Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:29 am

Hi Jeff,

You did a nice looking.
I noticed they were just words in my head
How is it known that thoughts/words appear in the head?
Do thoughts appear in a certain location?
I actually noticed I was still looking for the intention and I had already stood up.
Lol :) funny :)

Please put some chocolate (or something you think you shouldn’t eat or drink) in front of you. Look at it. Inspect it closely. Smell its delicious fragrance. And pay attention to emerging desire to eat it.

When the desire is there, pay close attention to the thought process.
See how thoughts list pros and cons why you should or shouldn’t eat the chocolate.
These opposing thoughts might even try to argue or convince each other what to decide.

What is it that is considering these options?
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? – look very carefully


Now, make a decision, but whatever you decide, don’t eat the chocolate (yet). Rather just pay very close attention when the decision is made. Particularly pay attention to thoughts, as the decision is made.

Let’s say a thought appear: “I decided not to eat the chocolate”
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
How exactly the decision is made?


Now, do according to the decision. (Either eat or don’t eat the chocolate.)
What is it that performed the chosen action?

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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:30 am

Hi Vivien,
How is it known that thoughts/words appear in the head?
Do thoughts appear in a certain location?
This statement was from my conditioning. When I look I cannot find the thoughts in any physical location in the body.
What is it that is considering these options?
Is there anything that is listing the pros and cons, or only just thoughts appear about pros and cons? – look very carefully
Only thoughts appear listing pros and cons of eating the cookie (my chosen treat), ‘It has too much sugar”, ‘But it’s so tasty’, ‘I should save the cookie for my daughter’, ‘if I eat the cookie I will protect her from eating something unhealthy’. The thoughts come like this one after another as if they are arguing back and forth, but there is no arguer to be found. When I really look I cannot find anything that is considering these options. In the past, when not looking so closely it feels like’I’ am considering the options. But when observed closely it’s just thoughts appearing, ‘considering’ is also a thought.
Let’s say a thought appear: “I decided not to eat the chocolate”
So the thought about the decision just appeared. What made that thought to appear?
Can you find the thing that made that decision, apart from the presence of the thought about the decision?
How exactly the decision is made?
I can’t find anything that made the decision thought. Other than prior related thoughts about pros/cons, I can't find anything else related to the the decision process.
Now, do according to the decision. (Either eat or don’t eat the chocolate.)
What is it that performed the chosen action?
The body just started eating the cookie, hard to pinpoint the decision moment. Nothing specific performed the action, it simply happened.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:58 am

Hi Jeff,
I can’t find anything that made the decision thought. Other than prior related thoughts about pros/cons, I can't find anything else related to the the decision process.
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.


Let’s start to investigate the body and sensations. The illusion of the self is not just simply coming from thoughts, but also from the belief that “I am the body” or “I have a body” or that this or that sensation is ‘me’ or the location of the ‘me’, or that this or that sensation is happening to ‘me’. So the thought label ‘this is me’ and the appearing sensations are welded together, creating a ‘sense of self’.

Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes.
Paying attention only to the pure sensations, without relying on thoughts or mental images:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have a weight or volume?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?

Is there an inside or an outside?
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?

What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?


Look very carefully, especially with the last question. Take your time, don’t rush. You can look several times during the day while doing other things (like washing hands, showering, having a short break from work, walking, etc) before replying.

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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:40 pm

Hi Vivien,
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.
During the exercises it’s clear that there is no chooser, but I am still struggling with the concept of free will. When I look at individual thoughts I cannot find a thinker, the thoughts just come and go, despite this ‘I’ still experience free will in a general sense throughout the day. For example, as I type this reply to you it feels like I am in control of what I am typing. Does the feeling of free will disappear when the illusion of self is seen through?
Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have a weight or volume?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
In AE I cannot tell how tall I am or sense how much I weigh or how much space I take up. I cannot detect a shape or form. I detect various sensations as they come and go, that’s it.
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
I can tell that I am wearing clothing, as I feel it against my skin, yet I cannot accurately detect a boundary between, nor with the chair. There is simply ‘touch/feel’ sensations of the chair and clothing in experience.
Is there an inside or an outside?
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?
In AE, when concepts are discarded, feelings in my stomach (which I conceptualize as inside) are not very different from sounds I hear from ‘external’ sources, such as a bird chirping ( which I conceptualize as outside). The resulting sensations are in the same space, a space that I cannot define the location of, just in general awareness I suppose. So in AE there is no inside or outside, just sensations happening.
What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?/
‘Body’ is the sum of the physical parts that make up ‘my’ physical form in this reality/environment. In AE it can’t be defined in the same way, it’s hard for me to put into words. I can’t define a body. Initially I wanted to say all the sensations experienced from ‘my’ perspective. But I really can’t define what it is.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:12 am

