The non-existent nuisance.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:07 am

Hi Michael,
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.
But when you look can you clearly see that there is no self anywhere?

Seeing through the self means that EVERY time you LOOK, it’s clear that there is nothing there.
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?
If you have no doubt that you’ve seen through the separate self, then yes. But re-integrating means to continue with looking. Every time when it seems that there is a self there, make a habit for looking for it. Just look and look and look. With each looking the conditioning lessens a bit. Especially worth looking when there is a trigger or an emotion present. If you look for the self while there is a reaction for a trigger, then you not just look through the self again, but also you weaken the conditioned reaction a bit too. If you do this often enough and long enough, then gradually these conditioned reactions will fade away.
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”.
Please close your eyes and bring up a memory or a thought that triggers suffering. You don’t have to make it too strong, just enough to be able to work with it. You can do this with any emotion not just suffering. (Also, you can do similar looking when there is an actual suffering going on).

Separate the thought story from the sensation labelled ‘suffering’, by imagining holding sensation in the right hand and the thought story in the left hand.

Turn to the left hand: Is the thought story by itself is suffering?
Is the thought story by itself is unpleasant?

Turn to the right hand: Is the sensation by itself is the suffering?


Now move back and forth between the two.
Does the thought story, on the one hand, and sensation, on the other, know about each other?

If it seems like that the sensation is the suffering, then replace the thought story in the left hand with the thought label ‘suffering’, and let the right hand hold only the pure sensation itself.

Turn to the label ‘suffering’: Is this thought label THE suffering?
Then turn to the pure sensation: Is this pure sensation THE suffering?


Now move back and forth between the two.
Does label, on the one hand, and sensation, on the other, know about each other?

When look at very closely, can suffering as such be found at all?
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 more you do it, the longer it will last. Just make a habit of looking many-many times during a 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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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:42 pm

Hi Vivien,
But when you look can you clearly see that there is no self anywhere?
I don’t know if it’s seen clearly.
It’s not like looking into an empty jar and seeing nothing inside; it’s more like walking through a large house and searching each room. “Even though I’ve checked every room, a self could have appeared in one of the rooms I already checked” – even though I know it’s not the case, that is sort of what it feels like.
… re-integrating means to continue with looking. Every time when it seems that there is a self there, make a habit for looking for it. Just look and look and look. With each looking the conditioning lessens a bit. Especially worth looking when there is a trigger or an emotion present. If you look for the self while there is a reaction for a trigger, then you not just look through the self again, but also you weaken the conditioned reaction a bit too. If you do this often enough and long enough, then gradually these conditioned reactions will fade away.
Okay, I’ll keep looking until it all clears up.
Turn to the left hand: Is the thought story by itself is suffering?
Is the thought story by itself is unpleasant?
No… It’s just thinking. Just thought. Without the body sensation there’s no suffering. It’s not even unpleasant.
Turn to the right hand: Is the sensation by itself is the suffering?
At first it seems like, yes, the body sensation is suffering or causes suffering.
Something doesn’t like it. What doesn’t like it? Nothing that I can find… There’s no self who doesn’t like it. Yet it is still disliked. Resisted.
Now move back and forth between the two.
Does the thought story, on the one hand, and sensation, on the other, know about each other?
No, there’s nothing to either experience that “points to” or “signals” the other.
Sometimes thought SEEMS to know about, or refer to, the sensation. But the “sensation” that thought is referring to isn’t the real sensation; it’s just the content of thought.
If it seems like that the sensation is the suffering, then replace the thought story in the left hand with the thought label ‘suffering’, and let the right hand hold only the pure sensation itself.

Turn to the label ‘suffering’: Is this thought label THE suffering?
Then turn to the pure sensation: Is this pure sensation THE suffering?

Now move back and forth between the two.
Does label, on the one hand, and sensation, on the other, know about each other?

When look at very closely, can suffering as such be found at all?
I see it!
Looking closely at the sensation alone, there’s nothing to the sensation which intrinsically means “suffering”. It’s just… Existing. It just is as it is.
There’s nothing to thought (either as the story or as the label “suffering” that is actually suffering).
It’s the combination of the story and the sensation which creates suffering, but only if the story is believed.
Thought (the story) says that the sensation is “suffering”, is “unpleasant”. But the thought contains a lie. Thought says “this is unpleasant”, but it’s not actually true. Suffering occurs when this isn’t seen clearly. Suffering can only exist “from a distance” – when you go up to it and look at each element of experience, it’s nowhere to be found.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:48 am

Hi Michael,
I don’t know if it’s seen clearly.
It’s not like looking into an empty jar and seeing nothing inside; it’s more like walking through a large house and searching each room. “Even though I’ve checked every room, a self could have appeared in one of the rooms I already checked” – even though I know it’s not the case, that is sort of what it feels like.
How do you imagine what seeing through the self clearly would be like? Like going to each room one after another, seeing the vacancy of self in each room, and after you finished with the whole house then the self won’t reappear in one of the rooms you had already checked?

Just because the self reappears in one of the rooms you have already checked does this mean that the self hasn’t been seen through?
I see it!
Looking closely at the sensation alone, there’s nothing to the sensation which intrinsically means “suffering”. It’s just… Existing. It just is as it is.
There’s nothing to thought (either as the story or as the label “suffering” that is actually suffering).
It’s the combination of the story and the sensation which creates suffering, but only if the story is believed.
Thought (the story) says that the sensation is “suffering”, is “unpleasant”. But the thought contains a lie. Thought says “this is unpleasant”, but it’s not actually true. Suffering occurs when this isn’t seen clearly. Suffering can only exist “from a distance” – when you go up to it and look at each element of experience, it’s nowhere to be found.
Excellent looking! :)
Yet it is still disliked. Resisted.
Now look for the ‘dislike’ and ‘resistance’ similarly just as you did with suffering.

What is the AE of dislike?
Try your best to experience THE dislike itself.
Not the sensation, since a sensation is just a sensation.
Not the thought “I don’t like it”, since it’s just a thought.
But rather really try to experience THE dislike itself. Can you do that?

Now do the same with resistance.
Try your best the experience THE resistance itself. Can you do that?

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 25, 2019 8:55 am

Hi Vivien,
How do you imagine what seeing through the self clearly would be like? Like going to each room one after another, seeing the vacancy of self in each room, and after you finished with the whole house then the self won’t reappear in one of the rooms you had already checked?
I wish it were more like looking into a jar and seeing nothing there. Simple. All at once.
It’s okay if the separate self re-appears in the jar when I’m not looking, but then upon looking it’s not there again. But with so many rooms in the house, there’s never a feeling of “yes, there’s no self ANYWHERE”. There’s never that feeling, because it could always be somewhere else.
Just because the self reappears in one of the rooms you have already checked does this mean that the self hasn’t been seen through?
It can re-appear, that’s fine.
I just wish that I had a real clear seeing of the absence of self.
I want it to be certain. I want it to be finished. I want SOMETHING to occur after which things are seen differently.
What is the AE of dislike?
Try your best to experience THE dislike itself.
Not the sensation, since a sensation is just a sensation.
Not the thought “I don’t like it”, since it’s just a thought.
But rather really try to experience THE dislike itself. Can you do that?
Interesting. The dislike isn’t anything. It’s not there.
That’s so weird...
Now do the same with resistance.
Try your best the experience THE resistance itself. Can you do that?
It’s the same with resistance.
It’s just a thought believed in.
Often it’s not even a verbal thought, though. Like, if there’s a headache, there’s immediate dislike even without a thought saying “this is uncomfortable”. It doesn’t require verbal thought, but the dislike only exists in the form of thought. “Subtle thought”?
Dislike, resistance and suffering don’t exist. They don’t refer to anything in actual experience.
That’s super interesting.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:53 am

Hi Michael,
I wish it were more like looking into a jar and seeing nothing there. Simple. All at once.
Yes, but it’s not how it is.
I just wish that I had a real clear seeing of the absence of self.
I want it to be certain. I want it to be finished. I want SOMETHING to occur after which things are seen differently.
We are going to look until it gets totally clear.
But it’s important to not have ANY expectations. Every expectation is in a way of seeing what is already here.
If you measure seeing against of something occurring, you might miss what is already here.
I know…. I know… now you probably thinking: but SOMETHING has to change with seeing no self :)

What about seeing that the notion of things appearing in awareness was just another illusion? Seeing through that isn’t good enough to say that SOMETHING has already happened?

You’ve already seen through the belief in the stand alone awareness. It is something. A quite big something :)

Please write me a list about things or happenings that would qualify as something. What would be good enough to say it’s something?
It’s the same with resistance.
It’s just a thought believed in.
Often it’s not even a verbal thought, though. Like, if there’s a headache, there’s immediate dislike even without a thought saying “this is uncomfortable”. It doesn’t require verbal thought, but the dislike only exists in the form of thought. “Subtle thought”?
Dislike, resistance and suffering don’t exist. They don’t refer to anything in actual experience.
That’s super interesting.
Yes. And it’s not just super interesting but very freeing. Now you have a tool in your hands. Next time when resistance, a strong dislike or suffering arise, you can look at them under the microscope and see that actually there is nothing there. Not just the sufferer or the resister is not there, but the suffering or resisting itself are just illusions too. And this is something! :)
It’s okay if the separate self re-appears in the jar when I’m not looking, but then upon looking it’s not there again. But with so many rooms in the house, there’s never a feeling of “yes, there’s no self ANYWHERE”. There’s never that feeling, because it could always be somewhere else.
“There is never a feeling of ‘yes, there is no self anywhere” –seeing no-self is not a feeling. On the feeling level nothing changes with seeing no-self. How would it change if it’s ALREADY no self anywhere?

The self has NEVER EVER been there, so no feeling could change, since there is no self that could be lost to produce a change in the level of feelings.


Seeing through the self is not a feeling. It’s just a plain recognition that when I look for the self, there is nothing there. No matter how much a look, no matter how long I chase it from room to room, it’s never there. It’s just seems to be there, but when I look, it turns out that it is not. This ghost I chase from room to room is the sense of self. And just because I see that there is nothing there, this seeming ghost (sense of self) won’t go away. It will reappear in another room.

And also thought will continue to appear saying "but it stills feels like there is a me"....but thoughts don’t know anything. They are talking about all sorts of things without knowing what they are talking about. Can you see this?


But let’s get back to looking.
Could you please describe me how you do the looking exactly?
With the house and rooms analogy, I assume that the house is the body, right?
And what are the rooms?
How do you look exactly?

Where does Michael feel most prevalent in the body?
Which spot of the body feels like the most “this is me”?


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

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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:12 am

Hi Vivien :)
What about seeing that the notion of things appearing in awareness was just another illusion? Seeing through that isn’t good enough to say that SOMETHING has already happened?

You’ve already seen through the belief in the stand alone awareness. It is something. A quite big something :)

Please write me a list about things or happenings that would qualify as something. What would be good enough to say it’s something?
It doesn’t have to be an event. Nothing has to change in experience. But I’d expect that there would be a subtle change in how things are viewed.
Like watching a movie, being lost in the drama, but then realising that you’re looking at a tv screen. Nothing changes – you were looking at the tv screen the whole time, but there’s a subtle shift. Now you’re no longer “falling for the illusion” of the movie.
Nothing has to change, but there must be some sort of “shift” in the WAY that life is seen.

The stories in the “gateless gatecrashers” book: a lot of them describe a shift in the way of seeing. Many of them say, “nothing has changed, it was always like this, but now I see it clearly!” – that kind of thing.

Seeing through the standalone awareness was definitely a “something”, but it doesn’t feel like the “core something”, if that makes sense.
The “something” must be the seeing of the non-existence of “I” :)
Yes. And it’s not just super interesting but very freeing. Now you have a tool in your hands. Next time when resistance, a strong dislike or suffering arise, you can look at them under the microscope and see that actually there is nothing there. Not just the sufferer or the resister is not there, but the suffering or resisting itself are just illusions too. And this is something! :)
It’s fantastic, this. The suffering really is an illusion. A mirage. It only seems to be there from a distance.
A “shift” definitely happened here – I see it clearly. Nothing changed; suffering still occurs, just like it did before. But now I see it for what it is (or isn’t) and can go up to it at any time and look at it, and “watch it disappear” (and it’s not really that “it” disappears – there’s no “it” there).
I want this same “shift” or “understanding” in relation to the non-existence of “I” in all of experience.
“There is never a feeling of ‘yes, there is no self anywhere” –seeing no-self is not a feeling. On the feeling level nothing changes with seeing no-self. How would it change if it’s ALREADY no self anywhere?

The self has NEVER EVER been there, so no feeling could change, since there is no self that could be lost to produce a change in the level of feelings.

Seeing through the self is not a feeling. It’s just a plain recognition that when I look for the self, there is nothing there. No matter how much a look, no matter how long I chase it from room to room, it’s never there. It’s just seems to be there, but when I look, it turns out that it is not. This ghost I chase from room to room is the sense of self. And just because I see that there is nothing there, this seeming ghost (sense of self) won’t go away. It will reappear in another room.
Sorry, I think that this one is just a language issue. When I say “a feeling of ‘yes, there is no self anywhere’”, I don’t mean “feeling” in the sense of “body sensation” or “emotion”. When I say “feeling” in this context I mean “intuition” or “experience” or “understanding” or “knowing”… A “grocking”, to use Adyashanti’s word. A “getting it”. “Seeing”.
And also thought will continue to appear saying "but it stills feels like there is a me"....but thoughts don’t know anything. They are talking about all sorts of things without knowing what they are talking about. Can you see this?
Ah, that’s right. I haven’t even been questioning these thoughts. They’re automatically believed… The thought says, “I still feel like a me”, but is that actually true? Who’s the “I” that feels like a “me”? Neither have a referent...
There are subtle thoughts (not really verbal thoughts) which whisper about “me” in nearly every movement, every felt facial expression. So many things whisper of “me”.
But let’s get back to looking.
Could you please describe me how you do the looking exactly?
With the house and rooms analogy, I assume that the house is the body, right?
And what are the rooms?
How do you look exactly?
The “house” in my analogy isn’t just the body, it’s my entire experience. The body might be considered one room, or maybe a few rooms next to each other, in this analogy.

