Passing a threshold

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:44 pm

Is there anything other than experience in the present moment?
I don't know.
What do you have, or own, other than your experience? Consider your [stuff] ... can they be separated from the experience of them? In the absence of the experiencing, what are they? Is anything yours except experience?
Nothing cam be separated from my experience of them. Wardrobe, bus seat, family, etc, are a mixture of sensations/perceptions and memories revolving around labels. All I have is my experience. Yet there might be something to them that isn't experienced. The experience is the closest thing I know I have, regardless. I can't tell if I own experience; I don't know what that would be like or how I would confirm it, but I know it's more mine than anyone else's.
Try pointing at you, your self. What happens? 
There's some confusion as to what direction to point in, how will i know if i got it. A rush of images and thoughts about me being a body/mind. Finger pointing to heart or behind eyes. That's all i got. It seems like another impossible task.

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:28 am

Does a new one every second’ fit comfortably with the definition of a self? How would that work - what would be creating or generating these selves?
Not traditionally, but this *could* be a more accurate description of the self. Not an entity, but something generated every moment.
Look at the following list and tell me which one is most like the idea of you...

A dining table.
A university.
Batman.


I think they all connect in a way.
A university seems most like the most accurate analogy of the idea of me, because its a collation of lots of things, constantly moving and evolving. Batman is like a central figure, always clearly one thing, so that's kind of what I think the idea of me is like when unexamined. Both are imaginary in a sense - they depend on our subscription to certain ideas.
What does this imply about the existence of a hearer or a see
If it exists, it certainly can't be experienced.
Try this with other sensations too ... Can you find a feeler - or is there just the experience of feeling?
Exactly the same. No feeler can be found, just feeling. There's a sense that the feeler is in the feeling, like there's no distance. And obviously the thought "Its me! I am the one!"
So, what might this thing that you can’t see or hear or touch because it’s the thing that is looking, hearing, feeling etc - what could it actually be?
The sense organs of this body/mind, or awareness itself, or something that can't be pointed to with concepts.
Look at the people around you - can you see the selves that they are?
I can see/feel their bodies, hear their words, smell, etc, and there are thoughts that link their behaviours to some story of 'them'. They should have private thoughts/ experiences, but I cant directly experience that.
Medical science ... has never ever located the essence of a person, the self. Why not?
It could be a combination of it being very complicated and not knowing what we're looking for. Of course you're not going to find anything but meat, but this meat could tell you how this sense of self works.

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:05 am

Go now and look in the mirror for a while ... is that image Tan? ... Do you see evidence of a self anywhere?
I see an image of a face. There are thoughts that this image is *of* me. It is a reflection of this organism and no other. The image itself isn't actually me, just something the mirror is doing. But if thought says turn head left, the head turns left, and image reflects this, then that seems like evidence of some subconscious, non experienced intelligence generating these connected phenomena - much like connecting the dots of a crime scene to infer the scenario or perpetrator. The perpetrator never seems to be caught in action though.
So what is the trigger that prompts the apparent choice point in these cases? ... Do you choose to have those remediating thoughts?
You're right, sometimes it seems like a natural cause effect relationship. There is suffering, recognition of suffering, wanting to stop suffering, then there is the memory of what causes suffering, then there is relinquishment. Other times it seems totally new and spontaneous, but that could be due to a lack of saddened of the underlying stream of causation.
At what point does it become apparent that a pattern is unhealthy - is this self not on duty the first time it happens to kaibosh it immediately
It could be that this self is merely acting on the information available, and it isn't fully self aware or in control. Im kind of playing devils advocate because i want to be absolutely sure, but i do see what you're saying. A self isn't really anything substantial if its always wrong and going back on itself.
Is that what you are - a personality? Makes you sound like some long established TV show host.
It does! But that's part of what "I" points to. All these things come with "I" and make it possible to talk about the organism/character, but it doesn't point to anything else in present experience.
Have you ever had or known a pet...? They have distinct personalities don’t they? Do they have selves? How are you different?
I have thoughts about my cat that ties together images of it with memories of its behaviours, my feelings towards it, etc. Nothing else can be found. On the one hand it seems that I'm not different because im also a mishmash of memories and thoughts and behaviours etc, but on the other hand it is self evident that experiencing is happening, which i don't have for my pet. I'm confused.

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:20 am

What is it that is hiding or could hide? What could possibly come under threat from the insecurities of others?
The thing that comes to mind immediately is the thoughts i have about myself. If someone says something that contradicts my opinion of myself, i feel hurt, which i realise now means my sense of self feels threatened, which im also realising means the web of stories being clinged onto as self could change. I then distract myself or leave in order to avoid this suggestion. In experience, nothing other than these thoughts of "me" can be found.

