The non-existent nuisance.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:12 am

Hi Michael,

Your replies were very helpful, thank you.

Look very carefully with EACH question. Not just once, but repeatedly. You can spend 2 days of looking before replying. There is no rush, just be very-very thorough. Watch out for any mental image that might arise, and see what is really there when mental images are ignored.
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”.
Now look very-very carefully. Look for the me which the body belongs to. Look everywhere. If it exists any way, then it has to be found. So where is the owner of the body exactly?
This body is the only one that is experienced “from the inside” – all other bodies are experienced differently. Far away.
What is it exactly that is experiencing the body from the inside?

Is there ANYTHING inside the body, or of the body then sensations? – look very carefully

Find the border between inside and outside. Where is the border exactly?

What is the AE of inside?
What is the AE of outside?

And inside of what exactly?


Pay attention to the sensation labelled ‘face’.
Investigate the border of the sensation. Thoughts and images ‘say’ that where the face ends, at the same spot or line the outside world starts. Try to find the edge, where the sensation labelled ‘face’ ends, and the sensation of the ‘world’ begins.

Is there a sensation for the outside world at all?
Is there a sensation for ‘air’?
Is there another sensation for ‘skin’?
How many sensations are there?


Now pay attention to the sensation labelled ‘face’, where it ends (where the ‘outside world’ begins).

Can you fine an ending line for the sensation labelled ‘face’?
Does the sensation labelled ‘face’ ends at all?


In order to say that there is inside and outside, both of them has to be found. You have to be able to find the edges of inside, and you also have to be able to find the edges of outside.

Can you find the edge of inside?
Can you find the edge of outside?
Can you find any sensation that is the ‘outside world’?

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.
If this me really exist it has to be found. Otherwise, how would you know that experience is happening to ‘me’ if you cannot even find yourself?
The body, at least the visual perception of the body, seems to be experienced by me – it is not the experiencer.
Pay attention to a sensation. And now turn the attention to the one, to the me that is experiencing that sensation. Where is 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”.
All right. So let’s say there is a sensation labelled ‘discomfort’.
Where is the one that is unhappy because of the sensation labelled ‘discomfort’?
Where is the one that could be happy or unhappy? – find it

But the sensation of the body, I can tell, is still a major identification.
So here you say that there is an identification of the sensations labelled body. But a few comments above you wrote: “it does feel like experience is happening to ‘me’, but that ‘me’ is not the body”.

So now which one?
Do you see the trick of thoughts?
This body is the only one that is experienced “from the inside” – all other bodies are experienced differently. Far away.
The trick is, that there is an underlying belief that the sensations labelled ‘body’ is inside or coming from the image labelled ‘body’. Can you see this?

And since it’s believed that the image labelled ‘this body or my body’ contains the sensations labelled ‘my body’, thus is the mental conclusion that the image labelled ‘other body’ is experienced differently, since the sensations contained in the image labelled ‘other body’ is not experienced by ‘me’ or not available to ‘me’, only the sensations contained inside this image (this/my body)”. 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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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:48 am

Hi Michael,

How things are going?

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 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:22 am

Hi Vivien,

I’ve been finding these exercises quite draining.
There’s some resistance to the looking, but I’m not sure why.
This still feels valuable; I’m not becoming disinterested (and in fact, it’s the opposite – it’s feeling more “significant” as we go along). I’ve just been finding this one in particular mentally draining so I've just had to do it bit by bit.
Look for the me which the body belongs to. Look everywhere. If it exists any way, then it has to be found. So where is the owner of the body exactly?
A mental image of space arises... But there’s no owner of the body. No one and no thing to whom it belongs. The question arises: what does the body arise "in"?
This body is the only one that is experienced “from the inside” – all other bodies are experienced differently. Far away.
What is it exactly that is experiencing the body from the inside?
Nothing... But it’s hard to shake this mental image of a space in which the sensation is appearing. It really does seem that it appears in a space, or in SOMETHING at least. The whole of experience is not filled with the sensation.
Is there ANYTHING inside the body, or of the body then sensations? – look very carefully
No, there’s definitely nothing inside the body. The body is just the sensation. There’s nothing “inside” the sensation except more sensation.
Find the border between inside and outside. Where is the border exactly?
There’s no border – the sensation just “fades” toward edges – there are no real “edges”. But it does “fade out”.
What is the AE of inside?
What is the AE of outside?
Inside is just sensation... It’s the same all the way through.
Outside is... Nothingness. Emptiness.
And inside of what exactly?
Inside of nothing.
Rather than “inside and outside”, more accurate would be to say “where the sensation is and where the sensation isn’t”.
Pay attention to the sensation labelled ‘face’.
Investigate the border of the sensation. Thoughts and images ‘say’ that where the face ends, at the same spot or line the outside world starts. Try to find the edge, where the sensation labelled ‘face’ ends, and the sensation of the ‘world’ begins.

