Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: Body/Mind or Body vs Mind?

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 17 Jan 2011 20:33 #1136

Now that I've read the other comments on Mike Monson's "Do You Feel Connected?" topic I'm interested in exploring the body/mind dichotomy that folks keep referring to.

I don't seem to experience this the way others are reporting it, or maybe I'm misunderstanding what's being said, but there is no distinct body/mind dichotomy that I can detect. There's a sense door that I would call "touch," or maybe "feeling," that seems to come from sensations on or in the body, but it's all just part of the whole of an experience. So for example, emotion appears as a compound, combined experience, some of it thoughts and some of it feeling, but those cannot be separated. They occur in tandem, always. The thoughts have no location, and feelings are anchored in parts of the body. Sometimes the thought triggers the feeling. Sometimes the feeling triggers the thought. A sensation in the body immediately triggers an image of that body part. A thought of anger or sadness or fear immediately triggers a feeling in a part of the body.

Or so it seems.

The analogy I think might serve best is that of another sense door. Hearing, for example, is clearly a combined, compound experience that is constructed of sound components and thought components. These cannot be separated as far as I can tell, just like body sensations and thoughts. It seems that all experience is mediated by mind, so what seems to exist is really a body/mind continuum, or maybe a body/mind entity. But not a separate body and a separate mind.What am I missing?
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Colin

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 17 Jan 2011 20:46 #1137

So... my point is that all the talk of "the body" being some kind of special place that allows for a more honest or direct interaction with experience appears to me to be a simplification of what's really going on. I am NOT invalidating what people report in regard to their experiences.I AM questioning what seems to me to be an overly simple explanation of the cause of those experiences..
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 18 Jan 2011 02:29 #1138

Agree completely, Chris-- one of the things that is really annoying as a symptom of 'dualistic derangement' is that we've [as a cultural mindset] not only bought into there being a hard line between self and other, there's believed to be a hard line between aspects of the individual! I have learned a lot about this subject by observing horses: my earliest riding teachers used to joke that horses have brains the size of gophers. It got to seeming really disrespectful to me, so I gave the matter a lot of thought. I noticed what genius athletes they are; I noticed how they can shrug a specific few square inches of skin to try to get rid of a fly-- and I realized that they have 'brains' distributed throughout their bodies.

Then the more I read about neurotransmitters, and how many are produced, not in the brain, but in the heart, and in the intestines-- I realized that human beings are a lot more like horses than is usually acknowledged. The mind-body split is just one of those ideas human beings are idle enough to come up with, and silly enough to fasten a belief system to. And then to make into a source of problems.

One of Adi Da's interesting phases of teaching produced the statement, " 'I' is the body." Along with 'I do not know what a single thing is.'-- he called it 'Divine Ignorance' and it seemed to require smoking herb for most of the participants. Or thus I have heard from people closer to the source than I ever was. The attempt to get people to look at matters afresh is worthy, even if the means were crude.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 30 Jan 2011 19:45 #1139

"What makes Focusing unusual is that it creates an inner climate around our painful and frightening issues that is different from the climate we generally fall into with problems and difficulties. Normally, we feel bad about things we don't like in ourselves. We are sometimes ashamed, feel guilty, annoyed, or impatient. We hold at arm's length and try to control what we cannot accept. Focusing invites us to relate in a different way to what we perceive as unloveable in ourselves.

'Can I find some way to be a little more friendly with the feelings that are so hard to deal with?' This is a vital element in the Focusing process. Being friendly usually doesn't solve the problem, at least not right away. But it is a special way of being more gentle, more open, less argumentative, and more kind with a hurting place in ourselves. This allows us, sometimes for the very first time, to really feel our problem as we carry it in a bodily way. Most of us only feel our uncomfortableness with a problem or our need to control it. Rarely, however, do we experience what it is like deliberately and consciously to be in the body's sense of negative issues without immediately being pressured either to control or eliminate whatever hurting, scary, or other feelings are there. This openness to bodily knowing within the Focusing process sets the stage for real and sometimes dramatic change as hurting places are allowed to unfold."

-- from Bio-Spirituality: Focusing as a way to grow, by Peter Campbell and Edwin McMahon
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Colin

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 20 Mar 2013 07:12 #10254

Chris Marti wrote:
There's a sense door that I would call "touch," or maybe "feeling," that seems to come from sensations on or in the body, but it's all just part of the whole of an experience. So for example, emotion appears as a compound, combined experience, some of it thoughts and some of it feeling, but those cannot be separated. They occur in tandem, always. The thoughts have no location, and feelings are anchored in parts of the body. Sometimes the thought triggers the feeling. Sometimes the feeling triggers the thought. A sensation in the body immediately triggers an image of that body part. A thought of anger or sadness or fear immediately triggers a feeling in a part of the body.
Glad I stumbled across this. Having been doing the basic insight practice a few days I noticed this morning that although I had my hands out of sight there was a 'visual' component - a generic image of my hands. When I close my eyes and think of a part of the body, there is usually a visual component or thought that goes with it. I was wondering if this is something worthwhile pursuing, or if it will unfold as I keep up this practice. At the moment I'm thinking the later.

Thanks Chris and Kate

:-)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 20 Mar 2013 08:34 #10259

Nice observation Colin. Thanks for being the endless resurrector of old and interesting threads.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 20 Mar 2013 09:36 #10262

Thanks Ona
Colin wrote:
When I close my eyes and think of a part of the body, there is usually a visual component or thought that goes with it. I was wondering if this is something worthwhile pursuing, or if it will unfold as I keep up this practice. At the moment I'm thinking the later.
If I am to be more accurate, I was thinking the generic image was not a part of what I was supposed to be experiencing, and that somehow I was adding it. So prior to reading this thread my thoughts on pursuing this line of enquiry was about somehow seeing if it could be untangled... however, having read what Chris has said above, it would seem this would be a fruitless endeavour.

I can now relax about separating thoughts from sensations but instead just observe. :-D
Last Edit: 20 Mar 2013 09:37 by Colin.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 20 Mar 2013 10:12 #10265

Whoa... you can experience the separate parts of sensations, you just can't untangle them from each other when they appear as compound phenomena. The feeling of your hands occurs at a distinctly different point in time than the generic mental image of your hands. They occur in tandem. That's how objects are formed and function.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Colin

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 20 Mar 2013 10:44 #10267

Chris Marti wrote:
Whoa... you can experience the separate parts of sensations, you just can't untangle them from each other when they appear as compound phenomena. The feeling of your hands occurs at a distinctly different point in time than the generic mental image of your hands. They occur in tandem. That's how objects are formed and function.
Just shows you how thick I am.... totally missed that 'tandem' means one after the other. At the moment it still appears as if the mental image and physical sensations appear at the same time, but I'm only a beginner at this...

I'm still a bit confused by what you mean by "appear as compound phenomena" (since they are 'in tandem'), unless it is that these particular groups of sensation/thought/emotion ALWAYS appear one-after-the-other (like a string of beads) but in different formulas - so if the beginning of this string appears, then the other beads in the compound will also line-up and appear?? Or am I thinking too much again? haha

Thanks for the clarification. :-)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 20 Mar 2013 16:55 #10291

Try and look as closely as you can. On my thread, I describe almost exactly the same phenomenon during sitting meditation. I had my hands on my knees and noted the touch sensation immediately followed by a ghost image of my hands in my mind. The two were, indeed, quite distinct. Perhaps just sit with that intention, to decouple that particular thing. Just keep watching and see what develops.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Colin

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 20 Mar 2013 17:04 #10292

Colin wrote:
I'm still a bit confused by what you mean by "appear as compound phenomena" (since they are 'in tandem'), unless it is that these particular groups of sensation/thought/emotion ALWAYS appear one-after-the-other (like a string of beads) but in different formulas - so if the beginning of this string appears, then the other beads in the compound will also line-up and appear?? Or am I thinking too much again? haha
Thinking too much? I think so, and I don't mean that as an insult.

In order to notice what Chris is talking about, your momentary concentration needs to reach a certain capacity. The only way to build this capacity is to practice something like noting, and to do so patiently and persistently. Moment to moment. It doesn't matter if you think you missed something. Just notice the next thing, and the next, and the next. When your capacity gets better, the more refined aspects of experience come into view on their own. You don't have to go looking for them, or even thinking about them.

The more you stick to the method, the more such phenomenal appearances come into view.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Colin

Body/Mind or Body vs Mind? 20 Mar 2013 17:58 #10296

Exactly.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Time to create page: 0.138 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum