Thread for Matt2

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Vivien
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Thread for Matt2

Postby Vivien » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:06 am

Hi Matt,

This thread is for you. We will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realisation that there is no 'self'. That will be our focus. I will tend to ask various questions and set you some exercises, but nobody will be judging you. You can't get this wrong.

This process is a guided inquiry where specific areas can be examined. I am not a teacher. This is YOUR inquiry. I will not be giving you new ideas and beliefs; only assisting you in examining and questioning the ones that you already have.

Before we start, let’s get through the formalities first:
If you haven't already seen it, there is introductory info here, the disclaimer and a short video too.
http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

A few ground rules:
1. Post at least once a day, if you cannot post, or need more time, let me know.
2. Be 100% honest in your answers and inquiry.
3. Answer only from direct experience (felt senses and observed thoughts). Longwinded
analytical and philosophical answers are best avoided and may even hinder progress.
4. Put aside all other teachings, philosophies and such for the remainder of this investigation.
Really put all your effort and attention in to seeing this reality, as it is. If you have a daily and
essential meditation practice, it is fine to continue that.
5. Understand that I will be guiding you, rather than teaching you, and the more you put into this process the more you will get out of it.

A few technical support:

- You can reply to this thread by pushing the purple-orange coloured button 'Post Reply" at the left bottom of this page.
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If you are happy to agree to the above and have me your guide, we can start the process.

What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
How will Life change?
How will you change?
What will be different?


Please answer these questions in great detail. No expectation is too small to ignore.

Love, 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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Matt2
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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Matt2 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:58 am

Ok Vivien, we begin. I have cousins from out of town with whom I have to play host with today and tomorrow, and may be the next. So my time may be limited between now and Saturday. That said, we begin.
What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
I have a hard time thinking about expectations. On one hand, my "I" certainly expects to reach some sort of spiritual epiphany. But I know that is ridiculous and would probably be better for everyone if this expectation would not be fulfilled. I am guessing that seeing through the illusion of my "I" could take some effort, some time and work to get me to that point where I can actual see through the illusion. Not 100% of everyone who starts this process actually sees through their self. I hope that I actually will see through the illusion of "I". I figure it is time. Perhaps seeing through the illusion of self is just what we all must eventually do. I'm not sure of this. But it seems likely.
How will Life change?
My illusionary "I" has a story. In fact, my whole life is about making my life story better. I am hoping the story of Matt will cease to be the main attraction in life. Maybe life will not be viewed as a rat race to win the best story in the history of the world. I am not really sure how life will be. Maybe life will be more of a communion, as opposed to being a problem to be solved.
How will Matt change?
I hope I will not be living "the story of Matt" in my head, over and over again. Matt will stop boring himself with his own story. Though I am not a controlling type, like all egos today, I think I do try to control and manipulate and twist the world so the story of Matt is a best seller. I trust this will stop. I hope Matt will accept life as it is, that I can just go with the flow. I am thinking, Matt will not be so upset if things don't go according to his plans. There will probably still be some goals and aims, but they may be just viewed as being arbitrary. I suspect my egoic conditionings and behaviors are deeply embedded in Matt. These will not all drop away in an instant. I can't say Matt will be more loving, because so far, love seems to have a tit-for-tat flavor to it. Matt "loves" so he can get his story enhanced. "Love" is selfish in this egoic sense.
What will be different?
I think my life situations will all remain the same. I will still have to pay my bills, cut the grass, feed the birds, go to work, play tennis, run half-marathons, take care of the parents, visit the kids, repair the house, etc, etc. But my reactions to life will be minimal. I can just go with the flow.

I don't really know what is going to happen. I can only trust there is a something or someone out there who can run the world story better than I can. And that I can drop the story of Matt.

I hope I can do this, this seeing through the self.

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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Vivien » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:55 am

Dear Matt,

Could you please confirm that you can agree with the rules?
So my time may be limited between now and Saturday
OK, thank you for letting me know.

Thank you for your honesty and the detailed list about the expectations. This list is important, because every expectation is in a way of seeing what is here, right now. Every expectation is a ‘hindrance’ in realizing what IS. Expectations are about the future. But liberation cannot be found in the future.

