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Topic: Letting Go

Differential started this discussion 7.5 years ago #577

So, over my time here, Doc, I've seen a lot of your spiritual ideas. Some I thought made sense, others I did not, and after you so bluntly told me that I would walk away with what I would walk away with (a decision, in retrospect, that I am glad you made despite the bruising to my ego) I simply stopped worrying about it. As is the case with most of my revelations over the years, the most important ones hit when I wasn't looking.

Specifically, I have gained some insight as to the nature of choice and free will: Namely, that they are illusions. In order to get this far, I first had to grasp what the ego was and see it for as much. This plays with my logical wiring to result in a pretty intense experience. I can only imagine this is what you were describing when you said the world would fall apart.

It was Hexi who managed to put things in an order I could comprehend. Namely, I learn from my experiences. As a child, I am a sponge, growing and becoming who I am today. I am who I am today because of what happened to me back then - and I had no choice or control over that. Nor did I have choice or control in the genetics and biological aspects of myself: To put it bluntly, the nature and nurture of myself have both been completely not of my doing.

I make decisions and choices based on my nature and nurture. My impulses come from my history. Any impulse I have is the result of my history - even the impulse to deny my impulses. And since the actions I take now create the situation I am in tomarrow, this cycle perpetuates and none of this has been within my control since the root and source of my actions and decisions, priorities and so forth, are all outside of myself as well.

Thus, 'free will' as I have understood it is in fact a lie.

All of this makes perfect sense to me. I cannot argue against it (I have tried, as is my way). I have taken time and mulled it over. This is reasonable, logical, solid. I have come to this conclusion without doctrine or theology, without what I would consider faith or any other replacement for my precious logic and reason. I have finally arrived at this conclusion in a manner that I can grasp and accept.

The thing about this is that my problems revolve mostly around being petrified that I am not in control. Control (dependant quite naturally upon free will) is how I shield myself against bad things happening to myself, and due to experiences I have had in the past, lack of control makes me feel vulnerable which in turn I am unable to handle.

Irony of it is that should I manage to emerge from the rubble of my world shattering, the fact that 'shit happens' (quite litterally, as it turns out) and I am unable to stop it relieves the pressure of constantly being on vigil. I have no reason to be afraid because fear is pointless in the face of inevitablity. Accepting that I am powerless over the situation leads almost directly to being unafraid.

But there is a large, massive pile of shit between me and being unafraid:

I only vaguely grasp the idea that there is no point in being unafraid of the inevitable. While intellectually I see that fearing that which will happen no matter what is pointless, that doesn't seem to remove the fear of it happening. I am tense. I am still afraid. The path to serenity is to embrace my helplessness - the very thing I am absolutely petrified of. I recognize that my ego has it's grip on me and I recognize that this helplessness is not happening to me, but rather the emotional manifestation of me, but somehow I am still choking when I attempt to swallow these facts.

I have no idea how to make that step. I suspect that, in reality, you cannot tell me how. I can only ask if you have insight that might give me a foothold to work with. I had not considered that there might be a step between revelation and acceptance. I have always simply witnessed, reasoned, and learned. This time, however, there's a middle step of letting go of that which I know to be false.

I've never had to do this before. I feel... lost. And that is terrifying.

dr-robert joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 4 hours later[^] [v] #0

Hi, Diff--

What a fine letter. I am happy for you, for this is a major understanding. Yes, it is not the whole ball of wax, but certainly a big step, and one that many human beings, even quite bright ones, never find themselves making. I am jammed up right now, but I surely will get back to you on this as soon as I can.

Be well,
RS

Immorticon joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 hours later, 7 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

In all my time pondering "free will", I've never come to any sort of acceptable conclusion as to whether or not it even matters. When one looks at the very core of what (instead of who) we are as human beings, it becomes rather apparent that we mostly (if not only) describe and fully comprehend those aspects of our existence and surrounding environment which can be directly observed and subsequently related to past experiences that we use as axioms. Although that's not to say cause and effect isn't a phenomenon that appears to be a fundamental property of the Universe, I simply have no reason to believe past events have any sort of effect on present situations. If one fully considers both external AND internal factors when making a decision, and they put equal emphasis on the importance of both when deciding (a) or (b), we see this approach is perfectly suited for understanding whether or not free will exists.

When we observe our external environment, it's safe to say that one of the most noticeable differences between living things and non-living things is their predictability. Very large events (such as eclipses and seasons) are now seen as easily predictable and consistent. When I examine the behaviors/actions of people, the one quality I find to be strikingly consistent and predictable is that they are, more often than not, inconsistent and unpredictable.

If you cannot fully describe AND OBSERVE a lack of "free will", I would question the idea until it is beyond any and all doubt. If you are terrified of accepting fate, there may be a good reason for that. Which would be worse in your opinion: A "feeling" having no control, or surrendering your life to what is likely a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Hexi joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 11 minutes later, 7 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

Uhh... he did explain the why and reasoning of it. It has nothing to with "fate" either. I don't know if you didn't read the post or simply lack reading comprehension, but your post makes no sense whatsoever. Did you just skip to the last paragraph? That would explain it.

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 10 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> In all my time pondering "free will", I've never come to any sort of acceptable conclusion as to whether or not it even matters.

It matters (Mattered?) to me.

> I simply have no reason to believe past events have any sort of effect on present situations.

I'm not here to debate this. Nor will I ever be. Present situations are the result of past events. Without past events there would be NO present situation. No painting without paint. No music without sound.

> If you are terrified of accepting fate, there may be a good reason for that. Which would be worse in your opinion: A "feeling" having no control, or surrendering your life to what is likely a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Fate? What? Where was Fate mentioned at all?

(Edited 6 minutes later.)

Immorticon replied with this 7.5 years ago, 55 minutes later, 11 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> It matters (Mattered?) to me.

Understandable.

> Without past events there would be NO present situation.

I agree, but could it also not be said that past conditions allowed for the existence of present situations but do not necessarily "determine the outcomes" that result from them?

> Fate? What? Where was Fate mentioned at all?

Personally, I don't think free will can have an alternative per se, and the only idea I can imagine that would have anywhere close to a good argument against it would be fate (as a result of cause and effect), but I cannot know for certain. I am, for sake of objectivity, excluding religious/spiritual alternatives.

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 5 minutes later, 11 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> could it also not be said that past conditions allowed for the existence of present situations but do not necessarily "determine the outcomes" that result from them?

I explained this already. Past conditions determine who you are. They determine what your instincts are. They determine your preferences, likes, dislikes, needs, wants, hopes, dreams, and most importantly your motivations. These are what determine your actions in the present. Thus, the past circumstances determine the outcome of the present.

Immorticon replied with this 7.5 years ago, 33 minutes later, 12 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> I explained this already. Past conditions determine who you are. They determine what your instincts are. They determine your preferences, likes, dislikes, needs, wants, hopes, dreams, and most importantly your motivations. These are what determine your actions in the present. Thus, the past circumstances determine the outcome of the present.

