Ready to cut through the BS

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swimmingly
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:02 am

Hi Vivien.

Your last message was very helpful and in a way quite reassuring.
What is it that the label ‘impulse’ or ‘energy’ is applied to?
Is it a sound? Color? Sensation? Taste? Smell? Thought?
What is the actual experience of ‘impulse’ or ‘energy’?
I am struggling to explain this. It's definitely not a sound, color, physical sensation, taste, or smell. The experience is a kind of thought, but it has a feeling of action to it. Maybe it's just a different kind of thought: "choose this."
Energy appears in a thought? Is that even possible?
Please look very carefully… what is it that you label as ‘energy’?
So I am using "energy" in a funny way, I realize. I think all thoughts are energy, but let's call that speculation for now. What I am labeling as "energy" is like a feeling that this thought is going a certain way: Now I'm thinking about X. Now I'm going to do Y.

If I look very closely, it's quite rare that I have a thought "I'm going to do something" before I actually do it. 95% of the time, maybe 99% of the time, I just do something. Or a thought just happens.

Rarely, a thought appears: "Need to decide." Or "Deciding to do this." And then the body acts, or the next thought appears triggered by the decision thought.
OK. So now you are saying that this energy is FELT, so it cannot be in a thought.

So what is exactly that is FELT what you label as ‘impulse/energy/push’?
Well you asked me how this choosing FEELS, so I am struggling to answer. It doesn't have a feeling in the way we defined feeling earlier (as a sensation of taste, touch, vision, etc). It doesn't have an emotion (a thought label saying "sad" or "excited" or whatever).

I think there is something different about this kind of thought but I can't say how exactly. If you weren't asking me how it feels, I would say it's just another thought.
We say “It’s raining” – where is this ‘it’? Water is simply falling.
Or, “The wind is blowing” – but is there a wind somewhere that is doing the blowing? Or air just moving without anyone or anything doing it?

We also say “I’m thinking” – but is there really an ‘I’ that is doing something or are thoughts simply arising? Have a look and see.
Well this is an analogy I've seen before and last night, for the first time, it actually made sense to me. I understood it. It's a trick of grammar!

In 99% of the cases thoughts are simply arising/appearing. There's no self there and no need for a self. And that's okay!

It's that last 1% where I'm still hanging on to the idea of some kind of "deciding" happening, and that's mostly because these thoughts "feel" different somehow - I think? - but I can't describe how right now.
What are you doing right now for all this to be?
Are you making this happen or all this already is?
Is there an actual doer? Is there anyone letting this happen or not happen?
Mostly I'm happy to say: Nothing, no, and nobody. :)

It's all just happening, and I don't need to do anything or "let" anything happen.

It's like when someone says "you have great hair," and I'm like, thank you? Except I had nothing to do with it, it just grows like that. Or "you are a good writer," and I want to say that it's just how my brain works, and the fact that I had good teachers for many years, so really I'm just lucky - I don't feel like there's any way I can take credit for that either.

Similarly, most of the time I can see that I'm thinking about a red car because, I don't know, a bunch of conditions came together to make "red car" thoughts appear. I didn't decide that, and I didn't do anything!

But occasionally I still feel like this: Wow, I shouldn't have gotten angry at that person. I need to do better at being mindful about my emotions. And in those cases, the thought appears, but it's got a "should" attached to it, and that "should" seems to be pointing at someone.

Or "I need to decide whether to get up and make dinner, or keep typing this message to Vivien."

On the other hand, I could say "It should stop raining now," or "It needs to decide whether it's going to keep raining or not." And it would be meaningless, because there's nobody to stop raining or keep raining. :) It'll rain as long as there are conditions right for rain to fall out of the sky, and once those conditions change, it'll stop raining.

Take care,

Dylan.

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby Vivien » Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:57 am

Hi Dylan,
Your last message was very helpful and in a way quite reassuring.
I’m glad to hear that :)
Well you asked me how this choosing FEELS, so I am struggling to answer. It doesn't have a feeling in the way we defined feeling earlier (as a sensation of taste, touch, vision, etc). It doesn't have an emotion (a thought label saying "sad" or "excited" or whatever).
I think there is something different about this kind of thought but I can't say how exactly. If you weren't asking me how it feels, I would say it's just another thought.
Please read your above comment, and notice that you said: “I THINK there is something different about this kind of thought [choosing].

Do you see that it’s coming from thinking and looking?

You say that this is just another thought. Yes, exactly.

Do you see that you cannot EXPERIENTIALLY distinguish between an ‘ordinary thought’ and a ‘choosing thought’?
It's that last 1% where I'm still hanging on to the idea of some kind of "deciding" happening, and that's mostly because these thoughts "feel" different somehow - I think? - but I can't describe how right now.
OK. So you put the word ‘feel’ into quotation, since you can see that a thought cannot be felt, right?

And what if that this is just another trick of language?
What if we just often use/think the phrase: “it feels like” or “It feels this or that”, but without any ACTUAL FEELING behind that?

But don’t just speculate on this, but actually check this in experience.

Is there a REAL, EXPERIENCABLE feeling behind the ‘deciding thoughts’?
Or all there is to this feeling is the WORD ‘feel’ in the thought “deciding thoughts feel different”?


Please look very carefully, and try not to fall into thinking/speculation.
Just observer what ACTUALLY IS.
On the other hand, I could say "It should stop raining now," or "It needs to decide whether it's going to keep raining or not." And it would be meaningless, because there's nobody to stop raining or keep raining. :) It'll rain as long as there are conditions right for rain to fall out of the sky, and once those conditions change, it'll stop raining.
Yes. You have a good intellectual understanding on this, but now you have to go a step further, to actually SEE this experientially. But don’t worry, this is the point of our whole investigation :)

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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swimmingly
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:11 am

Hello again, Vivien.
Please read your above comment, and notice that you said: “I THINK there is something different about this kind of thought [choosing].

Do you see that it’s coming from thinking and looking?
I see this is coming from being unsure, and so I am speculating (thinking). I mean: I could not perceive the difference clearly, so I used words meant to convey uncertainty ("think" and "feel").
Do you see that you cannot EXPERIENTIALLY distinguish between an ‘ordinary thought’ and a ‘choosing thought’?
So far I have not been able to distinguish this experientially, no. They are all just thoughts. :)
OK. So you put the word ‘feel’ into quotation, since you can see that a thought cannot be felt, right?
Yes. In the way that we are talking about feelings (sensations), I see this. I can see clearly that thoughts do not produce real sensations. I was using "feel" in the general sense - to show I couldn't really figure out how to describe this, and that I was uncertain.

BTW I am still not sure how to describe certain emotions, which often appear (sometimes to the body, sometimes in thoughts) with the same kind of mysteriousness as thoughts do. But maybe this is a digression.
Is there a REAL, EXPERIENCABLE feeling behind the ‘deciding thoughts’?
Or all there is to this feeling is the WORD ‘feel’ in the thought “deciding thoughts feel different”?
I need to spend some more time investigating this. I haven't been able to focus or observe my thoughts as closely today. I will work on looking some more and get back to you.

Take care,

Dylan.

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swimmingly
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:14 pm

Hi Vivien.

The more I look at this, the more confused I am getting. There seems to be only the experience of thoughts and feelings.
Is there a REAL, EXPERIENCABLE feeling behind the ‘deciding thoughts’?
Or all there is to this feeling is the WORD ‘feel’ in the thought “deciding thoughts feel different”?
These decisions don't have a feeling. They actually have labels that I give them. They are just thoughts, which I am labeling "deciding thoughts."

And actually, most of the stuff I do just happens, with no deciding thoughts or really thoughts of any kind.

Now it is all confusion for me. Lots of things happening in the world and in my body, and lots of thoughts appearing and disappearing, but I don't know and can't see where any of it comes from. (Unless I use my intellectual thoughts of course.) From the point of view of pure experience, it is all just happening.

I don't know what to make of this! It is a little unsettling. :)

Dylan.

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby Vivien » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:10 am

Hi Dylan,
The more I look at this, the more confused I am getting.
Confusion is good. :) It comes in because what is found in reality is very different than expected and goes against your beliefs and assumptions. So confusion is the result of the clash between beliefs and what is seen in experience.
There seems to be only the experience of thoughts and feelings.
Exactly! You are doing excellent looking :)

Here is an exercise for you.

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

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

What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
Can you find a self/me or anything that is doing the choosing?

Is there a me/I controlling and moving the hand?
Is there a ‘I’ controlling which and to raise?
Is there a controller? Where?

How is the decision made?
Is the decision is made by an I/self?
Is there a decision maker? Where?

Repeat this many times before replying.
I don't know what to make of this! It is a little unsettling. :)
Could you please tell a bit more about this?
What is unsettling about seeing this?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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swimmingly
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:59 pm

Hi Vivien.

I hope you don't mind that it's taken me a few days to work through this exercise and see what I can find. I don't feel like I've made a breakthrough but it is getting clearer: I can't perceive anything "making" decisions.
What is it exactly that is choosing which hand to raise?
I don't know. I can't find a chooser in my experience. The choices just appear.
Can you find a self/me or anything that is doing the choosing?
No.
Is there a me/I controlling and moving the hand?
Is there a ‘I’ controlling which and to raise?
Is there a controller? Where?
Nothing of the sort! Sometimes one hand rises up. Sometimes the other. Sometimes one hand or both hands will come up and turn themselves over to be looked at. Every time it just happens. And then I notice that it's happening.

If there is a controller or an "I", I can't perceive it. "I" can't perceive it. :)
How is the decision made?
Is the decision is made by an I/self?
Is there a decision maker? Where?
Again, this is a complete mystery. Experience of perceptions and thoughts shows me nothing about how the decision is made of which hand to raise, or where that decision comes from.
D: I don't know what to make of this! It is a little unsettling. :)
V: Could you please tell a bit more about this?
What is unsettling about seeing this?
The part of me that likes explanations and enjoys investigating mysteries is not happy with the notion that choices just happen, that decisions appear out of nowhere. This part keeps wanting to say "that's the self! the self is the mysterious hidden part that chooses." It's the same part that, if it sees smoke, wants to know where the fire is. If it sees water flowing, it wants to know the source. This part is uncomfortable with the idea of just sitting there watching the smoke rise, or the water flow by, or the decisions appear.

But clearly, experience is not showing me the choices as they happen, or where they come from, or how they appear. If there is a source or a "place" where choices come from, if there is a controller, it is outside my ability to perceive it.

Another part of me is just fine with this. It is happy to sit there and appreciate the world unfolding around it, and can see the motions of my body and the choices appearing in my thoughts as part of the whole experience.

That is why I said it's a "little unsettling." Part of me is unsettled, part not.

Take care,

Dylan.

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby Vivien » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:38 am

Hi Dylan,
But clearly, experience is not showing me the choices as they happen, or where they come from, or how they appear. If there is a source or a "place" where choices come from, if there is a controller, it is outside my ability to perceive it.
But the everyday belief is that I am the controller, I am the decider.
So if the controller/perceiver cannot be found, then it means that the “I” is cannot be found.
if there is a controller, it is outside my ability to perceive it.
This conclusion suggests that actually there are two of me-s.

- the controller/decider (self-1)
- and the other “I” (self-2) which cannot perceive self-1, since self-1 is outside of the ability of self-2 to perceive it.

Do you see the trick here?

Please don’t try to analyse my above comment, just notice that it’s even logically fails.
The part of me that likes explanations and enjoys investigating mysteries is not happy with the notion that choices just happen, that decisions appear out of nowhere. This part keeps wanting to say "that's the self!
All right, let’s look into this.

What I would like you to focus on in the following days is the ‘part of me that likes explanations and enjoys investigations’.
The task is to FIND this part. Literally. The ‘part of me’.

So every time you catch yourself speculating or wanting explanation, look and search for this ‘part of me’. Literally search for it. Find it.

If it’s not just a fictional character, then it must be somewhere.

Search through the whole body from head to toe.

Can this ‘part of me’ be felt?
If yes, where is its exact location?

Can it be seen?
Smelled? Tasted?

Can it be experienced in any way, or it can only be thought of?


