Thread for Michaellt017

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Vivien
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Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Vivien » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:47 am

Hi Michael,

This thread is for you. I am happy to assist to help seeing through of the illusion of a separate self, though I can only point the way. You have to see it for yourself. That is why we are described as guides, not teachers.

We will simply have a conversation, the aim of which will be for you to make the realisation that there is no separate 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.
- You can learn to use the quote function, instructions are located in the link below this line:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=660
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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?


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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Michaellt017
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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Michaellt017 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:12 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thanks, let’s get started, I am “happy” to agree to the above…that sounds so strange...
I am enthusiastic and in a humorous mood so I’d like to comment on the rules. No best not too.

One thing though (in the disclaimer), if LU could really do it, I’d say the spiritual tourist would get the best deal. Imagine it, out through the airlock launched into deep space, you turn around and the airlock plus spacestation are gone, no comfort zone, that’d wake everyone up…


I thought it useful if not entertaining to write something about my “story”...

I have “sort” of been interested in spiritual stuff most of my life. Read a lot of books that were always a pleasant read at the time…Just never got on the spiritual trail, perhaps I was lazy, perhaps I didn’t get it.

I think as a young teenage I began searching in order to shed some positive light on apparent struggling; this sort of coincided with starting school and hearing people say how unfortunate I was with regard to some aspects of my life until that point. The struggling club was in, so I joined. It didn’t really click with me, so I didn’t click with others…well with some other weird people, as a kid life was fun and just not serious, any struggling just faded away with the arrival of some fascinating and wondrous activity, what happened? I am sure this is a classic tale of the suppression of the golden age of youth, sort of got it years later.

Anyway Taoism, Buddhism, Gurdjieffism fleetingly past my way. But as I said there was only an interest, read it, conceptualised it, I never dived in so to speak and joined a club; just not my thing. Thought, language and interpretation were always the issue, unless you didn’t speak to anyone. The struggling club was closer to home and easier to understand.

I was perhaps fortunate that a friend’s father was a Gurdjieff teach, who would often say “the right thing at the right time”, this would invariably induce a “curious state of being”…of course if I wanted to know more I’d have to join the club, I declined of course. At least those “curious states of being” encouraged a passive searching for something…or perhaps more of a waiting until something “just right” came along.

I spent practically all my youth outdoors, watching birds, animals, plants…you name it, if it was out there “in the countryside” I was watching it. But something curious happened when I was in my mid-teens. I was out in the woods watching a bird, and writing about it in my logbook; Latin name and everything. There was the realisation that I was missing the real deal, the seeing of this living being took on a new vividness. A walk in the woods was never the same again, even to this day.
But going to school or being at home was just the same as always but I didn’t really know what had happened; back then direct experience was not an “in” term an unheard of, at least to me. Anyway I couldn’t get my conceptual head around it… It sort of clicks now I have heard of DE.
There many other encounters with a lucid world or was it clearer perception, I don’t know, it just happened, like everything else seems to, I left it at that, searching for that something just diluted the experience that spawned the search…catch 22.
It’s amazing how many years you can get into five paragraphs….

In 2009 I did an Ayahuasca ceremony, a real mind blower in terms of perception, perceived reality and realisation. I wrote about it, discussed it with the group other people, still thought, language and interpretation remained an issue. Since then perception is not the same as it used to be, read other peoples words about this, and by coincidence the LU book which all lead me to LU, and the guiding cyber entity named Vivien.

Curious about the next paragraph…
What are your expectations for seeing through the illusion of the self?
Seriously no idea, I avoid expectations like the plague, don’t expectations remove the open approach or natural discovery, maybe I’ll see the illusion of self, maybe I won’t, maybe I already do.
How will Life change?
No idea, perhaps my “life” will change. Perhaps everyone else will say Michael what’s happened to you, you used to be such a great person, or a complete a…..e
How will you change?
Alright then, I know this one, I'll become God and one with everything and save mankind from himself… seriously though, haven’t got a clue
What will be different?
Tell you afterwards

