the self refusing to evaporate.
What self is refusing to evaporate?
This was intended as metaphor. The illusion keeps reasserting itself even when it has been seen through. When shown how a simple magician's card trick works, you can't help but see the trick every time it is performed. But with the Necker Cube to which I referred in an earlier post, you can't help seeing a 3D wire-frame cube whenever you look at the 2D network of lines on paper. You know it's an illusion, but it "keeps reasserting itself", or "it refuses to evaporate". The illusion of self is more like the latter example than the former. Of course there is no wire-frame cube that is "refusing to evaporate", any more than there is a self refusing to evaporate. However, I do appreciate that the use of such metaphors might lend support to the illusion and perhaps should be avoided.
Now I recognize this as just another manifestation of the self fighting for its continued existence.
What self is fighting for its continued existence?
Again this is metaphor. Thought-content continues to be influenced by the thought of self even when this thought is known to be an illusion, like an unconscious habit that is difficult to break.
How do you FEEL now from when he first started the thread?
A little lighter or more 'open' if that makes any sense. Not in any huge way, but rather as if I'd gotten bogged down and now the brakes are off again. I know that I'm still referring to a something
that "got waylaid", but the illusion persists.
This seems like a struggle to get on top of the arising of thought-content, but the idea of a 'struggler' is just more thought-content... the self re-asserting itself once again
What self exactly is trying to reassert itself?
Again this is metaphor. Knowing that the Necker Cube is 2D doesn't stop the 3D illusion forcing itself into consciousness, even though there is no 3D cube to "do" any forcing. I should avoid metaphors.
But there is a radically different perspective in which the incessant chatter of thought-content has given way to pure experience.
What do you mean by ‘incessant chatter of thoughts-content has given way to pure experience’? – please describe this with simple language, as if you were trying to explain this to an 8-year old.
Thoughts flow, one leads to another and then to another, sometimes with a continued theme and sometimes with a complete disconnect, but it seems they go on without a break. Thought-content dominates, telling stories, making up conversations, creating explanations, making plans, re-living past experiences with regret or with pride, etc. Thought-content drowns out AE, like endless flotsam and jetsam on the surface of a stream can distract from seeing the undercurrent that is carrying it.
You didn’t prove examples to the followings. Could you please do so?
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.
I'm not sure how to interpret this request. All of these are aspects of thought-content, and when asked to describe them I would have to take my descriptions from thought-content. But that would be quite mundane. A decision is a judgement 'I' make at some branch-point where activity could lead to different future outcomes (I decided to get out of bed early this morning because I had a lot to pack into the morning). Free-will is the belief that 'I' am the cause of those decisions. Choice is the multiplicity of possible actions from which 'I' eventually draw the actual
action (I could have stayed in bed a little longer). Control is 'my' ability to influence the behaviour of something else (I caused the boiling of the kettle because I filled it with water, I that turned on the cooker ring, and I placed the kettle on the cooker ring). What makes things happen? 'I' make things happen... as the wielder of free-will, 'I' am a causal influence on the activity of my body. How does it work? 'I' make a decision, of my own
free-will, 'I' select from amongst the choices laid out before 'me', and 'I' control my body
to act accordingly. BUT THIS IS ALL THE SAME OLD STORY PLAYING OUT IN THE SAME OLD WAY. All of this activity still goes on when it can be seen that there is no 'I', no 'me', no 'my', but it can be seen that the role of this 'I' in the running commentary is redundant. Intention, free-will, choice, control, all part of this illusion of 'me'. Life goes on with or without these accompaniments. The thought 'I' still arises, e.g. when driving, and it is interesting to see this happen, to watch the illusion in operation. 'I' can't stop the illusion because I AM THE ILLUSION
, but this condition can be recognized as it proceeds.
What are you responsible for? Give examples from your own recent experiences to how this works.
In thought-content, in the story
, I am responsible for my decisions... whether I choose to exceed the speed limit and put other road-users at risk as well as my driver's license; to have another portion of apple pie and put my health at risk; to get into a fight about some trivial issue and put my friendship at risk: but this is all the same old story playing out the same old way.