Mind is an imagined entity in which thoughts appear and are processed. It doesn’t exist. I know that thoughts are noticed but I don’t know where they appear. I use the shortcut “my mind” to suggest that thoughts only appear to ‘me’. The noticing happens within the confines of this body. Unless one has psychic abilities, I am the only one who can hear my thoughts.
You see, this above comment is still coming from reasoning, from the intellect, from thoughts, and NOT from look at experience directly.
There is ZERO experience of thoughts coming from the body or belonging to this body. NONE.
Only thoughts ‘suggest’ this, which is NOT in line with experience.
The reasoning you wrote above could be accepted conventionally speaking, but you cannot see through the self with conventional truth. 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.
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?
So the assumption is that thoughts are located or coming from the head, from the brain. But does this in line with experience?
The mind is a fiction that I use to locate the place where thoughts are processed and observed. I usually locate it in my head because I know that thought processing is connected with the brain. In experience I don’t know where thoughts come from and where they go.
How ‘thoughts are located in the head’ is actually experienced?
Try to find THE EXPERIENCE of ‘thoughts being located in the head’. Is it possible? Is there such experience?
And what is the brain in experience?
Is there a brain in experience at all?
Are thoughts are ACTUALLY stored anywhere?
I don’t know where thoughts are stored. “My mind” is a fictional object.
Or is this another thought assumption?
How is it known exactly that thoughts are stored somewhere?
Saying that thoughts arise in the mind is an assumption. Even if I said thoughts arise in the brain, I still could not find any thoughts if I opened my brain. I only know that the movement of thoughts is connected with a surge in energy in some regions of the brain.
Yes, exactly. So thought being in or produced by a brain can never ever be experienced. This scientific view-point is just an inference.
Neuroscientist might say that there is a pattern of conditioning in the brain. But they can only find a brain. They cannot see the process of conditioned patterns, they can only measure electric currents between neurons. They cannot see math problems being solved. They only can infer it. When they observe a functioning brain, they cannot see thoughts directly. The can only measure electric currents in Volts by machines (not even directly), and they just make a conclusion that those currents are thoughts. But they cannot see or experience the thoughts directly. They just infer it. But they cannot even find a memory. There isn’t a specific spot or slot in the brain where memories are stored. They cannot even find decision. Actually science has already discovered that there is no such thing as free will, that a self is making decisions.
With this above reply, have you actually LOOKED and SEARCHED FOR an ACTUAL PLACE where thoughts are coming from experience, or you made an intellectual conclusion?
V: “But can it be SEEN, KNOWN, or OBSERVED where thoughts are coming from?
Or is this just another thought assumption?”
N: I don’t know where thoughts come from. I am just assuming there is a stock of knowledge that has accumulated over time in this fictitious storage unit called ‘my mind’.
V: “When my mind is restless” – Have you ever seen an ACTUAL restless mind? How does a mind look like? And how does a restless mind look like? – please don’t describe it by the number of thoughts present, or how stressful those thoughts are. But rather describe that how the ACTUAL MIND looks like? Is it big? Round? Does it have a color?”
N: The mind as such doesn’t exist. However – if I use the concept of brain instead of mind - there are observable differences between a brain during meditation and a brain in which more thoughts are coming.
You are NOT looking at where I am point. Rather you use intellectual reasoning. You cannot get anywhere with thinking.
You have to put aside ALL learned knowledge, you have to IGNORE everything thoughts have to say on the matter, and LOOK at EXPERIENCE DIRECTLY. You have to SEE what is there ‘under’ and ‘behind’ conceptual thought overlay.
You have to SEE what can be KNOWN WITHOUT THOUGHTS.
Can you see the difference?
V: “So where it the dividing line between the thought and the knowing of it?”
N: I can’t find one. A thought cannot appear without the simultaneous noticing of it. At best, lost in thought can be noticed after the fact, but even then, thoughts are being noticed during the lost phase.
“Even when the sensation is not recognized at first, there is still the knowing of a sensation.” – what do you mean by “even when the sensation is not recognized at first”?
The sensation and the knowing of it happen simultaneously. Even when the sensation is not recognized at first, there is still the knowing of a sensation.
You mean not labelled by thought as a ‘sensation’? Or something else?
What other proof is needed to say that the knower not just cannot be proved, but there is NONE at all?
We cannot prove that there is a knower. It’s just that in our human languages, we cannot conceive of an action that isn’t performed by someone or something (as you suggested in your previous answer).
“we cannot conceive of an action that isn’t performed by someone or something” – this statement is not true even conventionally speaking. Lots of people are able to conceive the notion of action without a doer. For example, everybody who actually LOOKED for a chooser and SEEN that it’s not there - several thousands of not millions of people we are talking about. So it’s not inconceivable. With the language example I just wanted to point out that the belief in the doer comes from the dualistic nature of langue. But I didn’t suggest that it’s not possible to conceive an action without an actor.
I’m just point this out, because if you make this into a belief that it’s not possible to conceive an action without a doer, you are limiting yourself with this belief, which can be a big hindrance in looking.