Seeking guidance from Kay

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djother
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Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby djother » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:20 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?

seeing through the subject/object divide or illusion of a subject. seeing experience directly without the associated concepts of a "me, my and mine". Looking directly at and deconstructing the idea of a self and evaluating its validity

What are you looking for at LU?

A structure and framework for how to approach this understanding. Guidance from someone who can help me see my blind spots and limitations. A format for how to deconstruct the ideas I hold that may be faulty and to see what is really going / true.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?

difficult questions. frank confrontation, alternative ways of looking at reality and experiece. a structure to follow and an outside perspective which can serve to challenge my internal unquestioned assumptions. also some understanding of where I'm coming from and an idea of how to get past my current "stuck" situation

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?

meditation for 5 years. I spent the last 3 years in the TAT foundation working in an email group with a teacher and found the questions never really hit home for me. I also attended 3 retreats and used to watch a lot of youtube videos on the topic. Lately those don't trigger any interest for me. I also read books on Nisargadatta and Richard Rose among many others

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self? 9

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forgetmenot
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:20 am

Hi Djother,

I am very sorry for not responding to your thread earlier, but I hadn't been notified that you had specifically asked for me.

I am happy to assist you in exploring the idea of the separate self. At LU we are described as guides - not teachers - as our role is to directly point to what IS, through the use of exercises and questions. Your role is to LOOK carefully to what is being pointed at. It is this simple LOOKING (not thinking) that brings the realisation that there is no separate self and never has been. This is an experiential based guiding and is not a discussion or a debate.

By what name can I call you?

Here are links to information I would like you to read before we begin.

Disclaimer:-

http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:-

https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/


“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.

http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041


Please learn to use the quote function. When replying to a question, please use the quote function to highlight the question being answered. Instructions are located in the link below:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

Please confirm that you have read the disclaimer and the other links and we can then begin the exploration.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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djother
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby djother » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 am

Hi Kay

No problem.

You can call me DJ please

Yes I read the terms and disclaimer and agree

Ready to proceed when you are

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forgetmenot
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:53 am

Hey DJ,

Thank you for reading the links, including the disclaimer and learning how to use the quote function.

Some housekeeping guidelines:-
1. Post at least once a day, or every second day. If you need more time, or are unable to post for several days, just write a quick post on your thread to let me know please.

2. Please answer what's true for you once you have looked to see what is being pointed at, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Ideal answers may sound good but will be of no benefit to you in having you realise that there is no separate self. There is no one judging answers given, so please be100% honest in your answers and inquiry.

3. This exploration is based on actual experience (AE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, colour and observed thoughts. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.

4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies, rituals, practices, books/reading and so on for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily meditation practice, it is fine to continue that but is not necessary for this exploration. Be here with an open and curious mind.

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done in Word - it will save you time in the long run!

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration ie what life will look like; what life will feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change etc. Could you please answer the 4 following questions in your own words:-

How will life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer all questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions individually, remembering to use the quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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djother
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby djother » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:22 pm

How will life change?

Probably it won't change much, if at all.
I do however have a hope that life will become easier if I see through the illusion of self, in that I will have less attachment or sense of ownership to things, including feelings or responsibility, free will etc

How will you change?

I feel the sense of having or being a self to be a burden, like a weight within the body - I hope this will change or disappear. I figure also that I will be free of selfish tendencies if there is no self

What will be different?

I imagine that mostly myself and how I function will be different - more than anything else in the view anyway

What is missing?

Within my current life; a sense of purpose, satisfaction, ease, joy and freedom

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forgetmenot
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby forgetmenot » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:30 am

Hello DJ,

The purpose of these questions, were for you and I to become aware of any expectations you may have of what having the realisation may look like or feel like. Expectations have a habit of getting in the way of the exploration and blind siding the fact that the realisation has happened. There is nothing to be done with expectations other than to be aware of them and any others that appear as we move through this exploration. Also be aware that when desired expectations are not met, fear, anger, resistance, resentment, frustration can arise. Let me know if and when this happens so we can look at them together. So watch what arises for you when reading my responses.
How will life change?
Probably it won't change much, if at all.
I do however have a hope that life will become easier if I see through the illusion of self, in that I will have less attachment or sense of ownership to things, including feelings or responsibility, free will etc
There has NEVER been a separate self that is having feelings or has responsibilities or free will. These are simply concepts that needs to be seen through.
How will you change?
I feel the sense of having or being a self to be a burden, like a weight within the body - I hope this will change or disappear. I figure also that I will be free of selfish tendencies if there is no self
Does a 'feeling' know anything about a self? Does the 'feeling' itself suggest in any way that it is a self?
So the illusory “I”, a non-existent “I” feels like it is a heavy burden and resides in a place called the body and has selfish tendencies. That is an appearing thought that has nothing to do with an “I”. It is simply a thought…there is no thinker of thoughts.
What will be different?
I imagine that mostly myself and how I function will be different - more than anything else in the view anyway
Where does this imaginary “I” exist exactly that can imagine a further “I” that will function differently?
What is missing?
Within my current life; a sense of purpose, satisfaction, ease, joy and freedom
There is no ‘you’ that is living life or that is controlling life. Life simply life’s and is controlled by no one/no thing!

Okay, now we become aware of actual experience (AE) and what LOOKING is.
‘Looking’ is just plain looking at actual/direct experience (AE), which is simply colour (image), sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought at face value that is appearing right now in the moment. You are looking at the raw experience of AE and noticing the labels and thoughts ABOUT the raw experience. The key to this exploration is the careful LOOKING. Why? Because it’s the act of actually LOOKING and not finding an “I” that brings about the realisation of there being no separate self and that there has never been a separate self.

So first we become aware of what AE is and how it is used to ‘look’.

I would like you to sit quietly and close your eyes and just listen to the sounds for a few minutes that can be heard both inside and outside of the room. Really hear them.

Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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djother
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby djother » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:26 am

Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).
I hear music in the background - the song will likely change by the time we do part 2

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forgetmenot
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby forgetmenot » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:58 am

Hi DJ,
Tell me ONE sound that you heard when doing this? (Make sure it is a sound that you will be able to hear again for part 2 of this exercise).
I hear music in the background - the song will likely change by the time we do part 2
That's okay, as long as the same sound can be heard ie music

Now look carefully at what I am pointing to in the following exercise, and answer from direct (actual) experience only ie colour, sound, thought, smell, taste or sensation, and not an intellectual answer

Please repeat the exercise and tell me:-

Without thought, how is it known that the sound heard is music?
In other words, what is it that suggest the sound is music?

What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘music’? ‘


Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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djother
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby djother » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:03 pm

Without thought, how is it known that the sound heard is music?
In other words, what is it that suggest the sound is music?

What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘music’? ‘
Without thought it isn't music, it's just sounds
The previous memory and comparing of similar sounds lets me know it's music - I guess these are thoughts and conceptual processes
The memory and comparing seems so automatic though - it's almost impossible to separate it from the sound itself

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forgetmenot
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby forgetmenot » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:42 pm

Hey DJ,

Could you please answer questions individually and not lump them together. Many thanks.

You did not answer this question, would you please answer it.

What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘music’? ‘
Without thought, how is it known that the sound heard is music?
In other words, what is it that suggest the sound is music?
Without thought it isn't music, it's just sounds
The previous memory and comparing of similar sounds lets me know it's music - I guess these are thoughts and conceptual processes
The memory and comparing seems so automatic though - it's almost impossible to separate it from the sound itself
Yes, thought is overlaying the AE of sound and labelling it 'music'.
There is no “I” that is comparing anything or that has a memory. There are thoughts ABOUT sound which are concepts. Thought, in and of itself contains no experience, if it did you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’. Thought either points to AE or it points to thoughts about thoughts.

In other words, a thought, in and of itself is like a container. The content of a thought is what a thought is ABOUT
When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored - this is what is called actual experience of a thought. So, we can say, that in actual experience, the arising of a thought (the container) is real, but what it’s ABOUT, the content, is not. The thought (as container) is there in reality, but the content of a thought is fiction.
Do you see the difference

But yes…the interpretation of actual experience happens quickly. So while inquiring, labelling and interpretation will always appear, but it is possible to become aware of the thoughts that appear with,and overlay actual experience. Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience

The following exercise points to what I mean.

For this exercise you will need an apple or any other piece of fruit will do.

Image

Have a look at an apple. When ‘looking at an apple’, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."
What is known for sure? Colour is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?
Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something…because that is only just more thought. Actual experience is sound, thought, colour, smell, taste, sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in actual experience.

This is what is meant by ‘looking in actual experience ‘. What you know for sure, and, is always here.

The label ‘apple’ is known
Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Colour labelled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labelled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labelled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known
However, is an apple actually known?

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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djother
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby djother » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:11 pm

What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘music’?
Just sounds, sequentially and following a pattern, appearing within the view
In other words, a thought, in and of itself is like a container. The content of a thought is what a thought is ABOUT
When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored - this is what is called actual experience of a thought. So, we can say, that in actual experience, the arising of a thought (the container) is real, but what it’s ABOUT, the content, is not. The thought (as container) is there in reality, but the content of a thought is fiction.

Do you see the difference

Yes - although it seems that the content of the thought is also an experience. Like a thought of an apple may arise, the thought arising is an experience, but also the experience of an apple (either visually or conceptually also appears in the mind, making it experienceable). For example I might close my eyes and visualise an apple - so I get the thought arising, and the visual appearance of the apple. Then the mental label of apple also appears - either directly in the mind, or via an internal voice - both experiences of a type no?


What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?
They are a labelling of an experience, recreated mentally (visually, auditorially etc) or conceptually

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
No - "apple" is inferred from a familiar colour and shape pattern, which may differentiate it from a pear or orange, but I can't confirm an actual apple is there.

The label ‘apple’ is known
Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Colour labelled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labelled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labelled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known
However, is an apple actually known?
Not directly, only via the senses. I guess in order to know an apple directly we would have to be one?

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forgetmenot
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:15 am

Hello DJ,
What is the actual experience (AE) of hearing ‘music’?
Just sounds, sequentially and following a pattern, appearing within the view
Yes, just sound.

“sequentially and following a pattern, appearing within the view” is a thoughts about sound and is AE of thought.
In other words, a thought, in and of itself is like a container. The content of a thought is what a thought is ABOUT
When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored - this is what is called actual experience of a thought. So, we can say, that in actual experience, the arising of a thought (the container) is real, but what it’s ABOUT, the content, is not. The thought (as container) is there in reality, but the content of a thought is fiction.
Do you see the difference
Yes - although it seems that the content of the thought is also an experience. Like a thought of an apple may arise, the thought arising is an experience, but also the experience of an apple (either visually or conceptually also appears in the mind, making it experienceable). For example I might close my eyes and visualise an apple - so I get the thought arising, and the visual appearance of the apple. Then the mental label of apple also appears - either directly in the mind, or via an internal voice - both experiences of a type no?
The content of a thought is simply more thought. Thoughts about thought.

Here is another exercise which points out the difference between actual experience and content of thought. Thoughts either point to AE or they point to thoughts about thought. Thought, in and of itself, does not contain any experience, otherwise you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’ and feel the word ‘hot’ and hear thunder when the word ‘thunder’ appeared!

There are two types of thoughts:
#1 Thoughts with words “Here is cup”
#2 Visual mental images of a ‘cup’

So I invite you to do this exercise:
Think of a cup. Get a very clear picture in your mind. See clearly the size, shape, colour and volume of the cup. Notice whether it is decorated or plain. Notice whether it has a handle. Notice whether it is heavy or fragile. Do you have a clear picture in mind?

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just a mental image of a cup?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?


Now let’s look at the word thought “here is a cup”….

Can a 'real' cup be found in the thought itself?

"Here is a cup" is the thought; the ensuing thoughts of what a cup is and does, what it is made from etc are the content of that thought. What do those thoughts point to exactly? Do they point to colour, taste, smell, sensation or sound? Or do they simply point to actual experience of thought and thought only?

So thoughts and mental images are actual experience only as arising thoughts (words and mental image), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what they are about, what they are pointing to (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?

Over the course of the next day or so, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about, what it is pointing to) is REALLY happening, or the content is just pure imagination. Let me know how it goes.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?
They are a labelling of an experience, recreated mentally (visually, auditorially etc) or conceptually
Thoughts either point to AE or they point to thoughts about thought. Thoughts are not an entity that think, are aware of know anything. There is no one/no thing that is experiencing AN experience..there is no separation.

If a ‘mental’ image appears of a unicorn, is the unicorn ‘real’? If thoughts appear talking about a unicorn and describing what it is, what it looks like, what it does…does that make unicorns ‘real’?
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
No - "apple" is inferred from a familiar colour and shape pattern, which may differentiate it from a pear or orange, but I can't confirm an actual apple is there.
Since there is no actual ‘apple’ and it is simply colour (shapes are nothing more than different shades of colour), then how is a pear of orange differentiated from colour without thought?
The label ‘apple’ is known
Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Colour labelled ‘apple’ is known
Sensation labelled ‘apple’ is known (when apple is touched)
Smell labelled ‘apple’ is known
Thought about/of an ‘apple’ is known
However, is an apple actually known?
Not directly, only via the senses. I guess in order to know an apple directly we would have to be one?
The suggestion that to know an apple directly we would have to be one, is a good point. To know a separate self you would have to be one. As there is no separate self...then how is a separate self known?

For there to be ‘senses’, there would have to be a person who is sensing. This not only points to there being a separate self, but also to subject/object split. Neither exist.

What is known is colour, sound, smell, taste, thought and sensation.
Where does sound (known) end, and the knowing of sound begin?

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby djother » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:20 pm

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
no
Can you pour tea into it?
no
Can you drink from it?
no
Is there a ‘real’ cup or just a mental image of a cup?
mental image
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?
the visual image of the cup is still experienced as colour - although this time experienced visually in a mental way, rather than a immediate "real" "physical" way

"Here is a cup" is the thought; the ensuing thoughts of what a cup is and does, what it is made from etc are the content of that thought. What do those thoughts point to exactly? Do they point to colour, taste, smell, sensation or sound? Or do they simply point to actual experience of thought and thought only?
they point to thoughts about that initial thought about the cup (attributing meaning and function to the colour pattern that we label a cup)

So thoughts and mental images are actual experience only as arising thoughts (words and mental image), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what they are about, what they are pointing to (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?
I see that things like what an object does or means are just thoughts about thoughts, but the visual thoughts like a mental visualising of a cup is still something experienceable - this is where I'm struggling to agree with you.

Since there is no actual ‘apple’ and it is simply colour (shapes are nothing more than different shades of colour), then how is a pear of orange differentiated from colour without thought?
ok yes it only differs in colour, the thought comes later which states there is a difference in type or classification of what the object is
Where does sound (known) end, and the knowing of sound begin?
I can't find a distinction between them

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forgetmenot
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby forgetmenot » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:28 am

Hello DJ,
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?
the visual image of the cup is still experienced as colour - although this time experienced visually in a mental way, rather than a immediate "real" "physical" way
Look at this carefully. Was there an actual mental image of a coloured cup or just and impression/idea of a coloured cup?

If I ask you to imagine a red flower, do you actually get a mental picture of a RED coloured flower? Or there is an inference that the flower is red? Is the image as detailed as a ‘real’ flower?

"Here is a cup" is the thought; the ensuing thoughts of what a cup is and does, what it is made from etc are the content of that thought. What do those thoughts point to exactly? Do they point to colour, taste, smell, sensation or sound? Or do they simply point to actual experience of thought and thought only?
they point to thoughts about that initial thought about the cup (attributing meaning and function to the colour pattern that we label a cup)
Yes…they point to thoughts about thoughts.
So thoughts and mental images are actual experience only as arising thoughts (words and mental image), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what they are about, what they are pointing to (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?
I see that things like what an object does or means are just thoughts about thoughts, but the visual thoughts like a mental visualising of a cup is still something experienceable - this is where I'm struggling to agree with you
.

Words and ‘mental images’ are both thoughts and thoughts are actual experience. Is the ‘mental visual’ image an actual object or is it a thought (be it a picture thought) of an object? Can you pour tea or coffee into an imagined cup?

Close your eyes and imagine holding a watermelon in your hands.
Imagine it so vividly that you can feel its weight, the shape and texture of the skin.
Hold it there, sensing it.

Then open your eyes.

What happened to the melon?
How about the sensation that was so believable?
Was there ever a melon in ‘reality’?
Was there an appearing mental image?
Was the content of the mental image (the melon) ‘real’?


The thoughts and mental images (picture thoughts) are real only as AE of thoughts and their appearance cannot be denied.
However their ‘contents’, what are they about (like the watermelon) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies ie imagination.
Can you see this?

Since there is no actual ‘apple’ and it is simply colour (shapes are nothing more than different shades of colour), then how is a pear of orange differentiated from colour without thought?
ok yes it only differs in colour, the thought comes later which states there is a difference in type or classification of what the object is
Yes, exactly
Where does sound (known) end, and the knowing of sound begin?
I can't find a distinction between them
Great…we will look further into this as we proceed.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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djother
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Re: Seeking guidance from Kay

Postby djother » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:18 pm

Look at this carefully. Was there an actual mental image of a coloured cup or just and impression/idea of a coloured cup?
There's an actual mental image of a colour pattern that is pulled up from memory/memory combinations, and the associated idea is that it is a cup.
If I ask you to imagine a red flower, do you actually get a mental picture of a RED coloured flower? Or there is an inference that the flower is red? Is the image as detailed as a ‘real’ flower?
I can mentally see the redness of the flower, but no it isn't as detailed as a physical/"real" one


What happened to the melon?
nothing, it wasn't actually there
How about the sensation that was so believable?
imagined
Was there ever a melon in ‘reality’?
not physically, but mentally
Was there an appearing mental image?
yes
Was the content of the mental image (the melon) ‘real’?
no the melon wasn't "real" in that it wasn't directly physically experienceable - only mentally
The thoughts and mental images (picture thoughts) are real only as AE of thoughts and their appearance cannot be denied.
However their ‘contents’, what are they about (like the watermelon) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies ie imagination.
Can you see this?
Yes of course I see that the mental image of the watermelon is not "really there" in that I can't interact with it in a physical way - I was just struggling with the notion that that process of imagining the watermelon and the imagined wasn't also a type of experience interpreted via the 5 sensory channels.

So basically I'm wondering about this distinction of "real" - like for example if I have a dream and I experience running from a tiger in the dream - the visual, auditory and tactile experience, emotions, sensations (etc) are experienced in the same way as if it happened in my waking state...


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