deconstruction site

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:21 am

Hi Agi,
I have studied and worked with vedana in my Buddhist practice, so this is not unknown territory to me, though I'm always amazed to discover how in my Buddhist practice I never for a minute looked at (nor was told to look at) where feelings/experiences came from. I.e. I never realized that almost everything going on 'inside me' was thoughts
Yes, I find this surprising too.
When I get a stomach cramp though, that's very hard to not experience as really inherently unpleasant...
But that’s all right. Nature makes it sure that we react appropriately when something dangers the body.

But just because there is an very unpleasant vedana, it doesn’t mean that we have to react to it emotionally.
So we do the appropriate actions to lessen the pain, like taking a painkiller or going to the doctor. The pain is the first arrow that Buddha talked about. And the second arrow would be if we create a suffering out of this. “Why do I have to be in constant pain? I don’t want this! What if I will never get better?”
I have found that the closer I look the harder it is to say that something is pleasant or not actually.
Great.

Now, let’s investigate the notion of awareness or consciousness, or in other words the knower.

When it’s seen that a seer, taster, smeller, feeler, thinker, etc. cannot be found, the identification often goes to the seeming appearance of a self-existent, self-aware awareness, which is the knower of everything that appears.

So the identification with the body and the senses (feeler, hearer, thinker, etc) is replaced with a subtle form of identification, “I am that which is aware”…. So there is still some sort of separate entity which is aware and holds and knows all experience (object). And the identification with awareness is an excellent hiding place for the separate self.

Does this belief has come up for you “I = awareness”?
Or the belief that there is a stand-alone independent awareness / consciousness that is aware of what is going on?


I don’t know if you have this assumption that “ I = awareness” or the existence of an independent awareness, but nevertheless, let’s investigate this.

In English, awareness is a noun, not a verb. Nouns imply agencies, or entities.
But can such thing be found as an independently existing awareness?

Stop for a moment now and take a thought. Be aware of the presence of the thought.
Can a thought be separated from the knowing or awareness of it?
Try your best to separate the two from each other. What happens?


Is there a dividing line between the thought and the knowing or awareness of it?
Can you find the line where the thought ends and the knowing of it starts?

Can you find a thought without the knowing of it?
Can you find knower or awareness without any object (like thought, sensation, sight, sound, taste, smell)?

Repeat this exercise many times during the day. Experiment not just only with thoughts, but also with mental images, sounds, taste, etc. Let me know how it went.

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/

User avatar
Agi
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:42 pm

Dear Vivien

Interesting looking today! And also I have spoken to a friend who has also done LU and that was very good.
So the identification with the body and the senses (feeler, hearer, thinker, etc.) is replaced with a subtle form of identification, “I am that which is aware”…. So there is still some sort of separate entity which is aware and holds and knows all experience (object). And the identification with awareness is an excellent hiding place for the separate self. Has this belief come up for you? “I = awareness”? Or the belief that there is a stand-alone independent awareness / consciousness that is aware of what is going on?
No. To me the early exercises about looking for a ‘me’ or an independent subject proved so clearly that such a thing didn’t exist that since then I have taken this as self-evident.
In English, awareness is a noun, not a verb. Nouns imply agencies, or entities. But can such thing be found as an independently existing awareness? Stop for a moment now and take a thought. Be aware of the presence of the thought. Can a thought be separated from the knowing or awareness of it? Try your best to separate the two from each other. What happens? Is there a dividing line between the thought and the knowing or awareness of it? Can you find the line where the thought ends and the knowing of it starts?
No separation is possible. The thought is the awareness. There is no awareness other than the thought. I could say that the thought is aware of itself, if that makes sense, but I can’t find ‘someone else’ behind the thought being aware of it.
Can you find a thought without the knowing of it?
This is trickier. If I go out looking for thoughts, it’s not possible to find one without the knowing of it. However, in hindsight it is often the case that I notice (or rather, awareness arises) that thoughts have been coming and going without much awareness being present. I like to call it peripheral awareness, so it's not an unconscious state but it’s also not the same as full attention, when the thought is aware of its own presence. It’s like for instance paying attention to one thing while a hundred other things are vaguely there in the background - perceptions, sensations etc. And sometimes I don't pay attention to anything in particular, not even thoughts, and then there are still thoughts but not clear/real awareness.
Can you find a knower or awareness without any object (like thought, sensation, sight, sound, taste, smell)?
No! This was really interesting because in meditation I used to seek this ‘pure awareness’, which is not tainted by thoughts or anything else. But now I have seen that there is no such thing. It is always the awareness of something.
Repeat this exercise many times during the day. Experiment not just with thoughts, but also with mental images, sounds, taste, etc. Let me know how it went.
I have tried to do this today as often as I could remember. It went quite OK. Any form of proper awareness seems inseparable from an object. Even not proper awareness (peripheral awareness) is always present only in relation to objects.
In moments when there is no awareness of anything, there is this sense of blank, or emptiness, but even that turns out to be a thought saying ‘this feels empty’.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:12 am

Hi Agi,
To me the early exercises about looking for a ‘me’ or an independent subject proved so clearly that such a thing didn’t exist that since then I have taken this as self-evident.
Great.
In moments when there is no awareness of anything, there is this sense of blank, or emptiness, but even that turns out to be a thought saying ‘this feels empty’.
If there is a sense of black then there is already the awareness of black-ness, isn’t it?
If there is a sense of emptiness, there is already the knowing of emptiness, isn’t it?

Can there be an experience of no awareness of anything?

Pay attention to whatever is happening right now. There could be sounds, sensations, thoughts, smells, tastes, sights, mental images, etc.

Now, try to remove them one-by-one, until only pure awareness remains.

If there is such thing as awareness, then it can be experienced directly without any object of experience.
Nothing else, just pure knowing, pure aware-ing. No sound, no thought, no sensation, no sight, nothing, just knowing.

What is left of awareness if all the objects (sight, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought) are removed?

In order to stay that there is a stand-alone, independently existent awareness, then that awareness has to exists without any appearance…. So that awareness has to be there, even when there is no thought, sensation, smell, image, sound, taste, no experience at all is present.

So can a stand-alone, independent awareness being aware itself only, if there is no experience at all?
If yes, what would that be like? – even answering this question, requires lots of fantasy…

Have you ever had the experience of ‘awareness being aware of itself’ without any object (no experience at all)?


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/

User avatar
Agi
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:43 pm

Dear Vivien
If there is a sense of blank then there is already the awareness of blankness, isn’t it? If there is a sense of emptiness, there is already the knowing of emptiness, isn’t it?
Yes. This is what I meant by saying that I noticed that there was a thought about being aware.
Can there be an experience of no awareness of anything? Pay attention to whatever is happening right now. There could be sounds, sensations, thoughts, smells, tastes, sights, mental images, etc. Now, try to remove them one-by-one, until only pure awareness remains. If there is such thing as awareness, then it can be experienced directly without any object of experience. Nothing else, just pure knowing, pure aware-ing. No sound, no thought, no sensation, no sight, nothing, just knowing. What is left of awareness if all the objects (sight, sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought) are removed?
No. I have found that there is no such thing as awareness without an object. No pure awareness in my experience. It is always awareness of something. It is present when there is some contact, some perception, some sensation.
In order to say that there is a stand-alone, independently existent awareness, then that awareness has to exist without any appearance…. So that awareness has to be there, even when there is no thought, sensation, smell, image, sound, taste, no experience at all is present. So can a stand-alone, independent awareness being aware itself only, if there is no experience at all? If yes, what would that be like? – even answering this question, requires lots of fantasy…
No such awareness can be found in my experience.
Have you ever had the experience of ‘awareness being aware of itself’ without any object (no experience at all)?
Not this time round, practising with you. But my approach is so different now to my approach in the past. As if in the past my looking had been only two-dimensional, whereas now it's three-dimensional.
In the past I have had experiences which I thought were such moments of pure awareness, 'awareness being aware of itself', but in hindsight I can't say what was really going on then. On the basis of my present experience I would say that I wasn't aware back then of everything that was going on.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:45 am

Hi Agi,
Not this time round, practising with you. But my approach is so different now to my approach in the past. As if in the past my looking had been only two-dimensional, whereas now it's three-dimensional.
In the past I have had experiences which I thought were such moments of pure awareness, 'awareness being aware of itself', but in hindsight I can't say what was really going on then. On the basis of my present experience I would say that I wasn't aware back then of everything that was going on.
Good. Now let’s start to investigate the notion of time. We start with memory.

What is memory exactly? – please don’t go to thought explanation, but just let a memory be there, and look at it…
What is the memory ‘made of’?
WHEN does the memory appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?

Then, look at a thought about the future.
What is the future thought ‘made of’?
WHEN does the future thought appear?
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought?
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?


Then let’s compare a thought about past and a thought about the future.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future?
If there is difference, how that difference is known exactly?


Please spend lot of time with EACH question… Look very carefully… Look at what actually going on and not what thoughts say… but what actually is.

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/

User avatar
Agi
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:42 pm

Hi Vivien
What is memory exactly? What is the memory ‘made of’?
In the memories that I've looked at, it was mostly images. Visual images from the 'past'. I guess we can also consider the music playing inside my head 'memories'. So sounds too.
WHEN does the memory appear?
I'm not sure I understand the question, but it appears here and now, in the present.

What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘memory’ thought?
This is very hard to tell. I don't actually see many 'general' thoughts. THey tend to be mostly either about the past or about the future. One exception: 'general thoughts' include verbal commentary on what's happening now. Judgements, evaluations, that sort of thing.
How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘memory’ thought refers to something that has happened?
This I found really hard. Because the only thing I could find was that they were all images I recognized. But there was no moment of recognition or identification, no moment when I'd say 'Ah this is an image from the past, this is a memory'. So I don't know that these things actually happened, except they look familiar.
Then, look at a thought about the future. What is the future thought ‘made of’?
Also mostly images, and some verbal thoughts, e.g. 'I'm going to make porridge for breakfast'
WHEN does the future thought appear?
Also in the here and now.
What is the exact difference between a ‘general’ thought and a ‘future’ thought? How is it known EXACTLY that a ‘future’ thought refers to something that will happen?
With verbal thoughts, it's obvious, as there are words such as 'I'm going to' etc. I don't know with images. I have tried to look for another thought which accompanies the images and which says 'this will be in the future' but I couldn't find such thoughts, so perhaps they are there but not readily visible.
Then let’s compare a thought about past and a thought about the future.
What is the EXACT difference between the thoughts about past and future?
If there is difference, how that difference is known exactly?
To me this was the most interesting part. I have found that mostly the same images that appear in 'past memories' are being used for future thoughts too. There was a LOT of overlap. I can't put my finger on how it is known that some thoughts are about the future and some about the past, since they equally seem to be based on familiar images. In a sense it seems that they are just thoughts, without any temporal content.

Not sure if any of this makes sense, but tomorrow when I'm offline I'll come back to these questions and do more looking.
Have a good weekend,
Agi

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:53 am

Hi Agi,
I have found that mostly the same images that appear in 'past memories' are being used for future thoughts too. There was a LOT of overlap. I can't put my finger on how it is known that some thoughts are about the future and some about the past, since they equally seem to be based on familiar images. In a sense it seems that they are just thoughts, without any temporal content.
Yes. So actually, there is no difference between past, present or future thoughts (or images) since all appear now. In AE there is no difference between them, since all of the only the AE of thoughts.
And only other thoughts comment and says that this or that is a memory or it’s a fantasy about the future.
Is this clear?

Let’s investigate what time really is.

What is time?
How time is experienced?
What is past and future?
How past or future is experienced?
Does past or future ‘exists’ other than content of thoughts?
Is there a proof that you had dinner last night?
Is there any experiential proof whatsoever that the past has ever happened?


The general assumption that there is a linear time that started somewhere very far in the past and advances to the distant future. The present moment (now) is considered to be a very small fragment of time or an event that is moving forward on this linear time, coming from the past and advancing to the future.

