The non-existent nuisance.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Thu May 30, 2019 12:58 am

Hi Michael,

I’m really glad that you did another go with looking at awareness. Your first response was like as if I read a page from one of Rupert Spira’s book :) For those who engaged with Advaita teaching seeing through the notion of awareness is sometimes harder. With your first sets of responds the belief in awareness was so protected that it prevented you from actually looking. You even left out the last two questions (both times) which would point to that directions.

For the time of this investigation, I’d like to ask you to put aside all learned information, and see it for yourself, from your actual experience what is going on. Can you do that? And are you willing to do that, just as an experiment?

My only experience of awareness is “being aware of experience”.
‘Awareness is aware of being aware’ – yes, it SEEMS LIKE that, and this is the BASIS OF THE ILLUSION OF THE SEPARATE SELF.

When it’s seen that a seer, taster, smeller, feeler, thinker, etc. cannot be found, the identification often goes to the seeming appearance of a self-existent, self-aware awareness, which is the knower of everything that appears.
So the identification with the body and the senses (feeler, hearer, thinker, etc) is replaced with a subtle form of identification, “I am that which is aware”…. So there is still some sort of separate entity which is aware and holds and knows all experience (object). And the identification with awareness is an excellent hiding place for the separate self. Since all the seeming realness of the separate self comes from the seeming realness of a standalone awareness. So as long as awareness is not seen for what it is, the belief of the separate self is not really seen through… it’s just hiding behind the notion of a standalone awareness. Do you see this?

This awareness is an ultimate illusion, it really seems very real. But nonetheless, it’s still an illusion. And for those who engaged in non-dual teachings this sometimes can be a serious stumbling block.

Can you entertain the possibility that awareness is not what it seems like?

Do you have a resistance to the notion that awareness might be an illusion too?
If yes, could you please explain why?

I'm feeling frustrated about the apparent existence of "I".
I know intellectually that it's not there.
I never find it when I look for it.
Yet it still feels absolutely real. I still feel like I exist.
What's missing?
Probably the willingness to be open to question the existence of a stand-alone awareness.

I-the-feeling-of-presence = I am awareness

I went back to your introductory post where you wrote this:
When I look for this entity I don't find it, but I don't find anything that CONFIRMS that it's not there, either.
Waiting for a ‘well-defined tangible’ confirmation is just the trick of the ‘mind’/ thoughts.
This is a wrong angle to stat the quest.
What kind of confirmation are you waiting for?
If it cannot be found at all, then it’s not enough confirmation?
Looking, looking, looking but not finding is not enough?

Why? Just because a thought claims that there is such thing as ‘I’, ‘awareness’ or ‘presence’?
Then what? Just because a thought ‘says’, it makes it true?
The point is not to find a ‘definite tangible’ confirmation of the lack of self. IF IT’S NOT THERE, THEN IT’S NOT THERE. Point.
But rather to see that what created the BELIEF IN THE FIRST PALCE, that there is such thing as ‘I’ , ‘awareness’ or ‘presence’.
The combination of looking looking looking and not finding and seeing that the ‘I’ is nothing else than a thought what brings the realization that there has never been a self in any shape or form.

But currently this is very hard to do, and not just because of waiting for a ‘tangible’ confirmation, but also because the belief in awareness = presence hasn’t seen through, and this is keeping the belief in the ‘I’ at place.

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 » Thu May 30, 2019 5:27 am

Hi Vivien,
For the time of this investigation, I’d like to ask you to put aside all learned information, and see it for yourself, from your actual experience what is going on. Can you do that? And are you willing to do that, just as an experiment?
Yes.
‘Awareness is aware of being aware’ – yes, it SEEMS LIKE that, and this is the BASIS OF THE ILLUSION OF THE SEPARATE SELF.
When it’s seen that a seer, taster, smeller, feeler, thinker, etc. cannot be found, the identification often goes to the seeming appearance of a self-existent, self-aware awareness, which is the knower of everything that appears.
So the identification with the body and the senses (feeler, hearer, thinker, etc) is replaced with a subtle form of identification, “I am that which is aware”…. So there is still some sort of separate entity which is aware and holds and knows all experience (object). And the identification with awareness is an excellent hiding place for the separate self. Since all the seeming realness of the separate self comes from the seeming realness of a standalone awareness. So as long as awareness is not seen for what it is, the belief of the separate self is not really seen through… it’s just hiding behind the notion of a standalone awareness. Do you see this?
Yes, I see that I currently have a “hidden identity” in awareness.
Can you entertain the possibility that awareness is not what it seems like?
Yes.
Do you have a resistance to the notion that awareness might be an illusion too?
If yes, could you please explain why?
I don’t have resistance to the idea that awareness is an illusion, but I need you to clarify:
Awareness = noun = unreal. Awareness as an entity, “as a standalone awareness”, doesn’t exist.
Aware-ing = verb = real. But aware-ing only exists in the presence of objects. There’s no such thing as aware-ing by itself. No such thing as “pure aware-ing”.
Is this right?
Probably the willingness to be open to question the existence of a stand-alone awareness.
I am open to it, just struggling.
Waiting for a ‘well-defined tangible’ confirmation is just the trick of the ‘mind’/ thoughts.
This is a wrong angle to stat the quest.
What kind of confirmation are you waiting for?
If it cannot be found at all, then it’s not enough confirmation?
Looking, looking, looking but not finding is not enough?
It should be enough, but nothing happens. Nothing changes. No gateless gate is traversed.
Why? Just because a thought claims that there is such thing as ‘I’, ‘awareness’ or ‘presence’?
Then what? Just because a thought ‘says’, it makes it true?
The point is not to find a ‘definite tangible’ confirmation of the lack of self. IF IT’S NOT THERE, THEN IT’S NOT THERE. Point.
But rather to see that what created the BELIEF IN THE FIRST PALCE, that there is such thing as ‘I’ , ‘awareness’ or ‘presence’.
The combination of looking looking looking and not finding and seeing that the ‘I’ is nothing else than a thought what brings the realization that there has never been a self in any shape or form.
It's not “nothing else than a thought”, though. As you said, it’s thought + sensation + aware-ing + mental image that creates the illusion of a standalone awareness. That’s COMPLEX. That’s not easy to see as an illusion. The subtle mental images, in particular, make it hard. They prevent clear-seeing.
But currently this is very hard to do, and not just because of waiting for a ‘tangible’ confirmation, but also because the belief in awareness = presence hasn’t seen through, and this is keeping the belief in the ‘I’ at place.
At least we know what the issue is :) Haha.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Thu May 30, 2019 6:08 am

Hi Michael,
It should be enough, but nothing happens. Nothing changes. No gateless gate is traversed.
How would it look like if the illusion of self was seen through?

What kind of change do you expect to happen?

How would you recognise it?
It's not “nothing else than a thought”, though. As you said, it’s thought + sensation + aware-ing + mental image that creates the illusion of a standalone awareness. That’s COMPLEX. That’s not easy to see as an illusion. The subtle mental images, in particular, make it hard. They prevent clear-seeing.
But when you look, can you see that the sense of self is just the combination of thoughts, sensations, aware-ing and mental images?

Do you expect to see the self as an illusion 24/7?

but I need you to clarify:
Awareness = noun = unreal. Awareness as an entity, “as a standalone awareness”, doesn’t exist.
Aware-ing = verb = real. But aware-ing only exists in the presence of objects. There’s no such thing as aware-ing by itself. No such thing as “pure aware-ing”.
Is this right?
Yes. But saying that “aware-ing exist in the presence of objects” – is not totally exact description, since it’s still assumes that there is an aware-ing + an object (but it's hard due to dualistic nature of language)

Neither aware-ing, nor the object exist without each other.
Since they are NOT 2 ‘things’.
They are ONE and the SAME.

Awareness is the act of knowing itself; awareness is not the agent caring out the knowing.
There is no noun carrying out the action. Aware-ing is happening, knowing sensations or thoughts is happening, but there’s nothing else there. No agent is behind the knowing.
The object itself is the awareness of it.

Like the two sides a coin. It can look like as if the coin has two characteristics, two sides, head and tail, but actually, there is only ONE COIN there, the head and tail is just a questions of perspective, but not an actual distinction. It's the same coin from both angles.

There is no subject-object separation. Neither subject, nor object can be found independently.
Both subject and object are just inferred by thoughts, by language. But actually none of them are there.
There is only objectknowing, or objectawareing.

But you have to see this for yourself. Don't believe me, look for yourself.

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 » Thu May 30, 2019 6:41 am

Hey Vivien,
How would it look like if the illusion of self was seen through?
I don’t know, but there would be something. A subtle shift. If it was really absolutely nothing at all, Liberation Unleashed wouldn’t exist – haha.
What kind of change do you expect to happen?
Just the experiential recognition that there’s no self anywhere. That “I” don’t exist. That “all this” goes on, just as it is, with no entity present.
How would you recognise it?
Hopefully through your pointing ;)
But when you look, can you see that the sense of self is just the combination of thoughts, sensations, aware-ing and mental images?
No, not really. I can’t see clearly that the sense of self is just those things. Subtle mental images make it really hard to see. When I look, subtle mental images – shapes, colours, emphases – show up and make it hard to see things clearly.
Do you expect to see the self as an illusion 24/7?
Something that I’ve seen repeated on this website is “once it’s seen, it can’t be unseen” - like the belief in Santa being seen as false. And that’s just not the case here. I don’t mind the ILLUSION of self continuing to arise, but instead I remain “lost in it”. I’ve had a couple of glimpses of “no self”, but it doesn’t remain that way for more than ten or so minutes before reverting 100% back to the “normal” way of seeing.
Yes. But saying that “aware-ing exist in the presence of objects” – is not totally exact description, since it’s still assumes that there is an aware-ing + an object (but it's hard due to dualistic nature of language)

Neither aware-ing, nor the object exist without each other.
Since they are NOT 2 ‘things’.
They are ONE and the SAME.

Awareness is the act of knowing itself; awareness is not the agent caring out the knowing.
There is no noun carrying out the action. Aware-ing is happening, knowing sensations or thoughts is happening, but there’s nothing else there. No agent is behind the knowing.
The object itself is the awareness of it.

Like the two sides a coin. It can look like as if the coin has two characteristics, two sides, head and tail, but actually, there is only ONE COIN there, the head and tail is just a questions of perspective, but not an actual distinction. It's the same coin from both angles.

There is no subject-object separation. Neither subject, nor object can be found independently.
Both subject and object are just inferred by thoughts, by language. But actually none of them are there.
There is only objectknowing, or objectawareing.
I understand what you mean.

There’s only one thing, and it’s a verb. It flows as all of this apparent colour, sensation, etc. We could call it “experiencing” or “knowing”. My question is: when all of the “content” of experiencing/knowing subsides, is there anything left? Is there “pure aware-ing”, “pure knowing”, or is “reality” just absolute nothing when there’s no content of experience?

When there is no sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no sense, and no thought – what is left?
Is there absolutely nothing left? Or is there “pure aware-ing” remaining? A "pure potentiality"?

I feel like I’m not getting an answer to this question, but it may just be that I’m missing it!

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Fri May 31, 2019 12:08 am

Hi Michael,
I don’t know, but there would be something. A subtle shift. If it was really absolutely nothing at all, Liberation Unleashed wouldn’t exist – haha.
Sometimes the shift happens in several small shifts and it’s hard to say when seeing through the self has happened exactly.
Something that I’ve seen repeated on this website is “once it’s seen, it can’t be unseen” - like the belief in Santa being seen as false. And that’s just not the case here. I don’t mind the ILLUSION of self continuing to arise, but instead I remain “lost in it”. I’ve had a couple of glimpses of “no self”, but it doesn’t remain that way for more than ten or so minutes before reverting 100% back to the “normal” way of seeing.
There is a misunderstanding here. Just because the self is seen through, it doesn’t mean that ‘being lost in it’ won’t happen again. It WILL! Many times during the day.
In Buddhism, they describe the process of awakening in four stages. Awakening starts with ‘stream entry’, which is the result of seeing that there is no inherently existing self as an agency. This seeing cannot be taken away. However, the illusion still can be taken as a reality, and sometimes it could seem as if there is still a separate self (meaning ‘being lost’ still happens). But when it looked at closely, it’s clear that there is nothing there. As someone goes through the stage of awakening, this sense of self gets weaker and weaker, but it dissolves only at the final stage. So with the first stage (where we usually guide to here at LU), might bring some or lots of relief, and lessening of suffering, but the sense of self after stream entry still can arise (and arises in almost all cases). But there is a difference between the ‘sense of self’ and believing in the inherent existence of a self. But although, seeing that the self is just an illusion cannot be taken away, moments of ‘delusion’ ( = being lost) still happen, but after further looking it’s easy to see that there is no self to cling to.
Here at Liberation Unleashed we guide to stream entry. But for many, there is an expectation that the sense of self will be gone completely, never asserting itself ever again (not being lost any more). But this is not the case. Due to a lifetime of conditioning, self-constructs still arise out of habit. It needs time and lots of further looking for it to gradually dissolve.

Suffering happens when being lost in thoughts happens. It means that the thoughts in that moment are not seen only as arising thoughts (only as ‘containers’ coming and going), but rather their ‘content’, what they are about is taken as reality. And of course, since each thought is about the self, the self is taken as something real. And this, let’s call ‘delusion’ still can happen even after seeing the illusion of the self. But when it’s investigated, it can be seen for what it is. But there is no guaranty that in the next moment the story of a self won’t reassert itself. It’s a habit of the mind. It’s a conditioned pattern of thinking. It’s the result of a life-long conditioning. But upon each looking it gets a little bit weaker and weaker.

Also, personality problems, traumas, emotional pains don’t dissolve just because of seeing no self. So all the conditioned reactions that stem from them still can arise. However, if someone decides to work on these, it’s usually much easier after seeing no-self.
My question is: when all of the “content” of experiencing/knowing subsides, is there anything left? Is there “pure aware-ing”, “pure knowing”, or is “reality” just absolute nothing when there’s no content of experience?
This question is based on the assumption that there is object-subject relation going on. That there is such thing as an independent thought or sensation, which could come and go, IN and OUT of awareness.

It’s assumes that there is content (object) and awareness (subject) which the content (objects) appear IN.
Thus, when all objects (content) subsides (go OUT from awareness) then what remains of the subject (pure awareness).
This question assumes that object (content = thoughts, sensation, sound, etc) CAN BE SEPARATED from the subject (the aware-ing awareness).

So this questions is still based on the belief that there is an independent awareness with the quality of being aware, and there are independent objects (content), which is held IN awareness, and could subside from awareness.

Can you see that this question is still based on the belief that there is an independent awareness and independent objects?
When there is no sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no sense, and no thought – what is left?
Is there absolutely nothing left? Or is there “pure aware-ing” remaining? A "pure potentiality"?
We don’t have to remove objects in order to see if there is pure awareness or not.

There is hearing/sound going on, but is there an independent hearer doing the hearing of a sound?
Sensation/sensing is going on, but is there a feeler doing the feeling of the sensation?
Is there a taster of the taste?
Is there a smeller of a smell?
Is there a thinker of a thought?


What we are investigating whether there is a ‘thing’ called awareness that is DOING the KNOWINIG. A SUBJECT.

The assumption is that there are 3 things present:
1. SUBJECT = AWARENESS that is doing the aware-ing or knowing
2. OBJECT (thought, sound, smell, taste, sensation, image = experience)
3. The act of ‘knowing’ or ‘aware-ing’ that is seemingly linking the two, the subject and the objects

Saying that there is an awareness knowing the experience, is the same as saying that there is a feeler of sensations, smeller of smells, hearer of sounds. But with awareness the experience is not broken down to its parts (to sensations, thoughts, smells, etc), but rather kept as a whole, called experience, and awareness is the doer having or knowing the experience. So it’s believed that awareness is the experiencer of the experience.

In order to say, that there is an independently existing subject and an independently existing object, they have to be there without one another. So there has to be a stand-alone thought or sensation without the knowing or aware-ing of it, and also there has to be an awareness = knower without objects (thought, sensation, etc.).

So we have to have an experiential proof that they exist without each other.

So we have to be able to completely separate the knower (awareness as a subject) from the known or aware-ed (as an object, like thought, sensation).


But now, try to peel off the sound from the knowing of it. Do everything you can to separate the two. Not just think about it, but really try to separate them, to have one at the one side and the other on the other side. So how it goes?


Try to find the sound without the knowing or aware-ing of it. How a sound without knowing looks like?


If you can successfully separate awareness from the sound, then you have awareness at the one side, and sound on the other side, without touching each other. So look to the awareness side. How does the pure awareness looks like? What is there?

I ask you to do this to have an experience of the impossibility of it. To have a hands-on experience so to speak, until no doubt is left that there is either a stand-alone (without the knowing of it), or a stand-alone awareness.

Now, repeat this with a sensation. Try your best to separate them. So?
How does a sensation without aware-ing looks like?
Is there such thing as sensation without the knowing of it? – really look for it, not just think
How does awareness look like when it’s separated from the sensation?


Put some food in front of you. Smell it.
Try to best to separate the smell from the knowing of it.
How does a smell without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is awareness like when it’s separated from the smell?


Now, start to eat and pay attention to the taste.
Again, try to best to separate the smell from the knowing of it.
How does a taste without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is there on the awareness side when it’s separated from the taste?


Now, look at the food. Be aware of the visual sight.
Try to best to separate the sight from the knowing of it.
How does a sight without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is there on the awareness side when it’s separated from the image?


Look at these repeatedly many many times. 10-20 or more. Repeat until it’s utterly clear that there is no doer, knower, experiencer, aware-er… there is only knowing or aware-ing going on… but there is no awareness.

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 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:29 am

Hi Vivien,

I have to be blunt here. I hope you'll understand.
My question is: when all of the “content” of experiencing/knowing subsides, is there anything left? Is there “pure aware-ing”, “pure knowing”, or is “reality” just absolute nothing when there’s no content of experience?
This question is based on the assumption that there is object-subject relation going on. That there is such thing as an independent thought or sensation, which could come and go, IN and OUT of awareness.

It’s assumes that there is content (object) and awareness (subject) which the content (objects) appear IN.
Thus, when all objects (content) subsides (go OUT from awareness) then what remains of the subject (pure awareness).
This question assumes that object (content = thoughts, sensation, sound, etc) CAN BE SEPARATED from the subject (the aware-ing awareness).

So this questions is still based on the belief that there is an independent awareness with the quality of being aware, and there are independent objects (content), which is held IN awareness, and could subside from awareness.

Can you see that this question is still based on the belief that there is an independent awareness and independent objects?
No, I'm not making that assumption. That's why I put "content" in quotation marks.
I understand that there's not a subject and an object, a knower and a known.
There's only "aware-ing" or "knowing".
I can't state it perfectly because language doesn't work here. Please see what I'm trying to ask.
We don’t have to remove objects in order to see if there is pure awareness or not.

There is hearing/sound going on, but is there an independent hearer doing the hearing of a sound?
Sensation/sensing is going on, but is there a feeler doing the feeling of the sensation?
Is there a taster of the taste?
Is there a smeller of a smell?
Is there a thinker of a thought?

What we are investigating whether there is a ‘thing’ called awareness that is DOING the KNOWINIG. A SUBJECT.

The assumption is that there are 3 things present:
1. SUBJECT = AWARENESS that is doing the aware-ing or knowing
2. OBJECT (thought, sound, smell, taste, sensation, image = experience)
3. The act of ‘knowing’ or ‘aware-ing’ that is seemingly linking the two, the subject and the objects

Saying that there is an awareness knowing the experience, is the same as saying that there is a feeler of sensations, smeller of smells, hearer of sounds. But with awareness the experience is not broken down to its parts (to sensations, thoughts, smells, etc), but rather kept as a whole, called experience, and awareness is the doer having or knowing the experience. So it’s believed that awareness is the experiencer of the experience.

In order to say, that there is an independently existing subject and an independently existing object, they have to be there without one another. So there has to be a stand-alone thought or sensation without the knowing or aware-ing of it, and also there has to be an awareness = knower without objects (thought, sensation, etc.).
I understand this completely.
I said in my previous post:
I understand what you mean.
There’s only one "thing", and it’s a verb. It flows as all of this apparent colour, sensation, etc. We could call it “experiencing” or “knowing”.
You’re copy/pasting responses without really reading what I’m saying.

There is no subject – no “standalone awareness”.
There is no object – no standalone “thoughts” or “sensations”
There is only thoughtawareing, senseawareing, smellawareing, sightawareing, etc.

Now: when there’s no “thoughtawareing” happening, there can still be senseawareing, smellawareing, sightawareing, etc, correct? You can have senseawareing, soundawareing, etc, without thoughtawareing? Not all “types of aware-ing” must be present all the time, correct?

So what about when there’s no thoughtawareing, no senseawareing, no sightawareing, no smellawaring, no tasteawareing, no soundawareing? What about when NONE of those “flavours” of aware-ing are present? What remains? Anything or nothing?

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Fri May 31, 2019 7:58 am

Hi Michael,

Please read very carefully my comments bellow. Try to put aside any emotions or reactions that might come up. Otherwise those emotions / reactions can prevent you seeing what I’m trying to point to.
And please read my comments bellow SEVERAL TIMES before replying. All right?
I understand what you mean.
There’s only one "thing", and it’s a verb. It flows as all of this apparent colour, sensation, etc. We could call it “experiencing” or “knowing”.
You’re copy/pasting responses without really reading what I’m saying.
I was totally aware of your above comment when I wrote my replies.

On one hand, you’re saying that you can see it clearly that there is only one thing, but at the same time you ask a question which is in total CONTRADICTION with your statement that it’s clear that object and subject cannot be separated.

Your above comment is the reason why I commented on your question.
To point out for you the CONTRADICTION with what you state and what you ask.
You’re not seeing that your question itself is FAULTY, since it’s based on DUALITY.
Trying to get an answer based on duality, won’t help.

Chasing to getting an answer to a ‘faulty’, duality-based question, won’t work, it’s destined to fail.
Rather you have to QUESTION THE DUALITY BASED QUESTION ITSELF.
No, I'm not making that assumption. That's why I put "content" in quotation marks.
I understand that there's not a subject and an object, a knower and a known.
Do you understand it EXPERIENTIALLY, or you understand it intellectually?

So either:

- you don’t see it clearly (experientially) that there is no object-subject relation
OR
- you’re not seeing that your question is based on false grounds.

There's only "aware-ing" or "knowing".

You see, here is the problem. And where is the object?
Where is the other side of the coin?

Let’s say that the head is ‘aware-ing’, and the tail is ‘thought’ or ‘sensation’.
You’re saying that there is only one ‘thing’, by saying that there is only the head (aware-ing), and ignoring the tail (thought or sensation).

Saying that there is only ‘aware-ing’ or ‘knowing’ is STILL about believing in awareness.
Just now you use a verb, instead of a noun.

And where is the tail? What happened to it? Where did it go? Did it dissolved into aware-ing, and thus only aware-ing or know-ing left?
I can't state it perfectly because language doesn't work here. Please see what I'm trying to ask.
I’m clear on what you’re asking.

But you’re not seeing that you’re question assumes that there is an independent awareness.

If it would be utterly clear, that thoughts cannot be separated from the knowing of it, you wouldn’t ask the question, because you would see the impossibility to have a pure awareness left without objects.

You’re rushing through my comments and questions, because you assume that I don’t understand your or I don’t pay attention what you’re writing to me.

But just because I ask repeated questions, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t pay attention.
The reason why I ask repeated questions is EXACTLY because I PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR REPLIES.
I’m trying to show you the CONTRADICTION between your STATEMENT and QUESTION.

Looking repeatedly is NEVER a problem. Actually, it’s necessary. It’s essential to look again and again and again the SAME THING AGAIN AND AGAIN. This whole inquiry is about looking looking looking and not finding. And this is what will bring the realization.
There is no subject – no “standalone awareness”.
There is no object – no standalone “thoughts” or “sensations”
There is only thoughtawareing, senseawareing, smellawareing, sightawareing, etc.
Yes, now this comment is corresponding with the AE.

But your above comment, which states that there is only aware-ing or know-ing is not. Since it’s left out the tail of the coin. It’s like saying that there is only one side of a coin.
Now: when there’s no “thoughtawareing” happening, there can still be senseawareing, smellawareing, sightawareing, etc, correct? You can have senseawareing, soundawareing, etc, without thoughtawareing? Not all “types of aware-ing” must be present all the time, correct?
Yes, but then what? As long as just one aspect of experience is there, there is still aware-ing going on.

Let’s say, there is just only thought present (nothing else), but the thought cannot be separated from the knowing of it, since there is no independent thought, nor an independent awareness, but only thoughtawareing, or thoughtkowing.
Then how the question even arise that what is left if the thought is gone?

The thought is never gone by itself, since there is no independent thought.
Only thoughtawareing can be gone (both head and tail).


So if thoughtawareing gone, not just the thought (tail), but the awaring part of it too (head), then is there anything left of the coin?

Isn’t it clear if both the head and tail is left, then nothing is left of the coin?


You wrote yourself this before:
But I can't "remove" all of the objects of experience in order to see whether or not awareness exists in the absence of all experience.
So you cannot verify in AE if there is awareness left without objects.
You also cannot separate any object from the knowing of it.

Then how is the assumption of a pure awareness or pure potentiality is made?
What is making this assumption?
So what about when there’s no thoughtawareing, no senseawareing, no sightawareing, no smellawaring, no tasteawareing, no soundawareing? What about when NONE of those “flavours” of aware-ing are present? What remains? Anything or nothing?
Please read very carefully what I’m writing bellow:

This question asks, if both head and tail are gone, then can there be anything left?
Probably the head (pure awareness)?
Can you see the ‘fault’ in this question?


What remains? Anything or nothing?

My job is not to give an answer to your question. My job is to point you to see it for yourself.

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 » Fri May 31, 2019 10:03 am

Hi Vivien,

Thanks for the detailed response.
And please read my comments bellow SEVERAL TIMES before replying. All right?
I always do.

For the sake of communication, what word would you use for the reality that is the combination of thoughtawareing, senseawareing, sightawareing, smellawaring, tasteawareing, and soundawareing?
Could we call it “experiencing”?
Could we say that “experiencing” is the combination of aware-ing and objects?
Could we say that there’s no standalone aware-ing, and no standalone objects; in reality there’s only “experiencing”?

Disclaimer 1: I know that experiencing (if we do use that word) is not actually a “combination of two things”, just as a coin isn’t a combination of the two sides.
Disclaimer 2: I know that we can’t ever accurately label reality – no word will perfectly describe it.
I understand that there's not a subject and an object, a knower and a known.
Do you understand it EXPERIENTIALLY, or you understand it intellectually?
I don’t even know. I feel like I understand it experientially, but that can't be the case if I'm having this much difficulty.
There is no subject – no “standalone awareness”.
There is no object – no standalone “thoughts” or “sensations”
There is only thoughtawareing, senseawareing, smellawareing, sightawareing, etc.
Yes, now this comment is corresponding with the AE.
This is what I was trying to say the whole time, just not using the correct language I guess.
As long as just one aspect of experience is there, there is still aware-ing going on.
Does anything remain when that final aspect of experience isn’t there?
Isn’t it clear if both the head and tail is left, then nothing is left of the coin?
Yes. But what about when all six coins are gone? (The six coins being thoughtawareing, senseawareing, sightawareing, smellawaring, tasteawareing, and soundawareing).
This question asks, if both head and tail are gone, then can there be anything left?
Probably the head (pure awareness)?
Can you see the ‘fault’ in this question?
I see the fault, but that’s not how I'm formulating the question.
I’m not suggesting that something remains; I’m asking if anything remains.
Then how is the assumption of a pure awareness or pure potentiality is made?
What is making this assumption?
I’m not making any assumption; I’m asking.

Let me see if I can lay it out differently. I am referring to my actual experience, even though you think I'm not ;)

I cannot verify, in actual experience, what exists (or doesn’t exist) in the absence of thoughtawareing, senseawareing, sightawareing, smellawaring, tasteawareing, and soundawareing (experiencing). This is because I cannot remove all of experiencing in order to “take a look”.

However:

I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of thoughtawareing alone.
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of senseawareing alone.
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of sightawareing alone.
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of smellawaring alone.
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of tasteawareing alone.
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of soundawareing alone.

In my experience, all aspects of experiencing can individually be removed.
But there remains the question: can ALL aspects of experiencing disappear?
If so: what, if anything remains?
If not: what prevents all aspects of experience from disappearing, when they can disappear individually?
My job is not to give an answer to your question. My job is to point you to see it for yourself.
I can’t see it for myself – I’ve tried.
I can’t “get there” in actual experience because I can’t remove all of experiencing in order to take a look.

But, that alone does not answer the question because there’s far more to reality than my own experience; I’m not a solipsist. The fact that I can't force all of experiencing to leave doesn't mean that it can't all leave, especially given the following:
a) each aspect can be removed individually.
b) there are "places" where all aspects could theoretically be gone (such as deep sleep, nirvikalpa samadhi, or death).
c) the "individual" has no control over experience anyway.

Can you see why I'm stuck here?

What is your experience with this?
Can all of experiencing disappear or not?
Is there anything left, or not?
I don't think I'm going to be able to move past this.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:29 am

Hi Michael,
Thank you for your precise description. It’s getting clearer for me what might cause the confusion.
For the sake of communication, what word would you use for the reality that is the combination of thoughtawareing, senseawareing, sightawareing, smellawaring, tasteawareing, and soundawareing?
Could we call it “experiencing”?
All right. Let’s call it that.
V: Isn’t it clear if both the head and tail is left, then nothing is left of the coin?
M: But what about when all six coins are gone? (The six coins being thoughtawareing, senseawareing, sightawareing, smellawaring, tasteawareing, and soundawareing).
With my above question this is exactly what I asked (what if all six coins are gone). Probably it wasn’t totally clear but I started my example with: “Let’s say, there is just only thought present (nothing else)”. So my above question was about what is left if the last coin is gone too?
I see the fault, but that’s not how I'm formulating the question.
I’m not suggesting that something remains; I’m asking if anything remains.
Maybe you’re not suggesting it, but your question inherently suggesting it. Can you see this?
You are asking it with a question which is based on the assumption of duality (subject-object separation).
But if it were totally clear that there cannot be aware-ing going on without the awared, head without tail, then this questions wouldn’t come up.
I don't think I'm going to be able to move past this.
I wouldn’t allow it :) since this is quite important. We will investigate this is long as it takes. No matter how long that would be. Can we agree on this?
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of thoughtawareing alone.
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of senseawareing alone.
No. And this is one of the causes of the confusion.

Let me leave out the ‘awaring’ endings for an easier communication.

There is NO AE of the ABSENSE of anything.
When there is no sensation, the absence of sensation cannot be experienced.
Only thoughts make the comment that the sensation is gone, or it’s not there.

When a thought is not present, there is NO AE of the absence of the thought.

Let’s say there is the AE of thought A + sensation + sound present.
Then thought A disappears, and only the sensation and the sound are left.
And then thought B appears ‘saying’ that thought A is gone, absent.
And in that moment when thought B appears, there is the AE of thought B + sensation + sound.
But the lack or the absence of thought A is NEVER actually experienced.
What is not there, the lack of something cannot be experienced. It’s only inferred by thoughts.

Only what is present can be experience, what isn’t cannot. Only the contents of thoughts make that claim.


And although the presence of thought B is actually experience, the ‘content’, what the thought is about “that thought A is gone” cannot be experienced. The content is NEVER actually experienced, only the ‘container’, the thought itself. Is this clear?

To make it experiential, not just intellectual, I’d like to ask you to sit with closed eyes about for 5 minutes, and just observe the coming and going of thoughts, sensations, sounds, etc. And pay particular attention to the absence of any of those.

Can the absence of sensation be actually experienced?
Can the absence of thought be experienced?
Can the absence of sound be experienced?
Can the absence of smell be experienced?
Can the absence of taste be experienced?
Cant the absence of sight be experienced?
Can the absence of a mental images be experienced?

Can the absence of anything be experienced?


Please look for the above questions one-be-one. Examine each sense perceptions to have an experiential understanding.
each aspect can be removed individually.

Breaking up experience into 6 elements is ARTIFICIAL. We do it only for the sake of the investigation. We use this only as a tool to see the difference between what can be directly experience and thoughts about AE.

‘In reality’ experience doesn’t have 6 elements, it isn’t divided up into sections.
This division can be done only conceptually, only in thoughts.
Without thought, without the conceptual overlay there is no division in experience.
The elements are blended together into one seamless experience.

But again, let’s have an experimental understanding on this. Now sit for about 10-15 minutes again, and look at the experience itself:

Where does a thought end and a sensation starts?
Is there a border or a dividing line between a thought or a sensation?

Where does a sound end and a thought starts?
Is there a dividing line or a border between sound and thought?

Or just take a thought. Does it have edges, or an outline?
And what about a sound? Does a sound have edges or an outline?


See in experience that there aren’t any lines or borders where one part of the experience ends and an another one starts. Can you see this?

So when we say that some elements can be removed individually, then it’s just a thought interpretation, a conceptual overlay on the experience.

When there is only a thought + sensation + sound as one unit called experience, the experience doesn’t suggest in any way that 3 other elements are missing or removed.
Only the content of thoughts suggest this. But the experience itself doesn’t come self-labelled as “I’m missing 3 of my elements”, or “3 of my elements have been removed”.
Can you see this?
But, that alone does not answer the question because there’s far more to reality than my own experience; I’m not a solipsist.
This has nothing to do with solipsism, which is the view or theory that the self or one’s own mind is all that can be known to exist. So let put this idea aside.

Conventionally speaking there are lots of things that exist outside direct experience, like electricity, gravity, harmony, etc. 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.

Conventionally speaking concepts are very useful and essential to navigate in live. But when we want to see through the illusion, we cannot use the same tool which created the illusion itself.

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.
And it’s not problematic of itself. But for this investigation we have to stick to the pure experience, BEFORE any thought interpretation.

Why? Because the whole illusion is mainly created by thoughts. The self is just a concept. It’s not a real thing. It’s a fantasy. It’s a mirage in the desert. For a newborn baby, there is no concept of self. For the newborn there is only pure experiencing. And just later, when language is introduced, the concept of a self emerges, out of the thin air. It’s just a fabrication, but with time this fabrication is taken as reality. And what is the problem with that? It’s suffering. Only a self could suffer.

So for the infant there is only pure experiencing. Sight, sound, taste, smell, sensation. She is in direct contact with experience. But as cognition develops she starts to conceptualize her experience. Putting everything into categories, labelling the experience, etc. And of itself it’s not problematic. But this conceptualization is overlaying the experience, and it gets thicker and thicker. And at some point she hardly can access her direct experience, since she can only see the conceptual overlay. Like seeing everything through a pink tinted glass. At some point pinkness gets so natural (used to), that she even stops knowing/seeing that everything is just coloured pink, but not in reality. And at that point this conceptual overlay is believed to be THE TRUTH. Pink becomes the ultimate truth. The pinkness distorts our perception of what is really going on.

Whatever thoughts ‘say’, is the truth/reality from now on. This is how humans live their lives. We hardly can connect with our immediate experience since we believe that the overlaying thought concepts are all there is. And of course concepts are very useful when solving a problem, building a bridge or a house. But concepts/thoughts are just tools. But for humans the tool itself is overthrown what is really happening and creating all sorts of problems. This tool cannot be turned off. It’s like having a hammer as tool. The hammer is very useful for hitting the nail into the wall, but it’s not so useful for making dinner. But for humans, thoughts (the hammer) cannot be switched off, and we hammer everything with thoughts.
Thoughts, as a tool, has its place and value when a problem needs to be solved, but when the task is done, we should be able to put the tool (thoughts) down and just rest in the natural peace of experience. But thoughts are constantly on in forms of self-referencing narrating talks. Which is the basis of human delusion and suffering.

But the aim is not to stop these overlays from appearing, but rather to see them for what they really are. The overlay of in itself is not problematic, as long as we see that it’s just an overlay.

This is why we have to stick to our immediate experience while doing this investigation. Not to devaluate thoughts and concepts, but rather to see what is really going on ‘behind the scenes’. When investigating the nature of reality and the self we cannot use the same tool which created the illusion itself on the first place.

Now, I’d like to ask you to check if you can experience anything outside of the 5 senses.

We leave out thoughts, since although the thought as ‘container’ can be experienced, but the content of thoughts, what the thoughts are about are not. This is the same for mental images (which is just a pictorial thought).

Take a cup or any object into your hands. And investigate if you can experience the cup in any other way then with the 5 senses. Can you?

Can you experience in any other way than with the 5 senses?


Look carefully. Don’t just think, but really try to experience outside the 5 senses.

We will come back to your remaining comments and questions later. This reply is already way too long.

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 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:54 am

Hi Vivien,
I don't think I'm going to be able to move past this.
I wouldn’t allow it :) since this is quite important. We will investigate this is long as it takes. No matter how long that would be. Can we agree on this?
Okay :) Thank you.
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of thoughtawareing alone.
I can verify, in actual experience, an absence of senseawareing alone.
There is NO AE of the ABSENSE of anything.
When there is no sensation, the absence of sensation cannot be experienced.
Only thoughts make the comment that the sensation is gone, or it’s not there.

Let’s say there is the AE of thought A + sensation + sound present.
Then thought A disappears, and only the sensation and the sound are left.
And then thought B appears ‘saying’ that thought A is gone, absent.
And in that moment when thought B appears, there is the AE of thought B + sensation + sound.
But the lack or the absence of thought A is NEVER actually experienced.
What is not there, the lack of something cannot be experienced. It’s only inferred by thoughts.

Only what is present can be experience, what isn’t cannot. Only the contents of thoughts make that claim.

And although the presence of thought B is actually experience, the ‘content’, what the thought is about “that thought A is gone” cannot be experienced. The content is NEVER actually experienced, only the ‘container’, the thought itself. Is this clear?
Right! I see this now! I was definitely making that mistake – I was taking the thought’s content “thought was not present” as an actual reference to reality. I was taking it to be real. When there was no thought, there was no actual experience of an absence of thought - it just didn’t even come up.
To make it experiential, not just intellectual, I’d like to ask you to sit with closed eyes about for 5 minutes, and just observe the coming and going of thoughts, sensations, sounds, etc. And pay particular attention to the absence of any of those.

Can the absence of sensation be actually experienced?
Can the absence of thought be experienced?
Can the absence of sound be experienced?
Can the absence of smell be experienced?
Can the absence of taste be experienced?
Cant the absence of sight be experienced?
Can the absence of a mental images be experienced?
I spent time with each aspect of experience, but I’ll answer them below in one go so that I don’t end up repeating myself six times. The answer is the same in each case :)
Can the absence of anything be experienced?
No! Only the presence, the existence, the “is-ness” of things can be experienced! “Absence” can only ever exist within the content of thought, which means it doesn’t really exist. When there’s no sensation, there’s not “an absence of sensation”. “An absence of sensation” isn’t something that exists. It’s not something that’s experienced.
Only thought can imagine an absence of taste. There’s no such thing as “an absence of taste” in reality. An absence can’t exist. It can’t be experienced. It doesn’t really even make sense to say “there was an absence of taste”. “There was” and “absence” contradict each other. And it’s exactly the same for all of the aspects of experience.
Breaking up experience into 6 elements is ARTIFICIAL. We do it only for the sake of the investigation. We use this only as a tool to see the difference between what can be directly experience and thoughts about AE.

‘In reality’ experience doesn’t have 6 elements, it isn’t divided up into sections.
This division can be done only conceptually, only in thoughts.
Without thought, without the conceptual overlay there is no division in experience.
The elements are blended together into one seamless experience.
Right, okay, and this “blend” (not really a blend) is what we’re calling “experiencing”.
Where does a thought end and a sensation starts?
Is there a border or a dividing line between a thought or a sensation?
No, there’s no border or diving line. The thought is located “everywhere and nowhere”. It fills all of experience (there’s no place where the thought ISN’T), but it has no PARTICULAR location. And the body sensation just appears “here”. There’s no conflict between the two – they’re present at the same time without division or conflict.
Where does a sound end and a thought starts?
Is there a dividing line or a border between sound and thought?
Same as above. No diving line. Only thought separates them into two things.
Or just take a thought. Does it have edges, or an outline?
And what about a sound? Does a sound have edges or an outline?
No. No edges. No outlines. No location. The thought just is.
See in experience that there aren’t any lines or borders where one part of the experience ends and an another one starts. Can you see this?
Yeah absolutely, experience isn’t divided at all. It’s one “thing”, or rather, one “verb-ing”. One "happening".
So when we say that some elements can be removed individually, then it’s just a thought interpretation, a conceptual overlay on the experience.

When there is only a thought + sensation + sound as one unit called experience, the experience doesn’t suggest in any way that 3 other elements are missing or removed.
Only the content of thoughts suggest this. But the experience itself doesn’t come self-labelled as “I’m missing 3 of my elements”, or “3 of my elements have been removed”.
Can you see this?
That’s right, yes. I see that clearly now. There’s no absence of anything outside of the thought that mentions it.
So for the infant there is only pure experiencing. Sight, sound, taste, smell, sensation. She is in direct contact with experience. But as cognition develops she starts to conceptualize her experience. Putting everything into categories, labelling the experience, etc. And of itself it’s not problematic. But this conceptualization is overlaying the experience, and it gets thicker and thicker. And at some point she hardly can access her direct experience, since she can only see the conceptual overlay. Like seeing everything through a pink tinted glass. At some point pinkness gets so natural (used to), that she even stops knowing/seeing that everything is just coloured pink, but not in reality. And at that point this conceptual overlay is believed to be THE TRUTH. Pink becomes the ultimate truth. The pinkness distorts our perception of what is really going on.

Whatever thoughts ‘say’, is the truth/reality from now on. This is how humans live their lives. We hardly can connect with our immediate experience since we believe that the overlaying thought concepts are all there is. And of course concepts are very useful when solving a problem, building a bridge or a house. But concepts/thoughts are just tools. But for humans the tool itself is overthrown what is really happening and creating all sorts of problems. This tool cannot be turned off. It’s like having a hammer as tool. The hammer is very useful for hitting the nail into the wall, but it’s not so useful for making dinner. But for humans, thoughts (the hammer) cannot be switched off, and we hammer everything with thoughts.
This brings up a question for me.
I can understand the absence of self in this example you’re giving, but I’m finding it hard to relate it to my experience because it’s using the language of “people, places, things” (I understand that you’re just speaking relativistically here). I can understand “no self” pretty easily in the materialist/naturalist model of reality, where “we” are all just bodies in the world, biological machines made of matter, and there’s no inherent “self” located anywhere within the body. But I’ve already forsaken the materialist world view.
I think I’m still struggling with the question of what the “fundamental” reality is. What it's "made of", for lack of a better term.
In the material model it’s matter.
In the Advaita teachings it’s awareness.
But after putting aside those teachings I don’t have a good grasp, experientially or otherwise, of what reality is. And that may be getting in the way of clear seeing because it makes it hard to tell which parts of experience are real and which are imagined.
Can you offer any guidance here?
Take a cup or any object into your hands. And investigate if you can experience the cup in any other way then with the 5 senses. Can you?
There’s the sight of it. Colour. Sight also includes “everything else” too. I can’t only see the cup.
There the feel of it – sensation. Cold. Hard. Smooth.
There’s not really a smell. Perhaps a mild smell of “old water”.
There’s no sound. I can’t hear anything from the cup. When I tap it, however, there is sound.
It doesn’t really have a taste :)
Can I experience it in any other way...
Imagination / memory... But those are just thought.
I seem to be experiencing it’s existence, but that’s not really the existence of the cup. That’s just the existence of the visual perception, sensation, etc.

No, I can only experience anything with the 5 senses – there’s nothing “outside” of that.

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:24 am

Hi Michael,
You did an excellent looking.
I think I’m still struggling with the question of what the “fundamental” reality is. What it's "made of", for lack of a better term.
In the material model it’s matter.
In the Advaita teachings it’s awareness.
But after putting aside those teachings I don’t have a good grasp, experientially or otherwise, of what reality is. And that may be getting in the way of clear seeing because it makes it hard to tell which parts of experience are real and which are imagined.
Can you offer any guidance here?
Does the baby ask the question what reality is made of? Does a baby even have a concept of reality? Is there really such thing as an ‘ultimate/fundamental reality’ or is it just another mental construct = thought?

You’re asking an intellectual question, which is just the content of a thought.
I can translate your question into this: What does the word ‘reality’ actually point to?
How ‘reality’ is experienced?


There is no such thing as ‘reality’ or ‘ultimate reality’ or ‘fundamental reality’. Since these are just concepts.
In the material model it’s matter – this is a point of view – which ‘exist’ only as a thought
In Advaita, it’s awareness – this is another point of view – which is also just a concept

Thoughts, which ‘created’ the concept of reality, now trying to grasp this concept and wants to make it into a ‘tangible or graspable thing’.

But there is no ultimate answer for this, since the question and the assumption of reality ‘exist’ only as the content of thoughts. All point of view is just a point of view. There is no better or worse point of view, since all of them just concepts overlaying what is actually happening, experience or experiencing itself.
I seem to be experiencing it’s existence, but that’s not really the existence of the cup. That’s just the existence of the visual perception, sensation, etc.
Exactly! So there is no ‘reality’ to a cup. There is only experiencing happening. If we really want to give a definition to reality, we can say that reality is what is. Reality is experience / experiencing. But regardless of this definition, it’s still a concept or a point of view. Nothing more.

Now let’s go back to your previous comments:
I cannot verify, in actual experience, what exists (or doesn’t exist) in the absence of thoughtawareing, senseawareing, sightawareing, smellawaring, tasteawareing, and soundawareing (experiencing). This is because I cannot remove all of experiencing in order to “take a look”.
How would you reply to your own question, after seeing that the lack of something cannot be experienced?
In my experience, all aspects of experiencing can individually be removed.
But there remains the question: can ALL aspects of experiencing disappear?
If so: what, if anything remains?
So what remains if there is no experiencing going on?
If not: what prevents all aspects of experience from disappearing, when they can disappear individually?
What makes you think that this is not happening from time to time?

For example in deep sleep, as you listed yourself.
So what is experienced in deep sleep?

If there is such thing as awareness as pure awareness then when experience is completely gone, theoretically pure awareness has to remain, being aware of itself only.

But is there such experience of ‘awareness being aware only of itself’?
Have ‘you’ ever had an experience of ‘awareness being aware only of itself’?
I can’t see it for myself – I’ve tried.
I can’t “get there” in actual experience because I can’t remove all of experiencing in order to take a look.
As I mentioned this happens in deep sleep. So tonight, before falling asleep, make a very firm intention to be aware of the experience of ‘awareness being aware only of itself’ during deep sleep. Really try to do this. Let me know how it goes.
Have you ever been under anaesthesia? – that’s another example of no experiencing going on.
I can’t “get there” in actual experience because I can’t remove all of experiencing in order to take a look.
Is not being able to remove experiencing is the real reason that it cannot be seen/experienced what would be there if there were no experiencing going on?
If not, what is the real reason?



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 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:37 am

Hi Vivien,
I can translate your question into this: What does the word ‘reality’ actually point to?
How ‘reality’ is experienced?

Thoughts, which ‘created’ the concept of reality, now trying to grasp this concept and wants to make it into a ‘tangible or graspable thing’.

But there is no ultimate answer for this, since the question and the assumption of reality ‘exist’ only as the content of thoughts. All point of view is just a point of view. There is no better or worse point of view, since all of them just concepts overlaying what is actually happening, experience or experiencing itself.

If we really want to give a definition to reality, we can say that reality is what is. Reality is experience / experiencing. But regardless of this definition, it’s still a concept or a point of view. Nothing more. Reality is experience / experiencing. But regardless of this definition, it’s still a concept or a point of view. Nothing more.
Okay, awesome, I see this clearly now.
The two things that were creating the problem for me were:
a) not seeing that the division of experiencing into six aspects was only conceptual, and
b) not realizing that an absence of experience can only ever exist in the content of thought, and can never actually be experienced (as obvious as that now sounds!)
I cannot verify, in actual experience, what exists (or doesn’t exist) in the absence of thoughtawareing, senseawareing, sightawareing, smellawaring, tasteawareing, and soundawareing (experiencing). This is because I cannot remove all of experiencing in order to “take a look”.
How would you reply to your own question, after seeing that the lack of something cannot be experienced?
It doesn’t make sense. It could never be answered.
Who would “take a look” to see what remains if there were no experiencing?
How would an absence of all experiencing ever be confirmed? By what?
The question assumes a fundamental duality between existence and experiencing. It assumes that experiencing comes and goes within something “larger” or more fundamental, and wants to see what that larger or more fundamental thing is. But the only way we can really know about reality is THROUGH EXPERIENCING. There could never be the experiencing of a lack of experiencing.
What makes you think that this is not happening from time to time?
For example in deep sleep, as you listed yourself.
So what is experienced in deep sleep?
Initially, I’d say nothing, but there actually does seem to be a difference between deep sleep and anesthesia. In deep sleep, or at least upon waking, there is a sense of peacefullness and a sense of time having passed. Whereas under general anasethesia neither of those things are present – experience seems to jump immediately from the point of going under to the point of waking up.
In deep sleep, there might be a very subtle form of experiencing - not exactly sure.
If there is such thing as awareness as pure awareness then when experience is completely gone, theoretically pure awareness has to remain, being aware of itself only.
But is there such experience of ‘awareness being aware only of itself’?
Have ‘you’ ever had an experience of ‘awareness being aware only of itself’?
Yeah. When I took LSD and meditated there was a samadhi-like experience.
There was just pure aware-ing, and I was that. There was no difference between “I” and aware-ing – there weren’t two things. There was no thought, no perception, no sensation, no sound, etc. Neither “I” nor “aware-ing” were conceptualized. There was just pure aware-ing. The experience was only conceptualized afterward. The conceptualisation afterwards said it was an aware-ing of infinite love, peace, intelligence, and absolute reality. But in the actual experience, there was just “aware-ing” without dimension or division.
I can’t “get there” in actual experience because I can’t remove all of experiencing in order to take a look.
Is not being able to remove experiencing is the real reason that it cannot be seen/experienced what would be there if there were no experiencing going on?
If not, what is the real reason?
No, the real reason is that it’s impossible for there to be an absence of experiencing. "Absence of experience" doesn’t even make sense in reality. It doesn't refer to anything in reality. Experiencing can “fade to zero”, like in anesthesia, but the “zero” isn’t “something”. It isn’t “an absence”. Experiencing is continuous – there’s never an absence of experience in actual experience.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:13 am

Hi Michael,
The two things that were creating the problem for me were:
a) not seeing that the division of experiencing into six aspects was only conceptual, and
b) not realizing that an absence of experience can only ever exist in the content of thought, and can never actually be experienced (as obvious as that now sounds!)
Great that it’s clear now :)
The question assumes a fundamental duality between existence and experiencing. It assumes that experiencing comes and goes within something “larger” or more fundamental, and wants to see what that larger or more fundamental thing is. But the only way we can really know about reality is THROUGH EXPERIENCING. There could never be the experiencing of a lack of experiencing.
Exactly!
In deep sleep, there might be a very subtle form of experiencing - not exactly sure.
My speculation is that since deep sleep happens just for a period of time during sleep, with REM happening between them, and there are lots of smaller waking ups as well, the notion of time doesn’t disappear. But probably it’s gone during the periods of deep sleep.
Yeah. When I took LSD and meditated there was a samadhi-like experience.
There was just pure aware-ing, and I was that. There was no difference between “I” and aware-ing – there weren’t two things. There was no thought, no perception, no sensation, no sound, etc. Neither “I” nor “aware-ing” were conceptualized. There was just pure aware-ing. The experience was only conceptualized afterward. The conceptualisation afterwards said it was an aware-ing of infinite love, peace, intelligence, and absolute reality. But in the actual experience, there was just “aware-ing” without dimension or division
Those who are very advanced meditators and enter the formless jhanas frequently, they say that although the fabrication of perception reduced significantly, there is still some fabrication going on. But I’m not here to argue with your experience.
No, the real reason is that it’s impossible for there to be an absence of experiencing. "Absence of experience" doesn’t even make sense in reality. It doesn't refer to anything in reality. Experiencing can “fade to zero”, like in anesthesia, but the “zero” isn’t “something”. It isn’t “an absence”. Experiencing is continuous – there’s never an absence of experience in actual experience.
Very good. Now, just to make sure that everything is experientially seen, let’s go back to the exercise I gave you before. Please go through each question very carefully, to have a deep experiential understanding of it.

In order to say, that there is an independently existing subject and an independently existing object, they have to be there without one another. So there has to be a stand-alone thought or sensation without the knowing or aware-ing of it, and also there has to be an awareness = knower without objects (thought, sensation, etc.).

So we have to have an experiential proof that they exist without each other.

So we have to be able to completely separate the knower (awareness as a subject) from the known or aware-ed (as an object, like thought, sensation).

But now, try to peel off the sound from the knowing of it. Do everything you can to separate the two. Not just think about it, but really try to separate them, to have one at the one side and the other on the other side. So how it goes?


Try to find the sound without the knowing or aware-ing of it. How a sound without knowing looks like?

If you can successfully separate awareness from the sound, then you have awareness at the one side, and sound on the other side, without touching each other. So look to the awareness side. How does the pure awareness looks like? What is there?

I ask you to do this to have an experience of the impossibility of it. To have a hands-on experience so to speak, until no doubt is left that there is either a stand-alone (without the knowing of it), or a stand-alone awareness.

Now, repeat this with a sensation. Try your best to separate them. So?
How does a sensation without aware-ing looks like?
Is there such thing as sensation without the knowing of it? – really look for it, not just think
How does awareness look like when it’s separated from the sensation?


Put some food in front of you. Smell it.
Try to best to separate the smell from the knowing of it.
How does a smell without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is awareness like when it’s separated from the smell?

Now, start to eat and pay attention to the taste.
Again, try to best to separate the smell from the knowing of it.
How does a taste without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is there on the awareness side when it’s separated from the taste?


Now, look at the food. Be aware of the visual sight.
Try to best to separate the sight from the knowing of it.
How does a sight without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is there on the awareness side when it’s separated from the image?


Look at these repeatedly many many times. 10-20 or more. Repeat until it’s utterly clear that there is no doer, knower, experiencer, aware-er… there is only knowing or aware-ing going on… but there is no awareness.

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 Jun 03, 2019 8:45 am

Hi Vivien,
But now, try to peel off the sound from the knowing of it. Do everything you can to separate the two. Not just think about it, but really try to separate them, to have one at the one side and the other on the other side. So how it goes?

Try to find the sound without the knowing or aware-ing of it. How a sound without knowing looks like?
I can’t peel the knowing from the object – it doesn’t make sense. There aren’t two things there, there’s only “the knowing of the object” – one thing. There’s just experiencing.
There can be no experience outside of or apart from the knowing or aware-ing of it, because if there was, how would it be known? How would it even appear?
Objects ARE the knowing of them. That’s what they’re made of. They’re made of the experience of them. The aware-ing of them.
There’s nothing to the sound but the aware-ing of it.
So look to the awareness side. How does the pure awareness looks like? What is there?
There’s never pure awareness in experience; there’s always the knowing of something. Even when I shut the eyes and try to be quiet, there’s still the aware-ing of thoughts, the aware-ing of black-ness, etc. There’s always the aware-ing of something. Pure aware-ing can’t be found. Who or what would find it? That would then be something that was aware-d of.
This answer doesn't feel "right" for me, though. It isn’t as clear to me as the previous part. The non-existence of any standalone objects is crystal clear to me, but the non-existence of a standalone aware-ing still isn’t quite as clear.
Now, repeat this with a sensation. Try your best to separate them. So?
How does a sensation without aware-ing looks like?
Is there such thing as sensation without the knowing of it? – really look for it, not just think
How does awareness look like when it’s separated from the sensation?
There’s absolutely nothing to a sensation but the knowing of it.
There’s nothing “behind” the knowing of it.
The sensation IS the knowing of it.

There does still seem to be aware-ing when the sensation isn’t experienced, however. There’s aware-ing of other things going on, even when the sensation isn’t the focus of attention. There can definitely not be a sensation without aware-ing, but there can be aware-ing without sensation.
How does a smell without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is awareness like when it’s separated from the smell?

How does a taste without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is there on the awareness side when it’s separated from the taste?

How does a sight without aware-ing looks like? – try to find it
What is there on the awareness side when it’s separated from the image?
Same answer: there’s nothing to anything but the knowing or aware-ing of it.
It doesn’t seem to be the same in reverse, though. There does still seem to be aware-ing without objects.

Because it’s come up before, I’ll just clarify: When I say “seems”, what I mean is that it IS my actual experience, but I know that it’s not the right answer so I’m not claiming that it IS that way – I just say it “seems” that way to me. “Seems” is just my way of acknowledging that I could be wrong here.
Look at these repeatedly many many times. 10-20 or more. Repeat until it’s utterly clear that there is no doer, knower, experiencer, aware-er… there is only knowing or aware-ing going on… but there is no awareness.
So, to summarise:
The fact that there can be no object or aspect of experience without knowing or aware-ing – that’s crystal clear.
The fact that there’s no aware-ing without objects – that’s not so clear. It still does seem to me that there’s a process of aware-ing going on that’s not dependent on what objects/aspects of experience are present. It’s not aware-ness – it’s not an object or an entity – but there does still to be aware-ing happening regardless of the state of experience.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:14 am

Hi Michael,

Rupert Sipra definitely had a big impact on you :) I can clearly recognise his ideas in your comments. I’ve been there too myself. And I felt stuck for a while, until I started investigating from a different angle.
The non-existence of any standalone objects is crystal clear to me, but the non-existence of a standalone aware-ing still isn’t quite as clear.
Probably because there are some certain beliefs blocking the seeing. One of them is that a certain point of view is believed to be more real than others. And not seeing that NONE of the points of views are closer to ‘reality’, since there is no such thing as ‘reality’. ‘Reality’ is just a man-made idea.
Because it’s come up before, I’ll just clarify: When I say “seems”, what I mean is that it IS my actual experience, but I know that it’s not the right answer so I’m not claiming that it IS that way – I just say it “seems” that way to me. “Seems” is just my way of acknowledging that I could be wrong here.
We use the word ‘seems’ differently. I use it just the other way around. When something can clearly be seen, but the illusion is still there. But you’re saying that the reason you’re using the word ‘seems’ is because you intellectually know that that is not the ‘right’ answer, but you cannot see it. Right? This is why we sometimes have a misunderstanding :)
There’s nothing to the sound but the aware-ing of it.
There’s absolutely nothing to a sensation but the knowing of it.
there’s nothing to anything but the knowing or aware-ing of it.
It doesn’t seem to be the same in reverse, though. There does still seem to be aware-ing without objects.
Let me use the analogy of coin again.

Saying that “there’s absolutely nothing to a sensation but the knowing of it” is like saying that there is absolutely nothing to the head (sensation) of a coin then the tail (knowing).
This statement says that the ultimately there is only the tail side of a coin, and there is no head side (since all there is to the head is the tail). Can you see this?

So it assumes that coin can be looked at only from ONE perspective, one point of view. And that is the tail (knowing).
And there is nothing at the other side of the coin. There is NO other side (head) of the coin (or if there is any it’s secondary, so there is no point flipping the coin). The tail (knowing) is more real than the head (sensation). Can you see this?

What the statement “there is absolutely nothing to a sensation then the knowing of it” is missing, is seeing that although there is one coin there, but that COIN HAS 2 SIDES. It means that the coin can be looked at from 2 different points of view.
The coin can be looked at from the point of view of the tail (knowing) and then it SEEMS that all there is to the coin is the tail.

But when the coin is flipped it turns out that it has another side, which shows a different point of view.
From the point of view of the head (sensation), we can say that ALL THERE IS TO KNOWING (AWARE-ING) IS THE SENSATION. Can you see this?
The fact that there’s no aware-ing without objects – that’s not so clear. It still does seem to me that there’s a process of aware-ing going on that’s not dependent on what objects/aspects of experience are present. It’s not aware-ness – it’s not an object or an entity – but there does still to be aware-ing happening regardless of the state of experience.
This ILLUSION is created because there is still a belief that certain points of view is more real than others. That the Advaita’s point of view is MORE REAL than the materialist or any other point of view.

Previously you wrote this:
But I’ve already forsaken the materialist world view.
You are/were trying to find the ‘fundamental truth’, THE ultimate truth. And in that search the materialist point of view deemed to be not IT. And at same time the Advaita’S point of view (everything is awareness) considered to be more real or closer or better candidate for the ‘fundamental truth’ label.

But NONE of the points of view are closer or further from truth! NONE!
ALL of them (regardless of how many points of views are there) are JUST POINTS OF VIEWS.
These are JUST ANGLES to look at something.

Just like the coin has 2 sides. Two points of views. And none of the sides of the coin is closer to the truth. None of them is more valid. None of them is more real. None of them is primary or superior to the other.

The tail (aware-ing) is NOT PRIMARY, and the head (sensation) is NOT SECONDARY. They are EQUAL.
But when looked from the tail side everything SEEMS to be just tail (knowing).

But if you flip the coin, a totally new perspective / world emerges:

From the head (objects) side everything is just sensation, sound, smell, taste, image/colour and thought. There is nothing else. And all there is to the knowing (aware-ing) is the thought / sensation / sound / taste / image / smell. Nothing else. Nothing else left of aware-ing than the objects themselves. Can you see this?

So, flip the coin, and look everything from the perspective from the objects. From the point of view of objects knowing/aware-ing is SECONDARY.

Have a sensation, and this time don’t just look at sensation through the other side (knowing), but look at sensation from its own side. It has its own side! So look at a sensation from its own side… and also look at knowing/aware-ing through sensation.

Is there anything else to knowing than the sensation itself?
Is there anything to aware-ing than the thought itself?
Is there anything to knowing than the image/sight itself?

Look very carefully with 6 six ‘elements’ of experience.

There does still seem to be aware-ing when the sensation isn’t experienced, however. There’s aware-ing of other things going on, even when the sensation isn’t the focus of attention. There can definitely not be a sensation without aware-ing, but there can be aware-ing without sensation.
The assumption that experience has 6 separate parts creates this illusion.

So when 1 part of the experience (sensation) is distracted, removed, then there is still aware-ing going on (because there are remaining parts left of experience, like thought, sound, etc). Can you see this?
It’s not aware-ness – it’s not an object or an entity – but there does still to be aware-ing happening regardless of the state of experience.
Because the knowing side of the coin is regarded superior or primary, and the objects side deemed to be inferior or secondary, thus they are ignored or they valued less important, less real.

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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