Discovering Truth

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dan8
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:55 pm

Discovering Truth

Postby dan8 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:57 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I live my everyday life with the notion that I'm a separate self but when I investigated closer I couldn't find anything there. So I take the unreality of inherent self as the intellectual truth which I would like to fully realize experientially.

What are you looking for at LU?
I'm looking for full realization without any doubt that what I am is not separate from life. I'm hoping this will lead to dropping of much of artificially created suffering and that it will enable me to function in a more effective and compassionate way towards others so as to alleviate their suffering too.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I expect that I will confront many of untested beliefs that are at the core of my every experience. I don't expect it to be easy but as long as it lessens the sense of separate self I will consider it a success. I hope that in the end it will help me appreciate more what IS instead of looking for ways to "improve" anything.
I plan to be as honest as possible but there can be ways in which I may be creating illusions for myself. I hope that the guide will help me point out these illusions so that I can see through them.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I've practiced tibetan buddhist meditations for about half a year about five years back. Then there was a long break and about a year ago I started meditating daily, slowly increasing the time to 1-2 hours at the moment. I've done mostly annapanasati practice based on the book The Mind Illuminated.
This year I also took part in the Finders Course which introduces many different spiritual practices to see what works for everyone. I had most success with the paired self-inquiry method which led me to an experience which by description seemed like satori or kensho. I've fallen into this experience a couple more times but slowly it faded away. For one it gave me certainty that truth is attainable and second it led me to believe that the guiding that LU is offering can be a very effective path to it

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
11

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Vivien
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:38 am

Hi,

My name is Vivien, and I am happy to assist in exploring 'no-self' and other related topics.

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.

This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we begin, here are links to information I would like you to read please.
Disclaimer:-
http://liberationunleashed.com/disclaimer-2/

Terms & Conditions:
https://www.liberationunleashed.com/register/terms/

“Liberation Unleashed is not …” in the FAQ’s of LU.
http://liberationunleashed.com/about/faq/#faq-1041

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, please let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. This exploration is based on Actual (or Direct) Experience (AE or DE) - smell, taste, sound, sensation, color and thoughts - only. Long-winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. This is not a self-improvement process. There is no ‘self’ to improve.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the 'Post Reply" button at the left bottom of this page.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

Technology is not perfect and sometimes there is a glitch which can wipe out your responses. It is advisable that you copy and paste questions asked into Word, answer them there and then copy and paste them to your thread. Always save a copy of what you have done, it will save time in the long run.


If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

To begin with, so that we both become aware of what your expectations are about this exploration (for example, what life will look and feel like and what you want/hope will change or not change). Could you please answer the following questions:

How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?
What is missing?


Throughout this exploration I would like you to answer ALL questions that I have written in blue text. Please answer questions INDIVIDUALLY, remembering to use the Quote function to highlight the question being answered.

Vivien

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dan8
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby dan8 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:57 am

Hello Vivien
first and foremost, thank you very much deciding to dedicate your time to doing this process with me.
I've read all the linked documents and agree with them all.

How will Life change?
Not much if at all. If I take life as everything around me, then I don't think it's going to change. Life is going to continue living itself in its determinate but unpredictable way that it does right now.
How will you change?
I expect that the mind will realize that there was no 'you' to begin with. I expect this will lead to a drop in stories that are constantly held about 'me' and about what is going around happening to 'me'. I also expect that it may lead to a process of deconditioning where other previously held beliefs may be reexamined and hopefully this will free up ways in which I deal with life. Like for example when someone says anything that would hurt the idea of self I can react from a place of understanding and compassion instead of from a place of defending and maybe even attacking back.
What will be different?
Nothing and everything. I believe what is being looked for is not in any way different from what IS right now but at the same time the shift in perspective that life is just happening without anyone in control may be very fundamentally freeing. It can also be quite scary I suppose. I guess I won't know for sure until it has been seen and can't be unseen :).
What is missing?
Right now I don't think anything is. In more engaging situations I imagine that understanding that it's not happening 'to me' would make the suffering less sticky as there wouldn't be stories added to it.

At the same time there is this search for 'meaning' or 'more in life' which mostly manifests as this spiritual journey I'm on. When I look at that I see that it's just more stories and suffering that I may be creating for myself. But there are also many definite positive effects I've gotten from meditation so I don't see myself stopping with that. Maybe it may lead to doing meditation just for the process itself instead of imagining a carrot at the end of the journey.

I've poured it down without any editing. Also English is a second language for me so I apologize in advance for any mistakes and please let me know if anything that I write is not clear.

Have a beautiful day!

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Vivien
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:47 am

Hi,
first and foremost, thank you very much deciding to dedicate your time to doing this process with me.
You’re welcome.

How should I call you? Dan? Or would you prefer something else?
Also English is a second language for me so I apologize in advance for any mistakes and please let me know if anything that I write is not clear.
You’re English is very good. I am also not a native speaker, so no worries :)

Thank you for getting through these questions about expectations. It’s important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations results in comparison. Comparison between what is happening, and the imagined expectation. Thus what has been seen can be thrown out or ignored, since it doesn’t match the expected outcome.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises ‘in the body’. Is there any resistance to any of it?
I expect this will lead to a drop in stories that are constantly held about 'me' and about what is going around happening to 'me'.
Just because the self has seen through, it doesn’t mean that self-referencing thoughts will stop appearing. They won’t. Seeing through the self is just the first step. It’s just the beginning not the end. So expecting that the stories about ‘me’ will stop appearing is unrealistic.
I also expect that it may lead to a process of deconditioning where other previously held beliefs may be reexamined and hopefully this will free up ways in which I deal with life.
Deconditioning is a long process, just as conditioning has took quite a lot of time. The process of deconditioning can last end the end of the organism, provided that there are lots of further looking.
Like for example when someone says anything that would hurt the idea of self I can react from a place of understanding and compassion instead of from a place of defending and maybe even attacking back.
Reactivity might lessen a bit (but not necessarily). Reactivity is a conditioned reaction, and it takes lots of further looking (after the self is seen through) to lessen them.

Personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
I believe what is being looked for is not in any way different from what IS right now but at the same time the shift in perspective that life is just happening without anyone in control may be very fundamentally freeing.
It’s important to mention here that just because the notion of control is seen through, it doesn’t mean that the illusion of the control or the illusion of the self will stop appearing. They won’t.
In more engaging situations I imagine that understanding that it's not happening 'to me' would make the suffering less sticky as there wouldn't be stories added to it.
Suffering happens when being lost in thoughts happens. It means that the thoughts in that moment are not seen only as arising thoughts (only as ‘containers’ coming and going), but rather their ‘content’, what they are about is taken as reality. And of course, since each thought is about the self, the self is taken as something real. And this, let’s call ‘delusion’ still can happen even after seeing the illusion of the self. But when it’s investigated, it can be seen for what it is. But there is no guaranty that in the next moment the story of a self won’t reassert itself. It’s a habit of the mind. It’s a conditioned pattern of thinking. It’s the result of a life-long conditioning. But upon each looking it gets a little bit weaker and weaker.
I'm looking for full realization without any doubt that what I am is not separate from life.
Probably you are familiar with the Buddhist’s four stages of awakening. Awakening starts with ‘stream entry’, which is the result of seeing that there is no inherently existing self as an agency. This seeing cannot be taken away. However, the illusion still can be taken as a reality, and sometimes it could seem as if there is still a separate self. But when it looked at closely, it’s clear that there is nothing there. As someone goes through the stage of awakening, this sense of self gets weaker and weaker, but it dissolves only at the final stage, called Arahantship. So with the first stage (where we usually guide to here at LU), might bring some or lots of relief, and lessening of suffering, but the sense of self after stream entry still can arise (and arises in almost all cases). But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self. But although, seeing that the self is just an illusion cannot be taken away, moments of ‘delusion’ still happen, but after further looking it’s easy to see that there is no self to cling to.

For many, there is an expectation that the sense of self will be gone completely, never asserting itself ever again. But this is not the case. Due to a lifetime of conditioning, self-constructs still arise out of habit. It needs time and lots of further looking for it to gradually dissolve.
I had most success with the paired self-inquiry method which led me to an experience which by description seemed like satori or kensho. I've fallen into this experience a couple more times but slowly it faded away.
This was a peak experience which is state. And states come and go, they cannot be sustained. Seeing through the self is NOT a state. It’s a deep experiential understanding that there is no inherently existing self.

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
I've practiced tibetan buddhist meditations for about half a year about five years back. Then there was a long break and about a year ago I started meditating daily, slowly increasing the time to 1-2 hours at the moment. I've done mostly annapanasati practice based on the book The Mind Illuminated.
I’m familiar with Culadasa’s book, that’s a very good book. You can continue with mediation, but I would like to ask you to stop reading or listening any teachers for the duration of our conversation, and rather spend your time with experiencing it for yourself. Also, I would like to put aside all learned knowledge about awakening (including Culadasa’s mind model), and start with a clean slate. Can we agree on these?

Before starting, please tell me what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?


Vivien

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dan8
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby dan8 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:48 pm

Yes, you can call me Dan. Is Vivien ok with you?
Is it okay to reply immediately, with of course taking time to process what you say and to write an honest reply from the depth of my experience. Or should I leave time between reading and responding? Or should I meditate on what you say?
Is there a preferred way of doing this?
Just because the self has seen through, it doesn’t mean that self-referencing thoughts will stop appearing. They won’t. Seeing through the self is just the first step. It’s just the beginning not the end. So expecting that the stories about ‘me’ will stop appearing is unrealistic.
The mind started to worry. If this is not the end, then does the search ever end? If seeing through the self is the first step, what is the next step? How many steps are there? There is a need to know where this all leads. There is a worry that this will be a lifelong struggle to be mindful and catch the mind every time it starts creating the story of self. There is probably even some fear, fear that I'm just continuing a search with no end and some day there may be a regret for the wasted time and effort.
Deconditioning is a long process, just as conditioning has took quite a lot of time. The process of deconditioning can last end the end of the organism, provided that there are lots of further looking.
There is a desire to try to speed up the process. Maybe through meditation and mindfulness. But there is also acceptance that there are many unknowns and even though I expect to be able to help the process, I can't control how and when it unfolds.
Reactivity might lessen a bit (but not necessarily). Reactivity is a conditioned reaction, and it takes lots of further looking (after the self is seen through) to lessen them.

Personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
There might have been a desire for a magic cure-all before you said this. There is understanding that this is how the process is and also some relief that I won't have to try to behave in some way or that there won't be disappointment from not acting like an 'enlightened' person.
It’s important to mention here that just because the notion of control is seen through, it doesn’t mean that the illusion of the control or the illusion of the self will stop appearing. They won’t.
There is a little bit of confusion in the mind about this. There was an expectation that seeing will resolve this at once. Is it the case that this will never change? Or is this a part of the deconditioning process?
Suffering happens when being lost in thoughts happens. It means that the thoughts in that moment are not seen only as arising thoughts (only as ‘containers’ coming and going), but rather their ‘content’, what they are about is taken as reality. And of course, since each thought is about the self, the self is taken as something real. And this, let’s call ‘delusion’ still can happen even after seeing the illusion of the self. But when it’s investigated, it can be seen for what it is. But there is no guaranty that in the next moment the story of a self won’t reassert itself. It’s a habit of the mind. It’s a conditioned pattern of thinking. It’s the result of a life-long conditioning. But upon each looking it gets a little bit weaker and weaker.
This is accepted. Being able to investigate and then see through the illusion is all that's needed. Is mindfulness something that helps keep the truth about the self even in more engaging situations? Or would trying to be mindful create just more striving which would create this 'I' that is being mindful?
Probably you are familiar with the Buddhist’s four stages of awakening. Awakening starts with ‘stream entry’, which is the result of seeing that there is no inherently existing self as an agency. This seeing cannot be taken away. However, the illusion still can be taken as a reality, and sometimes it could seem as if there is still a separate self. But when it looked at closely, it’s clear that there is nothing there. As someone goes through the stage of awakening, this sense of self gets weaker and weaker, but it dissolves only at the final stage, called Arahantship. So with the first stage (where we usually guide to here at LU), might bring some or lots of relief, and lessening of suffering, but the sense of self after stream entry still can arise (and arises in almost all cases). But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self. But although, seeing that the self is just an illusion cannot be taken away, moments of ‘delusion’ still happen, but after further looking it’s easy to see that there is no self to cling to.

For many, there is an expectation that the sense of self will be gone completely, never asserting itself ever again. But this is not the case. Due to a lifetime of conditioning, self-constructs still arise out of habit. It needs time and lots of further looking for it to gradually dissolve.
Thank you for this. This is something I should print and keep next to my bed. Very clear description and I think it clears up some of the confusion. When I read that 'once the illusion is seen through, it can't be unseen' I interpreted it as seeing this way all the time.

There is appreciation of the simplicity of this and acceptance.
This was a peak experience which is state. And states come and go, they cannot be sustained. Seeing through the self is NOT a state. It’s a deep experiential understanding that there is no inherently existing self.

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
Even though there is desire that this state would stay because it was amazing experience, I understand that it's conditioned and temporary. You say that seeing through the self is a deep experiential understanding that there is no inherently existing self. Now I wonder whether that peak experience, even though in itself a state, didn't actually provide me with this experiential understanding. It may not be too important at this point, but it did come up as a thought.

I do understand that the goal here is not to have this peak experience all the time or chase it again and again.
Can we agree on these?
I agree to stop the related reading and listening. I will also try to put aside all learned knowledge about awakening to the best of my ability.
Before starting, please tell me what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?
I've put down comments about each of your responses as I read them. Right now thinking about it there is also some relief because the end of the search may be closer than I may have thought. I probably sense some anger because this whole spiritual search is often made more complicated than it probably is and thus confuses people into constant striving for some ideal perfect blissed state.

I hope this level of detail is sufficient. I'm not very good at noticing emotions to the level of various sensations in the body like some people with training in Vipassana.

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Vivien
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:55 am

Hi Dan,
Is Vivien ok with you?
Yes.
Is it okay to reply immediately, with of course taking time to process what you say and to write an honest reply from the depth of my experience. Or should I leave time between reading and responding? Or should I meditate on what you say? Is there a preferred way of doing this?
So far, we just had a normal conversation. But we will start doing direct looking exercises soon. With those it’s better if you read the questions first, and investigate them throughout the day, or even sit with them in a meditation before responding. The more time and energy you put into looking the better the outcome can be.
There is probably even some fear, fear that I'm just continuing a search with no end and some day there may be a regret for the wasted time and effort.
Thank you for your honestly. The search won’t last with no end. When the self is clearly seen through, the search usually stops. But it doesn’t mean that the looking will stop too. Looking and searching are 2 different things. But you will see :)
There is a desire to try to speed up the process. Maybe through meditation and mindfulness.
Mindfulness can help, but everyday meditation (like paying attention to the breath) doesn’t help too much. However, if you spend your meditation with looking the questions I will give you, then that would help a lot.
There is understanding that this is how the process is and also some relief that I won't have to try to behave in some way or that there won't be disappointment from not acting like an 'enlightened' person.
You definitely don’t have to try to behave in a certain way. There is no prescribed behaviour for awakening. :)
V: It’s important to mention here that just because the notion of control is seen through, it doesn’t mean that the illusion of the control or the illusion of the self will stop appearing. They won’t.
D: There is a little bit of confusion in the mind about this. There was an expectation that seeing will resolve this at once. Is it the case that this will never change? Or is this a part of the deconditioning process?
It’s part of the deconditioning process, but it usually depends on further looking. But you don’t have to worry about this now.
Is mindfulness something that helps keep the truth about the self even in more engaging situations? Or would trying to be mindful create just more striving which would create this 'I' that is being mindful?
It depends how we define mindfulness. If just by observing thoughts, then that could help a bit, but it would more useful to actually investigate, look for the one that is having a certain reaction or emotion. But we will look at this later.
I probably sense some anger because this whole spiritual search is often made more complicated than it probably is and thus confuses people into constant striving for some ideal perfect blissed state.
It’s definitely not about a bliss state.
I'm not very good at noticing emotions to the level of various sensations in the body like some people with training in Vipassana.
We will investigate the body and emotions later, so you will have some experience how to look at those.

Let’s start it. As stated in my first post, my 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.

Okay, now we become aware of actual experience (AE) and what LOOKING is.
‘Looking’ is just plain looking at actual/direct experience (AE), which is simply colour (image), sound, smell, sensation, taste and the simple knowing of thought at face value that is appearing right now in the moment. You are looking at the raw experience of AE and noticing the labels and thoughts ABOUT the raw experience. The key to this exploration is the careful LOOKING. Why? Because it’s the act of actually LOOKING and not finding an “I” that brings about the realisation of there being no separate self and that there has never been a separate self.

