Cutting through the paradox

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Anastacia42
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:49 am

Ossie, yes!

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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ossie123
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby ossie123 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:03 am

Let's look at these closely. There is this thing we call "body."

Actual Experience is what?

color/image
sound
sensation
smell
taste and
the fact of a thought arising (but not its content).


So, please look again. What does the word/label 'body' actually refer to?
The label body refers to the location of any sensation which becomes the total of sensations.

To explain... Say the sensation of heat arises; then a thought arises with the content being 'my body feels hot'. Any sensation is similarly allocated to the location of the body (including the sensation of a thought arising).
And What is it that thought infers is the body?
In general terms the inference is a specific location which infers existence. When we are grammatically correct and say "My body" this also infers an ownership of the location.
And finally, this:

What is the Actual Experience of what thought says is the boundary between the body and clothing and boundary between body and chair?
In two parts so I don't miss the question...

The Actual Experience of the boundary itself is there is none. The first time I did this new approach a day ago it felt like a fuzzy ball of sensations with no inside or outside but just diminishing intensity.

The Actual Experience of what thought says is the boundary is that this is just content and not reality itself.

Not sure if that was put to keyboard correctly.

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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:19 am

Hi Ossie,

Your "new" way of looking is what we have been pointing to. You're doing it as meditation now and not, as you say, an exam. It's not about right answers - correct! ;)

So... you seem to be grappling a lot with location. There is another exercise that goes more deeply into the body experience that has you check more about location at the end.

But first...
And finally, this:

What is the Actual Experience of what thought says is the boundary between the body and clothing and boundary between body and chair?

In two parts so I don't miss the question...

The Actual Experience of the boundary itself is there is none. The first time I did this new approach a day ago it felt like a fuzzy ball of sensations with no inside or outside but just diminishing intensity.

The Actual Experience of what thought says is the boundary is that this is just content and not reality itself.
Yes, there is no boundary. We can't find one.

So what is this "location" thing in Direct Experience?


Maybe this exercise will help make it clearer.

Yes, do you approach it the way you just started doing... Experience it. Look and see. Don't make anything up. Don't infer anything. Don't tell any stories about it.

Deeper Body Investigation

Please follow each step, don't leave out any. Take your time.

Don't move to the next step until the previous one is clearly seen. Repeat the exercise several times.


Stand in front of a bigger mirror.

(1) First, close the eyes and feel the sensations labelled ‘body’.

(2) Then open the eyes and look into the mirror while still paying attention to the sensations.

Is there any connection between the felt sensations and the image in the mirror?

Or just thoughts (and/or mental images) suggest that there is?

(3) While still paying attention to the sensations move one hand and observe the movement from the mirror.

Is there any connection between the felt sensations (labelled ‘hand’) and image of movement in the mirror?

(4) Now do the same movement with the hand, but this time look at the hand directly, not from the mirror.

Is there any connection between the felt sensations (labelled ‘hand’) and the image ‘of movement’? Or only thoughts suggest it?

(5) Now, pay attention only to the image in the mirror.

Does the image by itself suggest in any way that is ‘you’ or ‘your body’?

Does the image itself suggest in any way that it is a ‘body’ at all?

Or are there only colours and shapes?

(6) Where the mirror ends, some parts of the body (probably legs) cannot be seen.

Just by the image in the mirror, is there any ‘knowledge’ that there must be legs, or only thoughts and mental images suggest so?

(7) Now turn away from the mirror and look forward (don’t look directly to any body parts).

Is there a ‘body’ anywhere when all thoughts and images are ignored, or are there only sensations?

(8) Start to walk slowly.

Is there a ‘body walking’, or are there only sensations?

Is there actual experience of ‘walking’ at all?

Or just THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘walking’?

Can such a thing as ‘body’ be found OR just THOUGHTS ABOUT a ‘body’?

Can such a thing as ‘walking’ be found?

(9) Are the sensations localized in space, like ‘going through the room’; OR is there only an image that is labelled ‘room’ and appearing sensations without any location
?

Enjoy!

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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ossie123
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby ossie123 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:51 am

Hi,
So... you seem to be grappling a lot with location. ……


So what is this "location" thing in Direct Experience?
I am normally very literal so I was giving a very literal answer to two exact questions (I thought they were exact and the third I was not sure so I gave 2 answers)…
What does the label…. and what does the thought ….
These are both content that has been deceiving and that deception points to the location of sensations which gives it a perceived “existence” as a separate and defined body.
My answer to the actual experience of the boundary of body was that there is none.

The new exercise is good, but the big mirror was hard to find while living in a bus. I had to find a public bathroom where there was not much chance of people walking through. :)

Stand in front of a bigger mirror.

(1) First, close the eyes and feel the sensations labelled ‘body’.

(2) Then open the eyes and look into the mirror while still paying attention to the sensations.

Is there any connection between the felt sensations and the image in the mirror?
No.
Or just thoughts (and/or mental images) suggest that there is?
Not even that. At first it felt there was no connection, not even thoughts.
(3) While still paying attention to the sensations move one hand and observe the movement from the mirror.

Is there any connection between the felt sensations (labelled ‘hand’) and image of movement in the mirror?
No. It is like it is somebody else moving and I am just watching.

(4) Now do the same movement with the hand, but this time look at the hand directly, not from the mirror.

Is there any connection between the felt sensations (labelled ‘hand’) and the image ‘of movement’? Or only thoughts suggest it?
It was exactly the same as watching the reflection… Like it was somebody else and I was just watching. No connection. At the time not even the thought of a connection.
(5) Now, pay attention only to the image in the mirror.

Does the image by itself suggest in any way that is ‘you’ or ‘your body’?

Does the image itself suggest in any way that it is a ‘body’ at all?

Or are there only colours and shapes?
Just an image and not a body.
(6) Where the mirror ends, some parts of the body (probably legs) cannot be seen.

Just by the image in the mirror, is there any ‘knowledge’ that there must be legs, or only thoughts and mental images suggest so?
No experience of anything apart from the image itself.

(7) Now turn away from the mirror and look forward (don’t look directly to any body parts).

Is there a ‘body’ anywhere when all thoughts and images are ignored, or are there only sensations?
There is no body.
(8) Start to walk slowly.

Is there a ‘body walking’, or are there only sensations?
(I just did movements, not having my computer with me in the public bathroom). The movement was happening but it was not a body moving – just sensations interpreted as movement.
Is there actual experience of ‘walking’ at all?

Or just THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘walking’?
There is no actual experience of movement but the thought arising with the content “What is this? Oh, it is movement of a hand”.
Can such a thing as ‘body’ be found OR just THOUGHTS ABOUT a ‘body’?
There is no direct experience of a body. The body is a content of a thought.
Can such a thing as ‘walking’ be found?
No. It is just a series of sensations.
(9) Are the sensations localized in space, like ‘going through the room’; OR is there only an image that is labelled ‘room’ and appearing sensations without any location?
I didn’t specifically LOOK for this question but going on what was seen when looking in the mirror and then looking at “my body” there was no localisation. The sensations have no space and not even a time. The idea of room and a time came later when it was thought about (and hoping nobody would come in).

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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:45 pm

Good morning/ day, Ossie!

Wow, good job! I forgot about the bus when I gave you this.

Let me ask you this:

Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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ossie123
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby ossie123 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:24 pm

Good morning/ day, Ossie!

Wow, good job! I forgot about the bus when I gave you this.

Let me ask you this:

Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

Much love,
Hi,

I can't find "I". Maybe better said as "I" can't be found.

No, it is not in hiding - it was never there in reality.

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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:27 pm

Hi again, Ossie,

Can you explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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ossie123
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby ossie123 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:52 pm

Hi again, Ossie,

Can you explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

Much love,
Hi,

That was quick. I'll just write it out now so I don't go too far into what I was taught but more of what I see now....

I'll start at the beginning with how it starts. Probably with conditioning and as part of the survival instinct of an animal. I need to see prey as a separate entity if I am going to eat prey or to defend myself from being eaten. This is reinforced through language and conditioning so "me" has a place and space of its own.

Part of the survival instinct is identification so friend or foe or danger can be distinguished. This food is good and is mine, this feeling belongs to me so I need to make myself safe. The process of identification just goes on in the background and is stored in memory and reinforced by society and thoughts. It becomes very strong. It is so strong it even has its own name which it naturally identifies as itself, or ego. The ego reinforces itself as it identifies anything it can to itself so it seems it may even be stronger than "I" and might be considered an enemy, or friend, but seems to have its own separate identity.

This creates a self-reinforcing closed loop of positive feedback. Even trying to end "it" reinforces that there is an "it" that is identified as separate and it defends itself which reinforces the thought that it needs to be ended. "It" can be either ego or self or both.

I did think "I" was the separate entity that controlled attention but I have SEEN that even this is not true and attention does it own thing without a "I" controlling it. There is still appearance of control (like there is appearance of me controlling my fingers now) but in reality they are doing what they are programmed to do. Attention is doing what it is programmed to do, with out without a "me" in the picture.

That is where the illusion came from and how it works. The hard part is how I see it now.

I still see the illusion. It has not gone away just like knowing the magic trick does not make the rabbit go away when it is pulled out of the hat. The rabbit is there but you know where it came from. I feel the self is still there but now I know where it came from and that it is really just a magic trick that can have me laugh or cry or be bewildered.

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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:54 am

Hi Ossie,

Yes, just happened to be good timing.

Yes, the magic trick is kind of like finding out that Santa Claus is your father. You still see a guy in a red suit, but you know that it's your dad. Right?

So, you mentioned this a little bit, but how does it feel to see the illusion of the separate self? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days (or more, if need be.)


Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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ossie123
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby ossie123 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:52 am

Hi Ossie,

Yes, just happened to be good timing.

Yes, the magic trick is kind of like finding out that Santa Claus is your father. You still see a guy in a red suit, but you know that it's your dad. Right?
Yeah.

So, you mentioned this a little bit, but how does it feel to see the illusion of the separate self? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days (or more, if need be.)


Much love,
It is a not as expected (not surprisingly). I haven't really noticed very much in the last few days. Ah, you want the difference from before we started talking, not just the last few days. Ignore what I just wrote but you haven't read; and I'll re-write it before you read it.

The big turning point was from back where I saw that the attention was not controlled by me which I think was a couple of weeks ago and about when the frustration subsided. Not sure which came first. That was a bit of a shock to the system. I can see that "I" was just reinforcing the "I" by making it smaller but much more powerful. Looking at attention like thought really brought it home. Stuff happens and it is just witnessed. I'm not sure how it all fits together but that'll come, or it won't. (Do I really need to know if dad puts his left leg in the Santa suit first?) There is certainly much more calmness than before we started. Having SEEN it the better word would be stillness. The urgency to "know" is gone.

It was not like some I read about in the gatecrashers. I have seen through the illusion to a far greater extent than ever before and for that I am grateful but somehow I do not feel "liberated". Maybe that just needs to develop over time. There is still the residue of habit where the mind/body reacts in the same way it has always been programmed. I am certainly not frustrated that there are no bells and whistles and am also not expecting it.

Maybe it is just the ordinariness of it all.

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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:07 pm

Hi Ossie,

Yes, it's ordinary. Or can be. Yes there will be lots of residual stuff. And in the safety of where you are now, who knows what may come up? That's why we have Aftercare group on Facebook. Just a place to bring that up if anything comes up.

By the way, there are a couple more exercises on time and on space that I can give you to play with before we wrap up if you like.

I have been giving you the final questions, one at a time.

Initially, I was just checking to see what else we needed to cover, but you have seen, it appears. You answered question 4 even though I didn't give it yet. :)

Please go ahead and answer just 5, and 6.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?

5) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.

6) Anything to add?

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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ossie123
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby ossie123 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:33 pm

Hi,
5) Describe decision, intention,
Decision and intention have never been shown by any experiment but have been shown to be untrue. The process is quite simple. The mind creates impulses to fire neurons based on a stimulus, that trigger muscle movement while at a similar time the brain also has senses to analyse the data and “make sense” of it in awareness. The measured process goes something like this (from memory)..

Stimulus - Neuron fire – Awareness – muscle movement

Because we are not aware of the inner workings of the brain (or 99% of the body) we only “see” awareness and then muscle movement so we interpret that as our decision and then infer that it also must have been our intention because how else could it possibly have happened if we didn’t make it happen. This belief in intention is reinforced through our society so it has become an axiom that is not questioned.
Describe ... free will, choice and control.
There is no such thing as free will. The absolute best thing that it could be is constrained will since it can never be totally free. Even a very simple interaction like you and I talking is constrained as one may be overriding the other who might want to do other things. Any relationship is the same – constrained at best. But given the above on intention there is no possibility of even constrained will because all of the “will” process happens before “we” even know about it.

Because there is no will there is effectively no choice or control in any given situation. We are machines acting on programming. One concession I will give is that the programming can be altered through conditioning and forming of habits. Exactly how this works and if there is any “control” of the habits I am not 100% sure but I suspect that this is also a function of nature and nurture so is beyond our own intention.
What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for?


Ahhhh, the BIG question. Is there a God or conscious force that drives things from somewhere to somewhere else. “What” makes it all happen. Am I God?

Sad to say (or actually probably very happy to say) that no, I am not God. Just like the body/mind it is all a process that is happening all by itself. There is no director making sure it is going to plan and no need for minions like “me” to keep it on track or make sure others are not off track. It is all just exactly where it “is” and there is no such thing as where it “should” be.

Narrowing the question down to just me (which is probably where it was directed) things just happen according to external stimulus based on nature/nurture reflexes. I am not responsible for anything. If I was responsible for anything then surely I also must be responsible for everything. I couldn’t just pick and choose the “nice” things to be responsible for and ignore the rest.
Give examples from experience.
I am running out of time because we have a train to catch but it has been a hectic week or two. Mum in hospital, dad put into home for care, almost had to spend a week or two with them, tickets to conference tomorrow lost in post, just bought property and have signed contracts just waiting for seller to counter sign (44 acres of just land with no power, water or services and no money left to build anything and no guarantee local Council will allow it).

I’ve been surprisingly stress free. Mum is slowly losing touch with reality and my sister is coming out to look after mum and dad. Her standard approach is to come in with all guns blazing and take over and tell everybody what to do. My attitude is let mum and dad decide while giving them all options and consequences and then support them in their decision (either stay where they are or be put in full-care home). (Just added - if they believe in control I will not try to change their mind which I could not do anyway!) Even things like tickets or land are very much let them sort themselves out but also play along with the process. Giving up responsibility is NOT doing nothing but is doing what I feel I can while allowing the process to unfold. I am designing a house even thought it may not be allowed to be built. Currently it is round or hexagonal based on the yin-yang symbol and will be made from natural materials by myself.
6) Anything to add?
Thank You.

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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:37 am

Oh, Ossie. Your answers are beautiful & thorough!

Thank YOU!

Let me review your answers to be sure that there are no questions and I'll reply back again as soon as I can.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Anastacia42
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:24 am

Hi Ossie,

Reviewing your answers to number 5 and number 6 there are some places that are not clear. We run this by other guides to make sure that I'm not blindsided because I'm used to talking to you. So here are a couple more questions...

Please keep your answers simple and not too convoluted. That made them a little hard to read.


Without bringing the brain into the picture...describe decision and intention, ie how does decision and intention work? Now that you have realised that there is no separate self, how does decision and intention work?

How does free will, choice and control work - now that you have seen there is no separate self?

What exactly is it that are "machines acting on programming"?

What is it exactly that is "giving up responsibility"?

Can you provide further examples from your own day to day life on how there is no "I" who is deciding, intending, controlling.

Take some time and make them very clear to understand, please. Remember, it is not about how short or how long. It is about how clearly understanding is expressed.




Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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Anastacia42
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Re: Cutting through the paradox

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:35 pm

Ossie,

I read that there is a lot going on for you and your family. Take all the time you need to answer those further questions when you can. We'll be here!

Much loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris


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