I go through all the expectations one-by-one. While you read them, please pay attention to what arises in the body. Is there any resistance to any of it?
On one hand, my "I" certainly expects to reach some sort of spiritual epiphany. But I know that is ridiculous and would probably be better for everyone if this expectation would not be fulfilled.
I can assure you that there won’t be any epiphany :) Liberation is nothing special. There won’t be ascending angels. Nothing will change only the perception.
I am guessing that seeing through the illusion of my "I" could take some effort, some time and work to get me to that point where I can actual see through the illusion. Not 100% of everyone who starts this process actually sees through their self. I hope that I actually will see through the illusion of "I".
This depends only on your desire for seeing through the illusion and your commitment to doing the exercises.
My illusionary "I" has a story. In fact, my whole life is about making my life story better. I am hoping the story of Matt will cease to be the main attraction in life.
Good observation. Almost all human is constantly working on making their life stories better. After seeing through the illusion of the self this compulsion can decrease.
I am not really sure how life will be. Maybe life will be more of a communion, as opposed to being a problem to be solved.
Life or outer circumstances won’t change with seeing through the self. Life is always is as it is. Only the perception changes. So everything will be the same, although everything might look different.
I think I do try to control and manipulate and twist the world so the story of Matt is a best seller. I trust this will stop.
This may or may not happen at once. This desire for control and manipulation is the result of a lifelong conditioning. At LU we only go so far as no self; but seeing that the self is just an illusion is just the first step, however the most important one. X years of conditioning won’t go away in an instance, but without a centre, a ‘me’, there is nothing they could attach to or stick to, so they GRADUALLY fall away. This falling can last until the end of the organism.
Matt will not be so upset if things don't go according to his plans.
Being upset if things don’t go according to plans is also the result of X years of conditionings.
I think my life situations will all remain the same. I will still have to pay my bills, cut the grass, feed the birds, go to work, play tennis, run half-marathons, take care of the parents, visit the kids, repair the house, etc, etc.
But my reactions to life will be minimal.
Yes, as you wrote, life will remain the same. However, the reaction to life or circumstances is the result of X years of conditionings. Conditionings most of the time don’t stop in an instant, but they can GRADUALLY fall away.
I hope I will not be living "the story of Matt" in my head, over and over again.
and
I hope Matt will accept life as it is, that I can just go with the flow.
and
I suspect my egoic conditionings and behaviors are deeply embedded in Matt
and
And that I can drop the story of Matt.
How many ‘I’-s do you have?
  • (1) ‘I hope’, ‘I suspect’, ‘my egoic conditionings’, ‘I can drop’
    (2) the story of Matt


You write as if there were two of you. ‘You’ and Matt. But there is neither ‘you’ nor Matt.

You are Matt
you = Matt

They are the same. And NONE of them is real.

So there is no ‘you’ that could stop believing the story of Matt. Stop believing can happen, but without a doer or an owner (you).

There is no ‘you’ that can have egoic conditionings embedded into Matt. There are conditionings but there is no you that could own them or get rid of them.

There is no ‘you’ that could be liberated. ‘Liberation’ can happen but without something (you) doing it.
I can only trust there is a something or someone out there who can run the world story better than I can.
And what if there isn’t someone out there? What if there is no controller, governor at all? Things/life just happens but without an owner or doer whatsoever.

What I propose to do is to set you some exercises, physical ones, in which I will ask you to describe the experience of the senses. We call this direct experience, or the uninterpreted moment. This refers to the data from the sensations themselves, before mind tries to make sense of it and begins to describe what is happening. Observing with the five senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching/feeling. These exercises can help to see what is ‘real’ and what is not.

But before starting, please report what came up reading the comments about the expectations.
Was there any resistance to any of it?


Love, 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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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Matt2 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:06 am

Vivien,

Yes, I do agree with the terms of this Liberation Unleashed process.

Now, for any resistance as I read your responses,

I had written:

"I can only trust there is a something or someone out there who can run the world story better than I can.

