saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:33 am

On a process note, I want to thank you again, Tim, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to work with me. I appreciate you responding to me within a couple of days this time. I just wanted to express the hope that if we could post once a day as much as possible, I think that would help me to stay focused on the inquiry and keep me from losing momentum. Do you think that could be possible?

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:20 am

Just wanted to make sure you saw that I did answer your questions in my post just before my last post addressing process concerns, since on my screen, at least, the last post bumped me to a new page.

Thanks,
Sean

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gondwana
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saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby gondwana » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:57 pm

Sure, no problem, will reply as quickly as possible.

So it was seen how:
>> actual experience <<
is completely different to
>> thoughts about actual experience <<

Thoughts can be very convincing sometimes, but that can never make them reality.

Thoughts can basically do only one of two things:
— Thoughts about actual experience
— Thoughts about other thoughts

Is this seen clearly?

Next sit down with paper and pencil.
Set a timer for 3 minutes.
Then just sit and observe thought. Try not to get sucked in, just observe from the background.
Make a mark on the paper for every thought that arises, which is about “I” or “me”.
How many were counted in the 3 minutes?
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:43 pm

Thanks, Tim.

I noted 14 thoughts arose that were about me in those three minutes.

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gondwana
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby gondwana » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:27 am

So what does thought mostly talk about?

And is it valuable information?
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:48 pm

It mostly talks about what I regret, feel annoyed or angry about, and feel anxious or worried about. A small percentage is about something nice that happened.

The only valuable information is that it is reminding me to take care of some business that I do need to take care of. But most of the actual content of the thought is about feeling angry or anxious or about that business, rather than about actually taking care of it.

So maybe there is about one percent of valuable information in that thought.

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gondwana
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saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby gondwana » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:59 am

So maybe there is about one percent of valuable information in that thought.
Yes exactly!

Also, to generalise a step further: almost all thought talks about is “me, me, me, me, me”. It is utterly self-centered and based not in fact but speculation/judgement/imagination.

Can this be seen? LOOK again if it is not clear.

For the remainder of this inquiry, I would like to see a focus ONLY on direct experience - actual experience, which can be directly perceived in the present moment, NOW. Not the content of thought/speculation/analysis. This is the only possible way to see through the illusion of the “self”. Is this 100% agreeable?

Would one use a thief to catch a thief?

Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:49 pm

Yes. I can see that almost all thought talks about is me.

I'm totally fine with focusing only on direct actual experience perceived in the present moment for the remainder of this inquiry. However, I am not completely sure what the difference is between the content of thought in the present moment and the perception of thought in the present moment. I get what you mean by speculation, so I can avoid that. And I'm pretty sure I know what you mean by analysis, though it's not quite as clear as what you mean by speculation, so I think I can avoid that, too. But if I'm having a thought in the present moment that says, for instance, "I should get up out of bed," and another thought, "No, you should stay in bed and rest," how am I going to perceive those thoughts without noting the content of those thoughts?

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gondwana
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby gondwana » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:54 am

And I'm pretty sure I know what you mean by analysis, though it's not quite as clear as what you mean by speculation, so I think I can avoid that, too. But if I'm having a thought in the present moment that says, for instance, "I should get up out of bed," and another thought, "No, you should stay in bed and rest," how am I going to perceive those thoughts without noting the content of those thoughts?
Ok,
Memory = thoughts about the past
Analysis = thoughts about the past
Speculation = thoughts about the future

None of them are in the present! Direct experience ONLY occurs in the present.

It is totally fine to notice the content of thought, we cannot literally stop knowing it, any more than you could stop hearing; all we are saying is, do not get drawn INTO the content. Simply ignore it, back off a little and leave it alone.

The experience of thought = just knowing that a thought came up
The content of thought = whatever the thought actually says

Usually, we are just noting the first one, and ignoring the second one.

An small exception can be noticed in the last couple of messages (usually this is only used early on in the inquiry) when we point out WHAT thought mainly talks about, in order to understand why one must back off from the content; in that case clearly we are briefly checking the rough category of the content - but again without really getting drawn into the actual story it tells and going down the rabbit hole.

It is a fact that a thought occurred; it is a fact that it was categorically talking about “me”; the rest of the content of that thought however, may be pure imagination so we discard it, since it cannot help with the inquiry.

So with that clear? Try this next.

Sit quietly for a minute, and just observe thought as it arises:
Can thought be prevented from arising?
Can a thought “in progress” be paused in the middle?
Where does the next thought come from?
How exactly is it decided upon?
Where does a thought go to afterwards?

Remember, we are looking for the immediate, factual, observations of the above. Not looking to analyse into a conclusion or convince oneself.

Just a quick look, write it down. Only takes a moment. This is the most important aspect of direct inquiry to get right.
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:39 pm

Yes, that's clear. Thanks for clarifying that.

Can thought be prevented from arising?

No, apparently not.

Can a thought “in progress” be paused in the middle?

No.

Where does the next thought come from?

Sometimes from association from the last thought, sometimes associating from a physical sensation or a perception, sometimes out of nowhere.

How exactly is it decided upon?

Thoughts are happening. Then a new thought arises that says "I need to think more about this one particular line of thought and not think about this other line of thought." This creates the impression that the thought is decided upon.

Where does a thought go to afterwards?

It just disappears for the time being.

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gondwana
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby gondwana » Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:07 am

Very good!

So can a thinker of thoughts be found?
Anywhere?
Or, do thoughts simply arise by themselves?

Is it perhaps fair to say, that thought is more like yet another sense - in that it is passively received, unbidden, and from some source other than “I”?
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:53 am

So can a thinker of thoughts be found?
Anywhere?

No.

Or, do thoughts simply arise by themselves?

Yes. Including the thoughts about a thinker.

Is it perhaps fair to say, that thought is more like yet another sense - in that it is passively received, unbidden, and from some source other than “I”?

I'd never thought of it that way before. But looking at it now...I see that thought is passively received, unbidden, and from some source other than "I", since "I" is one of the thoughts.

However, the other senses are usually thought of as functions of receiving rather than things that are received. Like the sense of sight sees/passively receives colors and shapes, and the sense of hearing hears/passively receives sounds. One wouldn't normally say that the senses themselves are passively received; one would say that the objects of perception are passively received.

So I'm not sure it makes sense to me to say that thought is like another sense, since thought is what is sensed, not necessarily what senses it. To compare this to the sense of sight, my computer screen is seen/passively received by the sense of sight; my computer screen does not see/passively receive itself.

But this confusion is probably due to the effect of thinking in terms of the subject/verb/object structure of language.

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gondwana
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby gondwana » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:56 am

Yes. Including the thoughts about a thinker.
I'd never thought of it that way before. But looking at it now...I see that thought is passively received, unbidden, and from some source other than "I", since "I" is one of the thoughts.
Beautiful :)
However, the other senses are usually thought of as functions of receiving rather than things that are received. Like the sense of sight sees/passively receives colors and shapes, and the sense of hearing hears/passively receives sounds. One wouldn't normally say that the senses themselves are passively received; one would say that the objects of perception are passively received.
This is what I meant, and perhaps worded badly. Thinking is the sense. Thoughts are the content.
But this confusion is probably due to the effect of thinking in terms of the subject/verb/object structure of language.
So if thought is the object => it cannot be “I”.
The “thinker” is only a thought, it also cannot be “I”.
Is there an “I” at all?
Look now and check again!
Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:28 pm

No, other than the idea of an "I", which is a thought akin to the thought that there is a thinker, there is no "I".

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aroseof
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Re: saw you on Buddha at the Gas Pump

Postby aroseof » Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:20 am

And I see how you mean that thinking is like a sense that senses thought.


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