deconstruction site

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Fri May 31, 2019 12:32 am

Hi Agi,
I came to realize that these exercises are great because they create a distance between 'me' and the thoughts. Every time I do them I realize 'I' am not the thoughts, or rather, the thoughts are not 'me'. This seems very good.
I’m glad that you find these exercises helpful. But let me ask these:

“they [exercises] create a distance between ‘me’ and the thoughts” – Where is this me exactly that is being distanced from thoughts? – locate it

“thoughts are not ‘me’” – And what is me?

Where is this me who discovered that thoughts are not herself/itself?
saying the words in itself didn’t give me the intention.
What is it exactly that receives the intention of getting up?
Is there anything receiving at all? Is there a receiver?
Somehow the actual intention seems to be something separate from the words but I can't locate it.
What makes the assumption that there must be an intention-maker separate from words, but locatable?
How this assumption made?
That’s exactly what I have found. I don’t know where it is, but it’s not in the words. I can’t find the intention itself.
If intention itself cannot be found, then how the conclusion is made that there has to be an intention or an intention-maker? Are they really there? Or they are just assumed by thoughts?
I find it pretty much impossible to ‘look’ and act at the same time.
I suggest looking while doing some easy actions. Like washing dishes, or washing the hands, showering, towelling, dressing up, etc. While doing these activities, observe how the hand moves, observe every little turn and movement. Do this as often as you can during the day. Let me know how it goes.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Fri May 31, 2019 6:01 pm

Dear Vivien
I’m glad that you find these exercises helpful. But let me ask these: “they [exercises] create a distance between ‘me’ and the thoughts” – Where is this me exactly that is being distanced from thoughts? – locate it
No, what I meant was that it helps me realize that the thoughts are not me. They are only thoughts. And what is me? It’s the habit of not looking, just taking it for granted that everything the thoughts and the body do togeher is called me. And that this me is in control. But now I can see that there is no me who is in control. Rather, it seems to be one thought/intention against another.
Where is this me who discovered that thoughts are not herself/itself?
It is another thought that makes this observation.
What is it exactly that receives the intention of getting up? Is there anything receiving at all? Is there a receiver?
Very interesting point. e.g. when I tell myself ‘lift your hand’, it’s as if the hand itself were the receiver. So it feels like the body is the receiver but then it doesn't always act accordingly, so that remains a mystery for now.
What makes the assumption that there must be an intention-maker separate from words, but locatable? How is this assumption made?
It’s my thinking brain that makes that assumption. 1. the words of the instruction are given. 2. nothing happens (but normally, when I don't look so closely, the body does obey). 3. it must be the case that the intention is not in the words themselves - so my intellect deduces that the intention must be somewhere else. However, I can’t find it.
If intention itself cannot be found, then how is the conclusion made that there has to be an intention or an intention-maker? Are they really there? Or they are just assumed by thoughts?
Yes, they are just assumptions. Like the assumption that there is an ‘I’.
I suggest looking while doing some easy actions. Do this as often as you can during the day. Let me know how it goes.
I've been trying. The closer I look, the more I feel that there’s no one in control of the actions, some actions have visible thoughts/instructions that trigger them but others are completely unnoticeable. It all seems to be automated in a way. I’ll keep practising this tomorrow, which will finally be a quiet day. Hopefully I’ll get more clarity.

Thank you Vivien and have a great weekend!

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:32 am

Hi Agi,
when I tell myself ‘lift your hand’, it’s as if the hand itself were the receiver. So it feels like the body is the receiver but then it doesn't always act accordingly, so that remains a mystery for now.
The receiver is just assumed by thoughts, based on the dualistic nature of language.
That there must be a subject (receiver) and an object (the received intention/thought).

So we check, if what thoughts assume (that there is a receiver) are in correspondence with AE.

So is there really a subject that is receiving anything?


Look very-very closely during the day, when decision seemingly happens (almost every minute). Then you’ll have plenty of opportunity to observe what is really going on.

Pay very close attention to thoughts. Decision seemingly happens in thoughts. Look very carefully how thoughts about a chooser, or choice or decision appear.

For example, when you sit in front of your computer, how is the decision made when to move the hands to type?
How is the decision is made which finger to move when typing?
How is the decision exactly made what to type?


