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TOPIC: emotions arising out of division/ego or not

emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 04:00 #17468

I'm guessing a lot of you are familiar with Adyashanti's excellent book, the End of Your World. If not, I recommend it wholeheartedly. There is one tiny bit in there which puzzles me slightly.

He talks about emotions (esp negative ones) as the visible tops of the weeds of belief systems in the mind. In his own practice, whenever any angry thought arose, he would trace it back to the roots of whatever the residual "non-awakened" belief that was causing it was, and hang out with the belief-emotion-thought process until it was uprooted, seen through clearly, however you call it.

He also says tho, that it's possible to have emotions arising that are not arising from division (division being what he calls the state of 'ego'), e.g. acting from a belief that one is separate from the world. It could be just natural emotionality.

This is in conflict to what I understand from the Buddhist (e.g. 4 path fetters model, Tibetan 10 Bhumi) stuff which seems to say, no emotionality - they would say: no more perception of forms = nothing to get cross about, ever! (paraphrased badly, but you get what I mean hopefully.)

It seems like people I have met who claim to have uprooted all their karmic stuff can still display stuff which seems like impatience or force. Nisargadatta is oft quoted as saying that impatience can arise in experience (if lunch is late) but it would be seen through immediately.

But anyway does anyone have any opinion on this? Or some example of what you think Adya might be talking about? Where does an emotion (I guess we're talking negative ones here) arise from if not some errant belief about self or world?
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2013 04:02 by Sadalsuud.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 08:59 #17474

I'm curious -- why separate negative emotions from other emotions? My experience is that mind's nature is to create concepts and divisions. It naturally forms objects out of process and calls them by some name or another and pretends they are distinct from all else. This occurs for all things, not just what we might call "bad" things. Is it even possible to eliminate the seeing of forms - to become some kind of super-being that sees only process? The power of the practice is in the investigation and the eventual wisdom that comes from seeing both these views. We can see that we live in a world that is "not two" so we see both the absolute (all is process) and the relative (objects/subjects) - putting this in vipassana terms. To lose one view or to favor it over another would be, IMHO, to lose the weird beauty and glory that is existence.
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2013 09:03 by Chris Marti.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 09:03 #17475

(EDIT: this is a reply to the original post)

There is another way of framing it. Emotions could always arise out of compassion, but whether it is skillfull or unskillful is judged on the actual results. Awakening is going to increase the odds of skillful compassion.

Framing it this way doesn't allow us to rest on our laurels. It side steps the desire to be excused from responsibility because emotions supposedly came from a place of non-division.
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2013 09:03 by shargrol.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 10:07 #17476

Emotions and self-referencing are both activities of the "form" side of emptiness and form. The ending of one doesn't mean the end of the other, and vice versa, however you slice it. (Language, being form as well, is all about "slicing" it.)

However, being empty, emotions color selfing and selfing colors emotion. The possibilities, from the point of view of awakening, seem boundless.

In short, I think the underlying premise of this question is flawed; but, that's not to say that it isn't a worthwhile question to explore.
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2013 10:51 by Jackson. Reason: for clarity
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 18:36 #17482

Sadalsuud wrote:
He talks about emotions (esp negative ones) as the visible tops of the weeds of belief systems in the mind. In his own practice, whenever any angry thought arose, he would trace it back to the roots of whatever the residual "non-awakened" belief that was causing it was, and hang out with the belief-emotion-thought process until it was uprooted, seen through clearly, however you call it.

He also says tho, that it's possible to have emotions arising that are not arising from division (division being what he calls the state of 'ego'), e.g. acting from a belief that one is separate from the world. It could be just natural emotionality....

Maybe another way to think of it is that if something bothers you, it's worth investigating. Investigating both in the sense of being fully with it (what exactly am I feeling, how does it feel to feel this way, where is it felt, what "symptoms" tell me "I am anxious"?) and in the sense of following that down to the root: what fear is this covering or prompted by? what don't I want to be with? what am I identified with that makes this sensation/experience feel uncomfortable or threatening?