Please be very thorough with your investigation.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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swimmingly
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:35 pm

Hello Vivien.
Can this ‘part of me’ be felt?
If yes, where is its exact location?

Can it be seen?
Smelled? Tasted?

Can it be experienced in any way, or it can only be thought of?
Of course not. I have looked carefully, and I cannot directly perceive a "part" of myself that has a different personality from any other part.

When I speak about parts, what I'm referring to is a pattern of thoughts.

These thoughts just appear, like any others.

I can figure out where this pattern comes from: My parents, how I was raised, how I was taught, positive feedback I got for showing curiosity and analytic abilities, etc. And in fact, I can do this for many other thoughts and patterns of thoughts - I can recognize that they come from sources outside "me".

But those are all inferences that I make from memories (which are thoughts labeled "past experiences").

I know you said not to analyze this logically, but I'm interested in your comment about the "controller self" and the "other self" that can't perceive the first one. This is a good observation and I recognize the trick here!

It does make me wonder where that perception is coming from, and how it comes about. There is definitely experience happening: experience of sensations, experience of thoughts.

There is no perceiver that I can find, though! The perceiver is not itself an experience. There's no "experience of self" - just experience of sensations and thoughts.

Sometimes those thoughts recognize other thoughts as a pattern which has some coherence - that's what I was describing as "this part of myself". But it is clear that as far as experiencing goes, it's all just sensations and thoughts.

I hope you are well.

Dylan.

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby Vivien » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:06 am

Hi Dylan,
There is no perceiver that I can find, though! The perceiver is not itself an experience. There's no "experience of self" - just experience of sensations and thoughts.
Yes, you did an excellent looking.
I know you said not to analyze this logically, but I'm interested in your comment about the "controller self" and the "other self" that can't perceive the first one. This is a good observation and I recognize the trick here!
Yes, it’s a trick.

If you look very carefully, you can see that there are no different types of selves, only imagined conceptual thoughts categories.
Can you see this?
Sometimes those thoughts recognize other thoughts as a pattern which has some coherence - that's what I was describing as "this part of myself".
You say that ‘sometimes thoughts recognize other thoughts’ – but look very carefully.

Do thoughts have such a power? Can a thought actually (literally) recognize anything?
Are thoughts are some kind of entities with special powers, like the ability to recognize another thought?

Can a thought ACTUALLY KNOW another thought?
What can a thought do?


Please be careful not to go to thinking and speculation with the above questions, rather look what is really happening in experience.


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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swimmingly
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:51 am

Hi Vivien.

So, you are right. Thoughts are not like little mini entities with thoughts and actions of their own.

When I look closer at what's going on as these thoughts arise, they have some characteristics. Some thoughts are pleasant and others unpleasant. Some are new and others (most of them) old. Sometimes the same thoughts come around again and again, in the course of five minutes or over the duration of a day or several days. I have some ability to recognize them as repetitive, so there is clearly memory, and a sense of time, and I can match the thought with something that appeared before.

I don't know how that works as I can't see the matching happen, which is why it's more accurate to say that the thought simply has a characteristic of "not new". Or "not new and was just here a few minutes ago." Which is another thought that emerges as I think about that particular thought, but before it emerges there is that sense of recognition that allows me to create the thought of a pattern of thoughts.

I feel like I am losing the ability to describe very clearly though, because the experience of thoughts at this level is so very basic.

Like I said a few days ago, the thoughts appear and disappear without a sense of a director or controller creating them. It's only the thought of a director that comes in, after the fact, as another kind of explanatory thought.

Dylan.

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Vivien
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby Vivien » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:38 am

Hi Dylan,

Sorry for the late reply.
I don't know how that works as I can't see the matching happen, which is why it's more accurate to say that the thought simply has a characteristic of "not new".
Are you 100% sure that some thoughts have the characteristics of ‘not new’?

Is this information coming from that particular thought… is there a tag attached to with the label ‘not new’?
Or just another thought suggest so?

Do thoughts have any ACTUAL or INHERENT characteristics, or any characteristics are just assigned by other interpreting thoughts?

