Guidance needed

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Colinm
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Guidance needed

Postby Colinm » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:08 am

Hi,

Just finished reading Gate-less Gatecrashers, very motivating and inspiring. I've read lots of spiritual books over the years and would sincerely love to 'wake up'. Feel as if I'm just not capable of 'getting it', but if there is a guide willing to help, that would be wonderful.

many thanks
Colin.

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Sarah7
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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Sarah7 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:02 pm

Hi Colin
Im Sarah and I will be happy to guide you. Can you please confirm you have read the link below.

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

In particular, these points are very important. There are a few ground rules, please respond to confirm:
1. You agree to post at least once a day. What's needed is focus and intensity.
2. In general, the guide will ask the questions for you to respond to.
3. Responses require your utmost honesty. Be 100% honest. It is very easy to deceive oneself, especially when it comes to something as subtle as the intimacy of your direct experience. Strive to be completely honest and transparent as to what is actually happening in your experience, this will make the process as smooth as possible.
4. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Long winded analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress. Write from direct experience, not speculation. It is impossible to understate the importance of this; in order for any Direct Pointing session to be successful, it is your responsibility to examine your experience as it is, instead of resorting to speculation and theory-forming. The only way to get to the Gate and beyond is by directly looking at your actual experience of reality.
5. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation. Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
6. Please learn to use the quote function; instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660

OK. Shall we begin?

Can you tell me what you expect from this process, what you think the gate is and what you expect you will be like after?
Look forward to working with you. Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Colinm
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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Colinm » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:58 am

Hi Sarah,

Very happy to hear from you! I'm really grateful that you are willing to give your time and energy to make this happen.

OK, I have read the conditions and I'm keen to proceed.
Can you tell me what you expect from this process, what you think the gate is and what you expect you will be like after?
I don't have any expectations, just staying open to whatever may happen. Hmm, what is the gate? Perhaps it's a metaphor referring to some imaginary line between not seeing and seeing the illusory nature of self?
No idea what I will be like if I pass through that gate. I can only base my expectations on what I've read; more living in the moment, less reactive, a gradual releasing of years of programming... Really hope I get to find out for myself!

Thanks again Sarah, ready when you are (plus a bit of time zone difference!).

Colinx

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Sarah7
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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Sarah7 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:34 pm

Hi Colin
As we work together expectations may or may not come up! We’ll look if they do.

When answering please answer from your own direct experience and not what you think I want to hear. Sometimes when we read a lot there is a tendency to copy so called spiritual speak. Responses are best from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Write from direct experience, not speculation. It is impossible to understate the importance of this; in order for any Direct Pointing session to be successful, it is your responsibility to examine your experience as it is, instead of resorting to speculation and theory-forming. The only way to get to the Gate and beyond is by directly looking at your actual experience of reality.

OK. Lets get going!

Can you see anything around you or in you that is permanent? If so what?

Right now, what does ‘I’ point to? What is this ‘me’? What does ‘I’, ‘me’ refer to? Where does this ‘you’ reside?

What comes up when it is read that there absolutely no "you" in any way, shape or form, there never has been, nor is there, nor will there ever be?
Thanks again Sarah, ready when you are (plus a bit of time zone difference!).
Your welcome. Where are you in the world Colin? Im in England as you may already know?
Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Colinm
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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Colinm » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:46 am

Hi Sarah,

I live in Brisbane, Australia which is GMT +10.

Yes, I find it challenging to write from direct experience, but I'll do my best to avoid spiritual speak and theorizing.
Can you see anything around you or in you that is permanent? If so what?
This sense of 'I, me, mine' seems permanent, always feels like it is present throughout the day. This body feels kind of permanent. There's always some kind of awareness of what's going on.
Right now, what does ‘I’ point to? What is this ‘me’? What does ‘I’, ‘me’ refer to? Where does this ‘you’ reside?
I/me refers/points to this body/mind with all it's feelings, sensations, thoughts, memories, reactions.
Where does it reside? Seems a little elusive to pin it down, maybe like a cloud hovering around this body/mind.
From direct experience, there just appears to be body, sensations and thoughts, and somehow we just know it is me and mine.
What comes up when it is read that there absolutely no "you" in any way, shape or form, there never has been, nor is there, nor will there ever be?
It feels liberating to read that. The self feels like such a burden to carry around, like trying to fix a leaky boat. Feels 'right' on some intuitive level. Feels kind of relaxing too.

Colinxx

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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Sarah7 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:41 pm

Hi Colin
I live in Brisbane, Australia which is GMT +10.
I usually post after work but weekends probably mornings. Doesn’t really matter – Im sure we will find a rhythm.
Yes, I find it challenging to write from direct experience, but I'll do my best to avoid spiritual speak and theorizing.
Challenging? How so?
This sense of 'I, me, mine' seems permanent, always feels like it is present throughout the day. This body feels kind of permanent. There's always some kind of awareness of what's going on.
OK. I want you to look real close at this. Do you always ‘sense’ you? Or is it sometimes forgotten? Not sensed? Not talking about awareness here.
Look as well for a permanent sense of the body – again is it sometimes not sensed, or forgotten. This might take some practise.
I/me refers/points to this body/mind with all it's feelings, sensations, thoughts, memories, reactions. Where does it reside? Seems a little elusive to pin it down, maybe like a cloud hovering around this body/mind. From direct experience, there just appears to be body, sensations and thoughts, and somehow we just know it is me and mine.
Well observed. Are memories thoughts?
Are feelings and sensations thoughts?
Are reactions habits based on memory thoughts?
From direct experience does the body seem whole or do you experience it in sections or glimpses?
Can you find anything that exists outside the present moment?
Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Colinm
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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Colinm » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:07 pm

hi Sarah,

Why do I find it challenging to write from direct experience? I tend to focus more on thinking and conceptualizing. The mind seems to filter direct experience to fit in with beliefs, or else trivialize it.
OK. I want you to look real close at this. Do you always ‘sense’ you? Or is it sometimes forgotten? Not sensed? Not talking about awareness here.
Look as well for a permanent sense of the body – again is it sometimes not sensed, or forgotten. This might take some practise.
Good point. Yes, of course I sometimes lose myself. In fact, now that I think about it, it probably happens quite often; watching TV, reading, focusing on some task. As for the body, that tends to be forgotten too, especially when focusing on thoughts. I'll definitely have to remain more vigilant to notice these times.
Are memories thoughts?
Yes, they have to be thoughts. They couldn't be anything else, or at least not experienced via anything other than thinking. They seem to differ from other thoughts in some ways; as if they are come out of a different place and kind of look different.
Are feelings and sensations thoughts?
I don't think so. We can think about them afterwards, but are they not recognized via a different sense organ?
Are reactions habits based on memory thoughts?
Perhaps my definition of thought is a little narrow, like I'm thinking 'words in the head'. Then again, if reactions and habits are based on memories (which I see as thoughts) does that mean they are thoughts too? Perhaps I need a little direction with regards to what are thoughts.
From direct experience does the body seem whole or do you experience it in sections or glimpses?
Definitely sections and glimpses, rarely if ever as a whole. Of course we can see it in the mirror but maybe that doesn't qualify as direct experience. We have a kind of fuzzy mental image of it.
Can you find anything that exists outside the present moment?
What about the past? Well I guess that only exists in the form of memories and pictures in the present moment. Thinking about this question makes the present moment seem quite spacious, rather than just a little dot on the clock that I am inclined to see it as.

Thanks Sarah for these thought provoking questions. Perhaps they are more thought stopping in some ways. I'll go to sleep now and let them sink in a bit.

Love, Colin.

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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Sarah7 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:14 pm

Hi Colin
Why do I find it challenging to write from direct experience? I tend to focus more on thinking and conceptualizing. The mind seems to filter direct experience to fit in with beliefs, or else trivialize it.
Well observed.
Yes, of course I sometimes lose myself. In fact, now that I think about it, it probably happens quite often; watching TV, reading, focusing on some task. As for the body, that tends to be forgotten too, especially when focusing on thoughts. I'll definitely have to remain more vigilant to notice these times.
Yes! Please make sure you check everything I ask though - dont think the answer based on what you said earlier - look and see from experience. NEVER take my word for it. OK.
What about the past? Well I guess that only exists in the form of memories and pictures in the present moment. Thinking about this question makes the present moment seem quite spacious, rather than just a little dot on the clock that I am inclined to see it as.
OK. Do a trawl of thoughts where possible and see how many are memory or imagination based. Don’t need to know what they are but just to see how many a day are memory based, past based or future based. OK. How does that compare to NOW experiences? 50/50 or less or more?

First, let's look at sensory experience. Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. Let's start with seeing. Describe the experience of seeing step-by-step. In seeing, what is being experienced? What is happening when "seeing" is happening? What is doing the seeing? What is being seen? What does "seeing" consists of? Go into detail. Describe the actual, direct experience of seeing.
Thanks Sarah for these thought provoking questions.
You are welcome – this is the warm up! LOL Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Colinm
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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Colinm » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:43 pm

Hi Sarah,
Yes! Please make sure you check everything I ask though - dont think the answer based on what you said earlier - look and see from experience. NEVER take my word for it. OK.
I'll have to cultivate some new habits; this process is virtually opposite to my usual approach to life.
OK. Do a trawl of thoughts where possible and see how many are memory or imagination based. Don’t need to know what they are but just to see how many a day are memory based, past based or future based. OK. How does that compare to NOW experiences? 50/50 or less or more?
I’ve made the effort to be aware of thoughts throughout today, although it’s tricky. Looking at them directly seems to scare them away; one has to catch the tail end of them. Anyway, most of them appear to be memory based. Mostly they are pretty much the same old stuff, like a CD that keeps repeating. Thoughts appear to have an element of stress in their effort to control reality. They seem to have a compulsive need to ramble on, often with some trivial commentary.
How does that compare with NOW experiences? Thinking seems to occupy the majority of time. NOW experiences seem to be happening without the need for thoughts, although thoughts still believe they are in charge. Kind of reminds me of those little kids in the back seat of a car with their pretend steering wheels.
First, let's look at sensory experience. Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. Let's start with seeing. Describe the experience of seeing step-by-step. In seeing, what is being experienced? What is happening when "seeing" is happening? What is doing the seeing? What is being seen? What does "seeing" consists of? Go into detail. Describe the actual, direct experience of seeing.
Right now, I’m seeing a laptop and my hands typing. The eyes register shapes, colours and movement. Eyes appear to need light reflecting off the objects, as they don’t work in the dark.
At the same time, there is a sense of recognition and labelling. From direct experience, it is not clear where the image is appearing, just somewhere. The process appears to be a combined effort of eyes and brain. There is a sense of me doing the seeing.
You are welcome – this is the warm up!
I'm already working up a sweat!

love, Colin

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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Sarah7 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:17 pm

