Returning to LU after time away; seeking a guide

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

Postby forgetmenot » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:42 am

Hi Glenn,
Knowing ABOUT something is called knowledge (ie thought).…right, so it is thought that suggests that something is known from the past. But is it really?
That sentence could be read two ways, but I’ll assume the question is ‘Is something from the past really known?’ and answer accordingly.

A thought containing a story about experience can arise and be labelled ‘past experience’ by thought. That is what is labelled as knowledge, but it can’t be ‘known’, because that would require a knower, and there isn’t one. There’s just thought, thinking and knowing.
It is not known because a thought knows it…thought knows nothing. Going back to the apple exercise. Thought says an apple is known because of its shape, taste, smell and other attributes and that an apple has been seen/eaten before…so an apple is known. That is knowledge based on thought stories about experience ie colour, taste, smell, sensation. Thoughts knows absolutely nothing. The apple is not known because it is an apple, it is known because it is experience itself/THIS and THIS is self aware.
To illustrate the point, let’s say there’s an object a little way from where I’m sitting, and from my vantage point it looks like ‘a cup’. The thought arises, ‘I’m looking at a cup’, and then all the labels and attributes and past experiences that comprise the concept of ‘a cup’ arise in thought. This in turn engenders the thought: *I know it’s a cup*. Then I walk closer to the object and see that it isn’t ‘a cup’ at all, it’s some other object entirely that isn’t recognised. Does the fact that thought constructed a cup out of past / learned experiences make this object ‘a cup’ in reality? No. The same would be true if the object *had* turned out to be what is conventionally recognised as ‘a cup’. It would be no less a construction of learned experiences; a product of knowing, not experience of seeing.
Yes, the idea of colour being a cup is a product of knowledge and not of knowing. The cup isn’t known because it is a cup, it is known because it is AE of colour, and ‘colour’ is experience appearing exactly as it is. And experience is self aware.
Are not your aesthetic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences? How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? You would have no idea what this cup is, except for the past learning of/about it. Do you, then, really see it?
Yes, aesthetic reactions arise from thoughts labelled past experiences.
Let’s muddy the waters a little here now. Without thought, how would it be known that a cup has been seen before? When are the thoughts about colour being a cup actually arising?
The ‘cup’ is seen, but not by ‘me’; there’s no ‘me’ to see it. It is actual experience taking place now, it’s not a ‘known’ object created by thought from other thoughts labelled ‘past experiences’. Seeing is seeing, knowing is knowing.
Where is the dividing line between seeing and knowing? Are seeing and knowing separate or are they one and the same. Is seeing of colour and seeing of seeing different, or are they are one and the same ie colour?

Knowing what actually IS, is direct/actual and what is a cup in actual experience?
I’m a bit thrown by the structure of the question but I’ll do my best to answer.

The concept of ‘a cup’ is actual experience of thought; numerous thoughts labelled ‘past experiences’ -aka knowledge- layered onto actual experience happening now. Actual experience of a cup is imagesensationsmellsoundtastethought
Yes, lovely.

With this exercise we are focussing on sound only.
Sit quietly and take in a couple of deep breaths to settle the dust. Now listen to the sounds in the room where you are, or sounds from outside. Choose one sound and focus on that one sound.

1) In 'hearing' can anything be found other than sound?
2) Can what is doing the hearing be found? Or is there only sound?
3) Can an 'I', a 'body’, a ‘person' be found? Or are there only thoughts about these, and thoughts about a ‘something’ that is hearing sound?
What do you find?

Where does sound stop and the ‘hearing’ of it begin?
Can a 'hearer' ever be found in sound? Or is there simply sound?

Is that confirmable experientially?
If no INHERENT HEARER is found . . . so would anything suggested as the hearer be anything other than speculation / ideas / beliefs / thoughts etc?

I accept and believe this. There have even been times very recently when the separation (or rather, assumed separation) has very fleetingly seemed to dissolve. But at this point it’s still conceptual. Not a not-self experience but still a belief.
And how would this be experienced exactly? And what exactly is it that would experience whatever you think this experience will be experience as?
It would be experienced as thought, by thought, as actual experience of thought. Which is to say: it’s not real, it has no physical existence.
Thought cannot think. Thoughts do not have thoughts and thoughts are not aware. To say a thought is aware would be the same as saying that a cloud is aware. Thoughts as thought claims themselves to be…are not real either.

A thought is much like a piece of graffiti scribbled on a wall. Graffiti doesn't know the wall exists. It doesn't know it is appearing on the wall. It doesn't know whether its words are true or not. It doesn't know that it is saying anything. It doesn't know anything *whatsoever*. Similarly, a thought is just a bit of decoration appearing in THIS. It appears. You are aware of it. But it knows nothing whatsoever about reality. And that is all there is to thought

So look at the question again:-
And how would this be experienced exactly? And what exactly is it that would experience whatever you think this experience will be experience as?

And where exactly is this ego? Can you see that this is simply all thought story? Have you checked it with actual experience to see if this is simply a story or if it is actual experience?
I have indeed checked it and yes, I absolutely see that it’s all thought story. I mentioned it only because it arose unexpectedly and was being pesky and it put me off my stroke and I thought I should be upfront about that.
How about you stop engaging with thoughts that have no relevance to anything. Being upfront about it to me means nothing. It just adds unnecessary lines to posts. It is time for you to start putting into daily practice what we are doing here and part of that daily practice is for you to just be aware of thought and check if what thought is rabbiting on about is AE, or just thought fluff.
Can a thought be seen, felt, smelled, tasted or heard...or is it simply known?
I want you to look and 'find' a thought. You may see the label 'thought' and some mirage-like arisings, but can a thought be actually seen? Can you see that even the label 'thought' is also a mirage-like arising!
Thought / thoughts are intangible. A thought is simply known—known by other thoughts. Words, pictures, feelings arise as the contents of thoughts but they have no physical presence. Something that doesn’t physically exist can’t be found.
THOUGHT KNOWS NOTHING. A thought isn't known because of its appearance or its content...it is known because it is THIS/experience. If ‘you’ are aware of thought, then You must the knowing AS thought..and I don’t mean Glenn.
However, is thought needed to know experience (ie colour, sound, sensation, smell, taste, thought)? Is there ever a time when experience isn’t? If thoughts were to stop spontaneously and never return…would not what is labelled as ‘colour’, ‘smell’, ‘sound’, ‘taste’, ‘sensation’ still be known?
Without thought there can be no knowing. If thought stopped, I assume that the physical phenomena that constitute the universe would continue to exist—but without thought there would be no way for them to be known. Thought is knowing.
Thought is NOT knowing. Is a rock knowing? NO! Thought is known but it is not knowing. Objects and things do not KNOW anything. Experience is not derived from people and things, including objects. People, things and objects are derived from experience/THIS!

Where does thought end and the knowing of it begin? Where is the dividing line between the knowing and the known?
Is there a time when experience isn’t.
No. As long as there is thought, there is experience.
What? Do you need thought to know experience/THIS? Do you need thought to tell you when colour, sound, thought, smell, taste or sensation appear? Experience has nothing to do with what is called ‘human experience’! Experience here is being referred to as THIS/God/awareness/consciousness or whatever other name you want to use.
And here is the idea that there is experience and an awareness of that experience, which points to two. What is "awareness"? Is it something other than, different to, or separate from, experience? Is "knowing" (experience/THIS) separate from what is “known", or are they one and the same?
‘Awareness’ is experience of thought, thus it is experience. ‘What is known’ is experience of thought, thus it is experience. Knowing is experience. It’s all experience.
What is it exactly that is experiencing thought?

The word "experienced" is the past tense of the VERB "to experience", so it obviously implies that something DID the experiencing. And for something to do the experiencing, it would be required to do an experiencing (knowing) of experience (known). Since there is no dividing line between knowing and known, obviously there can never be experiencing of experience…

…therefore there is NO such thing as experiencing.
‘ExperiencING’ is a verb.
No verbs could point to what actually IS. Verbs point only to THOUGHTS ABOUT what actually IS.

‘ExperiencING’ (or any verbs) is just a BELIEF.
A belief about TIME.

There is ZERO actual experience of ‘experiencING’.
There is ZERO actual experience of any verb!

There is no such thing as ‘experiencING’, just as there is no such thing as ‘happenING, or ‘seeING’, or ‘knowING’, etc.

So, let’s look at verbs in general. Let’s take a verb ‘experiencING’. For ‘experiencing’ there should be:

1. a separate thing (person = body) an 'experiencER', that is doing or having the ACT of ‘experiencing’
2. a separate thing, an object that is being experienced
3. the ACTION of ‘experiencing’ (as an interACTION between #1 and #2)
4. TIME in which the 'action of ‘experiencing’ unfolds
Without these 4 elements there is NO VERB.
All verbs based on the assumption of the existence of these 4 elements.
Is this clear?


A verb implies not just a doer, but an action in time. A verb is an action, a doing. In order to an action take place not just a doer (in case of an experiencer = person = body) is needed, but time in which the action (the action of experiencing itself between two seeming objects/bodies) unfolds.
Is this clear?

Look at the display before you. When seeing it, is there any division between seeing, see-er, and the seen? Are these three separate? If yes, can you find the boundary between the three? Not an imagined, conceptual boundary, but an actual boundary that can be perceived with one or more of the senses?
There’s no division between seeing and the seen. There’s no seer though, just seeing and seen. The seer is a thought construct. I realised this for the first time earlier this afternoon, when I was travelling home from work on the train. Looking out the window, I became aware of looking. The thought arose ‘there’s no one in there’, meaning ‘there’s no person in that brain doing this looking’, and found no resistance to that arose. There was experience of colour, sensation, seeing, thought, all together, no roadblocks or turnstiles anywhere in the tableau of experience.
Wonderful! So is there an awareness OF experience?
Then what is it exactly that is meditating?
Thought is what is meditating. To better describe what I was reaching for before: the act of meditation seems to reduce the frequency with which the contents of thoughts enter into awareness.
Are thoughts what thought says they are?
The impression is that the process of thought is to a great extent divested of the words and pictures that typically ‘clutter’ the thought process, and that chains of cross-referencing thoughts happen much less frequently. There arises awareness of ‘space’ more than of ‘occupation’. Of course this is still a phenomenon of thought. It’s just rather different form the mundane experience of thought.
Yes…this would be correct if thoughts were what thought says they are. Since everything is simply experience, it doesn’t really matter whether thoughts appear or not, does it?

Is silence any different to noise? Is darkness any different to light?

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 Jul 02, 2019 11:29 pm

Hi Kay

Letting you know, I have to do an overnight out of town for work tomorrow, so expect a full reply Thursday or Friday. Apologies for the delay.

Glenn

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

Postby SterlingM » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:29 am

Hi Kay

Sorry it's taken so long to reply. I was 'up north' for work and didn't get back until late last night. Below are replies to much of your last post, and I will post the remainder tomorrow; it's been a long week, I'm tired right now, there's a lot to get through and I don't want to write more until I've got some rest.
It is not known because a thought knows it…thought knows nothing.
Understood. I articulated my previous answer badly. I wrote ‘there is thought, thinking and knowing’, but that misrepresented what I meant. I’m still getting used to the specificity of language that’s required here. I realise that words that I’ve previously used synonymously in everyday life (e.g. perception and seeing or knowing and knowledge) in the present context mean different things from each other. It should have been written and punctuated like this:

“There is thought: thinking and knowledge”

I meant: there is thought, and there are thoughts (conventionally referred to as ‘thinking’; and I realise that ‘thinking’ is itself a misnomer as ‘thinking’ would require a thinker) and there is knowledge, which is a construct of thought. I’d used the word ‘knowing’ as a direct analogue for ‘knowledge’ but that was a semantic error. It was meant to be a gerund, not a verb. I will henceforth watch my gerunds! :-)
Going back to the apple exercise. Thought says an apple is known because of its shape, taste, smell and other attributes and that an apple has been seen/eaten before…so an apple is known. That is knowledge based on thought stories about experience i.e. colour, taste, smell, sensation. Thoughts knows absolutely nothing.
Understood.
The apple is not known because it is an apple, it is known because it is experience itself/THIS and THIS is self aware.
It’s imagesensationsoundtastesmellthought – experience itself, an indivisible phenomenon, everything happening now.

With that said, I have to admit that I still haven’t been able to stop thinking of experience as having interdependent parts rather than it being a gestalt.

But actually… I just did. I was washing my face in the bathroom, thinking about all this, and wondering how colour could be aware of sound and sensation could be aware of smell, and then thought: you’re barking up the wrong tree there. It’s not lots of apparently fundamentally different separate things trying impossibly to connect to / know each other, like a dog trying to mate with a flowerpot or something. It’s just one thing. Thought is also this one thing, and it interprets this one thing into manageable chunks so humans can, literally and metaphorically, not keep bumping into everything all the time.

The interpretive nature of experience is the source of the illusion of separateness, but that illusion is necessary to stop us walking off cliff edges or, perhaps, being physically short-circuited / overwhelmed by unmediated experience. It’s impossible to say how raw experience would seem were it divested of its interpretive quality. I know I’m referring to experience as ‘having’ qualities as though qualities are separate entities that can be owned by someone / thing, but that’s for convenience and I realise they’re not. They are experience too, as all is. There are no separate entities.

Thought generates impressions of distance and space, i.e the impression of separateness, but even concepts of distance and space are experience (of thought). So there’s no such thing as nothing because nothing is a concept, and a concept is actual experience of thought, and that’s experience.

So…this feels in a quiet way like a breakthrough. This morning I was stymied by the idea of experience being self-aware, but this evening it’s like: Well yeah, obviously! Eschewing the label ‘thought’ and instead considering the interpretive quality of experience makes everything slot into place. Yes, experience is self-aware, and the ‘self’ in self-aware is experience, and what we call ‘thought’ is how experience is self-aware. That seems sensible and feels right. I mean, everyone would attest that ‘thought filters experience’—but probably not in this gestalt context.

The duality / multiplicity way of thinking persists with me, for sure. It’s there. But I feel that it’s maybe opened up a crack and a step towards understanding has been taken. It’s so simple though—it feels like it should be harder.
Let’s muddy the waters a little here now. Without thought, how would it be known that a cup has been seen before? When are the thoughts about colour being a cup actually arising?
Without thought, there’s no knowledge based on thought stories, so it wouldn’t / couldn’t be known that a cup has been seen before.

The thoughts about colour being a cup arise in the moment of actual experience; which is to say, the moment of actual experience of not just colour but also sensationsmellsound and thought itself (extraneous ‘and’ inserted for convenience’s sake) as well. The apparently discrete elements of AE are in fact simultaneous and not separate. And the moment of actual experience is every moment, because time is a concept, moments are concepts; synthetic demarcations that exist in thought, presumably for ergonomic reasons.
Where is the dividing line between seeing and knowing? Are seeing and knowing separate or are they one and the same? Is seeing of colour and seeing of seeing different, or are they are one and the same ie colour?


No dividing line exists. Seeing and knowing are the same thing. Thought labels split them up and create the illusion that they are separate entities. They’re all physical experience, codified and interpreted by thought, which, as I’ve written passim is also experience. There’s no thinker of thought. As ‘I experienced’ while looking out the window of the train home the other night, there’s just seeinghearingsmellingtastingthought.
With this exercise we are focussing on sound only.
Sit quietly and take in a couple of deep breaths to settle the dust. Now listen to the sounds in the room where you are, or sounds from outside. Choose one sound and focus on that one sound.
1) In 'hearing' can anything be found other than sound?[/quote]
Thoughtsensation. Hearing is AE of sensation labelled vibration + AE of thought labelled interpretation of vibration + AE of thought labelled spatial awareness. Sound is hearing. Hearing is sound. You can’t have one without the other, because they’re the same thing.
2) Can what is doing the hearing be found? Or is there only sound?
In prosaic, thought-story terms: an object vibrates at frequency, disturbing molecules of air that in turn cause the parts of the ear to vibrate, sending impulses through the otic nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as ‘sound’. Nothing / no one is required to ‘do’ this hearing. It just occurs—it’s experience.
3) Can an 'I', a 'body’, a ‘person' be found? Or are there only thoughts about these, and thoughts about a ‘something’ that is hearing sound?
At this precise moment, it happens that no thoughts about an “I” ‘doing’ hearing are arising. Just thoughts about hearing taking place. As I described above, there are thoughts about parts of an ear, a nerve, a brain, vibration. But beyond that, no, no ‘body’ as such. It actually feels very natural / normal to not have “I” in there, ‘doing’ stuff. I mean, of course I’m thinking about the “I” thought as I write this, but that’s thought about ‘I’ in an abstract sense, not in the sense that ‘I am aware that I am hearing sound’.
What do you find?
Just hearing happening.
Where does sound stop and the ‘hearing’ of it begin?
Sound and hearing are the same thing. ‘One’ doesn’t stop and make way for ‘the other’. I could give another ‘physics of sound’ description here, but that would be mundane and beside the point.

As an aside, I’ve heard of advanced meditators who can leapfrog the illusion of distance / spatial awareness generated by thought, and can ‘pinpoint’ the occurrence of sound directly as vibration of their eardrums.
Can a 'hearer' ever be found in sound? Or is there simply sound?
There’s simply sound.
Is that confirmable experientially?
Let’s say I experience a head trauma and my higher brain functions shut down as a result but my sensory organs aren’t affected. With the capacity for abstract thought gone, it’s not possible to ‘have’ thoughts about duality or a separate ‘I’. Yet seeing continues, hearing continues, sensation continues—but there can no hearer or seer present in thought, which is the only ‘place’ in which a hearer or seer ‘exists’ to begin with.

In terms of what is actually happening right now, there is no hearer to be found. Surprisingly, there isn’t even a spontaneous pull towards an ‘I’ thought. The feeling is that there’s a thought observing hearing, not that a person who has thoughts is thinking about hearing.
If no INHERENT HEARER is found . . . so would anything suggested as the hearer be anything other than speculation / ideas / beliefs / thoughts etc?
No.

More soon

Glenn

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

Postby SterlingM » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:23 am

Hi Kay

Remaining replies:
A verb implies not just a doer, but an action in time. A verb is an action, a doing. In order to an action take place not just a doer (in case of an experiencer = person = body) is needed, but time in which the action (the action of experiencing itself between two seeming objects/bodies) unfolds.
Is this clear?
It is. Hopefully my previous replies underline that understanding.
So is there an awareness OF experience?
No. For there to be awareness OF experience there would have to be an entity ‘doing’ the experiencing: an experiencer. There isn’t one. There is just experience. Conventionally, thought suggests that ‘awareness’ is a separate thought-entity that constantly monitors events from some untraceable location outside the mainstream of thought (or even outside the brain / body) but that, once again, is illusory; it’s a phenomenon of the self-interpreting quality of experience.
Are thoughts what thought says they are?
No. Thought suggests that thoughts are: real; capable of inherent physicality; awareness; combining together to construct a personality; being deliberately initiated by a separate thinker; arising in logical sequence; etc. But thoughts are simply happening, the manifestation of experience observing itself. NOT the quality of ‘a person’ observing ‘himself’.
Is silence any different to noise? Is darkness any different to light?
In the mundane sense, as interpreted by thought, yes, of course they appear to be separate phenomena that are completely opposite to each other in nature. Usually we think of them as ‘the absence of one, the presence of the other’. We could call silence ‘not-noise’ or darkness ‘not-light’, or talk about ‘varying quantities of photons’ or whatever, but these would still just be conceptual thought labels. What they are is experience happening, and our conventional perception of their apparently different qualities is an illusory phenomenon of thought, i.e. it’s experience interpreting itself.

Love and thanks

Glenn

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

Postby SterlingM » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:10 pm

I forgot to answer the kaleidoscopic question!
So look at the question again:-

And how would this be experienced exactly? And what exactly is it that would experience whatever you think this experience will be experience as?

Of course I take this question seriously, but I can’t help but laugh as well. I imagine someone strolling in off the street, looking at the question and saying, ‘Are these people MAD?’ Out of context, it is absolutely the maddest-looking question I’ve ever encountered.
And how would this be experienced exactly?
It wouldn’t BE experienced. It IS experience. For it to BE experienced would require an experiencer, a separate entity, and there isn’t one.
And what exactly is it that would experience whatever you think this experience will be experience as?

Nothing is or can BE experienced. There is no entity separate from experience, therefore nothing / no one to do any experiencing. Experience is all, and simply is. What we call thought is a quality of experience, and while thought may commonly suggest that it (thought) is ‘reality being experienced by someone’, further inquiry reveals not only that the content of thought is inherently fictitious and frequently misleading but that what thought suggests to us is reality is really AE of thought, which is experience.

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

Postby SterlingM » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:43 pm

CORRECTION: I wrote this above: "...there’s just seeinghearingsmellingtastingthought"

It should have read: "...there’s just imagesoundsmelltastethought"

Just a typing error, not an error of understanding :-)

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

Postby forgetmenot » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:28 am

Hi Glenn,
I will henceforth watch my gerunds! :-)
Yes, those gerunds seems to be slippery little suckers! (laughing)
The apple is not known because it is an apple, it is known because it is experience itself/THIS and THIS is self aware.
It’s imagesensationsoundtastesmellthought – experience itself, an indivisible phenomenon, everything happening now.

With that said, I have to admit that I still haven’t been able to stop thinking of experience as having interdependent parts rather than it being a gestalt.
And that is okay, because that isn’t going to happen on a permanent level. Everything is still seen as individual objects/experiences….has this not always been the case? There has never been a Glennself and yet there seems to many different object/experiences. It just becomes a knowing that nothing is separate and what is really appearing is THIS, exactly as it is.
But actually… I just did. I was washing my face in the bathroom, thinking about all this, and wondering how colour could be aware of sound and sensation could be aware of smell, and then thought: you’re barking up the wrong tree there. It’s not lots of apparently fundamentally different separate things trying impossibly to connect to / know each other, like a dog trying to mate with a flowerpot or something. It’s just one thing. Thought is also this one thing, and it interprets this one thing into manageable chunks so humans can, literally and metaphorically, not keep bumping into everything all the time.
Yes :) Seeming 'experiences' happen in the dream...but like everything in the dream these experiences come and go.
Thought generates impressions of distance and space, i.e the impression of separateness, but even concepts of distance and space are experience (of thought). So there’s no such thing as nothing because nothing is a concept, and a concept is actual experience of thought, and that’s experience.
Beautiful! Yes, nothing is also a concept…a thought…and THIS is never shows up empty. How can it. Has there ever been a time when no thing is appearing?

Image

Notice that when you go by direct visual experience only, the tree is distinguished from the sky by colour alone. The ‘border’ or the ‘dividing line’ between the tree and the sky is what thought describes as 'a sudden change in colour' and the shapes that thought suggests are objects are nothing more than different patterns of colour.

Shadows imply depth, but shadows are just darker shades of colour. When going with seeing only, there is nothing else in the colour labelled as 'shadow' that is different from any other colour. If you IGNORE all the colour labels that thought gives colour, there are not many different colourS, there is just colour. And what about light? Light is the same as shadow - just a 'change in colour', nothing else.

Look at the tree. There are seeming 'changes in colour' labelled ‘darker’ or ‘lighter’, which thought implies as differences in depth and distance, but actually they are just seeming changes in colour.

Can depth actually be experienced?
Is there really a 3D dimension or only 2D?

Look at colour labelled ‘clouds’, some look closer to the tree and others seem far/further away.
Can ‘closer’ and ‘far’ be experienced at all?

Is there a foreground or a background?
Is there an experience of ‘tree’ apart from colour?

We normally believe that colour is coming from the independent object (tree).
But is there really an object hiding somewhere behind the colour, or an object which is ‘emitting’ the colour?
Is there the experience of a physical object (tree) behind the colour, or independent of colour?

When going along with seeing only, is there anything else directly experienced about the tree other than colour?
Is there an objectively existing tree or sky or clouds or grass at all?
Are there separate objects present?

So…this feels in a quiet way like a breakthrough. This morning I was stymied by the idea of experience being self-aware, but this evening it’s like: Well yeah, obviously! Eschewing the label ‘thought’ and instead considering the interpretive quality of experience makes everything slot into place. Yes, experience is self-aware, and the ‘self’ in self-aware is experience, and what we call ‘thought’ is how experience is self-aware. That seems sensible and feels right. I mean, everyone would attest that ‘thought filters experience’—but probably not in this gestalt context.
Wonderful, Glenn!

To make sure that you are clear on this…

Image

Can a tree actually be found in the paint?
Does the paint become a tree, or is the tree simply paint which thought then suggests is a tree and is separate to the paint?
Does the tree change or affect the paint in any way, or does the paint remain as paint?
So the paint SEEMS to be appearing as a tree, but does it become a tree?

The duality / multiplicity way of thinking persists with me, for sure. It’s there. But I feel that it’s maybe opened up a crack and a step towards understanding has been taken. It’s so simple though—it feels like it should be harder.
Yes, it’s seems that it is the human condition (ie the mind) that thinks everything should be harder. It’s like if something seems too good to be true ie like the ‘let’s get rich quick’ idea, then it’s suspicious LOL. But it is very simple. All there is, is THIS (aka soundthoughtsmelltastesensationcolour) appearing exactly as it is. THIS is the appearance of the thought stories about THIS as well. But THIS never becomes what it seemingly appears as. How could it?

3) Can an 'I', a 'body’, a ‘person' be found? Or are there only thoughts about these, and thoughts about a ‘something’ that is hearing sound?
At this precise moment, it happens that no thoughts about an “I” ‘doing’ hearing are arising. Just thoughts about hearing taking place. As I described above, there are thoughts about parts of an ear, a nerve, a brain, vibration. But beyond that, no, no ‘body’ as such. It actually feels very natural / normal to not have “I” in there, ‘doing’ stuff. I mean, of course I’m thinking about the “I” thought as I write this, but that’s thought about ‘I’ in an abstract sense, not in the sense that ‘I am aware that I am hearing sound’.
Lovely!
In terms of what is actually happening right now, there is no hearer to be found. Surprisingly, there isn’t even a spontaneous pull towards an ‘I’ thought. The feeling is that there’s a thought observing hearing, not that a person who has thoughts is thinking about hearing.
How does a thought observe hearing exactly? If you are not a Glennself and yet you are ‘aware’ of soundthoughtsmelltastesensationcolour…then what are you? Are you existence itself or a thought?

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 Jul 08, 2019 9:49 am

Hi Kay

Thank you so much for your reply. I was really happy to receive it. My weekend was evenly split between new realisations settling in in and a ton of housework 😊 I’m writing now as a brief stopgap.

I could quickly and easily answer your most recent questions by simply expanding on the logic of my own recent answers. But, if I did, it would mean I hadn’t properly interrogated the new questions on their own terms, and it wouldn’t be an honest or constructive way to address them.

Also, I’ve got just enough schoolboy physics that I know a little bit about spacetime and wavelengths and colour and holograms etc. I’d be trundling down the thought-story road again if I based my answers on such existing knowledge rather than looking at things with fresh eyes and mind, and I don't want to second-guess anything.

All this is saying is that I’m going to take another day or two before posting my next full reply. What’s being implied is a huge shift in perspective (in several senses) and I want to give it a bit of time. So - expect more shortly!

Love and thanks
Glenn

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

Postby forgetmenot » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:03 am

Okay...no worries :)

Kay
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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

Postby SterlingM » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:57 pm

Hi Kay

Just to let you know, with apologies for a further slight delay, please now expect my reply tomorrow. I had a minor hospital procedure today. I'm totally fine but I had an anaesthetic and it left me a bit woozy. I started writing to you this evening but my head's not clear, so it's best to leave it overnight.

More soon

Glenn

PS - Got your Skype. Thank you :-)

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

Postby SterlingM » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:33 am

Hi Kay

At last, I return :-) Once again, sorry for keeping you waiting for a reply. Between clearing my head of clutter as best I could and anaesthesia, it's been a long road back. I have to say that a change has taken place since my last post. There's a bit of detail at the bottom of this post, but suffice it to say for now, it's all good.

Can a tree actually be found in the paint?
No. If we were being pedantic (and I get the impression that pedantry is definitely OK here :-) ), the question should really be ‘can a tree be found in the pixels?’. But no one likes a smartypants. It’s not a tree, it’s a picture of a tree. Thought says that it’s a tree, but at the same time, secondarily, that it’s not actually a tree but a picture of one. Substituting a tree for a pipe, Rene Magritte made this exact point 90 years ago with this famous painting:

Image

Does the paint become a tree, or is the tree simply paint which thought then suggests is a tree and is separate to the paint?
The latter.
Does the tree change or affect the paint in any way, or does the paint remain as paint? So the paint SEEMS to be appearing as a tree, but does it become a tree?
The tree in no way affects the paint, and the paint does not become a tree. For some reason, human thought will interpret a picture of something as in some way being the actual object that it represents, whereas a dog's thought, for instance, won’t. For example, humans look at people moving on a TV screen and think ‘ those are people’; dogs look at the screen and think (presumably, and in dog language, of course): ‘those are moving coloured dots and shapes’.
Can depth actually be experienced?
Nothing can be experienced. There’s just experience. But the illusion / impression of ‘experiencing depth’ is powerful and, apparently, necessary for orientation.

I’ve seen that spatial and temporal awareness, as conventionally understood, are illusory thought-phenomena. In (my) everyday existence though, their ‘reality’ continues to pervade.
Is there really a 3D dimension or only 2D?
This is tricky, because there’s a lot of thought clutter / knowledge to push through before an answer can arise from seeing, not thinking.

What is seen appears to be 3D, but is really a 2D light-image projected on a membrane in the eye, as reconstituted by the brain. It’s very much like a mechanical camera. The physical attributes of the world are not actually in the eye—they’re in the world! The image that we see 'in' the eye / brain is a representation of the actual; it is not itself actual. Just like a photograph. A photo is almost the same thing as seeing, but at one further remove. OK, so I've just shown that I know the standard explanation of how vision works and how the brain interprets images. But I was able to push that knowledge to one side long enough to ascertain the following from seeing:

The human field of vision is semi-circular/hemispherical, following the shape of the surface of the eye. The field of vision is limited to the periphery of that hemisphere. What is seen is, apparently, a 3D plane filled with objects and space. It’s essentially a picture in a frame, like a drawing or a photograph in a frame. That would sound back-to-front in a conventional context, but not in our present one.

Without differences in colour/shade, it would be impossible to differentiate between the borders of objects or determine ‘perspective’ (3-dimensionality) within the field of vision. For example, if one was to look at many objects that were the same shade of white in a space that was evenly lit from every direction, all that would be ascertained would be a uniform field of white with no edges, borders or discernible perspective. Apparent nothingness.

That doesn’t answer the question ‘is there really a 3rd dimension’ though. Despite having seen and accepted that spatial and temporal awareness are thought constructs, coming right out and saying with conviction that ‘there is no 3rd dimension’ is proving to be difficult. Even having seen / accepted the unity of experience, even having written and believed in the foregoing paragraphs, which imply that depth is illusory, I’m as yet unable to get past the mundane apprehension that: here’s me, moving through space in multiple dimensions, over time, away from one location and toward another on a lateral plane. It’s just so deeply ingrained and habituated.

With that said, you might remember that right near the start of this inquiry, I wrote that I’d gone out walking and noticed a subtle ‘flattening out’ of perspective, particularly when looking down long pavements and avenues of trees. That was remarkable and memorable, and there have been numerous times I’ve noticed it since—perhaps not surprisingly when my thoughts are being less 'chatty'. I continue with looking now, every day, and try not to let preconceptions get in the way of seeing.
Look at colour labelled ‘clouds’, some look closer to the tree and others seem far/further away. Can ‘closer’ and ‘far’ be experienced at all?
Nothing can be experienced, and ‘closer’ and ‘far’ are phenomena suggested by spatial awareness, i.e. they are concepts; thought constructs. Not real.
Is there a foreground or a background?
No. All the colour in the image exists on an equal plane. But spatial awareness (AE of colour + AE of thought) suggests the illusion of both.
Is there an experience of ‘tree’ apart from colour?
No.
We normally believe that colour is coming from the independent object (tree). But is there really an object hiding somewhere behind the colour, or an object which is ‘emitting’ the colour?
No. Colour is not emitted by objects nor is it itself an object. A tree doesn’t appear to be green when there’s no light striking it. Colour is a quality of vision, dependent on the presence of light. It’s not a quality inherent in objects.
Is there the experience of a physical object (tree) behind the colour, or independent of colour?
No.
When going along with seeing only, is there anything else directly experienced about the tree other than colour?
No.
Is there an objectively existing tree or sky or clouds or grass at all?
No.
Are there separate objects present?
No.
How does a thought observe hearing exactly? If you are not a Glennself and yet you are ‘aware’ of soundthoughtsmelltastesensationcolour…then what are you? Are you existence itself or a thought?
Thought doesn’t really ‘observe’ hearing—thought is ‘part of’ hearing, for want of a less paradoxical word when talking about a gestalt. Thought is the interpretive quality of hearing (and by extension, experience as a whole) and is simultaneous to the physical quality of hearing (i.e. vibration). These phenomena are indivisible; they’re one thing, i.e. THIS.

If I’m not a Glennself then I’m…

Soundthoughtsmelltastesensationcolour

What else could ‘I’ be? There is nothing else, just THIS. So yes, ‘I’m’ a thought, and existence itself, because these apparently separate things are not separate things at all but an indivisible whole.

What I’m not is a separate self. Since my last post, a shift has taken place. When I look at my 'self’ what I now see is a collection of stories, literally like a big book of pages, that can be added to or subtracted from in any way. That's all that's there.

For decades, foremost in my mind was the drive to establish a self and protect it. When that self was eventually (apparently) in place and became threatened, devastation occurred. But my 'self' was really just a conflation of thoughts, just ego-self; a tulpa.

I'd thought there might be intense resistance to ‘getting rid of’ this ‘self’ through this process. But as it turns out there’s been a bit, but not really all that much. I have nothing but respect for the ingenuity of the process itself, and boundless gratitude for your guidance. As I hardly need to tell you, it turns out to be a painless process because there’s nothing to get rid of. ‘The Gateless Gate’, indeed. Not such a paradoxical term after all.

This is of course very new. I don't lay claim to absolute clarity, and I imagine you're not quite done with me yet :-). But I can say with conviction that I've seen the self for what it is--or, rather, isn't. A very calm, unfussy feeling and a sense of great lightness and possibility have arisen. It's freeing.

As always I'm writing this at the very end of a long day. I'd like to write more but I'm sleepy now and I must get to bed. But I'm looking forward very much to your reply.

With love and gratitude

Glenn

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

Postby forgetmenot » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:02 am

Hello Glenn,
Does the tree change or affect the paint in any way, or does the paint remain as paint? So the paint SEEMS to be appearing as a tree, but does it become a tree?
The tree in no way affects the paint, and the paint does not become a tree. For some reason, human thought will interpret a picture of something as in some way being the actual object that it represents, whereas a dog's thought, for instance, won’t. For example, humans look at people moving on a TV screen and think ‘ those are people’; dogs look at the screen and think (presumably, and in dog language, of course): ‘those are moving coloured dots and shapes’.
What humans exactly? Do people think? Are people aware? Since there is no ‘you’ that is the thinker of thought, then why would there be others who are thinkers of thought?

Is there anyone controlling what thoughts appear and when? 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.

What is it that suggests “human thought will interpret a picture of something as in some way being the actual object that it represents, whereas a dog's thought, for instance, won’t. For example, humans look at people moving on a TV screen and think ‘ those are people’; dogs look at the screen and think (presumably, and in dog language, of course): ‘those are moving coloured dots and shapes’.”
Can depth actually be experienced?
Nothing can be experienced. There’s just experience. But the illusion / impression of ‘experiencing depth’ is powerful and, apparently, necessary for orientation.
Without thought, how is it known that “the illusion / impression of ‘experiencing depth’ is powerful and, apparently, necessary for orientation”?

What is it exactly that is “orientating” itself? Let’s look at this idea via looking at the ideas of decision, choice and control.

So let’s have a look at the idea of control, choice and decisions.

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.
2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.

Watch like a hawk.

Don't go to thoughts, examine the actual experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire…

How is the movement controlled?
Does a thought control it?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?

I’ve seen that spatial and temporal awareness, as conventionally understood, are illusory thought-phenomena. In (my) everyday existence though, their ‘reality’ continues to pervade.
Oh and so there is an idea here that they should disappear?
Is there really a 3D dimension or only 2D?
This is tricky, because there’s a lot of thought clutter / knowledge to push through before an answer can arise from seeing, not thinking.
No, it’s not tricky at all. I am not interested in superfluous irrelevant material. I just don’t read it. I simply want you to LOOK at what I am pointing at and tell me what you see. Full stop.

Can I please have a simple short response to the question.

Is there really a 3D dimension or only 2D?
Look at colour labelled ‘clouds’, some look closer to the tree and others seem far/further away. Can ‘closer’ and ‘far’ be experienced at all?
Nothing can be experienced, and ‘closer’ and ‘far’ are phenomena suggested by spatial awareness, i.e. they are concepts; thought constructs. Not real.
Yes, spatial awareness is a concept.
Is there a foreground or a background?
No. All the colour in the image exists on an equal plane. But spatial awareness (AE of colour + AE of thought) suggests the illusion of both.
It doesn’t matter what thought suggests. What thoughts suggests is meaningless.
A thought is much like a piece of graffiti scribbled on a wall. Graffiti doesn't know the wall exists. It doesn't know it is appearing on the wall. It doesn't know whether its words are true or not. It doesn't know that it is saying anything. It doesn't know anything *whatsoever*. Similarly, a thought is just a bit of decoration appearing in THIS. It appears. You are aware of it. But it knows nothing whatsoever about reality. And that is all there is to thought
We normally believe that colour is coming from the independent object (tree). But is there really an object hiding somewhere behind the colour, or an object which is ‘emitting’ the colour?
No. Colour is not emitted by objects nor is it itself an object. A tree doesn’t appear to be green when there’s no light striking it. Colour is a quality of vision, dependent on the presence of light. It’s not a quality inherent in objects.
How is it known that “Colour is a quality of vision, dependent on the presence of light”?

Is dark different to light? Is black different to white?

How does a thought observe hearing exactly? If you are not a Glennself and yet you are ‘aware’ of soundthoughtsmelltastesensationcolour…then what are you? Are you existence itself or a thought?
Thought doesn’t really ‘observe’ hearing—thought is ‘part of’ hearing, for want of a less paradoxical word when talking about a gestalt. Thought is the interpretive quality of hearing (and by extension, experience as a whole) and is simultaneous to the physical quality of hearing (i.e. vibration). These phenomena are indivisible; they’re one thing, i.e. THIS.
If I’m not a Glennself then I’m…
Soundthoughtsmelltastesensationcolour
What else could ‘I’ be? There is nothing else, just THIS. So yes, ‘I’m’ a thought, and existence itself, because these apparently separate things are not separate things at all but an indivisible whole.
Yes and no. What you think you are ie Glennself, is a thought. It's a thought that points (suggest) to colour, sound, sensation and so on and labels it a ‘me’. However, what you are is not a thought. And a thought is not a thought. It is thought that divides this into those 6 categories and then labels them as thought, sound, colour etc. So THIS is not actually appearing as a thought. It is simply appearing as itself..which then thought labels as being thought! Do you say to yourself when a thought appears….”oh look there I am appearing as a thought?” No! All there is, is THIS appearing exactly as it IS…no divisions…no labels, no descriptions.
What I’m not is a separate self. Since my last post, a shift has taken place. When I look at my 'self’ what I now see is a collection of stories, literally like a big book of pages, that can be added to or subtracted from in any way. That's all that's there.
Wonderful! Yes, the character labelled as “Glennself” is a collection of stories.
I'd thought there might be intense resistance to ‘getting rid of’ this ‘self’ through this process. But as it turns out there’s been a bit, but not really all that much. I have nothing but respect for the ingenuity of the process itself, and boundless gratitude for your guidance. As I hardly need to tell you, it turns out to be a painless process because there’s nothing to get rid of. ‘The Gateless Gate’, indeed. Not such a paradoxical term after all.
Lovely Glenn. Yes, there is nothing to get rid off. How can something that isn’t, be gotten rid of? It is all a thought story and there is no author of thought, so what stories appear cannot be changed.
This is of course very new. I don't lay claim to absolute clarity, and I imagine you're not quite done with me yet :-). But I can say with conviction that I've seen the self for what it is--or, rather, isn't. A very calm, unfussy feeling and a sense of great lightness and possibility have arisen. It's freeing.
Yes! It is liberating :)

Kay
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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

Postby SterlingM » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:47 pm

Hi Kay

I'll reply fully tomorrow.

Glenn

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

Postby SterlingM » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:30 am

Hi Kay

Once again, apologies for a slight lag. My reply will now come tomorrow--I was heavily delayed on my way back from visiting a friend today (train strike) and haven't had time to complete it. It'll be with you shortly though.

Glenn

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

Postby SterlingM » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:39 am

Hi Kay

Good to be with you again, and I’m sorry for the gap between posts. I meant to reply yesterday but I got stuck waiting for delayed trains for hours and got home late and weary.

I’ll keep my answers short and to the point this time, but I hope you’ll tolerate a very brief preamble: Reading over my last post is remarkable. I feel almost embarrassed and a bit bewildered at how regressive in tone and content much of it seems to be, after the revelation of last week. Way too much efforting went into it and, on reflection, it was as though a wave of defiance swelled up over several days. A protective shell of ‘thinking’—a very ‘selfish’ thing--the surrounding structure of the self thought, ramming me backwards into the old assumptions. It was like walking through mental treacle for several days, but it’s faded away now. I sincerely apologise for wasting your time with waffle.
What humans exactly? Do people think? Are people aware? Since there is no ‘you’ that is the thinker of thought, then why would there be others who are thinkers of thought?
No humans. ‘Human’ is a label, a concept. Thought interprets raw experience into ‘a human’, which is a construct, just like ‘an apple’, from our first exercise, is a construct.

People don’t think. No ‘one’ thinks; there are no thinkers, just thought. People can’t ‘have’ awareness. Awareness is thought observing itself. There are no others who are thinkers of thought.
Is there anyone controlling what thoughts appear and when?
No.
If thoughts were expressed via the tweeting of birds or an unknown language, how would you know what they meant?
I wouldn’t. I was thinking about this on a London tube train at the weekend, surrounded by people talking in many different languages, none of which I understood. Point made.
What meaning is given to thoughts are only just thoughts about thoughts.
Understood.
What is it that suggests “human thought will interpret a picture of something as in some way being the actual object that it represents…(etc)


Past experience thought stories. ‘Knowledge’. Which are, as previously described, inherently fictitious and routinely misleading.
Without thought, how is it known that “the illusion / impression of ‘experiencing depth’ is powerful and, apparently, necessary for orientation”?
It isn’t. Without thought, there can be no knowledge.
So let’s have a look at the idea of control, choice and decisions.

1. Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.
2. Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.

Watch like a hawk.

Don't go to thoughts, examine the actual experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire…

How is the movement controlled?
It isn’t. It’s clearly independent of any deliberate process or controlling thought. It’s just doing it.
Does a thought control it?
No. See above.
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
No, definitely not. Interesting to note that familiar ‘looking for a controller who’s not there’ feeling arising though, but it now seems like a faint echo of an old habit rather than a loud, nagging imperative. A bit like getting a cigarette craving after you’ve quit.
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
Thoughts can’t make decisions—they’re neutral, and for them to have a decision-making capacity would require them to have agency, which they don’t. There was no decision made. I read your instruction then the hand started turning over. That seems like cause and effect, not the product of any decision. Like a cloud ‘telling’ a raindrop to make a flower grow, for instance. The raindrop doesn’t decide to land on the flower. It just falls from the cloud to the earth and the flower grows.
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
No, not at all.

I’ve seen that spatial and temporal awareness, as conventionally understood, are illusory thought-phenomena. In (my) everyday existence though, their ‘reality’ continues to pervade.
Oh and so there is an idea here that they should disappear?

No, that’s not what I meant. I’ve got to be more careful writing things down here. I really didn’t mean that. I just meant to gently underline the facts of the situation, not to imply that I expected the observable universe to shrink to the size of a pea before my very eyes  I should have added the qualifying “…though, obviously, their ‘reality’ continues to pervade”. But I didn’t. Sorry for not making that clearer.
Can I please have a simple short response to the question. Is there really a 3D dimension or only 2D?
There is only 2D. Yesterday I went to the cinema, and the 2D-ness of the ‘3D’ world up there on the screen was easily apparent. Colour/shade created the illusion of 3D, as they do in the world outside the cinema too.
It doesn’t matter what thought suggests. …it knows nothing whatsoever about reality. And that is all there is to thought.
Understood.
How is it known that “Colour is a quality of vision, dependent on the presence of light”?
It’s not known. For something to be known would require a knower, and there isn’t one. The statement was derived ‘past experience thought stories’ – knowledge, not seeing.

Is dark different to light? Is black different to white?

No. They are labels / concepts that both point to AE of colour.
What you think you are ie Glennself, is a thought. It's a thought that points (suggest) to colour, sound, sensation and so on and labels it a ‘me’. However, what you are is not a thought. And a thought is not a thought. It is thought that divides this into those 6 categories and then labels them as thought, sound, colour etc. So THIS is not actually appearing as a thought. It is simply appearing as itself..which then thought labels as being thought! Do you say to yourself when a thought appears….”oh look there I am appearing as a thought?” No! All there is, is THIS appearing exactly as it IS…no divisions…no labels, no descriptions.
THIS is above and beyond thought and language, because it’s just THIS. I understand what you’ve written but I won’t write more because I’d like to let it percolate unhurriedly overnight.

Love and thanks

Glenn


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