So basically, you're having trouble accepting this? I'm just saying, if you are, I can see why. In my opinion, this isn't something that should be accepted... as it would likely be used as an excuse to make no effort toward improving oneself, as well as justifying bad decisions made in the future.

(Edited 19 seconds later.)

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 14 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> So basically, you're having trouble accepting this? I'm just saying, if you are, I can see why. In my opinion, this isn't something that should be accepted... as it would likely be used as an excuse to make no effort toward improving oneself, as well as justifying bad decisions made in the future.

Rejecting objective reality is willful ignorance. Also, not being to blame isn't justification.

Differential (OP) double-posted this 7.5 years ago, 0 seconds later, 14 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> So basically, you're having trouble accepting this? I'm just saying, if you are, I can see why. In my opinion, this isn't something that should be accepted... as it would likely be used as an excuse to make no effort toward improving oneself, as well as justifying bad decisions made in the future.

Rejecting objective reality is willful ignorance. Also, not being to blame isn't justification.

Casey joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 hours later, 18 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

If there is no free will, you will not be able to choose which beliefs (like determinism vs free will) you hold. If free will is an illusion, you will not be able to choose acceptance. You will not be able to choose to embrace or distance yourself from feelings of helplessness. Nor will you be able to choose whether or not you are afraid. Our basic realities become awareness of an unchosen present moment.

Immorticon replied with this 7.5 years ago, 18 minutes later, 18 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Rejecting objective reality is willful ignorance.

Accepting (or claiming to understand) "objective reality" from a subjective frame of reference is willful delusion.

> Also, not being to blame isn't justification.

Correct. Being to blame for PAST mistakes is not justification for making the same bad decision in present situations. However, when it comes to the consequences of past mistakes, willful ignorance of the negative effects one's choices had on others allows "not being to blame" to dissimulate as "justification" for future choices that result in negative effects on others that can be avoided if this accumulated experience is taken into consideration.

Also, how does "WILLFUL" fit into your "objective reality" in the absence of "FREE WILL"...?

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 15 minutes later, 19 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

*The point*<--------------------->*Last 2 posts*

Why do you choose the way you choose? The cumulative reasoning your mind creates based on past experience and genetic leainings. (This is not debateable, you might aswell debate the existance of the sun and in that case, just stop posting). Now, how much CONTROL do you have over either from the moment you were born? Do you choose your parents, the events in your life or the country you were born in? (No, you don't). Now then, the experiences that make you choose the way you did are out of your control and your genetics are out of your control, how much choice, or free will, influences any of this? 0. Fate has nothing, not a thing, to do with it. Nothing is predetermined because we don't know untill we get to the choice.

I'll make a clear example so you should get it. I give you an apple when you are hungry, but it's poisoned. Wether or not i tell you it is, is not in YOUR control and you make a decision purely based on wether or not you know it's poisoned. If i don't tell you, you will eat it and die. If i do tell you, you won't eat it and not die. How much of either outcome is in your hands? It's your choice either way but you don't control the external information that makes you make that choice.

(Edited 50 seconds later.)

Immorticon replied with this 7.5 years ago, 30 minutes later, 19 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> and you make a decision purely based on wether or not you know it's poisoned.

I wouldn't accept an apple from a psychopath. Once again, willful ignorance of information is not justification.

> Why do you choose the way you choose? The cumulative reasoning your mind creates based on past experience and genetic leainings. (This is not debateable, you might aswell debate the existance of the sun and in that case, just stop posting).

In no way does the absence of information that would otherwise prevent harm to oneself when making a decision conclude with any certainty that past events necessarily determine the outcome of present choices. I don't like apples. I might accept it out of kindness and not eat it. Hunger doesn't necessitate eating food from strangers. No amount of external information (or lack thereof) determines with any certainty whether or not an event will or will not occur. Welcome to the world of probability and statistics.

Can you think back to when I said:

"When we observe our external environment, it's safe to say that one of the most noticeable differences between living things and non-living things is their predictability. Very large events (such as eclipses and seasons) are now seen as easily predictable and consistent. When I examine the behaviors/actions of people, the one quality I find to be strikingly consistent and predictable is that they are, more often than not, inconsistent and unpredictable."

and finally see how this relates?

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 21 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Here's how you're missing the point:

I'm not asking anyone to convince me that free will exists.

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 15 minutes later, 21 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
You just recite non-consequental trite and make statements and makebelieve they are arguments. You're either trolling or just plain stupid, there is no other explanation for the complete failure to grasp what is being said. I'm not gonna bother with you anymore, good day sir.

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 4 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

At this point in my life, I find that I have no interest at all in debating anything, nor of convincing anyone of anything, and so I have little interest in trying to counter an obvious attempt to degrade a heartfelt and urgent inquiry into an intellectual debate. As Hexi points out, Immorticon, your words miss the point of the original post entirely. If you really find your take on free-will vs. determinism worth discussing, simply open a new thread, and I'll wager you get some takers. Before you open such a discussion, however, I suggest you avoid using any phraseology like "justifying bad decisions," which already assumes a priori that there are decisions to be made and someone capable of making them. Such circularity leads nowhere. In fact, if you have free-will, trying willing yourself to understand what Differential is going through instead of trying to convince him that he is barking up the wrong tree. That might be more enlightening to you than simply repeating your own rather sophomoric opinions on the topic. Or, even better, next time you feel terrified, try free-willing yourself out of that state of mind.

Now to the subject at hand, which, as I understand it, is this: Having seen that I am at least less in control of events than I had imagined, why cannot I simply surrender to the inevitability that things will unfold as they must? If I could do that, I reason, then I could relax, and my fear would dissipate. After all, I tell myself, I am a rational fellow, and fearing the inevitable is not rational. "Fear," I say, "is pointless in the face of inevitability. Accepting that I am powerless over the situation leads almost directly to being unafraid."

OK, Diff, let's try to look into that, but before we do, I want to remark that, like you, I have no interest in doctrine or theology of any kind. In fact, I have no interest in any beliefs at all. No words, no formula, no fixed belief can comprehend the suchness of even a brief moment of reality. Reading the menu has nothing to do at all with how the dinner tastes. As Lao Tzu wrote in Tao Te Ching (a must read, in my view) "The truth which can be spoken, is not the real truth."

My entire interest is focused upon whatever is arising now, in this very moment, and that, as you have verified through your conversations with Hexi and by means of honest introspection, is what it is, and cannot be any different. Seeing this obvious but often denied truth does not provide "an excuse to make no effort toward improving oneself." (That's what I mean by sophomoric). If "self-improvement" is arising in this moment, then that's what is arising, and I feel that, feel motivated by it, and participate in it. It simply means that no one can choose self-improvement. If the sum of genetics plus past experiences have produced a self-improvement kind of guy, self improvement will happen, not because anyone chooses it, but because self-improvement is what self-improvement kinds of guys do. Whatever anyone thinks about it, no one can act against his or her true nature. As the ancient Greeks used to say, "You can try to throw Nature out with a pitchfork, but she will always come back again."

However, there is a kicker here. Each moment is a new moment with a new past, a new mix of experience upon which the present moment is predicated. Suppose, for example, that all my past experiences have made me believe, unquestioningly, in free will, and so I imagine that I must always try to "choose" properly so as to protect myself, but now I stumble upon the Dr. Robert Forum and find myself reading a discussion in which the doc says that, although sometimes we feel that we are making choices, actual choosing is, largely at least, an illusion of the mind. Now that idea, which I did not choose to have, but which has entered my awareness, becomes part of the new past (new because something which was not part of my past before, now is part of it). In other words, Differential, we do not grow and develop because we choose to do so, but because elements from outside of us enter into us, becoming part of what we then call "myself." This is why a spiritual teacher can be so helpful and important, as I wrote about in my memoir. By the way, I say "spiritual" teacher only for want of a better term, and imply no kind of doctrine, faith, fixed point of view, or anything else of the kind.

Since you have reached out to me in this way, I find myself replying to you in that spirit. Again, this is not an attempt of any kind to indoctrinate you into anything, or to get you to believe anything. The seeker creates the teacher by the very act of raising the question. In this regard, take a look at my reply to the question They Say That When You Are Ready a Spiritual Teacher Will Come. Is This True?.

That said, Diff, your letter contains a basic misunderstanding which, if you will discard it, or see it as a misunderstanding, might help to clear some of the shit away, leaving a possible opening to continuing further. It is this: yes, logically, "there is no point in being afraid of the inevitable," as you wrote, or, as this is sometimes rudely stated, "If you are being gang-raped, might just as well relax and enjoy the sex." But I cannot agree with you that, "Accepting that I am powerless over the situation leads almost directly to being unafraid." That may be logical, but it is not factual, and in my world factual trumps logical every time. In fact, if I am afraid (in this moment), then the fear is real, and no amount of logic can explain it away. You have said as much in this post when you wrote: "Due to experiences I have had in the past, lack of control makes me feel vulnerable which in turn I am unable to handle." Sure, you can tell yourself that those experiences are in the past, that they are not happening any more, that they will not happen again, etc., but that does not remove the need to be in control. In factand this is a delicate and subtle pointif you try to control your need to be in control, you only perpetuate it, so that is not the way.

There really isn't a step between revelation and acceptance, or, if there is, you have already made that step. Now there is something else which must occur. And you cannot make it occur, but you can allow yourself to hear what I say, and, if and when doubts arise, perhaps you can allow yourself to see those doubts for what they are, a manifestation of your perfectly understandable need to maintain the control which you could not maintain as a child so that someone hurt you terribly. (BTW, I am so sorry that happened to you, Differential).

The next step, as I see it, is this: "I" am not my ego, not my past, not my experiences, not my name, not my profession, not my sexuality, not my desires, and not my fearsnone of that stuff. All of that stuff exists in a certain sense, as impressions in my mind, but what "I" am is that which is aware of all of that and aware of everything else: the sky, the earth, sounds, flavors, textures, other people, etc. In other words, the next step is to begin moving the identification of "myself" away from autobiography and into bare awareness. This cannot be done instantly, but has to be a practice which one pursues until it becomes natural. With practice, it can and will become natural. It will because it is factualfar more factual than the common standard version of "reality" in which many, if not most, people seem to believe, but which I say, and confess, is a delusion.

In order to pursue this practiceif it interests youI suggest two procedures:

1. As often as you can remember to do it, say silently to yourself, "I Am." (which means I exist as awareness prior to whatever energy, thoughts, or imagery happen to be occupying that awareness in this moment. In other words, "I" am the movie screen which never changes, not the movie which is always changing)

2. Begin to move awareness away from thought, away from descriptions, that is, and into sensing and feeling the world without naming anything or trying to explain anything. For example, if I now move attention to the area in the center of my chest, I will sense something which cannot be put into words because there are no words for it, any more than there are words to describe the flavor of a peach. This is called "bare awareness," "choiceness awareness," or "awareness prior to words."

Let's keep in touch on this, Diff. Give this a shot, and let me know how it is going for you. I am always open to your communications.

RS

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

Sifter joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 11 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Wonderfully lucid. Thank you Diff and Robert.

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 39 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Goddamn, Doc.

Digesting. Will update.

Bodhi joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 47 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

May I join in?
Dr. Robert points clearly to the Truth, and only one who has realized that can actually do that.
Since the meeting of I AM, and the knowing that I do infact Exist, I can report that "habit" still runs, thoughts still arise, it is just that I am not so interested in them anymore. Existance before thought is the refuge.
I also had been considering this issue of Free Will or Fate before this True meeting. Since then I have come to understand Ramana Maharshi wisdom. He said:

"Find out who is subject to free will or predestination and abide in that state."
"Those who have realized the Self, which is the ground of fate and free will, are free from them."

In the bliss that is before thought, there is no concern about either.
Thank, Dr. Robert

EvangelineMade joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ditto Sifter. I want to hear the rest of the conversation too...

Terumi joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 20 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

I reckon I would have too look more into this but so far from reading Differentials first post ...while there are some valid good points ... to me it seemed like an oversimplification of matters that's somewhat convenient or unconvenient depending on how you look at it or the situation.
I still believe theres a ratio that varies somewhat between free-will/no free will that determines ones existance ... as in, having the choice between limited options and being sometimes able to bypass to a certain degree characteristics one cannot help.
I just think there are a bit more variants.
Also as far as predictability goes ,to respond to Immorticons opinion, well ...with enough info people can be rather damn predictable ... also taking seasons into account youre just predicting the fact that they are gonna happen and roughly when based on an estimate ... which isnt something very subtle about them... its just a type of estimation you could make about humans aswell like ... saying that most people will die around the age of 75.
I just think you cant compare 1 aspect of a thing to multiple aspects of another that's it(human behaviour in this case, which has multiple variations).
That being said I agree that it seems like we might have more tools to get information about seasons!

(Edited 4 minutes later.)

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 16 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I have no idea what this has to do with anything we've been discussing.

Also, Sifter, Evan. Lose not hope. I am still thinking on this.

Terumi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 46 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> I have no idea what this has to do with anything we've been discussing.
>
> Also, Sifter, Evan. Lose not hope. I am still thinking on this.

Hahahaha how embarrassing ... XD ... I guess I shall take my leave for the time being then :P

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 10 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

In direct response to the Doc:

> "You can try to throw Nature out with a pitchfork, but she will always come back again."

Believe it or not this is a comfort at this point. The only thing that is actually changing is my perspective on things - as the sensation of the world crumbling around me dissapates it becomes apparent that I am still here. The same me. Oddly, I have rarely been as thankful that I am who I am as I am at this point. And that's saying something, I'm a bit of a narcissist.

The humorous part, as I have realized, is that to some degree the person I have become - the creation of which has been outside of my control - is no more or less likely to be victimized because he suddenly realizes he lacks free will. Because he is the same person he was BEFORE this revelation. He will still percieve the same things, and perhaps even understand more of what he sees. But I am still me. I am not defenseless against that which I fear, just as I wasn't beforehand.