Hi Colin
I’ve made the effort to be aware of thoughts throughout today, although it’s tricky. Looking at them directly seems to scare them away; one has to catch the tail end of them. Anyway, most of them appear to be memory based. Mostly they are pretty much the same old stuff, like a CD that keeps repeating. Thoughts appear to have an element of stress in their effort to control reality. They seem to have a compulsive need to ramble on, often with some trivial commentary.
Lovely. The more you watch thoughts the more you see this stuck CD. Keep a track of thoughts and watch the memory based, past based and future repeats!
Thoughts appear to have an element of stress in their effort to control reality.
Explain this please. Do you mean that they don’t?
NOW experiences seem to be happening without the need for thoughts, although thoughts still believe they are in charge.
Do you see thoughts as being part of the NOW experience or separate?
From direct experience, it is not clear where the image is appearing, just somewhere. The process appears to be a combined effort of eyes and brain.
Well observed! Is there an image here, an idea of distance, an idea of shape, texture, meaning and understanding etc – are those all thoughts – thoughts explaining and labelling? Are there words there? What makes words out of black squiggles and lines? What says there are black squiggles and lines there that mean something?
Do you first perceive the computer using some other sense, and then see it later? Can you find a dividing line between the computer and the seeing of it? Or are the object and the seeing of it inseparable? Is there an entity called "you" experiencing the seeing? Can you find a dividing line between "you" and seeing? Or is there only seeing? What do you see about the thought, "I'm seeing that object"? Is it an accurate description of direct experience?
Look again and check.
The process appears to be a combined effort of eyes and brain. There is a sense of me doing the seeing.
Do thoughts say this?
Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Colinm
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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Colinm » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:10 am

Hi Sarah,
Explain this please. Do you mean that they don’t?
I don’t really know if thoughts control reality. I just get the impression now and then, mostly when I’m engaged in some activity, that thoughts seem rather superfluous. They feel like they’re in a different dimension, somewhat removed from what is actually going on. On other occasions thoughts seem very instrumental and necessary.
Do you see thoughts as being part of the NOW experience or separate?
I guess they are part of the NOW experience in the sense that they are happening now and I’m ‘hearing’ them now. From habit I personalize them, define myself by them. If I were to look from the outside, then I may just see thoughts as no different from all the other stuff happening right now. I get a little tied up in knots with regards to the nature of thoughts; more direct observation is required to question long held assumptions. No doubt that applies to everything here!
Is there an image here, an idea of distance, an idea of shape, texture, meaning and understanding etc – are those all thoughts – thoughts explaining and labelling? Are there words there? What makes words out of black squiggles and lines? What says there are black squiggles and lines there that mean something?
I see what you mean. There is a lot of virtually instantaneous interpretation that I take for granted.
Not easy to perceive direct experience before the mind kicks in. Yes, how could we see anything beyond a flat image? I’m really only seeing a mass of colour, and ideas or thoughts divide it up and make it all 3 dimensional specific objects at a distance. Comes in handy of course. If I look at Chinese writing it is just lines and squiggles, where as English is full of meaning. It’s a good indication how learning creates our sense of reality. Yes, the actual seeing provides a little raw material, while thoughts shape our experience.
Do you first perceive the computer using some other sense, and then see it later?
Not sure about that, perhaps I know it’s there prior to seeing it. There may be times when seeing is momentarily replaced by thinking, feeling or hearing.
Can you find a dividing line between the computer and the seeing of it? Or are the object and the seeing of it inseparable?
Not really. There is separation in thoughts only, but direct experience appears to be one seamless whole. The whole of our experience is thoughts and sense perceptions, so separate objects can only be an assumption.
Is there an entity called "you" experiencing the seeing? Can you find a dividing line between "you" and seeing? Or is there only seeing?
There is a deeply rooted sense of an entity called ‘me’ who is seeing. Peripheral vision contains my body and head, while my feelings and reactions are apparent in the background. But once again, this sense of ‘me’ appears to exist only in thought, just one of many things arising and subsiding in present awareness. Hence, no real dividing line between me and seeing. Therefore, there is only seeing.
What do you see about the thought, "I'm seeing that object"? Is it an accurate description of direct experience?
Direct experience indicates that this is not the case. It is just something that we have come to believe.
Do thoughts say this?
Yes, once again thoughts have taken centre stage. I’m getting the picture that thoughts have a tendency to dominate this story!

Love Colin.

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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Sarah7 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:45 pm

Hi Colin
Some lovely observations here Colin. I want you to let all of them sink in a bit – what you are now noticing that is.
I get a little tied up in knots with regards to the nature of thoughts;

Can you explain this please? Do you mean thoughts multiply? Thoughts on top of thoughts….. ?
more direct observation is required to question long held assumptions. No doubt that applies to everything here!
Oh yes! We have a saying here in Yorkshire ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’! Although I don’t think it was invented for this scenario! LOL.

