Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:31 pm

Hi Vivien,
This and the previous statement is very similar than what can be found in Culadasa’s book. His explanation is valid conventionally speaking, however, this intellectual interpretation has to be put aside, you have to see for yourself what is really happening. All right?
I will try to respond from actual experience versus intellectual understanding.
What is it EXACTLY that gives attention to thoughts?
Where is this ‘thing’ exactly that gives attention to thoughts?
The thoughts just pop into awareness, they just are there. “Attentioning” is just happening, if anything it’s another thought “I’m giving this attention”, but a thought is just a sensation in a way and cannot “give” attention. There is no “thing” I can find that gives attention.
What is it EXACTLY that is trying not to think negative thoughts?
Where is the one that is trying not to think negative thoughts?
There is nothing I can find that is thinking negative thoughts, it’s just an idea in my head, another thought.
What is the AE of ‘brain’s processes’?
What is the AE of ‘brain’?
I can’t detect the AE of the brain or it’s processes, only what I think are it’s output, such as thought. But that is just an idea, seems to be no way to experience brain processes directly.
It seems as though thoughts are just happening, without “my” direct control, they are being thought.
What is it that could have direct control?
In actual experience I can’t find anything that has direct control over thoughts. Thinking is happening on it’s own, just like breathing and a heartbeat.
What can a thought do?
Does a thought have volition?
Can it manipulate other thoughts or think new thoughts?
A thought is just a thought, it doesn’t do anything on it’s own. It doesn’t have volition, it’s static, it can’t make any decisions or control anything. It can’t manipulate or think. When I try to make a thought do so it’s impossible, the thought just sits in my awareness.
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"?
It seems as though my thoughts have a theme to them during a given time period. But they are not necessarily sequential and can be scattered. Thoughts with different themes will pop in, then other thoughts come in related to the old topic. There is no specific pattern I detect that would confirm a sequence. An analysis thought jumps in and labels it a sequence. It’s seems so random when I look.

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:43 am

Hi Jeff,
There is nothing I can find that is thinking negative thoughts, it’s just an idea in my head, another thought.
How is it known exactly that ideas/thoughts are in the head or coming from the head?
What is the AE of thoughts/ideas being IN or coming FROM the head?
I can’t detect the AE of the brain or it’s processes, only what I think are it’s output, such as thought. But that is just an idea, seems to be no way to experience brain processes directly.
You are mixing AE with conventional ‘reality’, with the assumption that the conventional reality is somewhat more real than AE itself.

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.

So for going back to your comment:
What does a baby know about brain or brain processes before learning language and conceptualization? For the baby there are only sound, image/color, taste, smell and sensation. For the baby there is no such thing as ‘brain’ or ‘thoughts are result of brain processes’, those are all learned concepts. So what is there for the baby, before any conceptualization, that is what is really going on.

But see it for yourself. Wait for a thought to arise and see if a ‘brain’ or ‘brain processes’ appear with the thought.
What would be true for a baby experience without concepts?
It seems as though my thoughts have a theme to them
All right. Now look for the ‘thing’, the I/self that is having thoughts.

MY thoughts. – What is it exactly that has thoughts? What owns them? – look for the ‘I’ that is having thoughts. Where is this I exactly? – search through the body from head to toe, pay particular attention to the head. Search it in the eyes, behind the eyes, the forehead, the back of the head, the middle and top of the head, the throat. Look everywhere. Where is the I exactly?

Vivien

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:39 am

Hi Vivien,

Thank you for your patience during this process. I found the newborn baby example very helpful.

Here are the results of my investigations today.
How is it known exactly that ideas/thoughts are in the head or coming from the head?
What is the AE of thoughts/ideas being IN or coming FROM the head?
When I really try to pinpoint the location of a thought I can’t find it in my head or any specific physical location. In actual experience the idea of thoughts being in my head is just an illusion. I noticed when walking I focused on my footsteps, when I did that thoughts about the steps felt like they were in my feet. It seems like thoughts can be anywhere or nowhere? I find it hard to put into words, thoughts are just there in experience, no specific location. Wherever I focus they are there.
Wait for a thought to arise and see if a ‘brain’ or ‘brain processes’ appear with the thought.
What would be true for a baby experience without concepts?
No brain here lol, can’t find it. I can’t seem to experience the brain. When a thought comes it’s just a thought, can’t pinpoint the brain or any processes. A baby would have no separation of senses, it would just experience the raw sensations. Smells, sounds, etc. would all be the same, just another sensation passing by. The baby would have zero awareness of a brain.
MY thoughts. – What is it exactly that has thoughts? What owns them? – look for the ‘I’ that is having thoughts. Where is this I exactly? – search through the body from head to toe, pay particular attention to the head. Search it in the eyes, behind the eyes, the forehead, the back of the head, the middle and top of the head, the throat. Look everywhere. Where is the I exactly?
In AE the thoughts are coming and going. I can’t find an I anywhere specific I look. All the sensations and thoughts are simply happening. I can’t shake the feeling of the I, but I can’t find it. It feels like “I” is awareness/life/experience itself? Sometimes feels like everything is I when I look, but how could that be?

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:35 am

Hi Jeff,
When I really try to pinpoint the location of a thought I can’t find it in my head or any specific physical location. In actual experience the idea of thoughts being in my head is just an illusion.
Thoughts have no location. All location is just imagined.
I can’t shake the feeling of the I, but I can’t find it. It feels like “I” is awareness/life/experience itself? Sometimes feels like everything is I when I look, but how could that be?
When a sentence starts with ‘it feels like’ or ‘it seems like’ then it’s a sure sign that what will follow is just an assumption, just the content of a thought and not the AE.

We will investigate the notion of awareness later.

Let’s start to investigate the difference between the appearance of a thought, and what thought is about.
If you were in a desert, dying of thirst, could you quench your thirst just by thinking about water (thoughts), or would you need to drink ‘real’ water?

Let’s say I’m with you in the desert and offer you two options:
(1) In my left hand there is a piece of paper with the word ‘water’ written on it, and
(2) in my right hand there is a bottle of water.

Which one would you choose to quench your thirst, the label or the water?
So, can the label ‘water’, which is actual/direct experience (AE) of thought only, quench your thirst?

Labels are ‘real’ as appearing thoughts (as ‘containers’) but their ‘contents’, what the labels/thoughts are ABOUT are not ‘real’, not happening. Is this totally clear?


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 phenomenon taking place), 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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:26 pm

20190613

Hi Vivien,
Which one would you choose to quench your thirst, the label or the water?
So, can the label ‘water’, which is actual/direct experience (AE) of thought only, quench your thirst?
I would take the water, a label cannot quench thirst or ‘do’ anything.
Labels are ‘real’ as appearing thoughts (as ‘containers’) but their ‘contents’, what the labels/thoughts are ABOUT are not ‘real’, not happening. Is this totally clear?
Yes, I understand what you are saying. The thought itself is a real phenomenon, but the content of those thoughts are not real, just stories.
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 I see the difference, though in AE it is hard for me to not get caught up in the contents, but this helps make the distinction clearer.
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?
I see this, all emotional feelings have corresponding physical sensations. The label happens after the fact. The initial thought of the label is a real thought, but the depth or story the label carries is not real. The label carries more weight than the sensations themselves a lot of the time in my experience.

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:39 am

Hi Jeff,
The initial thought of the label is a real thought, but the depth or story the label carries is not real. The label carries more weight than the sensations themselves a lot of the time in my experience.
Yes, nice looking.

So let’s say there is a sensation present. The sensation itself.
Then a thought label it as ‘sensation’.
Now, the thought label ‘sensation’ is real as an arising thought (as a ‘container), it’s there but the ‘content’ (sensation) is not there. The content of the label cannot be felt. It only POINTS TO the actual sensation itself.

So although certain thoughts POINT TO AE, still the content of those labels are still not ‘real’, not happening, since the content of the label ‘sensation’ cannot be felt/experienced. This label can be experienced only as a thought.
Can you see the difference?

Here are 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?

Here is an exercise.
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, write down the thought itself (not just a mark). 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 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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:40 pm

Hi Vivien,

I need to spend a bit more time with this. I will post my reply tomorrow.

Thanks
Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:58 pm

Hi Jeff,

All right. Thank you for letting me know.