But what is the experience of the now moving along the line of time?
How fast the present moment is actually moving?
How long does the now last?
Where does it start and where does it end?
When does the now exactly become the past?
What is the past in the actual experience?
How is it known that the now is moving? Or that it lasts?
How is it known exactly that there is such thing as 'now'?
What is the actual experience of 'now' or 'the present moment'?


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/

User avatar
Agi
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:00 am

Dear Vivien
So actually, there is no difference between past, present or future thoughts (or images) since all appear now. In AE there is no difference between them, since all of the only the AE of thoughts. And only other thoughts comment and says that this or that is a memory or it’s a fantasy about the future. Is this clear?
Yes. Yesterday I spent more time looking and saw this with more clarity in my own experience.
Let’s investigate what time really is. What is time? How is time experienced?
It is experienced only conceptually. It doesn’t seem to exist in any tangible sense.
What is past and future? How is the past or future experienced?


I associate things that were with the past. Many of these things are no longer around - e.g. people who have died - and this is all in the past. The future is purely conceptual.
Do the past or future ‘exist’ other than content of thoughts?
No they don’t.
Is there a proof that you had dinner last night? Is there any experiential proof whatsoever that the past has ever happened?
No. Only the here and now is experientially certain.
The general assumption is that there is a linear time that started somewhere very far in the past and advances to the distant future. The present moment (now) is considered to be a very small fragment of time or an event that is moving forward on this linear time, coming from the past and advancing to the future.

But what is the experience of the now moving along the line of time?
I don’t have the experience of ‘now’ moving along. Rather, it seems a static point, however there are so many ‘nows’ in very fast succession that ultimately this too doesn’t make sense.
How fast is the present moment is actually moving? How long does the now last? Where does it start and where does it end? When does the now exactly become the past?
It isn’t moving. It has no expanse in time. No start or end. The ‘now’ can’t be found.
In fact it seems that each moment can be past, present, and future at the same time. But none of this is experienced directly. It’s a product of thinking.
What is the past in the actual experience?
There is no past in AE.
How is it known that the now is moving? Or that it lasts? How is it known exactly that there is such thing as 'now'? What is the actual experience of 'now' or 'the present moment'?
There is no AE of any of this. Only conceptually can we relate to these ideas.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:27 am

Hi Agi,
In fact it seems that each moment can be past, present, and future at the same time. But none of this is experienced directly. It’s a product of thinking.
Yes, this is just a thought explanation not AE.
There is no AE of any of this. Only conceptually can we relate to these ideas.
Yes. So not just past or future are concepts, but now is also a concept an idea only.

Here are some questions to see if is there anything that is not completely clear. Please answer what's true for you right now, rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer.

Has it been seen that there has never been an ‘I’ that could control or own life or anything?

Is there any chooser or decider of any kind?
Is there an ‘experiencer’?
Is there a ‘thinker’?

Is there a ‘doer’ of any kind which performs activities and movements?

Is there an 'I' of any kind whatsoever that could be responsible for anything at all?
Do others have responsibilities?

Is there a self that is inside the body, perceiving a world that is outside?

Is there a 'you' that started this investigation?
Has there ever been a 'you' doing anything?

Any confusion at all or anything you would like to address?