So how do I actually do the looking...
I sit down, and usually close my eyes.
I say to myself, “I”, and then I watch where the attention goes...
Often it goes to “here” - it goes to the body sensation. This is one room.
I ask myself, “is this sensation “I”?”
I see a mental image, it’s a visual representation of the body sensation vibrating within white space. This is another room. I ask myself, “am “I” anywhere within this mental image?”, “is there an “I” here?”
Thought says, “I am the one perceiving this mental image”
Thought asks, “who? Who is the “I” that’s perceiving?”
This thought might be considered a third room.
Another mental image arises in response to that thought – perhaps a subtle mental image of a two-dimensional “standalone awareness” that is sitting behind the previous three-dimensional mental image of “visual representation of the body sensation vibrating within white space”, witnessing it. Am "I" this two-dimensional awareness? No, wait, this is just a mental image. A fourth room.

I do this for a while. No self is being found in any of the rooms.
But there are always more places to look, and now I'm not so sure about room number one anymore because "I" am starting to feel like the body sensation again...
Where does Michael feel most prevalent in the body?
Which spot of the body feels like the most “this is me”?
“Michael” really just refers to the body.

“I” feel most prevalent in the torso and head.
The legs and arms don’t feel like “me”, but the general area of “upper chest and head” feel like “me”.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:34 am

Hi Michael,
Like watching a movie, being lost in the drama, but then realising that you’re looking at a tv screen. Nothing changes – you were looking at the tv screen the whole time, but there’s a subtle shift. Now you’re no longer “falling for the illusion” of the movie.
And who/what would watch this movie?
Who/what would not fall for the illusion?

Is there anything that could be outside the movie watching it?
Is there anything that is falling or not falling for the illusion?


There is NO separation! There is nothing outside of the movie that could watch it! There is NOTHING SEPARATE from the MOVIE.

If there is a seeming watcher of the movie than that watcher is also part of the movie, but with the belief that I’m outside of them movie watching it. The only difference is that in the story of ‘me’ the belief of being inside the movie is shifted to being outside watching the movie. But it’s still the same story/movie. It’s still the same belief in a separate self. Just now the self is not inside the movie, but rather sitting outside watching it. It’s the same illusion.

The everyday belief is that I am inside the body, the body is me or mine, and everything outside of this body is not-me. So I am watching from the body what is happening outside of the body.

As searching for the self starts, it gets clear that I am not the body, or in the body, since the body (sensations) and thoughts are not me. So the belief in the self is shifted from being in the body, to being outside of the body, outside of everything being watched. Since the I has become the watcher. I am the watcher and everything else is not-me (not even the sensations or thoughts).

So if you expect a shift in perception of watching the movie and not falling for the movie, then you are still expecting that there will be a SELF or something, like a WATCHER or AWARENESS that could watch or fall for the movie.

Here are some common words used for the same illusion of the self:

awareness = consciousness = witness = experiencer = perceiver = knower = looker = noticer = watcher = feeler = seer = self = true Self = I = me = myself = emptiness = nothingness = my real nature = field = field of experiencing = space = knowing space… and more
Nothing has to change, but there must be some sort of “shift” in the WAY that life is seen.
In what way? Like being the watcher? If there is a perceived watcher, then it means that the belief in the self hasn’t been seen through, it just shifted to awareness.

The perception of the life won’t change. Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, but this is not the case.

Seeing through the self is much simpler as one would imagine or expect.

The only thing that changes is the recognition that the self is not there, and it never has been there.
But even seeing this doesn’t happen 24/7, but mainly when looking happens.

Life will still go on from the perspective of the body, but upon looking it can be seen that there is no self anywhere.
How could the perception of life change if there has never ever been a self there?

Perception change can happen only if there were a self and upon looking this self is being removed. But this is not the case.

The self is already not there. It’s just the RECOGNITION that there is no self.
Since no self being removed, kill, annihilated, transformed, etc. therefore NOTHING changes IN EXPERIENCE.

The only thing that changes is RECOGNITION of no-self. This is the shift.
The recognition that there has never been a self there is the shift.

But the visual perception doesn’t change, there won’t be a watcher watching the movie, nothing like that.
The stories in the “gateless gatecrashers” book: a lot of them describe a shift in the way of seeing. Many of them say, “nothing has changed, it was always like this, but now I see it clearly!” – that kind of thing.
The shift of the way of seeing is the recognition that there is no self. But the visual perception of the world won’t change.
But rather the seeing that there is nothing moving the body, nothing making decisions, nothing thinking thoughts, nothing making sounds coming out of the body in form of speech. Rather there is just the body functioning by itself, thoughts about decision arise, sounds coming out of the body as words. And there is no self in other bodies either.

But this ALREADY IS. This has never been any other way. When this is recognized nothing changes, only the knowing of it. Only just the belief in self is changed. Since this belief is seen untrue. That’s all.

You are expecting something much more than what it is.
“nothing has changed, it was always like this, but now I see it clearly!”
This is what I am talking about. Nothing has changed, only just the discovery that there has never been a self. And this can be seen clearly upon LOOKING, but NOT 24/7.
The suffering really is an illusion. A mirage. It only seems to be there from a distance.
A “shift” definitely happened here – I see it clearly. Nothing changed; suffering still occurs, just like it did before. But now I see it for what it is (or isn’t) and can go up to it at any time and look at it, and “watch it disappear” (and it’s not really that “it” disappears – there’s no “it” there).
All right. So it’s seen clearly that suffering as such doesn’t exist. It’s just an illusion.

And what about a sufferer?
Does a sufferer exist?
Ah, that’s right. I haven’t even been questioning these thoughts. They’re automatically believed… The thought says, “I still feel like a me”, but is that actually true? Who’s the “I” that feels like a “me”? Neither have a referent...
There are subtle thoughts (not really verbal thoughts) which whisper about “me” in nearly every movement, every felt facial expression. So many things whisper of “me”.
Questioning these thoughts, or any thought about ‘me’ is essential.
If these thoughts are not questioned than the actual seeing of no self can be unrecognized in spite of clearly seeing that there is no self. I mean there might be a clear seeing of no self, but then thoughts come in saying “It feels like there is a me”. If this thought is not questioned but taken as reality, the previous moment of clearly seeing that there is no self is annulated or ignored.
But there are always more places to look, and now I'm not so sure about room number one anymore because "I" am starting to feel like the body sensation again...
Yes, since the main identification is with the body (sensations). We have been trying to look at this before, and you said that there is no or hardly any identification with sensations. But this is probably not the case. You might just not recognizing this. And maybe this is the missing link.

I cannot imagine a human being without having identification with sensations. Actually, identification with sensations is the primary residency for the self, alongside thoughts.
“I” feel most prevalent in the torso and head.
The legs and arms don’t feel like “me”, but the general area of “upper chest and head” feel like “me”.
Now we are going to focus on these sensations.

First localize where this sense of me appears inside the chest and in the head.
Your job is to stalk and trap this Michael in a net of attention.

It will come and go, and there are times when Michael really shows up in the head, some other times in the chest.
When it does, fix in with precision to that place Michael occupies.
Hold it for a while in this net of attention.
Try to localize Michael in the head more precisely.
Try to find the exact spot where it feels the more, “yes, this is me”.
When you have found it, just keep the attention there.
Just feel it. Just feel.
And investigate what makes this feeling/sensation into a ‘me’?

