Let's try this thing.

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Barbarossa
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Barbarossa » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:57 pm

is there an observer of an "environment", and of a "self"?
is there an observer of anything?
Yes
how do you experience the observer?

look and tell me:
are you able to experience something like a separation?
Yes
you experience separation.
how do you experience it?
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.
If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.
-Bodhidharma

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Barbarossa
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Barbarossa » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:38 am

a little exercise to see, whether there is an observer or not:
sit on a chair or lay down on a coach.
close your eyes and relax.
now bring your attention to the sensations.
the thought-story is telling you, that there is a chair, the sensation of pressure against your body, and the experiencing of the pressure.

but what's the raw experience?
can something like:
-a chair,
-pressure,
-a body,
-an observer
be found in experience?

is there really more than this sensation labelled "pressure" experienced?
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.
If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.
-Bodhidharma

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Evely
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:09 am

Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Evely » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:57 pm

a little exercise to see, whether there is an observer or not:
sit on a chair or lay down on a coach.
close your eyes and relax.
now bring your attention to the sensations.
the thought-story is telling you, that there is a chair, the sensation of pressure against your body, and the experiencing of the pressure.

but what's the raw experience?
can something like:
-a chair,
-pressure,
-a body,
-an observer
be found in experience?

is there really more than this sensation labelled "pressure" experienced?
Well, it seems that whether I'm absorbed in my thoughtful self identity, or in pure sensations, or in a distributed sense of self that there is still an observer, a basic sense of awareness. To me that's just the fact of consciousness which is occasionally unclouded by moving mind..
Am I looking for something that can't even be called awareness or consciousness ? That would be either gnosis more subtle than I currently know, or plain unconsciousness.
But I get that we are trying to get into a non linguistic peaceful state here, which certainly brings me into the vivid and peaceful present. I guess that's the gateway. I hesitate to bring in buddhist terminology but I know there is a jhana in which naming ceases, but that is temporary I think.
But OK yes practice looking at low level experience, I like the space this opens up for that thank you.
To answer the question, well, there is directing attention to the sense of pressure, and there is the mind figuring you what to tell you about it - flip flop between. Maybe I wait until it just happens ?

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Barbarossa
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Barbarossa » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:08 pm

Am I looking for something that can't even be called awareness or consciousness ?
we are not looking for anything.
we are looking at experience, to see, whether there is something like a self or not.

take a look at your hand.
do you experience more than colour and thoughts labelling the seen as "hand"?

watch your hand.
colour is seen.
thoughts arise, telling stories.
put all thoughts aside.
does something like awareness show up?
put all thoughts aside.
is something like awareness experienced?

(please answer all three questions.)
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.
If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.
-Bodhidharma

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Evely
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Evely » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:36 pm

Am I looking for something that can't even be called awareness or consciousness ?
we are not looking for anything.
we are looking at experience, to see, whether there is something like a self or not.

take a look at your hand.
do you experience more than colour and thoughts labelling the seen as "hand"?


watch your hand.
colour is seen.
thoughts arise, telling stories.
put all thoughts aside.
does something like awareness show up?


put all thoughts aside.
is something like awareness experienced?


(please answer all three questions.)
Yes to all three. I get somewhat absorbed, a sense of peace, mind slowed, quite sweet, Fragmented stories about the quest come and go, but I can see these are just drifts. Anxiety about not falling into post enlightenment ego traps like so many gurus do. I think these are valuable thoughts, no need to dismiss them as junk, but a change of context in which I have them is what I am looking for here. Or rather looking for the I.

I've been struggling to make time for this, apologies if it's a problem.

thanks.

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Barbarossa
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Barbarossa » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:56 pm

Anxiety about not falling into post enlightenment ego traps
you have acknowledged the issue of "ego traps", so that should be enough to prevent them. :)


i've got an exercise for you to look at thought, please take the time you need, and do it carefully:

Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?

Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?

Can you predict your next thought?

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?

Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?

Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?

Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?

Look carefully when doing this exercise and do it several times if necessary.

Please answer each question individually.

