The non-existent nuisance.

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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:35 am

Hi Vivien,

Rupert Spira definitely had a big impact on you :) I can clearly recognise his ideas in your comments.

Yes indeed :)

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.

Some resistance comes up in response to the idea that I'm taking the Advaita / awareness point of view to be too real.

Every teacher or guide says that their own guidance is just clear looking, while all other teachings are a point of view or belief system.

Rupert Spira also says that he’s not teaching a belief system or a world-view, but rather he’s just pointing to our actual experience. Is it possible that he’s also pointing at experience, and just using different language to do it?

For example, we’re calling the combination of aware-ing + objects “experiencing”; the word that Rupert most commonly uses for the same referent is “knowing”.

He says that there’s no “knower” and no “known”, there’s only “knowing”.
“Knowing” is thoughtawareing, senseawareing, sightawareing, etc.
Would you use “knowing” in the same way, or when you talk of aware-ing / knowing are you referring only to the “subject” side of the coin?
In Rupert’s teaching, the knower is one side of the coin, the known is the other side of the coin, while knowing is what’s actually there (the coin itself).

I’m definitely not trying to make this “Liberation Unleashed vs Rupert Spira” – I know that wouldn’t be helpful. But I do wonder if bridging the language gap between the two would help with my understanding. I feel that some of the issues I’m having are due primarily to the different language.

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 :)

Correct :) I understand your usage of it, too; it makes sense.

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?

Okay, this is a good example of what I was saying above about language being one of the barriers.

In my understanding, there is:

1) Aware-ing
2) The object
3) The aware-ing of the object (experiencing or knowing)

But only (3) actually exists.

I’m not saying that there's nothing to the object (2) but aware-ing (1).
I'm not saying that there's nothing to the object (2) but the subject (1).
I'm not saying that there's nothing to the head of the coin (2) but the tail (1).

I’m saying that there's nothing to the object (2) but “the aware-ing of it”, or "experiencing" (3).
I’m saying that there's no subject (1) in our experience; there’s only thoughtawareing, senseawareing, soundawareing, etc (3).
I'm saying that there's only the actual coin (3).

There's no standalone subject, there’s only knowing.
There's no standalone object, there’s only knowing.

No knower, no known, only knowing. Only “experiencing”.

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.

But here, again, I’d say that Advaita (or at least Rupert’s version of Advaita) isn’t a point of view; it’s the same as what we’re doing here: looking at our actual experience.

The characterization of Advaita as “everything is awareness” isn’t accurate – they call it “non-duality” because they even admit that saying “awareness alone exists” is ultimately incorrect, which is still one step better than “everything is awareness” (because it doesn’t assume an “everything”).

If I change the language of my statement, things might become be clearer:
“It still does seem to me that there’s EXPERIENCING / KNOWING (3) going on that’s not dependent on what objects/aspects of experience (2) are present. It’s not aware-ness (1) – it’s not an object or an entity – but there does still to be EXPERIENCING / KNOWING (3) happening regardless of the CONTENT of experiencing (2).”
We can’t have the experience of the absence of experiencing.
So there is always experiencing present.
There’s always knowing or experiencing present, regardless of the “content” of knowing / experiencing.
No subject, no object, just “knowing” / “experiencing”, regardless of thought, sound, sensation, perception, etc.

Does that make more sense?

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?

Yes, I’m on board with this part at least! Haha.

Michael

Ps. I’m going to save the following questions until after your next response, because I’m hoping that my clarification around language has already addressed them. Let me know whether or not they’re still important for me to answer, and I’ll come back to them if so.

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.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:00 am

Hi Michael,
Rupert Spira also says that he’s not teaching a belief system or a world-view, but rather he’s just pointing to our actual experience.
Yes, he says that, and most of his teachings are pointing to AE, but there are certain claims that isn’t in correspondence with experience at all. But I am not here to make a judgement on his teachings. I find him teachings valuable, however some of his claims are based on thought conclusions. But all of this doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what he or I say, the only thing that matters is what can be actually known from experience without any thought interpretation.
Would you use “knowing” in the same way, or when you talk of aware-ing / knowing are you referring only to the “subject” side of the coin?
I’m referring only to the subject side. It doesn’t matter if a noun (awareness) or a verb (knowing) is used, it’s still just the tail.
I feel that some of the issues I’m having are due primarily to the different language.
Yes, some misunderstanding might come due to language issues, but probably not all.
No knower, no known, only knowing. Only “experiencing”.
Good. But if this utterly clear, why do you have any doubts?

You wrote in your previous post:
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.
With this you stated that you can see that “there is nothing to anything (head) but the knowing or awareing of it (tail)”.
But in your next sentence you say that you cannot see that the REVERSE of it is true, meaning: “there is nothing to knowing or aware-ing (tail) other than the objects (head)”
You wrote it yourself. Do you see this?
There does still seem to be aware-ing without objects.
You say that there seems to be aware-ing (tail) without object (head).
Do you see that you also use the words awareness and aware-ing interchangeable (as tail)?

It doesn’t matter if you call it awareness (noun) or aware-ing / knowing (verb) as long as you say that it seems to be aware-ing without objects. Can you see this?

And yes, some other times, you say:
No knower, no known, only knowing. Only “experiencing”.
So at one point you can see this clearly, but some other times you can’t.
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.
Here, you clearly state again that it’s not clear that the awareness (tail) doesn’t exist without objects (head). Can you see this?
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.
Here, you make a distinction between a noun (awareness) and a verb/process (knowing) – but still you say again that there could be the process of knowing (tail) happen without objects (head). – Can you see this?

