SelfingStrong

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EMWBerry
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby EMWBerry » Sun May 12, 2019 3:45 am

2nd time...
Does a thought "do" anything?
No
Does a thought make anything happen?
No.
Is experience happening to a thought?
No.
Does a thought create experience?
No

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DrWilko
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby DrWilko » Sun May 12, 2019 4:49 am

OK,

Let's check if this is right:

We have looked for separation in tasting, smelling, sensing, hearing, seeing and thinking. We found none.

We have checked for agency in any of those areas and found none.

And finally, we have narrowed down our search to discover that what "seems" to be a self is merely a thought, pointing to another thought.

We then looked again at that thought and found that this thought cannot be separated from thinking, nothing happens "to" it, and that it does not have agency.

Is that about right?
So - other than this thought occuring, can you tell me:

Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?

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EMWBerry
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby EMWBerry » Mon May 13, 2019 6:40 pm

Hi Dave,
Is that about right?
That's about right.
So - other than this thought occuring, can you tell me:
Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
No...

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DrWilko
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby DrWilko » Tue May 14, 2019 11:52 am

So - other than this thought occuring, can you tell me:
Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
No...
Is this answer something understood logically?

Is this answer something known in experience?

Please elaborate on the answer to question 2.
If yes - how does it feel to see this?
If no or not sure - please elaborate on how it seems - write honestly and freely here.

D x

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EMWBerry
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby EMWBerry » Tue May 14, 2019 6:48 pm

Hi Dave,
Is this answer something understood logically?
Yes.
Is this answer something known in experience?
I am really not sure.
Please elaborate on the answer to question 2.
If yes - how does it feel to see this?
If no or not sure - please elaborate on how it seems - write honestly and freely here.
Well we have looked in all of the places and it really cannot be found, aside from the thought occurring like you said. I can't really say anything has changed. I don't know that I've seen it. Some things came up over the past couple of weeks that have had me stressed and it very much felt like it was happening to me and I was doing things to remedy it, despite what I know. I'm not sure what else to say. It just feels like there is a me in here somewhere. Maybe that thought just remains and things just sort of carry on. I don't really know...

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DrWilko
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby DrWilko » Tue May 14, 2019 10:00 pm

Hi Lisa,
I can't really say anything has changed.
Nothing actually changes - there is no self whether it is seen or not. However....
I don't know that I've seen it.
Then it is not seen... But don't worry about this!
Some things came up over the past couple of weeks that have had me stressed and it very much felt like it was happening to me and I was doing things to remedy it, despite what I know.
This is because it is only what you "know" intellectually. The actual "knowing" doesn't appear to have sunk in. However - this is also about expectations again. Things will continue to come up that appear to be happening to "me". This is not about stopping that from occuring, but simply a change of perspective.
It just feels like there is a me in here somewhere.
Okay this is something we can work with.

This may not feel comfortable, but I want you to go back to one thing that has stressed you out over the last couple of weeks that felt like it was happening to you.

Sitting quietly, give yourself some time with this.

Notice the feelings that arise. Notice any sensations.

Now, as thoughts continue to arise, instead of "this is happening to me" - try this is happening to "blah blah". Simply replace the label "me" with "blah blah". Similarly, if images of what is labeled "you" arise "doing" something about it - "blah blah" is doing whatever it is about it...

And stay with any sensations.

Sink into those sensations if you can. Let them be there. Notice the ebb and flow of them.

Now ask:

Do these sensations have a specific location?
If so - can you describe the boundaries (where they end and begin?)

Do these sensations "do" anything, make anything happen, or do simply arise, ebb, flow and dissipate?

Is sensation happening to a separate "sense" of self - or are the sensations themselves this "sense"?

Is a separate sense of self creating the sensation? Or is it that when there is sensation, there are thoughts about sense of self and so this is assumed?

Is there always a link between "sense that this is happening to me" and the sensations? Or can these thoughts occur without the sensation?

Does having the thoughts or having different thoughts (such as blah blah) affect the sensation, or does this simply arise and subside on its own. You may need to do the exercise a number of times to explore this fully.