P.s. i feel a bit daunted with how much there is to reply to, and confused with with seeing theres the thought of me and awareness but not knowing what is supposed to not exist.

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Locustafiera
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Locustafiera » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:52 pm

Confusion is a good sign! Seriously. We can’t decode long established beliefs that we have take for granted all our lives, that our whole culture and worldview is based upon, without becoming confused first. It’s OK to feel confused.
All I have is my experience.
Yes. What is there but experience, including the experience of thoughts that say ‘this belongs to me’.
Finger pointing to heart or behind eyes. That’s all i got. It seems like another impossible task.
Right, so it’s ‘you’ pointing, with ‘your’ finger, but it’s not possible to point at ‘you’. Interesting no?
….this could be a more accurate description of the self…
Let’s be clear, we are not trying to arrive at an accurate definition of a self here. It’s not an academic exercise. We are trying to find - literally find it - the thing referred to when you say ‘I’ or ‘me’. There’s a big difference between these two approaches. The first assumes there is a thing called ‘self’ that needs defining in the first place - it’s an exercise in defining an idea - ‘ here’s an idea and here’s what it means’. The second is simply a search or quest to find something in direct experience and it’s the whole key to this process. Can we find this thing called a self, I, me in direct experience.
A university seems most like the most accurate analogy of the idea of me, because its a collation of lots of things, constantly moving and evolving …
Again, this is an analytical response, maybe because of the way I phrased the question. Consider this - take away the students from the university for ever. Is it still a university? No way. Take away something pretty important from this ‘collation’ of you, let’s say the eyes. Is it still you? Halve the IQ. Still you? Do you see what I mean? Can you imagine a blind, clueless Batman? It’s still Batman isn’t it? Which one is more like the way you perceive yourself in everyday real life, rather than in an analytical, academic exercise?
No feeler can be found, just feeling. There’s a sense that the feeler is in the feeling, like there’s no distance. And obviously the thought “Its me! I am the one!”
Yes! There’s no distance between feeler and feeling, that’s a lovely description. Then the thoughts come and start separating it into this and that. That’s what thought does. But before thought, no distance.
you’re not going to find anything but meat, but this meat could tell you how this sense of self works.
OK, so if there is only meat, is there a self or not? Do you care about how this ‘sense of self’ works - is that why you are here? If there’s a ‘sense of self’ what does it feel like - what kind of sensation is it?
…that seems like evidence of some subconscious, non experienced intelligence…
Sure - there is intelligence. But is it the intelligence of a self? Did you know that it has been shown that certain animals have what you referred to as a ‘sense’ of self - mainly other great apes, chimpanzees and orang utans for example. The test involves seeing if they can recognise their reflection in a mirror.
… A self isn’t really anything substantial if its always wrong and going back on itself.
Great that you see this. Do you see how as we challenge this idea of self we start to back away, deciding that maybe it doesn’t have the kinds of power we normally attribute to it - It’s not fully aware, it doesn’t have enough information, isn’t in full control etc etc. These begin to sound like excuses. Try defining where the boundaries of control for self are. What can self control and what can it not?
i feel a bit daunted with how much there is to reply to, and confused with with seeing theres the thought of me and awareness but not knowing what is supposed to not exist.
I hear you. Sometimes it’s useful to come at this from several angles at once - it stops us getting bogged down in analysis. Many of the questions I ask have yes/no answers. Don’t worry about what is ‘supposed’ to be the case. This is about finding stuff out for yourself, doing the maths, it’s not about learning by rote. For now, let’s just clear up one thing:

What is this thing that you have been referring to when you say ‘I’ or ‘me’? Not the ‘accurate’ definition of self but what you really feel you are. I think there are some clues in what you have written to date, like;

What even is it that we all think we are, but infact are not?
And

…. (this could be a more accurate description of the self. ) Not an entity…..
Best

LocustaFiera

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:31 pm

What is there but experience, including the experience of thoughts that say ‘this belongs to me’.
I feel it would be dishonest of me to exclude the possibility that there are things outside of experience. But, for sure, I would agree that experience is all I ever contact, and anything "outside" can only be known through and as experience. And I get we're just concerned with experience here.
Right, so it’s ‘you’ pointing, with ‘your’ finger, but it’s not possible to point at ‘you’. Interesting no?
Exactly! argh. I can't fathom the answer to this riddle. Is it because I am it, that I can only know it by being it, and there isn't a seperate one to be pointed at, just the one that I am?
Can we find this thing called a self, I, me in direct experience.
It hasn't shown up so far.
take away the students...Is it still a university? No way. Take away...the eyes. Halve the IQ. Still you? ... Can you imagine a blind, clueless Batman? It’s still Batman isn’t it? Which one is more like the way you perceive yourself in everyday real life...?
I see what you're saying. In everyday life, I'm more like Batman. hmm but to stretch that, the last thing you can take away from me before I no longer exist is my thoughts - like in deep sleep.
OK, so if there is only meat, is there a self or not?
In experience, no, only meat (i.e. seeing, hearing, feeling, etc). Thought says maybe some of that meat behaves in an self-ish organised way, like a university. One meatself would not be the same as another meatself.
Do you care about how this ‘sense of self’ works - is that why you are here?
If this sense of self is making it harder to see the truth in any meaningful, lasting way, then wouldn't it help to understand it?
If there’s a ‘sense of self’ what does it feel like - what kind of sensation is it?
I guess I don't have any frame of reference to compare to, but it's like a combination of all the senses. Or just a primal knowing. Again, hard to find.
But is it the intelligence of a self?
I don't even know anymore :')
...certain animals have what you referred to as a ‘sense’ of self...The test involves seeing if they can recognise their reflection in a mirror.
Implying that the self is this individual organism.
These begin to sound like excuses.
I get that - like it's this process of clinging.
What can self control and what can it not?
I don't find (or even think I could find) a self that can control anything. There is just how things go. BUT, within the "just how things go," this organism does have a limited range of impact. I (this organism) can flail my (its) limbs but not that of others.
What is this thing that you have been referring to when you say ‘I’ or ‘me’?
Okay. I will take this as my question for now. Reviewing my previous answers and looking freshly now, what comes to mind is either "this individual organism" or simply "a thought".

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Locustafiera
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Locustafiera » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:51 pm

Hi Tan. I will reply tomorrow. This seems to be my speed at present. - hope it’s OK for you.
Best

LocustaFiera

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Locustafiera
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Locustafiera » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:45 pm

I feel it would be dishonest of me to exclude the possibility that there are things outside of experience. But, for sure, I would agree that experience is all I ever contact, and anything "outside" can only be known through and as experience. And I get we're just concerned with experience here.
That’s fine, you’re right to be honest. But do you agree that you cannot know anything except your experience? If there is anything that exists outside experience, you can never know what it is or that it is - correct?

argh. I can't fathom the answer to this riddle.
It’s not a riddle. What assumption are you making by trying to point at your self? Here’s a clue - do this now - go to the kitchen and point at the fridge. Now point at the unicorn behind the door. What colour was the unicorn?

Is it because I am it, that I can only know it by being it, and there isn't a separate one to be pointed at, just the one that I am?
Can you find something separate to point at?

It hasn't shown up so far.

Right! Keep looking though - we want to be absolutely sure about this.

I’m more like Batman....
stretch that, the last thing you can take away from me before I no longer exist is my thoughts - like in deep sleep.
So it’s not you having the thoughts?

In experience, no, only meat (i.e. seeing, hearing, feeling, etc). Thought says maybe some of that meat behaves in an self-ish organised way, like a university. One meatself would not be the same as another meatself.
OK, so this reveals something more about the idea of a self. It seems to be responsible for organising things. Consider an ant - seems pretty organised. What about a tree. They seem pretty organised too no? Does a tree have a self? What about an ocean?
Is an organiser necessary for us to operate in this organised looking way?

Reviewing my previous answers and looking freshly now, what comes to mind is either “this individual organism” or simply “a thought”.
This is two very different answers to one question. I’m not asking you to think and analyse at this point, just to define the thing we normally mean by ‘self’. Not the ‘correct’ or ‘most accurate’ definition you can come up with. Just the regular meaning.
Best

LocustaFiera

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:00 pm

But do you agree that you cannot know anything except your experience? If there is anything that exists outside experience, you can never know what it is or that it is - correct?
Correct.
What assumption are you making by trying to point at your self? Here’s a clue - do this now - go to the kitchen and point at the fridge. Now point at the unicorn behind the door. What colour was the unicorn?
I would have to assume there is a separate one that can be pointed at. I can point at the fridge but not the unicorn because it isn't there. There doesn't seem to be a separate self to point at. But maybe there is a non-seperate self I can't point at because its the one pointing.
Can you find something separate to point at?
Presumably you mean a self, in which case no, it doesn't seem so.
so it's not you having the thoughts?
Hmm. Yeah. If 'I' stops with thought, there can't be an 'I' having these thoughts. 'I' is constructed with thought.
Consider an ant - seems pretty organised. What about a tree. They seem pretty organised too no? Does a tree have a self? What about an ocean?
Is an organiser necessary for us to operate in this organised looking way?
They do not. An organizer is not required (except for the organising principles of nature i suppose). What makes animals with selves different is when they can reflect and categorize their body, behaviours, thoughts etc as one seperate bundle and identify with it. This makes it clear that a self is a function or process, not an entity. That makes me wonder though, what is it that is doing the identifying? And how is identification even possible?
define the thing we normally mean by ‘self’
Just the regular meaning? The totality of this organism. My body, thoughts, perceptions/sensations, personality, memories, etc. Owner of, doer of, be-er of, experiencer of, etc. The centre of experience.

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Locustafiera
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Locustafiera » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:45 pm


There doesn’t seem to be a separate self to point at.
OK. But you looked, right? You looked everywhere? Was there anywhere you didn’t look, some place it could be hiding?

But maybe there is a non-seperate self I can’t point at because its the one pointing.
What does it mean to talk about something that isn’t separate? What could it be that the non-separate thing is not separate from? Does pointing even make sense in this context?
If ‘I’ stops with thought, there can’t be an ‘I’ having these thoughts. ‘I’ is constructed with thought.
What can thoughts create?

This makes it clear that a self is a function or process, not an entity.
Can you identify or isolate this process or function? Can you see, feel or hear it in action? Remember we are looking for this in your direct experience, because that’s all we can be sure of right? Where is the evidence of this function or process?
Sit quietly for a few minutes and really try to find it. Where is it located, what sensations is it producing that let you know it is there?
That makes me wonder though, what is it that is doing the identifying? And how is identification even possible?
A great question! You have looked for a self, you have found no distinct and separate entity. You have found only thoughts about a thing called Tan. Except there’s no thing to be Tan. What does that leave? Thoughts about Tan as a separate entity, but no separate entity.....a Tan that disappears when the thoughts about Tan aren’t there - like Batman.

What’s left?
Best

LocustaFiera

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Locustafiera
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Locustafiera » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:15 am

Hi Tan, how are things? Is there anything I can try and help with?
Best

LocustaFiera

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:04 pm

Snap, I didn't think it had been that long. I'll respond tomorrow.

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:32 pm

But you looked, right? You looked everywhere? Was there anywhere you didn’t look, some place it could be hiding?
I did, everywhere I could think to look. I don't know where I haven't looked, because I don't know what I don't know, I don't know my blind spots. I could also be experiencing it in a way I can't comprehend.
What does it mean to talk about something that isn’t separate? What could it be that the non-separate thing is not separate from? Does pointing even make sense in this context?
You can't really talk about something that isn't seperate, or at least you need to imagine some separation first. And it would be not separate from my self (i.e. me, the one doing the pointing, cannot find another me to point at). Pointing therefore doesn't make sense. It can't be found in that way.
What can thoughts create?
Conventionally I would say thoughts trigger feelings, actions, more thoughts, etc. In experience, nothing. I don't experience a thought creating anything. It's just a thought; all it does is appear. It's just another thought that says these thoughts, feelings, actions, etc are linked.
Can you identify or isolate this process or function? Can you see, feel or hear it in action?
I can find the constant selfing of thought. This comes with various contractions, images, etc. That is the process I am referring to. I can't locate the undercurrent (so to speak), just the symptoms (I-thoughts), which thought says are linked together as some selfing process.
there’s no thing to be Tan
Tan points to the being.
a Tan that disappears when the thoughts about Tan aren’t there - like Batman.
Tan only ever referred to this organism, which doesn't disappear.
What’s left?
You tell me. I'm not sure what I'm not getting. Unless you meant with regards to my question, then I'd say this awareness/being is left.

This questioning process isn't what I'd consider normal everyday looking, which makes me think I would have to make a constant effort to see the my experience in this very specific way in order to see no self. I can tell you easily and naturally that there is no duck in my bathtub right now. There doesn't seem to be a corollary in self inquiry. The fact that the questions continue make me think you think I haven't got it, which makes me confused as to what else exactly is supposed to not exist? I'm very confused.

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Tangerine
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Tangerine » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:39 pm

awareness/being is left.
And everything else in the universe

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Locustafiera
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Re: Passing a threshold

Postby Locustafiera » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:27 pm

Maybe I missed something. Help me out. What is it that you have ‘got’ that I might have missed?
Best

LocustaFiera


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