You say that the process of aware-ing (tail) is NOT DEPENDENT on objects (head). – Can you see this?


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 Jun 04, 2019 10:10 am

Hi Vivien,
Would you use “knowing” in the same way, or when you talk of aware-ing / knowing are you referring only to the “subject” side of the coin?
I’m referring only to the subject side. It doesn’t matter if a noun (awareness) or a verb (knowing) is used, it’s still just the tail.
Well, it’s not necessarily still just the tail – doesn’t a word’s meaning depend on what we intend by it? Especially with a word as vague as “knowing”, and in in a linguistic territory that’s so ill-defined? When you say “knowing” you’re referring only to the tail. When others (Rupert, myself) say “knowing” we’re referring not to the tail of the coin but to “experiencing” (thoughtawareing, senseawareing, etc). And that’s fine – I just needed it clarified.
I feel that some of the issues I’m having are due primarily to the different language.
Yes, some misunderstanding might come due to language issues, but probably not all.
Right – that’s why I said “some” :)
No knower, no known, only knowing. Only “experiencing”.
Good. But if this utterly clear, why do you have any doubts?
The question implies that there shouldn’t be any further doubts if this is understood, but that’s not my experience. Is this “the final understanding”? I must have missed something, haha.
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.
With this you stated that you can see that “there is nothing to anything (head) but the knowing or awareing of it (tail)”.
But in your next sentence you say that you cannot see that the REVERSE of it is true, meaning: “there is nothing to knowing or aware-ing (tail) other than the objects (head)”
You wrote it yourself. Do you see this?
I see this, and I corrected it in my more recent post.
There does still seem to be aware-ing without objects.
You say that there seems to be aware-ing (tail) without object (head).
Do you see that you also use the words awareness and aware-ing interchangeable (as tail)?

It doesn’t matter if you call it awareness (noun) or aware-ing / knowing (verb) as long as you say that it seems to be aware-ing without objects. Can you see this?

And yes, some other times, you say:
No knower, no known, only knowing. Only “experiencing”.
So at one point you can see this clearly, but some other times you can’t.
It’s not really that sometimes I’m clear and sometimes I’m not – more accurate would be to say that in my former post I wasn’t clear on it, whereas in my more recent post I clarified.
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.
Here, you clearly state again that it’s not clear that the awareness (tail) doesn’t exist without objects (head). Can you see this?
Again, I clarified this in my more recent post.
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.
Here, you make a distinction between a noun (awareness) and a verb/process (knowing) – but still you say again that there could be the process of knowing (tail) happen without objects (head). – Can you see this?

You say that the process of aware-ing (tail) is NOT DEPENDENT on objects (head). – Can you see this?
There is “experiencing”.
Experiencing is aware.
Or rather, experiencing is aware-ing itself. It’s not unconscious; it’s not non-existent; it’s not nothing.
It’s not a subject or an entity; it’s more of a “happening”. But it’s a conscious “happening”.

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:52 pm

Hi Michael,
It’s not really that sometimes I’m clear and sometimes I’m not – more accurate would be to say that in my former post I wasn’t clear on it, whereas in my more recent post I clarified.
If you say that this awareness-business is clear for you, then I take your word for it.
Ultimately what matters is what you can clearly see. So let me ask this:

Is this anything that is not totally clear about this awareness-business and you would like to look at?

The reason why we spent so much time on the topic of awareness is because as long as awareness as a subject hasn’t been seen through, it’s almost inevitable that identification happens with it.

Previously you mentioned: “I-the-feeling-of-presence” – how do you see it now?

What is the actual experience of presence?


Please look very carefully one-by-one with the following questions. Spend a few minutes with each. Literally scan through the whole body from head to toe, with particular attention on the head. Look behind the eyes, into the forehead, the top of the head, the throat, look everywhere. Also scan through all aspects of experience.

Is there a thinker?
Is there a seer?
Is there a feeler?
Is there a hearer?
Is there a taster?
Is there a smeller?

Is there an experiencER?
Is there anything having the experience?
Is there anything which the experience is happening TO?

Is there a you?
Has there ever been a you?


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 Jun 05, 2019 6:06 am

Hi Vivien,
Is this anything that is not totally clear about this awareness-business and you would like to look at?
It’s clear to me intellectually, but it’s not clear to me in experience. I understand it, I get it, but I don’t experience it.

Subtle mental images make it impossible to see experience clearly. I can’t tell what’s really there and what’s just the content of a subtle image. By the time I figure out what’s there vs what’s a subtle image, experience has shifted again and there are different subtle images happening.
Previously you mentioned: “I-the-feeling-of-presence” – how do you see it now?
I still feel like I exist as presence/awareness, even though I understand intellectually that there’s no such thing.
I know that there’s just “experiencing”, which when looked at from one perspective is subjective, and when looked at from another perspective is objective. But my daily experience is of being a self. The illusion is not clearly seen through.
What is the actual experience of presence?
I can’t see experience clearly enough. It’s frustrating.
Intellectually I know that there’s no presence.
But I still feel like “here-ness”. Presence.
When I look, I find subtle mental images (whiteness, a visual emphasis on “here”, etc), a sensation, etc. But that doesn’t get rid of the feeling of being here.
Is there a thinker?
No. Thoughts just arise.
Is there a seer?
Intellectually, no. But it does seem like visual experience coalesces “here”, is experienced from “here”, which gives the impression “I am the seer”.
Is there a feeler?
Again, intellectually no, but it does seem that “I” suffer when the body sensation is unpleasant (eg. a headache). I can’t see any entity that’s suffering, but there’s definitely the experience of suffering the headache and intensely disliking it.
Is there a hearer?
No, just sound.
Is there a taster?
No, just taste.
Is there a smeller?
No, just smell.