What is found?



when you have done the exercise, here are some more questions.
actual experience being sound, colour, smell, taste, sensation and observed thoughts.
the content of thought is not experienced, it is a story, it is only imagination. - the thought sweet doesn't taste sweet.
if awareness would show up, it must be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or sensed - if that is not the case, it's just thought-content, a story.
so please look again, observe your actual experience and answer the questions:
Yes to all three.
do you experience more than colour and thoughts labelling the seen as "hand"?
what exactly is it?

does something like awareness show up?
how does "awareness" show up?

is something like awareness experienced?
what exactly is the experience of "awareness"?

is something like awareness needed to experience something like sound?
when you listen to music, do you experience awareness and sound, or do you experience just sound?
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.
If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.
-Bodhidharma

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Evely
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Evely » Sun May 06, 2018 6:53 pm

Anxiety about not falling into post enlightenment ego traps
you have acknowledged the issue of "ego traps", so that should be enough to prevent them. :)


i've got an exercise for you to look at thought, please take the time you need, and do it carefully:

Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?

Well, that assumes a trajectory, which is an interesting question - whether thoughts have a spatial direction. But looking for entry and exit points of thoughts, no that's not really possible. Not for me yet anyway.

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?

Yes I live my life in a particular way, being, like many, a creature of habit. But I know there is a question of free will here, both theoretical and experiential.

Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?

I've been learning to change my thought patterns all my life, but what has been has been so I'll be fatalistic and say no.

Can you predict your next thought?

That's not so easy, although thoughts have a predictable quality to them. However there is some degree of chaos in most mind wanderings. This may be, actually, literally chaotic in the mathematical sense of the word as the brain is a complex system.

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?

Personally, no, but it may be possible.

Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?

Personally, no, though I believe this is more or less possible and achieved by some people.

Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?

I can appear to, and experience what seems to be choice, but I don't really believe in free will.

Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

I don't know, by the time it pops up it's too late to stop.

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?

Well, yes I do think that thinking may be predictable and follow mathematically describable laws. If and how the brain has chaotic activity is an ongoing field of study.. Chaos theory gives us a handle on what may at first appear to be random, including thinking.

I get that we are trying to see an agency-less way of being here, rather than thinking about thinking. (Science is sort of catching up with eastern philosophy here with modular views of the brain, the brain as part of a greater system including the environment, and no central commanding self.)

I think you can do both, being awake doesn't stop you being a psychologist and thinking about thinking. I'm sure an awake person could study chaos theory and how it relates to the brain.

But yes, thinking about thinking is yet more thinking and can be seen, subjectively, to have no actual thinker doing it, and be impossible to completely predict.
Well, maybe it's not so easy to see that there is no thinker thinking. It may take practice.

Look carefully when doing this exercise and do it several times if necessary.

OK

Please answer each question individually.

What is found?

Thoughts about thinking. I'll do it some more.

when you have done the exercise, here are some more questions.
actual experience being sound, colour, smell, taste, sensation and observed thoughts.
the content of thought is not experienced, it is a story, it is only imagination. - the thought sweet doesn't taste sweet.
if awareness would show up, it must be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or sensed - if that is not the case, it's just thought-content, a story.
so please look again, observe your actual experience and answer the questions:
Yes to all three.
do you experience more than colour and thoughts labelling the seen as "hand"?
what exactly is it?

A sense of the hand being simultaneously me and not me. I've done plenty of jhana meditation, getting into the feeling of my hand, but never realised that I can feel it as part of me, but see it visually as being just another object. A contradictory state of affairs.
Interesting! Why is my body an object in this way, when it is me ?
Then I can keep concentrating and this sense of separation from my own hand goes away, if briefly.
I knew these things from meditation, that an observed phenomena is still just an observed phenomena, even if it's as intimate as the feeling of one's own body. It's kind of common sense really.
But I suppose the sense of there being one's own anything is what we are looking into here.
does something like awareness show up?
how does "awareness" show up?

Hmm..
is something like awareness experienced?
what exactly is the experience of "awareness"?

