Apech

The necessity of thought.

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On 8/19/2020 at 8:02 PM, Apech said:

A lot of meditation instruction tells you to still or even stop thoughts – and holds up as a goal the idea of being thoughtless or at least non-conceptual.

 

Hi Apech,

 

The thread is titled thus... "The necessity of thought".

 

So thinking is inevitable ~ irrespective of what?

 

 th?id=OIP.TDJFYdTSTYyJUOVAk1A3mAAAAA&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300 ...  but ...  th?id=OIP.Mc7jatQ5mM2CCJFtRHUhYAHaE8&pid=Api&P=0&w=230&h=154

 

- Anand

 

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On 19/08/2020 at 9:22 PM, forestofemptiness said:

If stopping thought was the issue, we'd be enlightened every night when we go into deep, dreamless sleep.

 

That is a common assumption but having no recollection of thinking during deep sleep cannot be conclusive evidence of cessation of thinking during deep sleep because, similarly, having no memory of having misbehaved when drunk does not rule out that possibility either.

In any case, as further food for thought, what evidence is there that everyone is not Enlightened in deep sleep but that most sink back into ignorance in the morning?
 

☮️

 

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I reckon it is attainable, to clear out thoughts. Have you not come close to doing this yourself ? Obviously, only briefly. 

When I met with marblehead, this was something we talked about briefly. Who did marblehead so often point to here? 

Arriving at a thoughtless state, one attains a level that zhuangzi understood. So, yes, i think its attainable and extremely rare to do so except for brief moments. Moments of true meditation. Accomplishing it one becomes like a zhaungzi. Very rare, yet it exists; in the way that existence transforms into being.

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Why do you think I haven't had any direct experience? 

 

1 hour ago, Daemon said:

 

That is a common assumption but having no recollection of thinking during deep sleep cannot be conclusive evidence of cessation of thinking during deep sleep because, similarly, having no memory of having misbehaved when drunk does not rule out that possibility either.

In any case, as further food for thought, what evidence is there that everyone is not Enlightened in deep sleep but that most sink back into ignorance in the morning?
 

☮️

 

 

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On 8/19/2020 at 7:02 AM, Apech said:

 

 

 

A lot of meditation instruction tells you to still or even stop thoughts – and holds up as a goal the idea of being thoughtless or at least non-conceptual. And yet trying to stop thoughts has been described as like trying to dam up a river using water. It doesn't work so why even try?

being thoughtless is very easy. Just put all your attention to the next thought that will rise in your mind :) 

On 8/19/2020 at 7:02 AM, Apech said:

 

OK, to sit for while you have to be able to settle physically and mentally. Letting go of a stream of distracting thoughts is essential – but beyond that, if you are practicing does it matter if you are thinking?

 

For a start, the word 'thought' is very bland. There is a huge spectrum of energy intensity, from raging anger, say, to an abstract formulation. Are these the same thing? Then we can also distinguish between object orientated thoughts – which are in essence like commands – and, imaginative thoughts, like dreams or visions – are they the same thing? What about pure-perception into the nature of our mind, a realisation of whatever kind, is this the same as object related thoughts or creative imagery?

 

We have at least three types of cognition and therefore thought going on in our minds simultaneously, and with varying levels of energy. And if we are not trying to put a stop to this continuous process, then what are we trying to do?

 

 

 

 

The problem is with the wishy-washy English language when it comes to the mind and it’s contents (aka thoughts). I’ve not found a better system to categorize and understand the cognitive process than that provided via the Indian traditions — antahkarana — the inner faculties, the four  components which make up the “mind”. 
 

The problem isn’t really with “thoughts” (which are called vrittis or modifications in the mind-field), but rather with the misidentification with them. So it is perfectly okay to not try and stop the mind, so long as the understanding occurs that “I” am not the mind. 

 

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23 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

Why do you think I haven't had any direct experience? 

 

 

 

Why think otherwise?

Ain't the proof in the pudding? 

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

The problem is with the wishy-washy English language when it comes to the mind and it’s contents.

 

Hi dwai,

 

TDB is English language based ~ so it is a wishy-washy forum?

 

th?id=OIP.BndvNYahiz7j7mdHCVrUlAHaEK&pid=Api&P=0&w=280&h=158 th?id=OIP.-p4xKXQRJge4Xz9jspZg2wHaJt&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300 th?id=OIP.6cDaj6nzR3VJscy5c4PAmwHaJ6&pid=Api&P=0&w=300&h=300

 

 

Maybe the English washerwoman is wishy-washy... how about her Irish sister?

 

 

- Anand

 

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8 hours ago, Daemon said:

 

That is a common assumption but having no recollection of thinking during deep sleep cannot be conclusive evidence of cessation of thinking during deep sleep because, similarly, having no memory of having misbehaved when drunk does not rule out that possibility either.

