What is the AE of a ‘vessel having thoughts’?
At first glance it appears that the vessel that is having these thoughts
How a ‘vessel having thoughts’ is actually experienced?
What is the AE of a ‘vessel’?
How is the brain actually experienced?
these thoughts is something in my vicinity (like my body or my brain)
What is it exactly that is accepting that ‘thoughts about doubts arising’?
Which in light of our earlier discussion about thoughts of their own accord just arising out of nowhere leads me to accept that that is just what happens to be arising ( thoughts labelled as doubts?)
Where is this ‘me’ exactly? – find it
There is an expectation that the experience that I am currently having of not being able to find a thinker of thought will metamorphise into this profound moment of 'Oh my gosh, there really is no one here.' In other words that I will go from sort of getting this fact to REALLY getting this fact.
Seeing through the self is not accompanied with fireworks :) for some it happens gradually in small steps without even knowing when it happened exactly.
So looking at a tree and thinking tree is real in AE, but a thought about a tree is not a tree, so we mistake thoughts for real things.
Looking at a tree is an AE of seeing/color, but NOT the AE of a tree.
Having a thought ‘tree’ is NOT the AE of ‘tree’, but the AE of a thought (as a phenomenon) only.
The thought/word label ‘tree’ is NOT the AE of a ‘tree’, but the AE of a thought only.
Having a mental image labelled ‘tree’ is NOT the AE of a ‘tree’, but the AE of a mental image only.
Read the above lines one-by-one. Let me know if all of them are clear.
Yes, because the mental image labelled ‘my wife’ is NOT the AE of ‘my wife’, but the AE of a mental image only. Is this clear?
Or I think about my wife and the picture of her arises, so the thought and the picture are there in AE, but I mistake the label 'My wife' for something real and tangible.
Maybe what would help Vivien is if I understood from you what the application of this particular looking is?
The distinction between AE of what thoughts ‘say’ about AE is very important. Taking the content of a thought as real, is one of the primary holding pillar of the illusion of the self.
If I cast my eyes upwards as I write this I see a ceiling lamp . In AE there is the thought ceiling lamp, there is the colour and shape (sight). So what...?
The thought ‘ceiling lamp’ is NOT the AE of ‘ceiling lap’, but the AE of the presence thought (as a phenomenon) only.
The imagined mental image labelled ‘ceiling lamp’ is NOT the AE of a ‘ceiling lamp’, but the AE of the presence of a mental image (as a phenomenon only).
Is this clear?
When I think of my brain or my body I notice that I think of my brain or my body being as real things, but I think I see that although these thoughts are really arising in AE, the body and brain that these thoughts point to are not real and are not experienced in AE.
Yes, there is NO AE of ‘brain’ or ‘my body’. These are just mental constructs.
But presumably the body and the brain are real??
Yes and no. Conventionally speaking brain and body exist. 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.
Conventionally speaking the brain or body are useful concepts, 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.
If you wonder how the body could be just a concept, then don’t worry, we will get there. We will investigate the body later.
Are you saying we mistake thoughts for reality when they are simply labels.
Yes, just mental constructs.
And if so, I'm not sure what the significance of this is?
The significance is huge
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 problem 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.
Does this explanation help?