understanding but not seeing

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:06 pm

Can you notice now that there is nothing noticing a cup?
This question has just made me see that I had another expectation from this process that I didn't realise. I am expecting a feeling of "aha!" to arise at some point. When I really see 'it'. The reason I noticed this now was because I can agree there isn't anything noticing the cup. But there is something missing because it still feels like I believe that rather than having seen it. I haven't yet fully seen it. And the reason I believe I have not seen it is because no "aha!" feeling has yet arisen. I will keep examining my direct experience of the cup.
Because we imagine / believe a self is there folk use words like awareness, consciousness or mind.

But can they be found?


When I examine this again, like with the cup, there seems to be just the sensations and thoughts built from those. Awareness can only happen in relation to some sensation or thought. That being the case then awareness does not have a separate existence itself - i.e. it does not exist. It is a concept built from those initial sensations. Same for consciousness or mind.
You then go on to say "Perception is one and the other is the sound. This makes two".

Have another cheeky listen. Is ther really two?
The examination of the previous question above also answered that - there only appear to be two because perception only appears when sound appears. However of course only the sound has independent existence. Awareness / consciousness / Perception etc is like a shadow of reality. Real things can cast a shadow but the shadows themselves cannot exist apart from the thing that made them. Maybe that's what Plato was talking about haha!
When you relax and just listen and look is there anything more than whatever appears, whether that is sights, sounds, smells etc and then thoughts simply occuring as well?
Honestly, no I can't find anything else. I am going to sit with this some more...

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:09 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Well done for becoming conscious of an expectation. There may or may not be an 'aha' moment. Many folk get it over a period of a few days. They look back and realise it has happenned, that a threshold has been crossed - so it can be quite subtle.

There is no point in going into conjecture abour what Plato thought.

What we will do now is really look at thought carefully so here are a few questions. This batch deal with thinking in a generalised way and then the next will have you look at "I" thoughts:
Don't agonize, or think, simply look and answer from the gut.

Where do thoughts come from?

Where are they going?

Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

Can 'you' choose what to think?

Can 'you' choose what not to think?

Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

Are thoughts belonging to a self or just occurring?

I think you will enjoy this,

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:42 pm

Where do thoughts come from?
They are reactions to stimulation of the senses. So they spontaneously arise in response to a sense being activated.
Where are they going?
They aren't going anywhere. They just arise then disappear when a new sense stimulation occurs or a new thought arises.
Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?


No. A thought is indivisible. Its either there or its not. It's a binary operation.
Can 'you' choose what to think?
No. Thoughts are just arising. 'I' seem to be powerless in this regard.
Can 'you' choose what not to think?
No. Again the 'I' has no power to do this.
Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?
No. Some sense based information arrives and negative thoughts may arise based on this but there is no way to prevent this that 'I' can find.
Are thoughts belonging to a self or just occurring?
Thoughts do not belong to a self. The lack of power of the self over thought as shown in the questions above demonstrates that. If the thoughts belonged to self then self would have some control over thoughts. This is clearly not the case. Direct experience shows that thoughts just occur.

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:17 pm

Hi Cloudrift,
Where do thoughts come from?
They are reactions to stimulation of the senses. So they spontaneously arise in response to a sense being activated.

They do, but is thoughtalways related to sense experience?

Where are they going?
They aren't going anywhere. They just arise then disappear when a new sense stimulation occurs or a new thought arises.

Good.

Can ‘you’ stop a thought in the middle?

No. A thought is indivisible. Its either there or its not. It's a binary operation.

Interesting way of putting it. Indivisible certainly. Operation a bit clunky for a phenomena that is so ephemeral and inherantly empty.

Can 'you' choose what to think?

No. Thoughts are just arising. 'I' seem to be powerless in this regard.

Can 'you' choose what to think?
No. Thoughts are just arising. 'I' seem to be powerless in this regard.

Well done - yes thoughts just arise.


What "I" is this? Have you found an "I" somewhere?

Can 'you' choose what not to think?

No. Again the 'I' has no power to do this.

Well done. Thoughts can't be chosen.

You imply that the "I" you have found usually has power - to do what?


Can 'you' choose not to have painful or negative thoughts?

No. Some sense based information arrives and negative thoughts may arise based on this but there is no way to prevent this that 'I' can find.

Great until the end of the sentance! Could it end "......but there is no way to prevent this that can be noticed"?

Are thoughts belonging to a self or just occurring?
Thoughts do not belong to a self.

Bingo!!

The lack of power of the self over thought as shown in the questions above demonstrates that. If the thoughts belonged to self then self would have some control over thoughts. This is clearly not the case. Direct experience shows that thoughts just occur.

Your obdervations about thoughts are largely bang on. Although you seem to have found a self.

Quite an achievement!

Do tell me about this self please

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:55 pm

They do, but is thoughtalways related to sense experience?
No thoughts can also arise based on other thoughts.
What "I" is this? Have you found an "I" somewhere?
'I' is a thought based on other thoughts over a period of time.
You imply that the "I" you have found usually has power - to do what?
No the 'I' which is a thought based on other thoughts is always powerless. Well maybe it has the ability to produce more thoughts at most.
Great until the end of the sentance! Could it end "......but there is no way to prevent this that can be noticed"?
Yes it could be. This ending you say is more accurate.
Do tell me about this self please
This self just seems to be another passing thought. A transitory moment.

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:28 pm

Hi Cloudrift,
Is thoughtalways related to sense experience?
No thoughts can also arise based on other thoughts.

Well noticed.

What "I" is this? Have you found an "I" somewhere?
'I' is a thought based on other thoughts over a period of time.

Very good!

You imply that the "I" you have found usually has power - to do what?