In any case, as further food for thought, what evidence is there that everyone is not Enlightened in deep sleep but that most sink back into ignorance in the morning?
 

☮️

 

 

Okay ... except when I am 'enlightened' in my deep sleep   I act like a 'master '  .... travel in time , ride my old Triumph Bonneville down the street I used to walk to go to school, but now, for some reason there are deck chairs all over the road and sunbaking on them are the nurses I live with when I lived at the Nurse's home at the hospital I used to work at, and they are all wearing bikinis, I have to swerve in and out and drop the bike , it splits in half like those olfd airfix models I used to make . My mother comes out one of the houses and yells at me .

 

Ahhh .... enlightenment !   :)

 

 ( PS .  yes, you CAN dream in deep sleep .  ) 

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7 hours ago, dwai said:

being thoughtless is very easy. Just put all your attention to the next thought that will rise in your mind :) 

The problem is with the wishy-washy English language when it comes to the mind and it’s contents (aka thoughts). I’ve not found a better system to categorize and understand the cognitive process than that provided via the Indian traditions — antahkarana — the inner faculties, the four  components which make up the “mind”. 
 

The problem isn’t really with “thoughts” (which are called vrittis or modifications in the mind-field), but rather with the misidentification with them. So it is perfectly okay to not try and stop the mind, so long as the understanding occurs that “I” am not the mind. 

 

 

Totally agree about language .  Indian tradition and terms are suitable to consciousness and cosmology , French is the language of  love, as they say , Farsi ( Persian) the language of poetry, German the language of engineering, and so on  , but what about English ?

 

Its good for commerce .  ;)

 

Even the concepts are lacking , in English there is 'soul' or spirit' and both are confused and indistinct .  The Egyptians had at least 7 terms, Judaism has 4 types of human souls . I mean , compare Vedic cosmological complexity with the Bible .  Yikes ! 

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7 hours ago, natural said:

 

Why think otherwise?

Ain't the proof in the pudding? 

 

Why do think he has no pudding  ? 

 

 

:) 

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18 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

Why do you think I haven't had any direct experience? 

 

I did not make that assumption but as you have raised the issue it begs the question of what is your direct experience?

 

☮️

 

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21 hours ago, dwai said:

being thoughtless is very easy. Just put all your attention to the next thought that will rise in your mind :) 

The problem is with the wishy-washy English language when it comes to the mind and it’s contents (aka thoughts). I’ve not found a better system to categorize and understand the cognitive process than that provided via the Indian traditions — antahkarana — the inner faculties, the four  components which make up the “mind”. 
 

The problem isn’t really with “thoughts” (which are called vrittis or modifications in the mind-field), but rather with the misidentification with them. So it is perfectly okay to not try and stop the mind, so long as the understanding occurs that “I” am not the mind. 

 

 

I think I would put this a slightly different way.  The Indian language/culture gives a very sophisticated basis for examining the mind and consciousness - and was developed over a long period of time.  In fact it's arguable that it is this rather than the different schools of Vedanta, Buddhism, Jainism and so on which is the key.   The disputes between these different religions or movements  could in the context of Indian cultural development be seen as as being like two mathematicians disputing over whether geometry is superior to algebra - because they are arguing within a linguistic and cultural shared background.  When they use terms differently there is still some ability to compare and contrast and reach understanding.

 

The interesting thing is what happens when this is exported to new cultures - such as China and Tibet.  In those days there seems to have been a recognition of something precious being handed on and the pains taken to make sure this act of translation was accurate but also held up against the standards of the recipient culture were immense.  Including creating new scripts and sets of terms with proper definitions.  In contrast when the various Indian traditions came to the West all we had were individual scholars and teachers providing their own interpretation - and often idiosyncratically heavily influenced by either not having proper training in Indian philosophy, or not fully understanding nuance in English.  So you end up with a collection of loose and vague translated texts which loose their power and value.  For some reason it seems that it has taken till now to get some rigorous scholarly examination of the systems and efforts to supply a new lexis in English to express them.  It seems to me this is only now beginning.  The whole enterprise has been  muddled.  I don't think that this is because English is a language which is incapable of being precise in this field - but simply that the work to make it so has not happened.

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19 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

I think I would put this a slightly different way.  The Indian language/culture gives a very sophisticated basis for examining the mind and consciousness - and was developed over a long period of time.  In fact it's arguable that it is this rather than the different schools of Vedanta, Buddhism, Jainism and so on which is the key.   The disputes between these different religions or movements  could in the context of Indian cultural development be seen as as being like two mathematicians disputing over whether geometry is superior to algebra - because they are arguing within a linguistic and cultural shared background.  When they use terms differently there is still some ability to compare and contrast and reach understanding

I wasn’t particularly referring to the nuances within the Indic traditions themselves. Yes they build upon, cross-pollinate and enhance each other (as they have done so for millennia). 
 

