Is it possible to see this?

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby Empty Mirror » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:16 am

And when you do that do you find an "I" in there doing all of that? Remember to judge only from direct experience.

We're not asking you to tell us who/what is the thinker of thoughts, we're asking you whether you are the thinker of them. Do you have any proof whatsoever that you are the thinker of thoughts? If so what is it? I'm going to assume that you're going to rely only on direct evidence, and are intelligent enough to think about this very carefully before answering.
I don't find any I in direct experience doing anything. And, I don't have any proof, or even any evidence, that I am the thinker of thoughts. Thoughts seem to be happening on their own without any me making them happen.
Ok. We have this one in the bag. We'll leave it for now and come back to it later.
Here you're jumping the gun again. We aren't asking you about the self, we're asking you about the personal I. We're trying to discover whether the "personal I" is anything but a thought. When the mind says "is there a me here?" what does direct evidence tell you? Do you find a "me" in direct experience, or do you just find perceptions?
If there is a difference between "self" and "personal I", I don't know what it is. I use the terms interchangeably.

The mind says that there is a me here, direct evidence says that there is no me here in this experience.
Ok, so there is no evidence of a me in direct experience. This one is almost in the bag.
There is no me in direct experience. This doesn't necessarily mean there is no me, though. It means that if there is a me, it must be somewhere else besides experience.
Do you see that is just a thought? Nobody has said that you don't exist, we've only said that you're not what thought says you are. Let's not worry about what you are until we've discovered what you're not.
This is why I'm not sure how I would ever see that there is no me, since I can't see outside of experience to see that there can't be a me anywhere.
What makes you think that there is anything outside direct experience? This is an important question, please think carefully about it and answer as fully as possible.
From the standpoint of experience, there's just this experience and everything is part of it.
Ok, now that is a valid observation. In direct experience do you find any separation whatsoever between the experience and the awareness of it? Do you find any separation whatsoever between a thought and the awareness of it?

Do you find any separation whatsoever between ANYTHING 'here' and the awareness of it? If not then why does a "thing" in 'this' (the entire field of perception) have to be aware of 'this'. Why can the field of perception (the universe appearing 'here' in this moment) not be aware of itself? Not the stuff in the field of perception - the entire field of perception as One completely indivisible whole?

Is there ANYTHING in direct experience that says this is not the case?
No, there is no separation between experience and awareness.

The thoughts about I say that I am aware. However, direct experience says that experience and awareness are here, and there's no sign of any I in this experience. It would seem that no I is necessary to have awareness, and that therefore some of the thoughts about "I" are not true.
Ok, it seems that we're making some progress now. Yes, direct experience does say that there is just experience and awareness of experience, and these can not be in any way denied. It also says that "I" or "me" is not necessary for this awareness/experience.
I'm not sure what you mean about the field of perception being aware of itself.
This is much more difficult, and I only brought it up in order to try to break the impasse that we were having. This is something that takes a while to realise, and is really just a logical step that you naturally arrive at once the personal I is truly seen through. But having raised it I would be unkind not to satisfy your curiosity :)

You'll notice that, relying purely on direct experience, you've discovered that there is no "I" to be found in direct experience. What you do find is experience and awareness of experience. You've also discovered that the two are actually in no way separate - awareness and experience are seamlessly and inextricable ONE. You've also discovered that there are no other awarenesses or "other's-experiences" in direct experience. So you've discovered that the universe of direct experience is purely experiencing and awareness. The universe of direct experience is therefore the "field of perception". Now we know that the "field of perception" is just experiences and awareness as ONE UNDIVIDED WHOLE, so clearly the "universe" or "field of perception" is aware of itself.

And it is the ONLY universe in existence anywhere!! There are no "other"awarenesses. There are no other "fields of perception". You are the only one here. I and Edward are appearances in you ALONE.
Yes, what thought says about anything is not necessarily true. This is one thought saying this, though. The rest of the thoughts don't agree. Or rather, those thoughts which are seen as being true, are still seen as being true, even though one thought which is seen as being true says that the others aren't necessarily.
The only thoughts that are true are the ones that can be verified by direct experience.
I don't know whether or not I can discover which thoughts are verifiable through direct experience. Can you give me a simple example of this?

A simple example might be, "The book is on the table", but the result for me is not so simple. The book seems to be on the table, but I would definitely not say that I am 100% certain that it is. I'm not certain that there is such a thing as a book or a table, and there's something within me which says that there definitely is no such thing as a book or a table or any other object, that there are no objects.
Well this shows some fantastic insight Edward. It's way in advance of what we're working on with you. The answer is that you're right. All objects including planets and people are abstractions of one indivisible whole, and they're random abstractions generated by thought. In essence there is just "this" and it is aware of itself, and thoughts, perceptions, and objects are just random abstractions of "this". Does that make any sense to you?

