Newbie

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Allybally
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Re: Newbie

Postby Allybally » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Hi Stacy.

What i mean is there is an end product e.g. a problem at the start and one that is fixed at the end. There may be lots of thoughts between the start and the end and random thoughts between but there is progress. Im not saying one follows the other in a pure sequence.

Thanks,
Alan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Newbie

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:35 am

Hi,

Okay, and do you notice the subtle way in which you did not answer the questions in the previous post? Please read that again and just answer the questions.

Your mind is trying to jump around them.

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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Allybally
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Re: Newbie

Postby Allybally » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:01 am

Hi Stacy,
How is it "obvious" that you "follow a sequence of thoughts?" Or "solve a "'problem?'"
I didn't mean it was directly obvious, what I meant was that there are a series of thoughts/actions that result in a task getting done or something achieved. So for example say I was doing a maths problem I might have a thought, "That 2+2=4" then a random thought "What am I going to have for dinner" then back to the maths problem "Ok, so the answer to that was 4, 4 needs added to 10" then "What time do I need to leave work" etc etc. Until the maths problem is solved but there have been a series of thoughts, some directly associated with the problem and using memories of the problem and other more random thoughts interspersed.
Tell me specifically how you do this when
the thoughts come and go on their own, they aren't made by me
and you cannot predict your next thought.
I find this easiest when I meditate or am driving etc. When my mind is very quiet I observe that thoughts will pop in my head, some will be from childhood or things I have not done or seen in a long time and have no recent reference to. They are not things that I have been specifically thinking about or trying to remember. They pop into my mind without any reference and leave again and a new thought will come in and I can't predict what that may be.
Surprising how? Can you say more about this?
I had thought that my thoughts followed logical sequences, quite well organised but looking at them closely it seems they are much more random.

Thanks,
Alan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Newbie

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:31 am

Hi Alan,

Okay, let's look at this.
actions that result in a task getting done or something achieved. So for example say I was doing a maths problem I might have a thought, "That 2+2=4"

1. Math - who told you that there was some thing called "maths?" Can you find "maths" in Direct Experience? The way you did in the exercises before? Can you see maths? Hear maths? Touch maths? Taste maths? Smell maths? Yes, thoughts labeled "maths" arise - but that is just thought arising. Remember, the content is completely made up - it has no basis in Direct Experience. Can you see this?

2. "Something achieved" - same questions. Tell me exactly how you see, hear, feel, taste, or smell this "something achieved?" Thoughts arise - and remember, we do not care about those at all. They are completely made up. This is very important to recognize. The only thing that can be known is thoughts arise. The content of thought? It is nothing.

3. Solved? Again - check your 5 senses. What is this thing you are calling "solved?" Can it be found in Direct Experience?
I had thought that my thoughts followed logical sequences, quite well organised but looking at them closely it seems they are much more random.
Completely random.

Warmly,
~ 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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Allybally
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Re: Newbie

Postby Allybally » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:39 am

Hi Stacy,
1. Math - who told you that there was some thing called "maths?" Can you find "maths" in Direct Experience? The way you did in the exercises before? Can you see maths? Hear maths? Touch maths? Taste maths? Smell maths? Yes, thoughts labeled "maths" arise - but that is just thought arising. Remember, the content is completely made up - it has no basis in Direct Experience. Can you see this?
No I cannot find maths in direct experience, it is a concept and a label. I'm struggling with the thoughts part though. If my thought says there is a something in front of me and I reach out and touch it an directly experience it, why is that thought completely fictional?
2. "Something achieved" - same questions. Tell me exactly how you see, hear, feel, taste, or smell this "something achieved?" Thoughts arise - and remember, we do not care about those at all. They are completely made up. This is very important to recognize. The only thing that can be known is thoughts arise. The content of thought? It is nothing.
As above really, yes it is only a concept that something is achieved or solved, there is no direct experience of it being solved. However if we do processes labelled maths/engineering and do them in a specific order it may result in the production of a shape that we directly experience, e.g (something labelled a bridge) we can see a shape, we can experience walking on it, we can experience that we are not drowning as we walk across something that would normally drown us. I'm struggling with the concept of thoughts being made up, that there is no process of thoughts.

