Sunday, 29 July 2012

Beginning an investigation



It seems difficult to capture exactly what we mean by looking so I am writing this out in the hope that we can clear up the issue a little. There is a little ambiguity in the word 'look' which I would like to outline at this point.  
Obviously on first definition 'look is taken to mean direct your eyesight to focus on an item in question. 
Secondly, it is also taken to mean conduct an investigation in to a state of affairs “I'll look in to it”. 
Thirdly, we have appearances “It looks like” and finally it has many phrasal verb forms such as “It over looks the river” and “You should look it up” to name a few.

The question we can ask now is this. Does looking really entail any of these definitions?
The answer is yes it does on one count but not on another.

In what ways is it accurate then? If we take the second definition and say it is an investigation in to a state of affairs this would seem to be exactly what we are talking about. What the LOOKING process entails is that we start to scratch beneath the surface and investigate reality with great endeavour in a way that we have never envisaged before.

 However, our first definition is what we really mean, because we are talking about directing our salience (perceptual focus) rather than looking with our eyes at an object, which is actually what we are trying to convey. 
We have actually had people ask if they are supposed to look with their eyes before in the past, but this only bears testament to how confusing this matter can be.

When we say look we are talking about salience of our perceptions. Rather than limit this to our eyesight we mean simply focusing on introspection and observing anything that appears in our direct experience. We have feelings that arise, thoughts, acts of imagining, memories, emotional states, bodily sensations of hunger and pain to name a few. All of this on top of the data we perceive with our five senses

When we say LOOK what we really mean is observe introspectively anything that arises in your direct experience. Absolutely anything that can be perceived, sensed, seen, heard, felt etc.. should be investigated fully. 
So not only are we saying investigate the state of affairs which is true to our definition but we are also slightly changing the first definition to: direct your perceptual salience to focus on an item in question. By item we are talking about the aforementioned items in red.

However, what confuses this matter is that there is a massive difference between introspection itself and what we are talking about when we say LOOK. 

This I think is what causes the majority problems. 

Since we have been engaged in thinking our whole lives we cannot see the wood for the trees, we are literally BLIND to what is happening in real life. This is not to say we are blind strictly, it is rather we are missing out on an aspect of what is available for perceptual inspection because we have never bothered to focus our awareness on it before. 

Reality is delivered to us through a perceptual filter to a large degree and what we experience is governed by our salience. For instance if I tell you to look at the sky out of the window, you will focus on the sky and then after that you start to comprehend the other objects in your field of vision. 
This is how our perception works, if we had to go through a process of not grass, not houses etc before we saw the sky, then we would be of no use as an evolutionary survival machine.

Our instinct to be aware of our environment and our habit to engage in thinking causes us to analyse everything. 

EVERYTHING. 

With this mechanism in place, we never actually get to look at real life because we appear to be engaged in an on going analysis of everything. 
We are constantly assessing our thoughts, the environment, thoughts about those thoughts, daydreams, we never get a glimpse of the real since all we know is this seeming mental life. 

What you are being asked to do is look at real life and not your mental life. Yes, we have to investigate mental facets of our existence but we need to approach it from such an angle where we are not looking at the perceptions* themselves, as we have always done, but trying to get a glimpse of what is going on behind these perceptions, the mechanisms that allow our perceptions to manifest.

*Footnote: This may have been slightly confusing when I first wrote this and used that word, but the point really is this. In the general hurly-burly of life we perceive and see things. Sometimes, we may even focus our salience on our vision and we have the appearance of looking intently at an object in our visual field. This is by definition looking, but we are not penetrating the fog by doing this, and is a surface veneer of the kind of looking I am talking about doing - Gh0$T 2015

Just imagine you are in this situation. I am stood watching a carnival and I see the procession come around the corner. The crowd start cheering, I look intently at the float and I start looking at the spectators young and old along the street, I hear a hissing sound and I look round, there is an old woman next to me taking an asthma inhaler, she puts it in to her red bag, she has matching red glasses, grey curly hair, and a wrinkled face. I look back at the float approaching me it has a brass band on top of it I start to count them and I start to look at what instruments are being played...

Right, I could go on all day about this and I could look at every single detail in the carnival and parrot it back at you. What would I have achieved here? 
Absolutely nothing, because this is how we tend to observe a situation. I have looked at real life on one definition, I am looking at the here and now and I believe I am looking intently and I can't find out if my beliefs hold or not, they have always held and I have not seen anything to the contrary. 

This is what we think LOOKING entails initially. 

Now if I was LOOKING at what was really happening in direct experience and I scratched beneath the surface of this, I would have a different angle of what was going on. When we are talking about LOOKING we do not mean carrying on as normal we mean actually scrutinising the mechanisms upon which the former example could be based. So in re-describing the above scenario I could try and LOOK at what was happening in real life non judgementally.



Perception>     Carnival float

Perception>     Sound happens

Feeling>           Anticipation

Concept>         Source of sound = people

Perception>    Gaze wanders along the street

Concept>         Old and young people here

Perception>    Hissing sound occurs

Movement>    Head suddenly turns to right involuntarily

Perception>    Person

Perception>    Inhaler

Concept>         Sound source

and so on...



Notice here that on the right hand side we could put these concepts in to a sentence to re-describe the carnival. These are conceptual labellings of what appeared in my reality but these are merely labels of objects that I perceive and associated concepts. 

We need to scratch beneath this level, this is the whole point of the process. So, if we abandon these concepts the left hand column is all that remains. This is what I am talking about when I mean LOOK at real life. 
When I am LOOKING I am scrutinising the left hand column and LOOKING at what is happening in my experience and how it arises. Rather than engaging in the thinking process, one is observing what is happening in REAL LIFE and not engaged in thinking.



There is a world of appearances that we are nonchalantly engaged in and this is where our attention has been all of our lives, in fact, it seems absurd to actually break out of this for a minute and actually scrutinise what is happening. 

This is why it seems so counter intuitive to LOOK and why so much confusion arises. 

Our analysis of our thinking actually causes us to miss out on a part of a reality that is actually available for our inspection, it is just that we have never done it before that we have real trouble comprehending what this means. There are cognitive processes that underlie this world of appearances and this is the substance we are looking for when we talk about LOOKING.  

We want the substance, the objective facts about the mechanisms that underlie our perceptions themselves, not an analysis of our thinking.

We want to scrutinise the processes that underlie our perceptions and not engage in thinking about them as we have always done. This looking stops us from colouring our perception with our thoughts after some practice and this is all it takes to see no self. 
Just five seconds of honesty is all it takes, it is not complicated or mysterious it is something that is just obvious if you look honestly. It takes a little time to clear the fog for the most part and it is not easy to turn your attention to this looking initially, depending on how wrapped up you are in that analysis process I mentioned. 

Perhaps I will elaborate on that a bit more soon but for now we can say that once we have an idea of what is actually happening in real life, then we can start to investigate how these things interact with each other and how they relate to our notion of what the self is.

It just takes a bit of courage to see that your assumptions were simply groundless assumptions that do not stand up to any kind of scrutiny when we use real life as an arbiter of truth instead of the mind. This. This is the key to opening the gate.



16 comments:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of Buddhist technique of "naming" mental processes. I generally didn't like Buddhist's approach since they were all generaly vague and long term projects. Did I get this worng?

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

Hi mate, I can see how you could draw a comparison with what the Buddhists call 'noting', where every sensation is learnt as such. The point of this post really was to help with the basics of what we mean by looking, since getting the show on the road seems to be the stumbling block for most people.

Rather than just 'naming' things that are happening we need to be focusing on these things and start to look at them in terms of cognitive mechanisms and start to fathom out how they interrelate with each other and to task orientation and various other exercises. Giving them names is not the main objective but rather scrutinising these things as they appear. In that sense the parallel with Buddhism is that you are going on a crash course in to observing how the mind works in great detail and then start to investigate how it supports the illusory self model that we appear to give credence to as our personal identity. I think part of Buddhisms immediate problems is that these investigations are done within a framing context of being a self and that is why some spend years meditating and accomplishing nothing, while others such as the DHO mob seem to have a much better angle on Buddhism.

As for being vague, I'm afraid phenomenology is not the easiest thing to explain, I wish I could! It seems that we have to try and be objective about what appears in a subjective realm which is easier said than done. I think neurologists and philosophers alike would do well to try and discern phenomenal concepts to try and invent a nomological language in order to try to discern qualitative aspects of our experience. Carruthers mentioned this idea a while ago and I think it is a good one although the problem is where do we start this endeavour?

Part of the problem is the current invalidity, as a methodology, of first person enquiry in the sciences. I think this aspect needs to be ironed out before we can make inroads in to this field.

Anonymous said...

