Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncovering

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camelrider
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby camelrider » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:03 pm

Hiya,
The following is what your 3 or 4 lists on 3 or 4 different attempts should look like.

Nothing more. Nothing less. Exactly like the list below.

Be sure to include all senses & some thoughts, as well, so it can be seen that you understand.
I'll leave the curious observations out for this one then haha.

While reading your reply:
thought that "I already understood, I did the thinking afterwards, not while doing the exercise, blah blah blah", simply = thought
body sensation of warmth and pulsing in chest, simply = sensation
seeing colors on screen and wall behind me, simply = image
hearing exhaust fan in the background, simply = sound
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
While writing my reply:
sensations of pressure on finger tips on contact with keys, simply = sensation
colors on laptop screen changing, blurry table/wall/stuff around laptop. simply = colors
wavy, staticy sound coming from the fridge, simply = sounds
"Hmmm I don't think I've had any thoughts while writing", simply = thought
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
While cleaning kitchen:
Seeing sink, hands and plates, simply = image
smelling soap, simply = smell
feeling weight on feet and legs, warmth and pressure of water on hands, weight of plates on arms(i.e muscles tensing), simply = sensations
hearing running water, sponge moving across utensils, and clinking of cutlery being dropped, simply = sounds
thought about being very narcissistic and having a fragile ego, simply = thought
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
while eating:
seeing food, plates, arms and legs, table and various items on the table, simply = image/colors
smelling eggs and the subtle smell of milk, simply = smells.
feeling weight of fork on hands, simply = sensation
hearing chewing and swallowing, simply = sounds
short fantasy about how cool it'll be to see no-self, simply = thought

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camelrider
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby camelrider » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:11 pm

Hi,

Not sure if you can edit posts, but I just wanted to add: Thanks for looking through my entire answer and giving a really detailed reply, I really appreciate that.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:49 pm

Good morning,

No, there is no way to edit to post. You gave way more words than are required. I knew when I saw your initial registration form that this was something we would have to deal with.

Keep it simple. Do you know the acronym KISS? Don't be so in love with your own words. They are not necessary. They will actually hold you back quite a lot. I can say this because it's something I had to grapple with, too.

Here is your next exercise.

Fruit Exercise

Have a piece of fruit handy, or something that you like to eat.

For the first couple of minutes imagine you are eating the fruit…..feel the sensations of chewing, the taste, the texture, the fragrance, hear the crunching sound that the chewing makes. Really enjoy the imaginary piece of fruit as much as you can.

Then for the next couple of minutes actually bite the fruit and see the difference.

Experience the fruit with curiosity and dive into the sensations of chewing, swallowing, the sounds and the taste. Really enjoy the experience of actually eating the piece of fruit.

Then for another minute or so describe the taste and smell in as much detail as possible.

Write about it here. What was the experience like?

After you have done this, tell me what you noticed when you compared these three experiences:

1. Imaginary fruit
2. Real fruit
3. Description.

(SHORT description! This is not a writing or poetry class.)



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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Anastacia42
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:50 pm

You're welcome about the detailed reply. That's what we do here.
~ 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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camelrider
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby camelrider » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:41 pm

Write about it here. What was the experience like?
The banana had a flowery smell combined with a bit of vanilla. The flavor was sweet with a slight sour taste at the end. There was a mushy sound with each bite and the sensation of that mushiness in my mouth and throat as I chewed and swallowed.
After you have done this, tell me what you noticed when you compared these three experiences:

1. Imaginary fruit
2. Real fruit
3. Description.
I had trouble really getting the sensations with the imaginary fruit. It was kind of a simplified version of the real deal. I didn't have the same experience as the real fruit. The description was also the same, it doesn't really give you the sensations or experience of eating a fruit. With the real fruit there was sweetness and sounds and aromas. The imagination and description don't create those experiences. Well, to be fair the imagination did to some extent, I could taste sweetness, by imagining it, but its not the same.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby Anastacia42 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:51 pm

Good morning, Husain!

Yes, exactly!
I had trouble really getting the sensations with the imaginary fruit. It was kind of a simplified version of the real deal. I didn't have the same experience as the real fruit. The description was also the same, it doesn't really give you the sensations or experience of eating a fruit. With the real fruit there was sweetness and sounds and aromas. The imagination and description don't create those experiences.
This is much like what it will be to see no self. You will realize that it is only description and imagination - there is no Direct or Actual Experience of it at all.

Okay, read carefully and follow these instructions exactly, please.

Answer each question separately. Quote the question and beneath the one question, your answer. Then do the next one. Please do not answer several questions in one paragraph. Thank you.

Actual/Direct Experience - Apple

Have a look at an apple. If you have a ‘real’ apple, you can use it for this exercise.

Image

When looking at an apple, there's color; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."

What is known for sure? Color is known and thoughts are known.

What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?

Actual experience does not refer to thoughts ABOUT something…because that is only just more thought. Actual Experience (AE) is sound, thought, color, smell, taste, sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?

Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?


While these thoughts are known, what they talk ABOUT can't be found in Actual Experience.

This is what is meant by "looking in actual experience." What you know for sure, and, is always here.

Taste labelled "apple" is known

Color labelled "apple" is known

Sensation labelled "apple" is known (when apple is touched)

Smell labelled "apple" is known

Thought about/of an "apple" is known

However, is an apple actually known?
Sending 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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Anastacia42
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby Anastacia42 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:44 am

Hi Husain,

Still there?
~ 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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camelrider
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby camelrider » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:35 pm

Hello!
Still there?
Sorry for disappearing! I've had a truly terrible bout of food poisoning and I've only just recovered. I should be back daily now.

As for the apple questions:
What about the content of thoughts, what they describe?
The content of thoughts describe the idea of an apple, or a thought of an apple. Thoughts describing thoughts.
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only color and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
There's only an image and thoughts about 'apple'.
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
No, there are various actually experienced sensations relating to an apple, i.e sweetness, red color, roughly spherical image, crunchy sound of bite, but apple is just a label assigned to this collection of sensations, and the thoughts of apple. Every 'apple' in reality is a somewhat different collection of actual experience.

[ quote]However, is an apple actually known?[/quote]
No, only the sensations relating to it, which are then labelled 'apple' in thought. This labeling is then known via thought.

Kind regards,

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Anastacia42
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:09 am

Hi!

That is almost classic. I hope you did not eat a "poisoned apple," as in the fairy tale, "Snow White." That must have been uncomfortable. Thanks for letting me know.

Your answers are just about perfect. I have only one question.
there are various actually experienced sensations relating to an apple, i.e sweetness, red color, roughly spherical image, crunchy sound of bite,

Sensation is experienced - yes.

But "sweetness," "red," "roughly spherical," "crunchy," and "bite?"

Image is AE, but "roughly spherical?" Sound is AE, but "crunchy?"

Are these Actual Experience? Or labels? Content of thought that we made up? Just making sure.


Remember, AE is:

Image/Color or Seeing
Sound or Hearing
Sensation or Touching/feeling (not emotions, though)
Smell or Smelling
Taste or Tasting
Thought Arising (but never the content or story of the thought - that is made up and has to be taught to us and is never AE).



Just that one question and then here is the next exercise:

Finding the Gap

This exercise has a dual purpose. Firstly, to become aware of each and every though as they appear. Secondly, the careful looking for the gap is an example of how carefully to look when looking for the ‘separate self’.

Here is a step-by-step description of how to look at thoughts. First thing is to sit for at least 10-15 minutes quietly somewhere, several times throughout your day. Close your eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

1. Notice the current thought that is present.

Like when you sit observing the body, a thought might arise “this is my feet” or “here is a pain” or “my breathing is too quick” or “I am bored with this exercise” or “I have better things to do” or any sorts of thoughts.

2. This thought will pass and another thought will come. So just observe this thought passing.

3. Then wait for the next thought to come.

4. When the next thought is present, just notice it, and see how it passes.

5. Then wait for the next thought to come.

6. Repeat #4 and #5 many-many times.

Between the 2 thoughts there is a gap. It can be very short or subtle, just a second or afew seconds before the next thought come in.

This is how to look at thoughts:

Looking how they come and go, and Observing the short gap between them.

Noticing how the current thought is passing.

And waiting for the next thought to come.

Please do the following exercise:

Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.

Let me know how it goes.



Take your time doing it, even do it several times, but please post every day or maybe every other day.

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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camelrider
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby camelrider » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:41 pm

That is almost classic. I hope you did not eat a "poisoned apple," as in the fairy tale, "Snow White."
Haha, unfortunately it was a poisoned oyster!
Image is AE, but "roughly spherical?" Sound is AE, but "crunchy?"
Are these Actual Experience? Or labels? Content of thought that we made up? Just making sure.
You are correct, spherical, crunchy and red are also just labels for certain experiences of seeing and hearing. To communicate though, we do need to rely on these labels right? In actual experience, there is no such thing as "crunch" or "sphere" though. Tell me if I'm missing something.
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.
I'm going to be sleeping soon, so I'll give this exercise a go before sleeping. I'll do it as much as possible tomorrow and update you then.

Good night!

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Anastacia42
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby Anastacia42 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:37 pm

Hi Husain,
To communicate though, we do need to rely on these labels right? In actual experience, there is no such thing as "crunch" or "sphere" though. Tell me if I'm missing something.
Yes, but not in our exercises here. Here, we want to know very clearly that you can tell the difference between AE of Thought Arising and content of thought. Remember the "Colored Socks" exercise? Don't think to answer. LOOK

Looking forward to the next replies.

Good night!
~ 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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camelrider
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby camelrider » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:02 am

Yes, but not in our exercises here. Here, we want to know very clearly that you can tell the difference between AE of Thought Arising and content of thought. Remember the "Colored Socks" exercise?
I don't understand this. My actual experience is this: Looking at the image of the apple, there is the image and thoughts arising with content relating to apple. How is the content not part of the actual experience?
Throughout your waking day, try to observe the gap between thoughts as often as possible. It can be done by noticing that ‘thinking’ is happening right now, then stop and just simply wait for the next thought to come. In the ‘waiting’ there is a gap between two thoughts.
I'm still doing this. I can't really describe the gap without thinking again which makes the gap go away. I don't know if that makes sense. Its really quiet and different.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby Anastacia42 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:01 am

How is the content not part of the actual experience?
Good question..

Content of thought is made up.

Somebody had to teach it to us.

We don't look at an apple and have it tell us that it is an apple. Somebody made up the label & all the other thinking that we do about the Apple. Then somebody taught that label to somebody else until they taught it to you when you were little boy. "Apple" isn't an innate quality of the thing we see, nor are the conversations in our head about it.

Colored Socks

There is a big difference between knowing that there is nothing to give up and seeing that there is nothing to give up.

Here is an example to illustrate the difference:

If I ask you what color socks you are wearing right now you have two ways to come up with an answer:

• You can have a think about it, you can think back to this morning and try to remember putting your socks on, and you can probably tell me what color you think they are.

• Alternatively, you can take a quick look at your socks and tell me what color they actually are!

Hopefully, you would agree that you can only be 100% certain by looking.

For the purpose of our dialogue together, it is going to be very important that you are clear about this difference.

Knowing is about knowledge which is all in the mind and we are not interested in that. We are only interested in looking at and seeing what is actually going on in your present moment to moment experience. We are only interested in your direct experience in the moment.


Actual or Direct Experience is only the following 6 things:

Image/ Color or Seeing
Sound or Hearing
Sensation or Feeling (body sensation never emotion)
Taste or Tasting
Smell or Smelling
Thought Arising ( but never the content of thought, because that is made up and has to be taught. It does not actually exist)



Can you see this? The word "apple" is not written on the Apple. The apple does not say "apple" to us. We just made it up.

This is the same reason that emotions are not Direct Experience. There is a Sensation, and that is actually experienced, but the label we apply is made up and not Actual Experience. So emotions are not actual experience. The sensations are.

Tell me if you have more questions about this. It's the most important thing for a foundation on LOOKING for no self.

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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camelrider
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby camelrider » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:04 am

Hello,

Code: Select all

Tell me if you have more questions about this. It's the most important thing for a foundation on LOOKING for no self.
Hmmm... Alright so 'apple' is just a label for a collection of experience. It's a learned concept and there is no 'apple' in direct experience. That part seems clear and I can see that.
The experience of thought content about 'apple' not being part of direct experience is what's confusing me. Do you mean to say that the experience of thinking (which resembles hearing in my head) is a part of direct experience, But the meaning assigned to these thoughts is not direct experience? As in there is the direct experience of thinking but no "having a conversation with myself about tea" or "Worrying about my upcoming exam"? . I observed the thoughts a bit more while reading this, and this seems like it could be the case, although I may have misunderstood. I know I'm basically repeating myself here, I just want to make sure that I'm not lying to myself and actually see what you're pointing towards.

Also, sorry for the late reply, I was so sure that I'd replied yesterday. Thank you for taking the time to read my response.

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Anastacia42
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Re: Feeling a lot of cognitive dissonance around my beliefs relating to self. Would really appreciate some help uncoveri

Postby Anastacia42 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:43 am

Good evening (here),

Yes, you have this exactly right.
But the meaning assigned to these thoughts is not direct experience? As in there is the direct experience of thinking but no "having a conversation with myself about tea" or "Worrying about my upcoming exam"?
So thought arises, and yes that is a direct experience. It happens. But we had to learn the content of the thought. It's a label. It's something we made up - nothing more.

Try this:

Sports Exercise

Please note that you will have to check the link when using this exercise, to make sure it is still viable, as sometimes they are removed from Youtube.

The following link is a 7 minute clip of a soccer game. If you prefer another sport…please feel free to find one to do this exercise with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy5pL-myDzw

1. Watch one minute with the sound turned OFF, watching ‘people’ messing about with a round thing on a field, up and down, up and down. Let it sink in, the whole experience.

2. Once the first minute is completed, now watch another whole minute with the commentary turned ON.

Notice the differences. Notice how the commentator (thought) offers lots of know-how, even advice. It seems to feel as though they can influence, somehow, what is going on, as though one outcome is much preferred to the opposite outcome. The commentary may seem to heighten any supporter feelings which are there, and call for an identification with one team or other, and with the importance of the game itself.

3. Now turn the volume OFF AGAIN and just watch the action with NO audible commentary, the shapes moving around on the screen etc. Again notice all the differences in what is appearing as experience.

4. Now turn the volume ON again and ignore what you think you know thought is talking about, and just notice it as sound.
What did you find when doing this exercise?

Is the commentary on the soccer game a necessity for the play to happen?

And in the same way, is the inner narration of thought a necessity for the play of life to happen?



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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