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xyzzy
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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby xyzzy » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:10 pm

What makes you think that there is anything outside direct experience? This is an important question, please think carefully about it and answer as fully as possible.
I don't know whether or not there is anything outside of experience, but there seems to be.

I'm not controlling my thoughts, but something must be, because they appear in a structured way, organized into sentences (more or less). I don't know how my hands are able to type, but something knows how to type and allows my hands to do so. There seems to be an objective world out there which goes on whether or not I'm paying attention to it. And there seem to be other people out there, who are having thoughts and feelings that I am completely unaware of. So, there seem to be all sorts of things going on outside of my experience.
Well this shows some fantastic insight Edward. It's way in advance of what we're working on with you. The answer is that you're right. All objects including planets and people are abstractions of one indivisible whole, and they're random abstractions generated by thought. In essence there is just "this" and it is aware of itself, and thoughts, perceptions, and objects are just random abstractions of "this". Does that make any sense to you?
Pretty much. This idea, that there are no objects, just came to me while I was involved in one of the other threads a month or two ago. No objects also implies that no thoughts are true, because thought always divides everything up into separate pieces, and there actually are no separate pieces.

This means that there is no me... but in the same way that there are no walls or shoes or whatever.

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby Empty Mirror » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:18 am

What makes you think that there is anything outside direct experience? This is an important question, please think carefully about it and answer as fully as possible.
I don't know whether or not there is anything outside of experience, but there seems to be.

I'm not controlling my thoughts, but something must be, because they appear in a structured way, organized into sentences (more or less). I don't know how my hands are able to type, but something knows how to type and allows my hands to do so. There seems to be an objective world out there which goes on whether or not I'm paying attention to it. And there seem to be other people out there, who are having thoughts and feelings that I am completely unaware of. So, there seem to be all sorts of things going on outside of my experience.
You will notice that everything you said above was NOT based on direct experience. It was all thought based.

Sure it SEEMS like there must be a thinker of thoughts because thoughts are structured. But were they ALWAYS structured, or have they built themselves a structure over time? In your earliest memories was there an "I"?

Concepts are slowly formed, and they slowly form themselves into thoughts, which slowly form themselves into patterns, which slowly generate a structure called "I".

Please answer my question again, and this time answer only from direct experience. Tell me what you find in direct experience that says that there is something outside of direct experience?

If it seems that thought has a "centre" try to find that centre, or at least try to locate the thoughts that say there is a centre, and then test those thoughts against direct experiential evidence.
Well this shows some fantastic insight Edward. It's way in advance of what we're working on with you. The answer is that you're right. All objects including planets and people are abstractions of one indivisible whole, and they're random abstractions generated by thought. In essence there is just "this" and it is aware of itself, and thoughts, perceptions, and objects are just random abstractions of "this". Does that make any sense to you?
Pretty much. This idea, that there are no objects, just came to me while I was involved in one of the other threads a month or two ago. No objects also implies that no thoughts are true, because thought always divides everything up into separate pieces, and there actually are no separate pieces.

This means that there is no me... but in the same way that there are no walls or shoes or whatever.
This is a very profound observation Edward. There are MANY who are completely free of the belief in a personal I, but have not yet seen this. We could delve into the profound truth of the statement that you just made, and that sort of stuff does get discussed at length on the facebook forum that you get access to once you're clear of the "personal I" crap, but we need to get past this personal I thing.

I'm amazed that you could have an insight like this, and yet continue to have a belief in a personal I. Can't you see that the personal I is no different to the "walls or shoes or whatever"?

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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby xyzzy » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:53 am

You will notice that everything you said above was NOT based on direct experience. It was all thought based.

Sure it SEEMS like there must be a thinker of thoughts because thoughts are structured. But were they ALWAYS structured, or have they built themselves a structure over time? In your earliest memories was there an "I"?

Concepts are slowly formed, and they slowly form themselves into thoughts, which slowly form themselves into patterns, which slowly generate a structure called "I".

Please answer my question again, and this time answer only from direct experience. Tell me what you find in direct experience that says that there is something outside of direct experience?
You're right, I wasn't answering from direct experience. Within direct experience, there is nothing that says that there is anything outside of direct experience. Only thoughts say that there is something else.

As to the question about my earliest memories, my earliest memories are as a teenager, and there was an I then. I do remember some things from when I was a child, but no actual experiences, just things like the layout of houses and such.
This is a very profound observation Edward. There are MANY who are completely free of the belief in a personal I, but have not yet seen this. We could delve into the profound truth of the statement that you just made, and that sort of stuff does get discussed at length on the facebook forum that you get access to once you're clear of the "personal I" crap, but we need to get past this personal I thing.

I'm amazed that you could have an insight like this, and yet continue to have a belief in a personal I. Can't you see that the personal I is no different to the "walls or shoes or whatever"?
Yes, I see that there is no I, in the same way that I see that there are no walls and shoes and any other objects. These things seem to exist but actually don't. But I only see this while I'm paying attention to it, there is no way to live this.

