Chris's thread

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:05 am

Hi Vivien

Sorry, I was in a bit of a mood yesterday. All better now. I really appreciate your offer of a one-to-one but I can’t find the email that you sent. I’m up for this if you think it will be helpful. I’ve never known someone give so much of their time like this, it’s really inspiring. You’ve been a great guide anyway and I’ve enjoyed these pointers today. I don’t know how insightful I was but they’ve certainly cleared some things for me.
C: I worded it badly. Experience is the mind. The beliefs aren’t created by the mind, they are part of it.
V: How do you know that experience = mind?
What makes you think that?
To be honest, I don’t know how the mind is defined. I was making an assumption that the mind was the sum of all my experiences, but perhaps not. All I can say for sure is that I experience sights, sounds, sensations, tastes, smells, thoughts and emotions. ‘Mind’ is just a word, so it’s probably better not to confuse myself with it if I don’t even know how to define it.
Isn’t mind believed to be the place where thoughts and memories are stored, and where thoughts are coming from?
I’m happy to take your word for it, and this is the definition I found:

The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.

This puts emphasis on the ‘element that enables’ someone to experience, rather than the direct experience itself. So I guess I was wrong.
Isn’t the mind believed to be inside the head?
I believe it to be, yes. But I don’t experience a mind in a head. All I experience are thoughts, emotions etc.
Is there such place in reality?
If by reality you mean direct experience then No.
Is there a mind outside of thoughts that talk about one?
There might well be, I couldn’t possibly know.
C: I don’t think the mind is creating or incepting thoughts; that would make them 2 separate things. I think that thoughts are a manifestation of the mind.

V: So you wrote down what you think.

But is it clear that what we do here is to question your thoughts, beliefs and assumptions?
Yes, definitely. I’m more than open to be shown otherwise.
How do you know that thoughts are the manifestations of a mind? What is the proof for this?
Yes, thinking about it, I’m not sure what I meant by this. I was maybe saying that thoughts are an articulation of awareness (what I was calling the mind), like waves in the water. The waves don’t happen to the water, they are the water moving around.
Where is this mind you are talking about?
By the definition I was using (just experience), I’d say it was nowhere. It just happens, without location.
C: Nothing owns thoughts, they just happen. Thoughts (that are not owned) create a character (that is not owned).
V: Are thoughts actually create a character?
Thoughts about Chris, about ‘me’, are about a character.
Are thoughts that powerful?
It seems so.
Are you saying that thoughts have abilities and can do things, like creating the me-character?
Most thoughts seem to be about something; they are stories about something. The thought ‘there is a bird on the windowsill’ is a story with a character.
Is there an actual creator of the me-character?
Maybe it’s wrong to say that thoughts create a character; more correct to say that thoughts are about a character.
C: Vivien, I can't deny that I'm getting a bit impatient. I know that I shouldn't, but last last week I thought I was really starting to get it. Then I got a bit ill and poof! it's gone again. I can't see it now; not for days.
V: What is it exactly that you can’t see?
Before, I had a visceral seeing, I’m certain that I got it. It was on and off but I definitely saw it. Now, the certainty has gone. If I’m right about something, it’s more a logical conclusion about something than a genuine ‘seeing’.
You wrote:
No one, emotions are simply occurring.
Again, nothing; they are just experienced.
They don’t happen to anything. Awareness of a thought and its happening are one and the same thing.
Nothing owns thoughts, they just happen.
You wrote the above, but at the same time you say that you can’t see.

So does this mean that what you wrote above is something you cannot see NOW, and you only wrote from MEMORY?
No, I see these things. But before it was like I saw it completely. Maybe I am seeing it now but am expecting something more.
Or is there something else you cannot see?
I think yesterday I was in a different frame of mind. Things are clearer today. I’ve seen a few times, clearly and without question, that there is no self, no centre; everything is just flowing. But I haven’t seen it like that in a while now and it’s demoralising at times.
C: Vivien, I can't deny that I'm getting a bit impatient.
V: Who is getting impatient? Who?
Today I’m saying no one. There is was just a feeling of impatience. Yesterday thoughts were passing- that were believed to be true- about a character called Chris who was getting impatient that he couldn’t realize his own nonexistence.
Is there an I that is getting impatient?
No.
Is there a Chris getting impatient?
Not in reality.
Is there a person getting impatient?
No, just a coming-and-going belief that there is.
Is there an entity getting impatient?
No.
Is the body getting impatient?
No, a feeling of impatience appears and gets woven into a story about a person.
Is the sensations of the chest getting impatient?
No.
Is the I-thought getting impatient?
No, it’s just a thought.
Is the story about Chris getting impatient?
No, it’s just a story. It can’t, in itself, get impatient.
What is the experience of being impatient?
A negative feeling caused by wanting something to hurry up. It’s hard to investigate the feeling itself as I don’t feel it right now, and my memory of it is poor.
What or who is it that wants to get somewhere and achieve something?
Chris I suppose. He and his impatience were believed in more strongly yesterday. Today, he’s more like Harry Potter.

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:43 am

Hi Chris,
I really appreciate your offer of a one-to-one but I can’t find the email that you sent. I’m up for this if you think it will be helpful.
There are no guarantees, since I cannot look instead of you. It's not up to me. Only you can do it. But usually, these sessions can be quite helpful for both of us. For me to see where you are at and what makes up trip over, and for you how to look exactly and what to look for.

I’ve just resent my private message. You can access it by the ‘Private message’ link on the top of the right corner of the page, under the LU banner. I also sent it in an email format, so you can have access to it in two ways.
I’ve never known someone give so much of their time like this, it’s really inspiring. You’ve been a great guide anyway and I’ve enjoyed these pointers today. I don’t know how insightful I was but they’ve certainly cleared some things for me.
I’m glad you find our conversation helpful.

As I read through your latest reply, I can see that most of your answers are coming from thinking and guessing.
But guessing is not enough. Writing down your thoughts are not enough either.

Also, your reply was quite fast. If you reply quickly then you don’t look. Since looking takes time.
Before, I had a visceral seeing, I’m certain that I got it. It was on and off but I definitely saw it. Now, the certainty has gone. If I’m right about something, it’s more a logical conclusion about something than a genuine ‘seeing’.
It’s very important that when you reply to me you don’t write about logical conclusions. Why? Because I have only your written words to work with. And if you write only about logic, then you give the false impression that you can see something while you can’t. And since I base my replies on your comments, my further pointers won’t be as useful as it could be.

So can we agree that you only write what you can clearly see in the moment, and not what you see in the past, or what you think should be the answer? No more logic, ok?
To be honest, I don’t know how the mind is defined.
It doesn’t really matter how mind is defined. We are not trying to find the right definition. Rather we are investigating if there is such thing as a mind in reality at all. Or mind is just an univestigated assumption that we’ve taken for granted, without any base in reality.
V: Isn’t the mind believed to be inside the head?
C: believe it to be, yes. But I don’t experience a mind in a head. All I experience are thoughts, emotions etc.
You see, you believe in something. But a belief is never ever a reality.

Reality doesn’t require any belief. Reality is self-evident.
So if there were an actual, real mind inside the head, you wouldn’t need to believe in it.
Since it would be clear to be the fact of reality.
So what we do here is to investigate your beliefs, if they can stand up to scrutiny.
V: Is there such place in reality?
C: If by reality you mean direct experience then No.
Oh, this is something very important.

You are not sure what reality is. And this could be one of the points where you trip over. Seeing what is real and what is just fiction is essential. We can have a deep look on this.

So what is real?
And what is not real?


Please don’t look up any definition in the dictionary.
And don’t even go to your beliefs and assumptions.
And don’t guess.
Rather look here now in this very moment.

What is that is real here now?
And what is not real?

V: Is there a mind outside of thoughts that talk about one?
C: There might well be, I couldn’t possibly know.
That’s another stumbling block.

It is very clear what is and what isn’t if you look in this very moment.
This is something simple, but if you go to thinking and guessing and assuming, it becomes complicated.
Reality is simple.

So what is reality?
And what is fiction?


Don’t think, don’t guess, but rather look (meaning investigate the immediate experience) here now.
V: How do you know that thoughts are the manifestations of a mind? What is the proof for this?
C: Yes, thinking about it, I’m not sure what I meant by this. I was maybe saying that thoughts are an articulation of awareness (what I was calling the mind), like waves in the water. The waves don’t happen to the water, they are the water moving around.
The problem is that you are not looking. You are not investigating experience. Rather you are thinking. You are even say: “when I think about it”.

Thinking is a total dead-end. And doesn’t get you anywhere, except to confusion.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:18 pm

Hi Vivien

I really appreciate your offer, but I think I’ll be OK. It’s really come back to me today, especially since this afternoon. Seeing seems simple again.
The problem is that you are not looking. You are not investigating experience. Rather you are thinking. You are even say: “when I think about it”.

Thinking is a total dead-end. And doesn’t get you anywhere, except to confusion.
Thank you for this. Today I’ve been periodically sitting and simply looking at my experience and it’s really helped. It’s come back to me, and it seems to be here to stay this time (it may change tomorrow, of course). I can see clearly that everything is running on autopilot, no one’s in charge.
So can we agree that you only write what you can clearly see in the moment, and not what you see in the past, or what you think should be the answer? No more logic, ok?
Yes, absolutely.
So what is real?
Everything that I directly experience. Sounds, sights, thoughts, sensations, smells, tastes.
And what is not real?
The contents of my thoughts. They are often complete nonsense, but even when they are more or less right they are an approximation at best.
What is that is real here now?
All of my sensory experience and thoughts.
And what is not real?
Anything that is not a simple matter of experience.
It is very clear what is and what isn’t if you look in this very moment.
This is something simple, but if you go to thinking and guessing and assuming, it becomes complicated.
Reality is simple.

So what is reality?
Everything that I experience; I can’t know anything else with certainty, but I know what I experience.
And what is fiction?
Everything that I don’t experience. The contents of my thoughts and beliefs are just stories with varying degrees of approximation.

Thanks
Chris

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:21 pm

Sorry Vivien, I forgot to put the quote things in. Here it is again.

I really appreciate your offer, but I think I’ll be OK. It’s really come back to me today, especially since this afternoon. Seeing seems simple again.
The problem is that you are not looking. You are not investigating experience. Rather you are thinking. You are even say: “when I think about it”.

Thinking is a total dead-end. And doesn’t get you anywhere, except to confusion.
Thank you for this. Today I’ve been periodically sitting and simply looking at my experience and it’s really helped. It’s come back to me, and it seems to be here to stay this time (it may change tomorrow, of course). I can see clearly that everything is running on autopilot, no one’s in charge.
So can we agree that you only write what you can clearly see in the moment, and not what you see in the past, or what you think should be the answer? No more logic, ok?
Yes, absolutely.
So what is real?
Everything that I directly experience. Sounds, sights, thoughts, sensations, smells, tastes.
And what is not real?
The contents of my thoughts. They are often complete nonsense, but even when they are more or less right they are an approximation at best.
What is that is real here now?
All of my sensory experience and thoughts.
And what is not real?
Anything that is not a simple matter of experience.
It is very clear what is and what isn’t if you look in this very moment.
This is something simple, but if you go to thinking and guessing and assuming, it becomes complicated.
Reality is simple.

So what is reality?
Everything that I experience; I can’t know anything else with certainty, but I know what I experience.
And what is fiction?
Everything that I don’t experience. The contents of my thoughts and beliefs are just stories with varying degrees of approximation.

Chris

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:15 am

Hi Chris,

My suggestion is to wait for a few days to see what happens. Write me after 3 days.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:38 am

Hi Vivien

Yes, of course. Speak soon.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:25 pm

Hi Vivien

After 3 days, I'm confident that I have it. I'm a little under the weather today (again!) and it hasn't been so clear. Do you mind if I message you in a week? I'm sure I'd be better able to answer any pointers you have once whatever I have clears up.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:55 pm

OK Chris, write me in a week.

Have a nice day,
Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:51 am

Thank you, Vivien :)

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:48 pm

Hi Vivien

Thank you for waiting. I’m sure I have it now. I forget it most of the time, but if I sit and just notice what is, right at this moment, it becomes clear. I see what you meant at the start as well- about it being simply factual knowledge. Nothing has really changed about my experience except that I can clearly see that there is no one at the center controlling everything and there never was. Everything is just happening by itself.

Is there anything else you think I need to investigate?

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:07 am

Hi Chris,

Looking back at how life looked before we started this conversation, what do you notice? What has changed? The way you see life, yourself, and in normal everyday interactions with environment?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:05 pm

Hi Vivien
Looking back at how life looked before we started this conversation, what do you notice? What has changed? The way you see life, yourself, and in normal everyday interactions with environment?
I have noticed myself being kinder generally. I’m more involved in what people are saying to me as opposed to being lost in self-concern. No dramatic changes here yet, but it’s early days I suppose. I’m more forgiving and understanding of people as well. Everyone is just on autopilot; everyone is like a programme running on a computer. Only most people are totally unaware, believing they are in control. I see myself and everyone else as more like processes rather than wilful souls. We’re processes, just perceiving and reacting.

I also find it easier to observe my thoughts and not take them too seriously. They happen by themselves. They are not me. I’ve always had issues with anxiety, but in the last week or so the anxious thoughts have had less of a grip. When they arise, they don’t consume my attention as much. So I’m happy about that. Again, it’s not a dramatic change, but the thought cycles that usually build up are easier to detach from and look at like I would a stomach ache or a persistent itch. None of these things is what I am. I’m looking forward to working on this more.

