Clarity

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:03 pm

Hi Jon,

Can you let me know what were the circumstances of wanting to give up? What triggered those feelings?

No thoughts of giving up, but sometimes there's some frustration and impatience about the inquiry not working. At this point my understanding of no-self seems a lot more intellectual. Sometimes I find myself thinking of myself as the body or being in the body and get a bit discouraged. But I will continue to look.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:01 pm

Hi Allen
. Sometimes I find myself thinking of myself as the body or being in the body and get a bit discouraged. But I will continue to look.
OK. Let's focus on 'the body'..

Does the body experience sensations and thought?

It's a very interesting question but not from an intellectual point of view. It needs checking out.

Is 'the body' just another thought-label for sensations (namely tactile and kinaesthetic)?

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:59 pm

Hi Jon,

Is 'the body' just another thought-label for sensations (namely tactile and kinaesthetic)?

It seems the body is a label/concept for sensations plus visual appearance of the body that are experienced. There is the experience of sensations and of the body visually. Thought then ties them together into a concept of experiencing the body.

Does the body experience sensations and thought?

The body is experienced as just sensations and visuals in reality so these two things don't experience other sensations and thought. Sensations, visuals, thoughts, sound, etc. are all happening at the same time in experience.


On a side note Jon, I think I might be trying to use seeing no-self as a way to bypass or fix unwanted thoughts, beliefs and feelings without realizing it.

I struggle with uncomfortable thoughts, beliefs and feelings related to shame and anxiety. I notice that whenever these feelings and thoughts come up, I try to get rid of them, find a way around them or just any kind of solution to deal with them and feel better. It's been my goal to "heal" and get rid of these thoughts and beliefs for a couple years now.

I think I'm just so used to struggling with this stuff that I didn't realize I was trying to push away certain thoughts and feelings. It's like I'm in a battle with thoughts sometimes and don't realize it.

I was just thinking that maybe letting these thoughts and feelings just be there would be more helpful. What do you think?

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:41 pm

Hi Allen

I really must say that I appreciate the way that you post just about every day. This frequency of exchange usually helps these no self inquiries a lot.

Thanks, too for a very honest post.
. Does the body experience sensations and thought?

The body is experienced as just sensations and visuals in reality
Well, let's go a liitle bit further (you may already mean this but..) there is certainly experience of sensations. If I take a look, that's evident. But 'the body'? Is 'a body' actually 'experiencing experience'.

It may seem like a nonsense question but how do we get from experiencing raw sensations to *the idea* that 'a body' (literally) 'experiences the experience of sensations'.

Identification with or as 'a body' is one permutation of belief in a separately existing self, the idea being that this imagined entity 'lives inside a body'. Without checking this out properly there can remain a kind of assumption that 'someone' is 'there'.
. On a side note Jon, I think I might be trying to use seeing no-self as a way to bypass or fix unwanted thoughts, beliefs and feelings without realizing it.

I struggle with uncomfortable thoughts, beliefs and feelings related to shame and anxiety. I notice that whenever these feelings and thoughts come up, I try to get rid of them, find a way around them or just any kind of solution to deal with them and feel better. It's been my goal to "heal" and get rid of these thoughts and beliefs for a couple years now.

I think I'm just so used to struggling with this stuff that I didn't realize I was trying to push away certain thoughts and feelings. It's like I'm in a battle with thoughts sometimes and don't realize it.

I was just thinking that maybe letting these thoughts and feelings just be there would be more helpful. What do you think?
It's very good that you mention this Allen. It isn't a side note at all. And yes, it is perfectly possible to use Self-inquiry as a way to bypass unwanted thoughts or feelings.

You've already seen this possibility /tendency and have come up with a very good idea. Often these uncomfortable feelings are really happening and can have some wisdom about them, something to tell us.

I think 'just letting them be there is a good way to go. You can even relax and actually thank these feelings or thoughts for appearing. Thank them very genuinely for turning up and ask them if they have anything that they would like to say? . Even give them a big hug. Be a little patient and see what comes.

Let me know how this goes?

:-)

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:21 am

Hi Jon,

Really grateful to have you as a guide. Appreciate you taking the time out of your day to do this. The work you guys do here is amazing. Hard to believe that it's all for free!

Also thanks for the advice about the unwanted thoughts and feelings. I think things have been a bit more loose and free during past day or two. I will continue on with it and let you know how it goes.