And, isn't the idea of this website that the I is not the same as walls and shoes and so on, in that it has no existence whatsoever, while these other things do seem to exist?

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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby Empty Mirror » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:09 am

Hi Edward
You will notice that everything you said above was NOT based on direct experience. It was all thought based.

Sure it SEEMS like there must be a thinker of thoughts because thoughts are structured. But were they ALWAYS structured, or have they built themselves a structure over time? In your earliest memories was there an "I"?

Concepts are slowly formed, and they slowly form themselves into thoughts, which slowly form themselves into patterns, which slowly generate a structure called "I".

Please answer my question again, and this time answer only from direct experience. Tell me what you find in direct experience that says that there is something outside of direct experience?
You're right, I wasn't answering from direct experience. Within direct experience, there is nothing that says that there is anything outside of direct experience. Only thoughts say that there is something else.
Ok, so again, the only thing that tells you that there is something outside of direct experience is thoughts, which can not be confirmed by direct experience, and which you have discovered you are not the thinker of.

As to the question about my earliest memories, my earliest memories are as a teenager, and there was an I then. I do remember some things from when I was a child, but no actual experiences, just things like the layout of houses and such.
Wow. Most people have memories right back to pre-school years, and some actually remember the first time that there was an "I" thought, or thoughts of separation. Do you remember the first time that you became aware of the "I" thought?

Whether you do or you don't, it hasn't been around all the time, and in fact many very young children refer to themselves in the third person. In fact the "I" thought isn't around most of the time. The "I" thought is only found when looked for. When lost in the beauty of a sunset, or a piece of music, there is no "I" there. The "I" only pops up when the experience becomes 'personalised' by thought.
This is a very profound observation Edward. There are MANY who are completely free of the belief in a personal I, but have not yet seen this. We could delve into the profound truth of the statement that you just made, and that sort of stuff does get discussed at length on the facebook forum that you get access to once you're clear of the "personal I" crap, but we need to get past this personal I thing.

I'm amazed that you could have an insight like this, and yet continue to have a belief in a personal I. Can't you see that the personal I is no different to the "walls or shoes or whatever"?
Yes, I see that there is no I, in the same way that I see that there are no walls and shoes and any other objects. These things seem to exist but actually don't. But I only see this while I'm paying attention to it, there is no way to live this.
What do you mean by "there is no way to live this"? It can only ever be lived, it can never be truly understood, because all thought is just abstraction, but it is being lived right now, and every moment.
And, isn't the idea of this website that the I is not the same as walls and shoes and so on, in that it has no existence whatsoever, while these other things do seem to exist?
Well yes and no. The idea of the website is to show that there is no "I" in the actual experiencing, there is only an "I" in thought. People would say that there is a difference between objects (like walls) and thoughts (like "I am a person"), but really there is no difference. Both are things appearing in subjectivity/awareness/'this'.

The reason for the emphasis on the lack of a personal "I" is because the idea that there is a personal "I" that is doing the experiencing, and that the "I" is responsible for thoughts and doing is the foundation stone of the whole illusion. Obviously, once the "I" lie is seen through, the rest of the 'illusion' starts to become more obvious.

So let's get back to the enquiry. If you see that you are not the thinker of thoughts, and you see that thought divides and separates everything, and you see that without believing thought stories it's clear that there are no others having any experience anywhere, then where does any "I" fit in. If there are no "others" what is "I"?

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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby xyzzy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:11 am

Ok, so again, the only thing that tells you that there is something outside of direct experience is thoughts, which can not be confirmed by direct experience, and which you have discovered you are not the thinker of.
Yes. But I'm not sure if that leads to anything. Without thoughts there is no understanding of anything, there is only experience. Even an idea like "thoughts cannot be relied upon" is itself a thought, which then apparently can't be relied upon.

Although, you've mentioned thoughts which could be confirmed by direct experience. But I'm not sure what any of those would be, besides things like "There is the experience of sound".
Wow. Most people have memories right back to pre-school years, and some actually remember the first time that there was an "I" thought, or thoughts of separation. Do you remember the first time that you became aware of the "I" thought?
I don't really have much in the way of memories, at least not for experiences, so I can't answer that one.
So let's get back to the enquiry. If you see that you are not the thinker of thoughts, and you see that thought divides and separates everything, and you see that without believing thought stories it's clear that there are no others having any experience anywhere, then where does any "I" fit in. If there are no "others" what is "I"?
I don't see that there are no others having any experience anywhere. I see that there are no others having an experience here. I don't see that there is nothing outside of this experience, although I have no proof that there is. I don't see that there are no others.

I is the supposed center to this experience, or some invisible thing which is having this experience. It can't be found in this experience. There's no evidence that this I exists, there are just thoughts saying that it does.