The interpretation of actual experience happens quickly. So while inquiring, labelling and thought interpretation will always appear, but it is possible to become aware of the thoughts that appear with and overlay actual experience. Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience.

Here's an exercise that will help you to see what we mean exactly by direct experience. I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= visual sight
Smelling coffee, simply = smell
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual/direct experience) and let me know how you go. Please write a list as above for one period of doing this exercise.


Vivien

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dan8
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby dan8 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:18 pm

Hello Vivien,
Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual/direct experience) and let me know how you go
I've done something similar in the past when I was doing noting technique as described by Shinzen Young.

So I've spent some time doing this direct experiencing today. I can't find anything other than the five senses + thoughts. There are also emotions but those could probably be broken down into a body sensation + thought.

I can also see that experiencing the senses directly doesn't make much sense without the interpretation and labelling done through thoughts.

The thoughts are of course the hardest to look at directly. Every time I catch a thought, it is understood and a new thought about the thought emerges. Some thoughts are more catchy than others. The thoughts are part of the reality but the contents of the thoughts only try to describe reality or create abstractions on top of it. What I'm writing is again just thoughts trying to describe and reason about what was seen, not the reality of it.

I feel like there is also something in my experience that is hard to pinpoint. I suspect it's a sense of me or sense of being. It's a sensation that feels very familiar, is very subtle and almost always present.
Please write a list as above for one period of doing this exercise.
Right now.. I can sense the fingers touching keyboard (sensation)... sight of the screen (image)... blow of the air fan (sensation).... Reading the sentence (image + thought) about 'I sensing fingers touching' a thought emerges that that is a description that came up directly even though the AE was the sensation only, no 'I' sensing the touching. The I was added when a thought tried to describe the experience (analyzing). ... warmth of mug of coffee (sensation) ... taste of coffee on my tongue (taste) ... a thought considering why is it my tongue, can't it be just 'a' tongue since no I was yet found that it could belong to? (thought => analyzing)

I find it surprisingly easier to analyze what's going on in the thoughts when writing it down. It's easy to get lost otherwise.

I hope this caught the essence of what you wanted me to do.

Have a beautiful day,
Daniel

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Vivien
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:38 am

Hi Dan,
So I've spent some time doing this direct experiencing today. I can't find anything other than the five senses + thoughts. There are also emotions but those could probably be broken down into a body sensation + thought.
Yes, exactly.
I feel like there is also something in my experience that is hard to pinpoint. I suspect it's a sense of me or sense of being. It's a sensation that feels very familiar, is very subtle and almost always present.
The sense of self is nothing else than a sensation which is labelled as ‘me’. We will investigate this later.
The thoughts are of course the hardest to look at directly.
The whole illusion is mainly created by thoughts. So therefore, we will investigate thoughts and thought labels thoroughly.
So then let’s have a deeper look on thoughts. Sit for about 15 minutes or longer and just observe thoughts as they arise. Look for the ‘answer’ BEFORE thought interpretation kicks in.

Where do thoughts come from?
Where are they going?
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
What is the thinker of thoughts? – don’t think, rather look for a ‘thinker’
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Do you think thoughts or you are just ‘being thought’?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


Please go through these questions and answer and quote ALL of them one-by-one. Don’t miss any. Try to answer them only from direct experience, and leave aside all intellectual interpretation or understanding. Please, DON’T THINK about the answers, rather LOOK at what is before thoughts. Take your time.

Vivien

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dan8
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby dan8 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:04 am

Where do thoughts come from?
I couldn't find anywhere they could come from. Sometimes when it is for example a thought about a sound, the thought appears to have a location in the direction of the sound which it is about but that's not where it came from either. Some thoughts had a clear cause or trigger, other thoughts appeared without any conscious cause that could trigger them. So it just appears or appears from nowhere.
Where are they going?
Similar to above. The thought just dissolves. Sometimes it may lead to another thought or body action but it doesn't go anywhere.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
This one I'm struggling with. The thoughts can kind of change course abruptly. Like when I'm meditating and suddenly there is a realization that I've been mind wandering. I couldn't find a definite moment where I felt like I was stopping or in control of how a thought is unfolding. At the same time there is a feeling that it may be possible maybe for someone with enough awareness of thoughts, but of course this is just doubt not direct experience. I can also only know the middle when a thought has happened and often thoughts don't feel linear and discrete enough to think about finding middle. But I expect this is not again what you wanted me to do.

Being able to stop a thought implies control. I just tried to control the flow of thoughts and even starting I found myself waiting for a topic of thoughts to appear which I could then assert control of. So seeing even the inability to come up with a topic without waiting for it to pop up leads me to believe that not, I do not have a control of the thoughts. I can't make it into existence or change it's course while it's happening and thus probably not even stop it but I couldn't see that last one directly very well.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
No, I don't see how that could be possible. Predicting is in itself a thought, so I can't be predicting thoughts outside the natural flow of thoughts. So when I think 'I will think about a cup of coffee in five seconds', I'm not predicting it, rather this thought itself is causing it.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No, as in I can't create a filter on thoughts. Since I can't predict a thought I don't even know if the next thought will be positive or negative. What's more important is I can't stop thoughts from appearing at all. At the most, I can distract the mind by doing something engaging. But while I'm doing an engaging activity there are different thoughts but that doesn't mean that I can stop those from appearing.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
There is an assumption here that the 'I' generates thoughts. Right now it doesn't feel like I do generate thoughts, at least I can't prove it. It may be that it's because the 'I' doesn't exist but in the direct experience since it doesn't feel like I'm generating thoughts it doesn't make much sense to be searching for the I generating thoughts. Am I overthinking this maybe?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
It's like my head is going to explode from the trying. It's like in 'Catch me if you can' catching glimpses of an I but never being able to catch it and look at it directly. The best answer right now is I don't know.
What is the thinker of thoughts? – don’t think, rather look for a ‘thinker’
I don't know. I can't find anything or anyone. Thoughts appear and disappear with anyone interacting with them. I just thought 'They are just observed' but that implies there is something observing them but I can't find that either. So the content of thoughts just happens.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Again I can't pinpoint any thinker.
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Well, I can't find it in DE, it does exist as a concept and as such as a thought. But it also feels real. The 'me' being me. Again when I look at this 'me' I can't find anything else than the five senses and thoughts but the mixture of it feels like this me anyway.
Do you think thoughts or you are just ‘being thought’?
I can't find any process or action of 'me thinking a thought'. Thoughts don't need any interaction for them to happen.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
No, right now I can't see how I could manipulate a thought let alone prevent it from appearing since I don't even know it's coming.

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Vivien
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:44 am

Hi Dan,
Sometimes when it is for example a thought about a sound, the thought appears to have a location in the direction of the sound which it is about but that's not where it came from either.
How is it known exactly that a thought have a location in direction of the sound?
How is this location actually experienced?
Some thoughts had a clear cause or trigger,
Let’s say there is a sound present, labelled ‘fridge’.
Then a thought appear “I can hear the fridge”.

How is it known exactly that the thought is triggered by the sound?
What is the AE of trigger?
The thoughts can kind of change course abruptly. Like when I'm meditating and suddenly there is a realization that I've been mind wandering. I couldn't find a definite moment where I felt like I was stopping or in control of how a thought is unfolding.
When a thought starts with “it feels like” or “it seems like” then it’s a sure sign that what follows is just an analogy. A thought interpretation only, but NOT the description of AE.
At the same time there is a feeling that it may be possible maybe for someone with enough awareness of thoughts, but of course this is just doubt not direct experience.
“there is a FEELING that it may be possible for someone with enough awareness [to stop a thought in the middle]” – How is this FELT exactly?
Is this really a feeling or is it a thought assumption?
Being able to stop a thought implies control. I just tried to control the flow of thoughts and even starting I found myself waiting for a topic of thoughts to appear which I could then assert control of. So seeing even the inability to come up with a topic without waiting for it to pop up leads me to believe that not, I do not have a control of the thoughts. I can't make it into existence or change it's course while it's happening
Nice looking.
and thus probably not even stop it but I couldn't see that last one directly very well.
Then let’s look at this a bit more closely.

A thought appears saying “I am going to stop the next thought in the middle.” But what is it exactly that is stopping the next thought in the middle?

When there is a thought, how is it known that it’s just a half thought, an unfinished thought?

What is the actual experience of stopping the next thought in the middle?
Where exactly is the middle of a thought?
Where does one thought end and another begin?

So when I think 'I will think about a cup of coffee in five seconds', I'm not predicting it, rather this thought itself is causing it.
1. So, there is a thought present “I will think about a cup of coffee in five seconds”.
2. Then five seconds later there are thoughts appearing about coffee.

How is it known exactly that the second thought was caused by the first?
What is the AE of the first thought causing the second?
What's more important is I can't stop thoughts from appearing at all. At the most, I can distract the mind by doing something engaging.
“I can distract the mind” – What does the word ‘I’ points to in this sentence?
What is it that is distracting the mind?

What is the AE of mind?
But while I'm doing an engaging activity
What is it exactly that is doing an engaging activity?
Where is this ‘I’ exactly? – find it
There is an assumption here that the 'I' generates thoughts. Right now it doesn't feel like I do generate thoughts, at least I can't prove it. It may be that it's because the 'I' doesn't exist but in the direct experience since it doesn't feel like I'm generating thoughts it doesn't make much sense to be searching for the I generating thoughts. Am I overthinking this maybe?
This is not just overthinking, but it's also avoiding looking.

You just made a thought conclusion, without actually testing it. So it can stay on intellectual level only.

You have to look and look and look constantly and repeatedly, again and again and again. Why? Because the repeated looking and looking and looking but not finding brings about the realization.

So never rely on thought conclusions, but rather always look. And always look afresh. Never rely on the memory of a previous looking.
There is an assumption here that the 'I' generates thoughts.
So if there is a general assumption that the ‘I’ generates thoughts, then you have to SEE this clearly again and again, that there is no ‘I’ that could generate thoughts.

So far you’ve seen that it’s not you who is generating the thoughts.

But where is the ‘I’ that is not generating thoughts?
No, right now I can't see how I could manipulate a thought let alone prevent it from appearing since I don't even know it's coming.
“I don’t even know it’s coming” – What is it exactly that doesn’t know that a thought is coming?
Well, I can't find it in DE, it does exist as a concept and as such as a thought. But it also feels real. The 'me' being me. Again when I look at this 'me' I can't find anything else than the five senses and thoughts but the mixture of it feels like this me anyway.
It FEELS LIKE that the ‘me’, ‘I am’ is constantly here. It’s been here all the time. It SEEMS LIKE that. So supposedly, I am my most intimate experience. Everything comes and goes, but it SEEMS that I am constantly here.

But if this were really the case, wouldn’t be the easiest tasks of all to find myself? Wouldn’t it be totally obvious where I am located exactly? If the ‘I am’ is my most intimate experience as it SEEMS LIKE, then wouldn’t I know for sure, without any hesitation, what I am exactly and where I am exactly? And wouldn’t need to search for myself, and this SEEMING ‘me’ wouldn’t be an elusive, shapeshifter, like a ghost that cannot be found. Can you see this?
V: “I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
D: It's like my head is going to explode from the trying. It's like in 'Catch me if you can' catching glimpses of an I but never being able to catch it and look at it directly. The best answer right now is I don't know.
So are YOU a shapeshifter ghost? :)

Where are YOU?