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/

User avatar
Agi
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:56 pm

Dear Vivien

Here are my replies to your questions.
Has it been seen that there has never been an ‘I’ that could control or own life or anything?
Yes!
Is there any chooser or decider of any kind? Is there an ‘experiencer’? Is there a ‘thinker’?
No chooser, no thinker, no experiencer.
Is there a ‘doer’ of any kind which performs activities and movements?
None.
Is there an 'I' of any kind whatsoever that could be responsible for anything at all?
Do others have responsibilities?
Hmm... Never looked at it this way, from the angle of responsibility. While I can easily say that there is no such thing as an 'I' that can be seen as responsible, it's not so simple to apply this to others. You have given me a very interesting new insight with this.
Is there a self that is inside the body, perceiving a world that is outside?
No.
Is there a 'you' that started this investigation? Has there ever been a 'you' doing anything?
If I wanted to be witty, I'd reply that there was a "me" that started this conversation, but there isn't a "me" finishing it :-)
There's never been a 'me' doing anything, no.
Any confusion at all or anything you would like to address?
Well, I think everything is clear and these insights have really changed my way of seeing things. However, I'm still finding it difficult to apply these experiences in daily situations. I do try, but in a way I feel overwhelmed now, there are so many aspects of experience I could be looking at. There's the sense of me inside, which of course habitually still comes to the fore. Or the relationship between sensations and a sense of a self. Or the decisions and choices. Basically all the areas we've covered. How does one keep practising the looking in all these areas? How do you do it? Or maybe you've reached a point where no looking is needed any more, there's just seeing?
Thank you very much Vivien!

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:20 am

Hi Agi,
Hmm... Never looked at it this way, from the angle of responsibility. While I can easily say that there is no such thing as an 'I' that can be seen as responsible, it's not so simple to apply this to others. You have given me a very interesting new insight with this.
Is there an ‘I’ or a self in other bodies?
If not, how could they have free will or responsibility?
However, I'm still finding it difficult to apply these experiences in daily situations. I do try, but in a way I feel overwhelmed now, there are so many aspects of experience I could be looking at. There's the sense of me inside, which of course habitually still comes to the fore. Or the relationship between sensations and a sense of a self. Or the decisions and choices. Basically all the areas we've covered. How does one keep practising the looking in all these areas?
You can look any of these which seems to be more relevant in a certain situation. But you can also choose to focus on the sense of me inside any time when it appears. You can make it a habit.
First localize where this sense of me appears inside the body.
Your job is to stalk and trap this Agi in a net of attention.

Let's go straight for the most obvious example of Agi inside.
Where does Agi feel most prevalent?

It will come and go, and there are times when Agi really shows up let’s say behind the eyes, inside the head.
When it does, fix in with precision to that place Agi occupies.
Hold it for a short while in this net of attention.
Look and see, is this Agi-behind-the-eyes-in-the-head anything but sensation?

Look precisely where Agi feels to be, the sensation behind the eyes, maybe not right at the back of the skull, but closer in? Somewhere around the centre, but towards the eyes perhaps? Feel into that space, the sensations there, and just spend a couple of minutes feeling those sensations as sensations. Nothing more, nothing less. Just what they are - sensations.

Treat thoughts as just voices-off. Ignore them. Focus on the sensations, the one's that feel most Agi-like.

See them as sensations - only. Like a sensation in the foot, or stomach, or hand, or head. Sensations. Radically ordinary. Bereft of meaning.

The task is to see what is there for what it is.
To give things their true name.
A sensation in the head is a sensation.

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/

User avatar
Agi
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:45 am

Thank you Vivien. Yes I was actually doing this looking to find the 'me' in my morning meditation today. And of course as soon as I zoom in on that area where the 'I' seems to reside, it turns out not to be there. Only sensations, as you say.
There are two areas where 'Agi' feels most prevalent. In the head, behind the eyes, as you suggest, or in the chest area. On closer looking, in both places the sense of me evaporates and I am left with only sensations.
Is there an ‘I’ or a self in other bodies? If not, how could they have free will or responsibility?
No, there is no self in other bodies either. It will just be an interesting new angle to my approach to other people.

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:00 am

Hi Agi,

Please answer the following questions with some detail please, and answer what's true for you rather than any sort of 'ideal' answer. Also please provide examples where asked.

1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?

2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience.
Describe it fully as you see it now.

3) How does it feel to see this?
What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?

5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.

b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.

6) Anything to add?


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/

User avatar
Agi
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 12:36 pm

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Agi » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:00 pm

Hi Vivien
1) Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form?
Was there ever?


No there isn't and there never was one.
2) Explain in detail what the illusion of separate self is, when it starts and how it works from your own experience. Describe it fully as you see it now.