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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby Empty Mirror » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:11 am

Ok, so again, the only thing that tells you that there is something outside of direct experience is thoughts, which can not be confirmed by direct experience, and which you have discovered you are not the thinker of.
Yes. But I'm not sure if that leads to anything. Without thoughts there is no understanding of anything, there is only experience. Even an idea like "thoughts cannot be relied upon" is itself a thought, which then apparently can't be relied upon.
We've gone through this before, when I quoted the saying "Use a thorn to remove a thorn". We use thought to dismantle its self-thought-up-centre. The way we do this is by discerning which thoughts can most closely be confirmed by direct experiential (sensory) experience, and which thoughts have no correlation in direct experience.

So we try to employ thought while at the same time being aware that a lot of what it produces will not be true or verifiable against direct experiential evidence.
Although, you've mentioned thoughts which could be confirmed by direct experience. But I'm not sure what any of those would be, besides things like "There is the experience of sound".
Yes, that's a report of direct experience. If it was the sound of a bird then you may say that there is the experience of sound which sounds like "tweet tweet". That's about as much as you could possibly say about it without adding thought stories.
So let's get back to the enquiry. If you see that you are not the thinker of thoughts, and you see that thought divides and separates everything, and you see that without believing thought stories it's clear that there are no others having any experience anywhere, then where does any "I" fit in. If there are no "others" what is "I"?
I don't see that there are no others having any experience anywhere. I see that there are no others having an experience here. I don't see that there is nothing outside of this experience, although I have no proof that there is. I don't see that there are no others.
Ok, so in direct experience there are no experiences that are experienced by others, and you have no direct evidence that there any such thing exists. There is a body that seems to do things, and there are other bodies that seem to do things. There are sensations which seem to correspond with the body, and there are words that seem to come from other bodies which report that those bodies have sensation and experiences, but there is no direct evidence that this is the case.

There is also no direct experiential evidence that sensations are "in" the body. Sure sensations and body appear simultaneously in "this", but only thought says that sensations are "in" the body. Direct experience says that pain and body appear simultaneously in "this", and that there is thought which says that pain is "in" the body. However there is no thinker of those thoughts, and outside of thought there is no "I' in the experience of body or pain.

If you look at pain carefully, you'll notice that it only has location in thought. If you close your eyes you will notice that pain, supposedly "in the foot", is right "here", as close as a thought is. The pain is not in the foot, it's here, as close as a painful emotion is, and as close as the image of the foot is. The pain, the foot, and the thought that the pain is in the foot, all appear right "here" with one another seamlessly as one.

Similarly, "others" are not separate from the body in any way except in thought. "Others" appear "here", just as intimately as the body appears "here". Only thought says that there is a separation between any of the stuff that appears "here".

Think of "here" as "this" - everything that shows up here right now, including thoughts, sensations, emotions, a chair, a pc screen, reading of words, imaginations, memories, words on a screen etc, etc.

"This" is one single seamless appearance (which thought divides up into concepts and ideas) and it's aware of itself. Not aware of itself as an "I", but as one undivided seamless appearance. Within that one undivided whole, thoughts appear that say that this is divided, and that the awareness of "this" resides in an "I", but tell me where is this supposed "I"?

You answer the question yourself below :)
I is the supposed center to this experience, or some invisible thing which is having this experience. It can't be found in this experience. There's no evidence that this I exists, there are just thoughts saying that it does.
So, now I ask you again, if you see that you are not the thinker of thoughts, and you see that thought divides and separates everything, and you see that without believing thought stories it's clear that there are no others having any experience anywhere, then where does any "I" fit in. If there are no "others" what is "I"?

If there is no "other" anywhere, then where else could these words have appeared from, apart from "this" that is aware of itself?

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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby xyzzy » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:26 am

So, now I ask you again, if you see that you are not the thinker of thoughts, and you see that thought divides and separates everything, and you see that without believing thought stories it's clear that there are no others having any experience anywhere, then where does any "I" fit in. If there are no "others" what is "I"?

If there is no "other" anywhere, then where else could these words have appeared from, apart from "this" that is aware of itself?
If there are no others, this doesn't change the definition of I. I is still the center of this experience, and some thing which has an experience and which has beliefs and so on.

I don't see that there are no others, though. I see that there are no others here, just as I see that there is no I here. Seeing that something isn't here doesn't tell me that it doesn't exist, because I assume that there is an elsewhere where things could be. It is thoughts telling me that there is or could be an elsewhere, though. But direct experience doesn't say there isn't (or is) an elsewhere, it concerns itself entirely with here.

If it's possible to see that there is nowhere but here, I don't how to see it.

I don't know where my own words appear from, so I don't know where your words appear from either.

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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby Empty Mirror » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:00 am

So, now I ask you again, if you see that you are not the thinker of thoughts, and you see that thought divides and separates everything, and you see that without believing thought stories it's clear that there are no others having any experience anywhere, then where does any "I" fit in. If there are no "others" what is "I"?

