Grateful for a Guide

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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:10 am

“I do not think, there is just an observance of thought.” – What does the word ‘I’ refer to in this sentence? What is it exactly that is observing thoughts?
That is a good question. The mind goes blank and there is nothing! If "I" is a thought, then who is observing. Consciousness? Awareness? "I" don't know!
“I am not the thinker and no one else is thinking for "me"”- What does the word ‘I’ point to in this sentence?
Same as above.I have no idea. Is there anyway to actually know? I don't think so. If we were to remove thought--which is a figment of the imagination, and which makes "us" believe we understand what is happening here--how could we possibly know? If we take away thought then we are just pure matter, or energy, or whatever we are! Whatever we are can't be known.
What can a thought do?
In reality, thought cannot "do" anything except appear and disappear. It's like smoke. It just is. If the question is turned on it's head, thought can make "me" believe that "I" am a self and that "I" am separate, and that "I" am doing things, but that's not what is really happening. Thought just gives "us" the illusion that we know something that can't possibly be known.
Does a thought have volition?
Thought does not have volition.
Can it manipulate other thoughts or think new thoughts?
No.
Or is it just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that "one thought follows another thought"?
Thought cannot think. Thought is not the thinker. Yes, thoughts would have "us" believe that there is a sequence but it's just labels and interpretation.
What does generate thoughts?
Mind? Consciousness? Awareness? "I" don't know!
What do the thoughts belong to? What owns them?
Thoughts don't belong to anything. No "thing" owns them. How can smoke or wind or air belong to anything? They just are.
Is “I” a place where thoughts appear, or is “I” a thought that arises and subsides by itself?
"I" is definitely a thought that comes and goes like all thoughts.

Molly

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Vivien
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Vivien » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:58 am

Hi Molly,
If we take away thought then we are just pure matter, or energy, or whatever we are!
What is the AE of pure matter? Is it a sound, image/color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of energy?
V: What does generate thoughts?
M: Mind? Consciousness? Awareness? "I" don't know!
How ‘mind’ is experienced?
How is consciousness generating thoughts experienced?
How is awareness generating thoughts experienced?


Let’s start to investigate the difference between the appearance of a thought, and what thought is about.
If you were in a desert, dying of thirst, could you quench your thirst just by thinking about water (thoughts), or would you need to drink ‘real’ water?

Let’s say I’m with you in the desert and offer you two options:
(1) In my left hand there is a piece of paper with the word ‘water’ written on it, and
(2) in my right hand there is a bottle of water.

Which one would you choose to quench your thirst, the label or the water?
So, can the label ‘water’, which is actual/direct experience (AE) of thought only, quench your thirst?


Labels are ‘real’ as appearing thoughts (as ‘containers’) but their ‘contents’, what the labels/thoughts are ABOUT are not ‘real’, not happening. Is this totally clear?

Thoughts can be looked at in 2 different ways:

- seeing the CONTENT of a thought, what is a thought ABOUT
- and only seeing the thought itself (as phenomenon taking place), as a ‘CONTAINER’

When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored, is what we call the actual experience of a thought. Do you see the difference?

Thoughts as arising thoughts (the containers) are ‘real’, but their contents (what they are ABOUT) are not. Like when you think about E.T. There is an arising thought, it cannot be denied, but its content “E.T.” is not real. Sometimes thoughts point to something tangible, like chair, however a thought about a chair is not a chair. A thought about a chair is just a mental concept with an arising mental image of a ‘chair’ but that image is not ‘real’. However, as an arising image is there, it is ‘real’, but not its content (what it’s about).

Certain sensations can be felt in the body that is labelled such and such emotion, like ‘cheerful’. However, ‘cheerful’ is just a mental label on the felt sensation. So the felt sensation is ‘real’, the arising mental label, simply as arising label is ‘real’, but its content ‘cheerful’ is just an idea. 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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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:08 pm

What is the AE of pure matter? Is it a sound, image/color, taste, smell, sensation or thought?
What is the AE of energy?
The labels "pure matter" and "energy" were used interchangeably in this statement (not necessarily correctly). The AE would be the experience of being in a body and all that encompasses: sound, image/color, taste, smell, sensation and thought.
How ‘mind’ is experienced?
Mind is experienced as thought.
How is consciousness generating thoughts experienced?
How is awareness generating thoughts experienced?
The labels "consciousness" and "awareness" were used interchangeably in this statement (not necessarily correctly). My mind is still blank on how thoughts are generated. "I" am unable to know how thoughts come to be. It feels like asking me to have eyes in the back of my head or being asked to see through a solid wall and know what is on the other side.
Let’s say I’m with you in the desert and offer you two options:
(1) In my left hand there is a piece of paper with the word ‘water’ written on it, and
(2) in my right hand there is a bottle of water.
Which one would you choose to quench your thirst, the label or the water?
So, can the label ‘water’, which is actual/direct experience (AE) of thought only, quench your thirst?
The label on the piece of paper you offer has no use in quenching my thirst, so I would choose the bottle of water.
Labels are ‘real’ as appearing thoughts (as ‘containers’) but their ‘contents’, what the labels/thoughts are ABOUT are not ‘real’, not happening. Is this totally clear?
Clear as day!
When a thought is seen only as a container, and the content of a thought (what it’s about) is being ignored, is what we call the actual experience of a thought. Do you see the difference?
Yes, absolutely, thank you for the distinction and clarification.
Certain sensations can be felt in the body that is labelled such and such emotion, like ‘cheerful’. However, ‘cheerful’ is just a mental label on the felt sensation. So the felt sensation is ‘real’, the arising mental label, simply as arising label is ‘real’, but its content ‘cheerful’ is just an idea. Can you see this?
Yes, clearly.

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Vivien
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

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

Hi Molly,
The labels "pure matter" and "energy" were used interchangeably in this statement (not necessarily correctly). The AE would be the experience of being in a body and all that encompasses: sound, image/color, taste, smell, sensation and thought.
“The AE would be the experience of being in a body” – there is NO AE of being in the body. This is just a thought story, the content of a thought taken to be real.

There is ZERO AE of ‘pure matter’ or ‘energy’.
‘Pure matter’ or ‘energy’ is just a conceptual overlay on AE.
Can you see this?


Actual experience (AE) is: sounds, smells, taste, colour/image, sensation, and seeing the appearance of a thought (the face value of thought). But what the thought about is not AE. Thought, in and of itself, does not contain any experience whatsoever. If it did, you would be able to taste the word ‘sweet’, feel the word ‘hot’.
Mind is experienced as thought.
This again is just a thought speculation. This assumes that there is some mysterious place or entity called ‘mind’ from or in thoughts appear. This is just an assumption. We cannot get anywhere with assumptions. We need experiential proofs.

How do you know exactly that mind is experienced as thought?
Have you ever experienced a mind as such?
The labels "consciousness" and "awareness" were used interchangeably in this statement (not necessarily correctly). My mind is still blank on how thoughts are generated. "I" am unable to know how thoughts come to be. It feels like asking me to have eyes in the back of my head or being asked to see through a solid wall and know what is on the other side.
Saying that consciousness or awareness generates thoughts are just another thought speculation, and not AE.

When I ask you a question, I never ask you to think about it and give an intellectual explanation, rather I ask you to see what can be known when all thoughts are ignored. Can you see the difference?

There is nothing generating thoughts.
Thoughts appear and disappear on their own, nothing is making them come and go.
There is nothing behind the scenes generating thoughts. 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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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:12 am

There is nothing generating thoughts.
Thoughts appear and disappear on their own, nothing is making them come and go.
There is nothing behind the scenes generating thoughts. Can you see this?
Yes. I agree completely.

It feels as though things have gotten off track here. I have said the same in previous posts. I do not believe anything is generating thoughts. So when you asked again, I believed perhaps you were Guiding me to a different type of answer that I wasnt seeing in my AE.

I have to back and read all the other questions you posed...

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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:20 am

There is ZERO AE of ‘pure matter’ or ‘energy’.
‘Pure matter’ or ‘energy’ is just a conceptual overlay on AE.
Can you see this?
How do you know exactly that mind is experienced as thought?
Have you ever experienced a mind as such?
This is where things got off track. I misunderstood what you we're asking me. Disregard my responses to these... I will proceed with answering from my AE, repeating my answers if appropriate.

Thanks,
Molly

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Vivien
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Vivien » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:29 am

Hi Molly,
This is where things got off track. I misunderstood what you we're asking me. Disregard my responses to these... I will proceed with answering from my AE, repeating my answers if appropriate.
Could you please answer these questions, regardless. I have to see for myself that you can see this clearly. Please never leave out any of my questions. Otherwise, I cannot know what you can clearly see and what not.

There is ZERO AE of ‘pure matter’ or ‘energy’.
‘Pure matter’ or ‘energy’ is just a conceptual overlay on AE.
Can you see this?


How do you know exactly that mind is experienced as thought?
Have you ever experienced a mind as such?


Here are some statements based on our investigation so far. Please read them careful, and see if you are clear on them. If any of them are not totally clear, please let me know.

- In actual experience thoughts don’t come and go from anywhere. They just there when they are there. And when they are not there anymore, then they are just simply not there.
- The supposed ‘me’ has no power over thoughts. None.
- Thoughts just appear on their own, without anyone or anything doing it.
- There is nothing that is thinking thoughts. Thinking happens, or rather say thoughts appear but without a thinker. There is no thinker of thoughts.
- Thoughts have no power whatsoever. They cannot think or do anything.
- Thoughts have no volition. There might be thoughts about intentions, but not the thoughts themselves intending or wanting it. They just ‘talk’ about wanting or intending.
- In actual experience there is not even a mind. There might be thoughts about a ‘mind’, but ‘mind’ as such cannot be found.

Look at each statement carefully. Is there anything in the above text that is not totally clear?

Here is an exercise.
Get a sheet of paper and draw a line that divides that sheet in half. Label one half 'self' and the other side 'other'. Sit down and start a timer for 5 minutes. Every time you have a thought make a mark on the sheet. If that thought is about the self, put a mark on the self side, if it’s about something else, write down the thought itself (not just a mark). If a thought about food occurs due to feeling hungry, mark that on the self side. Any thought that refers back to a self should go on the self side. (I'm bored, I'm tired, is the door locked (my safety) that video was funny (I was amused), my back hurts, I am frightened, I wonder what is my daughter doing in school (‘my’ daughter), etc.

Let me know how you go and what you notice. Also please share with me what was written under others.
Then investigate the thoughts what was written under others. Are those thoughts really about others?


During the day, try to observe as many thoughts as you can. Particularly try to pay attention to narrating thoughts. Thoughts that are constantly narrating and judging what’s going on from the perspective of ‘me’.

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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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:56 am

There is ZERO AE of ‘pure matter’ or ‘energy’.‘Pure matter’ or ‘energy’ is just a conceptual overlay on AE. Can you see this?
Yes I see this.
How do you know exactly that mind is experienced as thought?
I don't.
Have you ever experienced a mind as such?
No.
Look at each statement carefully. Is there anything in the above text that is not totally clear?
Each of these statements is perfectly clear to me as written.
Let me know how you go and what you notice. Also please share with me what was written under others.
Then investigate the thoughts what was written under others. Are those thoughts really about others?
My observation about this exercise was that upon inspection, all the thoughts in the "other" column could be brought back to being about "me". For instance: "the party was fun", could be "I had fun at the party."
The other thing I noticed was that my thoughts were not fully formed thoughts as complete ideas. In fact, most seemed to be just random words. It's possible that there were full thoughts but I could not "hear" them. Many of the words and thoughts were blurry, and hard to describe as a thought. They were more just activity and sounds being experienced.

As I go through the day tomorrow, I will do my best to watch thoughts for narration and judgements.

Molly

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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:26 am

During the day, try to observe as many thoughts as you can. Particularly try to pay attention to narrating thoughts. Thoughts that are constantly narrating and judging what’s going on from the perspective of ‘me’.

Let me know what you find.
Hi Vivien,

Been observing thoughts since last evening. The main focus was the narrative/judgmental thoughts.

Surprisingly, I have not noticed any judgemental thoughts since last night. Perhaps you could define judgmental for me? I was thinking of it like a negative, critical disapproval of someone oe something?

Aside from the daily living thoughts "make tea", "brush teeth", what seemed to consume my thoughts were one-sided "conversations". It is as though "I" have to practice what I will say. For instance... I purchased something that needed to be returned becuase it was made incorrectly. Prior to calling the company I noticed there was a feeing of anxiety about getting the problem settled to my liking. So before the call, over and over thoughts were practicing of "my" side of the conversation. Each time the same or maybe a little different. This happened many times with a number of scenarios. It amused me to observe it. It happened without any effort, like reading a script.

Being aware of no thinker, makes the constant thoughts even more striking. the quantity!

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Vivien
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:12 am

Hi Molly,
My observation about this exercise was that upon inspection, all the thoughts in the "other" column could be brought back to being about "me". For instance: "the party was fun", could be "I had fun at the party."
Yes, exactly.
In fact, most seemed to be just random words. It's possible that there were full thoughts but I could not "hear" them.
Is there such thing as not heard/known thought?
Can there be a thought without the knowing of it?
Surprisingly, I have not noticed any judgemental thoughts since last night. Perhaps you could define judgmental for me? I was thinking of it like a negative, critical disapproval of someone oe something?
Judgment can be almost anything, like saying if something is not good enough, faulty, bad, good, excellent, small, big, blurry, clear, etc. These are all judgement. I am the one who is judging a thing to be good or bad, small or big.
I purchased something that needed to be returned becuase it was made incorrectly.
“It was made incorrectly” is also a judgement.

Almost every thought, if not all, is about the self. Sometimes it might not be as obvious, but when looked at it a bit more closely, it turns out that these narrating thoughts are always about me (some way or another).

Actually, these narrating thoughts create the illusion of the self.
These thoughts describes ‘what I am’.
They describe my past, present and future.
They produce a story of my life.
They describe how I feel, and what I have to do.
They describe what things in the world and others mean to me and can give to me.
These thoughts define who I am and what is my relationship to the world.

Please read carefully the above sentences. Look if they are really true. 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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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:46 am

Hello,
Is there such thing as not heard/known thought?
No there is not.
Can there be a thought without the knowing of it?
No. This process of writing and having to use words to communicate something like this is challenging. I am not making myself clear!
Actually, these narrating thoughts create the illusion of the self.
These thoughts describes ‘what I am’.
They describe my past, present and future.
They produce a story of my life.
They describe how I feel, and what I have to do.
They describe what things in the world and others mean to me and can give to me.
These thoughts define who I am and what is my relationship to the world.
Please read carefully the above sentences. Look if they are really true. Let me know what you find.
Yes, exactly. My experience: thoughts which have no substance seem to create a "me". Without the thoughts "I" do not exist.

Molly

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Vivien
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:01 am

Hi Molly,
Without the thoughts "I" do not exist.
“I don’t exist” or “the I does not exist”?
Can you see that “I don’t exist” and “the I does not exist” are not the same thing?


Here is an interesting exercise.

Go and make a cup of tea or coffee. As you do this notice whether a 'self' does it. Also notice if there are many or any moments in the whole procedure of going to the kettle, switching it on, getting the cup (etc) when 'you' control the process?

How the decision is made what to make a cup of tea or coffee?
Do ‘you’ choose putting or not putting milk into the tea (or coffee)?
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
Do ‘you’ 'make the cup of tea (or coffee) happen' or it just happens?
Can a chooser be located?


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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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:19 am

“I don’t exist”
No.
“the I does not exist”?
Yes!!
Can you see that “I don’t exist” and “the I does not exist” are not the same thing?
Yes!
How the decision is made what to make a cup of tea or coffee?
Do ‘you’ choose putting or not putting milk into the tea (or coffee)?
Is there a moment of choice or it happens automatically?
Do ‘you’ 'make the cup of tea (or coffee) happen' or it just happens?
Can a chooser be located?
Even the suggestion above to make tea is just a thought! I cannot find a chooser. At each step: walking to kettle, filling with water, etc. there was thought, (narration) describing what was happening IN THAT MOMENT. But the thought appears to come AFTER the happening. So there is no volition in the act of making tea (or seemingly anything else.) hahahaha!!

Molly

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Vivien
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Vivien » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:23 am

Hi Molly,
So there is no volition in the act of making tea (or seemingly anything else.) hahahaha!!
Great! :)

Hold a hand in front of you; palm turned down.
Now turn the palm up. And down...and up and so on.
Watch very carefully.

Don't go to thoughts – examine your direct experience. Do this as many times as you like, and each time inquire:

How is the movement controlled?
Does a thought control it?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?

How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.

Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?

When the head of a sunflower turns to the sun, what is moving the flower?
Is there a ‘mover’ somewhere inside the flower to turn its head?

When the hand is turning up and down, is there a ‘mover’ hidden somewhere inside the hand or the body performing the movement?


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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Molly13
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Re: Grateful for a Guide

Postby Molly13 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:27 am

Hello,
How is the movement controlled?
Does a thought control it?
Can a ‘controller’ of any description be located?
How is the decision made to turn the hand over? Track any decision point when a thought MADE THE DECISION to turn the hand over and the hand turns over immediately.
Who or what chose which hand - the left or right hand for the exercise?
Can you find a separate individual or anything that is choosing when to turn the palm up or down?
When the hand is turning up and down, is there a ‘mover’ hidden somewhere inside the hand or the body performing the movement?
First I sat quietly for 15 minutes. Then the exercise began. Hand moves. Slowly up, down, up, down, up, down. No thoughts. Hands, but not my hands. Eyes close. Just sensation, up, down, up down. No hands, just sensation.
The movement is not controlled, it is just happening.
Thought does not control it.
No controller to be found.
There is no decision to turn the hand.
One hand, then both hands, then one hand.
No choosing.
Just sensation.
Up, down, up, down.
When the head of a sunflower turns to the sun, what is moving the flower?
Is there a ‘mover’ somewhere inside the flower to turn its head?
Same as the hand. Nothing in the flower is choosing to move.
Movement just happens.

Molly


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