When finished, just sit there. And see if there is a decision to sit there a bit longer, or to stand up to do something else.
How is the decision made to stay sit or to stand up?
What is making the decision to stand up?


When eating, observe very carefully. How is it chosen which piece of food to put onto the fork and eat next?
How is it decided EXACTLY to choose the pea, the rice, the carrot (or whatever is on the plate) to be the next?
What is the ‘thing’ that is making the decision about the next piece of food?


When driving, observer very carefully how is the decision exactly made to turn left or right?
When braking, how is the decision made to press the brake pedal?

When dressing up, how is the decision is made what clothes to choose?
Observe the movements of dressing up. How is the decision is made when to lift the arms or legs, and which clothes to put on first?
What is making the decision? - Find the location

When showering and towelling, how is the decision made where to move the hands, and in which sequence towel the body?

When shopping in a supermarket, observe the thought processes how the decision is made which line to go in?

Let me know what you find.


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Sun Jun 02, 2019 1:21 pm

Dear Vivien
The receiver is just assumed by thoughts, based on the dualistic nature of language, that there must be a subject (receiver) and an object (the received intention/thought). So we check, if what thoughts assume (that there is a receiver) are in correspondence with AE. So is there really a subject that is receiving anything?
I see what you mean but ultimately the body does act upon the instructions generated by the thoughts, so how can I not view the body as the receiver of these instructions? Of course we could say that body and thoughts are not too separate things or processes, but if you ask me about my actual experience, this is most certainly not my experience.

In routine activities, the impression was that the body does what it does all by itself, there are no thoughts that I am aware of. And if I pay close attention to the action, the thoughts that arise will create a commentary on it but they don’t generate the actions. The actions seem to be automatic/ unconscious. Maybe this is not the best word, of course there is awareness that the actions are being performed, but my conscious thoughts are not directing the actions.
Look very-very closely during the day, when decision seemingly happens (almost every minute). Then you’ll have plenty of opportunity to observe what is really going on. Pay very close attention to thoughts. Decision seemingly happens in thoughts. Look very carefully how thoughts about a chooser, or choice or decision appear.
In the routine activities of the day I find that there is no decision made really. The processes happen automatically, unconsciously, so in these instances I can’t find a decision maker or a receiver of instructions. When I do make a decision, as in the examples you give below, even then ‘I’ am not making that decision. Somehow it just happens. I cannot put my finger on how.
For example, when you sit in front of your computer, how is the decision made when to move the hands to type? How is the decision made which finger to move when typing? How is the decision exactly made what to type?
I don’t know. I can’t catch the moment of decision. These things just seem to happen.
When finished, just sit there. And see if there is a decision to sit there a bit longer, or to stand up to do something else. How is the decision made to stay sit or to stand up? What is making the decision to stand up?
A thought comes up which say ‘OK it’s time to get moving’.
When eating, observe very carefully. How is it chosen which piece of food to put onto the fork and eat next? How is it decided EXACTLY to choose the pea, the rice, the carrot (or whatever is on the plate) to be the next? What is the ‘thing’ that is making the decision about the next piece of food?
Let me know what you find.
It feels random. Again there seems to be no actual decision as such. The body just gets on with it. If a thought arises that wants to do things differently, that will override the automated behaviour. e.g. if I’m walking on the shaded side of the street, I will move over to the sunny side because a thought arises which says that that’s my preferred side. But sometimes the thoughts that seem to be making the decision are only commentary on what’s happening anyway. The body seems to behave according to certain patterns and thoughts arise to justify those patterns.
At other times the thoughts negotiate with each other - e.g. turn right or turn left? Or: peas first or carrots first? A choice is then made (one thought ends up being stronger than the other) and the body acts accordingly. In this sense there is a receiver, because the body carries out the instruction/decision of the thought. No?

I’m sorry I can’t come up with more things to say but generally in all these exercises all I find is a blank. Maybe I’m not looking in the correct way but I can’t get to the bottom of how these processes work. Thanks for any advice.

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:24 am

Hi Agi,
I see what you mean but ultimately the body does act upon the instructions generated by the thoughts, so how can I not view the body as the receiver of these instructions? Of course we could say that body and thoughts are not too separate things or processes, but if you ask me about my actual experience, this is most certainly not my experience.
We will investigate the body soon. And you’ll see that the body is also not what it seems like.

