Monday, 22 June 2015

Logic Vs. Looking - How to Look 2015

Where to begin - Part I here

When To Use Logic

Some of the process will involve a little bit of destroying beliefs by utilising logic and recognising patterns of dishonesty. BUT... this is not to be confused with looking since these are two distinct categories of activity. We will focus on how honesty and dishonesty will influence the investigation shortly, but for now lets check out the process. 

If I could lay it out in an overview format it would probably look something like this:

Look at direct experience for the phenomenon that 'I' refers to
Thought or feeling appears proclaiming the self exists. 
Ask how do I know the self exists?
Because of 'X'
Expose the dishonesty related to X
Look at direct experience for the phenomenon that 'I' refers to
Rinse and repeat 100 – 1,000 times until you have discovered the truth.

While I was involved at Truth Strike, I specialised more in helping people recognise their erroneous beliefs to facilitate them to look at direct experience. In this respect I used to help people recognise their dishonesty for the most part. However, I would always refer back to the core of looking which is simply looking for what this 'I' is.

The truth is, you only need to focus on that one thing - which is looking for what the word 'I' refers to in real life. 

If there was only one thing I wanted you to take from reading this piece, it would be the previous sentence  written in bold. 

It really is that simple.

However, there are also times when a more reasoned approach is necessary. Sometimes it is useful to refute certain beliefs as you unearth the dishonesty related to the illusion of self. The absolute key to doing this correctly is making a distinction between concepts and phenomena. 
Much of the work I have done on has been related to the emptiness of many of our concepts. Language is the medium in which we are able to deceive ourselves and by investigating certain facets of meaning, we can discover that what we took for granted as common sense assumptions, are actually without foundation. 

When we are engaged in this aspect of enquiry though, we need to be aware that we are not looking. 

When we are doing this we are thinking and you need to make sure that this is not your only means of enquiry. To put this in to a simple analogy we can think about removing buried concrete in the ground. One must use a spade, and a jack hammer. We use the jack hammer to shatter the concrete in to smaller pieces and then we use the spade to lever up the pieces and dig them out. 
This process involves the use of two tools and whilst the hammer is effective at breaking things apart, unless we dig out and remove the pieces, we are still left with the concrete.

Obviously, the use of both of the tools is effective but one in isolation makes the job as good as impossible. 

So, the correct method is to use logic to guide the enquiry. 

You use the jack hammer to focus on a small section and chisel it out. Then you start trying to unearth it by looking at phenomena that support the assertion. 
We will use a concrete (ha!) example later on that will make this clearer but for now we need only to be aware of the difference between phenomena and concepts. We will introduce how to utilise logic in an investigation in due course. 

You need to be able to distinguish between phenomena and concepts in order to utilise looking and thinking effectively.

Observations regarding Logic

When I started the looking process a few years ago I sat there with a notepad refuting every excuse I came up with. In the end, I broke through the pattern of dishonesty that prevented me from seeing, and this is why I came up with a more logically biased method than some others did. 
It is debatable whether my way of doing things is any better, all the evidence seems to suggest that it is a slower way of doing things in actual fact. What worked for me doesn't necessarily work for others, and thinking too much distracts you from actually looking anyway. 

Mulling over too many concepts is counter productive and is a distraction from the truth. So, my advice to you is make looking your primary focus but also be prepared to smash apart your faulty assumptions using logical thinking

However, you must do this within the context of looking at the ideas that support the notion of self hood. 

The reason I did things in this way is that I am not too keen on esoteric means of doing things. Like any rational westerner, I had to be sure that the logic worked and I went about rationally deconstructing my framework of thinking besides giving myself a headache from trying to look too hard! 

After I had seen no self and committed to helping others, I saw similar themes in the response patterns on forum posts and this led me to start to focus on ways of destroying our taken for granted assumptions and undermining the foundations on which they stand. 
I did not use a forum group to do the investigation, I simply put my framework of thinking to the test and scrutinised it with the light of reality. What I found was that my 'self' was merely assumptions based on more assumptions that I had never bothered to test, which formed the underpinning of my entire world view. 

Naturally, I was shocked at what I discovered, and I found the process somewhat uncomfortable. In this sense, I always preferred to let people discover the truth for themselves and most of my successful 'liberations' (if you really want to call it liberation) were as a result of people being left to their own devices. 

It is no good anyone giving you an account of 'the truth' - you must discover it for yourself.

In my honest opinion you do not need guides to do this successfully. I will admit that reading other peoples investigations who were being mentored by a guide can be very useful. However, you must be careful that you are not reading along nodding, instead of discovering the truth for yourself – be very careful with this and trust nothing that other people say.
It may be the case that you are reading the work of an inexperienced guide and they might be facilitating subtle dishonesty by allowing wishy-washy concessions.  However, in the hands of an experienced guide, the process can be a systematic demolition of the self and the kind of questions they ask can be the ones you can starting asking about reality. 

 Some people benefit from the motivation of guides when they have been unsuccessful for a long time in their search and using a guide also helps expose hidden dishonesty. There are benefits to doing things this way.
 However, the key to getting the insight of Anatta in my view, is to have a burning desire to get to the truth and that is sufficient to crack this on your own. If you work the honesty angle then it is possible to spot your own inconsistencies and come face to face with your dishonesty. 

I was just as, if not more so, dishonest than many people and I had rather poor critical thinking skills when I started out. So, know that it is plausible to crack this on your own with no philosophical or spiritual experience if you have the right attitude. 

You need to laser focus on looking at the truth - that is all that is required.

Do this relentlessly until you have investigated and turned over every stone looking for what this self could possibly be. However, this is not always easy as you are going to lock horns with the brains defence mechanism which will try to dissuade and confuse you at every turn.

Courage >


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