise it first. Spot a light there and than look with curiosity:

Does the sensation itself knows anything?
For example that it is someone being in the body?
What brings that information here?

This is interesting. I had the sense that I wasn't fully believing my thoughts but perhaps I'm not realizing something.
just for now :-)

I'm not sure if there is a difference. Perhaps attention can go to the sensations created by the thought vs. the meaning of the thought. For example if I think the thought "red ball" I can focus on the (imaginary) sound of my voice or visualize a red ball which would point to the "content" of the thought. Of course when I try to understand the "content" of the thought, it's really just another thought that appears. So it seems that the "content" is not actually part of the thought.
When there is a thought about a red ball - this is a fact, undeniable. There is a thought with the content "red ball:
But what about the content of that thought? Is there a red ball really here in reality?
YES or NO?


Same here:

Did it disappear or did it never exist?
It existed in the mind only
Was it REAL?

Or it was imagined to be real, illusionary=content of a thought?


Notice that there was no boom and no bright flashes of light when the imaginary spoon was no longer imagined. Remember this, the shift to seeing through the illusion of a separate self is not going to be any more than this, it is just a dropping of a belief – the belief is the glue that holds the illusion together.


Now go and get a spoon from the kitchen and hold it in the same way that you imagined it. Do that literally

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?

Are the image of the spoon and the experience of the spoon the same?
How does imagining and experiencing the same thing differ?

Now close your eyes again and bring your attention to the image of “me”, the separate individual entity.
Spend some time exploring this, and than

Speak the word “I” silently; be aware of any sensations or responses to this word.

Are any of these sensations YOU?

Is the I an image or is it an actual entity?


Sending love,
Luchana
If you wonder what it’s like living nonduality in everyday life?
https://awakeningawakened.com/2022/10/2 ... onduality/

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jon8888
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby jon8888 » Tue Jan 31, 2023 10:44 pm

Just to ask - what name you prefer to call you, because I've notice you are using these two - Jon/Douglass..?
Douglas is my first name and Jon is my middle name but either is fine. Sorry for the confusion. :)
Can you pay close attention to that sensation inside the body and try to localise it first. Spot a light there and than look with curiosity
Something very interesting happened when I tried this. I started looking for the location of the "self" and it seemed to be in my head but when I focused really closely, all I could find was a feeling of tension on my scalp, and of course, that tension is not "me", and I also realized that there were images quickly flashing in my mind of my head and face. Once I noticed this, the entire feeling of having a head or being in head started to fade away. It seems that the idea that I'm in my head is just a belief, not an actual experience, but it seems to be a very deeply rooted belief. I feel like I might need to repeat this exercise many times to fully get rid of the belief, since the sense of being in the head came back after I stopped paying close attention.
Does the sensation itself knows anything?
No.
For example that it is someone being in the body?
No.
What brings that information here?
I'm not sure I understand the question, but it seems to be a belief combined with mental imagery that creates this feeling.
When there is a thought about a red ball - this is a fact, undeniable. There is a thought with the content "red ball:
But what about the content of that thought? Is there a red ball really here in reality?
YES or NO?
No.
Was it REAL? Or it was imagined to be real, illusionary=content of a thought?
It was illusory.
Notice that there was no boom and no bright flashes of light when the imaginary spoon was no longer imagined. Remember this, the shift to seeing through the illusion of a separate self is not going to be any more than this, it is just a dropping of a belief – the belief is the glue that holds the illusion together.
Okay I will try to remember this, but it seemed before that dropping the self illusion was a bit more dramatic than dropping the illusory spoon. I guess I need to drop preconceived ideas that I have about what a "shift" is.
Now go and get a spoon from the kitchen and hold it in the same way that you imagined it. Do that literally 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
Are the image of the spoon and the experience of the spoon the same?
No.
How does imagining and experiencing the same thing differ?
It seems that holding the real spoon creates similar sensations to the imaginary spoon, but with the real spoon, the sensations are much stronger and "solid". With the imaginary spoon, the sensations will get stronger or weaker depending on how hard I'm concentrating on imagining the spoon. With the real spoon, feeling the sensations requires no effort.
Now close your eyes again and bring your attention to the image of “me”, the separate individual entity.
Spend some time exploring this, and than Speak the word “I” silently; be aware of any sensations or responses to this word.