You replied:
And what if there isn’t someone out there? What if there is no controller, governor at all? Things/life just happens but without an owner or doer whatsoever.
As I read this reply, I did not detect resistance, so much as confusion and puzzlement. I would think there would be some governor or intelligence behind this world. In no way I am suggesting this unknown governor is a personal entity. I would just hope there is some intelligence beyond my pithy mind. Anyway, the
what if there isn't a someone out there?
is a source of puzzlement, and somewhat scary. If there is not one out there as a governor of the universe, or nobody else out there period, then there is no one here, in my mind, as me. There is no one anywhere. There is no me and you. Just what is there then? I know this is question I would do well to consider. But this goes really really deep. For over a half a century, my entire existence has been my "I" trying to interface with other "I"s like myself. So your inference of no one being out there, is a scary one. It means my "I" has been an illusion, a nothing. What is even more scary, is that on some level, I actually think you are correct about this. So I don't know what to really think about someones and mes. My thoughts conflict on this, all the while knowing that my "I" assumes "I"s in all bodies.

Regarding how many "I"s I have, and the moving between first person and third persons in my sentences, after a couple years of me listening to Adyashanti and Tony Parsons, after our emails, I am getting confused when I write as to who "I" am, and how to write it in emails. Obviously there is no me. But my me does not think so. Like everyone, my "I" is heavily invested in itself. Who is invested in itself? When I try to ponder this question, no thoughts come in to answer.

Which brings me to your other comment:
This depends only on your desire for seeing through the illusion and your commitment to doing the exercises.
Again, this is not so much resistance as it is dread and confusion. "What is the place of personal effort in sadhana?" One of my Hindu friends and I have discussed this question and dilemma for about 30 years. If there is no me, who is there to have desire to do these exercises and to see through the illusion of self? Should my illusion of myself have this desire? And why would my "I" want to end itself? Funny, I actually think I want to end my illusion of self. I feel my "I" is like a hand that has been overplayed and it is time to move on to the next level.

In past times, I have done the Course in Miracle exercises for over a year. So I don't think there will be any problem with me doing the exercises and LU posts. Since I have trained to run marathons, concerted effort for long periods of time is not a problem for me. I do dread that perhaps I will run afoul like I did in the Course. Perhaps, in-spite of my efforts and desire, it is not in the cards for me. That is what I dread. I don't want this to be a fruitless hunt for the end of a rainbow.

Then you write this:
There is no ‘you’ that could be liberated. ‘Liberation’ can happen but without something (you) doing it.
So "I" will not be 'doing' this 'liberation', 'liberation' is for no one, but "I" need to desire it. My confusion here is not a play on words or intellectual hair splitting. It really is confusing. I guess language is breaking down or something.

Sometimes, I feel like I should have more resistance, not so much dread or confusion. And I certainly do experience a sense of relief because I think my "I" can finally get seen through.

So bring on the exercises.

Matt

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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Vivien » Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:49 am

Dear Matt,
I am getting confused when I write as to who "I" am, and how to write it in emails.
Please don’t try to be careful with the language and systematically avoiding the word ‘I’. If you do that then I’m not able to help you, because I cannot see where you’re at the moment. So please, use the language that feels/sound the TRUEST for you at the moment. This is very important. I need your 100% honesty. Don’t write anything that is not 100% true for you at the moment.
If there is not one out there as a governor of the universe, or nobody else out there period, then there is no one here, in my mind, as me. There is no one anywhere. There is no me and you.
Yes, exactly.
So "I" will not be 'doing' this 'liberation', 'liberation' is for no one, but "I" need to desire it. My confusion here is not a play on words or intellectual hair splitting. It really is confusing.
There is neither ‘you’ that could be liberated nor a one that could desire liberation. Both desiring and liberation can happen, but it is not done by anything. But don’t worry if you don’t get it intellectually. This cannot be understood intellectually. This is what we are going to work on.
So your inference of no one being out there, is a scary one. It means my "I" has been an illusion, a nothing. What is even more scary, is that on some level, I actually think you are correct about this.
Fear is just a protective mechanism, and it does its job well. It highlights that there is a story there about pain or negative consequences to this investigation.

Before we start with the exercises, I’d like you to do is to investigate this fear. Examine it closely. Feel it. Don’t try to fix it or solve it, just sit with it.

Ask the fear as it were a some kind of entity:

What do you want to protect me from?
What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?

Observe what images and stories come up ‘justifying’ its right to fear.

If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and mental images what is BEHIND the fear?


Love, 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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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Matt2 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:49 am

Vivien,

Your insights and comments cut deep. When I was in a Franciscan seminary in the late 1970s, I had a spiritual director, and he did not bite as hard as you.

About the fear.... as a child, was “I” really welcomed into this world? No. My parents were busy with their issues. My dad's father was a judgmental and negative German. My mom's father was an alcoholic and her mother had some anger issues. And I was just one of 5 kids, all equally unwelcome in this world. Yes, there is some childhood shame from a somewhat dyfunctional family of origin. Nothing unusual though. But even as a child, I saw this world does not really need me. What right do I have to be in this world? I am optional to its functioning. If I had never been born, the world would still go on. The songs on the radio would play just the same. I see many old folks in nursing homes, and if they die, because of their senility and health afflictions, their death is a benediction. My place in this world is precarious. And if I lose my sense of self, then I lose all that I have. My fear is whispering to me: “don't lose what little you have. Or 'I' will not be able to protect you!” This fear protects me from the shame of non-existence, from the awkwardness of not having a place in this world. In short,

negative story = no apriori position or standing in this world.

I know, I can read your responses already. You will write, “The world really does not need your 'I', because it does exist. There is no world separate what is beyond your 'you'. And, your 'I' really is optional. There is nothing for 'you' to lose, because there is no you.” Intellectually this makes sense. Emotionally, my “I” is still holding out for a deal which does not consign my “I” to oblivion.

An image that comes up when I think about what is behind the fear, is the image of me and my siblings down at our grandfather's house where we would play in the creek, catching little frogs and crayfish, building little dams. It was like a 'paradise' with all of nature, the water in the creek, the grandparents, the other relatives and the saintly Trappist monks in the nearby monastery who befriended us. If I was ever going to find that place where “I” fit in, this should have been at the creek catching crayfish. But now I sense, I failed at discovering my position in life.

It seems I am having thoughts which contradict themselves and each other. I feel like I am writing in circles here, making no sense. “Catching crayfish in the creek”? Sounds like some Holden Caulfield “Catcher in the rye” moment. But I feel this “down at the creek” metaphor must be symbolic of my struggle to find my happiness and position in the world.

From one perspective, I know my glorious “I”, and its 'magnificent' story is really just all in my head. The “gift” of my “I” is truly a sham. But it seems I believe in this sham of a self. More or less I believe in it. At times, I think my “I” is all that “I” have. And if I see through the “I”, my “I” is gone. And as soon as I write the previous sentences, I feel the gambit of me and my brothers and sisters down at the creek, trying to build and discover our self was just an exercise in futility, a mess, a failure to “take that left turn at Albuquerque” (if they don't have that expression in your country, see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8TUwHTfOOU ) . Who wants to be a failure? Not “I”! But now it appears, my “I” is just a mistaken and inconvenient assertion.

If my failure to build or discover my “I” down at the creek, or in life in general, why would I continue to hold on to a mistake? A misguided appraisal? Would it not be better to end the mistake now? Why yes it would!

After writing all of the above, I was wondering about what precisely you meant by 'negative' story, that my garden variety existential fear of non-existence may not be what your were looking for. I thought perhaps 'negative story ' is a technical term of LU or something. As luck would have it, I saw the recent post at fadingveiling.com on running away from 'negative' emotions. You make a lot of good points, which should lead to my farther investigation. Currently though, I am really not aware of any large unprocessed sources of 'negative' emotions. Yes, I have had my share of 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune', like everyone else has had. But that is just the way the cards have fallen. That said, I probably do have some unprocessed minor stuff, but I am unaware of any nothing major. However, I was really surprised when I investigated the fear and I discovered the image of “catching crayfish in the creek”. I was completely unaware of this loaded image. I don't know if I have looked completely behind this fear as you suggested.

Matt

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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Vivien » Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:23 am

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your honesty and sharing the story.
your 'I' really is optional.
Your ‘I’ is not optional. Nothing cannot be optional. The ‘I’ is just an illusion, like a mirage in the desert. There has never been a ‘you’, and never will be.
At times, I think my “I” is all that “I” have. And if I see through the “I”, my “I” is gone.
OK. This is just the content of an arising thought. This is just a thought that is believed. But actually, there is no you that could have an ‘I’. This supposed ‘you’ has never existed. So nothing will change. The only difference is that the illusion can be seen only as an illusion and not believed to be real. That’s all. But in reality, this is already the case.
I was wondering about what precisely you meant by 'negative' story,
A ‘negative’ story is nothing more than an appearing thought-story with an attached mental label ‘negative’. Actually, no story is negative or positive by itself. Things are totally neutral. Only the attached mental labels suggest otherwise.

This is one of the areas that we will investigate deeply.
I was completely unaware of this loaded image
Yes, this was the point of investigating to bring to the sunlight what was hidden before.

So now, as you can see this story, you can release it. By releasing I mean that you can observe it whenever it comes up, but not buying into it. These are nothing more than thought-stories and mental images appearing here and now, in this moment. Nothing serious, nothing ‘real’.

Now, I would like you to ask to LOOK behind this story. Pay attention only to the pure bodily sensation that arises as a result of the story and the mental images. Go directly to the raw bodily sensation in this moment.

When you ignore all thoughts and mental images, what is left?


Love, 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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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Matt2 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:03 am

Vivien,

Emotionally, this story of "me seeming to not have an established place in this world" is still with me. It came up today again. And when this story appeared, I thought, "Oh, there is that feeling again." but I just moved on. Like I am going bored with it. The emotions did not seem to have much of a hold anymore. That is funny, I had an emotion but I only half believed in the emotion! I guess the feeling with come and go, and believed in less and less. This must be what you meant by:
By releasing I mean that you can observe it whenever it comes up, but not buying into it.
When the story appeared today, as far as the raw emotions behind the story, I sense they were just a slow aching fear. But because I was just looking at these emotions, they seemed like no big deal. Like a man without a country, those fearful emotions had no sympathetic audience. It is almost 10:00PM now, so will have to wait until tomorrow for this fearful emotion to strike again. When they do, I will look.

Last night, I had a disturbing dream where 3, never seen before, characters sang a song to me. Over and over they sang the phrase, "We are going to kill 'me'. We are going to kill 'me' ". It was obvious that by "me', they meant it be my "me', my illusionary "me" and "I". The 3 in the dream meant that "I" was going to get seen through. Liberation Unleashed is even messing with my dreams.

I will report back tomorrow what happens when I ignore all thoughts and mental images. I will report back what is left, after I look behind the thoughts and images.

Matt

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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Matt2 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:01 am

Vivien,

Regarding not having a place in this world, I don't think the fearful feeling will come back. This morning driving into work, I happened to recall a fearful time of when I was 4 years old, and I thought my family had driven home and left me at the park by myself. I happened to see a station wagon like my family's drive off, then I looked around and I could not see my parents or my siblings, so I assume they left without me. So I decided to walk the 2 miles home to the house. Yes I was four, but I knew the way. Well, the police and everybody was involved in trying to find me. My neighbor figured out what I was probably doing so he walked toward the park, found me walking home, and returned to the park to find my father speechless, surrounded by police. So when I think of this, I normally have some emotions, but not today.

It seems my "I" will not send up fearful emotions. Instead, it sends in happy emotions when I feel like "I" have a place in this world. For example, I was in a meeting interface with 2 coworkers, talking about the director of finance in New York City about a sales rep in Boston and another place on the east coast. So I felt happy because I had a place in the company. Later today, I was in a meeting with 2 others from Order and Revenue management, with another finance director on the phone, and they invited me to a lunch meeting tomorrow. Double good. Now I have 2 more places in the world for me. Oh the good and happy feelings.

So I saw that negative feels about not having a place, or positive feelings when I do have a place, are two sides of the same coin! Both negative and positive feelings are both from the same belief that "I" must have a place in this world. So, I am looking and observing the good feelings too. And trying not to believe in the happy feelings either.

However, though the negative feelings are not so believable anymore, the positive feelings are more believable! Dang.

I don't really detect anything behind the happy feelings. These feelings just seem like they are the result of some computation which I is not aware of.

So much to work on.

Matt

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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Vivien » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:22 am

Dear Matt,
So I saw that negative feels about not having a place, or positive feelings when I do have a place, are two sides of the same coin! Both negative and positive feelings are both from the same belief that "I" must have a place in this world. So, I am looking and observing the good feelings too.
Very good observation. :)

Let’s start it the inquiry then.

The first thing to investigate is to find out what you currently believe yourself to be.
This should be kept very simple and should not be anything requiring in-depth analysis or thought.