Thanks,
Alan

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Allybally
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Re: Newbie

Postby Allybally » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:01 am

Hi Stacy,

Have been thinking about this more.

Do things just happen? Our body just does what it does and our mind just labels it and try to make sense of it?
I think thats very possible.

I think i was struggling because i thought what you meant was things arent actually happening its made up in our head.

Hope that makes sense.
Thanks
Alan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Newbie

Postby Anastacia42 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:01 pm

Hi Alan,

This is great. Let me address some confusions, too.
I'm struggling with the thoughts part though. If my thought says there is a something in front of me and I reach out and touch it an directly experience it, why is that thought completely fictional?
Remember the exercise with labeling things with the AE (Actual Experience) of the thing?

AE is color, sound, sensation, taste, touch - and the FACT of thoughts arising, but NOT their content.
I'm struggling with the concept of thoughts being made up, that there is no process of thoughts.
All of the things you mention: maths, shape, walking, bridge, drowning - what is the Direct Experience of each? Or does it have any?

You have already found there is no DE of maths.

Shape.... too nebulous - pick one, like an apple. Touch it. Touch is the AE, but apple? Where do you find this "apple" idea in DE? We are going to do a full exercise with apple.

Walking? What do you find in Direct Experience? What is just a made-up thought?

Bridge? Same questions. What do you find in Direct Experience? What is just a made-up thought?

Drowning? Again - What do you find in Direct Experience? What is just a made-up thought?



You are learning to LOOK and see only what has Direct Experience, recognizing the rest of it is made-up.

Now let's do an exercise to help distinguish between what I call "story" or "content" and the simple fact of Direct or Actual Experience (DE or AE).

DE is color, sound, sensation, smell, taste and the fact of thought arising (but not the content of that thought or the story that thought tells.)

If you have a "real" apple then you can use that for this exercise.

Image

Have a look at an apple. When "looking at an apple," there's color; a thought saying "apple;" and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

What is known for sure? Color is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, the story, what they describe?

Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something - because that is only more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, color, smell, taste, sensation and the fact of a thought arising.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT "apple?"

Can "apple" be found in actual experience?

While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in Actual Experience (AE.)

This is what is meant by "looking in actual experience." What you know for sure, and, is always here.

Taste labeled "apple" is known.
Color labeled "apple" is known.
Sensation labeled "apple" is known (when apple is touched).
Smell labelled "apple’ is known.
Thought about/of an "apple" is known.

However, is an apple actually known?

Let me know what you find.

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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Allybally
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Re: Newbie

Postby Allybally » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:53 pm

Hi Stacy,
Walking? What do you find in Direct Experience? What is just a made-up thought?
You feel pressure in your feet, you will see a shape you label legs moving back and forth, you might observe shapes getting bigger as they appear to get "closer", I realise the closer part is a label also.
Bridge? Same questions. What do you find in Direct Experience? What is just a made-up thought?
There is a shape of a bridge, there is pressure under my feet the same as for walking, there is another shape/colour underneath that we label water. If the shape called bridge was not there I would experience cold on my skin (water) and the experience of lack of oxygen, physiological experiences of adrenaline, lightheadedness, etc.

Apple exercise:
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT "apple?"
However, is an apple actually known?
No there is direct experience of the thing apple, just aspects of it colour/shape/taste and thought about it. The same for bridge, river etc.

I am happy with the fact that we label everything, that we only directly experience different aspects of a thing as shape/colour/pressure/taste/sound etc.

Thanks,
Alan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Newbie

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:57 pm

Hi!
I am happy with the fact that we label everything, that we only directly experience different aspects of a thing as shape/colour/pressure/taste/sound etc.
Yes, we might as well be happy with it. That is the Direct Experience. All the rest was made up.

Remember to relax and experience these. Don't just send answers. It is the process of LOOKING that matters, NOT how you answer.
Do things just happen? Our body just does what it does and our mind just labels it and try to make sense of it?
I think thats very possible.
Yes. That is truer. Everything "just does what it does."

What we're doing is helping you to get back to noticing that.

Your question leads right into this exercise that you can try:

Mind labelling experience

Here is an exercise which examines the way in which the mind labels experience - it takes about 20 minutes and you will need a pen a paper.

