direct experience over intellectual understanding

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:01 am

Hi Kelly,
Although it’s hard to believe that this process can lead to “seeing through” the illusion, as so many claim that it’s a pathless path and there’s really nothing one can actually do.
Just because there is no self, no entity there that could see through the illusion, it doesn’t mean the seeing through the illusion cannot happen!

Just as there is a belief in illusion without a believer, there could also be the seeing of no-self without an actual seer. Can you see this?
But I see now that any beliefs in how I think it is or how it’s going to be are totally irrelevant so I’m trying to ignore those thoughts.
Yes, and thoughts talk all sorts of rubbish! Thoughts have no idea what they are talking about! :)
When I get lost in the drama for a bit I’ll suddenly find myself asking - Wait, is there actually any efforting happening right now? And there never is.
This is a very good question.
So there is no decision maker. Thoughts claim most actions as a choice that was made to make a decision, but without the thought commentary, there aren’t decisions at all. It’s just what’s happening!
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.


Now, let’s go back to investigating the body. I give you the same set of questions again. Please look again very carefully with each question.

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

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?


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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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:45 am

Hi Vivien,
K: Although it’s hard to believe that this process can lead to “seeing through” the illusion, as so many claim that it’s a pathless path and there’s really nothing one can actually do.

V: Just because there is no self, no entity there that could see through the illusion, it doesn’t mean the seeing through the illusion cannot happen!
Just as there is a belief in illusion without a believer, there could also be the seeing of no-self without an actual seer. Can you see this?
Yes I definitely see this. I just wonder why more teachers don’t facilitate this direct pointing!
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.
Yes, it is now totally clear that there is no such thing as a chooser or choice in AE. Thank you for going into this deeper with me to make it clear.
Now, let’s go back to investigating the body. I give you the same set of questions again. Please look again very carefully with each question.

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

Can it be known how tall the body is?
No, there is no way to sense into the height of the body. It’s just a concept.
Does the body have a weight or volume?
There is a sensation of “heaviness” but that is just a label so no, there is no AE of what weight or volume or mass is.
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
This is tough because my mental image of my “body” as a thing is so continuously present. It’s almost difficult to decipher that it’s even a thought because of that. But I cannot say that I can feel my body as a whole, in a single present-moment sensation. So no, in AE, the body had no particular shape or form.
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
I sense sensations in those areas when I direct attention there but saying that it’s a boundary would be false because I can’t feel the separation between my skin and my clothing for instance. The sensation of clothing on my skin is just a single sensation, as is my weight on the chair.
Is there an inside or an outside?
No, in AE, there is no sensed difference between inside versus outside. A sensation of my stomach growling appears in the same way that an itch on my head does- just sensation appearing, in no “place” really.
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?
Without thought content, I see that these would just be irrelevant concepts.
What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
In actual experience, I would say it refers to where sensory perception is experienced. But I see that that’s still even a conceptual way to look at it because in AE, there isn’t really a location persay of where sensory experiences happen, they’re just here- or just in awareness.
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?
Again, thoughts about what my body is feel so continuous so it is very deceiving. But in AE, with my eyes closed, all I know of a body is attention floating around to various sensations, and they’re experienced as locationless in the sense that I can only pinpoint where the sensation is be referring to thoughts about my body parts.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:24 am

Hi Kelly,
Yes, it is now totally clear that there is no such thing as a chooser or choice in AE. Thank you for going into this deeper with me to make it clear.
Excellent! You are very welcome :)
But I cannot say that I can feel my body as a whole, in a single present-moment sensation. So no, in AE, the body had no particular shape or form.
Close your eyes, and scan through the body. Look for every sensation that is present right now. You will find, that as you scan the body, a visual thought ‘shows’ the location of attention, so to speak.

If you look very carefully, you’ll find that there are some parts where the sensations are really strong, but there are other areas where there is hardly any sensation going on, or even nothing. So even the sensations what are labelled as ‘body’ cannot be experienced as a whole. I mean you cannot feel all ‘parts’ of the body at the same time. There is only a constructed a visual thought and with the label ‘body’, and the belief that the body is a whole unit, always present, always available. But this cannot be further from the truth. Body as such exists only as a construct.
Can you see this?
I sense sensations in those areas when I direct attention there but saying that it’s a boundary would be false because I can’t feel the separation between my skin and my clothing for instance. The sensation of clothing on my skin is just a single sensation, as is my weight on the chair.
Yes. Look at this a bit more closely.

Does the pure sensation suggest in any way that ‘it’s the result of the clothing touching the skin’?
Is there a sensation for the clothing? And another sensation for the skin?

Is there an experience of touching at all?
Can touching be experienced?
But in AE, with my eyes closed, all I know of a body is attention floating around to various sensations, and they’re experienced as locationless in the sense that I can only pinpoint where the sensation is be referring to thoughts about my body parts.
Color and shape is NOT the AE of body, but the AE of color only.
The visual thought labelled ‘body’ is NOT the AE of body, but the AE of a thought only.
Sensations are NOT the AE of body, but the AE of sensations only.
The appearance of movement is NOT the AE of body, but the AE of colors only.

There is ZERO AE of body.
Body as such cannot be experienced.
Body is just a mental construct, nothing else.
The body is just a conceptual overlay on the AE of colors, sensations and thoughts. Can you see this?

In actual experience, I would say it refers to where sensory perception is experienced. But I see that that’s still even a conceptual way to look at it because in AE, there isn’t really a location persay of where sensory experiences happen, they’re just here- or just in awareness.
How is it known that ‘sensory experiences’ happen IN awareness?
How is it known that experience happen or appear IN awareness?
What is the experience of experience happening IN or ON something?

What is the AE of awareness?


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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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:17 am

Hi Vivien,
Close your eyes, and scan through the body. Look for every sensation that is present right now. You will find, that as you scan the body, a visual thought ‘shows’ the location of attention, so to speak.

If you look very carefully, you’ll find that there are some parts where the sensations are really strong, but there are other areas where there is hardly any sensation going on, or even nothing. So even the sensations what are labelled as ‘body’ cannot be experienced as a whole. I mean you cannot feel all ‘parts’ of the body at the same time. There is only a constructed a visual thought and with the label ‘body’, and the belief that the body is a whole unit, always present, always available. But this cannot be further from the truth. Body as such exists only as a construct.
Can you see this?
Yes, we’ll said. I definitely see this when I am very present with AE.
K: I sense sensations in those areas when I direct attention there but saying that it’s a boundary would be false because I can’t feel the separation between my skin and my clothing for instance. The sensation of clothing on my skin is just a single sensation, as is my weight on the chair.

V: Yes. Look at this a bit more closely.
Does the pure sensation suggest in any way that ‘it’s the result of the clothing touching the skin’?Is there a sensation for the clothing? And another sensation for the skin?
No, it’s just one sensation that cannot be divided. Only thought talk about dividing it or feeling two distinct things.
Is there an experience of touching at all?
No, that would be a concept. Like thoughts, a sensation cannot infer anything except for being a sensation.
Can touching be experienced?
Not in AE! I can see that the sensation of “touching” appears in the same way that a sensation of “itching” appears- they’re both just sensations that come and go. Saying anything else about them would be conceptual description.
There is ZERO AE of body.
Body as such cannot be experienced.
Body is just a mental construct, nothing else.
The body is just a conceptual overlay on the AE of colors, sensations and thoughts. Can you see this?
Yes I definitely do see this, but again, this feels like such a big realization to REALLY see this. Thoughts of “my body” are so prevalent and difficult to “see through”.
How is it known that ‘sensory experiences’ happen IN awareness?
That’s a good question. Well they don’t really happen “in” anything because there isn’t a container or grounding where they appear. When they arise, all that’s known is that. But the knowing of it seems to be the awareness.
How is it known that experience happen or appear IN awareness?
Just because experience is known. But I guess the knowing of anything arises along with the experience.
What is the experience of experience happening IN or ON something?
there’s no AE of it happening in or on something. When I really turn away from my thoughts that are appearing about this, all I can say is that they appear and I can’t locate a place.
What is the AE of awareness?
Well it doesn’t appear that I can have any AE of awareness unless there is awareness of an object, like you’ve said- experienceaware as one “thing”. So really there is no “being aware” of anything because that implies two! There can’t be a separating out of awareness to experience just that. So despite my thoughts rambling on about all these spiritual ideas like a “ground of being” and the “I am” presence and “the one consciousness”- I can’t say there there is some permanent thread like awareness running through all my experience but at the same time that thread is really just the entirety of aware-experiencing because nothing can be known beyond that. I can’t know deep sleep because there isn’t anything to be aware of. Or more like there isn’t anything aware-ing. So all that can be known is what’s appearing/aware-ing.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:44 am