Do this as often as you can during the day. Do both longer (15 mins or more) and shorter sessions (20-60 seconds). Do as many short ones as you can in a day. Especially, when there is an emotion present and it feels that it’s happening to me. Or when it seems that I am looking out of the eyes observing the world or others out there.

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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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:25 am

Hi Vivien,

Has the website been having trouble recently? I’ve been getting this error message for the last few days:

Image
And who/what would watch this movie?
Who/what would not fall for the illusion?
The shift would only be the cessation of the belief in being a self. I know that the illusion won’t stop all at once, and I’m not expecting it to. But I do expect there to be a clear understanding, a clear seeing, that there is no self. Just like there was a clear seeing that there’s no sufferer and no suffering – it’s THAT shift I’m speaking of. There’s not a self who experiences a presence or absence of suffering either, yet suffering has now been clearly seen through. Suffering still appears, but it doesn’t matter now because I SEE that there’s never any suffering actually there. There was a shift there, an understanding, and that’s the same understanding that I’m expecting to take place (eventually) for the illusion of self as a whole, in all of experience.
Is there anything that could be outside the movie watching it?
Is there anything that is falling or not falling for the illusion?
No, there’s nothing outside of “experiencing”. There’s just one thing. And even saying “one thing” doesn’t feel right. Saying it’s “one thing” is too… defining.
“Experiencing” is currently “in the shape of the illusion of being a self”, and things would be better if experiencing wasn’t “in the shape of the illusion of being a self”.
Language is failing here, but please try to understand what I’m trying (and failing) to say :)
If there is a seeming watcher of the movie than that watcher is also part of the movie, but with the belief that I’m outside of them movie watching it. The only difference is that in the story of ‘me’ the belief of being inside the movie is shifted to being outside watching the movie. But it’s still the same story/movie. It’s still the same belief in a separate self. Just now the self is not inside the movie, but rather sitting outside watching it. It’s the same illusion.

The everyday belief is that I am inside the body, the body is me or mine, and everything outside of this body is not-me. So I am watching from the body what is happening outside of the body.

As searching for the self starts, it gets clear that I am not the body, or in the body, since the body (sensations) and thoughts are not me. So the belief in the self is shifted from being in the body, to being outside of the body, outside of everything being watched. Since the I has become the watcher. I am the watcher and everything else is not-me (not even the sensations or thoughts).
Yeah, this is the identification with a standalone awareness that I’ve been experiencing. This is definitely what happened in my case.
The perception of the life won’t change. Many seekers believe that seeing through the separate individual is a completely different state that they are currently having, but this is not the case.

Seeing through the self is much simpler as one would imagine or expect.

The only thing that changes is the recognition that the self is not there, and it never has been there.
But even seeing this doesn’t happen 24/7, but mainly when looking happens.

Life will still go on from the perspective of the body, but upon looking it can be seen that there is no self anywhere.
How could the perception of life change if there has never ever been a self there?

Perception change can happen only if there were a self and upon looking this self is being removed. But this is not the case.

The self is already not there. It’s just the RECOGNITION that there is no self.
Since no self being removed, kill, annihilated, transformed, etc. therefore NOTHING changes IN EXPERIENCE.

The only thing that changes is RECOGNITION of no-self. This is the shift.
The recognition that there has never been a self there is the shift.

But the visual perception doesn’t change, there won’t be a watcher watching the movie, nothing like that.
I know.
I know, I know, I know.
That’s the only shift that I’m expecting. The recognition of no self.
I know that life won’t change. I know that the visual perception won’t change. I know that there won’t be a self “watching the movie of life” - I was only using that as an analogy to explain the type of shift that I’m expecting.
The stories in the “gateless gatecrashers” book: a lot of them describe a shift in the way of seeing. Many of them say, “nothing has changed, it was always like this, but now I see it clearly!” – that kind of thing.
The shift of the way of seeing is the recognition that there is no self. But the visual perception of the world won’t change.
But rather the seeing that there is nothing moving the body, nothing making decisions, nothing thinking thoughts, nothing making sounds coming out of the body in form of speech. Rather there is just the body functioning by itself, thoughts about decision arise, sounds coming out of the body as words. And there is no self in other bodies either.

But this ALREADY IS. This has never been any other way. When this is recognized nothing changes, only the knowing of it. Only just the belief in self is changed. Since this belief is seen untrue. That’s all.
I know. I don’t expect anything more than that.
You are expecting something much more than what it is.
I’m really not.
“nothing has changed, it was always like this, but now I see it clearly!”

This is what I am talking about. Nothing has changed, only just the discovery that there has never been a self. And this can be seen clearly upon LOOKING, but NOT 24/7.
I know. I’m not expecting anything miraculous, and I’m not expecting experience to change in any way other than seeing through the illusion of self. And I’m not expecting that to be the case all the time, either. But I know that this isn’t it. It hasn’t “happened” yet. With suffering that shift happened, clearly, so I understand what it’s like. I’m really not expecting anything more than the recognition that there’s no self in experience.
The suffering really is an illusion. A mirage. It only seems to be there from a distance.
A “shift” definitely happened here – I see it clearly. Nothing changed; suffering still occurs, just like it did before. But now I see it for what it is (or isn’t) and can go up to it at any time and look at it, and “watch it disappear” (and it’s not really that “it” disappears – there’s no “it” there).
All right. So it’s seen clearly that suffering as such doesn’t exist. It’s just an illusion.

And what about a sufferer?
Does a sufferer exist?
No, there’s no sufferer. It’s really interesting – it’s seeing the non-existence of the sufferer that “causes the suffering to disappear” (I know that it’s not really “disappearing” as it was never actually there). When it’s seen that the “I” in the thought “I don’t like this” has no referent – doesn’t refer to anything in actual experience – suffering disappears at the exact same time that the sufferer is seen to be an illusion. They “disappear” in tandem. There can’t be suffering without a sufferer – there’s nothing that has any “argument” with the way things are.
Why can I see this in relation to suffering, but not in relation to all of experience?
I’ve had a clear seeing that there’s no sufferer and no suffering, but this recognition has only been seen in relation to suffering, it hasn’t happened to “all experience”, so to speak.
It feels like the “rooms in a house” issue again – there’s no sufferer, but there could be a self elsewhere in experience. In another room.
But there are always more places to look, and now I'm not so sure about room number one anymore because "I" am starting to feel like the body sensation again...
Yes, since the main identification is with the body (sensations). We have been trying to look at this before, and you said that there is no or hardly any identification with sensations. But this is probably not the case. You might just not recognizing this. And maybe this is the missing link.
No, I said that I don’t have much identification with the VISUAL PERCEPTION of the body – I recognise that I still identify with the SENSATION of the body :)
I cannot imagine a human being without having identification with sensations. Actually, identification with sensations is the primary residency for the self, alongside thoughts.
Is it possible to be identifying with a standalone awareness AND the body sensation?
That’s actually what my experience feels like most of the time. I feel like I am awareness, and I am “filled with” a sensation that is also myself, or is at least intimate to me.
I don’t feel like I’m a “human” or a “body”, I feel like I’m “awareness with a sensation”, or “awareness vibrating as sensation”.
To an extent I’ve seen through the standalone awareness, but the recognition isn’t as strong as it is for the experience of suffering. Suffering has been seen through CLEARLY, whereas seeing through the standalone awareness is still a bit “murky” and unclear. I had that moment of epiphany a while back but it seems largely to have faded.
“I” feel most prevalent in the torso and head.
The legs and arms don’t feel like “me”, but the general area of “upper chest and head” feel like “me”.
Now we are going to focus on these sensations.