Or "not new and was just here a few minutes ago." Which is another thought that emerges as I think about that particular thought, but before it emerges there is that sense of recognition
Sense of recognition suggest that there is an ACTUAL EXPERIENCABLE SENSE BEFORE another thought would label the previous thought as ‘not new’ or “it’s a memory”.

Are you 100% sure that there is such thing as an ACTUAL EXPERIENCABLE SENSE of recognition BEFORE verbalization (meaning having another thought saying so)?

If yes, please describe this SENSE (which exist before verbalization) as precisely as you can, but without using any analogies, imagination or speculation. Just the raw experience of it.


Look very carefully at what is happening right here now, and not to go to speculation or any theory. Just observer the pure, irrefutable facts of experience.
but before it emerges there is that sense of recognition that allows me to create the thought of a pattern of thoughts.
“allows me to create the thought of a pattern” – so are you the creator of thoughts?
Are you making a pattern to appear?
HOW do you do that exactly?
I feel like I am losing the ability to describe very clearly though, because the experience of thoughts at this level is so very basic.
Yes, it’s very basic… but you are making it complicated by interpretation… but you might not seeing it.
Reality is very simple.
Like I said a few days ago, the thoughts appear and disappear without a sense of a director or controller creating them. It's only the thought of a director that comes in, after the fact, as another kind of explanatory thought.
Exactly. Nice observations.

I would like to ask you to quote my questions, since it’s easy to miss without doing so.
You didn’t reply for two important pointers. So here are they again. Please look again, even if you did before.

Can a thought ACTUALLY KNOW another thought?
What can a thought do?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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swimmingly
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:21 am

Hi Vivien. Good to hear from you.
Are you 100% sure that some thoughts have the characteristics of ‘not new’?

Is this information coming from that particular thought… is there a tag attached to with the label ‘not new’?
Or just another thought suggest so?
So, I am honestly not 100% sure. But I don't know how else to explain this. I do notice that there are thoughts labeling other thoughts. This is how the thought of "a pattern of thoughts" or "categories of thoughts" can arise.

But also, it is not the case that thoughts can have any label at all. When I am reading something, for instance, and it's a new idea or new information, there is a thought labeling this new thought (which came from the text) as new. But that's because it has an inherent "newness" to it.

When I am sitting there with the same thoughts running around and around in my head (to use a conventional expression) it is possible to observe each one and recognize that it is not new. That recognition is a label, yes. But it's also a label based on an experience of not-newness.

Do thoughts have any ACTUAL or INHERENT characteristics, or any characteristics are just assigned by other interpreting thoughts?
Pretty sure that yes, thoughts have some inherent characteristics. Some are more visual, some more verbal. Some memories, some interpretations of what I am experiencing right now. I can recognize thoughts I have seen before just as immediately as I recognize faces. (This is another analogy, I know.) Without using analogies: There is an immediate sense of recognition that a thought is not new.
Are you 100% sure that there is such thing as an ACTUAL EXPERIENCABLE SENSE of recognition BEFORE verbalization (meaning having another thought saying so)?

If yes, please describe this SENSE (which exist before verbalization) as precisely as you can, but without using any analogies, imagination or speculation. Just the raw experience of it.
Again, I'm not 100% sure, but I'm fairly sure. I don't really have access to any sense BEFORE verbalization. Every thought - every experience or sensation - is almost immediately "verbalized" with some kind of thought.

There's something there (experience). I don't have direct access to it.
D: but before it emerges there is that sense of recognition that allows me to create the thought of a pattern of thoughts.
V: “allows me to create the thought of a pattern” – so are you the creator of thoughts?
Are you making a pattern to appear?
HOW do you do that exactly?
OK, so here I was speaking loosely. I'm not certain that I'm creating these thoughts. In fact I'd say it's more accurate to say that the thought of a pattern arises in response to other thoughts.
Can a thought ACTUALLY KNOW another thought?
What can a thought do?
Now we are down to a level where I have no idea how to answer. We have been talking about "thoughts" as if they are separate entities but actually the experience of thinking has a bunch of thoughts all intertwined and coexisting, one after another, each one influencing other thoughts.

