Clarity

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:28 pm

Hi Allen
. Still looking at how "the voice in my head talking to myself" can be just an idea.
The appearance of thoughts is real enough. No doubt about that. Is that what you mean?

However its what these thoughts are ABOUT that is interesting.

There is an assumption of a 'myself', even though you say that there's no 'me' to be found controlling the voice or listening.

So what is the 'myself' that thoughts are addressing?

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:06 pm

Hi Jon,

The appearance of thoughts is real enough. No doubt about that. Is that what you mean?

I meant it seems harder to be aware of thoughts that are assumptions or ideas as opposed to verbal thoughts, which are easily noticeable. It's harder to see these assumptions and ideas clearly.

So what is the 'myself' that thoughts are addressing?

It must be an imaginary "me". A "me" that's supposedly here, but not really. An imaginary me in the body that thinks and is aware of thoughts.


Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:15 pm

Hi Allen
. I meant it seems harder to be aware of thoughts that are assumptions or ideas as opposed to verbal thoughts, which are easily noticeable. It's harder to see these assumptions and ideas clearly
Ah. Right.
Is that because verbal thoughts tend to be appearing in the moment and are noticed as such but assumptions seem more general, as if 'in the background' or even unconscious?
. It must be an imaginary "me". A "me" that's supposedly here, but not really. An imaginary me in the body that thinks and is aware of thoughts.
This is at the heart of the inquiry really. A transition from thinking and believing that there somehow really is some kind of entity 'in here' to noticing beyond doubt that this imagined being is not actually what you are.

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:09 pm

Hi Jon,

Is that because verbal thoughts tend to be appearing in the moment and are noticed as such but assumptions seem more general, as if 'in the background' or even unconscious?

Yes! Exactly this.
The assumptions you point out to me make a lot of sense, but I wouldn't be able to notice them without you pointing to them. And even then I have to really try to make sure that I'm not just imagining that I see what you're pointing to.

This is at the heart of the inquiry really. A transition from thinking and believing that there somehow really is some kind of entity 'in here' to noticing beyond doubt that this imagined being is not actually what you are.

I think this is tricky for me because it seems like thought is aware of experience and can make all sorts of comments about things that are happening. They're so active and they seem alive. They make it easy to get caught in the illusion of the imaginary me.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:34 pm

. The assumptions you point out to me make a lot of sense, but I wouldn't be able to notice them without you pointing to them. And even then I have to really try to make sure that I'm not just imagining that I see what you're pointing to.
A very good point Allen. It is really important to be thorough and to look very honestly at your own experience. My pointers are really an invitation for you to do this.

I think this is tricky for me because it seems like thought is aware of experience and can make all sorts of comments about things that are happening. They're so active and they seem alive. They make it easy to get caught in the illusion of the imaginary me.
Oops. I must qualify something that I said here. When I say that ' this imagined being is not what you are' it's not absolutely true.

You are not only that and very far from being a something that appears to be encased in a head. But whist that imagined version of someone-in-a-head is the believed narrative that's exactly how it may seem.

It doesn't help that we are frequently told what to believe (by parents, teachers TV and peers and experts) about what we are or how things work. There's nothing wrong with Science but there tend to be very popular and dominant prevailing narratives about 'what you are', 'how things work' and 'what's ridiculous or impossible'. The scope of your inquiry here is very expansive and capable of blowing many myths out of the water.

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:24 pm

Hi Jon,

Still trying to look at how thoughts create the imaginary me. Should I just keep trying this for now? Is there anything else I should look at?

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:16 pm

Hi Allen
. Still trying to look at how thoughts create the imaginary me. Should I just keep trying this for now? Is there anything else I should look at?
I'll try to help by providing pointers, starting with addressing what you say here:
. I think this is tricky for me because it seems like thought is aware of experience and can make all sorts of comments about things that are happening. They're so active and they seem alive. They make it easy to get caught in the illusion of the imaginary me
It is absolutely vital that you look at what I'm about to say. Thinking about it and deliberating what might be meant will absolutely not help.

So what do I mean by 'look'? Well, as I say, not deliberate or think about..

When I asked you to notice what it is like to see or hear... That kind of noticing, which is not thinking, but instead the immediate experience of seeing or hearing. That's the kind of 'looking' that I mean. Simply noticing.

So, look now to see if thoughts can be aware of anything.

Spend some time investigating that.

It is not as if thoughts are not busy and active. They are! But is it they that is aware?

It is possible to be aware if thoughts, so is it thought it's self that is aware?

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:20 pm

Hi Jon,

I can see that thoughts are not aware or alive when I notice them. They're just sort of an appearance.

I can see that it is just another thought saying that thoughts are aware or alive. It was other thoughts commenting and getting caught up in the content of thoughts. It seems like it takes another thought to "understand" or analyze a thought.

Jon, is any type of intellectual understanding or analyzing necessary to see no-self? Or is just "noticing without thinking" as you described in the previous post all I need to do?

I think I was doing a lot analyzing and trying to "figure things out" before. Trying to figure out how I'm supposed to get there. Trying to grasp on to some type of understanding.

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:02 am

Hi Allen,
. I can see that thoughts are not aware or alive when I notice them. They're just sort of an appearance.

I can see that it is just another thought saying that thoughts are aware or alive. It was other thoughts commenting and getting caught up in the content of thoughts. It seems like it takes another thought to "understand" or analyze a thought.
This is great Allen.This is seeing how thoughts operate. Yes, they do not seem to be either alive or aware and do seem to just appear with content.

I wonder if one thought understands another or whether one thought simply tends to follow another, like a commentary or narration, (and in amongst that is the thought/idea about 'understanding'?
. Jon, is any type of intellectual understanding or analyzing necessary to see no-self? Or is just "noticing without thinking" as you described in the previous post all I need to do?
Noticing is key. It's not primarily intellectual. Trying to grasp no self intellectually is to be thinking about it which is a bit like clouds trying to grasp the clarity of sunshine. They are more likely to hide it.

Moments of no thoughts can be wonderful and helpful but trying to achieve no thoughts always has an element of a 'self' that has to apparently struggle 'do' no thinking. Like clouds attempting to make sunshine appear.

No, its much more important to see that the senses are always happening, like open chanels, regardless of and prior to any thinking about them. Just as significant is what you have been doing in noticing that thoughts appear (with their sometimes seductive content) creating an illusion of 'me' or a 'thinker' or even a 'witness'. The key is to find this entity that is imagined as experiencing things from a separated position.

Is there such an entity?
. I think I was doing a lot analyzing and trying to "figure things out" before. Trying to figure out how I'm supposed to get there. Trying to grasp on to some type of understanding.
Yes, and it is really helpful now that this is seen. Is there less grasping now, would you say?

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:21 pm

Hi Jon,

Yes, and it is really helpful now that this is seen. Is there less grasping now, would you say?

Definitely, there is less grasping now. I guess I wasn't going in the right direction before. I'm more relaxed now.

I'm still investigating with your recent pointers. I feel like I want to spend more time on them. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Thanks!

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:16 am

Hi Allen,


Thank you. That's great. I look forward to hearing how you're getting on.

All best

:-)

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:44 pm

Hi Jon,

I've been continually looking with your pointers these past few days. I don't notice a separate self in sensations, but the idea of it being somewhere is still strong.

But not as strong as before. It has gotten weaker in some aspects, such as visually or a "me" in the body. I think I see sight and sensations a bit differently now, as things that are just there.

However, there's still the idea that there's something outside of experience that's aware of it or someone doing the inquiry or looking. I know we've been over this before, but it's still kind of there.

Maybe there's some intellectualizing and grasping here. It seems like thoughts can't grasp the idea that what's here is just here and there's nothing separate or outside.

When I try to look for the "witness" or "experiencer" I find I sometimes try to go outside of experience to find something, but it just ends up being something imaginary I think.

So this is where I'm at currently. Hope you've been doing well!

Thanks,

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:43 pm

Hi Allen

Very good to hear from you and how you have been investigating things!
. I don't notice a separate self in sensations, but the idea of it being somewhere is still strong.
Now, this is something that can go on for as long as it is believed, and it's probably been going on as an unquestioned idea for a very long time.

It's generally better for, a guide not to use analogies as much as pointing to what's, already happening that needs to be noticed, but here's one that has merits:

A river flowing has no 'self' exactly. Humans might give the river a name as if it were an entity of some sort. But in the direct experience of river there is just (what is called) water, water, flowing. Look into the water of a river. Is there a self to be found? There's water flowing.

But what's this? A small area where the clear flowing water has somehow started flowing in a little circle. This persists for some time. Its the same river, same river water as before but for a while, there's a tiny whirlpool spinning.

It's a human habit to name events, things that happen, as if they were somehow independent and separate 'things' or entities, or objects. And once named, such an occurance as this spinning circle of water is spoken of as if it had its own nature, that is readily imagined to be independent from the remainder of the flowing water. It can seem to have its own identity or thing-Ness. But does it? Or is the 'self' of this little energy circle an illusion?
. I think I see sight and sensations a bit differently now, as things that are just there.
Very good.
. However, there's still the idea that there's something outside of experience that's aware of it or someone doing the inquiry or looking. I know we've been over this before, but it's still kind of there
Sometimes this takes some investigation. But in its time this be noticed as illusion.

Who, or better still, what, is 'doing the investigation'? Find that one.

Who or, what is experiencing the experience of inquiry?... Of being somehow 'separate' from experience?


Very best wishes

Jon

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Allen12
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Re: Clarity

Postby Allen12 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:12 pm

Hi Jon,

I've heard this type of analogy before about the whirlpools. But my level of realization is pretty low I guess, so most of it is probably going over my head. I can only kind of imagine what it is referring to. I will definitely keep it in mind though.

However, a question does come up for me. Is the content of our individual experiences (whirlpools) not that important? (I think this is what makes us differentiate ourselves into separate entities?) I guess the analogy is trying to get at something like the underlying nature of all experience? (which I can't really see or know right now.)

Sometimes this takes some investigation. But in its time this be noticed as illusion.

This is nice to hear. I'm noticing some subtle changes in perception over time. I think I'm starting to notice that "being known" or existing is kind of a quality of experience itself. Going to continue looking with your questions.

Thanks!

Allen

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JonathanR
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Re: Clarity

Postby JonathanR » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:12 am

Hi Allen,
. However, a question does come up for me. Is the content of our individual experiences (whirlpools) not that important? (I think this is what makes us differentiate ourselves into separate entities?
Well. I'm not going to answer this question directly so much as to ask one or two more.

The whirlpool only appears to be something distinct from the river. Nobody would deny that it appears though.

But what, about thought? What about the content of thoughts?

Is it possible to imagine an 'I' being 'separate'?

Try this exercise:

Go for a, walk in nature, a park or somewhere natural such as the sea or countryside.

Once there, take a little time to notice what's going on, everything alive, air moving, sun or shade, trees, animals, sounds, people, insects, grass. The whole lot all going off at once. Notice any feelings, sensations, thoughts that may be felt ar the same time.

Now, as all this is going on, look for a line or edge within the experience, behind which is 'you' and beyond which is 'everything else'. Is such a dividing line found?


:-)

Jon


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