But 'the body'? Is 'a body' actually 'experiencing experience'.

It may seem like a nonsense question but how do we get from experiencing raw sensations to *the idea* that 'a body' (literally) 'experiences the experience of sensations'.

I'm not sure if I have this right, but this is what I find:

It's deduced and assumed that the body is "experiencing experience". The evidence for this is pretty convincing.

I can see the body, and the sensations of the body seem to match up with the visuals, so the body must be here.

For seeing, I assume I have eyes even though I can't see them. I can feel where they are with my hands. The perspective of sight seems to be coming from from where the eyes are. I can also block the eyes from seeing with my hands. So this part of the body must be responsible for seeing.

For hearing, I assume I have ears, I can touch them with my hands. When I cover my ears with my hands, this affects my hearing and then sound coming in. So the ears must be the key to hearing.

For smelling and taste, I can see what appears to be my nose and mouth. I seem to be able to use them to smell and taste things. So they must be responsible for smelling and tasting. This checks out.

For feeling or touching, I can reach out with what appears to be my hands and touch things. Sensations will follow. The sensations seem to match up with the visuals so my hands must be able to feel and touch. Also there seems to be sensations coming from inside the body. Visuals and sensations seem to match up again.

For thought, I can't find the place where thoughts are in my head, but the head seems to be the closest body part to the dimension where thoughts are.

Based on all this, the story about the body experiencing experience checks out. There's a body here experiencing experience with the various senses and associated body parts. The only thing that is kind of questionable is thought. Not really sure how the body experiences that. But it doesn't seem to come from the space outside the body.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:27 am

Hi Allen

Very glad to be walking this walk with you too Allen.
. It's deduced and assumed that the body is "experiencing experience". The evidence for this is pretty convincing
To deduce and assume are using thought and intellect. You're using the wrong faculty to explore this. You need to take a direct look at immediate experience, in other words, sensations.

By believing that the body experiences experience there is the belief that there is an unchanging self literally located inside an unchanging container. While that belief / view persists it will always appear to be true. The belief is held in place by thoughts and reasoning.

There's no way to notice no self unless there's a willingness to explore sensation directly. That will potentially break up this idea of a self contained inside a body.

Are you ready and willing to explore this? It will involve some looking at the nature of sensations directly, which is not the same as interpreting or reasoning about them.

Please let me know if there is any discomfort or anxiety at what I'm suggesting?


:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:32 pm

Hi Jon,

Sorry, I just realized I totally misunderstood your previous question. No discomfort or anxiety at all about what you're suggesting.

But 'the body'? Is 'a body' actually 'experiencing experience'.

It may seem like a nonsense question but how do we get from experiencing raw sensations to *the idea* that 'a body' (literally) 'experiences the experience of sensations'.

I misunderstood and thought you wanted me to explain how the experience of "a body experiencing experience" is created from the raw sensations.

I can see that without thought and intellect there can be no experience of "a body experiencing experience". There are just colors, sounds, sensations, thoughts, etc. All these things happening at the same time. Thought and intellect weaves them together and interprets this experience into the story of a "a body experiencing experience".

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:53 pm

Hello Allen


Ah. OK! I understand now. It is important that you understand this principle, that we have to go by what can be experienced immediately.

I read back a few posts to what you said here:
. sometimes there's some frustration and impatience about the inquiry not working.
And then I read your very first statements when you requested a guide. You were saying that you had experienced trauma in the past and were hoping to be able to get free from suffering?

I know that you went on to say that you knew this was an expectation that might hinder the inquiry. But I am wondering now if this hope is still quite active? It would explain frustration and impatience about the inquiry not working.

If you don't mind me asking you mentioned your experience with Ayahuasca and some advice or ideas gleaned from conversations with people attending? I'm just wondering if any of that might be propelling a quest for some kind of ultra-healing experience that is not likely to appear by magic through this Self-inquiry?

If you are happy to talk about this then fine. If you'd rather we spoke about it elsewhere we could message one another privately for a while?

Anyway, here is what you said :
. At the retreat I learned/heard about concepts such as: beyond the ego is a consciousness (our true identity), life is god dreaming, life is consciousness getting to know itself, this realm is an illusion, we are god/the creator/love/consciousness, we chose our life path before reincarnating into this life, etc. While drinking ayahuasca, I also had an experience where I felt like I wasn't fully in the physical realm (kind of hard to explain).
I bring this up because I'm familiar with these ideas and am not completely unfamiliar with the context or with mystical experiences either. I've also come across the concepts you mention and people who often speak about these kinds of realms or experiences with confidence. For what it's worth my own view on this at the moment is that such talk is fine for those who are likely to keep drinking Ayahuasca. (And there's the rub with that).

On the other hand they make some good points. And there are some overlaps with the inquiry we do at LU. Its just that in the case of the plant medicine it takes you to various worlds /experiences chemically, whereas what we do here is work with what's going on right here and now in a 'sober' state , ( which is actually no less weird and wonderful, but often seems so) . The everyday mind with its moving-picture entity the 'self' conceives of a very drab and unhappy 'reality' in which it is imagined to 'exist'.

The point I'm getting to is that LU is not really a way to transcend pain. It's not therapy. In some cases it may even bring pain into sharper relief. There is also a danger of attempting to hold pain at bay with the idea that 'I do not exist' (or similar). Some people do that, unfortunately.

Please let me know your thoughts?

Thanks

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:47 pm

Hi Jon,

Is it clear, from what you've noticed so far, that thoughts are not causing sensations to happen?

Is it evident that thoughts appear as something extra that is added on to experience of raw sensation, (such as hearing) ?

This is clear for sensations like seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting but not for bodily sensations.

I think the common explanation is that thoughts or beliefs about perceived experience can trigger certain emotions which are felt as bodily sensations.

Today, I noticed how sometimes I felt bodily sensations and then the thoughts came in to label the sensation and claim that "I" was feeling this. But I think for a lot of other situations this is not so clear to me.

You say that 'I think the voice in my head is me talking to myself'. What if that entire idea is a thought ?

What if they are not 'your thoughts'?

What if you are not 'thinking' them?

"My" thoughts try to understand this point intellectually. I really want to "get" it. But then again who would "get" this. haha

What should I do to realize this or explore further? Just try to keep noticing that there's no thinker/me and thoughts are out of control?

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:56 am

H Allen,
. "My" thoughts try to understand this point intellectually. I really want to "get" it. But then again who would "get" this. haha
It necessary to see how thoughts themselves operate.

I quoted you as saying " 'I think the voice in my head is me talking to myself'. And then I asked ""what if that entire idea is a thought ?"

So right now look at this possibility directly.

What if thinking that the voice inside a head is talking to someone... is just an idea, an appearance that has accidentally been taken seriously?
. . I really want to "get" it. But then again who would "get" this. haha
True. Thoughts are very good at creating ideas, including the idea that there must be someone thinking them. That's why it's necessary to look, to find out if there is, or is not a 'thinker of thoughts'.

:-). Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:11 pm

Hi Jon,

Thanks, I will continue to look at thoughts and investigate.

Also, what about bodily sensations and thoughts? Will we just come back to this later? I'm not sure I'm clear on this.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:37 pm

Hi Allen
. what about bodily sensations and thoughts? Will we just come back to this later? I'm not sure I'm clear on this.
You're trying to run before you can walk, so to speak. That's why I'm the guide and you have requested my assistance. Please focus on the questions I have put to you recently and, stop speculating about other pissibilities. Let me know if you can't or won't do this?

Thank you

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:31 am

Hi Jon,

You had asked me if I was clear about something after doing an exercise and I replied that I wasn't. You didn't address this and continued on with other questions. This confused me so I asked you about it. That's all.

If this is how the inquiry works sometimes then that's fine. I just didn't know about this part because I'm not familiar with the process.

You seem to get impatient when I have questions about the inquiry. Am I not supposed to ask? If not, please let me know. I'm not sure I understand what your expectations are here.

I'm not exactly sure what possibilities you say I'm speculating about.

I have no problem focusing on your recent questions.

I simply had a question about something I was confused about.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:09 am

That's all fine Allen,

Yes, please don't ask questions at the moment. I will make sure that there is ample room for questions at a relevant point.

It is important to focus on the questions I have asked, if you would like to do so?

Thank yiu

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:22 pm

Hi Jon,

No problem focusing on your questions.

Still looking at how "the voice in my head talking to myself" can be just an idea.

Can't find a "me" who is controlling the voice or a "me" who is listening to it.

Thanks,

Allen


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