First localize where this sense of me appears inside the chest and in the head.
Your job is to stalk and trap this Michael in a net of attention.

It will come and go, and there are times when Michael really shows up in the head, some other times in the chest.
When it does, fix in with precision to that place Michael occupies.
Hold it for a while in this net of attention.
Try to localize Michael in the head more precisely.
Try to find the exact spot where it feels the more, “yes, this is me”.
When you have found it, just keep the attention there.
Just feel it. Just feel.
And investigate what makes this feeling/sensation into a ‘me’?

Do this as often as you can during the day. Do both longer (15 mins or more) and shorter sessions (20-60 seconds). Do as many short ones as you can in a day. Especially, when there is an emotion present and it feels that it’s happening to me. Or when it seems that I am looking out of the eyes observing the world or others out there.

Let me know what you find.
I haven't been able to trap the feeling of "Michael", and not because I've seen it to be illusory. I feel like I can’t trap the “I” with the attention because of the mental images. I can’t see anything clearly because they’re constantly present. I can’t see what’s “behind them”, I can’t experience the body sensation clearly because the mental images always overlay them and confuse the seeing.

I feel like I’m looking out of the eyes, perceiving the world.
I try to locate the “me” that is behind the eyes.
A mental image fills experience – an image of a head-like shape filled with the colour white. Now I’m looking inside the white head-like shape for an I. Then I realise that it’s a mental image and that I’m not even looking in the right place, I'm just looking at the image. I try again to look behind the eyes, look inside the head. Another mental image arises – empty space inside the head. Looking at this doesn’t help at all because it’s just a mental image – of course there’s no self in the image, but I can’t see what’s BEHIND the image, what’s ACTUALLY THERE, I can’t see experience clearly because of these bloody mental images. There’s an ever-lasting stream of mental images every time I try to look.
It’s been a frustrating day of looking.
How do I deal with the constantly arising mental images?
I feel like they’re largely responsible for a) identification with a standalone awareness, and b) preventing experience from being seen clearly.

Michael

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:20 am

Hi Michael,
Has the website been having trouble recently? I’ve been getting this error message for the last few days:
Yes, there has been some technical issues. Someone is working on it.
There’s not a self who experiences a presence or absence of suffering either, yet suffering has now been clearly seen through. Suffering still appears, but it doesn’t matter now because I SEE that there’s never any suffering actually there. There was a shift there, an understanding, and that’s the same understanding that I’m expecting to take place (eventually) for the illusion of self as a whole, in all of experience.
It's quite surprising that you can see this with suffering, but not otherwise. Usually, it’s the other way around. But yes, this is a realistic expectation to see through the self just as you’ve seen through the sufferer.
Is it possible to be identifying with a standalone awareness AND the body sensation?
Yes.
I feel like I can’t trap the “I” with the attention because of the mental images.
Let’s talk a bit about mental images. I realized that using the label ‘mental image’ isn’t the best description of AE.
Since the words ‘mental images’ imply that there are 2 types of images. The visual images and the mental images.

And this is not correct. There are no 2 types of images at all.
Rather there are 2 types of thoughts: verbal/auditory and pictorial/visual thoughts.
So when we talk about mental images those are not actual images.
Rather those are just thoughts in a picture or visual form.

So I decided to stop using the label ‘mental images’ with my all clients, and I rather will call it as ‘visual or pictorial thoughts’.

Because actually these are thoughts and not images. Just not in a verbal form, but in pictorial form.

And making this distinction is important, since NONE of the CONTENTS of both verbal and visual thoughts are real.
Both of them are just imagination.

The contents of thoughts (both auditory and visual) can never ever be experienced.

A verbal/auditory thought is just a thought about a sound.
A pictorial/visual thought is just a thought about a color.

But none of them are actual sound or an actual color.
Just thoughts about sound and color.
Can you see this clearly?


It’s important, since you take the contents of pictorial thoughts as reality. As if they were ACTUALLY happening.
But they don’t. Can you see this?

A mental image fills experience – an image of a head-like shape filled with the colour white. Now I’m looking inside the white head-like shape for an I. Then I realise that it’s a mental image and that I’m not even looking in the right place, I'm just looking at the image. I try again to look behind the eyes, look inside the head. Another mental image arises – empty space inside the head. Looking at this doesn’t help at all because it’s just a mental image – of course there’s no self in the image, but I can’t see what’s BEHIND the image, what’s ACTUALLY THERE, I can’t see experience clearly because of these bloody mental images. There’s an ever-lasting stream of mental images every time I try to look.
I have an idea. What if the reason why you focus on the pictorial thoughts instead of sensations, because of the word ‘looking’? The word looking implies seeing, implies images. But what I was asking you is to find the sensations that are labelled as ‘me’. But you are trying to find it visually, and not by directly feeling it. So let’s try out something else.

Forget the word looking, and rather try to FEEL the sensations inside the head.
Shift the focus from seeing to FEELING.
Try to find Michael inside the head, by FEELING him.
FEEL it’s location.
FEEL it’s size.
FEEL it’s shape.

As soon as you realize that you don’t feel but rather look at a pictorial thought, let go of it, and go back to FEELING.
This might not be easy at the beginning, but nevertheless persevere with it.

Let me know how it goes. I’m very curious.
I feel like I’m looking out of the eyes, perceiving the world.
How is it FELT exactly that “I am looking out of the eyes, perceiving the world”?
Can this be actually felt?


If you say that it’s not a feeling/sensation, then how is it KNOWN exactly that “I am looking out of the eyes”?

What is the AE of “I am looking out of the eyes”? Is it a sound, color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
That’s actually what my experience feels like most of the time. I feel like I am awareness, and I am “filled with” a sensation that is also myself, or is at least intimate to me.
But how do FEEL it? How do you FEEL that you are awareness?

What is the AE of “I am awareness”? Is it sound, image/color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of “I am filled with sensation”?
I feel like I’m “awareness with a sensation”, or “awareness vibrating as sensation”.
Is there an actual feeling / sensation that “I am awareness with a sensation”?
Please describe me this feeling as precisely as you can.

If you say that it’s not a feeling then how it is KNOWN exactly that “I am awareness”?
what is the experiential proof that “I am awareness”?

What is the AE of “I am awareness vibrating as a sensation”?
Can “I am awareness vibrating as a sensation” be actually experienced at all?
Or only thoughts say so?

What is the AE of ‘vibrating as sensation’?
What is the AE of ‘vibration’?


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 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:09 am

Hi Michael,

How is looking 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 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:18 am

Hey Vivien,

Going well :) I went away for the weekend but have been able to spend a decent amount of time looking. I'll be able to post my full reply in a few hours.