The standard view of 'I', 'me' is that of a person - A body with a mind.
The standard view is that 'I' refers to this body that appears here in awareness. I am this body. Also 'I' have control over this body.
Since 'I' am this body, 'I' see, 'I' hear, 'I' feel etc - I perform all the senses.
This body was born - It will live a number of years - And then it (I) will die.

Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.

Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?

What does the word 'I' point to?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
What makes this body ‘you’?


From now on, I will write all questions in blue, please always answer ALL of them. These questions are pointers where to LOOK. Of course, you can also reply to any other parts of my posts if you feel need to.

Love, 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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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Matt2 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:58 am

Vivien,

Your standard outline of the "I" belief seems to be reasonable. Thinking of the "I" as a process instead of a thing appeals to me. "I" am a verb, more than a noun. Except of course when you ask questions about my body, then it seems like "I" am a noun. Onward:
Currently, would it be fair to say that you believe that currently you are a person sitting in a chair, looking at a computer screen and reading words off it right now?
Yes, this seems correct. I see a screen. I feel my fingers on the keyboard. And as this fingers move, little characters appear on this monitor.
What does the word 'I' point to?
"I" seems to point to a brain/body entity. But I think the "I" is really just an assumption of my arising thoughts. Thoughts presuppose my "I". Generally, "I" is my body, more or less.
What makes this body ‘yours’?
My answer to this is: the only awareness that I know of, is only aware of the feelings in my body. Wait, something just hit me. I am also aware of things outside my body too. I can touch things and see things and hear sounds. But I don't assume I am running water just because I hear and see the water running out of the faucet. So now I have confused myself. But I have to go with the first answer of: I am only aware of sensations through my body. So this makes the body mine.
What makes this body ‘you’?
When my body sleeps, my awareness is gone. When my body is tired, my thoughts slow down, and my body too. It seems

body = "I"

is a given. Unless I am just renting this body for the time being. I can't seem to control other bodies, or experience the thoughts and sensations through other bodies. So "they" must be "them". And "I" am "me". Separation of the various bodies seems obvious. Supported by the fact that bodies die. And when the body dies, no body can talk to the dead body. Separation is what "my" world is built on.

This is going to be strange I bet. You will challenging me to question my very definition. Hmmm... I would why I never questioned who I was before?

Matt

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Vivien
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Location: Australia

Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Vivien » Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:08 am

Dear Matt,

The way you described the relation between the ‘I’ and the body is a very common assumption. But it will be realized that this is nothing more than an unexamined assumption, a belief only, and there is no supporting proof whatsoever.

Now we try to find the ‘owner’ of the body.
We are LOOKing for a real ‘I’. Real is something that can be found.

What I want you to do for our examination together, is to try to separate out thoughts from what is ‘real’.

But at first, as an example, let’s try to find Darth Vader from Star Wars.
We’re looking for a real Darth Vader that can be found.
In order to prove that it exists, we have to experience it directly by seeing, hearing, touching/feeling, smelling.

The image projected to the cinema screen is not it.
The poster on the wall about Darth Vader is not it.
The memory in ‘my head’ about Darth Vader is not a proof of its existence.
A thought suggesting that “he may be exist somewhere in the galaxy” is just an idea, but not a proof of it.
A lego figure of Darth Vader is not a real Darth Vader.
A life size wax figure exhibited in a museum is not it.
A twelve-year old boy dressed in a Darth Vader costume is not it.

Now, try to find the ‘I’ that supposedly owns the body. Look everywhere. Search every corner of the body, memories, feelings, thoughts, or any other places. Don’t leave any stones unturned.

Let's take 'seeing' as a first example.

Right now, these words on the screen are being seen. Examine the actual experience right now.

Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?


Love, 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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Matt2
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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Matt2 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:03 am

Vivien,

I remember the Darth Vader questions from the transcript with Mimi. Since these questions are posed directly to me, I see things differently for some reason. And those Darth Vader posters, and memories, and lego figures are only indirect pointers to Darth Vader, they are not Darth Vader itself. Likewise, I have to admit, all my thoughts and feelings are such are just indirect pointers to "me". I can seem to find any real "me".