If there is no "other" anywhere, then where else could these words have appeared from, apart from "this" that is aware of itself?
If there are no others, this doesn't change the definition of I. I is still the center of this experience, and some thing which has an experience and which has beliefs and so on.
Of course it does. Think about what you're saying. Did you notice that in my question I specifically said "without thought stories"?

What is "the definition of "I" that you talk about? Please give me your definition, and tell me how much you relied on direct experiential evidence when composing your reply, and how much you relied on thought stories.
I don't see that there are no others, though. I see that there are no others here, just as I see that there is no I here.
Is this the "no I" that you're talking about as the centre of experience in your reply above?
Seeing that something isn't here doesn't tell me that it doesn't exist, because I assume that there is an elsewhere where things could be.
You've just said that there is no "I", so what you're really saying here is that thought says that there is experience "elsewhere", and other stuff "elsewhere". Yet you admit that no "elsewhere" can be found in direct experience.
It is thoughts telling me that there is or could be an elsewhere, though. But direct experience doesn't say there isn't (or is) an elsewhere, it concerns itself entirely with here.
Precisely. Are you the thinker of those thoughts? Why do you believe those thoughts? What makes you believe those thoughts?
If it's possible to see that there is nowhere but here, I don't how to see it.
Direct experience is screaming it all the time. What you're saying is that you're unable to question thoughts that say there is an "elsewhere"? These are thoughts that you've already discovered you are not the thinker of. What is it that holds onto the belief if not thought?

If there is no thinker there is no believer, so thoughts about belief in an elsewhere, or no elsewhere, are also just popping up in "this" that has no beliefs.
I don't know where my own words appear from, so I don't know where your words appear from either.
So in direct experience they all just pop up in "this" intimate "hereness" right?

No different to thoughts, people, or ice cream.

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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby xyzzy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:07 am

If there are no others, this doesn't change the definition of I. I is still the center of this experience, and some thing which has an experience and which has beliefs and so on.
Of course it does. Think about what you're saying. Did you notice that in my question I specifically said "without thought stories"?

What is "the definition of "I" that you talk about? Please give me your definition, and tell me how much you relied on direct experiential evidence when composing your reply, and how much you relied on thought stories.
Based on direct experience, there is no definition of I, since I doesn't exist in direct experience. It is only thoughts which say that there is an I.
It is thoughts telling me that there is or could be an elsewhere, though. But direct experience doesn't say there isn't (or is) an elsewhere, it concerns itself entirely with here.
Precisely. Are you the thinker of those thoughts? Why do you believe those thoughts? What makes you believe those thoughts?
I believe those thoughts as they're part of my overall worldview, there is a whole structure of beliefs which has been built up over the course of my life. They make up a model of the world which seems to match my experience, for the most part.

There seems to be a three dimensional world out there, with various objects and people located in it, and I seem to be in a body located in a small specific portion of the world.

As I said, the model seems to (mostly) match my experience. The model says that fire will be hot and not to touch it and that If I don't eat I will get hungry, and that I should eat bread and not sand, and so on. I could question parts of this model, but throwing out the whole thing would probably be impossible and unworkable, as that would leave me unsure whether train tracks were a good place to sleep or whether I should eat chocolate or mud.

Of course, ultimately I don't know if any of it is true. This model of the world is what seems to be, not necessarily what is.

I think you will say that direct experience is the way to see what actually is true. And I can't argue with that, but direct experience doesn't seem to be saying much. It says that this experience exists, not that this is all that exists. It says what is and isn't here, but says nothing at all about the existence of other places or what might be in them.
If it's possible to see that there is nowhere but here, I don't how to see it.
Direct experience is screaming it all the time. What you're saying is that you're unable to question thoughts that say there is an "elsewhere"? These are thoughts that you've already discovered you are not the thinker of. What is it that holds onto the belief if not thought?

If there is no thinker there is no believer, so thoughts about belief in an elsewhere, or no elsewhere, are also just popping up in "this" that has no beliefs.
I don't hold onto beliefs, what happens is that beliefs persist until they are seen as not being true (and sometimes they continue to persist even after being seen as false). It's possible to see that none of my beliefs are known to be true, or that all beliefs are not true even, but this doesn't cause the structure of beliefs to disappear. What it does it to establish that there are relative truths.

Suppose I see that a glass is on the table. We could say that we don't know for sure whether the glass really is on the table, that the glass merely appears to be on the table. We could say that there are no objects, and that there is not a glass or a table. But a glass is on the table in a way that a unicorn is not on the table.

There appear to be other places besides here, or rather, thought says that there are other places. All I know is here. That doesn't mean or imply that there are no others places. Direct experience is silent regarding other places, so why conclude that they don't exist?