Vivien

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dan8
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby dan8 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:42 pm

Hello Vivien,
How is it known exactly that a thought have a location in direction of the sound?
How is this location actually experienced?
The thought appears and at that moment attention is directed towards the sound sensation. So both get meshed together and the thought appears to be located where the sound comes from, but I could find only thought and sound sensation which was located in some direction.
How is it known exactly that the thought is triggered by the sound?
What is the AE of trigger?
This is interesting. So there is a sound sensation and following that there is a thought about the sound. The causality can seem very apparent but nevertheless it's a conclusion made by the mind.
“there is a FEELING that it may be possible for someone with enough awareness [to stop a thought in the middle]” – How is this FELT exactly?
Is this really a feeling or is it a thought assumption?
Yes, you're right. It's a figure of speech and in this instance I should be more careful about using correct labels. It's a doubting thought is how I would describe it.
A thought appears saying “I am going to stop the next thought in the middle.” But what is it exactly that is stopping the next thought in the middle?
Then it is this thought that would set up an intention in the mind to break the flow of a following thought. Not 'me'. The middle can't be found but while pondering a longer thought a new thought 'stop' can break the flow of it. The intention for the arising of 'stop' thought was planted by the previous thought. So going through the steps in the process there there was no 'me' making the decision to 'stop'.
When there is a thought, how is it known that it’s just a half thought, an unfinished thought? Where exactly is the middle of a thought?
This is what I thought when I wrote this:
'I can also only know the middle when a thought has happened and often thoughts don't feel linear and discrete enough to think about finding middle.'
So effectively in any moment I can't know which part of a thought I'm in because I don't know how it's going to unfold. An 'unfinished' thought for me here is a directed thought of e.g. multiplying 4*5 and it's interrupted before a thought with a result appears. But this is of course some abstraction. I'm taking an assumption here that multiplying is one thought when in fact it's probably a series of smaller thoughts.
What is the actual experience of stopping the next thought in the middle?
It's just another thought appearing whose content is different from the one that was just unfolding.
Where does one thought end and another begin?
It's the content of the thoughts that changes which implies a change in thoughts. A thought without content can't be perceived. So the only thing that is being perceived are contents of the thoughts as opposed to other senses. And seeing the content of thoughts change I describe that in language as a different thought.
How is it known exactly that the second thought was caused by the first?
What is the AE of the first thought causing the second?
It can't be seen directly. It's an assumption made by mind which compares the two events and draws a conclusion.
“I can distract the mind” – What does the word ‘I’ point to in this sentence?
A thought can appear that will lead to the body engaging in a distracting activity.
What is it that is distracting the mind?
An engaging external stimulus which through stimulus occupies the mind so that content of thoughts is related to the activity.
What is the AE of mind?
None. Mind is just a concept. As a concept it's a content of a thought so there can't be any direct perception of it.
What is it exactly that is doing an engaging activity?
There is just the process of being engaged in an activity. The attention turns towards it which just means that e.g. in case of writing these words the sight of the screen and thoughts about the words are what's in the foreground of what's happening. That's all that I can find.
Where is this ‘I’ exactly? – find it
When an 'I' is said, it's a thought appearing. When it's looked for it's a feeling. The feeling of 'I' is behind the eyes and in the chest right now.
But where is the ‘I’ that is not generating thoughts?
As per just above. The same result.
“I don’t even know it’s coming” – What is it exactly that doesn’t know that a thought is coming?
The knowing would have to be a thought. The thought would just have to happen and it's content would have to be prediction of a different thought. There is noone that could know in this process.
Can you see this?
I can understand it but it's like the mind is still not on board with this idea and resisting it when it's not being reinforced through looking.
So are YOU a shapeshifter ghost? :)
I may be a ghost as the idea hasn't been ruled out yet :D.
Where are YOU?
I'm here. That's the immediate answer that comes up. That's a conditioned answer. When I look I find the 5 senses and thoughts. If there is an 'I', I don't know what it is or where to look for it.

Thanks,
Dan

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Vivien
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:17 am

Hi Dan,
The thought appears and at that moment attention is directed towards the sound sensation.
What do you mean by sound sensation? Is it a sound or a sensation? Or both together, a sound + a sensation?
The causality can seem very apparent but nevertheless it's a conclusion made by the mind.
The mind cannot make any conclusion, since there is NO such thing as a mind. Mind is nothing else then a concept. Can you see this?
Can a concept make any conclusion?
So both get meshed together and the thought appears to be located where the sound comes from, but I could find only thought and sound sensation which was located in some direction.
But is there REALLY a location where a thought appear?
Is there a mental image showing a location?
Without thoughts and mental images do thoughts RAELLY appear at any location? – look, don’t think
Then it is this thought that would set up an intention in the mind to break the flow of a following thought. Not 'me'.
This is NOT coming from looking at AE, it’s a learned knowledge. There are similar explanations in The Mind Illuminated book. Please, put aside all learned information, you have to see this for yourself.

What is the AE of a ‘thought setting up an intention in the mind’?
If the mind is just a concept, that how could thoughts set up an intention in a concept?

If thoughts can REALLY set up intentions that would mean that thoughts can do things, perform certain activates. But can they?
Can a thought set up an intention? Or thoughts are just ‘talking’ about setting up intentions? But can they actually do it?

If thoughts REALLY can set up intentions, then this intention setting process has to be FIND and clearly SEEN. But can it?
The intention for the arising of 'stop' thought was planted by the previous thought.
This is just a thought speculation.

What is the AE of ‘intention being planted by a previous thought’?
V: What is the actual experience of stopping the next thought in the middle?
D: It's just another thought appearing whose content is different from the one that was just unfolding.
Let’s say there are three thoughts following each other.

Thought 1: “I am wondering how I can stop a thought in the middle while…..”
Thought 2: “Stop”
Thought 3: “Thought 2 was just another thought appearing whose content was different from the one (thought 1) that was just unfolding”

Apart from thought 3 stating that the content of thought 1 and 2 were different, can it be known that there were any difference at all?

In other words, can difference be noticed when the content of ALL thoughts are ignored?
A thought without content can't be perceived. So the only thing that is being perceived are contents of the thoughts as opposed to other senses.
Yes, there is no thought without content. BUT, content is NOT the only thing that is perceived.
When a thought is present, isn’t it clear that it’s a thought regardless of the content?
V: What is it that is distracting the mind?
D: An engaging external stimulus which through stimulus occupies the mind so that content of thoughts is related to the activity.
This is an intellectual interpretation. You are NOT looking. You are just writing down the content of thoughts. You have to ‘step behind’ or ‘look behind’ the layers of thoughts, and SEE what is ACTUALLY happening behind or under this conceptual overlay.

Ignore ALL thoughts, whatever they are ‘saying’. And just LOOK what can be known without thoughts.


Looking is like this:
Sitting in a room, curtains closed, you wonder what the weather is like outside. You can
think about it, look it up on the internet, watch the forecast on TV, call your mother and ask
her - or you can simply open the curtains and have a look.
What we will do here is "have a look". Do you get the difference?

When I ask the question: What is it that is distracting the mind?
I’m not asking you to write a long intellectual explanation about this.
I’m asking you to stop, and LOOK around inside the body, in thought, in all parts of experience, and FIND and pin down the ‘thing’ that is SUPPOSEDLY distracting the SUPPOSED mind. Can you see the difference?
V: And wouldn’t need to search for myself, and this SEEMING ‘me’ wouldn’t be an elusive, shapeshifter, like a ghost that cannot be found. Can you see this?
D: I can understand it but it's like the mind is still not on board with this idea and resisting it when it's not being reinforced through looking.
If you say that you can SEE CLEARLY that there is NO such thing as mind, since it’s just a concept, then how a concept could not be on board?
How the concept of mind could resist seeing that the self is just an illusion?
V: Where are YOU?
D: I'm here. That's the immediate answer that comes up. That's a conditioned answer. When I look I find the 5 senses and thoughts. If there is an 'I', I don't know what it is or where to look for it.
It’s not enough to say or see that there are only the 5 senses and thought. You have to clearly SEE that where the ‘I’ supposedly reside there is nothing there. And you have to see this many-many times, in order for the belief in the self to fall away.
When an 'I' is said, it's a thought appearing. When it's looked for it's a feeling. The feeling of 'I' is behind the eyes and in the chest right now.
You have literally SEARCH THROUGH the whole body from head to toe many-many times. Pay particular attention to the chest and the whole head. Search for the self in the eyes, behind the eyes, at the back of the head, the middle of the head, the top of the head, in the throat. Look everywhere. Search with closed eyes and open eyes too.

If a sensation comes up SEEMINGLY as the residency of the self, then spend lots of time with that sensation, and investigate:

Is the sensation itself the self? Sensation = self / I?
Or is the self inside the sensation? Where exactly?
What makes this sensation ‘me’?


Vivien

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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby dan8 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:57 pm

Hello Vivien,
What do you mean by sound sensation? Is it a sound or a sensation? Or both together, a sound + a sensation?
By sound sensation I mean raw sound perception. Sensation as in coming from the senses. Then when I would describe a touch, then that's a feeling or body sensation. Now I realized that you used the word sensation to denote feelings in the body. So I'm sorry for making this confusion.
The mind cannot make any conclusion, since there is NO such thing as a mind. Mind is nothing else then a concept. Can you see this?
Can a concept make any conclusion?
Yes, in AE mind does not exist as anything directly perceivable. Conclusion is a content of a thought just as the word mind is. One can't create the other. The notion of one influencing the other is then another thought.
But is there REALLY a location where a thought appear?
Is there a mental image showing a location?
Without thoughts and mental images do thoughts RAELLY appear at any location? – look, don’t think
This is not looking but how can I have a mental image of a sound I don't know in a place I don't know?

Now trying to look the thoughts about a sound how a mental image (all sounds around me are familiar) and the mental image has a location within the visual field. It's interesting with sounds coming from behind because interestingly even those seem to be within the visual field. So the mental image visual field has more dimensions than eyesight.
What is the AE of a ‘thought setting up an intention in the mind’?
That's a thought.
If the mind is just a concept, that how could thoughts set up an intention in a concept?
This is a mixing of AE and abstract models. So in AE I can't know something like that happened.
If thoughts can REALLY set up intentions that would mean that thoughts can do things, perform certain activates. But can they?
What is the AE of ‘intention being planted by a previous thought’?
In AE a thought whose content is 'I will raise hand in 5 seconds' happens and in five seconds a sight and sensation of arm raising happen. Then a thought appears saying 'I've raised my hand based on an intention 5 seconds earlier'.
Can a thought set up an intention? Or thoughts are just ‘talking’ about setting up intentions? But can they actually do it?
So no, the AE is that it just happened. Thoughts appear afterward that draw conclusions as to one thought causing another.
If thoughts REALLY can set up intentions, then this intention setting process has to be FIND and clearly SEEN. But can it?
The intention setting can't be perceived directly. Only thoughts about it can appear.
Let’s say there are three thoughts following each other.

Thought 1: “I am wondering how I can stop a thought in the middle while…..”
Thought 2: “Stop”
Thought 3: “Thought 2 was just another thought appearing whose content was different from the one (thought 1) that was just unfolding”

Apart from thought 3 stating that the content of thought 1 and 2 were different, can it be known that there were any difference at all?

In other words, can difference be noticed when the content of ALL thoughts are ignored?
Yes, the thought stream that's happening is broken into pieces only later when thoughts about the content of previous thoughts appear. Otherwise I can't see any difference between thoughts.
When a thought is present, isn’t it clear that it’s a thought regardless of the content?
Yes, there is a distinction that it's a thought just like with other senses. E.g. a thought with a mental image is different from a sight.
What we will do here is "have a look". Do you get the difference?
Yes, I do. I thought you were asking for a clarification on what I thought by a distraction.
I’m asking you to stop, and LOOK around inside the body, in thought, in all parts of experience, and FIND and pin down the ‘thing’ that is SUPPOSEDLY distracting the SUPPOSED mind. Can you see the difference?
Yes. So even the meaning of distraction breaks down. The AE of distracting the mind is thoughts and senses staying with the same source of stimulus for a longer period of time. There is nothing other than the senses so there is nothing to cause distraction.
If you say that you can SEE CLEARLY that there is NO such thing as mind, since it’s just a concept, then how a concept could not be on board?
How the concept of mind could resist seeing that the self is just an illusion?
Mind is a concept for the origin of thoughts. So the contents of thoughts still enforce strong sense of self is what is the AE of mind not being on board.
Is the sensation itself the self? Sensation = self / I?
Or is the self inside the sensation? Where exactly?
What makes this sensation ‘me’?
I will continue with these questions tomorrow.

Daniel

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Vivien
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:19 am

Hi Daniel,
By sound sensation I mean raw sound perception. Sensation as in coming from the senses. Then when I would describe a touch, then that's a feeling or body sensation. Now I realized that you used the word sensation to denote feelings in the body. So I'm sorry for making this confusion.
It's all right. I know it can be hard when you try to translate some terms between 2 languages. We just have to agree to use the same words so we both know what we mean by what.
So in English the word sensation refers only to the bodily sensations. Sounds are just sounds.
This is not looking but how can I have a mental image of a sound I don't know in a place I don't know?
For example, when the sound label ‘fridge’ arise, there could be a mental image showing the room and the position of the body and the fridge compare to each other. And then thought can make the conclusion that the sound is coming from the fridge over there, and I (the body here) am hearing it.
So no, the AE is that it just happened. Thoughts appear afterward that draw conclusions as to one thought causing another.
Exactly. So only thoughts ‘talk’ about a connection or conclusion between the 2 previous thoughts, but actually there is no connection between them. Only thoughts suggest that there is. Is this clear?
Mind is a concept for the origin of thoughts. So the contents of thoughts still enforce strong sense of self is what is the AE of mind not being on board.
No. There is NO AE of ‘mind not being on board’.
The ‘mind not being on board’ simply cannot be experienced.
The ‘mind not being on board’ is just the content of thoughts. And this thought is the AE of thought, but NOT the AE of ‘mind not being on board’.
The sense of self is the AE of a sensation, and not the AE of ‘mind not being on board’.
Can you see these?

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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dan8
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Re: Discovering Truth

Postby dan8 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:54 am

Hi Vivien,
This is not looking but how can I have a mental image of a sound I don't know in a place I don't know?
For example, when the sound label ‘fridge’ arise, there could be a mental image showing the room and the position of the body and the fridge compare to each other. And then thought can make the conclusion that the sound is coming from the fridge over there, and I (the body here) am hearing it.
Let me give an example. Someone blinds me and puts my in unfamiliar place and then a sound which I've never heard and can't associate with any image happens. How does this analogy work in this case? The direction of the sound should still be felt but how can I have a mental image of the sound when thinking about it if I can't imagine it?
So only thoughts ‘talk’ about a connection or conclusion between the 2 previous thoughts, but actually there is no connection between them. Only thoughts suggest that there is. Is this clear?
Yes, I think it's clear now.
Mind is a concept for the origin of thoughts. So the contents of thoughts still enforce strong sense of self is what is the AE of mind not being on board.
No. There is NO AE of ‘mind not being on board’.
The ‘mind not being on board’ simply cannot be experienced.
The ‘mind not being on board’ is just the content of thoughts. And this thought is the AE of thought, but NOT the AE of ‘mind not being on board’.
The sense of self is the AE of a sensation, and not the AE of ‘mind not being on board’.
Can you see these?
I understand the distinction but I still think that what I said applies. Let me rephrase. The contents of thoughts still enforce strong sense of self is the AE of what I previously described as 'mind not being on board'.
Is the sensation itself the self? Sensation = self / I?
Or is the self inside the sensation? Where exactly?
What makes this sensation ‘me’?
The sensation of 'self' is just a sensation. It's not actual 'me' and neither is 'me' inside the sensation. It is labeled by thoughts as 'me' because of it's familiar feeling but that doesn't make it any more true.
Which one would you choose to quench your thirst, the label or the water?
The actual water. This analogy applies to other senses too though. The experience of the water as sight of a bottle of water in a hand is not an actual experience of water either. Everything can only be experienced through senses but sense experience is not the actual thing.
So, can the label ‘water’, which is actual/direct experience (AE) of thought only, quench your thirst?
No, only the actual water can.
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?
I think it is.
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?
I see the difference. I can't promise not to be fooled by a thought again though :).
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, I recognize the distinction

Daniel


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