An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Welcome to the main forum. When you are ready to start a conversation, register and once your application is processed a guide will come to talk to you.
This is one-on-one style forum, one thread per green member.
User avatar
CaseyAPayne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:49 am
Contact:

An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby CaseyAPayne » Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:55 am

What brings you to Liberation Unleashed?:

A friend sent this message:
Watch "Dzogchen Retreat: Jackson Peterson in Mexico Part 1" on YouTube
All there is is life and nobody owns it.
He said the video is good and that the person in the video mentioned this website as a resource.

What are you looking for? What do you expect from this?:

I'm looking for good resources for people who are interested in "enlightenment".
I expect to be matched with a guide and to have a conversation.

What is your background in terms of seeking and inquiry?:

It started with a copy of the Daodejing and an informal group to discuss the philosophies, theory and exercises in high school.
I remember reading Siddhartha shortly after high school and it being impactful (I haven't read it since).
From high school until about 32 I read every piece of Daoist everything and every translation of the Daodejing that I could get my hands on.
When I was about 28 I learned Transcendental Meditation at the Maharishi University of Management. I never made that style of meditation a habit.
At around 32 I started investigating "enlightenment" from other angles. I liked "Who Am I?" by Sri Ramana Maharshi.
At 22 I met my taiji/daoism teacher/guide.

A few years ago I started to seriously investigate Buddhism and chose Chan Buddhism as being the best fit for me (I made a couple of "pilgrimages" to Dharma Drum Mountain).
A few years ago I met a lay disciple of Ajahn Jumnien from the Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism and he directly answered some of my questions about enlightenment and gave me some insights into meditation.
This past year I've made meditation a daily habit and I recently finished my first thorough reading of "The Gateless Gate" and gained some insight.
For over the last 10 years I've lived as a persona I created (miltownkid ZEE) as an experiment to test the bounds of reality, identity and the dance between online and offline realms.
I see my real name as just as much a fiction as miltownkid ZEE.
I've had numerous "kensho" (not sure if that is the correct language) experiences.
The most insightful thing I acquired from "The Gateless Gate" is how seriously and disciplined they are with their study both before and after their "experience." Even though I've both logically reasoned and experienced the "illusion of self" and I normally go back to "killing time" (my favorite ways are the four bodhisattva vows). I recently recognized that it is easy to "forget" and get "caught in the illusion" again. Taking "it" seriously is a new approach for me (as a Daoist I was ill concerned with taking "it", or anything, seriously).

Now, as I've been doing throughout, I'm applying the insight gained from reflecion into new protocols for operation (upgrading the system software). Currently this involves creating a daily routine which cultivates balance within and without (meditation won't make me an expert runner, running won't make me an expert meditator, neither puts money in the bank!)
My philosophical approach to life is centered around taiji push hands, redirecting forces while maintaining balance.

How ready are you to question your beliefs about who you are and see the truth no matter what? On a scale from one to ten (ten being most ready). : 10

User avatar
vinceschubert
Posts: 3587
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby vinceschubert » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:11 am

Hi CAP, vince here.
i might not be the best one to investigate the site, as i follow no rules, nor do i have a result/conclusion in mind.
i do find 'value' and enjoyment in investigating what arises.
If you are happy with that, then lets continue. (no hurry though. i can wait until you get back to a computer)
If we are 'go', then start with telling about your 'created' identity. The persona that you invented.

vince

User avatar
CaseyAPayne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:49 am
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby CaseyAPayne » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:36 pm

Hi CAP, vince here.
Hey vince, CAP here (maybe I should change my forum name... :) )
If we are 'go', then start with telling about your 'created' identity. The persona that you invented.
I could write a whole book on that! (And I plan to! :) ) I'll do a quick summary.

Around the year 2000 I had to create a hotmail address. I wanted something unique (no numbers or anything) that would express my "core essence". I believe I read some marketing book that mentioned all of the top brands were no more than 3 syllables (ie IBM).

After a bunch of failed attempts (names that were already taken) I came up with Mil-Town (a nickname for the city I was born and raised in, Milwaukee, WI) Kid (I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toy R Us Kid). What began as a simple email address with no other properties within the physical or “spirit” realm eventually took on a life of it’s own.

I moved to Taiwan in 2002 and used the miltownkid name on a discussion forum where I ended up meeting all of my Taiwan friends. The interesting result of me being in another country at that time was that I was able to craft a persona that crossed over from the digital realm to the physical realm without any limits (no one had any preconceived notion as to who “I” was). I created and went to meetups using the name miltownkid so that’s what people called me in person. What I crafted online influenced the offline which in turn influenced the online in a way that’s hard to describe. “miltownkid” had a “mind” of “his” “own”.

In 2006 I created a viral video which ended up defining much of who miltownkid was (a “hardcore gamer”, “I” was so much more). There is a symbiotic relationship between author and readership in this digital social age. The audience crafted miltownkid as much as I did. “I” was miltownkid at the same time as “I” wasn’t! miltownkid’s thoughts became my thoughts. miltownkid’s dreams became my dreams. miltownkid became me, I became miltownkid!

It was only until this past year that I’ve really done the work of extracting the “miltownkid mind” from “my mind”. I have a very comprehensive set of digital and physical notes outlining the genesis of miltownkid so it’s easy for me to see the elaborate fiction of him (me). This experience has helped with seeing the elaborate fiction that is CAP.