Other than that, I can’t say a great deal has changed. But I can tell how helpful it’s going to be now that I can see it.

Chris

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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:32 am

Hi Chris,
I have noticed myself being kinder generally.
When you day “I have noticed myself…” – what does the word of ‘myself’ point to here now?
And what does the word “I” in that sentence point to here now, in this very moment?
Only most people are totally unaware, believing they are in control.
What is it exactly that is unaware in other people? Is there someone there being unaware in other people?
And when you talk about ‘other people’, what do you refer to exactly?
We’re processes, just perceiving and reacting.
When you say: “WE are processes” – what does the word ‘we’ point to?
I also find it easier to observe my thoughts and not take them too seriously. They happen by themselves. They are not me.
When you say ‘thoughts are not me’ – what does the word ‘me’ point to here now?
What is this me that is not thoughts?
I’ve always had issues with anxiety, but in the last week or so the anxious thoughts have had less of a grip. When they arise, they don’t consume my attention as much.
“They don’t consume my attention as much” - What is it that has an attention?
Is there something separate from attention which owns attention?
Is there something separate from anxious thoughts, that these thoughts can have an effect ON?
So I’m happy about that.
Who or what is happy?
What does happiness happen TO?
What is it exactly that experiences happiness?
What owns happiness?

Is there someone or something separate from happiness being happy?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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chrisaaa
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby chrisaaa » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:02 pm

Hi Vivien
C I have noticed myself being kinder generally.
V: When you day “I have noticed myself…” – what does the word of ‘myself’ point to here now?
It’s a figure of speech, a label. It doesn’t point to any real thing.
And what does the word “I” in that sentence point to here now, in this very moment?
Again, just a manner of speaking. There is no ‘I’ noticing anything; the noticing just happens.
C: Only most people are totally unaware, believing they are in control.
V: What is it exactly that is unaware in other people? Is there someone there being unaware in other people?
There’s no one in there being unaware, but there is a belief in a separate self guiding their thoughts and actions. They identify with their thoughts, the story they tell themselves about themselves; as I still do much of the time.
And when you talk about ‘other people’, what do you refer to exactly?
Other humans, organisms, meat sacks, whatever you want to call them. I’m not referring to a separate self within them. Ordinary language is not very useful to describe the situation properly; it muddies the waters. ‘People’ is a useful label, like ‘I’ and ‘myself’.
C: We’re processes, just perceiving and reacting.
V: When you say: “WE are processes” – what does the word ‘we’ point to?
All people; not selves.
C: I also find it easier to observe my thoughts and not take them too seriously. They happen by themselves. They are not me.
V: When you say ‘thoughts are not me’ – what does the word ‘me’ point to here now?
What is this me that is not thoughts?
It’s a label, used for the sake of brevity. But it doesn’t point to anything real because there is no actual ‘me’ with a location that I can point to.
C: I’ve always had issues with anxiety, but in the last week or so the anxious thoughts have had less of a grip. When they arise, they don’t consume my attention as much.
V: “They don’t consume my attention as much” - What is it that has an attention?
There is nothing I can point to that has attention; attention just is. Thoughts, sensations etc. just arise and some things- like anxious thoughts and ruminations- become the focus of attention, dominating experience.
Is there something separate from attention which owns attention?
No, there is just the arising of thoughts and sensations. I couldn’t experience something separate from attention; if I did, it would just be another part of attention.
Is there something separate from anxious thoughts, that these thoughts can have an effect ON?
No, there’s just the experience of thoughts themselves.
C: So I’m happy about that.
V: Who or what is happy?
Nothing, there’s just a feeling of happiness.
What does happiness happen TO?
Nothing, the happy feeling just arises. It’s not separate from the awareness of it, they are one and the same thing.
What is it exactly that experiences happiness?
Nothing.
What owns happiness?
There is no ownership, it's just felt.
Is there someone or something separate from happiness being happy?
No, there is just the happiness, in and of itself.

Chris

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Vivien
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Re: Chris's thread

Postby Vivien » Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:05 am

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your responses.

Has there been a shift in perspective from intellectual understanding of there being no separate self to an experiential recognition of it?

If yes, can you point to the moment when the shift happened?

How did the shift itself felt?

Is searching/seeking still going on?

Is there a desire to do more exercises?

What is the difference in how you FEEL?

How does it FEEL now that you have had the realisation? How does it FEEL to see through the separate self?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

Website: https://www.viviennovak.com/

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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