This exercise is broken into 10 minute lots. For each 10 minute period pay attention to any bodily sensation ie is there any tightening, or any relaxing?

For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I”.

For example: I am sitting on a chair, I am hearing a clock ticking, I am looking at a computer screen, I am feeling hungry. Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just a plain description of your experience right here and now.

Then for the next ten minutes continue writing down what you are experiencing but this time without using the word “I”. Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs. For example: sitting on a chair, typing, breathing, blinking, hearing the clock. (Again, watch what is happening in the body.)

At the end of the twenty minutes compare the two ways in which the experience was labelled and answer the following four questions:

1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
2. What is here without labels?
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
4. Did you notice any differences in the body?



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: Newbie

Postby Anastacia42 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:00 pm

PS - try to stay out of conjecture and imagination.
If the shape called bridge was not there I would experience cold on my skin (water) and the experience of lack of oxygen, physiological experiences of adrenaline, lightheadedness, etc.
One, the color called "bridge" WAS there, so there is no need to imagine it not there.

Two, even if it were not there, "adrenaline" is a label. "Lightheadedness is a label.

I would have asked you, what is the DE (Direct Experience of "adrenaline?" Of "lightheadedness?"

Stay in THIS moment. Don't make things up. There is plenty here that is already made up to work with.

Thanks!
~ 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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Allybally
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Re: Newbie

Postby Allybally » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:22 pm

Hi Stacy,
1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
Without the I seemed to be truer, it seemed 'closer' to the actual experience, using I didn't seem necessary and seemed to actually create distance to the experience.
2. What is here without labels?
Just the actual experience
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?

I felt that when I labelled things and used I that the experiences were more distant, not different but they weren't as close. If that makes sense.
4. Did you notice any differences in the body?

I didn't really notice anything different in the body as I did the 2 exercises, no.

Thanks,
Alan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Newbie

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:24 pm

Good afternoon!
Without the I seemed to be truer, it seemed 'closer' to the actual experience, using I didn't seem necessary and seemed to actually create distance to the experience.
That is what is found, yes. The more you notice this, the closer you will be to SEEING. Just keep LOOKING.
I didn't really notice anything different in the body as I did the 2 exercises, no.
Please revisit the exercise just a bit and check your body. Look closely, particularly in your torso area. Sit and scan your body as you do the exercise with the "I" and without. See if you can notice changes in the sensations in your body.

Once you've done that, let's really look at the labels and whether or not they correspond with some thing labeled "reality."

Label-Reality Correlation

There is a belief that labels have a one-to-one correspondence with "reality." But they do not! Just like it is a generally accepted belief that labels like "good" and "bad" are inherent characteristics of "things." But actually, they are not.

When you look at the word label GREEN’, what is the actual experience?

Is the red color "experienced" or is color green "experienced" as the label suggests?

Do the labels have a one-to-one correspondence with "reality?"

Or do the labels suggest something else other than what is here now (red color)?

Is green-ness an inherent attribute of the "experience" of the red color; or is green just a word label on the experience of the red color?


If the label
GREENis replaced with the labelGOOD’ or ‘BAD’, is the redness affected in any way as the labels suggests?

Does redness become ‘good’ or ‘bad’, or do the labels have no affect whatsoever on ‘reality’?

Take time with these. It is far more important to spend plenty of time LOOKING than it is to reply here. The replies are only used so that I can guide you. Really LOOK so that you can SEE.

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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Allybally
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Re: Newbie

Postby Allybally » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:17 pm

Hi Stacy,

Yes I will try the previous exercise again and see if I can feel anything. I will be away on holiday from tomorrow until Monday evening so I may not reply until then.

For the second exercise, the experience is the colour red even though the word is 'Green', the same for when it is good or bad. The experience is that you see a colour red. Though even 'red' is a label that we call that colour. Though you might think about the word 'Green'.

Thanks,
Alan

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Anastacia42
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Re: Newbie

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:04 pm

Enjoy your weekend.

Pay attention to your body's sensations any chance you get. Particularly in the stomach or heart areas.

Warmly,
~ 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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Allybally
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Re: Newbie

Postby Allybally » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:16 pm

Hi Stacey,

Sorry for quietness things have been hectic. I still have to repeat this exercise but will get time at the weekend. Hope you are good.

Alan


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