The CAP that preceded miltownkid was only interested in one thing, “enlightenment”. The CAP that’s emerging from miltownkid is interested in a few things: delivering all sentient beings, cutting off all vexations, mastering limitless approaches to Dharma, attaining supreme Buddhahood and keeping my girlfriend happy. lol

User avatar
vinceschubert
Posts: 3587
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby vinceschubert » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:29 pm

Good evening CAP,
at that time was that I was able to craft a persona that crossed over from the digital realm to the physical realm without any limits (no one had any preconceived notion as to who “I” was). I created and went to meetups using the name miltownkid so that’s what people called me in person. What I crafted online influenced the offline which in turn influenced the online in a way that’s hard to describe. “miltownkid” had a “mind” of “his” “own”.
Ok, this is the bit that is interesting. How was the "“mind” of “his” “own”", different to the mind that Casey had before this ?
Was the nature of the thoughts that occurred, different ?
Was the habitual pattern of them different ?
Was there a flow on, of emotions, that were different ?
the work of extracting the “miltownkid mind” from “my mind”.
Was this a reestablishment of the old Casey's mind patterns ? ...or was it the creation of a new contempary Casey's mindset ?
This experience has helped with seeing the elaborate fiction that is CAP.
With this statement, it is obvious that you recognize the story nature of a Self. Is there something behind these constructions that identifies as something ?
What is it that is consciously creating these personas ?

vince

User avatar
CaseyAPayne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:49 am
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby CaseyAPayne » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:16 pm

Good evening CAP,
Good morning vince!
at that time was that I was able to craft a persona that crossed over from the digital realm to the physical realm without any limits (no one had any preconceived notion as to who “I” was). I created and went to meetups using the name miltownkid so that’s what people called me in person. What I crafted online influenced the offline which in turn influenced the online in a way that’s hard to describe. “miltownkid” had a “mind” of “his” “own”.
Ok, this is the bit that is interesting. How was the "“mind” of “his” “own”", different to the mind that Casey had before this ?
No different really other than being more cognizant to what a “mind” consists of and how it is created.
Was the nature of the thoughts that occurred, different ?
No. I mean… The nature of thoughts are the nature of thoughts, no? If I elaborated on what’s above I would say that when I was younger I identified more with the thoughts that I was thinking. “I’m” smart. “I’m” going to do this. “I’ve” decided that. Now I attribute thoughts more to “karma” (not the religious kind, just cause and effect). I don’t use that as an excuse to not be disciplined though! :)
Was the habitual pattern of them different ?
It’s hard to say, but what I am sure of is that thoughts have become more refined and deliberate.

By refined I mean I have clearly written down the path from where my thoughts have arisen and the “dream” they are moving towards and by deliberate I mean constructing my day to day, moment to moment, to reflect the essence of the refinement to the best of my ability.
Was there a flow on, of emotions, that were different ?
Definitely! I was an angry dude on the inside and super happy happy joy joy on the outside. Internally I was mad at the educational system, mad at how materialist everyone was and how it adversely affected both the environment and lives of people around the world, etc.

miltownkid masked/bottled up all of those emotions and just put his head down and tirelessly researched ways to help “ease suffering” (of everyone and everything else but himself… :P )
the work of extracting the “miltownkid mind” from “my mind”.
Was this a reestablishment of the old Casey's mind patterns ? ...or was it the creation of a new contemporary Casey's mindset ?
A new contemporary mindset utilizing knowledge, wisdom and insight to the best of my ability. It isn’t practical to do day to day, but I have a “nameless character” whom I see myself as (not) being… if that makes any sense. lol There is no (literal physical) escaping the of architecture in which I have arisen into. In the past my goal was to somehow enlighten my way out of existence… or something. Casey 2.0 has a new story and mindset.
This experience has helped with seeing the elaborate fiction that is CAP.
With this statement, it is obvious that you recognize the story nature of a Self. Is there something behind these constructions that identifies as something ?
Hmmm… Yes. Void, becoming two, becoming three, becoming “the 10,000 things” (nature), evolving to create modern man, who created language (story), which created the framework to create all of the tools and things we use and label today. Me, a cross section of the dance of nature and story. My profile picture is special to me. It, for me, represents the dance of things that created me. There are mountains in the back (nature), buildings (man) and “me” (the encasing of consciousness). The event that influenced me the most growing up, and to this day, was seeing Karate Kid. I wanted to be Mr. Miyagi. “I” decided that was the path I wanted to take (I was maybe 6 at the time).

There were an incalculable series of events that led to the moment in which I saw that movie. Bruce Lee paving the way for Asian cinema, Bruce Lee meeting his teacher, back and back and back to ???

I identify less with void and more with “nature”.
What is it that is consciously creating these personas ?
That’s a good question!

*Extremely long pause with my head down staring at my belly*

I couldn’t find anything. Interesting…

I want to say more but am currently speechless. Don’t want to ruin the moment!

*Another long pause*

I’ve arrived at my brain. It’s designed to solve problems (through evolution). It was designed via hardware (genetics) and software (language and culture) to complete certain basic tasks. My brain was heavily influenced by my mother. My brain finds/creates problems to solve. The brain of Casey 1.0, miltownkid and “Casey 2.0” all had a different set of things it defined as being problems. The brain creates personas to match the situation it finds itself in.

User avatar
vinceschubert
Posts: 3587
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby vinceschubert » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:48 pm

Good evening Casey.
more cognizant to what a “mind” consists of and how it is created.
So, what does it consist of ? ..and how is it created ?
just cause and effect
Elaborate on this a bit.
be disciplined
How does this work ?
the path from where my thoughts have arisen
Where do thoughts come from ?
but I have a “nameless character” whom I see myself as (not) being… if that makes any sense.
i know what you mean, but for the record, say more about "having".
A new contemporary mindset utilizing knowledge, wisdom
Can you define what wisdom is ?
There is no (literal physical) escaping the of architecture in which I have arisen into.
So what proportion would you guess, is DNA, and what proportion is conditioning ?
I identify ... more with “nature”.
Define "nature" (as best as language allows)
What is it that is consciously creating these personas ?
I’ve arrived at my brain.
Ok, i get it that you have read and heard about this thing called a brain. It's a good story, as you have no direct experience of it. You only have knowledge about it.
Now, have another go at answering the question, but this time from actual experience. Can you find anything other than thoughts that arise, that is doing the creating ?

vince

User avatar
CaseyAPayne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:49 am
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby CaseyAPayne » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:33 am

Good evening Casey.
Good evening vince.
more cognizant to what a “mind” consists of and how it is created.
So, what does it consist of ? ..and how is it created ?
A matrix (not like the movie) of thoughts which are directly tied to experiences (whether presently happening, being reflected on or projected forward).

Thoughts I would describe as a “dance of inputs and reactions”.
just cause and effect
Elaborate on this a bit.
“Just” implies too much simplicity.

From birth we are programmed with a language and culture. Our thoughts are the effect, the cause is the language and culture (for example).

Thoughts being the dance of inputs and reactions (suppose I could say outputs). You could at times say this dance happens “only” internally, like the dance of thoughts during meditation. Or that at times it only happens “external” like being pushed around by the waves in an ocean.

“Internal” and “external” being in quotes because the “lines” too, are concepts. Where do “I” end and “other” begin?
be disciplined
How does this work ?
I suppose the best way I would describe it is akin to what is described in the “8 fold path”.

Through “skillful thought”, eg skillful view, skillful intention, skillful speech, skillful action, skillful livelihood, skillful effort, skillful mindfulness, skillful concentration.

Now, the “8 fold path” I’m sure carries a lot of baggage. Much of which at one point I acquired and have since discarded. What I see it as is a system for reducing suffering. Suffering is going to mean different things to different people.

I suppose “discipline” would be skillfully reducing suffering by acquiring new skills/tools (concepts). Which sounds funny because the aim seems to be to let go of/transcend concepts. Although, more and more, it seems like there’s a gotcha goal of transcending transcending concepts… lol

I suppose discipline would be the actions one take for mastery of something.
the path from where my thoughts have arisen
Where do thoughts come from ?
From past experiences.
but I have a “nameless character” whom I see myself as (not) being… if that makes any sense.
i know what you mean, but for the record, say more about "having".
Ha! That’s just the thing. There is nothing “I” can posses. :P We live in a world of concepts, these concepts create artificial lines and boundaries. These concepts and boundaries form “me”. This “me”, within the realm of concepts and boundaries, is able to own things. The reason it all falls apart is, when you go looking for it, there is no “I” (in the sense that we’ve been conditioned to believe).

For example, if I ask someone “Who am I?” They might respond “Casey.” If I was chatting on Facebook, I would say those are just letters mushed together C+a+s+e+y. That isn’t me.

At that point they would think I was insane and would move on. Lol

Concepts can own things as ownership is another concept. So the concept of Casey can “have a…” I on the other hand… lol
A new contemporary mindset utilizing knowledge, wisdom
Can you define what wisdom is ?
I don’t like to get into the habit of defining things as there are paid professionals who do that. Here is the simple definition of wisdom from Merriam-Webster:
Simple Definition of wisdom
: knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life
: the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand
: knowledge of what is proper or reasonable : good sense or judgment
From my context, and the simple definition above, I would define it as a “tempering of knowledge”. Knowledge gained from the first experience usually stays in the realm of knowledge (a theoretical kind). With numerous experiences with that same kind of knowledge it will, under the right conditions, turn into wisdom.

Knowledge equals watching a YouTube video about surfing. Wisdom equals catching a 40 foot wave.
There is no (literal physical) escaping the of architecture in which I have arisen into.
So what proportion would you guess, is DNA, and what proportion is conditioning ?
I suppose I’ve always seen it as “50/50”. They’re symbiotic. One can’t exist without the other. I, for example, am biracial. There is the mechanics of my DNA but, given the time when I was conceived, there was a whole range of conditioning that brought my parents together. This conditioning and the mechanics of DNA can’t be viewed independent of one another. They are symbiotic.
I identify ... more with “nature”.
Define "nature" (as best as language allows)
Merriam Webster again…
Simple Definition of nature
: the physical world and everything in it (such as plants, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, etc.) that is not made by people
That is, pretty succinctly, what I mean by nature. Although, I do see “people” as being extensions of nature. I both understand the “man made” vs “natural” distinction while also “seeing” everything as natural.

For example, someone could go into nature and everything ends up being “man made” (there’s a rock, there’s a tree, there’s a bird) and someone else could go into the city and everything ends up being natural (experiencing).
What is it that is consciously creating these personas ?
I’ve arrived at my brain.
Ok, i get it that you have read and heard about this thing called a brain. It's a good story, as you have no direct experience of it. You only have knowledge about it.
Now, have another go at answering the question, but this time from actual experience. Can you find anything other than thoughts that arise, that is doing the creating ?
OK, I struggled with two parts of the question.

The “What” and “consciously”. First tackling the “What?”

It’s not “me”. It’s not “my/a brain”. We could settle on “thoughts”. That leaves us with “Thoughts are consciously creating these personas.”

“Are thoughts conscious?”

How does that work? The “I” is a thought. I suppose the “I” thought is “self aware”. So “I” am creating the personas. But who or what am I?

A thought?

But where did the thought come from… “me”?

[Long pause staring into nothing]

I ended in total blankness. I’ll describe what led me there.
Looking for me I was unable to find anything. Then I drifted to the “Karate Kid” and Mr. Miyagi (the idea). Then I tried to trace that back. Usually I would go through a set of concepts I have. The history of karate. The history of White Crane. Kung Fu. Shaolin Temple. Bodhidharma. Buddha. That’s where that usually ends and perhaps the Daoist story kicks in (nature evolving to man and concepts).

This time though I just hung at this image of the Karate Kid on TV at a friends house. I just stayed frozen there. Typing, I know there’s a bunch of other ideas and concepts I could chase around the “are me”, but I just stayed there. Staring at the TV…

All there is is thought…(?)

It’s late. We’ll have to pick up tomorrow!

User avatar
vinceschubert
Posts: 3587
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby vinceschubert » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:15 pm

'evening Casey.
I suppose discipline would be the actions one take for mastery of something.
Ok, a badly worded question. i don't want theory, or what you have read or heard. Give me a report (from memory) of what happens internally when "discipline" happens.
Through “skillful thought”
This implies that you can control your thoughts.
Do you know what your next thought is going to be ?
Can you stop a thought, part way through ?
Can you not think of a pink elephant ?
Do you actually believe that you can decide to think skillfully ? (no theory please. Just report what you find when observing what is actually happening)
Where do thoughts come from ?
From past experiences.
Oops, another badly worded question. i didn't mean how they are formed, but from where do they arise ? From experience, can you see where is their place of origin ?
We live in a world of concepts,
Excellent. Yes. Tell me if your experience agrees or refutes this statement; The only real(ity) is sensations. i include the fact of a thought (as a sense) but not it's content. There is sensations and concepts ABOUT everything else. (from the perspective of the organism)
I don’t like to get into the habit of defining things
Ok, i understand, but i am not interested in a book definition. i can see i need to be more precise with my questions.
What is your experience of wisdom ? How do you know that you are being wise ?
[Long pause staring into nothing]
Excellent ! When the mind gives up trying to describe/explain... allow it, and look to sensations (without labelling them) There you will find a portal.
When that experience fades, then report what (can be reported) happened.

love

vince

User avatar
CaseyAPayne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:49 am
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby CaseyAPayne » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:27 pm

'evening Casey.
Afternoon vince.
I suppose discipline would be the actions one take for mastery of something.
Ok, a badly worded question. i don't want theory, or what you have read or heard. Give me a report (from memory) of what happens internally when "discipline" happens.
What happens is actions and thoughts become more automated and easier to do.

For the last year I’ve been developing habits. I would call the process of developing these habits discipline. I, for example, recently crossed the 100 day mark for days I’ve meditated in a row. In the beginning meditating for 6 minutes a day, every day, was hard. Now 18 minutes is easy.
Through “skillful thought”
This implies that you can control your thoughts.
Do you know what your next thought is going to be ?
No.
Can you stop a thought, part way through?
Depends on what you mean. I’ll elaborate below.
Can you not think of a pink elephant ?
No, but I could decide to meditate on pink elephants for 6 minutes or let the thought arise and “Leave it alone.”
Do you actually believe that you can decide to think skillfully ? (no theory please. Just report what you find when observing what is actually happening)
I do not think I can decide to think skillfully. I do think I can change how I react to thoughts when they arise with time and discipline (practice).

I suppose “skillfully react” would be a better way to put it. Using martial arts as a metaphor, I can’t predict what an opponent can do. That is out of my control. What I can do is train myself to skillfully react to what the opponent does. I suppose thoughts/the mind could be view as an opponent (in a sense). I can’t (completely) predict/control what it’s going to do, but I can train myself to skillfully react to what the mind/thoughts produce.
Where do thoughts come from ?
From past experiences.
Oops, another badly worded question. i didn't mean how they are formed, but from where do they arise ? From experience, can you see where is their place of origin ?
[Long pause. Eyes closed]

I cannot. I seem to get caught in a feedback loop of some kind. It sets off some kind of “white noise” ear ringing. I get it when I meditate sometimes.

It seems as though there is an constant feedback loop between what is called the outside and what is called the inside.
We live in a world of concepts,
Excellent. Yes. Tell me if your experience agrees or refutes this statement; The only real(ity) is sensations. i include the fact of a thought (as a sense) but not it's content. There is sensations and concepts ABOUT everything else. (from the perspective of the organism)
My experience agrees with that statement.
I don’t like to get into the habit of defining things
Ok, i understand, but i am not interested in a book definition. i can see i need to be more precise with my questions.
What is your experience of wisdom ? How do you know that you are being wise ?
When presented with situations (patterns) that are similar to situations (patterns) which I’ve experienced in the past and I skillfully react to them (reinforce a protocol/pattern which “maintains balance”), I would call this being wise.

Using martial arts as a metaphor, if I want to remain standing on two feet and am approached by one or many assailants, the patterns I use to maintain uprightness would be utilizing wisdom (being wise).

I suppose I would call a “balanced mind” one which rests in awareness and, to the best of it’s ability, reacts to thoughts in a fashion that increases wisdom (it’s ability to skillfully react to patterns).
[Long pause staring into nothing]
Excellent ! When the mind gives up trying to describe/explain... allow it, and look to sensations (without labelling them) There you will find a portal.
When that experience fades, then report what (can be reported) happened.
Wasn’t exactly sure what to do so I reread what made me go silent above:

Where do [thoughts] arise? From experience, can you see where is their place of origin?

And sat down to meditate. I set the clock for 36 minutes. What ended up happening would best be described as a massaging of my mind. There are almost no thoughts. Just this weird sensation moving through my head/brain. I didn’t want to get up (ever). I decided it was enough and still didn’t want to get up. I got up after 12 minutes.

Thought didn’t seem like thoughts… They seemed like… Sensations? Experiences? Like… Touching my desk. What is the “thought” of touching my desk (resting my hands after I type). It’s not a thought. It’s a sensation. Thoughts aren’t thoughts? They’re sensations?

How I felt meditating just now is what I would call the “balanced mind” which I would like to be able to “skillfully react” to sensations in a way which brings it back to that resting state.

love

Casey

User avatar
vinceschubert
Posts: 3587
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby vinceschubert » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:51 pm

Good morning Casey.
I would call the process of developing these habits discipline.
Hmm... So let's examine this a bit.
There is an intention to develop a habit.
The thought arises to do what you want to be habitual.
That happens.
Thoughts arise that say "Good on you Casey, you did it."

Is this how it happens ? ..or is it different ?
but I could decide to meditate on pink elephants
Is it language that determined the form of this statement ? ..or an actual "I" that "could decide" to do something ?
I do think I can change how I react to thoughts when they arise
If conditions exist for the thought to arise, (to react differently) and the conditions exist for the thought to arise, (of the alternative reaction), then a different reaction (probably) happens.
This is my take on what actually happens. What say you ?
I can train myself to skillfully react to what the mind/thoughts produce.
By "skillfully", would you agree that this is a concept that really says that other thoughts 'approve' of this story ?
If we remove this, we are (simply) left with different happenings ?
From experience, can you see where is their place of origin ?
I cannot.
Ok, so the point of this question is to highlight the difference between story and experience.
From an experiential viewpoint, thoughts originate from the unknown. (i call it 'the Great Mystery')

The number of times you have used the word "skillfully", prompts me to ask if there is identification with this ?

love

vince

User avatar
CaseyAPayne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:49 am
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby CaseyAPayne » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:28 am

Good morning Casey.
Good evening vince. Long day being political.
I would call the process of developing these habits discipline.
Hmm... So let's examine this a bit.
There is an intention to develop a habit.
The thought arises to do what you want to be habitual.
That happens.
Thoughts arise that say "Good on you Casey, you did it."

Is this how it happens ? ..or is it different ?
Different. More like playing chess. You play and get better. There is a framework for the play (rules and goal). You play within the framework and gain experience from continued exposure and operating within the framework. It could be described as an “I” which is doing it and but really I play and I get better. No “good on me”, it just happens.

I mean… really what I’m doing is organizing things in a way that suits this nature best. It’s just what happens. Moving through patterns which please and promote growth.

When we’re operating within the “thought matrix” we have goals. Sometimes they’re short, like going to the bathroom. Sometimes they’re long, like building a company.

Going to the bathroom requires practice/training/discipline. How to walk, how to open a door, how to identify a toilet, etc. Acquiring these skills I would put in the practice/training/discipline category. The skills eventually reach a point where completing the actions required for the goal is “effortless”.

When the goal is something practically completely conceptual, like building a company, there is a whole range of things to “get disciplined” about. Some of the discipline may be habits to develop, others may be things you need to be disciplined about only for a period of time until it becomes effortless (like learning a new language).

So what I’m saying is that I would see discipline as “what must be done” to achieve some goal (within a conceptual framework).

If you want to learn a new language, you have to be “disciplined” about studying. The is no other way around it.

I’m seeing how the language is funny… Perhaps discipline is something that naturally arises instead of something “I” am doing (even though it feels that way).

The discipline really just complements a story. Just a required element for the story path.
but I could decide to meditate on pink elephants
Is it language that determined the form of this statement ? ..or an actual "I" that "could decide" to do something ?
The language. It’s just a reaction of thought matrices. Depending on how they are conditioned they will naturally react. They are conditioned such that a pink elephant would flash in and flash out.
I do think I can change how I react to thoughts when they arise
If conditions exist for the thought to arise, (to react differently) and the conditions exist for the thought to arise, (of the alternative reaction), then a different reaction (probably) happens.
This is my take on what actually happens. What say you ?
Let’s see if I follow.

X thought arises and Y thought happens and awareness of X thought and Y thought is gained from the experience.

X thought arises and there is a fork opportunity, Y or Z, forks to Z, awareness of X - > Z is gained and compared to X -> Y.

Now when X thought arises “I” can “choose” between Y or Z thought, or adding a new variable.

A complex compounding of this happens which the “I” construct believes to be “choice”.

Like that?
I can train myself to skillfully react to what the mind/thoughts produce.
By "skillfully", would you agree that this is a concept that really says that other thoughts 'approve' of this story ?
If we remove this, we are (simply) left with different happenings ?
Yes, exactly. An extremely complex version of the X -> Y or Z.
From experience, can you see where is their place of origin ?
I cannot.
Ok, so the point of this question is to highlight the difference between story and experience.
From an experiential viewpoint, thoughts originate from the unknown. (i call it 'the Great Mystery')

The number of times you have used the word "skillfully", prompts me to ask if there is identification with this ?
I suppose I would look at skillfully as a subroutine (a set of instructions designed to perform a frequently used operation within a program).

When X thought arises the skillfully subroutine runs, a pause, to “choose” between Y, Z, etc. or something new.

I suppose there would be two skillfully subroutines. The skillful pattern recognition and the skillful “pause and select”.

---

A side note:

When I meditated with “thoughts being senses”, things got “quiet” (wasn’t sensing/thinking anything). When I got up things stayed like that for some hours afterwards. I had to do some work, carry on some conversations, but the “thoughts as senses” thing lingered. There wasn’t anything for “me” to think about because thinking wasn’t thinking. It’s was feeling… if that makes sense.

Anyhow, I didn’t try to hang on to it or anything, but more and more I’m getting less and less attached to thoughts. Instead of “I” thinking something. A thought arises and subroutines begin (or they don’t). Unless I'm in subroutines on subroutines on subroutines... lol The matrix.

User avatar
vinceschubert
Posts: 3587
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby vinceschubert » Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:26 pm

Good evening Casey.
Perhaps discipline is something that naturally arises instead of something “I” am doing (even though it feels that way).
"Houston, we have a problem."
Dicipline is not a thing. It can't arise.
It's a label for a set of happenings.
Now, what i wrote (There is an intention...) was an attempt to describe those (possible) happenings.
What you wrote was a story ABOUT...
For example, when you say; "what I’m doing is organizing things", it tells me nothing that i can identify as (your) experience. It suggests that you are shuffling around the placement of, of what ? Thoughts ?
Now, don't get me wrong. i do know what you mean. (i think) ...but i want you to recognize when direct experience is happening, and when you are living in your head (thoughts)
The concept of discipline, has within it, the concept of control. Would you say that this is correct ?
Do this; Raise your left hand to eye level.




Now, did you use control to do this ?
Could you have chosen not to do it ?
Now when X thought arises “I” can “choose” between Y or Z thought, or adding a new variable.
No, choice is an illusion. It's what the mind says after the fact.
Look for yourself. Where does the thought Y or Z come from ?
If the multitude of conditions necessary for thought Y are present, then that thought will happen. Same for thought Z.
Yes, it seems as if there is a choice, but how often do you decide to do something, then do something else ?
Whether Y or Z is chosen, depends of the necessary conditions being present.
Certainly intention is likely to be one of those conditions. As will your (learned) ability to overcome an inclination for reluctance if discomfort is involved (this might be a better definition of discipline)
Another necessary condition would be whatever life experience that created the possibility for Y or Z to exist. etc..
I had to do some work, carry on some conversations, but the “thoughts as senses” thing lingered. There wasn’t anything for “me” to think about because thinking wasn’t thinking. It’s was feeling… if that makes sense.
Ha, (language again) No, it doesn't make sense. (isn't it interesting how we have come to use "sense" when we mean logic. (thoughts)) ..but i can relate to what you are describing.
..and it's exciting. It's a beautiful example of life-ing happening, and being able to recognize that there doesn't need a Self to run the show. With hands off the tiller, everything works perfectly. No control, No discipline, No worries.
Everything just happens.
Yes, choice happens, but not by a 'you'. Learning happens, but we're not concerned with describing it. (unless we want some entertainment)
With that quiet mind, there is room for appreciating whatever is (apparently) presented.
You might say that it is meditation without meditating.
Time to relegate the obsessive mental gyrations to the same level of importance as the sound of the refrigerator.


love

vince

User avatar
CaseyAPayne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:49 am
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby CaseyAPayne » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:54 pm

Good evening Casey.
Good afternoon vince.
Perhaps discipline is something that naturally arises instead of something “I” am doing (even though it feels that way).
"Houston, we have a problem."
Dicipline is not a thing. It can't arise.
It's a label for a set of happenings.
Yes, that.
Now, what i wrote (There is an intention...) was an attempt to describe those (possible) happenings.
What you wrote was a story ABOUT...
For example, when you say; "what I’m doing is organizing things", it tells me nothing that i can identify as (your) experience. It suggests that you are shuffling around the placement of, of what ? Thoughts ?
Now, don't get me wrong. i do know what you mean. (i think) ...but i want you to recognize when direct experience is happening, and when you are living in your head (thoughts)
The concept of discipline, has within it, the concept of control. Would you say that this is correct ?
When normally defined, yes. I guess I was trying to express the “set of happenings”.
Do this; Raise your left hand to eye level.
No! lol
Now, did you use control to do this?
I used not control to not do it. :P
Could you have chosen not to do it ?
“Choose” only exists within the framework of an I. Within the interconnected framework of I, choice is believed to exist (and experience makes it seem like it exists).

No, I was unable to use control to do it or not do it.
Now when X thought arises “I” can “choose” between Y or Z thought, or adding a new variable.
No, choice is an illusion. It's what the mind says after the fact.
Look for yourself. Where does the thought Y or Z come from ?
If the multitude of conditions necessary for thought Y are present, then that thought will happen. Same for thought Z.
Yes, it seems as if there is a choice, but how often do you decide to do something, then do something else ?
Whether Y or Z is chosen, depends of the necessary conditions being present.
Certainly intention is likely to be one of those conditions. As will your (learned) ability to overcome an inclination for reluctance if discomfort is involved (this might be a better definition of discipline)
Another necessary condition would be whatever life experience that created the possibility for Y or Z to exist. Etc..
It’s not so much about the choice but about an awareness of patterns. I don’t believe in choice in the traditional sense, but I do believe in awareness. I’m experiencing it as I type.

There is a level of awareness one reaches where one starts to see the relationship between self and other.

[Extremely long pause]

Doesn't seem like the right way to phrase that.
I had to do some work, carry on some conversations, but the “thoughts as senses” thing lingered. There wasn’t anything for “me” to think about because thinking wasn’t thinking. It’s was feeling… if that makes sense.
Ha, (language again) No, it doesn't make sense. (isn't it interesting how we have come to use "sense" when we mean logic. (thoughts)) ..but i can relate to what you are describing.
..and it's exciting. It's a beautiful example of life-ing happening, and being able to recognize that there doesn't need a Self to run the show. With hands off the tiller, everything works perfectly. No control, No discipline, No worries.
Everything just happens.
Yes, choice happens, but not by a 'you'. Learning happens, but we're not concerned with describing it. (unless we want some entertainment)
With that quiet mind, there is room for appreciating whatever is (apparently) presented.
You might say that it is meditation without meditating.
Time to relegate the obsessive mental gyrations to the same level of importance as the sound of the refrigerator.
Heh.

I’m going to share some excerpts from [a thread on my Facebook wall].
What is "true power"?

For me, "true power" doesn't exist. It's only "real" within the realm of results (concepts).

True power is cutting through the illusion of concepts. "Internal" and "external" benefits are the same. They assume there is an I/me to gain or lose something.

There is no I. It is only a concept. Power or weakness only exist within the illusion of I.
---

All of that assumes an "I". The point of Flow to Your Dream (this system I’m working on) is to get to a place of stability where you can reflect and start cutting through illusion, thus reframing the "dream".

There is no web to weave into a great web. If anything you're sweeping away webs (concepts). You still function within concepts, you have to, but you understand there is no one to have ability, no master to outshine, no web to weave, etc.

Let's go back to this:

"By sharing my concept and getting feed back helps reaffirm my expression and whether it's valid according to an alike mind"

If you want to walk a path of inquiry, be more deliberate about it. Random posts are inefficient. I'm interested in four things. They are the bodhisattva vows. It's not about being Buddhist, but Buddhism has a pretty stellar framework for reducing (and perhaps ending) suffering within oneself and others. Here is one translation of them.

1.
眾 生 無 邊 誓 願 度
zhòng shēng wú biān shì yuàn dù
Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to liberate them.

2.
煩 惱 無 盡 誓 願 斷
fán nǎo wú jìn shì yuàn duàn
Afflictions are limitless, I vow to end them.

3.
法 門 無 量 誓 願 學
fǎ mén wú liàng shì yuàn xué
Dharma gates are measureless, I vow to learn them.

4.
佛 道 無 上 誓 願 成
fó dào wú shàng shì yuàn chéng
Unsurpassed is the Buddha-way, I vow to attain it.

I am having this dialog with you as a reflection of the first (helping to alleviate your suffering) and the third vows (learning how to better transmit my limited understanding about the reduction of suffering).

If you used the vows above as a reference point, which numbers are relevant to your post and why?
I love solving problems. I love games. I love math.

This mind perceives everything as a mathematical unfolding. Consciousness/Self awareness being a part of the mathematical unfolding. When we evolve into consciousness/awareness (it wasn’t present at sperm meets egg, or age age 1) the stage has already been set, unfolding into this moment.

I love solving problems. I love games. I love math.

Human, conceptual, life is merely tic-tac-toe.
Time to relegate the obsessive mental gyrations to the same level of importance as the sound of the refrigerator [or a game of tic-tac-toe].
Once a level of awareness is reached (not by “me” it happens) one sees that tic-tac-toe is happening, obsessive mental gyrations are happening, the hum of a refrigerator is happening…

Chess has a goal. Capturing the king. Conceptual life has a goal. What is it? I have versions of [this document] going back to 2008.

It’s “capturing the king”. It helps develop the moves I make in the game of life. It needs to be updated once more. It's kind of story heavy. Left over from "my" "miltownkid days". Nothing is more fun than being “mindlessly” immersed in something. Right now I’m mindlessly immersed in writing this (then I was mindless immersed in reading it, now I'm mindlessly typing this!). Previously I was mindlessly immersed in playing Metal Gear Solid 5. After this I’m going to be mindlessly immersed in meditating, doing yoga, running a mile and doing a brief Shaolin workout.

Everything could be described as being mindless, but then there isn’t anything to discuss. Sometimes I’m strategizing. Making plans. Being mindful. Why? Why not, it’s fun! I suppose it isn't fun when one is doing one thing and minding something else. (Thinking "What am I going to do about tomorrow? Why did that happen yesterday?" While swimming.)

I imagine you aren’t on this forum because of some kind of civic duty you feel.

Participating on this forum, Metal Gear Solid, waves crashing, the hum of a refrigerator, doing, not doing… No?

Enlightenment? Where?!
HERE! Can't you see it? RIGHT NOW!
Maybe. Let's go eat.

With love. :)

User avatar
vinceschubert
Posts: 3587
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby vinceschubert » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:46 pm

Good evening Casey, will you give me a paragraph on these questions. Not an answer, per se. A response.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?

2) "Describe your experience of the illusion of separate self, how it arises/disappears. Is that process always the same, or does it vary, and if so, how?"

3) How does it feel to see this? Has this dialogue changed anything for Casey ? Please report from the past few days.

4) Was there a point, where a 'shift' occurred ? (ever)

5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.

6) Anything to add?

Thanks Casey

love

vince

User avatar
CaseyAPayne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:49 am
Contact:

Re: An Investigation of The Self and The Site

Postby CaseyAPayne » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:32 pm

Good evening Casey, will you give me a paragraph on these questions. Not an answer, per se. A response.
Good afternoon vince, sounds good.
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
No. Well… I definitely have a body and thoughts. Or, I’m encased in a body (and thoughts).

There is no fixed Self.
2) "Describe your experience of the illusion of separate self, how it arises/disappears. Is that process always the same, or does it vary, and if so, how?"
Illusion of a separate self? Hmmn… The best way I can answer that is I, at one time, had two complete separate personas Casey and miltownkid. Sometimes I was miltownkid. Sometimes I was Casey. Sometimes I was just at a screen typing.

I guess, right now, more and more I’m a reflection of the environment I find myself in. If I’m having dinner with my family, they see Casey and I am Casey. Here, writing right now, I feel as though I am observer. On Facebook there’s a Casey with a particular set of traits, or guidelines, I follow.

I suppose a lot of the time I’m on autopilot. There is a clock, I’m suppose to be somewhere doing something, at the right time I go to that place. That place is expecting Casey, so I present myself as Casey. When I leave, I’m leaving. I drive my truck. Come home and find something to work on or something to entertain myself.
3) How does it feel to see this? Has this dialogue changed anything for Casey ? Please report from the past few days.
The biggest shift has been further letting go of the thoughts. All thoughts. Not associating them with a “me”.

My head has been feeling extremely clear when it’s not working on something. Not a lot of running dialog in between activities. There really isn’t anything that needs to be thought about except for when I’m doing those things.
4) Was there a point, where a 'shift' occurred ? (ever)
Yes. That day you asked me to think about where thoughts came from and I got “trapped” in some loop. Then, I went to “meditate” on that loop. I’ve been taught some formal mediations (Transcendental Meditation and two Buddhist ones), but I’ve shifted to just sitting, letting thoughts come and go. I have, at times, had that “blank mind”. This was different. It wasn’t that my mind was blank. It was more like I was aware but there wasn’t anything to think about. At that particular moment I was just sitting.
5) Do you decide, intend, choose, control events in Life? Do you make anything happen? Give examples from your experience.
No. I don’t think so. I’m just constantly reacting to things. Every “decision” I’ve made has been preceded by a million decisions I haven’t made. Within the Casey (or I) construct it certainly feels like I am making decisions. Backed away it’s clear that there is just a constant reacting taking place.
6) Anything to add?
I was recently in Puerto Rico. I spent one of the days walking along the beach. What’s interesting to think about, and experience, is that there was no “Casey” there. Those moments walking along the beach, any amount of Casey that was there was brought by me. Observers just saw a guy walking along the beach with no name, no story, nothing. Just what was presented in those moments.

That’s what’s always going on. Moments. Even when the stories are “close”, it’s still just this guy walking along, doing things.

Just now. I turned away from the keyboard for a second like I was going to think about something and… nothing. Just nothing. This feels good but, in about 5 minutes, I have to go do some work. Then I’ll meet someone who will see Casey. They will expect Casey to be a certain way. If Casey is silent “What’s wrong with Casey”. So I have to adjust to that particular moment.

Woah… Right now. Staring at the screen. Everything seemed to be melting away (or together)… Felt good. :)
Thanks Casey
Thank you vince!

With love,

Casey


Return to “THE GATE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 2 guests