So no, I don't think a thought can KNOW another thought. Thoughts don't "know" things - thoughts are just appearances, phenomena, information, ideas, pictures. There can be a thought with information about another thought. There are thoughts that bring other thoughts into appearance after them.

What can a thought do? I don't know. I can't perceive thoughts DOING anything other than presenting information, ideas, etc. But they aren't just random. If they were random I couldn't put a coherent sentence together. There is some coherence to how the thoughts appear, even if I can't perceive it directly.

And that's all I can see, this evening anyway.

Dylan.

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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby Vivien » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:30 am

Hi Dylan,

You replied quite quickly. If you reply just after a few hours, you don’t have enough time to sufficiently look.

It’s very important to ALWAYS LOOK with every single question I give you, even if you looked at that same thing before, and NEVER reply from the memory of a previous looking.

If you reply from memory, then it’s not coming from seeing it the moment, but from believing.

This inquiry is about repeated looking again and again and again…
I am honestly not 100% sure. But I don't know how else to explain this.
You see you are trying to explain it. Explanations are never coming from looking, but from thinking. You are trying to explain how things work… but this inquiry is not about figuring out how things work, but to see how things ARE.
But also, it is not the case that thoughts can have any label at all. When I am reading something, for instance, and it's a new idea or new information, there is a thought labeling this new thought (which came from the text) as new. But that's because it has an inherent "newness" to it.
This is not coming from looking, it’s an intellectual reasoning.

A thought has no inherent newness. If you think that it has, then you haven’t looked closed enough.
You have to ignore all thought interpretations, and just look at the raw experience.
it is possible to observe each one and recognize that it is not new. That recognition is a label, yes. But it's also a label based on an experience of not-newness.
You say that there is an experience of not-newness.

So how does this not-newness is EXPERIENCED? Not thought about but experienced?
As a sound? An image? A sensation? A taste? Or a smell?

Is it possible to experience anything other than with the 5 senses?

Pretty sure that yes, thoughts have some inherent characteristics. Some are more visual, some more verbal. Some memories, some interpretations of what I am experiencing right now. I can recognize thoughts I have seen before just as immediately as I recognize faces
You are writing about your opinion (which is a belief) and not about the direct raw experience.
You are paying too much attention to thought-content, and not to experience.
I don't really have access to any sense BEFORE verbalization.
You see, there is no access to any sense before verbalization. Exactly. This is coming from looking!

But there is an assumption that there must be, so you distort the description of the experience by lens of this assumption/belief.
Every thought - every experience or sensation - is almost immediately "verbalized" with some kind of thought.
And then what? Just because it’s quickly verbalized, that thought is making the experience/sensation/thought to have characteristics, or creating an actual sense?

Look very closely. Is there any characteristics outside of thought interpretation/label?

Please sit for several minutes, and just observe whatever is happening.
But while doing so, replace all thoughts with blah-blah-blah.

So where is this sense of recognition of newness when all there are to thoughts “blah-blah-blah”?
There's something there (experience). I don't have direct access to it.
Yes, you don’t have access to any sense recognition of newness, since there is none!
You just belief that there is one.
Believe = think
But if you look very carefully, it can be clearly seen that there is none.

But if you can’t see it, then it means that you are paying attention to what THOUGHTS ARE ABOUT, and not HOW REALITY ACTUALLY IS.
OK, so here I was speaking loosely. I'm not certain that I'm creating these thoughts. In fact I'd say it's more accurate to say that the thought of a pattern arises in response to other thoughts.
At this point of this inquiry, being uncertain of if I’m the creator of thought or not is not sufficient.
You have to look, until you can be certain.

So please look again. Look not just when sitting, but throughout the whole day, while doing other activities, 50+ times a day.

Look if there is ANY thought at all, what you created, made into existence.
Is there any? Any at all?
So no, I don't think a thought can KNOW another thought
You are not looking, you are thinking… you even say “I don’t think….”

Don’t think about any answer, but rather look what is actually happening. And not what you THINK is happening.
Thoughts don't "know" things - thoughts are just appearances, phenomena, information, ideas, pictures.
Can you clearly see this? Or this coming from reasoning?
There can be a thought with information about another thought. There are thoughts that bring other thoughts into appearance after them.
This is coming from logic, not from looking.

