Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

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SterlingM
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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:06 pm

Hi Kay

Warm wishes to you today, as always.
Good luck with your new prospective job. Great job with looking at the cup exercise!
Thanks on both counts :-)
And without thought, how would it be known what those pictorial symbols actually represented, and how would it be known that they are ‘pictures/images’?
It wouldn’t be. Other thoughts pointing to the thoughts about pictorial symbols contained the labels / descriptors of what those thoughts containing symbols were and what they represented. The whole chain of perception, from the symbolic thoughts themselves, to what they represented, to the awareness of what they were and what they represented, was entirely constructed of thoughts and thoughts only.
So the difference between actual experience and the content of thought is clear?
Yes. Actual experience is physically real, but the content of thought is completely imaginary and, as such, unreal.
4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know thought is talking about, and just notice it as sound.
It's tricky filtering out every element of 'words having meaning' when listening to the commentary—thought jumps in and processes the AE of sound-labelled-words forcefully. But there were patches during listening when it did indeed come over as just abstract sound; a kind of mulch of twangy inflections out of which thought didn't interpret any verbal meaning.
Let me know how you feel and what you notice when the sound is on and when the sound is off. Also, when you turn the sound on and off, and without thought, what is actually appearing/happening etc?
When the sound is on it becomes strongly apparent that the commentator is improvising and dramatising a story as he goes along, offering a dynamic, highly fictionalised version of what is actually happening. He interprets and colours and, to a large extent, completely invents a version of events. He's attributing intentions and emotions—inner life, in other words—to the players that he couldn't possibly really know about.

How do I feel about it? Mildly diverted, not especially interested but engaged enough to follow and pay attention to what's being said.

We know that it's a commentator's job to add colour, but not until doing this exercise did it occur to me exactly to what degree a sports commentary is sheer fiction. Most of it bears little relationship to observable fact which is, stripped to its foundation, some people moving at a moderate pace and occasionally striking an object with their feet. (I hasten to add that by 'observable fact' I mean the gestalt perception of events, not raw actual experience.)

With the sound off it's a very different experience, one that causes emotions to arise more than verbal thoughts. It's a gentle experience of image/colour and movement that has a mildly soothing effect. My own thoughts plug the silence with their own commentary, but unlike the official commentator's it's completely prosaic: 'Woman in yellow shirt runs towards the goal, kicks the ball. That sunshine's nice. Interesting camera angle in the goal mouth,' etc. But like the official commentary this too is AE of thought. It's still a constructed story, just with fewer layers of interpretation and invention than the official version.
Without thought, what is actually appearing/happening etc
Without thought, only actual experience is happening. AE of image / colour + AE of sound.
Is the commentary on the football game a necessity for the play to happen?
No.
And in the same way: Is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?
No, not at all.

Love and thanks

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:01 am

Hey Glenn,

Thank you for the warm wishes.
And without thought, how would it be known what those pictorial symbols actually represented, and how would it be known that they are ‘pictures/images’?
It wouldn’t be. Other thoughts pointing to the thoughts about pictorial symbols contained the labels / descriptors of what those thoughts containing symbols were and what they represented. The whole chain of perception, from the symbolic thoughts themselves, to what they represented, to the awareness of what they were and what they represented, was entirely constructed of thoughts and thoughts only.
Yes, so the mental pictorial symbols are simply thoughts about images and are therefore simply thought.
4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know thought is talking about, and just notice it as sound.
It's tricky filtering out every element of 'words having meaning' when listening to the commentary—thought jumps in and processes the AE of sound-labelled-words forcefully. But there were patches during listening when it did indeed come over as just abstract sound; a kind of mulch of twangy inflections out of which thought didn't interpret any verbal meaning.
Yes…so from that experience alone you can see that there is no one authoring thought. If there were, you would be able to shut down the thinking process and no thoughts would appear. But as you noticed…thought is always there having a say about something!
Let me know how you feel and what you notice when the sound is on and when the sound is off. Also, when you turn the sound on and off, and without thought, what is actually appearing/happening etc?
When the sound is on it becomes strongly apparent that the commentator is improvising and dramatising a story as he goes along, offering a dynamic, highly fictionalised version of what is actually happening. He interprets and colours and, to a large extent, completely invents a version of events. He's attributing intentions and emotions—inner life, in other words—to the players that he couldn't possibly really know about.

How do I feel about it? Mildly diverted, not especially interested but engaged enough to follow and pay attention to what's being said.
When the commentator is commentating…as you said, the game takes on meaning depending on what is said, how it is said etc. The game becomes exciting, or dull, disturbed, disappointing and so on, depending on the commentator. The same is true of thought. Thought appears saying “sigh, my life is disappointing because I didn’t get the promotion I wanted”. So the idea is that there is a someone/something that is feeling disappointed.
We know that it's a commentator's job to add colour, but not until doing this exercise did it occur to me exactly to what degree a sports commentary is sheer fiction. Most of it bears little relationship to observable fact which is, stripped to its foundation, some people moving at a moderate pace and occasionally striking an object with their feet. (I hasten to add that by 'observable fact' I mean the gestalt perception of events, not raw actual experience.)
Yes…and the same goes for ‘your’ thoughts. They are simply a commentator that knows absolutely nothing and yet is commentating on everything.

'Do I actually KNOW this right now?' That is a question to ask to help in LOOKING.

LOOKING is about seeing what is actually appearing/happening now. This means LOOKING without taking anything ‘from the past’ as knowing anything in this instant.

So, for example, the idea of anxiety seems to be appearing. Close your eyes and ask:-

- 'What do I know right now?'
- 'I’m feeling anxious about driving my car and having an accident’
- 'Do I actually KNOW that right now?'
- 'No, I am just sitting with my eyes closed and feeling anxious’
- ‘Do I actually KNOW that right now?’
- 'No, I am just feeling anxious’
- 'Do I actually KNOW that right now?'
- 'No, There is just sensation in the body'
- 'Do I actually KNOW that right now?'
- ‘No, there is pressure, blackness and vibration’.
- ‘Do I actually KNOW that right now?’

Just keep asking questions until you come to what is actually known. LOOKING isn't hard to do. Just look at what you actually KNOW right now. Let me know how you go with this exercise. You don't have to use anxiety...you can use anything you want and ask "Do I actually know this right now"?
With the sound off it's a very different experience, one that causes emotions to arise more than verbal thoughts. It's a gentle experience of image/colour and movement that has a mildly soothing effect. My own thoughts plug the silence with their own commentary, but unlike the official commentator's it's completely prosaic: 'Woman in yellow shirt runs towards the goal, kicks the ball. That sunshine's nice. Interesting camera angle in the goal mouth,' etc. But like the official commentary this too is AE of thought. It's still a constructed story, just with fewer layers of interpretation and invention than the official version.
Without the commentary the game is neutral. If you were to never have another thought again….life would be neutral as there would be no distinctions between good or bad, exciting or boring, pleasant or unpleasant, past or future and so on.
Without thought, what is actually appearing/happening etc
Without thought, only actual experience is happening. AE of image / colour + AE of sound.
So with the commentary off, everything is just happening. There is no one who can predict what is going to happen, or how the commentary will have to go! It can only base itself on what has already happened. And even future thoughts are based on past thoughts!
And in the same way: Is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?
No, not at all.
So can you see how thought does the same with the colour labelled ‘Glenn’ and ‘his life’?

Okay…so let’s continue to look at the nature of thought.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close the eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

Looking for the gap is a way to slow the thoughts, as the objective of this exercise is to observe each and every thought as it arises and subsides.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.
Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.

2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.

3. Then wait for the next thought to come.

4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.

5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or a few seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts.
Looking how they come and go.
And observing the short gap between them.
Noticing how the current thought is passing.
And waiting for the next thought to come.

Please do the following exercise:
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.
Let me know how you go.


Could a thinker of thought be found between the gaps?


Love, Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:37 am

Hi Kay

Thank you for your post. This reply is just a placeholder, to let you know that I'll reply fully tomorrow.

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:28 am

Hi Kay

Sending happy thoughts your way today from waterlogged London. My forearms are still peeling from the sunburn I picked up while trimming the hedge a few days ago, and now half the country's under two feet of water. No climate crisis here then 🙄. In the midst of all this biblical cataclysm, I got the job I was after though, so that's handy.

Just keep asking questions until you come to what is actually known. LOOKING isn't hard to do. Just look at what you actually KNOW right now. Let me know how you go with this exercise. You don't have to use anxiety...you can use anything you want and ask "Do I actually know this right now”?
This was quite difficult to do, because thought is so insistent on conceptualising and explaining phenomena. On a number of occasions I peeled off each layer of thought as they came up in particular situations. In one situation I was indeed feeling a bit anxious / worried; in another I felt relaxed. What they both boiled down to ultimately is that I don’t really know anything. There is always just actual experience; of sound, sensation, thought, always happening in the present moment. The thoughts layered upon them are memories; conditioned thoughts that repeat when they encounter situations or phenomena identified as similar to something that’s happened before. It could be from long ago, or from seconds ago. But everything is the product of conditioned memories. And, as we’ve agreed previously, memories aren’t real.

Just a further thought on that. This exercise set me thinking about the phenomenon of waking up in a strange room, for instance, a hotel room. This has actually happened to me before and, indeed, something similar my well have happened to you too: I woke, opened my eyes, had no recognition whatsoever of my surroundings and instantly started to panic. It took several seconds to orientate and calm down because, I now assume, thought contained no frame of reference (memory) for the specific combination of experiences it perceived as the room and quickly had to create one.

A random factor entered into this exercise. I was sitting up on my bed, eyes closed, thinking. I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. There was a fly in the room, that I’d noticed earlier in the day. It kept landing on me. The thought identified the sensation and labelled it ‘fly landing on leg’. The fly kept returning. At various points I couldn’t be sure of it really was the fly landing on my leg or just an itch. This happened a couple of times and it jammed the mental labelling process. All that could be ascertained was AE of sensation. No labelling possible.

It’s been interesting to observe apparently ‘random’ thoughts as they popped up as well. I noticed that these are all memories too. Sometimes visual images of glycerin tablet supplements I took five years ago (!), sometimes tableaux of lush green forests viewed from above. None of these thoughts had any readily apparent meaning, literal or symbolic. It's just like the thought process is swimming around aimlessly; such thoughts that happen to be hanging around simply bob up to the surface occasionally, unbidden. I mean--I'm pretty sure that neuroscience would have a lot more to say about this, but I'm just describing my immediate experience.
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts. Let me know how you go. Could a thinker of thought be found between the gaps?
This exercise felt very much like meditation.The longer I did it, the longer the gaps between thoughts became. At certain points they were sufficiently long that there was just AE of sound (later labelled the swish of cars of the road outside, but for long moments existing outside of thought-labelling). These moments were neutral while happening, but perceived as gently beautiful when the thought process resumed. They were followed by a carefree feeling that replicated the emotional state of my childhood. There was no thinker of thought between the thoughts. There was nothing apart from actual experience happening in the moment.

Love and thanks

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:15 am

Hey Glenn,

You are getting a lot of rain and we could do with some, although not that much that it floods. Luckily you got your hedges done before the heavens opened! Sending sunny thoughts your way! :) Congratulations on getting the job!
Just keep asking questions until you come to what is actually known. LOOKING isn't hard to do. Just look at what you actually KNOW right now. Let me know how you go with this exercise. You don't have to use anxiety...you can use anything you want and ask "Do I actually know this right now”?
This was quite difficult to do, because thought is so insistent on conceptualising and explaining phenomena. On a number of occasions I peeled off each layer of thought as they came up in particular situations. In one situation I was indeed feeling a bit anxious / worried; in another I felt relaxed. What they both boiled down to ultimately is that I don’t really know anything. There is always just actual experience; of sound, sensation, thought, always happening in the present moment.
Yes! Great observation! All there is, is THIS/experience, appearing exactly as it is. And it includes thoughts and the thought stories about THIS! I suggest you keep doing this exercise as often as possible. It is a good way of seeing what actually is.
The thoughts layered upon them are memories; conditioned thoughts that repeat when they encounter situations or phenomena identified as similar to something that’s happened before. It could be from long ago, or from seconds ago. But everything is the product of conditioned memories. And, as we’ve agreed previously, memories aren’t real.
When are those ‘memories’ actually appearing?
Is there any actual evidence that any of these encounters have happened before?

Just a further thought on that. This exercise set me thinking about the phenomenon of waking up in a strange room, for instance, a hotel room. This has actually happened to me before and, indeed, something similar my well have happened to you too: I woke, opened my eyes, had no recognition whatsoever of my surroundings and instantly started to panic. It took several seconds to orientate and calm down because, I now assume, thought contained no frame of reference (memory) for the specific combination of experiences it perceived as the room and quickly had to create one.
Great example! And this type of discombobulation (not as intense as this) can also happen when everything is shifting when realising there is no separate self. There is nowhere to land anymore, no thing to really identify with or as…so it’s very unfamiliar.
A random factor entered into this exercise. I was sitting up on my bed, eyes closed, thinking. I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. There was a fly in the room, that I’d noticed earlier in the day. It kept landing on me. The thought identified the sensation and labelled it ‘fly landing on leg’. The fly kept returning. At various points I couldn’t be sure of it really was the fly landing on my leg or just an itch. This happened a couple of times and it jammed the mental labelling process. All that could be ascertained was AE of sensation. No labelling possible.
Nice. I like the way you are becoming very aware of everything and noticing what is happening. Keep it up!
It’s been interesting to observe apparently ‘random’ thoughts as they popped up as well. I noticed that these are all memories too. Sometimes visual images of glycerin tablet supplements I took five years ago (!), sometimes tableaux of lush green forests viewed from above. None of these thoughts had any readily apparent meaning, literal or symbolic. It's just like the thought process is swimming around aimlessly; such thoughts that happen to be hanging around simply bob up to the surface occasionally, unbidden. I mean--I'm pretty sure that neuroscience would have a lot more to say about this, but I'm just describing my immediate experience.
Yes…thoughts are random. Thoughts either point to AE or to thoughts about thought.

If thought says that you saw a spectacular ‘sunrise’ yesterday…is that sunrise experience as you presently find it? No…so it is just thought story ie ‘imagination’. If however, the colours labelled spectacular ‘sunrise’ is experience as you presently find it (ie now), then thought is pointing to actual experience as you presently find it (ie your direct, actual experience). In other words the colour that thought is referring to as a 'sunrise' is what is actually appearing now. Thought either points to actual experience as you presently find it...or it is pointing to thoughts about thought, since the ‘sunrise’ is not the current experience, so it only equates to story...thought fluff/imagination – thoughts about thoughts.
Is this clear?

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts. Let me know how you go. Could a thinker of thought be found between the gaps?
This exercise felt very much like meditation.The longer I did it, the longer the gaps between thoughts became. At certain points they were sufficiently long that there was just AE of sound (later labelled the swish of cars of the road outside, but for long moments existing outside of thought-labelling). These moments were neutral while happening, but perceived as gently beautiful when the thought process resumed. They were followed by a carefree feeling that replicated the emotional state of my childhood. There was no thinker of thought between the thoughts. There was nothing apart from actual experience happening in the moment.
Nicely done! So…without thought, how is it known that there are gaps?
Thought is actual experience. Is thought and different to sound, smell, taste, sensation or colour? Is colour different to sound? Is sound different to taste? Is sensation different to smell?


Here is a thought exercise. Look carefully when doing this exercise and do it several times if necessary. Please answer each question individually.

Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
Can you predict your next thought?

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence. Or is it just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that "one thought follows another thought"?


Sending love,
Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:27 pm

Thank you Kay. Full reply from me tomorrow.

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:10 am

Hello again Kay

A quick further update to say, apologies for the delay--my full reply to your previous post will now be with you tomorrow. It's underway, but I've had very busy day and I'm too tired to wrote more tonight. I was really engaged with it this evening, but my thinking got mushy, to the point where I lost track of it. Rather than flounder around in that state and send you some inconclusive gibberish tonight :-), I'll get some shuteye, awake refreshed and send something a bit more legible to you in the morning.

More soon

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:14 am

No worries! Thanks :)

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:19 am

Hi Kay

Once again, I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting for this reply. There were a couple of reasons for the wait, first among them being that the questions and exercises are getting deeper and require more application. I found things more challenging (which is good) and ended up wandering down a few dead ends en route to what I’ve ended up writing below.

I wrestled with some ideas that came up, wrote a bunch of tangled stuff about them, untangled it, then ended up binning it. That took time. Some examinations of observations I'd made were off-target and at points overthought, but they helped me get to where I was going eventually. The second reason for the long wait is simply that I was re-a-ally tired and needed to sleep and regain my focus.

I feel I could’ve carried on thinking and writing more below but, for now, here's what I came up with.
All there is, is THIS/experience, appearing exactly as it is. And it includes thoughts and the thought stories about THIS! I suggest you keep doing this exercise as often as possible. It is a good way of seeing what actually is.
I will.
When are those ‘memories’ actually appearing?
They appear a tiny fraction of a moment after actual experience takes place.
Is there any actual evidence that any of these encounters have happened before?
Without thought / memory there would be no concept that anything at all had ever happened before, let alone evidence of it.

Memories can combine to generate reasoning. For example: some memories contain information that a heart starts beating in a human body before that body is born, and that the body requires a heart in order to remain alive. These memories combine to form a conclusion (knowing) that ‘my heart has continued to beat in my chest since before I was born’. This conclusion couldn’t happen without thought; specifically, without the contents of memories. And because the contents of memories are fictitious, any conclusions that might arise from them can’t constitute actual evidence (even though the thought that they do is pervasive). So memories can’t be said to be evidence, because what they represent doesn’t exist.
If thought says that you saw a spectacular ‘sunrise’ yesterday…is that sunrise experience as you presently find it? No…so it is just thought story ie ‘imagination’. If however, the colours labelled spectacular ‘sunrise’ is experience as you presently find it (ie now), then thought is pointing to actual experience as you presently find it (ie your direct, actual experience). In other words the colour that thought is referring to as a 'sunrise' is what is actually appearing now. Thought either points to actual experience as you presently find it...or it is pointing to thoughts about thought, since the ‘sunrise’ is not the current experience, so it only equates to story...thought fluff/imagination – thoughts about thoughts. Is this clear?
Yes.
Nicely done! So…without thought, how is it known that there are gaps?
Without thought, it can’t be known that there are gaps—or anything else.

Thought is actual experience. Is thought and different to sound, smell, taste, sensation or colour? Is colour different to sound? Is sound different to taste? Is sensation different to smell?

The various kinds of actual experience you listed: sound, smell, taste, sensation and colour—are all completely neutral, as we established previously. They have no qualities beyond themselves. Thought imbues them with qualities and creates the perception that there are discrete kinds of experience that each have different qualities from one another. It must then follow that this perception is an illusion.

Thought is also neutral; it’s just happening. But the contents of thoughts—consciousness—give rise to the impression that thought has an inherent quality beyond its neutrality. This quality is perceived as awareness—specifically, awareness possessed by a separate self or ‘watcher’—and it arises from the apparent ability of thoughts to observe other thoughts ad infinitum. But thoughts aren’t really separate entities; it just seems that way. They are all one consciousness. I’m trying to find a metaphor here… OK: If you stand with your nose pressed up to a mountain you’ll see chips, cracks, little outcroppings, each one apparently a discrete entity unto itself. Step back and you’ll see that in fact they’re all one mountain.

So, does thought really have inherent qualities that make it distinct from the rest of the pantheon of actual experiences? From a theoretical position I can say ‘no’. But at this stage I must admit it’s not clicking with me that thought really is neutral. Thoughts about thought are arising, such as: ‘But how can thought be inherently neutral when it’s so apparently active?’ and ‘If thought is perception, then its inherent quality is perception’. I think it will take a bit more time for me to get clearer on this.
Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts. Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear, without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?
They’re coming from nowhere, but a mental visual metaphor persists that depicts thoughts bubbling up as if from a quagmire or a glass of coca-cola. Like they’re emerging from the primordial swamp, in fact. As for where they’re going to, it seems that they simply disappear into nothingness. They’re there and then they’re gone. Again, visual thoughts arise depicting thoughts being swept upwards and away like a sheet of paper being yanked out of a manual typewriter, or off to one side in the ‘dark cavern’ of the inside of the head.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No, thoughts arise spontaneously. At times they seem to do so in response to external stimuli, (AE of sound sensation, etc) sometimes they seem to arise in response to internal stimuli, which is to say, other thoughts, and sometimes they seem to appear without prompting from any discernible stimulus at all. With that said, if I stop to examine the process, there is a lingering sense—and it is a sense, not an articulated thought—that feels like ‘I’ am deliberately directing thoughts to arise. Which is to say, ‘I’ am directing thoughts to focus on a particular subject or subject area. But with all the work we’re doing here, it’s not difficult to kick that notion into touch. It’s noteworthy that when I close my eyes and, for want of a better word, allow the absence of a thought director, I get an thrill, albeit it passes quickly. My heart speeds up and my breathing gets shallower.

Random observation: Everything that I am is constantly being created spontaneously from nothing.
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No. I had fun trying though ;-)
Can you predict your next thought?
No. That’s basically a rewording of the previous question. Even if I could predict my next thought, a prediction of the next thought would itself effectively be the next thought anyway.
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
No. A sustained pleasant emotional state could conceivably create a mental environment in which a sequence of pleasant thoughts might arise, but it isn’t something that I could decide would happen.
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
No. See above.
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
No.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
No, although I’ve found it’s possible through meditation to slow the pace at which thoughts appear. It took over a week meditating for 10 hours a day, but eventually a lot more time seemed to elapse between the arising of new thoughts.
Can you stop thinking a thought in the middle?
This question assumes that thoughts have a three-part structure, and I can’t say they have. Also, thought arises spontaneously and no foreknowledge exists regarding what a thought is going to be about or how long it will be or what its end’s going to be like, so it can’t be possible to determine where its middle might be or of it even has one. It’s not possible to reflect on the structure of a thought until it’s passed on and given way to another thought.

But if I rephrase the question as: “Can you cut off a thought while it’s in progress?” then the answer is simply No. I tried to second-guess this process by thinking, OK, let’s mentally recite a poem and cut it off halfway. I got as far as ‘o’er vales and hills’ :-) and stopped, but of course there had been an expectation that that would happen, so the ‘middle’ of the thought had really been its end all long.

Or had it? The valuable takeaway from that procedure was the realisation that the initial thought (“I’ll cut the thought about the poem off halfway”) plus the poem (“Daffodils”), plus the conclusion that a thought couldn’t be willed into truncating itself, were in fact all the process of thought in action, and not discrete thoughts unto themselves. One can’t stop thinking a thought, because there’s actually no such thing as a single thought. There is only the process of thinking, which is at once multi-faceted and monolithic.
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence. Or is it just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that "one thought follows another thought"?
Thoughts appear to be responsive phenomena—to external stimuli (AE) and internal (other thoughts). The impression that they are logical and ordered must be false.


Love and thanks,

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:36 am

Hello Glenn,
The second reason for the long wait is simply that I was re-a-ally tired and needed to sleep and regain my focus.
Has this tiredness only started since we began this exploration?
I feel I could’ve carried on thinking and writing more below but, for now, here's what I came up with.
Thinking about this is what creates tiredness. If you just LOOK at what is being pointed to…thinking is not required as the answers a recognisable via the LOOKING.
When are those ‘memories’ actually appearing?
They appear a tiny fraction of a moment after actual experience takes place.
The thoughts that are labelled ‘memories’ appear in the very moment they appear. If a thought about eating ice-cream yesterday appears in this moment, the so called ‘memory’ is appearing now. Where is the actual evidence that ice-cream was eaten yesterday?
Is there any actual evidence that any of these encounters have happened before?
Without thought / memory there would be no concept that anything at all had ever happened before, let alone evidence of it.
Yes, exactly. If you go back to the sports exercise. Is there anything actually happening if thought didn’t appear with commentary about what is appearing?
Memories can combine to generate reasoning. For example: some memories contain information that a heart starts beating in a human body before that body is born, and that the body requires a heart in order to remain alive. These memories combine to form a conclusion (knowing) that ‘my heart has continued to beat in my chest since before I was born’. This conclusion couldn’t happen without thought; specifically, without the contents of memories. And because the contents of memories are fictitious, any conclusions that might arise from them can’t constitute actual evidence (even though the thought that they do is pervasive). So memories can’t be said to be evidence, because what they represent doesn’t exist.
How is it known that some thoughts are pervasive?

Nicely done! So…without thought, how is it known that there are gaps?
Without thought, it can’t be known that there are gaps—or anything else.
Gaps are no different to no gaps. There has to be a 'you' that is separate to experience to know that there is a difference. And there is no separation in any shape or form. Everything is ‘made from’ experience/THIS and therefore there is no difference between anything. And for there to be a ‘between’, points to separation ie that there are separate objects/things.
Thought is actual experience. Is thought and different to sound, smell, taste, sensation or colour? Is colour different to sound? Is sound different to taste? Is sensation different to smell?
The various kinds of actual experience you listed: sound, smell, taste, sensation and colour—are all completely neutral, as we established previously. They have no qualities beyond themselves. Thought imbues them with qualities and creates the perception that there are discrete kinds of experience that each have different qualities from one another. It must then follow that this perception is an illusion.
There is no sound AND thought AND colour AND sensation AND taste AND smell. There is no AND. It is thought that divides THIS/experience into these categories. Soundcoloursmelltastesensationthought = THIS/experience appearing exactly as it is.
Thought is also neutral; it’s just happening. But the contents of thoughts—consciousness—give rise to the impression that thought has an inherent quality beyond its neutrality. This quality is perceived as awareness—specifically, awareness possessed by a separate self or ‘watcher’—and it arises from the apparent ability of thoughts to observe other thoughts ad infinitum. But thoughts aren’t really separate entities; it just seems that way. They are all one consciousness. I’m trying to find a metaphor here… OK: If you stand with your nose pressed up to a mountain you’ll see chips, cracks, little outcroppings, each one apparently a discrete entity unto itself. Step back and you’ll see that in fact they’re all one mountain.
Can you explain what you mean when you say that the “contents of thought is consciousness”?
So, does thought really have inherent qualities that make it distinct from the rest of the pantheon of actual experiences? From a theoretical position I can say ‘no’. But at this stage I must admit it’s not clicking with me that thought really is neutral. Thoughts about thought are arising, such as: ‘But how can thought be inherently neutral when it’s so apparently active?’ and ‘If thought is perception, then its inherent quality is perception’. I think it will take a bit more time for me to get clearer on this.
How is thought perception? If thoughts were expressed via the tweeting of birds or an unknown language, how would you know what they meant? What meaning is given to thoughts are only just thoughts about thoughts. The actual experience of thought isn't any different just because the content of the thought is different.

Thought A says “I want my commentating thoughts to go away” or “I want these unpleasant thoughts to go away”.
Thought B says “I want thought A to go away”

When thought A is present, thought B has not yet arisen. Thought B arises and says “I wish thought A would go away”. Thought A has already gone! You can’t have two thoughts at the same time. It’s just another thought that says I want my commentating thoughts to go away.
Where are they coming from and going to?
They’re coming from nowhere, but a mental visual metaphor persists that depicts thoughts bubbling up as if from a quagmire or a glass of coca-cola. Like they’re emerging from the primordial swamp, in fact. As for where they’re going to, it seems that they simply disappear into nothingness. They’re there and then they’re gone. Again, visual thoughts arise depicting thoughts being swept upwards and away like a sheet of paper being yanked out of a manual typewriter, or off to one side in the ‘dark cavern’ of the inside of the head.
It doesn’t matter if a ‘mental’ image persists. That in itself is just another appearing thought. You can’t find where a thought comes from or goes to, for one simple reason it’s not a thing, nor is it known because of its appearance or its content...it is known because it is THIS/experience which thought has divided and called one of those divisions ‘thought’.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
No, thoughts arise spontaneously. At times they seem to do so in response to external stimuli, (AE of sound sensation, etc) sometimes they seem to arise in response to internal stimuli, which is to say, other thoughts, and sometimes they seem to appear without prompting from any discernible stimulus at all.
And without thought, how is this known?
With that said, if I stop to examine the process, there is a lingering sense—and it is a sense, not an articulated thought—that feels like ‘I’ am deliberately directing thoughts to arise.
And is this ‘feeling’ an actual body sensation, or is it simply an idea/thought?
Which is to say, ‘I’ am directing thoughts to focus on a particular subject or subject area. But with all the work we’re doing here, it’s not difficult to kick that notion into touch. It’s noteworthy that when I close my eyes and, for want of a better word, allow the absence of a thought director, I get an thrill, albeit it passes quickly. My heart speeds up and my breathing gets shallower.
Close your eyes and sit quietly for 10-15 minutes.
Watch what focus does.

Focus on focussing, attention itself.
Do you move it, or it moves by itself?
Hold focus on breath - see how it moves to thoughts, sensations, feelings, sounds.
Is this something you control?
What moves attention?
Is thought in control of attention?

Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No. I had fun trying though ;-)
Yes, I wouldn’t hold your breath trying though! (haha)
Can you predict your next thought?
No. That’s basically a rewording of the previous question. Even if I could predict my next thought, a prediction of the next thought would itself effectively be the next thought anyway.
Exactly!
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
No, although I’ve found it’s possible through meditation to slow the pace at which thoughts appear. It took over a week meditating for 10 hours a day, but eventually a lot more time seemed to elapse between the arising of new thoughts.
And where exactly is this “I” that can “slow the pace at which thought appears”?
And what is it exactly that is suggesting that thoughts are either slow or fast?


Sending love,
Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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SterlingM
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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:07 pm

Hi Kay
Has this tiredness only started since we began this exploration?
No—the reason for it is mundane, actually. I’m a contractor. My last job ended a few months ago and it’s taken me until now to get another one, which commences this coming Wednesday. In the interim I haven’t been observing regular get-up-for-work hours, so for the last few days I’ve had to reset my body clock. As such I’ve been a bit fuzzy ’round the edges for a few days while adjusting, but I’m over the hump now. You’re absolutely right: I sat down tired and that caused me to overthink, and the overthinking made me even more tired and unfocused. Apologies for the temporary lapse in clarity, and please be assured that I’m still very much on board.

There’s a lot to look at in your last post. I’m going to get an early night tonight, return to it refreshed, and I’ll send a full (and not overthought!) reply tomorrow.

Love and thanks

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:40 am

Hi Glenn,

What I suggest is that you keep breaking down activities, objects and emotions into AE while you are settling into your new job etc. When you feel more settled, we can continue with this exploration. If you prefer not to do that...that is fine, we can continue. But take as much time as you need to carefully look at what is pointed at. I am not going anywhere...so don't concern yourself with that.

Love, Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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SterlingM
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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:20 pm

Hi Kay

That's a pragmatic suggestion--it's lucky one of us has got some common sense. :-) Thank you. This inquiry is my priority and I don't want to go off-track or lose momentum. At the same time, my attention will inevitably be divided this week as I settle in at work, and that would be counterproductive all round, as intimated by my previous slightly off-kilter reply. I'm learning a lot, not least that Direct Pointing requires focus.

So, yes, I'll take a few days to get used to my job, during which I'll continue to break things down into AE, and also let the points stated in your recent post settle in. I won't think--I'll look, and I'll post again with an update at the weekend. In the meantime, I'm really glad you're here, and I'm looking forward to picking things up again in a few days.

Love and thanks

Glenn

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:08 am

Hey Glenn....best wishes for your first week at your new job. No doubt there will be lots to learn there! I look forward to hearing from you when you are ready.

Love, Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

Postby SterlingM » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:49 pm

Hi Kay!

Just letting you know, I'm pretty much attuned to my new circs now and will be rejoining you in earnest tomorrow. Expect a proper reply from me then. Looking forward to it very much :-)

Glenn


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