In fact, I now have less to fear. I have just been woken up by shouting in my kitchen. Now, generally speaking, I am not a morning person. At all. I Am grouchy, grumpy, and irritable when my day begins. I always have been. Especially when I don't wake up peacefully and undisturbed. I've been told I take swings at people when I'm unconscious if I want my sleep badly enough, but I can't confirm that since (naturally) I was unconscious at the time.

My first instinct when I woke up was not to blame the person shouting. In fact, I realized that he did not have the option to be quiet. That basic fact changed the entirety of my reaction to his yelling, and thus entirely avoid pointless irritation. This is a sign I am making progress, since as you know, irritation is the bread and butter of my emotional existence.


I have concluded that I need to simply let this happen on it's own. While from my current pespective, things seem simple (they always do seem simple after I understand them) I am not foolish enough to believe this is a small undertaking, or that the changes occuring are anything short of life-changing. I cannot simply expect two days to go by and for things to be perfectly synced up. It will take me time to adjust, to build the habits and to get used to my new reality.

The fact that I have made any progress at all tells me that I'm headed in the right direction. And, as you say, attempting to control it defeats the point. This is something that needs to happen to me, just like everything else has - but this is something I need to recognize as happening to me. Thus, I wait. Patience has never been my strong point, but over the next few days and weeks as I adjust to things I believe I'll be better for it.

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 51 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Beautiful! You got it.

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 5 days later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

So, according to the forums it's been about a week since I've had that revelation. Since then, I have (as predicted, due to the nature of this being a perspective and not a tangible, physical thing) noticed very little overarching change. I have, however, been giving a lot of thought to the nature of the self, thoughts, awareness, and so on.

Most importantly, I've had (consciously triggered) experiences unlike any before while doing simple things like walking to the pizza parlor.

Beforehand, when I'd walk down the street, there would be a stretch of road that I could see. There would be people walking down the sidewalk, cars on the road, stores. Now, intellectually, I would understand that those people were going somewhere and coming from somewhere. The cars had to be manufactured, gas had to be made, money was spent. All the interconnections that we never pay heed to. You know they're there, but they're unimportant beyond your personal curiosities and awareness.

But I have experienced this knowledge. It is now real. I can invoke an awareness of the fact that all these bodies on the street are simply housing awarenesses which are as much to blame for their thoughts as the printer is for the image in it's paper tray. That these people all grew up somewhere, that they have their own identities and selves. Most importantly, the fact that they are simply a product of their lives. The guys who built the sidewalk I'm on? they had hopes and dreams. They built this sidewalk *here.* Where I am standing now.

And most importantly, above all else, I am physically aware that they existed. Just like I exist, in the same way that I exist. That we are all simply functions, products, of reality. And no amount of putting this into words will communicate that missing piece of the experience, because it's not simply knowledge. It's experience.

I would imagine this is the intended effect of "I am."

There's more to it, but I have yet to settle on any of the implications of the self, thought, and awareness. I'd like to come to my own conclusions about it before I ask for any more insight on those specific topics.

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Good report.

Mr. Olson joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

from reading this thread what i gather is 'letting go' is more of an experience than the knowledge. The essence is that your identity with your body and mind is not really true. You are much much more than that. To experience that you need to develop an observer within yourself, observe your body, observe your feelings, observe your thoughts. It is through experience over time that this observer improves.

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

It's knowledge and understanding that knowledge that enables you to observe. That which observes is already there, you just need to identify it.

(Edited 14 seconds later.)

Mr. Olson replied with this 7.5 years ago, 41 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

So it is the application of knowledge which leads to the identification of your observations. You can only change your observations by changing what you know.

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 43 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
By understanding what you know.

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 12 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Alright, so. Let me see if I've reasoned this out correctly.

An identity is nothing but labels and qualities. I am quick to irritation, this is part of my identity. I like beef. I prefer to dress in black. I like aggressive music, puns, and I've a history of ruining people's day for kicks.

However, these are all attributes that are attatched to me. They are not, in and of themselves, me. There is a difference between identity, and the self. The self is aware of the identity: The fact that it is your identity (linguistic syntax does wonders here) implies that the identity BELONGS to you, but it is not in fact you. It is your identity the same way that this is your keyboard, or that these are your keys.

This brings me to my second point - technically, my first. Way back, Hexi slapped me around a bit and got the whole ball rolling with the Ego.

The ego is simply the psychological shield that exists to protect your self-image. Self-image, I can assume, exists solely as your perception of your identity. The ego thus protects the link between self, and identity - it is the guardian of their relationship and nothing more.

So I have excluded the ego and identity as being seperate from the self. That leaves what? One's nature (genetic predispositions) is simply part of their identity, since it is one half of the concoction that results in motivations, preferences, likes and dislikes. One's nurture is much the same - the way one is raised constructs one's identity as well.

This leaves three things: Awareness, thoughts, and actions.

Awareness I've been told is the self. It is, clearly, the closest-to-home part of the trio. After all, I am aware of my thoughts and percieve my actions. The actions I take are the result of my predispositions and training, yes. But I have yet to distinguish them from my awareness.

Thoughts, again, are simply something I am privy to through awareness. I witness the thoughts in my mind. But I don't know where they come from. In Hexi's words, I am simply an eye floating over a highway watching the individual cars - not knowing where they come from (the subconscious which prompts the conscious thoughts) or where they are going (I have no idea where memory fits into all of this.)

So, to explore that line of thinking...

Since I am merely awareness - not the body, identity, ego, thoughts, or actions attatched to that awareness - then it stands to reason that I am the means by which I acquire knowledge. Knowledge that then embeds itself into my identity through nurture, which presumably effects my subconscious and fuels my thoughts?

This begins what I can only assume is a nurture-subconscious-conscious-Nurture Cycle.

Basically, I experience the acquisition of knowledge. This knowledge goes to wherever it goes (where does it go, anyawys? What part of this collection of elements we call Differential stores that information?) and somehow, mysteriously, crams itself into my subconscious. That subconscious then prompts my conscious mind to have a thought. That thought is likely a reasoning, a connect-the-dots of the newly-acquired knowledge's implications. That thought then grants new knowledge which funnels back into the unknown subconscious, which prompts more thoughts. Lather, rinse, repeat.

That cycle endlessly perpetuates itself from the day I am born to the day I die. And none of it is within my control, as we've already established: It is in my nature to nurture myself. It is in my nurture to heed that nature, and as such I have no 'choice' but to function this way.

This also has several (important) implications that I believe, once I've fully adjusted, will massively improve many of my 'issues'.

practical applications of the revelations

As stated above, it is very important that I am not the only one who works like this. This is a revelation about existence, not about the self. Everyone around me is just like I am: Products of reality, functions of their own lives. Not free-willed, decision-making people with their own thoughts.

