Who am I?

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Vivien
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:30 am

Hi Michael,
Because thoughts are purely mental phenomena that don't exist in the physical, material world. They are not real in that way. As for WHY they are like that, I don't know. That's just the way they are.
You say that thoughts are not real in that way. But thoughts are not real, period. As phenomena they happen, but what they are about are never ever real. If there is any doubt, then try to quench your thirst by thinking of water. You obviously can’t. Why? Since the thought of water is not water. The thought of water doesn’t contain any experience. The thought of water not wet and not drinkable and not able to quench your thirst, no matter how strongly and vividly you imagine it.
It is not completely clear because I am not sure how dreams fit into it.
Yes, this is thinking. But dreams are just more imagination. And how do you know that? Well, if you are attached by a bear in your dream, when you wake up, you are unharmed.

There is no difference between thoughts and dream. Dreams = thoughts/imaginations

It doesn’t matter how vivid they are, they are still not real.

What matters is that thoughts and mental images are never the actual thing. Never.
The thought of table is never the table itself.
It’s just a symbol, and that’s all.
A symbol is never ever the thing that it symbolize.

You can never be able to put your cup of tea onto the word ‘table’.

The vividness of the imagination or a dream doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that an imagination or a dream can never ever be able leave the realm of fantasy.

Are these totally clear?

Please read my comments slowly, and actually check each sentence in reality. But don’t think or analyse. That’s a dead-end. Rather check your immediate experience if what I am saying is in line with it or not. And about dreams, you can check them in the morning when you wake up.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Iznick
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:08 pm

Hi Vivien

I understand entirely what you are saying, and my direct experience is in agreement with yours. I think we're just getting tangled up on the definition of the word "real". If it means something like, "experienced with the five senses in waking life", then yes, I agree that thoughts and dreams are not real at all. I can't say any more without getting into lots of thinking about the concept of "reality"!

Hope that makes sense

All best

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Vivien
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:39 pm

Hi Michael,

OK. Now let’s look at how to distinguish between experience and our thoughts ABOUT experience. This is very important, since this the way how we are going to look for the self by noticing what is actually here, now.

Look at a wall, let’s say it is white.
Now totally ignore the label ‘wall’ and you are then left with the label ‘white’.
Totally ignore the label ‘white’ and you are left with the label ‘colour’.
Now ignore the label ‘colour’ and what are you left with…what remains?

Now look at the word ‘I’.
If you ignore the label ‘I’, then what is it that you left with?
What is I without any labels?


Please make sure that you don’t think about it, rather you look at directly what is presently here.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Iznick
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:16 pm

Hi
Now ignore the label ‘colour’ and what are you left with…what remains?
Just the raw sensory experience of what I'm seeing. But I can't describe it without using labels
If you ignore the label ‘I’, then what is it that you left with?
What is I without any labels?
If I look at the word "I" on my screen, and ignore the labels, then it is just a little vertical black line. Is that what you were asking?

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Vivien
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:00 am

Hi Michael,
V: If you ignore the label ‘I’, then what is it that you left with?
What is I without any labels?
M: If I look at the word "I" on my screen, and ignore the labels, then it is just a little vertical black line. Is that what you were asking?
No. We are looking for a REAL I. A real entity with autonomy and free will.
We often say and think: I think, I feel, I choose, I decide, I am angry, I am happy, etc.

This I is supposed to be a label on something, just as the word ‘wall’ is label on the actual, experiencable wall.
The word ‘table’ is a symbol for the actual thing.

So what does the word ‘I’ label on? It’s a symbol for what?
If you ignore the label ‘I’, then what is it that you left with?
What is I without any labels?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Iznick
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:48 am

Ah okay
So what does the word ‘I’ label on? It’s a symbol for what?
I can't find anything that it labels, except for a general sense of "I" which I can't pin down, and the physical sensations behind my eyes
If you ignore the label ‘I’, then what is it that you left with?
Body sensations and thoughts. Also there is the sense of attention shifting - sometimes I'm lost in thought and unaware of my breath (when meditating), then I "wake up" from that and start noticing the breath again. I'm not sure what "attention" is.
What is I without any labels?
Just a thought or a feeling - I can't see clearly which it is. It struck me while meditating that maybe the feeling of "I" is just the normal feeling of experience - maybe that's what body sensations and thoughts feel like, and then we label it as "I". But I guess that's a thought.

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Vivien
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:02 am

Hi Michael,

You replied way too quickly. My questions are meant to be looked at again and again and again, for a whole day about 100 times. Even when the answer seems to be clear, look more.

It’s about constant and repeated look at the same thing again and again that brings about the realization.
V: If you ignore the label ‘I’, then what is it that you left with?
M: Body sensations and thoughts.
Are you saying that I = body + thoughts?
A body is a body. And actually not even that. Just sensations appearing. Not an I, not an autonomous entity.
A thought is a thought, not an I, not an entity with volition.

So let’s call the body, body.
Let’s call sensations, sensations.
Let’s call thoughts, thoughts.

It cannot be the body, since it’s just sensations. It cannot be sensations, since those are just sensations. Thoughts cannot be an I either, since those are just thoughts.

What is it that you call I? where is that autonomous entity with volition that you refer to when you say ‘I’?

The word ‘body’ points to sensation.
The word ‘sensations’ points to the raw experience of ‘tingling’. To the thing itself. It’s there.
The word ‘thought’ points to imagined sounds and images. Those are there.

The word ‘I’ points to….? To what? What is there?

It’s very important that you put aside your intellect.
You don’t need it.
Actually, it’s in the way.
Just stay with the immediate experience.

Look here now.
Is an entity with free will in this very moment? Where?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Iznick
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:32 am

Sorry, the reason I replied so fast was that I spent most of yesterday looking at your questions in the way that you had wanted me to - it was only towards the end that I decided you wanted me to look at the actual printed letter "I". So I had already spent quite some time with them. But I will look at these new ones as much as I can over the next 24 hours

Best wishes

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Vivien
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:19 am

Thank you Michael explaining it. Yes, please stay with these questions and look as often as you can.

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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Iznick
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:46 pm

What is it that you call I? where is that autonomous entity with volition that you refer to when you say ‘I’?
I can't find such an entity. I can find sensations, and thoughts. There is a vague general sense of "I" but I can't find anything to pin it to, except for the sensations behind my eyes. And those don't have volition, as far as I can tell.
The word ‘I’ points to….? To what? What is there?
I don't know. I can only find sensations, and thoughts.
Is an entity with free will in this very moment? Where?
I can't find one.

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Vivien
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:41 am

Hi Michael,
I can't find such an entity. I can find sensations, and thoughts. There is a vague general sense of "I" but I can't find anything to pin it to, except for the sensations behind my eyes. And those don't have volition, as far as I can tell.
There is a vague sense of I. It’s interesting that it’s vague. The question is, what makes it vague?
It’s is vague because some sensations are being mislabelled as me?
Or there because you exist, but not in a way you thought you were?
Or maybe both?


Just notice that existence is. Experience is. And knowing or being aware of experience is always on.

Just check, are you aware in this very moment?
Are you here right now?
Can you not be here now?
Can you leave this moment?

Which statement feels truer in experience:
- I DON’T exist
or
- the I DOESN’T exist?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Iznick
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:44 pm

It’s is vague because some sensations are being mislabelled as me?
Or there because you exist, but not in a way you thought you were?
Or maybe both?
Both. There is a strong sense of "me" in my head, behind my eyes. And I can notice now that that is associated with tensing around my eyes, and particularly with very deliberate thoughts that feel like speech. Thoughts seem to be located there, but I can't find anything that is producing them. And then there is perhaps also a more general, diffuse sense of "me", which is always there in the background.
Just check, are you aware in this very moment?
Yes
Are you here right now?
Yes
Can you not be here now?
Not deliberately, no. When I get lost in thought it feels like I stop being here, but that happens by accident.
Can you leave this moment?
Not deliberately, no.
Which statement feels truer in experience:
- I DON’T exist
or
- the I DOESN’T exist?
The second one.

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:39 am

Hi Michael,
Both. There is a strong sense of "me" in my head, behind my eyes. And I can notice now that that is associated with tensing around my eyes, and particularly with very deliberate thoughts that feel like speech. Thoughts seem to be located there, but I can't find anything that is producing them. And then there is perhaps also a more general, diffuse sense of "me", which is always there in the background.
Good to notice this.

Just because there is an appearance of a ‘sense of me’, does this mean that there is an actually me being sensed or felt?
V: Can you not be here now?
M: Not deliberately, no. When I get lost in thought it feels like I stop being here, but that happens by accident.
So when there are thoughts about the past, are you actually leaving the now and go to the past (literally)?
Or the thoughts of past appear in the present moment too?

And when there are thoughts about the future, are you actually step outside of this moment and step into the future?
Or thoughts of future are here-now too?

Can ever be a thought that is not here-now?
Have you ever had a thought that wasn’t a present thought?

V: Can you leave this moment?
I: Not deliberately, no.
So you accidentally can fall out of this moment? And where do you fall then?

Are you saying that you are literally able to step outside of here-and-now to go to somewhere-sometime else? Or is this just an unexamined assumption, but not the fact of reality?

How could you leave this present moment? Where would you go?


Please be careful not just think these through, but actually check in reality.

Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/

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Iznick
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Iznick » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:50 pm

Just because there is an appearance of a ‘sense of me’, does this mean that there is an actually me being sensed or felt?
No, it doesn't.
So when there are thoughts about the past, are you actually leaving the now and go to the past (literally)?
No
Or the thoughts of past appear in the present moment too?
Yes
And when there are thoughts about the future, are you actually step outside of this moment and step into the future?
No
Or thoughts of future are here-now too?
Yes
Can ever be a thought that is not here-now?
No
Have you ever had a thought that wasn’t a present thought?
No
So you accidentally can fall out of this moment? And where do you fall then?
Are you saying that you are literally able to step outside of here-and-now to go to somewhere-sometime else? Or is this just an unexamined assumption, but not the fact of reality?
I can't literally leave this moment, but I lose touch with all of it except for my thoughts, which are about the past or future. So it feels a bit like I lose touch with reality, and with "now". But in fact I don't leave this moment.
How could you leave this present moment? Where would you go?
I can't. Even if I somehow found myself repeating yesterday, like in Groundhog Day, then yesterday would have turned into "now".

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Vivien
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Re: Who am I?

Postby Vivien » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:07 am

Hi Michael,
I can't literally leave this moment, but I lose touch with all of it except for my thoughts, which are about the past or future. So it feels a bit like I lose touch with reality, and with "now". But in fact I don't leave this moment.
So what it is that is losing touch with the now? A me? A person? Michael?

Please don't think about the answer, rather look here now to see the 'thing' or the one that is losing touch with the now.
If there is actually someone losing touch, then that someone should be here now.

Without referring to past, can you know who you are?
Without using thought, can you say who or what you are, really?


Vivien
The most profound discoveries arise from questioning the obvious.

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

Blog: https://fadingveiling.com/


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