If phenomena arise that don't bother you, then it doesn't much matter what you call them and they don't usually draw attention anyway, unless there's something novel going on. So I think the "good emotions" vs "bad emotions" sort of division is less useful than "things that bother me" vs "things that don't". Useful? Thoughts?
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 19:51 #17486

Hey all thanks for the help.

My question wasn't really about good vs bad emotions. No special status intended for negative or for positive emotions, it's just that section of the book talks mainly about things like anger and sadness.

It was questioning what exactly Adya means when he says some emotions/thoughts don't arise from divisive states. He describes the inquiry process he uses - just like Ona describes basically, to get to the bottom of each emotion/thought system. But he says, sometimes (rarely) you won't find anything at the bottom of a thought/emotion system, no divisive belief, perhaps no identification with anything.

This runs contrary to my understanding of dharma (which is basically as Nick describes in the DO chain on the fetters thread), so I was just wondering if anyone had a good take on what Adyashanti was pointing to here. Jackson could you please elaborate a little on what you said, it seems interesting, I don't fully understand it?

To Chris - it seems to me from some of the Tibetan stuff I have started reading and people I have been talking to, in answer to "Is it even possible to eliminate the seeing of forms - to become some kind of super-being that sees only process?" - the answer seems to be basically yes, and that's real-deal Enlightenment with the biggest E, and it's quite hard/rare. Of course it's about understanding the form is emptiness and emptiness is form, and I think the message is one dwells in the signless unless it's useful/skilful not to. This is as opposed to the say the basic mctb 4th pather who, in daily life, flits constantly with little control between forms/emptiness, e.g. being caught up in discursive thinking (my opinion).

As an aside, one might wonder why I am asking these questions at all. I think I am currently in a process of building faith and tools to tackle what I see as the next bit of my path. This involves trying to line up of the rational part of my head, with tools, and understanding and maps, with the subconscious which is I guess more about faith, devotion and inspiration. Trying to understand and be inspired by what is possible. Thanks for all your patience.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 20:08 #17487

To Chris - it seems to me from some of the Tibetan stuff I have started reading and people I have been talking to, in answer to "Is it even possible to eliminate the seeing of forms - to become some kind of super-being that sees only process?" - the answer seems to be basically yes, and that's real-deal Enlightenment with the biggest E, and it's quite hard/rare. Of course it's about understanding the form is emptiness and emptiness is form, and I think the message is one dwells in the signless unless it's useful/skilful not to. This is as opposed to the say the basic mctb 4th pather who, in daily life, flits constantly with little control between forms/emptiness, e.g. being caught up in discursive thinking (my opinion).

That's what several of us have said in this thread, just re-interpreted. Every object has form and yet is formless (is empty) at the same time. We can see both, as we live in a world of both. That's the human experience. Both, absolute and relative, are two sides of the same coin of existence/experience.

Having been in the presence of several highly practiced Tibetan Lamas, having been face to face with many very experienced practitioners, I don't observe that they develop into unearthly beings who live in the absolute and only come down to visit when they must, or are called. To the contrary, they seem to become more human, more in touch with their emotions and themselves, grounded, wise, happy. Happy (joy) is, I think, an emotion :)
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2013 20:29 by Chris Marti.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 20:35 #17488

This is as opposed to the say the basic mctb 4th pather who, in daily life, flits constantly with little control between forms/emptiness, e.g. being caught up in discursive thinking (my opinion).

This is not like my experience of 4th path. One of the things that dropped away was discursive thinking driven by the assumption that the self is a center of experience. That orientation vanished in that one instant and has not returned. Also, control over the moment to moment view (emptiness/form) arose and has remained.

What's been your experience?
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 21:13 #17490

I can't speak for Mahayana, but I'm fairly sure that it doesn't say anywhere in the Pali canon or other canonical literature that Enlightenment removes all emotions, or that emotions in-and-of-themselves are fetters, or that emotions arise because enlightenment isn't yet complete. Pali canon Enlightenment removes the ten fetters, some but not all of which are emotions (e.g. desire, ill-will). Positive emotions such as joy and bliss remain (and are also necessary steps on the 'upward path' of dependent origination, the one that leads to enlightenment rather than to suffering). This passage from Jayarava's blog may be of interest:

"The blissful [sukhina] don't need to will 'may my mind become composed'. The mind of the blissful is naturally composed. When the mind is composed [samādhiyatu] there is no need to think 'may I have knowledge and vision of experience as it is'. With the mind composed one naturally sees and knows experience as it is."

Jayarava - Progress Is Natural
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 21:13 #17491

(EDIT: Hey Chris as wrote this you changed your post/posts, thank you for doing that as your new ones sound much less confrontative to my sensitive ears :) The answer I wrote below still sort of follows on and makes sense).

Hi Chris, it seems for some reason we are just not understanding each other here. I thought I was just answering your question usefully, but I guess not.

My own experience is that while everything is Known (with a capital K) to be empty, that I have relatively little control of the way the mind creates forms. For example, if I sit with my visual field, half meditating in a park, my awareness contracts onto forms, and as a result of forms arising, feeling arises and maybe emotion arises. E.g. from perceiving the visual field as just depthless, flat, shapes, colours, the attention contracts around a jogger, form arises, feeling tone may arise, maybe thought arises, maybe an emotion arises.

Pre-Knowing that everything was empty, I would simply not be able to believe that there wasn't a jogger there. The visual field would be mostly always 'sticky' or full, with inherent objects in it, which did not seem to be empty. I did not understand at an intuitive, bodily, level that objects and their positions only arise because of changes in colours, shapes etc.

Now, in my experience, even as the attention contracts around objects, this does not change the baseline View - that the field is empty, flat, locationless. But the system picks up forms and reacts to them very frequently, and the results to this are often of questionable value. (e.g. generally the forms I pick up are due to desire/aversion, which further builds patterns of said desires/aversions).

I consider myself to be a basic mctb 4th pather. So even though there is no rigid belief in inherently existing objects, most the time (EDIT - maybe this isn't being fair to myself to say most the time - but certainly a lot of the time - outside of actual meditation practice) my attention is contracted around some object or other - seeing an object, contracting round a thought, with relatively little time spent dwelling in pure signless, objectless, emptiness.

What I am saying about the "high level Tibetan stuff", or what Nick is indicating with his post on fetters, is that as practice deepens, it is possible to get to a stage where the attention contracting around forms happens not that much, only when 'useful' (whatever "useful" means). So, most the time (at least as much as useful), someone of this fabled rank (real-deal arahat or tibetan 7th bhumi) is abiding in signless emptiness, meaning their attention is not contracting around any forms, they are literally perceiving no objects, nothing for the mind to grasp to.

EDIT: adding this bit, just for increased clarity
So, on "control over the moment to moment view" as you say. Yes I have this when "conscious", for example now, I can tune in to the emptiness of phenomena as I like. But when my mind is contracted - say I am mid-reacting, or in a chain of thought driven by fear - as an example, when I read your first unedited post, a gentle sensation of fear arose, and thoughts based in fear arose "Jesus these guys have got it in for me, it's like walking around a landmine field here, I wish they would just focus on what I'm asking in instead of constantly looking for holes in anything I say..." - while these untrue thoughts, based in egoic beliefs and fear, were arising and chaining, for about 5-10 seconds, it's not possible to say that I was abiding securely in the knowledge of their emptiness, or that I could 'choose' the view I took of them. While they were proliferating it's simply not true for me to say I had "moment-to-moment control of the view". So this is what I mean when I say that an average mctb 4th pather - if they can still be caught up in unskillful stuff at all - then they aren't abiding securely in emptiness. Or that they don't have much "control" over how/when forms appear, in contrast to a 7th Tibetan bhumi "superman".

RE: discursive thought. that's interesting. Some aspects of my discursive thoughts have reduced but others don't seem to at all. The people who I have spoken to said that discursive thought still largely continues at awakening in the MCTB 4th path sense. I guess you are skilled/lucky. (EDIT Having said that it is only since October 20th that the centre dropped from my experience, and I felt that non-duality was done (the doer went in early Sept) so things may change.)

Hope that clears things up. Glad to be taking Dharma!
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 03:34 by Sadalsuud.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 19 Dec 2013 21:31 #17493

Hi Every3rdthought, Chris, re: emotionality

I guess my writing is unclear - On the "high level tibetan stuff" - note that I say I think it's about dwelling in signlessness unless it's useful to do otherwise.

Cultivating positive emotions is useful / skillful, so it's evidently good to 'use' forms for.

I am not saying that one should try and eliminate all happy emotions. Or even eliminate all negative emotions, if they are useful for some reason.

I'm just saying that I think the path after mctb 4th is (EDIT: could be) just about establishing oneself more firmly in signlessness purely to as a means to avoid unskillful behaviour. For skillful behavior, like abiding in bliss, radiating joy, spontaneity, let the mind take as many forms as it likes!
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 03:20 by Sadalsuud.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 05:06 #17495

My take on "strategy" in regards to this stuff is that one must focus on what is coming up in the present moment and investigate it as it is, not try to contrive it or manipulate it to be different. For instance, if attention grabs on to specific objects (the pretty jogger in the park) leading to reactivity (lust, for instance), it is more useful to observe how that play of phenomena unfolds over and over, similarly to Adyashanti's following the strings idea (or other basic methods of investigation) rather than trying to force attention not to do that, which is just moving attention to something else or adding aversion, repression and tension to the reaction that occurred (and then failing to notice how THOSE phenomena feel and what they are entangled with). It's often the case that when we don't experience a particular way of perceiving, our idea of how that would feel (based on descriptions) is not actually accurate, because it simply can't be perceived.

Take for random instance a beginner who hears about emptiness. The beginner might imagine that if advanced yogis "perceive the emptiness of phenomena" then that must mean that they have an ongoing awareness of a sort of giant void behind reality, and so we might walk around imagining that there's a giant void hidden behind the trees, joggers, park benches, other people etc. If we concentrate really hard we imagine maybe we can actually see this imaginary void. This is just imagining something, and isn't helping ones practice at all. If instead we simply investigate our actual experience as it is, then in time the emptiness of phenomena arises as insight, and it will be very unlike we imagined it would be. Now, when we re-read those descriptions, we can say "Oh, that's what they meant." Descriptions are always analogies, things that are hard to describe forced into words to try to explain them to others. Limited by the nature of concepts and words.

In other words, "I should be having perception X" is setting up an clinging/aversion-reaction to whatever is arising, but usually not noticing the clinging/aversion. It's really important to notice the constant clinging/aversion, as that is the manifestation of "ego" or "self". Any tendencies to want to know, to want things to be different, to want to do something, etc. are manifestations of the sense of self/ego/identity and thus really fruitful territory for exploration.

YMMV
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 08:02 #17498

hi Ona, thanks for that. Well put.

One phrase that resonates most with me in this mode of practice of just seeing the movements of awareness is "allowing things to self-liberate." I like the this self-liberate as it seems to point to just the empty patternings or awareness liberating themselves, just as you describe.

In my own practice I find that things take a bit of a cycle:
1. Some patterning process, which was previously seen as not a problem - say a pleasure/fantasy one, (wow, hot jogger, mmm) is noticed as a bit unsatisfactory
2. A slight aversive energy arises around this patterning and keeps reacting to the process (argh, must try to stay empty)
This aversive 'tail' attaching to the pattern is initially a bit useful as it brings attention and suffering to the process.
3. The entirety of this process of: pattern (e.g. pleasure) + reaction pattern tail (e.g. urgh displeasure); sort of merges and becomes net neutral (neither rewarding nor aversive), and in becoming neutral, the sort of futility of the process becomes apparent, there is no reward in the mind anymore for it, and it is seen it clearly with no opinion on it. In this neutrality, the mind simply becomes bored of the pattern and it seems to self-liberate.

A metaphor I like is like for this process is when 2 particles (particle, anti-particle) are created in a reaction, and they come into existence, do a little swirl around each other, then annihilate.
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 08:11 by Sadalsuud. Reason: grammar and clarity
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 08:45 #17500

Sadalsuud, where we seem to disagree is on your articulation that there are two distinct ways to see. You seem to be saying that there is an absolute, objectless view available and that a human being can somehow rid themselves of the relative view altogether. I'm staying that the absolute and the relative are both inherent in all objects, and that you cannot get one without the other. Much like you cannot have water without both hydrogen and oxygen. We can incline the mind toward one or the other view, but we cannot stop the mind from seeing objects. We can reduce, maybe eliminate, the clinging and aversion associated with the objects mind creates, but that's not that same thing as not experiencing the objects at all. Without objects, names, etc. we would not be able to communicate, form concepts, think in relative terms, plan vacations, do math, including thoughts and observations about space and time, as those two seemingly fundamental "things" are concepts, too.

That is my experience.

Does that help?
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 08:45 #17501

Slightly tangential, but it comes up once in a while in these kind of conversations: the idea that awakening is some kind of engagement with form and emptiness such that when I'm having x kind of experiences, that's emptiness, and when I'm having y kind of experiences, that's form. I think Shinzen once described a sort of zooming in and out of different levels of perception, in a podcast years ago. I think this is a way of articulating a stage-related kind of experience, but really has very little to do with form and emptiness or awakeness, even. It's reifying certain kinds of phenomena and sensations. The same kind of thing happens in Christian practice when people feel aware of God's presence when they are having a certain kind of open, relaxed feeling, or certain meditative states; but when they are trying to get taxes done 30 minutes before the deadline or the toddler has diarrhea, God seems to have gone on a coffee break. God don't work like that. That's just reifying your own experience and creating an image of God based on clinging and aversion, or dividing experience into categories. Thoughts on this, if it's not too off subject?

(eta: cross posted with Chris, who seems to be pointing in the same direction)
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 08:46 by Ona Kiser.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 08:56 #17502

I am not saying that one should try and eliminate all happy emotions. Or even eliminate all negative emotions, if they are useful for some reason.

I think this way of thinking about practice can lead to frustration. Practice, at least for me, has been about the observation of things, as they appear right here, right now. When I grok that process, all is clear as a crystal bell and the observation in real time reveals that clinging, aversion (emotions, reactions, etc.) are just more empty phenomena, like Ona's jogger. I see manipulation, preferential treatment of this to that for whatever reason, as interfering with the observation.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 08:58 #17503

cross posted with Chris, who seems to be pointing in the same direction

Absolutely :P

One of the most earth-shattering (and mundane) realizations that has ever hit me was the one that said, "Idiot! There is nothing but THIS - what you have always had, You just assumed you were special, and that there was some way for you to manipulate and control THIS. Well, no, all of existence is just THIS, what it is, all happening very nicely without you, in spite if you, carrying you along like a cork on a vast sea."

BTW - that was folded into 4th path.
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 09:03 by Chris Marti.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 10:57 #17505

Hi Chris,

I don't think we are disagreeing too much. Certainly I am not advocating emptiness view as separate to form view. Like you say, "we can incline the mind to one or other", the two are not distinct.

What I am trying to point to, as a goal for my practice, obviously very inarticulately, is exactly what Nikolai described in the fetters post:
Nikolai: "There is a difference in experience when there is experience of the field of experience that has no 'objects' assigned to cut it up. Sounds, visual fodder, thoughts etc all still are experienced so to speak but not as 'objects'. They are simply shapless and nameless aspects of the field of experience. This part I find hard to describe.

Observe with specific neutrality long enough at the process of assigning significance and thus creating 'objects' for the mind to evaluate and react towards and their cessation comes about. With the cessation of naming and giving shape to 'objects', the cessation of contact and vedana occurs and then all that follows.

Observe long enough and the seemingly automatic urges to create and shape the field of experience into 'things' to then react towards becomes clearer and the cessation of those urges can occur. When that occurs, there are no more 'things' created. There is nothing born of mind to be experienced. There is nothing that arises and passes as the mind has ceased assigning aspects of the field of experiecne name and shape. A 'thing' that has 'name' and 'shape' is a formation and subject to pass away, subject to die. So, perhaps the end of conceiving of 'things' that die is what is referred to as the 'deathless'. Still the field of experience but now not cut up, segregated into 'parts'/'things'/objects to then react towards with craving and clinging. There is still experience so to speak. Hmm, hard to describe."

The bold bit is the bit or 'state' I refer to as abiding deeply in emptiness, like I suspect is the baseline state of some very high level practitioners. Now, obviously, these high level practitioners will, as you say incline the mind to one way or the other, depending on which is skilful, and which is needed. I am assuming that to assemble their IKEA bed, or teach Dharma, or smile at children, they need to perceive some objects/forms.

However, if you have worked on your patterning to this degree, so that the mind only creates objects when it's "skilful", then you cannot get caught up in say, angry thinking. This is different to just Knowing Deeply, as a baseline state, that things are empty, but the mind still grasping and reacting to the empty objects (which is what I think I experience MCTB 4th is like). Dig?

Chris, Ona,
When Nikolai wrote these words, you guys seemed to agree with them. Now you seem to be disagreeing, saying,
Chris: "You seem to be saying that there is an absolute, objectless view available and that a human being can somehow rid themselves of the relative view altogether..... We can reduce, maybe eliminate, the clinging and aversion associated with the objects mind creates, but that's not that same thing as not experiencing the objects at all. "
"Not experiencing objects at all" is exactly the "state" Nikolai describes above, which I believe to be a good thing to try and work towards, even though technically it's a not a state. And yes, also not working toward it in a grasping way, instead by allowing the state to come about by the steady undoing of patterns, (even the seemingly totally innocent automatic object forming patterns.)

Hope that is clearer now. I thought I was quite a clear writer but I feel like I am talking in Japanese here! :)
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 11:08 by Sadalsuud.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 11:10 #17507

Nick uses the term "cessation" throughout his description, which I take to mean Theravada cessation - no consciousness of anything. So yes, when that happens there are no objects. There is nothing. No thoughts, no forms, no communication. Nothing. The universe exists (maybe?) but without references, space, time, things.

While cessation has happened to me many times it's not a state I want to live in. It is worthwhile to compare that state to my usual way of experience, however, as it illuminates the difference. That was what I assumed Nick to be describing in response to the questions about cessation and what one might learn from it. I could be wrong, of course, but that's been my experience.

However, if you have worked on your patterning to this degree, so that the mind only creates objects when it's "skilful", then you cannot get caught up in say, angry thinking. This is different to just Knowing Deeply, as a baseline state, that things are empty, but the mind still grasping and reacting to the empty objects (which is what I think I experience MCTB 4th is like). Dig?

Again, this appears to me to assume we can cleave experience into two utterly separate pieces and then choose which to "see" in some way. Also, it seems to infer that the process used to get to that level of perception is based on some form of manipulation.

YMMV, of course.
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 12:35 by Chris Marti. Reason: spelling
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 11:36 #17508

Nikolai's last sentence may be worth paying attention to: "Hm, hard to describe." :D

What I get when I read that paragraph of Nikolai's I would rephrase this way, though my rephrasing of it might not be what he meant: that there is a difference between [seeing the jogger + conceptualizing the jogger +reacting to the jogger] and [just seeing the jogger] (albeit writing it down already turns it into [seeing the jogger + conceptualizing the jogger]). That "experience" - that is, reality, just is, in a sort of very simple, primary, pre-conceptual way. Our ability to function does not require the level of conceptualization that we imagine it does. That is, one can put together the Ikea table without thinking about it in a discursive, narrative way - the body/mind can read the directions and perform the actions without any sense of agency or "self" being involved, in a sort of automatic way. Going back to our favorite jogger, perception of the jogger does not require a sense of relationship to her - neither conceived of as illusory, nor conceived of as having some special significance, nor even named (often when we see a person the follow-on is a slew of concepts about what kind of person that is, how they are dressed, what social status they have, whether or not we like their haircut, etc etc - in other words, the perception of something immediately becomes a story).

I don't take his use of the word "cessation" in this context to refer to a lack of consciousness, but to the cessation (eta: ie, "ceasing") of this kind of mental activity in which things are perceived in reference to myself, or perceived as things to which I have a relationship, or things to which I have reactions. In other words, moving from a sort of raw primary experience to a conceptual level of interpretation and reaction.

But that might not be what he means, either.
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 11:38 by Ona Kiser. Reason: (grammar in a badly edited sentence)
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 12:42 #17511

Sadalsuud, I suspect that rather than talking about this you just should practice in order to discover what is possible, what you can find. Best of luck on your journey!
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 13:17 #17513

Hi Ona, yes that is what I think it is talking about. Glad we agree. I was worried that I had been given a curse like some person from myth whom no-one could understand! :)

So for example in say dance practice sometimes I might be improvising with other people. Normally I might see a person, conceptualise a person, react to a person. But it is fairly simple to get into a state where it is evident the bodymind is just reacting to the empty visual field. For example as the other dancer moves, you are not perceiving any dancer object or limb objects, the bodymind is just reacting to changes in color, light/dark/ shape that are result of the dancer moving in your visual field. In this "mode" (though it's not a mode) it seems evident that the attention is contracting less, or more fluidly than normal, and the mode is disrupted and become more contracted as desire or aversion kick in - for example, something starts to go 'wrong' and you think they shouldn't be doing that, and suddenly they are a dancer object again....

So anyway this is the sort of practice I am up to at the moment, trying to use these sorts of insights about aversion/desire to see clearly the action of patterns and thus let them self-liberate, as you very beautifully described in this thread. It is my belief that living more and more in this less-object-making mode is the result of undoing more desire/aversion at very subtle levels, and is while not a goal in itself, a pointer to something useful.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 13:41 #17514

Chris, maybe I am being a fussbag, but I find this response below just a little patronising. Also maybe it's not making me feel very welcome to discuss the dharma here...! Not a big deal, but I guess I found the tone surprising.

This is the practice (the deepening of insights of emptiness into everyday experience and life) I am currently engaged in, in my daily life, in sitting, walking, moving. And I am just here talking about what I am finding.

Now, obviously we are not able to communicate concepts very well with each other for some reason. You don't seem to be getting what I'm saying (which could be totally my fault), or what Nick is pointing to. So I don't know really how to respond to your comment. Maybe I guess we should leave things for now?

Chris:
Sadalsuud, I suspect that rather than talking about this you just should practice in order to discover what is possible, what you can find. Best of luck on your journey!
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 13:44 by Sadalsuud.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 20 Dec 2013 14:43 #17515

Some of what you are describing also fits with "flow states" - there was a thread on that somewhere. Might be worth a read: awakenetwork.org/forum/2-general-forum-t...ation?start=25#16263
Last Edit: 20 Dec 2013 14:43 by Ona Kiser.
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emotions arising out of division/ego or not 21 Dec 2013 05:43 #17525

I hereby unclaim or let go of any knowing what is what . In the very little time since posting whatever I posted and what has been quoted in this thread, I have had a complete blank replace what I previously ruminated about. Which is good cos labelling whatever is always going to disagree with someone else's labeling of whatever even with one's own past labeling. I hereby designate my opinion redundant.

I just don't know what is possible experientially.

Nick
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