The non-existent nuisance.

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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:44 am

Hi Vivien,
So for the next few days, I would like to ask you to focus your attention to this sensation as often as you can during the day (hundreds of times).
Just keep the attention on the sensation, and just make a repeated recognition that this sensation is just a sensation. Nothing more.

So just FEEL the sensation as sensation.

The task is to see what is there for what it is.

To give things their true name.

A sensation in the head is a sensation.

And see this again and again and again and again….. hundreds of times.

Please let me know how it goes.
There hasn’t been any grand revelation or new experience, but things have become clearer.
Focusing on just feeling the sensation really helps separate it from visual thoughts, which makes everything much simpler.

Some things I’ve noticed:

There’s relaxation of the sensation when it’s being given attention. Or rather, I don’t notice how much tension there usually is in the sensation until I give it a lot of attention, at which point it relaxes.

There’s less identification with the sensation the more attention I give to it. It becomes more clearly seen as an “object”, rather than being “me” (the subject). Because it’s simplified, being purely sensation only, it’s quite clear upon “feeling” it that it’s not a self, and doesn’t have a self in it. There’s still identification with it most of the time, but upon looking (or feeling) it’s nowhere to be found.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:39 pm

Hi Michael,
There’s less identification with the sensation the more attention I give to it. It becomes more clearly seen as an “object”, rather than being “me” (the subject). Because it’s simplified, being purely sensation only, it’s quite clear upon “feeling” it that it’s not a self, and doesn’t have a self in it. There’s still identification with it most of the time, but upon looking (or feeling) it’s nowhere to be found.
Very good! This is what happens when the sensations are felt only as sensations and labelled just as sensations. Just keep doing this until there is no more need to do it.
There’s relaxation of the sensation when it’s being given attention. Or rather, I don’t notice how much tension there usually is in the sensation until I give it a lot of attention, at which point it relaxes.
Yes, good observation. This contraction gives to the ‘reality effect’ of being me.
There hasn’t been any grand revelation or new experience, but things have become clearer.
Focusing on just feeling the sensation really helps separate it from visual thoughts, which makes everything much simpler.
Very good :)

I replied (on 11 July) to your previous post about alternative perspectives with some questions to look at. Have you seen it?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:56 pm

Sorry Vivien, for some reason I thought I replied to that.
The only thing I can find, in actual experience, is that visual perception is experienced from one point of view only – it’s not experience from “everywhere”. It’s perceived “from the place of the body”. I see “this side” of all objects – the side of the object that the body is on.
This is just a thought story, which is not in line with experience. Can you see this?

Without thought, how is it known that there is a ‘visual perception going on from the place of the body’?
Without thought, can it be known that there is a ‘visual perception going on’ at all?
Visual perception of what? The objects out there?

Is there a distinction between me-inside-the-body and not-me-everything-outside-of-the-body?
There’s nothing in actual experience which shows that “visual perception is going on from the place of the body” - it just is as it is.

I use visual perception, colour, and images interchangeably. I don’t mean anything special by it. It’s not “of the objects out there” or “of anything”, it’s just visual perception / colour.
But… Isn’t this getting a bit close to solipsism? Saying that “my current perspective is the only one?”
I know that we’re not philosophising about worldviews, but could you comment on this?
You are trying to figure this out intellectually, instead of look at the experience directly.
There is NO such thing as ‘my perspective’ at all.
What is the AE of perspective? Is there any?
It’s not directly experienced, but I HAVE to posit experiences or perspectives outside of "this one" otherwise solipsism is exactly what I’m left with. "The only things that exist are what I'm immediately aware of".

I have no direct experience of other perspectives, but I can’t say that there are none.
You are thinking about this and not looking the experience directly. We are not saying at all that there are no alternative perspectives. Since ANY perspective is just a thought speculation. It’s not coming from looking. So both only one or several perspectives are just a stories.