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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby Empty Mirror » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:23 am

If there are no others, this doesn't change the definition of I. I is still the center of this experience, and some thing which has an experience and which has beliefs and so on.
Of course it does. Think about what you're saying. Did you notice that in my question I specifically said "without thought stories"?

What is "the definition of "I" that you talk about? Please give me your definition, and tell me how much you relied on direct experiential evidence when composing your reply, and how much you relied on thought stories.
Based on direct experience, there is no definition of I, since I doesn't exist in direct experience. It is only thoughts which say that there is an I.
Ok, so you've just said that you can find no evidence of an I in direct experience. You've also discovered that there is no "thinker of thoughts" in direct experience. So obviously this "I" that you spoke about as the center of beliefs is something generated by thought, and beliefs that are "held" are also just persistent thoughts.

So let's go back to your statement about the "I" being the "center" of experience.

Now you've said that there is no "I" in experience, there is only an "I" thought in experience. So let's forget about the "I" which you can't find, and focus on this "center" that you say exists.

Aside from thought showing up in "this", what in "this" tells you that there is a "center" of experience?

Can you see that the idea of a "center" is based PURELY on the thought that there is experience "elsewhere". If there was not the thought that there was experience "elsewhere", what would be the "center" of experience 'here'? Would there even be the concept of a "here" or an "elsewhere", without thought to say so?
It is thoughts telling me that there is or could be an elsewhere, though. But direct experience doesn't say there isn't (or is) an elsewhere, it concerns itself entirely with here.
Precisely. And are you the thinker of those thoughts that say there's a "here" and an "elsewhere"? Why do you believe those thoughts? Look for what it is that makes you believe those thoughts.
I believe those thoughts as they're part of my overall worldview, there is a whole structure of beliefs which has been built up over the course of my life. They make up a model of the world which seems to match my experience, for the most part.
But we've CLEARLY discovered that for the most part they do NOT match experience. Thoughts about experience are matching other thoughts about experience that's all. When you look at direct experiential evidence without the thought embellishment you discover that thought does NOT match direct experiential evidence much of the time.

There was the thought that you are the thinker of thoughts but you have discovered that direct experiential evidence DOES NOT agree with that thought. So if there is no thinker of thoughts then OBVIOUSLY there can be no believer of beliefs. The worldview that you speak about is constructed by thought.

So how can you say "I" have a worldview, and "I" have beliefs?? If you are not the thinker of thoughts how do you STILL claim them as yours??
There seems to be a three dimensional world out there, with various objects and people located in it, and I seem to be in a body located in a small specific portion of the world.
Check that statement against direct experiential evidence.

Is this three dimensional world really "out there", or is everything "in here". Forget about what thought says. Check it against direct experiential evidence.
As I said, the model seems to (mostly) match my experience. The model says that fire will be hot and not to touch it and that If I don't eat I will get hungry, and that I should eat bread and not sand, and so on. I could question parts of this model, but throwing out the whole thing would probably be impossible and unworkable, as that would leave me unsure whether train tracks were a good place to sleep or whether I should eat chocolate or mud.
Do we have to go through the whole checking whether you're the thinker of thoughts thing again?

If you're not the thinker of thoughts then you're not the doer of doing. So any thinking and doing that happens is not EVER done by you. Nobody is denying experience here. Nobody is saying that nothing is happening here. Thinking and doing and feeling show up in "this", and some doing seems to lead to sensations of pain, and some doing seems to lead to sensations of pleasure.

You know of all of this stuff, but how can you be the doer of any of it if you're not the thinker of thoughts?
Of course, ultimately I don't know if any of it is true. This model of the world is what seems to be, not necessarily what is.
And in fact, if you read back through this very long process, you will see that there is a RADICAL difference between this "model" and what you report from direct experiential evidence. Doesn't that suggest to you that perhaps the "model" is radically flawed?
I think you will say that direct experience is the way to see what actually is true. And I can't argue with that, but direct experience doesn't seem to be saying much. It says that this experience exists, not that this is all that exists. It says what is and isn't here, but says nothing at all about the existence of other places or what might be in them.
Ok, so then why don't you just work with what it DOES say, instead of working with what it doesn't say. You've said that all it says is that this experience exists. Is that really all it says?

This is where we use a thorn to remove a thorn.

We can conceptually divide experiencing into two things the experience and the knowing of it. There is no such actual division, because a thought, sensation or perception can not in any way be separated from the awareness of it, but we can do so for the purposes of "extracting" awareness from the "personal I" which is as much an invention as "awareness" is.

Once we divide experience and the awareness of it we are able to look at this awareness or "knowing" and see whether it is "contained" by an "I", or whether it "contains" the "I" in thought only.

It would not be contrary to direct experiential evidence to say that there is awareness of experience, even though it's only a thought story that the two are separable.

Can you see what I am trying to say about being DISCERNING about thoughts?