I don't really know.

is something like awareness needed to experience something like sound?
when you listen to music, do you experience awareness and sound, or do you experience just sound?
Sometimes just sound, mostly sound and body rhythm and a whole lot of mental and emotional activity, and a sense of a thinker thinking about it all.

Sorry about the long period of reply, I didn't reckon on so many distractions!

Thanks again.

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Barbarossa
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Barbarossa » Sun May 06, 2018 7:59 pm

Well, maybe it's not so easy to see that there is no thinker thinking.
a sense of a thinker thinking about it all.
is there a thinker?
or is it just another thought that there must be a thinker?
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.
If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.
-Bodhidharma

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Evely
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:09 am

Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Evely » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:55 pm

Well, maybe it's not so easy to see that there is no thinker thinking.
a sense of a thinker thinking about it all.

is there a thinker?
or is it just another thought that there must be a thinker?

Well, what quickly happens when I'm asked "is there a thinker" is that I get ideas about a brain that produces thoughts and is the thinker.
Subjectively the thinker is not so easy to find. I do get concerned that, say, if I come to the conclusion that there is no thinker then I'll lose the ability to think about neuroscience - or thoughts about neuroscience will stop. So I guess that's a bit of a fear about liberation - that I'll become naive or stupid, basically. And I love to philosophise and learn new things to think about. On the other hand there are awakened people who go on at great length about neuroscience (Gary Weber for instance). So who knows what a subjective lack of a thinker will be like ? I also know that life for a liberated person (ie Gary again) is full of paradox around getting through the world talking about the self while not really experiencing it.
To answer your question, yes I see that it's another thought, but not necessarily one to be dismissed. And that's another thought about the value of thought, of course, and the chain goes on.
I'll just have to remain open to change, I suppose, and see what our interaction brings. So far it's doing something around absorbing the mind and feeling the energy of stillness (could be a jhana). I sense possibility here.

thank you.

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Barbarossa
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Barbarossa » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:27 pm

Well, maybe it's not so easy to see that there is no thinker thinking.
You already see there's no thinker - because there is none. ;)
The thinker is just a belief, just another thought.
I do get concerned that, say, if I come to the conclusion that there is no thinker then I'll lose the ability to think about neuroscience
Look in direct experience, and take your time with each question.
Don't listen to what thoughts say, but look on your own:

What is it, that gets concerned?
Do you see, hear, taste, smell or sense something, that gets concerned, or is there just a concern appearing?

What is it, that is able to think?
Do you see, hear, taste, smell or sense something, that is able to create thoughts, or are thoughts just appearing?
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.
If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.
-Bodhidharma

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Evely
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:09 am

Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Evely » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:22 pm

Well, maybe it's not so easy to see that there is no thinker thinking.

You already see there's no thinker - because there is none. ;)
The thinker is just a belief, just another thought.

Well, yes in a way. I don't think we have to throw away object permanence and return to infancy, or the idea that the brain does the thinking. That's a really tough call.
Also, I put some credence in the neuroscience view that the nothing we experience is in some sense a construction - the empty 3D space within which thought arise, is a construction. So I don't believe the nothing we experience subjectively is a genuine nothing. A bit like we see trees sticking out of the ground as if from nothing, when really they have hidden roots. Just because we can't see where thoughts come from doesn't mean they really come from nothing.
There is a tendency to call the awakened experience "reality" even though it seems pretty naive. I find this tricky philosophical territory though.
But for the purposes of this exercise naivety seems to be what it's all about, and going with the practice is enough for now - even observing my thoughts, and sense of self, about nothing and naivety
I don't know if it's part of the deal, but I've been reading Illona's Gateless Gatecrashers and finding it's helpful in helping me to keep looking and recognising the apparent rootlessness of the mind, and create a sense of space and flow.
However, I don't believe the space of 3D we normally perceive is a fundamental to the universe, even if the conclusions of physics and psychology, on this topic, depend on thinking.
I also recognise that our most popular big bang theory posits a universe coming from nothing, so the whole current evolutionary schema in which brains develop from matter which comes from nothing is similar to how we experience thinking. I'll maybe write about this elsewhere so as not to jam things up more.