No the 'I' which is a thought based on other thoughts is always powerless. Well maybe it has the ability to produce more thoughts at most.

Yes "I" thoughts tend to chunter on in patterns.

Great until the end of the sentance! Could it end "......but there is no way to prevent this that can be noticed"?

Yes it could be. This ending you say is more accurate.


Yes, because it doesn't infer a self.

Do tell me about this self please!

This self just seems to be another passing thought. A transitory moment.

Bingo!


So here is a big question Cloudrift!!

Can you find any "I" or self outside thoughts about an I or self?

Really have a good look.

Enjoy!

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:55 pm

Can you find any "I" or self outside thoughts about an I or self?
for a while a thought arose about examining other thoughts. Searching those thoughts seeing what they pointed to. Always they referred to other thoughts or feelings or sensations which come and go, then come again then go again etc. So the result of that examination was that no I or self was found other that thoughts about an I / self.

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:53 pm

Hi Cloudrift,
Can you find any "I" or self outside thoughts about an I or self?
for a while a thought arose about examining other thoughts. Searching those thoughts seeing what they pointed to. Always they referred to other thoughts or feelings or sensations which come and go, then come again then go again etc. So the result of that examination was that no I or self was found other that thoughts about an I / self.

So can you say unequivocally that there is no separate self?

How do you feel saying this?

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:50 pm

So can you say unequivocally that there is no separate self?
It should be unequivocal. There has been a thorough search and nothing has been found. But still a thought of doubt arises. When some negative emotions arose today they were labeled as being in relation to "me". Despite the inability to find the self at other times at that time they seem to attach to something.
How do you feel saying this?
Been thinking about this all day. Saying it, brings forward the doubting feeling. Even though clearly there is nothing there. Going to examine it some more and look again.

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:22 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

So can you say unequivocally that there is no separate self?
It should be unequivocal. There has been a thorough search and nothing has been found. But still a thought of doubt arises. When some negative emotions arose today they were labeled as being in relation to "me". Despite the inability to find the self at other times at that time they seem to attach to something.

What are the doubting thoughts?
When some negative emotions arose today they were labeled as being in relation to "me". Despite the inability to find the self at other times at that time they seem to attach to something.
Well noticed. The process of identification. Stronger when habitual negative patterns are at play. What is important here is that you saw the labelling / owning process occur.


Who or what can own / have a negative emotion?

Best wishes,

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:42 am

What are the doubting thoughts?
There are two kinds, one relating to the "aha!" moment I mentioned a few posts back. There has been none yet hence there is a doubt, 'has it really been seen?', 'what has changed?'. The other are the kind which relate to the feeling of identification mentioned in the last post. "Nothing seems to have changed, there is still enmeshment between some idea of me and emotions, thoughts. Not only is there enmeshment it still seems to matter to the imaginary me."
Who or what can own / have a negative emotion?
The emotion arises. It is immediately labeled as "my" emotion. I am feeling X. This labelling is a thought. The I / me is a further thought within the labelling thought. These nested I / me thoughts seem to be tracked along with the thought they are nested within. They are remembered to some degree and this produces what seems like continuity of self. The remembrance of previous thoughts and the addition of further thoughts linking between the current thought and that history.

So this structure of thoughts and remembered thoughts seems to be the thing which owns the emotion as the emotion is attached to its structure.

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:35 pm

Hi Cloudrift,
What are the doubting thoughts?
There are two kinds, one relating to the "aha!" moment I mentioned a few posts back. There has been none yet hence there is a doubt, 'has it really been seen?', 'what has changed?'. The other are the kind which relate to the feeling of identification mentioned in the last post. "Nothing seems to have changed, there is still enmeshment between some idea of me and emotions, thoughts. Not only is there enmeshment it still seems to matter to the imaginary me."

Good.

So it it is necessary to keep seeing that the 'person' is a thought story. Then more spaciousness will be created aroung thought.

Later you describe labelling but here you talk of being emeshed. An opportunity to ask;

Who is emeshed?

Who or what can own / have a negative emotion?

The emotion arises. It is immediately labeled as "my" emotion. I am feeling X. This labelling is a thought. The I / me is a further thought within the labelling thought. These nested I / me thoughts seem to be tracked along with the thought they are nested within. They are remembered to some degree and this produces what seems like continuity of self. The remembrance of previous thoughts and the addition of further thoughts linking between the current thought and that history.

So this structure of thoughts and remembered thoughts seems to be the thing which owns the emotion as the emotion is attached to its structure.

Very good noticing. Seeing more and more clearly that self is a construct. In Buddhist terminology; empty.

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:16 pm

Sorry its taken a little while to come back. Just been waiting and watching to see if anything more occured. Nothing though. Still seem to be in the same place as my previous post. No 'Aha' nor a dawning sense of anything different. Noticed that during the day a thought sometimes comes up to remind 'me' there is no me.
Who is emeshed?
Thoughts are enmeshed with other thoughts and feelings. That's all that can be found.

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MichaelD
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby MichaelD » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:27 pm

Hi Cloudrift,

Sorry for the delay but I have had connectivity problems.
Thoughts are enmeshed with other thoughts and feelings. That's all that can be found.
So do you have a sense of a separate self, and if so what / where is it?

:)

Michael

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cloudrift
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Re: understanding but not seeing

Postby cloudrift » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:54 pm

Sorry for the delay but I have had connectivity problems.
hey no problem at all :)
So do you have a sense of a separate self, and if so what / where is it?
There is still a habitual generation of "I" in thoughts. This is noticed now (unlike before) and commented upon by other thoughts. It seems to be a default mode of expressing reactions to thoughts and feelings that "I" is placed into the thought and acts as a pointer in the thought to the current mind / body state. Which of course doesn't exist as a coherent entity because it changes every second just like the river.


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