Looking forward to hearing from you. Michael

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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Vivien » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:46 pm

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your introduction.
Seriously no idea, I avoid expectations like the plague, don’t expectations remove the open approach or natural discovery, maybe I’ll see the illusion of self, maybe I won’t, maybe I already do.
This is an excellent place to start, 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 seeing what IS cannot be found in the future.
No idea, perhaps my “life” will change. Perhaps everyone else will say Michael what’s happened to you, you used to be such a great person, or a complete a…..e
:) 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 was out in the woods watching a bird, and writing about it in my logbook; Latin name and everything. There was the realisation that I was missing the real deal, the seeing of this living being took on a new vividness. A walk in the woods was never the same again, even to this day.
But going to school or being at home was just the same as always but I didn’t really know what had happened; back then direct experience was not an “in” term an unheard of, at least to me. Anyway I couldn’t get my conceptual head around it… It sort of clicks now I have heard of DE.
This is very good, because direct experience or actual experience will be a very useful tool in our investigation.

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.

OK then, let’s start it.
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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Michaellt017
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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Michaellt017 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:19 pm

Dear Vivien,

Thanks for the questions, great questions to keep you awake, and I guess to fall a sleep with…
“The standard view”
that’ll be useful reference point.
Feel free to reject what I have suggested if they don't match what you currently believe yourself to be.
I’d agree with some of this some not, sure we’ll pass through this later though.
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?
The “standard view”, would say yes. But do I believe it? And if I ask that question again, “Do I believe it”? I don’t get a rush of confirmations saying yes, yes you’re a person. Have to metaphor / philosophise this (sorry I know I agreed not to!)…looking at the screen, hmmm let me change that, if I were looking out the window I wouldn’t be able say I was the building, even though I am aware of the room I am in. When I am looking at the screen I am not 100% aware of the body that has always been referred to as me, a person, there’s just arms in front of me typing away, and there is the assumption that they are connected to “the rest of me”.
It’d be safe saying I am looking out from this body, but since there is no awareness of anything inside, there is only looking; and with regard to reading, there is the seeing of the words.
There is a resistance to this because of the “what is looking” question / thought, and what is interpreting the words / symbols?
However and literally I don’t see this person as a whole. In fact I have never seen my whole body all at once and been able to confirm it’s “totally”, there’s just the assumption. Then the thought question arises, what is a person.
What does the word 'I' point to?
With a “standard view” (tiresome, can we agree to call it SV), logically speaking I should point to “itself”, so a better question is what is I. If I say “I” internally, there’s just the arising of the word / thought “I”; sometimes it has an audible “texture”, it just fades away. I noticed I called it a word / thought, what are they? They’re “something else” that arises and fades away. The question “where do ‘thoughts’ arise from and return to, arose”. Is there an answer to that?
What makes this body ‘yours’?
From “SV”, perception, especially with regard to “head space”, is stuck in it; perhaps the feeling of the imprisonment of perception by the idea of a body is better description :(). There is though no possessive quality to perception. If I repeat your question, it just arises and fades away, there’s nothing that confirms ownership (‘yours’) or in fact there is body, just the arising and fading of something.
What makes this body ‘you’?
This body is just this body, I’ve been told by so many people it’s my body and it’s called Michael that it’s become habitual. If I repeat your question, is this body me? It just arises and fades away. Perhaps an "answer" arises and says sure you are, it substantiates nothing and fades away.

Just a quick note here, I feel there is some sort of resistance around this, I have this communication thing, and it’s a bit like discussing with you that the English language does not exist, and we are doing this in English.