Is there a sensation for the outside world at all?
Is there a sensation for ‘air’?
Is there another sensation for ‘skin’?
How many sensations are there?
There’s no sensation of the outside world.
There’s no sensation of “air”.
There’s no particular sensation of “skin”.
There’s just one sensation – the body sensation – and it is the same all the way through.
Again, it’s not present everywhere though. There are places where it isn’t, and so it seems like it appears “in” something larger.
Can you fine an ending line for the sensation labelled ‘face’?
Does the sensation labelled ‘face’ ends at all?
No, there’s definitely no well-defined edge or ending line to the sensation of the face.
There’s no actual experience of the sensation labelled ‘face’ ending anywhere; at the same time, it must end somewhere because it doesn’t fill the entirety of experience. The sensation “face” isn’t present at the place of the sensation “feet”, for example.
Can you find the edge of inside?
Can you find the edge of outside?
Can you find any sensation that is the ‘outside world’?
No, certainly not.
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.
If this me really exist it has to be found. Otherwise, how would you know that experience is happening to ‘me’ if you cannot even find yourself?
Yeah, that’s interesting... How do I know that experience is happening to “me”? What evidence is there of that? What makes me believe that’s the case?
I can’t find anything to suggest it, other than the (admittedly Vedantic) thought which says, “for anything to exist, there must be a “ground” or “medium” upon which or within which it appears; like clouds in the sky, or an email on a computer screen. A “fundamental reality”.”
But this is just thought.
Pay attention to a sensation. And now turn the attention to the one, to the me that is experiencing that sensation. Where is the experiencer?
Yeah, the attention doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t know where to look for “me”. “The experiencer” isn’t anything that can be found. The attention just remains “here” at the place of the body sensation – but that’s not an 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”.
All right. So let’s say there is a sensation labelled ‘discomfort’.
Where is the one that is unhappy because of the sensation labelled ‘discomfort’?
Where is the one that could be happy or unhappy? – find it
I can’t find it. I can’t find any entity or thing which is unhappy. But the suffering (albeit mild) seems so real. So repulsive. I’m not expecting experience itself to change, but there is the belief that there would be some type of relief from suffering when the separate self can’t be found. But it seems as real and as uncomfortable as ever.
It’s confusing – I suffer, but I can’t find the “I” that is suffering.
But the sensation of the body, I can tell, is still a major identification.
So here you say that there is an identification of the sensations labelled body. But a few comments above you wrote: “it does feel like experience is happening to ‘me’, but that ‘me’ is not the body”.
So now which one?
Do you see the trick of thoughts?
I think that what is happening is that I’m identifying with a standalone awareness, and the body sensation is felt as an aspect or a part or “intimate with” that standalone awareness, and therefore there’s some identification with the SENSATION of the body.
Whereas there’s less identification with the visual perception of the body.
The sensation feels “me”, “self”, “intimate”, “close” - whereas the perception seems to be just another part of “the world”.
I’m not quite sure how to explain it clearly.
This body is the only one that is experienced “from the inside” – all other bodies are experienced differently. Far away.
The trick is, that there is an underlying belief that the sensations labelled ‘body’ is inside or coming from the image labelled ‘body’. Can you see this?
Ah, right, yes I see this.
Thought is linking the two.
But surely the coincidences are far too great for the sensation and the perception of the body NOT to be linked? The sensation changes in accord with changes to the visual perception. Eg. there is the perception of a hand touching the body, and in the sensation there’s a feeling of warmth at the same time and for the same duration. Surely it’s more than just thought suggesting a relation between the two?
And since it’s believed that the image labelled ‘this body or my body’ contains the sensations labelled ‘my body’, thus is the mental conclusion that the image labelled ‘other body’ is experienced differently, since the sensations contained in the image labelled ‘other body’ is not experienced by ‘me’ or not available to ‘me’, only the sensations contained inside this image (this/my body)”. Can you see this?
Could you explain this further? I’m not quite grasping it.
What do you mean when you say “other bodies are / aren’t experienced differently”? I do believe that “other people” have the same kind of experience of a body sensation, if that’s what you mean? But I definitely only experience one sensation, which corresponds to the visual image of “this body” (as discussed above) but does not correspond to the visual image of “other bodies”. When another body trips over in the visual perception, there is no change to the body sensation here. But I do believe that “someone else” experiences the body sensation lurching when there’s tripping in the visual perception.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:11 am