I would be happy if you could elaborate some more on the technique itself (I being technical type male have sometimes a hard time understanding anything less defined than workflow or algorithm. ;-) )
Trying noticing what's happening in the mind after reading your post seemed like the mission impossible after minute or two since this mind's jumping can happen several times per second. It's overwhelming to follow.
I've been lurking at RT while it was still alive, now checking what's going on at TS and LU, have been working 1 on 1 with an amazing person for almost a year, have been close on some occasions but the breakthrough just doesn't come. I'm now not even brave enough to register at TS and begin a thread. Now I prefer checking blogs like your and do on my own whatever I can without bothering some good person with my incapability to "just f...g look".

Anonymous said...

Another angle that I think is worth mentioning and especially suited for "engineer" types, is the the "causality lens". You should establish for yourself if things are causal or not. Usually a technical background is more than enough to have a strong intuition (based on evidence) that causality is applying to all processes in this universe. You=self are just a blind spot left uninvestigated in this causal universe. Try to look under your hood and judge for yourself if anything that is happening in your mind or body has prior causes and conditions. Seeing repeatedly that there cannot be an uncaused thing in reality your self image (as an agent or observer) will dissolve in the matrix of causes and conditions that precedes it. Your intentions and thoughts are just the manifestation of prior causes. Experience this in real time and you will see for yourself what thoughts without a thinker means. You don't even have to see the causes but just realize that there must be something before that intention, thought, feeling that supported and triggered it. In this way everything that "is yours" as in attributes of the self is seen to be just interdependent natural processes. If this is helping or you have further questions please reply. Don't be afraid to think when you "look".

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

>>>Anonymous: “I would be happy if you could elaborate some more on the technique itself (I being technical type male have sometimes a hard time understanding anything less defined than workflow or algorithm. ;-) )
Trying noticing what's happening in the mind after reading your post seemed like the mission impossible after minute or two since this mind's jumping can happen several times per second. It's overwhelming to follow.”>>>

OK, perhaps you could try noticing one aspect of perception instead and start scrutinising it, I think trying to follow every place your attention jumps to would be impossible. The key in this post is to direct your attention to these things, rather than treat this as an actual methodology. The trouble is people don't know where to even begin so this is a basic starting guide in the hope that people can get out of the loop of analysis as such. In your case, you start trying to do it this way, attention jumps all over the place, you are put off. FAIL. So, then you approach it with a different method and find something that works. Rather than come here bleating to me about how your literal reading of this post is not working, you would do better to work the angles and keep trying, just look at what arises in your awareness. The key really is to try and spot patterns at first but then really the aim of the process is to scrutinise your beliefs using reality as an arbiter of truth, rather than concepts, which is what you are clearly engaged in.

>>>Anonymous: “I've been lurking at RT while it was still alive, now checking what's going on at TS and LU, have been working 1 on 1 with an amazing person for almost a year, have been close on some occasions but the breakthrough just doesn't come.”>>>

The thing is, it takes 5 seconds of honest looking to see this. Literally it is that simple. If you have spent a year looking that simply tells me you have just been analysing and have never looked and scrutinised your beliefs.

>>>Anonymous: “I'm now not even brave enough to register at TS and begin a thread. Now I prefer checking blogs like your and do on my own whatever I can without bothering some good person with my incapability to "just f...g look".”>>>

I would say register but if you have spent this long and have found nothing I doubt there is anything we can do for you. Does it really take bravery to sign up for a forum these days? We are not there to berate you we are there to show you where you are being dishonest. If you try to look then you would realise that we are there to help you. No offence, either you are just blinded by concepts and cannot muster any honesty and courage, or you are just lying to me right now. I suspect it is the latter from what you have written below but I maybe wrong.

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

>>>Anonymous: "Another angle that I think is worth mentioning and especially suited for "engineer" types, is the the "causality lens". You should establish for yourself if things are causal or not. Usually a technical background is more than enough to have a strong intuition (based on evidence) that causality is applying to all processes in this universe.">>>

Cause and effect is an illusion, however, it makes sense to label objective reality in this way since this is how we comprehend the world. There is no single cause for anything but there is causal closure, in that sense it seems that reality is one continuous flow of impermanence.

>>>Anonymous: “You=self are just a blind spot left uninvestigated in this causal universe.”>>>

There is no self there take a look.