Lets look at sound - Notice the sounds you’re hearing, like the chirping of the birds. Notice the habitual thought, "Those are birds." Notice the habitual thought, "I hear that." Now just pay attention to how hearing happens. Take your time with it. Can you find a dividing line between the sound and the hearing of the sound? Are you doing the hearing? Or is it truer to say that hearing is just happening? Then look to see whether there's a dividing line between the hearing of it and a separate entity, a "you," doing the hearing. In other words, what does it mean when you say, "I'm hearing that sound"? Are there really three entities there in direct experience, an "I" and a ‘hearing’ and a ‘sound’? Or is there just one experience of hearing, with no one as a hearer. Look closely. Try it with various sounds. See if you can find a way to separate the sound from the hearing and the hearing from the hearer. Where does one start and the other end? So what do you see about the thought, "I'm hearing that sound"? Is it an accurate description of direct experience?

What is a noise? Is that a label also? Is the sound there? Can you really know? Can you catch the labelling – ‘I’ hear that?
Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Colinm
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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Colinm » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:58 am

Hi Sarah,
Colinm wrote:I get a little tied up in knots with regards to the nature of thoughts;


Can you explain this please? Do you mean thoughts multiply? Thoughts on top of thoughts….. ?
All of the above! But it was used in the context of directly observing thoughts and coming to some kind of objective conclusions about what is happening. It feels like I’m using thoughts to acquire a true understanding of thoughts.
Lets look at sound - Notice the sounds you’re hearing, like the chirping of the birds. Notice the habitual thought, "Those are birds." Notice the habitual thought, "I hear that." Now just pay attention to how hearing happens. Take your time with it. Can you find a dividing line between the sound and the hearing of the sound?
Right now, I can hear a TV in the other room, the rise and fall of various traffic noises, the gentle purr of my laptop, even the occasional bird tweet. It’s really just a symphony of noise, but the mind has immediately divided, labelled, categorized and made judgements about each individual noise. Can’t perceive any real dividing line between sound and hearing.
Are you doing the hearing? Or is it truer to say that hearing is just happening? Then look to see whether there's a dividing line between the hearing of it and a separate entity, a "you," doing the hearing. In other words, what does it mean when you say, "I'm hearing that sound"? Are there really three entities there in direct experience, an "I" and a ‘hearing’ and a ‘sound’? Or is there just one experience of hearing, with no one as a hearer. Look closely. Try it with various sounds. See if you can find a way to separate the sound from the hearing and the hearing from the hearer. Where does one start and the other end? So what do you see about the thought, "I'm hearing that sound"? Is it an accurate description of direct experience?
Sound is present in the NOW experience; along with seeing, bodily sensations and thoughts.
In direct experience, there is no evidence of me doing any of it. Therefore, there is no perceived dividing line between hearing and hearer. There is an underlying thought/belief that ‘I’m hearing that sound’, which of course implies that I, hearing and sound are 3 separate entities. But direct experience indicates there is just one seamless whole. Therefore, one would have to conclude that the thought/belief ‘I’m hearing that sound’ is not an accurate description of reality. It feels as if the simplicity of direct experience is inaccessible to our thoughts.
What is a noise? Is that a label also? Is the sound there? Can you really know? Can you catch the labeling – ‘I’ hear that?
Noise is just another label created by thoughts. Is the sound there? Well, who knows, all I know is there is sound. If I focus deeply on a sound there is no apparent labelling of ‘I hear that’. I guess that is what happens when we are absorbed in music, or even comprehending language. Maybe that’s why music is so popular; the wearisome ‘I’ thought is temporarily quietened. Can I catch that labelling? No, it’s a bit too quick for me!

Love Colin.