Hi Michael,
This still feels valuable; I’m not becoming disinterested (and in fact, it’s the opposite – it’s feeling more “significant” as we go along).
Great :)
There’s some resistance to the looking, but I’m not sure why.
Usually behind resistance there is story about negative consequences to this investigation. So the resistance is doing its job well, since it prevents looking deeply thus avoiding the negative consequences.

So please sit with this resistance and look behind it. Look for a story that this resistance is trying to protect you from.

What is this story about?

Ask the resistance as if it were a some kind of entity: What do you want to protect me from?


I will go through your replies in several shorter posts. If I were reply to all of them at once, then it would be a very long and overwhelming post. So rather we go through them in smaller chunks.

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 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:03 am

Hi Vivien,
So please sit with this resistance and look behind it. Look for a story that this resistance is trying to protect you from.

What is this story about?
The story says, "This won't have any results - it's pointless. You're just answering questions that you already know the answer to, and there won't be any revelation of an absence of self."
Ask the resistance as if it were a some kind of entity: What do you want to protect me from?
It's trying to stop me from engaging with the guidance - with the looking.
It's trying to maintain the place of Advaita Vedanta in "my" life.
And it's probably trying to protect "the entity" from being seen as non-existent.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:19 am

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your honesty.
The story says, "This won't have any results - it's pointless. You're just answering questions that you already know the answer to, and there won't be any revelation of an absence of self."
So the resistance based on this story is working perfectly well. It predicts that there won’t be any revelation of an absence of self, and the resistance makes this prediction into reality. And indeed, while the resistance is intact, the self probably won’t be seen through. Since the resistance prevents looking.
It's trying to stop me from engaging with the guidance - with the looking.
It's trying to maintain the place of Advaita Vedanta in "my" life.
And it's probably trying to protect "the entity" from being seen as non-existent.
Let’s look into this a bit deeper.

So the self doesn’t want to be discovered to be only an illusion.
Therefore, self-referencing thoughts suggest that staying with the Advaita teachings is much safer, therefore better or truer.
As a result, the resistance prevents looking.
Is this so?

The problem is that as long as the desire on behalf of the self to stay as awareness is stronger than the desire for looking through the illusion, the resistance wins, and not much looking happens. And the predicted story becomes ‘reality’.

What are your thoughts on this?
How would you like to precede from here?


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 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:31 am

Hi Vivien,
So the self doesn’t want to be discovered to be only an illusion.
Therefore, self-referencing thoughts suggest that staying with the Advaita teachings is much safer, therefore better or truer.
As a result, the resistance prevents looking.
Is this so?
I get a bit confused here - how could something that doesn't exist want anything at all?
How could the self "not want to be discovered", when it's not really there?

But yes, I think that Advaita's teachings are definitely safer for the separate self. It doesn't get to remain "inhabited" in as the body, but it gets to remain inhabited as awareness.
Another part of the story is "I want to have the Advaita teachings to fall back on in case this guidance doesn't work."
The problem is that as long as the desire on behalf of the self to stay as awareness is stronger than the desire for looking through the illusion, the resistance wins, and not much looking happens. And the predicted story becomes ‘reality’.

