Nothing making the decision can be directly observed. But, obviously, had I not recognized Pu'er tea (packaging, taste) from past memory (i.e. thoughts), I would not have chosen it. To me, that would point to decision made out of or on the basis of thoughts.
What I’m seeing from your replies is that you have a look at experience, but after seeing, you are making all sorts of intellectual conclusions and reasoning about what has been seen.
You are mixing looking with thinking. And you cannot get anywhere if you mix intellectual reasoning into looking. If you want to see through the illusion, you have to rely on experience purely. After the seeing, use words to describe the experience as precisely as you can, without adding any extra.
If after this you are trying to analyse and find pros and cons and making conclusions then you are NEGATING what you have seen before, since you are back to the analytical thinking again. Can you see this?
So with your above comment, you made thought conclusions based on the belief of cause and effect, is based on the belief in memory and thus time. We will look at these beliefs later.
To me, that would point to decision made out of or on the basis of thoughts.
This statement is simply a thought conclusion, it has nothing to do with experience. This is a dead end.
You cannot see through the illusion by thinking and reasoning. Since thoughts are the main cause for the illusion. You cannot use the same tool which creating the illusion in the first place.
You have to put aside all learned knowledge, all thoughts and look at experience directly. But after seeing it, you cannot go back to analysing it and making thought deductions. Otherwise you are back to the same illusion-making tool.
Thought will always ‘want’ to understand and intellectualize everything, this is what thoughts are ABOUT: analysing, interpreting, and putting everything into categories or into order, and most of all, conceptualizing the actual experience.
And it’s not problematic in and of itself. But for this investigation we have to stick to the pure experience, BEFORE any thought interpretation.
Why? Because the whole illusion is mainly created by thoughts. The self is just a concept. It’s not a real thing. It’s a fantasy. It’s a mirage in the desert. For a newborn baby, there is no concept of self. For the newborn there is only pure experiencing. And just later, when language is introduced, the concept of a self emerges, out of the thin air. It’s just a fabrication, but with time this fabrication is taken as reality. And what is the problem with that? It’s suffering. Only a self could suffer.
So for the infant there is only pure experiencing. Sight, sound, taste, smell, sensation. She is in direct contact with experience. But as cognition develops she starts to conceptualize her experience. Putting everything into categories, labelling the experience, etc. And of itself it’s not problematic. But this conceptualization is overlaying the experience, and it gets thicker and thicker. And at some point she hardly can access her direct experience, since she can only see the conceptual overlay. Like seeing everything through a pink tinted glass. At some point pinkness gets so natural (used to), that she even stops knowing/seeing that everything is just coloured pink, but not in reality. And at that point this conceptual overlay is believed to be THE TRUTH. Pink becomes the ultimate truth. The pinkness distorts our perception of what is really going on.
Whatever thoughts ‘say’, is the truth/reality from now on. This is how humans live their lives. We hardly can connect with our immediate experience since we believe that the overlaying thought concepts are all there is. And of course concepts are very useful when solving a problem, building a bridge or a house. But concepts/thoughts are just tools. But for humans the tool itself is overthrown what is really happening and creating all sorts of problems. This tool cannot be turned off. It’s like having a hammer as tool. The hammer is very useful for hitting the nail into the wall, but it’s not so useful for making dinner. But for humans, thoughts (the hammer) cannot be switched off, and we hammer everything with thoughts.
Thoughts, as a tool, has its place and value when a problem needs to be solved, but when the task is done, we should be able to put the tool (thoughts) down and just rest in the natural peace of experience. But thoughts are constantly on in forms of self-referencing narrating talks. Which is the basis of human delusion and suffering.
But the aim is not to stop these overlays from appearing, but rather to see them for what they really are. The overlay in and of itself is not problematic, as long as we see that it’s just an overlay.
This is why we have to stick to our immediate experience while doing this investigation. Not to devaluate thoughts and concepts, but rather to see what is really going on ‘behind the scenes’. When investigating the nature of reality and the self we cannot use the same tool which created the illusion itself on the first place.
So, from now on, please try to put aside all doubting thoughts, and just trust the process. Trust your immediate direct experience. Trust that this process will yield result. If you stay with the actual experience and just keep looking and looking, you will be able to distinguish what is really happening and what is just a fabrication. At the end, many of your intellectual answers will be answered by your direct experience.
It’s the process of looking and looking and looking and not finding what brings about of the realization.
So, can you trust this process?
Can you commit looking at your actual experience rather than what thoughts has to say about it?
The evidence is inconclusive. Thoughts seem to determine or correctly anticipate what (tea, not coffee) and when (now, not later) things get done. The procedure then seems to be relegated to muscle memory.
This is only thought reasoning again.
“the procedure then seems to be relegated to muscle memory” – thought concussion; it’s not coming from looking!
What is the AE of ‘muscle memory’?
V: Is there an ACTUAL decider and predicter somewhere?
B: There seems to be, in the form of that voice (thought process) evaluating whether or not it'll be tea or coffee. It reaches a reasoned conclusion and l, surely enough, actions follow on line with that decision.
We talked about this before. Here is my previous reply to you:
This is just a thought story, not AE. And how can you know that? When a sentence starts with “it seems” or “it feels like” then it’s a sure sign that what will follow is just an analogy or speculation.
Can you see this?
My question was about LOOKING for an ACTUAL decider or predicter.
But you didn’t look.
Rather you wrote down the contents of thoughts.
A SEEMING decider is NOT an ACTUAL decider.
A SEEMING dinosaur projected onto the wall, is NOT an ACTUAL dinosaur.
Can you see that you HAVE TO FIND an ACTUAL DECIDER in order to make the claim that there is one?
Not just an ASSUMED one, not just a CONCLUDED one, not just a SEEMING one, but an ACTUAL ONE?
Thoughts could equally be running ahead of the action observed, leading to this same conclusion. The observation that there is no direct, immediate correspondence between thoughts and action I take as validated.
Yes! This is coming from looking!
V: Is there an ACTUAL choice forming in thoughts?
B: There are thoughts pondering alternative options, leading to an expression of preference of one over another. To me that's evidence of a decision being formed. Is it actual? Well, I see tea being made and I taste tea, not coffee.
But this is reasoning only. This is just a thought conclusion. It’s not coming from looking.
You have to LOOK for an ACTUAL choice forming in thoughts.
If you cannot find it, then it means that choice is an empty word, doesn’t point to anything.
There is NO such thing as choice, there is ONLY thoughts ABOUT choice!
But a thought ABOUT choice is NOT a choice, but a THOUGHT ONLY.
Can you see this?
V: Is there such thing as choice?
B: Tea vs. Coffee we are taking as a matter of choice.
This is thought conclusion again.
Ben, do you have a resistance looking at experience only?
Is there a resistance to leave thought interpretations behind, and look at pure experience only?
If yes, could you please explain why?
V: Can THE choice itself be found at all?
B: It is observed as a thought process. If thought content is discarded as unreal and irrelevant a priori, then we are choosing not to find anything in there, but that would be a foregone, tautological conclusion.
Thinking, thinking, thinking and more thinking!
You are taking the contents of thoughts as ultimate truth.
You are looking through the pink-tinted glass.
But you are so used to it that you even forget that you look at everything through pinkness (through concepts).
Pinkness (contents of thoughts) has become the truth.
V: How choice itself is experienced?
B: As a thought process, in the case of tea vs. coffee.
Thought conclusion again.
Choice as such is NEVER EVER EXPERIENCED.
Thoughts about choice is NOT the AE of choice, but the AE of THOUGHTS ONLY.
And there is NOT even such thing as ‘thought process’.
What is the AE of thought process?
How many thoughts can be there at the same time?
V: Does the word ‘choice’ point to anything? Anything at all?
Is there anything behind the word ‘choice’?
B: It would be the prospect (thought) of alternative outcomes, leading to the actual experience of either tea or coffee as color, taste, etc.
You are simply not looking.
Ben, you either don’t see that you are looking everything through pink-glasses (thinking only) or you have a big resistance to looking at experience directly. Which one?
Actually, there is nothing behind the word choice and choice itself if we take the AE of coffee vs tea to be the same, since the distinction of color and taste is mere thought as well, so it doesn't really matter whether one or the other ultimately. Choice then is a (non)matter of thought (and your's is a trick question;). If that's what we're after in this exercise (I guess we are), stripping all thoughts away, we'll soon be left with preciously little to exchange about with words.
This is analytical thinking again. It’s not about that tea and coffee are the same since there is no distinction in color. This is just a reasoning!
It’s about SEEING that there is NO such thing as choice, or chooser. NONE.
It has nothing to do with coffee or tea being the same since both are just colors. Not at all.
And even this above sentence is not in line with experience, but this is a different topic.
V: And do these thoughts know what the habitual pattern is, so they can comment accordingly?
In other words, how is it known exactly that thoughts are in accordance with the action?
Without a thought making the claim that ‘the thoughts formed on the basis of habitual patterns of actions’, how can it be known that there is any link or correlation between the thoughts and the action?
B: Based on the above conclusion, I'm having 'level confusion', attempting to answer these questions. There's no choice, because there's no options. Darn tricky and deceiving those thoughts, aren't they?
No. This is a reasoning again. You make a conclusion from one thought to another. Belief upon belief.
The reason why there is no choice is NOT because there are no options.
But simply because there is no such thing as choice! Point. There is no because….
Choice is an illusion! Just as the self/me an illusion! Actually both are the SAME ILLUSION.
If one is seen through, the other is seen through simultaneously.
Vivien, why do you always have to ask these difficult questions? :)
Because it’s my job to guide you out of the huge web of beliefs (thoughts) and look at the simplicity of experience.
And it’s not difficult at all. It just SEEMS
TO BE difficult only, because your trying to do the impossible: figure this out with thinking!
V: How will is experienced?
B: Thought. Story of my life. Poor little Ben buhuuuu :)
But a thought about will is NOT the AE of will, but the AE of thought only.
Will isn’t experienced as a thought! – Can you see this?
Only an arising thought as a phenomenon can be experienced as thought. Can you see this?
But the content of thought is NOT the AE of thought. – Can you see this?
And will is just the content, and the content of a thought is never ever experienced. Can you see this?
V: How perseverance is experienced?
No. Perseverance is NOT experienced as thought. It’s impossible. Perseverance is just a fantasy.
Since perseverance is the content, and content of a thought is never ever experienced. Can you see this?
The only experience of a thought is when it is noticed that there is a thought.
But what the thought is about is never ever experienced. Is this crystal clear?
V: How determination is experienced?
There is ZERO experience of determination.
There is no such thing as determination. It’s just a fantasy.