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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Sarah7 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:48 pm

Hi Colin
Sound is present in the NOW experience; along with seeing, bodily sensations and thoughts.
In direct experience, there is no evidence of me doing any of it. Therefore, there is no perceived dividing line between hearing and hearer. There is an underlying thought/belief that ‘I’m hearing that sound’, which of course implies that I, hearing and sound are 3 separate entities. But direct experience indicates there is just one seamless whole. Therefore, one would have to conclude that the thought/belief ‘I’m hearing that sound’ is not an accurate description of reality. It feels as if the simplicity of direct experience is inaccessible to our thoughts.
Again – well observed.
As you found no dividing line between the hearer, the hearing and the heard, is there just hearing then like with seeing.
If you hear the sound coming from ‘over there’ – would that be a thought as well. Where actually does the hearing take place? Where does seeing take place?
Where ‘therefore’ is used – is this a looked at observation or a conclusion?
It feels as if the simplicity of direct experience is inaccessible to our thoughts.
Can you explain this please? Do you mean that thoughts cannot explain what is really experienced? Do they get in the way or are just part of the experience? Are thoughts to be got rid of? Is that possible?
Is the sound there? Well, who knows, all I know is there is sound.
What about hearing? Is that there? Is it experienced? What if we changed this sound to a table or room or something – is it there? Or is just the seeing of it experienced?
If I focus deeply on a sound there is no apparent labelling of ‘I hear that’. I guess that is what happens when we are absorbed in music, or even comprehending language. Maybe that’s why music is so popular; the wearisome ‘I’ thought is temporarily quietened.
Can thought truly capture any experience?

Try the previous experiments with touch. Try a table with eyes shut and with eyes open. Look for the line again between the toucher, the touched and the touching. Is it still all one experience with no dividing line, no separation. Is touching just experienced? The questions are above - OK.
Love Sarah xx
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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Re: Guidance needed

Postby Colinm » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:59 am

Hi Sarah,
As you found no dividing line between the hearer, the hearing and the heard, is there just hearing then like with seeing.
If you hear the sound coming from ‘over there’ – would that be a thought as well. Where actually does the hearing take place? Where does seeing take place?
I found no dividing line, in direct experience there is just hearing and seeing without a ‘me’ who is experiencing them. Yes, ‘over there’ has to be a thought. Where does the hearing and seeing take place? Right here.
Where ‘therefore’ is used – is this a looked at observation or a conclusion?
It does give the impression of a conclusion. Therefore, I will try not to use it anymore!
Colinm wrote:It feels as if the simplicity of direct experience is inaccessible to our thoughts.


Can you explain this please? Do you mean that thoughts cannot explain what is really experienced? Do they get in the way or are just part of the experience? Are thoughts to be got rid of? Is that possible?
Thoughts are certainly an observable object in my present moment experience, no way to get rid of them. Perhaps I was referring to our intellect with its tendency to analyse via thoughts.
What about hearing? Is that there? Is it experienced? What if we changed this sound to a table or room or something – is it there? Or is just the seeing of it experienced?
Hearing is experienced. All we can know from direct experience is the seeing of the table or room. From the input of our senses our mind creates a version of reality.
Can thought truly capture any experience?
Thought appears to arrive after the experience, with its labels, judgements and assumptions.
Try the previous experiments with touch. Try a table with eyes shut and with eyes open. Look for the line again between the toucher, the touched and the touching. Is it still all one experience with no dividing line, no separation. Is touching just experienced? The questions are above - OK.
With eyes closed while touching the table, there is just the experience of touch. This is part of the NOW experience, along with bodily sensation, sounds and thoughts. In direct experience there is no dividing line between toucher, touched and touching. There is only feeling, no hand or table. With eyes open, there is a stronger tendency to imagine that 3 separate elements are present, but this can be seen through via direct experience. Seeing is added to the NOW experience. To think that ‘I am doing the touching’ is simply a concept created by thoughts, added after the actual experience of touching.

Love Colin.


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