Since perspective itself is just a story. Can you see this?
In experience, I see this.
But... I can’t say that the only things which exist are what appears inside my own experience. There are certainly things that exist outside of “this current experience”, because saying otherwise is solipsism.
If I don’t admit the reality of things outside of my own experience, then Pluto doesn’t exist. Africa doesn’t exist. Donald Trump doesn’t exist as anything other than an image on a screen.
This is my experience, but I can’t say “there’s nothing else”. The “something else” compared to “this” is what I’m calling “another perspective”. Other perspectives OBVIOUSLY don’t arise within my perspective / my awareness / my experience (that’s why they’re OTHER perspectives) but the absence of other perspectives within my own perspective doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

Does it make any difference if I use the word "other experience" rather than "other perspective"?

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:28 am

Hi Michael,
But... I can’t say that the only things which exist are what appears inside my own experience. There are certainly things that exist outside of “this current experience”, because saying otherwise is solipsism.
If I don’t admit the reality of things outside of my own experience, then Pluto doesn’t exist. Africa doesn’t exist. Donald Trump doesn’t exist as anything other than an image on a screen.
This is my experience, but I can’t say “there’s nothing else”. The “something else” compared to “this” is what I’m calling “another perspective”. Other perspectives OBVIOUSLY don’t arise within my perspective / my awareness / my experience (that’s why they’re OTHER perspectives) but the absence of other perspectives within my own perspective doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
You are mixing conventional reality with looking at experience. And then you make all sorts of intellectual, logical and philosophical conclusions.

Yes, conventionally speaking Pluto, Africa and Donald Trump do exist. But when we investigate the self, we cannot get anywhere with conventional ‘truths’. Since conventional truths are the results of thinking, which is exactly what is creating the illusion of the self, by creating concepts. We have to look ‘behind’ this conceptual overlay, and see what is really there without concepts.

When we want to see through the illusion, we cannot use the same tool which created the illusion itself.

But also, making conclusions about conventional reality based on looking at the experience is not working either.

Both, looking at experience and conventional reality are just points of views.
These cannot be mixed.

When these two are mixed then comes up such claims and philosophical conclusions as ‘solipsism’. Which is the result of trying to mix the un-mixable.


Thought will always ‘want’ to understand and intellectualize everything, this is what thoughts are ABOUT: analysing, interpreting, and putting everything into categories or into order, and most of all, conceptualizing the actual experience.

The seeming notion of solipsism is just the result of thoughts trying to interpret ‘conventional reality’ through the conclusion being deducted from looking at experience. But this is so pointless.

This investigation we do here is purely experiential, and we are not going to the territory of thoughts and philosophies.

Rather please talk me about how you looking is going on?
Has it been see that there is no separate self in any shape or form?
Is there any stumbling block that is not clear and you would like to look at?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:40 am

Hi Vivien,
The seeming notion of solipsism is just the result of thoughts trying to interpret ‘conventional reality’ through the conclusion being deducted from looking at experience. But this is so pointless.
This investigation we do here is purely experiential, and we are not going to the territory of thoughts and philosophies.
Okay, I'll take your word on that and will leave that for now.
Rather please talk me about how you looking is going on?
Has it been see that there is no separate self in any shape or form?
Is there any stumbling block that is not clear and you would like to look at?
The looking has been going well. Rather than a "grand realisation" of the absence of self, there just seems to be a subtle dissipation. "The self" still arises just as often, or nearly as often, but in each moment of looking I can't find it. It's actually just the same as with the experience of suffering. The "I" in the sentence "I don't like this" has no referent - it doesn't refer to anything. And likewise, the "I" in the sentence "I am happy" doesn't refer to anything. There's just the awareing-happiness. It's thought that creates the mirage of self, but only thought BELIEVED IN.

It helped when you pointed out that thoughts which say "I haven't realised no-self" weren't actually telling the truth about reality; they were being believed without being questioned. The "I" in the thought "I haven't realised no-self" also has no referent, either.

Any stumbling blocks? Well... Maybe just that the realisation of no-self in all experience doesn't feel "clear", or that it doesn't feel like it's had an effect (apart from the experience of suffering, where it certainly has). I think that really I just need to keep spending time looking for the self each time it arises so that all of "my experience" is "cleared out" and the arising of "self-ing" gets less and less common.