Please take your time, be gentle on yourself (for example - stop if it is getting too much) - but fully explore the exercise and questions over the next few days.

Keep me posted over the next few days and write at as much length as you wish what comes up as you do this exercise.

All good wishes,
Dave

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DrWilko
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby DrWilko » Fri May 17, 2019 10:50 am

Hi Lisa,

I am going to add something to the last exercise to see if it might be helpful.

If you are still working on the last questions, carry on and look at this post later, when you are done.

However, if you are struggling with it, just answer as best you can and then look at this:

When you started this investigation, you spoke of an "invisible stickiness".

I'd like to alter the metaphor slightly and consider an invisible "thread".

This invisible thread is something that connects sensations currently labelled "stress" with what is done or planned or thought.

First, notice when the "stress" arises - imagine a situation from the last couple of weeks that stressed you and notice the sensations that arise. Describe them if you can.

Now - look for the invisible thread that appears to link this sensation to something being done about it. Whether it is a memory, a plan, or anything that appears to be a "result" of this sensation.

What is that thread? (Don't know is an acceptable answer at this point!)

Just look as closely as you can in all the usual places. Where and what is it?

When exactly does it appear to be there? It may be that it is invisible, but does it always seem to be there?

When does it arise exactly?

Is there anything you notice when you look for it?

What thoughts appear when the thread is there?


Keep your looking on this thread and notice it, whenever there is sensation that appears to require action or planning or elicits a memory or a solution.

Look for it during the day when you are having breakfast. Going to work. At work. Going home. Look in a light and playful way. Where is it? What is it?

What do you notice?

Try to answer all the questions. (The questions in bold are key questions)

Post back at least every 2 days to let me know how you are getting on.


D x

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EMWBerry
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby EMWBerry » Sat May 18, 2019 2:52 am

Hi Dave - I think the 2nd part will be helpful. It’s late here so I’m going topost a reply to the 1st part tomorrow. Thank you for your help with this...

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EMWBerry
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby EMWBerry » Sat May 18, 2019 9:08 pm

Hi Dave,
This may not feel comfortable, but I want you to go back to one thing that has stressed you out over the last couple of weeks that felt like it was happening to you.

Sitting quietly, give yourself some time with this.

Notice the feelings that arise. Notice any sensations.
Now, as thoughts continue to arise, instead of "this is happening to me" - try this is happening to "blah blah". Simply replace the label "me" with "blah blah". Similarly, if images of what is labeled "you" arise "doing" something about it - "blah blah" is doing whatever it is about it...
This was a little difficult because I never actually noticed a thought that says this is happening to me. It is really just an assumption or a thought that happens lightening fast but I was able to say to myself, this is happening to blah, blah, blah....

And stay with any sensations.

Sink into those sensations if you can. Let them be there. Notice the ebb and flow of them.

Now ask:
Do these sensations have a specific location?
No, if I close my eyes and not refer to thought of a body, there is no location or boundary with these sensations.
Do these sensations "do" anything, make anything happen, or do simply arise, ebb, flow and dissipate?
They don't do anything...they ebb and flow.
Is sensation happening to a separate "sense" of self - or are the sensations themselves this "sense"?
I'm not sure I have a clear answer here. The sensations come out of nowhere and I know there is no separate entity "feeling" them or controlling them, but somehow it does feel like the sensation is happening to a separate sense of self.
Is a separate sense of self creating the sensation? Or is it that when there is sensation, there are thoughts about sense of self and so this is assumed?
The separate sense of self is definitely not creating the sensation. It's that when there is a sensation, it is assumed that there is a self. The assumption piece is huge...I hardly notice the thought as it happens so fast.
Is there always a link between "sense that this is happening to me" and the sensations? Or can these thoughts occur without the sensation?
With this particular "stressor", I did not notice the thought without the sensation but maybe I need to pay more careful attention. I have noticed with other topics, the thought is there without the sensation...like an assumption that is not emotionally charged.
Does having the thoughts or having different thoughts (such as blah blah) affect the sensation, or does this simply arise and subside on its own. You may need to do the exercise a number of times to explore this fully.
I might need some more time with this or perhaps try the 2nd piece you gave me. As soon as I tune into the sensation, or any sensation for that matter, it tends to dissipate...or maybe get a bit more intense then dissipate. I'm not sure that the thoughts have an actual impact on that.