What are your thoughts on this?
How would you like to precede from here?
I'd like to continue.
I still do the looking regardless of the resistance; it just sometimes takes me longer to get it done.
I don't want the separate self to be identified with awareness. The Advaita teachings have helped somewhat, but they haven't brought liberation from the separate self.
I don't want to keep living an illusion.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:12 am

Hi Michael,
I get a bit confused here - how could something that doesn't exist want anything at all?
How could the self "not want to be discovered", when it's not really there?
It’s just a figurative speaking.
There are self-referencing thoughts on behalf of the self, wanting or not wanting this or that.
As long as these thoughts are not seen only as arising thoughts, but rather their contents are taken as real, the self ‘emerges’ who wants this or that and actions follow.
But yes, I think that Advaita's teachings are definitely safer for the separate self. It doesn't get to remain "inhabited" in as the body, but it gets to remain inhabited as awareness.
Exactly.
Another part of the story is "I want to have the Advaita teachings to fall back on in case this guidance doesn't work."
This is a bit tricky. Since if there is a fall-back plan, then the looking might not happen with full attention or effort, since if this doesn’t work out, then there is plan B. So I don’t have to take it as seriously as if there were no plan B. Can you see this?
I'd like to continue.
I still do the looking regardless of the resistance; it just sometimes takes me longer to get it done.
I don't want the separate self to be identified with awareness. The Advaita teachings have helped somewhat, but they haven't brought liberation from the separate self.
I don't want to keep living an illusion.
All right. I am here to help you. But I will be honest with you. I am offering guiding freely in my free time. And I spend much more time with replying to you then with my any other clients. And I am willing and happy to put time and effort into continue with you, but only if you are really committed.

You have to let go of the fall-back plan. You have to put as much effort into looking as if there were no other options. Can you / are you willing to do this?

You have to trust this process. Can you do that?


The following was written by someone who had seen through the self and wrote this at the end of his investigation:

To see This, first, you must be 100% committed to seeing it. It can’t be a nice idea, an intellectual curiosity. You have got to pursue this as if you have no other choice.

Second, you must be open with a willingness to set aside your current beliefs about how things are and engage in rigorous inquiry. No-one can give this to you.

Your beliefs might rush in saying, “Yeah, but…”, “OK, but what about…?”, “I was taught that…”, “My other teacher or the book I read said…” All this must be pushed aside and sometimes quite aggressively.

Third, you must engage in active listening. Listen carefully to the words your guide is using. Be sure you are clear on the context within which the words are being used. Sometimes, when you review what was asked or said, you realize that what you thought you heard versus what was actually said are two different things.

Fourth, this ties in with number 2… practical application… You can’t just sit and ponder, you must apply the ideas to your life; see them in action. Do the work.

Fifth, be 100% honest with your guide and with yourself. You can’t cheat your way through this. Wherever you are in your understanding or lack thereof is fine, but your guide can’t help you if you are withholding. Withholding is unfair both to the guide and 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 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:23 am

Hi Vivien,
This is a bit tricky. Since if there is a fall-back plan, then the looking might not happen with full attention or effort, since if this doesn’t work out, then there is plan B. So I don’t have to take it as seriously as if there were no plan B. Can you see this?
Yeah, I see this. The importance isn’t as great when there’s a fall-back plan. And that itself undermines the guidance, because the guidance requires a lot of looking and no holding of prior concepts.
All right. I am here to help you. But I will be honest with you. I am offering guiding freely in my free time. And I spend much more time with replying to you then with my any other clients. And I am willing and happy to put time and effort into continue with you, but only if you are really committed.
Thank you.
To see This, first, you must be 100% committed to seeing it. It can’t be a nice idea, an intellectual curiosity. You have got to pursue this as if you have no other choice.

Second, you must be open with a willingness to set aside your current beliefs about how things are and engage in rigorous inquiry. No-one can give this to you.