Joe is just a guy who does what his nature+nurture do, is privy to whatever thoughts his concsious mind notices. Those thoughts are not the result of him. They are just a part of reality that his awareness alone is privy to. That is to say, he did not think 'damn that bitch is ugly', but more accurately, he witnessed the thought 'damn that bitch is ugly.' It's no different than being the only one who saw a peice of paper on the ground. Thinking is no different than looking at pictures. It is an instance of becoming aware of something, and nothing more.

This is a very important revelation, for myself. I hope it is correct. If it is, then I now have very little reason to be afraid of judgement. Now, I know that to begin with, judgement is a very silly thing to be afraid of, particularly from an objective perspective like the one I have so long strove to maintain and pride myself on.

This is where we harken back to nature/nurture - I was raised in a community where judging was like breathing. Where it was considered good to judge each other. I watched marriages fall apart, I watched very real social concequences unfold on the innocent because of these judgements. The church was a brutal, viscious place to be raised - I never knew a life without judgement. And that judgement had a very real concequence to me at the time: Eternal, soul-burning agony. Quite litterally.

That terrified me. I still to this day have that gut reaction to actually being judged. It's one of the reasons I mask myself from everyone - they can't judge my real identity if they don't SEE my real identity. And, over the years, that mask has become a particularly important part of my comfort and feeling of safety for that very reason.

I have since managed to shed the beleif in Hell. But the instinct to flinch from judgement is still there - because people were still judging me, that was all I needed to feel threatened. I'm sure this plays quite nicely with what I suspect might be PTSD from the rape, but that's a story for another time.

The point is: If a man sees a picture of me, I feel no flinch. If he witnesses words painting me in a poor light, I feel nothing either. The flinch comes specifically from the judgement itself. But, if the judgement is no more than a picture on the wall being witnessed by the individual, then I am no longer being attacked. Instead someone is simply seeing a damn picture or reading some damn words. It means nothing anymore. The judgement has lost all it's power.

Jesus fuck this post is long. Time to cut it closed for now.

(Edited 17 seconds later.)

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Isn't this the same as saying nobody's perfect, treat others the way you want them to treat you, guard your heart and your mind, take every thought captive, those who have eyes let them see and ears hear, and don't fear those who can take the body and not the soul?

(Edited 7 minutes later.)

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 16 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
If it was the same, I'd have made this progress years and years ago.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 12 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

nevermind

(Edited 49 minutes later.)

Mr. Olson replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Isn't this the same as saying nobody's perfect, treat others the way you want them to treat you, guard your heart and your mind, take every thought captive, those who have eyes let them see and ears hear, and don't fear those who can take the body and not the soul?

The current understanding seems to be- when you have an opinion you have a problem.

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 7 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I have no idea where either of you are getting this. Mind explaining where you're getting this from what's written in the thread?

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Maybe explain the reasoning for your opinion instead of say "cause i told you so" and people would actually care. Also, when challenged and argued, don't play the "oh noes, i'm being opressed" card but instead, ARGUE your point.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 14 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

I was going to and did and then said nevermind because I knew it would be seen as something other than what it was and likely be deleted. I don't need to be reminded that my opinion/thoughts are worthless here. Much like this post will be seen that way even though I only answered a question someone asked.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 42 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes. Brilliant. Reading this feels so gratifying.

And yes,

> "Joe is just a guy who does what his nature+nurture do, is privy to whatever thoughts his concsious mind notices. Those thoughts are not the result of him. They are just a part of reality that his awareness alone is privy to. That is to say, he did not think 'damn that bitch is ugly', but more accurately, he witnessed the thought 'damn that bitch is ugly.' It's no different than being the only one who saw a peice of paper on the ground. Thinking is no different than looking at pictures. It is an instance of becoming aware of something, and nothing more."

Exactly.

The beauty part is that awareness, although it can be filled by anythingand that "anything" is always changingis itself empty, silent, and unchanging. Awareness is like a mirror which can reflect anything but remains pristine. No matter what may arise in it, awareness can never be marked, defiled, or hurt in any way. And that is what "I" am.

Mr. Olson replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> This is a very important revelation, for myself. I hope it is correct. If it is, then I now have very little reason to be afraid of judgement. Now, I know that to begin with, judgement is a very silly thing to be afraid of, particularly from an objective perspective like the one I have so long strove to maintain and pride myself on.
>
>

This is the part that stood out to me. I guess I have more of a subjective perspective. What has a lot of value to me might not have a lot of value to someone else. People will pay a dollar for a bottle of water, but when I was stranded, and out of water I would of given up the car for a sip. While a judgement may seem to carry a lot of weight when its about me, and I sort of shudder and feel the need to defend myself[massive ego props up to defend oneselves prive], it doesn't really bother me outside of the moment as i know people don't think about me very often. If people think less of me that is their opinion, and is a problem for them. The things that have happened to me don't represent me. I am reputable for my reliability, rather than events taking place outside of my control. Thoughts, or am i out to sea with out an instrument to paddle back to shore?

Chef joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

This thread has been a good read. While the effort it takes to critically analyze and let yourself "go" is not easy at first and can be an exercise in frustration and seeming futility, it becomes easier with time and practice. As quoted previously by someone, Ramana Maharshi used to encourage simple techniques such as focussing on a single thought of "I am" or to focus on the self from which thoughts arise in order to "practice" simply "being." This practice is known popularly as "meditation" but it really is nameless. As the doc said, "This cannot be done instantly, but has to be a practice which one pursues until it becomes natural." The understanding of the concepts can be understood "instantly" but concepts are not the same as the reality of what actually exists, just like talking about all the qualities of The Moon are not the same as the actual Moon.

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 46 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, Chef, well put.

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
You have given me something to chew on. Specifically, meditation. That's a decent word for what I described earlier as invoking the conscious experience that everyone around me is simply aware of reality in the same way I am.

Differential (OP) double-posted this 7.5 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Addenum: I should try extending these moments of experienced reality as long as I can. Literally meditating.

o_0 joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 20 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

The problem is not that your opinions are worthless, the problem is that you have not understood the idea yet.

The main point here is you are NOT who 'you' call 'yourself'. You are not the being who is thinking right now, nor do you have preferences, memories or opinions. You are not the person who you see on the mirror either.

None of those things are your real 'I'.

Humans (and all animals) are like robots with a computer on their head. This computer is constantly receiving input from senses, slowly learning how to interpret these signals in order to create representations of what is perceived to then make interpretations about them.

Say if your eyes are 2 cameras on your head, your brain will attempt to receive the input they send and make sense out of it. 'This is my mom', 'this is me', ‘this is dangerous’ are a few of the millions of the inferences your brain might make.

However this process is done all by itself. You cannot control it, or change it. You are unable to say 'ok im going to see a horse instead of a laptop now' or 'i will now not be able to see anymore'.

You cannot stop feeling, you cannot stop thinking either. You cannot decide who you fall in love with or how your personality is going to be. Even if I think that ‘’I’’ know many words or how to talk, I can’t give you a list of all the words I know or even explain how ‘ I’ talk or write. I can’t explain how I use my brain to calculate 15+2=17….