I sense “conceptual control” perhaps I should keep it simpler, at this point I don’t know if this is the “comfort zone control” or whether there’s an anxiety about not being understood, or is it something else, 'your' feedback is welcome.


warm regards Michael

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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Vivien » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:47 pm

Dear Michael,
When I am looking at the screen I am not 100% aware of the body that has always been referred to as me, a person, there’s just arms in front of me typing away, and there is the assumption that they are connected to “the rest of me”.
It’d be safe saying I am looking out from this body, but since there is no awareness of anything inside, there is only looking; and with regard to reading, there is the seeing of the words.
Yes, very nice looking :) The body is never experienced as a whole… we will have a deeper look on the body later.
However and literally I don’t see this person as a whole. In fact I have never seen my whole body all at once and been able to confirm it’s “totally”, there’s just the assumption. Then the thought question arises, what is a person.
This is what our whole investigation is for… to find out what a person is…. is there a person at all?
The question “where do ‘thoughts’ arise from and return to, arose”. Is there an answer to that?
I'll let you find out the answer for yourself. :)
Please sit for about 10 minutes or so and just observe thoughts.

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?

I sense “conceptual control” perhaps I should keep it simpler, at this point I don’t know if this is the “comfort zone control” or whether there’s an anxiety about not being understood, or is it something else, 'your' feedback is welcome.
Please use as simple language as you can, as if you were trying to explain this to a five-year old, and if I don’t understand something then I’ll ask questions. :)
There is a resistance to this because of the “what is looking” question / thought, and what is interpreting the words / symbols?
And
Just a quick note here, I feel there is some sort of resistance around this, I have this communication thing, and it’s a bit like discussing with you that the English language does not exist, and we are doing this in English.
Resistance 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.

What I’d like you to do is to investigate this resistance. Examine it closely. Feel it. Don’t try to fix it or solve it, just sit with it.

Ask the resistance 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 resist.

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


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 Michaellt017

Postby Michaellt017 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:29 am

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for your reply and sharing those tips...
Where thoughts come from?
I can’t say for sure, it would be easy but not helpful to say nowhere, it’s more a depth of something, it’s not a void (not that I have any idea how a void could be perceived). No words arise from it that describes it…depth and presence, depth of presence, presence of depth? These words have such broad meanings no thought pins a meaning down. All this seems to happen in what is sensed to be head space. I am not sure if its head space or head tension, they don’t seem to come as in “arrive”, but just fade in.
Where are they going?
No Idea, they just fade away.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?
There was the thought that a thought could be stopped by a silent thought arising, but it’d still be a thought, just because the thought "Mich…" arises instead of "Michael" does not imply the assumption of half a thought.
Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
That’s actually quite funny; when I read it there was a sort of knowing that the next thought would be, “no I can’t predict the next thought”. which is actually my answer...
But interestingly now that we’re on this subject there have been a few complex déjà vu experiences, where I have been able to say what someone else was going to say before they could. My guess though is that this too is just a thought arising.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No…
What do you want to protect me from?
Classic one-liners such as ego death, failure, come to mind. I think though the unfamiliar manner of self-inquiry is at the root, a bit like pre driving test nervousness. Good tip though "What do you want to protect me from?", I’ll ask it regularly why the need for resistance arises.
What is the ‘negative’ story, what would happen if the illusion of the self is seen through?
I really don’t know, perhaps this too is part of the resistance, “what do I get in return for self-inquiry, is it a good deal”? Betting on a horse has clearer outcomes, winning something, losing something, or losing it all.
Ego annihilation as an assumed possible outcome is something no one will bet on. From the "SV" perspective, my life has a beginning and an end, I am not really into the linear assumption, so saying it just arises and fades away within something (life) as everything else does is more adult than holding onto the sense of immortality and permanent joy. Like thoughts, and everything else “my life” will at one point fade out, I have no idea when. So my moneys on weird bet, winning and losing are just thoughts and perhaps there’s no prize at all…
Observe what images and stories come up ‘justifying’ its right to resist.
Cipher from the Matrix comes to mind…giving up the “pleasures of life”.
If you ignore the stories (thoughts) and mental images what is BEHIND the resistance?
Nothing

And more….
it’s been a pretty intensive day.

Did some blindfolded walking exercises today, I quite often close my eyes while cycling (on a particularly wide cycle path and with no on coming cyclists), an experiment in, well letting go, always a short experiment! Today it was how to get to the end of the room and pick up my guitar.

First I just use my feet to gently kick objects to find a route, an unfamiliar technique. Although I could not sense the journey or apparent distance without seeing, it was strange to be able to recognise a place in the room, this wasn’t a memory, I couldn’t find a memory, there was just a knowing arising (wordless).
Then I used my hands to feel my away across the room to the guitar, this was different, everything was far more familiar, I was running my hand along a tables edge, the assumption that there was a table couldn’t be confirmed, but there was only the sensation and point of contact, but the “mind” (SV reference) had created a map and “navigational assumption points” that arose as thoughts.

I picked up the guitar and played something I knew, no problem, but playing something I did know was a problem. Sensory familiarity is fertile ground for thought, labelling or any sort of conceptual flow (arising’s).

Went shopping and chose a route I don’t normally walk and tried walking with eyes closed. Only the impact of the feet with the path was registered, was there a street (a world!)? Only the wind on my neck suggested movement. And because I had walked a different route no assumptions or thoughts (could) arise, well apart from “collision concern”.

Tired, off to bed now,

enjoy your day Vivien

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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Vivien » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:01 am

Dear Michael,
I can’t say for sure, it would be easy but not helpful to say nowhere, it’s more a depth of something, it’s not a void (not that I have any idea how a void could be perceived). No words arise from it that describes it…depth and presence, depth of presence, presence of depth? These words have such broad meanings no thought pins a meaning down. All this seems to happen in what is sensed to be head space. I am not sure if its head space or head tension, they don’t seem to come as in “arrive”, but just fade in.
OK. Some parts of this comment that coming from actual looking but mostly it’s just a thought story that interprets what had been seen.
Vivien: Where are they going?
Michael: No Idea, they just fade away.
Yes, this answer is from looking.
When we do this investigation we are not interested in thought stories.
There was the thought that a thought could be stopped by a silent thought arising, but it’d still be a thought, just because the thought "Mich…" arises instead of "Michael" does not imply the assumption of half a thought.
Yes. Look at the first part of this sentence. It starts with “there was a thought…” – and it continues with a thought story, but it was seen that it was just a story. So looking happened in the moment when this thought were seen as a thought and its ‘content’ (what it’s about) wasn’t believed.
Vivien: Can ‘you’ predict what will be the next thought?
Michael: That’s actually quite funny; when I read it there was a sort of knowing that the next thought would be, “no I can’t predict the next thought”. which is actually my answer...
OK, now please try to really do this exercise. Not just to take for granted the thought that says “I can’t predict the next thought”, but actually try to predict the next thought. Do it many times, until there is an EXPERIENTIAL understanding not just an intellectual one. So please do it again and let me know how it goes.
But interestingly now that we’re on this subject there have been a few complex déjà vu experiences, where I have been able to say what someone else was going to say before they could. My guess though is that this too is just a thought arising.
Yes, this is just a thought story, but please, don’t just guess, but LOOK.
Vivien: What do you want to protect me from?
Michael: Classic one-liners such as ego death, failure, come to mind.
OK. Ego death is quite a popular one. It is based on the belief that there is an ego that could die or be annihilated someway. But there is no such thing as ego. Which has never existed cannot die. With or without this investigation there is no such thing as ego. So the investigation cannot cause the death of it… only just the belief in ego could fall away.
“what do I get in return for self-inquiry, is it a good deal”? Betting on a horse has clearer outcomes, winning something, losing something, or losing it all.
Dear Michael, there is nothing that could be gained by this inquiry. It is not about gaining anything, quite the contrary… it’s about seeing through beliefs… it’s about unbelieving… unlearning… seeing what is ‘real’, or rather say what is not.
Ego annihilation as an assumed possible outcome is something no one will bet on.
It’s important to emphasis again that there is no such thing as ego annihilation. There is no ego that could die. So nothing will die as a result of this inquiry. Only beliefs are seen through.
So this is just a thought story, but if it’s believed and taken seriously, it could be frightening (in vain). (I know I was there… :)
Like thoughts, and everything else “my life” will at one point fade out, I have no idea when.
“Your life” cannot fade out, because you have never had a life, ever. Life IS. But it’s not owned by anything.
Cipher from the Matrix comes to mind…giving up the “pleasures of life”.
:) I have to smile on this because I had similar beliefs “giving up the pleasures of life”. But it turned out that this cannot be further from the truth. Actually, life is much more pleasurable when it is seen that it’s not owned by anything.
the assumption that there was a table couldn’t be confirmed, but there was only the sensation and point of contact, but the “mind” (SV reference) had created a map and “navigational assumption points” that arose as thoughts.
This is a nice looking.
Went shopping and chose a route I don’t normally walk and tried walking with eyes closed. Only the impact of the feet with the path was registered, was there a street (a world!)? Only the wind on my neck suggested movement. And because I had walked a different route no assumptions or thoughts (could) arise, well apart from “collision concern”.
Beautiful looking :)