Hi Jeff,
During the exercises it’s clear that there is no chooser, but I am still struggling with the concept of free will. When I look at individual thoughts I cannot find a thinker, the thoughts just come and go, despite this ‘I’ still experience free will in a general sense throughout the day. For example, as I type this reply to you it feels like I am in control of what I am typing. Does the feeling of free will disappear when the illusion of self is seen through?
How free will is FELT?
What is it that supposedly could FEEL free will?


Just because the illusion is seen through, it doesn’t mean that the illusion stops appearing. However, upon looking it’s clear that there is no such thing as free will, choice or chooser.
I can tell that I am wearing clothing, as I feel it against my skin, yet I cannot accurately detect a boundary between, nor with the chair. There is simply ‘touch/feel’ sensations of the chair and clothing in experience.
Going along only with the sensation only, does the sensation itself suggest that “it is clothing against the skin”?
What is the AE of skin?
What is the AE of clothing?
How many sensation are present, is there one for the skin, and another one for the clothing?


Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it’s the sensation of the chair?
Are there 2 sensations there? One for the body and the other for the chair?
‘Body’ is the sum of the physical parts that make up ‘my’ physical form in this reality/environment. In AE it can’t be defined in the same way, it’s hard for me to put into words. I can’t define a body. Initially I wanted to say all the sensations experienced from ‘my’ perspective. But I really can’t define what it is.
The mental label ‘body’ is NOT the AE of ‘body’ but the AE of a thought only.
The image/color labelled ‘body’ is NOT the AE of ‘body’ but the AE of color only.
The sensations labelled ‘body’ is NOT the AE of ‘body’, but the AE of sensation only.
There is NO AE of body.
Body as such is never experienced. There is only thought + color + sensation.
Is this clear?


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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:05 pm

Hi Vivien,
How free will is FELT?
What is it that supposedly could FEEL free will?
The concept of free will is only felt/experienced via thoughts about it. But there is no entity/self there to feel it. I did more observations of ‘free will’ related thoughts and actions and I am starting to see it for what it is. I had a thought come out of nowhere while mediating that I should think more about free will and find out if it is true. Given this, I am to contemplate if free will is true, triggered by a thought that came to me out of my control. This made me laugh.

The thoughts and actions in AE come and go without a controller or free will, this is sinking in for me. Thoughts are very sneaky and instantly take ownership for actions & decisions, giving the impression of a decider. Just because there was a thought to do something 5 seconds before I do it does not mean ‘I’ made a decision to act on it.
Going along only with the sensation only, does the sensation itself suggest that “it is clothing against the skin”?
In AE there is a sensation detected that is triggered by clothing coming into contact with the skin. But this is just a sensation, a newborn baby would only experience sensation, and have no concept of clothing. So clothing is just a ‘label’ to describe the sensation experience.
What is the AE of skin?
What is the AE of clothing?
How many sensation are present, is there one for the skin, and another one for the clothing?
I can’t define the AE of clothing or skin. The clothing itself has no sensation, sensations occur when something comes into contact with skin, but skin is just another label. When clothing contacts skin there is one sensation not two.

Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that it’s the sensation of the chair?
Are there 2 sensations there? One for the body and the other for the chair?
There is just one sensation. There is nothing to indicate ‘chair’ just a sensation of coming into contact.
Body as such is never experienced. There is only thought + color + sensation.
Is this clear?
Yes, this is clear to me now, thank you.


-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:30 am

Hi Jeff,
The thoughts and actions in AE come and go without a controller or free will, this is sinking in for me.
Great!

Is there any doubt around the notion of free will, choice or chooser?


Even science had discovered that decision and free will are just illusions. Here is a few minutes long youtube video about this. Sometimes I’m a bit reluctant showing this because at the second half of the video the explanation of the self is really off. Scientists discovered that this is just an illusion, but then they try to interpret it through the belief in the self :)
https://vimeo.com/90101368
So clothing is just a ‘label’ to describe the sensation experience.
Yes.
The clothing itself has no sensation, sensations occur when something comes into contact with skin, but skin is just another label. When clothing contacts skin there is one sensation not two.
But how is it known that the sensation is the result of ‘clothing contacting the skin’?
Does the sensation suggest in any way that it’s the result of a contact?


Here is a little exercise. With eyes closed, put one of the hands on a desk or a table. Pay attention only to the pure sensation.

Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any way that the hand is doing the touching?
Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any way that there is a hand (subject) that touching the table (object), or is there only the sensation?
When all mental images and thoughts are ignored is there a ‘hand’ or a ‘table’ at all, or is there only the pure sensation?

Can an ‘INHERENT FEELER’ be found?
Would anything that is suggested as the ‘feeler’, be anything other than a concept/idea/thought?


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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:37 am

Hi Vivien,

Thank you for sharing that video. I was aware of the study but never saw the video, very interesting.
Is there any doubt around the notion of free will, choice or chooser?
No, I am clear now.
But how is it known that the sensation is the result of ‘clothing contacting the skin’?
Does the sensation suggest in any way that it’s the result of a contact?
In AE it is not known that the sensation is ‘clothing touching the skin’. There is nothing that suggests it is a result of contact, it is simply a sensation.
Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any way that the hand is doing the touching?
When I really look, there is nothing in AE that suggests the ‘hand’ is doing the touching.
Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any way that there is a hand (subject) that touching the table (object), or is there only the sensation?
I did find this exercise challenging but stuck with it for awhile. I was able to see past the concepts and labels. There is only sensation.
When all mental images and thoughts are ignored is there a ‘hand’ or a ‘table’ at all, or is there only the pure sensation?
No hand or table just sensation.
Can an ‘INHERENT FEELER’ be found?
Would anything that is suggested as the ‘feeler’, be anything other than a concept/idea/thought?
No feeler to be found. The feeler is just a conceptual thought.

Side note, today I burned my hand on a stove burner, nothing serious, but the pain was quite strong for a couple hours. I used this and mediated on the sensation in my hand. In AE, there was no ‘hand’, no ‘skin’, just the pure sensation of ‘pain’ (another label). I found this illustrated the fact that I cannot detect the skin, the conceptual barrier of inside/outside the body. Even this intense pain, that was clearly a burn on my skin, in AE was pure sensation, no inside/outside.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:55 am

Hi Jeff,
Side note, today I burned my hand on a stove burner, nothing serious, but the pain was quite strong for a couple hours. I used this and mediated on the sensation in my hand. In AE, there was no ‘hand’, no ‘skin’, just the pure sensation of ‘pain’ (another label). I found this illustrated the fact that I cannot detect the skin, the conceptual barrier of inside/outside the body. Even this intense pain, that was clearly a burn on my skin, in AE was pure sensation, no inside/outside.
Great looking!

Here is an exercise that helps to see how the illusion of the body is ‘created’, so to speak. Normally we believe that sensation is coming from sight (colour), meaning the object seen. In this example, the object being the ‘hand’ (colour labelled as ‘hand’).


1. Close the eyes and hold up one hand. Pay attention only to the felt sensations ‘of the hand’.
2. Open the eyes, and now observe the hand by looking only.
3. While looking at the hand, pay attention to the felt sensations.

Repeat 1 to 3 as many times as needed and investigate…

Normally we believe that the sensation is coming from the sight, the ‘object’ seen (hand).

But if you look, is there any link between the sensation and the sight? In other words, is the sensation ‘coming from’ the sight (labelled as hand) or only thoughts and mental constructs link them?

Can you see that both the ‘visual sight’ and the sensation appear simultaneously but ‘separately’, meaning that none of them is coming from the other or contained by the other?

So they just appear equally, ‘beside’ each other without any hierarchy or link between them?


So you can repeat this with all of the body parts below, one-by-one.
- feet
- legs
- arms
- belly
- chest
- head (looking into the mirror)

What do 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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:25 am

Hi Vivien,

I still need a bit more time with this exercise, I don't think I will be able to post today.

Thanks
-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:33 am

Hi Jeff,

That's all right. Thank you for letting me know.

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

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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:28 am

Hi Vivien,
But if you look, is there any link between the sensation and the sight? In other words, is the sensation ‘coming from’ the sight (labelled as hand) or only thoughts and mental constructs link them?
The sensations of the hand a more noticeable when my eyes are closed. The boundaries of the hand are not defined in AE with eyes closed. When I open my eyes and look at the hand the same sensation’s are less noticeable. Sight disrupts the raw sensation. As I repeat the exercise though, the sensations are more consistent eyes open vs closed. The same sensations are felt, no link to sight. The sight is its own independent sensation.

Can you see that both the ‘visual sight’ and the sensation appear simultaneously but ‘separately’, meaning that none of them is coming from the other or contained by the other?
Yes I see this, sight is an independent sensation experience.

So they just appear equally, ‘beside’ each other without any hierarchy or link between them?
Yes

So you can repeat this with all of the body parts below, one-by-one.
- feet
- legs
- arms
- belly
- chest
- head (looking into the mirror)
What do you find?
These are all just like the hand when I go through the exercise. The felt sensations are separate from the sight of these body parts. I do notice that the belly & chest are harder to identify with eyes closed, as the boundaries have grey areas, harder to define.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:21 am

Hi Jeff,
Sight disrupts the raw sensation.
Image/color cannot disturb the raw sensation.
Just the attention spend more time on image than on the sensation.
Can you see this?
The sight is its own independent sensation.
What do you mean by this? That the sight/image has a sensation?
sight is an independent sensation experience.
How could an image be a sensation?

Find somewhere quiet to sit. Rest for a moment and listen to the sounds in the room where you are, or sounds from outside. Whatever it is, I'll just refer to it as 'what can be heard'.

In 'hearing' can anything be found other than 'what can be heard'?

Can what is doing the hearing be found? Or is there only 'what can be heard'?

An 'I'? a 'body'? a 'person'? a brain? A pair of ears? Can these be found doing the hearing? Or is there just 'what can be heard'?
What do you find?

Can an INHERENT HEARER be found? Would anything that is suggested as the hearer, be anything other than a concept/idea/thought?


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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jeffreywill
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby jeffreywill » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:29 pm

Hi Vivien,
Image/color cannot disturb the raw sensation.
Just the attention spend more time on image than on the sensation.
Can you see this?
With eyes open my attention was more focused on sight, but the raw sensation is unchanged, I just had less focus on it. Yes I get this. As I focused more on the raw sensation it was the same eyes open or closed.
The sight is its own independent sensation.
What do you mean by this? That the sight/image has a sensation? How could an image be a sensation?
Sensation was a bad choice of word for me here. What I meant is that sight is it’s own experience, independent of felt sensations in the hand.
In 'hearing' can anything be found other than 'what can be heard'?
I just experience hearing.
Can what is doing the hearing be found? Or is there only 'what can be heard'?
I cannot find what is doing the hearing, just what can be heard.
An 'I'? a 'body'? a 'person'? a brain? A pair of ears? Can these be found doing the hearing? Or is there just 'what can be heard'?
What do you find?
I just experience of the sound landscape, I can’t identify anything that is doing the hearing. Even when I plug my ears I still hear( the sounds are just different). I can’t pinpoint anything specific in the ears or otherwise that is doing the hearing.
Can an INHERENT HEARER be found? Would anything that is suggested as the hearer, be anything other than a concept/idea/thought?
I can’t find a hearer, it is just a concept.

-Jeff

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Vivien
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Re: Seeking assistance to see through illusion of self

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:00 am

Hi Jeff,

Great looking again. :) Since you used the word ‘sight’ a few times before, let’s investigate this notion. Sight implies that there is something, like a pair of eyes, that is seeing what is in front of it (sight) out there.

Can you actually see the back of the eyes where the image comes from?

How is it known that the eyes see?
Can you find anything behind the eyes that are seeing?
What is actually known right now about eyes, except thought about them?

Look at whatever is in front of you.
Is it seen from the perspective of two windows (eyes), or is it like a windscreen view?

Now focus on the sensation labelled ‘eyes’. Is this sensation doing the seeing?

Now zoom back in and try to find the thing that’s seeing. Is there seeing separate from what’s seen, or is there just what’s seen?

Is there any awareness separate from experience or is there just experience?


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


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