Hi Kelly,
I definitely see this when I am very present with AE.
What is it exactly that is present with AE?
What is it that could be present or not present with AE?
V: Is there an experience of touching at all?
K: No, that would be a concept. Like thoughts, a sensation cannot infer anything except for being a sensation.
“Like thoughts, a sensation cannot infer anything except for being a sensation.” – What do you mean by this sentence?
Do sensations making the impression of ‘touch’ or thoughts?
What is it suggesting that the sensation is a ‘touch’? The sensation? or a thought?
V: There is ZERO AE of body.
Body as such cannot be experienced.
Body is just a mental construct, nothing else.
The body is just a conceptual overlay on the AE of colors, sensations and thoughts. Can you see this?
K: Yes I definitely do see this, but again, this feels like such a big realization to REALLY see this. Thoughts of “my body” are so prevalent and difficult to “see through”.
Our purpose with this exercise is NOT to change how the body is perceived, not at all. We are doing this only to see how constructs are overlaying experience and thus distorting it. So don’t expect or aim for getting into a state, where the body is seen as a concept only.
V: How is it known that ‘sensory experiences’ happen IN awareness?
K: That’s a good question. Well they don’t really happen “in” anything because there isn’t a container or grounding where they appear. When they arise, all that’s known is that. But the knowing of it seems to be the awareness.
But how is it known that the knowing is awareness?

Be careful with expressions with ‘SEEMS’. A SEEMING thing is NOT an actual thing.

Every time a sentence starts with “it seems” or “it feels like” is the sure sign that what will follow is just an analogy, just the content of a thought. It’s not coming from looking at AE directly, rather from thought speculation.
Can you see this?
V: How is it known that experience happen or appear IN awareness?
K: Just because experience is known. But I guess the knowing of anything arises along with the experience.
Are you guessing here? Guessing is thinking. Don’t think, rather LOOK. NEVER GUESS! Guessing is useless.

Can experience be divided into a knower and a known (experiencer and experienced)?
Where is the division between the two?
there’s no AE of it happening in or on something. When I really turn away from my thoughts that are appearing about this, all I can say is that they appear and I can’t locate a place.
“When I turn away from my thoughts” – what is it exactly that has thoughts?
What owns thoughts?
What is it that is turning away from thoughts?
What do thoughts happen TO?

What is experiencing thoughts?
What is believing or not believing thoughts?
So despite my thoughts rambling on about all these spiritual ideas like a “ground of being” and the “I am” presence and “the one consciousness”- I can’t say there there is some permanent thread like awareness running through all my experience but at the same time that thread is really just the entirety of aware-experiencing because nothing can be known beyond that. I can’t know deep sleep because there isn’t anything to be aware of. Or more like there isn’t anything aware-ing. So all that can be known is what’s appearing/aware-ing.
Yes, but this is just partially coming from LOOKING. The second half about deep sleep is just a thought speculation. A conclusion. Can you see this?

You cannot see through the self by thinking about it, and making conclusions and speculations. This won’t help.

You have to see EXPERIENTIALLY that there is NO such thing as awareness.

Can you see clearly (experientially) that there is no such thing as ‘awareness’, ‘consciousness’, or ‘knower’, or ‘presence’?

“Despite my thoughts rambling” – what is it that has rambling thoughts?


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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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:10 am

Hi Vivien,

My apologies, I was a bit distracted and rushed to write back to you yesterday so I definitely wasn’t doing the best looking. I also just feel the need to express again my absolute overflowing gratitude for you and your incredible sharpness in catching where I’m caught in a misperception. No one has EVER helped me so deeply, and you don’t even know me! Ah, again, there really are no words, but my heart is overflowing :)
K: I definitely see this when I am very present with AE.

V: What is it exactly that is present with AE?
What is it that could be present or not present with AE?
Yet another really good point. There is nothing that is present or not present with AE. There’s no me that chooses to be “present” at all. There’s either looking at actual experience or looking at thoughts. And there’s no one doing the looking.
V: Is there an experience of touching at all?
K: No, that would be a concept. Like thoughts, a sensation cannot infer anything except for being a sensation.
“Like thoughts, a sensation cannot infer anything except for being a sensation.” – What do you mean by this sentence?
Do sensations making the impression of ‘touch’ or thoughts?
What is it suggesting that the sensation is a ‘touch’? The sensation? or a thought?
I mis-wrote that one, it’s definitely the thoughts that infer touch, not the sensation itself.
V: How is it known that ‘sensory experiences’ happen IN awareness?

K: That’s a good question. Well they don’t really happen “in” anything because there isn’t a container or grounding where they appear. When they arise, all that’s known is that. But the knowing of it seems to be the awareness.

V: But how is it known that the knowing is awareness?
I see that it’s definitely just inferred by thoughts- trying to link “spiritual concepts” which has nothing to do with the exploration here.
Be careful with expressions with ‘SEEMS’. A SEEMING thing is NOT an actual thing.

Every time a sentence starts with “it seems” or “it feels like” is the sure sign that what will follow is just an analogy, just the content of a thought. It’s not coming from looking at AE directly, rather from thought speculation.
Can you see this?
Yes, it’s a good reminder because in so many facets of my life experience- so much importance is put on describing how things feel. There’s this belief that describing how something feels is being in touch with a more evolved sense of intuition and emotion... but I see it’s clearly just a regular old thought!
Can experience be divided into a knower and a known (experiencer and experienced)?
Where is the division between the two?
No it definitely cannot! The knower, knowing and the known cannot be separated in any way. There’s no distinction or boundary. They are one in the same. It’s only thought that divides and claims to be a knower that uses a “knowing” ability to become aware of an object. That’s all thought creation and has no reality in AE.
K: there’s no AE of it happening in or on something. When I really turn away from my thoughts that are appearing about this, all I can say is that they appear and I can’t locate a place.

V: “When I turn away from my thoughts” – what is it exactly that has thoughts?
A trip up in languaging- there is nothing that has thoughts. Thoughts just appear.
What owns thoughts?
Nothing! No one!
What is it that is turning away from thoughts?
The “turning away” from thoughts does not exist. There either are thoughts or aren’t.
What do thoughts happen TO?
They don’t happen TO anything because the awareness just arises as a part of them. That’s all that is there.
What is experiencing thoughts?
They are simply just known. There is no thing that they happen “in” from my direct AE. And yet I still get caught up in how all people have different thoughts- but that is just thought speculation, I know.
What is believing or not believing thoughts?
Nothing! Any belief or non-belief in a thought is another thought.
K: So despite my thoughts rambling on about all these spiritual ideas like a “ground of being” and the “I am” presence and “the one consciousness”- I can’t say there there is some permanent thread like awareness running through all my experience but at the same time that thread is really just the entirety of aware-experiencing because nothing can be known beyond that. I can’t know deep sleep because there isn’t anything to be aware of. Or more like there isn’t anything aware-ing. So all that can be known is what’s appearing/aware-ing.

V: Yes, but this is just partially coming from LOOKING. The second half about deep sleep is just a thought speculation. A conclusion. Can you see this?

yes I see that! It’s thoughts trying to look for something or somewhere where “knowingness” is not. Totally pointless.
Can you see clearly (experientially) that there is no such thing as ‘awareness’, ‘consciousness’, or ‘knower’, or ‘presence’?
Yes, I can clearly see that there is no awareness or presence apart from what is perceived. It’s another really essential LOOKING point because I’ve away been taught that the background or ground of experience is awareness/consciousness and that is what we really “are”- the unchanging presence behind everything and that which everything appears within. People are always referring to “high meditative states” where they experience only pure consciousness without objects. But how can that be so? Even if it were, it’s only a state. In my AE all that can be known are the presence of thought containers or sensory perceptions. It is impossible to find a background to these appearances, they are simply all that is when they are present. All that can be said is what appears is known and that’s it. Just one constantly changing aware-appearance. But I see that to even say it’s constantly changing is a thought that infers a past. What is, is simply what is.
“Despite my thoughts rambling” – what is it that has rambling thoughts?
Nothing has them! Yet another thought claiming the rambling and claiming the having of the rambling thoughts.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:11 am

Hi Kelly,
I also just feel the need to express again my absolute overflowing gratitude for you and your incredible sharpness in catching where I’m caught in a misperception. No one has EVER helped me so deeply, and you don’t even know me! Ah, again, there really are no words, but my heart is overflowing :)
You are very welcome :)
There’s this belief that describing how something feels is being in touch with a more evolved sense of intuition and emotion... but I see it’s clearly just a regular old thought!
Exactly.
V: What is experiencing thoughts?
K: They are simply just known. There is no thing that they happen “in” from my direct AE. And yet I still get caught up in how all people have different thoughts- but that is just thought speculation, I know.
Yes, people have different thoughts. So what?
If we talk from the point of view of conventional reality, different people has different thoughts. Just as they have different livers, cortisol levels, eyesight, digestion, appetite, height, weight, etc.

And just as there is no experiencer inside the body called Kelly, there are no experiencer inside other bodies either. Or maybe there are?

What do different thoughts have to do with whether there are experiencers inside or belonging to bodies?
Just because people have different thoughts, does this mean that there are experiencers inside those bodies?
It’s another really essential LOOKING point because I’ve away been taught that the background or ground of experience is awareness/consciousness and that is what we really “are”- the unchanging presence behind everything and that which everything appears within.
This seeming background awareness or consciousness is THE ILLUSION of the self itself.
That’s why people are talking about it, since they believe in that illusion. Can you see this?
People are always referring to “high meditative states” where they experience only pure consciousness without objects. But how can that be so? Even if it were, it’s only a state.
This is an illusion. Without this illusion there wouldn’t be a belief in the self/me.
It is impossible to find a background to these appearances, they are simply all that is when they are present. All that can be said is what appears is known and that’s it. Just one constantly changing aware-appearance. But I see that to even say it’s constantly changing is a thought that infers a past. What is, is simply what is.
Yes, nice description.

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 both verbal and visual thoughts are ignored is there a ‘hand’ or a ‘table’ at all, or is there only the pure sensation?

What is FEELING the sensation?
Where is the FEELER of sensations?
Can an ‘INHERENT FEELER’ be found?

Would anything that is suggested as the ‘feeler’, be anything other than a concept/idea or/and a mislabelled sensation?


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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Free2K
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:15 am

Hi Vivien,
Yes, people have different thoughts. So what?
If we talk from the point of view of conventional reality, different people has different thoughts. Just as they have different livers, cortisol levels, eyesight, digestion, appetite, height, weight, etc.

And just as there is no experiencer inside the body called Kelly, there are no experiencer inside other bodies either. Or maybe there are?
What do different thoughts have to do with whether there are experiencers inside or belonging to bodies?
Just because people have different thoughts, does this mean that there are experiencers inside those bodies?
There isn’t any way to know from AE as to what experience would be from the perspective of a different body. Even if I can’t find the self in my experience, how could I ever know that there isn’t a separate self within someone else?
K: It’s another really essential LOOKING point because I’ve away been taught that the background or ground of experience is awareness/consciousness and that is what we really “are”- the unchanging presence behind everything and that which everything appears within.

V: This seeming background awareness or consciousness is THE ILLUSION of the self itself.
That’s why people are talking about it, since they believe in that illusion. Can you see this?
Yes, that makes sense from my AE, I can see that that a background of awareness is the illusion of the self... kind of an even deeper illusion! Self not as the doer but as the ground of everything. Ugh! It’s weird to see that and it really makes me question why non-dual and other spiritual teachers (who claim to be free of illusion) talk about that as the reality. Man, I’m really seeing how the majority of spiritual teachings are SO misleading! Kind of scary.
K: People are always referring to “high meditative states” where they experience only pure consciousness without objects. But how can that be so? Even if it were, it’s only a state.
V: This is an illusion. Without this illusion there wouldn’t be a belief in the self/me.
Yeah, I see that now. Wow. There’s literally no thread running through “my” experience. There’s nothing that holds it together or contains it or manifests it.
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?
No, definitely not- there’s no experience of a hand, only a sensation.
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?
There is only one sensation present. And any description of what it even feels like or it’s qualities would be thought.
When both verbal and visual thoughts are ignored is there a ‘hand’ or a ‘table’ at all, or is there only the pure sensation?
Pure, undefinable sensation!
What is FEELING the sensation?
Nothing/no one! The feeler is the same as the feeling, which is the same as the sensation. Really, there isn’t even feeler and feeling in the sensation. There’s ONLY the sensation.
Where is the FEELER of sensations?
There’s no separate feeler that can be located anywhere. If anything the feeler is the sensation. But it’s really just thoughts that claim any existence at all of a feeler.
Can an ‘INHERENT FEELER’ be found?
Not in AE!
Would anything that is suggested as the ‘feeler’, be anything other than a concept/idea or/and a mislabelled sensation?
No, the only notion of a feeler that I see only arises in thought. There’s absolutely no feeler apart from the sensation itself.

This is becoming very clear to me. But as I was doing the exercise, I saw “attention” going to different objects. Even though I saw that it was happening without a doer it brought up the feeling of self. But as I looked and looked, I saw that attention or awareness “moving around” is really also just a thought- which is why it brought up the notion of self. In reality, I see that there is no gradual moving from one thing to the next, it’s immediate because awareness is not separate from objects. So instead of “feeling of hand... awareness moving to feeling of head”, it’s more like “feeling of hand, feeling of head”. It’s continuously immediate. This is interesting to keep looking at.

Kelly

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Vivien
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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:45 am

Hi Kelly,

You did excellent looking!
It’s weird to see that and it really makes me question why non-dual and other spiritual teachers (who claim to be free of illusion) talk about that as the reality. Man, I’m really seeing how the majority of spiritual teachings are SO misleading! Kind of scary.
Anybody can be a spiritual teacher. I just label myself as such, and bummm! – I am the new spiritual teacher :)
Wow. There’s literally no thread running through “my” experience. There’s nothing that holds it together or contains it or manifests it.
Yes!
In reality, I see that there is no gradual moving from one thing to the next, it’s immediate because awareness is not separate from objects. So instead of “feeling of hand... awareness moving to feeling of head”, it’s more like “feeling of hand, feeling of head”. It’s continuously immediate. This is interesting to keep looking at.
Excellent observation! There is no such thing as awareness or attention moving from one object to another. There are not even objects.

Let’s see if there is a connection between a visual image and sensations.

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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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:48 pm

Hi Vivien,
Let’s see if there is a connection between a visual image and sensations.

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?
I have to admit that this was really challenging. I did this over and over again because it kept feeling like sensation was located in a specified area. When I looked at my hand and felt the sensation, they felt one in the same. But I could see that when I closed my eyes the sensation was more non-local and thoughts kept producing an image of my hand to connect it. I played around a bit with this and with my eyes closed, I felt hand, then felt head, going back and forth between the two. Again, I could see that it was my mind visualizing my body to make the sensations feel separate, in different locations. But when I reallyyyy looked, the sensations both appeared in a non-place so to say.
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?
I see this in the sense the sensation and image are two different perceptions. Almost as if there’s a super subtle thought that has to flicker with sensation/image/sensation/image in order to connect the two. But honestly, I’m struggling to really see this clearly.
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?
Again, thoughts create such immediate images of each body part, even with eyes closed, so it’s really difficult to actually see a separation between image and sensation, apart from them being two different ways perceiving the same thing.

What’s also coming up for me while doing this exercise is whether there’s really a difference in the knowing of a sensation versus the knowing of an image- even a thought image. Like with my eyes closed, there is the actual sensation and the thought image of where the sensation is. But they’re both really just appearances. What makes a sensation any more “real” than a thought? This is tripping me up a little. And seeing a thought image of my hand versus seeing my actual hand... is there really a difference? Like thought content, even AE seems like an appearance with nothing behind it. Ah, I can’t really tell if I’m getting conceptual about this or actually seeing how it is!

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:25 am

Hi Kelly,
What’s also coming up for me while doing this exercise is whether there’s really a difference in the knowing of a sensation versus the knowing of an image- even a thought image. Like with my eyes closed, there is the actual sensation and the thought image of where the sensation is. But they’re both really just appearances. What makes a sensation any more “real” than a thought?
This is the basis of the illusion. Not being able to distinguish between the content of a thought and the appearance of a thought.

A sensation doesn’t have a content, so to speak.
A verbal or visual thought does.

So the knowing of the presence of a verbal or visual thought is the SAME as the knowing of the presence of a sensation. However, the content of that visual image, is NOT AE. Can you see this?

This distinction is essential. Not seeing the difference between the content (imagination) and the container (thought phenomenon) is the BASES of the illusion.
And seeing a thought image of my hand versus seeing my actual hand... is there really a difference?
Have a visual thought of putting your hand into a fire. Can you get a burn from it?
And what if the visual image showed your hand in a fire. Could you get burned?


You can actually try this out. I mean not with fire, but with water :)

Stand in front of a sink. Turn on the water.
Now close your eyes, and have a visual thought of putting your hand under the water.
What happens? Does your hand get wet?

Now open your eyes, and put your hand under the water. Observe the presence of the visual image of your hand being under the running water.
What happens? Does your hand get wet?

Your confusion maybe the result of believing that there are two types of images, visual and mental images. But this is not the case!

There are only one type of image, which is actually not even an image. It’s just the AE of color.

A seeming ‘mental image’ is NOT an image, but a THOUGHT.

So there are no two types of images, but 2 types of thoughts: verbal/auditory and pictorial/visual thoughts.
Thought can appear not in a verbal form, but in pictorial form too.

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?
AE seems like an appearance with nothing behind it. Ah, I can’t really tell if I’m getting conceptual about this or actually seeing how it is!
Yes, both a visual image and the visual thought are appearances. However, the CONTENT of the visual thought is just an IMAGINATION.

Thoughts are very ‘special’ and misleading. Since the presence of a verbal or a visual thought (as a phenomenon) is experienced. But we BELIEVE that the content is also experienced. And this belief is creating all sorts of illusions, for example the self.

So although the presence of a thought is experienced, but the content of a thought doesn’t contain any experience.
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 actual 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?

Can you see CLEARLY that the difference between the thought and its content is that the thought is real, it’s there, it’s happening as a phenomenon, but the content, what the thought is about is not there, not happening, not real?


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: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:46 am

Hi Vivien,
So the knowing of the presence of a verbal or visual thought is the SAME as the knowing of the presence of a sensation. However, the content of that visual image, is NOT AE. Can you see this?
Yes, I totally see that the content of a thought is not the AE we’re exploring. I completely see that and I know thought content can’t actually be experienced, in the sense that thinking of my hand in the water will not result in my hand actually being wet. That is all very clear. But my question was more about the knowing- since yes, the knowing of both is the same and that is the core reality so to speak. So for instance, when I have a dream, the knowing of a whole world created by thought forms is seen as completely real while in the dream. So it just seems like assuming that sensory perceptions are AE is even a bit of a thought concept.
Your confusion maybe the result of believing that there are two types of images, visual and mental images. But this is not the case!

There are only one type of image, which is actually not even an image. It’s just the AE of color.

A seeming ‘mental image’ is NOT an image, but a THOUGHT.
But isn’t a mental image and an AE image both just color then? How is a mental image a thought but not an image?
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?
Yes I see this all very clearly.
Can you see CLEARLY that the difference between the thought and its content is that the thought is real, it’s there, it’s happening as a phenomenon, but the content, what the thought is about is not there, not happening, not real?
Yes, we’ve explored this a lot and I clearly see it. I was just questioning the assumption that AE is “actually” happening since all is ultimately appearance. But perhaps I’m getting caught in more past spiritual notions about this world being a dream. I think I got sidetracked here so maybe we just need to get back on track. I am definitely aware that in the waking state thought content can’t be experienced, as opposed to the AE of sensory perceptions and thought containers arising.

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:29 am

Hi Kelly,
But my question was more about the knowing- since yes, the knowing of both is the same and that is the core reality so to speak.
No. Saying that the knowing is the core reality is a BELIEF.
It’s a belief in awareness/consciousness.

This is just a thought speculation, and it doesn’t come from looking.

There is NO SUCH thing as ‘core’ reality.
There is NO background to the changing of phenomena.

Saying that the knowing element of experience is the core reality is a belief that there is something unchanging in the background (knowing/awareness) where things appear ON or IN, and are known from.

And this is not just the belief in awareness, but the belief in time.
So for instance, when I have a dream, the knowing of a whole world created by thought forms is seen as completely real while in the dream. So it just seems like assuming that sensory perceptions are AE is even a bit of a thought concept.
This is a thought speculation. This is a popular statement in the advaita circles.
But if the body is stubbed in the dream, you won’t wake up with a stubbed wound on the belly.
This kind of reasoning is useless, since it’s just a philosophical speculation.

You left out answering several questions:

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 actual 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?

V: Your confusion maybe the result of believing that there are two types of images, visual and mental images. But this is not the case!
There are only one type of image, which is actually not even an image. It’s just the AE of color.
A seeming ‘mental image’ is NOT an image, but a THOUGHT.
K: But isn’t a mental image and an AE image both just color then? How is a mental image a thought but not an image?
Just because the label ‘mental image’ contains the word ‘image’, it doesn’t make it so.
There is NO such thing as ‘mental image’. There are NO 2 types of images, mental and real ones.

What you call as ‘mental image’ is a THOUGHT ABOUT color.
Which is not the AE of color, but the AE of thought only.


It’s important to see this clearly.
If you cannot see this clearly, it means that you take the content of a visual thought as reality, and not seeing that the content is not experienced.

Please stop confusing this by using the word colour for VISUAL THOUGHTS…which are simply picture thoughts. How does a picture thought compare to the real deal? Can you get bitten by a visual thought of a dog?

If thought says that you saw a spectacular sunrise yesterday… and also showing a visual thought about a sunrise, is that sunrise experience as you presently find it?
No…so it is just thought content, imagination. It’s only the content of a visual thought. A visual thought about colour labelled as ‘sunrise’.
If however, the colours labelled ‘spectacular sunrise’ is experience as you presently find it (now), then thought is pointing to actual experience as you presently find it (your direct, actual experience). In other words, the colour that thought is referring to as a 'sunrise' is what is actually appearing now.

Thought either points to actual experience as you presently find it...or it is pointing to thoughts about thought, as the ‘sunrise’ is not the current experience, so it only equates to story...thought fluff/imagination – thoughts about thoughts. Is this clear?
I was just questioning the assumption that AE is “actually” happening since all is ultimately appearance. But perhaps I’m getting caught in more past spiritual notions about this world being a dream.
There is so much misinformation about things out there!
Do you know what is a waking dream? Believing the contents of thoughts and not seeing them only as thoughts/fantasy. Believing that there is an ‘I’ a self, who is doing this investigation.
I think I got sidetracked here so maybe we just need to get back on track. I am definitely aware that in the waking state thought content can’t be experienced, as opposed to the AE of sensory perceptions and thought containers arising.
Yes, but it seems that you apply this only to verbal/auditory thoughts, and leave out visual/pictorial thoughts. Can you see that the only difference is that one appears as imagined sounds, and the other appear as imagined colors?

Both are just thoughts. The only difference is the content!

With verbal thoughts the content is auditory, thoughts about sounds, and with pictorial thoughts the content is about colors. But both the sound and the color are just contents. Can you see this?


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

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Free2K » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:02 am

Hi Vivien,
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 actual 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 didn’t previously answer these because I DEFINITELY do get it! Really I do. Sweet can’t be tasted, hot can’t be felt, imagined sun cant give a sunburn, imagined salt can’t be tasted, an imagined monster under the bed isnt there... all these can only be imagined in thought and are not an experience of actual reality. I think I’ve been playing around in thought speculation with questioning AE versus thought content because of this darn clairvoyant program. Literally everything we do is based on looking at thoughts as AE. “Looking” at our chakras, “looking” at our physical/mental/emotional/spiritual bodies, “looking” at past lives and spirit guides. Ugh it’s getting harder and harder to sit in the class because it’s a TOTAL game of thoughts! Even though we’re “apparently” tapping into “universal mind”. The non-doership that I’ve experienced while “doing” clairvoyant “readings” while in the program is what actually led me to discover nonduality and ultimately find you! But since the beginning of exploring nonduality and even more so since working with you, the whole basis of this program is just crumbling. I already talked with my teacher about quitting and she’s pressuring me to stay because I made a “contract with my soul” in the beginning of the program. But it’s total bullshit!! Even writing this all to you is making me queasy lol. But I’ve already left the program in a sense so quitting is definitely on the horizon. I know that the exploration we’re doing here is everything. So I’m sorry that I keep getting tripped up on thought content!
Please stop confusing this by using the word colour for VISUAL THOUGHTS…which are simply picture thoughts. How does a picture thought compare to the real deal? Can you get bitten by a visual thought of a dog?
A picture thought cannot DO anything! Of course I can’t ACTUALLY get bitten by the thought of a dog.
Thought either points to actual experience as you presently find it...or it is pointing to thoughts about thought, as the ‘sunrise’ is not the current experience, so it only equates to story...thought fluff/imagination – thoughts about thoughts. Is this clear?
Yes, totally clear! My thoughts can talk about the qualities of the chair I’m sitting in right now- pointing to AE. Or they can talk about thoughts about a different chair I sat in yesterday- nothing to do with AE.
Yes, but it seems that you apply this only to verbal/auditory thoughts, and leave out visual/pictorial thoughts. Can you see that the only difference is that one appears as imagined sounds, and the other appear as imagined colors?

Both are just thoughts. The only difference is the content!
Yes! Regardless of the type of thought, they’re all essentially just the experience of a thought container arising. Their content, whether visual or sensory is totally imagined and not AE.
With verbal thoughts the content is auditory, thoughts about sounds, and with pictorial thoughts the content is about colors. But both the sound and the color are just contents. Can you see this?
yes!

Kelly

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Re: direct experience over intellectual understanding

Postby Vivien » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:41 am

Hi Kelly,
think I’ve been playing around in thought speculation with questioning AE versus thought content because of this darn clairvoyant program. Literally everything we do is based on looking at thoughts as AE.
Yes, it’s possible that information that you learn there are counterbalancing what you can see with this investigation.

What I can see, is that almost every time you have a deeper insight and clarity, it is soon followed with a confusion and believing the contents of thoughts. As if you were taking a step forward, but soon you take a step backward.

Let’s go back to investigate the seeming correlation between colors and sensations. I give you the same exercise again.

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 color, the ‘object’ seen (hand).

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

Can you see that both the color 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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