I would have to say that my belief in myself has been on the wane. Today, I was surprising myself during a meeting at work today. I don't know where all my thoughts and insights where coming from. They were just happening. I felt almost like a bystander, like I was standing beside myself.
Now, can it be found what is seeing them?
Do you see a seer?
Can be located, found, tracked-down etc the 'thing' that is seeing these words on the screen right now?
Anyway, I honestly can't find a seer. I can't point directly to anything which could be called the "seer". Seeing seems to happen. I don't control it. It just happens. Thoughts just happen too, like seeing. The meaning of the words and concepts just happen to come. It seems I still believe in "myself". But my belief seems to be on the way out. I don't know what to make of this. I have never questioned myself before. Myself seems to be a theory which I am trying to prove. However, myself still seems to be locked into this body.

Matt

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Vivien
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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Vivien » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:16 am

Dear Matt,
I would have to say that my belief in myself has been on the wane. Today, I was surprising myself during a meeting at work today. I don't know where all my thoughts and insights where coming from. They were just happening. I felt almost like a bystander, like I was standing beside myself.
Beautiful…
Anyway, I honestly can't find a seer. I can't point directly to anything which could be called the "seer". Seeing seems to happen. I don't control it. It just happens. Thoughts just happen too, like seeing. The meaning of the words and concepts just happen to come. It seems I still believe in "myself".
Very good looking.

Let’s have a deeper look on thoughts. Sit for about 15 minutes and investigate these questions:

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

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
What is the thinker of thoughts?
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?

Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?

Is there an 'I' that has ownership of thoughts?
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?

Do you think thoughts or you are just being thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


Please answer to all these questions. Take your time and look….

Love, 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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Matt2
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Re: Thread for Matt2

Postby Matt2 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:43 am

Vivien,

My answers:
Where thoughts come from?
I don't know really. Common “wisdom” has thoughts come from the brain. But I have to admit, some of my most productive thoughts are work come when 'I' am not trying. These thoughts just appear, without any 'I' involvement.
Where are they going?
Thoughts seem to go in the bit bucket. Well some of them get remembered into memory. But most just go away in to nothing.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
I can't really stop a thought. It seems 'I' can interrupt a train of thoughts, sometimes.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
It does seem like 'I' can predict with some degree of probably, would the next thought may be, if I am ruminating and the same old train of thought comes up again. I don't really know if my 'I' is predicting or if the thoughts are predicting. Thoughts which are of the self-reflective type are difficult to gauge.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
If self-reflection is involved, 'I' think that 'I' can reframe or transpose thoughts so they are more productive. And it seems I can temper down the pain and negativity. Pain and negativity are more of a reaction or a piling on of more thoughts to the original thought. It does seem painful thoughts are my own interpretation. Can I stop this interpretation? Does not seem like I can.
Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
No, 'I' can not be found. My 'I' is assumed.
“I think” - What is 'I'? What is the one that thinks?
There is some awareness that watches the thoughts come up. There is identification with my thoughts. It is like each thought comes in an envelope, and in this envelope is the perfume and scent of my 'I'. But I don't know where the 'I' really is. I only enjoy the scent.
What is the thinker of thoughts?
'thinker' is an abstraction or theory. When a flood of thoughts come, 'I' assume they are from 'me'.
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
My thinker can't directly be found. Only the scent of the 'thinker' or 'I' taints my thoughts.
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
Yes, this could be. Or the 'I' is just the perfume on my thoughts.
Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
It seems I can direct my focus. This may have some influence over my thoughts. But can 'I' really control them? Not really, thoughts seem to come. And then go.
Is there an 'I' that has ownership of thoughts?
My thoughts are tainted with the perfume of my 'I'. This seems like an ownership of some sort. A partial ownership.
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?
Thoughts belong to no one. Thoughts are like wind. They come and they go. I guess no one can really own them. But 'I' thinks 'I' own them because these thoughts happen only in 'me'. I don't experience other people having my same thoughts. I assume my thoughts are private. Are my thoughts really completely private? I can't be sure.
Do you think thoughts or you are just being thought?
More and more, especially at work when I am observing myself, it seems like thoughts just appear. Am 'I' being thought? Good question. If 'I' did not think or feel, would there be a 'me'. Could I think thoughts without there being a 'me'? In theory, yes. In practice, whenever I think, I think there is a me. Can I think without a me? I will investigate this tomorrow while at work.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
It does not seem like I can suppress thoughts or prevent them. But can I suppress the 'I' thought? I don't think so. Not really sure. How would I suppress the 'I' thought? I don't think I can.

On some of these, I need to observe come more. There are so many questions and places to look.

Matt


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