Passing through, carrying on

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Tue May 14, 2019 2:05 am

Hi Sami,
There arose feelings of safety, calm and appreciation.
That’s good. I’m glad to hear that.
Thoughts about free will (we don’t have to go there though).
Ohh, we definitely have to go there. Just a bit later. The notion of free will is strongly linked to the illusion of the self, so we will investigate it when looking at how decision is made.
Also, some frustration about not having the perception shift yet, and impatience related to that.
It doesn’t matter how long it will take. We will do the investigation as long as it’s necessary. We have plenty of time. The only way to fail is to giving up.

Let’s look at thoughts even more closely. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

What can a thought do?
Does a thought have volition?
Can it manipulate other thoughts or think new thoughts?


It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence. Or is it just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that "one thought follows another thought"?

What does generate thoughts?
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?


Look carefully here:
Can there be two thoughts at the one time? Are there two thoughts hanging in the mind waiting for you to choose which one you are going to pay attention to and which one you are not going to pay attention to?

Vivien

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Tue May 14, 2019 8:15 pm

Hi Vivien,

Sat with it for 25 minutes with slight tiredness. Tried my best just to observe what’s happening. Here are the results.
What can a thought do?
By itself, not much. E.g. there were thoughts about scratching my cheek, but they did not lead into scratching.
Does a thought have volition?
There might be simultaeneous bodily sensations related to urges/volitions (e.g. wanting to scratch the cheek), but they are not thoughts. So doesn’t seem so.
Can it manipulate other thoughts or think new thoughts?
Other/new thoughts appear by themselves. Sometimes they are related to an old thought, but not all the time. So it looks like a thought cannot manipulate another thought or think a new one, although sometimes it is interpreted like that happens.
Or is it just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that "one thought follows another thought"?
See previous answer. New thoughts apper from nowhere. Sometimes new thoughts seem to be related to previous thoughts, but not always. In some kinds of thoughts, this is more clear. E.g. if ”I” think about cooking, it seems as if previous thought leads to the following thought (”First I should fry the onions. Then I should add the sauce”). But this is also a thought. And it’s anyway hard to say where one thought ends and another one begins.
What does generate thoughts?
Hard to say. It looks like there’s first a hazy internal ”image” or ”sound” that kind of flashes in awareness, and which is then followed by language, which is then recognized more easily. Same with looking at objects or hearing a sound: first the perception, then linguistic stuff appears.
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?
I can’t find an owner. They appear in awareness, but I can’t locate anything else than sensations and thoughts. However, there’s still a ”sense” (belief?) of them being my thoughts, although I can’t find an I in DE.
Can there be two thoughts at the one time? Are there two thoughts hanging in the mind waiting for you to choose which one you are going to pay attention to and which one you are not going to pay attention to?
It seems like there’s only one thought at a time in ”highlight”. It can switch rapidly, but only one is recognized at one time.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Wed May 15, 2019 4:07 am

Hi Sami,
However, there’s still a ”sense” (belief?) of them being my thoughts, although I can’t find an I in DE.
What is making thoughts ‘yours’?
Please don’t give an intellectual reasoning about the above question, but go to the direct experience and observe what is making thoughts yours.
It looks like there’s first a hazy internal ”image” or ”sound” that kind of flashes in awareness, and which is then followed by language, which is then recognized more easily. Same with looking at objects or hearing a sound: first the perception, then linguistic stuff appears.
But can anything be found what is generating thoughts?

The ‘internal image’, what I call the mental image is also just a thought.
The internal sound, is just a mental sound, which is also a some sort of thought.
Everything that is ‘internal’ is mental. So they can be considered as thoughts.

So what is producing all this ‘internal’ stuff?
Is there anything making them happen?


Here is a little exercise.
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?


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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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Wed May 15, 2019 7:00 pm

Hi Vivien,
What is making thoughts ‘yours’?
In DE, nothing. There are subtle sensations between the eyes, temples of the head, forehead when I think about ”something I wanted to think/my thoughts”, but they are just that - sensations. Other than that, ”my thoughts” are no different from thoughts that ”pop up from nowhere”. They are all thoughts.
But can anything be found what is generating thoughts?
So what is producing all this ‘internal’ stuff?
Is there anything making them happen?
No. They just seem to appear. I can’t find anything in DE that would generate them. I become aware of them, but can’t see how ”how they got there”.
What happened to the melon?
How about the sensation that was so believable?
The sensations related to the melon vanished as soon as the eyes were opened.
Was there ever a melon in ‘reality’?
No.
Was there an appearing mental image?
Yes, there was a faint image.
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 are they about (like the watermelon) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies.
Can you see this clearly?

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?
I’ll answer these together, because only reading the latter text with a tangible example helped me to see this clearly. (”A thought about a chair is not a chair.”)
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.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

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

Hi Sami,
They just seem to appear. I can’t find anything in DE that would generate them. I become aware of them [thoughts], but can’t see how ”how they got there”.
“I become aware of them [thoughts]” – what does the word ‘I’ point to in this sentence?

What is it exactly that become aware of thoughts?
Where is this ‘thing’ exactly?
I’ll answer these together, because only reading the latter text with a tangible example helped me to see this clearly. (”A thought about a chair is not a chair.”)
Great! Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Usually, thoughts point to something 'real'. But does all thoughts point to something that really exist?

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 ‘I’?


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. Is there anything in the above text that is not totally clear?


Vivien

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Thu May 16, 2019 6:47 pm

Hi Vivien,
“I become aware of them [thoughts]” – what does the word ‘I’ point to in this sentence?
It pointed to a thought (that this particular brain experienced the thought).
What is it exactly that become aware of thoughts?
Nothing in particular. There are just thoughts. There is a thought: thoughts are known. There is another, doubting thought: is the thought that ”thoughts are known” just a thought? At the moment, a thought about a lot of rapidly alternating thoughts.
Where is this ‘thing’ exactly?
Nowhere, as no ”thing” that is ”aware of thoughts” is found in DE. Only thoughts, colors, sounds, tastes, smells, body sensations in DE.
Where is the university exactly?
Nowhere in particular.
Does the word ‘university’ point to something real?
No. Thought: it is not even a collection of the parts, because the parts might change and it doesn’t change the ”university”.
Or is it just a notion?
Yes.
And what about the ‘I’?
I is a notion about a thing that experiences thoughts, colors, sounds, tastes, smells, body sensations.


Statements:
The supposed ‘me’ has no power over thoughts. None.
There was resistance. But then there was ”trying to stop the thoughts”, ”trying to manipulate the thoughts”, and no trier was found. Neither did the thoughts stop. Nor was there manipulation, only other thoughts.
In actual experience there is not even a mind. There might be thoughts about a ‘mind’, but ‘mind’ as such cannot be found.
There was resistance. But in DE, nothing else than thoughts, colors, sounds, smells, tastes, body sensations can be found. No such thing as ”mind”.

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Thu May 16, 2019 6:59 pm

Sorry about double-post, ”I” couldn’t find the edit button with the tablet.

Exploration of the resistance to ”me” not having power over thoughts. Resistance felt as some body sensations in upper body, and thoughts:
”There is an I that can affect things, that can choose, that has volition, that has free will”.
”This I will now raise its right hand out of the blue in order to prove that it exists, because raising the right hand out of the blue is incoherent with other current actions and is thus random enough to warrant the existence of free will. Now it will stick its tongue out again to prove that free will exists, because this behavior is so irrational.”

There are sensations that are labeled as amusement and freedom. Thoughts about absurdity. Sensations deep in the chest, thoughts about ranting, thoughts about words pouring. Sensations of typing. Thoughts about letting thoughts come to the paper or screen. Wave-like sensations that are labeled as freeing. Doubting thoughts questioning whether this is an ego-trick. Sensations of heaviness.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Fri May 17, 2019 1:01 am

Hi Sami,
Great looking!
No. Thought: it is not even a collection of the parts, because the parts might change and it doesn’t change the ”university”.
Yes, exactly!
There are sensations that are labeled as amusement and freedom. Thoughts about absurdity. Sensations deep in the chest, thoughts about ranting, thoughts about words pouring. Sensations of typing. Thoughts about letting thoughts come to the paper or screen. Wave-like sensations that are labeled as freeing. Doubting thoughts questioning whether this is an ego-trick. Sensations of heaviness.
Beautiful description of what is happening.
Exploration of the resistance to ”me” not having power over thoughts. Resistance felt as some body sensations in upper body, and thoughts:
”There is an I that can affect things, that can choose, that has volition, that has free will”.
”This I will now raise its right hand out of the blue in order to prove that it exists, because raising the right hand out of the blue is incoherent with other current actions and is thus random enough to warrant the existence of free will. Now it will stick its tongue out again to prove that free will exists, because this behavior is so irrational.”
All right. Let’s start to investigate if these statements can stand the scrutiny of the immediate experience. Let's raise the hands and see what happens :)

1. Place both hands on a table in front of you, palms down.
2. When you have done that, rest for a moment and then raise one hand in the air but not the other.

Don't go to thoughts, examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
How is the decision made?
Can a decision maker be found?


Vivien

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Fri May 17, 2019 4:41 pm

Hi Vivien,
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is doing the choosing?
Can’t find a chooser in DE...
What is it that is controlling the hand?
Can’t find anything in DE that does the controlling. There are thoughts about lifting the hand. Then the hand lifts. Nothing else.
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
No.
Can anything be found that makes the hand move?
No. It might seem like thoughts move the hand. But sometimes there can be thought and effort that ”The hand is lifted. I’m lifting my hand” and hand might not move at all.
How is the decision made?
This is hard.

Sometimes there’s no clear thought about which hand to raise. In those cases, the thought ”hand is lifted” seems to come a bit after the hand moves.

In others, it is clear which will be lifted (”Right hand will be lifted.”). But the thought about lifting right hand pops up from nowhere.

Sometimes there is counting (”Right hand will be lifted 3-2-1... now!”) and the hand is lifted. But there again, the thought of counting and the hand pops up from nowhere. Here, the time difference between start of movement and ”the deciding thought” is so small that it’s hard to say which happens first.
Can a decision maker be found?
No. Just thoughts and muscle movements.

There are some kinds of inner sensations that seem to be related to the decisions. But that is a thought about the sensations. And even if they were related to movements, they would be sensations - nothing special.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Sat May 18, 2019 1:55 am

Hi Sami,
Can’t find a chooser in DE...
And can there be a chooser found ‘outside of DE’?
Sometimes there’s no clear thought about which hand to raise. In those cases, the thought ”hand is lifted” seems to come a bit after the hand moves.
Nice looking!
There are some kinds of inner sensations that seem to be related to the decisions. But that is a thought about the sensations. And even if they were related to movements, they would be sensations - nothing special.
Exactly.

Let’s examine decision making a bit more closely.
Please put some chocolate (or something you think you shouldn’t eat or drink) in front of you. Look at it. Inspect it closely. Smell its delicious fragrance. And pay attention to emerging desire to eat it.

When the desire is there, pay close attention to the thought process.
See how thoughts list pros and cons why you should or shouldn’t eat the chocolate.
These opposing thoughts might even try to argue or convince each other what to decide.

What is it that is considering these options?
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? - look very carefully


Now, make a decision, but whatever you decide, don’t eat the chocolate (yet). Rather just pay very close attention when the decision is made. Particularly pay attention to thoughts, as the decision is made.

Let’s say a thought appear: “I decided to not eat the chocolate”

So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
How exactly the decision is made?


Now, do according to the decision. (Either eat or don’t eat the chocolate.)
What is it that performed the chosen action?

Vivien

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Sat May 18, 2019 12:51 pm

Hi Vivien,
And can there be a chooser found ‘outside of DE’?
No, since all experiencing happens in DE.
What is it that is considering these options?
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? - look very carefully
Thoughts about eating the donut, saying that it’s ok because ”I” went to the gym, saying it’s ok because it’s Saturday. Thoughts about not eating the donut, about expecting a sugar crash after, about getting fat. Thoughts saying it’s ok, rare occasion. Thoughts about always thinking that way. Thoughts about behavior being driven by conditioning. Thoughts about competing thoughts.

Someone pondering these questions cannot be found, only competing and analyzing thoughts that pop up rapidly. Clear body sensations.
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
Actually, there was a decision made already in the morning when I first read the message. It was an affirmative decision to eat a donut. The thought that was labeled as the decision appeared after reading the message.

As this reply is typed, clearest changes happen at the level of sensations. Anxious sensations co-exist with the thoughts of not eating the donut.
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
How exactly the decision is made?
No ”thing” made the decision. There were colors (your message), then thoughts whose content was about the task, and various body sensations, at least some of which were labeled as excitement.
What is it that performed the chosen action?
Movements happen but quite automatically. No thoughts of ”let’s first lift the donut, then bring it close to mouth, then open mouth, then bite, then chew, then swallow, ...”.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Sat May 18, 2019 11:47 pm

Hi Sami,
Nice looking again. Just because at the beginning control seemed to be ‘sticky’, therefore here are some more exercises, just to be make totally clear that that there is no decider or chooser.

Lie down onto a bed. Observer very carefully how the decision arises to get up.
Can a self be found making the body leave the bed?
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up comes from?
What makes the body get up?
Is there a ‘you’ that commands the body?
When lying there, shout 'GET UP' internally as loudly as you can. Does that affect the outcome?


Repeat this with sitting in a chair. Describe in detail the decision of standing up.
How does the decision happen exactly?
Does a self come in and take over, weighing pros and cons, looking at possible consequences?
Or does standing up just happen, or not, without any doer?
What makes the body to stand up?


Now let’s investigate intention.
Sit in a chair and observe how the intention of standing up happens.
How is it known that there is an intention to stand up?
While sitting there, say internally several times ‘I intend to get up’. What happens?
What is it that made the intention to get up?


Now, zoom onto the intention (of getting up) very closely. Look at the intention itself directly.
Stare at the intention itself. Not the thoughts of “I intend to get up”, but THE intention itself.
Can you locate THE intention itself?
How the intention is actually experienced?


Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.


Vivien

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Sun May 19, 2019 8:28 pm

Hi Vivien,
Can a self be found making the body leave the bed?

No. There are colors, sounds, smells, tastes, body sensations, thoughts. Nothing else.
Where does the "decision", the "command" to get up comes from?
What makes the body get up?

There are sensations labeled as frustration, because no discernible order of events is seen. Frequent sensations and thoughts related to getting up. Then, as getting up happens, muscle movements - but nothing else. Thoughts or sensations do not cause it to happen.
Is there a ‘you’ that commands the body?
Frequent thoughts that ”I am deciding not to get up even though there are thoughts of getting up”. Labeling of these thoughts as thoughts, related sensations as sensations. No else - no separate I outside the thoughts.
When lying there, shout 'GET UP' internally as loudly as you can. Does that affect the outcome?

No.


Sitting:
How does the decision happen exactly?

Again, the same. Thoughts, sensations long before actual action. Then muscle movement, but again no clear sequence - standing up just happens.
Does a self come in and take over, weighing pros and cons, looking at possible consequences?

There are thoughts ”now? Or now? Let’s wait a little longer. Now?” But nothing apart from thoughts.

Thought: there’s an expectation of seeing a thought or clear sensation just before movement happens.

Thoughts about trying to intellectualise the sequence of events, how thoughts affect other thoughts, emotions and movements. Then seeing that thoughts by themselves don’t cause other things to happen.
Or does standing up just happen, or not, without any doer?

That is how it seems.
What makes the body to stand up?

Nothing that ”makes it stand up” can be found. The action just happens.


Sitting, intention:
Can you locate THE intention itself?
How the intention is actually experienced?

No, no single ”intention” can be located. All that can be noticed are thoughts related to standing up, heightened sensations in legs co-occuring with the thoughts about getting up, but nothing outside these.
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.

When looking, yes. When looking, nothing else than colors, sounds, thoughts, body sensations, tastes, smells are there. Movements seem to pop up from nowhere, although there might be thoughts or sensations about a movement before it actually happens.

When not looking, belief of chooser still automatically ”in the background”.

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Vivien
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Vivien » Mon May 20, 2019 12:37 am

Hi Sami,
When looking, yes. When looking, nothing else than colors, sounds, thoughts, body sensations, tastes, smells are there. Movements seem to pop up from nowhere, although there might be thoughts or sensations about a movement before it actually happens.
When not looking, belief of chooser still automatically ”in the background”.
The aim of these exercises in NOT the stop the appearance of a seeming chooser, but rather to see that chooser as such cannot be found. But it doesn’t mean that the chooser won’t appear ever again, it's the result of a lifetime of conditioning. But when it’s investigated it can be seen clearly that there is no such thing as chooser, choice and free will.

Let’s do another round of deep looking for a chooser, choice and free will. During the day, when the seeming chooser or choice arise, look if there is really a chooser. So as soon as there is a seeming chooser, look for it and try to find it.

Look very-very closely during the day, when decision seemingly happens (almost every minute). Then you’ll have plenty of opportunity to observe what is really going on.

Pay very close attention to thoughts. Decision seemingly happens in thoughts. Look very carefully how thoughts about a chooser, or choice or decision appear.

For example, when you sit in front of your computer, how is the decision made when to move the hands to type?
How is the decision is made which finger to move when typing?
How is the decision exactly made what to type?


When finished, just sit there. And see if there is a decision to sit there a bit longer, or to stand up to do something else.
How is the decision made to stay sit or to stand up?
What is making the decision to stand up?


When eating, observe very carefully. How is it chosen which piece of food to put onto the fork and eat next?
How is it decided EXACTLY to choose the pea, the rice, the carrot (or whatever is on the plate) to be the next?
What is the ‘thing’ that is making the decision about the next piece of food?

When driving, observer very carefully how is the decision exactly made to turn left or right?
When braking, how is the decision made to press the brake pedal?

When dressing up, how is the decision is made what clothes to choose?
Observe the movements of dressing up. How is the decision is made when to lift the arms or legs, and which clothes to put on first?
What is making the decision? - Find the location


When showering and towelling, how is the decision made where to move the hands, and in which sequence towel the body?

When shopping in a supermarket, observe the thought processes how the decision is made which line to go in?

Let me know what you find.

Is there any situation when the chooser seems to be more stickier and you’d like to investigate it?
If yes, please write examples from your life
when the chooser seems to be more real, so we can look at it more closely.

Vivien

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Thirteen
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Re: Passing through, carrying on

Postby Thirteen » Mon May 20, 2019 8:44 pm

Hi Vivien,

I have started looking during daily activities, but didn’t have time to answer everything yet. Answering will be continued tomorrow.
For example, when you sit in front of your computer, how is the decision made when to move the hands to type?
How is the decision is made which finger to move when typing?
How is the decision exactly made what to type?
”Decision”, if anything, is a thought about the result of someone ”deciding” - not else.

There are other thoughts whose content is more-or-less whatever is wished to be typed. After a short while, fingers move and type the sentences. There are thoughts that ”thoughts cause the typing”, but that is not supported by DE, because there can be thoughts without the typing.


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