Have a nice day,
Vivien

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:55 pm

Hi Vivien,
So although certain thoughts POINT TO AE, still the content of those labels are still not ‘real’, not happening, since the content of the label ‘sensation’ cannot be felt/experienced. This label can be experienced only as a thought.
Can you see the difference?
Yes, I understand, this is clear to me.
Look at each statement carefully. Is there anything in the above text that is not totally clear?
I am good with those statements, they are clear.
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 really about others?
The did the exercise you suggested for 5 minutes. I tracked 15 thoughts about self and noted 4 about other, at least initially. In hindsight most of them are self it turns out. They are:

“What time is the baseball game on tv today?” (This is my entertainment, so self)
“Did everyone sign the father’s day card for grandpa?” (Relates to ‘my’ family, dad)
“How much time is left in this exercise?” (My boredom, restlessness)
“What’s that noise?” (‘I’ hear)

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.
While walking alone narrating thoughts are very active. They are going over the events of the day so far, critiquing what was done, advising what I should have done better. They review what is coming up for the rest of the day, focusing on the aspects of the day that are negative, not looking forward to. In the moment, thoughts are related to noticing colors of objects, cars for example. Or wildlife, like geese in the park. Sometimes, these objects are just ‘there’ but often they are labelled as ‘car’ or ‘goose’, or ‘blue’ or ‘yellow’.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:32 am

Hi Jeff,
I tracked 15 thoughts about self and noted 4 about other, at least initially. In hindsight most of them are self it turns out.
Yes. Almost every thought, if not all, is about the self. Sometimes it might not be as obvious, but when looked at it a bit more closely, it turns out that this ‘narrating mind’ is always about me (some way or another).

Actually, these narrating thoughts create the illusion of the self.
These thoughts describes ‘what I am’.
They describe my past, present and future.
They produce a story of my life.
They describe how I feel, and what I have to do.
They describe what things in the world and others mean to me and can give to me.
These thoughts define who I am and what is my relationship to the world.

Please read carefully the above sentences. Look if they are really true. Let me know what you find.

Here is an interesting exercise.
Go and make a cup of tea or coffee. As you do this notice whether a 'self' does it. Also notice if there are many or any moments in the whole procedure of going to the kettle, switching it on, getting the cup (etc) when 'you' control the process?

How the decision is made what to make a cup of tea or coffee?
Do ‘you’ choose putting or not putting milk into the tea (or coffee)?
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
Do ‘you’ 'make the cup of tea (or coffee) happen' or it just happens?
Can a chooser be located?


Vivien

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:17 am

Hi Vivien,
Please read carefully the above sentences. Look if they are really true. Let me know what you find.
Each thought that happens in the moment, when added together creates the story of my life. I agree with the above statements, they make sense in how the self illusion is created and sustained. It is interesting how it is just made up of unpredictable singular thoughts moment to moment. The stories are thoughts and the self is a thought.

How the decision is made what to make a cup of tea or coffee?
Do ‘you’ choose putting or not putting milk into the tea (or coffee)?
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
Do ‘you’ 'make the cup of tea (or coffee) happen' or it just happens?
Can a chooser be located?
I find that the process of making my tea is automatic. Even when it feels like I am making a decision, the I thoughts/labeling actions are happening after I do each step. It is like the self is taking ownership for the actions after they occur. I tried the pause certain actions and decide when to resume. I did this when removing the teabag from the cup. I waited and waited, then all of a sudden the teabag was removed and in the garbage, I didn’t get a chance to control the decision. I could not locate a chooser during the process.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:28 am

Hi Jeff,

You did a nice looking.
Even when it feels like I am making a decision, the I thoughts/labeling actions are happening after I do each step.
“Even when it feels like I am making a decision” – how is this FELT exactly?
How is it FELT exactly that there is an ‘I’ making a decision?
I waited and waited, then all of a sudden the teabag was removed and in the garbage, I didn’t get a chance to control the decision.
What is it exactly that didn’t get a chance to control the decision?

Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.
Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.
Watch very carefully.

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

How is the movement controlled?
Does a thought control it?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?

How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.

Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?

When the head of a sunflower turns to the sun, what is moving the flower?
Is there a ‘mover’ somewhere inside the flower to turn its head?

When the hand is turning up and down, is there a ‘mover’ hidden somewhere inside the hand or the body performing the movement?


Vivien

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:03 pm

Hi Vivien,
“Even when it feels like I am making a decision” – how is this FELT exactly?
How is it FELT exactly that there is an ‘I’ making a decision?
The feeling is based on an intention that is set to decide, which is a thought. ‘I will make this decision.’ Then the action happens and another thought appears that says ‘I did that’. The initial intention thought does not control anything. It is a coincidence and not a direct result of the initial thought that the action happened.
How is the movement controlled?
Subtle intricate movements in the hand and arm are just happening. So advanced and detailed, ‘I’ couldn’t control that.
Does a thought control it?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
A thought cannot control it. I cannot find a controller, it’s amazing how detailed a simple hand movement can be. They are interconnected processes that are just happening and the hand moves.
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
I notice thoughts that appear that set an intention to move the hand, but those thoughts don’t control the movement. Sometimes the movement happens after a thought to do so, sometimes not.
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
The right hand was automatically chosen, I did not notice a thought, it just happened. I can’t find a separate chooser who decides when to turn the hand, just associated thoughts that don’t have a direct impact on the movement.

When the head of a sunflower turns to the sun, what is moving the flower?
Is there a ‘mover’ somewhere inside the flower to turn its head?
No, the flower just instinctively turns towards the sun. There is no mover inside the flower, just a series of processes that happen. The flower needs sunlight to survive, it has adapted. By ‘it’ I mean a bunch of related processes referred to as the sunflower.
When the hand is turning up and down, is there a ‘mover’ hidden somewhere inside the hand or the body performing the movement?
No, there is no mover that I can find controlling the hand’s movement. I can’t describe what’s going on exactly, seems more complicated than just a singular mover or controller. A myriad of interconnected processes at play.

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:48 am

Hi Jeff,
The feeling is based on an intention that is set to decide, which is a thought.
Are you saying that intention is a feeling/sensation?
How so?
A thought cannot control it. I cannot find a controller, it’s amazing how detailed a simple hand movement can be. They are interconnected processes that are just happening and the hand moves.
How is it known exactly that movements are ‘interconnected processes’?
What is the AE of ‘interconnected processes’?
I notice thoughts that appear that set an intention to move the hand, but those thoughts don’t control the movement.
Do thoughts REALLY set intentions? Or they are just ‘talking’ about intention?
Is there a thought about intending something + THE intention itself? Are there 2 things?
Where is THE intention itself?
A myriad of interconnected processes at play.
This is a thought conclusion, the content of a thought.

What is the AE of ‘myriad of interconnected processes at play’?
Where are these processes exactly?
How do these process look like?
How are they recognised?


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?


Vivien

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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:30 am

Hi Vivien,
Are you saying that intention is a feeling/sensation?
How so?
I don’t experience the intention as a feeling or sensation. I meant to convey that I associated making a decision with setting an intention.
How is it known exactly that movements are ‘interconnected processes’?
What is the AE of ‘interconnected processes’?
I have no way of confirming through AE that they are interconnected processes. I cannot find an experience of such processes. I was overthinking, lost in thought and not looking.
Do thoughts REALLY set intentions? Or they are just ‘talking’ about intention?
Is there a thought about intending something + THE intention itself? Are there 2 things?
Where is THE intention itself?
When I look, the thoughts are just about intentions. I cannot find an intention ‘set’ anywhere. There is just one thing, the thought about an intention.
What is the AE of ‘myriad of interconnected processes at play’?
Where are these processes exactly?
How do these process look like?
How are they recognised?
I can’t find these underlying processes anywhere, I don’t know what they look like. All I can see/experience are the moment-to-moment movements of the hand. The interconnected process statement is from learning/concepts but not something I can confirm through AE.

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?
I cannot find a self that makes the body leave the bed. I can’t find any decision or command instructing the body to get up. When I shout ‘Get Up’ internally the body remained laying there. I do notice many thoughts about getting up, but none of them control it, make it happen.
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?
I can’t explain how the decision happens, I can’t actually find it. There are thoughts about deciding to get up, but they don’t control the action of getting up. I could not find a self, the standing up just happened, I can’t explain what makes it happen.
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?
I noticed thoughts about intending to stand up. As I repeated ‘I intend to get up’ I noticed they were just words in my head, the more I said it the emptier the phrase became. I could not find anything 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?
I could not find the intention anywhere. It does not get stored somewhere for me to reference. It is just an empty thought, it is only experienced as the thought, so not experienced directly. I actually noticed I was still looking for the intention and I had already stood up.

Thanks
-Jeff


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