Are any of these sensations YOU?
I tried this several times and each time, there was an image of body, either from first-person or third-person perspective that appeared. It became clear that these were just mental images and so couldn't be me. After that happened, the attention shifted to the feelings in the body, which come and go, and so also are not me.
Is the I an image or is it an actual entity?
An image, or more accurately, many images and feelings. It's not an actual entity. However, it seems that the "I" concept is so strong that even when it is seen through, the identification with "I" quickly returns. Perhaps its just a matter of repeating these exercises many times until the identification gradually goes away?

I really enjoyed these latest exercises! Thanks!

Best,
Jon

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Luchana
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby Luchana » Wed Feb 01, 2023 3:32 pm

Hi Jon (:-)
Something very interesting happened when I tried this. I started looking for the location of the "self" and it seemed to be in my head but when I focused really closely, all I could find was a feeling of tension on my scalp, and of course, that tension is not "me", and I also realized that there were images quickly flashing in my mind of my head and face. Once I noticed this, the entire feeling of having a head or being in head started to fade away. It seems that the idea that I'm in my head is just a belief, not an actual experience, but it seems to be a very deeply rooted belief. I feel like I might need to repeat this exercise many times to fully get rid of the belief, since the sense of being in the head came back after I stopped paying close attention.
Wow! It seems that there was a subtle recognition.. yea this is what happens when we truly honestly look.
You did a very good looking!
Now let's stick with that.
An image, or more accurately, many images and feelings. It's not an actual entity. However, it seems that the "I" concept is so strong that even when it is seen through, the identification with "I" quickly returns. Perhaps its just a matter of repeating these exercises many times until the identification gradually goes away?
Yea,it needs a repetitive looking, many small moments during the day in many different situations. The reality of there being no separate self is here always the moment when it is looked at.

For a moment take note of exactly what is being experienced in this moment: ​
​Notice all sounds, all sensations, all smell, all taste, all colour.​
​Notice how you're making absolutely no effort to be aware of them.​
​And notice that you're not making them happen.​
​

Are you conducting the orchestra of experience that you're aware of?

Can you notice that thought is EXACTLY the same as the rest of experience?

Does the fact that you're effortlessly aware of it, mean that you're orchestrating it?
Take a closer look:
Let's say there is a thought "I am managing all of that/orchestrating everything

Are you orchestrating this particular thought which say that "I'm able to orchestrate thoughts.?


I really enjoyed these latest exercises! Thanks!
I'm glad that it clicked :-)

Sending love,
Luchana
If you wonder what it’s like living nonduality in everyday life?
https://awakeningawakened.com/2022/10/2 ... onduality/

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jon8888
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby jon8888 » Thu Feb 02, 2023 8:36 am

Are you conducting the orchestra of experience that you're aware of?
No. The experience is happening on it's own.
Can you notice that thought is EXACTLY the same as the rest of experience?
Yes. The thoughts are imaginary sounds, images and feelings.
Does the fact that you're effortlessly aware of it, mean that you're orchestrating it?
Take a closer look:
Let's say there is a thought "I am managing all of that/orchestrating everything.
Are you orchestrating this particular thought which say that "I'm able to orchestrate thoughts.?
No that thought appeared as a response to reading the text on the screen, so I definitely was not orchestrating it. If there was different text on the screen, a different thought would have appeared. And if the thought appeared on it's own, it would still not be me orchestrating it.

These questions seemed quite easy to answer compared to some of the previous ones. Is there something specific you recommend me investigating more in depth in relation to these questions? Thanks.

Best,
Jon

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Luchana
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby Luchana » Fri Feb 03, 2023 8:11 am

H Jon,
No that thought appeared as a response to reading the text on the screen, so I definitely was not orchestrating it. If there was different text on the screen, a different thought would have appeared. And if the thought appeared on it's own, it would still not be me orchestrating it.
Nice :-)
If there is no you orchestrating that does it mean that there is something doing that?
If yes - how this is experienced?
These questions seemed quite easy to answer compared to some of the previous ones. Is there something specific you recommend me investigating more in depth in relation to these questions? Thanks.
All right. Let's look at how choice is happening.

Go and take two glases with different beverages (milk and water, or juise and coke, or coffe and tea).
Put these glasses in front of you. Look at them and chose one. Be vigilant.

As you do this notice whether a 'self' does it.
Also notice if there are many or any moments in the whole procedure of taking glasses, puting something in them (etc) when 'you' control the process?

How exactly the decision which glass to choose is made?
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
Do ‘you’ choose?
Can a chooser be located?


Have fun.

