. What is it exactly that stops and looks directly at thought?
Nothing, I'm aware of the fact that when I look at something all that arises this is just a focal point/sensation, no me. There is nothing here to do looking but looking happens. But just for explaining purposes, I use the word I.
. What is it exactly that is taking the ‘I’ thought to stand for an individual?
Again this depends on whether I am believing any thought at all. If I believe a thought say, I am afraid, and take this to be true, as I did the other day, then I fail to question any of the following thoughts. I was just trying to explain what happened the other day when I was struggling with fear when looking. If I am actually looking at phenomena arising or seeing it in the moment, then I can see there is no me and also I can see that there is no looker.
. “I have held on to a belief” – what does the word ‘I’ points to in this sentence?
What is it exactly that could end up suffering?
Is there anything that could end up suffering?
Is there a subject that could end up suffering?
What is it that could end the search?
On looking, no there is 'no one' that can end up suffering. The story of a me suffering, is just a story, a string of thoughts and feelings, sometimes 'i' buy into that story, but if courage arises then the thought is seen to be what it is, just words, saying 'me, me, me' but there's no me.
.“When I strive on behalf of an imaginary me” – what does the word ‘I’ points to in this sentence?
Again just a thought about a me that doesn't exist. I do see this. This moment has passed, I was trying to explain this was just a panic moment, it doesn't feel relevant, or true now.
In your comments you are talking as if you had 2 selves.
The separate self (self 1), and the other self (self 2) which could feel and take the self 1 personally.
This self 2 has a power to create a dimension (by taking self 1 personally) where self 2 are ripe to suffer.
Can you see this?
Can you see that there is a belief here that there are 2 selves there?
Where is the other self (self 2) which could take self 1 personally?.
Yes, I'm aware there are not two 'mes' , there isn't even one me. Yes it's clear. The 'im who is aware of this fact is also not a personal 'im', there is just knowing, and labelling of experience with an 'i'.
Who/what wanted to be a happier me?
Is there a wanter?
Is there anything that could desire for happiness or peace?
Is there anything that wanted this to be personal?.
No wanter, no one to desire anything.
. Can you see that these thoughts don’t mean anything?
Since there is nothing behind these thoughts wanting those claims?
Nothing behind those thoughts making them appear?
Can you see that all there is to you, to Rachel these thoughts, nothing else?
And if these thoughts wouldn’t be taken as reality but rather seeing that these are just words talking about a fictional character Rachel, then all the seeming suffering of this fictional character (Rachel) would gradually lessen and thin out?
Yes I can now, I was struggling with the non existence thought, but yes I can see this just a thought. And yes I have been taking certain thoughts to be true especially if accompanied by strong feelings. Mostly it's the 'me' but of the thought that is bothersome and to keep seeing that there is no me, when thought says me, remember to look, and see this is false information.
There is no me to struggle and there is no me to believe certain thoughts, however, the phenomena of thoughts arising and being believed has happened and may still happen just as the I thought and belief still arises and happens, even though there is no one there, like you said with consistent looking this will continue to thin out. Fear may arise and this may activate a strong sense of me or a strong me story and at times perhaps for a little while I go along with this, until the story changes, and I look at this phenomena and see 'no me' all of this will happen without a personal me, even if at times I still believe act or say there is a me.
. Can you please tell me how you do looking? Do you do it during the day when the sense of self arises, or you do it just before replying back?
Mostly, I read what you write in the morning then when I remember through the day I look at whatever is is we are looking at. Or practice the questions. Then in the evening I will go back over the questions afresh answering either directly in the moment or sharing.a bit of earlier experience.
I am struggling a bit to see what is holding this belief in place. So I will go back over the exercises we did on the knower and spend some time doing these today and I'll let you know how it goes.
All right. Let me know what you find..
So have been looking at this knower or awareness today, and realised imagination is playing a strong role in this thought/belief. Ae of knower is , well there is no actual experience but thought says, words like space, awareness, emptiness, in my mind somehow it is believed these are actual experienceable phenomena. But when I look, knowing cannot be known without a sensation or thought to know, so knowing and known are not seperate, I only know that I know because something is being experienced right now. Does knowing exist independently, or as some teachers might say, pure awareness or consciousness, can it exist as a stand alone object and be known, well I would say not in ae. Then there are thoughts arising, saying 'you are the knower' , firstly there is no me, secondly, what is the knower? in reality I cannot find it's existence. I will continue with this particular line of looking, as I want to make sure this is clear, it seems I may need to look at this over and over till it sinks in.