With the more ephemeral senses – sound, taste, smell – it is more clear that there’s no entity and that rather the experiences are just arising. But with sensing and seeing, there is a stronger sense that it is "me" who is experiencing these elements of experience.
Is there an experiencER?
Is there anything having the experience?
Is there anything which the experience is happening TO?
I can’t find an experiencer as an entity or an object, but there does still seem to be a sense of presence to which experience occurs or of which experience is made. When I look at the sense of presence there’s subtle mental imagery, the body sensation, etc. But the subtle mental imagery makes it hard to see that there’s no presence. The subtle mental imagery, in combination with the other aspects of experience, make it seem like I am presence.
Is there a you?
Has there ever been a you?
Intellectually, no. But subtle mental images in combination with other aspects of experience (thought, the body sensation) make it seem like there is an I.

There still seems to be “I”, which is the same as presence. It’s the same experience. The experience of being here now. It’s not that “I am present”, but rather “I = presence”.

Intellectually I know it’s not the case; I know that there is just experiencing which is appearing in the form of mental images, the body sensation, etc, and that creates the illusion of there being an entity or a presence. But understanding that doesn’t seem to help at all. It still seems real.

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:23 am

Hi Michael,

I will reply to you last post, but before that let me ask some more questions. Please try to be as precise in your description as you can.

How would it be recognized if the self has been seen through and not just intellectual?
Please write some description what you THINK / IMAGINE it would be like and feel like.

For example, would it be no sense of self at all or would be?
Would there be any sense of location or wouldn’t?
What about suffering?
What about liking and disliking thigs?
Would identification arise, or would it stop completely?

So, what conditions / criteria need to be met, in order to make the conclusion that seeing through the self has happened?


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 Jun 05, 2019 8:16 am

Hey Vivien,
How would it be recognized if the self has been seen through and not just intellectual?
Please write some description what you THINK / IMAGINE it would be like and feel like.
It would stop feeling/seeming like there’s a self.

I would stop falling for the illusion, at least some of the time.

There would still be the arising of “self-ing”, ie. thoughts would still say “I”, but most (or at least some) of the time the thought wouldn’t be believed – it would be seen that there’s nothing to which the thought “I” refers. Experience itself wouldn’t really change; there would still be sensations, thoughts, mental images, etc. But there just wouldn’t be the belief in being a self.

I’ve had experiential glimpses of no self. In these glimpses, it’s certainly very different to my current experience. Not in terms of what’s going on, but rather just that that “additional element” of self isn’t there. There’s just the watching of life happening, but no one who watches. There’s just life happening. And regardless of the thoughts that continue to arise, there’s no conflict with “life happening” because it’s seen clearly that there’s no entity within “life happening” to really resist it.

It’d be like that.
For example, would it be no sense of self at all or would be?
Would there be any sense of location or wouldn’t?
What about suffering?
What about liking and disliking thigs?
Would identification arise, or would it stop completely?
All of this (a sense of self, location, suffering, liking and disliking) would still arise, but it would be seen for what it is: an illusion.

It would be like the difference between seeing the desert mirage as water, and seeing the desert mirage as just a mirage.
Knowing that there’s no water in the mirage isn’t enough, there’s a subtle “seeing it differently” that happens even though the mirage itself hasn’t changed.
It’s like seeing the tv screen instead of being lost in the moving. Nothing in the movie changes, there’s just a subtle shift in perspective. There’s seeing it as a tv screen instead of seeing it as a movie.
So, what conditions / criteria need to be met, in order to make the conclusion that seeing through the self has happened?
Something needs to change.
This isn’t it – I know that much!

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:43 am

Hi Michael,
It would stop feeling/seeming like there’s a self.
I wrote you about the Buddhist’s four stages of awakening before. So the first stage – stream entry - is what LU guides to, seeing that there has never been an inherently existing self in any shape or form (including formless appearances like awareness or presence).

This seeing cannot be taken away. However, the illusion still can be taken as a reality (probably more often than one would expect), and the self could seem to be very real. 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, called Arahantship, which isn’t really final. Falling away of conditionings last at the end of the organism.

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 arises quite often. 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, periods of ‘delusion’ still happen, but after further looking it’s easy to see that there is no self to cling to.

For many, there is an expectation that the sense of self will be gone completely, never asserting itself ever again. 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 (over many years).
I would stop falling for the illusion, at least some of the time.
Yes, but falling for the illusion can happen much more often than one might expect. It can last for even hours several times during the day. And why? It’s because every time an emotion is triggered (by some circumstances or because of certain thoughts coming up), the self is activated. So whenever there is frustration, wanting or not wanting something, expecting something, having anger, resentment, feeling hurt, disliking something / somebody, etc. the self is there immediately. Since all these emotions are on behalf of the self. And after seeing no-self, all these conditioned issues need to be worked through, otherwise whenever these emotions arise the self comes with them. Humans are very often triggered (many-many times a day) and those triggering reactions can last from minutes to hours or even day or longer, meaning that the self is there and believed to be real for minutes, hours or days while those triggered reactions are functioning.

Taking the self as real, is also a conditioned habit of thinking. It’s a habit of the ‘mind’. It’s the result of a life-long conditioning. But upon each looking it gets a little bit weaker and weaker.
There would still be the arising of “self-ing”, ie. thoughts would still say “I”, but most (or at least some) of the time the thought wouldn’t be believed – it would be seen that there’s nothing to which the thought “I” refers
At least some of the time – yes, but probably not most of the time. But with constant looking and looking when the self is there, it can lessen the amount of time being lost in believing the self. So this ‘delusion’ can come up very often, 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.
All of this (a sense of self, location, suffering, liking and disliking) would still arise, but it would be seen for what it is: an illusion.
Not always. Probably most of the time not. But when looking then definitely yes.
It would be like the difference between seeing the desert mirage as water, and seeing the desert mirage as just a mirage.
Knowing that there’s no water in the mirage isn’t enough, there’s a subtle “seeing it differently” that happens even though the mirage itself hasn’t changed.
So there is an expectation here, that although the mirage of the water is there, it’s not believed any more.
But I have to disappoint you here, the mirages is believed lots of times for the above reasons. At least the beginning of the process (with stream entry). And it takes lots and lots of DEEP further looking for the mirage not being believed and taken real that often. It can take years.
It’s like seeing the tv screen instead of being lost in the moving. Nothing in the movie changes, there’s just a subtle shift in perspective. There’s seeing it as a tv screen instead of seeing it as a movie.
This is the same expectation that although the illusion is there, it’s never or hardly believed again. This is a huge expectation. It’s expecting to jump right to the final stage of awakening, and leaving out the first 3 ‘stages’. It’s almost never happens, if it happens at all.
Something needs to change.
This isn’t it – I know that much!
Yes, this isn’t it. But you have to reconsider some of your expectation.
V: Is this anything that is not totally clear about this awareness-business and you would like to look at?
M: It’s clear to me intellectually, but it’s not clear to me in experience. I understand it, I get it, but I don’t experience it.
Could you please tell me honestly, that how much of the time was spent actually looking at the exercises I gave you about awareness, and how much was just trying to understand it intellectually? 50/50? Or less or more?
Subtle mental images make it impossible to see experience clearly. I can’t tell what’s really there and what’s just the content of a subtle image. By the time I figure out what’s there vs what’s a subtle image, experience has shifted again and there are different subtle images happening.
I understand this. But here is the good news :) this subtle images don’t have to go away in order to see what is really there. They just need to be ignored, meaning that they can stay there if they want to, but just not paying too much attention to them.
I know that there’s just “experiencing”, which when looked at from one perspective is subjective, and when looked at from another perspective is objective.
Do you know this intellectually, or is it SEEN CLEARLY experientially too?
I can’t see experience clearly enough. It’s frustrating.
Intellectually I know that there’s no presence.
But I still feel like “here-ness”. Presence.
“feel like ‘here-ness’”- this is probably an unnoticed sensation. Unnoticed sensations are giving the impression of location in space. This is the sense of self what we will start to investigate soon.
When I look, I find subtle mental images (whiteness, a visual emphasis on “here”, etc), a sensation, etc. But that doesn’t get rid of the feeling of being here.
But we don’t want to get rid of the feeling! It’s enough to see WHEN LOOKING, that it’s just a sensation.

And by the way whose problem is if there is a sense of being here or not?
Who is concerned?
Where is the concerned one? – find it
Again, intellectually no, but it does seem that “I” suffer when the body sensation is unpleasant (eg. a headache). I can’t see any entity that’s suffering, but there’s definitely the experience of suffering the headache and intensely disliking it.
Seeing through the self doesn’t mean that the seeming experience of suffering won’t appear again. It definitely WILL! This requires lots of further deep looking as I mentioned before.
With the more ephemeral senses – sound, taste, smell – it is more clear that there’s no entity and that rather the experiences are just arising. But with sensing and seeing, there is a stronger sense that it is "me" who is experiencing these elements of experience.
All right, we will investigate these soon.
I can’t find an experiencer as an entity or an object, but there does still seem to be a sense of presence to which experience occurs or of which experience is made.
And this is the belief in awareness. I know you say that you don’t believe in a separate awareness, but your comments and experiences show otherwise.
There still seems to be “I”, which is the same as presence. It’s the same experience. The experience of being here now. It’s not that “I am present”, but rather “I = presence”.
I = presence = awareness
Presence is just a different word used for awareness.

We don’t go back to looking at awareness, at least not yet. :)

Rather, let’s try something else.

I would like to ask you to sit somewhere comfortable where no one can disturb you. Sit for at least 15 minutes or preferably longer.
Just let the eyes gaze upon whatever is in front of you.
You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to look for the seer, or for awareness, or the I.
Just notice how effortlessly seeing happens.
Literally nothing needs to be done in order to seeing happen.
It’s totally effortless.
As the eyes move around, the image/colour what is seen changes. But there is absolutely no effort is needed to see whatever is there.

Now close your eyes.
The previous image disappears and some brownish-yellowish-redish colour appear.
Notice how effortlessly the image has disappeared and the new colour took its place.

Open your eyes again.
Notice that the image appeared with no effort whatsoever.

Just experiment with this for at least 15 minutes or longer. Please let me know what you find.


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 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:42 am

Hi Vivien,
Could you please tell me honestly, that how much of the time was spent actually looking at the exercises I gave you about awareness, and how much was just trying to understand it intellectually? 50/50? Or less or more?
There’s not a clear divide for me – it shifts back and forth between the two. There will be direct looking, then thoughts arising, direct looking, thoughts arising. So it’s hard to tell. I also tend to spend less time on subsequent pointings that are asking the same question but of different aspects of experience. Eg. If you ask me if there's a seer, if there's a senser, if there's a taster, if there's a hearer, etc; for the first few aspects of experience I spend more time directly looking, but nearer the end of the list I tend to move more quickly through them. 50/50 would be a decent estimate.
Subtle mental images make it impossible to see experience clearly. I can’t tell what’s really there and what’s just the content of a subtle image. By the time I figure out what’s there vs what’s a subtle image, experience has shifted again and there are different subtle images happening.
I understand this. But here is the good news :) this subtle images don’t have to go away in order to see what is really there. They just need to be ignored, meaning that they can stay there if they want to, but just not paying too much attention to them.
If they were clearly seen to be just mental images they could be ignored.
The problem is that they are taken for reality – taken to be “actually there”, until I realize they aren't! (And that's often not until later).
I know that there’s just “experiencing”, which when looked at from one perspective is subjective, and when looked at from another perspective is objective.
Do you know this intellectually, or is it SEEN CLEARLY experientially too?
It’s hard to tell because of the mental images.
I think I see it, I think I experience it, but then I realise that I was just perceiving some mental image (then content of which was “reality experienced from two angles” or something of the like).
And by the way whose problem is if there is a sense of being here or not?
Who is concerned?
Where is the concerned one? – find it
I can’t find anyone who has the problem.
There are thoughts arising which say “I feel like I’m here”.
But when I look for the I, there’s nothing to which it refers.

The thought “I” arises... The attention goes “here”... There’s a mental image of white-ness... The body sensation is noticed... There’s another mental image of a “center” in the body... There’s the thought “I am the experiencer”.
There’s no entity found in any of that.
But nothing changes. Nothing happens.
There’s no revelation, great or small, that “I don’t exist” or “I’ve never existed”.
I know this expectation may be a problem, but if I expect nothing at all to change then why would one bother with any of this?
I would like to ask you to sit somewhere comfortable where no one can disturb you. Sit for at least 15 minutes or preferably longer.
Just let the eyes gaze upon whatever is in front of you.
You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to look for the seer, or for awareness, or the I.
Just notice how effortlessly seeing happens.
Literally nothing needs to be done in order to seeing happen.
It’s totally effortless.
As the eyes move around, the image/colour what is seen changes. But there is absolutely no effort is needed to see whatever is there.

Now close your eyes.
The previous image disappears and some brownish-yellowish-redish colour appear.
Notice how effortlessly the image has disappeared and the new colour took its place.

Open your eyes again.
Notice that the image appeared with no effort whatsoever.

Just experiment with this for at least 15 minutes or longer. Please let me know what you find.
I didn’t really find anything special, other than what you pointed out about the effortlessness of it.
Seeing occurs without any effort whatsoever.
And it disappears without any effort whatsoever.
A world doesn’t need to “come into existence” or “go out of existence”, it’s just there, and then it’s not. It appears and disappears effortlessly.

Michael

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:17 am

Hi Michael,

Thank you for explaining well what is going on. This helps me to see what could be the problem and direct my questions accordingly.
There’s no revelation, great or small, that “I don’t exist” or “I’ve never existed”.
I know this expectation may be a problem, but if I expect nothing at all to change then why would one bother with any of this?
As I mentioned before, for some there isn’t a single big event of realization, but rather small subsequent recognitions and one day they realize “ohh, it’s happened, the belief in the self is gone, but I have no idea when”.

And it’s important to mention here that we are looking to dissolve the BELIEF in the self, and to dissolve the sense of self itself. Is this clear?


I will be here with you as long as it takes. And it doesn’t matter how long it will take. It’s just the matter of constant, repeated and persistent looking and looking and not finding that will bring about the realization.
If they were clearly seen to be just mental images they could be ignored.
The problem is that they are taken for reality – taken to be “actually there”, until I realize they aren't! (And that's often not until later).
All right. We will deal with this.
I also tend to spend less time on subsequent pointings that are asking the same question but of different aspects of experience. Eg. If you ask me if there's a seer, if there's a senser, if there's a taster, if there's a hearer, etc; for the first few aspects of experience I spend more time directly looking, but nearer the end of the list I tend to move more quickly through them
.
Yes, there is a tendency to not look as thoroughly with subsequent questions, it’s quite common. But it would help a lot, if you could spend equal amount of time with each question. As I said it many times, realization requires lots and lots of looking again and again, until the BELIEF in the self cannot be held any longer.
I didn’t really find anything special, other than what you pointed out about the effortlessness of it.
Seeing occurs without any effort whatsoever.
And it disappears without any effort whatsoever.
A world doesn’t need to “come into existence” or “go out of existence”, it’s just there, and then it’s not. It appears and disappears effortlessly.
Good.

Now, I would like to ask you to repeat the previous exercise for a few minutes.

1. Just observe how effortlessly seeing happens.

2. Close your eyes, and choose a mental image that you can experiment with. It could be anything which doesn’t trigger emotional reaction. It could be anything, but I will refer to as an ‘apple’.

So here is apple for you:
Image

While holding the mental image of the apple, try to see it as clearly and vividly as you can.
When it’s clear enough, observe and make note that this is just a mental image.
See that actually there is no apple there. It’s just an image.

3. Open the eyes. Find a neutral object (like table, wall, or some neutral surface) and let the eyes rest there.
Now, with eyes open, looking at the wall, bring up the mental image of the apple.
Notice, although the eyes seeing the wall, the mental image of the apple still can arise (although it might be lighter).
Observe and make a note that the apple is just imagined. It’s not there, it’s not happening.

4. Now try to play with these 2 images (visual image + mental image).
Shift the attention between the two, back and forth.

Don’t rush through this part. Take your time. Repeat it several times.
I ask you to do this to help you to see that mental images can arise even when the eyes are open.
Also to learn to notice mental images when they arise.
Furthermore, to notice that the content of mental images, the apple itself is not ‘real’, not happening.

Tomorrow we will go a step further with this exercise. So for today, I’d like to ask you to repeat this several times throughout the day. You can choose different mental objects with each looking.

Please let me know how each set of looking went.
What was, if there was any difference doing this exercise the first time, second, third…


And also when you don’t do the exercise, try to pay close attention to any mental image that might arise during the day. It’s like developing a habit to spot and notice mental images when they arise.

Let me know how often you can notice the presence of mental images, throughout the day.


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 08, 2019 10:06 am

Hi Vivien,
And it’s important to mention here that we are looking to dissolve the BELIEF in the self, and to dissolve the sense of self itself. Is this clear?
Okay, but a question: if we only need to dissolve the belief in self, why is intellectual understanding not enough? Isn’t belief an intellectual phenomenon?
Yes, there is a tendency to not look as thoroughly with subsequent questions, it’s quite common. But it would help a lot, if you could spend equal amount of time with each question.
Okay, I’ll do that.
Please let me know how each set of looking went.
What was, if there was any difference doing this exercise the first time, second, third…
I’ve done it for about a day now.
It is seen that the content of the mental image isn’t real. I can’t bite into the image of the apple.

As I did the exercise over and over, the difference between the mental image and the visual perception became clearer, more distinct.

When the eyes were open and the mental image was present, it was seen that the content of the mental image wasn’t actually there. There was no “real” apple in the room. The mental image is very “thin”, “light”. It’s interesting how the visual perception and mental image can coexist without interference. The mental images often relate to the visual perception – it’s part of the “net” of conceptualization.

When the eyes were closed, there was often another mental image arising, the content of which was actually the visual perception. Does that make sense? I’d close my eyes, and there would be a mental image of the visual perception that I had just closed my eyes to – it was of the world still remaining “out there” after the eyes closed.
Let me know how often you can notice the presence of mental images, throughout the day.
They arise a lot. They’re not immediately noticed as mental images, but if I’m paying attention I do notice eventually. The more obvious ones are quickly seen as mental images, eg. the apple, whereas the subtle mental images are harder to detect. The image of white-ness, of “space” or “dimensions”, of “here-ness” as opposed to “over there” - very subtle.

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:47 am

Hi Michael,
Okay, but a question: if we only need to dissolve the belief in self, why is intellectual understanding not enough? Isn’t belief an intellectual phenomenon?
This is a good question. It’s exactly because belief is an intellectual phenomenon. We cannot use the same tool which created the illusion in the first place. No matter how hard someone try to think about it, analyse it, understand it, that won’t help, since it still happens on the level of thinking. We have to step outside from the realm of thoughts/concepts, in order to see that the illusion is created by thought only. We have to see this experientially (meaning seeing outside from thoughts, without thinking, or in other words, looking under the conceptual overlay) to see what is really going on.

But let answer this from a different perspective. Imagine, that we walk in a dark street. As we turn at a street corner, there is a huge lion growling loudly. If I turn to you and try to explain that this lion is not real, it’s just a 3D hologram, coming from a projector and its sound from a speaker, that wouldn’t make you less fearful of it. You wouldn’t believe me, since you could see a full sized lion in front of you with your own eyes. But if I start walking towards the lion and when I reach him I wouldn’t stop but just walk straight through him, then you could see that the lion indeed is not real. And you might walk through him too. But this doesn’t make the lion go away. However, the belief in his realness is gone. But, if the next day when you meet the lion again, suddenly it can be believed to be real again, since the illusion is so convincing. But as you gather your strength and walk through it again, your belief in it is goes away again. The more often you meet the lion and walk through it, the less believable it gets.
As I did the exercise over and over, the difference between the mental image and the visual perception became clearer, more distinct.
You did a great looking.
The more obvious ones are quickly seen as mental images, eg. the apple, whereas the subtle mental images are harder to detect. The image of white-ness, of “space” or “dimensions”, of “here-ness” as opposed to “over there” - very subtle.
Could you please describe to me in detail how the image of ‘space’, ‘dimensions’ and ‘here-ness opposed to over there’ look like? Help me to imagine/see these images too.

Now, let’s go a step further with looking.

1. Close your eyes, and bring up the mental image of the apple again. Just observe it, and after a while turn the attention to the one that is looking the image.
So now, we are trying to find the seer itself.
You can use mental images as a tool now. So image a head and try to locate the seer inside the head.
Try to find and see the exact location where the seer seems to reside.

2. Now, while keeping the attention on the mental image of seer located in the head, try to find the corresponding sensation where the seer is.
Keep the attention for a while on the sensation that is seemingly the place where the seeing happens, or the seer reside.
Make this sensation as strong as you can. Familiarize yourself with this sensation, so you can place the attention there whenever you want to.

3. Now open the eyes, and just look around.
As you look around, turn the attention to the place where the seer seemingly reside.
Find the sensation labelled ‘seer’.
Again, keep the attention on the sensation which seems to be the seer, and just gently look around the room.
Try to keep the attention on the sensation as the eyes goes from one object to another.

Repeat this exercise many times during the day. Let me know if there are any changes as you repeat the exercise.
Also, what was the image of the head like? Which sensation seems to be the seer?

Also, whenever you can remember throughout the day, try to localize the sensation where the seer supposedly resides. Let me know what you find.


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 10, 2019 9:36 am

Hi Vivien,
Okay, but a question: if we only need to dissolve the belief in self, why is intellectual understanding not enough? Isn’t belief an intellectual phenomenon?
It’s exactly because belief is an intellectual phenomenon. We cannot use the same tool which created the illusion in the first place. No matter how hard someone try to think about it, analyse it, understand it, that won’t help, since it still happens on the level of thinking. We have to step outside from the realm of thoughts/concepts, in order to see that the illusion is created by thought only.
Ah, right, that makes sense.
The more obvious ones are quickly seen as mental images, eg. the apple, whereas the subtle mental images are harder to detect. The image of white-ness, of “space” or “dimensions”, of “here-ness” as opposed to “over there” - very subtle.
Could you please describe to me in detail how the image of ‘space’, ‘dimensions’ and ‘here-ness opposed to over there’ look like? Help me to imagine/see these images too.
Imagine you’re in a large, empty room. You look at the opposite corners of the room and they seem “far away”. They seem “not here”. They seem “not me”. Contrast that with the place of the body – that’s “here”, that’s “intimate”, that’s “me”. Now take away the image of the room, but keep the experience of “here-as-opposed-to-out-there” in empty space. “Here” is “self”, “out there” is “other”.

I close my eyes and an image of white-ness or black-ness arises. But it’s not colour alone, it’s either two dimensional (like looking at a sheet of paper), or three dimensional (like being in an infinitely large room, or in empty space). In the moment it seems like these subtle images are actual experience.

If these appeared as clearly (as obviously) as I describe them, I’d be able to see them as “just images arising” – but at the time I take them for reality; I think I’m seeing what’s really there in experience. And then further mental images “play with” and “build on” those subtle images. Eg. if I’m unknowingly taking the subtle image of three dimensional space to be real, the image may morph into having a “centre” within that space where the “I” resides, or that thoughts arise “here” as opposed to “over there” within the space (and therefore “here” is where the thinker is located).

One of the trickiest ones occurs when looking for “I”: there’s a subtle mental image of three dimensional space, and that “space” seems to have the quality of being aware, and that “aware space” seems to be the “awareness” that we’re looking for. That aware space seems to be “I”, “me”. I recognise intellectually that this comes from the Advaita teachings.
Repeat this exercise many times during the day. Let me know if there are any changes as you repeat the exercise.
Also, what was the image of the head like? Which sensation seems to be the seer?

Also, whenever you can remember throughout the day, try to localize the sensation where the seer supposedly resides. Let me know what you find.
I found the exercise difficult because I could never locate a particular sensation which is being mistaken for the seer.
I experience the sensation of the eyes, but they’re not mistaken to be a seer – the sensation of the eyes is part of the “seen” or “known”.
If anything is mistaken for a seer it would be the sensation of the head as a whole. But it doesn’t seem to be the main issue. Maybe I’m wrong about this and just can’t see it?
For me, the illusion of the seer doesn’t seem to be created by a sensation, but rather created by the visual field being experienced “from here”, coalescing “here” at the eyes. But there’s no sensation that I mistake for the seer.

I can take another look at this if I'm missing something.

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:21 am

Hi Michael,
If these appeared as clearly (as obviously) as I describe them, I’d be able to see them as “just images arising” – but at the time I take them for reality; I think I’m seeing what’s really there in experience.
Thank you for describing these images. I had quite similar images coming up when I followed the Advaita teachings in the past, and I also mistook these images with AE.

I asked you to describe these images mainly to help you to see them clearly. Now, as you described them so well, you can be alert and watch out for them. So when next time you look at AE and it seems that you can SEE what is really happening, check if there is any of these (or similar) images there overlaying the experience. All right?
If anything is mistaken for a seer it would be the sensation of the head as a whole. But it doesn’t seem to be the main issue. Maybe I’m wrong about this and just can’t see it?
For me, the illusion of the seer doesn’t seem to be created by a sensation, but rather created by the visual field being experienced “from here”, coalescing “here” at the eyes. But there’s no sensation that I mistake for the seer.
It's possible that the mental images you described plays the bigger role in the illusion, however it’s unlikely that sensations don’t play any role at all. Probably it’s just so subtle that it isn’t noticed. But we will see as we dig deeper.

In the human existence, the identification is not just with the seer / looker / feeler / experiencer, but also with the body. When we say, I sat down, then the ‘I’ points to the body. “I kicked the ball”, “I’m washing the dishes”, etc. So in the everyday existence the identification is either on the body “don’t touch me”, or something inside the body (usually in the head) which is having / owning the body “my body”.

When there is an identification with the body, then actually the identification is with sensations, since there is no AE of body. The body is just a mental fabrication overlaying the sensations. Can you see this?

Imagine you’re in a large, empty room. You look at the opposite corners of the room and they seem “far away”. They seem “not here”. They seem “not me”. Contrast that with the place of the body – that’s “here”, that’s “intimate”, that’s “me”. Now take away the image of the room, but keep the experience of “here-as-opposed-to-out-there” in empty space. “Here” is “self”, “out there” is “other”.
In this image, the here-ness is coming from the identification with the body (sensations). Just as in everyday life, the identification with the body creates the illusion of a center to witch things are happening TO, and things are observed FROM. So the distinction between here-ness and the out-there is based on the identification with the body which is placed in a certain position in space or in certain position to other objects like furniture in the room or other bodies.

So it seems that this in image of here-ness the objects of the words are removed, and only the here-ness (based on the body) and the out-there-ness remained in empty space. Bu the distinction between here-ness and out-there (self vs other) is coming from the perspective of the body, thus the identification with the body. Can you see this?
if I’m unknowingly taking the subtle image of three dimensional space to be real, the image may morph into having a “centre” within that space where the “I” resides, or that thoughts arise “here” as opposed to “over there” within the space (and therefore “here” is where the thinker is located).
With this image, there is still a center, which is derived from the perspective of the body. Although a body doesn’t appear, there is still a center, just as the body is the center of experience in the everyday context. Can you see this?
One of the trickiest ones occurs when looking for “I”: there’s a subtle mental image of three dimensional space, and that “space” seems to have the quality of being aware, and that “aware space” seems to be the “awareness” that we’re looking for. That aware space seems to be “I”, “me”. I recognise intellectually that this comes from the Advaita teachings.
With this third image, the center (body) is gone, and the identification went from the body to the space (awareness). So now, I am awareness. I am the space.

So what these images show is that there are 2 main identifications present, one with awareness and one with the body as a center. Can you see this?


Please bring up this mental image of aware space as clearly as you can. When the image is present, investigate:

If going along only with the mental image and ignoring all thoughts, how is it known that this space has a quality of being aware?
Does the mental image itself suggest in any way that this space is aware?
How is it known EXACTLY that this space is an ‘aware space’? What is suggesting that it’s an aware space?


Now let me ask you some questions about your everyday experience when you don’t think or investigate this topic.
In the everyday life is there a sense that everything is happening from the perspective of this body?

Does it feel like as if I am the body?
Or that the body belongs to me?

Does it seem like as if the thinker is somewhere inside this body or belongs to this body?

Does it seem like as if experience is happening TO this body?
And that reactions to outside circumstance or others are happening FROM the body or from the perspective of the body?

Could you please write down what is your everyday experience is like?
Look at the image bellow. Does the everyday experience seem/feel like in this image?

Image

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 Jun 12, 2019 1:34 am

Hi Viven,
So when next time you look at AE and it seems that you can SEE what is really happening, check if there is any of these (or similar) images there overlaying the experience. All right?
Okie dokie – I’ll look closely.
When there is an identification with the body, then actually the identification is with sensations, since there is no AE of body. The body is just a mental fabrication overlaying the sensations. Can you see this?
Yes, absolutely. The actual experience of the body is sensation and visual perception. “Body” doesn’t REALLY refer to anything. There’s not “a body” in actual experience, there’s only a sensation and the visual perception.
But the distinction between here-ness and out-there (self vs other) is coming from the perspective of the body, thus the identification with the body. Can you see this?
Yes, it’s the “body” that’s here and not there.
And there’s nothing else that “here and not there” that there could be identification with.
With this image, there is still a center, which is derived from the perspective of the body. Although a body doesn’t appear, there is still a center, just as the body is the center of experience in the everyday context. Can you see this?
Yes, it mostly comes back to the sensation of the body.
With this third image, the center (body) is gone, and the identification went from the body to the space (awareness). So now, I am awareness. I am the space.

So what these images show is that there are 2 main identifications present, one with awareness and one with the body as a center. Can you see this?
Yeah absolutely. This does appear to be the issue.
If going along only with the mental image and ignoring all thoughts, how is it known that this space has a quality of being aware?
Does the mental image itself suggest in any way that this space is aware?
How is it known EXACTLY that this space is an ‘aware space’? What is suggesting that it’s an aware space?
Right – there’s nothing in experience that says the space is aware.
There is aware-ing happening (eg. the aware-ing of the mental image), but it’s not “the space” thats aware.
It was a thought that said the space is aware.
Now let me ask you some questions about your everyday experience when you don’t think or investigate this topic.
In the everyday life is there a sense that everything is happening from the perspective of this body?
Yes – visual perception and sound, in particular, seem to happen from the point of view of the body.
Does it feel like as if I am the body?
Or that the body belongs to me?
No, it doesn’t feel like I am the body – it feels like the body belongs to me; that it’s “mine” somehow. It’s intimate, close, here – whereas other bodies are “not here”. This body is the only one that is experienced “from the inside” – all other bodies are experienced differently. Far away.
Does it seem like as if the thinker is somewhere inside this body or belongs to this body?
No, not really. It’s quite clear to me that thoughts just appear, like sounds. It’s not “someone thinking”, it’s just thoughts arising and dissipating.
Does it seem like as if experience is happening TO this body?
And that reactions to outside circumstance or others are happening FROM the body or from the perspective of the body?
No, it doesn’t seem that experience is happening to the body.
The body is part of “experience”.
It does feel like experience is happening to “me”, but that “me” is not the body. The “me” can’t be found as anything else, either, though.
Could you please write down what is your everyday experience is like?
Look at the image bellow. Does the everyday experience seem/feel like in this image?
No, the image doesn’t really reflect my experience. There isn’t much identification with the VISUAL PERCEPTION of the body. I look at my hand and it seems to be more part of experience than part of “me”. I look in the mirror and there’s not the sense of “that is me” that there used to be.

The body, at least the visual perception of the body, seems to be experienced by me – it is not the experiencer.

There does seem to be identification with the body sensation, however. My happiness is heavily influenced by the state of the body sensation (discomfort, pain, etc). When something hurts the body, it hurts “me”.

Visually, the body is just another aspect of experience (albeit somewhat special due to being the only body experience from this point of view), but not heavily identified with.

But the sensation of the body, I can tell, is still a major identification.

Michael.


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