What is a little strange is that after spending some time with this, the issue seems to have resolved itself. After being completely consumed by it for days, I'm not anymore.

OK, I will start to work on the 2nd piece now.
thx!
Lisa

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DrWilko
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby DrWilko » Sun May 19, 2019 2:22 am

Hi Lisa,
Is sensation happening to a separate "sense" of self - or are the sensations themselves this "sense"?
I'm not sure I have a clear answer here. The sensations come out of nowhere and I know there is no separate entity "feeling" them or controlling them, but somehow it does feel like the sensation is happening to a separate sense of self.
This in itself is interesting.
Are there any other situations where there is a sense of something that turns out to be wrong? Ever felt like you left the oven on? Or feel sure you left your keys in a particular place, but they are not there?

Now, as thoughts continue to arise, instead of "this is happening to me" - try this is happening to "blah blah". Simply replace the label "me" with "blah blah". Similarly, if images of what is labeled "you" arise "doing" something about it - "blah blah" is doing whatever it is about it...
This was a little difficult because I never actually noticed a thought that says this is happening to me.
But you have also said that there is sensation, and a "sense" this is happening to you. Also, there is an attempt to resolve something... Keep looking for this...

D x

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EMWBerry
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby EMWBerry » Tue May 21, 2019 4:01 am

Hi Dave...I’m still looking into the invisible thread. Will
Post something shortly.
Lisa

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EMWBerry
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby EMWBerry » Wed May 22, 2019 2:48 am

Hi Dave,
First, notice when the "stress" arises - imagine a situation from the last couple of weeks that stressed you and notice the sensations that arise. Describe them if you can.
Overall it's a tightness in the chest abdomen area, a little bit of a burning sensation/slight nausea and general heaviness in head and limbs.
Now - look for the invisible thread that appears to link this sensation to something being done about it. Whether it is a memory, a plan, or anything that appears to be a "result" of this sensation.

What is that thread? (Don't know is an acceptable answer at this point!)
I thought I would be able to get this and it's still not clear. I think it's the combination of thoughts and sensations appearing together.
Just look as closely as you can in all the usual places. Where and what is it?
Again, there are sensations and thoughts but this invisible thread that is linking them, I am not able to tell what it is.
When exactly does it appear to be there? It may be that it is invisible, but does it always seem to be there?
It's there after the sensation. I don't really notice it otherwise.
When does it arise exactly?
After the sensation.
Is there anything you notice when you look for it?
Not really...just that it's very hard to pinpoint.
What thoughts appear when the thread is there?
What am I going to do, I need to do something, what if I do this, or don't do that, etc...

Keep your looking on this thread and notice it, whenever there is sensation that appears to require action or planning or elicits a memory or a solution.
Look for it during the day when you are having breakfast. Going to work. At work. Going home. Look in a light and playful way. Where is it? What is it?

What do you notice?
Just a string of thoughts and sensations triggering more thoughts, and more sensations. A never ending cycle really.

That's all I'm coming up with.

Thank you,
Lisa

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DrWilko
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby DrWilko » Wed May 22, 2019 6:44 am

Hi Lisa,

I'm going to come back to your answers in more detail in the next post.

For now, I would like to clear up 2 things.

Earlier you spoke of assumption.
.., it is assumed that there is a self. The assumption piece is huge...I hardly notice the thought as it happens so fast.
What is an assumption exactly? What does it consist of?

Is it really "huge"? Or is that, itself, and assumption?

Secondly, do thoughts always take the form of words?

Is it possible to think in visual form? Can you imagine smell and taste? If you are not sure, try this:

Close your eyes and imagine a favourite fruit. I like a peach.

Imagine holding it. It's cool smooth, downy, gently yielding skin. It's particular roundness. The indent around the stalk.

Hold the peach up to your nose..notice the downyness against your lips and nose. Inhale and smell the fragrant, slightly floral peachy aroma.

Now bite into it. Feel the juice explode across your toungue. Notice it's sweetness and pulpiness, the very slight sourness on the back of the toungue. Feel the pulp sticking between the teeth and the sticky juice dribbling out of the corners of your mouth.

Now - open your eyes.

Is it possible?

D x

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EMWBerry
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby EMWBerry » Fri May 24, 2019 3:12 am

Hi Dave,
What is an assumption exactly? What does it consist of?
it is a thought.
Is it really "huge"? Or is that, itself, and assumption?
That could be an assumption as well. But I was really just trying to communicate that the ‘self’ is ‘assumed’ in so many moments throughout the day.
Secondly, do thoughts always take the form of words?
No, definitely not.
Is it possible to think in visual form? Can you imagine smell and taste? If you are not sure, try this:
Yes, it’s possible to imagine smell and taste. I enjoyed doing the exercise and have done it before.

Thanks!
Lisa

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DrWilko
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Re: SelfingStrong

Postby DrWilko » Fri May 24, 2019 5:42 am

Hi Lisa,
What is an assumption exactly? What does it consist of?
it is a thought.
Let's go a bit deeper with this.

What is the thought label "assumption" labelling? Actual things or just other thoughts?

Is there anything at all different about a thought that is being labelled as an assumption to any other thought?

For example, you say that "I" is assumed - so the thought I appears, as in "I should do this", and "I" is somehow labelled (assumed) to be real, but does either the original thought, or the label "real" either:
happen to a separate entity,
Is created by a separate entity, or
Is itself an entity that has autonomy and makes stuff happen?

Or is it simply another thought arising with no control over when or whether it arises?

As to the peach exercise, great work. Go back to that when approaching this next post. The thing to remember - thoughts are not just words. We are working with words as this is the way this investigation works. But thoughts appearing in other apparent forms (images seem common, but our experiment shows that other forms cannot be discounted, and can appear to elicit or trigger a physical response) can seem just as, if not more powerful. They are still, however, just thoughts. (There never was any peach, the situation you brought to mind is just thoughts about an imagined situation, not an actual situation).

So - to our "thread":
When does it arise exactly?
After the sensation.
Well done. This is a key observation.
What thoughts appear when the thread is there?
What am I going to do, I need to do something, what if I do this, or don't do that, etc...
Is there anything these thoughts appear to have in common?

Now: I want you to imagine you are a detective. You know how to look, broadly - and you know what it is to know something as direct experience, as distinct from thoughts about experience, or thoughts about other thoughts. That is Sherlock's basic training. Now it's time to act like Sherlock himself.

This invisible thread is invisible because it seems impossible to find. You have confirmed that when you look at what is known from tasting hearing smelling sensing seeing thinking - all that can be found are those, with no separation and no autonomy.

Yet the thread "seems" to be there.

Try to detect it. It must be pretty sneaky. It makes itself known, yet somewhere it is hiding. What are the clues you notice when the thread is there?

Look for clues in tasting hearing smelling sensing seeing and thinking.

Every situation is different, yet this thread seems to be there in so many different situations.

How do you know it is there? What fact or clue, however small or however obvious, in any of the areas in which you are looking, tells you this thread is there in all the different situations in which it appears?

Maybe it's so small, so tiny, so slender, translucent, fragile, that it is difficult to see. Or maybe it is so blindingly obvious that we are just not seeing it - (ever had that experience by the way? Where is my phone? And someone shows you it is right in front of you?!)

Focus on this. Every time the thread appears - detect like Sherlock Holmes. What evidence is there that it is there? Look for details. And also, look for what is staring you right in the face.

Does it leave any traces?

Some clue leads to an assumption that something is there. What is it?

This time I want to see all answers, even "don't knows", to every thing in this post ending with a question mark.

Take as long as you need, but keep me updated.

D x


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