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:39 am

Hi Vivien,
It's quite surprising that you can see this with suffering, but not otherwise. Usually, it’s the other way around. But yes, this is a realistic expectation to see through the self just as you’ve seen through the sufferer.
Yeah, I’m not sure why it’s happened that way.
I wonder if it’s just the “multiple rooms” issue – that the experience of suffering is a single room, so to speak, and I’ve just been able to see really clearly that there’s never a self in this room.
A verbal/auditory thought is just a thought about a sound.
A pictorial/visual thought is just a thought about a color.

But none of them are actual sound or an actual color.
Just thoughts about sound and color.
Can you see this clearly?

It’s important, since you take the contents of pictorial thoughts as reality. As if they were ACTUALLY happening.
But they don’t. Can you see this?
Okay so I’m struggling with this.
When we say, “actually happening”, we mean “happening in the real world as opposed to in my mind”, but isn’t that based on a materialist view of reality where there’s “mind” and “matter”?
If we take “reality” to just be “this flow of experiencing”, the content of the pictorial thoughts or the verbal thoughts seem just as real as the room I’m in or the sound of my voice, because the test of reality is no longer “happening in the material world”, but rather is only the fact that they appear.
Do you get what I mean?
In a materialistic view, I understand that the content of thoughts are not real. Not “really happening”. I can’t bite into the pictorial thought of an apple.
But when reality is seen as just “this experiencing”, ALL of experiencing seems “real” or “present”. The thought of an apple doesn’t refer to the image of an apple, but that doesn’t make the content of the thought of an apple “not real”. It undeniably exists in experience, in the form that it appears in. There’s not a distinction between the content of thought and the sounds in the room, because all of it is just “arising”. There’s no distinction between real and unreal; everything “just is”.
So, in order to understand an apple to be real, but the pictorial thought of an apple to be unreal, I have to revert back to a paradigm or worldview that I understand isn’t correct.
Does this make sense?
I can’t bite into the pictorial thought of an apple, but that doesn’t make the content of that thought “unreal”, it just means that the content of the thought doesn’t include the experience of sensation, taste, etc. The content of the pictorial thought arises in my experience just the visual image of a “real” apple arises in my experience. One doesn’t refer to the other – I understand that – but I don’t understand what we’re using as our “test of reality” in order to say that the content of the visual image of the apple is “real” but the content of the pictorial thought of the apple is “unreal”.
I have an idea. What if the reason why you focus on the pictorial thoughts instead of sensations, because of the word ‘looking’? The word looking implies seeing, implies images. But what I was asking you is to find the sensations that are labelled as ‘me’. But you are trying to find it visually, and not by directly feeling it. So let’s try out something else.

Forget the word looking, and rather try to FEEL the sensations inside the head.
Shift the focus from seeing to FEELING.
Try to find Michael inside the head, by FEELING him.
FEEL it’s location.
FEEL it’s size.
FEEL it’s shape.

As soon as you realize that you don’t feel but rather look at a pictorial thought, let go of it, and go back to FEELING.
This might not be easy at the beginning, but nevertheless persevere with it.
Ah, you’re right. I have been “looking”. And because the eyes are closed and I can’t look visually/externally, I’m looking mentally/internally. It wasn’t that “mental images keep arising”, it was that the function of “mentally looking” or “internally looking” itself was creating the constant flow of mental images (or pictorial thoughts). “Internal looking” or “mental looking” IS the process of creating pictorial thoughts. There’s no such thing as “looking internally” apart from the creation of mental images. I didn’t see this until now.

When I shift from “looking” for myself in the body to “feeling” where I’m located in the body, it’s abundantly clear that there’s nothing there but sensation. There’s no other “substance” or anything that could be an entity – it’s just sensation. Simple sensation. That’s the only thing that’s there. It was “looking at the sensation of the body” (which doesn’t even make sense) that was creating a mental image (or pictorial thought) of the sensation of the body, which was then being investigated for a self. I was investigating reality-one-step-removed.
How is it FELT exactly that “I am looking out of the eyes, perceiving the world”?
Can this be actually felt?

If you say that it’s not a feeling/sensation, then how is it KNOWN exactly that “I am looking out of the eyes”?

What is the AE of “I am looking out of the eyes”? Is it a sound, color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
Sorry, yeah, not “felt” - I just meant “known”.
How is it known that I am looking out of the eyes? Well... It’s not really... I can’t find an “I”, and I can’t find “the eyes”. It’s not a sound, color, taste, smell, sensation or thought. Well, maybe it’s a thought.
The only thing I can find, in actual experience, is that visual perception is experienced from one point of view only – it’s not experience from “everywhere”. It’s perceived “from the place of the body”. I see “this side” of all objects – the side of the object that the body is on.
What is the AE of “I am awareness”? Is it sound, image/color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
It’s pictorial thought plus subtle verbal thought.
There’s no AE of “I am awareness”.
There is the experience of aware-ing, however. The aware-ing of experiencing. Experience is known.
What is the AE of “I am filled with sensation”?
There’s no “I” that’s “filled with” sensation – there’s just sensation.
And often that sensation is identified with.
Is there an actual feeling / sensation that “I am awareness with a sensation”?
Please describe me this feeling as precisely as you can.
No, there’s no standalone awareness in actual experience. There’s sensation, but that’s all. Any mention of standalone awareness, or “I am awareness” is just a thought.
If you say that it’s not a feeling then how it is KNOWN exactly that “I am awareness”?
what is the experiential proof that “I am awareness”?
I retract the statement, haha :) There’s no AE of “I am awareness” other than a thought.
What is the AE of “I am awareness vibrating as a sensation”?
Can “I am awareness vibrating as a sensation” be actually experienced at all?
Or only thoughts say so?
No, only thoughts say so.
There is aware-ing of sensation, but there’s no AE of awareness vibrating as sensation.
What is the AE of ‘vibrating as sensation’?
What is the AE of ‘vibration’?
Vibration = sensation.
The sensation feels like it’s “buzzing” or “vibrating”. It’s the same thing.

Michael.

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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:15 am

Hi Michael,
When we say, “actually happening”, we mean “happening in the real world as opposed to in my mind”, but isn’t that based on a materialist view of reality where there’s “mind” and “matter”?
If we take “reality” to just be “this flow of experiencing”, the content of the pictorial thoughts or the verbal thoughts seem just as real as the room I’m in or the sound of my voice, because the test of reality is no longer “happening in the material world”, but rather is only the fact that they appear.
It's not about whether there is a mind or matter.
We don’t make a logical jump that behind a color there is a material world or an actual object.
Also, we don’t jump to the thought conclusion that a visual thought is happening in a mind. Not at all.

We just making a distinction between the actual experience of color and thoughts about color.
The thoughts about color are NOT actual experience of color, but the AE of thought only.


Saying that there is a material world is a BELIEF.
But saying that there is NO material world is ALSO a BELIEF.
Both of them are only thought speculations.
So, in order to understand an apple to be real, but the pictorial thought of an apple to be unreal, I have to revert back to a paradigm or worldview that I understand isn’t correct.
You say that you understand that the material world isn’t correct. So you deny it, because you learned it from nondual teachings, while at the same time you BELIEVE in the material world view. As long as there is an identification with the body, with the belief that seeing happens from the perspective of this body, the material world view is believed. So there is no point it denying it intellectually.

You get up each morning, you brush your teeth, put food into your belly, go to work to earn money for yourself and your family. You have relationships with other people, you have loved ones, you are having a conversation with me through the internet. So you are taking the materialist worldview as something real. That’s all right. All humans do.

I am not saying if the material worldview is correct or not. Both, saying that it’s real or not are just beliefs. It’s a philosophical speculation only. And we cannot get anywhere with philosophizing.

Without thoughts, there is no such thing as real or not real, worldview, materialism, etc.
But when reality is seen as just “this experiencing”, ALL of experiencing seems “real” or “present”. The thought of an apple doesn’t refer to the image of an apple, but that doesn’t make the content of the thought of an apple “not real”. It undeniably exists in experience, in the form that it appears in. There’s not a distinction between the content of thought and the sounds in the room, because all of it is just “arising”. There’s no distinction between real and unreal; everything “just is”.
Real and not real are just thought labels. But, as long as the materialist belief is there we need to use a tool that is the closest of that belief to see through thoughts.

As long as you believe that there is no difference between the image of an apple and a visual thought of an apple since they both just appear and just is, you might cut yourself off from seeing through certain beliefs.

Since the self is created by thoughts only!

Yes, the visual thought and the ‘actual’ color labelled ‘apple’ are both just appear.
But you are throwing away the TOOL which would help you to see through the self.

You believe that there is a body, and visual perception is happening from the perspective of the body.
So as long as you believe in this, you need to use a tool which is the closest to this belief, to help you to see through the self and other related beliefs.

I don’t know how else I could say to you that you have to put aside all learned knowledge about this. Also, philosophizing about whether witch world view is real or not.

And I still will label the colors as ‘real’, compare to the contents of visual thought.
Because this distinction is essential to see through the self.
To see that thoughts create a huge web of conceptual overlay on experience.

But we could use the word ‘imagination’ instead of ‘not real’. It doesn’t matter what label we use, since the AE of color is NOT the same as visual thoughts about color.

And it doesn’t matter if the material worldview is correct or not. We are not interested in it.
However, we are using its tools.

Thought, in and of itself, does not contain any experience whatsoever. If it did, you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’, feel the word ‘hot’. Can you see this?

Can an imagined visual thought of sitting on the sun give you a sunburn?

Can the salt be tasted on the lips by imagining swimming in the ocean?


‘Imagination’ is the key word here. It is imagined saltness is it not? How can it be actual saltness? Is it the ‘real’ deal?

When you imagine a monster under the bed...is there a real monster, ..or are they thoughts ABOUT a monster?

I can’t bite into the pictorial thought of an apple, but that doesn’t make the content of that thought “unreal”, it just means that the content of the thought doesn’t include the experience of sensation, taste, etc. The content of the pictorial thought arises in my experience just the visual image of a “real” apple arises in my experience. One doesn’t refer to the other – I understand that – but I don’t understand what we’re using as our “test of reality” in order to say that the content of the visual image of the apple is “real” but the content of the pictorial thought of the apple is “unreal”.
We have to make a distinction somehow.
Real or not real just words, just labels. Imagine them in quotation marks.

We are using it as a ‘test of reality’, because if you imagine that you are stabbed by a knife won’t do any harm to the body, but being stabbed by a real knife could end up with death.

Reality is just a CONCEPT.
There is NO such thing as an ACTUAL REALITY.
There is no point of view that is more real than the other.
There is NO ultimate reality.

Reality is ONLY an IDEA. A concept. An imagination of thought. A ‘man-made’ thought invention.
Can you see this clearly?


Can you find truth or reality outside of the realm of thoughts (contents of thoughts)?
Ah, you’re right. I have been “looking”. And because the eyes are closed and I can’t look visually/externally, I’m looking mentally/internally. It wasn’t that “mental images keep arising”, it was that the function of “mentally looking” or “internally looking” itself was creating the constant flow of mental images (or pictorial thoughts). “Internal looking” or “mental looking” IS the process of creating pictorial thoughts. There’s no such thing as “looking internally” apart from the creation of mental images. I didn’t see this until now.
That’s great!
The only thing I can find, in actual experience, is that visual perception is experienced from one point of view only – it’s not experience from “everywhere”. It’s perceived “from the place of the body”. I see “this side” of all objects – the side of the object that the body is on.
What is the AE of ‘visual perception is experienced from one point of view only’?
Can such thing be experienced at all?
Any mention of standalone awareness, or “I am awareness” is just a thought.
Exactly!
When I shift from “looking” for myself in the body to “feeling” where I’m located in the body, it’s abundantly clear that there’s nothing there but sensation. There’s no other “substance” or anything that could be an entity – it’s just sensation. Simple sensation. That’s the only thing that’s there.
Very good!

So for the next few days, I would like to ask you to focus your attention to this sensation as often as you can during the day (hundreds of times).

Just keep the attention on the sensation, and just make a repeated recognition that this sensation is just a sensation. Nothing more.

So just FEEL the sensation as sensation.
The task is to see what is there for what it is.
To give things their true name.
A sensation in the head is a sensation.

And see this again and again and again and again….. hundreds of times.
Please let me know how it goes.

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

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Jnana
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Jnana » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:47 am

Hi Vivien,
Saying that there is a material world is a BELIEF.
But saying that there is NO material world is ALSO a BELIEF.
Both of them are only thought speculations.
Agreed – this “flow of experiencing” includes the appearance of beliefs (thoughts), but beliefs don’t say anything accurate about this “flow of experiencing” itself.
You say that you understand that the material world isn’t correct. So you deny it, because you learned it from nondual teachings, while at the same time you BELIEVE in the material world view. As long as there is an identification with the body, with the belief that seeing happens from the perspective of this body, the material world view is believed. So there is no point it denying it intellectually.
Rather than saying it’s “not correct” I’ll just say that it’s not an accurate statement about reality. The materialist worldview is just another arising thought.
Real and not real are just thought labels. But, as long as the materialist belief is there we need to use a tool that is the closest of that belief to see through thoughts.
I’d say that the materialist view is seen for what it is, just an arising thought. It’s not believed in, which is why I have a problem “using it” to investigate. I have to “take on that perspective” in order to use it.
As long as you believe that there is no difference between the image of an apple and a visual thought of an apple since they both just appear and just is, you might cut yourself off from seeing through certain beliefs.

Since the self is created by thoughts only!

Yes, the visual thought and the ‘actual’ color labelled ‘apple’ are both just appear.

But you are throwing away the TOOL which would help you to see through the self.
Right, okay – it’s important to maintain a distinction between mental experience and visual experience, for example, in order to see the non-existence of the self.
I don’t know how else I could say to you that you have to put aside all learned knowledge about this. Also, philosophizing about whether witch world view is real or not.
I don’t really understand how my saying, “I struggle to use the materialist paradigm” is philosophizing or “not putting aside learned knowledge”. To me it’s the opposite: it’s trying to keep aside all learned knowledge. I see the materialist worldview as just an arising thought, which is why I take issue with “using it as a tool for investigation”. In order to “use it as a tool” I have to somewhat revert to the perspective in my experience – seeing from that perspective – which feels incorrect after seeing reality as “just this flow of experiencing” prior to any beliefs. Basically, I’ve dropped all worldviews, but now it feels like you’re asking me to go back to the materialist view for the purpose of investigation.
We just making a distinction between the actual experience of color and thoughts about color.



And I still will label the colors as ‘real’, compare to the contents of visual thought.

Because this distinction is essential to see through the self.

To see that thoughts create a huge web of conceptual overlay on experience.

But we could use the word ‘imagination’ instead of ‘not real’.

It doesn’t matter what label we use, since the AE of color is NOT the same as visual thoughts about color.
Okay, I understand this. If we use the term “imagination” or “mental” instead of “unreal” I think that’d help. Because that doesn’t deny the reality of the appearance in my experience, but still makes a distinction between visual images and visual thoughts, for example.
And it doesn’t matter if the material worldview is correct or not. We are not interested in it.

However, we are using its tools.
That’s my problem – in order to “use its tools” I have to revert to its perspective. Or, rather, the tool of “real vs unreal” specifically. I can’t use this tool without reverting to the materialist perspective because “real” and “unreal” don’t exist in reality. They don’t mean anything in actual experience. I can use the tool “mental vs visual”, or “imagination vs visual”, because neither of those denies existence like “real vs unreal” does. I can say that the content of thought is mental, but I can’t say that the content of thought is unreal: it undeniably exists or is experienced.
Thought, in and of itself, does not contain any experience whatsoever. If it did, you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’, feel the word ‘hot’. Can you see this?
Verbal thoughts, I agree. There is no content to verbal thoughts. It’s just “mental sound” that has no meaning.
Can an imagined visual thought of sitting on the sun give you a sunburn?
No, there’s no “sensation” in a visual thought, and visual thoughts do not affect other parts of reality (eg. by burning the body).
Can the salt be tasted on the lips by imagining swimming in the ocean?

‘Imagination’ is the key word here. It is imagined saltness is it not? How can it be actual saltness? Is it the ‘real’ deal?
It can’t be tasted on the lips, but it can be imagined. But it is seen that the taste of saltiness and the imagination of the taste of saltiness are definitely two different things. It’s not unreal because the imagination of saltiness isn’t nothing; it exists, it is experienced. But it is a mental experience – an imagination.
When you imagine a monster under the bed...is there a real monster, ..or are they thoughts ABOUT a monster?
The whole scenario is mental – the visual thought of the room, the bed, the monster. And it doesn’t say anything about the visual appearance of a room, a bed or a monster.
We have to make a distinction somehow.
Real or not real just words, just labels. Imagine them in quotation marks.
Okay, putting them in quotation marks helps me understand the sense in which we’re using them. When we say that an experience is “unreal”, we’re not making any statement about its existence in reality, we’re really just distinguishing between mental experience and other types of experience (visual, sensory, etc).
Reality is ONLY an IDEA. A concept. An imagination of thought. A ‘man-made’ thought invention.
Can you see this clearly?
Yes indeed, which is exactly why I had a problem with saying anything is “unreal”.

To say something is “unreal” seems to imply that there’s a reality of which certain experiences are not part.

I see that we have to make a distinction between mental experience and other types of experience in order to be able to see through the self.

If there is not seen to be a difference between visual thoughts and visual perception, the imagined self will seem to be real in my experience.
What is the AE of ‘visual perception is experienced from one point of view only’?
Can such thing be experienced at all?
Oh, I see. This is the same issue as before. The non-existence of something can’t be experienced. Likewise, ALTERNATE PERSPECTIVES CANNOT BE EXPERIENCED. They’re only imagined. They’re real ONLY as visual thought, but the content is purely mental – purely imaginary – and says nothing about actual visual experience.
Visual perception could only be said to be experienced “from one point of view” if there were “other points of view”, but there aren’t any other points of view in reality.

But… Isn’t this getting a bit close to solipsism? Saying that “my current perspective is the only one?”
I know that we’re not philosophising about worldviews, but could you comment on this?
Saying that there are no alternate perspectives seems to deny the existence of “your perspective” on the other side of the computer screen.
So for the next few days, I would like to ask you to focus your attention to this sensation as often as you can during the day (hundreds of times).
Just keep the attention on the sensation, and just make a repeated recognition that this sensation is just a sensation. Nothing more.

So just FEEL the sensation as sensation.

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

To give things their true name.

A sensation in the head is a sensation.

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

Please let me know how it goes.
I’m still doing this exercise and will reply to this part tomorrow 😊
I just figured I’d get the other part of the discussion out of the way first so I can focus my next reply on this exercise.

Michael.

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Vivien
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Re: The non-existent nuisance.

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:56 am

Hi Michael,
Right, okay – it’s important to maintain a distinction between mental experience and visual experience, for example, in order to see the non-existence of the self.
Yes. So it doesn’t matter what label we use.
Okay, I understand this. If we use the term “imagination” or “mental” instead of “unreal” I think that’d help. Because that doesn’t deny the reality of the appearance in my experience, but still makes a distinction between visual images and visual thoughts, for example.
All right. I might accidentally use the word ‘real’, but then please substitute with whatever label you like better.
But it is seen that the taste of saltiness and the imagination of the taste of saltiness are definitely two different things.
Great. This is the distinction I want you to be clear on, regardless of the label :)
Okay, putting them in quotation marks helps me understand the sense in which we’re using them. When we say that an experience is “unreal”, we’re not making any statement about its existence in reality, we’re really just distinguishing between mental experience and other types of experience (visual, sensory, etc).
Yes, exactly.
If there is not seen to be a difference between visual thoughts and visual perception, the imagined self will seem to be real in my experience.
Yes! That’s why we are making the distinction.
Oh, I see. This is the same issue as before. The non-existence of something can’t be experienced. Likewise, ALTERNATE PERSPECTIVES CANNOT BE EXPERIENCED. They’re only imagined. They’re real ONLY as visual thought, but the content is purely mental – purely imaginary – and says nothing about actual visual experience.
Visual perception could only be said to be experienced “from one point of view” if there were “other points of view”, but there aren’t any other points of view in reality.

It’s not just about that alternative perspectives cannot be experienced, but rather that ANY perspective is just a conceptualization, not actual experience.

There is ZERO experience of perspective.

We cannot say that visual perception is from one point of view.
This is just a thought story overlaying the actual experience of color.

There is not even such thing as ‘visual perception’. ‘Visual perception’ requires a body as a reference point, where everything else is being perceived. And this is a materialistic belief. That’s why I’m saying that although you are denying it, you are still believing it.

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

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

Is there a distinction between me-inside-the-body and not-me-everything-outside-of-the-body?

But… Isn’t this getting a bit close to solipsism? Saying that “my current perspective is the only one?”
I know that we’re not philosophising about worldviews, but could you comment on this?
You are trying to figure this out intellectually, instead of look at the experience directly.

There is NO such thing as ‘my perspective’ at all.

What is the AE of perspective? Is there any?
Saying that there are no alternate perspectives seems to deny the existence of “your perspective” on the other side of the computer screen.
You are thinking about this and not looking the experience directly. We are not saying at all that there are no alternative perspectives. Since ANY perspective is just a thought speculation. It’s not coming from looking. So both only one or several perspectives are just a stories.

Since perspective itself is just a story. Can you see this?
I’m still doing this exercise and will reply to this part tomorrow
So how is it 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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