Because I never did any of these things. My brain did it all by himself. My brain fell in love, learned, did math, searched my memories, built my personality and my way of seeing things from what it perceived and interpreted in its own way. I never had a choice on who I was or what I did…


But I KNOW that I AM, I exist. Even if right now my body is under the control of my brain who is gathering ideas from itself in order to communicate them to you while I do nothing, I am STILL here. My brain is a machine, but what makes a human different from a toaster is that I exist as the awareness of what my brain is perceiving. All these words, the feeling of a chair under my ass, the controlled but automatic movement of my fingers, the sounds, the colors and even my personality and my thoughts come from the inner workings of my brain and I have no way of influencing, making, or controlling them.

> Then the real me is the awareness in which my brain dumps the result of all these processes

If you happen upon the unpleasant wonders of starvation/fatigue and get yourself one of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonalization you will feel as if you were a camera, with your body doing things by it’s own. The illusion of free will that makes it seem like your awareness is controlling your brain and therefore body is broken and you find your body talking and pressing the buttons of your calculator by itself. This is of course if you have the kind of personality (programming) needed to let go of the false sense of control, if not your brain will panic and stress out over no longer having the false sense of self control the ego had.

However this is bullshit. Your brain is ALWAYS doing it all by itself. No one is choosing, this is a programmed and complex computer here. However some personalities (brain/ mind software ;P?) do not accept this so easily and the brain ends up bullshiting itself, thinking that the aware part is controlling it. Brain bullshiting brain leads to obsession and useless attempts of self-defense ‘I am aware of what IM doing, because IM am a smart person, which makes ME awesome’.

No one designs, operates or chooses the brain they have. Or how their personality is. This all happens, both with genes and from what your brain interpreted from the people around you.

That’s why like Differential said, judging people is pretty much pointless. If a person is smart it’s because he had smart genes and development, if someone is not so smart the opposite happened. If someone is a rapist it’s because both his genes and the people surrounding him programmed their brains that way. None of these people have a smart reason to judge others, they all where forged by the part of reality they experienced.

And so was I. My brain was programmed by my family and genes, and they were programmed by theirs. Sometimes brains are programmed near brains that did pointless shit. Others had the misfortune of being born with bad cognitive abilities.
But your awareness will just experience whatever the brain dumps into it. If I was told that killing and eating people was good, my brain will learn this and my awareness will just be aware of this. It can’t do anything about it and It doesn’t want. It can’t think it’s just aware, the thinking is done by the brain. If the brain is either programmed in ways harmful to other people or just insane (malfunctioning O_x), YOU will be just aware of that, and this will be your reality.
So…why judge people for what they do or why judge ‘myself’ for what I do? Brains do what they were programmed to do. Nothing more, nothing less. Awareness has no feelings or thoughts, this is all in the brain.

And you are your awareness, receiving whatever thoughts or senses your brains inputs.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 57 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Why are you telling me this?

(Edited 6 hours later.)

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 10 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
This sounds good, but isn't. To begin with, you have no way of knowing that the brain is like a computer, but that is a small matter. Where it really misses is when you say this:

> And you are your awareness, receiving whatever thoughts or senses your brains inputs.

There is no "your awareness," but only awareness, which does not belong to anyone. As soon as you take ownership, you open yourself to total nihilism. If that is where you want to go, OK by me, but I point this out so that others will not be misled by your logic. In order to understand this better, try to discern and distinguish between what you see and awareness. They are not at all the same.

(Edited 5 hours later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 4 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Nevermind, that was redundant.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 4 hours later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> There is no "your awareness," but only awareness, which does not belong to anyone. As soon as you take ownership, you open yourself to total nihilism.

Now that is something to contemplate. Are you suggesting that there is no individual awareness however connected it may be or are you saying that awareness doesn't take input from the brain? The later I understand, the former I don't. Or is it just the ownership in question implying maybe control? I do have to say that with thinking about awareness not taking input from the brain I can see how it could be believed that awareness can exists without it... aka no death. But I like being human.

(Edited 1 hour later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 59 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I think it means that putting a 'mine' and 'yours' infront of it is wrong as that would suggest you can separate from the 2, as if they had their own personalities which isn't true. Awareness is, nothing before or after. As for awareness being separate from the brain functions, i refuse to believe that. That would just be another "I don't die when my body does" delusion.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 7 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

I wouldn't call it personalities but you do have to admit that there is a certain separation between my awareness and your awareness whether they come from the same place or are the same thing. But, like I said this is something to contemplate. I am open to the possibility that I am seeing it wrong.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 5 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
And what exactly would that be? Describe the separation. Don't just say "who knows". Examine it, challenge it.

(Edited 33 seconds later.)

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 9 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hexi I'm asking for clarification. Not saying "who knows".

Go hug a child molester. Yes, you could say that his brain is what makes him a child molester and that his awareness is pure but do you really want to be "one" with him? Also, we DO have separate bodies that awareness is attached to. We are not omniscient.

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 4 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Want? Want has absolutely nothing to do with it. Also, yes, we have separate bodies but what quality suppsedly makes your awareness "yours"? If you take bodies away from the equation, which awarenes is separate of, how would you tell?

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

But we cannot take our bodies out of the picture right now. It is the separation that cannot be ignored that makes it mine and yours.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Why not? The body is simply another thing you are aware of.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

So because you are aware of it that makes it not important or significant? You are aware that there is awareness. Can we blow that off too? Also, go hug Sarah. You are one after all and want has nothing to do with it.

(Edited 11 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 18 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Now you're just being childish. I'm not gonna bother to continue this conversation if you can't even give anything i say any consideration. Yes, i could hug sarah, she could certainly use a hug.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 7 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

How is this being childish? Are we not trying to reach some conclusion? Doesn't that take some thought on both sides? Or am I just supposed to ignore what I think to accept what you think without question? Or vice versa?

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 6 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I'm not trying to reach any conclusions here. I'm trying to explain a concept to you. What you do with it is irrelevant entirely.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ok, then explain to me why and how you can take bodies out of the equation when they are obviously there? It seems that you would come up with an incomplete answer at best.

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 4 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Any answer i give you is incomplete because of 2 things. a)I'm not god b)You are determined to not be satisfied even if i was.

You can take them out because they are not part of awareness. Awareness may reside in the brain but it's separate from it. You cannot measure it, pinpoint it's location, send impulses to see it yet we are having this discussion because it's there.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 6 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

But does that mean that your awareness is the same as mine? Whatever this is I don't get it. I can see how they can be made of the same stuff and be part of something bigger but to actually be the same thing in the same space... it just doesn't make sense to me.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Then I ask, again :) What separates them. What word do you use to make the definition of mine and yours? If you became aware of my thoughts aswell, would you still recognize that difference?

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 10 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ok, Hexi, if awareness resides in the brain but is separate wouldn't it be the logical conclusion that awareness is where the brain is? My awareness does not overlap into yours. Being aware of your thoughts would make no difference because that would just be my awareness recognizing your thoughts. Your awareness is still yours.