Your beliefs might rush in saying, “Yeah, but…”, “OK, but what about…?”, “I was taught that…”, “My other teacher or the book I read said…” All this must be pushed aside and sometimes quite aggressively.

Third, you must engage in active listening. Listen carefully to the words your guide is using. Be sure you are clear on the context within which the words are being used. Sometimes, when you review what was asked or said, you realize that what you thought you heard versus what was actually said are two different things.

Fourth, this ties in with number 2… practical application… You can’t just sit and ponder, you must apply the ideas to your life; see them in action. Do the work.

Fifth, be 100% honest with your guide and with yourself. You can’t cheat your way through this. Wherever you are in your understanding or lack thereof is fine, but your guide can’t help you if you are withholding. Withholding is unfair both to the guide and yourself.

You have to let go of the fall-back plan. You have to put as much effort into looking as if there were no other options. Can you / are you willing to do this?

You have to trust this process. Can you do that?
Yes. I’m all-in. I trust the process.

And I’ve let go of the Advaita teachings.

When I let go, I noticed how much they were still playing a role in conceptualising experience. And not only that: the materialist model was actually being held onto as well, I just didn’t realise it. I was conceptualising experience as “the Advaita world-view as opposed to the materialist world-view” - the materialist world-view was being snuck in the backdoor, so to speak.

All there is is a flow of “experiencing”, and even that is saying too much. There’s no fundamental reality or standalone awareness; and even the commentary “there is is just a flow of “experiencing”” is also part of the experiencing – it’s not outside the flow commenting on it, it’s another “expressing” of it. “Within” it. But there’s no within or without, no “levels” of reality. My concepts were referring to “this”, this “flow of experiencing”, but you can’t reverse engineer the process – you can’t “get there” by following the concepts. You can only “get there” by letting go of beliefs and looking clearly.

The seeing of this really helps clarify some of the things that we've talked about previously.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:47 am

Hi Michael,
When I let go, I noticed how much they were still playing a role in conceptualising experience. And not only that: the materialist model was actually being held onto as well, I just didn’t realise it. I was conceptualising experience as “the Advaita world-view as opposed to the materialist world-view” - the materialist world-view was being snuck in the backdoor, so to speak.
Exactly. I’m glad that you are seeing this now.
My concepts were referring to “this”, this “flow of experiencing”, but you can’t reverse engineer the process – you can’t “get there” by following the concepts. You can only “get there” by letting go of beliefs and looking clearly.
Yes!

So now, in smaller chunks we go through your previous post.
Please look very carefully with each statement and question.
Never take anything for granted. Always look afresh.
A mental image of space arises... But there’s no owner of the body. No one and no thing to whom it belongs. The question arises: what does the body arise "in"?
Let me ask a different question instead:

What makes the assumption that the body arise IN anything at all?

Just because there is a mental images of a space showing the body or the sensations being in that space, make the body ACTUALLY arise IN anything at all?

In other words, just because there is a mental image showing the body (or sensations) arise in space, does this make it so?

Is there an AE of body (sensations) arising IN anything when the mental images and thoughts are ignored?
But it’s hard to shake this mental image of a space in which the sensation is appearing. It really does seem that it appears in a space, or in SOMETHING at least.
But a mental images is just a mental image.
The content of the mental image is NOT AE. The space is just imagined. The space is not actually experienced. Can you see this?

Or in other words, the content of a mental image (or thought) in and of itself does NOT contain any experience. Can you see this? – seeing this CLEARLY is essential
V: What is the AE of inside?
What is the AE of outside?
M: Inside is just sensation... It’s the same all the way through.
Outside is... Nothingness. Emptiness.
Inside is just a label on ‘sensations’, but inside is NOT = sensation
So the label of ‘inside’ is the AE of a mental label, but NOT the AE of ‘inside’.
Inside as such simply cannot be experienced.
Is this totally clear?

So what is the AE of outside?

What is the AE of nothingness?
What is the AE of emptiness?


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 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:08 am

Hi Vivien,
What makes the assumption that the body arise IN anything at all?
Thought does.
There's actual experience, which does not include anything arising "in" any other thing.
Thought comes afterwards and wonders, "what did the body arise in?", assuming there must be SOMETHING, some fundamental reality which is the "container" of experiences.
The answer to the question is "nothing" - the body sensation doesn't arise in anything, it just arises. The previous question was again assuming a prior reality, which was conceived either as standalone awareness, or an nothing-ness / emptiness.
Thought is happy with the answer "it arises in awareness" due to prior teachings, and unhappy with the answer "it arises from nothing or in nothing" because that doesn't make sense (something can't come from nothing).
But in reality, the question itself isn't valid. It starts by assuming there was something, and then wonders what that something is.
You've addressed this in the past, but I didn't see that it was the same problem coming back again.
Just because there is a mental images of a space showing the body or the sensations being in that space, make the body ACTUALLY arise IN anything at all?
No, the content of the mental image isn't "real".
The only thing that makes it tricky is not realising that it's only a mental image.
Or realising that it is a mental image, but not taking the step to separate the content of the image from "actual experience".
In other words, just because there is a mental image showing the body (or sensations) arise in space, does this make it so?
No - mental images can show anything at all. The content says nothing about what's actually there.
Is there an AE of body (sensations) arising IN anything when the mental images and thoughts are ignored?
No, there are no "layers" or "levels" of experiences appearing within other things. If the sensation were appearing "in" something, I would be able to experience that "thing". Otherwise how would I know that it was appearing in something??
The content of the mental image is NOT AE. The space is just imagined. The space is not actually experienced. Can you see this?
Yeah, that's right, I see this now. The space is not actually experienced. It's not "a space" that's being experienced, it's just a mental image.
Or in other words, the content of a mental image (or thought) in and of itself does NOT contain any experience. Can you see this? – seeing this CLEARLY is essential


Could you say a bit more about this? What exactly you mean when you say it "does not contain any experience?" I see that it doesn't contain or refer to ACTUAL experience, but it does seem that the "content" of a mental image is still experienced. There's still "something" to it. It has colour, form, etc.
Inside is just a label on ‘sensations’, but inside is NOT = sensation
So the label of ‘inside’ is the AE of a mental label, but NOT the AE of ‘inside’.
Inside as such simply cannot be experienced.
Is this totally clear?
Yeah, that's right, I see this. The only thing actually experienced is sensation.
The "inside vs outside" thing is the same as "here vs there". "Inside" is a different label on the sensation, and there's no actual experience of "outside". Outside is nothing. It's a thought and a mental image.
So what is the AE of outside?
Nothing - there's no such thing. There isn't any division - no diving line. There aren't even two things "inside and outside".
What is the AE of nothingness?
What is the AE of emptiness?
Nothing at all. There's no such thing.
The AE is just a mental image and a thought, the content of which is not real.
It's the same as the "what is experience contained in" issue - there can't be an experience of non-experience. There can't be an experience of nothing-ness.
And any "empty space" or "emptiness" that was acting as a container for experience would ACTUALLY BE EXPERIENCED. But it's not.

This all feels very clear to me now.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:09 am

Hi Michael,

You did a great looking!
But in reality, the question itself isn't valid. It starts by assuming there was something, and then wonders what that something is.
Exactly.
No, the content of the mental image isn't "real".
The only thing that makes it tricky is not realising that it's only a mental image.
Or realising that it is a mental image, but not taking the step to separate the content of the image from "actual experience".
From now on, please pay particular attention to mental images. And when you spot one, take the step to separate the content of the image form AE. All right?
If the sensation were appearing "in" something, I would be able to experience that "thing". Otherwise how would I know that it was appearing in something??
Yes, exactly.
Could you say a bit more about this? What exactly you mean when you say it "does not contain any experience?" I see that it doesn't contain or refer to ACTUAL experience, but it does seem that the "content" of a mental image is still experienced. There's still "something" to it. It has colour, form, etc
What I mean that thought, in and of itself contains no experience, if it did you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’, or feel the word ‘hot’. But can you?

With mental images it’s a bit trickier to see this. With using everyday language, the mental image of an apple cannot be touched. The mental imagination about walking on a sunny beach cannot give you sunburn and your feet won’t get sandy or wet.
It's the same as the "what is experience contained in" issue - there can't be an experience of non-experience. There can't be an experience of nothing-ness.
Yes.

Now let’s continue with your previous comments.
The whole of experience is not filled with the sensation.
With your new clarity of seeing, what do you say what is the problem with the above comment?
Inside of nothing.
Rather than “inside and outside”, more accurate would be to say “where the sensation is and where the sensation isn’t”.
And what about this one?
There’s no actual experience of the sensation labelled ‘face’ ending anywhere; at the same time, it must end somewhere because it doesn’t fill the entirety of experience. The sensation “face” isn’t present at the place of the sensation “feet”, for example.
Close your eyes, and pay attention to the sensation labelled ‘face’.
After some time move the attention to the sensation labelled ‘feet’.
Then move back and forth between the two sensations.
Watch out for mental images!

How is it known that one sensation is a ‘feet’ the other is a ‘face’?

How is it known exactly that there is distance between the sensation labelled ‘feet’ and the sensation labelled ‘face’?

“The sensation face isn’t present at the place of the sensation feet” - do sensations have a place? Do they appear in a certain location?

Yeah, the attention doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t know where to look for “me”. “The experiencer” isn’t anything that can be found. The attention just remains “here” at the place of the body sensation – but that’s not an experiencer.
Exactly!

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 18, 2019 3:16 am

Hi Vivien,
From now on, please pay particular attention to mental images. And when you spot one, take the step to separate the content of the image form AE. All right?
Yes, will do.
What I mean that thought, in and of itself contains no experience, if it did you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’, or feel the word ‘hot’. But can you?
No, defintiely not.
With mental images it’s a bit trickier to see this. With using everyday language, the mental image of an apple cannot be touched. The mental imagination about walking on a sunny beach cannot give you sunburn and your feet won’t get sandy or wet.
That's right, yeah. There's still some experience, though, right? There's still colour?
For example, if I have a mental image of "red", what's the difference between that and a visual perception of "red"?
With an apple there's a difference because I can't bite it or touch it, but colour seems to be the same in the case of mental images and visual images.
The whole of experience is not filled with the sensation.
With your new clarity of seeing, what do you say what is the problem with the above comment?
a) it assumes a dichotomy between "experiencing" and "sensation". It takes "experiencing" to be container-like, a "thing" in which sensation may or may not be present.
b) there's no such thing as sensation "not being in a particular place" or "not filling all of experience". I can't ever point to an absence of sensation anywhere.
And what about this one?
There’s no actual experience of the sensation labelled ‘face’ ending anywhere; at the same time, it must end somewhere because it doesn’t fill the entirety of experience. The sensation “face” isn’t present at the place of the sensation “feet”, for example.
The sentence "it must end somewhere because it doesn’t fill the entirety of experience" is only the content of thought. It's the same issue as above - considering "experience" to be "container-like".
Close your eyes, and pay attention to the sensation labelled ‘face’.
After some time move the attention to the sensation labelled ‘feet’.
Then move back and forth between the two sensations.
Watch out for mental images!

How is it known that one sensation is a ‘feet’ the other is a ‘face’?
"Feet" and "face" are just labels - in actual experience they're the same experience, just pure sensation.
How is it known exactly that there is distance between the sensation labelled ‘feet’ and the sensation labelled ‘face’?
It is only within the content of a mental image that distance between the two appears.
The mental image shows the face "up here" and the feet "down there", but without the mental image, there is not distance between the two.
“The sensation face isn’t present at the place of the sensation feet” - do sensations have a place? Do they appear in a certain location?
No, they don't actually. It is only when a mental image is overlaying the experience and showing an image of "the body" or "the world" that they seem to occur in a certain place and not elsewhere. Both sensations actually just occur "here", or are just "experienced". They just are.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:12 am

Hi Michael,
That's right, yeah. There's still some experience, though, right? There's still colour?
For example, if I have a mental image of "red", what's the difference between that and a visual perception of "red"?
With an apple there's a difference because I can't bite it or touch it, but colour seems to be the same in the case of mental images and visual images.
Sort of… But then I would ask:

What is the difference between a thought which is a mental sounds of words and a mental image?
One of them are mental verbal ‘stuff’, the other is mental colors.

And yet somehow it’s easier to see that the content of a thought ‘sweet’ cannot be tasted than to see that the content of a mental image is not AE.

And what about mental sounds? Sometimes you hear a song on the radio on your way to work or while you are cooking or doing something, and that song can stay with you all day. The song seems to play over and over again. All the intricate details are there. All the lyrics, all the notes in the guitar solo are as clear as when it was playing out of the car speakers. But really there is no music playing - no one singing, and no guitarist. It's just thought about sound.

So the word ‘mental’ can be replaced by the word ‘thought’ or ‘imagined’.

So a verbal thought is a thought about sounds of words. Or imagined sounds of words.
A mental image is a thought about image/color. Or an imagined color.
And a mental sound is a thought about a sound. Or an imagined sound.

And the common theme is imagination.

But this distinction is not really important in terms of seeing through the self, as long as it’s clear that the content of thoughts and images are not AE.
a) it assumes a dichotomy between "experiencing" and "sensation". It takes "experiencing" to be container-like, a "thing" in which sensation may or may not be present.
b) there's no such thing as sensation "not being in a particular place" or "not filling all of experience". I can't ever point to an absence of sensation anywhere.
Yes.
I can’t find it. I can’t find any entity or thing which is unhappy. But the suffering (albeit mild) seems so real. So repulsive. I’m not expecting experience itself to change, but there is the belief that there would be some type of relief from suffering when the separate self can’t be found. But it seems as real and as uncomfortable as ever.
It’s confusing – I suffer, but I can’t find the “I” that is suffering.
Even after seeing through the self, 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.
but I can’t find the “I” that is suffering.
And can suffering as such be found?
What is the AE of suffering?

I think that what is happening is that I’m identifying with a standalone awareness, and the body sensation is felt as an aspect or a part or “intimate with” that standalone awareness, and therefore there’s some identification with the SENSATION of the body.
As now the belief in awareness is greatly lessened, what is your current experience with identification?
The sensation feels “me”, “self”, “intimate”, “close” - whereas the perception seems to be just another part of “the world”.
Is this still the case?

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 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:55 am

Hey Vivien,

Sorry for the delay – family and I have all been sick for the past week or so.
Even after seeing through the self, 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.
I struggle with this. It’s not that “falling for the illusion” happens for hours multiple times during the day; falling for the illusion is still the default state. Only when I spend a lot of time looking is the illusion seen through (the self isn’t found), but that doesn’t last long. In most cases, the next thought drags me immediately back into illusion. If that thought is seen to be false, it’s the following one that does it.

I feel like I’ve seen what needs to be seen, but it doesn’t really make a difference... Should I just accept that I've seen through the illusion and focus more on "re-integrating" experience?
And can suffering as such be found?
What is the AE of suffering?
It’s hard to grasp... Hard to “get a hold of”.
It seems to be there, very clearly, but when I “go close” and look for it it seems to dissipate.
But then the attention goes elsewhere and the suffering is back.
It’s definitely related to the body sensation. Suffering seems to be the body sensation “feeling bad”.
As now the belief in awareness is greatly lessened, what is your current experience with identification?
Thought maintains identification, unfortunately: first with the body sensation. When that's seen through, there's identification with awareness. When it's seen that there's no standalone awareness, there's no identification. But then the attention goes elsewhere and the cycle starts all over again, haha.
It’s only really “in the moment of looking” that there’s no identification or feeling of being a self. I wish it would just stay like that.
The sensation feels “me”, “self”, “intimate”, “close” - whereas the perception seems to be just another part of “the world”.
Is this still the case?
This has changed. It changed because it’s seen that there’s no “out there”, no “not here” other than in the content of a mental image. Without the dichotomy between “here” and “out there”, there’s no such thing as “intimate” or “close”.

Michael.


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