Can the process of the body receiving the instruction to move be actually seen?
Can any process be actually experienced at all?
Or just thoughts make the conclusion that there is a process and that the body received the instruction?


Here is an example:

1. Thought A arises: “Let’s stand up”.
2. Then standing up happens.
3. Thought B arises: “my body acted upon the instructions generated by thoughts”.

But step #3 is just a thought conclusion, just the content of a thought. Just a thought linking #1 and #2 and making a conclusion that #2 is resulted or happened because of #1. Can you see this?
The actions seem to be automatic/ unconscious. Maybe this is not the best word, of course there is awareness that the actions are being performed, but my conscious thoughts are not directing the actions.
What is the AE of ‘unconscious’?

How does an ‘unconscious thought’ look like?
Are there really conscious and unconscious thoughts? Or is this just the content of another thought?
But sometimes the thoughts that seem to be making the decision are only commentary on what’s happening anyway.
Exactly.
Maybe I’m not looking in the correct way but I can’t get to the bottom of how these processes work.
You don’t have to figure it out how this works! That would be just more thought speculation. The whole point is to see that those thought speculations or assumptions are not corresponding with the AE.

There is no such thing as a decision maker. There has never ever been one.
Things just happen by themselves.
And of course, thoughts arise trying to interpret and grasping it, making sense of it by analysing and categorizing.
But still, those thoughts also just arise by themselves without ANY AGENCY DOING IT. Can you see this?


Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser?
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will?
If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.


Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:34 am

Dear Vivien
Can the process of the body receiving the instruction to move be actually seen?
No.
Can any process be actually experienced at all? Or just thoughts make the conclusion that there is a process and that the body received the instruction?
It’s the latter. I’m assuming - the thoughts are assuming - that there is a process.
Here is an example:

1. Thought A arises: “Let’s stand up”.
2. Then standing up happens.
3. Thought B arises: “my body acted upon the instructions generated by thoughts”.

But step #3 is just a thought conclusion, just the content of a thought. Just a thought linking #1 and #2 and making a conclusion that #2 is resulted or happened because of #1. Can you see this?
Absolutely. But it’s such a strong and deeply ingrained assumption that in the past few days my practice was about trying to find this in real experience, thinking it has to be there. Hugely relieved to know I don’t need to find anything!
What is the AE of ‘unconscious’? What does an ‘unconscious thought’ look like? Are there really conscious and unconscious thoughts? Or is this just the content of another thought?
In a sense all thoughts are unconscious as I don’t consciously, deliberately generate them. When I said ‘unconscious thought’ it was another assumption that there must be something going on in the background that I’m not aware of and that governs all these processes.
You don’t have to figure it out how this works! That would be just more thought speculation. The whole point is to see that those thought speculations or assumptions are not corresponding with the AE.
Very helpful, thank you! I keep looking at this as a quiz in which I need to find a solution.
There is no such thing as a decision maker. There has never ever been one. Things just happen by themselves. And of course, thoughts arise trying to interpret and grasping it, making sense of it by analysing and categorizing. But still, those thoughts also just arise by themselves without ANY AGENCY DOING IT. Can you see this?
Yes!
Is it totally clear that there is no such thing a chooser? Is it totally clear that there is no such thing as choice or free will? If not, please write some examples when it seems to be otherwise.
It is clear, when I look at my direct experience, yes. However, it’s still the case that people have different personalities, different choices, different preferences, there are patterns in our lives etc. This suggests some kind of directionality, some purpose, some form of will/control. This is of course intellectual analysis/speculation, but I’ll look forward to seeing how these two can be reconciled. Maybe they can’t…?

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:11 am

05/06/19
Hi Agi,
Absolutely. But it’s such a strong and deeply ingrained assumption that in the past few days my practice was about trying to find this in real experience, thinking it has to be there. Hugely relieved to know I don’t need to find anything!
This whole investigation is about looking and looking and looking and not finding. And not finding after lots of looking is what brings about the realization. So you have to look until no doubt is left that there is no decider. And you might have to look a bit more after that too, just to be sure :) or when any doubt creeps in.
In a sense all thoughts are unconscious as I don’t consciously, deliberately generate them. When I said ‘unconscious thought’ it was another assumption that there must be something going on in the background that I’m not aware of and that governs all these processes.
Yes, but what is the ‘I’ that could be consciously be aware of thoughts?
Find this ‘I’ that is consciously aware of thoughts. Where is it exactly?