The upshot - I'll keep looking at how thoughts arise seemingly without cause in a constructed nothing... including those about nothing and it's construction :-)
Look in direct experience, and take your time with each question.
Don't listen to what thoughts say, but look on your own:

What is it, that gets concerned?
Do you see, hear, taste, smell or sense something, that gets concerned, or is there just a concern appearing?
Well, depends. If I call the thing that gets concerned the body and brain then yeah I smell it, but the inner experience - no, I can't, all that comes and goes - including ideas about the body!

I'm sure this is working, thank you.

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Barbarossa
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Barbarossa » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:40 pm

I don't think we have to throw away object permanence and return to infancy, or the idea that the brain does the thinking.
So maybe the brain does the thinking.
But is the brain a someone, a person?
If so, and if you are this person you would be the creator of your thoughts and feelings, the mover of the body, tho one who is handling every process that is going on with the body, you would have to do a hundred things every second.
It would be pretty obvious, if that is the case. ;)
There is a tendency to call the awakened experience "reality" even though it seems pretty naive. I find this tricky philosophical territory though.
How would an "awakened experience" be like?
Different than what you experience right now?
If I call the thing that gets concerned the body and brain then yeah I smell it, but the inner experience - no, I can't, all that comes and goes - including ideas about the body!
Awesome.
Let me put this together:
There's the experience of a concern, but noone is found that is concerned.
And a conclusion, a story about that experience, that "body and brain" is the one which is concerned.
But both can't be true, right?

The next question is a very important one:
What is true/real:
-experience, (experience is happening, but happening to noone)
or
-conclusion/story about experience (there is something/somebody to which experience is happening)?


A simple little exercise to answer this question:
take a look around, watch your hand, your surroundings, whatever you want:
Do you experience something/somebody to which color is appearing, or is color just appearing?
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.
If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.
-Bodhidharma

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Barbarossa
Posts: 362
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Barbarossa » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:16 am

Do you experience something/somebody to which color is appearing, or is color just appearing?
By "something/somebody" the self/i is meant. ;)
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality.
If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.
-Bodhidharma

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Evely
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:09 am

Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Evely » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:53 pm

I don't think we have to throw away object permanence and return to infancy, or the idea that the brain does the thinking.
So maybe the brain does the thinking.
But is the brain a someone, a person?
If so, and if you are this person you would be the creator of your thoughts and feelings, the mover of the body, tho one who is handling every process that is going on with the body, you would have to do a hundred things every second.
It would be pretty obvious, if that is the case. ;)
There is a tendency to call the awakened experience "reality" even though it seems pretty naive. I find this tricky philosophical territory though.
How would an "awakened experience" be like?
Different than what you experience right now?
If I call the thing that gets concerned the body and brain then yeah I smell it, but the inner experience - no, I can't, all that comes and goes - including ideas about the body!
Awesome.
Let me put this together:
There's the experience of a concern, but noone is found that is concerned.
And a conclusion, a story about that experience, that "body and brain" is the one which is concerned.
But both can't be true, right?

Haha, I'm tickled!

The next question is a very important one:
What is true/real:
-experience, (experience is happening, but happening to noone)
or
-conclusion/story about experience (there is something/somebody to which experience is happening)?


I think I'm getting why Elena Nezhinsky giggles so much.

A simple little exercise to answer this question:
take a look around, watch your hand, your surroundings, whatever you want:
Do you experience something/somebody to which color is appearing, or is color just appearing?
Pff, I'm currently having trouble looking at anything at the moment for more than 3 seconds. I don't really want to get into formal meditation again for long periods to cultivate a quiet mind, so I try to answer this question about the oscillating perception/monkey mind whirlwind.
Well, yes, there does appear to be a self most of the time, yet still something else is going on. Whoo, there it went again!

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Evely
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Re: Let's try this thing.

Postby Evely » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:55 pm

BTW I sometimes suck at using forum quote things, I'll try and master it so you don't have to search for my replies.


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