>>>Anonymous: “Try to look under your hood and judge for yourself if anything that is happening in your mind or body has prior causes and conditions. Seeing repeatedly that there cannot be an uncaused thing in reality your self image (as an agent or observer) will dissolve in the matrix of causes and conditions that precedes it. Your intentions and thoughts are just the manifestation of prior causes.”>>>

So what is the matrix of causes and conditions? Can you clearly define this?
What was the cause? Was it waking up early today? Going out drinking yesterday? Bumping in to my mate and deciding to go the pub, or deciding to go to the shop at the coincident time that our paths crossed? In order to establish your claim you would need to state definitively which was the cause and the effect and it seems pretty clear that there is causal closure of the physical but cause and effect is an illusion that arises as a result of the brain labelling reality in to chunks that it can forms patterns from. Incidentally this is what contributes to the illusion of self since the brain maps the self on as a cause of the actions and thoughts that arise.

>>>Anonymous: “ Experience this in real time and you will see for yourself what thoughts without a thinker means.”>>>

I have already seen there is no thinker.

>>>Anonymous: “You don't even have to see the causes but just realize that there must be something before that intention, thought, feeling that supported and triggered it.”>>>

Yes, but what is this 'something' then? You are arguing for something that you cannot clearly define. What is the cause of you drinking a glass of water say? You need to clearly state exactly what this 'something' is and then you will find there is a regress ad infinitum, therefore, there is no cause and effect per se, but a useful conceptual distinction we use for communication. This something that you “don't even have to see” is an infinite regress where any instance of stating “This is the cause” is an arbitrary judgement.

>>>Anonymous: “In this way everything that "is yours" as in attributes of the self is seen to be just interdependent natural processes.”>>>

Attributes of what exactly? This would mean that there is some entity that has ownership over the interdependent natural processes if they were “mine”.

>>>Anonymous: “If this is helping or you have further questions please reply. Don't be afraid to think when you "look".”>>>

Great, I have you telling me that thinking while looking is a relaible means of investigation and yet you are saying that you have been looking for a year. Sorry mate, that does not even fly. It is clear that you would be going wrong here if you were interested in looking, so instead of hiding behind the guise of showing some interest in this process, why don't you come straight out with what you want to say so the good folk reading this can see your argument clearly? If you are here for these reasons then at least be honest.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gh0$TV1Ru$,

one problem of posting as anonymous is not being able to discern who is who. I'm the author of the first comment beginning with “I would be happy if you could elaborate". I don't know who the other one is. Sorry for the confusion.

>>>>The thing is, it takes 5 seconds of honest looking to see this. Literally it is that simple. If you have spent a year looking that simply tells me you have just been analysing and have never looked and scrutinised your beliefs. <<<<<
The problem I'm dealing with so unsuccessfully is that while I'm perfectly aware of "no self" fact intellectually right to the point it seems absurd, the goddamned "logic" kicks in and tries to make a mental model of this, trying to understand it and put it into perspective. This doesn't work of course. It happens always when I have a feeling to be very close to real seeing.


>>>>>Does it really take bravery to sign up for a forum these days?<<<< It's not about such kind of bravery but I've been working on this No-self on my own for quite some time, after that with the guiding and now have a bad feeling about my own incapability to either understand what really is to be done or not doing it enough/correctly. I try to be sincere. But after such a long time I'm sick of my-self (pun intended) and don't want to waste another people's time, so I try to do it on my own.

>>>>> If you try to look<<<<<
You may call me stupid but after all the reading and looking I'm still not sure I know what the f**k to do. I know it's some kind of introspection of inner working of mind and have been doing that a lot in various flavors. It reminds me greatly of the problem of seeing stereograms until you really see them and *bang* it all looks so simple afterwards.

>>>>>No offence, either you are just blinded by concepts and cannot muster any honesty and courage, or you are just lying to me right now. I suspect it is the latter from what you have written below but I maybe wrong.<<<<
I might be blinded by the concepts and continue to chase my own tail. I might be dishonest to myself which I'd really hate but I'm willing to go to the bare bones of the reality. Lying - no. I didn't write the other post. Why after all would I lie? Not intentionally, anyway. If it's subconsciously than that must be destroyed. Seeing reality as such is all I'm after.

Best to you

Odysseus

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

@ Odysseus

>>>>one problem of posting as anonymous is not being able to discern who is who. I'm the author of the first comment beginning with “I would be happy if you could elaborate". I don't know who the other one is. Sorry for the confusion.>>>>

Fair enough, it makes it easier for me if you use a call sign/ handle though guys, I thought this was the same person lol!

>>>>I'm perfectly aware of "no self" fact intellectually right to the point it seems absurd, the goddamned "logic" kicks in and tries to make a mental model of this, trying to understand it and put it into perspective. This doesn't work of course. It happens always when I have a feeling to be very close to real seeing.>>>>

OK, there seems to be different categories of people and how they approach this. Unison clicked in under an hour, me a few weeks and Nick a few months. So, it seems that what we are dealing with is differing degrees/ strength of beliefs.

What is the main obstacle to looking?

It is simply dishonesty.

As we keep saying, we are not referring to conniving dishonesty but we are referring to our inability to see the wood from the trees since we are conditioned to view the world through a conceptual filter.

How do we remove our dishonesty?

It is not quite as easy as that. We actually have to work our honesty levels up by testing our beliefs and exposing the delusion we are subject to. We are starting from a position of delusion unfortunately and from this point we are increasing our clarity by exposing our faulty assumptions. It is the beliefs and assumptions that you have to focus on, it seems that there are certain beliefs you are stuck on. You have to try and weed them out and test them. Really, this is all that stops you from honestly looking at real life, thoughts are a fog that obscure real life and take the role of judging what arises in reality when really it is perception that is the arbiter of what really exists.

The thing to remember is this. You cannot stop logic from occurring, you are not trying to stop thoughts you are trying to look at what is really there, so if thinking happens then thats fine. Like your man says here (I think he was trying to help actually, although he was muddying it up with concepts) don't be afraid to think while looking, but, I am going to insert a caveat here, thinking should not be used as the arbiter of truth or else you are not looking. Logic starts happening when you are trying to look but as long you are observing the thoughts and what beliefs they might be pointing to, then it will be fruitful. We cannot stop thinking from happening, so you need to get round this block.

Be honest about what appears in reality. If you think “this is load of bollocks” test it out see if it stands, the intellectual understanding you have cross reference it with that, test everything, every belief you have to scrutinise and discard if it is false. The reason why thinking cannot yield the truth is because it can only ever represent it, whether or not it represents it accurately is another thing and this is where the assumptions come from, and the only way they can be found out or validated is by looking.

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

@ Odysseus

>>>>>It's not about such kind of bravery but I've been working on this No-self on my own for quite some time, after that with the guiding and now have a bad feeling about my own incapability to either understand what really is to be done or not doing it enough/correctly. I try to be sincere. But after such a long time I'm sick of my-self (pun intended) and don't want to waste another people's time, so I try to do it on my own.>>>>>

Yes, but I can already see here that you have deep seated beliefs and really it is a deep identity you have here. One of the most surprising things we have discovered is people actually cling to their suffering because it defines them. Here you have a belief “I'm such a burden or I am annoying” lines of thinking. LOOK at your motivation for doing this on your own and not getting help, test it out, do a statistical analysis of every time you ask for someone's help for instance and see if you really are this burden. I can guarantee you it is an unfounded assumption. Start to turn to these beliefs as your guide from out of your delusion, be honest, test everything. You really need to have a “go get em” attitude towards this because a nonchalant stroll conceptualising about no self is not going to get you anywhere.

>>>>> You may call me stupid but after all the reading and looking I'm still not sure I know what the f**k to do. I know it's some kind of introspection of inner working of mind and have been doing that a lot in various flavors. It reminds me greatly of the problem of seeing stereograms until you really see them and *bang* it all looks so simple afterwards.>>>>>

That analogy is a little misleading but yes it is that same annoying thing, like the eye of a needle! If we could conceptualise it then we could just leave step by step instructions. Since there is no way of explaining the phenomenology of looking, everyone has different beliefs, levels of delusion etc... then it is just a case of testing beliefs and working that honesty level up. It is nothing to do with stupidity my friend, it is simply dishonesty.

>>>>>I might be blinded by the concepts and continue to chase my own tail. I might be dishonest to myself which I'd really hate but I'm willing to go to the bare bones of the reality. Lying - no. I didn't write the other post. Why after all would I lie? Not intentionally, anyway. If it's subconsciously than that must be destroyed. Seeing reality as such is all I'm after.>>>>>>

Cool, if you are really committed then it is time to redouble your efforts and hit this hard. I want to keep this blog related to discussion, so get a thread going on TS and we'll see how we get on. At the end of the day we cannot free you, unfortunately it is incumbent on you to do the leg work. We can just point your delusion out to you and tell you when you are going wrong and that is as far as we can help you, the rest is down to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gh0$TV1Ru$ and thank you for your commitment!

I'll do my best to compose myself and get on the TS. Since I'm just about to leave for the vacation (without computer and internet) I'll get to that when I'm back.
I'm now checking various threads, one of them that relatively closely matches my situation being "Understanding versus Seeing".
Until then I'll try to make out as much as I can from your guiding. I'll report back on TS when I register there.

Best to you

Odysseus

lavart said...

Is it really dishonesty if you don't even consider looking for the right thing?
Let's say you get what looking is about, you start checking your beliefs.

But what would happen if a belief is so basic that it is not recognized as a belief at all?
I.e. if you believe you have a soul you could look for evidence for it, find none and eventually drop the belief.
But you'd never even though of testing out the underlying belief for having a soul - the constant illusion of existing, that "i" that stares out of your eyes.

Is it still dishonesty if you don't recognize the beliefs?
Maybe that's why it may take weeks, months or years to get it - the moment you notice the right belief you pop.

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

Hi Lavart,

>> Is it really dishonesty if you don't even consider looking for the right thing?>>

I agree that dishonesty is a strong word because of its other connotations but when we use the word dishonesty we are not talking about conniving dishonesty, so for instance, resting on the same presupposition again without testing it would be the kind of dishonesty we are talking about.

>> Let's say you get what looking is about, you start checking your beliefs. But what would happen if a belief is so basic that it is not recognized as a belief at all?>>

This is exactly what happens! If you read any of the posts where people don't make it on truth strike, the common theme is that they simply cannot grasp the possibility that they have to drop these presuppositions. They cannot grasp that these basic beliefs are the ones that need to be challenged.

>>I.e. if you believe you have a soul you could look for evidence for it, find none and eventually drop the belief.>>

A soul is in an intellectual belief in any case it does not arise from a sensory impression in real life, the idea is formed through books, preaching and repeat conditioning. An attempt at direct perception of a soul clearly shows us that there is no corresponding “real life” counterpart to the idea.

>>But you'd never even though of testing out the underlying belief for having a soul - the constant illusion of existing, that "i" that stares out of your eyes.>>

This is taken as a given and people don't understand that this is just one of many assumptions that they need to test out.

>>Is it still dishonesty if you don't recognize the beliefs?>>

Yes, as I outlined in the first paragraph.

>>Maybe that's why it may take weeks, months or years to get it - the moment you notice the right belief you pop.>>

Yes, but it seems to be a series of beliefs and assumptions rather than one particular belief. If it was just one belief that we were dealing with then we could get everyone to work on that one belief but it seems apparent that what we are dealing with is a series of beliefs which are all tied in to the illusion of self. For instance, there are beliefs about cause and effect, ownership of the body, control over thinking and so on. The reason it takes so long for some people is that they cannot develop the requisite level of honesty, it really is that simple. It is just honest looking, nothing more since no self is not complicated in any way. It is simply and obviously true, it is just that this is masked by a complex web of illusion.

Anonymous said...

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/07/humans-have-a-lot-more-than-five-senses/

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

Hi mate, thanks for your useful post it was very interesting and is very pertinent to this exercise.

The trick is though folks, you don't HAVE to go through this whole list and identify every sensation connected with it. It may be useful to run a check on some these things and see if "you" can influence them but you will see that life lives itself and thoughts are often in reaction to these perceptual mechanisms.

The key really is looking at how thoughts try to take ownership of these things and attribute them to a self.

Anonymous said...

Could you give an example or two of using honesty when looking at the no-self inquiry specifically?

For me it would help understand the looking process and applying the principles.

Thank you

ZC

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

There are a couple of examples in here:

http://www.ghostvirus2011.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-lk.html

However, the best one is simply this... Just do the following experiement and tell yourself aloud what caused it before you read on past the stars.

**************************************************************
Open your hand and then close it.

Describe what happened aloud to yourself before you read on...
**************************************************************



All you know for sure is the hand opened and then closed. Any other explanation is an assumption and therefore is dishonest, since you have not investigated those assumptions.
To spell it out very simply, dishonesty is simply resting on assumptions that have not been demonstrated in your own experience. If you are of a philosophical persuasion, Schopenhauer talked about the fact that much of our knowledge is second hand and does not arise from direct experience.

Your task now is to start and look at all the assumptions that support the notion of selfhood, for instance, ownership, cause and effect, what is it for a self to have free will, is a self required for thinking, and many others. You will utilise logic at times to break down the illusion everyone does to a degree, but primarily you need to be LOOKing at your direct experience to test your assumptions out in real life.

Hope this helps.

Regards

Gh0$T

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