deconstruction site

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Mon May 13, 2019 2:00 am

Hi Agi,
I hope I've managed to answer your questions below.
You’re doing well :)
I wasn’t able to have a direct experience of the brain. For me this was just not accessible like other body parts.
Consider this: we are literally unable to directly experience of the brain. No matter how hard we try, it’s simply not possible.
V: Now, in order to make sure that really the brain is doing / producing thoughts, you have to be able to see/experience the process how the brain is actually producing the thoughts. Can you see the process directly?
A: No. Only in retrospect most of the time, but even then, locating the root of the thoughts seems impossible.
But even with retrospect, you might can remember the SEEMING sequence of thoughts, but you cannot actually see that it was done by a brain.
If you cannot experience a brain, then it’s utterly impossible to experience that the brain is doing or producing the thoughts. Is this clear?

This 'brain producing thoughts' is an intellectual understanding, but this does not correlate with the direct experience. Can you see this?
Well, I’m not sure this is actually correct. Electricity exists but it can’t be directly experienced, only through its workings. Mind in a way could be the same in principle. But now I tend to think, as you suggest, that mind is just a construct, an idea that we get used to using.
Yes, conventionally speaking electricity exists. But when we investigate the self, we cannot get anywhere with conventional ‘truths’. Since conventional truths are the results of thinking, which is exactly what is creating the illusion of the self, by creating concepts. We have to look ‘behind’ this conceptual overlay, and see what is really there without concepts.

The mind as such cannot be experienced.
The mind is a thought assumption, and assumption of a place from which thoughts originate from.
The mind is a concept, an idea. But the concept of a mind, is NOT the mind itself.
This concept is supposedly to point to something that is there.
But when we look behind the concept and try to find the REAL MIND that the word/concept ‘mind’ points to, we cannot find anything.

Let’s look at the word ‘university’. What does the word ‘university’ points to?
Is the building itself the university, or the building just building?
Are the teachers the university, or are those just people?
Are the students the university, or are they just people too?
Is the curriculum the university, or that’s just the curriculum?
Are the tables and desks and boards the university, or are those just furniture?
Is the certificate of degree is the university, or is it just a piece of paper?

Where is the university exactly?
Does the word ‘university’ point to something real?
Or is it just a notion?

And what about the ‘mind’?
Yes of course, it’s just another thought, but that thought is directed at some kind of self-examination. Introspection.
All right. ‘Self-examination’ and ‘introspection’ are also ideas. But what does these words really point to?

Can a ‘self-examination’ as such be found at all? Or only THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘self-examination’?

Can a ‘introspection’ as such be found at all? Or only THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘introspection’?
My experience is that mind is very difficult to experience in any given moment, nevertheless I interpret things that go on as processes of my mind. It seems to be a useful concept.
Yes, conventionally speaking the mind is a useful concept, just as many other concepts. But when we want to see through the illusion, we cannot use the same tool which created the illusion itself.
Then I recalled a meditation book in which thoughts were described as individual shots from a film - those are all still images, but if you play them fast enough they make up a movie. So thoughts are just still images. But there’s so many of them and they come so fast that they make up a sequence which gives the impression of a thinking process.
All right. You read this in a book. But can you see this experientially? – always the experience is what matters

Vivien

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Agi
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Mon May 13, 2019 9:27 pm

Dear Vivien
Consider this: we are literally unable to directly experience of the brain. No matter how hard we try, it’s simply not possible.
Phew. Relieved to hear that. I wonder why that is though. It’s a physical part of our body, and all other parts we can learn to experience. How come not the brain? How odd…
If you cannot experience a brain, then it’s utterly impossible to experience that the brain is doing or producing the thoughts. Is this clear?
Yes. Except it's now very hard to see where the thoughts are, and where they're from.
This 'brain producing thoughts' is an intellectual understanding, but this does not correlate with the direct experience. Can you see this?
Yes. Can it get more mysterious than this…?
Where is the university exactly? Does the word ‘university’ point to something real? Or is it just a notion?
Well yes of course in one sense it’s ‘just a notion’ but I don’t find this helpful. We all know that in actual life the university exists in a very real sense. All the things that you list that make up the university are not individually the university, but together they make it up. It’s a construct. Like the self. And like the mind.
And what about the ‘mind’?
As above. It may not be a tangible thing we can point to, and I accept that it’s good to know that ultimately it doesn’t exist in a literal or experiential sense, but I don’t understand why ‘direct experience’ has to be the touchstone in all these explorations. It sounds like we’re saying that nothing really exists outside the physical. Is that true though?
‘Self-examination’ and ‘introspection’ are also ideas. But what do these words really point to? Can a ‘self-examination’ as such be found at all? Or only THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘self-examination’? Can an ‘introspection’ as such be found at all? Or only THOUGHTS ABOUT ‘introspection’?
Self-examination and introspection are mental actions that take place upon being triggered by a thought. Just like counting, or memorizing something. We can argue, like you have, that these actions are also just thoughts about actions but they produce results so can we really say that they are only thoughts about and not the actual thing? In the same vein we could say that 'running' doesn't really exist, because ultimately it's just body parts in various positions. Come to think of it, we could even say that body parts don't exist, because they are just heaps of atoms, and then there's no end to it, is there?
All right. You read this in a book. But can you see this experientially? – always the experience is what matters
Yes, I think I recalled this description because I found it matched my own experience.

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Tue May 14, 2019 2:44 am

Hi Agi,
Phew. Relieved to hear that. I wonder why that is though. It’s a physical part of our body, and all other parts we can learn to experience. How come not the brain? How odd…
Actually we cannot directly experience any body parts either, only thoughts say so. But we will look at this later, when investigating the body.
V: All right. You read this in a book. But can you see this experientially? – always the experience is what matters
A: Yes, I think I recalled this description because I found it matched my own experience.
It doesn’t matter what you could see in the past. The only thing that matters what you see right here, right now.
When you observe thought, can you see this now? Not just as a memory, but is it accessible EXPERIENTALLY right here, right now? – This is how you have to do this investigation.
V: If you cannot experience a brain, then it’s utterly impossible to experience that the brain is doing or producing the thoughts. Is this clear?
A: Except it's now very hard to see where the thoughts are, and where they're from.
There is an expectation, a belief there. The belief is that thoughts must have a location. Thoughts must have to come from somewhere.

You have to be ready to question any beliefs that come up during the investigation if you want to see through the illusion of the self.
Well yes of course in one sense it’s ‘just a notion’ but I don’t find this helpful. We all know that in actual life the university exists in a very real sense. All the things that you list that make up the university are not individually the university, but together they make it up. It’s a construct. Like the self. And like the mind.
My comments are not offered as a basis for an intellectual debate. My comments and questions are pointers. Pointers where to look.

It’s not about intellectually considering my comments, but rather looking to the direction where they are pointing to.
It may not be a tangible thing we can point to, and I accept that it’s good to know that ultimately it doesn’t exist in a literal or experiential sense, but I don’t understand why ‘direct experience’ has to be the touchstone in all these explorations. It sounds like we’re saying that nothing really exists outside the physical. Is that true though?
It’s not about whether you can ACCEPT what I wrote. It’s not about an intellectual discussion. It’s not about whether you agree with what I wrote or not. It’s about QUESTIONING YOUR CURRENT BELIEFS.

At the introduction to the questions on how willing you are to question any currently held beliefs, you wrote 9. If you feel you cannot give this exploration all the willingness and openness required, that’s all right. You might not be ready yet.

This is a free forum, and I don’t get anything from this. I have already seen, so I am not here for my own benefit, but yours. I am offering this freely in my own free time. So you either want to look and put aside all intellectual assumptions, or not. I am OK with that too. But then your thread stops here.
We can argue, like you have, that these actions are also just thoughts about actions but they produce results so can we really say that they are only thoughts about and not the actual thing?
I emphasize again, THIS INVESTIGATION IS NOT ABOUT INTELLECTUALLY ARGUING. With arguments you cannot get anywhere in terms of seeing through the 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.

The following was written by someone who had seen through the self and wrote this at the end of his investigation:

To see This, first, you must be 100% committed to seeing it. It can’t be a nice idea, an intellectual curiosity. You have got to pursue this as if you have no other choice.

Second, you must be open with a willingness to set aside your current beliefs about how things are and engage in rigorous inquiry. No-one can give this to you.

Your beliefs might rush in saying, “Yeah, but…”, “OK, but what about…?”, “I was taught that…”, “My other teacher or the book I read said…” All this must be pushed aside and sometimes quite aggressively.

Third, you must engage in active listening. Listen carefully to the words your guide is using. Be sure you are clear on the context within which the words are being used. Sometimes, when you review what was asked or said, you realize that what you thought you heard versus what was actually said are two different things.

Fourth, this ties in with number 2… practical application… You can’t just sit and ponder, you must apply the ideas to your life; see them in action. Do the work.

Fifth, be 100% honest with your guide and with yourself. You can’t cheat your way through this. Wherever you are in your understanding or lack thereof is fine, but your guide can’t help you if you are withholding. Withholding is unfair both to the guide and yourself.


And this is a post written by another guide for those who questions this process:

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/reso ... 9aOXXQgULo

Are you willing to question your currently held beliefs or not?
If not, that’s all right. But if yes, how willing are you?
Are you opening enough to question anything that comes in way of looking?


Vivien

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Agi
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Tue May 14, 2019 12:55 pm

Are you willing to question your currently held beliefs or not?
If not, that’s all right. But if yes, how willing are you?
Are you opening enough to question anything that comes in way of looking?
Dear Vivien
Thank you for explaining your perspective, and the process. This was helpful. Of course I am willing, and I'm here because I want to do this. But I'm sorry, I can't help asking questions and querying things that come up. If being honest is such an important part of this process, I don't think I should be pretending not to have questions and doubts. It's good that you remind me that this is not an intellectual debate, but I don't know if it's possible to leave my intellect out of this. I will try, and I guess there have been moments when I've succeeded, but no matter what observations I make via 'looking', my intellect will jump in and want to make sense of it all. I wasn't trying to question your position or your method. I'm trying to make sense of it. I hope you don't mind the analogy, but this is a bit like someone trying to teach me a language without explaining the grammar. But maybe the grammar will come later... I feel that I'm doing exercises without understanding the context, without seeing where we're headed. I know where we're headed ultimately, but right now I feel that I don't know enough about what happens when. I will look up the link you sent, thank you for that - maybe it will answer some of my questions. In the meantime, I'd like us to get back to work. Yes I do want to question my own views and habitual attitudes and narratives etc, but I don't just want to replace them with a different set, I want to surpass them.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to the next exercise,
Agi

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Wed May 15, 2019 1:55 am

Hi Agi,
I don't know if it's possible to leave my intellect out of this. I will try, and I guess there have been moments when I've succeeded, but no matter what observations I make via 'looking', my intellect will jump in and want to make sense of it all.
Thought will always ‘want’ to understand and intellectualize everything, this is what thoughts are ABOUT: analysing, interpreting, and putting everything into categories or into order, and most of all, conceptualizing the actual experience.
And it’s not problematic of itself. But for this investigation we have to stick to the pure experience, BEFORE any thought interpretation.

Why? Because the whole illusion is mainly created by thoughts. The self is just a concept. It’s not a real thing. It’s a fantasy. It’s a mirage in the desert. For a newborn baby, there is no concept of self. For the newborn there is only pure experiencing. And just later, when language is introduced, the concept of a self emerges, out of the thin air. It’s just a fabrication, but with time this fabrication is taken as reality. And what is the problem with that? It’s suffering. Only a self could suffer.

So for the infant there is only pure experiencing. Sight, sound, taste, smell, sensation. She is in direct contact with experience. But as cognition develops she starts to conceptualize her experience. Putting everything into categories, labelling the experience, etc. And of itself it’s not problematic. But this conceptualization is overlaying the experience, and it gets thicker and thicker. And at some point she hardly can access her direct experience, since she can only see the conceptual overlay. Like seeing everything through a pink tinted glass. At some point pinkness gets so natural (used to), that she even stops knowing/seeing that everything is just coloured pink, but not in reality. And at that point this conceptual overlay is believed to be THE TRUTH. Pink becomes the ultimate truth. The pinkness distorts our perception of what is really going on.

Whatever thoughts ‘say’, is the truth/reality from now on. This is how humans live their lives. We hardly can connect with our immediate experience since we believe that the overlaying thought concepts are all there is. And of course concepts are very useful when solving a problem, building a bridge or a house. But concepts/thoughts are just tools. But for humans the tool itself is overthrown what is really happening and creating all sorts of problems. This tool cannot be turned off. It’s like having a hammer as tool. The hammer is very useful for hitting the nail into the wall, but it’s not so useful for making dinner. But for humans, thoughts (the hammer) cannot be switched off, and we hammer everything with thoughts.

Thoughts, as a tool, has its place and value when a solution needs to be solved, but when the task is done, we should be able to put the tool (thoughts) down and just rest in the natural peace of experience. But thoughts are constantly on in forms of self-referencing narrating talks. Which is the basis of human delusion and suffering.

But the aim is not to stop these overlays from appearing, but rather to see them for what they really are. The overlay of in itself is not problematic, as long as we see that it’s just an overlay.

This is why we have to stick to our immediate experience while doing this investigation. Not to devaluate thoughts and concepts, but rather to see what is really going on ‘behind the scenes’. When investigating the nature of reality and the self we cannot use the same tool which created the illusion itself on the first place.
I feel that I'm doing exercises without understanding the context, without seeing where we're headed. I know where we're headed ultimately, but right now I feel that I don't know enough about what happens when.
I hope that the above explanation is enough to calm down the desire of thoughts to grasp of what is going on. First, we have to investigate thoughts very thoroughly to see them for what they really are. Then we will look at the notion of decision and control which is one of the basic pillar of the self. Then we will investigate the body, sensations, emotions, the sense of self, awareness/consciousness and time. I hope that this list somewhat satisfies the curiosity.

So, from now on, please try to put aside all doubting thoughts, and just trust the process. Trust your immediate direct experience. Trust that this process will yield result. If you still with the actual experience and just keep looking and looking, you will be able to distinguish what is really happening and what is just a fabrication. At the end, many of your intellectual answers will be answered by your direct experience.

It’s the process of looking and looking and looking and not finding what brings about of the realization.

So, can you trust this process?
Can you commit looking at your actual experience rather than what thoughts has to say about it?

Yes I do want to question my own views and habitual attitudes and narratives etc, but I don't just want to replace them with a different set, I want to surpass them.
This is exactly what we are doing here. If you just take my comments and questions as something to think of, just to ponder about, then it would be just a new concept, what you might take on as a new belief or not. This would be totally useless. You have to SEE IT FOR YOURSELF if what I’m pointing at. You have to have an experiential knowing/understanding, not just an intellectual one. So you always have to LOOK where my comments points to, and not just pondering about it. Do you see the difference?

If so, here is something very important about thoughts.

Thoughts can be looked at in 2 different ways:
- seeing the CONTENT of a thought, what is a thought ABOUT
- and only seeing the thought itself, as a ‘CONTAINER’.

When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored, is what we call the actual experience of a thought. Do you see the difference?


Thoughts as arising thoughts (the containers) are ‘real’, but their contents (what they are ABOUT) are not. Like when you think about Dart Vader. There is an arising thought, it cannot be denied, but its content “Dart Vader” is not real. Sometimes thoughts point to something tangible, like chair, however a thought about a chair is not a chair. A thought about a chair is just a mental concept with an arising mental image of a ‘chair’ but that image is not ‘real’. However, as an arising image is there, it is ‘real’, but not its content (what it’s about).

Certain sensations can be felt in the body that is labelled such and such emotion, like ‘cheerful’. However, ‘cheerful’ is just a mental label on the felt sensation. So the felt sensation is ‘real’, the arising mental label, simply as arising label is ‘real’, but its content ‘cheerful’ is just an idea. Can you see this?

Vivien

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Agi
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Wed May 15, 2019 8:26 pm

Hello Vivien
Thank you so much for your exhaustive reply. I know this is not the point of the exercise, but I did find your explanations very helpful and reassuring. I have a lot more clarity, my curiosity is satisfied, and hopefully I'll now be able to focus on the work to be done :-)
So, can you trust this process?
Yes.
Can you commit to looking at your actual experience rather than what thoughts have to say about it?
I will do my best!
So you always have to LOOK where my comment points to, and not just pondering about it. Do you see the difference?
Yes. I must say that I find this looking very difficult, because I am always confronted with the fact that I can’t find anything. Ultimately there seems to remain just one thing: experiencing. Experiencing is going on, nothing else.
When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored, is what we call the actual experience of a thought. Do you see the difference?
Yes. Though again, it’s very hard for me to see the mere arising/existence of a thought without first getting caught up in its content.
So the felt sensation is ‘real’, the arising mental label, simply as arising label is ‘real’, but its content ‘cheerful’ is just an idea. Can you see this?
Yes.

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Thu May 16, 2019 2:27 am

Hi Agi,
Thank you so much for your exhaustive reply. I know this is not the point of the exercise, but I did find your explanations very helpful and reassuring. I have a lot more clarity, my curiosity is satisfied, and hopefully I'll now be able to focus on the work to be done :-)
I’m glad that it helped. It’s natural that you want to understand the process. So hopefully as the intellect is satisfied deep looking can happen :)
I will do my best!
Great! If you find any hindrance of looking please let me know. There might be some emotions coming up, like frustration, anger, resistance, fear, etc. Those are totally normal too. If it happens, please let me know so we can investigate those together and see what is really behind them. All right?
Yes. I must say that I find this looking very difficult, because I am always confronted with the fact that I can’t find anything. Ultimately there seems to remain just one thing: experiencing. Experiencing is going on, nothing else.
That’s all right. The whole purpose of looking is NOT FINDING! The constant looking and not finding brings about the realization! So you just have to keep looking until no doubt is left.
Though again, it’s very hard for me to see the mere arising/existence of a thought without first getting caught up in its content.
At first it might seem difficult, so you practiced in your whole life of ‘being caught in thoughts’, so to speak.

Here is an exercise that can help you to see the arising thoughts. This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 5-10 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.
2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.
3. Then wait for the next thought to come.
4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.
5. Then wait for the next thought to come.


Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:
Looking how they come and go, and
Observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

Let me know how it goes.


Here is another example to be more clear on the distinction between the content of a thought and the appearing thought itself.

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 are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what are they about (like the watermelon) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies.
Can you see this clearly?

Vivien

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Agi
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Thu May 16, 2019 8:26 pm

Dear Vivien
If you find any hindrance of looking please let me know. There might be some emotions coming up, like frustration, anger, resistance, fear, etc. Those are totally normal too. If it happens, please let me know so we can investigate those together and see what is really behind them. All right?
Yes. So far nothing other than the resistance we’ve already been through ☺
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts. Let me know how it goes.
It’s hard for me to do this. The thoughts seem to have no extent/expanse, what I mean is, they don’t last, at least not when I look. One of my realizations is that the only time the thinking process actually feels like a process is when I’m not looking. As soon as I start looking, the thoughts stop being processes or chains and become more like flashcards. They appear only very briefly and like soap bubbles disappear immediately. So my experience of the nature of my thoughts is very different when I look and when I don’t look and they arise ‘spontaneously’.
I did get a sense of the gap in between thoughts, it felt like static noise on TV, blank but there’s some kind of a buzz. And then I don’t notice the arising of the next thought, I only notice it once it’s there.
What happened to the melon?
It disappeared.
How about the sensation that was so believable?
Well yes it was believable while my eyes were closed, but once I opened my eyes, seeing its absence was more credible than that sensation.
Was there ever a melon in ‘reality’?
no.
Was there an appearing mental image?
yes, and a visual image of me holding the melon.
Was the content of the mental image (the melon) ‘real’?
no.
The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what they are about (like the watermelon) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this clearly?
I think so.

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Fri May 17, 2019 1:57 am

Hi Agi,
One of my realizations is that the only time the thinking process actually feels like a process is when I’m not looking. As soon as I start looking, the thoughts stop being processes or chains and become more like flashcards. They appear only very briefly and like soap bubbles disappear immediately.

Great looking.
So my experience of the nature of my thoughts is very different when I look and when I don’t look and they arise ‘spontaneously’
So thought arise spontaneously when there is looking, and what happens when there is no looking?
Aren’t thoughts there spontaneously even when no looking is happening?

And what is it exactly that is doing the looking?


What is looking the thoughts? – please don’t think about it, but rather go to the direct experience and look for a looker.
I don’t notice the arising of the next thought, I only notice it once it’s there.


Great. Thoughts are there or not. So even saying that they are arising is not so accurate. But we have to use language to convey this in some way… so I will still use the term ‘arising thoughts’, while knowing that there is no ‘arising’ really happening.

Language is not the best tool to describe AE, since language is dualistic, but don’t have any other tools to do that.
In language there is assumption that there must be a subject (me) that is doing or having the object (thoughts). But this assumption is coming only from language, in the actual experience there is neither subject nor object that could be found.

We say “It’s raining” – where is this ‘it’? Water is simply falling. Or, “The wind is blowing” – can you find ‘the wind’ or is it just air moving? We also say “I’m thinking” – but is there really an ‘I’ that is doing something or are thoughts simply arising? Have a look and see.

Now let’s go back to the notion of ‘university’ and the ‘mind’. And as I said above, we are not negating the usefulness of concepts in our conventional reality, but we have to look what is ‘beyond’ or ‘under’ these conceptual overlay if want to see through the illusion of the self.

Your previous reply to the university example was this:
We all know that in actual life the university exists in a very real sense. All the things that you list that make up the university are not individually the university, but together they make it up. It’s a construct. Like the self. And like the mind.
“We all know that in actual life the university exists in a very real sense.” – this is a conceptual overlay on the actual experience, what I wrote about before. And now we are investigating if this conceptual overlay is really in correspond with the experience.

And just as I said before, after some time the conceptual overlay (the pinkness of the tinted glass) becomes our perceived reality. We believe that the concept is reality itself. Can you see this?
“All the things that you list that make up the university are not individually the university, but together they make it up.”
Even if we contemplate this statement (meaning using only thinking/logic) this statement cannot stand. It’s not even the collection of the parts, because the parts might change but it doesn’t change the seeming ‘university’.

But the point here is not to contemplate this, but rather really look if THE ‘university’ itself cannot be found.
Here is the example again:

What does the word ‘university’ points to?
Is the building itself the university, or the building just building?
Are the teachers the university, or are those just people?
Are the students the university, or are they just people too?
Is the curriculum the university, or that’s just the curriculum?
Are the tables and desks and boards the university, or are those just furniture?
Is the certificate of degree is the university, or is it just a piece of paper?

Where is the university exactly?
Does the word ‘university’ point to something real?
Or is it just a notion?

It’s [the university] a construct. Like the self. And like the mind.
Yes, university is a construct. Which means that university is the CONTENT of a THOUGHT.
The presence of the thought (as the container) is real, it’s there, it’s happening.
But what the thought is ABOUT, the content (university) is not there.
The content (university) is just a fantasy, a fiction, a notion.

So the thought ‘university’ is the AE of a thought, but NOT the AE of a ‘university’. Can you see this?

There are only thoughts ABOUT ‘university’, but ‘university’ as such cannot be experienced.
The content (university) is just a fantasy, a fiction, a notion. Can you see this?


So what about the ‘mind’?
What is the AE of ‘mind’?
Can ‘mind’ as such experienced?
Or ‘mind’ is just inferred by thoughts? – please look very carefully.


Vivien

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Agi
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Fri May 17, 2019 7:33 pm

Dear Vivien

It seems we're having an interesting conversation. Thank you very much for helping me 'see' things. Below are my answers/observations.
So thoughts arise spontaneously when there is looking, and what happens when there is no looking? Aren’t thoughts there spontaneously even when no looking is happening?
Of course. I wasn’t being clear enough. My point was that the spontaneous arising goes on even when I’m not looking, but it is only then that trains of thought can develop, continuous chains of thought.
And what is it exactly that is doing the looking? What is looking at the thoughts? – please don’t think about it, but rather go to the direct experience and look for a looker.
This was interesting, today in my meditation I tried to find an answer to this question. It’s not easy. I think what I have found is that ‘looking’ is just another thought. There is no one looking, there is rather a thought about looking.
Language is not the best tool to describe AE, since language is dualistic, but don’t have any other tools to do that.
Thank you for mentioning this. Because recently one of my main discoveries was that the whole thinking process takes place through language. It’s a very strongly verbal process. Sometimes I attempt to leave the words behind. No thinking seems to take place when the verbal function is switched off. Very mysterious. There seems to be an essential connection between words and thinking.
We say “It’s raining” – where is this ‘it’? Water is simply falling. Or, “The wind is blowing” – can you find ‘the wind’ or is it just air moving? We also say “I’m thinking” – but is there really an ‘I’ that is doing something or are thoughts simply arising? Have a look and see.
No. It’s just thoughts coming and going.
Just as I said before, after some time the conceptual overlay (the pinkness of the tinted glass) becomes our perceived reality. We believe that the concept is reality itself. Can you see this?
All the time ☺
Where is the university exactly? Does the word ‘university’ point to something real? Or is it just a notion? So the thought ‘university’ is the AE of a thought, but NOT the AE of a ‘university’. Can you see this? There are only thoughts ABOUT ‘university’, but ‘university’ as such cannot be experienced. The content (university) is just a fantasy, a fiction, a notion. Can you see this?
Yes it is just a notion. Nothing real behind the concept.
So what about the ‘mind’? What is the AE of ‘mind’? Can ‘mind’ as such experienced?
Or ‘mind’ is just inferred by thoughts? – please look very carefully.
It’s actually the same. There is no mind as such. there are thoughts, there’s experiencing, perceiving. The rest is just another layer of thoughts.

Have a lovely weekend, and thanks again for your time and efforts,
Agi

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Sat May 18, 2019 2:10 am

Hi Agi,
Thank you very much for helping me 'see' things.
You’re very welcome :)
I think what I have found is that ‘looking’ is just another thought. There is no one looking, there is rather a thought about looking.
Great looking!
Thank you for mentioning this. Because recently one of my main discoveries was that the whole thinking process takes place through language. It’s a very strongly verbal process. Sometimes I attempt to leave the words behind. No thinking seems to take place when the verbal function is switched off. Very mysterious. There seems to be an essential connection between words and thinking.
This is mostly the case. Concepts cannot be there without language or word-thoughts so to speak.

But there are other forms of thoughts too, not just verbal (langue based):

- Mental images, like the visual image of the melon. Or if thinking of you mother, probably there is a mental image of your mother appearing.
- There could be mental sounds, like internally hearing the sound of your mother, or music internally going on
- Mental sensations: like imagining the feeling of the soft touch of the breeze
- Mental taste: imagining the taste of the melon, or coffee
- Mental smell: imagining the smell of coffee

These are all can be considered as thoughts, since all of them are just contents, they are not actually happening.
From the above list the mental images play a big role in creating the illusion of the self, so you have to also watch for those, not just verbal thoughts.

I’m going to write some statements based on our investigation so far. Please read them careful, and see if you are clear on them. If any of them are not totally clear, please let me know.

- In actual experience thoughts don’t come and go from anywhere. They just there when they are there. And when they are not there anymore, then they are just simply not there.
- The supposed ‘me’ has no power over thoughts. None.
- Thoughts just appear on their own, without anyone or anything doing it.
- There is nothing that is thinking thoughts. Thinking happens, or rather say thoughts appear but without a thinker. There is no thinker of thoughts.
- Thoughts have no power whatsoever. They cannot think or do anything.
- Thoughts have no volition. There might be thoughts about intentions, but not the thoughts themselves intending or wanting it. They just ‘talk’ about wanting or intending.
- In actual experience there is not even a mind. There might be thoughts about a ‘mind’, but ‘mind’ as such cannot be found.

Look at each statement carefully. Please not just contemplate these statements, but actually look if those statements correspond with the direct experience. Is there anything in the above text that is not totally clear?


Vivien

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Sat May 18, 2019 10:29 pm

Hello Vivien
Look at each statement carefully. Please do not just contemplate these statements, but actually look if those statements correspond with the direct experience. Is there anything in the above text that is not totally clear?
On the basis of my actual experience, I can say that I agree with all these statements. The only thing I'm not quite clear about, but perhaps this is for a later investigation, is 'thoughts have no volition'. I agree that the thought as such is only about an intention, it is not the intention itself, but then I don't see where my actual intentions come from. These are generally felt as very real.
But everything else that you mention I have found to be true on the basis of my experience while doing the exercises.

Best wishes
Agi

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Sat May 18, 2019 11:59 pm

Hi Agi,
The only thing I'm not quite clear about, but perhaps this is for a later investigation, is 'thoughts have no volition'. I agree that the thought as such is only about an intention, it is not the intention itself, but then I don't see where my actual intentions come from. These are generally felt as very real.
We will look at this soon.
but then I don't see where my actual intentions come from.
In this sentence there is an assumption that there is an ‘I’ who has intention.

I’d like to ask you to look for this ‘I’ or ‘me’ or ‘self’. Look everywhere. Now the task is to find the actual ‘I’ which is supposed to be somewhere inside the body. Look every corner of the body. The feet, chest, back, throat, face, eyes, behind the eyes, back of the head, the forehead, the top of the head, behind the ears, look everywhere. Also look for the ‘I’ in thoughts, sounds/hearing, smelling, tasting, sensations. Look for at least 30 minutes or longer.

If there is an ‘I’, a real ‘I’ than it has to be found. Search everywhere. Where is the ‘I’ located exactly?

After searching everywhere, do this little exercise:
Thought says that the foot is ‘down there’. So presumably you are above your foot. Where are you? Sit quietly, close your eyes, take a few breaths and locate where you feel yourself to be. Locate yourself vertically in the body, horizontally to the left or right, and depth, how far in. Feel how big you are, where you reside. Then point with a finger to ‘you’. Open your eyes, where is your finger pointing?

When there is a location where your finger is pointing, examine that location very thoroughly. Search and find the ‘I’, the ‘me’, who all the experiencing is happening to. Where is this center, the you?


Vivien

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Sun May 19, 2019 9:48 am

Hello Vivien
If there is an ‘I’, a real ‘I’, then it has to be found. Search everywhere. Where is the ‘I’ located exactly?
It’s not located in any particular part of the body.
Open your eyes, where is your finger pointing?
Technically, I was pointing at my neck/chest area. But I realized that this is more a gesture of pointing at a ‘conceptual’ me, not an expression of where I think the ‘me’ is located in a physical sense.
When there is a location where your finger is pointing, examine that location very thoroughly. Search and find the ‘I’, the ‘me’, who all the experiencing is happening to. Where is this centre, the you?
It wasn’t there. It was only the sensation/experience of the body part that I could find, nothing else.

The search continues :-)

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Sun May 19, 2019 11:29 pm

Hi Agi,
Technically, I was pointing at my neck/chest area. But I realized that this is more a gesture of pointing at a ‘conceptual’ me, not an expression of where I think the ‘me’ is located in a physical sense.
Nice. “..of where I think the ‘me’ is located” – what do you believe where it is?
Search that spot (where you think the ‘me’ is) thoroughly. What do you find?


Now, let’s look at the content of thoughts.

Get a sheet of paper and draw a line that divides that sheet in half. Label one half 'self' and the other side 'other'. Sit down and start a timer for 5 minutes. Every time you have a thought make a mark on the sheet. If that thought is about the self, put a mark on the self side, if it’s about something else, mark the other side. If a thought about food occurs due to feeling hungry, mark that on the self side. Any thought that refers back to a self should go on the self side. (I'm bored, I'm tired, is the door locked (my safety) that video was funny (I was amused), my back hurts, I am frightened, I wonder what is my daughter doing in school (‘my’ daughter), etc.

Let me know how you go and what you notice. Also please share with me what was written under others.
Then investigate the thoughts what was written under others. Are those thoughts are really about others?


During the day, try to observe as many thoughts as you can. Particularly try to pay attention to narrating thoughts. Thoughts that are constantly narrating and judging what’s going on from the perspective of ‘me’.
Let me know what you find.

Vivien


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