The illusion doesn’t change when looking closely. It is the belief in the illusion that stops. The question is how to stop the belief from reasserting itself when not looking closely. It seems that there must be some hidden beliefs that I have yet to expose.
Precisely! There is a belief that is yet to be exposed. But it's not even hidden. Here it is: it is better/ desirable/ preferred, that belief would not reassert itself when not looking closely. Yeah.
I suppose that is possible.
When you watch a movie, some bits are so interesting, intense, mesmerising, that you get sucked in the story an everything else disappears, you are in the story. Then suddenly you no longer in and see that it's a movie on the screen, sitting on the sofa.. Getting lost in the film and getting lost in the story is same. At any time it can be noticed, it's is a story, it's about what is not happening, and it's no longer sticky.
I understand what you are saying. But when watching a movie, even while I am sucked in, I don’t really believe that the events are happening. Things are not taken as seriously as they would be if I witnessed them happening in front of me in real life. There is still some separation maintained between the events and me, leading to some sense of objectivity. Can that objectivity be maintained in real life too, while I am sucked into “my” story, or will the immersion in the story be total until I “zoom out” and reestablish the understanding that there is no me?
Getting lost, not getting lost, is there a you to do that?
No, there is no me to do that. It just happens.
And should this no longer be happening? It can be quite juicy and fun, if it's no longer taken to be reality.
It is ok for it to happen, although if it is truly taken to be reality while it is happening, then it may not be fun for the duration of the event. And if it is a long duration and a painful event, then it may be very much not fun.
Next time you watch some good action on the screen, see how it's happening, this zoom in zoom out thing. Are you doing it?
I will check it out.
Now look at word I. What does it describe?
“I” is a label that can be attached to several different things: the character “Brent” who stars in this story, a thought that appears, the group of sensations described as “Brent’s body”, etc.
Is there a loud sensual experience of it?
The sensual experience is usually regarding the case where “I” is attached to the body sensations.
Touch it. Where does the finger land? What is there?.
The finger lands on the head because I most closely associate my brain with myself.
I have been thinking about this a lot, trying to decide if the question of whether there is a self hinges on whether or not there is a brain that creates thoughts and controls the body. I know there is no evidence in direct experience for the brain or that it creates thoughts or controls the body, but I just don’t find that completely convincing.
So suppose there is a brain that creates thoughts, controls the body, and is what makes the decisions (e.g., do I lift my hand or not). The brain is still just a biological machine that responds to input and produces output. It is not the whole brain that I take to be the self, because most of what the brain does feels automatic and impersonal. When I look closely at decisions, it doesn’t feel like “I” am making them; they are just happening. When I look closely at thoughts, it doesn’t feel like “I” am creating the thoughts; they just appear. When I look closely at what is controlling the body’s movements, it doesn’t feel like “I” am controlling them; they just happen automatically. So even if the brain is controlling these things, it doesn’t feel like the whole brain is “me”. The only place the “me” actually appears is in the thoughts about “me”. So even if the brain exists and functions as described above, “I” am just an output of the brain, a thought. And we have seen how a thought is not meaningful unless its content is verified by direct experience. And I have not been able to find anything in direct experience to verify that the “I” thought is more than just a thought. It does not appear to be a meaningful thought. This is becoming more and more clear. It is starting to make me feel nauseated.
You don't need to describe it, just look, what is here now? What is that knows of this?
All that is here now is a bunch of sensations and thoughts. I don’t know that there is anything that knows of this.
There is a thought “Oh, come on! You are just working yourself up into a state. This is a bunch of crap! Of course
the brain is you!”
I need to let this settle…