Also, in my humble opinion, it is not possible to detach the philosophical traditions of India from its culture and language. So all the sophistry that exists, does so due to these various traditions (samkhya, vedanta, yoga, Buddhism, Jainism etc).  

I think the gap in the west is basically a result of the incumbent philosophical traditions that have shaped its worldview. And by that I mean the abrahamic ones (although they have appropriated and digested from the Ancient Greeks, romans and other “pagan” traditions). 


English language doesn’t have the context or syntax to clearly convey ideas about consciousness because the underlying philosophy is and has been so confused about it. 

 

Am I being too harsh in such a pronouncement? Maybe, but it’s just my studied observation. Take it with a grain of salt :) 

19 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

The interesting thing is what happens when this is exported to new cultures - such as China and Tibet.  In those days there seems to have been a recognition of something precious being handed on and the pains taken to make sure this act of translation was accurate but also held up against the standards of the recipient culture were immense.  Including creating new scripts and sets of terms with proper definitions.

that’s because they too had intrinsic richness of philosophical traditions. 

19 minutes ago, Apech said:

  In contrast when the various Indian traditions came to the West all we had were individual scholars and teachers providing their own interpretation - and often idiosyncratically heavily influenced by either not having proper training in Indian philosophy, or not fully understanding nuance in English.  So you end up with a collection of loose and vague translated texts which loose their power and value.  For some reason it seems that it has taken till now to get some rigorous scholarly examination of the systems and efforts to supply a new lexis in English to express them.  It seems to me this is only now beginning.  The whole enterprise has been  muddled.  I don't think that this is because English is a language which is incapable of being precise in this field - but simply that the work to make it so has not happened.

Actually most of what shaped the western understanding of Indian (and eastern) traditions came via the European philologists with an abrahamic agenda. After the abrahamic systems lost their steam in public imagination overtly, much eastern philosophy  got appropriated and sold as original “enlightenment” and “post-enlightenment” western thought. 

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Great topic.

 

After 40 years of practicing no-thought meditation, I can honestly say that my mind is so much more uncluttered now.  Not just with an absence of dialogue, but with an absence of rumination and fretting.  Our mind is our thoughts, but when there is no rumination on something I wish I hadn't done, or something someone said to me, or that I'm feeling fat today.......when all those things are silenced, I am Here Now.  And when I am Here Now, this is when we notice stuff.  It's when we can see synchronicity, and we intuit the right thing to do in any situation - or not.

 

There is a lightness to my days now that was never there before.  My thoughts always tended toward the paranoid, and I felt that I wasn't as good as anyone else in so many ways.  This has left me - because now, when I look into the pupils of the eyes of another, I am looking into the eyes of god.  And keeping this awareness alive during the day is now my practice.  I actually don't meditate that much anymore because I really don't feel a need for it.  Sometimes I do, just for the beauty of how it makes me feel.

 

Personally, I feel that the years of attempting no-thought have really been worth it.  My life is changed in ways I couldn't imagine.  

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25 minutes ago, dwai said:

I wasn’t particularly referring to the nuances within the Indic traditions themselves. Yes they build upon, cross-pollinate and enhance each other (as they have done so for millennia). 
 

Also, in my humble opinion, it is not possible to detach the philosophical traditions of India from its culture and language. So all the sophistry that exists, does so due to these various traditions (samkhya, vedanta, yoga, Buddhism, Jainism etc).  

 

Sophistry????

 

 

25 minutes ago, dwai said:

 

 


I think the gap in the west is basically a result of the incumbent philosophical traditions that have shaped its worldview. And by that I mean the abrahamic ones (although they have appropriated and digested from the Ancient Greeks, romans and other “pagan” traditions). 

 

 

Not sure I get your point here.  How many Abrahamic philosophies are there?

 

25 minutes ago, dwai said:

 


English language doesn’t have the context or syntax to clearly convey ideas about consciousness because the underlying philosophy is and has been so confused about it. 

 

Or just not the focus of interest.

 

25 minutes ago, dwai said:

Am I being too harsh in such a pronouncement? Maybe, but it’s just my studied observation. Take it with a grain of salt :) 

that’s because they too had intrinsic richness of philosophical traditions. 

Actually most of what shaped the western understanding of Indian (and eastern) traditions came via the European philologists with an abrahamic agenda. After the abrahamic systems lost their steam in public imagination overtly, much eastern philosophy  got appropriated and sold as original “enlightenment” and “post-enlightenment” western thought. 

 

Quite a lot was from the Theosophists - its amazing how influential Blavatsky and others were - especially as they seemed just to fabricate everything :)

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10 minutes ago, manitou said:

Great topic.

 

After 40 years of practicing no-thought meditation, I can honestly say that my mind is so much more uncluttered now.  Not just with an absence of dialogue, but with an absence of rumination and fretting.  Our mind is our thoughts, but when there is no rumination on something I wish I hadn't done, or something someone said to me, or that I'm feeling fat today.......when all those things are silenced, I am Here Now.  And when I am Here Now, this is when we notice stuff.  It's when we can see synchronicity, and we intuit the right thing to do in any situation - or not.

 

There is a lightness to my days now that was never there before.  My thoughts always tended toward the paranoid, and I felt that I wasn't as good as anyone else in so many ways.  This has left me - because now, when I look into the pupils of the eyes of another, I am looking into the eyes of god.  And keeping this awareness alive during the day is now my practice.  I actually don't meditate that much anymore because I really don't feel a need for it.  Sometimes I do, just for the beauty of how it makes me feel.

 

Personally, I feel that the years of attempting no-thought have really been worth it.  My life is changed in ways I couldn't imagine.  

 

A very thoughtful kind of thoughtlessness :)

 

 

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Going back to my OP - can I restate my original question which hasn't been answered yet:

 

"We have at least three types of cognition and therefore thought going on in our minds simultaneously, and with varying levels of energy. And if we are not trying to put a stop to this continuous process, then what are we trying to do?"

 

 

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23 minutes ago, manitou said:

I am Here Now

 

Hi Barbara,

 

WHere were you then? Please stay right Here.

 

28 minutes ago, manitou said:

Personally, I feel that the years of attempting no-thought have really been worth it.

 

No-thought ~ with words? How about feelings?

 

- Anand

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Apech said:

Going back to my OP - can I restate my original question which hasn't been answered yet:

 

"We have at least three types of cognition and therefore thought going on in our minds simultaneously, and with varying levels of energy. And if we are not trying to put a stop to this continuous process, then what are we trying to do?"

 

 

 

hmm

Edited by natural
Clarity

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58 minutes ago, Apech said:

"We have at least three types of cognition and therefore thought going on in our minds simultaneously, and with varying levels of energy. And if we are not trying to put a stop to this continuous process, then what are we trying to do?"

 

Hi Apech,

 

I have embraced the above question.

 

The three types of cognition ~ jing chi shen... simultaneously, and with varying levels of energy...?

 

threehearts.gif

 

58 minutes ago, Apech said:

And if we are not trying to put a stop to this continuous process, then what are we trying to do?"

 

I do not know. Why? I will be dead then.

 

- Anand

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Limahong said:

 

Hi Apech,

 

I have embraced the above question.

 

The three types of cognition ~ jing chi shen... simultaneously, and with varying levels of energy...?

 

threehearts.gif

 

 

I do not know. Why? I will be dead then.

 

- Anand

 

 

 

That's close to what I was trying to get at!!!  ... not you being dead, the first bit :)

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Apech said:

That's close to what I was trying to get at!!!  ... not you being dead, the first bit

 

I am dead tired and I am going to sleep.

It is now 2:50 am at my end.

Good night.

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1 hour ago, Apech said:

Going back to my OP - can I restate my original question which hasn't been answered yet:

 

"We have at least three types of cognition and therefore thought going on in our minds simultaneously, and with varying levels of energy. And if we are not trying to put a stop to this continuous process, then what are we trying to do?"

 

 

 

I thought it was answered, though maybe not to your satisfaction.

 

What we are trying to do is loosen our habitual tendency to identify with a subject of experience in order to collapse the subject-object duality. At least that’s what is described in the dzogchen teachings.

 

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21 minutes ago, steve said:

 

I thought it was answered, though maybe not to your satisfaction.

 

What we are trying to do is loosen our habitual tendency to identify with a subject of experience in order to collapse the subject-object duality. At least that’s what is described in the dzogchen teachings.

 

 

 

What do we do with, or use our thoughts for?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Apech said:

Going back to my OP - can I restate my original question which hasn't been answered yet:

 

"We have at least three types of cognition and therefore thought going on in our minds simultaneously, and with varying levels of energy. And if we are not trying to put a stop to this continuous process, then what are we trying to do?"

 

 


If the three types of cognition can be named mundane, creative, and wisdom, only one level needs to be not identified with, the mundane, because it is the essence of duality, it is innately yang, and is already paired with it’s complement being the emotions/yin. But the mundane mind needs to be operating clearly before it is disidentified from.  So I personally have spent my time bringing my mundane mind into its right operation, so that it can be the unhobbled half of its own equation, leaving me free to either pursue/identify with the creative or wisdom mind. 
 

 


 

 

Edited by Bindi
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