My experience is that the sense of a separate self is the default, habitual attitude that always functions when I'm not looking, when I'm not fully aware. It is the assumption, taken for granted, that there is a separate, self-contained me that can be clearly delineated. It develops over a lifetime of learning, whereby I have learned to identify thoughts and sensations and a physical form with a central entity or figure called 'I'. This sense of 'I' is basically nothing else but thoughts that constantly reinforce the assumption that the 'I' is in control, that the 'I' is the decision-maker, the experiencer of things and the processor of experiences and that it holds it all together. With looking at direct experience, all this turns out to be a false assumption, an illusion, as no self can be found anywhere, in any of my actual experience.
3) How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.

The insights that I have gained along the way very quickly became knowledge, reality, facts, in a cognitive sense. Now it's a no-brainer to me that the body and the feelings and the intentions / decisions etc, even what I call consciousness, are not aspects of a coherent and separate self. To begin with, this felt odd, uncomfortable, there was a degree of resistance and lots of questioning. Now it feels natural, it even feels delightful and liberating. During the day as often as I can remember I do small reminder practices in my various activities. It will take a while for all this to become ‘second nature’, but I am seeing the changes.
4) What was the last bit that pushed you over; made you look?
There were several, of course, but the last bit that really made me look was when we discussed memories, and it made me realize that ideas of past and future are just concepts. That we cannot experience time in any real sense.
5) a) Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how things happen and how things work.
All these things - decision, intention, choice etc - are only thoughts and concepts. It is the thoughts that arise that express intentions, they arise by themselves without anyone controlling them; and very often the thoughts are commentaries on what is already happening anyway. So for example the body gets out of bed automatically as it were, and the thoughts follow this with the commentary, ‘now we’re getting up’. Decisions and choices are not real in a real sense. Actions are performed and choices are made but there is no ‘I’ who is actually deciding or choosing. This also means that free will doesn’t exist in actual experience. There is no one who has that free will. All the decisions and choices are ultimately reactions on the basis of previously accumulated experiences and conditioning. For instance, I come home, lock the door and take the key out of the lock. None of these actions were performed following choices and decisions. These are automatic actions carried out by the body and on a good day they are surrounded by some degree of awareness. But this awareness is not creating these actions, but rather taking notice of them. The awareness itself is also not a thing - it is just a thought or several thoughts taking note of actions that are happening anyway.
b) What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
It seems that there is no one to be called responsible. There are thoughts about responses, e.g. ‘I don’t like this’, and there are thoughts about intentions: ‘I really want to go there’, and there are actions, which sometimes reflect these thoughts and sometimes not. But there is no individual self that holds all these together.
Some examples: I get angry and irritated when the computer is misbehaving. I don’t choose to start swearing at the computer, it just happens. It often feels like I’ve fallen victim to these spontaneous reactions. A more positive example, if I see that the sun has come out, I can’t but feel happy. Again, beyond my choice, it just happens, I’m not responsible for those happy feelings. No one is deciding to get angry, no one is choosing to get happy. In fact , there is no one who is angry and no one who is happy. There are just angry and happy thoughts and sensations that are associated with them.
So, on an experiential level, reactions take place without anyone generating them. In this sense, there is no responsibility.
I want to add, however, that I don’t for a minute believe that this means that people can’t be held responsible for their actions in the ‘normal’ world out there.
6) Anything to add?
Nothing to add, except a huge thank you to you!

User avatar
Vivien
Posts: 2745
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:07 am
Location: Australia

Re: deconstruction site

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:50 pm

Hi Agi,
Nothing to add, except a huge thank you to you!
You are very welcome :)
I have a few more questions for you.
when I'm not looking, when I'm not fully aware.
What is it that is not looking?
What is it that could be fully aware or not?
whereby I have learned to identify thoughts and sensations and a physical form with a central entity or figure called 'I'.
“I have learned to identify thoughts and sensations…” – what is it that has learned to identify?
During the day as often as I can remember I do small reminder practices in my various activities.
What is it that remembers to do small reminder practices?
What is it that is doing the small reminder practices?


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/


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests