conceptual understanding into experience

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
valentine
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 pm

conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Sun May 14, 2017 12:06 pm

LU is focused guiding for seeing there is no real, inherent 'self' - what do you understand by this?
I suppose it to mean that there is no fixed continuous essence or entity that is me although I believe and act as if there is.
By guiding, I understand that is a mentoring process conducted by those who have had this realisation for themselves.

What are you looking for at LU?
Conceptually I understand that there is no self but I still act, believe, feel that there is.
I have been rather inspired by conversations with friends who have been through the liberation unleashed process and I am hoping that I will be able to follow their example. It seems to have transformed them in a quiet way.

What do you expect from a guided conversation?
I guess the guide will challenge me or give pointers to provoke my examination.
I have a sense of the truth of this process and I am hoping to be helped work through my doubts and resistance. I am open to what happens but I don't really know what to expect.

What is your experience in terms of spiritual practices, seeking and inquiry?
I have been practising meditation and / or buddhism rather inconsistently for a lot of my life. I was ordained into the Triratna order about 18 years ago. I have recently (last couple of years) returned to meditation after a long time away. I think I have given up on enlightenment as an ideal. I have recently been taking part in ayuahsca ceremonies and am considering training as a therapist.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how willing are you to question any currently held beliefs about 'self?
10

User avatar
perrym
Posts: 557
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Wed May 17, 2017 1:42 pm

Hi Valentine,

Are you already fixed up with a guide?

If not, I would be happy to join you for the ride!

Perry

User avatar
valentine
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Thu May 18, 2017 10:47 am

Great and thanks!

User avatar
perrym
Posts: 557
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Thu May 18, 2017 6:33 pm

Hi Valentine,

Thanks for writing up your introduction - very helpful. Let's get a few preliminaries out of the way...
  • First, should I refer to you as 'Valentine'? You don't need to give a real name, but you might prefer to use some name other than your LU user name...
  • Please could you confirm that you have read the Disclaimer on the home page
  • Just a wee warning... this website has a nasty habit of quietly logging you out while you are writing ... then when you click 'submit', it tells you "Oh look, you need to log in!", and you lose everything you have written. To be on the safe side, you may prefer to write your replies in a different bit of software, then copy and paste them in to the reply window - this way, you still have a copy in case the website has logged you out
  • You may find it helpful to click the 'spanner' icon at the bottom of the page and then choose to 'subscribe topic' - this means you get an email whenever a reply comes in
  • Let's aim to write daily if we can, but there is no need for breast-beating if either of us can't manage it

Shall we make a start?

There is not a lot of theory that we need to get going, however, it is worth just mentioning what I mean by 'direct experience', since this is going to be a recurring theme.

When I use the term 'direct experience', I mean immediate sense experience (what is seen, felt, heard etc right here and now) and also thoughts as immediately experienced.

So for example "I am hungry" is a judgement, not a description of direct experience.

On the other hand, "There is a hard ache in my stomach, and thoughts about food and the possibility of eating keep arising" is describing some of the direct experience involved in being hungry.

So as a warm-up exercise, can you write a few lines to convey some of your direct experience as you (I assume) sit in front of your computer now?

best wishes,

Perry

User avatar
valentine
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Thu May 18, 2017 8:02 pm

Hi Perry

Thanks for this, I will stick with Valentine.
Yes, I have read this disclaimer and thanks for the tips.

Right now, there is the sound of a distant airplane, bird song, cars, rain, voices on the street.
I can feel the pressure of the seat against my legs. Cool sensation of the metal of the laptop in my hand.
Full feeling in the stomach. Slight sluggishness.
Thoughts about what else to write arising

User avatar
perrym
Posts: 557
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Fri May 19, 2017 11:38 pm

Hi Valentine,
Right now, there is the sound of a distant airplane, bird song, cars, rain, voices on the street.
I can feel the pressure of the seat against my legs. Cool sensation of the metal of the laptop in my hand.
Full feeling in the stomach. Slight sluggishness.
Thoughts about what else to write arising
Of course the experiences are past now, but as an exercise for the sake of illustration, let's look a bit closer:

* is there a "distant airplane" in direct experience, or just sound?
* can you feel "a seat" or just pressure?

This might seem a bit pedantic, but it is actually quite important:

The 'airplane' is an idea, an assumption, not a direct experience.
Likewise, you know that there is a 'seat', but 'pressure' is the only direct experience.

Does that make sense?

This is, of course, rather different from the way we normally think and speak. It is much more precise, and it can be very helpful in this kind of investigation, since it helps to distinguish what is actual experience from what is an assumption, a belief, or an unexamined idea.

I'll assume that is all clear enough for now, but do say if it is not.

So let's get started, and jump into the deep end:

As you sit here now, seeing is happening, hearing is happening, tasting, feeling and smelling are happening, thoughts arise and pass .... Notice all that is occurring in direct experience. Where, in all this, is "I"?