Sending love,
Luchana
If you wonder what it’s like living nonduality in everyday life?
https://awakeningawakened.com/2022/10/2 ... onduality/

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jon8888
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby jon8888 » Sun Feb 05, 2023 7:40 am

If there is no you orchestrating that does it mean that there is something doing that?
If yes - how this is experienced?
Obviously the brain is involved in creating thoughts and perceptions but there doesn't seem to be a way to understand how that happens from direct experience alone. I'm not sure what that "something" would be other than the brain.
Also notice if there are many or any moments in the whole procedure of taking glasses, puting something in them (etc) when 'you' control the process?
This is very tricky to observe. Most of these movements seem to happen without any conscious awareness or control, but as soon as I focus on them closely, it seems that "I" am controlling them. Often I will stop the movement to "prove" that I have control. I realize on some level that this is an illusion, but it's a bit hard to convince myself that I'm not actually controlling my hands and arms. I can see that thoughts come and go on their own and it's clear that I have no control over this, but the body seems to be more controllable. It seems that I can choose to stop and start movements in the body. I guess I need to keep investigating.
How exactly the decision which glass to choose is made?
It seems that when I look at the two drinks, I automatically imagine how each one would taste and then the desire suddenly arises to drink the one that I imaged would taste the best.
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
it happens automatically
Do ‘you’ choose?
no
Can a chooser be located?
no

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jon8888
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby jon8888 » Sun Feb 05, 2023 7:45 am

(continued from above post)

Do you have an exercise you would recommend for investigating how movements in the body are controlled? Thanks!

Best,
Jon

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Luchana
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby Luchana » Mon Feb 06, 2023 10:05 am

Hi Jon,

you did a good looking
I automatically imagine how each one would taste and then the desire suddenly arises to drink the one that I imaged would taste the best.
Do you know in advance that there is a preference for this particular taste?
Did you voluntiery choose to like this taste more than the other?

it happens automatically
What is NOT happening automatically?

Do you have an exercise you would recommend for investigating how movements in the body are controlled? Thanks!
All right, let's have a look at the movements of the body.
Take some time in a quiet place, 10 min at least..

Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.
Don't go to thoughts, examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?



Do this simple exercise as many time as it is possible, look the question ONE by ONE and reply from experience.

Sending love,
Luchana
If you wonder what it’s like living nonduality in everyday life?
https://awakeningawakened.com/2022/10/2 ... onduality/

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jon8888
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby jon8888 » Wed Feb 08, 2023 4:15 am

Do you know in advance that there is a preference for this particular taste?
Without remembering what the drink tastes like, I don't seem to have a preference.
Did you voluntiery choose to like this taste more than the other?
I did not. It seems that the preference is just built into the body. I can't think of any point at which I decided that I liked certain flavors.
What is NOT happening automatically?
I really can't think of anything. I feel like there should be something, otherwise why does everyone seem to believe that they are in control? But in all of the exercises that I have tried, I could not find anything specific. Only a vague sense that I'm in control, which seems to just be a thought or feeling.
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
I'm not sure. I looked carefully but I could find a specific thing that chose a hand to raise. It seemed pretty random.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
I could not. It seemed that there were just thoughts appearing like "lift the right hand" that created the illusion of "choosing" but even these thoughts did not always pick the correct hand, and there was no one choosing the thoughts either.
What is it that is controlling the hand?
It appeared like the muscles in arm were just contracting on their own.
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
I could not locate one.
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
only the muscles in the arm.
How is the decision made?
I'm not sure. I could not accurately predict which hand would lift off the table before it happened.

After doing these exercises several times, I tried paying attention to how I was moving my body throughout the day and there were several times were it seemed to be moving without a mover controlling it, which was interesting, but the sense of there being a mover still seems to be there sometimes when I'm not watching carefully.

I have a question for you. I read your first thread on liberation unleashed called "Luchy" and I found your process really beautiful to read. It seems that you were able to "crash the gate" after only a month. For that month, how many hours a day did you devote to the exercises? I try to spend at least an hour or two focused on each exercise but it seems that when I'm at work or with other people, they tend to reinforce the idea of the "self", which is such a central idea in our society. I've told some people about liberation unleashed but have gotten pretty negative reactions so I've realized I should probably not mention it. It seems that most people feel very threatened by the idea of there being no self. Basically, I'm asking how to have a deeper realization of no self like you did. Thanks!

Best,
Douglas

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Luchana
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby Luchana » Wed Feb 08, 2023 4:57 pm

Hi Jon,

you did a very good looking.
I feel like there should be something, otherwise why does everyone seem to believe that they are in control? But in all of the exercises that I have tried, I could not find anything specific. Only a vague sense that I'm in control, which seems to just be a thought or feeling.
Yea, this is so deeply rooted belief which we do not usually question. But when we start questioning it is all fall apart :-)
Just keep looking in your own direct experience.
I have a question for you. I read your first thread on liberation unleashed called "Luchy" and I found your process really beautiful to read. It seems that you were able to "crash the gate" after only a month. For that month, how many hours a day did you devote to the exercises? I try to spend at least an hour or two focused on each exercise but it seems that when I'm at work or with other people, they tend to reinforce the idea of the "self", which is such a central idea in our society.
Oh,realy? :-) Nice that you find that. As far as I remember - it was intense and very deep period. I just trust the process, for the process was going on by itself and is still happening here. The most surprising thing is that there is no end... The seeing trough illusion of a separate self is just the first, but very crucial step.

And you are looking in a right direction, you are at the right place, just relax and trust the process - it has already began.

I've told some people about liberation unleashed but have gotten pretty negative reactions so I've realized I should probably not mention it. It seems that most people feel very threatened by the idea of there being no self.
Oh, sooner or later we stop doing that :-) Only if someone is really, really into that the impulse to share something may appears. And people are afraid beacuse something deeply knows that this is the end of the story of me.

Here is a something to examine the control and choice.

In the morning when you woke up stay for few min in the bed, than leave it.

Look thorough. Be very alert.

Can you see a self making you leave the bed?
Where does the "decision" to leave the bad come from?
Is there something giving the "command" to get up ?
Is there controller hiding? If so, where exactly?
What makes the body get up?
Does a ‘you’ command the body?
Does a thought command the body?


During the day investigate also simple daily activities - like what to dress, what to eat, drink and so on. ..?

Is there a place where the commands come from?
Who ot what gives them?
Look for the point where the decision was made.


We are having another meeting tomorrow at 5 pm GMT and if you can join we can look at this together.
These meetings can be very supportive.

Sending love,
Luchana
If you wonder what it’s like living nonduality in everyday life?
https://awakeningawakened.com/2022/10/2 ... onduality/

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jon8888
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Re: fear, rumination and desire seem to be preventing liberation

Postby jon8888 » Fri Feb 10, 2023 5:13 pm

Can you see a self making you leave the bed?
There felt like an "impulse" in the body that caused the muscles to contract but I could not find a self causing that impulse to happen.
Where does the "decision" to leave the bad come from?
I really don't know. I could not predict exactly when I would get out of bed.
Is there something giving the "command" to get up ?
It seems there is something. There is a moment where it feels like the body receives a command to move and starts tensing up in preparation to get up, but I'm not in control of it. I'm not the one giving the command.
Is there controller hiding? If so, where exactly?
It seems that there is definitely something planning and coordinating my body movements, probably my brain. It's not something I can find in direct experience.
What makes the body get up?
It seems to happen on it's own.
Does a ‘you’ command the body?
No.
Does a thought command the body?
No. It's interesting to see that there are often thoughts related to moving the body ("I should get out of bed now", "I will get up in 10 seconds"), but what my body actually does often has no relation to those thoughts.
During the day investigate also simple daily activities - like what to dress, what to eat, drink and so on. ..?
I tried doing this for the past 2 days while I walked around outside, made food, etc. Some interesting things happened. I realized that most of the time, my body is just doing things without me being aware at all, and that the thought "I'm controlling my body" only happens after I observe my body doing something. I found that it was difficult or impossible to predict exactly what my body would do even a few seconds in advance. The more I realized this, the more effortless my activities seemed to be. I had a realization that if there is no free will, there is no such thing as something being "difficult" to do, without the thought arising "this is difficult". And strangely after realizing this, I became very productive and got a lot of work done that I had been putting off. I previously had the idea in my head that believing that free will is an illusion would decrease my motivation, but it seems that the opposite is true. There was also a sense of freedom: if I can't predict what I will do in the next moment, anything could happen!
Is there a place where the commands come from?
I could not find a place.
Who or what gives them?
I'm not sure.

It seems that after doing this exercise and the previous exercises repeatedly, the sense of self has decreased somewhat, but I still find that there is the sense of an "observer" that is "doing" the act of observing the thoughts, the body etc. This observer "self" doesn't seem to be able to control anything, and perhaps doesn't even have a physical location or any other qualities, but it still somehow seems separate from the thing that it is investigating. Do you have an exercise I could do to investigate the sense of there being an observer? Thank you.
We are having another meeting tomorrow at 5 pm GMT and if you can join we can look at this together.
I usually have work at that time, but I hope I can attend in the near future. Maybe next week. Thanks!

Best,
Jon


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