So now let’s delve into thought more deeply. Please ignore all thought stories and report only from the ACTUAL experience. Sit for about 15 minutes and investigate these questions:

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 there only thoughts about you?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?


Please go through these questions and answer ALL of them one-by-one. Don’t miss any. Take your time.

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 Michaellt017

Postby Michaellt017 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:31 pm

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for the mail, I appreciate your comments.

Story / thoughts
On reading my own text I can see that I’ve thrown “standard view, stories, commentary, textual emphasis on story and direct experience commentary all together, sometimes in a single paragraph. I’ll attempt to make it clearer which is which, this is more for me than you.
There’s a paradox describing direct experience with words, labels, stories (thought) that can never purvey direct experience. The word or label “carrot” is pretty safe, but the word headspace does not in any way describe the experience of “head space” as directly experienced.




Anyway, ‘your’ questions

Can an 'I' be found that generates thoughts?
No
“I think” - What is 'I'?
A thought
What is the one that thinks?
There is no “one”
What is the thinker of thoughts?
There is no thinker
Does the thinker of the thought appear in experience? Can it be found?
There is no thinker.
Or could it be that the 'I' that thinks is also just a thought?
There is no I that can think. I is a thought
Is there an 'I' that controls thoughts?
No
Is there an 'I' that has ownership of thoughts?
No
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?
There are just thoughts, thoughts belong to nothing. There is nothing to own thoughts
Do you think thoughts or you are there only thoughts about you?
There is no you, “you” is a thought
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing? Including the thought 'I'?
No. No.

Enjoy 'your' day

Michael

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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Vivien » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:22 am

Dear Michael,
There’s a paradox describing direct experience with words, labels, stories (thought) that can never purvey direct experience.
Yes, it seems to be a paradox, but this is just another story about it. :) Some thoughts point to the actual experience others (most of them) just point to other thoughts.
The word or label “carrot” is pretty safe, but the word headspace does not in any way describe the experience of “head space” as directly experienced.
Yes, I know what you mean. And we will examine the body deeply later, so please bear with me.

--
An arising thought is ‘real’ only as an arising thought, but NEVER its ‘content’ (what it’s about).
What is your reaction to this sentence? How would you describe it with other words?

--
Here is an interesting exercise on control.

Choose one of your arms - It doesn't matter which.
When you have done that, rest for a moment and then when you want to, raise that arm into the air.
Don't go to thoughts, examine the actual experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire…

What is this 'I' that is controlling the arm?
Can a controlling 'I' be located?
What is this 'I' that is choosing which arm to raise?
Can you find an 'I' that is doing the choosing?
How is decision made?


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 Michaellt017

Postby Michaellt017 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:46 pm

Dear Vivien,
Yes, it seems to be a paradox, but this is just another story about it. :)
There was a strange reaction to this, a direct experience (DE) of something...
An arising thought is ‘real’ only as an arising thought, but NEVER its ‘content’ (what it’s about).
What is your reaction to this sentence? How would you describe it with other words?
What was my reaction! It was a sort of “wham”. Tried noting it down quickly, wordless, in fact there didn’t seem to be any thoughts about it or connected to it. Later after the arising many words and stories I can only say it was a direct experience of something that could be described as a jolt (of course this in no way describes it),… around the area of the heart?
There is a thought about this; but it seems too imaginary, there is no DE of it, unless DE is right in front of my face. I’d like to leave this for a bit (is that alright or do you want to know), is your idea of “talking to it” useful here?


There is also no clarity about what a thought is, your one sentence blows away an upbringing and education that told me that thoughts come from spontaneous or willed acts of thinking and this allows ‘us’ to understand the world ‘we’ experience, (story telling). I’m going to use purple again to state that is story, and recognised as thought, err… contents of thought.
Very interesting (understatement)…


What is this 'I' that is controlling the arm?
There isn’t one
Can a controlling 'I' be located?
No
What is this 'I' that is choosing which arm to raise?
There isn’t one
Can you find an 'I' that is doing the choosing?
No
How is decision made?
There isn’t a decision

Notes: did this exercise with eyes closed.
There is only DE of contact between table and arm; there is no experience of the table or arm (labels), there is DE of sensation of tension (label / when the arm was raised [story]).
There is no lowered arm or raised arm, only DE of contact and tension.
There is no “it began here and ended there” (distance) in DE.
There is no “it was there and now it’s here” (time) in DE.

If you have any more great exercises,… please!!

Have a wonderful day Vivien, and thank you!

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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Vivien » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:33 am

Dear Michael,
There is only DE of contact between table and arm; there is no experience of the table or arm (labels), there is DE of sensation of tension (label / when the arm was raised [story]).
There is no lowered arm or raised arm, only DE of contact and tension.
There is no “it began here and ended there” (distance) in DE.
There is no “it was there and now it’s here” (time) in DE.
This is a nice looking. You’re really into investigating the body, which is very good. :) We will get there soon, but first let’s get a bit deeper look on thoughts…
Vivien: An arising thought is ‘real’ only as an arising thought, but NEVER its ‘content’ (what it’s about).
Michael: There is also no clarity about what a thought is, your one sentence blows away an upbringing and education that told me that thoughts come from spontaneous or willed acts of thinking and this allows ‘us’ to understand the world ‘we’ experience, (story telling).
An arising thought is ‘real’ only as an arising thought, but NEVER its ‘content’ (what it’s about).

When there is a thought, it is obvious that it is there. (So the arising thought is ‘real’), but what it is ABOUT (its contents) are not. The ‘content’ of thoughts is always imaginary. That there is a thought is clearly true; but their content is pure imagination.

There are two types of thoughts:
  • (1) Thoughts with words “Here is cup”
    (2) Visual mental images of a ‘cup’
I invite you to do this exercise:
Think of a cup. Get a very clear picture in your mind. See clearly the size, shape, colour and volume of the cup. Notice whether it is decorated or plain. Notice whether it has a handle. Notice whether it is heavy or fragile.

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it? In ‘reality’?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just an image of a cup?
Is there an appearing mental image?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?

The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their 'contents', what are they about (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?


Over the course of the next few days, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its ‘content’ (what it’s about) it is REALLY happening or the content it’s just pure imagination.

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 Michaellt017

Postby Michaellt017 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:51 pm

Dear Vivien,

Thanks for the exercise, quite a revelation…I could think of the cup, but could not visualise it at all, sometimes there seemed to be a misty image, but only a flash. There is the understanding why frustration has been experienced with visualisation therapies in the past, and why I couldn’t grasp “content of visual mental images” and created a whole story around it.
Anyway, very odd… since dreaming is in full colour, all-round sound, full touch “content” experience.

Eventually I decide to use a painting of fruit to duplicate the exercise.
The answers below refer to fruit instead of a cup…..

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
I can’t pick the fruit up
Can you pour tea into it?
I can’t slice it with a knife into pieces
Can you drink from it? In ‘reality’?
I can’t take a bite from it
Is there a ‘real’ cup or just an image of a cup?
There is just an image
Is there an appearing mental image?
Not sure what is meant, but there just a picture with objects labelled fruit.
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?
The fruit is not real
The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their 'contents', what are they about (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?
Got it, the images are real as content of a painting, there are thoughts arising about the fruit in the painting. The images and thoughts cannot be denied. The images in the painting are not real fruit, and thoughts about for example, how delicious the fruit may be are fantasies.
Not the same as your exercise…but how would I know! Just a story...

I’ll watch the content of thoughts this coming week.

Have a wonderful day.

Michael

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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Vivien » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:12 am

Dear Michael,

I
could think of the cup, but could not visualise it at all, sometimes there seemed to be a misty image, but only a flash. There is the understanding why frustration has been experienced with visualisation therapies in the past, and why I couldn’t grasp “content of visual mental images” and created a whole story around it.
It’s not a problem whether there are mental images or not. The point is that no ‘content’ (what it’s about) of an image or a thought (actually in some way they are the same) is ‘real’.
Vivien: Is there an appearing mental image?
Michael: Not sure what is meant, but there just a picture with objects labelled fruit.
Since you used a painting the questions would be equated:
Is there a painting as a painting?
Just because there is an appearing painting (image), the ‘content’ of the painting (what it’s about) are ‘real’?
Or is it ‘real’ only as a painting, but what it’s about (fruits) are not?

Got it, the images are real as content of a painting, there are thoughts arising about the fruit in the painting. The images and thoughts cannot be denied. The images in the painting are not real fruit
Yes
and thoughts about for example, how delicious the fruit may be are fantasies.
This is a tricky part. You say: “MAY BE are fantasies” – maybe or always?

This sentence assumes that the fruits could be tasted that could be either delicious or not. If they are not delicious then the thoughts about them being delicious are unreal, but if they are delicious then the thought about it real.

But can any thoughts ABOUT something be ‘real’, ever?
If you were in a desert, close to die of thirst, could you quench your thirst just by thinking about water (thoughts) or would you need to drink the ‘real’ water?


Let’s say I’m with you in the desert and offer you too options: (1) In my left hand there is a piece of paper with the word ‘water’ written onto it (2) and in my right hand there is a bottle of water.

Which one would you choose? The label or the actual water?
Could you quench your thirst with the label?
If not, what this says about labels? Are they real?


Yes, they are ‘real’ as labels, as appearing thoughts (like the piece of paper with the word printed on it) but its ‘content’, what the thought is about (= the word ‘water’) is not real. Can you clearly see this?

Sometimes thoughts point to something tangible, like chair, however a thought about a chair is not a chair. A thought about a chair is just a mental concept with an appearing mental image of a ‘chair’ but that image is not ‘real’. However, as an arising image is there, it is ‘real’, but not its content (what it’s about).

Certain sensations can be felt in the body that is labelled such and such emotion, like ‘cheerful’. However, ‘cheerful’ is just a mental label on the felt sensation. So the felt sensation is ‘real’, the appearing mental label, simply as appearing label is ‘real’, but its content ‘cheerful’ is just an idea.

Can you see this?

Can you see that a thought is never the 'thing'? The thought is never 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 Michaellt017

Postby Michaellt017 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:47 pm

Hi Vivien,

Great stuff....
Since you used a painting the questions would be equated:
Is there a painting as a painting?
??
Just because there is an appearing painting (image), the ‘content’ of the painting (what it’s about) are ‘real’?
the content is not real
Or is it ‘real’ only as a painting, but what it’s about (fruits) are not?
It is real as an object, all objects are “real”. This object has “become” a painting because the content of thought labelled it “painting”. This content of thought is not the painting.
The fruit is real only as an “image of fruit” in the painting; this fruit cannot exist apart from the painting. The content of thought is painting with image of fruit. The painting is real, the fruit is content.
Thought is real, its content is not.
and thoughts about for example, how delicious the fruit may be are fantasies.

This is a tricky part. You say: “MAY BE are fantasies” – maybe or always?

This sentence assumes that the fruits could be tasted that could be either delicious or not. If they are not delicious then the thoughts about them being delicious are unreal, but if they are delicious then the thought about it real.
I did get this, the grammar was not exact; it should read “thoughts about how delicious the fruit may be (are) , ARE FANTASIES...ALWAYS”.

But let’s go further, there is looking at something, the label “painting” appears and is pointing to that something, the something is real, the thought is real as a thought but it is not the painting.

There are thoughts about the painting, it looks expensive, it is a beautiful painting; these are all fantasy.

There is the seeing of (the images of) fruit, the labels pineapple, apples and pears, even Dutch labels ananas, appels and peren appear, none of these labels are the fruit and point to what appears to be fruit…but there is no fruit, just images of fruit in a painting, eating either the images of fruit or the labels is not possible.

But if there is “looking” at the bowl of fruit on the table, labels point to a real mango, banana and avocado, I can eat this mango but not the label “mango”.

Furthermore there is no choice about which label appears (English or Dutch, yellow mango – orange mango), the label just arises, there is also no “it should be this label or that label (it’s not yellow, it’s orange)”; the label just appears, it just is.

Then there are thoughts about these fruits, it looks delicious, such beautiful colours, I’d like to eat an apple or a mango, ARE ALL FANTASIES even if there is looking at the real fruit, the painting of fruit or a mental image of a fruit.

And then the painting is hanging on the wall, the wall is white, smooth and painted. The wall is real, the label that points to it is the thought “wall”, this label (content of thought) is not the wall. I hammered the nail into the wall to hang the picture up; I didn’t hammer a nail into the label.
There is only "colour", content of the thought labelled it white.
There is no seeing that the wall is smooth, so the word smooth is fantasy. If there is contact / touching the wall, only touching is real, the word smooth might arise, but the word is not the touch, it points to an assumed (story of) texture, the word body might also arise, this points to an assumption, there is only contact / touching.

All the above is a story where

there is only “seeing” of what is real (the wall, the painting and images within it, the mango and thought [not content])
the content of thought points to what is seen, but is not real
there’s a lot of storytelling and fantasising.
But can any thoughts ABOUT something be ‘real’, ever?
Thoughts ABOUT can only be real as a thoughts, the contents can never be real.
If you were in a desert, close to die of thirst, could you quench your thirst just by thinking about water (thoughts) or would you need to drink the ‘real’ water?
real water
Let’s say I’m with you in the desert and offer you too options: (1) In my left hand there is a piece of paper with the word ‘water’ written onto it (2) and in my right hand there is a bottle of water.

Which one would you choose? The label or the actual water?
The water
Could you quench your thirst with the label?
no
If not, what this says about labels? Are they real?
Yes, they are ‘real’ as labels, as appearing thoughts (like the piece of paper with the word printed on it) but its ‘content’, what the thought is about (= the word ‘water’) is not real. Can you clearly see this?
That has made it very clear now
Sometimes thoughts point to something tangible, like chair, however a thought about a chair is not a chair. A thought about a chair is just a mental concept with an appearing mental image of a ‘chair’ but that image is not ‘real’. However, as an arising image is there, it is ‘real’, but not its content (what it’s about).

Certain sensations can be felt in the body that is labelled such and such emotion, like ‘cheerful’. However, ‘cheerful’ is just a mental label on the felt sensation. So the felt sensation is ‘real’, the appearing mental label, simply as appearing label is ‘real’, but its content ‘cheerful’ is just an idea.

Can you see this?
yes
Can you see that a thought is never the 'thing'? The thought is never IT?
yes, clearly.


Enjoy the rest of your weekend

Michael

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Re: Thread for Michaellt017

Postby Vivien » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:31 pm

Dear Michael,

You did a very nice looking on thoughts :) There is nothing much to comment on, so let’s have a look the body now.

Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes. With only the input from the pure sensations, and without relying on thoughts or mental images:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does it have a weight or a volume of the body?

In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?

Is there an inside or outside?
If there is an inside, inside of exactly what?
What outside is outside of?

What does the word ‘body’ is ACTUALLY refer to?

What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?


Look very carefully, especially with the last question. Take your time, don’t rush. You could repeat the exercise several times a day while doing other things (like washing hands, showering, having a short break from work, walking, etc.) before replying.

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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