It seems to me that you are not LOOKING with AE when looking to see what is being pointed at. You are still going with what you think you know. Shifting from thinking to looking can be frustrating and require some practice, but relying on, and using learned knowledge (thoughts) is the "wrong tool" to do this inquiry with. This is about noticing what can be found in your immediate direct xperience, noticing what's going on here now sound, colour, taste, smell, sensation and the face value of thought.
As there is still confusion to what actual experience is....please take a couple of days to read this post carefully and do the exercises given several times in order to start looking with AE instead of using thoughts as your tool box.
How is it known that "words are heard and understood not just as sounds but with meaning"?
With the sound on - is there an 'I' listening or is there AE = hearing? You must be able to find an 'I' that is listening in AE? If there's no 'I" there's just hearing? Don't just agree or disagree and dont think about this as it won't bring clarity - go back to AE - sit and watch - are there 2 things i.e. hearing and some thing hearing?
There is hearing. Words are heard and understood not just as sounds but with meaning communicated.
What is it that points to sound and then describes them as words?
Now you are going to have to sit and look at this question via AE very carefully to see what it is as opposed to what thought says it is.
Without thought, how is it known that there are forms? Shapes are simply different patterns of colour. So, how is it known that there are forms?
With the sound off.... are there colours with the sound off and on? There is hearing?
What is 'inner' interpretation and what in AE is being interpreted? What in AE could past experience be?
There are colours and forms with the sound off and on.
When you did the apple exercise....did you find a form of any description, or did you find what thought claims to be a form was simply colour and sensations? Sensations being what thought would normally describe as matter ie solid object that is heavy, smooth, round. In other words, descriptions.
Does colour itself, in any way suggest that it is or has forms or shapes?
Does sensation itself, suggest in any way that it was an apple?
Sit at a table and put both hands palm down on the table. Close your eyes whilst putting aside ALL thoughts and mental images of table and hands and go directly to the actual experience. In other words...IGNORE all thoughts and mental images and notice your direct actual experience.
What do you find?
What is the actual experience? Can a table or hand be found at all in actual experience or is there simply the AE of sensation?
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it is a hand or a table?
What is it that suggests that the sensation is caused by a hand touching a table?
Nothing in AE was being interpreted. Meaning was being attributed to the colours and forms by thought.
In AE past experience is thoughts.
Yes, the AE of 'past experience' is AE of thought. I am wondering though, if you are still finding it difficult to see the difference between the face value of thought and the content of thought?
A thought, in and of itself is like a container.
The content of a thought is what a thought is ABOUT
When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored - this is what is called actual experience of a thought.
So, we can say, that in actual experience, the arising of a thought (the container) is real, but what it’s ABOUT, the content, is not. The thought (as container) is there in reality, but the content of a thought is fiction. Do you see the difference?
So the thought “I still believe that I am a 'me'”, arises. So the thought is actual experience of thought. The ensuing thought of what that means is the content of that thought. In other words, the thoughts that arise with that thought, about that thought, are the content of that thought. They too are AE of thought but are the content of the thought "I still believe that I am a 'me'". Is this clear?
Just watch that you're not conflating 'I' with awareness, continuing to identify with.....as....awareness.
Can you find awareness?
The difference between I and awareness is awareness is not just located in the supposed body it's more pervasive. There's a stillness in perceiving in awareness. This is from AE not just intellectual information. No I can't actually find awareness either.
Where does "stillness", "awareness" sit in AE? Is it a thought, smell, taste, colour, sensation or sound?
You are still seeing from the point of view of a subject/object split. That there is a me or a something, be it described as stillness or awareness that is aware of itself as a subject and aware of those things outside of 'me' that are objects. And this is fine. This investigation will help you realise that there is no separate self, and we will look at the idea of separation later, however the subject/object split will not be seen through clearly. That takes much more digging and exploration and much much more time.
"but" what exactly? The only reason there is a 'but' is because you are not LOOKING. Looking takes diligence and patience. What is it that suggests that activities rely on thoughts? Have a LOOK and see what is it that suggests that and let me know what you find.
Do thoughts direct activities? Get up and go put the kettle on. Is thought necessary in order to put one foot in front of the other, to turn the head, to flick the switch - check it out. Is there a thought that says 'I am directing activities'? Is the content real / true? Thought is not necessary to do a lot of physical activities but
I can't see anyone or anything choosing but there are sensations and thoughts that seem to play a role in the choice of response.
is something or someone choosing which will direct and which not, which to act on and which to discard?)
Again, you aren't LOOKING. Your are simply going with what you think you already know and not LOOKING with AE.
Without thought, how would this be known exactly? How is it known that "sensations and thoughts that seem to play a role in the choice of response"?
How is that known? How is it known that the label "Faithy" refers to a character that has been constructed? What is the AE of this character?
are you equating sensation with 'Faithy', 'you', 'I'? What is the label 'Faithy' actually referring to? Have a look. Is there body?No. sensations are just sensations. The label Faithy refers to a character that has been constructed.
Thought labels ‘colours’, ‘sensations’ (cold/hot/pressure etc) etc as a body - but no actual body is present. Thought does this with everything that seems to exist and to create the 'person in the world' illusion.
Notice what is actually present in this image. Thought says it's a cartoon character called Bart Simpson, but all that's actually there is yellow, red, blue, white, black. There is no Bart present in the image at all. The AE of Bart is thought.
Can you see that Bart is 100% just a story? The body is a story in the same way.
Also notice that the thing which thought claims is your body doesn't even have a head.
Close the eyes and put a tip of a finger to the top of the head. Now, ignore all thoughts and images about a ‘fingertip’ and ‘head’ and what is the actual experience?
Can you find a head?