Where are you?
However, it’s still the case that people have different personalities, different choices, different preferences, there are patterns in our lives etc. This suggests some kind of directionality, some purpose, some form of will/control. This is of course intellectual analysis/speculation, but I’ll look forward to seeing how these two can be reconciled. Maybe they can’t…?
If there is no decider in the body called ‘Agi’ then is there decider in other bodies?

When the head of a sunflower turns to the sun, is this the result of a decider inside the flower making a decision?
Is there a ‘decision’ somewhere inside the flower to turn its head?

When it starts raining, what is it that made a decision that this is the right moment to rain?

Is there a decider somewhere making the movements and directions of the wind?


“there are patterns in our lives” – there are lots of patterns in nature too. Does this mean that there is something making decisions on behalf nature?

Yes, there are programmed preferences (by upbringing), likes and dislikes, personality traits, etc. But does this mean that there is something inside in each body making decision based on those preferences? Or it just happens just like the wind or the rain, or the growing of trees?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:28 pm

Dear Vivien
This whole investigation is about looking and looking and looking and not finding. And not finding after lots of looking is what brings about the realization. So you have to look until no doubt is left that there is no decider. And you might have to look a bit more after that too, just to be sure :) or when any doubt creeps in.
It’s not so much doubt. It’s slipping back to habitual mode, when I forget what I have found. Things go back to auto-mode where the ‘I’ is taken for a given. For me this is the hard part.
Yes, but what is the ‘I’ that could be consciously be aware of thoughts? Find this ‘I’ that is consciously aware of thoughts. Where is it exactly? Where are you?
Very good questions! Of course all I find is more thoughts about this ‘I’. It’s a thought that says ‘I am aware of lifting my hand’. Plus the perceptions: seeing the hand lifting, feeling it lifting. All these together create the impression that ‘I’ am experiencing something.
The Buddha called a high level of concentration ‘directed thought’ or ‘sustained thought’. I never understood what that meant, but practising with you I’ve realized that he meant - how insightful! - that attention and awareness are themselves nothing else but thoughts, except these thoughts are less fleeting and more stable, but still only thoughts. So the me that I’m looking for is only possible to find in the thoughts.
If there is no decider in the body called ‘Agi’ then is there a decider in other bodies? When the head of a sunflower turns to the sun, is this the result of a decider inside the flower making a decision? Is there a ‘decision’ somewhere inside the flower to turn its head? When it starts raining, what is it that made a decision that this is the right moment to rain? Is there a decider somewhere making the movements and directions of the wind? “there are patterns in our lives” – there are lots of patterns in nature too. Does this mean that there is something making decisions on behalf nature?
No. But I would have thought the big difference between all other parts of nature and humans was that humans have what we call consciousness. That we are not all about reaction but also can create things anew, have new ideas, give our lives new directions, etc. But maybe all this is an illusion and everything that goes on in us is still only reactivity…?
Yes, there are programmed preferences (by upbringing), likes and dislikes, personality traits, etc. But does this mean that there is something inside each body making decisions based on those preferences? Or it just happens like the wind or the rain, or the growing of trees?
Yes… this reminds me of what we said the other day. Things happen and then the thoughts come and justify those as if they were ‘my own’ decisions.

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:20 am

Hi Agi,
It’s not so much doubt. It’s slipping back to habitual mode, when I forget what I have found. Things go back to auto-mode where the ‘I’ is taken for a given. For me this is the hard part.
This is natural. Taking the I as something real, is a habit of thinking, it’s a conditioned pattern. So don’t expect that taking the ‘I’ as real will completely go away. It takes lots of lots of looking (probably years) to lessen the habit of taking it as real.
No. But I would have thought the big difference between all other parts of nature and humans was that humans have what we call consciousness.
We will investigate later, if there is really such thing as an independent consciousness or awareness.
That we are not all about reaction but also can create things anew, have new ideas, give our lives new directions, etc. But maybe all this is an illusion and everything that goes on in us is still only reactivity…?
What if creating new things are just reactions themselves (based on conditionings and the given circumstances at hand)?

