I want to know

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:43 pm

Hi Stacy

No I’m not in the south, but I did spend time there as a child. I’m in Washington State. I spent a lot of my youth in Colorado, mostly around Durango. A mountain girl for sure. Love it!
Is there a "real" cup or just an image of a cup?
Just an image.
Is there an appearing mental image?
Yes.
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) “real?"
No. At least, it's not physically real at the moment.
The thoughts and mental images are real only as arising thoughts and mental images, their "presence" cannot be denied. However their contents, what are they about are not "real;" they are just fantasies.
Fantasies, or reflections/remembrances of something real? When I think of a fantasy, I think of something entirely made up
Can you see this?
I can see that the cup is not physically present, but I don’t know if I’d call it a fantasy. Maybe the difference is not important.
Over the course of the next day or so, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts.

Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about) is really happening, or the content is just pure imagination. Let me know how it goes.
I’ll take a stab at it. I think I see what you’re aiming at: whether the content of the thought is actually happening right now is the important thing, not whether it represents something that actually HAS happened/been. OK. I'm pretty sure I see what you're asking for. If I'm wrong, please let me know!

Thanks!
Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:36 pm

Hi Lesa,

Yes & let's look at your questions.
Fantasies, or reflections/remembrances of something real? When I think of a fantasy, I think of something entirely made up
Can you show me how the cup you imagined is not entirely made up?

Actual or Direct Experience is only what we see, hear, touch, smell, taste or thought arising. We could call it "real," but that word gets a bit sticky with old ideas so we don't use it much.
I can see that the cup is not physically present, but I don’t know if I’d call it a fantasy. Maybe the difference is not important.
Tell me what you would call it & we can check.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:21 pm

Hello
Can you show me how the cup you imagined is not entirely made up?
It’s a direct reflection or memory of an object I have experienced physically in the past. I didn’t really “make it up”, I remembered it and envisioned it in my mind’s eye. If you asked me to “make up” a living cup, I could do that by adding living features to a remembered cup. As I have never experienced something like that, nor believe it could occur, I would call that "fantasy".

From another perspective, the living features would also be things I remembered from the past. Taking all that into account, I guess there is really nothing that is entirely made up, it’s all variations or mixtures of remembered things/experiences.


Actual or Direct Experience is only what we see, hear, touch, smell, taste or thought arising. We could call it "real," but that word gets a bit sticky with old ideas so we don't use it much.
I can see that the cup is not physically present, but I don’t know if I’d call it a fantasy. Maybe the difference is not important.

Tell me what you would call it & we can check.
A memory. A multi-sense (seen, heard, felt, smelled, tasted and thought about), projected memory. It almost seems like a multi-sense hologram in my mind’s eye. I hope I'm not making this overly complicated, but for me, semantics is important.

Lesa

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:47 pm

Stacy
Tell me what you would call it & we can check.
After thinking about it some more, I think I would call it a multi-sense hologram. I guess an imagining would work too.

Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:02 am

Hi Lesa

Yes.
A memory. A multi-sense (seen, heard, felt, smelled, tasted and thought about), projected memory. It almost seems like a multi-sense hologram in my mind’s eye.
Can you see, hear, feel, taste, or touch it at this moment?

If so, that is Actual or Direct Experience. If not, you are making it up. There's nothing there except what is in your mind, right?

We can do a couple of exercises on time and memory, but I think that's getting ahead of ourselves. Right now what we want to notice is the difference between a thought arising and the content of the thought - whatever you are calling it - memory or a multi-sense hologram - or a day dream, or just some general regular thought.

The hologram idea can be useful, too. It is like "The Matrix." Did you see that movie? The hologram is made up. Our entire reality is made up exactly like that.

Hopefully, this will not confuse you, but since we both like Alan Watts, I happened to listen to one today that included some of this idea, although there are a couple of things in there that aren't relevant to our method. Our method is Direct Pointing, not the reductio ad absurdum he describes in the last 5 minutes. Only the first 5 minutes relate to LOOKING as we do it here.

https://youtu.be/w6Cx5N_b3vc


Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:50 am

Stacy
Can you see, hear, feel, taste, or touch it at this moment?
No, I can't.

So if I'm clear, arising thought is the "action" of thought appearing, and content is whatever the thought is about. I will try to notice whether the content is really happening.

Thanks for the Alan Watts! I've heard it before and feel like I understand it completely, but there's a disconnect between how I'm experiencing my life and the concepts he's talking about. I know that's what direct looking is supposed to help with. I had the same experience with Goran Buckland's book. Love it, intuitively feel its correct, and totally get the concept, just have a hard time breaking away from my conditioned way of seeing life and the world.

Again, so grateful for your help! This is quite fun and challenging. :)

Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:52 pm

Hi!

You are quite welcome
if I'm clear, arising thought is the "action" of thought appearing, and content is whatever the thought is about. I will try to notice whether the content is really happening.
Yes. That is a pretty good way to put it when we have to use words.

Do you have any more questions about the exercises, so far? Or about the content of thought being made up & not Actual /Direct Experience?

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:51 am

Do you have any more questions about the exercises, so far? Or about the content of thought being made up & not Actual /Direct Experience?
No, I think I get it. I’ve noticed that when thinking about it from this perspective, all content is made up. I’m amazed at how automatic thought arising is. And it's fricking relentless! It’s amazing how totally drown and unconscious I become, in a way, when I’m engaged in speaking with someone. My intellect takes over, but I’m sort of unaware. Everything else just disappears. And if there are highly charged emotions involved, just forget being really conscious. It's kind of like being possessed. I suppose it takes a lot of practice to become aware, really conscious of the unreality of thought’s content.

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:32 am

Hi Lesa!

I’ve noticed that when thinking about it from this perspective, all content is made up. I’m amazed at how automatic thought arising is. And it's fricking relentless!
This is great! That's a huge piece of the awareness of what happens.

Now try this...

[u]Observing Thoughts[/u]

Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts.

Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?

Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?

Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?

Can you predict your next thought?

Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?

Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?

Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?

Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?

It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says "these thoughts are in sequence" or “they take content from previous thought,” or that "one thought follows another thought?"


Be sure to quote & answer each question.

Have fun!

Loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:47 am

Hi Stacy
Here is a thought exercise. Sit quietly for about 30 minutes and notice the arising thoughts.

Just let them appear as they appear. Try your best to COMPLETELY ignore what they are saying and just notice how they appear without you doing anything at all.

Where are they coming from and going to?
Don’t know. They just appear and disappear.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
Mostly not. But right now I’m searching my brain for information and when an answer appears, that feels like I’ve done something to make thought appear, and particularly about the question.
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
I don’t think so. But it seems that several options appeared when I was thinking about the previous question, and I chose one.
Can you predict your next thought?
No.
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
Haha! No.
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
No, not exactly, but I can often choose to direct my thinking to something else, at least temporarily.
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
I think so. For example, today I was working on a built-in cabinet for my refrigerator, I was calculating and working out problems, planning, etc. It seemed very much like deliberate thinking or choosing particular kinds of thoughts. Thoughts about anything other than the problem I was trying to work out didn’t appear. Also, during this exercise, I have made the choice to think about the answers, and thoughts about them are what arise.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
I don’t think so. Although, like I said earlier, I can sometimes stop a particular train of thought and redirect it.
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says "these thoughts are in sequence" or “they take content from previous thought,” or that "one thought follows another thought?”
They do seem to follow a particular subject, and it seems to be in rational order, but the subject can just suddenly drop off and a new one pop up. The train of thought often seems to be like a conversation, with one perspective, then another, or an additional detail added. When I asked myself this question there was another thought that said something like, "Yes, these thoughts are in sequence". It does often seem to follow a logical order.

Thanks, Kid!
Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:17 pm

Hi Lesa!

Right. Thoughts just pop up. We don't DO anything to cause them.

In fact, there has been scientific research, particularly an experiment done by Libet and validated repeatedly since 1986 showing that the brain is activated showing that a decision has been made long before conscious awareness catches up. You can look up the experiment, if you like. I believe Sam Harris mentions it in his book, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. It is definitely in Michael Gazzaniga's book, The Mind's Past. I found some YouTube videos searching Libet's experiment, but I'm at work and can't watch them to check.
that feels like I’ve done something to make thought appear, and particularly about the question.
You say it "feels like," but check: is it an actual feeling in the body, something a body can feel like temperature, weight, contraction/tension, expansion/relaxation, etc? Or is it a story the mind is making up? Another content of thought, not the Actual Experience of Thought Arising? Check carefully.

They do seem to follow a particular subject, and it seems to be in rational order, but the subject can just suddenly drop off and a new one pop up. The train of thought often seems to be like a conversation, with one perspective, then another, or an additional detail added. When I asked myself this question there was another thought that said something like, "Yes, these thoughts are in sequence". It does often seem to follow a logical order.
Again, you say "seem to follow." Is that an Actual Experience? Something you can see, hear, sense/feel, smell or taste? Or is it another content of thought, a made-up story, not just the "action," as you put it, of Thought Arising?

Let yourself be surprised. Answer from LOOKING, rather than thinking, like the Colored Socks before. What is found?

Much loving,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:06 am

Hi Stacy
…scientific research, particularly an experiment done by Libet and validated repeatedly since 1986 showing that the brain is activated showing that a decision has been made long before conscious awareness catches up.
Thank you. Yes, I am familiar with this. :)
You say it "feels like," but check: is it an actual feeling in the body, something a body can feel like temperature, weight, contraction/tension, expansion/relaxation, etc? Or is it a story the mind is making up? Another content of thought, not the Actual Experience of Thought Arising? Check carefully.
It’s not a feeling in the body. I see that it is the CONTENT of thought and not thought arising, but does that make it untrue/unreal?
Again, you say "seem to follow." Is that an Actual Experience? Something you can see, hear, sense/feel, smell or taste? Or is it another content of thought, a made-up story, not just the "action," as you put it, of Thought Arising?
I see that it’s content, but I also have an experience of each thought arising. The two are inseparable, like two sides of a coin. I can’t see, hear feel, smell, or taste thought arising, yet I have the experience of it arising.

I think you’re trying to point out that the content of thought is never the same as the experience of thought arising. Is that right? Or are you trying to say that content of thought is never real/true? Or something else entirely????

Thank you!
Lesa

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:09 am

Stacy, I don't know if I'm finished with this yet.
Right. Thoughts just pop up. We don't DO anything to cause them.
I have no evidence that this statement is true. Can you clarify?

Lesa

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Anastacia42
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Re: I want to know

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:09 pm

Hi Lesa,

I ask questions to point YOU to see what is Actual or Direct Experience. That's my only job here.

The words, "real," "true," "unreal," "untrue," are used sometimes, yes, and yet they carry a lot of content of thought baggage that we might call "memory" or "beliefs." Let's mostly just call it Actual Experience or Direct Experience. It is much clearer that way.

Can you see how your mind/thinking is answering these questions?

What is asked is to LOOK and to SEE, rather than to think about it. It seems so simple - and it is - but the thinking habits seem tenacious and may seem challenging to LOOK past.

Here, I was just rephrasing your answer back to you:
Right. Thoughts just pop up. We don't DO anything to cause them.
I have no evidence that this statement is true. Can you clarify?
What you actually said, verbatim, was:
Don’t know. They just appear and disappear.
and a couple of others about not being able to have only pleasant thoughts, etc.
I think you’re trying to point out that the content of thought is never the same as the experience of thought arising. Is that right? Or are you trying to say that content of thought is never real/true? Or something else entirely????
Actual or Direct Experience is only:

Seeing/Image, Color
Hearing/Sound
Feeling/Sensation (only, not emotions, those are content of thought)
Tasting/Taste
Smelling/Smell
Thought Arising (but not the content of thought - it is not Actual or Direct)


All we are LOOKING at is whether or not the content of thought is Actual or Direct - something known with our 5 senses. If it isn't, it must come from somewhere else. We don't really care where, although there is an answer to that. Did you ever do A Course in Miracles? That course spends half a year UN-training the mind on this one concept. Fortunately, it won't take that long with Direct Pointing at LU, usually.

We may resist the idea that the content of thought is not Direct or Actual. We've been trained since birth to believe in it. Come to this with beginner's mind, fresh, not knowing. The exercises can show you everything.

Are you clearer about Thought Arising vs. content of thought? If so, we can move on to the next exercise. We may, anyway. Seeing will happen when it does.

Much love,
~ Stacy

"Not to know there is an alternative to being lost
in thought is to be a kind of prisoner."

~ Sam Harris

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LesaD
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Re: I want to know

Postby LesaD » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:52 pm

Can you see how your mind/thinking is answering these questions?
Yes

My reply: “Don’t know. They just appear and disappear”.

Yes, that was my response, but I was answering, “where in space” they come from or go to. They come from my mind but I can’t locate that.

The more I watch them, the more I realize that most thoughts are a response to some stimuli (either a direct question/problem, or an internal fear-based neurotic belief). Some thoughts are totally random, but most thoughts come if there is a perceived problem for me to solve. If I am asked a question, thoughts come, if I have an unresolved emotional issue, thoughts pop up about that, if I need to plan an event, thoughts come about that. I am an artist and get what is a mixture of random and intentional thoughts about creating art. If I accept the stimuli, or believe it, I am “turning on the thought process”. So in that sense I DO cause them. That explains, to me, how people who are awakened have so few thoughts. They don’t believe what their minds are telling them any longer. They don’t perceive problems and the thoughts stop coming unless they switch them on to make plans, etc.

Actual or Direct Experience is only:

Seeing/Image, Color
Hearing/Sound
Feeling/Sensation (only, not emotions, those are content of thought)
Tasting/Taste
Smelling/Smell
Thought Arising (but not the content of thought - it is not Actual or Direct)
I see that thoughts arising are caused by the content of other thoughts and/or beliefs. And I hear that the content of thought is not Direct Experience. May have to revisit this along the way.
All we are LOOKING at is whether or not the content of thought is Actual or Direct - something known with our 5 senses. If it isn't, it must come from somewhere else. We don't really care where, although there is an answer to that.
No, the content of thought is not Direct, but neither is Thought Arising if the criteria is that it has to be perceived with one of the 5 senses. For me, I know that thoughts arise because I think, just like I know site happens because I see. And I'd love to know where thoughts come from! I suspect they come from the one unified source of everything, and are filtered through the individual brains/conditioning we each have.

Did you ever do A Course in Miracles? That course spends half a year UN-training the mind on this one concept. Fortunately, it won't take that long with Direct Pointing at LU, usually.
I read A Course in Miracles in ’88 and started the workbook but wasn’t able to complete it. It resonated with me, but didn’t have the patience then.
We may resist the idea that the content of thought is not Direct or Actual. We've been trained since birth to believe in it. Come to this with beginner's mind, fresh, not knowing. The exercises can show you everything.
I’ll do my best to follow your language and what you're pointing to. Hope I'm not wearing you out.
Are you clearer about Thought Arising vs. content of thought? If so, we can move on to the next exercise. We may, anyway. Seeing will happen when it does.
Yes, I believe I understand the difference between thought arising and content of thought.

Thank you!
Lesa


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