So we can DISCERNINGLY say that there is "stuff" and the knowing of "stuff". Clearly the two are completely inseparable, but we are still being true to direct experiential evidence by saying that that the two are actually inseparable.

Now we can take a look at the "knowing" and see whether that is "dependent" on anything. Does knowing depend on thought? No. If I ask you whether you are aware of this sentence you know the answer without any thought required.

If I ask you whether knowing depends on memory, the answer is "no" again because if I ask you whether you are aware of this sentence you do not require any memory to know the answer.

In fact it seems that memory and thought are dependent on the knowing for their existence rather than the other way around.

It's the nature of this "knowing" or "subjectivity" that is under investigation here - NOT the thoughts about them.
If it's possible to see that there is nowhere but here, I don't how to see it.
Direct experience is screaming it all the time. What you're saying is that you're unable to question thoughts that say there is an "elsewhere"? These are thoughts that you've already discovered you are not the thinker of. What is it that holds onto the belief if not thought?

If there is no thinker there is no believer, so thoughts about belief in an elsewhere, or no elsewhere, are also just popping up in "this" that has no beliefs.
I don't hold onto beliefs, what happens is that beliefs persist until they are seen as not being true (and sometimes they continue to persist even after being seen as false). It's possible to see that none of my beliefs are known to be true, or that all beliefs are not true even, but this doesn't cause the structure of beliefs to disappear. What it does it to establish that there are relative truths.
No, it does not. It establishes that there is direct experiential evidence and there are thoughts about experiential evidence and thoughts about relative and absolute truths.

Direct experiential evidence can not lie. Direct experiential evidence is only ever "lived", How can it lie? How can it tell any truth other than what it is?

Only thought tells stories, direct experience does not.
Suppose I see that a glass is on the table. We could say that we don't know for sure whether the glass really is on the table, that the glass merely appears to be on the table. We could say that there are no objects, and that there is not a glass or a table. But a glass is on the table in a way that a unicorn is not on the table.
And it's only a glass because it was labelled a glass. If it was labelled a unicorn then thought would say there's "a" "unicorn" "on" "the" "table". The table is a label as much as the glass is. Thought is telling that WHOLE story.

Direct experiential evidence doesn't say anything like that. Direct experiential evidence says colour, shape, form sensation, thought - and EVEN those are just labels that point to direct experience.
There appear to be other places besides here, or rather, thought says that there are other places.
Yes, only thought says so!
All I know is here. That doesn't mean or imply that there are no others places. Direct experience is silent regarding other places, so why conclude that they don't exist?
Why conclude that they do? Because thought says so?

Are you the thinker of thoughts?

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xyzzy
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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby xyzzy » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:25 am

Ok, you've asked a lot of questions, which are think are mostly summarized in the following:
It is thoughts telling me that there is or could be an elsewhere, though. But direct experience doesn't say there isn't (or is) an elsewhere, it concerns itself entirely with here.
Precisely. And are you the thinker of those thoughts that say there's a "here" and an "elsewhere"? Why do you believe those thoughts? Look for what it is that makes you believe those thoughts.
I am not the thinker of thoughts or the believer of beliefs. But as to why it is believed that there is an elsewhere - for this to not be believed, my entire model of how the world works would have to be discarded. I'm not sure how it would be possible to function without it, as actions are based to a great extent on beliefs. It would require the decision to live based on the idea that thoughts were not true.

How, then, could I function?

For example, why would I continue to go to work each day? I am a manager at a restaurant, and I need to go to work because without me, the restaurant would not run properly. If there are no other places but here, why would I go there? I don't go to work because I want to have the experience of managing a restaurant, I go there because I believe that there is a restaurant out there which requires me to run it.

Whether or not there's a personal I, if there were not a belief in other places, I don't see what would cause me to drive to work. The action of driving to work is caused by beliefs concerning the necessity of this action.

So, I think the answer to your question, of why I believe my thoughts, it that I believe this is necessary for me to be able to function.

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby Empty Mirror » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:08 am

Ok, you've asked a lot of questions, which are think are mostly summarized in the following:
It is thoughts telling me that there is or could be an elsewhere, though. But direct experience doesn't say there isn't (or is) an elsewhere, it concerns itself entirely with here.
Precisely. And are you the thinker of those thoughts that say there's a "here" and an "elsewhere"? Why do you believe those thoughts? Look for what it is that makes you believe those thoughts.
I am not the thinker of thoughts or the believer of beliefs.

Ok. Please allow this truth discovered through direct experiential evidence to TRULY sink in.

But as to why it is believed that there is an elsewhere - for this to not be believed, my entire model of how the world works would have to be discarded.
You mean that THOUGHT's model of how the world works would have to be discarded. Remember that these are thoughts that 'YOU' do not think.

One of those THOUGHTS says that life can't be lived without an "I".

And WHO would there be to discard the thoughts? If you are not the thinker of thoughts then you can not choose to keep or discard any thoughts. Thoughts come and go in 'this' but you are not the thinker of them, as you have discovered.

Thought says that there is an "I" necessary for the world to function but there never has been an "I" (except in thought), and there never have been "others" (except in thought), and yet the world has continued to function just fine.

Take a look at a dream analogy here. In the dream there are thoughts, and there is doing, and there are others, and everything can seem like the waking state. It seems like there is thinking and doing, and choices made, and interaction with others, but is there any thinker or doer there? Are there any "others" there?

Was there an "I" thinking, or doing, in the dream? Were there others with their own experience in the dream?

Yet the dream seemed to function just fine, and to have a 'worldview'.
I'm not sure how it would be possible to function without it, as actions are based to a great extent on beliefs.
Whose beliefs??

There are thoughts, and beliefs but you've just said, at the start of this post, that you are not the thinker of thoughts or believer of beliefs.

When you said that you were stating it FROM DIRECT EXPERIENTIAL EVIDENCE.

So when you said that, you were speaking about REALITY as DIRECTLY as you could ever hope to be able to assess it!!

So whose beliefs?

yes, there are thoughts showing up, and there are beliefs showing up, and there is doing showing up, but has there ever been an "I" involved in any of it - EXCEPT as an idea generated by THOUGHT?
It would require the decision to live based on the idea that thoughts were not true.
No it would not. You would have to be a thinker of thoughts to make a decision to live a certain way. Whatever thoughts pop up will pop up a they always have. They will continue to speak about an "I" that needs to do things, and doing will continue to be done.

Are you the thinker of those thoughts, or the decider of decisions, or the doer of that doing?

How, then, could I function?
What "I" is there to function? What is this "I" that you speak about? The thinker of thoughts? The doer of doing?
For example, why would I continue to go to work each day? I am a manager at a restaurant, and I need to go to work because without me, the restaurant would not run properly. If there are no other places but here, why would I go there? I don't go to work because I want to have the experience of managing a restaurant, I go there because I believe that there is a restaurant out there which requires me to run it.

Whether or not there's a personal I, if there were not a belief in other places, I don't see what would cause me to drive to work. The action of driving to work is caused by beliefs concerning the necessity of this action.
How could you be the one who chooses to go to work if you're not the thinker of thoughts?

There is thinking about responsibility, and there is doing, but if YOU are not the thinker or doer then there is just thinking, and doing, and people and other stuff showing up in "this".

This is not something that you should BELIEVE ever. It's something you can quite clearly see for yourself from direct experiential evidence.
So, I think the answer to your question, of why I believe my thoughts, it that I believe this is necessary for me to be able to function.
At the start of this post you said that you are not the thinker of thoughts or believer of beliefs. So quite OBVIOUSLY the belief is something in thought only, and is centred around another thought about an "I".

If you're not the thinker of thoughts, where is the "I" that believes things?

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xyzzy
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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby xyzzy » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:02 am

Empty Mirror, I don't understand your last message.

Recently in this conversation, I said that there is no me within direct experience, but that this doesn't necessarily mean there is no me anywhere, as there could be a me elsewhere. You said that there is no elsewhere. I said that I didn't have any way of knowing that. You asked why I believe there is an elsewhere. I said that this belief seems to be necessary to be able to function.

And, I think you responded that there is no me thinking thoughts or believing beliefs. Overall, I don't understand what you're saying in this message. I could go through and answer all of your questions, but I feel like I'd be taking them all out of context and my answers would not be useful.

I've already stated that I am not controlling my thoughts and beliefs, so I'm not sure why you are arguing that I'm not controlling my thoughts and beliefs. Do you think that I still do believe that I'm controlling my thoughts?

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Empty Mirror
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Re: Is it possible to see this?

Postby Empty Mirror » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:12 am

Empty Mirror, I don't understand your last message.

Recently in this conversation, I said that there is no me within direct experience, but that this doesn't necessarily mean there is no me anywhere, as there could be a me elsewhere. You said that there is no elsewhere. I said that I didn't have any way of knowing that. You asked why I believe there is an elsewhere. I said that this belief seems to be necessary to be able to function.

And, I think you responded that there is no me thinking thoughts or believing beliefs. Overall, I don't understand what you're saying in this message. I could go through and answer all of your questions, but I feel like I'd be taking them all out of context and my answers would not be useful.

I've already stated that I am not controlling my thoughts and beliefs, so I'm not sure why you are arguing that I'm not controlling my thoughts and beliefs. Do you think that I still do believe that I'm controlling my thoughts?
Please answer them after reading my post again. I asked the questions because you said a lot of things that CONTRADICTED your statement not being the thinker of thoughts.

For example you said that you make decisions, and you believe things - AFTER saying that you are not the thinker of thoughts or believer of beliefs. So, yes, please just read my post carefully and answer all of the questions as best you can.


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