Even science had discovered that decision and free will are just illusions. Here is a few minutes long youtube video about this. Usually, I don’t like showing this because at the second half of the video the explanation of the self is really off. Scientists discovered that this is just an illusion, but then they try to interpret it through the belief in the self :)

https://vimeo.com/90101368

Let’s start to investigate the body and sensations. The illusion of the self is not just simply coming from thoughts, but also from the belief that “I am the body” or “I have a body” or that this or that sensation is ‘me’ or the location of the ‘me’, or that this or that sensation is happening to ‘me’. So the thought label ‘this is me’ and the appearing sensations are welded together, creating a ‘sense of self’.

Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes.
Paying attention only to the pure sensations, without relying on thoughts or mental images:

Can it be known how tall the body is?
Does the body have a weight or volume?
In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?

Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing?
Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?

Is there an inside or an outside?
If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly?
If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?

What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to?
What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?


Look very carefully, especially with the last question. Take your time, don’t rush. You can look several times during the day while doing other things (like washing hands, showering, having a short break from work, walking, etc) before replying.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:14 pm

Dear Vivien

I have found today's exercise very interesting. I often focus on the experience of the body in meditation, but i've never quite experience it like I did today!
What if creating new things are just reactions themselves (based on conditionings and the given circumstances at hand)?
Yes I think that seems very likely.
Even science had discovered that decision and free will are just illusions. Here is a few minutes long youtube video about this. Usually, I don’t like showing this because at the second half of the video the explanation of the self is really off. Scientists discovered that this is just an illusion, but then they try to interpret it through the belief in the self :)
Thank you very much for sending the video. To be fair, this man has just been confronted with the fact that ‘he’ as he knows it doesn’t really exist, so no wonder he’s finding it difficult to face this fact. I am very impressed by the fact that science confirms so strongly the findings in this practice we’re doing.
Sit with eyes closed for about 15 minutes. Paying attention only to the pure sensations, without relying on thoughts or mental images:
Can it be known how tall the body is? Does the body have a weight or volume? In the actual experience does the body have a shape or a form?
No, I found that none of these can be clearly felt through sensations alone.
Is there a boundary between the body and the clothing? Is there a boundary between the body and the chair?
I tried to find this boundary, because at first it seemed so obviously to be there. But the more I looked, the less certain I was where or what it was.
Is there an inside or an outside? If there is an inside - the inside of what exactly? If there is an outside - the outside of what exactly?
Again, it was very hard to actually experience this. The inside/outside seems to be mostly an assumption. Though it seemed quite clear for example that my heartbeat was coming from inside the body. But then again, inside compared to what…?
What does the word/label ‘body’ ACTUALLY refer to? What is the ACTUAL experience of the body?
The actual experience was a collection of tingly, vibrational sensations. And a sense that there is a breathing physical mass here. I have tried to look for the experience of the body parts during the day, and it was very difficult to find boundaries and get a real sense of the body 'being there'.

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:56 am

Hi Agi,
I tried to find this boundary, because at first it seemed so obviously to be there. But the more I looked, the less certain I was where or what it was.
Close the eyes, and pay attention to the area where clothing touching the skin.

What is the actual difference between the sensation labelled ‘skin’, and the sensation labelled ‘clothing touching the skin’?

Are there 2 sensations there, one for the skin, and another for clothing?
How many sensations are there?
The inside/outside seems to be mostly an assumption. Though it seemed quite clear for example that my heartbeat was coming from inside the body. But then again, inside compared to what…?
What is the AE of heartbeat?

So if the body is nothing else than a label on ‘sensations’, then how is it known exactly that the ‘heartbeat’ is coming from those sensations?

Is there a mental image showing a location, heartbeat being inside the body?
Or how is it known exactly?
And a sense that there is a breathing physical mass here.
What is the AE of ‘physical mass’?

What is the AE of breathing?

Close your eyes, and scan through the body. Look for every sensation that is present right now. You will find, that as you scan the body, a mental image ‘shows’ the location of attention, so to speak.