Earlier, there always seemed to be a self which, upon close looking, was nowhere to be found. But it was only absent WHILE LOOKING.
Now, there's confidence in the fact that upon looking, it won't ever be there. I won't EVER find one.

"I can't tell if anything has changed", says thought.
But the "I" doesn't refer to anything.
There's not a radiant happiness or an experience of liberation, and I can feel the imaginary self "lurking just around the corner", ready to pop back up. But it doesn't REALLY matter if it keeps popping back up, because it's not ever really there. Delusion is known to be delusion, rather than delusion being the default state.

Will this understanding keep increasing in clarity with persistent looking?

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:35 am

Hi Michael,
"The self" still arises just as often, or nearly as often, but in each moment of looking I can't find it.
Yes, exactly! This is what we mean by seeing through the illusion of the self.
It's actually just the same as with the experience of suffering. The "I" in the sentence "I don't like this" has no referent - it doesn't refer to anything. And likewise, the "I" in the sentence "I am happy" doesn't refer to anything. There's just the awareing-happiness. It's thought that creates the mirage of self, but only thought BELIEVED IN.
Wonderful :)
It helped when you pointed out that thoughts which say "I haven't realised no-self" weren't actually telling the truth about reality; they were being believed without being questioned. The "I" in the thought "I haven't realised no-self" also has no referent, either.
Yes! Great that you can see this.
Any stumbling blocks? Well... Maybe just that the realisation of no-self in all experience doesn't feel "clear", or that it doesn't feel like it's had an effect (apart from the experience of suffering, where it certainly has). I think that really I just need to keep spending time looking for the self each time it arises so that all of "my experience" is "cleared out" and the arising of "self-ing" gets less and less common.
Ooooo… expectation alert! The amount of selfing has nothing to do with seeing that there is no self!

So does it matter what thought says?
Does it matter how much selfing thoughts are present or not?
What is it that wants the amount of selfing thought to decrease?
Does the selfing thoughts actually need to be decreased? Why? What for?


Thought will continue to appear suggesting that there is a self and that there is subject/object split and that life is happening TO someone/something. Just because thought appears suggesting this…does it make it so?


When you saw that Santa Claus was not real….did life change?
Maybe some expectations subsided because you knew there was no Santa Claus who left presents under the tree. However, life went on. Christmas still comes and goes, Santa is still seen at Christmas time and gifts are still exchanged! Did thoughts about Christmas, Santa Claus etc disappear? No, they still appear. Is there a choice to whether or not they appear? No. Life continues on but is happening to no one. So why is the separate self any different to Santa?
Earlier, there always seemed to be a self which, upon close looking, was nowhere to be found. But it was only absent WHILE LOOKING.
Now, there's confidence in the fact that upon looking, it won't ever be there. I won't EVER find one.
Great! So the belief in the self has fallen away. There is a knowing that the self won’t ever be found. So this knowing has become ‘factual’.
There's not a radiant happiness or an experience of liberation,
Radiant happiness? What does a state of a radiant happiness have to do with seeing that there is no self?

What is it exactly that expects to experience radiant happiness? – look for it


Happiness or peace is a state, and no states are permanent, they are all subject to change. Seeing through the separate individual is not about not having any ‘bad’ or uncomfortable feelings any more. Rather it’s about encompassing all emotions, accepting WHATEVER is arising in this moment (even the so called negative emotions).

Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, with some special qualities (happiness, bliss, constant peace or whatever). However, this is not the case. Seeing through the illusion that there is a separate entity (self) is not a state. When it is SEEN it, the knowledge becomes factual. Many seekers have the impression that seeing there is no self is a state to ‘abide in’. It's not.
or an experience of liberation,
How could be liberation be experienced at all? Is liberation a sound, color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
And what would experience liberation? A thought? A sensation? An image? Or what exactly?

Please stop for a moment and actually search for the one that wants to experience liberation.
What is it wants to experience liberation?
Is there anything separate from experience that could experience liberation?
Is there anything separate from experience that could experience happiness?
Delusion is known to be delusion, rather than delusion being the default state.
Exactly!
Will this understanding keep increasing in clarity with persistent looking?
Definitely yes.

But what else are you looking for than seeing and knowing that there is no self in any shape or form?

Are you waiting for a state where there is no or much less thoughts about ‘me’?

Or what are you waiting and looking for?
And who is waiting and looking for more?
What is missing? And for who?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:20 am

Hey Vivien,
Any stumbling blocks? Well... Maybe just that the realisation of no-self in all experience doesn't feel "clear", or that it doesn't feel like it's had an effect (apart from the experience of suffering, where it certainly has). I think that really I just need to keep spending time looking for the self each time it arises so that all of "my experience" is "cleared out" and the arising of "self-ing" gets less and less common.
So does it matter what thought says?
Does it matter how much selfing thoughts are present or not?
What is it that wants the amount of selfing thought to decrease?
Does the selfing thoughts actually need to be decreased? Why? What for?
No, it doesn’t matter what thought says.
It only seems to matter when thought it believed (which is fairly often – it’s not always “caught” early). But even then, it doesn’t really matter.

Yeah, the only thing that would want selfing thoughts to decrease is another thought. There’s no “I” who cares either way. It’s not even that “I don’t care”, it’s that there’s nothing to care. Nothing that attempts to manipulate anything.
Thought will continue to appear suggesting that there is a self and that there is subject/object split and that life is happening TO someone/something. Just because thought appears suggesting this…does it make it so?
No, definitely not. The only “issue” is believing in thought. But there’s no one for whom it’s an issue.
Is it “better” when thoughts about a self are seen to be false, rather than being believed? Or would wanting “more of that” only be expectation?
When you saw that Santa Claus was not real….did life change? Maybe some expectations subsided because you knew there was no Santa Claus who left presents under the tree. However, life went on. Christmas still comes and goes, Santa is still seen at Christmas time and gifts are still exchanged! Did thoughts about Christmas, Santa Claus etc disappear? No, they still appear. Is there a choice to whether or not they appear? No. Life continues on but is happening to no one. So why is the separate self any different to Santa?
I think the difference is belief in thought.
There was immediately no further belief in thoughts about Santa.
Whereas some of the thoughts about a self are still accidentally, or temporarily, believed. There are so many of them that it’s hard to catch and examine all of them, haha.
Radiant happiness? What does a state of a radiant happiness have to do with seeing that there is no self?
What is it exactly that expects to experience radiant happiness? – look for it
No, nothing, it was just a comment about previous expectations really :)
What is it wants to experience liberation?
Is there anything separate from experience that could experience liberation?
Is there anything separate from experience that could experience happiness?
Nothing – there’s no self to be liberated. Experience is already totally free. Anything arising is fine, and the only thing to say otherwise is a thought which contains a lie (“I don’t like this”) - the “I” being unreal / not referring to anything, and therefore the “not liking this” also being unreal. Experience is as it is – free flowing. Even the feeling of tension in the body (which was previously felt to be “wrong” or “unpleasant”) is just freely appearing, existing, and disappearing.
But what else are you looking for than seeing and knowing that there is no self in any shape or form?
Are you waiting for a state where there is no or much less thoughts about ‘me’?
Or what are you waiting and looking for?
And who is waiting and looking for more?
What is missing? And for who?
There’s not much missing now :) And it feels like it keep getting clearer every day. There only really seems to be one more question, which is about belief in thoughts about self. Not that they’re still arising, but that many of them are still believed (until examined). So, the thoughts about self continue to arise, and they’re not a problem. They can continue to arise with whatever frequency – no one is bothered by the fact that they’re there.

But BELIEF in some of those thoughts still temporarily re-creates the delusion of being a self.
This delusion is factually and experientially known to be false, and upon examination is seen clearly to be false. But there are so many thoughts about self that many of them are just missed, or “slip through unnoticed”.

My question is: should I expect fewer and fewer of these thoughts to be believed in? Or is the fact that many of them are still believed a non-issue? Should there still be a continued effort to investigate and examine thoughts, or is doing so actually keeping an expectation in place?

Even this doesn't really feel like an issue (there's no one for whom it would be a problem), yet the question still seems to want an answer.

Thanks Vivien,

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:51 am

Ps. It's really interesting how this understanding happens.

Not only did nothing in experience actually change (which I knew would be the case), but there wasn't even a moment of "walking through the gateless gate". The understanding seems to be here now, whereas it wasn't before, but I can't find a moment when it happened or occurred. There wasn't even a moment of understanding. No event whatsoever. Even calling it "understanding" makes one imagine an "event of understanding", an "ah I get it now" - but there wasn't even that. There's just understanding, but there was no "moment of arrival" of that understanding. And there's no problem with that, but even expecting there to be a moment of understanding was too much. That in itself was a barrier.

You literally can't expect anything, no matter how subtle. The tiniest expectation creates the feeling of "I haven't got it yet". I thought I wasn't expecting anything (because I knew that experience itself wouldn't change), but I was still subtly expecting "an event of understanding" to happen.

You just have to look, investigate, but don't expect anything to happen. Allow the looking to just bring clarity to experience in its own time.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:08 am

Hi Michael,
Yeah, the only thing that would want selfing thoughts to decrease is another thought. There’s no “I” who cares either way. It’s not even that “I don’t care”, it’s that there’s nothing to care. Nothing that attempts to manipulate anything.
Yes.
Experience is as it is – free flowing. Even the feeling of tension in the body (which was previously felt to be “wrong” or “unpleasant”) is just freely appearing, existing, and disappearing.
Yes, you described it beautifully.
You literally can't expect anything, no matter how subtle. The tiniest expectation creates the feeling of "I haven't got it yet". I thought I wasn't expecting anything (because I knew that experience itself wouldn't change), but I was still subtly expecting "an event of understanding" to happen.
There might have been ‘events of understanding’ but not labelled as such. During our investigation there were several small moments, like when you have seen through the suffering and sufferer, or the stand alone awareness and space in which everything else appears in, or that the sense of self is nothing else than an ordinary sensation. You just simply didn’t label these as ‘events of understanding’, thus the conclusion that these events didn’t happen.
My question is: should I expect fewer and fewer of these thoughts to be believed in? Or is the fact that many of them are still believed a non-issue? Should there still be a continued effort to investigate and examine thoughts, or is doing so actually keeping an expectation in place?
Seeing through the self is just the first step, just the beginning. Only the core belief of being a separate self is seen through which also includes others beliefs that support this idea. However, there are still many conditionings that need undoing. Continuing to LOOK after the realisation is very much the key. There is a huge intricate web of beliefs still intact and can be deconstructed.
And it feels like it keep getting clearer every day. There only really seems to be one more question, which is about belief in thoughts about self.
I give you just one topic to look at this time, but it’s a tricky one :)

What is the difference between a thought being believed and a thought not being believed?

Please, don’t try to analyse this question, or think it through. But rather really look at experience. You can say that this cannot be done since when a thought is believed then there is no looking happening. And yes, this is true, but there is a moment of ‘waking up’, a moment of realization that in the last minute or so thoughts were believed. So try to catch this moment when it’s realized that the previous thought was believed. That moment is the perfect opportunity to investigate experientially the difference between a thought believed and not.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:33 am

Hi Vivien,
What is the difference between a thought being believed and a thought not being believed?
It's hard to see this one!

I can't find a thing called "belief" or "believing".
It seems that for there to be "belief", there would have to be "one who believes" - a believer.
When there's no entity, no believer, what is belief?

Is there just aware-believing? No, I can't find "believing" like I can find "thinking" or "smelling"...

There's a thought, "I am hungry".
There's no "I" in experience, there's just awareing of hunger (or just hunger-awareing).
What is happening when this thought is believed...
What is the difference between the thought "I am hungry" believed and the thought "I am hungry" seen to be false...

I don't know.

I can't see it.

Is there no difference? There certainly SEEMS to be a difference between the two, but I can't find what is it.

Could you offer any help here?

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:19 am

Hi Michael,
I can't find a thing called "belief" or "believing".
It seems that for there to be "belief", there would have to be "one who believes" - a believer.
When there's no entity, no believer, what is belief?
Yes, there is no believer and neither belief. But yet, a seeming believing of thoughts happen.
what is belief?
What is belief? - is a philosophical question, and I can come up several definitions. So it’s better if we don’t go there.
Is there just aware-believing? No, I can't find "believing" like I can find "thinking" or "smelling"...
Yes, exactly. Since believing is just a label on a seeming phenomenon, when the contents of thoughts are taken real.
Is there no difference? There certainly SEEMS to be a difference between the two, but I can't find what is it.
The difference between believing a thought and not believing a thought is very simple, however it’s tricky to put it into words, since language will always imply a doer, believer, seer, etc. So my explanation will be ‘flimsy’ :)

The difference between believing and not believing a thought seeing or focusing only to the content, without seeing/knowing that it’s just a thought, just an imagination.

It’s like zooming in to the content and not seeing the container (the thought itself).
When only the content is seen, it’s not known that it’s a thought only.
But rather what the thought is about becomes ‘reality’. And not seen in the moment, that it’s just an imagination, since it’s not seen only as a verbal or visual thought.

When a thought is not believed then it’s like as if there were a zoom out of the content, and the ‘outside container’, the thought itself is also known. So it’s clear, that whatever that thought is about is just an imagination.

Like when driving the car, and verbal and visual thoughts appear about your last holiday. However, it’s not seen only as visual thoughts with contents, but rather whatever those thoughts are about ‘become alive’. You feel as if you were on the beach walking in the wet sand and feeling the gentle stroke of the wind and not in the car driving.

This is a thought believed. It’s not seen only as a content, it’s not seen that this is just a thought.

Can you see what I am trying to point to?

Can you see that the seeming self arises when the thoughts about the self/me doesn’t seen only as thoughts?

Or when the label ‘me’ over a sensation is not seen only as a thought label, but rather it’s content taken as real, and BUMMM! – the sense of self has emerged?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:05 am

Hi Vivien,
The difference between believing and not believing a thought seeing or focusing only to the content, without seeing/knowing that it’s just a thought, just an imagination.
Right! Okay, yeah, that makes sense.

I’d just like to check my understanding here: Thoughts NEVER say anything true about reality, is that correct? It’s not just that the “I” in a thought has no referent, but rather that ANYTHING that is “said” in a thought is false (or not true). Do I have the right understanding here? If a thought says, “it’s cold today”, there’s no truth to that because “it’s cold today” is just imaginary content?
Like when driving the car, and verbal and visual thoughts appear about your last holiday. However, it’s not seen only as visual thoughts with contents, but rather whatever those thoughts are about ‘become alive’. You feel as if you were on the beach walking in the wet sand and feeling the gentle stroke of the wind and not in the car driving.

This is a thought believed. It’s not seen only as a content, it’s not seen that this is just a thought.

Can you see what I am trying to point to?
Yeah, I see that now. Believing a thought is seeing the content as real. It’s seeing it as content, rather than as container. In reality, all thought is just imagination – mental imagery or words. When we believe a thought, we’re not recognizing that it’s a thought (container)
Can you see that the seeming self arises when the thoughts about the self/me doesn’t seen only as thoughts?
Yeah, it’s only when the thoughts aren’t seen for what they are that the self SEEMS to be there. They’re taken to be reality as opposed to just mental arisings.
Or when the label ‘me’ over a sensation is not seen only as a thought label, but rather it’s content taken as real, and BUMMM! – the sense of self has emerged?
Right, the thought-label “me” being attached to things… I don’t notice this very often because it’s so subtle. It’s not a verbal thought, it’s just a subtle… indication… of “me-ness” that gets overlaid on the body sensation, on facial movements, etc.

Things seem to be slowing down now. There’s no sense of urgency to “see through the self” anymore, because there’s a knowing that it’s never there, even when it seems to be. And that’s nice. A lot of the tension has gone out of experience – there’s less effort to control it. Effort to control still arises, but only until it’s noticed again that there’s no controller. And even when tension remains, it doesn’t matter. Who would mind? The only moments of apparent suffering now are when thoughts about a self are believed. But there’s a peace about that because it’s seen as a fact that there’s never actually anyone who’s suffering, and therefore never any suffering.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:43 am

Hi Michael,
I’d just like to check my understanding here: Thoughts NEVER say anything true about reality, is that correct? It’s not just that the “I” in a thought has no referent, but rather that ANYTHING that is “said” in a thought is false (or not true). Do I have the right understanding here? If a thought says, “it’s cold today”, there’s no truth to that because “it’s cold today” is just imaginary content?
Let’s see what is actually ‘there’ with the thought “It’s cold today”.

There is a sensation which is labelled ‘cold’ + a thought story built around this sensation as: “it’s cold today”.
So there is only the AE of sensation + thought.

Certain thoughts POINT TO AE, like the thought “there is a sensation and a thought”. This thought points directly to the experience, however the thought “It’s cold today” doesn’t point to the experience, but TO THOUGHTS ABOUT the experience.

So contents of thoughts either POINTS TO AE, or POINTS TO THOUGHTS about experience. Is this clear?

But, even the contents of those thoughts that are pointing to AE, is not experienced.
Since the contents are never experienced.
However sometimes the content can point to the experience directly.

So let’s say there is a sensation present. The sensation itself.
Then a thought labels it as ‘sensation’.
Now, the thought label ‘sensation’ is real as an arising thought (as a ‘container), it’s there but the ‘content’ (sensation) is not there. The content of the label cannot be felt. It only POINTS TO the actual sensation itself.

So although certain thoughts POINT TO AE, still the content of those labels are still not ‘real’, not happening, since the content of the label ‘sensation’ cannot be felt/experienced. This label can be experienced only as a thought.
Can you see the difference?

Yeah, I see that now. Believing a thought is seeing the content as real. It’s seeing it as content, rather than as container. In reality, all thought is just imagination – mental imagery or words. When we believe a thought, we’re not recognizing that it’s a thought (container)
Exactly! This is a very important point, since we spend huge amount of time in day not recognizing the container, the presence of a thought, rather just looking at the content as if it were real. And suffering stems from here.

So in the next few days, please pay particular attention to these ‘daydreams’. And when suddenly there is the realization that it wasn’t seen only as a thought phenomenon, then stop for a moment, and investigate what was it that had that experience. Look for the experiencer.

Let me know how it goes.
Yeah, it’s only when the thoughts aren’t seen for what they are that the self SEEMS to be there. They’re taken to be reality as opposed to just mental arisings.
Yes.

But it the situation a bit more complicated, since it’s not just about that the thought is not seen only as a thought. Sensations play a huge role in this illusion. Since when those ‘daydream-story’ goes on there are accompanying sensations present. And thoughts label those sensations as the one who is having that story. Can you see this clearly?
Right, the thought-label “me” being attached to things… I don’t notice this very often because it’s so subtle. It’s not a verbal thought, it’s just a subtle… indication… of “me-ness” that gets overlaid on the body sensation, on facial movements, etc.
Exactly! And this subtle labelling of sensations is giving the reality effect to the story.

The presence of the mislabelled sensations are ‘making’ the story alive, making it into reality (seemingly).

So please watch out for this and try to spot these subtle labelling of sensations as ‘me’ as often as you can remember.

You have to SEE it clearly, again and again, that there is nothing there just a plain sensation.
Things seem to be slowing down now. There’s no sense of urgency to “see through the self” anymore, because there’s a knowing that it’s never there, even when it seems to be. And that’s nice. A lot of the tension has gone out of experience – there’s less effort to control it. Effort to control still arises, but only until it’s noticed again that there’s no controller. And even when tension remains, it doesn’t matter. Who would mind? The only moments of apparent suffering now are when thoughts about a self are believed. But there’s a peace about that because it’s seen as a fact that there’s never actually anyone who’s suffering, and therefore never any suffering.
Beautiful :)

When the effort to control arises, is there an actual effort in it?
Or does effort (efforting) happen effortlessly?


Next time when it happens, try to focus on the effort.
How effort as such is experienced?
Where is the effort in experience?


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:11 am

Hey Vivien,
So contents of thoughts either POINTS TO AE, or POINTS TO THOUGHTS about experience. Is this clear?
Okay, so the content of thought isn’t completely irrelevant – it points either to AE, or to other thoughts. Got it. The content is not actual experience, but often points to actual experience. As container, however, thought is actual experience.
So although certain thoughts POINT TO AE, still the content of those labels are still not ‘real’, not happening, since the content of the label ‘sensation’ cannot be felt/experienced. This label can be experienced only as a thought.
Can you see the difference?
Okay, yes, I’ve got it. That makes more sense than the content being completely irrelevant to experience. It does refer to experience, but the content is still just imaginary / not actual experience.
So in the next few days, please pay particular attention to these ‘daydreams’. And when suddenly there is the realization that it wasn’t seen only as a thought phenomenon, then stop for a moment, and investigate what was it that had that experience. Look for the experiencer.

Let me know how it goes.
Yeah, there’s no one and nothing that “has” the experience or the realisation. Until the daydream is seen as a daydream, it’s just taken to be real. And it’s not exactly that it’s “taken to be real”, rather it’s just not seen as imaginary. Not seen as just the content of thought. When the realisation happens... The previous thought / daydream is seen to have been only a thought / daydream, but there’s no entity anywhere in the experience. The entity is sometimes within the first thought / daydream, but that’s only imaginary content. Upon thought being noticed as thought, the whole contents of the thought (entity included) are seen to be imaginary.
But it the situation a bit more complicated, since it’s not just about that the thought is not seen only as a thought. Sensations play a huge role in this illusion. Since when those ‘daydream-story’ goes on there are accompanying sensations present. And thoughts label those sensations as the one who is having that story. Can you see this clearly?
Yes, the sensation gives the daydream “grounding” in actual experience. It gives it a “place to anchor”, so to speak. The sensation is attributed to the content of the daydream, giving it a false reality.
And this subtle labelling of sensations is giving the reality effect to the story.

The presence of the mislabelled sensations are ‘making’ the story alive, making it into reality (seemingly).

So please watch out for this and try to spot these subtle labelling of sensations as ‘me’ as often as you can remember.
They’re subtle – hard to spot. Facial movement seem to be the main thing that the label “me” attaches to. A raise of the eyebrows, a sigh, even just expressions that the face makes – subtle “me” labels attach to them often. But it’s seen quite clearly, when looked at, that it’s just a combination of a sensation + a subtle thought, the imaginary content of which is “me”. With more looking, they are noticed more often.
When the effort to control arises, is there an actual effort in it?
Or does effort (efforting) happen effortlessly?
No – it’s the same as suffering. There can’t be effort without an “efforter”. There’s nothing to “make an effort”. Even the appearance of what we’d usually call effort, strain, tension... It’s all just appearing effortlessly, without strain, without tension. There’s no entity to whom it can belong, and so never actually exists. Like suffering, it’s “existence” is on a timer – it can only seem to exist for a little while until it’s noticed again that there’s no self, no entity, no “efforter” in experience.
Next time when it happens, try to focus on the effort.
How effort as such is experienced?
Where is the effort in experience?
Effort, strain, tension, suffering... They’re all the same. They’re like a mirage which, when examined, are seen to never have existed. The mirage of effort, of suffering, seems to be there when there’s an APPARENT entity, and apparent “sufferer” or “efforter”. Thought says “I am making a lot of effort”, but the “I” in the thought doesn’t point to anything in actual experience. And because there can’t be effort without an entity, effort doesn’t point to anything in actual experience either. The two things, effort and the one who makes effort, “disappear” simultaneously.

Michael.

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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:18 am

Could we talk a bit about "aware-ing"? Not a standalone awareness which only exists in the imaginary content of thought, but just the aware-ing that's happening now - the aware-ing of seeing, the aware-ing of sensation, the aware-ing of thought... What is this aware-ing?

Until recently, the aware-ing of experience has always been viewed as the faculty of an entity. "My awareness", "I am conscious", etc. But without an entity, there's just colour-awareing, sound-aware-ing, sensation-aware-ing... It seems almost magical. The "everything" is "conscious-ing". Language is failing here.


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