What is a shirt?
I say, when you see a shirt there is an e-thought arising. You say, the body just "knows".
You say, having j-thoughts is a problem and leads to suffering. I say, attachment to e-thoughts (which include j-thoughts) lead to suffering.
I say, without e-thoughts the body wouldn't be able to move around (as babies can't). You probably would agree with that, as the body needs to "know" something to move around.
I have never found anything in my experience except for such e-thoughts.
But I suspect we very rarely if ever have a raw sensory experience. That would be lines and angles and dots of color for seeing. Anything else is already processed, filtered and combined into some concepts (like shape).
Maybe, what some people see at the onset of a DMT trip — highly colored geometric patterns — is close to the raw sensory experience.
shargrol wrote: A few practical/definitional questions:
Is reading a sentence a thought?
Thoughts arise for "me" during reading and writing. IME they are not problematic, that is, they do not cause suffering.
Is hearing a sentence within internal "hearing space" a thought?
Oftentimes these types of thoughts cause "me" suffering.
Is hearing lyrics in a song a thought?
Often I hear the parents speaking downstairs when I am meditating. Before, this would give rise to a host of thoughts about the content of the conversation, about how I wish they'd be quiet, etc. These thoughts constituted mind-wandering and were a source of discomfort. However, these thoughts don't arise anymore. Now when the conversation occurs, there is just the conversation. I'll have to look more closely at this, but tentatively I'd say that "I" do not experience suffering at these moments.
Is feeling the mood of a song a thought?
Unless there is associated "blah, blah" in the mind, this is a feeling and not a thought I'd say. But I do not listen to music much, so that is tentative too. __/\__
Jake Yeager wrote: Unless there is associated "blah, blah" in the mind, this is a feeling and not a thought I'd say. But I do not listen to music much, so that is tentative too. __/\__
How does this feeling arise? What is it composed of or is it an irreducible thing in itself? Why do some pieces of art lead to different moods than the others? What is a feeling of a piece of art being meaningful and what is a feeling of it being meaningless?
The reason I say that is many methods have a maturation phase when they become paradoxical. For example, in psychology crude defense mechanisms which have been seen and understood as causing suffering, they will become refined behaviors (humor, levity, reframing) that actually alleviates suffering. In buddhist practice, when greed, hatred, and delusion are seen and understood as causing suffering, they will be refined as non-dual emotions that are actually displays of wisdom. In inquiry practice, when gross resistances and burned off and all that remains is the quest for awakening, the questioning itself is seen as causing suffering and suddenly the whole dimension of mind becomes a display of intelligence that is without personal suffering.
The point is not to quit too soon on all of these practices, but to know the methods do work. Because they work, applying any method too long will actually result in an increase of suffering. Most of us have made this mistake at one time or another in our practice.
Interestingly, the way the methods work isn't what we expect (otherwise we would already know what it means to be awake/enlightened). For example, in buddhist practice self doesn't go away in the way we think it will.
Anyway, always trust suffering and the reduction of suffering as your guide.
"Name' and 'concept' bear some relation to one another, but it is hardly straight-up equivalence.
If someone gives me just one example, I'll be the first to jump on the bandwagon.
But I'm not certain there are no such "don't know what to call it" outside. What I'm certain of is I haven't found anything.
Oops, replied to a deleted comment
And I'm not about to go injuring my feet as Samuel Johnson did, refuting Bishop Berkeley about 'physical reality.'
"Refutation of Bishop Berkeley
After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it -- "I refute it thus."
However, I have no need to prevent anyone else from making their own journey. Bon voyage!
Another way to say this is that everything we know or experience is a model inside our brain. Neuroscientist David Eagleman is fond of pointing this out, as is philosopher of mind Thomas Metzinger. Without taking a stand one way or the other about whether there is a world "out there," we can be reasonably certain that all human experience is happening within the human nervous system. We don't have a direct, unfiltered window on reality. All we know is our mental model. It may well be that this model is built with plenty of real input from the world around us in the form of sensory input, but it is nonetheless a mental model.
In the context of spiritual enquiry, this is amazing stuff; armed with the assumption that nothing can be known for sure, the quest to find what is "true" becomes a non-issue, clearing space for something else to emerge. This is very different from a naive assertion that the world is illusion and nothing exists outside my experience.
It is true but trivial to say that all I can experience is what I experience. Explanations and beliefs are another thing than sensory experience, however-- they represent a processed state of the raw sensory input. This is so whether we're talking about outmoded or current explanations and beliefs, popular or unusual explanations and beliefs.
Personally, I'm not so impressed with the currently modish neuroscience models as The Explanation. When I look at them, it is always with an eye as to whether they answer questions that matter to me, or if they simply change up the focus and the language of, say, deistic explanations in which I am similarly not interested. Or Freudian psychological explanations, which seem almost as inelegant to me as deism.
I'm not saying I'm right; I'm just describing my personal esthetics and logic as something that could be considered. Or not. Maybe this argument doesn't look like a box canyon to anyone else.
My humble attempt to describe it as I see it.
Lens: The people and the world around me are real, and they matter. I care about people and the world. = Of course.
Lens: There are only thoughts and sensations. There is no way to be sure of any of it. = Of course.
Lens: I found the Master Lens. It makes sense of and integrates all lenses simultaneously. = Bullshit.
Chris Marti wrote: It seems obvious to me that while I can only access my experience using my senses it is also obvious to me that that is not all there is. There is more, though I have no direct, sensory access to it.
There are two possibilities for there been something out there not in human experience:
1. Real objects with inherent separated of any observer existences.
2. Experiences of observers not accessible to us.
(2) is obviously true (unless we take solipsism). But we can make tools that allow us to see beyond senses, what is still an experience. We probably will be able to simulate an experience of being a dog someday.
But (1) seem to be refuted with more and more certainty in experimental tests of Bell's theorem. That is why I've allowed myself a bit of certainty, which, of course is not ultimate for now.
Kenneth Folk wrote: Lens: I found the Master Lens. It makes sense of and integrates all lenses simultaneously. = Bullshit.
If a lens says that it's not a Master Lense. Because we (humanity) have already found/invented more complex and inclusive lenses that include a lot from this pseudo-master and transcend it's claim to be The Master.