If you look very carefully, you’ll find that there are some parts where the sensations are really strong, but there are other areas where there is hardly any sensation going on, or even nothing. So even the sensations what are labelled as ‘body’ cannot be experienced as a whole. I mean you cannot feel all ‘parts’ of the body at the same time. But the ‘mind’ constructs a mental image and with the label ‘body’, and the belief that the body is a whole unit, always present, always available. But this cannot be further from the truth. Body as such exists only as a construct.
Can you see this?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:39 pm

Dear Vivien
Just to say that for the next couple of days I'll be offline as it's a Jewish festival. Back on Monday probably.
Here are my answers to the body questions.
Close the eyes, and pay attention to the area where clothing touches the skin. What is the actual difference between the sensation labelled ‘skin’, and the sensation labelled ‘clothing touching the skin’? Are there 2 sensations there, one for the skin, and another for clothing? How many sensations are there?
There was only one sensation that I could find, and it wasn’t the skin itself. It was the clothing touching the skin. Same way elsewhere, it was when there was contact with something else that I could feel that part of the body, e.g. when a hair tickled my face, I could feel my face. Otherwise not.
What is the AE of heartbeat?
With heartbeat I can first of all hear a very faint sound or drumming. Secondly I can feel the movement. So it’s not the heart itself I can feel but its pulsating movement.
So if the body is nothing else than a label on ‘sensations’, then how is it known exactly that the ‘heartbeat’ is coming from those sensations?
I’m not sure I understand your question, but my answer is that the heartbeat is another sensation.
Is there a mental image showing a location, heartbeat being inside the body? Or how is it known exactly?
There is certainly a mental image but my sense is that there’s not only that. There is an actual experience of the movements of the heart.
What is the AE of ‘physical mass’?
This is very hard to put into words, it’s a sense of the presence of this complex of skin, flesh, bones, hair etc.
What is the AE of breathing?
Again it is the movement e.g. of the lung or the stomach that I can feel. Or the air moving through my nostrils.
Close your eyes, and scan through the body. Look for every sensation that is present right now. You will find, that as you scan the body, a mental image ‘shows’ the location of attention, so to speak.
Yes this is true. But I try to ‘feel’ the nose without imagining the nose. But it’s hard.
If you look very carefully, you’ll find that there are some parts where the sensations are really strong, but there are other areas where there is hardly any sensation going on, or even nothing. So even the sensations what are labelled as ‘body’ cannot be experienced as a whole. I mean you cannot feel all ‘parts’ of the body at the same time. But the ‘mind’ constructs a mental image and with the label ‘body’, and the belief that the body is a whole unit, always present, always available. But this cannot be further from the truth. Body as such exists only as a construct.
Can you see this?
Yes.

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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:00 am

Hi Agi,
Just to say that for the next couple of days I'll be offline as it's a Jewish festival. Back on Monday probably.
Thank you for letting me know.
There was only one sensation that I could find, and it wasn’t the skin itself. It was the clothing touching the skin. Same way elsewhere, it was when there was contact with something else that I could feel that part of the body, e.g. when a hair tickled my face, I could feel my face. Otherwise not.
Yes. And does the sensation itself suggest in any way that this sensation is ‘the clothing touching the skin’?
Or that sensation is ‘hair tickling my face’?

Can you see that without concepts / thoughts all these added information cannot be known?
That ‘clothing touching the skin’ or ‘hair tickling the face’ is just a conceptual overlay on what is actually happening?
With heartbeat I can first of all hear a very faint sound or drumming. Secondly I can feel the movement. So it’s not the heart itself I can feel but its pulsating movement.
Pay close attention to the heartbeat.

Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any what that it’s a ‘heartbeat’?
Or that the sensation is the result of a heart beating?

And what is the AE of ‘pulsating movement’?
Without thoughts, can it be known that this sensation is a ‘pulsating movement’?
V: So if the body is nothing else than a label on ‘sensations’, then how is it known exactly that the ‘heartbeat’ is coming from those sensations?
A: I’m not sure I understand your question, but my answer is that the heartbeat is another sensation.
So, the body is just a sensation, and the heartbeat is just another sensation.

So does the sensation labelled ‘body’ can contain another sensation labelled ‘heartbeat’?

Can one sensation coming from or being inside another sensation?
Or that one is being inside the other is just suggested by thoughts and mental images?
There is certainly a mental image but my sense is that there’s not only that. There is an actual experience of the movements of the heart.
In order to say that there is the AE of the movement of the heart, the following thigs has to be found:

1. There has be an AE of a heart.
2. There has to be the AE of movement.
3. There has to be the AE of the movement originating or coming from the heart.

#1: But the sensation labelled ‘heart’ is NOT the AE of heart, but the AE of sensation only.
The mental label ‘heart’ is NOT the AE of heart, but the AE of a mental label only.
The mental image of a heart is NOT the AE of a heart, but AE of a mental image only.
So what is the AE of a heart?

#2: What is the AE of a movement?
Can movement as such be actually experienced?
Or only sensations can be experienced, and movement is just a conceptual overlay on the sensation?


#3: In order to #3 be true, there has to be 2 separate sensations. One sensation for the heart, and another sensation for the movement. If both sensations are found, then we still need to actually experience if one sensation labelled ‘movement’ is coming from the other sensation labelled ‘heart’. But is this so?
V: What is the AE of ‘physical mass’?
A: This is very hard to put into words, it’s a sense of the presence of this complex of skin, flesh, bones, hair etc.
What is the AE of a skin? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a flesh? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a body? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a hair? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?

What is the AE of a ‘physical mass’? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
V: What is the AE of breathing?
A: Again it is the movement e.g. of the lung or the stomach that I can feel. Or the air moving through my nostrils.
In order to say that there is a movement of the lung, the same things have to be there individually as with the heart.
What is the AE of lung?
What is the AE of the lung moving?

What is the AE of stomach?

What is the AE of nostrils?

And what is the AE of air? Can air as such be actually experienced at all?
If yes, is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?

What is the AE of air moving through the nostrils?
Yes this is true. But I try to ‘feel’ the nose without imagining the nose. But it’s hard.
The nose cannot be felt. Only sensations can be felt.
And only thoughts and mental images suggest that this particular sensation is a nose.
But the sensation itself, doesn’t suggest in any way that it’s a nose.
The sensation doesn’t come self-labelled as nose.
The sensation doesn’t know anything about a nose.
The sensation is just is. Doing and suggesting nothing.
Can you see this?

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/

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Agi
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:36 pm

Dear Vivien

Before I answer your questions, I want to ask you a question. How can/should I talk to others about the things I'm discovering through this practice? Are there any suggestions what to talk about, what not to talk about? I don't mean the details of the 'course' specifically but talking about no-self. Even among Buddhists I have found that they were reluctant to discuss this somehow, or considered it a 'dangerous' subject, or just stared blankly. I would have thought that this was the most crucial element or at least one of the most crucial elements of any practice moving towards awakening, but now I feel a bit alone with this view. Thank you for any suggestions.
Does the sensation itself suggest in any way that this sensation is ‘the clothing touching the skin’? Or that sensation is ‘hair tickling my face’?
No. What I have come to realize while practising in the last few days is that sensations are very closely tied into thoughts. It is always the thoughts that interpret for me what I’m experiencing, where I’m experiencing it etc.
Can you see that without concepts / thoughts all these added information cannot be known? That ‘clothing touching the skin’ or ‘hair tickling the face’ is just a conceptual overlay on what is actually happening?
Absolutely! Yes.
Pay close attention to the heartbeat. Does the pure sensation itself suggest in any what that it’s a ‘heartbeat’? Or that the sensation is the result of a heart beating? And what is the AE of ‘pulsating movement’? Without thoughts, can it be known that this sensation is a ‘pulsating movement’?
Again, as above, all this is my thoughts explaining for me what’s going on. The sensation itself, the direct experience, don’t tell me any of it.
However, a question that arose, and maybe we’ve discussed it before but I can’t remember, is, why is it a problem if it’s the thoughts that tell me all this added information? Do we have to assume that thoughts are mistaken, or that they have an ‘agenda’? Do we have to assume that only actual experience is reliable? In fact, to me these experiences in a way prove the opposite: actual experience is closer to a total blank than to anything meaningful. So why do we keep seeking it out?
So, the body is just a sensation, and the heartbeat is just another sensation. So can the sensation labelled ‘body’ contain another sensation labelled ‘heartbeat’? Can one sensation come from or be inside another sensation? Or that one is being inside the other is just suggested by thoughts and mental images?
I think it’s just the thoughts and mental images that suggest that one sensation is ‘within’ the other. Of course factually it is correct, but the sensation itself doesn’t tell me this. However, as above, what does this teach me - that sensations are in themselves insufficient to make sense of anything, no?
1. There has be an AE of a heart.
2. There has to be the AE of movement.
3. There has to be the AE of the movement originating or coming from the heart.

