Who or what am I ?

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Marc108
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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby Marc108 » Tue May 07, 2019 11:00 am

Hello Kay,

I'm sorry for not having highlightened your questions. I'll do my best. It's a good habit ! I never used it before but it's very skillfull. Good habit! Thanks.
How does that answer relate to AE? Actual experience is simply sound, thought, sensation, colour, smell and taste.
AE can only be sound, thought ... because of the awareness, or knowledge of it. Without cognition of it the AE doesn't exist. I can't hear a car if I'm not aware of it's sound. This doesn't mean that there's someone, a self, that makes it happen. It just happens by itself, but I have to be aware of it.
how is it known that the sound heard were cars?
,
what is it that suggest the sound were cars?
I see that when I become aware of the AE I feel a kind of instinctive urge to refer to something solid; a kind of latent anxiety wants to grasp the sound in order to defend "me" from it. It's like if I'm desperately swimming in the middle of the ocean and I want to put myself on a rescue board. To stick a label on the AE gives me the feeling that this need is satisfied. I see that this anxiety comes from the feeling that the experience (of sound) is different from "me".
For there to be someone who is hearing sound means that there is an object/subject split. There is no separation.
I see the thruth of this statement. Looking to the AE itself, I can see there is actually no "me" hearing the sound; there's just sound, awareness of sound. The hearer, the hearing and the sound are identical.
I see that whenever there's a subject/object split I should become aware this split takes me away and alienates me from the AE itself. I will do my best to give up this instinctive anxiety that drives me to want to put the AE in a conceptual box built to defend an imaginary self. Interpretations separates from AE itself.
So there's only AE. There is no subject that experiences.
The "one" who writes this doesn't exist, there's only AE of thought.
There's no "one" because the fact there is one necessarily implies a two, a split in reality and all my energy would be desperately spent maintaining this separation.
What is the AE of 'brain'. Is it thought, ... ?
Brain is not an AE. Thought is.
All of what you wrote in that paragraph is AE of thought.
Yes, it's thrue; we actually communicate with thoughts because of the computer. No other AE is available now.
Thoughts either point to AE or they point to thoughts about thought.
Yes, thank you for this distinction, it makes things clearer to me.

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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby forgetmenot » Tue May 07, 2019 11:44 am

Hey Marc,
I'm sorry for not having highlightened your questions. I'll do my best. It's a good habit ! I never used it before but it's very skillfull. Good habit! Thanks.
Good job :)
The actual experience of cars passing is just a knowledge, passively received through the ears.
How does that answer relate to AE? Actual experience is simply sound, thought, sensation, colour, smell and taste.
AE can only be sound, thought ... because of the awareness, or knowledge of it. Without cognition of it the AE doesn't exist. I can't hear a car if I'm not aware of it's sound. This doesn't mean that there's someone, a self, that makes it happen. It just happens by itself, but I have to be aware of it.
Lovely, yes…because there is an awareness of the sound and the thought.
how is it known that the sound heard were cars?
,
what is it that suggest the sound were cars?
I see that when I become aware of the AE I feel a kind of instinctive urge to refer to something solid; a kind of latent anxiety wants to grasp the sound in order to defend "me" from it. It's like if I'm desperately swimming in the middle of the ocean and I want to put myself on a rescue board. To stick a label on the AE gives me the feeling that this need is satisfied. I see that this anxiety comes from the feeling that the experience (of sound) is different from "me".
There is no ‘you’ putting a label on anything. We will look at thought next, however, we make sure AE and looking are clear first.
So how is it known and what suggests that the sound were cars? It is simply a thought that suggests it. Without thought, how would it be known that the sound is that of cars?

For there to be someone who is hearing sound means that there is an object/subject split. There is no separation.
I see the thruth of this statement. Looking to the AE itself, I can see there is actually no "me" hearing the sound; there's just sound, awareness of sound. The hearer, the hearing and the sound are identical.
Lovely Marc! :) Yes…there is no hearer and heard. There is simply sound.
I see that whenever there's a subject/object split I should become aware this split takes me away and alienates me from the AE itself. I will do my best to give up this instinctive anxiety that drives me to want to put the AE in a conceptual box built to defend an imaginary self. Interpretations separates from AE itself.
There is no ‘you’ who is doing anything, let alone thinking these thoughts. As I said above, we will be looking at the nature of thought shortly.
What is the AE of 'brain'. Is it thought, ... ?
Brain is not an AE. Thought is.
Yes, so the AE of ‘brain’ = thought. There are only thoughts about a brain, however a brain is not known as AE.
Is this clear?


The interpretation of actual experience happens quickly. So while inquiring, labelling and interpretation will always appear, but it is possible to become aware of the thoughts that appear with,and overlay actual experience. Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience


The following exercise points to what I mean.

For this exercise you will need an apple or any other piece of fruit will do.

Image

Have a look at an apple. When ‘looking at an apple’, there's colour; a thought saying ‘apple’; and maybe a thought saying, "I'm looking at an apple."
What is known for sure? Colour 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 is sound, thought, colour, smell, taste, sensation.

Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour 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.

The label ‘apple’ is known
Taste labelled ‘apple’ is known
Colour 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?

Kay

PS: I may not get time to respond to your post tomorrow as I will be out most of the day. If you don't hear from me tomorrow, you will definitely get a post the following day.
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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby Marc108 » Wed May 08, 2019 1:52 pm

Hi Kay, thank you for your latest post, very interesting indeed!
Yes, so the AE of ‘brain’ = thought. There are only thoughts about a brain, however a brain is not known as AE.
Is this clear?

Yes, it's clear that brain is not an AE and that thoughts are the AE of the brain.
So while inquiring, labelling and interpretation will always appear, but it is possible to become aware of the thoughts that appear with,and overlay actual experience.
Calm abiding meditation helps a lot to develop this awareness of thoughts. In fact I do not see any other way to become really aware of the occurrence of thoughts.
Another key component of this exploration is being able to tell the difference between actual experience and the interpretation by thought of actual experience
I think it is important to develop this more. I imagined situational exercises, for example situations in which something irritates me or if I desire something or a situation in which I feel drowned by what happens. I then develop the habit of differentiating AE from the interpretation that would immediately arise in my mind.
What about the content of thoughts, what they describe ?

The content of thoughts are other thoughts. Actually, "I think that" thoughts have no content but that there's only a continous flow of thougts, some thoughts appearing as the content of other thoughts. There's only thinking (mostly very fast, as you said).
Have a look at an apple.
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
However, is an apple actually known?
Clearly, there is no apple known apart from the AE. There is just a thought that assumes the existence of an apple as a result of the previously received AE.

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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby forgetmenot » Thu May 09, 2019 12:52 am

Hello Marc,

Please answer questions in blue individually and not lump them all together. There is a reason I ask you to do this. Thanks
Yes, so the AE of ‘brain’ = thought. There are only thoughts about a brain, however a brain is not known as AE.
Is this clear?
Yes, it's clear that brain is not an AE and that thoughts are the AE of the brain.
You are not clear, Marc. Please reread what I wrote.
There is no AE of the brain!
The label ‘brain’ is AE of thought and NOT AE of a brain.
Thoughts ABOUT a brain and what it is etc are AE of thought and NOT AE of a brain.

So what is known is label + thoughts ABOUT a brain. A brain is NOT known.
Where in smell, colour, thought, smell, taste and sensation can a brain be found?
Can a ‘real’ brain be found in the thought itself?
Since a brain is not known, then how can thoughts come from a brain?

Have a look at an apple.
Is there really an ‘apple’ here, or only colour and a thought ABOUT ‘apple’?
Can ‘apple’ be found in actual experience?
However, is an apple actually known?
Clearly, there is no apple known apart from the AE. There is just a thought that assumes the existence of an apple as a result of the previously received AE.
If it is clearly seen that there is no apple in this exercise, then please look again at the idea of a brain. What do you find?

Image

What is a rose? Perhaps a nice red and green flower with a pleasant smell and some sharp thorns?

But LOOK again - all that is actually present are colours which thought labels as ‘red’ and ‘green’, a nice smell, which thought labels as ‘rose’, and maybe an 'ouch' sensation that thought labels as ‘thorn prick’. The rose itself is only a story.

Beyond the story, can a rose be found to at all?

Notice that all things that seem to exist are just like the rose. Just fictional stories about experience.


Kay
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https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby Marc108 » Thu May 09, 2019 5:36 pm

Hello Kay,
Thoughts ABOUT a brain and what it is etc are AE of thought and NOT AE of a brain.
Good that you precise this because I became a little confused with the previously written
Yes, so the AE of ‘brain’ = thought.
.
So, I know clearly that, like the apple, a brain is not known in itself, it's not an AE it's just a story made up from thougths.
Brain, like a form, is an "abstraction", which literally means "something pulled away (from reality)".
A flow of thoughts leads to the mistaken (thought) conclusion of an assumed "reality" that is only a fiction.
We mistakenly tend to believe our own assumptions : based on our thoughts we assume an imagined reality of a brain.
Like colours are AE, thoughts are AE. The brain has no reality, just like the forms we derive from the colours we see aren't real.
We "think" that thoughts are produced by the brain. Neuroscience is but an enormous and complex heap of thoughts about something that we imagine and call brain in order to organize these thougts. It's all thoughts about thoughts.
So what is known is label + thoughts ABOUT a brain. A brain is NOT known.
I share this view 100%, that's why I initially wrote "Brain is not an AE, thought is.".
Where in smell, colour, thought, smell, taste and sensation can a brain be found?
A brain cannot be found in any sensation: not in colour (brain isn't colours), not in thought (we can have thougts about a brain but a brain isn't thoughts), not in smell (brain isn't an odour), not in sound (brain isn't a sound), not in touch (brain isn't a touch), nowhere in sensations can I find a brain.
Can a ‘real’ brain be found in the thought itself?
Certainly not.
Since a brain is not known, then how can thoughts come from a brain?
Thoughts can't come from a brain that is an abstraction, not real.
If it is clearly seen that there is no apple in this exercise, then please look again at the idea of a brain. What do you find?
I also clearly find there is no brain. There are just thoughts that assume the existence of a brain as a result of the previous thoughts.
Beyond the story, can a rose be found to at all?
No, actualley, there are only colours, touch, smells and thoughts that - in a hasty generalization - are labeled, all together as "rose". This labelling is only a thought.

When I extrapolate the apple exercise to all that surrounds me, the perception of the world changes from abstract to concrete: there are only the 5 sensations and thoughts.

Extending this exercise to the body, there is only seen experience, felt experience and so on. This leads to the conclusion that the body also does not exist outside the AE, just like the apple.
Similarly, mind is only made of thoughts, leaving no place for a "me" to be, apart from thoughts.

Thank you for your answers. They are always interesting.

Marc

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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby forgetmenot » Fri May 10, 2019 12:54 am

Hey Marc,

Great post to read…thank you :)
Yes, so the AE of ‘brain’ = thought.
So, I know clearly that, like the apple, a brain is not known in itself, it's not an AE it's just a story made up from thougths.
Brain, like a form, is an "abstraction", which literally means "something pulled away (from reality)".
A flow of thoughts leads to the mistaken (thought) conclusion of an assumed "reality" that is only a fiction.
We mistakenly tend to believe our own assumptions : based on our thoughts we assume an imagined reality of a brain.
Like colours are AE, thoughts are AE. The brain has no reality, just like the forms we derive from the colours we see aren't real.
We "think" that thoughts are produced by the brain. Neuroscience is but an enormous and complex heap of thoughts about something that we imagine and call brain in order to organize these thougts. It's all thoughts about thoughts.
Lovely! Clearly expressed! And yes, neuroscience is “an enormous and complex heap of thoughts”! That is...thoughts about thoughts and are simply AE of thought.
Since a brain is not known, then how can thoughts come from a brain?
Thoughts can't come from a brain that is an abstraction, not real.
Precisely!
Beyond the story, can a rose be found to at all?
No, actualley, there are only colours, touch, smells and thoughts that - in a hasty generalization - are labeled, all together as "rose". This labelling is only a thought.

When I extrapolate the apple exercise to all that surrounds me, the perception of the world changes from abstract to concrete: there are only the 5 sensations and thoughts.
Nice!
Extending this exercise to the body, there is only seen experience, felt experience and so on. This leads to the conclusion that the body also does not exist outside the AE, just like the apple.
Similarly, mind is only made of thoughts, leaving no place for a "me" to be, apart from thoughts.
Yes…nice LOOKING :)

Okay, you seem to have gotten the hang of AE…just to further this, here's an exercise that I would like you to try as many times throughout the day as you can. Label daily activities, objects and emotions simply colour/image, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought.

So for example, when having breakfast, become aware of:

Seeing a cup, simply= image/colour
Smelling coffee, simply = smell,
Feeling the warmth of the coffee cup, simply = sensation.
Tasting the coffee, simply = taste
Hearing the spoon stirring the coffee, simply = sound
Thought about drinking the coffee, simply = thought.

Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.

Kay
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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby Marc108 » Fri May 10, 2019 8:50 pm

Hi Kay,
Just break down daily activities into these categories (which are all actual experience) and report back how you go, giving some examples please.
Eating and drinking are just feeling sensations and thoughts are just thoughts. Inner silence stays, becomes familiar, natural, a haven of peace.

Breathing is only feeling of the air in my nostrils, the slow rise and fall of my lungs, it happens by itself, nothing to add or to remove.
Sitting is just a feeling of legs bent, contact with the chair. The touch of my feet on the ground is just a feeling too. Are there legs, feet, is there ground ? there is no indication that this would be the case.

Life is de-electrified and slows down, cars are just colors, people too. What they say are just meaningless sounds.
TV : not listening to the sound, I see only colors. Closing my eyes I hear just sound. Is there a movie ? My sensations can't tell.
there is not even the slightest space for a story, let alone passion or an emotion. Nothing is worthwhile.

This PC screen is just light and colors, white and black dots move when I write, who or what writes ? All is unfindable.
Writing is touch in my fingers and thought.

The interpretation of phenomena commonly accepted by society is totally extravagant, fancifull, society is a whirlwind of madness.

Marc

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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby forgetmenot » Sat May 11, 2019 12:37 am

Hello Marc,

Can you redo the exercise please and write your breakdowns like the example provided. It is a good practice to break down things as per example provided, so it becomes a habit to see things that way.
Eating and drinking are just feeling sensations and thoughts are just thoughts. Inner silence stays, becomes familiar, natural, a haven of peace.
There is more to what is labelled as eating. There is also AE of taste and AE of smell and AE of sound etc. You need to break it down completely to see the whole picture of what is actually appearing.
Breathing is only feeling of the air in my nostrils, the slow rise and fall of my lungs, it happens by itself, nothing to add or to remove.
Where are lungs as AE? Where is "air in my nostrils" as AE?
What is the AE of breathing?


I need to see that you see AE clearly before we can move on. So as well as answering the blue texted questions, please breakdown activities and emotions into AE for another day.

Kay
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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby Marc108 » Sat May 11, 2019 6:46 pm

Hi Kay,
Can you redo the exercise please and write your breakdowns like the example provided. It is a good practice to break down things as per example provided, so it becomes a habit to see things that way.
So I decomposed situations into experienced sensations.

Washing hands:
feeling the water= touch
seeing my hands= seeing
hearing the sound of the water and the washing= sound
thinking about closing the tap= thought
taking the towel= feeling

Driving a car:
sitting = feeling
watching the road = seeing
hearing the car= sound
smelling the car= smell
reacting to events= thought

Preparing food:
seeing the food and cooking tools = seeing colours
organizing = thoughts
hearing the spoon hitting the bottom of the pan, and other sounds = sound
odours of the food cooking = smell
tasting the food = taste

Listening and talking to someone:
seeing the form = seeing
hearing the voice= sound
reflecting about what is said = thought
reflecting about an answer= thought
talking= sound and feeling

Sitting:
touching the support= feeling
hearing noises = sound
breathing= feeling
eyes open= seeing
thoughts passing= thought

Of course, nearly every element of the actions is preceded and mostly immediately followed by thought in order to accomplish it.
It's amazing to see attention jump very quickly from one sensation, to thought, to another sensation and so on in order to create the conviction of an independently existing reality.

Emotion:
e.g. anger = thought, discomfort=feeling , confusion= thought, seeking for a reaction= thought, change of breathing rhythm= feeling,

I try to get used to seeing things in this lucid way; it gives me the feeling of going back to childhood.
Where are lungs as AE? Where is "air in my nostrils" as AE?
What is the AE of breathing?
Lungs aren't AE, only feeling is.
Air in nostrils: same; only alternating feelings of fresh and warm.
Breathing is only feelings.

Thank you !

Marc

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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby forgetmenot » Sat May 11, 2019 11:26 pm

Hello Marc,

Thank you for those examples. I would suggest that you continue to break down activities etc into AE for the next several days…so that it becomes crystal clear what AE is and what the thoughts about AE are.
Of course, nearly every element of the actions is preceded and mostly immediately followed by thought in order to accomplish it.
Without thought, how is this known? We will look more in depth at this later.
It's amazing to see attention jump very quickly from one sensation, to thought, to another sensation and so on in order to create the conviction of an independently existing reality.
Yes, so let’s take a look at the idea that there is a someone who is focusing attention.

Close your eyes and sit quietly for 10-15 minutes.
Watch what focus does.

Focus on focussing, attention itself.
Do you move it, or it moves by itself?
Hold focus on breath - see how it moves to thoughts, sensations, feelings, sounds.
Is this something you control?
What moves attention?
Is thought in control of attention?

Emotion:
e.g. anger = thought, discomfort=feeling , confusion= thought, seeking for a reaction= thought, change of breathing rhythm= feeling,
Yes! So, this is something that helps greatly to see what is actually appearing as opposed to what thought says is happening. It is a good idea to do it with all emotions.
Where are lungs as AE? Where is "air in my nostrils" as AE?
What is the AE of breathing?
Lungs aren't AE, only feeling is.
Air in nostrils: same; only alternating feelings of fresh and warm.
Breathing is only feelings.
“Alternating feelings of fresh and warm” is AE of thought
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that there is “fresh and warm”?
Does the sensation itself know anything about “air in nostrils” or “fresh and warm”?


Okay, here is an exercise which points out the difference between actual experience and content of thought. Thoughts either point to AE or they point to thoughts about thought. Thought, in and of itself, does not contain any experience, otherwise you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’ and feel the word ‘hot’ and hear thunder when the word ‘thunder’ appeared!

There are two types of thoughts:
#1 Thoughts with words “Here is cup”
#2 Visual mental images of a ‘cup’

So I invite you to do this exercise:
Think of a cup. Get a very clear picture in your mind. See clearly the size, shape, colour and volume of the cup. Notice whether it is decorated or plain. Notice whether it has a handle. Notice whether it is heavy or fragile. Do you have a clear picture in mind?

Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup?
Can you pour tea into it?
Can you drink from it?

Is there a ‘real’ cup or just a mental image of a cup?
Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?


Now let’s look at the word thought “here is a cup”….

Can a 'real' cup be found in the thought itself?

"Here is a cup" is the thought; the ensuing thoughts of what a cup is and does, what it is made from etc are the content of that thought. What do those thoughts point to exactly? Do they point to colour, taste, smell, sensation or sound? Or do they simply point to actual experience of thought and thought only?

So thoughts and mental images are actual experience only as arising thoughts (words and mental image), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what they are about, what they are pointing to (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?

Over the course of the next day or so, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about, what it is pointing to) is REALLY happening, or the content is just pure imagination. Let me know how it goes.


Kay
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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby Marc108 » Sun May 12, 2019 8:51 pm

Hello Kay,

Thank you again for the time and energy you put in these posts, they help me a lot in the work with my mind and my interpretation of reality. I really appreciate that.
Without thought, how is this known?
There’s a thoughtless awareness, a silent presence that looks without comment. Once the inner stories are dropped, watching continues. It doesn’t come from “me”, it’s like in the air.
Close your eyes and sit quietly for 10-15 minutes. Watch what focus does. Focus on focussing, attention itself.
Do you move it, or it moves by itself?
Focus moves by itself, of course I can also move it voluntarily when creating a thought consciously but when I let things happen naturally attention mainly moves by itself.
Hold focus on breath - see how it moves to thoughts, sensations, feelings, sounds. Is this something you control?
No, usually I can't control focus for a long time. It depends very much on the calmness of the inner sea. When my mind has been busy, control can be hard to find. At best I can feel close to controlling focus for a while, when it doesn’t move, in stillness, but I can’t say I control focus.
What moves attention?
Sometimes it can be a sudden event that distracts me. But in stillness, a desire to experience something may capture my focus and move it from a neutral to an active state; the desire to seize, to control, to be, sometimes out of a fear for nothingness.
Is thought in control of attention?
Thought blindsides attention. Thought and attention seem mutually exclusive because a thought is made out of attention; it’s attention-that-is-out-of-control that shapes thought. What seems to be attention is often only a thought about attention.
Thought can be recognised by attention. Attention can exist when there's no thought.
Yes! So, this is something that helps greatly to see what is actually appearing as opposed to what thought says is happening. It is a good idea to do it with all emotions.
Recognizing what sensations appear, feeling how they rise, stay and go, is more direct and useful for recognizing emotions than thoughts about the reasons or the content of an emotion. These thoughts are too confusing to be fair.
When I feel anger coming up, I feel a stress ("in my chest" is a thought).
When I feel sadness coming up I feel pain ("in the heart region" is a thought).
When I feel desire for something I feel a tension that wants to seize or hold something.
When I feel joy, I feel a relaxation ("in my belly" is a thought).
“Alternating feelings of fresh and warm” is AE of thought. Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that there is “fresh and warm”?
No, fresh and warm are thoughts, interpretations, the sensations themselves don’t say anything. They just are what they are.
Does the sensation itself know anything about “air in nostrils” or “fresh and warm”?
A sensation doesn’t know anything. Qualifications are given by the thinking process, thoughts.
Now, can you physically grasp that image of a cup? Can you pour tea into it? Can you drink from it?
No, none of these can be done, ith's obvious.
Is there a ‘real’ cup or just a mental image of a cup? Is the content of the mental image (the cup) ‘real’?
It’s no more real than a dream, it's purely mental.
Now let’s look at the word thought “here is a cup”…. Can a 'real' cup be found in the thought itself?
No, of course not. Otherwise I would be a magician and create rightaway whatever I think about.
Here is a cup" is the thought; the ensuing thoughts of what a cup is and does, what it is made from etc are the content of that thought. What do those thoughts point to exactly? Do they point to colour, taste, smell, sensation or sound?
No, they only point to the previous thought that imagined the cup, they refer to the cup in the dream.
Or do they simply point to actual experience of thought and thought only?
The thought "here's a cup" is only a thought. The cup in the dream is thought only.
So thoughts and mental images are actual experience only as arising thoughts (words and mental image), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what they are about, what they are pointing to (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?
Yes, I see this clearly.
This reminds me of a morning, about two months ago, when I woke up after a lucid dream. The dream seemed very vivid and real, just before I woke up. Once awake I remained motionless and looked to the objects of the dream that I still could remember well, the persons in the dream, the scenes and the feelings I had then. My eyes were open and my dream was all gone. It's absence gave me clearly the feeling that what I considered real was just thoughts, all fantasies. It was very obvious. Then I compared it to life in the waking state and I came to the conclusion it was identical, that I was just my mind that made my experience of reality.
Then I looked back to the dreamer during the dream. He too was completely gone. This gave me the feeling that also in the waking state I was no more than the dreamer. Just a thought in fact. It came like a shock and I got out of this thinking.
Over the course of the next day or so, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about, what it is pointing to) is REALLY happening, or the content is just pure imagination. Let me know how it goes.
Ok , I will do that.
Tomorrow, I have to fly abroad from my home to my country house (untill May 24th), where I will be alone and where I will be able to spend more time looking at my thoughts. I hope the internet connection will be good and allow me to resume our dialogue from Tuesday May 14th.
Thanks again.
Marc

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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby forgetmenot » Mon May 13, 2019 2:37 am

Hello Marc,

I have asked you quite a few questions in this post. Please read EACH question very carefully and answer from LOOKING at actual experience and NOT from THINKING.
Without thought, how is this known?
There’s a thoughtless awareness, a silent presence that looks without comment. Once the inner stories are dropped, watching continues. It doesn’t come from “me”, it’s like in the air.
Please put aside everything you THINK you know. This exploration is not about what you think you already know. This exploration is about UNLEARNING everything you think you know. Where in the question did it ask about thoughtless awareness? We are learning how to LOOK and what actual experience is.

Your answer has nothing to do with actual experience.
Please look at the question carefully. Without thought how is it known that a thought is needed to accomplish an action?

Close your eyes and sit quietly for 10-15 minutes. Watch what focus does. Focus on focussing, attention itself.
Do you move it, or it moves by itself?
Focus moves by itself, of course I can also move it voluntarily when creating a thought consciously but when I let things happen naturally attention mainly moves by itself.

Really? How do you create a thought consciously? No need to answer this question at this moment. But you can start to ponder it. First there would have to be a separate self who is doing that and second there would have to be correlation between thought and action. And there isn’t.

We will be looking at the nature of thought shortly. However, how is it known, without thought that you can “also move focus voluntarily”? Please redo the exercise again and watch carefully and reanswer the question.
Hold focus on breath - see how it moves to thoughts, sensations, feelings, sounds. Is this something you control?
No, usually I can't control focus for a long time. It depends very much on the calmness of the inner sea. When my mind has been busy, control can be hard to find. At best I can feel close to controlling focus for a while, when it doesn’t move, in stillness, but I can’t say I control focus.
We are not looking at how you THINK you control focus. The exercise was for you to observe carefully how focus and attention moves. Please redo the exercise and watch carefully and reanswer the question.

What moves attention?
Sometimes it can be a sudden event that distracts me. But in stillness, a desire to experience something may capture my focus and move it from a neutral to an active state; the desire to seize, to control, to be, sometimes out of a fear for nothingness.
Where is this ‘you’ that is doing this? Please describe this ‘you’ to me in precise detail and where it is located exactly.

Is thought in control of attention?
Thought blindsides attention. Thought and attention seem mutually exclusive because a thought is made out of attention; it’s attention-that-is-out-of-control that shapes thought. What seems to be attention is often only a thought about attention.
Thought can be recognised by attention. Attention can exist when there's no thought.
So how can thought be the actioner then? Thought doesn’t blindside attention. Thought isn’t an entity that has motives and abilities. Just because the focus is on thought doesn’t mean thought is blindsiding anything! There is no controlling when a thought appears.

The whole point of the exercise was for you to see if attention/focus can be controlled in any way, or does it move to where it moves by itself. So please redo the exercise and put ALL thoughts aside and just carefully watch what focus does.

Yes! So, this is something that helps greatly to see what is actually appearing as opposed to what thought says is happening. It is a good idea to do it with all emotions.
Recognizing what sensations appear, feeling how they rise, stay and go, is more direct and useful for recognizing emotions than thoughts about the reasons or the content of an emotion. These thoughts are too confusing to be fair.
When I feel anger coming up, I feel a stress is a thought ("in my chest" is a thought).
That is ALL thought, including the idea of what anger is.

The label ‘anger’ is AE of thought and NOT AE of anger
Sensation labelled as ‘anger’ is AE of sensation and NOT AE of anger
Colour labelled as ‘body/I/me’ is AE of colour and not AE of anger
Thoughts ABOUT anger and what it is (ie content of thought ‘anger’) is AE of thought and not AE of anger.

What is actually known is label + sensation + colour + thoughts. However, is ‘anger’ actually known?
When I feel sadness coming up I feel pain, is a thought ("in the heart region" is a thought).
What is AE of sadness?
When I feel desire for something is a thought, I feel a tension that wants to seize or hold something.
What is the AE of desire?
What is the AE of tension?

Does sensation labelled as 'tension' know anything about wanting to seize or hold something?
Does the sensation itself know anything about 'tension', or "wanting to seize of hold something"?

When I feel joy, I feel a relaxation ("in my belly" is a thought).
What is the AE of joy?
What is the AE of relaxation?

Here is a cup" is the thought; the ensuing thoughts of what a cup is and does, what it is made from etc are the content of that thought. What do those thoughts point to exactly? Do they point to colour, taste, smell, sensation or sound?
No, they only point to the previous thought that imagined the cup, they refer to the cup in the dream.
So the words/thought ‘here is a cup’ are AE of thought only…right?
Or do they simply point to actual experience of thought and thought only?
The thought "here's a cup" is only a thought. The cup in the dream is thought only.
What dream are you talking about? We are talking about thoughts as mental pictures here…so that you get to see the difference between content of thought and actual experience.
So thoughts and mental images are actual experience only as arising thoughts (words and mental image), their ‘presence’ cannot be denied. However their contents, what they are about, what they are pointing to (like the cup) are not ‘real’, they are just fantasies. Can you see this?
Yes, I see this clearly.
It's absence gave me clearly the feeling that what I considered real was just thoughts, all fantasies. It was very obvious. Then I compared it to life in the waking state and I came to the conclusion it was identical, that I was just my mind that made my experience of reality.
What is the AE of “mind”?
Then I looked back to the dreamer during the dream. He too was completely gone. This gave me the feeling that also in the waking state I was no more than the dreamer. Just a thought in fact. It came like a shock and I got out of this thinking
.

Hmmm….I DO not exist and the I DOES not exist are very different!
Over the course of the next day or so, I'd like you to notice the content of thoughts. Whenever there is an arising thought or mental image, check whether its content (what it’s about, what it is pointing to) is REALLY happening, or the content is just pure imagination. Let me know how it goes.
Ok , I will do that.
Tomorrow, I have to fly abroad from my home to my country house (untill May 24th), where I will be alone and where I will be able to spend more time looking at my thoughts. I hope the internet connection will be good and allow me to resume our dialogue from Tuesday May 14th.
Great, I look forward to your report on this.

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Marc108
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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby Marc108 » Tue May 14, 2019 4:51 pm

Hi Kay,

The calm of the countryside is a better environment for these inquieries.
Without thought how is it known that a thought is needed to accomplish an action?
"a thought is needed to accomplish an action" is only a thought. Without thought it cannot be known that "a thought is needed".
Apart from thinking there's only experience of sensations and sensations cannot know something, they are just experienced.
how is it known, without thought that you can “also move focus voluntarily”?
I can't know that "I can move focus voluntarily" otherwise than through thinking. This affirmation was a thought. Without thinking this wouldn't exist.
observe carefully how focus and attention moves
Focus moves automatically, by itself. It moves but there's obviously no entity, no "I" that moves focus.
There can be awareness of the movements of attention but only as a witness, not as an actor.
Attention/focus moves "miraculously", it's just there, wherever it is.
Where is this ‘you’ that is doing this? Please describe this ‘you’ to me in precise detail and where it is located exactly.
There's no "you" that triggers a "desire" to do something or a "fear".
see if attention/focus can be controlled in any way, or does it move to where it moves by itself
I see that when focused, attention can remain for a little while motionless, as if held by itself, like a tightrope walker, but then attention suddenly is elsewhere.
I see that it is never held by something "outside" itself because I cannot find something or someone exterior to it.
It is inherently impossible for there to be any attention outside of attention.
It is clearly seen that when attention moves, the movements starts from within attention itself.
What is actually known is label + sensation + colour + thoughts. However, is ‘anger’ actually known?
Apart from lables and sensations, there's no "anger". Anger is like the apple, it's not an AE. There's no AE of anger but only of sensations and thoughts that all lead to the fallacy that "there is anger".
What is AE of sadness?
No AE of sadness, same as the fallacy of anger, there's only a bunch of sensations and thoughts.
What is the AE of desire?
I can't find any desire in experience, there's no AE of desire, there are only thoughts and sensations.
What is the AE of tension?
The AE of tension is the felt sensation on which I label "there's tension", but the sensation itself is just itself, a sensation.
Does sensation labelled as 'tension' know anything about wanting to seize or hold something?
A sensation can obviously not know anything by itself. The "wanting to seize" is a thought.
What is the AE of joy?
I don't actually experience joy but only sensations and thoughts. Joy only seems to be, like a mirage seems to exist.
What is the AE of relaxation?
The actual experience of relaxation are sensations and thoughts as well.
So the words/thought ‘here is a cup’ are AE of thought only…right?
Yes, an imagined cup can only be made of thoughts.
The imagined colour and shape are also thoughts. They are thoughts about a thought.
What is the AE of “mind”?
There is no mind ! Only thoughts and sensations are experienced, mind is not an experienced something.
Mind is like the apple. Like the apple was just colours, there's actually no experience of mind but of thoughts.

Thank you for being my guide in this process.

Marc

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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby forgetmenot » Wed May 15, 2019 2:56 am

Hey Marc,
The calm of the countryside is a better environment for these inquieries.
Yes, it would seem so! A lovely clear post to read!

You got to see that phenomena (sound, thought, smell, taste, sensation, colour) are known, but the knowledge ABOUT phenomena are simply AE of thought. Actual experience is everything, except the "content" of thought, because thought, in and of itself does not contain any actual experience.
Without thought how is it known that a thought is needed to accomplish an action?
"a thought is needed to accomplish an action" is only a thought. Without thought it cannot be known that "a thought is needed".
Apart from thinking there's only experience of sensations and sensations cannot know something, they are just experienced.
Yes! Nice!
observe carefully how focus and attention moves
Focus moves automatically, by itself. It moves but there's obviously no entity, no "I" that moves focus.
Nice! What ever is being ‘awared’ is being ‘awared’. There is no one/no thing that is controlling or choosing what is being ‘awared’.
Where is this ‘you’ that is doing this? Please describe this ‘you’ to me in precise detail and where it is located exactly.
There's no "you" that triggers a "desire" to do something or a "fear".
Is fear or any other emotion is arising for you? If so, let me know and we will look at it together.
see if attention/focus can be controlled in any way, or does it move to where it moves by itself
I see that when focused, attention can remain for a little while motionless, as if held by itself, like a tightrope walker, but then attention suddenly is elsewhere.
I see that it is never held by something "outside" itself because I cannot find something or someone exterior to it.
Great!
It is inherently impossible for there to be any attention outside of attention.
It is clearly seen that when attention moves, the movements starts from within attention itself.
We will look at the idea of ‘change’ later on in this exploration.
What is actually known is label + sensation + colour + thoughts. However, is ‘anger’ actually known?
Apart from lables and sensations, there's no "anger". Anger is like the apple, it's not an AE. There's no AE of anger but only of sensations and thoughts that all lead to the fallacy that "there is anger".
Nice!
So the words/thought ‘here is a cup’ are AE of thought only…right?
Yes, an imagined cup can only be made of thoughts.
The imagined colour and shape are also thoughts. They are thoughts about a thought.
Terrific! Yes!
What is the AE of “mind”?
There is no mind ! Only thoughts and sensations are experienced, mind is not an experienced something.
Mind is like the apple. Like the apple was just colours, there's actually no experience of mind but of thoughts.
Brilliant! Yes, there is no mind beyond thoughts!
Thank you for being my guide in this process.
You’re more than welcome

Okay..., so let’s begin to look at the nature of thought.

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 the eyes and just notice thoughts. Don’t engage with any thought, just notice them.

Looking for the gap is a way to slow the thoughts, as the objective of this exercise is to observe each and every thought as it arises and subsides.

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 a few 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 you go.


Could you find a thinker of thought between the gaps?

Kay
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
https://freedomalreadyis.com/

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Marc108
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Re: Who or what am I ?

Postby Marc108 » Wed May 15, 2019 9:57 pm

Hello Kay,
You got to see that phenomena (sound, thought, smell, taste, sensation, colour) are known, but the knowledge ABOUT phenomena are simply AE of thought. Actual experience is everything, except the "content" of thought, because thought, in and of itself does not contain any actual experience.
Ok it's clear that the content of thought is imaginary, which means that it is also thought and only thought.
There is no one/no thing that is controlling or choosing what is being ‘awared’.
When observed more closely, it results so clearly from experience that I wonder wy I didn't see this before.
Is fear or any other emotion is arising for you? If so, let me know and we will look at it together.
Yes, sometimes sadness arises. It always starts with thoughts; I get caught up in the content of thoughts and then suddenly sadness overwhelms me. When I realize that sadness overwhelms me, I realize that I have become the prisoner of my thought process. I focus on the fact that it is all only thoughts. Sadness is just made of labels and thoughts. This is why, in fact, sadness doesn't exist, it isn't an AE, just like the apple. Only the thoughts are experienced. The content of the thoughts are just other thoughts about the previous thoughts. Thoughts are temporary phenomena that I observe but from which my awareness is distinct. Awareness just is aware and thoughts are just thinking.
observe each and every thought as it arises and subsides
During the day, I regularly watched the thoughts that appeared. It’s difficult to see when a thought arises because when it arises attention lies within the content of the thought. If there’s awareness of the thought when it arises, the thought stops immediately. If there’s awareness of the thought when it is fully deployed the thought also disappears, but a little slower, it echoes a bit. Because of this disappearance, reversely, it may seem that it is when the thought is subsiding that awareness of the thought arises. It is clear that the two exclude each other, a bit like a thief that you only see when he has left or that, more precisely, you just don't see - because he just left.
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 you go.
The gap between thoughts seems to be more natural than the thoughts themselves. The gap seems to be peace and well being or harmony. Thinking seems to be an activity whereas the gap between the thoughts seems just "being", without an additional activity. I see that during the gap between thoughts I'm more "one", more natural, whereas thinking implies there being a split in awareness, something like awareness reverberating itself.
Could you find a thinker of thought between the gaps?
Between the gaps there's thinking. Thoughts happen out of the blue, they appear, out of nothing or maybe it would be more correct to say « out of everything ».
Just as attention is not (and cannot be) created by someone or something outside of itself, I see that a thought is not created by something or someone outside of itself, it appears, just like sensations.
So, no, there’s no thinker, neither between the gaps, neither during the gaps.
During the gap there can't be a thinker because there's no thought and a thinker without thought is not a thinker.
During the thought there can be no thinker because the thought is already existent ("during").
If there would be a thinker that makes a thought, he first should have to conceive or think of the thought he’d have to make. Therefore, the thought would have been thought before it came into existence, which is logically impossible.
So not only do I not see a thinker, I also think the existence of a thinker is logically impossible.
Ok, it's all thoughts :)

Marc


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