conceptual understanding into experience

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valentine
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Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:25 am

Thanks for the above!
Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
I want to spend a bit of time on this
I'm travelling and offline for the next couple of days
So a fuller reply from me on Monday

very best from me!

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perrym
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Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:47 pm

no worries, when you're ready....

perry

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valentine
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Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:11 am

Describe decision, intention, free will, choice and control. What makes things happen? How does it work? What are you responsible for? Give examples from experience.
Decision
Decisions are thoughts which have a direct result in my actions. I am not sure how all decisions are made. I can see that, as with choice, the majority go on in the way that driving a car happens - without any concious control,
But when things are being thought through in awareness: "shall I do this, shall I do that?” and a decision is made, I can only say that I am not separate from the thoughts, that there is no gap. I am aware of the decision as it is made.

Free will
I understood free will to mean that there is autonomous agency (an independent will) directing all my actions and thoughts.
This no longer makes sense - I can see thoughts arise independently of my intervention.
The idea of free will depends on there being a sort of 'prior me' directing everything and reinforces the belief n that me in a sort of feedback loop because beleiving free will implies there must be a self directing things
There is will in the sense of the arising of intentional thoughts but it is free only in the sense that actions are not being coerced, forcibly opposed

Choice
The book shelf exercise showed me that choice (a thought / action) arises from an ever changing matrix of factors, habits, preferences, mood, energy level, thoughts, unconcious impulses.

Control
This a mind bender.
I don't know what control is anymore. My thoughts, my actions have an impact on things. Beyond that, do I control them?
No. I don’t even control my own thoughts or feelings

What makes things happen?
Things just happen, all the time. Nothing makes them happen apart from all the other things that have happened or are happening. That includes my thoughts but as we have discussed, awarenesss changes things so if I bring awareness, it has an effect.


How does it work?
Based on my looking, I can speculate there is a vast / infinite dynamic loping interaction of cause and effect.
But I don't really know.
Somehow, somewhere there are memories, a sense of of continuity and history, habits, preferences, intentions but they cannot be seen separate from thought and imagination.

What are you responsible for?
This another mind bender.
Previously, the answer was: ‘everything’.
Now ‘nothing, it all just happens’ doesn’t feel right either.
I can bring awareness in, that changes things
I can try to live and look without the distorting belief that there is a separate self.

I am still working on all this!
thanks

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perrym
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Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:52 am

Hi Valentine,

That was a lovely read, thanks for taking the time to lay that out so fully :-)

I think our work here is nearly done (though I would like to get some other guides to take a look and see if there is anything they would like to clarify further)

Before I do that, there is one of the 'standard questions' that we skipped earlier....

We went through these:
  • Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
  • 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.
  • How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
... and normally the next one would have been:

"What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?"

Is there anything you could say about that?

Very best wishes,

Perry

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valentine
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Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:27 am

Hi Valentine,

That was a lovely read, thanks for taking the time to lay that out so fully :-)

I think our work here is nearly done (though I would like to get some other guides to take a look and see if there is anything they would like to clarify further)

Before I do that, there is one of the 'standard questions' that we skipped earlier....

We went through these:
  • Is there a separate entity 'self', 'me' 'I', at all, anywhere, in any way, shape or form? Was there ever?
  • 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.
  • How does it feel to see this? What is the difference from before you started this dialogue? Please report from the past few days.
... and normally the next one would have been:

"What was the last bit that pushed you over, made you look?"

Is there anything you could say about that?

Very best wishes,

Perry
Hi Perry

There is a great mystery in things. When my gut-level,animal instinct to survive and thrive meets that mystery it imagines an idea of self to explain it. It starts each day on waking with labelling the world and experience again. The idea of there being a separate 'me' is understandable, it is shorthand, a convenience to package up all the unknowns into a story, a story to explain questions about where and what are my memory, identity, imagination, sense of continuity, tribal connections, that gut level fear of potential threat. My thoughts and sense of being conscious in particular lend themselves to the continual retelling of that narrative because in many ways it has seemed easier to have a story to keep the vast unknowability at bay.

But was it really easier? It doesn't seem so difficult to live with a big question mark about those things. And it is not as though the story of a 'me' really explained them - it just pushed the mystery somewhere else. In fact if I could really live with the not knowing, I can see how certain fears may evaporate. And what would be lost? Not much beyond familiarity it seems and it would be perverse to go on believing it for that reason alone.

How does that feel? I half expected (and wanted, if I am honest) a moment of cosmic realisation, a big spacious release of energy, that everything would seem transformed as some others have reported. But in fact... it feels...rather normal!
The Father Christmas metaphor has been used to describe the process of seeing through the illusion of self. Well, as far as I recall, I met the realisation that Santa didn't exist with a similar lack of dramatic reaction, it just sort of crept up on me and seemed obvious - even though I perhaps wanted to go on believing for a while.

At times, I have wondered if that means that it hasn't really sunk in yet. Maybe. But regardless, I feel this is a beginning, not the end. It's in process. I am still anxious, neurotic, get cross, act silly. But I feel I have something to work with and am very grateful for that. That's a difference - I sort of trust that something has changed and it will deepen if I continue to look. And I actually have had some very spacious and revelatory experiences in the looking process along the way. It was a surprise to see that choosing and deciding happen without me and that the airplane noise that it all started with takes place in conciousness as much as it does in the London skies.

The three things that have particularly made a difference are:
- Your analogy of the train that keeps moving even when the engine has been turned off. It made sense of the fact that delusional habits continue even when the delusion is exposed. At one level that was plain reassurance

- The selecting a book from the shelf exercise. It was very evident when I did that, that there were all sorts of things going into the choice - but that I wasn't directing them. That choice and decision happen because of countless things before and around, including awareness, but there was no me selection the book independently of them.

- Your pointer to check if bringing awareness to things makes a difference. I had become somehow stuck in the idea that if there is no free will, then the only alternative is that every thing must be fatalistically determined, which I couldn't believe. It It is very mysterious and I can't claim to understand it but I can see awareness brings with it a dynamic creative participation.

Thanks for your continuing patience and pushing! I really appreciate that.

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perrym
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Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:31 pm

Hello again Valentine,

I know what you mean about wanting a 'dramatic revelation' - it is nice if it happens, but it doesn't happen with everyone.

I'm glad you now think that you have something to work with; that is very much how I would look at it. To look into direct experience and see through habitual assumptions is a powerful tool for liberation, I hope you get plenty of use out of it!

I must say, I have thoroughly enjoyed our dialogue. You have a very vivid and beautiful way of describing experience which has been a joy to read.

I would like to ask a few other guides to read our dialogue in case they feel there is anything else it would be good for us to look at - is that OK with you?

And other than that, is there anything else you'd like to add?

best wishes,

Perry

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valentine
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Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:53 am

I have thoroughly enjoyed our dialogue. You have a very vivid and beautiful way of describing experience which has been a joy to read.
I have really enjoyed it. You have an elegant laser-like economy of guiding which I found very helpful to keep focused.
And I appreciate the time, insight attention you have given to our conversation. Brilliant. I am also very appreciative of the LU community who are doing such a great thing. How wonderful
I would like to ask a few other guides to read our dialogue in case they feel there is anything else it would be good for us to look at - is that OK with you?
Of course
And other than that, is there anything else you'd like to add?
Two things:
When I was in my early twenties reading Kerouac and al that, I got very interested in seeking. Enlightenment seemed just around the corner. The first time I went on a Buddhist weekend meditation retreat, I half expected to be liberated (or at least transform) by Sunday afternoon. That's naive right? Or is it? Later, as I got much deeper into it all, that possibility retreated over the horizon - became a myth, possible by herculean effort over several lifetimes perhaps - and anyway, rather selfish perhaps?

I now feel re-invgorated by this dialogue, reconnected with some of that beat spirit. Seasoned perhaps with some modesty and patience I hope.

I remember an early art lesson where the teacher explained how if you mixed blue and yellow you got green. Later I learned more of the physics of it, the molecular combinations, the light waveforms and how blue and green combine to form yellow.

This was like 'get some blue and green paint, mix them together, what happens?"

I enjoyed that!

Thankyou Perry

very best

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perrym
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Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:09 pm

Hi Valentine,

I'm glad you've enjoyed the ride too!

Let's see if the other guides have anything to add...

P


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