The non existent self

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MichaelD
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Re: The non existent self

Postby MichaelD » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:26 pm

Hi Kan,
So does an "I" exist outside thought?

Is the sense of self just a series of "I" thoughts creating a narrative?

No, 'I' does not exist outside of thought. It is really just a series of thoughts creating a story.

But this narrative is so strong and so well created that even though I realize that it's only thoughts, I still only see it in a few moments rather than a continuum. Is it just a matter of practicing and trying to notice it all the time?

Good.

Yes, well created indeed!

Yes, please do what you suggested. Notice thought as clearly as you can. Notice how "I" thoughts come after expeience and claim or judge or do whatever they do in order to maintain the story of Kan.

Let me know in a few days how it is going.

Have a lovely weekend,

Michael.

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Kan
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Re: The non existent self

Postby Kan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:19 am

Hi Michael,

I was happily set to respond today but the universe threw me a googly and got me a bit muddled by bringing up a stressful situation from the past where I wasn't really able to see the 'I' existing in thought :) It's a brilliant challenge and I want to spend a couple of days on it as I feel that if I can see through that situation, my realization would be very solid.

Will get back soon, hopefully victorious; or needing a few more exercises :)

Thanks,
Kan

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MichaelD
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Re: The non existent self

Postby MichaelD » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:41 am

Good luck!

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Kan
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Re: The non existent self

Postby Kan » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:20 am

Hi Michael,

The outcome is positive :)

I am more concretely able to see that 'I' story is just a bunch of thoughts. It's a bit easier to see that in past incidences where I'm not physically present. I can also sort of see the emptiness between the mind and body, that was being deemed as the person or identity - lie the mind and body almost operate on their own and the 'I' thoughts just make a strong connection of unrelated events.

I'm continuing to think about it and apply it more and more, but so far it's been good :)

Thanks,
Kan

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MichaelD
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Re: The non existent self

Postby MichaelD » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:16 pm

Hi Kan,

I can also sort of see the emptiness between the mind and body, that was being deemed as the person or identity - lie the mind and body almost operate on their own and the 'I' thoughts just make a strong connection of unrelated events.
Not sure what you mean when you describe the "emptiness between the mind and the body"

"I" thought weave narrative. Try and notice this as clearly as possible.

I'm continuing to think about it and apply it more and more
There is nothing to think about or apply. You only need to see exactly what is happening. :)

Best wishes,

Michael

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Kan
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Re: The non existent self

Postby Kan » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:29 pm

Hi Michael,
Not sure what you mean when you describe the "emptiness between the mind and the body"
"I" thought weave narrative. Try and notice this as clearly as possible
I meant that 'I' thoughts create a narrative that feels like a person who is controlling and owning the mind and body. But with realizing that this 'person' is really just thoughts creating a story, there's only the mind and the body and nothing else. To that I was referring to as emptiness, where initially a 'person' would exist; but are really just thoughts.
There is nothing to think about or apply. You only need to see exactly what is happening. :)
Agreed! That was a good way to catch the thought of this vs the experience of it :) I am seeing it more and more.

Thanks,
Kan

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MichaelD
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Re: The non existent self

Postby MichaelD » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:33 pm

Hi Kan,
'I' thoughts create a narrative that feels like a person who is controlling and owning the mind and body. But with realizing that this 'person' is really just thoughts creating a story, there's only the mind and the body and nothing else.
Ah Good. I understand you now.

A good description of how thoughts create a 'person' - well done.

In your direct experience is their either a body or a mind?

So for example until you bring to your attention your left foot, is there such a thing? Or are there some sensations out of which left foot is created?

Can mind be found?

:)

Michael

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Kan
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Re: The non existent self

Postby Kan » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:00 pm

Hi Michael,
In your direct experience is their either a body or a mind?
No! There isn't a body and mind outside of experiencing it with sensations or thoughts. All the knowledge we know of the body or mind is just a thought. In direct experience, the only way I can see it exists is through sensations.

A mind can not be found, and the only thing that really exists there is thoughts, which appear - not in the mind, but just appear. It's crazy to think that the whole concept of mind has been our basis of existence and it's not even real! Even as I write this, I'm saying to myself that obviously thoughts appear in the mind, but then direct experience completely refutes that.

I guess I shouldn't ponder on this question but despite all these realizations, why is it still so hard to let go of this mind body identity concept?

Thanks,
Kan

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MichaelD
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Re: The non existent self

Postby MichaelD » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:08 pm

Hi,
In your direct experience is their either a body or a mind?

No! There isn't a body and mind outside of experiencing it with sensations or thoughts. All the knowledge we know of the body or mind is just a thought. In direct experience, the only way I can see it exists is through sensations.

A mind can not be found, and the only thing that really exists there is thoughts, which appear - not in the mind, but just appear. It's crazy to think that the whole concept of mind has been our basis of existence and it's not even real! Even as I write this, I'm saying to myself that obviously thoughts appear in the mind, but then direct experience completely refutes that.


Well done. You are seeing what is going on.
I guess I shouldn't ponder on this question but despite all these realizations, why is it still so hard to let go of this mind body identity concept?
What is there to let go of the concept?

You can do some pondering but what will be effective is to keep seeing what you have seen. Especially focussing on "I" thoughts and haw they claim experience and tell the story of Kan.

Well done,

Michael

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Kan
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Re: The non existent self

Postby Kan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:02 pm

Hi Michael,
You can do some pondering but what will be effective is to keep seeing what you have seen. Especially focussing on "I" thoughts and haw they claim experience and tell the story of Kan.
Yes, I am able to see this a bit more and each time it's a teeny bit easier to see it :) It gets hard when dealing with an emotional state, but when I'm able to see it through direct experience, I'm able to feel less 'affected' by these emotions.

Thanks,
Kan

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MichaelD
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Re: The non existent self

Postby MichaelD » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:20 pm

Hi Kan,

So how do you experience your sense of self at the moment.

Michael

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Kan
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Re: The non existent self

Postby Kan » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:39 am

Hi Michael,
So how do you experience your sense of self at the moment.
This was a really good question for me as I was more clearly able to see the hurdle I'm facing currently. You know how in my past comments I would mention that the realisations don't really 'stick' - I think a better way to say it is simply that I'm not inquiring/looking long enough for it to 'stick'. When I do these exercises, I can see clearly, but I'm not looking often enough and that's why it feels a bit temporary.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm seeing this as drinking wine - it's an acquired taste and you have to keep drinking it to like it. Similarly I have to keep looking often to realise the no self.

I think I always assumed that once I get a realisation it is permanent, but perhaps it's more like creating a habit.

Given this, to answer your question, the times when I have looked, I have been able to see no self in a few brief moments. But mostly I experience the sense of self like this -
Body: somewhere above my neck area, as a point
Thoughts: most 'I' thoughts, mostly choice thoughts

I'm going to do the exercises we've talked about more often and more experiential-ly, because the other thing I've noticed is that I've made a 'thought habit' of these, meaning that now I almost say it by rote that "I is just a thought" or "there's no boundary of sound", without truly realising it (since I assumed I already realised it).

Thanks,
Kan


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