Can you find an ACTUAL LINK between two thoughts?
Or you just assume that there is a link, since the content of those thoughts (what the thought is about) are related?


Replace thoughts with blah-blah-blah, and see what is left of this link.
What can a thought do? I don't know. I can't perceive thoughts DOING anything other than presenting information, ideas, etc. But they aren't just random. If they were random I couldn't put a coherent sentence together. There is some coherence to how the thoughts appear, even if I can't perceive it directly.
This is also coming from logical thinking, and not from looking.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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swimmingly
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:10 am

Hi Vivien.
A thought has no inherent newness. If you think that it has, then you haven’t looked closed enough.
...
You say that there is an experience of not-newness.

So how does this not-newness is EXPERIENCED? Not thought about but experienced?
As a sound? An image? A sensation? A taste? Or a smell?

Is it possible to experience anything other than with the 5 senses?
Actually, I am describing my experience. You give me the answer first ("a thought has no inherent newness") and then ask me to answer a question about my experience. I can't answer from my experience without disagreeing with your answer.

Here is how I experience it: Some thoughts very clearly appear differently than other thoughts. Most of the thoughts I notice are not new. But sometimes thoughts appear - often when I am reading, or talking to someone - which are new. These are rare and surprising.

A new thought is experienced as "new thought." This sense of newness is as directly obvious as the thought itself ("thinking about ideas of not-self," "thinking I am feeling a little irritated," "thinking about some news about coronavirus treatments," etc.).

For me, it is definitely possible to experience things other than the 5 senses. Thoughts are also experiences. I can see clearly that they do not have the same quality or the same level of reality as sense experiences. They belong to a different kind of reality from feelings. Perhaps they are not real at all! But the experience of thoughts is definitely there.

I have been looking at thoughts and sense experiences (feelings) for a long time today and yesterday, and this seems quite clear to me today.

The thoughts are a different kind of experience. But I see no reason to say that thoughts are not experiences at all. Thoughts are happening, without a doubt, and they are part of my experience of being alive, right now.
Look very closely. Is there any characteristics outside of thought interpretation/label?
My usual experience with sense experiences is that they are filtered through thoughts before I am even conscious of them. By the time I notice something sensory (like the warmth of the heater) there are already thoughts in place, saying "that's the heater."

I say usually, because when I looked very closely I could sometimes see hints of sense experience without thought, seeming to be there only milliseconds before the thoughts appeared. This seemed more apparent with stronger feelings (sharp cold from the water on my face this morning, for instance).

But those sense experiences without thoughts are barely even conscious. They do seem to have some characteristics (cold, unpleasant, warm, pleasant, bright, etc) but not much.

Similarly with the thoughts I was talking about. They have some very basic characteristics before verbalization appears (pleasant, unpleasant, etc) but they are barely even thoughts at that stage.

Please sit for several minutes, and just observe whatever is happening.
But while doing so, replace all thoughts with blah-blah-blah.

So where is this sense of recognition of newness when all there are to thoughts “blah-blah-blah”?
I am afraid I might not understand your instructions clearly. I do not see that a thought can just be replaced. A thought is whatever it is about. I cannot just replace a thought with "blah blah blah" without completely changing that thought.

Anyway, I sat quietly, and tried to replace thoughts with "blah-blah-blah."

What happened is then I always had two thoughts: One thought, and then another thought saying "blah blah blah."

It was like two voices arguing with each other.

I couldn't actually *replace* any thoughts, only add on the "blah blah blah" to the thoughts that were already appearing.

By focusing on "blah blah blah" I was able to fill my mind with it for a minute or two. I noticed at this point that it was getting hard to focus on anything, even visual sensations. Whatever I was looking at, my eyes lost focus. I could no longer clearly interpret visual signals.

When I closed my eyes, the "blah blah blah" filled up everything. It was crowding out most of the other thoughts. It was not very pleasant.

The "blah blah blah" thought did not seem to have the quality of newness. :) The sense of recognition was drowned out.
Look if there is ANY thought at all, what you created, made into existence.
Is there any? Any at all?
I am not sure I understand the question. Are you asking if there are any thoughts that have actual, material existence? My answer is: No. Thoughts are not material. I am not creating them. They don't have any existence outside of ... well, I was going to say "my mind," but since I couldn't find evidence of that, I will say they have no existence outside of thinking. There are just thoughts.

Are you asking if I can create thoughts? No, they just happen. I tried this before, with the different kinds of cars, or rice.
D: So no, I don't think a thought can KNOW another thought
V: You are not looking, you are thinking… you even say “I don’t think….”
Let me rephrase: You asked if a thought could know another thought. My answer is no: I do *not* think that. More accurately: I see that a thought cannot know another thought.

Now I am not entirely sure what thoughts *are* any more, or what they *can* do... I am spending so much time looking at thoughts that it's becoming muddled again, and I'm really having trouble thinking clearly.
V: Don’t think about any answer, but rather look what is actually happening. And not what you THINK is happening.
D: Thoughts don't "know" things - thoughts are just appearances, phenomena, information, ideas, pictures.
V: Can you clearly see this? Or this coming from reasoning?
This is very hard, because thinking about thoughts - even observing thoughts - seems to be nothing BUT thinking. It's all thoughts!

Can I clearly see that thoughts don't know things? YES. Thoughts appear. They don't have independent "minds" of their own. If they do have minds of their own, it's not something that I can observe.
This is coming from logic, not from looking.

Can you find an ACTUAL LINK between two thoughts?
Or you just assume that there is a link, since the content of those thoughts (what the thought is about) are related?
I cannot find the link. I have said this before. I can't perceive thoughts DOING anything other than presenting information, ideas, etc.

Using thinking, I assume there is a link! Sure, yes. It would be obvious even to a child. :) But if I am just looking, no, I cannot see a link other than their similarity.

Again, I can't perceive thoughts DOING anything. They just show up, and show different things - information, words, pictures, etc.

When I say "I assume they're connected" that's because I can't see the connection, but they have similarities and appear in close proximity to each other, etc.

If apparently related thoughts really don't relate to each other, or if thoughts about sensations really don't relate to the feeling sensations I feel, then the world makes no sense to me. Perhaps that is what is real though! I cannot see either the sense or the lack of sense without reference to thoughts. Only the thoughts are there to make sense of things.

Vivien, I feel like I am getting lost in this conversation about thoughts. I thought I was going to be exploring the unreality of the self and yet for the last few weeks it's been all about the unreality of thinking.

The process is also getting frustrating to me, because I am thinking about this and doing these exercises/experiments/looking all the time, or quite a lot of the time anyway. I am getting a bit irritated by all this thinking ... and thinking ... and thinking. It is interfering with my ability to do work normally and to be patient with people around me.

It is the opposite of what I expected: Instead of becoming more open to the world and what's happening, and seeing the world more directly without the nonsense of the self getting in the way, I am disappearing into my own thoughts, and those thoughts are looking more and more insubstantial.

Worse than that, I am seeing how far all these thoughts are from reality outside, and even from direct sensations. ALL experience is filtered through these thoughts, and I see less and less access to reality apart from them. I suspect I am training my thoughts to run in a way that is not beneficial.

I will try not to reply too fast next time. I also might need to take a day or two to rest from this.

Dylan.

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swimmingly
Posts: 26
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Re: Ready to cut through the BS

Postby swimmingly » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:40 pm

Dear Vivien,

One more thing - a question for you.

Thoughts are not real. What I have been thinking of as my "self" is just a bunch of thoughts, and thoughts about thoughts -- I see this very clearly now. And I also see how sensations (seeing, hearing, touch, the body sensations, etc) are real in a way that thoughts can never be.

These sensations are happening to a body. The body is real. Why don't we simply say that "I am my body" and the self is nothing other than this body?

I heard a crow this morning. The hearing was happening. It was real. When I looked at the crow, it was really there. And I would not say that the crow was anything other than the body of the crow, which appears in hearing and in vision. Why wouldn't I say the same thing about myself?

Thank you,

Dylan.


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