(Edited 40 seconds later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Ok, then. If i manipulate you in a way that makes you think in a certain way, would that still be your thoughts or mine? If i think what you should think and then make it happen, it's still YOUR thought? How would you tell the difference?

(Edited 35 seconds later.)

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 6 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

First, you are going into thoughts and not awareness. Second, you cannot make a person think a certain way. You have no control whatsoever over another person. That goes back to the whole free will discussion.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 12 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

I... you just... misunderstand me completely AND misunderstand the whole point on a fundamental level. I don't know where to begin, i'm no teacher. I asked if Diff could explain it in detail because i certainly don't have the energy for it nor would i even know where to begin.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

LOL Hexi that was cute. I'm getting tired of this myself. Why try to force myself to understand something that I just don't understand?

o_0 replied with this 7.5 years ago, 9 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
So my awareness is not mine in the sense that it's just the awareness that i am experiencing, meaning that if what Hexi said

> What word do you use to make the definition of mine and yours? If you became aware of my thoughts aswell, would you still recognize that difference?

where to happen, awareness of what Hexi is doing would now exist but there would no way for that awareness to determine that I am now being aware of something different since awareness has no thoughts or ID.

And awareness would just be a 'thing' happening, unable to discern from 'me' and 'you', it's just aware of stuff. (the experience would be the exact same)

> In order to understand this better, try to discern and distinguish between what you see and awareness. They are not at all the same.

If i got what you said before, imo this is the main problem.

I've been having a bit of trouble trying to picture bare awareness, but i guess this should just come from practice.

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Exactly! :)

Hexi double-posted this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
You shouldn't force it. If it feels unnatural to you, and something you don't want to do, then don't. There is nothing wrong with that. You're not a lesser, or better, person either way.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 8 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

So then what is the difference in that above and being severely brain damaged or severely retarded or infants? Who would choose to live that way? How could a person possibly benefit? THAT I could see being open to manipulation and all sorts of other very negative things. It seems like a horrible existence. I thought the point was to improve life.. not hinder it. To move towards a greater understanding instead of backwards to no understanding at all.

(Edited 16 minutes later.)

Dragontongue joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Awareness of what Hexi is doing now does exist, I'm just not aware of it. Why not? What separates 'my' awareness from 'yours'?

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dragon, I would say the body but according to them I would be wrong.

(Edited 29 seconds later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 5 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
The electromagnetic field around us? Our brains not being linked? We don't know. The only thing separating them might be a single electrical impulse going left instead of right, resulting in something not working? We can only observe that awareness is only aware of what it is aware of, claiming knowledge beyong that is lying.

Hexi double-posted this 7.5 years ago, 29 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Odd doublepost.

(Edited 21 seconds later.)

Dragontongue replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I can't help but feel that they oughtn't to be separate if there is just awareness, no 'me' or 'you', but hey. Who am I to argue with what's so?

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I never said there was no me or you. I said there was no *my* awareness as that would imply it had characteristics to identify it as mine. Why is it so simple to me, i feel stupid.

Sarah joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

What ARE you all talking about?

o_0 replied with this 7.5 years ago, 32 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Thanks for the help dude ;D

The experiences Dr. Robert has shared with us here have greatly helped me create my own ideas to understand how reality works, including 'myself' who seemed to have conflicts against itself all the time. This is already relieving from all of that.

I'd like to experience bare awareness. I think the unnatural feeling comes from never doing it before, but that can happen with any new thing.
If it never happens it's also fine by me. I'll practice it to see if it happens but obsessing with it may not help lol.

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I would have to repost the entire thread to explain so why not just read the entire thread if you care, Sarah? :)

Sarah replied with this 7.5 years ago, 4 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Hi, could you briefly explain what you mean by 'bare awareness?'

Dragontongue replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

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*shrug* I dunno. I just figured if a certain awareness is only aware of things arising in a certain place (or person), that awareness could be said to belong to that place (or person). If a certain awareness is only aware of things arising in and around 'my' body, then I would call it 'my' awareness. The characteristic I'm using to identify it as mine is its apparent insistence on only being aware of the thoughts in *my* brain, rather than the thoughts in anyone else's.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Thanks for the help dude ;D
>
> The experiences Dr. Robert has shared with us here have greatly helped me create my own ideas to understand how reality works, including 'myself' who seemed to have conflicts against itself all the time. This is already relieving from all of that.
>
> I'd like to experience bare awareness. I think the unnatural feeling comes from never doing it before, but that can happen with any new thing.
> If it never happens it's also fine by me. I'll practice it to see if it happens but obsessing with it may not help lol.

You have done it before. When you were an infant. I don't see why you would want to return to that, though. We are given the ability to reason and think for a reason. If that reason is only to put things in their proper place then so be it. Not a good enough reason to ignore it.

(Edited 38 seconds later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 10 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
But, DT, it's not 'your' awareness, it's *you*. The entity which is *you* is aware and nothing else. Whatever your body does, thinks etc is all subconscious, you only become aware of thoughts and actions when they arise, you don't actually make them arise.

Dragontongue replied with this 7.5 years ago, 17 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
So... I am awareness... you are a different awareness?

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yet, for all intents and purposes, no different.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 10 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hexi, according to this set of beliefs then *you* would also be *me* and *them* with no distinction whatsoever. Much like an infant looking up at their mother. But there is a good reason to grow out of that.

Dragontongue replied with this 7.5 years ago, 7 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
No different, but not the same one... like two identical mp3s.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 53 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hexi, you said they were not different. Now you are implying there IS separation. Which is it?

(Edited 1 minute later.)

o_0 replied with this 7.5 years ago, 5 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
But my brain is completely different from back then, ill never experience it the same way as an infant does...
This is not abandoning reason it's just reasoning different stuff.

> So... I am awareness... you are a different awareness?

He's awareness, but aware of other things.
There are no different kinds of awareness...it's just awareness...it awares around o_O

What changes is the stuff it's aware of, not the awareness because that's the same in everyone.

(Edited 30 seconds later.)

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 7 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Awareness doesn't reason, correct? Then how is it not the same?

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 14 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Hexi, you said they were not different. Now you are implying there IS separation. Which is it?

Why are twins separate humans? Why don't they do the exact same things even though they are identical in EVERY single measurable way?

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Because they are separate... like I've said.

(Edited 18 seconds later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
That's not an answer, try again. I'm not gonna keep going in circles simply because you refuse to give anything any thought.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 28 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hexi, I'm using logic. Not magic. But if you really don't understand then in the womb a single egg splits into two identical halves.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes, of the circular kind. You are clinging to a notion that i never presented.

Hexi double-posted this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

That doesn't explain WHY they are 2 separate awarenesses nor why they have their own, independent from eachother, thoughts.

(Edited 35 seconds later.)

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 53 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well then you tell me cause I have no clue. To me, they are separate because they are.

(Edited 48 seconds later.)

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I've told you, repeatedly but you refuse to think about it. I'm not going to repeat myself anymore, reread the thread because there is nothing more i can say.

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

You're referring to the reading your mind and manipulation questions?

o_0 replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
It's not reasoning and it's the same.

But the situation i am aware of right now is completely different than the one the awareness in your brain is.

The eye sight, thoughts, feelings, sensations, IQ and overall detected environment is different than the one Jeniffer is experiencing.

If awareness was tangible and you could grab it and put 'yours' in 'mine' there would be absolutely no difference.

There would be awareness of this nervous system and awareness of that one.

No one would be able to tell the difference and awareness would not be able to either. It cannot think or identify itself. There would be no 'oh shit i'm on some other body now !O_O!'

It's a bit hard putting this in language without messing the concept a bit tho, and spanish is my main language o_0

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 2 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Yes.

dr-robert double-posted this 7.5 years ago, 55 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Yes! Hexi's running with the wind here.

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 minute later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I never said anything about reading anyones mind. This is futile, reread this thread and the "Awakening never ends". I cannot help you.

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 6 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> Hexi, you said they were not different. Now you are implying there IS separation. Which is it?Its


Jennifer, you have asked some very good questions on this thread, and this is one of them.
OK, There is a so-called "you" which is conscious. That consciousness arose when the body was born--actually, for some period of time before birth there is consciousness. Sorry, I am being called away. I will get to this tomorrow.

Dragontongue replied with this 7.5 years ago, 18 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Why are twins separate humans? Why don't they do the exact same things even though they are identical in EVERY single measurable way?

Hmm... I guess either they're different in some other, immeasurable way, or they're shaped differently by environment. Two brains and bodies absolutely identical to one another should have the same thoughts arising in them, right?

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> That doesn't explain WHY they are 2 separate awarenesses nor why they have their own, independent from eachother, thoughts.

Are there really two awarenessess, or does it just seem that way because awareness doesn't communicate the thoughts that arise in one brain to another, just becomes aware of them all?

Hexi replied with this 7.5 years ago, 9 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

>
> Hmm... I guess either they're different in some other, immeasurable way, or they're shaped differently by environment. Two brains and bodies absolutely identical to one another should have the same thoughts arising in them, right?
>

But we know this is not the case. Even if they are raised in the exact same enviroment they are different, from birth. Maybe the critical difference is in which bed they were put in after birth and from that moment onward, every experience was unique and as such, their subconscious reasoned differently.


>
> Are there really two awarenessess, or does it just seem that way because awareness doesn't communicate the thoughts that arise in one brain to another, just becomes aware of them all?

I'm not sure i understand the question, sorry.

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

Hexi double-posted this 7.5 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Perhaps the doc can answer your questions better, Jennifer and Sifter. I gave this topic no serious thought before i talked about this with diff, which lead to him starting this very thread so my understanding is a week old.

(Edited 29 seconds later.)

Jennifer replied with this 7.5 years ago, 55 minutes later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ok, being aware does not negate the fact that I am the one being aware. Just because I do not recognize it in that moment does not mean it is not true.

You cannot say "I AM" and take the "I" out. That would just be "AM".

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

EvangelineMade replied with this 7.5 years ago, 11 seconds later, 1 week after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Doc, I am having the same questions as Jennifer! Awaiting your longer reply...

dr-robert replied with this 7.5 years ago, 3 days later, 2 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

The difficulty in understanding this is that it takes place on more than one level of experience. For many of us, there is only one level of experience which we call "me." That thing we call "me" is a combination of my body and my autobiography. But there is another level of being besides my body and my autobiography. It is that other level which I am calling awareness, although in reality it has no name. It is the emptiness in which everything arises. For example, if I look at something, I see it, but when I turn my head, I see something different. The scene changes. But the emptiness in which seeing takes place, the kind of "movie screen" on which all that seeing is projected, does not change. That movie screen is awareness. Same is true of sound, or any other thing sensed, thought, or imagined. It arises in emptiness, it fills that emptiness for a time, and then passes away, but the emptiness is not changed by what filled it, and it, the emptiness, does not pass away. It is always there ready to be filled by the next thought, sound, sight, whatever. Think of awareness like a wineglass. Anything can be poured into it. Anything. No matter what is poured into it, the glass does not change. Whatever is poured in can be poured out, and something new poured in, but the glass never changes.

This emptiness is also like a mirror which reflects anything which is put before it, and does not prefer one thing to another. Also like a mirror, it is not changed by anything it reflects. Awareness can have anything arise in it, but it does not change. While I am looking at a donkey, you might be reading a page in Diamond In Your Pocket, so what we see is different for each of us. But, the emptiness in which all that seeing is taking place is the same for all of us.

That awareness was there when you were a child, and it is there now. This is perfectly obvious—so obvious in fact that most of us miss it entirely. Just as a fish, having been born in water, never notices the water, but just takes it for granted, we take awareness for granted. Then, failing to notice it, we become hypnotized by what is reflected in it. We become lost in the movie, and forget that all of that action is being projected on to a blank screen which is always there.

Awakening is the process of coming to notice the mirror, the emptiness, the movie screen, the awareness, and then coming to understand or to feel that the space which never changesawarenessis much more what "I am," than the passing show which arises in the emptiness and quickly passes away. It is much more what I am because it is always here, while the show is only temporary and always in flux.
OK?

Cassandra joined in and replied with this 7.5 years ago, 1 week later, 3 weeks after the original post[^] [v] #0

What is the benefit of noticing the mirror and the emptiness? It makes me want to cry.

Differential (OP) replied with this 7.3 years ago, 1 month later, 2 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> What is the benefit of noticing the mirror and the emptiness? It makes me want to cry.

I don't understand why it would make you cry, not entirely. At some point I assume it has to do with how important the misconception of reality you had to start with was to you, but isn't the truth of it all more important than what you hope is there?

IF it's not, why would you hope in the first place, and if you weren't hoping why the tears?

I'm very confused.

Taylor joined in and replied with this 7.1 years ago, 2 months later, 4 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

When contemplating Differential's first post about how there is no free will, I began to see things from this other perspective Dr. Robert talked about. I began to see there's no point in getting involved in the mind or trying to control life because it's all happening anyway without interfering.

But I didn't completely process all of this new info and I've since lost this other perspective. Now I feel very involved, instead of the source of actions being external. For example, I have to monitor the constant decision-making process in my thoughts to make sure the thoughts are decided properly. Even though I know my past experiences influence my decisions and I can't predict my next thought or control my preferences, I still feel like I'm in control, instead of how Differential put it, as printer paper not being responsible for what's printed on it. I noticed when this other perspective was wearing out, it was when I began thinking about my plans for the day. So my belief in free will probably lies within there somewhere.

Another part that really gets me is this: Curiosity and critical thinking, analyzing our situation and coming to different conclusions and responding in a new way. This ability to think freshly seems so free, I'm not sure how it would be entirely externally caused. It seems there is a part of the psyche or brain that controls life. But the fact that there is a decision-making process and what ultimately tips the decision-making scale isn't under control. So it's like decisions or control happens as a natural functioning of the brain, but it's just another part of the causal web, and not free like we take it to be at face value.

I'm really curious about this. Anybody else have any input?
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