#1: But the sensation labelled ‘heart’ is NOT the AE of heart, but the AE of sensation only.
The mental label ‘heart’ is NOT the AE of heart, but the AE of a mental label only.
The mental image of a heart is NOT the AE of a heart, but AE of a mental image only.
So what is the AE of a heart?
#2: What is the AE of a movement? Can movement as such be actually experienced? Or only sensations can be experienced, and movement is just a conceptual overlay on the sensation?
you’re right. I’ve been looking into this heartbeat thing and it’s true that I’m only finding certain sensations, which my thoughts then associate with ‘heart’ and ‘beat’ etc.
#3: In order to #3 be true, there has to be 2 separate sensations. One sensation for the heart, and another sensation for the movement. If both sensations are found, then we still need to actually experience if one sensation labelled ‘movement’ is coming from the other sensation labelled ‘heart’. But is this so?
Well factually yes, of course, but my actual experience can neither confirm nor negate this.
What is the AE of a skin? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a flesh? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a body? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a hair? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of a ‘physical mass’? Is it a sound, image/color, smell, taste, sensation or thought?
Neither skin, nor flesh, nor body, nor hair can be actually experienced as such, only sensations related to them. And the same applies to the rest of the questions you pose, regarding lungs and nose and breathing and air. Upon contact there is a sensation, which my thoughts associate with a part of the body.
The nose cannot be felt. Only sensations can be felt.
And only thoughts and mental images suggest that this particular sensation is a nose.
But the sensation itself, doesn’t suggest in any way that it’s a nose.
The sensation doesn’t come self-labelled as nose.
The sensation doesn’t know anything about a nose.
The sensation is just is. Doing and suggesting nothing.
Can you see this?
Yes, it’s all correct.

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Vivien
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Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:27 am

Hi Agi,
I want to ask you a question. How can/should I talk to others about the things I'm discovering through this practice? Are there any suggestions what to talk about, what not to talk about? I don't mean the details of the 'course' specifically but talking about no-self. Even among Buddhists I have found that they were reluctant to discuss this somehow, or considered it a 'dangerous' subject, or just stared blankly. I would have thought that this was the most crucial element or at least one of the most crucial elements of any practice moving towards awakening, but now I feel a bit alone with this view. Thank you for any suggestions.
Surprisingly, looking through the self is often a taboo among Buddhist practitioners.

I’ve found that if somebody is not interested in this topic, then it’s better not to talk about this at all. And this could mean that there might not be too many people (if any at all) to talk about this.

However, I have a good news for you. After we finished with our investigation, you will be invited to a FB group where all the members have also seen through the self. So you will have opportunities to talk about this with others.
However, a question that arose, and maybe we’ve discussed it before but I can’t remember, is, why is it a problem if it’s the thoughts that tell me all this added information? Do we have to assume that thoughts are mistaken, or that they have an ‘agenda’? Do we have to assume that only actual experience is reliable? In fact, to me these experiences in a way prove the opposite: actual experience is closer to a total blank than to anything meaningful. So why do we keep seeking it out?
You asked very similar questions before and I answered to this in detail. Please go back to my post on Wed, 15 May (on page 2).

Please read it very carefully, and not just once. Let me know if there are still doubts after reading it a few times.
I think it’s just the thoughts and mental images that suggest that one sensation is ‘within’ the other. Of course factually it is correct, but the sensation itself doesn’t tell me this. However, as above, what does this teach me - that sensations are in themselves insufficient to make sense of anything, no?
If there were a you then looking at AE would teach you that there is NO YOU to be taught. :) Can you see this?
V: #3: In order to #3 be true, there has to be 2 separate sensations. One sensation for the heart, and another sensation for the movement. If both sensations are found, then we still need to actually experience if one sensation labelled ‘movement’ is coming from the other sensation labelled ‘heart’. But is this so?
A: Well factually yes, of course, but my actual experience can neither confirm nor negate this.
AE cannot confirm the above, since all the above just assumed by thoughts.
It’s just a conceptual overlay on the actual experience. Can you see this?

I don’t ask more questions this time, since as long as you cannot trust the immediate experience we cannot go further.

Vivien
"In the seen, there is only the seen. In the heard, there is only the heard. In the sensed, there is only the sensed. You are located neither in this, nor in that, nor in any place between the two." - Buddha
http://fadingveiling.com/


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