User avatar
valentine
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Sat May 20, 2017 6:30 pm

* is there a "distant airplane" in direct experience, or just sound?
Yes,It's just sound, I can just glimpse that but so quickly there is some verbal recognition.
Also, where is it? Is It in the distance or in my mind?

It makes sense that there is just sensation and it is clear - though I find it so tricky to stay with it!
I mean I grasp the idea but do I really believe it / feel it.
Would I act the way I do if I really did ?

In answer to your question about right now as I sit here, where is the "I"?
It seems to be a mysterious invisible presence that is directing thoughts and recognition
A conglomeration of sensation, memory, imagination?

I mean I can't locate it spatially but what is directing my answer, what is remembering what happened today, and thinking about the film I will watch with my kids later? That must be held somewhere right? I don't know where.

User avatar
perrym
Posts: 557
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Mon May 22, 2017 11:54 am

Hi Valentine,
Yes,It's just sound, I can just glimpse that but so quickly there is some verbal recognition.
That is a great observation.

Can you say more about how the 'verbal recognition' appears in direct experience?

Is 'just sound' lost forever once the verbal recognition arises? What happens if you stay with (come back to) the direct sense experience?

Use the sense experience around you to see how it this works.
Also, where is it? Is It in the distance or in my mind?


great question ...

In direct experience, does it make any difference?

Is it anywhere at all in direct experience, before the question 'where' arises?
do I really believe it / feel it.
Don't worry - I wouldn't expect you to at first. We are exploring a very specific way of investigating experience, which is new to you and different from everyday business-as-usual perception - it will take a bit of getting used to.
Would I act the way I do if I really did ?
Well, it would not be very practical day-to-day .... if you are crossing a road, it is best to assume that the sound really is the sound of a car approaching, and jump out the way, rather than considering whether there is a car in direct experience!

This mode of looking at experience is absolutely critical to our investigation - but it is not advice about how to live the rest of your life.

That is probably enough for now - I know we haven't touched on your answers to the second question, we can come back to that later

Have fun!

Perry

User avatar
valentine
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Tue May 23, 2017 7:36 am


Can you say more about how the 'verbal recognition' appears in direct experience?

Is 'just sound' lost forever once the verbal recognition arises? What happens if you stay with (come back to) the direct sense experience?


I can't quite catch the moment or mechanism but it is like as soon as there is the sound, some recognition in the form of a thought follows.

The sound is gone for good - apart from presumably a sort of memory or impression is being added to my back catalogue of sounds (and specifically airplane sounds). That wasn't an experience, it's an assumption that that is what must happen

Back to the sound: this morning, a strange thing happened, I couldn't tell for a while the difference between a sound or another sensation such as warmth or pressure of my feet against the floor. It was all like a three dimensional shifting tapestry - all sensation? But is a 'will' moving around experiencing those sensation in turn.
In direct experience, does it make any difference?

Is it anywhere at all in direct experience, before the question 'where' arises?


I not sure what 'matter' means here. There are moments when it's like geography has gone.
But it matters in life because we base our lives on shared perceptions and to avoid getting run over by cars.

No, it does; seem to be in direct experience before it arises
But there must be a store, an archive, a library of similarly patterned impressions that give rise to this almost instantaneous recognition. OK, i can't locate that store but that doesn't mean it isn't there right?

Thanks!

User avatar
perrym
Posts: 557
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Tue May 23, 2017 10:48 pm

Hi Valentine,

I think I might have confused matters when I asked about the sound being 'still there'....

Of course, if a sound starts then stops (eg a door slams, creating a quick bang), then after a fraction of a second, the sound is gone.

However, I was meaning in the case of an ongoing sound, like your original example of the sound of a plane flying over, or a washing machine spinning, something that is there for quite some time... in this case, when you wrote earlier that
I can just glimpse that but so quickly there is some verbal recognition
all I meant was: while the sound is still happening, but after the verbal recognition has arisen, are you able to attend again to the direct experience of sound? The labelling thought might arise "aeroplane!", and the mind might habitually wander off to the next thing, but is the direct experience of the ongoing sound still available if you attend to it?

You can get a very vivid experience of this relationship between the direct sense experience alone vs the 'verbally recognised' experience simply by repeating a word over and over. (You've probably done this before as a child, but it is still worthwhile to repeat the experiment now).

Take any word, for the sake of argument, the word "unleashed". Assuming you are alone, say it out loud: "unleashed!", and notice your experience. Notice the element of 'verbal recognition' (thought/idea, the 'meaning' of the word) as well as the direct experience of sound and sensations around mouth and throat.

After a moment, say it again. And again. And again.... over and over. What happens? Let me know how you get on, try to describe to me what happens in terms of direct experience

What about with other sense experience around you? Does the 'verbal recognition happen' when you look at the things around you? What happens if you continue to look, just considering the raw sense impressions?

That is probably enough for now, but I would just like to pick up on this, as a general point (not specifically about the 'store'):
OK, i can't locate that store but that doesn't mean it isn't there right?
True enough - in day-to-day life, we have to assume, deduce or take on trust a lot that is outside of direct experience.

However, for the purposes of this enquiry we are going to focus on what is immediately available to direct experience only. To put it another way, this is not a philosophical enquiry, but an investigation into experience, so we are only interested in thoughts as observed....

"The thought arises that 'there must be a store'" is a great observation of direct experience ... but speculation about whether there really is a store is outside of this enquiry!

Does that make sense?

User avatar
valentine
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Wed May 24, 2017 9:13 pm

what I meant was: while the sound is still happening, but after the verbal recognition has arisen, are you able to attend again to the direct experience of sound? The labelling thought might arise "aeroplane!", and the mind might habitually wander off to the next thing, but is the direct experience of the ongoing sound still available if you attend to it?
YES - almost straight away after sticking the word on it, it goes back to being just a sensation / impression.
Take any word, for the sake of argument, the word "unleashed". Assuming you are alone, say it out loud: "unleashed!", and notice your experience. Notice the element of 'verbal recognition' (thought/idea, the 'meaning' of the word) as well as the direct experience of sound and sensations around mouth and throat.

After a moment, say it again. And again. And again.... over and over. What happens? Let me know how you get on, try to describe to me what happens in terms of direct experience
This was strange.
The meaning of the word got left behind and it became just a series of three linked sensations
So the 'un' is a pulse in the throat, the 'lea' is a movement of the tongue in back of the mouth and the 'shed' is sort of breathy hiss at the front of the mouth / lips
What about with other sense experience around you? Does the 'verbal recognition happen' when you look at the things around you? What happens if you continue to look, just considering the raw sense impressions?
Oddly , this depends on what state I am in. This morning it was easier to perceive things without labelling them and I seem to find it easier with sounds / physical sensations than with visuals things.
With my eyes closed, I can hover in a place of just impressions for a while - especially with sound.
With my eyes open I need to stay very still - as soon as I move my eyes around, I seem to start labelling things again
That is probably enough for now, but I would just like to pick up on this, as a general point (not specifically about the 'store'):
OK, i can't locate that store but that doesn't mean it isn't there right?
True enough - in day-to-day life, we have to assume, deduce or take on trust a lot that is outside of direct experience.

However, for the purposes of this enquiry we are going to focus on what is immediately available to direct experience only. To put it another way, this is not a philosophical enquiry, but an investigation into experience, so we are only interested in thoughts as observed....

"The thought arises that 'there must be a store'" is a great observation of direct experience ... but speculation about whether there really is a store is outside of this enquiry!

Does that make sense?
I think so - though that is going to take some practice for sure!

thank you

User avatar
perrym
Posts: 557
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Thu May 25, 2017 9:45 pm

Hi Valentine,
The meaning of the word got left behind and it became just a series of three linked sensations
yes, exactly

This illustrates quite a lot about how direct sense experience relates to the thinking/labelling/meaning/story-making process.

Normally we don't even notice the direct experience, and only attend to the thought/label/meaning/story - but it is also possible to 'see through' the thought/label/meaning/story to the direct experience.

OK, so having clarified what we mean by 'direct experience', let's do some looking!

Earlier I asked you:
As you sit here now, seeing is happening, hearing is happening, tasting, feeling and smelling are happening, thoughts arise and pass .... Notice all that is occurring in direct experience. Where, in all this, is "I"?
and you replied
In answer to your question about right now as I sit here, where is the "I"?
It seems to be a mysterious invisible presence that is directing thoughts and recognition
A conglomeration of sensation, memory, imagination?

I mean I can't locate it spatially but what is directing my answer, what is remembering what happened today, and thinking about the film I will watch with my kids later? That must be held somewhere right? I don't know where.
So if "I" is what is directing thoughts and recognition, is this something that is observable in direct experience? Can this 'director' be experienced directly? If so, what makes up the experience? If not, is the 'director' anything more than an assumption, an idea, a thought?

User avatar
valentine
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Fri May 26, 2017 7:16 am


So if "I" is what is directing thoughts and recognition, is this something that is observable in direct experience? Can this 'director' be experienced directly? If so, what makes up the experience? If not, is the 'director' anything more than an assumption, an idea, a thought?
HI,

I have an experience of watching, of a 'watcher' - i have to label it 'conciousness' right now to write but it's really not describable.

When I look, the thoughts and decisions - say about where to focus my attention or the labelling - seem to arise spontaneously without intention. That doesn't make sense. I mean, I experience them as a continual flow of changing events, NOT directed but something must be doing it. Aaarrgh. Yes that is an assumption I guess because I can't exactly see or locate it but something is going on, it surely cannot be just a chain of cause and effect without a will no?

thanks!

User avatar
perrym
Posts: 557
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby perrym » Fri May 26, 2017 3:45 pm

Hi Valentine,

I am going off-grid for a couple of days, and I don't have time to reply before I leave, sorry.

I should be able to get back to you on Sunday.

Best wishes,

Perry

User avatar
valentine
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 pm

Re: conceptual understanding into experience

Postby valentine » Fri May 26, 2017 5:51 pm

No problem - and likewise

back Tuesday

very best


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest